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BX 8915 .F58 1820 v. 6 
Flavel, John, 16307-1691 
The whole works of John 
Flavel 



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THE WHOLE 

WORKS 



OF THE 



REV. MR. JOHN FLAVEL, 

LATE MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL AT DARTMOUTH, DEVON. 



TO WHICH IS ADDED, 



AN ALPHABETICAL TABLE 

OF THE PRINCIPAL MATTERS CONTAINED IN THE WHOLE. 



IN SIX VOLUMES. 



VOL. VI. 



k«;-«<S€>2^J^,5 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOR W. BAYNES AND SON, 23 & 54, PATERNOSTER-ROW; 
WAUGH AND INNES, EDINBURGH, AND M. KEENE, DUBLIN. 

1820. 



PREPARATIONS 

el 

FOR ^"^ 

SUFFERING#%. 




OR THE 

BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 

Wherein the Necessity, Excellency, and Means of our readiness for 
Sufferings are evinced and prescribed; our Call to suffering 
cleared, and the great unreadiness of many professors bewailed. 



THE EPISTLE TO THE READER. 

AT was the observation of the learned Gerson (when the world was 
not so old by many years as now it is) that mundus senescens patitur 
phantasias : The aged world, like aged persons, dotes and grows 
whimsical, in its old age ; the truth of which observation is confirmed 
by no one thing more, than the fond and groundless dreams and 
phantams of tranquillity, and continuing prosperity, v/herewith the 
multitude please themselves, even whilst the sins of the times are so 
great, and the signs of the times so sad and lowring as they are. 

It is not the design of this Manual to scare and affright any man 
with imaginary dangers, much less to sow jealousies, and foment the 
discontents of the times; it being a just matter of lamentation that 
all the tokens of God's anger produce with many of us no better 
fruit but bold censures and loud clamours, instead of humiliation for 
our own sins, and the due preparation to take up our own cross,-and 
follow Christ in a suffering path, which is the only mark and aim of 
this tract. 

We read the histories of the primitive sufferers, but not with a spirit 
prepared to follow them. Some censure them as too prodigal of 
their blood, and others commend their courage and constancy ; but 
where are they that sincerely resolve and prepare to be followers of 
them who through faith and patience inherit the promises ? Heb. 
vi. 12. or take them for an " example of suffering, affliction, and 
" of patience,'^ Jam. v. 10. 

Itis asmuch our interest as it is our duty to be seasonably awakened 
out of our pleasant but most pernicious drowsiness. Troubles will 
be so much the more sinking and intolerable, by how much the more 
they steal upon us by way of surprizal. For look, as expectation de- 
flowers any temporal comfort, by sucking out much of the sweetness 

Vol. Vi. A 



4 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

therf^* before-hand, and so we find the less in it when we come to 
tK' actual enjoyment : So the expectation of evils abates much of the 
dread and terror, by accustoming our thoughts before-hand to thera, 
and making preparation for them : So that we find them not so 
grievous, amazing, and intolerable when they are come indeed. 

This was exemplified to us very lively by holy Mr. Bradford the 
martyr, when the keeper's wife came running into his chamber, saying, 
' O Mr. Bradford, I bring you heavy tidings, for to-morrow you must 
' be burned, your chain is now buying, and presently you must go to 
' Newgate."' He put off his hat, and looking up to heaven, said, O 
Lord, I thank thee for it ; I have looked for this a long time ; It 
comes not suddenly to me, the Lord make me worthy of it. See in 
this example the singular advantage of a prepared and ready soul. 

Reader, The cup of sufferings is a very bitter cup, and it is but 
needful that we provide somewhat to sweeten it, that we may be able 
to receive it Vvith thanksgiving; and what those sweetening ingredi- 
ents are, and how to prepare them, you will have some direction and 
help in the following discourse ; which hath once already been pre- 
sented to the public view ; and that it may at this time also (wherein 
nothing can be more seasonable) become farther useful and assisting 
to the people of God in their present duties, is the hearty desire of 

Thine 

and the Church's 

Servant in Christy 

JOHN FLAVEL. 



Acts xxi. 13. 

Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep, and to hrealc my heart? 
For I am ready not to he hound only, but also to die at Jerusalem 
for the name of the Lord Jesus. 

CHAP. I. 

Wherein the text is opened, and the doctrine propounded. 

Jl he Divine providence is not more signally discovered in go- 
verning the motions of the clouds, than it is in disposing and order- 
ing the spirits and motions of the ministers of the gospel, who, in a 
mystical sense, are fruitful clouds, to dispense the showers of gospel- 
blessings to the world. The motion of the clouds is not spontaneous, 
but they move as they are moved by the winds ; neither can gospel- 
ministers chuse their own stations, and govern their own motions, 
but must go when and where the Spirit and providence of God 
directs and guides them ; as will evidently appear in that dangerous 



THE BEST WOllK IN THE WORST TIMES. 

voyage to Jerusalem in which the apostle was at this time eiv^ed 
Acts XX. 22. " And now, behold, I go bound in the Spirit to Jen> 
*' lem," [bound in the Spirit :] Alluding to the watery vapours whicl 
are bound up in clouds, and conveyed according to the motions of 
the wind. This journey was full of danger ; Paul foresaw his business 
was not only to plant the gospel at Jerusalem with his doctrine, but 
to water it also with his blood ; but so effectually was his will de- 
termined by the will of God, that he cheerfully complies with his 
duty therein, whatsoever difficulties and dangers did attend it. 

And indeed it was his great advantage, that the will of God was 
so plainly and convincingly revealed to him touching this matter ; for 
no sooner did he employ himself to obey this call of God, but he is 
presently assaulted by many strong temptations to decline it. 

The first rub he met in his way was from the disciples of Tyre, who 
pretending to speak by the Spirit, said unto Paul, that he should not 
go up to Jerusalem, Acts xxi. 4. The Lord by this trying the spirit 
of his apostle much, as he did the young prophet coming from Judea 
to Bethel, 1 Kings xiii. 18. but not with like success. 

His next discouragement was at Caesarea, where Agabus (whom 
Dorotheus affirms to be of the seventy-two disciples, and had before 
prophesied of the fLimine in the reign of Claudius, which accordingly 
came to pass) takes Paufs girdle, and binding his own hands and feet 
with it, said, " Thus saith the Holy Ghost, so shall the Jews at Je- 
" rusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver 
" him into the hands of the Gentiles," Acts xxi. 11. And surely he 
was not ignorant what he must expect whenever he should fall into 
their hands; yet neither could this affright him from his duty. 

But then, last of all, he meeteth with the sorest trial from his 
dearest friends, who fell upon him with passionate intreaties and 
many tears, beseeching him to decline that journey : O they could not 
give up such a minister as Paul was ! this even melted him down, 
and almost broke his heart, which yet was easier to do, than to turn 
him out of the path of obedience : ^\''here, by the way, we may note 
two things : 

Firsts That divine precept, not providence, is to rule out our way 
of duty. 

Secondly^ That no hindrances or discouragements whatsoever will 
justify our neglect of a known duty. 

All these rubs he passes over ; all these discouragements he over- 
came, with this heroic and truly Christian resolution in the text ; 
" What mean ye to weep, and to break my heart ? For I am ready 
" not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalc^tn, for the name 
" of the Lord Jesus." 

In which words we have, 

1. A loving and gentle rebuke. 

2. A quieting and calming argument. 



^ PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

jP.'rst, He lovingly and gently rebukes their fond and inordinate 
g^iTowfor his departure, in these words, What mean ye to weep, and 
to break my heart ? As if he should say. What mean these passionate 
intreaties and tempting tears ? To what purpose is all this ado ? 
They are but so many snares of Satan, to turn my heart out of the 
way of obedience : Vou do as much as in you lies to break my heart ; 
let there be no more of this I beseech you. 

Secondly^ He labours to charm their unruly passions with a very 
quieting and calming argument ; For I am ready, &c. sroi/j^ojg i^u^ 
parate habeo. I am prepared and fitted for the greatest sufferings 
which shall befal me in the pursuit of my duty ; be it a prison, or 
be it death, I am provided for either : Liberty is dear, and life much 
dearer, but Christ is dearer than either. 

But what was there in all this, to satisfy them whose trouble it was 
to see him so forward ? Let the words be considered, and we shall 
find divers things in them to satisfy and quiet their hearts, and make 
them willing to give him up. 

First, I am ready ; that is, God hath fitted and prepared my heart 
for the greatest sufferings ; this is the work of God : flesh and blood 
would never be brought to this, were not all its interests and incli- 
nations subdued, and over-ruled by the Spirit of God. What do ye 
therefore in all this, but work against the* design of God, who hath 
fitted and prepared my heart for this service ? 

Secondly, I am ready ; that is, my will and resolution stands in a 
full bent, my heart is fixed, you cannot therefore study to do me a 
greater injury, than to discompose and disorder my heart again, by 
casting such temptations as these in my way, to cause the flesh to 
rebel, and the enemy that is within to renew his opposition. 

Thirdly, I am ready ; that is, my heart is so fixed to follow the 
call of God, whatever shall befal me, that all your tears and intrea- 
ties to the contrary are but cast away ; they cannot alter my fixed 
purpose ; you had as good be quiet, and cheerfully resign me to the 
will of God. 

Tiius you see the equipage and preparation of Paul's spirit to re- 
ceive both bonds and death for Christ at Jerusalem ; this made him 
victorious over the temptations of friends, and the malice and cruelty 
of his enemies: By this readiness and preparation of his mind, he 
was carried through all, and enabled to finish his course with joy. 
From hence the observation is, 

Doct. That it is a blessed and excellent thing for the people of God 
to be prepared, and ready for the hardest services, and worst of' 
sufferings,* to which the Lord may call them. 

This is that which every gracious heart is reaching after, praying, 
and striving to obtain ; but, ah ! how few will attain it ! Certainly 
there arc not many among the multitudes of the professors of this 
generation that can say as Paul here did, " Fam ready to be bound, 
" or to die for Christ."" 



THE BEST "WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 

CHAP. II. 

Shews, that although God takes no delight in afflicting his people^ 
yet he sometimes exposeth them to great and grievous sufferings ; 
with a brief account zvhy, and hozc he calls them thereunto. 

A HE mercies and compassions of God over his people are exceed- 
ing great and tender, Psalm ciii. 13. " Like as a father pltieth 
" his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." He delights 
not in afflicting and grieving them, Lara. iii. S3. " He doth not af- 
" flict wilHngly, nor grieve the children of men." The scripture in- 
timates to us a seeming conflict betwixt the justice and mercy of God, 
when he is about to deliver up his people into their enemies hands, 
Hosea xi. 8, 9. " How shall I give thee up, Ephraim ? How shall I 
" deliver thee, Israel ? How shall 1 make thee as Admah ? How shall 
*' I set thee as Zeboim ? Mine heart is turned within me, my re- 
" pentings are kindled together." Which shews us with what re- 
luctance and great unwillingness the Lord goes about such a work as 
this. The work of judgment is his strange work, it pleases him bet- 
ter to execute the milder attribute of mercy towards his children. 
Hence we find, when he is preparing to execute his judgments, that 
he delays the execution as long as the honour of his name and safety 
of his people will permit, Jer. xliv. 23. He bears till he can bear 
no longer : he often turns away his wrath from them, Psal. Ixxviii. 
38, 39. He tries them by lesser judgments and gentler correc- 
tions to prevent greater, Amos iv. 6. When his people are humbled 
tinder the threatenings of his wrath, his heart is melted into compas- 
sion to them, Jer. xxxi. 17, 20. and whenever his mercy prevails 
against judgment, it is with joy and triumph, Jam. ii. 13. Mercy 
rejoiceth against judgment. 

For he feels his own tender compassions yerning over them ; he 
foreseeth, and is no way willing to gratify the insulting pride of his and 
their enemies. Deut. xxxii. 26, 27. " I said I would scatter them 
" into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease 
" from among men, were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, 
" lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, &c. 

Yet all this, notwithstanding, it often falls out, by the provocations 
of his sons and daughters, that the Lord gives them up into the 
hands of their enemies for the correction of their evils, and the ma- 
nifestation of his own glory. Seneca, though a heathen, could say, 
that God loves his people with a masculine love, not with a woman- 
ish indulgence and tenderness : If need require, they shall be in hea- 
viness through manifold temptations, 1 Pet. i. 6. He had rather 
their hearts should be heavy under adversity, than vain and careless 
under prosperity ; the choicest spirits have been exercised with the 
sharpest sufferings, and those that now shine as stars in heaven, 

A3 



Q PllEPAKATIONS FOK SUFFEIIIXGS ; OE, 

liavpoeen trod under foot as dung on the earth. 1 Cor. iv. 11, 12f, 
jr. "Unto this present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are 
•' naked, and buffetted, and have no certain dwelling-place, and la- 
" hour working with our hands ; being reviled we bless, being per- 
'• secuted we suffer it, being defamed we intreat ; we are made as 
" the filth of the world, and the off-scouring of all things unto this 
" day.'' The eleventh chapter to the Hebrews is a compendium of 
the various and grievous sufferings of the primitive saints : " They 
" were tortured, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain 
'' with the sword, they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, 
*' being afflicted, destitute, tormented, of whom the world was not 
" worthy, they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, in dens, and 
" in caves of the earth." And since the earth hath dried up those 
rivers of precious blood, whereof the sacred records make mention, 
what seas of Christians blood have since those days been shed by 
bloody persecutors ? Histories inform us that in the ten primitive per- 
secutions, so many of the saints and martyrs of Jesus Christ have been 
slain, as that you may allow five thousand a day to every day in the 
whole year. Those bloody emperors sported themselves with the 
death of God's dearest saints ; many precious Christians were burnt 
by night at Rome, to serve as torches to light their enemies in the 
passage through the streets ; eight hundred thousand martyrs are 
mentioned within the space of thirty years, since the Jesuits arose 
out of the bottomless pit. 

To what grievous sufferings did the Lord give up those precious 
servants of Christ, the Waldenses and Albigenses, who received the 
light of reformation about the year 1260, when the fogs of Anti- 
christian darkness overspread the earth ! a people sound in judgment, 
as appears by their letters, catechisms, and confessions, which are ex- 
tant ; a people of a simple, plain, and inoffensive behaviour : Yet, 
with what fury and rage did that impious pope Pius persecute them 
to destruction ! driving them into the woods and mountains, except 
the aged, and children that could not flee, who were murdered in 
the way : Some famished in the caves and clefts of the rocks ; others 
endured the rack for eight hours together ; some beaten with iron 
rods, others thrown from the tops of high towers, and dashed to 
pieces. 

^Vhat bloody shambles and slaughter-houses have France, Ireland, 
and England, been made by popish cruelty ! More might be related 
out of each story than a tender hearted reader is able to bear the re- 
hearsal of. But what God hath done, he may do again : We are 
not better than our fathers, dismal clouds of indignation are gather- 
ing over our heads, charged with double destruction ; should the 
Lord please to make them break upon us; we cannot imagine the 
rage of Satan to be abated, now that his kingdom hastens to its 
period, Ilev. xii. 12. nor are his instruments grown less cruel and skil- 
ful to destroy. The land, indeed, hath enjoyed a long rest, and thi& 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. " 

generation is acquainted with little more of martyrdom, than wribi^tlye 
histories of former times inform us of: But yet let no man bef6c,l 
himself with a groundless expectation of continuing tranquilHtyis 
Augustin thinks that the bloody sweat which over-ran the body of 
Christ in thegarden, signified the sharp and grievous suftcrings which 
in his mystical body he should afterwards endure ; and indeed it is a 
"*truth, that these are also called the remains of Christ's sufferings, 
Col. i. 24. His personal siffferings were indeed completed at his re- 
surrection, that cup was full to the brim, to which no drop of suffer- 
ings can be added ; but his sufferings in his mystical body are not yet 
full ; by his personal sufferings he fully satisfied the wrath of God, 
but the sufferings of his people have not yet satisfied the wrath of 
men : Though millions of precious saints have shed their blood for 
Christ, whose souls are now crying under the altar, How long. Lord! 
how long ! yet there arc many more coming on behind in the same 
path of persecution, and much Christian blood must yet be shed, be- 
fore the mystery of God be finished ; and notwithstanding this lucid 
interval, the clouds seem to be returning again after the rain. Thus 
you see to what grievous sufferings the merciful God hath sometimes 
called his dearest people. 

Now God may be said to call forth his people to suffer, when he 
so hedgeth them in by providence, that there is no way to escape 
suffering, but by sinning ; whatsoever providence labours with such 
a dilemma as this, is a plain signification of God's will to us in that 
case. We may not now expect extraordinary calls to suffering work, 
as some of the saints had of old. Gen. xxii. 2. Acts ix. 16. but when 
our way is so shut up by providence, that we cannot avoid suffering, 
but by stepping over the hedge of the command, God will have us 
look upon that exigence as his call to suffer : And if the reasons be 
demanded, why the Lord, who is inclined to mercy, doth often hedge 
in his own people, by his providence, in a suffering path ; let us 
know, that in so doing, he doth both, 

1. Illustrate his own glory. And, 

2. Promote his people's happiness. 

First, Hereby the most wise God doth illustrate the glory of his 
own name, clearing up the righteousness of his ways by the sufferings 
of his own people : By this the word shall see, that how well soever 
he loves them, he will not indulge or patronize their sins; if they 
will be so disengenuous to abuse his favours, he will be so just to make 
them suffer for their sins, and by those very sufferings will provide 
for his own glory, which was by them clouded in the eyes of the 
world. He hates not sin a jot the less, because it is found in his own 
people, Amos iii. 2. And though, for the magnifying of his mercy, 
he will pardon their sins, yet for the clearing of his righteousness, he 
will take vengeance upon their inventions, Psal. xcix. 8. 

Moreover, by exposing his people to such grievous sufferings, he 
gives a fit opportunity to manifest the glory of his power in their sup- 

A 4 



IQ PREPARATIOXS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OK, 

por^, and of his wisdom, in the marvellous ways of their escape and 
(Liiverance. It is one of the greatest wonders in the world, how the 
church subsists under such fierce and frequent assaults as are made 
upon it by enemies. " I will turn aside (said Moses) and see this 
" great sight, why the bush is not consumed," Exod. iii. 3. That 
flaming bush was a lively emblem of the oppressed church in Egypt ; 
the crackling flames noted the heat of their persecution, the remain-^ 
ing of the bush unconsumed in the flames, signified the wonderful 
power of God in their preservation : No people are so privileged, so 
protected, so delivered, as the people of God. Much less opposition 
than hath been made against the church, have overturned, and utter- 
ly destroyed, the mighty monarchies of the world. 

* Sic Medus ademit 



Assijrio^ Medoque tidit moderamina PerseSy 
Suhjecit Per sen Macedo, cessurus et ipse 
Roviams 

' Assyria's empire thus the Mede did shake, 
' The Persian next, the pride of Media brake ; 
'Then Persia sunk by Macedonia prest, 
' That, in its turn, fell by Rome at last.' 

And no less admirable is the wisdom of God, in frustrating and de- 
feating the most deep and desperate designs of hell, against his poor 
people. Now, you may see the most wise God going beyond a ma- 
licious and subtle devil, overturning in a moment the deep laid de- 
signs and contrivances of many years, and that at the very birth and 
point of execution, Esth. vi. 1. snaring the wicked in the works of 
their own hands ; making their own tongues to fall upon them ; 
"working out such marvellous salvations with his own hand, as fills 
them with astonishment and wonder, Psal. cxxvi. 7. " When the 
" Lord turned back the captivity of Zion, we were like them that 
'•' dreamed.'' 

Secondly, As God provides for his own glory, by the sufferings 
and troubles of his people ; so he advanceth their happiness, and 
greatly promotes their interest thereby. 

For, First, These troubles are ordered as so many occasions and 
means to mortify the corruptions that are in their hearts ; there are 
rank weeds springing up in the best soil, which need such winter 
weather to rot them : And, certainly, if we reckon humility, hea- 
venly mindedness, contempt of the world, and longing desires after 
heaven, to be the real interest and advantage of the church ; tlien it 
is evident, nothing so much promotes their interest, as a suff'cring 
condition doth : Adversity kills those corruptions which prosperity 
bred. 

♦ Claudian, lib, 3. in laudes StUUcones. 



THE BEST WOKK IN THE WORST TIMES. 

Secondly, By these trials their sincerity is cleared, to the joy al 
satisfaction of their own hearts ; many a doubt and fear, which hi 
long entangled and perplexed them, is removed and answered. When 
adversity hath given them proof, and trial of their own hearts, one 
sharp trial wherein God helps us to be faithful, will do more to satis- 
fy our fears, and resolve our doubts, than all the sermons that ever 
we heard in our lives could do. 

Thirdly, These sufferings and trials of the church, are ordained to 
free it of abundance of hypocrites, which were its reproach, as well 
as burden, Amos ix. 9, 10. Affliction is a furnace to separate the 
dross from the more pure and noble gold. Multitudes of hypocrites, 
like flies in a hot summer, are generated by the church's prosperity ; 
but this winter weather kills them: Many gaudy professors grow 
within the inclosure of the church, like beautiful flowers in the field, 
where they stand during its peace and prosperity, in the pride and 
bravery of their giftsand professions; but the wind passethover them, 
and they are gone, and their places shall know them no more ; to 
allude to that in Psalm ciii. 16. Thunder and lightning is very ter- 
rible weather, but exceeding useful to purify and cleanse the air. 

Fourthly, The church's sufi^erings are ordered and sanctified, to 
endear them to each other. Times of common suffering, are times 
of reconciliation, and greater endearments among the people of God ; 
never m^ore endeared, than when most persecuted ; never more unit- 
ed, than when most scattered, Mai. iii. 17. " Then they that fear- 
" ed the Lord, spake often one to another." Certainly there is some- 
thing in our fellowship in the same sufferings, that is endearing and 
engaging ; but there is much more in the discoveries that persecution 
makes of the sincerity of our hearts, which, it may be, was before 
entertained with jealousy ; and there is yet more than all this in the 
reproofs of the rod, whereby they are humbled for their pride, 
wantonness, and bitterness of their spirits to each other, and made 
to cry, in the sense of these transgressions, as Psal. Ixx. 8. " Remem- 
" ber not against us former iniquities." 

Lastly, By these troubles and distresses, they are awakened to their 
duties, and taught to pray more frequently, spiritually, and fervent- 
ly. Ah ! what drowsmess and formality is apt to creep irrupon the 
best hearts, in the time of prosperity ; but when the storm rises, and 
the sea grows turbulent and raging, now they cry as the disciples to 
Christ, Lord, save us, we perisli. They say music is sweetest upon 
the waters; I am sure the sweetest melody of prayer is upon the 
deep waters of affliction : For these, among many other righteous, 
wise, and holy ends, the Lord permits and orders the persecutions 
and distresses of his people. 



3jg PREPARATIONS FOa SUFFEIIIXGS : OR, 

CHAP. III. 

Shexvs that it is usual with God to premonish his people of approach^ 
i??o' trials and sufferings ; with some account of' the manner hozv^ 
and the reason why he so forewarns them. 

J^.S Paul had many clear premonitions and fore-notices of the 
sufferings that should befal him at Jerusaleni, that he might not 
be surprized by them when they came; so it is usual with God 
(though not in such an immediate and extraordinary a manner) to 
admonish the world, and especially his own people, of great trials 
and sufferings before-hand. Amos iii. 7. " Surely the Lord will 
" do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the pro- 
« phets.'' 

Thus, when he was about to bring the flood upon the world, he 
gave one hundred and twenty years warning of it before it came. 
Gen. vi. 3. and when he was to destroy Sodom, he saith, Gen. xviii. 
17. " Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do ?" And the 
like discovery he made about the same judgment to Lot, Gen. xix. 
12, 13, 14. So when the captivity of the Jews was nigh at hand, the 
people had many fore warnings of it ; God forewarned them both 
ministerialhj and providentially ; he warned them by the prophets, 
Ezek. iii. 17. " Hear the word of my mouth, and give them warning 
<« from me.'' And when the time drew nigh to execute the judg- 
ment determined upon Jerusalem, and the temple, how plainly did 
Christ foretel them of it ? Luke xix. 43, 44. " Thine enemies shall 
" cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee 
" in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy 
" children within thee." 

And when the storm was just ready to fall,* their own historian 
tells us, a voice was heard in the temple, saying, Migremus hinc. 
Let us go hence. 'Which voice f Tacitus also mentions in his 

* annals, affirming it to be more than a human voice, telling them 

* God was departing, and that it was accompanied with a rushing 

* noise, as of persons going out. These were extraordinary warn- 

* ings.' The like signs have been given to divers other nations, by 
dreadful eclipses of the heavenly bodies, portentous comets, earth- 
gualrs, and other signs of judgment. 

Now, though we have no ground to expect such extraordinary 
warnings, yet we have the most apparent and certain signs of ap- 
proaching calamities ; after which, if they surprize us, the fault must 
lie in our own inexcusable negligence ; for we have a standing rule 
to govern ourselves in this matter, and that is this ; * When the same 



* Josephus de bello Jud. lib. 7. cap. 2. 

t Audita mojor humana vox excedere DeoSy simul inserts motus excedentium. Tacitua, 
lib. 21. 



THE BEST WORK IX THE WORST TIMEf?. 15 

< sins are found in one nation, which have brought down the wrai 
' of God upon another nation, it is an evident sign of judgment at^ 

* the door; for God is unchangeable, just, and holy, and will not 

* favour that in one people which he hath punished in another, nor 

* bless that in one age which he hath cursed in another.' Upon this 
very ground it was that the apostle warned the Corinthians, by the 
example of the Israelites, whose sins had ruined them in the wilder- 
ness, 1 Cor. X. 6. " Now these things were our examples, to the in- 
" tent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted."" As if 
he should say. Look upon those dead bodies which are, as it were, 
cast up upon the scripture-shore for a warning to you : Follow not 
the same course, lest you meet in the same curse ; if you tread the 
same paths, expect the same punishment. God is as righteous now 
as he was then : he hates, and will punish sin in you as much as he 
did in them. 

Let us therefore consider what those provocations were, that has- 
tened the wrath of God upon his own Israel, a people that were nigh 
and dear unto him : a people upon whom he spent as much of the 
riches of his patience, as upon any people in the world ; that so we 
may reckon whereabout we are at this day, and what is like to be the 
lot of this sinful and provoking generation ; and we shall find, by 
the consent of all the prophets, that these sins were the immediate 
forerunners, and proper causes of their overthrow. 

First, The great corruption of God's worship among them kin- 
dled his wrath, and hastened their ruin, Psal. cvi. 39, 40, 41, 42. 
" They were defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with 
" their own inventions ; therefore was the wrath of God kindled 
" against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheri- 
" tance, and he gave them into the hand of the heathen, and they 
" that hated them ruled over them ; their enemies also oppressed 
" them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.'"* 
They that Avill not bear the golden yoke of Christ, shall be galled with 
the iron yoke of men : nothing more provokes the anger of God 
than the adulterating of his worship; a man will bear a thousand 
infirmities in the wife of his bosom, but unfaithfulness in the mar- 
riage-covenant breaks his heart. After the manner of men, so abused 
and grieved, the Lord expresseth himself, Ezek. vi. 9- " I am 
" broken with their whorish heart, which have departed from me, 
" and with their eyes that go a whoring after their idols." Men 
cannot invent a surer and speedier way to their own ruin, than to 
bring their own inventions into God's worship. 

Secondly, Incorrigible obstinacy and impenitcncy, under gentler 
strokes and lesser judgments, make way for utter ruin and desolation, 
Amos iv. from the 6th to the 12th verse. Scarcity, mildews, pesti- 
lence, and sword, had been tried upon them, but without effect ; for 
the remnant that escaped those judgments (although plucked as so 



1^ ' PREPAKATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

rsany brands out of the fire, in which their fellow sinners perished) 
were not reformed b}' those gentler and 7ftoderated judgments. 

Thirdly^ Stupidity and senselessness of God's hand, and the tokens 
of his anger, were provoking causes and forerunners of their national 
desolation ; they neither saw the hand of God when it was lifted 
up, nor humbled themselves under it when it was laid on ; the hand 
of God is then said to be lifted up, when the providences of God pre- 
pare and posture themselves for our affliction. When the clouds of 
judgment gather over our heads, and grow blacker and blacker, as 
theirs did upon them, and do upon us at this day, but they took no 
notice of it, Isa. xxvi. 11. " Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they 
'' will not see;"' and (which is the height of stupidity) they all re- 
mained senseless and regardless, when the hand of God was laid upon 
them, Isa. xlii. 24, 25. " Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to 
*' the robbers ? Did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned ? 
*' for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient 
" to his law. Therefore he hath poured upon them the fury of his 
" ano-er, and the strength of battle; and it hath set him on fire round 
" about, yet he knew not ; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to 
« heart.'' 

O prodigious sottishness ! It was not some small drops of God's an- 
ger, but the Jury of' his anger ; not some lighter skirmish of his judg- 
inents with them, but the strength of battle : It was not some particu- 
lar streke upon single persons or families, but it set him onfre round 
about, a general conflagration ; yet all this would not awaken them. 

Fourthly, The persecution of God's faithful ministers and people 
were another sin that procured, and a sign that foretold the destruc- 
tion of their nation, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16. " And the Lord God 
" of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, 
" and sending ; because he had compassion on his people, and on his 
" dwelling-place ; but they mocked the messengers of God, and 
" despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the 
** Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy." There 
were also a number of upright souls among them, who desired to wor- 
ship God according to his own prescription ; but a snare was laid for 
them in Mizpah, and a net spread for them upon Tabor, Hos. v. 1. 
and this hastened judgment towards them : Mizpah and Tabor were 
places lying in the way betwixt Samaria and Jerusalem, where the 
true worship of God was : and in those places spies were set by the 
priests to observe and infoi-m against them ; so that it became very 
hazardous to attend the pure and incorrupt worship of God, which 
quickly hastened on their ruin. 

Fifthly, The removal of godly and useful men by death, in more 
than ordinary haste, was to them a sign of desolation at hand. Isa. 
Ivii. 1. " The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; 
" and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righ- 
" teous is taken away from the evil to come." In this case God a^ts 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. \ 15 

towards his people, as the husbandman in a catching harvest d6n^ 
by his corn ; he hurries it with a shuffling haste into the barn wheh 
he sees a storm coming : or as a careful father with his sons that are 
abroad at school, who sends his horses to fetch them home speedily, 
when he hears the plague is begun in the place. Upon this ground 
the prophet Micah bewails himself, Micah vii. 1. " Woe is me, for 
" I am as when they have gathered the summer-fruits, as the grape 
" gleanings of the vintage, there is no cluster to eat ; my soul de- 
" sired the first-ripe fruit." Q. d. Alas ! alas ! what miserable days 
are at hand ! what miseries must I expect to see ! The pleasant clus- 
ters, i. e. the societies of the saints are gathered away by the hand of 
death ; there are but few that remain, here and there a single saint, 
like grapes after the vintage is done, two or three upon the utmost 
branches. 

Sixthly, The general decay of the life and power of godliness 
among them that were left, foreboded destruction at the door : this 
is both a provoking sin, and a fore-running sign of national calamity. 
Hos. iv. 18. Their driiik is sour. A metaphor lively expressing 
the deadness and formality of the people in the worship of God. It 
was like sour or dead drink, which hath lost its spirit and relish, 
and is become flat. Such were their duties ; no spiritual life, affec- 
tion, or savour in them : they heard as if they heard not, and prayed 
as if they prayed not ; the ordinances of God were to them as the 
ordinances of men, of which the apostle saith, that they perish in 
the using. 

Seventhly, To conclude; Mutual animosities, jars, and divisions, 
were to them manifest symptoms of national calamities and desola- 
tions : for then Ephraim envied Judah, and Judah vexed Ephraim, 
Isa. xi. 13. Hos. ix. 7. " The days of visitation are come, the days 
" of recompence are come, Israel shall know it : The prophet is a 
" fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquities, 
" and the great hatred." 

When such symptoms of God's indignation do appear upon any 
people, the Lord, by them, as by so many glaring meteors and blazing 
comets, forewarns the world that his judgments are near, even at 
the door. These signs all men ought to observe, and behold with 
trembling. If you ask, Why doth God usually give such warnings 
of his indignation before it comes ? The reasons are, 

1. To prevent the execution. 

2. To make them more tolerable. 

3. To leave the incorrigible inexcusable. 

First, Warning is given, with design to prevent the execution of 
judgments, Amos iv. \%. " Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O 
'• Israel ; and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy 
" God, O Israel ;" i. e. Prepare thyself to meet me in the way of my 
judgments, by humiliation and intercession to prevent the execution. 
And what else was the design of God in sending Jonah to the great 



X6 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

c'lcj Nineveh, but to excite them to repentance for the prevention of 
cheir ruin. This Jonah knew to be the Lord's meaning, how posi- 
tive soever the words of his commission were; and therefore he 
dechned the message to secure his credit ; knowing, that if upon 
warning given they repented, the gracious nature of God would 
soon melt into compassion over them, and free grace would make him 
appear as a liar ; for so we must expound his words, Jonah iv. 2. 
" Was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country ? There- 
*' fore I fled before unto Tarshish : for I knew that thou art a gra- 
*' cious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, 
*' and repentest thee of the evil." Q. d. Yea, Lord, I knew before- 
hand it would come to this ; thou sendest me positively to denounce 
thy judgments to Nineveh, mean time desiring nothing more than the 
execution of them might be prevented by their repentance. And 
thus thy mercy hath exposed my reputation, in saving them from 
destruction. 

Secondly^ God forewarns his people of judgments, to make them 
more tolerable when they come ; expected evils are nothing so heavy 
as those that come by surprisal ; for look, as the expectation of a 
mercv makes it less sweet, our thoughts having anticipated and sucked 
out much of the sweetness before-hand ; so the expectation of judg- 
ments before they befal us, make them less bitter and burdensome 
than else they would be, the soul having inured and accustomed itself 
to them, bv frequent thoughts, and prepared and made ready itself 
to entertain them, as Paul did in my text. To prevent the disciples 
surprisal and offence at those days of persecution that were coming 
upon them, Christ foretold them, and gave them fair warning before- 
hand, John xvi. 4. 

Thirdhj^ He forewarns his people of approaching dangers, to leave 
the incorrigible wholly inexcusable, that those who have no sense of 
sin, nor care to prevent ruin, might have no cloke for their folly 
■when judgments overtake them, " What wilt thou say when he shall 
" punish thee.^"' Jer. xiii. 21, 9.9., As if he should say. What plea, 
or apologv is left thee, after so many fair warnings and timely pre- 
monitions r Thou canst not sav, I have surprised thee, or that thou 
wast ruined before thou wast warned. Thy destruction therefore 
is of thyself 

CHAP. IV. 

Demonst7'ating the excellency of a prepared heart for the worst of 
sufferings ; and what a blessed thing it is to be ready to be bounds 
or to die for Christy as Paul here was. 

A AM ready.] O blessed frame of spirit ! how hard, but how 
happy is it to get a heart so tempered ! Every Christian can say, I 



THE BEST OF WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. \ 17 

\ 

>vould be ready, and the Lord make me ready for sufferings ; Byt 
iew can say, I am ready, my heart is prepared and fitted for such av. 
work : yet this example shews us it is attainable : and what a bles- 
sed thing it is to attain it, the following particulars will abundantly 



convince us. 



First, Readiness for sufferings will bring the heart of a Christian 
to an holy rest and tranquillity, in a suffering hour, and prevent that 
anxiety, perturbation, and distraction of mind, which puts the sink- 
ing weight into afflictions. The more cares, fears, and troubles we 
have before our sufferings come, the more calm, quiet, and com- 
posed we are like to be when our sufferings are come indeed. It is 
admirable to consider with what peace and patience Job entertained 
his troubles, which, considering the kinds, degrees, and manner in 
which they befel him, one would think they should at least have 
startled and amazed him, and put his soul (as gracious and mortified 
as it was) into great disorder and confusion ; but you find the con- 
trary : never did the patience of a man triumph at that rate over ad- 
versity ; he worships God, owns his hand, and resigns himself up to 
his pleasure. Job i. 20, 21. And whence was this ? Surely had his 
troubles come by way of surprise, he could never have carried it at 
that rate; but in the days of his peace and prosperity he had prepared 
for such a day as this. Job iii. 25, 26. " I was not in safety, neither 
" had I rest ; yet trouble came ; the thing that I feared (saith he) 
" is come upon me.'"* He laid it to heart before it came, and there- 
fore it neither distracted, nor brake the heart when it came. In like 
manner the prophet Habakkuk stood upon his watch-tower, i. e. he 
made his observations by the word upon the probable events of pro- 
vidence, whereby he got a clear foresight of those troublesome days 
that were at hand ; which though it made him tremble in himself, 
yet it gave him rest in the day of evil, Hab. iii. 16, 17, 18. There 
is a twofold rest in the day of evil, viz. 

1. A rest of deliverance. 

2. A rest of contentation. 

It is a singular mercy to find rest in a man's own spirit ; to enjoy 
inward peace, and tranquillity of mind, Avhen there is no rest with- 
out ; and the way to obtain this, is to foresee, count upon, and make 
due preparation for troublous times before-hand : evils that come by 
way of surprisal, are not only amazing, but very frequently destruc- 
tive evils ; it is a sad aggravation to feel a misery, before we fear it ; 
those calamities that find men secure, do usually leave them desperate; 
the enemy that comes upon our backs hath a great advantage to ruin 
us, yet this is the common case of the world, " For man knoweth 
" not his time, but as the fishes are taken in an evil net, and as the 
" birds that are caught in the snare ; so are the sons of men snared 
" in an evil time, when it falleth on them suddenly," Eccl. ix. 12. 
Thus perished the old world ; there was but one Noah provided for 
the flood, and he only, with his family, was preserved in it : all the 



18 PR EPAHATIOXS FOR sufferings; OR, 

rest were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until 
the flood came and swept them all away, Mat. xxiv. 38. Men will 
not use their foreseeing faculties; but because it is all quiet to-day, 
they conclude it shall be so to-morrow. Those that are at rest in 
their habitation, and have got a safe pillow under their heads, are 
apt to fall asleep in security, and dream pleasantly of continued rest 
and peace ; and loth they are to interrupt their sensual pleasure with 
melancholy thoughts of changes and sufferings. 

Philosophers tell us, that immediately before an earthquake the 
air is very quiet and serene ; and before the great rain falls, the wind 
is usually still : were the aspect of second causes much more favour- 
able and encouraging than it is ; yet there is cause enough, for all 
that are wise in heart, to fear and tremble, under the consideration 
of that national guilt which is treasured up, and will certainly pro- 
duce distress and trouble. 

O Christians ! look out for days of visitation ; prepare for a storm, 
and provide you an ark, an hiding-place in Christ, and the promises, 
as ever you expect rest, and peace in your own spirits, when the 
earth shall be full of tumults, uproars, and desolations. 

Secondly^ Our preparation for sufferings is an excellent argument 
of the honesty and sincerity of our hearts, in the matters of religion : 
he that makes account of sufferings, and is daily at work with his 
own heart, mortifyir.g his corruptions, weaning its worldly affections, 
exciting and making ready its suffering-graces, resolving in the 
strength of God, to take his lot with Christ, wherever, and howso- 
ever it shall fall ; tliis is the man that hath deliberately closed with 
Christ upon his own terms, and is like to be the durable and vic- 
torious Christian. 

As for hypocrites, (Christ's summer friends) they have either their 
exceptions against the severities of religion, and study to secure to 
themselves a retreat from danger, or else they rush inconsiderately 
into the profession of Christ, never debating the terms which he pro- 
poses to all that will follow him, Mark viii. 84. The necessity of a 
rational and well-advised closure with Christ upon suffering and self- 
denying terms, is by himself fully set forth in that excellent parable, 
Luke xiv. 25, 26, 27, 28. There was a great multitude that follow- 
ed him at that time ; Christ began to grow in request among them ; 
they flocked from all parts to see and hear him ; but he foresaw, 
that if once a sharp trial should befal them, it v.ould quickly thin, 
and diminish that great multitude, and reduce them like Gideon's 
host, into a little handful : and therefore he resolves to deal candidly 
and plainly with them ; he propounds his terms, and sets down his 
conditions, which every one of them must subscribe, that will follow 
him ; the sum of which is this, " Let him deny himself, take up his 
" cross and follow me."" And to evince the rationality of these terms, 
he argues, from the most common and obvious practices of men in 
their civil affairs : no man, that exerciseth reason, will begin to build 



THE BEST WORK IX THE WORST TIMES. 19 

an house, and lay a large foundation, when he is not provided with a 
stock to carry up the walls, and complete the work : no man, in his 
wits would engage with a handful of men, against a great and armed 
multitude ; possihly they may intend tojace, but no man would think 
they intend to ,/ight the enemy, on such a disadvantage. Just so 
stands the case in our profession of Christ ; if we really intend to go 
through with the business of religion, we must sit down, and compute 
the cost and charges of Christianity, think upon the worst, as well as 
the best, reckon upon reproaches, prisons, and death for his sake, as 
■well as the easier and more pleasant parts of active obedience'; and 
having so done, if then we can be content to run all hazards, and 
forego all the rest upon his account, and accordingly manage ourselves 
in a day of suffering, then we deal with Christ, and clear ourselves 
from the danger of hypocrisy. It is for want of this, that so many 
professors faint, and fall away, in times of temptation, furnishing the 
devil with so many triumphs over religion, and the more upright pro- 
fessors of it. It was for want of depth of earth, (i. e.) a deep consider- 
ation, and well-rooted resolution at first, that the stony-ground hy- 
pocrite so quickly withered away, when the sun of persecution began 
to shine fervently upon him, Mat. xiii. 5, 6. And doubtless it is to 
prevent this fatal issue of our profession, that God makes such deep 
wounds by conviction upon his people's hearts at first ; it is for our 
establishment in future trials, and sufferings, that he so distresses, and 
humbles them ; that he makes sin so bitter and burdensome to tlicm ; 
as well knowing that all this is no more than needs, to prevent their 
returning again to sin, in the times of their temptation. 

O professor ! if thou be one that art come to Christ in this wav, 
and hast thus deliberately closed with him ; if thou hast as well be- 
thought thyself of bearing his cross, as of wearing his crown ; thou 
hast then a fair evidence of the uprightness of thy heart, than which, 
the world affords not a sweeter comfort. 

Thirdly, The advantage of preparation for suffering lies in this, 
that it prevents, and cuts off the scandal and offence of the cross, 
M'ith respect both to ourselves and others. 

Fh'st, It prevents our ov/n offence at sufferings ; and by Christ's 
own testimony, that soul is blessed, that is not offended in him, 
Mat. xi. 6. Among tlie multitudes of professors, few are found that 
are no way offended at suffering for Christ; they expected much 
peace, honour, and prosperity in the ways of religion, but finding 
their expectations frustrated, and their carnal interest rather exposed, 
than secured by their profession of Christ, they go back like those 
John vi. QQ. and walk no more with him. And it is very remarkable, 
that Christ dates the offence that men shall take at him, from the 
first appearance of suffering. Mat. xxiv, 8, 9. " All these are thebe- 
" ginnings of sorrows, and then shall many be offended." Sorrows 
and apostasies commence together. 

But, reader, if thou be one that makest it thy business to foresee, 

\o^. VI. B 



go raEi'ARATlOXS TOR SUFFEl:l^•GS ; OR, 

and prepare for an evil day, thou wilt have as good thoughts of Christy 
and his ways at the lowest ebb, as ever thou hadst in the greatest 
flourish, and time of prosperity. " Great peace (saith the Psalmist) 
" have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them." O 
happy soul ! whom no troubles, reproaches or sufferings, are able 
to offend ! tliou niaycst meet with prisons, death, banishments, yea, 
but none of these things shall offend, or stumble thee, but thou shalt 
peaceably and safely pass over them, because they are no more than 
thou expectedst, and providest for. 

Secondly^ And by this means thou wilt also prevent the offence and 
scandals of others at the ways of religion. It is a sad, and dangerous 
thing to be an occasion of stumbling, either to the weak or to the 
wicked. " Woe to the world because of offences, for it must needs 
" be that offences come ; but woe to that man by whom the offence 
*' Cometh,"'"' Mat. xviii. 7. The apostasies and sinful compliances of 
ungrounded professors and weak Christians in times of temptation, 
are the woeful occasions of prejudicing others against religion, and 
shedding the blood of souls. Ah ! it Avere much better never to be in 
the ways of profession, than to be there only as a stone of stumbling, 
and a rock of offence to others : but all this mischief will be pre- 
vented b}' thy serious expectation of, and provision for the evil day. 
Fourtldif^ A fourth excellency of preparation for sufferings lies in 
this, that it hath a tendency to convince and awaken the drowsy world. 
O ! if the Lord's people would but engage in this work in earnest, 
and live as people that are providing for a storm, and resolve, in the 
strength of God, to run all hazards and hardships for Christ, I am 
persuaded it would be of more use to startle, and convince the world, 
than all the sermons that ever they heard: for here is that which dashes 
and cuts the throat of all our labours. We preach up self-denial, 
and contempt of life, and liberty for Christ : now though they hear 
us preach the necessity, and excellency of these things, and hear you 
profess them as your principles ; yet when they look upon the lives 
of professors in times of danger, and find no proportion betwixt pro- 
fession and practice; when they see us cling to the world, and are as 
loth to give it up as others; Avhen they observe prisons and sufferings 
affright and terrify us as much as those that make no profession ; when 
they see us start like hares, at every sound, and that we live not loose 
from the world, as men prepared to let it go and give it up for Christ: 
why then they conclude that we dare not trust our own principles, 
when it comes to the push. And how can they be persuaded to be- 
lieve that which they think we ourselves do not really believe, al- 
though we persuade them to believe it '^ 

My friends, the world hath eyes to see what you can c?o, as well as 
ears to hear what you can say ; and as lang as they see you do no 
more than others, you may talk your hearts out ere they will believe 

'Our way is better than others. 
But now when persecution ariseth, did they see you providing your- 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WOIIST TIMES. 21 

selves for it, and putting on your harness to enter the lists, carry your 
dearest enjoyments in your hands, and put on the shoe of preparation, 
to follow the Lord through the roughest ways of sufferings ; this 
would convince to purpose, and preach the excellency of Christ, the 
vanity of the creature, the rationality and certainty of Christian prin- 
ciples, in a more intelligihle and rousing dialect to them, than all 
our cheap and easy commendations of them did. And hence it is 
that Noah was said to condemn the world, Heb. xi. 7. " By faith 
" Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet," i. e. of the 
deluge that was coming, though no appearance of it yet, the heavens 
being as clear as ever; yet believing the threatening, " He was moved 
*' with fear."" The fear of God, an effect of his faith in the word of 
God, moved (i. e.) impelled him to his duty; set him about his pre- 
paration work to provide an ark^ and this was it by which he con^ 
demned the world, left them excuseless. For they not only heard 
of an approaching flood by his ministry, but now saw he himself be- 
lieved what he preached^ by his daily preparations against it came. 
O consider this, how much it would tend to the world's conviction ; 
now they will see that you are in good earnest, and that there is a 
reality in godliness: this will induce them to search into the matter 
more than ever, and remove those prejudices they have taken up 
against the good ways of God, as if they were but phantasms and 
conceits. 

5. In the next place, this foresight and prepartion must needs be 
an excellent thing, because the Spirit of God every where sets an 
honourable character upon it, and always mentions such pertons with 
some singular commendation and respect. These only were wise men 
in the judgment of God, and all the rest (what great politicians so- 
ever they are famed to be among men) are accounted fools, Prov. 
xxii. 3. Eccl. ii. 14. " The wise man's eyes are in his head ;" that is, 
he is a fore-seeing man; "but the fool goes on, and is punished:" 
Rushes on without consideration, suspecting no danger that he at 
]3resent sees not, and so smarts for his folly. Beloved, there are signs 
of the times, as well as of the weather, Mat. xvi. 3. You may see the 
clouds of j udgment gathering before the storm falls upon you. And 
this is the meaning of Zeph. ii. 1,2. " Gather yourselves together, 
" before the decree bring forth, and the day pass as the chaff. ' 
Where there is a conception of judgment there will be a birth, unless 
the reformations and prayers of the saints cause it to miscarry. But it 
requires wisdom to discern this; they must be men of much obser- 
vation that can descry it at a great distance ; yet this may be done 
by considerino; what God hath done in like cases in former acres, 
when nations have been guilty of the same sins as now they are : 
For God is as just now as then, and hates sin as much as ever he did; 
and partly by attending to things present, to what fulness and maturi- 
ty the sins of a nation are grown, Joel iii. 16. or what beginnings of ^ 

B2 



S2 rilEPARATlONS FOR SUlfERlXGS; OR, 

judgment are already upon a}:)eople, as harbingers and forerunners 
of more at hand. Luke Hi. 30, 81. 1 Sam. ii. 12. Or what is the 
universal note and cry of God's ministers, who are his watchmen to 
foresee danger, Ezek. iii. 17. and his trumpeters to discover it. Num. 
X. 8. And when these have one mouth given them, certainly there 
is much in it, Lu^ei. 70. Or, lastly, by pondering those scripture- 
prophecies that yet remain to be fulfilled. They must all go out 
their times, and accomplish their full number of years and months ; 
but certainly they shall be fulfilled in their seasons. 

By attending to these things, a Christian may give a near guess at 
the judgments that are approaching a nation, and so order himself 
accordingly. Eccl. viii. 5. " A wise man's heart discerns both time 
" and judgment.'"' And this is (even in the judgment of God) a 
choice point of wisdom ; whereas, on the contrary, heedless and care- 
less ones, that regard not these things are branded for fools, and up- 
braided with more brutishness than the beasts of the field, or fowls of 
the air. Mat. xvi. 3. Jer. viii. 7. " The stork in tlie heavens, the 
" swallow, turtle, and ci-ane," observe their seasons of departing, and 
returning upon the approach of the zcinternnd springs and that by 
a natural instinct, whereby the}- prolong their lives, which else must 
perish. But though God hath made man wiser than the fowls of 
the air, and beasts of the earth, which by instinct will quit colder cli- 
mates, or run to the hedges when winter, or storms approach ; yet 
the heavens may be astonished at this, to see nature cast by sin so 
far below itself; and that in reasonable creatures. 

But nov/, if this be foreseen, then there is a singular advantage in 
a man's hand, either to use the means of preventing those approach- 
ing calamities, Zeph. ii. 3. or if it cannot be prevented, yet to take 
sanctuary in Christ, Mic.v. 5. to run to the promises and attributes, Isn. 
xxiv. 21. and so have a good roof over his head while the storm falls 
and the weather is tempestuous abroad. And therefore certainly this 
preparation is an excellent thing. Whatever the Spirit of God speaks 
in the commendation of foreseeing evils, is with respect to this duty 
of preparing for them ; for foresights of evils without preparation, 
rather increases than diminishes the misery. 

6. A sixth excellency of preparation lies in the influence that it 
hath into a Christian's stabilit}^ in the evil day. You cannot but 
know that your stability in that critical hour of temptation, is a 
choice and singular mercy, inasmuch as all you are worth in the other 
world depends upon your standing then. Rev. xxi. 7, 8. Rom. ii. 6^ 
7. Luke xxii. 27. neither can you be ignorant how much you are 
hke to be tried, and put to it then, whether you respect the enemy 
that engages you, Eph. vi. 12. or your own weakness, who have been 
so often Ibiled in lesser trials, Jer. xii. 5. All the grace you have will 
be httle enough to keep the field and bear you up from sinking ; and 
therefore it cannot but be a blessed thing, to be able to stand and cope 
with the greatest difficulties in such a time of trial as that will be. 



THE BEST V/OrvK IX THE WORST TIMES. 23 

** Now he that expects to do this must put on tlie whole armour of 
** God/' See Ephes. vi. 12, 13, 14. There is no expectation of 
standing in the evil day, except 7/oiirJbot be shod,^i\vdt is, your wills 
prepared with the preparation i)f' the gospel of peace. 

It is trae, that our abihty to stand is not from our own inherent 
grace ; " For by his strength sliall no man prevail,"" 1 Sam. ii. 9. 
And yet it is as true, that without grace, both inherent in us, and 
excited and prepared for a storm, we cannot expect to stand ; For 
these two, grace inherent in us, and grace exciting and assisting with- 
out are not opposed, but co-ordinated. Grace in us, is the weapon by 
which our enemy falls : but then that weapon must be managed by 

the hand of the Spirit. Well then, look upon this as a choice 

mercy, which tends so much to your stability. 

7. A seventh excellency of a prepared heart, is that it is a very 
high testification of our love to Jesus Christ, when we thus shew 
our willingness to take our lot with him, and follow him wherever he 
goes. What an high expression of love was that of Ruth to lier mo- 
ther Naomi ? " I will not go back, but where thou lodgest I will 
" lodge, and where thou goest I will go." It is excellent when a 
soul can say to Christ, as Ittai to David, 2 Sam. xv. 21. '• Surely in 
" what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or in life, 
*' even there also will thy servant be." This is love indeed, to cleave 
to him in a time of such distresses and dangers. This is " love which 
" the waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown," Cant. viii. 7. 
Pi^ohatio amoris, est exhibitiooperis: If you love Christ indeed, shew 
your love by some fruits of it ; and surely this is a very choice 
fruit, and proof of it. There are many that profess a great deal of 
love to Christ, but when it comes to this touch-stone, it appears false 
and counterfeit ; but a mere flourish when no danger is near. But 
that soul which buckles on the shoe of preparation, to follow him 
through thorns and briers, and over the rocks and mountains of 
difficulties and troubles, loves him indeed, Jer. ii. 2, 3. Beloved, 
it is one of the choicest discoveries of your love to your master Christ, 
yea, it is such a testification of love to him, as angels are not capa- 
ble of They shew their love by their readiness to do his will, in the 
execution of which they fly as with wings, Ezek. i. 21<. but you only 
have the happiness of testifying your love by your readiness to suf- 
fer for him, and is not this excellent ? 

8. When the heart is prepared for the worst sufferings, it is an ar- 
gument that your will is subdued to the will of God ; for till this be 
done, in a good measure, you cannot stand ready to suffer for him. 
But now, to have the will subdued by grace to the will of God, is a 
very choice and excellent frame indeed ; for in this the main power 
of grace lieth : Look in what faculty the chief residence and strength 
of sin was, in the same chief residence the power of grace, after con- 
version, is also : Now it is in the will that the strength and power of 
sin (before conversion) lay. See John v. 40. Psalm Ixxxi. 11. Jer. 

BS 



24 PllEPAHATIONS FOR SUFFEEIKGS ; OK, 

xliv. 16, 1 T. And indeed it was the devil's strong hold, which, in the 
day of Christ's power, he storms and reduces to his obedience, PsaJ, 
ex. 3. O what a blessed thing is this ! The will rules the man, it 
hath the empire of the whole man ; it commands the faculties of the 
soul, imperio politico ; and it commands the members of the body, 
imperio despotico. Now to have Christ and grace rule that which rules 
and commands your inner and outer man too, is no small mercy ; 
and a better evidence that it is so cannot be given than this, that you 
stand ready, or do seriously prepare yourselves to suffer the hardest 
things for Christ : If your will can like that work, it is an argument 
grace hath conquered and subdued your wills indeed. 

9. This preparation of heart to sufferings, is an excellent thing, 
because God is so abundantly pleased with it, that he often excuses 
them from sufferings in whom he finds it, and accepts it, as if the ser- 
vice had been actually done. So Abraham, Gen. xxii. 12. he was 
ready to offer up his Isaac's life to God ; but God seeing his servant's 
heart really prepared, and ready for that difficult service, and high 
point of self-denial, provided himself another sacrifice instead of Isaac. 
Abraham shall have his son Isaac back again, and that with advan- 
tage ; for he hath m ith him not only a choice experiment of his love 
to God, but God's high approbation of him, and acceptation of his 
offering. It was all one in respect of divine acceptance, as if he had 
been slain ; and so the scripture represents it. Jam. ii. 21. And in 
this sense that promise is often made good to God's people who stand 
ready to give up their Isaacs, their lives, liberties, and dearest enjoy- 
ments to the Lord : " He that will lose his life for my name's sake, 
" shall save it," Luke ix. 24. 

Now what a blessed thing is this ! you may this way have the 
crown of martyrdom, and yet not shed one drop of blood for Christ 
actually. Ah ! how kindly doth God accept it at his poor creatures 
hands, when he sees how willing they are to serve him with their 
best enjoyments ! " It is well (saith he to David) that it was in thy 
heart," 1 Kings viii. 18. 

10. And then, lastly, to add no more, it is beyond controversy an 
excellent and blessed thing ; because should such a Christian, after all 
his pains and preparations, be overborne, and fall by temptation : 
yet this preparation of his heart excuses his fall, from those aggrava- 
tions that are upon the falls of others, and will give him both support 
under such a condition, and encouragement to hope for a speedy re- 
covery out of it. Ah ! it is no small comfort when a poor soul that 
hath been over-borne by temptation, can come to God and say, 
' Lord, thou knowest that this was not a w ilful departure from my 
' duty but contrary to the bent and resolutions of my heart ; thou 
* sawest my diligence before-hand to prepare for it ; thou sawest my 
' fears and tremblings of heart about it : O Lord, forgive, O Lord, 
< recover thy servant, wash away this spot, it is one of the spots of thy 



THE BEST M^OKK IN TTIE WORST TIMES. 25* 

* children, an infirmity, not a rebellion :' This may much stay the 
soul. 

Surely, in this case, thou hast many grounds of comfort that an- 
other wants; for thy sin being but an infirmity, (1.) It is that which 
is common to all saints, Psal. ciii. 11, 12, 13, 14. (2.) God hath 
mercy and pardons for such sins as these, else woe to the holiest soul, 
Psal. cxxx. 3, 4. Solomon, upcm this ground, pleads for mercy for 
them that prepared their hearts, 2 Clu'on. xxx. 18, 19. And God 
hath laid in sweet grounds of encouragement for such souls, Numb. 
XV. 27, 28. Heb. v. 2. How tenderly doth Christ deal with his dis- 
ciples under this kind of sin, Matth. xxvi. 41. and though they for- 
sook him for a time, yet he received them again ; though they fled 
from him, yet they all returnexl again and appeared boldly for Christ 
afterwards, and sealed their confession of him with their blood. And 
that which recovered them again was this, that their fall and depar- 
ture was contrary to the resolution, and standing frame, and bent of 
their hearts ; for they resolved all to cleave to him to the death, Mat. 
xxvi. 35. whereas those that engaged in a profession of him inconsi- 
derately, and never resolved, nor prepared for the worst, /ell oflPfrom 
him, and never returned any more, John vi. 66. So then, upon the 
whole, you cannot but grant, that it is a very blessed and excellent 
thing, to prepare thus for the greatest suffering that can befal us for 
Christ. We come next to shew wherein it hes. 



CHAP. V. 



Evincing the necessity of a sound and real work of grace ^ipon the 
heart, to Jit a man for suffering for Christ. 

xIAVING shewed you that God doth sometimes put his dearest 
people upon very hard services for him, and what an excellent thing 
it is to prepare ourselves to obey the call of God to them : In the 
next place I come to shew you, wherein t\\\s pre2)aration, or readi- 
ness for suffering consists, and how many things conciu' and contri- 
bute their assistance to this work. 

Now there \?> a two^o\d preparation ov readiness ^ov s,u^enwg\ the 
one is habitual, the other actual : That habifuah'cadiness is nothing 
else but the inclination of a soul to suffer any thing for Christ : which 
inclination ariseth from the principles of grace infused into the soul : 
But then as fire, though it have a natural inclination to ascend, yet 
may be violently depressed and hindered, that it cannot ascend actual- 
ly, so may it be in this case ; and therefore, before a man can be fit- 
ted for sufferings as Paul was, there must, to this habitual, be super- 
added an actucd readiness, which is notliing else but the rousing of 
grace out of the sleepy and dull habits, and avrakening it to its work 

B 4 



26 PREPARAtlONS FOU SUFFEIIIXGS ; ORj 

in a time of need : as the lion is said to lash himself with his tail, to 
rouse up his courage before he fight. The former is a remote power, 
the latter a. proxim and immediate power. I must handle the for- 
mer in this chapter, and you are to know that it consutetlt in a 
sound and real work of grace or conversion wrought upon the soul; 
without which I shall make it evidently appear to you, that no man 
can be fit or ready to suffer as a Christian. 

Whatever stock of natural courage, moral principles, or common 
gifts of the Spirit be lodged in any man's breast, yet all this (with- 
out special grace) can never fit him to sufler for Christ. And had 
not this work been really and soundly wrought upon the heart of 
this blessed man, as indeed it was, Acts ix. 3, 4, 5. he had quickly 
fainted under his sufferings : and so will every soul sooner or later 
do, that suffers not upon the same principles that he did. 

1. For first, No man can suffer for Christ until he be able to deny 
himself See Matth. xvi. 24. Self-denial goes in order of nature be- 
fore sufferings. Beloved, in a suffering hour the interest of Christ 
and self meet like two men upon a narrow bridge, one must of neces- 
sity go back, or the other cannot pass on : If you cannot now deny 
self you must deny Christ. The yoke and dominion of self must 
be cast off, or else Christ's yoke and burden cannot be taken on. 

It is confessed self may not only consist with, but be a motive to 
some kind of sufferings : Ambition and applause may carry a man far 
this way : pride is a salamander that it seems can live in the flames of 
martyrdom, 1 Cor. xiii. 3. But to be a servant to self and a true 
sufferer for Christ is incompatible. Self may make you the deviVs 
martyrs, but grace only can make you Chrisfs martyrs. So that let a 
man be seemingly carried for a while with never so high a tide of zeal 
for Christ, yet if self be the spring that feeds, those self-ends, like so 
many little ditches joined to the brink of a river, will so suck and draw 
away the water into themselves, that the lofty stream will sink and 
come to nothing ere it have ran far : So then, of necessity, self must 
be dethroned in the hearts of Christ's suffering servants. 

But now it is real grace only that disposes self, and subjects its inte- 
rest to Chrisfs; for sanctification is nothing else but the dethroning of 
exalted self, and the setting up of Chrisfs interest above it in the soul. 
This is it that alters the property of ail a man hath, and super- 
scribes them with a new title. Holiness to the Lord, Isa. xxiii. J 8. 
Zech. xiv. 20, 21. Thenceforth a man looks at himself as none of 
his own, but past into another's right, 1 Cor. vi. 19 ; and that he 
must neither live, nor act idtimately for himself, but for Christ, Rom. 
xiv. 7. Heb. xiii. 7, 3. Phil. i. 20. He is no more as 2i proprietor, 
but a steward of all he hath ; and so holds upon these terms, to lay 
it out as may best serve his Master's ends and glory. 

All that he is or hath, is by grace subordinated to Christ ; and if 
ox\Qe subordinated, then no more opposcdxo\\im, subordinatanon pug- 
nant. This is it that makes him say, I care not what becomes of me or 



THE EEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 27 

SO Christ may be glorified, " Let Christ be magnified in my body 
" whether it be by hfe or death," Phil. i. 20. -^ ^' 

By conversion Christ enters the soul, as an army doth an enemy's 
garrison by storm, and when he is possessed of it by 
grace, he presently divides the whole spoil of self be- '" '*• ^* ^• 
twixt himself and his church. This is the first thing that evinces tho 
necessity of a work of grace to prepare the heart lor sufferings. 

2. And then in the next place, it is as evident that a man can ne- 
ver be fit to suffer hard things for Christ until his spirit be enlarged 
raised, and ennobled, so that he bo able to despise dangers, and look 
all difficulties in the face. That low and pri-vate spirit must be re- 
moved, and apuhlic spirit must possess him. If a man be of a feeble 
and effeminate spirit, every petty danger will daunt and sink him • 
delicacy and tenderness is as unsuitable to a Christian as toa soldier 
2 Tim. ii. 3. They that mean to enter into the kingdom of God, must 
resolve to make their way through that break of troubles betwixt 
them and it, 2 Tim. iii. 12. They that will be crowned with victory 
must stand to it, and play the men, as that word imports, 1 Cor. xvi! 
13. Look over all the sacred and human histories, and see if you 
can find a man that ever honoured Christ by suffering, that was not 
of a raised and noble spirit, and in some measure able to contemn 
both the allurements and threats of men. So those three noble Jews 
Dan. iii. 16, 17. So Moses, Heb. xi. 27. And so our apostle. Acts 
XX. 24. And the same heroic and brave spirit was found in the suc- 
ceeding ages amongst the witnessess of Christ. When Valence the 
emperor endeavoured to draw Basil from the faith by offers of prefer- 
ment, * offer these things (saith he) to children ;' v^'hen he threaten- 
ed him with torments, 'threaten these things (saith he) toyour pur- 
' pie gallants that live delicately.' And the same Basil relatino- the 
story of the forty martyrs, saith. That when great honours and prefer- 
ments were offered them to draw them from Christ, their answer was 
' Why offer you these small things of the world to us, (O emperor) 
' when you know the whole world is contemned by us!' So Luther, 
money could not tempt him, nor the fear of man daunt him. ' Let 
' me (said he in his letter to Staupicius) be accounted proud, covet- 
' ous, a murderer, guilty of all vices, rather than of wicked silence 
' and cowardice in the cause of Christ.' Thus you see to what an 
height, and holy greatness, the spirits of suffering saints in all a^-es 
have been raised. 

But now it is grace that thus raises the spirits of men above all the 
smiles and honours, frowns and fears of men ; and no other princi- 
ple but grace can do it. There is indeed a natural stoutness and o-ene- 
rosity in some which may carry them far, as it is said of Alexander, 
that when any great danger approached him, his courage would rise, 
and he would say. Jam periculum par animo Alexandri ; Here is a 
danger fit for Alexander to encounter: So Pompey, when dissuaded 
from a dangerous voyage, answered, Necesse est ut eam, non ut vlvanu 



g8 rUEPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OH, 

' It is necessary that I go, not that I live.'' But this being fed only 
by a natural spring, can carry a man no higher than nature, and will 
flag at last. If applause, and the observation of the world supply 
it not, it quickly ebbs and fails. 

But as grace raises men much higher ; so it maintains it even when 
there is nothing to encourage without ; when forsaken of all crea- 
tures and visible supports, 2 Tim. iv. 10. And this it doth three 
ways: (1.) By giving him that hath it a view of far greater things, 
which shrinks up all temporary things, and makes them appear but 
trifles and small matters, Rom. viii. 18. 2 Cor iv. 18. By grace a 
man rises with Christ, Col. iii. 1. It sets him upon his high places, 
and thence he looks down upon things below as very poor and incon- 
siderable. The great cities of Campania seem but little spots to them 
that stand on the top of the Alps. (2.) By teaching him to value and 
measure all things by another thing than he was wont to do. He did 
once measure, life, liberty, riches, honours by sense and time ; and 
then they seemed great things, and it was hard to deny them, or thus 
to slight them; but now he values and measures all by faith and 
eternity ; and esteems nothing great and excellent but what hath a 
reference to the glory of God, and an influence into eternity. (3.) 
Grace raises and ennobles the spirit thus, because it is the divine na- 
ture ; it is the Spirit of Christ infused into a poor worm, which makes 
a strange alteration on him, transforms him into another manner of 
person ; as much difl'erence betwixt his spirit now and what it was, 
as betwixt the spirit of a child that is filled with small matters, and 
taken up with tovs, and of a grave statesman that is daily employed 
about the grand affairs of a kingdom. 

3. A man can never suffer as a Christian till his will be subjected 
to the will of God. He that suffers invohintarili/, and out of neces- 
sity, not out of choice, shall neither have acceptance nor reward from 
God. Of necessity the will must be subjected ; a man can never 
say, Thi/ will be done^ till he can first saj^. Not my will. 

But it is grace only that thus conquers and subjects the will of man 
to God's, Psal. ex. 3. This is that which exalts God's authority in 
the soul, and makes the heart to stoop and tremble at his commands. 
It is that which makes our will to write its^a^ at the foot of every 
command, and its placet under every order it receives from God. No 
sooner was grace entered into the soul of Paul, but presently he cries 
out, " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?''' Acts ix. 6. The will 
is to the soul what the wheels are to the chariot ; and grace is to the 
Avill what oil is to those wheels. When we receive the Spirit of 
grace, we are said to receive an uncfmn from the Holy One^ 1 John 
ii. ^0. And when the soul is made as the chariots of Aminadab, 
Cant. vi. 12. Non tardat u7icta rota, it runs freely after the Lord, 
and cheerfully addresseth itself to the very service 

4. A man can never suffer as a Christian until his heart be com- 
posed, fixed, and determined to follow the Lord through all hazards 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 29 

and difficulties. As long as a man is hesitating and unresolved what 
to do, whether to go forward, or return back again to the prosperous^ 
world, when a man is at such a pause^ and stand in his way, he is 
very unfit for sufferings. All such divisions do both zi^eal-en the soul, 
and strengthen the temptation : The devil's work is more than half 
done to his hand in such a soul, and he is now as unfit to endure 
hardship for Christ, as a ship is to ride out a storm that hath neither 
cable, anchor, nor ballast, to hold and settle it, but lies at the mercy 
of every wave, Jam. i. 8. " The double minded man is unstable in all 
" his ways." But it is grace, and nothing besides, that brings the 
heart to a fixed resolution and settlement to follow the Lord, it is 
grace that establishes the heart, Heb. xiii. 9. and unites it to fear the 
name of God, Psal. Ixxxvi. 11. This gathers all the streams into 
one channel, and then it runs with much strength, and sweeps away 
all obstacles before it. So that look as it is with a wicked man that 
hath sold himself to do wickedly, if he be set upon an^^ one design of 
sin, he pours out his whole heart and strength into the prosecution of 
that design, which is the ground of that saying, Liberet vie Deus ab 
homine unius tantum iiegotii, let God deliver me from a man of 
one only design. He will do it to purpose : So is it also in grace; 
if the heart be composed, fixed, and fully resolved for God, nothing 
shall then stand before him. And herein lies much of a Christian's 
habitual fitness and ability to suffer. 

5. The necessity of saving grace in all sufferers for Christ, will 
farther appear from this consideration, that he who will run all ha- 
zards for Christ, had need of a continual supply of strength and re- 
freshment from time to time. He must not depend on any thing that 
is failable ; for what shall he do then when that stock is spent, and 
he hath no provision left to live upon ? Now all natural qualifications, 
yea, all the common gifts of the Spirit, are failable and short-lived 
things ; they are like a sweet flower in the bosom, that is an ornament 
for a little while, but withers presently : Or like a pond or brook 
occasioned by a great fall of rain, which quickly sinks and dries up, 
because it is not fed by springs in the bottom, as other fountain- 
waters are ; and hence it is they cannot continue and hold out when 
sufferings come. Mat. xiii. 21. Because there is no root to nourish 
and support. The hypocrite will not always call upon God, Job 
xxvii. lO. Though they may keep company with Christ a few miles 
in this dirty way, yet they must turn back at last, and shake hands 
eternally with him, John vi. QQ, These comets may seem to shine 
for a time among the stars, but when that earthly matter is spent, 
they must fall and lose their glory. 

But now grace is an everlasting principle, it hath springs in the bot- 
tom that never fail. " I shall be in him (saith Christ) a well of 
" w^ater springing up into eternal life," John iv. 14. The Spirit of 
God supplies it from time to time, as need requires. It hath daily 
incomes from heaven, 2 Cor. i. 5. Phil. iv. 13. Col. i. 11. So that 



30 rREPAllATIOXS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

jt is our union with Christ the Fountain of grace, that is the true 
ground of our constancy and long suffering *. 

6. And then lastly, it will appear by this also, that there is an 
absolute necessity of a real change by grace on all that will suffer for 
Christ; because although we may engage ourselves in suffeiings with- 
out it, yet we can never manage our sufferings like Christians with- 
out it. They will neither be honourable nor acceptable to God, nor 
yet beneficial and comfortable to ourselves or others, except they be 
performed from this principle of grace : For upon what principle 
soever beside this any man is acted in religion, it will either cause him 
to decline sufferings for Christ ; or, if he be engaged in them, yet he 
will little credit religion by his sufferings. They will either be spoil- 
ed bv an ill management, or his own pride will devour the praise and 
glory of them. I do not deny but a man that is graceless may suffer 
many hard things upon the account of his profession, and suffer them 
all in vain as these scriptures manifest. See 1 Cor. xiii. 3. Gal. iii. 
4. And although you may find many sweet promises made to those 
that suffer for Christ, yet must consider that those pure and spiritual 
ends and motives by which men ought to be acted in their sufferings, 
are always supposed and implied in all these promises that are made to 
the external action. And sometimes it is expressed, 1 Pet. iv. 16. 
To suffer [as a Christian] is to suffer from pure Christian principles, 
and in a Christian manner, with meek?iess, patience^ self-denial^ &c. 
and this grace only can enable you to do : So that by all this, I hope 
what I have undertaken in this character, viz. To evince the necessity 
of a work of grace to pass u}X)n you, before sufferings for religion 
come, is performed to satisfaction. 



CHAP. VI. 



Wherein the nature of this xcork of grace ^ in which our habitual 
fitness for suffering lies, is hriefly opened, and an account given 
of the great advantage the gracious person hath for any, even 
the hardest work therehy. 

Having in the former chapter plainly evinced the necessity of 
saving grace to fit a man for sufferings ; it will be expected now 
that some account be given you of the nature of the work, and how 
it advantages a man for the discharge of the hardest services in reli- 
gion : Both which I shall open in this chapter by a distinct explica- 
tion of the parts of this description of it. 

This work of grace, of which I am here to speak, consists in the real 

. changeofthe whole man by the Spirit of God, whereby 

y\ hat saving ^^ ^.^ prepared for every good work : In which brief 

grace is. description I shall open these four things to you, 

1. That it is a change ; that is palpably evident, both from scrip- 

* We are only so far safe as we are united to Christ. 



Till: BEST "VVOlli: IN THE WORST TIMES. 



31 



tiire and experience, 2 Cor. v. 17. " Old things are past away, be- 
*' hold all things are become new ;'"' and it is so sensible a change, 
that it is called a turning from darkness to lights Acts xxvi. 18. and 
a new creature formed and brought forth. But to be a little more 
distinct and particular, there are several other changes that pass upon 
men, which must not be mistaken for this ; and therefore, (1.) It is 
not a mere change of the judgment from error to truth, from Pagan- 
ism to Christianity. Such a change Simon Magus had, yet still re- 
mained in the gall of bitterness, and fast bound in the bonds of ini- 
quity. Acts viii. 23. (2.) Nor only of a man's practice, from profane- 
nessto cwllity: This is common among such as live under the light of 
the gospel, which breaking into men's consciences, thwarts their lusts, 
and over-awes them with the fears of hell : Which is no more than 
what the Gentiles had, Rom. ii. 15. (3.) Nor is it a change from 
mere morality to vaevQ formality in religion. Thus hypocrites are 
changed by the common gifts of the Spirit, illuminating their minds, 
and slightly touching their affections, Heb. vi. 4, 5. (4.) Nor is it 
such a change as justification makes, which is relative, and only alters 
the state and condition, Rom. v. 1, 2. (5.) Lastly, It is not a change 
of the essence of a man ; he remains essentially the same person still. 
But this change consists in the infusion of new habits of grace into 
the old faculties ; which immediately depose sin from its dominion 
over the soul, and deliver up the soul into the hands and government 
of Christ, so that it lives no more to itself, but to Christ. This is 
that change whereof we speak : And this change (2.) I assert to be 
real, no fancy, no delusion ; not a groundless conceit, but it is really 
existent, extra mentem, whether you conceit it or not. Indeed the 
blind world would persuade us it is suppositious and Jantastic ; and 
that there is no such real difference betwixt one man and another as 
we affirm grace makes. And hence it is, that whosoever professeth 
it, is presently branded for a fanatic; and that scripture, Isa. Ivi. 5. 
Sta7id by thyself I am holier than thou, &c. clapt in their teeth in 
their absurd and perverse sense of it. 

But I shall briefly offer these seven things to your consideration, 
which will abundantly evince the reality of it, and at once both stop 
the slanderous mouths of ignorant men, and silence those atheistical 
surmises, which at any time Satan may inject into the hearts of God's 
own people touching this matter. And first, let it be considered, that 
the Spirit of God hath represented to us this work of grace under 
such names and notions in scripture, as if they had been chosen pur- 
posely to obviate this calumny. It is called a creature, Gal. vi. 15. a 
man, 1 Pet. iii. 4. a neza birth, John iii. 3. Christ formed in us. Gal. 
iv. 12. All which express its reality, and that it is not a conceited 
thing. (2.) It appears to be real by the marvellous effects it hath 
upon a man, turning him both in judgment, will, affections, and 
practice, quite counter to what he was* before. This is evident in that 
famous instance of Paul, Gal. i. 23. which is abundantly attested and 



32 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERIXCiS ; OH, 

sealed by the constant experience of all gi'acious souls that are wit- 
nesses of the truth hereof (3.) A divine and Almighty power goes 
forth to produce and work it; and hence faith is said to be of the 
operation of God, Col. ii. 12.^ Yea, that the same power which 
raised Jesus Christ from the dead, goes to the production of it, 
Eph. i. 19, 20. And if so, how much less than blasphemy is it, to 
call it a conceit or fancy ? Doth God set on work his infinite power 
to beget a fancy, or raise an imagination ? (4.) Conceits and whimsies 
abound most in men of weak reason : Children, and such as are 
crackt in their understandings, have most of them : Strength of rea- 
son banishes them, as the sun doth mists and vapours : But now the 
more rational any gracious person is, by so much the more he is 
iixed, settled, and satisfied in the grounds of religion : Yea, there is 
the highest and purest reason in religion ; and when this change is 
•wrought upon men, it is carried on in a rational way, Isa. i. 18. 
John xvi. 9. The Spirit overpowers the understanding with clear 
demonstrations, and silences all objections, pleas, and pretences to 
the contrarv. (5.) It is a real thing, and gracious souls know it to 
be so ; else so many thousands of the saints would never have suf- 
fered so many cruel torments and miseries, rather than forsake a 
fancy, and so save all. They have been so well satisfied of the reality 
of that which the world calls a fancy, that they have chosen rather 
to embrace the stake than deny it. The constancy of Christians, in 
cleaving to religion, was common to a proverb among the heathen; 
who when they would express the greatest difficulty, would say, 
' You may as soon turn a Christian from Christ as do it.' Surely 
no wise man v\ould sacrifice his liberty, estate, life, and all that is 
dear, for a conceit. (6.) Its reality appears in its uniformity in all 
those in whom it is wrought: Tliey have all obtained like precious 
faiih^ 2 Pet. i. 1. They are all changed into the same image, 2 Cor. 
iii. 18. Three thousand persons affected in one and the same man- 
ner at one sermon. Acts ii, 37. Could one and the same conceit 
possess them altogether ? Take two Christians that live a thousand 
miles distant from each other, that never heard of one another, let 
these persons be examined, and their reports compared, and see if 
they do not substantially agree, and whether as face answers face in 
the water, so their experiences do not answer one to the other.? 
Which could never be, if it were a groundless conceit. (7.) And 
lastly. It is manifest it is a reality, and puts a real difference betwixt 
one and another, because God carries himself so differently towards 
them after their conversion ; now he smiles, before he frowned ; 
now they are under the promises, before they were under the threats 
and curses ; and what a vast difference will he put betwixt the one 
and the other in that great day ? See Mat. xxv. Surely if these 
nominal Christians did but differ in conceit, not really from others, 
the righteous Judge of all the earth would not pass such a different 
judgment and doom upon them. 



THK BEST WOKIC IN THE WORST TIMES. 33 

By all this you evidently see, that grace is a real change, and not 
a conceited one. 

3. We say that this real change passes upon the whole man : he is 
changed in sonl^ body, and pi'actice: all things are become new. (1.) 
This change appears in his soul : For by it, (1.) His understanding 
is strangely altered, and receive things in another way than formerly. 
It did look at Christ and things eternal as uncertain and light matters; 
the things that are seen and present do mostly affect, and appeared 
great and excellent : It admired riches and honour, whilst Christ and 
glory were overlooked and despised. But now all these temporals 
are esteemed dung, dross, vanity, Phil. iii. 8, 11. Rom. viii. 18. And 
Jesus Christ is now esteemed the wisdom and the power of God, 1 
Cor. i. 23, 24. It did look on the saints as despicable persons, but 
now as the excellent of' the earth, PsaL xvi. 3. Strictness and duty 
was once esteemed a needless thing, but now the only thing desi- 
rable, Psal. cxix. 14. " Oh, saith the renewed soul, where were mine 
" eyes, that I could see no more excellency in Christ, his ways and 
" people.?'' (2.) It stops not there (as it doth in hypocrites) but 
passes on further, and reduces the will; that strong hold is taken, 
and delivered up to Christ. It did rebel against God, and could not 
be subject, but now it submits, Acts ix. 6. Lord, what wilt thou 
have me to do ? In the day of Christ's power he presents himself 
in all his drawing glory and loveliness before the will, and cries to 
that stubborn faculty. Open to me, open to me ; with which word 
there goes forth an opening and subduing power, which the will 
no sooner feels, but it spontaneously moves towards him, and saith, 
Stand open ye everlasting gates, that the King of glory may come 
in. Henceforth it votes for God, subscribes and submits to his will 
as its only rule and law ; and indeed it becomes the principal seat 
where grace makes its residence; and where, for the most part, it is 
more visible than in any other faculty. For after a man hath search- 
ed for it in all other faculties, and cannot discern it, yet here he or- 
dinarily finds it ; to will is present, Horn. vii. 18. (3.) The will 
being thus gained to Christ, love comes in of course; it, feeling the 
power of grace also, presently changeth its object : It seizeth not so 
greedily on earthly objects as before, but is strangely cooled and 
deadened to them, by the appearance of a far greater glory in Jesus 
Christ; which hath so captivated the soul, and strongly attracted their 
affection, that it is now become very remiss in all its actings towards 
them ; and olten (especially at first) it is so weaned from all things 
on earth, that the teniptation seems to lie on the other extreme, even 
in too great neglect of our lawful employments and comforts. Now 
Jesus Christ, Cant. i. 3. his ordinances, Psal cxix. 97. and his saints, 
1 John iii. 14. are the only delights and sweetest companions; h.e 
could sit from morning till night, to hear discourses of Christ his be- 
loved, and could hve and die in the company of his people, whose 



S4 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS; OR, 

company is now most delightful and sweet, Psal. cxix. 63. (4.) The 
desires ai'e aUered, they pant no more after the dust of the earth, 
Psal. iv. 6. but pant for God, as the hart after the xoater-hrooks^ 
Psal. xlii. 1. Yea, so big is the soul with them, that it is sometimes 
ready to faint, yea, to break with the longing it hath after him, Psal. 
cxix. 20. (5.) The thoughts are changed, Psal. cxix. 113. and the 
thoughts of God are now most precious, Psal. cxxxix. 47. musing 
when alone of him; and in its solitudes the soul entertains itself 
with a delightful feast, which its thoughts of God bring in to refresh 
it, Psal. Ixili. 5, 6. (6.) The designs and projects of the soul are 
changed ; all are now swallowed up in one grand design, even to 
approve himself to God, and be accepted of him, 2 Cor. v. 9. and if 
he fail not there, it will not much trouble him, if all his other designs 
should be dashed. It were easy to instance in the rest of the affec- 
tions, and shew how grace spreads and diffuses itself into them all, 
as light in the air, or leaven in the lump ; but this may suffice, to 
shew how it passes upon the whole soul, and enters the several 
faculties and affections thereof. 

And the soul being thus possest for God, the body with all its 
members is consequently resigned up to him also : For the will hath 
the empire of the members of the body, as well as of the passions 
and affections of the soul. These are not any more delivered up to 
execute the lusts of Satan, but arc yielded up to God for his ends 
and uses, Rom. vi. 19. And thus you have the third thing in the 
description made out also, that it is an universal, as well as a real 
change. But then, 

4. Lastly, You must knov/ that by this change God prepares a 
man for choice and excellent services ; and this indeed is the main 
thing designed in this chapter, and is the result and issue of all that 
hath hitherto been said about this work of grace. 

Beloved, can 3-ou imagine that God could employ his infinite and 
glorious power to produce this new creature in such an excellent 
nature, it being the master-piece of all his worlds of wonder v.-rought 
upon man, and not aim at some singular use and excellent end ? Every 
wise agent designs some end ; and what God aims at he hath told 
us, Isa. xliii. 21. Eph. ii. 20. And accordingly he expects singular 
things from such persons. Mat. v. 47. If God had not aimed at 
some new service, he need not have made a new creature : the old 
creature was fit enough for the old use and service it was employed 
in. But God hath some choice service to be done wherein he will 
be glorified. He will have his name glorified, even in this world, by 
the active and j^assive obedience of his people. But this being far 
above all the power of nature, God therefore brings them forth in 
a new and heavenly nature, endowed with rare, supernatural, and 
divine qualities, by which it is fitted and excellently prepared for 
any service of God, by doing or by suffering, which before he had 
no fitness or ability for. 



THE BEST OF WOllK VA THE WORST TIMES. 6 J 

The very make and constitution of this new creature speaks its use 
and end : As now, if a man look upon a sword or knife, (supposing 
he had never seen either before) yet, I say, by viewing the shape 
and properties of it, he will say, this was made to cut. Even so here, 
this new creature was formed for some glorious and singular service 
for God, to which it is exceedingly advantaged, whether God put you 
upon doing or suffering. If you ask wherein this advantage of the 
new creature to honour God either way lies ; I answer, it principally 
consists in its heavenly/ inclination, or natural tendency to God. This 
is its great advantage ; for, by virtue of .this, 

1. If God call a man to any duty, there is o. principle within, closing 
with the command without, and moving the soul freely and spon- 
taneously to duty, Psal. xxvii. 8. If God say. Seek my face, such an 
heart echoes to the call. Thy face. Lord, will I seek : And this is it 
which is called. The writing of God's law in the heart, Jer. xxxi. 33. 
and must needs be a mighty advantage ; for now its work is its de- 
light and wages, Psal. xix. 11. The command to such a soul is not 
grievous, 1 John v. 3. and by this it is kept from tiring in duty, and 
being weary of its work. As you see what pains children can take 
at play, how they will run and sweat, and endure knocks and falls, 
and take no notice of it ; put them upon any manual labour, and they 
cannot endure half so much : When our work is our delight, we never 
faint not tire at it This inclination to God is to the soul as v/ings 
to a bird, or sails to a ship. This carries the soul easily through 
every duty. O there is a vast difference betwixt a man that works 

for wages, and one whose work is wages to him. And here you may 
at once see wherein the principal difference betwixt the hypocrite and 
real Christian lies in the performance of duty ; and also have a true 
account of the reason why one perseveres in his work to the end, wlien 
the other flags. Why, here is the true account of both ; the one is 
moved to duty from a natural inclination to it, the other is forced upon 
it by some external motives: For the hypocrite takes not delight in the 
spiritual and inward part of duty, but is secretly weary of it, Mai. i. 
13. only his ambition and self-ends put him upon it is as a task. But 
now the upright heart goes to God as his joy, Psal. Ixiii. 4. And saith, 
" It is good for me to draw nigh to God," Psal. Ixxiii. ttlt. When 
the sabbath comes, (that golden spot of the week,) oh how he longs 
to see the beauty of the Lord in his ordinances ! Psal. xxvii. 4. And 
when engaged in the worship of God, he cannot satisfy himself in 
bodily service, or to serve God in the oldness of the letter. He know- 
eth that this persuasion comes not of him that called him. Gal. v. 7, 8. 
He labours to engage his heart to approach to God, Jer. xxx. 21. 
And hence those mountings of heart and violent sallies of the desires 
heavenward. And thus you see one rare advantage to glorif\' God 
actively, flowing from the inclination of this new creature. 

2. But then, secondly, hence in like manner hath the soul as great 
an advantage for sufferings ; for this new creature having such a na- 

Vol. VI. C 



36 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

tural tendency to God, will enable the soul in which it is, to break its 
way to God through all the interposing obstacles and discourage- 
ments. What are persecutions, what are reproaches, what are the 
fears and frowns of enemies, but so many blocks thrown into the soul's 
wav to keep it from God and duty ? And indeed where this princi- 
ple of grace is wanting, they prove inaccessible mountains. Grace- 
less hearts are stalled, and quite discouraged by them : but now this 
tendency of the soul to God enables the Christian to break his way 
through all. You may say of him in such a case as the historian 
doth of Hannibal, (who forced a way over the Alps with fire and 
vineo-ar) either he will find a way, or make a way ; " Shall sword or 
" famine, or any other creature separate me from Christ ?'^ saith an 
upright soul. No, it will make its way through all to him, and 
that from this tendency of his new nature. You see in nature, every- 
thing hath a tendency to its centre; fire will up, do what you can 
to suppress it ; water will to the sea ; if it meet with dams, yea, 
mountains in its way, if it cannot bear them down, it will creep about 
some other way, and wind and turn to find a passage to the sea, 
God is the centre of all gracious spirits, and grace will carry the soul 
through all to him. This is grace, and this is your advantage by 
it in the most difficult part of your work. It will carry you through 
all ; make the hardest work easy and pleasant, 2 Cor. xii. 10. And 
if great sufferings or temptations interpose betwixt you and your 
God, it will break through all, and enable you to withstand all ; as 
it did Paul in the text, who forced his way not only through the 
fury of enemies, but also through the intreaties and tears of friendso 



CHAP. VII. 

/?i which the necessity of getting' clear evideiices of this icorli: of grace 
in us, in order to our readiness for sufferings, is held Jbrth, the 
nature of that evidence opened; and divers things that cloud and 
obscure it removed out of the way. 

J. HAVE done with habitual readiness, consisting in an in- wrought 
work of grace. The following particulars are the things in which 
our actual readiness hes. And of them, that which comes next to 
be handled, is the getting of clear evidences in our own souls, that 
this work hath been wrought in us : this will exceedingly tend to 
your strengthening and comfort in a suffering hour. Blessed Paul, 
who here professeth himself ready both for bonds and death, was 
clear in this point; 2 Tim. i. 12. and iv. 6, 7. And indeed had he 
been cloudy and dark in this, he could not have said, / am ready. 
No, he had been in an ill case to undertake that journey to Jerusa- 
lem : and thou wilt find it a singular advantage in dark and difficult 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 37 

days, to have all clear and right within. Now, for the opening of 
this I will shew : 

I. What the evidence or manifestation of the work of grace is. 

II. How it appears to be of such great advantage to a suffering 
saint. 

III. Prescribe some rules for the obtaining of it. 

I. What it is. And, in short, it is nothing else but the Sphifs 
shining upon Ms ozmi zco?'7{, in the hearts of' believers^ thereby cna" 
bling them seiisiblij to see and f edit to their own satisfaction. And 
this is expressed in scripture under a pleasant variety of metaphors. 
Sometimes it is called the " shedding abroad of the love of God in 
" the heart," Rom. v. 5. Sometimes " the lifting up of the light of 
" God's countenance," Psal. iv. 6. and sometimes it is expressed with- 
out a trope, by Christ's manifesting himself io the soul, John xiv. 21. 

For the opening of it, I desire you would consider these six things. 

1. That it is attainable by believers in this life, and that in a very 
high degree and measure. Many of the saints have Iiad it in a full 
measure, 1 Cor. ii. 12. John iii. 24. John xxi. 15. 

2. Though it be attainable by believers, yet it is a thing separable 
from true grace, and many precious souls have gone mourning for 
the want of it, Isa. I. 10. This was sometimes the case of Heman, 
David, Job, and multitudes more. 

3. During its continuance it is the sweetest thing in the world. It 
swallows up all troubles, and doubles all other comforts : it puts more 
gladness into the heart, than the increase of corn and wine, Psal. iv. 7. 
Suavis hora, sed hrevis mora ; sapit quidem suavissime scd gusia^ 
tur rarissime. Bernard. 

4. Both in the continuation and removal of it the Spirit acts arbU 
trarily. No man can say how long he shall walk in this pleasant light, 
Psal. xxx. 7. " By thy favour thou hast made my mountain stand 
*' strong, thou hidest thy face, and I v/as troubled." And when in 
darkness, none can say how long it will be ere that sweet light break 
forth again. God can scatter the cloud unexpectedly in a moment, 
Cant. iii. 4. " It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found 
" him whom my soul loveth." There is such an observable difference 
in David's spirit in some Psalms, as if one man had written the 
beginning and another the end of them. 

5. Though God can quickly remove the darkness and doubts of a 
soul, yet ordinarily the saints find it a very hard and difficult thing to 
obtain and preserve the evidences of their graces. Such is the dark- 
ness, deadness, and deceitfulness of the heart; so much unevenncss 
and inconstancy in tlieir practice, so many counterfeits of grace, and 
so many wiles and devices of Satan to rob them of their peace, that 
few (in comparison) live in a constant and quiet fruition of it. 

6. Notwithstanding all these things, which increase the difficulty; 
yet God hath afforded his people a sure light, and sufficient means, 
in the diligent use of improvement whereof they iijav attain a certainty 

C2 



&8 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

of tlie work of grace in them. And there is a threefold light by 
which it may most clearly and infallibly be discovered. 

1. Scripture-light, which is able to discover the secrets of a man's 
heart to him ; and is therefore compared to the Anatomizer s knife, 
Ileb. iv. 12. 

2. The innate light of grace itself; or, if you will, the light of 
experience, 1 John v. 10. It hath some properties and operations 
which are as essential, necessai'y, and inseparable, as heat is to the 
lire, and may be as sensibly felt and perceived by the soul, Psal. 
cxix. 20. 

3. The light of the Spirit, superadded to both the former, which 
is sometimes called its earnest^ sometimes its seal. The Spirit doth 
hut plant the habits, excite and draw forth the acts, and also shine 
upon his own work, that the soul may see it ; and that sometimes 
with such a degree of light as only begets peace, and quiets the heart, 
though it doth not fully conquer all the doubts of it. And at other 
times the heart is irradiated Vv ith so clear a beam of light, that it is 
able to draM- forth a triumphant conclusion, and say, Now I know 
the things that are freely given me of God : I believe, and am sure. 

And so much briefly for the opening of the nature of this evidence. 
II. I shall shew you the advantage of it to a suffering saint in order 
to the rio^ht manacjement of a sufferintx condition. 

And this v, ill appear by the consideration of five things. 

1. You v.'ill readily grant, that the Christian's love to God hath a 
mighty influence into all his sufferings for God. This grace of love 
enables him victoriously to break through all difficulties and discour- 
agements. " The floods cannot drown it, nor the waters quench it," 
Cant. viii. 6, 7. It facilitates the greatest hardships, 1 John v. 3. 
And whatever a man suffers, if it be not from this principle it is neither 
acceptable to God, nor available to himself, 1 Cor. xiii. 3. 

Eut now nothing more inflames and quickens the Chi'istian's love 
to God, than the knowledge of his interest in him, and the sensible 
perception and taste of his love to the soul. Our love to God is but 
a reflection of his own love ; and the more powerful the stroke of the 
direct beam is, the more is that of the reflex beam also. Never doth 
ihsiljlame of Jah burn with a more vehement heat, than when the 
soul hath the most clear manifestations of its interest in Christ and 
his benefits, Luke vii. 47. 

2. It must needs be of singular use to a suffering saint, because it 
takes out the sinking weight of affliction. That which sinks and breaks 
the spirit, is the conjunction and meeting of inward and outward 
troubles together ; then if the Lord do not strangely and extraordi- 
narily support the soul, it is wreckt and overwhelmed, as the ship in 
which Paul sailed was, when it fell into a place where two seas met. 
Acts xxvii. 41. O how tempestuous a sea doth that soul fall in, that 
hath fightings without, and fears within! how must that poor Chris- 
tian's heart tremble and meditate terror, that when he retires from 



THE BEST WORK JN THE WOUJjT TIMES* o9 

troubles without, for some comfort and support within, shall find a 
sad addition to his troubles from whence he expected relief against 
them ! hence it was that Jeremiah so earnestly deprecates such a misery, 
« Be not thou a terror to me, thou art my hope in the day of evil," 
Jer. xvii. 17. This is prevented by this means ; if a man have a clear 
breast, and all be quiet within, he is like one that hath a good roof 
over his head when the storm falls. " We glory in tribulation, be- 
*' cause the law of God is shed abroad in our hearts,"" Rom. v. 3, 5. 

S. It is a fountain of joy and comfort in the darkest and saddest 
hour. Hence the glorious triumphs of saints in their afflictions, Rom. 
V. 5. And in the Christian's joy in the Lord, lies much of his strength 
for suilerings, Neh. viii. 10. If once the spirit droops and sinks, the 
man is in a bad case to suffer : Holy joy, is the oil that makes the 
chariot-wheels of the soul free to follow the Lord, Non tardat uncta 
rota. To suffer with joyfulness for Christ is a qualification that God's 
eye is much upon in his suffering servants. Col. i. 11. How did the 
famous worthies that went before us magnify Christ, and glorify 
religion by the holy triumphs of their faith and joy under tribulation ! 
one kissed the apparitor that brought him news of his condemnation, 
and was like a man transported with an excess of joy : Another upon 
the pronouncing of the sentence kneels down, and with hands and 
ej^es lifted up, solemnly blesses God for such a day as that. Oh how 
is Christ magnified by this ! and this cannot be until interest be clear- 
ed. It is true, the faith qfrecumhenqj gives the soul a secret support, 
and enables the Christian to live ; but Xhajaitlt of evidence keeps 
him lively^ and prevents all those uncomfortable and uncomely 
sinkings and despondencies of spirit, 2 Cor. iv. 16, 17. and therefore 
cannot but be of a singular use to a soul at such a time. 

4. And, lastly, It is of special use to a Christian under sufferings, 
inasmuch as it enables him to repel the temptations that attend upon 
sufferings. Nothing sets a keener edge upon his indignation against 
unworthy compliances, than this. Indeed a poor cloudy and dubious 
Christian will be apt to catcli at deliverance, though upon terms dis- 
honourable to Christ ; but he that is clear in point of interest, abhors 
compositions and cajjitulations upon unworthy terms and conditions, 
Heb. xi. 35. and x. 34. He that sees the gain and reward of suffer- 
ing, will think he is offered to his loss, when life and deliverance arc 
set before him upon such hard terms as sin is. 

And thus you see what influence it hath into a suffering condi- 
tion. 

III. In the next place I promised to prescribe some rules for the 
attaining of this evidence, and the dispelling of those doubts by which 
it is usually clouded in the souls of believers. And oh, that by the 
faithful use of them you may attain it, against a suffering day come 
upon you. 

1. Rule. And the first rule I shall give you is this, make it your 
business to improve grace more ; for the more vigorous it is, the more 

C3 



40 PitEPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

evidential \i must needs be, 2 Pet. i. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Oh ho^^ 
much time have many Christians spent in inquiring after the lowest 
signs of sincerity, and what may consist with grace ? Which had tliey 
spent in the dihgent improvements of the means of grace, for the in- 
creasing of it, they would have found it a shorter cut to peace and 
comfort by much. 

2. Rule. Mistake not the rule by which you are to try yourselves, 
lest you give a false judgment upon yourselves. Some are apt to 
make those things signs of grace, which are not ; and when the false- 
ness of them is detected, how is that poor soul plunged into doubts 
and fears, that leaned upon them ? As now, if a man should con- 
clude his sincerity from his diligence in attending on the word pMpach- 
ed ; this is but a parahgisni, (as the a}x>stle calls it,) Jam. i. 22. By 
■which amandeceiveth his own soul; For that which is a note or mark, 
must be proper to the thing notified, and not common to any thing 
else. There are divers sorts o^maj'hs ; some are exclusive, the princi- 
pal use of which is to convince bold pretenders, and discover hypo- 
crites ; such is that, 1 Cor. ix. 9- It is a most certain sign where these 
are, there is no grace ; but yet it will not follow on the contrary, 
that where these are not, there is no grace. See Luke xviii. 11. 
Others are inclusive, the use of which is not so much for trying of the 
trutli, as the strength and degrees of grace. As now, when faith is 
described by the radiancy of it, or by some of its heroic acts, and pro- 
mises made to some raised degrees and operations of it ; as that, Eph. 
iii. 12. &c. here a mistake is easilv made. Besides those, or rather 
betv,'ixt these, are another sort of marks, which are called positive 
marks ; and these agreeing in the lowest degree of grace, are for the 
trial of the truth and sincerity of it. Such are these, 1 John iv. 13. 
1 John ii. 3. IMatth. v. 3. Be sure to try by a proper mark. 

3. Rule. Take heed of such sins as violate and waste the consci- 
ence ; for these will quickly raise a mist, and involve the soul in 
clouds and darkness, Psal. li. 8, Sec. Such are sins against light, 
and the reclamations of conscience. 

3. Rule. Labour to shun those common mistakes that Christians 
make in judging of their state ; among which I shall select these 
five as principal ones. 

1. Call not your condition into question upon every failing and in- 
voluntary lapse into sin. " Iniquities prevail against me, as for our 
'' transgressions, thou shalt purge them away,*' Psal. Ixv. 3. In short, 
thou needest not call thy condition into question, provided thou find 
thy spirit working as Paul's did under the surprizals of temptations : 
viz. If, (1.) Thou do approve of and delight in the law, though thou 
fall short of it in thy practice, Rom. vii. 12, 14. (2.) If thy failings 
be involuntary, and against the resolution and bent of thy soul, ver. 
15, 18, 19. (3.) If it be the load and burden of thy soul, ver. 24 
(4.) If the thoughts of deliverance comfort thee, ver. 25. 

% Question not the truth of thy grace, because it was not wrought 



THE BEST WOllJ; IN THE WORST TIMES. 



41 



In the same way and manner in thee, as in others: For there is a great 
variety,, as to the circumstances of time and maimer, betwixt the 
Spirit's operations upon one and another. Compare the history of 
Paul's conversion with that of the Jailor, Zaccheus, or Lydia, and 
see the variety of circumstances. 

3. Conclude not that you have no grace, because you feel not those 
transports and ravishing joys that other Christians speak of. If thou 
canst not say as Paul doth,*Rom. viii. 38. yet bless God, if thou canst 
but breathe forth such language as that, Mark ix. 24. " Lord, I 
" believe, help thou my unbelief'"' 

4. Say not thou hast no grace, because of the high attainments of 
some hypocrites, who in some things may excel thee. When some 
persons read the sixth chapter to the Hebrews, they are startled to 
see to what a glorious height the hypocrite may soar ; not considering 
that there are these three things wherein they excel the most glorious 
hypocrite in the world. (1.) That self was never dethroned in hypo- 
crites, as it is in them. All that an hypocrite doth is for himself. 
(2.) The hypocrite never hated every sin, as he doth ; but hath still 
some Agag, Rimmon, or Dehlah. (3.) That the hypocrite never 
acted in duty from the bent and inchnation of a new nature, taking 
delight in heavenly employment, but is moved rather as a clock by 
the weight and poises of some external motives and advantages. 

5. Conclude not you have no grace, because you grow not so sen- 
sibly as some other Christians do. You may be divers ways mistaken 
about this. (1.) You may measure your growth by your desires, and 
then it appears nothing ; for the Christian aims high, and grasps at 
all. (2.) Or by comparing yourselves with such as have larger capa- 
cities, time, and advantages than you. (3.) Or by comparing your 
graces with other men's gifts, which you mistake for their graces. 
(4.) Or by thinking that all growth is upward in joy, peace, and com- 
fort ; whereas you may grow in mortification and humility, which is 
as true a growth as the former. Oh ! take heed of these mistakes ; 
they have been very prejudicial to the peace of many Christians. 

5. Rule. Lastly, DecUne not sufferings when God gives you a fair 
callto them. Oh ! the Christian's suffering timeis commonly his clear- 
est and most comfortable time. " Then the Spirit of God and glory 
resteth on them," 1 Pet. iv. 14. That which hath been in suspense 
for some years, is decide^l and cleared in a suffering hour. And 
thus I have shewed you how to attain this necessary qualification also. 



CHAP. VIII. 

Discovering the necessity of an improved faith for the right manage- 
ment of sufferings, and directing to some special means for the 
improvement thereof. 

A HE next thing conducing to our actual readiness for sufferings, 
is the improvement of faith to some considerable degree of strengths 

C 4 



42 PllEPAEATIOXS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OK, 

This is the grace that must do the main service in such an hour, 
and hath the principal hand in supporting the Christian under every 
burden. This is the grace that crowns our heads with victory in 
the day of batttle, Eph. vi. 16. "Above all taking the shield of 
" faith."" It is true every grace is of use, and contributes assistance : 
Suffering saints have been beholding to them all. But of this we may 
say, as Solomon of the virtuous woman; "Though many graces have 
" done excellently, yet this excels them all."' In this grace Paul 
was very eminent ; it was the life he daily lived. Gal. ii. 20. Oh ? 
it is a precious grace, 2 Pet. i. 1. So precious, that Christ, who sel- 
dom admired any thing, yet wondered at this, Matth. viii. 10. A 
victorious grace it is that overcomes all difficulties, Mark ix. 23. By 
this sword it was that all those famous heroes Heb. xi. atchieved all 
those glorious conquests; and in every distress it may say to the soul, 
as Christ to the disciples, John xv. 5. " Without me ye can do no- 
" thing."" This is that sicord that hath obtained so many victories 
over the world, 1 John v. 4. And that trusty shield that hath 
quenched so many deadly darts of temptation, which have been level- 
led at the very heart of a Christian in the day of battle. By it a 
Christian lives, when all outward, sensible comforts die, Hab.ii.4. It 
is the ground upon which the Christian fixes his foot, and never fails 
under him, 2 Cor. i. 24. The necessity of it will more clearly appear, 
by considering how many ways it relieves the soul in trouble, and dis- 
burdens the heart of all its sinking loads and pressures : There are 
two things that sink a man's spirit when under sufferings : viz. The 
greatness of the troubles, and the zceahness of the soul to bear them ; 
against both which faith relieves the soul, viz. by making a zceaJc 
soul st7'07ig, and heavy troubles light. 

Firsts It makes a weak soul strong and able to bear ; and tliis it 
doth divers ways. 

By purging out of the soul those enfeebling and weakening dis- 
tempers: not ow\y guilt in general, which is to the soul as a wound 
upon the bearing shoulder, Rom. v. 1. The removal whereof en- 
ables the soul to bear any other burden, Isa. xxxiii. 24. But it also 
remox esj^car, that tyrant passion, that cuts the nerves of the soul. 
For as faith comes m, so fear goes out: Look in M'hat degree the fear 
of God is ascendent in the soul, proportionably the sinful fear of the 
creature declines and vanisheth, Isa. viii. 12, 13. This fear extin- 
guishes that, as the sun-shine puts out fire, " The righteous is bold as 
*' a lion,'" Prov. xxviii. 1. The word n'^jii signifies a young lion in 
his hot blood, that knows no such thing as fear ! And look, how 
much of the soul is em-ptij of faith, so much it \s filled with fear : 
« Why are ye fearful, O ye of httle faith r Matth. viii. 26. Cer- 
tainly, it is a rare advantage, to be freed from the common distrac- 
tion^ in times of common destruction ; and this advantage the soul 
hath by faith. 

*2. It strengthens the soul to bear afflictions and hardships ; not 



THE BEST WORK IN' THE WOKST TIMES. 4'8 

only l)y purging out its weakning distempers, but by turning itself to 
Christ, in whom all its strength lies ; and that suitably to the several 
exio-encies of the soul in all its distresses. Doth darkness, like the 
shadow of death overspread the earth, and all the lights of earthly 
comforts disappear ? then faith supports the heart by looking to the 
Lord, Micah vii. 7. And this look of faith exceedingly revives the 
heart, Psal. xxxiv. 5. and enlightens the soul. Doth God pluck 
away all earthly proyjs from under your feet, and leave you nothing 
visible to rest upon ? in that exigence faith puts forth a suitable act, 
viz. Resting or staying npon God, Isa. xxvi. 3. and by this the soul 
comes to be quieted and established, Psal. cxxv. 1. Do temptations 
strive to put off the soul from Christ, and discourage it from leaning 
upon the promise ? Then it puts forth an act of resolution. Job xiii. 

15. And so breaks its way through that discouragement ; or hath 
the soul been long seeking God for deliverance out of trouble, and 
still there is silence in heaven, no answer comes ; but instead of an 
answer comes a temptation, to throw up the duty, and seek to deliver 
itself.'^ Then faith puts forth another act upon Christ, suitable to 
this distress, viz. An act of •waiting, Isa. xlix. 23. which xcaiting is 
opposed to that siiiful haste which the soul is tempted to, Isa. xxviii. 

16. Or doth God at any time call the soul forth to some difficult 
service, against which the flesh and carnal reason dispute and plead ? 
Now faith helps the soul, by putting forth an act of obedience ; and 
that whilst carnal reason stands by dissatisfied, Gal. i. 16. And 
hence it is, that obedience carries the name of faith upon it to shew 
its descent, Rom. xvi. 26. Faith encourages the soul to obey, not 
only by urging God's command, but by giving it God's zcarrant 
for its' indemnity, Ileb. xi. 24, 25, 26. Or doth a poor believer 
find himself overmatched by troubles and temptations, and his ov/n 
inherent strength begin to fail under the burden ? Then faith leads 
him to an omnipotent God, and so secures him from fainting under 
his trouble, Psal. Ixi. 2. In the Lord is everlasting strength. El 
Shaddai is a name of an encouragement to a feeble soul, Isa. xl. 29, 
80, 31. And thus you see the first particular made good, viz. What 
a strengthening influence it hath upon a weak soul. 

Secondly, In the next place let us see how it lightens the Chris- 
tian's burdens, as well as strengthens his back to bear. 

And certainly, this grace of faith doth strangely alter the very 
nature of sufferings, taking away both the heaviness and horror of 
them ; and this it doth divers ways : 

1. By committing the business to Christ, and leaving the matter 
with him ; and so quitting the soul of all these anxieties and perturba- 
tions, which arc the very burden and weight of aifliction, Psal. xxxvii. 
5. For certainly that which sinks us in days of trouble, is rather 
from within, from our unruly, seditious, and clamorous thoughts, 
than from the troubles themselves with which we conflict: But by 
committing the matter to God, the soul is quickly brought to rest. 



44 PUErARATlOXS FOR SUFFERINGS; OR, 

2. By discovering much present good in our troubles ; the mort? 
good faith discovers in a trouble, the more supportable and easy it 
makes it to the soul. Now faith brings in a comfortable report, that 
they are not only evils, as the troubles of the wicked are, Ezek. vii. 5. 
but have an allay and mixtureof much good, Heb. xii. ] 0. Isa. xxvii. 9- 

3. By foreseeing the end and final removal of them, and that near 
at hand, 2 Cor. iv. 17. That which daunts and amazes men in times 
of trouble is, that they can see no end of them. Hence the heart 
faints, aifld hands hang down through discouragement : But now faith 
brings the joyful tidings of the end of troubles ; and saith to the soul, 
*' Why art thou cast down, O my soul ? and why so disquieted and 
" discouraged within me ? as if thy sufferings were like the sufFer- 
*' ings of the damned, endless and everlasting, whereas they are but 
" for a moment ; yet a little while, a very little while, and he that 
*' shall come, will come, and will not tarry,"' Heb. x. 37. Yet a 
little while, and then the days of thy mourning shall be over. 

4. By comparing our sufferings with the sufferings of others, 
which exceedingly diminisheth and shrinks them up ; sometimes the 
believer compares his sufferings with Christ's, and then he is ashamed 
that ever he should complain and droop under them. Oh ! saith he, 
what is that to that which the Lord Jesus suffered for me ? He suf- 
fered in all his members, head, hands, side, feet, from all hands, 
friends and enemies, in ail his offices ; yea, in his soul, as well as in 
his body : And indeed the sufferings of his soul were the very soul 
of his sufferings : Sometimes he compares them with the sufferings 
of others of the saints in former ages : When he reads in faith the 
history of their persecutions, he is shamed out of his complaints, 
and saith, ' Am I better than my fathers ?' Sometimes he compares 
them with the sufferings of the damned : ' O what is this to ever- 
' lasting burnings I What is a prison to hell ? How light and easy 
' is it to suffer for Christ, in comparison of those sufferings which 
* are from Christ ?' And thus the soul is quieted, and the terror of 
sufferings abated. 

5. Faith entitles Christ to the believer's sufferings, and puts them 
upon his score ; and so it exceedingly transforms and alters them : 
Ah ! it is no small rehef when a man' can hold up the Bible, as that 
martyr did at the stake, and say, ' This is that which hath brought 
' me hither :' Or as the Psalmist ; " For thy sake we are killed all 
" the day long ;" Or as the apostle. Col. i. 24. " I fill up that which 
" is behind of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh." 

6. Lastly, Faith engages the presence of God, to be and abide 
with the soul in all its solitudes and sufferings : It lays hold upon 
the promises made to that purpose, Psal. xxiii. 2. Isa. xliii. 2. Heb. 
xiii. 5. John xiv. 18. And whilst a poor soul enjoys this the verj 
sense of troubles is swallowed up. 

And thus I have given some brief hints how faith relieves and 
strengthens the soul in a suffering hour : The next thing is to direjct 



THE BEST WOllK IN THE WORST TIMES. 45 

vou liov/ to improve this excellent grace, that it may do you such 
service as this in a time of need : And, in order thereunto, I shall 
give you these seven directions. 

1. Attend diligently upon the ministration of the gospel, which is 
not only the procreant, but also the conserving cause of faith, 1 Pet. 
ii. S. The doctrine of faith is the food and nutriment of the grace 
of faith: There are its rules, its encouragements, its cordials: 
Thence faith takes and treasures up its michiams, to which it hath 
recourse in times of need : Every attribute, covimavd, or promise 
that shines forth there, is a dish for faith to feed on ; but all together 
are a royal feast, Psal. Ixiii. 5. Some say the land of Judea, is 
called ihe land of the living, in Psal. xxvii. 13. in respect of the 
ordinances of God which that people enjoyed. Certain it is, they 
are the great instruments of quickening souls at first, and preserving 
that life it so begat in them : But then be sure they have Chrisfs 
stamp upon them, and that they be ministered by his own officers, 
and in his own way : And so you may reasonably expect more fruits 
and influences from them than from all private gifts and helps in the 
world : '' For the Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the 
" dwellings of Jacob," Psal. Ixxxvii. 2. And all private helps may 
say, in comparison of Christ's public ordinances, as Gideon said to 
the men of Ephraim, Judges viii. 2. " What have we done in com- 
" parison of you .?" 

2. Improve well your sacrament seasons, those harvest days of 
faith : This ordinance hath a direct and peculiar tendency to the 
improvement and strengthening of faith. It is a pledge superadded 
to the promise for faith's sake : Heavenly and sublime mysteries do 
therein stoop down to your senses, that you may have the clearer 
apprehensions of them"^; and the clearer the apprehensions are, the 
stronger the assent of faith must needs be: By this seal also the 
promise comes to be more ratified to us ; and the firmer the promise 
appears to the soul, the more bold and adventurous faith is in castmg 
itself upon it; Oh ! hov/ many poor, doubting, trembling souls have, 
in such a season, gathered the full ripe fruitr, of assurance from the 
top-boughs of that ordinance ! 

3. Frequent actings of faith are rare and special means of im- 
proving it : To him that hath, i. e. that improves and uses what he 
hath, shall be given, Mat. xxv. 29. This was the way by which 
Paul thrived in faith and every other grace so exceedingly, that 
he outgrew them that were in Christ before him, 1 Cor. xv. 10. 
It is true, its beginning in the soul is not after the manner of other 
habits, either moral or natural : This is not of natural acquisition, but 
by divine infusion: But yet its improvement is in the same manner. 
Oh then ! if ever you would have a flourishing faith, rouse it up cut 
of the dull habit, and live in the daily exercise of it. 

4. Go to Jesus Christ, who is the Author and finisher of faith, 
and cry to him, as Mark ix, 24, Lord, increase my faith : Yea, beg 



46 PIIEPARATIOXS FOE. SUFFEiTvINGS ; OR, 

the assistance of others pra)'ers in this behalf, as the apostle diJ^ 
1 Thes. iii. 10. 2 Thes. i. 11. faith animates prayer, and prayer in- 
creaseth faith. 

5. Improve times of affliction for the increase of faith : For cer- 
tainly, sanctified afflictions do notably exercise and increase this 
grace, 1 Pet. i. 7. In times of prosperity we know not what stock 
of faith we have: We hve so much upon things seen, that we can- 
not many times tell whether we have faith or no : But when dif- 
ficult days come, then we must get out our whole subsistence and 
livelihood by faith, Hab. ii. 4. Yea, then we have many proofs and 
experiments of God's fidelity in the promises, which is a choice help 
to faith, 2 Cor. i. 10. 

6. Keep catalogues of all your remarkable experiences ; treasure 
them up as food to your faith in time to come : Oh ! it is a singular 
encouragement and heartening to faith, when it can turn over the 
records of God's dealing with you in years past, and say as Joshua, 
Not one thing hath failed^ Joshua xxiii. 14. When it can say 
so of promises that have already had their accomplishments, then 
they will be apt to say concerning those yet to be accomplished, as 
Elizabeth said to Mary, Luke i. 45. " Blessed is the soul that be- 
" lieveth, for there shall be a performance of those things which are 
" told it by the Lord.'' 

These experiments are the food of faith, Psal. Ixxiv. 14. " Thou 
*' breakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be 
*' meat to thy people inhabiting the wilderness," i. e. That famous 
experience of the pov\er and love of God in their Iled-sea deliver- 
ance, where he destroyed that sea-monster Pharaoh, and his host, 
"was meat to the faith of God's Israel in the wilderness afterwards. 
We often find Christ charging the people's unbelief on a bad memory, 
Mat. xvi. 8, 9. And hence it was that the Lord commanded the 
Israelites to \iQ&^jo"urrials of every day's occu7'rences. Num. xiii. 1, 2. 
It is a thousand pities such choice helps should be lost. Oh ! if 
you could but remember, how the Lord hath appeared for you in 
former exigencies, and how often he hath shamed you for your un- 
belief, it would exceedingly animate your faith, both in present and 
future distreses, Micah vi. 5. 

7. Lastly, Beware of sense, which is the supplanter of faith. O 
if you live upon things earthly, you put your faith out of its oflrice : 
Things earthly have an enmity to faith. " This is the victory by 
*' which we overcome the world, even our faith," 1 John v. 4. 
Overcoming denotes a conflict, and conflicts infer oppositions. Oh 
you that live so much by sight and sense on things visible, what will 
you do when in David's, or Paul's case, Psal. cxlli. 4. 2 Tim. iv. 16. 
when all outward encouragements and stays shall utterly fail ? What 
had Abraham done if he had not been able to believe against hope, 
i. e. such an hope as is founded on sense and reason. 

Reader, I advise and charge thee in the name of the LQrd, and 



THE BEST WOUK IN THE WORST TIMES. 47 

as thou hopest to live when visible comforts die, that thou be diligent 
in the improvement and preparation of this excellent grace of faith : 
if it fail, thou failest with it ; and as thy faith is, so art thou. Con- 
sult also the cloud of witnesses, and see if thou canst find a man 
amongst them that did not atchieve the victory by his faith. Had 
they not all been run down by the furious assaults of temptation, 
and instead of a cloud of witnesses^ been so mQX\y pillars of salt ^ and 
monuments of reproach and shame to rehgion, if their faith had 
failed in its trial. 



CHAP. IX. 



Wherein the necessity and usefulness of Christian fortitude in order 
to sufferings is evinced, with a brief account of its nature and the 
means of attaining it. 

X HE next grace which occurs to the completing of our actual 
readiness for sufferings, is Christian fortitude, or holy courage ; 
which must say in thy heart in a time of danger, as Elijah once did, 
" As the Lord lives I will shew myself" This also is a choice part 
of your preparation-work. In this grace our apostle was eminent: 
when he was told, " Bonds and afflictions waited for him ;" he could 
say, That " none of these things moved him," Acts xx. 24. Yea, 
when he was to appear before the lion Nero, and not a man would 
own or stand by him, yet he stands his ground, resolving rather to 
die on the place, than dishonourably to recede from his principles and 
profession, 2 Tim. iv. 16, 17. He set the world, v/ith all its threats 
and terrors lower than it set him. O how conspicuous was this 
grace in ail those heroes that have past on before us : And if ever you 
hope to stand in the evil day, and be fetched off the field with ho- 
nour, you must rouse up and avv^aken your courage for God : And 
the necessity thereof will appear upon these four considerations. 

1. Because the success and prevalence of Satan's temptations in 
the hour of persecution depends upon the fainting and overthrow of 
this grace. Wherefore doth he raise persecutions in the world, but 
because such terrible things are fitted to work upon the passion of 
carnal fear, which rises witli those dangers, and makes the soul as a 
tumultuous sea. This is it he aims at. Neb. vi. 13. This is a multi- 
plying passion that represents dangers more and greater than they 
are, and so drives the soul into the very net and snare laid by the 
devil to take it. Prov. xxix. 25. " The fear of man brings a snare;" 
which was sadly exemplified in Abraham, Gen. xii. 12. and divers 
others of the saints. If he can but subdue this grace, he will quickly 
bring you to capitulate for life and liberty, upon the basest and most 
dishonourable terms ; therefore the preparation of this grace is so 
exceedingly necessary. 



4,3 fuepahations i-or suFFEr.iNGs ; or^ 

2. Because this is the grace that honours Jesus Christ abundantly^ 
>vhen you are brought upon the stage for him. 

There is a great solemnity at the suffering and trial of a saint: hea- 
ven, earth, and hell, are spectators, observing the issue, and ho\v the 
saints will acquit themselves in that hour. We are made a spectacle^ 
saith the apostle. The word is Qiarpov iyzvrl^r,!Miv, we are as set upon 
a theatre in public view, 1 Cor. iv. 9. God, angels, and saints wait 
to see the glorious triumphs of their faith and courage, reflecting ho- 
nour upon the name and cause of Christ. Devils and wicked men 
gape for an advantage by their cowardice. Certainly very much lies 
now upon the Christian's hands. Should he faint and give ground, 
how will it furnish the triumphs of hell, and make Christ's enemies 
vaunt over him, as if his love ran so low in the hearts of his people, 
that they durst not adventure any thing for him ? Or, as if, notwith- 
standing their brave words and glorious profession, they durst not 
trust tlieir own principles when it comes to the trial : But if now 
they play the men, and discover an holy gallantry of spirit and reso- 
lution for Christ, how will it daunt the enemies, and make them say 
as Marcus, bishop of Aretheusa made one of Julian's nobles, present 
at his torments, to say concerning him, We are ashamed, O emperor, 
the Christians laugh at thy cruelty ! And how will God himself re- 
joice and glory over them, as he once did over Job when he fetched 
him with honour off that first field ! Job ii. 3. " Still he holdeth 
" fast his integrity." 

3. Your own peace is wrapt up in it, as well as God's glory. Is it 
nothing, think you, to be freed from those vultures and harpies that 
feed upon the hearts of men at such times ? Surely God reckons, 
that he promiseth a very great mercy to his people Avhen he promi- 
seth it. Prov. i. ult. Psal. cxii. 7. When Borromaeus was told of 
some that lay in wait to take away his life, it troubled him not, but 
he said, An Deus est in mundo pro nihilo ? What, is God in the 
world for nought.? And like to this was the answer of Silentiarius 
in the like case ; ^S** Dens mei curam non habet, quid vivo f If God 
take not care for me, how do I live ; Oh this is it that brings you 
to an holy quietude of spirit in times of confusion and distraction, 
which is a choice mercy. 

4. Your magnanimity is of special use to other saints, who are 
following you in the same path of sufferings. If you faint, it is like 
the fainting of a standard-bearer in an army : you bring thereby an 
evil report upon the cross of Christ, as ihe^first spies did upon the 
land of Canaan. And a like influence with that it is like to have on 
your brethren ; so that there is a necessity of improving this grace 
also before you can say with Paul you are ready. 

2. But what is this Christian fortitude, and wherein doth it consist. 

I answer briefly. It is an holy boldness in the performance of dif- 
ficult duties, foivmg from faith in the call of God, and his promise 
to us in the discharge of them. 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 49 

And so you have the nature of it in these four particulars. 

1. It is an holy boldness, not a natural or sinful boldness, arising 
cither from the natural constitution, or evil disposition of the mind. 

2. It is expressed about duties for truth, not error, Jer. ix. 3. for 
the interest of Christ, not of the flesh. 

3. The season in which it appears is, when duties are surrounded 
and beset with difficulties and dangers, Dan. iii. 16. vi. 10. 

4. The fountain whence it flows is faith, and that as it respects 
the command and call of God to duty, Acts xvi. 10. And his pro- 
mise, to us in the discharge thereof. Josh. i. 5, 6. 

And his grace stands opposed both to the fear of man in the cause 
of God, Heb. xi. 27. and to apostasy from the truth for fear of suf- 
fering. Thus briefly of the nature of it. 

3. In the last place I shall lay down some rules for the promoting 
and improvement of it, and so finish this chapter. 

Now there are ten rules heedfully to be observed for the breed- 
ing of holy courage in the breast of a saint in evil times. 

1. Rule. And the first rule is this. Get a weaned heart from all 
earthly enjoyments. If the heart be inordinately fixed upon any one 
thing that you possess in the world, that inordinate estimation of, 
and affection for it, will strangely effeminate, soften, and cowardize 
your spirit when your trial comes, 2 Tim. ii. 4 You meet not with 
a man of courage for God, but had his heart dead to earthly things; 
so it was with Paul, Phil. iii. 8. Since the apostles, we scarce meet 
with a greater example of magnanimity than Luther ; and if you 
read his story, you will find few men ever set a lower rate on the 
world than he. All the Turkish empire in his eye was but a crumb 
cast to tlie dogs. Germana est haec hestia pecunium non curat. 
Money could not tempt him. 

2. Rule. Suffer not guilt to lie upon your consciences: it is a foun- 
tain of fears, and you can never attain boldness for God till it be re- 
moved, Rom. V. 1, 2, 3. The spirit of a sound mind is opposed to the 
spirit of fear, 2 Tim. i. 7. Now that sound mind is a mind or spirit 
that is not wounded, and made sick and infirm by guilt. O what 
black fogs and mists arise out of guilt, which becloud our evidences, 
and fill us with fear and discouragements ! Gen. xlii. 21, 22. 

3. Rule. Clear your call to difficult services, be well satisfied that 
you are in that way and posture God expects to find you in. O what 
courage this will give ! Josh. i. 9. Then a man may promise himself 
God's presence and protection, 2 Chron. xv. 2. But whilst a man is 
dubious here, and cannot tell whether it be his duty or not that he is 
engaging in, how can he have courage to hazard any thing for it ? 
For thinks he, I may suffer much from men, and yet have no thanks 
of God for it, 1 Pet. ii. 9. And further, till a man be clear in this, 
he cannot commit his cause to God. And it is a sad thing to be 
cut off from so choice a relief as that is, 1 Pet. iv. 19- 

4. Rule. Get right notions and apprehensions of your enemies. 



^0 PREPARATIONS po a sufferings; or, 

We are apt to magnify the creature, as if he could do more than 
he caw, and thereby disable ourselves frora doing what we should. 
Possess your souls with the belief of these five things concerning 
them. (1.) That they are poor weak enemies, Isa. xl. 15, 17, 2^ 
But as a sv/arm of gnats in the air. See how God describes them, 
Isa. h. 13, 14. 

(2.) That little power they have is limited by your Grod who hath 
the bounding and ordering of it, John xix. 11. Psal. Ixxiv. 10. (3.) 
They carry guilt upon them, which makes them more timorous than 
you, Isa. viii. 12. Their fear is a strange fear. (4.) They only use 
carnal weapons against you, which cannot touch your souls. If ihey 
were praying enemies that could engage God against you, they would 
be formidable enemies indeed ; but this they cannot do. The largest 
commission that any of them ever had from God, extended but to the 
bodies and bodily concernment of the saints, Luke xi. 4, 5. They 
cannot thunder with an arm like God, nor blot your name out of 
the book of life, nor take your part out of the New Jerusalem ; 
therefore fear not man. (5.) Your enemies are God's enemies ; and 
God hath espoused your cause and quarrel. The more cruel they 
are, the kinder he will be to you, John ix. 34, 35. 

5. Rule. Labour to engage the presence of God with you in all 
places and conditions. Whilst you enjoy this, your spirits will be 
invincible and undaunted, Josh. i. 9- Psal. cxviii. 6. A weak creature 
assisted and encouraged by the presence of a great God will be able to 
do and suffer great things. Poor flesh in the hand of an almighty 
Spirit acts above itself. A little dog, if his master be by, and animates 
him, will seize upon a gTeater beast than himself, though he would 
run from him were his master absent. Our courage ebbs and flows as 
the m.anifestations of the divine presence do. Oh get thyself once 
within the line of that promise, Is. xliii. 1, 2. and thou art invincible. 

6. Rule. Get an high estimation of Jesus Christ, and all his concern- 
ments. They that value him highest, will adventure for \\\m farthest 
Magnanimous Luther, how inestimable a value did he set upon the 
truths of Christ ! Ruat cwlum, <SfC. Let heaven rush rather than a 
crumb of truth should perish. Thou wilt never be a man of zeal and 
courage for Christ's interest, until that interest of Christ have swal- 
lowed up all thine own interests. No sooner is the soul acquainted, 
with, and interested in Christ, but he heartily wishes well to all his 
affairs and concernments, Psal. xlv. 3, 4. This is that which puts 
metal and resolution for Christ into the soul. 

7. Rule. Beware you be not cheated with maxims of carnal policy, 
mistaken for Christian prudence. Many are so : and they prove de- 
structive to all true zeal and courage for Christ. Never was religion 
professed with greater plainness and simplicity, than by the primitive 
Christians ; and never was there an higher spring-tide of courage and 
zeal for God, than in those days. We are apt to call it prodigality, 
and are ffrown wiser to husband our lives and comforts, better than 



THE BEST WOIIK IN THE WORST TIMES Jyl 

than they did. But indeed our prudentials have even swallowed up 
our religion. It is true, there is such a thing as Christian prudence ; 
but this doth not teach men to shun all costly and difficult duties, 
and prostitute conscience to save the skin, " A man of understand- 
** ing walketh uprightly,'** Prov. xv. 21. 

8. Rule. Look upon the inside of troubles for Christ, as well as 
upon the outside of thera. If you view them by an eye of sense, there 
appeareth nothing but matter of discouragement. To look on the 
outside of a prison, banishment or death, is affrighting and horrible: 
but then if you look into the inside of these things by faith, and see 
what God hath made them to his people, and how joyful and com- 
fortable they have been in these conditions ; what honey they have 
found in the carcase of a lion, what songs in the stocks and dungeons, 
what glorying in tribulation, and hundred-fold reward even in their 
sufferings : O then ! that which looked like a serpent at a distance, 
will appear but as a rod in hand. How many have found themselves 
quite mistaken in their apprehensions of sufferings ; and been more 
loth to come out of a prison, than they were to go in ! If you did 
but see your supports and the comforts that souls ordinarily meet 
with in their troubles for Christ, you would not look on them as 
such formidable things. 

9. Rule. View the issue and reward of sufferings by an eye of faith : 
this also will strongly abate the horror and dread of them, Heb. x. 
34. Upon this account it is the saints have so slighted and contemn- 
ed them, Rom. viii. 18. 2 Cor. iv. 16, 17. But then see that you 
act your faith, (1.) Upon the certainty of it: look at it as a most 
real and substantial thing, Heb. xi. 1. (2.) View it as a great and 

glorious reward ; And, (3.) As near at hand : And then say to th y 
soul, come on my soul, come on ; seest thou the joy set before thee! 
the crown of glory ready to be set on thy head by the hand of a 
righteous God. Oh, what comparison is there betwixt those suffer- 
ings, and that glory ! 

10. Rule. Propound to yourselves the best patterns and examples. 
Keep your eye upon the cloud of witnesses ; these are of special use 
to beget holy courage, Heb. xii. 1. James v. 10. Who would be 
afraid to enter the lists, and grapple with that enemy that he hath 
seen so often foiled, and that by a poor weak Christian ? See how 
the enemy with whom you are to grapple, hath been beaten hand to 
hand, and triumphed over by poor women and children ; they had 
as great infirmities, and you have as gracious assistances as those 
that are gone befoi-e you. 



Vol. VI. D 



rREPARAT10>:3 FOR SUFFERINGS; OR, 



CHAP. X. 

Discovering the necessity of an heart mortified to all earthly and 
temporal enjoyments^ in order to the right managing of a suffer- 
ing condition ; with several directions Jbr the attainting thereof. 

A. HE next thing wherein your actual readiness for bonds, or death 
consisteth, is in the mortijication of your ciffections to all earthly in- 
terest and enjoyments ; even the best and sweetest of them. Till this 
be done, in some measure, you are not fit to be used in any such ser- 
vice for the Lord, 2 Tim. i. 21. The living world is the very life of 
temptations : the travailing pains of death are stronger and sharper 
upon none, than those that are full of sense and self As you see in 
nature, what conflicts and agonies strong and lively persons suffer 
when they die; when others, in whom nature is decayed and spent 
before-hand, die away without half that pain, even as a bird in a 
shell. Corruption in the saints, is like sap in the green wood, which 
resisteth the fire, and will not burn well, till it be dried up. Pre- 
pared Paul had an heart mortified in a very high degree, to all the 
honour and riches of the v.orld, accountins^ them all but trifles, Gal. 
vi. 14. 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. 

The need of this will be evinced by these five considerations. 

1. Unless the heart be mortified to all earthly enjoyments, they 
will appear great and glorious things in 3'oiu' eye and estimation; and 
if so, judge what a task you will have, to deny and leave them all in a 
suftering hour. It is corruption ivithin, that puts the lustre and glory 
upon things without: it is the carnal eye only that gazes admiringly af- 
ter them, 2 Cor. v. 16. and hence the lust isputtoexprefisthe affection, 
1 John ii. 1 6. because all that inordinate aflection we have to them, 
arises from our high estimation of them, and that estimation from our 
lusts, that represent them as great and glorious. Therefore, certainly, 
it will be difficult (if not impossible) to deny them, till they have lost 
their glory in your eye; and that they wilf never do, till those lusts 
within you. that put tliat beauty and necessity upon them, be first 
crucified. As for instance, what a glory and necessity doth the pride 
of men put upon the honour and credit of the world, so that they 
will rather choose to die, than survive it ? But to a mortified soul it is 
a small matter, 1 Cor. iv. 3. So for riches, liow much are they adored, 
till our lusts be mortified ? and then they are esteemed but dung and 
dross, Phil. iii. 8. It is our corruptions that paint and gild over these 
things ; when these are crucified, those will be lightly esteemed. 

2. Mortification of corruptions is that which recovers an healthful 
state of soul : sin is to the soul, wliat a disease is to the body ; and 
mortification is to sin, what physic is to a disease. Hence those that 
are but a little mortified, are in a comparative sense called carnal, 1 
Cor. iii. d. and babes, ver. S, in resj^ect of weakness. Now, suSering 



The best work in the \V0I!ST TIMESi 5^ 

V^ork being some of the Christian's hardest labour and exercise, he 
cannot be fitted lor it, until his soul be in an healthful state : a sickly 
man cannot carry heavy burdens, or endure hard labours and exercises: 
the sick soldier is left behind in his quarters, or put into the hospital, 
■whilst his fellows are dividing the spoils, and obtaining glorious vic- 
tories in the field. To this sense some expound Rom. viii. 13. " If 
" ye live after the flesh ye shall die ; but if ye, through the Spirit, 
" do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.'' AVhereas death is 
put to note a languishing state of soul, whilst mortification is neglect- 
ed ; solife is put to express an healthful and comfortable state; v'lvere 
pro valere ; so that upon this account also the necessity of it appears. 
3. Your corruptions must be mortified, else they will be raging and 
violent in the time of temptation, and, like a torrent, sweep away all 
your convictions and resolutions. It is sin unmortified within that 
makes the heart like gun-powder; so that Avhen the sparks of temp- 
tation fly about it, (and they fall thick in a suffering hour) they do 
but touch and take. Hence the corruptions of the world are said to 
be through lust, 2 Pet. i. 4. AVith these internal unmortified lusts 
the ^^//7p^£'r holds correspondence; and these be the traitors that 
deliver up our souls into his hands. 

4. Unless you be diligent and successful in this work, though you 
should suffer; yet not hke Christians ; you will but disgrace religion, 
and the cause for which you suffer ; for it is not simple suffering, 
but suffering as a Christian, that reflects credit on religion, and finds 
acceptation with God. If you be envious, fretful, discontented, and 
revengeful, under your sufferings, what honour will this bring to 
Christ ? Is not this altogether unlike the example of your Lord ? Isa. 
liii. 7. and the behaviour of suffering saints ? 1 Cor. iv. 13. Yet thus 
it will be, if your pride, passion, and revenge, be not first subdued : 
for what are the breakings forth of such distempers of spirit, but as 
the flushes of heat in the face from an ill-affected liver ? Most cer- 
tain it is, that all the evils are in your natures, and as certain it is, 
they will rise li'ke mud and filth from the bottom of a lake, when 
some eminent trials shall rake you to the bottom ; Natura vexata 
prodit seipsam. 

5. Lastly, Mortification must be studied and plied with diligence ; 
else you will find many longings and hankerings after earthly enjoy- 
ments and comforts, which will prove a snare to you : what is sin 
but the corrupt and vitiated appetite o^ the creature, to things that are 
earthly and sensual, relishing more .sweetness and delight in them, 
than in the blessed God ? And what is sanctification, but the rectify- 
ing of these i^^07'<i/;^«/f{? ft^^Y;^/'o7i.y, and placing them on their proper ob- 
ject ? A regenerate and mortified Christian tastes not half that sweet- 
ness in forbidden fruits that another doth : set but monev before Ju- 
das, and see how eargerly he catches at it " AVhat will ve give 

*' me, and I will betray him T'' Set but life, liberty, or any such 
bait before an unmortified heart, and how impotent is he to with'j 



o4i PREPARATIONS lOR SUFFEUIXGS ; OK, 

Stand them, as offered in a temptation ? Oh those unmortified lusts ! 
how do they make men hanker, long, and their lips water (as we use 
to sav) after these things? This makes them break prison, decline suf- 
ferings, though upon the basest terms ; whereas a mortified Christian 
can see all these things set before him, yea, offered to him, and refuse 
them, Heb. x. 35. It is with them much as it was with old Bar- 
zillai, 2 Sam. xix. 35. When nature is decayed, they find but little 
pleasure in natural actions, Eccles. xii. 1. And look as the body 
of sin decays and languishes, so do these longings also : It weans the 
soul from them all, and enables it to live very comfortably without 
them, Psal. cxxxi. 1. Phil. iv. 12. There needs no more to be said 
to evince the necessity of mortification, and discover what influence 
it hath into a Christian's readiness for sufferings. 

It remains therefore, that I open to you some of the principal 
corruptions^ about which it mostly concerns you to bestow pains ere 
sufferings come. Now look as there are lour principal enjoyments, 
in which you are like to be tried, viz. Estate^ 7iame, libert?/, life ; 
so the Christian work in suffering times lies in mortifying these four 
special co7'ruption6\ viz. First, The love of the world. Secondly, 
Ambition. Thirdly, Inordinate affection of freedom and pleasure. 
Fourthly, Excessive love of life. 

1. For the love of this w-orld, away with it, crucify it, crucify it : 
down v/ith the idol, and let it be dethroned in all that intend to abide 
with Christ in the hour of temptation: how else will you take the 
spoiling of vour goods .^ How will you be able to part with all for 
Christ, as these blessed souls did ? It gi'ieves my heart to see how 
many professors of religion are carried captive at the chariot- wheels 
of a bewitching world. Oh ! good had it been for many professors 
if they had never tasted so much of the sweetness of it. Sirs, I beg 
you for the Lord's sake, down with it in your estimations, down 
with it in your affections, else temptations will down with you ere 
long. I shall offer five or six helps for the crucifying of it. 

First, Consider your espousals to Christ, and how you have chosen 
and professed him for your Lord and husband: therefore your doat- 
ing upon the world is no less than adultery against Christ, James 
iv. 4. If Christ be your husband, he must be a covering to your 
eyes ; an unchaste glance upon the world wounds him. 

Secondly, The more you prize it, the more you will be tormented 
by it ; did you prize and love it less, it would disquiet and vex you 
less : it is our doating on it that makes it draw blood at parting. 

Thirdly, Get true scripture-notions of the world, and rectify your 
judgments and affections by them. If you will have the true picture 
and representation of it drawn by the hand of God himself, see 1 John 
ii. 16. it is nothing else but a phantastic fflo7-y, and that also passeth 
away. What is become of them that ruffled it out in tlie world but 
one Jiundred years ago.? What could the world do for them ? Are 



THE BEST -WORK IX THE AVORST TIMES. 55 

they not all gone down to the sides of the pit ? " But he that doth 
*' the will of God abidcth for ever." 

Fourthly^ Study and contemplate Christ and the things above more: 
this would veil all its glory, and kill it at the root, Phil. iii. 18, 19. 
Just as a man that hath been gazing upon the sun, when he takes 
off his eye from that bright and glorious creature^ and looks to the 
earth, there is a veil of darkness overspreading the face of it, that 
he can see nothing. I wonder how such as pretend to live above, 
and enjoy communion with God, can ever relish such sweetness in 
the world, or have their hearts enticed and captivated by it. 

Fiflhhj^ Remember always, that by your love and delight in world- 
ly things, you furnish the devil with the chiefest bait he hath to catch 
and destroy your souls. Alas ! were your hearts but dead to these 
things, he would want an handle to catch hold on. What hath he 
more to offer you, and tempt you off from Christ with but a little 
money, oi- some such poor temporal rewards.? and how little would that 
soul be moved by such a temptation, that looks on it all but as dirt ? 

Sixthly^ Lastly, Take notice of the approaches of eternity : re- 
member you are almost at the end of time : and when you come to 
launch out into that endless ocean, how will these things look then ? 
It seems glorious whilst you are in the chase and pursuit of it : but 
upon a death-bed you will overtake and come up with it, and then 
you will see what a deceitful and vain thing it is : stand by the beds 
of dying men, and hear how they speak of it. O ! the difference 
betwixt our apprehensions then and now ! Thus labour to wean off 
your affections, and crucify them to the world. 

2. Mortify your ambition and vain affectation of the repute and 
credit of the world : Oh stand not on so vain a thinff as this ; iudoe 

. 111. . <'o 

It but a small thmg to be judged of man, to have your names cast 
out as evil : let not scoffs and reproaches be such terrible things to 
you. It is, without doubt, a great trial ; else the Holy Ghost had 
not added a peculiar epithet to it, which is not given to any other of 
the sufferings of the saints : not cruel tortures, nor cruel stonings, 
burnings, slaying with the sword ; but cruel mochings^ Ilcb. xi. 36. 
Yet learn to be dead to, and unaffected with these things ; set the 
reproaching world as light and as low as it sets you : Despise the 
shame, as your master Christ did, Heb. xii. 2. And to promote 
mortification in this, take these helps. 

1. Consider this is no new or strange thing that hath happened to 
you : the holiest of men have past through the like, if not \vorse 
trials, Heb. x. 33. Psal. xliv. 14. Reproaches have been the lot of 
the best men. They called Athanasius, Sathanasius; Cyprianus, 
Coprianus, a gatherer of dung ; blessed Paul, 3i pestilent JellOiC ; Dr. 
Story threw a faggot at sweet Mr. Denlie's face as he was singing a 
psalm in the midst of the flames, saying, //(f«fe spoiled a good old song. 

2. It may be religion hath been reproached and scoffed at for your 
sakes ; and if so, think it not much to be reproached for religion's 
sake. 



56 PllErARATlOXS FOR SUFFErvIXGS ; OR, 

S. It is much better to be reproached by men for discharging dut}'^ 
than by your own consciences for the neglect of it ; if all be quiet 
withiD, never be moved at the noise and clamour without : If you 
have a good roof over your head, be not troubled though the winds 
and storms bluster abroad, 1 Pet. iv. 14. Take heed what you do, 
and be heedless what the world says. 

4. Always remember, that you neither stand nor fall at the world^s 
judgment, and therefore have the less reason to be troubled at it, 
] Cor. iv. 3. If your condition were to be cast to eternity by it, it 
were somewhat. 

5. There is a worth and excellency in the reproaches of Christ, as 
bad as they seem ; and such an excellency, as it is not to be matched 
by any earthly enjoyment, Heb. xi. ^6. The reproaches of Christ are 
of more worth than the treasures of Egyjot, though Egypt then was 
the magazine of the world for treasures. The apostles counted them 
their honours, Acts v. 41. When Ludovicus Marsacus, a knight of 
France, saw those that were to suffer with him in the chains, and that 
they put none upon him, because of the nobility of his birth, he 
said to the executioner. Cur me non quoque torqui donast et illustris 
illius ordin'is fnilitem non creas ? ' "Why do ye not honour me with 
* a chain too, and create me a knight of that noble order .^' 

6. Lastly^ Should scoffs and reproaches scare you from Christ and 
duty ; then, though you should escape the reproaches of men, yet 
shall you fall under the everlasting contempt of God, angels, and 
good men. Therefore, " Fear ye not the reproaches of men that 
^' shall die, nor be afraid of their revilings, for the moth shall eat 
" them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool, 
" but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from 
" generation to generation," Isa. li. 7, 8. 

3. Mortify your inordinate affections of liberty, pleasure, and de- 
licate living. O let not a prison seem so formidable to you. It is 
true, as Christ told Peter, in John xxi. 18. " When thou wast young, 
" thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldst ; but 
" when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thine hands, and 
" another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldst not." 
You have now your liberty to go whither you will, and it is a pre- 
cious mercy if well improved ; the birds of the air (as one saith) had 
rather be in the woods at liberty, though lean and hungry, than in 
a golden cage with the richest fare. But yet, if God will call you to 
deny this also for Christ, see that you be ready to be bound as Paul 
was, and receive tlie chain and bonds of Christ with thanksgiving r 
To which end consider, 

1. That the affliction, in such cases of restraint, is more from with- 
in, than from without you. There is no place but may be delectable 
to you, if your heart be heavenly, and the presence of God be en- 
gaged w ith you. AVhat a sweet night had Jacob at Bethel ! Paul and 
Silas in the stocks ! See that precious letter of Pomponius Algerius. 



THE BKST WORK IN THE WORST TI>rF:?:. 57 

* Transtulit in cochim Chrlsti prcesentia claiistrum ; 
Qukljciciet coclo ? quce cocliimjam creat antra. 

It is your own unbelief and Impatiency that gives you more trou" 
hie than the condition. 

2. No keeper can keep the comforter from you, if you be the Lord's 
prisoners^ Acts xvi. If they could bar out the Spu'it from you, it 
would be a dismal place indeed : But ordinarily, there the saints 
have their clearest visions of God^ and ^weeic'sX presence of the Spirit. 
You are the JuOVi^^s freemen^ v/hilst men's prisoners : All the world 
cannot divest you of the state of liberty Christ hath purchased for 
you, John viii. 36. 

3. Thougli a prisonlooks sad and dismal, yet it is not hell: OK 
bless God for that, that is a sad prison indeed ! Beloved, men have 
their jirisons, and God hath his : God's prison is a terrible jjrison 
indeed, thousands are now there in chains, 1 Pet. iii. 19- and there 
you deserved to have been sent long ago : If God exchange an hell 
for a prison, have you any cause to complain ? 

4. How obdurate and cruel soever men are to you, yet tlie Lord 
Jesus is kind and tender-hearted to Xyvs prisoners ; he puts the kind- 
nesses that any shew them upon his own account, Matth. xxv. 36. 
" He looks down from heaven to hear the sighings and groanings 
" of his prisoners,^ Psal. cii. 20. He will tenderly sympathize with 
you in all your prison-straits and troubles. 

5. A prison hath been handselled and perfumed by the best and 
holiest of men in all ages, 1 Kings xxii. 27. Jer. xxxii. 2. iVIat. iv. 
12. Acts V. 18. and xxvi. 10. God hath made it a settled ,sc/iooZ of 
discipline to them. 

6. Should, you, to avoid a prison, commit a sin, instead of being 
man's lyrisoner, you shall be clapt up by God, for he hath a prison for 
your souls even in this world, Psal. cxlii. 7. And this is ten thousand 
times more dreadful than any dungeon in the world. Oh it is a dark 
2)rison I nothing to let in the least beam of Gods countenance upon 
3^our poor souls. What a sad exchange have you made then.? 

7. Consider what a ground of comfort God hath laid in that word, 
llev. ii. 10. to obviate the fears and terrors incident to us in such a 
condition : God hath limited Satan and his instruments, both for 
time, number, and all circumstances of the trial. 

8. Lastly, You do not know what a mercy may be in it : It may^ 
be a time of retirement from the world, and the clamours and dis- 
tractions that are abroad. These days of imprisonment may be your 
holy-days ; as a prisoner of Christ once called them. 

4. Get an heart mortified to the excessive and inordinate love of 
life : This, I confess, is the highest and hardest point of self-denial, 
because it wraps up all other self-interests in it. But yet consider, 

* If the presence of Christ once changed a prison into a kind of heaven, what wil 
it do in heaven itself, vhich tven here doth make a dungeon like heaven ? 

D d4 



58 PEEPAIIATIOXS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OK, 

First, Though life be very dear, yet Jesus Christ is ten thousand 
times dearer than thy life : If you be a saint he is the life of thy 
life, and the length of thy days ; and in comparison of him and his 
glorv, saints should, and have despised and slighted their lives, Luke 
xiv/26. Rev. xii. 11. 

Secondly, Die you must : and if by shrinking from Christ you 
should protract a miserable life for a few days longer, in the mean 
time losing that which is better than life, Psal. Ixiii. 3. Mat. x. 39- 
Oh ! -when you lie upon your death-bed, you will wish that you had 
obeyed God's call, and so have departed in peace. 

Thii'dly, If you have cordially covenanted with Christ, (as all sin- 
cere believers have done,) then you have yielded up your lives to 
him, to be disposed of for his glory, Rom. xiv. 7. So that, look as 
Christ both lived and died for you ; so 02ight you to live as Christ : 
And all the excellency you see in life consists in that reference and 
subserviency it hath to his gloiy. I say then, if you have under- 
standingly and cordially transacted in a covenant-way with him> 
your care will not be so much how to shun death, as by what death 
you may most glorify God, John xxi. 19. And certainly you can 
never lay them down upon a more honourable and comfortable 
account than in his cause, and for his sake. It was a great trouble 
to Luther, that he carried his blood to his grave. 

Fourthly^ To die for Christ, is one of the highest testifications of 
jour love to Christ, that you are capable of, John xiii. 37. Yea, it 
is such a testification of your love to the Lord Jesus, as angels are 
not capable of making. 

Fifthly, Why should you decline even a violent death for Christy 
when as the bitterness of death is past, and there is no hell following 
the ijale horse ? It cannot separate you from Christ, Rom. viii. 38. 

Sixthly, Think what a death Christ suffered for you : In which the 
fulness of the wrath both of God and man met together, so that he 
was sore amazed ; yet with desire did he desire it for your sakes. 

7. Lastly, Think what a life you shall have with Christ as soon 
as this is delivered up to, and for him, 2 Tim. ii. \% It is but wink, 
and vou shall see God. 

Oh that these things might provoke you to follow on, and ply the 
work of mortijication. 



CHAP. XL 

Wherein is opened the singular advantage that suffering saints have 
by their slcill and insights into the methods and mysteries of Satan'' s 
temptations : some of those wiles of Satan opened, and rules for 
the avoiding of the danger brief y prescribed. 

J HE hazards and dangers of Christians in times of persecution, 
arise not so much from their sufferings, as from the tempta- 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 5^ 

tions that always attend, and are by Satan planted upon their suffer- 
ino-s : for the most part, sufferings and temptations go together, Heb. 
xl. 37. And therefore it behoves such as are, or expect to be called 
to sufferings, to dive into the mysteries of temptations, and be well 
acquainted with the enemy's designs upon them. So was Paul, and 
so he supposes all others to be that engage in the same cause : " We 
" are not ignorant of his devices," 2 Cor. ii. 11. There is a mani- 
fold advantage redounding to suffering saints thereby. 

1. He that is well acquainted with the methods of temptation, 
will be better able to descry the first approaches and beginnings of it, 
and a temptation discovered, is more than half conquered. It is a 
special artifice of Satan to shuffle in his temptations as undiscernibly 
as may be into the soul ; for he knows, that " in vain is the net 
" spread in the sight of any bird,'' Prov. i. 17. And therefore he 
ordinarily makes a suffering season to be a tempting season ; because 
sufferings, like fire to iron, make it impressive and operable, they do 
ordinarily put the soul into an hurry and distraction, and so gives him 
an advantage to tempt thesoul with less suspicion andgreater success. 
liut now, a skilful Christian that is acquainted with his wiles, will 
discern when hehegms to eiite?' into teinptation; as Christ's cxpresssiou 
is, Luke xxii. 46. And so check the temptation in its first rise when 
it is weakest, and most easily broken. Doubtless one reason why so 
many fall by temptation is, because it is got within them, and hath 
prevailed far before it be discovered to be a temptation. 

2. He that is well acquainted with Satan's methods of tempting, 
will not only discern it sooner than another; but also knows his 
work and duty, and how to manage the conflict with it, which is a 
great matter. There are many poor souls that labour under strong 
temptations, and know not what to do : They go up and down com- 
plaining from Christian to Christian, whilst the judicious Christian 
plies to the throne of grace with strong cries, see 2 Cor. xii. 8. 
keeps up his watch, Luke xxii. 46. countermines the temptation, by 
assaulting that corruption^ by endeavours of mortification^ which 
Satan assaults by temptation, 1 Cor. ix. 27. 

3. Lastly, To name no more ; he that is best acquainted with the 
mystery of temptation^ and can maintain his ground againstit, he shall 
be the preserving Christian under persecutions, and the victorious 
Christianover them. Here lies the main design of Satan, in raisingper- 
secution against the saints. It is not so much their blood that he thirst- 
eth after, as their fall by temptation : and all persecutions are design- 
ed by him to introduce his temptations. These work upon our fear, 
and feai' drives us into his trains and snares, Prov. xxix. 25. The 
devil's work in raising persecution, is but as the fowler's work in beat* 
ing the bush in the night, when the net is spread to take the birds^ 
which he can affright out of their coverts. He that understands that, 
is not easily moved by the strongest opposition, from his place and 



eo 



TREPARATION'S FOR SUrFEIlIXCS ; OR, 



duty ; and so is like to prove the most constant and invincible Chris- 
tian in times of persecution. 

Oh ! then, how necessary is it, that since all persecutions are in- 
tended as means to promote temptation, and that skill and insight 
into these designs of Satan so advantages as to frustrate his designs 
in both ? I say, how necessary is it that you should be all instructed 
wherein the strength of temptation lies ; as also how to resist those 
strong and dangerous temptations, which your sufferings only are 
intended to usher in, and make way for ? 

It will not be unseasonable or impertinent, then, in this clrapter, 
to shew you, First, Wherein the force and efficacy of temptation 
iieth ; Secondlij, What you are to do, when in a suffering hour such 
temptation shall assault you. And first. 

Quest. Wherein doth the efficacy and power of temptation lie ? 

Sol. I answer. It lies principally in three things. 

I. In the kind and nature of the temptation. 

II. In the craft and policy of Satan in managing it. 

III. In that secret correspondency that Satan hath with our cor- 
ruptions. 

I. It lies in the kind and nature of the temptation itself; for it is 
most certain, that all temptations are not alike forcible and danger- 
ous. Some are ordinarily more successful than others ; and such 
are these that follow. 

1. Strange and unusual temptations, I mean not such as none have 
been troubled with before us; for there is not a dart in Satan's 
quiver, but hath been let fly at the breasts of other saints, before it 
was levelled at ours, 1 Cor. x. 13. But by strange and unusual, I 
mean such as the people of God are but rarely troubled with, and 
possibly we were never exercised with before. These are the more 
dangerous, because they daunt and amaze the soul, and ordinarily 
beget despondency, even as some strange disease would do that we 
know not what to make of, nor can learn that others have been 
sick of. 

2. Mark them for most dangerous temptations, that are adapted 
and suited to your proper sin, or evil cojistitutiou : For certainly 
that is the most dangerous crisis of temptation when it tries a man 
there. Now, if he be not truly gracious, he falls by the root irre- 
coverably, Luke xxii. 5, 6. Or if sincere, yet without special assis- 
tance, and extraordinary vigilance, he falls scandalously, 2 Sam. xi. 
2. compared with 1 Sam. xvi. 12. 

S. When it is a spiritual temptation, which rises undiscernibly out 
of the Christian's duties. This is the less suspected, because tempta- 
tions usually come from the strength Sind.\\\e\messo\^ corruptions; but 
this, from the slaughter and conquests we make of them. Duties, 
and enlargements in them, which are the poison of other lusts, prove 
the food and fuel of this, 1 Cor. iv. 7, 8. And how much the more 



THE T?KST OF WOllK IX THE A^'ORST TIMES. 61 

Covert and close any temptation is, by so much the more dangerous 
it is. 

II. The strength and effiacy of temptation hes much in the skill 
and policy of Satan in the management of it : And hence they are 
called wiles, methods and devices, 2 Cor. ii. 11. Eph. vi. 11. and 
himself an old serpent, Rev. xii. 9. And among the rest of his 
deep and desperate stratagems these following are remarkable. 

1. In employing such instruments to manage his temptations as arc 
least suspected, and have the greatest influence. J Teacher^ Gal. ii. 
14. A w'lfe^ Gen iii. 6. Jobii. 9. Friends^ Acts xxi. 13. The devil 
knows it is a bad business, and therefore must make the best of it ; 
Paul's sorest trial was by his dearest friends. 

2. In the orderly disposition and ranging of his temptations, begin- 
ning with little things first, and then by degrees working over to 
greater. His first motions are commonly most modest. Gen. iii. 1. 
Should he discover the depth of his design at first, it would startle 
the soul, and make it reply as Hazaei, " Am I a dog that I should 
" do thus.'*" It is far easier to gain his end by parts, than putting 
for all at once. 

r3. In endeavouring to engage the soul upon his own ground. I 
mean to tempt him from his station and duty where God sets, and 
expects to find him. He knows while you are with God, God is 
with you, 2 Chron. xv. 2. Whilst a man abides there, he abides 
with God, 1 Cor. vii. 24. Whilst he is there, the promise is a good 
breast-work to keep off all his darts : And therefore, as fishers, when 
they have spread their nets in the river, beat the fishes out of their 
coverts and caverns ; so doth Satan. 

4. In not presenting the temptation, till the soul be prepared to 
receive it. He loves to strike when the iron is hot. He first lets 
their troubles come to an height, brings them to the prison, gibbet, 
or fire, and then offers them deliverance, Heb. xi. 35, 37. 

5. In tiring our souls with a long continuance of temptations. 
What he cannot win by a sudden storm he hopes to gain by a tedious 
siege. Forty days together he assaulted the Captain of our salvation, 
Mark i. 13. And truly it is a wonder the soul yields not at last, that 
hath been tried long, Psal. cxxv. 3. " When the rod of the wicked 
" lies long upon the back of the righteous, it is much if he put not 
" forth his hand to iniquity." 

6. In falling most violently upon them, when they are lowest and 
most prostrate in their spirits and comforts: So heassaulted Job witha 
temptation, to curse God mid die, when he sat in that deplorable state 
upon the dunghill, Job ii. 8, 9. He loves to fall upon us, as Simeon 
and Levi did upon the Shechemites, when we are sore and wounded : 
And therefore ordinarily you find times of c/it^m^ desoiionstohe times 
of diabolical temptations. So that, look, as the wild beasts of the desart 
come out of their dens in the night, and then roar after their prey, 



62 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

Psal. civ. 20. so doth Satan, when the soul seems to be benighted ancf 
lost in the darkness of spiritual troubles. 

And this is the second thing wherein the efficacy and strength of 
temptation lies. 

III. Lastly, It lies in that secret correspondency Satan holds with 
our bosom enemies. Were it not for this domestic traitor, he could not 
surprize us so easily : As you see in Christ ; he could do nothing be- 
cause he found nothing to fasten a temptation on. He was like a 
chrystal glass filled with pure fountain water : So that though he 
should have been agitated and shaken never so much by temptation, 
yet no filthy sediment could appear ; but now we have an enemy 
within that holds intelligence with Satan without ; and this would 
prove a dc-v'il to us, if there were no other devil to tempt us, Jam. i. 
14, 15. It is a fountain of temptation in itself Matth. xv. 19. and 
the chief instrument by which Satan doth all his tempting work, 
2 Pet. i. 4. 

Our several passions and affections are the handles of his tempta- 
tions. Every thing, saith Epictetus, hath buo Xa^ag, two handles to 
take it by. Our affections are the handles of our souls. The temp- 
tation of self-confidence and pride takes hold of a daring and for- 
ward disposition, the temptation of apostasy upon a timorous disposi- 
tion, &c. These inbred lusts go over to the enemy in the day of 
battle, and fight against the soul, 1 Pet. ii. 11. This is a more dan- 
gerous enemy than the devil. It is true they both work against us, 
but with a double difference. Satan works externally and ohjectively ; 
but lust internally and jyhysically, i. e. quoad maferale, as it is capable 
of physical efficiency. " Sin wrought in me all manner of concupi- 
" scence," Rom. vii. 8. Yea, it is a subtle enemy that doth his busi- 
ness politicly, Rom. vii. 11 Sin deceived me ; it betrays with a kiss, 
strangles with a silken halter, Heb. ii. 12. Eph. vii. 22. These be his 
agents sitting at the coimcil-table in our own breasts, and there carrying 
on his designs effectually : Yea, it is the restless and perpetual ene- 
my, no ridding your hands of him. Satan is sometimes put to flight 
by resistance, Jam. iv. 7. and sometimes ceases his temptations, Luke 
iv. 13. But when he ceaseth to teiiipt and inject, thisceaseth not to 
irritate and solicit ; where we are, it will be ; it is our sad lot to be 
tied to it, and perpetually assaulted by it, Rom. vii. 24. We may say 
of it as Hannibal said of Marcellus, that it is never quiet, whether 
a conqueror, or conquered ; yea, it is a potent enemy too, it hauls 
men away to the commission of sin. Jam. i. 14. it seizeth the maga- 
zine of the soul, and delivers up the arms, I mean the members, to 
be orr'/.d abiz/ccg, weapons of unrighteousness. 

Thus you see wherein the efficacy and power of temptation con- 
sists. And it miglitily concerns you that are, or expect to be suffer- 
ers for Christ, to be acquainted with these things, and know where 
the strength of your enemy lies. 

But how shall the suffering saint so manage himself in a suffering 



THE BEST WORK IX THE WORST TIMES. 63 

liour, as not to be captivated by temptations ? This brings me upon 
the second thing I promised ; viz. to prescribe some rules for the 
escaping or conquering of those temptations that arc incidental to a 
suffering state. And first, 

1. Rule. Labour to cut off the advantages of temptations before 
they come. It is our inordinate love to life, estate, liberty, and ease, 
that gives the temptations so much strength upon us. Do not over- 
value them, and you will more easily part from them. Rev. xii. 11. 
O mortify self-love, and creature-love ; let your heart be loosened 
and weaned from them, and then the temptation hath lost its strength, 

2. Rule. Secure to yourselves an interest in the heavenly glory. 
When once you clearly see your propriety in the kingdom above, you 
will set the hghter and lower by all things on earth. That is a preg- 
nant text to this purpose, Heb. x. 34. It is our darkness and un, 
certainties about those that make us cling so fast to these. 

3. Rule. Settle this principle in your heart as that which you will 
never depart from, that it is better for you to fall into any suffering, 
than into the least sin, Heb. xi. 24, 25. This all will acknowledge, 
but how iew practise it ! Oh that you would practically understand 
and receive it ! Suffering is but a respective^ external, and temporal 
evil ; but sin is an universal, internal, and everlasting evil. 

4. Rule. Believe that God hath cursed and blasted all the ways of 
sin, that they shall never be a shelter to any soul that flies for refuge 
to them, Mark viii. 35. Prov. xiii. 15. The way of transgressors 
is a hard and difficult M^ay. There is no security in the way of ini- 
quity. He that runs from suffering to sin, runs from the seeming to 
the real danger ; from the painted to the living lion. 

5. Rule. Live up to this principle that there is no policy like sin- 
cerity and godly simplicity. This will preserve and secure you when 
carnal wisdom will expose and betray you. Psal. xxv. 2. Job ii. 3. 
Sinful policy never thrives with saints. 

6. Rule. Consider sadly what the consequence of yielding up your- 
selves to temptations will be: The name of God will be dreadfully 
reproached, 2 Sam. xii. 14. A fatal stumbling-block is laid before 
the blind world, 1 Sam. ii. 36. The hearts of many upright ones 
made sad, Psal. xxv. 3. The fall of a professor is as when a standard- 
bearer fainteth ; and a dreadful wound it will be to thine own con- 
science, 2 Cor. ii. 7. Mat. xxv. 76. One hour's sleep of security may 
keep you many days and nights waking upon the rack of horror. 

7. Rule. Never engage a temptation in your own strength, but go 
forth against it trembling in yourselves, and relying on Divine aids 
and assistances, Eph. vi. 10. What ! are you to grapple with spirits, 
to enter the lists with j^nncipaUties and powers ? Or what is your 
strength that you should hope ? 

8. Rule. Let the days of your temptation be days of strong cries 
and supplications. Thus did Paul, 2 Cor. xii. 8. Psal. cix. 4. Your 
best posture to wrestle with temptation, is upon your knees. 



6i PREPARATrONS FOU SUFrERTXGS ; ORj 

9. Rule. Dwell upon the consideration of those choice encourage^ 
ments God hath laid up in the world for such a time. As, (1.) 
Though he give Satan leave to tempt you, yet you are still in his hand 
to preserve you, Deut. xxxiii. S. John x. 28. (2.) That whilst Sa- 
tan is sifting and trying you on earth, Christ is interceding for you in 
heaven, Luke xxii. 31, 32. (3.) That an eternal reward is laid up 
for those that overcome, Luke xxii. 28, 29. Rev. xxi. 7, 8. And 
now is this reward to be won or lost. 

Lastly., Be content till God open a door out of your temptations, 1 
Cor. X. 13. The time of the promise will come. Acts vii. 17. Wait 
for it, though it tarry, and seem to be deferred ; in the end it will 
speak, and not lie, Hab. ii. 3. There was a secret door in the ark, 
though it could not be seen whilst the waters prevailed : And so there 
is in all your temptations, though at present it be not discernible by 
you. 

And thus have I brought you one step nearer to PauPs blessed 
frame. O give diligence to make yourselves ready for sufferings. 



CHAP. XII. 

SheKcth that a choice part of our preparation and readiness Jbr siif- 

firings consists in the improvement of our praying abilities^ and 

keeping close with God in that heavenly and excellent duty in days 

of suffering ; wherein also is opened the )tature and means of its 

improvement. 



X^RAYER is said to be amongst duties, as faith is amongst the 
graces. Doubtless it is of special use and service at all times to a 
Christian : But yet in suffering days it is of more than ordinary use 
and necessity, Heb. iv. 16. James v. 13. And therefore it is rec- 
koned among those choice pieces of armour which suffering saints 
are to put on, Eph. vi. 18. I will here briefly discover the necessity 
of it, and then shew you that a Christian may improve himself to 
an excellent degree in it ; and, lastly, prescribe some means for an 
improvement. 

The necessity of it to a suffering saint will demonstratively appear, 
if you consider, 

1. That this duty is the outlet of troubles, and the best wa}^ the 
poor Cliristian liath to ease his heart when surcharged with sorrow. 
Griefs are eased by groans. Such evaporations disburden and cool the 
heart, as the opening of a vein in some cases doth. Oh the sensible 
ease that comes in this v^ay ! When grief in the mind, hke vapours 
in the air, are condensed into black clouds that overspread the soul, 
and darken that beautiful light that once shone there, then prayer, 
like the sun dispels and scatters them, 1 Sam. i. 18. Many a saint, 
by prayer, hath sucked the breast of ajn'omisc, and then fell asleep by 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 65 

Divine contentment in the bosom of God. A time may come when 
thy heart is ready to break with trouble, and not a friend to whom 
thou canst open and ease it, and then blessed be God for prayer, 
Micali vii. 5, 6, 7. That which sinks others is, that when troubles 
iill and overwhelm their hearts, they try what reason, merry company, 
or outward comforts can do: But, alas! this is to palliate a cure, it 
returns again with the more violence : But prayer gives sensible re- 
lief, Psal. cii. title, Psal. Ixii. 8. For, (1.) This opens and give's a 
vent to troubles, Jer. xx. 12. (2.) It gives our troubles a diversion, 
and so a cure, Psal. v. 1. and the last verse compared. Yea^ (3.) 
By praying over them they are not only diverted, but sanctified, and 
so cease to be distracting, or destroying troubles. 

2. As it gives a vent to our troubles, so an in-let to unspeakable 
comforts and consolations. See a pregnant instance of this. Acts xvi. 
25. For, (1.) Hereby they obtain gracious answers from the Lord 
concerning their troubles, 2 Cor. xii. 9. In this also they meet the 
gracious smiles of God, which swallow up their troubles, Psal. Ixxxv. 
8. And, lastly, hereby they prevail with God to open a seasonable 
and effectual door out of all their troubles, Psal. xxxiv. 4, 6. 

3. Prayer begets and maintains holy courage and magnanimity in 
evil times. When all things about you tend to discouragement, it is 
your being with Jesus that makes you bold. Acts iv. 13. He that 
uses to be before a great God, will not be afraid to look such little 
things as men are in the face. The woman clothed with the sun, 
had the moon under her feet. And what need you have of courage 
in evil times, hath been already shewed. 

4. This is a duty you may perform at any time, or in any condi- 
tion : No adversary can cut you off from it. It cannot be said so of 
many other duties. None can hinder the intercourse betwixt hea- 
ven and your souls: You may perform it in a prison. Acts xvi. 25. 
in a banished condition, Psal. Ixi. 2. And so is fitted for a suffering 
condition. 

Lastly, You must strive to excel in this, forasmuch as no grace 
within, or service without, can thrive without it. God hath ordained 
the whole work of grace to grow up to perfection this way, Judg. 
xix. 20. He will have all mercies fetched out this way, Ezek. xxxvi. 
37. Jer. xxix. 11, 12, 13. All that comes from Goi to you, or to 
you from God, must come in this channel. Be convinced then of 
the need you have to improve yourselves herein, as ever you hope to 
stand in the evil day. 

But how are these praying abilities capable of improvement in the 
people of God ? 

Prayingabilities areeither external and common, or else internal and 
special. The external and common ability is nothing else but that 
dexterity and skill men get to express themselves to God in prayer. 
Thus many can put their meaning into apt and decent expressions. 



66 PHEPARATtOXS FOR Stl'FEKIXGS ; OK, 

to which the Spirit sometimes adds his common touches upon the 
affections. And this hypocrites rest on, and glory in. Or else they 
are special and internal, whereby men are enabled to pour out their 
souls to God in a gracious manner. And this may be considered either 
in the habit or the act. The habit is given by the Spirit, when the 
principles of grace are first infused into the soul, Zech. xii. 10. Acts 
ix. 11. By being sanctified we are made near, and by acting those 
principles in prayer we are said to draw near, Psal. x. 17. Now in 
our actual drawing near to God^ the Spirit hath the chief and prin- 
cipal hand : And his assistance therein is threefold. 

1. He excites the heart to the duty ; it is he that whispers to the 
soul to draw nigh to God, Psalm xxvii. 8. 

S. He suggests the matter of our prayers, and furnishes us with the 
materials, Rom. viii. 26. guiding us as to the matter, not only to 
what is lawful, but also to what is expedient for us. 

3. He stirreth up suitable affections in prayer, Rom. viii. 26. 
And hence those groans and tears, those gaspings and vehement anhe- 
lation. But notwithstanding all our abilities, both habitual and ac- 
tual, be from the Spirit, and not from ourselves, yet are they capable 
of improvement by us : For though in respect of acquirement, there 
be a great difference betwixt natural and supernatural habits, yet 
theh' improvement is in the same way and manner ; and this improve- 
ment may be made divers ways : For, 

First, Though you have the Spirit, and can pray, yet you may 
learn to pray more humbly than before : Though you rise no higher 
as to words, yet you may learn to lay yourselves lower before the 
Lord, as Abraham and Ezra did, Gen xviii. 27. Ezra ix. 6. 

Secondly, You may learn to pray with more sincerity than formerly : 
Ah ! there is much hypocrisy and Jbrm edit ij in our 2)r ay e?'s, much 
of custom, &c. Now you may learn to pour out more aordial jpraye?'S, 
See Psal. xvii. 1. Psal. cxix. 10. 

Thirdly, You may learn to pray with more zeal and earnestness 
than before : Some saints have excelled and been remarkable for this, 
Dan. ix. 19. Hosea xii, 4. James v. 16. 

Fourthly, With more assiduity and readiness at all times for it, 
Eph. vL 18. Praying always, with all prayer. Hence Christ gives 
that commendation to the church, Cant. iv. 11. "Thy lips, O my 
** spouse, drop as the honey-comb.'' The honey-comh often drops, 
but always hangs full of drops ready to fall. 

Fifthly, You may learn to pray with more faith : Oh the qualms 
of unbelief that go over our hearts in a duty; faith is the soul of 
prayer, and according to the faith God finds in them, he accepts 
and values them. Now in all these things you may improve your- 
selves abundantly. 

1. By being more frequent in the duty, Job xxii. 21. " Ac- 
*' quaint thyself with the Almighty ;" in the Hebrew it is, accustom 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 07 

thyself: Those that have been excellent have also been abundant 
in it, Psal. xv. 17. 

2. By taking heed that you grieve not the Spirit, on whose influ- 
ences and assistances you so entirely depend : Even as much as a 
ship doth upon the gales of wind for its motion. 

ii. By honouring the Spirit which enables you to pray, and that 
especially two ways; (1.) By dependence on him; go not forth in 
your own strength to the duty, trust not to your own promptness, 
or preparations. (2.) By returning, and with thankfulness ascrib- 
ing the praise of all to him ; be humble under all enlargements : say, 
Not /, hut grace. 

4. By searching your own hearts, and examining your necessities 
and wants, when you draw nigh to God ; this will be a fountain of 
matter, and give you a deep resentment of the worth of mercies 
prayed for. 

5. Lastly, By looking more at the exercise of graces, and less at 
the discovery of parts ; by labouring for impressions more, and 
pumping for expressions less. And thus I have briefly shewed you 
how to furnish yourselves with this needful qualification also. 



CHAP. XIII. 



Wherein is shewed the necessity of going out of ourselves, even when 
our habitual and actual preparations are at the greatest height ; 
and depending as constantly and entirely upon the Spirit^ who is 
Lo7^d of all gracious influences, as if we had done nothing : Toge- 
ther with the means qjf^ working the heart to such a frame. 

A HUS you have seen your habitual and actual readiness for 
sufi*erings, and blessed is the soul that gives diligence to this 
work : But now lest all that T have said and you have wrought, 
should be in vain ; I must let you know, that all this will not secure 
you, unless you can, by humility, faith, and self-denial, go out of 
yourselves to Christ, and live upon him daily for supply of grace, as 
much as if you had none of all this furniture and provision for suf- 
ferings. I confess grace is a very beautiful and lovely creature, and 
it is hard for a man to look upon his own graces, and not doat upon 
them. But yet know, that if you had all these excellent prepara- 
tions that have been mentioned, yea, and all angelical perfections 
superadded, yet are you not complete without this dependence upon 
Christ, Col. ii. 10. Whenever you go forth to suffer for Christ, 
you should say at the head of all your excellent graces, duties, and 
preparations, as Jehoshaphat did, when at tlie head of a puissant and 
mighty army, 2 Chron. xx. 12. '' O Lord, I have no might nor 
*• strength, but my eyes are unto tliee.'' This is one thing in which 
Paul excelled, and was a special part of his readiness. See 1 Cor. 
Vol. VI. E 



C8 PREPARAtlONS FOR SL'FFERIXGS ; OR, 

XV. 10. What a poor creature is the eminentest saint, left to him- 
self in an hour of trial ? the hop^ the ivy, and the zvoodbine, are 
taught by nature to cling about stronger props and supporters : 
What they do by nature, /we should do by grace. 

The necessity and great advantage of this will appear upon divers 
considerations. 

Consid. 1. The Christian's own imbecility and insufficiency, even 
in the strength and height of all his acquirements and preparations ; 
what are you, to grapple with such an adversary ? Certainly you are 
no match for him that conquered Adam hand to hand in his state of 
integrity. It is not your inherent strength that enables you to stand, 
but what you receive and daily derive from Jesus Christ, John xv. 
5. " Without me," or never so little separated from me, " ye can 
" do nothing ; all your sufficiency is of God," 2 Cor. iii. 5. Upon 
this very consideration it was, that the>apostle exhorts the Ephesians 
" to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might," i. e. not 
to depend upon their own stock and furniture ; but Divine assist- 
ances and daily communications; " For we wrestle not with flesh 
" and blood, but principalities and powers," Eph. vi. 10, 12. In his 
own strength shall no man prevail. 

Consid. 9j. It is the great design of God In tlie gospel to exalt his 
Son, and to have all glory attributed and ascribed to him, " That in 
" all things he might have the pre-eminence," Col. i. 18. That 
Christ " might be all in all," Col. iii. 11. Hence no saint must have 
a self-sufficiency, or be trusted with a stock as Adam was, but Christ 
being filled with all the fulness of God, and made the 'rc^uirov hz-alixov, 
or first receptacle of all grace ; " For it pleased the Father, that in 
" him all fulness should dwell;" all the saints are therefore to go to 
him for supplies, and of his fulness to receive, John i. 16. This ful- 
ness being a mmisterial fulness, like that of the sun, or of a fountain,, 
intended to supply all our wants. And hence it is that faith, a self- 
emptying and denying grace, is appointed to be the instrument 
of fetching our supplies from Christ. All must be derived from 
him, that all the praise and glory may be ascribed to him, Phil. iv» 
14. And this is a most wise and congruous ordination of God, for 
hereby not only are his people the better secured, but by this also 
the reproach that lay upon Christ is rolled away. He was reproach- 
ed on earth, as barren, empty, weak ; " Can any good come out of 
" Nazareth .? He was looked upon as a " Root springing out of a 
" dry ground," but by this shall his reproach be wiped away : So 
that unless you will go about to cross the great design of God, in 
the exaltation of his Christ, you must go out of yourselves, and 
liumbly and constantly rely upon supplies from Christ and his grace 
to help in the times of need. 

Consid. 3. A Christian is constantly to depend upon Christ, not- 
withstanding all his own preparations and inherent qualifications: be- 
cause the activity even of inherent grace depends upon him. Inhe- 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 69 

rent o-race is beholden to exciting and assisting grace for all it is en- 
abled to do. You cannot act a grace without his Spirit, 1 Cor. xv. 
10. 2 Cor. iii. 5. John xv. 5. It may be said of grace in us, as it was 
" of the land of Canaan, Deut. xi. 10, 11, 12. " It is not as the 
" land of Egypt, whence ye came out, where thou sowed st thy seed, 
" and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs : but a land of 
" hills and vallies, drinking water of the rain of heaven ; a land 
" which the Lord thy God careth for : his eyes are always upon it, 
" from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year." As 
the hfe and fragrancy of vegetables depend on the influences of hea- 
ven, so do our graces upon Christ. And hence he is called, (1.) A 
root, Isa. xi. 10. (2.) An head, Col. i. 18. (3.) A sun, Mai. iv. 
2. (4.) A fountain, Zech. xiii. 1. All which comparisons do fully 
carry this truth in them. 

Consid. 4. Lastly, In this life of dependence lies your security ; 
and indeed this is the great difference betwixt the two covenants. In 
the first, Adam's stock was in his own hands, and so his security or 
misery depended upon the unconstrained choice of his own mutable 
and self-determining will. But now in the new covenant, all are to 
go to Christ, to depend upon him for supplies, and are so secured 
against all destructive dangers, Jude 1. 1 Pet. i. 5. Should you go 
forth in your own strength against a temptation, either your grace 
would fail, and you fall in the conflict ; or if you obtain any victory 
over it by your own strength, yet it is a thousand to one but your 
pride would conquer you, when you had conquered it: Like him that 
slew an elephant, but was himself slain by the fall of that elephant 
which he slew. But now, by this way, as God hath secured you 
against the dangers without ; so also the frame and constitution of 
this new covenant is such as prevents the danger arismg from our 
own pride too. Not Ego et Deus mens : I and my God did this; 
as was once said by a profane mouth ; " but self is abased, and the 
" Lord lifted up in his own strength," 1 Cor. v. 7. And thus I have 
briefly evinced the necessity of this daily dependence. 

But next it concerns you to know what this dependence we speak 
of is: this also I shall briefly open to you, laying down somewhat 
negatively^ and somewhat positively about it. 

1. Negatively. It is not to deny the grace wrought in us by the 
Spirit; this were both injustice and ingratitude; we may know our 
own graces so as^ to be thankful for them, though not so as to be 
proud of them, 1 Cor. xv. 10. 

2. Neg. It is not a lazy excuse from our duty : you do not depend^ 
but rather dishonour Christ, by so doing ; you must not say, because 
Christ must do all, therefore I must do nothing: but rather work 
out your salvation, because it is he that worketh both to will and to 
do, Phil. ii. 12, 13. These are not opposed, but suboi'dinated. 

15 ut then positively, it lies in three things. 
1- Positively. In seeing and acknowledging the infinite sufficiency 

E 2 



to PEEPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS; Oil, 

and fulness that is in Christ : to acknowledge him to be all in all : 
not only by way of impefration procuring all, Heb. ix. 12. but also 
by way of application, bringing home to the soul all the blessings 
purchased by his blood, and settling us in the possession of it, John 
xiv. 3. And so from first to last to eye him as the author and fini- 
sher of our faith. 

2. Posit In seeing the necessary dependence that all our graces 
have upon him. So that as you see the stream depending on the 
fountain, the beam upon the sun, the branch upon the root, the build- 
ing upon the foundation, even so do our graces upon Christ : on him 
they live, and cut off from him they die. " Our life is hid with 
" Christ in God," Col. iii. 3. When you see this, and also see that 
all your activity, and striving, is but as the hoisting up of the sails, in 
order to the motion of the ship, which can do nothing till there come 
a gale ; when you look upon your grace as a creature that must be 
upheld, fed, acted, and preserved by Christ, Col. ii. 19. then you are 
prepared for this act of dependence : As for instance, you can never 
depend upon Christ for the acting of that grace of hope, until you 
see Christ to be the prop and foundation of it, and that it depends 
upon him, as upon its cause, 1 Pet. i. 3. as upon its object, Heb. vi. 
19. and as upon its Jbundation and ground work, Col. i. 27. 

You can never depend upon Christ for your joy and comfort, 
until you see what a necessary dependence this also hath upon him, 
Phil. iii. 3. and that, both as to its being and acting, John xvi. 22. 

You can never depend upon him, for strength in any duty, until 
you see how your duties depend upon Christ, not only for the 
strength by which they are performed, John xv. 4, 5. but also for 
acceptation when they are performed, 1 Pet. ii. 5. It were easy to 
instance in any other grace. 

(3.) It lies in * looking off from your own grace whenever you are 
put upon the acting of it, (I mean in regard of any dependence upon 
it) and looking by an eye of faith for acceptation to Christ, Heb. xii. 
2. To the putting forth of which act of dependance upon Christ, 
holy ejaculations in our own on-sets upon duty, or those quick and 
vigorous Hftings up of our souls to God that way, are of special use, 
it being a duty fitted for the purpose, when there is no room for set 
and solemn prayer. And thus briefly of its nature. 

And to urge you to this duty, I shall offer these seven considera- 
tions : which, oh, that they might prevail upon your hearts, and 
make you for ever to clasp and cling about Christ more than ever 
you have done. 

Consideration 1, You have little reason to rely upon the strength of 
your own graces, for you may be easily deceived in that matter, and 
think you have much more grace than you have. How often are the 
common gifts of the Spirit mistaken for his special graces ! the sixth 
chapter to the Hebrews is able to make a man tremble in this thing. 

* A(po^<H}/Tii eig rov Tr,g zJt^sojg a^yjrr/ov. Looking oflf to the author of our faith. 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WQIIST TIMES. 71 

Consid. % Suppose you have much grace, yet Iiave you not strong 
corruptions, and may you not meet with strong temptations also ? 
He that hath less of other graces than you, may have more humihty 
and self-denial than you, and so may stand when you fall. Great en- 
largements are often attended with great temptations of pride. Sec. 

Consid. 3. Whatever measures of grace you have arrived at, yet all 
is not able to secure you from falling, if God withhold or withdraw 
his aids and influences. Abraham had more faith than ^ou, and yet 
he fell into a sin contrary to that very grace wherein he so excelled 
others. Gen. xx. 2. Job had more patience than you ; which of you 
could behave yourselves as he did, had you been in the like circum- 
stances as he was ? chap. i. 2. he is renowned for it in the scripture, 
James vi. 11. yet he fell into that sin which is contrary to this grace 
also, chap. iii. Moses had more meekness than you : " Now the man 
" Moses was the meekest man upon the earth.'' If you be but re- 
proved, and that justly for your faults, how waspish are you ? Yet 
see how this grace failed even in him, in an eminent trial of it, 
Numb. xi. 13, 14, 15. Adam was much more advantaged in this 
respect than you, being made upright, and no corruption inherent 
in him, yet he fell ; the angels more again, yet they fell. Oh when 
will you learn the vanity of self-dependence. 

Consid. 4. Nothing more provoketh the Lord to withdraw his 
Spirit, and let you fall, than this sin of self-confidence doth, Luke 
xiv. 29, 30, 31. God will teach you by sad experience your own 
weakness, and what frail and vain things you be, if you will learn 
it by no other means. 

Consid. 5. If God permit you to fall, (as doubtless he will, if you 
be self-conceited,) then the more eminent you have been, or are for 
grace, the more will the name of God be reproached by your fall. 
This will furnish the triumphs of the uncircumcised, and the lamen- 
tations of your brethren, and make them say, " How are the mighty 
" fallen !" What dismal consequents will attend your fall. 

Consid. 6. Have you not sad experience of your own weakness from 
day to day in your lesser trials.? Have you not said in some smaller 
conflicts, as David once did, " My feet had well nigh slipt." O me- 
thinks this should teach you to look more to God, and less to self. 
" If you have run with footmen, and they have wearied you in the 
" land of peace, thinJc sadly how you should contend with horses in 
*' the swellings of Jordan." Do not you see that you are but fea- 
thers in the wind of temptation .? Consult your former experiences, 
and they will tell you what weaklings you are. 

Consid. 7. Lastly, Hath Christ given you more grace than others, 
then how much more hath he obliged you to honour him thereby ? 
And is this your requital of his love ! What ! to take the crown 
from his head, and put it upon your own ! Certainly a greater in- 
j ury cannot be done to Christ than this. 

Well then, by all this be persuaded to cease from yourselves, yea, 

E3 



72 PBErARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OR, 

from your religious selves ; and to all your other preparations, add 
this as a choice one; if you do these things, you shall never fall. And 
thus you see the complete Christian in his equipage for sufferings. 



CHAP. XIV. 



Containing ihcjirst use qftliepmnthy way of conviction, discovering 
the unreadiness of' multitudes of professors for sujfering.woi'h. 

Jl OU have seen, by all that hath been spoken, what the necessary 
pre-requisites unto a suffering condition are ; and what manner of 
persons you must be, (both for habitual and actual readiness), if 
ever you honour Christ by bonds, or death for him. And I doubt 
not but your judgments and consciences yield to the evident necessity 
of these things, wherein I have placed the Christian's readiness. But, 
alas ! where shall we find among the throngs and crowds of profes- 
sors, any considerable numbers thus qualified and prepared ? To suf- 
fer for Christ is a gift that few have received. We are fallen into 
the dregs of time. O how little of primitive zeal and simplicity re- 
gains among the professors of this age ! latter times have produced 
a sort of professors of another stampand spirit. These have the light, 
but they had the love: these see more, but they cZifZand siiffe?'ed more. 
How many that are no ornament to religion, do adorn themselves 
with the name of it ! 

Now, according to this account given of a ready Christian, divers 
professing persons will be convicted of their unreadiness and stability 
to manage suffering-work : As first, 

1. The politic and hypocritical professors, whose hearts were never 
set right at first, and therefore cannot be stedfast when trials come, 
Psal. Ixxviii. 8. Their hearts were never sound in God's statutes^ and 
therefore no wonder if they be not only a shame to, but ashamed of 
their profession. Psalm cxix. 80. Never Avonder if you see that pro- 
fession which began in hyposrisy, to end in apostasy. These want 
their habitual readiness for sufferings, and so cannot drink of that 
cup: Needs must they fall when tried; and when they fall, they 
fall dreiadfully, and often irrecoverably ; for they neither have the 
seed of God in them, nor any promise of God made to them. 

And are there not many such to be found in every place ? For, 
(1.) How difficult is it to persuade many of you to any duty that 
hath loss or hazard attending on it ? Doth not the sincere heart 
stand inclinable and disposed to all the known will of God.? Psalm 
cxix. 6. Do Christians use to enquire more what is cheap, easy, and 
safe for them, or v.hat is their duty ? Gal. i. 16. Speak conscience, 
for to thee do I appeal ; art thou not conscious of some reserves limi- 
tations, and exceptions ? Doth not the man, like Naaman, desire 
the Lord to excuse and pardon him in this or that thing ? 2 Kings v. 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 73 

17. And thinkest thou that this is consistent with sincere obedience, 
which excepts no duty, nor quarrels with any command, because they 
all flow equally from the sovereignty of God, Jam. ii. 11. and so 
doth what it doth intuitu vohmtatus, upon the siglit of God's will. 
Say conscience, are there not great strugglings, disputes, and contests 
betwixt thee and fleshly interests in such cases ? And art thou not 
frequditly over-borne ? O search your hearts in this particular. 

Yea, secondly, I appeal to you, whether there be not many among 
you that choose sin rather than affliction ? This is always the hypo- 
crite's option and choice : He judges sufferings the greatest evils, and 
so orders himself in his election. It was merely to avoid persecution 
that those hypocrites. Gal. vi. 12. constrained others to be cir- 
cumcised only to gratify the Jews ; that so by a sinful compliance 
with them, the offence of the cross might cease. If Paul would have 
done so, he might have avoided it too, but he durst not whatever he 
suffered. Gal. v. 11. O this is a shrewd sign of a false heart. Job 
xxxvi. 21. And the contrary disposition is always found in the up- 
right heart, Heb. xi. 25. 

Nay, are there not some that have, and others that are ready to 
throw up their professions, when they see into what difficulties it in- 
volves them ? Whilst they could live upon the profession of truth, 
they entertained it ; but when truth comes to live upon them, thev 
thrust it out, and cry, aw^ay with this profession, it will beggar and 
undo us : They then repent of their forwardness, and secretly wish 
they had never engaged in it. O examine whether your hearts be 
not thus turned back, and your steps dechned. If so, it is manifest 
you are hypocritical professors, and that it was some outward self-re- 
spect at first engaged you in your profession, but can never enable you 
to hold out when difficult days come. I say it is manifest by this 
departure from your profession, that some outward self-respect at 
first allured you to it. As now, when I behold the artificial mo- 
tions of the wheels in a watch, and see how regularly the needle marks 
the journal-hours of the sun upon the flat of the quadrant, and see 
nothing that moves or guides it; it would cause admiration if I had 
never seen it before, or did not understand the cause and motion ; 
but when I look upon the other side, and there find wheels, ressorts, 
and counterpoises, and a spring that causes all those motions, I cease 
to wonder. Certainly some lust or other was the spring of all thy re- 
ligious motions; stop or take off that, and motion ceases-: And if it 
be so, this scab of hypocrisy will at last break out into that botch of 
apostasy. Thou canst never hold out long under trials, Matth. xiii. 
21. Oh how many such sad sights may we live to see as trials come I 
Difficult times are coming on, 2 Tim. iii. 1. And woe to such then 
as want sincerity at the bottom of their profession. 

2. And as these have no habitual readiness for sufferings, and, 
consequently, must be ruined by them, so there are others that may 

E 4 



7'i prwEPAiiATioxs Fon sufferings; or, 

be truly godly, and have the root of the matter in them, who are 
yet far from an actual readiness, and so continuing, are like to be a 
reproach to religion when their trial comes : for it is not a little grace 
in the sleepy habit that will secure you from falling scandalously by 
the hand of temptation : and although that seed of God which is in 
you vnW recover you again, and prevent total and final apostasy, yet. 
Oh, consider what a sad thing it is to enter into, and be conquered 
by temptation, to be led away in triumph by the tempter, and made 
a reproach to Christ. O it is a sad consideration to think how many 
there be amongst the people of God, that discover little or no actual 
preparations for sufferings : As first, 

1. Upon how many of the saints is the spirit of slumber poured 
out ? Even the wise, as well as foolish, seem now to be asleep. There 
is a twofold spiritual sleep, the first is total, upon wicked men : and it 
is one of God's sorest and dreadfullest strokes upon their souls, Isa. 
xxix. 10. * The Hebrew word there is the same with that which is 
used of Adam, when God cast him into that deep sleep whilst he took 
out his rib. And in 2 Tim. ii. 26. it signifies such a sleep as that 
which is occasioned by drunkenness ; out of such a sleep doth the 
Lord awaken all that are saved, and they never fall into it any more. 
The other is partial, Cant v. 2. and is incident to the people of 
God, Matth. xxv. 5. This is nothing else but the torpor or slug- 
gishness of Spirit which seizeth upon the saints; and never did it pre- 
vail, I fear, among them more than now. For where is their activity 
for God ? Where is he that stirreth up himself to take hold of God ? 
Isa. Ixiv. 7. Where is there such a generation as that, Psal. xxiv. 6. 
We pray, confer, and hear, for the most part, but, as men speak, be- 
twixt sleeping and waking. Where can you find, except here and 
there one, that hath a quick and lively sense of God's indignation 
upon him, or that trembles at his judgments ? Is not that the very 
case of the most ^. hich God describes, Isa. xlii. ult. 

2. How many are seized by a private and worldly Spirit, every 
man turning to his own house, and eagerly pursuing the world? Hab. 
i. 9. Jer. xlv. 4, 5. Oh ! how are we intangled in the wilderness ? 
How doth the world eat up our time, and eat out our zeal, cowar- 
dize and soften our spirits, and render us utterly unfit for the yoke 
and burden of Christ.? You that see so much beauty, and taste so 
much sweetness in the creature, you will have an hard task when 
called to deny it : You are not yet prepared to drink of the cup, or 
take up the cross of Christ. 

3. How many poor Christians are of a low and timorous Spirit, 
ready to tremble at the shaking of a leaf.? Ah poor hearts ! how un- 
fit are you for bonds or death I This passion of fear that so predomi- 
nates in you, is the very passion which Satan assaults, and lays siege 
to in the hour of temptation, as was before noted : And commonly 



THE BEST WORK IN THE WORST TIMlS. 75 

it is occasioned (where it flows not from the natural constitution) 
from an excessive love to the world, or some guilt upon the spirit. 
Itis true, the Lord can so assist weak faith, and so subdue strongfears, 
as that you may be enabled to stand the shock when it comes : (For, 
as I noted formerly, our strength lies not in any thing inherent in us, 
but we are strong or weak, according to the divine presence and assis- 
tances that we enjoy) but yet if you labour not to mortify this evil, 
and stir not up yourselves in the use of all appointed means, to rouse 
your zeal and courage for God, I know no warrant you have to ex- 
pect such assistances. 

Lastly, How many poor Christians among us are to this day dark 
and cloudy in their evidences for heaven ? Had they walked closely 
with God, benig laborious in the disquisition and search of their own 
hearts, they had long since obtained a clearness and satisfaction about 
the state of their own hearts : But as the case stands with them, how 
unfit are they for bonds or death. Oh ! it is a sad case, when inward 
and outward troubles meet together, as you may see. Gen. xlii. 21, 
22. when there shall he fightings without, and Jears zvithin : When 
such a pang as that. Lam. iii. 17, 18. shall come over thy heart, 
what wilt thou do ? 

By all that hath been said, it appears that the most of professors 
are in a very unready posture for sufferings ; so that as troubles come 
to an height, we are like to see many sad spectacles : Many offences 
will come ; religion is like to be wounded in the house of its friends. 
Oh ! what a day of mercy have we enjoyed ? What helps and choice 
advantages, above any precedent age, and yet unready .^ How sad and 
inexcMsable is this ? 



CHAP. XV. 



Containing another use of the point, hy rcay of exhortation, per- 
suading all the people of God, whilst the Lord respites, and gra- 
cioiisly delays their trials, to answer the end of God therein, and 
prepare themselves for greater trials ; where several motives are 
propounded to excite to the duty. 

\j P then from your beds of sloth, awake from your security. Dye 
saints, get upon your watch-towers, tremble in yourselves, that ye 
may rest in the day of evil, Hab. ii. 1, 3, 16. " Put on the whole 
" armour of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and 
" when you have done all, to stand," Eph. vi. 11. O let it never be 
said of your dwellings, as it is said of the tabernacles of the wicked. 
Job xxi. 9. " Their houses are safe from fear.'^ 

Augustus hearing of one that was deeply in debt, who yet slept 
heartily, sent for his pillow, supposing there was some strange virtue 
m that pillow. I wonder what pillow ye have gotten, O ye drowsy 
saints, that you can sleep so quietly upon it, now that all things about 



76 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OH, 

you are conspiring trouble, and threatening danger. Can you sleep 
like Jonah, when seas of wrath are tumbling and roaring round about 
you, and threaten to entomb you and all your enjoyments ? Behold, 
" The stork in the heavens knows her appointed time," Jer. vii. 8. 
and hath not God made you iche?^ than the'foids of the air, Job xxxv. 
11. It may be the sound of some present judgment may a little startle 
you, like a sudden clap of thunder in the air ; but how soon doth sloth 
and security prevail, and overcome you again. They say poison by 
being habituated, may be made innocent : We are so used to, or ra- 
ther hardened under calamities, that nothing moves or effectually 
awakens us. Lord, what will the end of these things be .'* Wilt thou 
surprise thy people at unawares.^ Shall thy judgments find them se- 
cure, and leave them desperate? O that God would persuade you " to 
** gather yourselves together, yea, to gather together," (not in an un- 
lawful and seditious way, but in the way of duty,) " before the de- 
" cree bring forth, and the day pass as the chaff," Zeph. ii. 1, 2. 
O prepare to meet your God, Amos iv. 12. Prepare your faith, 
love, courage, &c. before God call you to the exercise of them. 

And to excite you to this duty, besides all the forementioned be- 
nefits of a prepared spirit, consider these following particulars by way 
of motive. 

1. Motive. The many calls which God hath given you to this 
work. The Lord hath uttered his voice, and called from heaven 
unto you ; will you be deaf to his calls ? He hath called upon you, 
(1.) By the word : God would have it cry to you first, because he 
would give the first honour to his word. He hath given all his pro- 
phets one mouth, Luke i. 70. and they have warned you faithfully. 
(2.) By the rod : this also hath a loud voice, Mic. vi. 9. Psal. ii. 5. 
^len of understanding will hear this voice ; and those that will not 
hear it shall be lashed by it even till they are sick with smiting, verse 
13. (3.) By prodigious and portentous signs in the heavens and 
earth, such as no age can parallel, these have a loud voice to all that 
regard the works of the Lord, or the operations of his hands. Euse- 
bius calls them God''s sermons to the ti)orld *. O that we were wise to 
consider what God's ends are in these things ! one observes, ' That 
' as they are the plainest and most obvious to sense, so they are com- 
' monly the last sermons which God intends to preach to nations, 
' before he inflicts his punishment on them, if they repent not.' O 
let not God, speaking in ordinary and extraordinary ways to you, 
still speak in vain. 

Your preparations for sufferings, is the most probable means of 
preventing your fall and ruin by those sufferings. 

2. Motive. Sufferings prove fatal and destructive to some ; but it is 
to secure and careless ones ; Such as are diligent and faithful in the 
use of God's means, are secured from the danger. Christ lays our 

* Ta TH ka XTi^vy f^ala. Euseb. hist. lib. iii. cap. 8. 



THE BEST WORK TN THE WORST TIMES. 77 

constancy and perseverance very much upon our forecasting the worst 
that may fall out, Luke xiv. 28. "^Put on the whole armour of God, 
" that ye may be able to stand," Eph. vi. He that hath first severed 
Christ in his thoughts from all worldly advantages, and puts the case 
thus to his own soul, O my soul, canst thou embrace or love a naked 
Christ ? Canst thou be content to be impoverished, imprisoned, and 
suffer the loss of all for him ? He is most hkely to cleave faithfully to 
him, when the case is really presented to him indeed. And can it 
seem a light thing in your eyes, to be enabled to stand in such an 
evil day ? If you fall away from Christ, then all you have wrought is 
lost, Ezek. xxxiii. 13. Gideon's onebastard destroyed all his seventy 
sons. This act renders all former actions and professions vain. If 
you fall, you shall thereby be brought into a more perfect bondage to 
the devil than ever. Mat. xii. 23. Yea, ordinarily, apostates are ju- 
diciallv given up to be persecutors, Hos. v. 12. 1 Tim. i. 20. and are 
seldom or never recovered again by grace, Heb. vi. 4, 6. They that 
lick up their vomit, seldom cast it up any more. It is a fall withiit 
a little as low as the unpardonable sin, whence never any rise again. 
In some cases the judge will not allow the offender his book. And is 
it not then a choice and desirable mercy to escape and prevent such 
a fall as this ? O good souls, ply your preparation- work close then ; 
prepare, or you perish. 

3. Motive. This will best answer the grace of God, in affording you 
such choice helps and advantages as you have enjoyed. How long 
have you enjoyed the free liberty of the gospel, shining in its lustre 
among you ? This sun, which to some other nations hath not risen, 
and to divers on whom it hath shined, yet it is but as a winter's sun, 
remote, and its beams but feeble ; but you have lived, as it were, un- 
der the li77e, it hath been over your heads, and shed its richest in- 
fluences upon you. Yea, God's ministers, who are not only appointed 
to be zvatchmen, Ezek. iii. 16. but trumpeters to discover danger. 
Num. X. 8. These have faithfully warned you of a day of trouble, and 
given you their best assistance to make you ready for it. And is not 
their joy, yea, life, bound up in your stability in such a day of trial? 
Doth not every one call upon vou in the words of the apostle, Phil, 
iv. 1. " Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved, and longed for, my 
" joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved." 
Will it not cut them to the very heart, if after all their spending la- 
bours among you, they still leave you unready 'f enemies still to the 
cross of Christ, impossible to be reconciled and persuaded to suffering- 
work for Christ. 

I rem.ember I have read of the Athenian Codrus, who being in- 
formed by the oracle^ that the people whose king should be slain in 
battle should be conquerors : he thereupon disrobed himself, and in 
a disguise went into the enemies quarters, that he might steal a death 
to make his people victorious. 

Oh ! how glad would your ministers be, if you might conquer and 



78 r-REPARATIONS FOR SUFFERINGS ; OK, 

overcome in the day of temptation, whatever become of their live* 
and liberties ! Yea, mid iftliey he offered up upon the sacrifice and 
service qfyourfaitli^ they can rejoice, and joy with you all. Such is 
their zeal and longing after your security and welfare. But if stili 
you remain an unready people, and do become a prey to temptation. 
Oh how inexcusable will you be ! 

4. Motive. Remember how ready the Lord Jesus was to suiFer the 
hardest and vilest things for you. He had a bitter cup put into his 
hands to drink for you, into which the wrath both of God and man 
was squeezed out. Never had man such sufferings to undergo as 
Christ, * whether you consider, (1.) The dignity of his person, who 
was in the form of God, and might have stood upon \{\s peei'age and 
and equality with him ; he is Xh^ sparkling diamond of heaven, Acts vii. 
BQ. the dajiing of the Father s soul, Isa. xlii. 1. glorious as the only 
begotten of the Father, John i. 14. yea, glory itself. Jam. ii. 1. yea, 
the very brightness of glory ^ Heb. i. 3. He is the delicice Christiani 
orbis,Jairer than the sons of men ; And for him to be so debased, be- 
low so many thousands of his own creatures, become a xoorm, and no 
man ; this was a wonderful humihation. It was Jeremiah's lamenta- 
tion, that such as were brought up in scarlet, embraced dunghills; that 
princes were hanged up by the hands, and the faces of elders M'ere 
not reverenced: But what was that to the humiliation of the Lord of 
glory ? Or, (2.) That he suffered in the prime and flower of his years; 
when full of life and sense, and more capable of exquisite sense of 
pain than others : for he was optime comple.vioncUus^j' of a singular con- 
stitution ; and all the while he hanged on the tree, his sense of pain 
not at all blunted or decayed, Mark xv. 37, 39. Or, (3.) The man- 
ner of his death. It was the death of the cross, which was a 7'ack to 
Christ : for in reference to the distention of his members upon the 
cross is that spoken, Ps. xxii. 17. "I may tell all my bones." Or, 
(4.) That all this while God hid his face from him. When Stephen 
suffered, he saw the heavens opened. The maityrs were many of 
them ravished and transported with extasies of joy in their sufferings; 
but Christ in the dark. He suffered in his soul as well as in his body ; 
and the sufferings of his soul were the very soul of his sufferings. It 
was the Father's wrath that lay so heavy on him, as to put him into 
such an agony, that an instance was never given of the like nature : 
for he sweat ^go/xSo/, great drops, or dodders of blood, which fell 
from his body to the ground, Luke xxii. 44. " It amazed him, and 
*' made him very heavy ;" see Mark xiv. 33. yea, sorrowful even to 
« death," Mat. xxvi. 38. 

And yet, as bitter as the cup was, he freely and willingly drank it 
up, John xviii. 11. prepared himself to be offered up a sacrifice, Psak 
xl. 6, 7. " gave his back to the smiters," Isa. 1. 6. yea, longed ex- 
ceedingly for the time till it came, Luke xii. 50. 

* Dotor Christ ijkit major omnibus doioribus, Aqui». | Aquinas. 



THE BEST V/ORK IN THE WORST TIMES. 79 

Now, if Christ so cheerfully prepared and addressed himself to such 
sufferings as these for you, should you not prepare yourselves to en- 
counter any difficulty or hardships for him ? O my brethren, doth not 
this seem a just and fair inference to you, from the suiferings of Christ 
for you ? 1 Pet. iv. 1. " Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered 
" for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.*^ 

Oh, trifle no longer, feed not yourselves with fancies and ground- 
less presumptions of immunity and peace, but foresee difficulties, and 
iit yourselves to bear them. 



CHAP. XVI. 



■Containing the last use of the point, by way of support and comfort 
to poor tremhling souls, who do take pains to make themselves 
ready for sufferings ; hut yet finding such strength in Satan''s 
temptations, and their own corruptions, fear that all their labour 
is vain, and that they shall faint, and utterly apostatize, when 
their troubles and trials come to an height. 

J.N the last place, if it be such a blessed thing to be ready for bonds, 
or death for Christ, this may minister much comfort to such souls, 
who though they cannot say as Paul here did, that they are ready ; 
yet are at work daily upon their own hearts to make them ready, 
and strive, in the use of all means, to conquer those corruptions that 
hinder it, and improve those graces in which it mainly consisteth. O 
poor soul, whatever present unreadiness or indisposition thou findest, 
and complainest of in thine heart, yet thy condition is safe. 

Objection, Oh ! but I cannot be satisfied in that : I fear I shall 
be over-borne by temptations when they come to an height. I have 
such experience of the deceits and treacherousness of my own heart, 
that it seems impossible to me to do as these blessed souls did, when 
I come to the like trials. 

Solution. It is well thou suspectest thine own heart, and tremblest 
in thyself; this fear will keep thee waking, while others are securely 
sleeping. It was a good saying of a reverend minister, 
Mr. A. H. now with God, * He that fears to flinch, shall never 
flinch for fear.' It is true, seeming grace may be totally 
lost, Luke vii. 18. Heb. vi. 4, 5. 2 Pet. ii. 20. It is granted also, 
that the sin of believers deserve that God should forsake them, and 
that he may suffer grace in them to be sadly abated, and they may 
fall before a temptation, as Peter, and all the disciples did : but that 
thou shalt never be separated from Christ, or fall totus a toto, in to- 
turn, utterly away from God, thou mayest be abundantly satisfied, 
upon these five or six grounds. 

1. From God''s eternal electing love, wherewithal gracious souls artt 
beloved and embraced, be their graces never so weak, or their cof- 



80 PREPARATIONS FOR SUFFER IXGS ; OR, 

ruptions never so strong. This is immutable, Heb. vi. 18. and hence 
it is said, Mark xiii. 22. " They shall deceive (if it were possible) 
*' the very elect." Now, this immutable purpose of God, is not 
founded upon any mutable ground or reason in thee, Rom. ix. 11. 
Yea, when he, Rom. viii. 29. elected thee, he saw what thou wouldst 
be, and yet that hindered him not. 

2. From the covenant of grace, in the bosom of which thou art 
\\Tapped up : this is all thy salvation, and all thy hope ; it will afford 
thee abundant satisfaction, if thou do but weigh particularly these 
three things about it. 1. That the Author of this covenant is not a 

Jickle creature, but st-Jciitltful God, with whom there is not yea and 
nay ; with whom there is no variableness , nor shadow of turning; 
whose gifts and callings are without repentance ; so that once w4thin 
this blessed covenant, and in it for ever. 2. That God hath esta- 
bhshed the covenant with you in the blood of Christ ; therefore the 
sacramental cup, is called " the cup of the New Testament in his 
" blood,"" Luke xxii. 20. The everlasting merit and efficacy whereof 
gives the soul of a believer the highest satisfaction imaginable. 
Lastly, Add to this, that in this covenant God hath undertaken for 
us, as well as for himself: so that what is a condition in one scrip- 
ture, is the matter o^ a. promise in another, Jer. xxxii. 40. 

3. From that strict and intimate union that is betwixt Christ and 
thee. And hence it is impossible thou shouldst be lost. For, 1. 
Thy union with his person brings interest in his properties along with 
it. Whatever he is, or hath, it is for thee : his eye of knowledge, 
arm of power, bowels of pitv, it is all for thee. 

2. This union with his person, secures thy feeble graces from per- 
ishing, John iv. 14. Thy graces have an everlasting spring. Whilst 
there is sap in this root, it will ascend into the branches. 

3. It implies thy perseverance, because by tliis union thou becomest 
an integral part of Christ's body, which would be mutilated and de- 
fective, should thou be C2it oiF and lost. 

4. From the prevalent intercession of Jesus Christ in the heavens, 
for all his saints, in all their trials here on earth. From hence the 
apostle infers the certaint}- of our perseverance, Rom. viii. 34. and a 
pregnant instance of it you have in Peter's case, Luke xxii. 32. So 
Heb. vii. 25. speaks fully to the case. To strengthen this, consider, 
1. Who it is that intercedes : It is Christ, whose person is most dear 
and ingratiated with the Father, John xi. 42. 2. What he intercedes 
for: Surely for nothing but what is most suitable to his Father's 
will. The will of Christ's and his Father's do not clash, John xvi. 
26, 27. yea, what he prays for, he prays not for gratis, or aslcs upon 
any dishonourable terms to the justice of his Father; but they are 
all mercies purchased and paid for ; and therefore lear not the fail- 
ing of your graces. 

5. From the Spirit of Christ which dwelleth and abideth in thee, 
and hath begun his saving work upon thee. I say, saving, for else it 



1'HE BEST WOllK IN THE WORST TIMES. 81 

Avould afford no argument. His common works on hypocrites come 
to nothing, but in thee they cannot fail. For, 1. His honour is 
pledged and engaged to perfect it. That reproach of the foolish 
builder shall never lie upon him, that he began to build, but could 
not finish. Besides, this would make void all that the Father and 
the Son have done for thee ; both their works are complete and per- 
fect in their kinds, and the Spirit is the last efficient in order of 
working. 2. Besides, the grace he hath already wrought in thee, 
may give thee yet further and fuller assurance of its preservation, 
inasmuch as it hath the nature of a seal, pledge, and earnest of the 
whole, Rom. viii. 23. 2 Cor. i. 22. So that it cannot fail. 

6. From those multitudes of assertory, jpromissory, and compara- 
tive scriptures, the rich veins whereof run through the book of God, 
as so many streams to refresh thy soul. Of assertory scriptures, see 
John vi. 39. John x. 28. 1 John ii. 19- O^ promissory scriptures, 
see Isa. liv. 10. Jer. xxxiv. 40. 1 Cor. i. 8, &c. Of comparative 
scriptures, see Psal. i. 3. Psal. cxxv. 1 John iv. 14, &c. The prin- 
cipal scope of all which is to shew the indefectible nature of true 
grace in the saints. 

And now, how should this refresh thy drooping soul, make thee 
gird up the loins of thy mind, since thoi) dost " not run as one uncer- 
" tain, neither fightest as one that beats the air," 1 Cor. ix. 26. but 
art so secured from total apostasy, as thou seest thou art by all these 
things. O bless ye the Lord. 

Obj. 2. But the Lord seems to be departed from my soul ; God is 
afar off from me, and troubles are near. I seem to be in such a case 
as Saul was when the Philistines made war upon him, and God was 
departed from him ; and therefore I shall fall. 

Sol. Not so ; for there are two sorts of Divine desertions ; the one 
is absolute, when the Lord utterly forsakes his creatures, so that they 
shall never behold his face more : The other is li7nited and respec^ 
tive, and so he forsook his own Son, and often does his own elect : 
and of this kind, some are only cautional, to prevent sin ; some are 
merely pi'ohat'ional, to try grace ; and others castigatory, to chastise 
our negligence and carelessness. Now, though I have not a word 
of comfort to speak in the case of total and absolute desertions ; yet 
of the latter (which doubtless is thy case) much may be said by way 
of support, be it of which of the three sorts it will, or in what de- 
gree it will. For, 1. This hath been the case of many precious souls, 
Psal xxii. 1, 2. Psal. Ixxvii. 2. Psal. Ixxxviii. 9. Jobxiii. 24,25,26. 
This was poor Mr. Glover's case, as you will find in his story, and 
it continued till he came within sight of the stake ; therefore no new 
or strange thing hath happened unto you. 

2. The Lord by this will advantage thee for perseverance, not only 
as they are cautioned against sin, but as they make thee hold Christ 
the faster, and prize his presence at an higher rate, when he shall 
please graciously to manifest himself to thee again, Cant, iii, 4. 



§2 PRErARATlOXS FOR 3UFFEI11NGS ; OR, &C. 

3. This shall not abide for ever : it is but a little cloud, and will 
blow over. It is but for a moment, and that moment's darkness 
ushers in everlasting light, Isa. liv. 7. 

Yea, lastly. The light of God's countenance shall not only be re- 
stored ceriainli/, but it shall be restored seasonably ; when the dark- 
ness is greatest, thy troubles at the highest, and thy hopes lowest. 
He is a God of judgment, and knows how to time his own mercies, 
Psal. cxxxviii. 3. 

Obj. 3. But I am a weak woman, or a young person, how shall 
I be able to confess Christ before rulers^ and look great ones in the 
face ? 

Sol. Christ delights to make his power known in such, 2 Cor. xii. 9. 
for he affects not social glory. 

2. " Thou shalt be holden up, for God is able to make thee stand," 
Rom. xiv. 4. Thou that art sensible of thine own infirmity, mayest 
run to that promise. 

5. Such poor weak creatures shall endure when stronger (if self- 
confident) fall, Isa. xl. 30, 31. " Even the youths shall faint, and be 
" weary, and the young men utterly fall. But they that wait upon 
" the Lord, shall renew their strength : they shall mount up with 
'' wings as eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint." 

Youths, and young men, are bold, daring, and confident persons, 
that trust to their own strength ; to whom such as wait upon the 
Lord stand here opposed ; they shall faint, but these shall renew 
their strength. 

Art thou one that waitest and dependest upon an all-sufficient 
God, in the sense of thine own weakness .? This promise then is for 
thee. 

4. You may furnish yourselves at pleasure, with examples of the 
mighty power of God resting upon such as you are, out of our own 
martyrologv. 

Thomas Drowry the poor blind boy, Fox, vol. 3. p. 703. What 
a presence of spirit was with him, when examined by the Chancellor! 

Eulalia, a virgin of about 12 years of age, see how she acted 
above those years, j-ea, above the power of nature. Fox, vol. 1. p. 
.120. Tender women, yea, children, act above themselves, when 
assisted by a strong God. 

And thus you have some help offered you by a weak hand, in your 
present and most important work. 

The Lord carry home all with power upon your hearts, that if God 
.call you to suffer for him, you may say as Paul did, " I am now ready 
^' to be offered up, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have 
** fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the 
*' faith ; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, 
** which God the righteous Judge shall give me at that day ; and not 
'* to me only, but to them also which love his appearing," 2 Tim. iv. 
6, 7, .8. And as you expect so to finish your course with joy ; be di- 



THE LALM or THE COVENANT. 83 

li<Teiit in the use of all means, to prepare and make yourselves rjady 
to follow the call of God, whether it be to bonds, or to death, for the 
naune of the Lord Jesus. 



THE 

BALM OF THE COVENANT 

APPLIED TO THE 

BLEEDING WOUNDS 

OF 

AFFLICTED SAINTS. 

TO WHICH IS ADDED, 

A SERMON preached for the Funeral of that excellent and re- 
ligious Gentleman, JOHN UPTON, of Lupton, esq. 



To the Virtuous and Much Honoured 
Madam, URSULA UPTON, of Luptox in Devon. 

Madam, 

J-F I find it an hard task to write on such a doleful subject, it can- 
not be imagined but your part must be abundantly harder, who feel 
over and over what is here written. Could I tell how to administer 
counsels and comforts to you, without exasperating your sorrows, I 
would certainly take that way ; but seeing the one (in this case) can- 
not be done without the other, it is our duty to submit to the method 
Providence hatli prescribed to us. 

The design of the ensuing discourse, is to evince the truth of what 
seems a very great paradox to most men, namely, that the a^ictions 
of the saints can do them no hurt, and that the wisdom, of men and 
angels cannot lay one circumstance of their condition (how uneasy so- 
ever it seems to be) better, or more to their advantage than God hath 
laid it. I attempt not by a flourish of rhetoric to persuade you a- 
gainst the demonstrations you can fetch from sense and feeling to the 
contrary, but to overthrow the false reasonings of flesii and sense, by 
the allowed rules of Scripture, and sure principles of religion. 

And methinks you, and everv Christian, should gladly enterlain 

Vol. VI. * F 



^^ THE EPISTLE DEUrCATORY. 

that comfortable conclusion, when you shall find the foundation of 
It as strong-, as the influences thereof are siaeet and comfortable. 

Certainly, Madam, the intent of the Redeemer's undertaking was 
not to purchase for his people riches, ease, and pleasures on earth; 
but to mortify their lusts, heal their natures, and spiritualize their 
affections; and thereby to fit them for the eternal fruition of God. 
Upon this supposition the truth of this conclusion (liow strange 
soever it seems) is firmly built. 

It was not without divine direction, that the subject of the ensuing 
discourse was as pertinentl}^, as seasonably, recommended to me by 
your dear husband, in the day of your sorrows for your only son. 
He took, I hope, his portion of comfort out of it before he died, and 
it is now left as a spring of comfort to you, who then mourned with 
liim, and novv for him. 

Heavy pressures call for strong support, and fainting seasons for 
rich cordials. Your burden is indeed heavy : yet I must say it is 
much our own fault our burdens are so heavy as we feel them to be ; 
for according to the measure of our delight in, and expectation from 
the creature, is our sorrow and disappointment when we part from 
it. The highest tides are always followed with the lowest ebbs. We 
find temperance and patience knit together in the same precept, and 
intemperance and impatience as inseparably connected in our own ejc- 
jjerience. It may be we did not suspect ourselves of any sinful excess 
in the time of their enjoyment ; but it now appears the creature was 
gotten deeper into our hearts than we imagined, by the pain we feel 
at parting : Did we not lean too hard upon it, there would not be 
such shakings as vre feel vdien it is slipt from us. 

But, Madam, it is high time to recal your thoughts, and bound 
your sorrows, whicli the following considerations would greatly assist 
YOU in. 

1. What is the very ground and reason of our excessive sorrows for 
the loss of earthly comforts r Is it not this. That they are perishing 
andtransitorij? That is, that you find them to be as God made them. 
And can we expect that God should alter the laws of nature to please 
and humour us? It is as natural to our relations to die, as it is for 

fio-ioers to wither, or the moon to wane. 

2. That there is no such necessary connection betwixt these things 
and our comfort, that whenever Go*d removes the one, he must needs 
remove the other with it. Christ and comfort are indeed so united, 
but nothing beside him is or can be so. I hope you will shortly ex- 
perience the truth of this conclusion, by the comfort God will give 
you in the absence of those comforts you have lost. Can you not now 
have as free access to God as before*.^ Yea, do not these very afflic- 
tions send you oftener into his presence .? And if God meet you in 
those duties, (as in days of distress he uses to meet his people,) then 
It will be evident to you that your joy and comfort lives, though 
your husband and children be laid in their o^raves. 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 85 

3. That the removing of your earthly comforts hinders not but 
that you may still pursue the great end and business of your life, and 
carry on all your designs for heaven as successfully as ever. Indeed^ 
jVIadam, had we been sent inio this world to raise estatesj contract 
relations, and then sit down in the midst of them as our portion, 
then our design had been utterly dashed and disappointed ; but you 
know this is not your main end, or great business upon earth, but to 
honour God by an holy fruitful life here, and make ready for the 
full enjoyment of him hereafter. And what hinders but you may as 
prosperously manage and carry on this your design as ever ? You do 
not think the traveller is disabled for his journey, because he hath 
fewer clogs and hinderances than before. I think few Christians find 
much furtherance heavenward by their multiplicity of engagements 
or enjoyments in this world. Your cares and fears about these things, 
will now lie in a narrower compass than they did before, and thereby 
you may have your thoughts more about you, to attend the great 
concerns of God's glory, and your own salvation. 

4. But above all, you will certainly find your relief and consolation 
to lie in the everlasting covenant of God. Thence it was, that David 
fetched his support under a much heavier burden and smarter rod 
than yours : For your relations were such as gave you comfort in their 
lives, and left you many grounds of hope in their deaths ; but his 
were taken away in their sins. But though the grounds of his sor- 
row (blessed be God) are not yours, yet I hope the grounds of his 
comfort in the text are fully yours. 

I confess, I have prepared these things in too much haste and dis- 
traction of thoughts, which in this juncture was unavoidable; nor 
have I bestowed much of art or language upon them : And if I had, 
they would have been never the more effectual to your relief for 
that. But such as they are, I humbly pi'esent them to you with my 
hearty prayers, that God would make them a sovere'igm halm, by the 
blessing of his Spirit on them, to your wounded spirit, and to allother 
godly families groaning under the like strokes of God with you, and 
remain, 

MADAM^ 

Your most Faitliful 

SijmpatMzwg Friend and Servaiit, 

JOHN FLAVELv 



F 'Z 



86 THE BALM OF THE COVEXAXT 



2 Sam. xxiii. 5. 



Although my house he uot so ivith God ; yet he hath made imth me an 
everlasthig covenant, ordered in all things and sure :Jbr this is all 
my salvation^ and all my desire, although he make it not to grow, 

A HESE are part of David's last words. The last words of dying 
saints, but especially of dying prophets, are ponderous, memorable, 
and extraordinarily remarkable ; and such are these acknowledged 
to be, by all expositors. It is a golden sentence, a divine oracle, fit 
to be the last words of every dying saint, as well as of David. 

They are called his last words, not simply and absolutely, as 
though he breathed them forth with his last breath ; (for he spake 
many things afterwards) but either they are the last he spoke as a 
prophet, by Divine inspiration, or because he had them often in his 
mouth, to his last and dying day. They were his cpicediuju, his 
sv/eet swan-like song, in which his soul found singular refreshment, 
and strong support, amidst the manifold afflictions of his life, and 
against the fears of his approaching death. 

The whole chapter is designed for a coronis or honourable close of 
the life of David, and gives us an account both of the worthy ex- 
pressions that dropped from him, and of the renowned worthies that 
were employed by him. But all the heroic atchievements recorded 
to the honour of their memories, in the following part of the chap- 
ter, are trivial and inglorious things, compared with this one divine 
sentence recorded in my text ; in which we have two things to con- 
sider, viz. 

1. The preface, which is exceeding solemn. 

2. The speech itself, which is exceeding weighty. 

1. In the preface, we have both the instrumental and principal 
efficient cause of this divine sentence distinctly set down, ver. 1. and 
the efficient, or author of it, ver. 2. 

The instrument or organ of its conveyance to us, was David ; de- 
scribed by his descent or lineage, the smi of Jesse ; by his eminent sta- 
tion, the man that was raised up on high ; even to the top and cul- 
minating point of civil and spiritual dignity and honour, both as a 
king, and as a prophet ; by his divine unction, the anointed qf the 
God of Jacob ; and lastly, by the flowing sweetnees of his spirit and 
stile, in the divine psalms that were penned by him, whence he here 
gets the title of the sweet psalmist of Israel; the pleasant one, in' 
tl be psalms of Israel, as some read it. 

The principal efficient cause of this excellent passage, is here like- 
wise noted, and all to commend it the more to our special observation 
and acceptance : " The Spirit of God spake by me, and his word was 
" ill my tongue.'' This stamps my text expressly with divine au- 
thority. The Spirit of God spake by David, he was not the author, 



APrLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 87 

but only the scribe of it. Thus the ensuing discourse is prefaced. 
Let us next see, 

2. The matter or speech itself, wherein we shall find the maxims 
and general rules of government prescribed, and the felicity of such a 
government elegantly described. " He that ruleth over men must be 
"just, ruling in the fear of God.'' Princes being in God's place, 
must exalt the righteousness of God, in the government of men ; 
and when they do so, they shall be as the light of the morning when 
the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds, &c. What halcyon 
days shall that happy people see, whose lot is cast into such times and 
places! All this is typically spoken of David, and those pious princes 
who succeeded him ; but mystically and eminently points at Christ, 
who was to rise out of David's seed, Rom. i. 5. and to sit upon his 
throne, Acts ii. 30. So that in this he was raised on high to an emi- 
nency of glory and dignity indeed : he was so in his ordinary natural 
seed ; a royal race, deriving itself from him, and sitting upon his 
throne in a lineal succession, till the Babylonish captivity, which was 
about four hundred and thirty years. And after that, the Jews had 
governors of his line, at least rightful heirs to that crown, till the pro- 
mised Messiah came. But that which was the top of David's honour, 
the most sparkling jewel in his crown, was this, that the Lord Jesus 
was to descend from him, according to the flesh, in whom all the 
glorious characters before given should not only be exactly answered, 
but abundantly exceeded. And tlius you find the natural line of 
the Messiah is drawn down by Matthew, from David to the virgin 
Mary, Matth. i. And his legal line by Luke, from David to Joseph, 
his supposed father, Luke ii. 23. 

Now, though the illustrious marks and characters of such a righ- 
teous, serene, and happy government, did not fully agree to his day, 
nor would do so in the reigns of his ordinary natural successors, his 
day was not without many clouds both of sin and trouble ; yet such a 
blessed day he foresaw and rejoiced in, when Christ, the extraordi- 
nary seed of David, should arise, and set uphis kingdom in the world, 
and with the expectation hereof, he greatly cheers and encourages 
himself: Although my house be not so with God, yet hath he made 
" with me an everlasting covenant," &c. In which words four 
things are eminently remarkable. 

1. Here is a sad concession of domestic evils. 

2. A singular relief, from God's covenant with him. 
2. The glorious properties of this covenant displayed. 

4. The high esteem and dear regard his house had unto it. 

1. Here is David's sad and mournful concession of the evils of his 
house, both moral and penal. " Although my house be not so with 
" God," i. e. neither so holy, nor so happy as this description of a 
righteous and flourishing government imports ; alas ! it answers not 
to it : For though he was eminent for godliness himself, and had so- 
lemnly dedicated his house to God, Psal. xxx. as soon as it wasbuiltj 

F3 



88 . THE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

yea, though he piously resolved to walk in the midst of it with a per-^ 
feet heart, and not to suffer an immortal person within his walls ; yet 
^reat miscarriages were found even in David's house and person, 
which God chastised him for, by a thick succession of sharp and sore 
afflictions, Psal. ci. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Tamar was defiled by her bro- 
ther Amnon, 2 Sam. xiii. 13. Amnon was barbarously murdered 
thereupon, by the advice of Absalom, 2 Sam. xiii. 28. Absalom un- 
naturally rebels against his father David, and drives him out of the 
royal citv, and perishes in that rebellion, 2 Sam. xa% 1. then Adoni- 
jaii, another darling-son, grasps at the crown settled by David upon 
Solomon, and perishes for that his usurpation, 1 Kings ii. 25. O 
>vhat a heap of mischiefs and calamities did this good man live to see 
within his own walls, besides the many foreign troubles that came 
from other hands ! How many flourishing branches did God lop off 
from him, and that in their sins too? So that his day was a day of 
clouds, even from the morning unto the evening of it : Psal. cxxxii. 
1. "Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions." AVell might 
he sav, " his house was not so with God.*" But what then, doth he 
faint and despond under these manifold calamities ? Doth he refuse 
to be comforted, because his children are gone, and all things in- 
volved in trouble .'' No, but you find, 

2. He relieves himself by the covenant God had made with him : 
*' Yet hath he made with me a covenant."*" He looks to Christ, 
*• There is more in the covenant than this my house before God," as 
the Chaldee turns it *. This little word yct^ wraps up a great and so- 
vereign cordial in it. Though Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah be 
gone, and gone with many smarting aggravations too ; " yet hath he 
^' made ^vith me a covenant," yet I have this sheet-anchor left to se- 
cure me. God's covenant with me, in relation to Christ, this under- 
props and shores up my heart. 

This covenant was, without controversy, a gospel-covenant. It 
was David's gospel : For ali his salvation and all his desire were in it; 
which could never be, except Christ had been in it, who is the salva- 
tion of all the ends of the earth, and the desire of all nations. 

It is true, it was a more obscure and imperfect edition of the cotw^ 
nant of faith ; yet clearer than those that were made before it ; it 
came not up to the fulness and clearness of the discoveries made by 
Jeremy and Ezekiel : But yet in this covenant with David, God re- 
vealed more of Christ than had been ever revealed before ; for the 
light of Christ, like that of the morning, increased still more and 
more, till it came to a perfect day. It is worthy our observation, how 
God made a gradual discovery of Christ from Adam, down along to 
the New Testament times. It was revealed to Adam, that he should 
be the seed of the icomaii^ but not of what nation, till Abraham's time; 
nor of what tr'ihe^ till Jacob ; nor of what sex andjcimilfj, till David ; 

* Plus est juam here donius vieu ants Dcum, Jon. 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 89 

nor that he should be born of a virgin, till Isaiali ; nor in what town^ 
till Micah. The first revelation of tliis covenant with David, was by 
Nathan the prophet ; 2 Sam. vii. 12, 13, 14. afterwards enlarged 
and confirmed, Psal. Ixxxix. By it he knew much of Christ, and 
wrote much of him. He spake o^\\is person, Psalm xlv. 6, 11. Psalm 
viii. 4, 5, 6. of his offices, both prophetical, Psal. xl. 8, 9, 10. priestlijy 
Psal. ex. 4. and Icingly, Psal. ii. 6. of his incarnation, Psalm viii. 5. 
of his death on the cross, Psal. xxii. 16, 17. of his burial, Psal. xvi. 
8, 9, 10. resurrection, Psal. ii. 7. and triumphant ascension. Psalm 
Ixviii. 18. there was the sum of the gospel discovered, though in dark 
and typical terms and forms of expression ; but if out of this cove- 
nant as obscure as its revelation was, David fetched such strong sup- 
port and consolation amidst such a heap of troubles, then the argu- 
ment is good a fortiori : What support and comfort may we not 
draw thence, who live under the most full and perfect display of it, 
in all its riches and glory ; enough hath been said to prove it a gos- 
pel-covenant ; but if any doubt should remain of that, it will be 
fully removed, by considering, 

3. The eximious properties and characters of the covenant, as we 
find them placed in the text ; and they are three, viz. 

(1.) Everlasting. 

(2.) Ordered in all things, and 

(3. Sure. 

(1.) It is an everlasting covenant, or a perpetual covenant, a cove- 
nant of eternity, * not in the most strict, proper, and absolute sense : 
For that is the incommunicable property of God himself, who neither 
hath beginning nor end ; but the meaning is, that the benefits and 
mercies of the covenant are durable and endless to the peope of God : 
For Christ being the principal matter and substance of the covenant, 
there must be in it an everlasting righteousness, as it is called, Dan. 
ix. 24. everlasting kindness. Isa. liv. 8. everlasting forgiveness, Jer. 
xxxi. 34. and in consequence to all these, everlasting consolation, 
Isa. Ii. 11. in all which the riches and bounty of free grace shine 
forth in their greatest glory and splendor. 

(2.) It is a covenant ordered in all things, or orderly prepared, dis- 
posed, and set, as the word imports -|-. Every thing being here dis- 
posed and placed in the most comely order, both persons and things 
here keep their proper place : God the Father keeps the place of 
the most wise contriver and bountiful donor of the invaluable mercies 
of the covenant : and Christ keeps the proper place both of the pur- 
chaser and surety of the covenant ; and all the mercies in it ; and be- 
lievers keep their place, as the unworthy receivers of all the gratuitous 
mercies and rich benefits thereof, and the most obliged creatures in 

r" — ■ — ■ ~~~ 

* 72bl2f >2^T2 hta&ri%ri aioiviog. i.e. A covenant of age. 
f "^Tii onlinavity disposuit, aptavit. 

F4 



90 THE BALM OF THE COVEXA??T 

all the world to free grace, saying, although my house, yea, althougf? 
my heart and my soul be not so with God, yet hath he made with me 
an everlasting covenant. And as persons, so things, all things in this 
covenant stand in the most exquisite order, and exact correspondence 
to each other. O it is a ravishing sight to behold the habitude and 
respect of the mercies in the covenant, to the sins and wants of all 
tliat are in it ! Here are found full and suitable supplies to the wants 
oi' all God's people. Here you may see pardon in the covenant, for 
guilt in the soul ; joy in the covenant, for sorrow in the heart ; strength 
in the covenant, for all defects and weaknesses in the creature; stabi- 
lity in the covenant for the mutability in the creature. Never did the 
wisdom of God shine forth more in any contrivance in the world, 
(except that of Christ, the surety and principal matter of the cove- 
nant) than it doth in the orderly dispose of all things in their beauti- 
ful order, and comely proportions in this covenant of grace. 

(3.) It is « sure covenant, or a covenant safely laid up and kept, as 
the word imports* ; and upon this account the mercies of it are call- 
ed, " The sure mercies of David,'" Isa. Iv. 3. And so Psal. Ixxxix. 
28. speaking of this very covenant, God saith, " My covenant shali 
" stand fast with him ;" there shall be no vacillancv, nor shaking in 
this covenant : and ver. 34. " My covenant will I not break, nor 
" alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Every thing is as its 
foundation is. Now, God's covenant being founded in his unchange- 
able counsel and purpose, wherein there can be no lubricity, and 
Christ being the surety of it, it must needs be, as the text calls it, a 
sure covenant, wherein the faithfulness of God is as illustriously dis- 
played, as his bounty and wisdom are in the two })roperties of it. 
And such a covenant as this, so everlastingly, aptly disposed, and 
sure, must needs deserve that precious respect and high esteem from 
every believing soul, which David here doth pay it in. 

4. The singular and high valuation he had of it, when he saith, 
" This is all my salvation, and all my desire," or as some translate -[• 
'• all my delight, or pleasure ;" i. e. here I find all repaired with an 
infinite overplus, that I have lost in the creature : Here is a hfe in 
death, fulness in wants, security in dangers, peace in troubles. It is 
all my salvation ; for it leaves nothing in hazard thatis essential tomy 
hapiness; and all my desire for it repairs whatever I have lost, or can 
loose : It is so full and complete a covenant, that it leaves nothing 
to be desired out of it. O it is a full fountain ! Here I repose my 
weary soul with full satisfaction, and feed my hungry desires with 
sweetest delights : so that my very soul is at rest and ease in the 
bosom of this blessed covenant. Thus you have the parts and sense 
of the text. The notes from it are three. 

Observation 1. That God's covenant people may he exercised ivith 
many sharp ajfflictions in their persons and families, Eccl. ix. 9. 

* ^ 172^ custodivit, servavit^ t r^'iH h^\. 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 91 

Even David''s house was the house of mourning ; " Although my 
" house be not so with God, though he make it not to grow." All 
sorts of outward afflictions are incident to all sorts of men, " All 
" things (saith Solomon) come alike to all : There is one event to 
" the righteous, and to the wicked ; to the clean, and unclean ; to 
" him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not." The provi- 
dences seem one and the same, though the subject on whom they 
fall be vastly different. Estates and children, health and liberty will 
still be like themselves, vanishing comforts, whoever be the owners of 
them. No man's spiritual estate can be known by the view of his 
temporal estate. A godly family cannot be a miserable^ but it may be 
a mournful family. Religion secures us from the lorath, but it does 
not secure us from the rod of God. The Lord hath chosen another 
way of expressing his love to his people, than by temporal and ex- 
ternal things : Therefore all things come alike to all. The cove- 
nant excludes the curse^ but includes the cross^ " If his children 
" forsake my law, he. then will I visit their iniquity with the rod> 
" and their sin with stripes : nevertheless my loving-kindness will I 
" not utterly take away." 

Nor indeed would it be the privilege of God's covenanted people, 
to be exempt from the rod ; a mark of bastardy can be no man's 
felicity, Heb. xii. 8. to go without the chastising discipline of the rod, 
were to go without the needful instructions and blessed fruits that 
accompany and result from the rod, Psalm xciv. 1^. 

Let us not therefore say as those iiTeligious persons did in Mai. iii. 
14. " It is in vain to serve God, and what profit is it that we have 
" kept his ordinances, and walked mournfully before him 'f Surely 
none serve him in vain but those that serve him vainly. Godlinees 
cannot secure you from affliction, but it can and will secure you from 
hell, and sanctify your afflictions to help you to heaven. But I stay 
not here. 

Observation 2. A de dining family is a sore strolcefrom the hand- 
of God, and so to be acknoidedged wherever it falls. 

It was a growing sorrow to David, that his house did not grow ; 
and he eyed the hand of God in it. He made it not to grow, as he 
speaks in the text. He felt as many deaths as he had dead children. 
It is God that builds and destroys families; hcenlargeth and strait- 
eneth them again. A family may d^chne two ways, viz. either, 

1. J^y the death: or, 

2. By the degeneracy of its offspring. 

1. By their death, when God lops off the hopeful springing branches 
thereof; especially the last and only prop of it, in whom not only all 
the care and love, but all the hope and expectation of the parents is 
contracted and bound up. For, 

The hearts of tender parents are usually bound up in the life of an 
only son *. A s a man's wife is but himself divided, so his children 
* Omnis in asca/iio stat chari cura pareiUis. Vivgil. 



9^ THE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

are but himself multiplied : and v,hen all love and delight, hope and 
expectation, is reduced to one, the affection is strong, and that makes 
the affliction so too. If it were not an unparalleled grief among all 
earthly griefs and sorrows, the Spirit of God would never have cho- 
sen and singled it out from among all other sorrows, to illustrate sor- 
row for sin by it, yea, sorrows for that special sin of piercing Christ, 
as he doth, Zech. xii. 10. " They shall look upon him whom they 
" have pierced, and shall mourn for him, as one that mourneth for an 
" only son/' How naked are these walls, and how unfurnished is 
that house, where the children (its best ornaments) are taken down 
and removed by death ? It is natural to all men to desire the conti- 
nuance of their names and families on the earth ; and therefore when 
God cuts off their expectations in that kind, they look upon them- 
selves as dry trees, or as the withering stalks in the fields, when the 
flowers are fallen off, and blown away from them. 

2. Or, which is yet much worse, a family may decline by the de- 
generacy of its offspring. "When the piety, probity, and virtues of 
ancestors descend not with their lands to their posterity, here the 
true line of honour is cut off, and the glory of a family dies, though 
its children live ; the family is ruined, though there be a numerous 
offspring. Surely it were better mourn for ten dead children, than 
for one such living child. 

How many such wretched families can England shew this day ! 
How hath Atlieism and debauchery ruined and subverted many great 
and once famous families ! O it were better the arms of those fami- 
lies had been reversed, and their hands alienated, yea, better had it 
been a succession had failed, and that tlieir names had been blotted 
out, than that Satan should rule by profaneness in the places where 
God was once so seriousl}^ and sweetly worshipped. 

Whensoever therefore God shall either of these ways subvert a 
family, it becomes them that are concerned in the stroke, not only 
to own and acknowledge the hand of God in it, but to search their 
hearts and houses to find out the sins which have so provoked him ; 
yet not so as to fall into an unbecoming despondency of spirit, but 
withal to relieve themselves, as David here doth, from the covenant 
of God ; " Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant."" 
Which brings us to the third and principal point I shall insist on. 

Observ. 3. That the everlasting, iceJUordered, and sure covenant 
of grace ^ ajfords everlasting, well-ordered, and sure relief to all that 
are within the bonds of if, how many or how great soever their per- 
sonal or domestic trials and afflictions are. 

This point will be cleared to your understandings, and prepared 
for your use, by clearing and opening three propositions, which or- 
derly take up the sum and substance of it, viz. 

Proposition 1. That the minds of men, yea, the best men, are weak 
and feeble things under the heavy pressures of affliction, and will reel 
and sink under them, eoccept they be strongly relieved and under- 
projjped. 



APPLIED TO AFFLTCTEl-> SAT^'TS. 93 

A bowing wall doth not more need a strong shore or hutlress^ 
than the mind of a man needs a strong support and stay from heaven, 
when the weight of affliction makes it incline and lean all one way, 
" Unless the law had been my delights, I should then have perished 
'^ in my affliction," Psal. cxix. 92. q. d. What sliift other men make 
to stand the shock of their afflictions, I know not ; but this I know, 
that if God had not seasonably sent me the relief of a promise, I had 
certainly gone away in a faint fit of despondency. O how season- 
ably did God administer the cordials of his word to my drooping, 
sinking soul ! 

This weakness in the mind to support the burdens of affliction, 
proceeds from a double cause, viz. 

1. From the sinking weight of the affliction. 

S. From the irregular and inordinate workings of the thoughts 
of it. 

1. From the sinking weight that is in affliction, especially in some 
sorts of afflictions : they are heavy pressures, ponderous burdens in 
themselves. So Job speaks, " O that my grief were tlioroughly 
*' weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together ! For now 
^' it would be heavier than the sand of the sea, therefore mv words 
" are swallowed up," Job vi. 2, 3, 4. q. d. If all the sand that lies 
upon all the shores in the Avorld, were shovelled up into one heap, 
and cast into one scale, and my sorrows into the other, my grief 
would weigh it all up. How heavy are the hearts of the afflicted ! 
what unsupportable sorrows do they feel and groan under, especially 
when God smites them in the dearest and nearest concerns they have 
in the world. 

2. But especially the reelings and staggerlngs of the mind, are oc- 
casioned by the inordinate and irregular workings of its own thoughts. 
Were it but possible to keep the mind in a serene, sedate, and ordi- 
nate frame, our burdens would be comparatively light to what we 
now feel them to be ; but the falling of the thoughts into confusions, 
and great distractions, spoils all. Upon this account it is, that afflic- 
tions are compared to a stupifying doze, which casts the soul into 
ama.^ement, Psal. Ix. 3. " Thou hast shewed thy people hard things, 
" thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment."' xNffiictions 
are called the wine of astonishment, from their effects upon the mind : 
for under a great and sudden stroke of God, it is like a ivatch 
ivound up above its due height, so that for a time it stands still, 
neither grace nor reason move at all : and when it begins to move 
again, O how confused and irregular are its motions ! it is full of 
murmurs, disputes, and quarrels: these aggravate both our sin and 
misery. It is our own thoughts which take th',' arrow of God shot 
at us, (which did but stick before in our clothes, and was never in- 
tended to hurt us, but only to warn us.) and thrust it into our very 
hearts. 

For thoughts as well as poniards', can pierce and wound the hearts 



94 THE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

of men, Luke ii. 35. " A sword shall pierce through thine own soul ;^ 
i. e. Thy thoughts shall pierce thee. They can shake the whole 
fabric of the body, and loose the best compacted and strongly jointed 
parts of the body : Dan. v. 6. '' His thoughts troubled him, and the 
" joints of his loins were loosed.^ And thus a man's own mind be- 
comes a rack of torment to him ; a misery which no creature, except 
men and devils, are subjected to. O how many bodies have been 
destroyed by the passions of the soul ! they cut through it, as a keen 
knife through a narrow sheath, " Worldly sorrow works death,'' 
le Cor. vii. 10. 

Proposition 2. TJie merciful God, in condescension to the weak- 
ness of his people, hath provided the best supports and reliefs for 
the feeble and afflicted spirits. 

" In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts de- 
'* light my soul," Psal. xciv. 17. Carnal men seek their relief un- 
der trouble, from carnal things ; when one creature forsakes them, 
they retreat to another which is yet left them, till they are beaten out 
of all, and then their hearts fail, having no acquaintance with God, 
or special interest in him : for the creatures will quickly spend all that 
allowance of comfort they have to spend upon us. Some try what 
relief the rules of philosoph?/ can yield them, supposing a neat sentence 
of Seneca may be as good a remedy as a text of David or Paul ; but, 
alas ! it will not do : submission from fatal necessity will never ease 
the afflicted mind, as Christian resignation will do. It is not the 
eradicating, but regulating of the affections, that composes a bur- 
dened and distracted soul. One word of God will signify more to 
our peace than all the famed and admired precepts of men. 

To neglect God, and seek relief from the creature, is to forsake 
the fountain of living waters, and go to the broken cisterns which can 
hold no water, Jer. ii. 13. The best creature is but a cistern, not a 
fountain ; and our dependence upon it makes it a broken cistern, 
strikes a hole through the bottom of it, so that it can hold no water. 
" I, even I (saith God) am he that comforteth you," Isa. Ivii. 12. 
The same hand that wounds you, must heal you, or you can never 
be healed. Our compassionate Saviour, to assuage our sorrows, hath 
promised he will not leave us confortless, John xiv. 18. Our God 
will not contend for ever, lest the spirit fail before him, Isa. Ivii. 16. 
He knew how ineffectual all other comforts and comforters would be, 
even physicians of no value, and therefore hath graciously prepared 
comforts for his distressed ones, that will reach their end. 

Proposition 3. God hath gathered all the materials a7id principles 
of our relief into the covenant of grace, and expects that we betake 
ourselves unto it, in times of distress, as to our sure, sufficient and 
only remedy.- 

As all the rivers run into the sea, and there is the congregation of 
all the waters; so all the promises and comforts of the gospel are 
gathered into the covenant of grace, and there is the congregation of 



APPLIED To AFFLICTED SAIXTS. 95 

all tlie sweet streams of refreshment that are dispersed throughout 
the scriptures. The covenant is the store-house of promises, the shop 
of cordials and rare elixirs^ to revive us in all our faiiitings ; though, 
alas ! most men know no more what are their virtues, or where to 
find them, than an illiterate rustic put into an apothecary's skojJ. 

What was the cordial God prepared to revive the liearts of his poor 
captives groaning under hard and grievous bondage, both in Iv^ypt 
and in Babylon ? Was it not his covenant with Abraham ? And why 
did he give it the solemn confirmation by an oath, but that it might 
yield to him and all his believing seed, strong consolation , Heb. vi. 
17, 18. the very spirit of joy amidst all their sorrows. 

And what was the relief God gave to the believing ^wm^c/i^ that kept 
liis sabbaths, took hold of his covenant, and chose the things in which 
he delighted ? " To them (saith he) will I give in mine house, and 
" within my walls, a place, and a name better than that of sons or 
" of daughters,'' Isa. Ivi. 4, 5. Though they were deprived of 
those comforts other men have in their posterity, yet he would not 
have them look upon themselves as dry trees ; a covenant-interest 
would answer all, and recompense abundantly the want of children, 
or any other earthl}^ comfort. 

Certainly, therefore, David was at the right door of relief and 
comfort, when he repairs to the covenant, as here in the text, " Yet 
" hath he made with me an everlasting covenant." There, or no- 
where else, the relief of God's afflicted is to be found. 

Now, to make any thing become a complete and perfect relief to 
an afflicted spirit, these three properties must concur and meet in it, 
else it can never effectually relieve any man. 

I. It must be able to remove all the causes and grounds of trou- 
bles. 

II. It must be able to do so at all times. 

III. It must be capable of a good personal security to us. 

For if it only divert our troubles, (as creature-comforts use to do,) 
and do not remove the ground and cause of our trouble, it is but 
an anodyne, not a cnre or remedy. And if it can remove the very 
ground and cause of our troubles for a time, but not for ever, then 
it is but a temporary relief: our troubles may return again, and we 
left in as bad case as we were before. And if it be in itself, able to 
remove all the causes and m-ounds of our trouble, and that at all 
times, but not capable of a personal security to us, or our well esta- 
blished interest in it, all signifies nothing to our relief. 

But open your eyes and behold, O ye afflicted saints, all these pro- 
perties of a complete relief meeting together in ihe covenant, as it is 
displayed in the text. Here is a covenant al le to remove all the 
grounds and causes of your trouble ; for it is ordered in cdl things ; 
or aptly disposed by the wisdom and contrivance of God, to answer 
every cause and ground of trouble and sorrow in our hearts. It is 
able to do this at all times ; as well in our day, as in David's or Abra- 



d(y lilE BALM OF THE COVENANT. 

ham's clay: for it is an everlasting covenant ; its virtue and efficacy i<» 
not decayed by time. And, lastly, is is capable of a good personal 
security or assurance to all God's afflicted people; for it is a, sure cove- 
nant. The concurrence of these three properties in the covenant 
makes it a complete relief^ and perfect remedy, to which nothing is 
■wanting in the kind and nature of a remedy. These three glorious 
properties of the covenant are my proper province to open and con- 
firm, for your support and comfort in this day of trouble. 

I. That the covenant of' grace is able to remove all the causes and 
grounds of' a believer s trouble^ be they never so great or many. 
This I doubt not will be convincingly evidenced and demonstrated 
by the following arguments, or undeniable reasons. 

Argument I. Whatsoever disarms afflictions of the only sting 
■whereby they wound us, must needs be a complete rehef and remedy 
to the afflicted soul. 

But so doth the covenant of grace, it disarms afflictions of the only 
sting by which they wound us. 

Therefore the covenant of grace must needs be a complete relief 
and remedy to the afflicted soul. 

The sting of all afflictions is the guilt of sin; when God smites, 
conscience usually smites too : and this is it that causes all that pain 
and anguish in the afflicted. It is plainly so in the example of the 
ividow of Zarephath, 1 Kings xvii. 18. when her son, her only son^ 
and probably her only child, died, how did that stroke of God revive 
guilt in her conscience, and made the affliction piercing and intoler- 
able! asappearsbyher passionate expostulation with Elijah, whothen 
sojourned in her house : " What have I to do w ith thee, O man of 
" God ? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and 
" to slay my son ?'' q. d. AVhat injury have I done thee ? Didst thou 
come hither to observe my sins, and pray down this judgment upon 
my child for them .^ The death of her son revived her guilt, and so 
it generally doth, even in the most holy men. 

When Job looked upon his wasted body under afflictions, every 
wrinkle he saw upon it, seemed to him like a witness rising up to 
testify against liim. " Thou hast filled me with wTinkles, which is 
" a witness against me ; and my leanness rising up in me, beareth 
" witness to my face,'' Job xvi. 8. 

Affliction is like a hue and cry after sin in the ears of conscience, 
and this is the envenomed poisonous sting of affliction : pluck out 
this, and the afflicted man is presently eased, though the matter of 
the affliction still abide with him, and lie upon him. He is afflicted 
still, but not cast down by affliction ; the anguish and burden is 
gone, though the matter of trouble remain. 

This is plain both in scripture^ and in experience. Suitable here- 
unto is that strange, but sweet expression, " The inhabitants shall not 
" say I am sick, the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their 
«' iniquities/' Isa. xxxiii. ^4. It is not to be imagined these people 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAIXTS. M 

had found sucli a fortunate island, or happy climate^ where no disease 
could touch or invade their bodies ; no, sickness will find out the 
bodies of the best men, wherever they live ; wherever sin hath been, 
sickness and death will follow it. Heaven is the (3nly privileged place 
from these miseries : but the meaning is, though they be sick, they 
shall not feel the pains and burdens of sickness, " they shall not say 
" they are sick :'' x\nd why so ? because their iniquities are for* 
given ; plainly confirming what was before asserted, that the anguish 
of an affliction is gone as soon as ever the sting of guilt is pluckt out. 
And hence, pardoning of the soul, and healing of the body, are put 
together as conjugate mercies ; " Bless the Lord, O my soul, who 
" forgiveth all thine iniquities, and healeth all thy diseases," Psal. 
ciii. 1, 3. When the soul is at ease, the pains of the body are next 
to nothing : Sickness can cloud all natural joys, but not the joy of 
a pardon. 

Nay, which is yet more ; pluck out but the sting of sin, and there 
is no horror in death, the king of terrors, and worst of all outward 
evils. See how the pardoned believer triumphs over it : " O death, 
'• where is thy sting ? O grave, where is thy victory ? The sting of 
" death is sin," 1 Cor, xv. 55. They are words of defiance, as men 
use to deride and scorn a boasting, insulting enemy, when they see 
him cast upon his back, and his sword broken over his head. * 

Where are your boasts and menaces now .^ O death, thou hast lost 
thy sting and terror together. Thus the pardoned believer, with an 
holy gallantry of spirit, derides and contemns his disarmed enemy 
death. So then it is manifest, that whatever plucks out the poison- 
ous sting of affliction, must needs be an effectual remedy and cure 
to the afflicted person. 

But tliis the covenant of grace doth ; it reveals and applies gospel- 
remission to them that are within the blessed bond of it. '• This shall 
" be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel ; I will 
*' forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more," Jer. 
xxxi. 33, 34. f Behold here a gracious, full, and irrecoverable par- 
don ! I ivill forgive, or be propitiously merciful, as that word imports; 
pointing plainly to Christ our propitiation, our sins are forgiven us 
for his name's sake. And a pardon as full as it hfrec ; iniquity and 
bin, smaller and greater, are here forgiven ; for Gcxl, in the remission 
of his people's sins, having respect to the propitiating blood of Christ, 
he pardons all as well as some; that blood deserving and ])urchasing 
the most full and complete pardons for his people, 1 John i, 7. 
" The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin." 

And this covenant-pardon is as firm, as it is/ree and full. So run 
the expressions in the grant, I icill 7'ememher their sin no more: Or m 



* Where is now thy threats ? See there thy fury laid. Ovid. 

t n^D //.£&/; i60[Ma.i, It respects the propitiatory expiation of sin by Christ, i\Ijo 
is therefore called i(X.(SliQi, and lAa^riom. l John ii. 2. and Rom. iii, 25. 



9i^ IHE BALM OF THE C0\ EXANT 

the apostle's works, Hob. viii. 12. a ,ar,tM'js?M in, I will not remember 
them again : That is, not so remember, as to impute them, or con- 
demn my pardoned ones for them : For the pardoned persons come 
no more into condemnation. Job v. 24. Their sins are cast into the 
x3epths of the sea, Mic. vii. 19. Sooner shall the East and the West, 
the two opposite points of heaven, meet, than the pardoned soul and 
its sins meet again in condemnation, Psal. ciii. 12. 

Now, the case standing thus with all God's covenant people, all 
their sins being graciously, fully, and irrevocably forgiven them, how 
convincingly and sweetly doth this conclusion follow, that the cove- 
nant is a complete remedy to all afflicted believers ? As nothing can 
befal us before Christ and pardon be ours, which is sufficient to raise 
us, so nothing can befal us afterwards, which should deject and sink 
us. This is the first benefit afflicted believers receive from the cove- 
nant, and this alone is enough to heal all our sorrows. 

Jj'g. II. As the covenant of grace disarms all the afflictions of 
believers of the only sting by which they wound them : so it alters 
the very nature and property of their afflictions, and turns them from 
a cu7'se into a hJesswg to them : And in so doing, it becomes more 
than a remedy^ even a choice benefit and advantage to them. 

All afflictions in their own nature, are a part of the curse ; they 
are the consequence and punishments of sin ; they work naturally 
against our good : But when once they are taken into the covenant, 
their nature and property is altered. As waters in their subterranean 
passages, meeting some vii'tuous mineral in their course, are thereby 
impregnated, and endowed with a rare healing property to the body ; 
so afflictions passing through the covenant, receive from it a heahng 
virtue to our souls. They are, in themselves, sour and harsh, as 
wild hedge-fruits ; but being ingrafted into this stock, they yield tlie 
pleasant fruits of righteousness. " If his children break my sta- 
*' tutes, and keep not my commandments, then will I visit their ini- 
" quity with the rod, and their sins with stripes: Nevertheless my 
" loving-kindness will I not utterly take away, nor suffer my faith- 
" fulness to fail." Psal. Ixxxix. 30, 31. Here you may see all the 
rods of affliction put into the covenant, as Aaron's rod was into the 
ark. And hence two things necessarily follow. 

(1.) That such afflictions can do the children of God no liurt. 
They may affright, but cannot hurt them : We may meet them with 
fear, but shall part from them with joy : An unsanctified rod never 
did any man good, and a sanctified rod never did any man hurt: He 
may afflict our bodies with sickness, deny, or cut off our comfort in 
children, impoverish our estates, let loose persecutors upon us ; but in 
all this he really doth us no hurt, as he speaks in Jcr. xxv. 6. No 
more hurt than a skilful surgeon doth in saving his patient's life, 
by cutting off a mortified, gangrened member : No more hurt than 
frost and snow do the earth in killing the rank weeds that exhausted 
the sap and strength of it, and preparing and mellowing it to produce 



ArrLIED TO xVFFLICTED SAINTS, 99 

a fruitful crop of corn. By these he recals our minds from vanity, 
weans our fond and ensnaring affections from the world, discovers 
and mortifies those lusts which gentler methods and essays could 
not do : And is this for our hurt ? 

I confess God's thoughts and ours often differ upon this case.- 
We measure the good and evil of providences, by their respect to 
the ease and pleasure of our flesh, but God sees this is the way to 
cast our spirits into a dead formality, and in removing them, he doth 
but deprive us of the occasions and instruments of spiritual mis- 
chiefs and miseries, in which certainly he doth us no hurt. 

(2.) But that is not all. Afflictions once put into the covenant, 
must promote the good of the saints ; they are beneficial, as well ai 
harmless things. " We know (saith the apostle) that all things work 
*' together for good to them that love God." This promise is the 
compass which sets the course, and directs the motions of all the afflic- 
tions of the people of God ; and no ship at sea obeys the rudder so 
exactly, as the troubles of the righteous do the direction of this pro- 
mise. Possibly we cannot discern this at present, but rather pre- 
judge the works of God, and say all these things are against us ; but 
hereafter we shall see, and with joy acknowledge them to be the 
happy instruments of our salvation. 

How often hath affliction sent the people of God to their knees, 
"with such language as this, ' O my God, how vain and sensual hath 

* this heart of mine been under prosperity ! How did the love of 

* the creature, like a sluice, cut in the bank of a river, draw away 

* the stream of my affections from thee ! I had gotten a soft pillow 

* of creature-comforts under ray head, and I easily fell asleep, and 

* dreamed of nothing but rest and pleasure, in a state of absence 

* from thee ; but now thy rod hath awakened me, and reduced me 

* to a right sense of my condition. I was negligent or dead-hearted 
' in the course of my duty, but now I can pray more fervently, feel- 

* ingly, and frequently, than before. O it was good for me that I 
' have been afflicted. O, saith God, how w^ell was this rod bestow- 

* ed, which hath done my poor child so much good ; now I have 
' more of his heart, and more of his time and company than ever ; 
' now I hear the voice, and seethe gracious workings of the spirit of 

* my child after me again, as in the days of his first love.' The sum 
of all this you may see in the ingenuous meltings of Ephraim under 
a sanctified rod, Jer. xxxi. 19, 20. and the sounding of the bowels 
of mercy over him. ' Ephraim mourns at God's feet, and God falls 
' upon Ephraim's neck. I have been as a beast, saith Ephraim : 
' Thou art a dear son, a pleasant child, saith God. My bowels are 
' troubled and j)ained for sin, saith Ephraim : And my bowels are 
' troubled for thee, and my compassions rolled together, saith God, 
O blessed fruits of sanctified rods ! such precious effects as these rich- 
ly repay you for all the pain and anguish you feel. And thus as the 
wound of a scorpion is healed by applying its own oil, so the evil of 

Vol. VI, G 



100 l-HE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

affliction is cured by the sanctified fruits that it produceth, when it 
is once put into the covenant. 

Arg. III. The covenant doth not only alter the nature and property 
of the saints afflictions, but it also orderly disposes^ and aptly places 
them in the frame of providence, among the other means and instru- 
ments of our salvation ; so that a council of angels could never place 
them, or the least circumstance belonging to them, more aptly and 
advantageously than it hath done. The knowledge of this must 
needs quiet and fully relieve the afflicted soul : And who can doubt it 
that believes it to be a covenant ordered in all things, as the text 
speaks? Here all things, yea, the most minute circumstances that befal 
you, are reduced to their proper class and place of service ; so exactly 
ordered, that all the wisdom of men and angels know not how to 
mend or alter any thing to your advantage. 

If a small pin be taken out of the frame of a watch, and placed 
any where else, the motion is either presently stopped, or made irre- 
gular. And as Galen observes of the curious fabric of an human 
body, that if the greatest naturalists should study an hundred years 
to find out a more commodious situation, or configuration of any part 
thereof, it could never be done. It is so here : No man can come 
after God and say, this or that had been better placed or timed than 
it is, if this affliction had been spared, and such an enjoyment stood 
in the room of it, it had been better. All God's providences are the 
results and issues of his infinite wisdom : For " he works all things 
^' according to the counsel of his own will," Eph. i. 11. The wheeU^ 
i. e. the motions and revolutions of providence are full of eyes, Ezek. 
i. 18. They are well advised and judicious motions, Non cceco im^ 
petu •volvuntur rotce ; they run not at random. The most regular 
and excellent working must needs follow the most deep and perfect 
counsel, Isa. xxviii. 29- " He is deep in counsel, and excellent in 
*' working." 

Now, every affliction that befals God's covenanted people, being 
placed by the most wise and infinite counsel of God in that very 
order, time, and manner in which they befal them, this very affliction, 
and not that, at this very time, and not at another, (it being always 
a time of need, 1 Pet. i. 6.) and ushered in by such forerunning occa- 
sions and circumstances : it must follow, that they all take the proper 
places, and come exactly at the fittest seasons ; and if one of them 
Avere wanting, something would be defective in the frame of your 
happiness. As they now stand, they work together for your good, 
■which displaced, they would not do. 

It is said, Jer. xviii. 11. " Behold, I frame evil, and I devise a de- 
*' vice." It is spoken of the contrivance and frame of afflictions, as 
the proper works of God. The project of it is laid for his glory and 
the eternal good of his people. It turns to their salvation, Phil. i. 
19. But O how fain would we have this of that affliction screwed 
out of the frame of providence, conceiving it would be far better out 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAIKT5. 101 

than in ! O if God had spared my child, or my health, it had been 
better for me than now it is. But this is no other than a presump- 
tuous correcting and controuling of the wisdom of God, and so he 
interprets it. Job xl. 2. " He that reproveth God, let him answer it." 
God hath put every affliction upon your persons, estates, relations, 
just where you find and feel it; and that whole frame he hath 
put into the covenant, in the virtue whereof it works for your salva- 
tion ; and therefore let all disputings and reasonings, all murmurs 
and discontents cease ; nothing can be better for you, than as God 
hath laid it; and this, one would think, should heal and quiet all. 
You yourselves would mar all, by presuming to mend any thing. 
*' Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor, 
*' hath taught him.? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed 
*' him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him 
*' knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding .?^ Isa. 
xl. 18, 14. Well then, be satisfied it is best as it is; and nothing 
can be so advantageous to you, as God's projects and contrivance, 
■which you are so uneasy under, and dissatisfied about. 

Arg. IV. As the covenant sorts and ranks all your troubles into 
their proper classes and places of service, so it secures the special, 
gracious presence of God with you in the deepest plunges of distress 
that can befal you ; which presence is a full relief of all your troubles, 
or else nothing in the world is or can be so. 

The very heathens thought themselves well secured against all 
evils and dangers, if they had their petty household-gods with them in 
their journeys: but the great God of heaven and earth hath engaged 
to be with his people, in all their afflictions and distresses. As a ten- 
der father sits up himself with his sick child, and will not leave him to 
the care of a servant only ; so God thinks it not enough to leave his 
children to the tutelage and charge of angels, but will be with them 
himself, and that in a special and peculiar way : so run the express 
"Words of the covenant, Jer. xxxii. 40. " I will not turn away from 
*' them to do them good, but I will put my fear into their hearts ; 
*' and they shall not depart from me.*" Here he undertakes for both 
parts, himself and them. / will not, and they shall not. 

Here is the saints security for the gracious presence of God with 
them, a presence which dispels all the clouds of affliction and sorrow, 
as the sun scatters the morning mists. The God of all consolation 
is with you, O poor dejected believers, and will not such a presence 
turn the darkness into light round about you ? There is a threefold 
presence of God with his creatures. 

1. Essential, which is common and necessary to all. 

2. Gracious, which is peculiar to some on earth. 

3. Glorious, which is the felicity of heaven. 

The first is not the privilege here secured; for it is necessary to all, 
good and bad : In him we all live, and move, and have our being. 
The vilest men on earth, yea, the beasts of i\iQ field, and the very devils 

G2 



102 tHE BALM OF THE COVEXA^^t 

in hell, are always in this presence of God^ but it is tlieir torment, 
rather than their privilege. The last is proper to the glorified saints 
and angels. Such a presence embodied saints cannot now bear ; but 
it is his special gracious presence which is made over and secured to 
them in the covenant of grace ; and this presence of God is mani- 
fested to them two ways. 

1. Internally, by the Spirit. 

2. Externally, by Providence. 

1. Internally, by the Spirit of grace dwelling and acting in them^ 
this is a choice privilege to them in the day of affliction : for hereby 
they are instructed and taught the meaning of the rod, Psal. xciv, 
12. " Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, and teachest him 
*' out of thy law." O it is a blessed thing to be taught so many les- 
sons by the rod, as the Spirit teacheth them ! Surely they reckon it 
an abundant recompense of all that they suffer. " It is good for me 
" that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes," Psal. 
cxix. 71. Yea, he refreshes as well as teaches, and no cordials revive 
like his. " In the multitude of the thoughts I had within me, thy 
'' comforts delight my soul," Peak xciv. 19- 

Yea, by the presence and blessing of his Spirit, our afflictions are 
sanctified to subdue and purge out our corruptions. "By this shall the 
*' iniquity of Jacob be purged, andthis is all the fruit to takeaway sin,'' 
Isa. xxvii. 9. Now, if a man be instructed in the ends and designs of 
the rod, refreshed and comforted under every stripe of the rod, and 
have his sins mortified and purged by the sanctification of the Spirit 
upon his afflictions ; then both the burdensomeness and bitterness of 
his afflictions are removed, and healed by the internal presence of the 
Spirit of God with his afflicted ones. 

2. Besides this, God is providentially present with his people, in all 
their troubles, in a more external way; ordering all the circumstances 
of their troubles to their advantage. He orders the degree and ex- 
tent of our afflictions, still leaving us some mercies and comforts to 
support and refresh us, when others are cut off. In measure doth he 
debate with his covenanted people, staying the rough wind in the day 
of the east-wind, Isa. xxvii. 8. He might justly smite allour outward 
comforts at once, so that affliction should not rise up the second time: 
for what comfort soever hath been abused by sin, is thereby forfeited 
into the hand of judgment. But the Lord knows our inability 
to sustain such strokes, and therefore proportions them to our 
strength. We have some living relations to minister comfort to us 
when mourning over our dead : He makes not a full end of all at 
once. Yea, and his providence supports our frail bodies, enabling 
them to endure the shocks and storms of so many afflictions, without 
ruin. Surely there is as much of the care of Providence manifested 
in this, as there is in preserving poor crazy leaking barks, and weather- 
beaten vessels at sea, when the waves not only cover them, but break 
into them, and they are ready to founder in the midst of them. 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 103 

O what a singular mercy is the gracious presence of God with men ! 
even the special presence of that God, " who is ubove all, and through 
" all, and in you all," as the apostle speaks, Eph. iv. 6. Ahmw all, 
in majesty and dominion ; through all, in his most efficacious provi- 
dence ; and in you all, by his grace and Spirit. As he is above all, 
so he is able to command any mercy you want, with a word of his 
mouth ; as he is through all, so he must be intimately acquainted 
with all your wants, straits, and fears; and as he is in you all, so he 
is engaged for vour support and supply, as you are the dear members 
of Christ's mystical body. 

Objection. But methinks I hear Gideon's objection rolled into the 
way of this sovereign consolation : " If God be with us, why is all 
" this evil befallen us ?" 

Solution. AXUvhai? If it had been all this rebellion and rage against 
God, all this apostasy and revolting more and more, all this contu- 
macy and hardness of heart under the rod ; then it had been a 
weighty and stumbling objection indeed : but to say, If God be with 
us, why are all these chastening corrections and temporal crosses be- 
fallen us ? why doth he smite our bodies, children or estates ? is an 
objection no way fit to be urged by any that are acquainted with the 
scriptures, or the nature and tenor of the covenant of grace. Is 
afflicting and forsaking all one with you ? must God needs hate, be- 
cause he scourgeth you ^ I question whether Satan himself hath 
impudence enough to set such a note or comment upon Heb. xii. 6. 
*' For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every 
'* son whom he receiveth.*'* 

No, no. Christian, it is not a chastening rod, but the denying of 
such a favour, and suffering men to sin with impunity, and go on 
prosperously in the way of their own hearts, that speaks a rejected 
man, as the next words, ver. 7. inform you. As he never loved you 
the better for your prosperity, so you may be confident he loves you 
never the less for your adversity : and will not this close and heal the 
wounds made by affliction ? What, not such a promise as this, / will 
he with him in trouble, Psal. xci. 15. Will not such a presence revive 
thee ? What then can do it ! Moses reckoned that a wilderness with 
God, was better than a Canaan without him, '' If thy presence go 
" not with me, (saith he) then carry us not hence,'' Exod. xxxiii. 15. 
And if there be the spirit of a Christian in thee, and God should give 
thee thine own choice, thou wouldst rather chuse to be in the n^.idst 
of all these afflictions with thy God, than back again in all thy pros- 
perity, and among thy children and former comforts, without him. 

Arg. V. As this covenant assures you of God's gracious and special 
presence, so it fully secures all the essentials and substantial of your 
happiness, against all hazards and contingencies ; in which security 
lies your full relief and complete remedy against all your troubles for 
the loss of other things. 

There be two sorts of things belonging to all God's people, viz, 

G 3 



104 THE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

1. Essentials. 

2. Accidentals. 

1. They have some things which are essential to their happiness ; 
such are the loving-kindness of God, the pardon of sin, union with 
Christ, and eternal salvation. And they have other things which 
are accidentals, that come and go, live and die, without affecting or 
altering their happiness ; such are health, estates, children, and all 
sorts of relations and earthly comforts. These are to our happi- 
ness, as leaves are to the tree, which fade and fall away without 
endangering the tree ; but the other as the vital sap, without which 
it withers and dies at the very root. Now if it can be made out that 
the covenant fully secures the former ; then it will strongly follow, 
that it therein abundantly relieves us under all our sorrows for the 
latter : And that it doth so, will evidently appear by reviewing the 
covenant, wherein you shall find all these substantial and essential 
mercies of believers, fully secured against all hazards and contin- 
gencies whatsoever. 

There the loving-kindness of God is secured to their souls, what- 
ever afflictions he lays upon their bodies, " Nevertheless my loving- 
'' kindness will I not take away,'' Psal. Ixxxix. 33. And their par- 
don is as safe as the favour of God is ; it is safely locked up in that 
promise, " I will remember their sins no more," Jer. xxxi. 34. Yea, 
heaven, together with our perseverance in the way to it, are both put 
out of hazard by that invaluable promise, " They shall never perish, 
" neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand," John x. 28. 

Thus are all the essentials of a believer's happiness secured in the 
covenant ; and these being safe, the loss of other enjoyments should 
not much affect or wound them, because if he enjoy them, they add 
nothing to his happiness ; and if he lose them, he is still happy in 
God without them. And this unriddles that enigmatical expression 
of the apostle, 2 Cor. vi. 10. "As having nothing, yet possessing all 
*' things :" i. e. the substraction of all external things cannot make us 
miserable, who have Christ for our portion, and all our happiness 
entire in him. 

If a man travelling on the road, fall into the hands of thieves, who 
rob him of a few shillings, why this doth not much affect him ; for 
though he has lost his spending money, yet his stock is safe at home, 
and his estate secure, which will yield him more. Or if a man has 
been at court, and there obtained a pardon for his life, or a grant of 
a thousand pound per amuim, and returning home should chance to 
lose his gloves, or his handkerchief, sure if the man be in his wits, he 
will not take on or mourn for the loss of these*trifles, whilst the par- 
don or grant is safe. Surely these things are not worth the men- 
tioning. 

It is true, the loss of outward and earthly things are to a believer 
real trials, yet they are but seeming losses : and therefore they are ex- 
pressed in the apostle's phrase, with a tanquam, s'lcut : " As chasten^ 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 105 

** ed, and not killed ; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing," 2 Cor. \i. 
9. And if your losses be but as it were losses, your sorrows 
should be but as it were sorrows : much like a physic-sickness, which 
we do not call a proper sickness, but as it were a sickness because 
it conduceth to the health, and not to the hurt of the person ; as all 
God's medicinal afflictions on his people also do. 

Indeed, if the stroke of God were at our souls, to cut them off 
from Christ and heaven, to raise our names out of the covenant, or 
revoke the pardon of sin; then we had cause enough to justify the 
extremity of sorrow ; cause enough to weep out our eyes, and break 
our hearts for such a dismal blow as that would be. But blessed be 
God you stand out of the way of such strokes as these; let God 
strike round about you, or lay his hand upon any other comforts 
you possess, he will never smite you in these essential things, which 
is certainly enough to allay and relieve all your other sorrows. 

My name is blotted out of the earth, but still it is written in hea- 
ven. God hath taken my only son from me, but he hath given his 
only Son for me, and to me. He hath broken off my hopes and 
expectations as to this world, but my hopes of heaven are fixed sure 
and immoveable for ever. My house and heart are both in confu- 
sion and great disorder, but I have still an everlasting covenant, 
ordered in all things, and sure. I cannot say my son liveth, but I 
can still say, " I know that my Redeemer liveth. The grass 
" withereth, and the flower fadeth ; but the word of the Lord abid- 
" eth for ever," Isa. xl. 8. 

Arg. VI. As God strikes none of the substantial mercies of his co- 
venant people, so when he doth smite their external accidental com- 
forts, the covenant of grace assures them, that even those strokes are 
the strokes of love, and not wrath ; the wounds of a friend, and not 
of an enemy ; which is another singular relief to the afflicted soul. 

The most frightful thing in any affliction, is the mark or character 
of God's wrath which it seems to bear : take away that, and the afflic- 
tion is nothing. " O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither 
" chasten me in thy hot displeasure," Psal vi. 1. He doth not de- 
precate the rebukes, but the anger of God ; not his chastening, but 
his hot displeasure. God's anger is much more terrible than his re- 
buking, and his hot displeasure than his chastening. Therefore he 
intreats, that whatever God did to him in the way of affliction, he 
would do nothing in the way of wrath ; and then he could bear any 
thing from him. A mark of Divine anger engraven upon any afflic- 
tion, makes that affliction dreadful to a gracious soul. 

But if a man be well satisfied, that whatever anguish there be, yet 
there is no anger, but that the rod is in the hand of love : O how it 
eases the soul and lightens the burden ! Now this desirable point is 
abundantly cleared in the covenant ; where we find a clear consist- 
ence, yea, a necessary connection betwixt the love and the rod of 

G4 



106 THE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

God, Psal. Ixxxix. 31. and Heb. xii. 6. Nay, so rare are the afflic- 
tions of the saints from being marks of his wrath, that they are the 
fruits and evidences of his fatherly love. 

Two men walking through the streets, see a company of boys fight- 
ing, one of them steps forth, and singles out one of those boys, and 
carries him home to correct him ; which of the two, think you, is 
that child's father.^ The case standing thus with all God's people, 
surely there is no reason for their despondencies whatever their af- 
flictions be. 

Arg. VII. Lastly, The covenant doth not only discover the con- 
sistence and connection betwixt the love and the rod of God, but it 
also gives full satisfaction to the saints, that whatsoever contemporary 
mercy they are deprived of, which was within the bond of the cove- 
nant when they enjoyed it, is not lost, but shall certainly be restored 
to them again with a rich improvement, and that they shall enjoy it 
again to all eternity. 

What a rare model or platform of consolatory arguments hatli the 
apostle laid down to antidote our immoderate sorrows, for the death of 
our dear relatives which died interested in Christ and the covenant ! 
1 Thes. iv. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. "I would not have you igno- 
^•' rant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep," they are not 
dead, but asleep. Sleep is but a parenthesis to the labours and tra- 
vels of this life ; and it is but a partial privation, not of the habit, but 
acts of reason, to which, upon awaking, the soul returns again. Just 
such a thing is that which in believers is commonly called death. 
And we do not use to bewail our friends because they are fallen 
asleep : and therefore it no way becomes us to sorrow as those that 
have no hope, nor to look upon them as lost ; for as he strongly 
argueth and concludeth (ver. 14.) their restoration to their bodies, 
yea, and to our enjoyment again, is fully secured both to them and 
us by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The influence of 
his resurrection is by the prophet Isaiah compared to the morning- 
dew, Isa. xxvi. 19. to shew that what virtue there is in the morning- 
dew, to cause the languishing plants of the earth to revive and 
flourish, that and much more there is in the resurrection of Christ, 
to revive and quicken the dead bodies of these saints ; their bodies 
shall be restored by virtue of the warm animating dew or influence 
of his resurrection. 

Objection. But the marvellous change which the resurrection makes 
upon glorified bodies, and the long separation of many ages betwixt 
us and them, seems to make it impossible for us to know them, as 
those that were once related to us upon earth ; and, if so, then that 
comfort which resulted from them, as in relation to us, is perished 
with them at death. 

Solution. Whatever change the resurrection shall make on their 
bodies, and the length of time betwixt our parting with them on earth, 
and meeting them again in heaven shall be ; neither the one nor the 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAIXTS. 107 

other seem sufficient to destroy the grounds of our hope, that we 
shall know them to be the very persons that were once so dear to us 
upon earth. There may remain some Uneament or property of indivi- 
duation, whereby the acute glorified eye may possibly discover who 
they were ; or if not, yet none can doubt but it may be discovered 
to us by revelation from God ; and that one way or other it will be 
discovered, is highly probable, because nothing will be denied to that 
perfect state which may contribute to, or complete the joy and hap- 
piness thereof, as we cannot but think this knowledge will do. If 
Adam knew Eve to be flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, in 
the state of innocence; and if the apostles knew Moses and Elias 
upon the mount, yea, if Dives in hell knew Abraham and Lazarus 
in heaven; sure we may well allow that knowledge to the glorified 
saints in heaven, which we find in the state of innocence, or in the 
sinful state on earth, or in the state of the damned in hell. 

And if so, then the covenanted parents shall be able to say in that 
day, this was our child for whom we prayed and travailed again, till 
Christ was formed in him ; this is he whom we educated for God, 
and trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord : and now 
we sec the fruit of our prayers, counsels, catechisings ; a child of so 
many prayers perished not. And the covenanted child shall say, 
this was my pious Father, who took such care for my soul ; and 
this my tender mother, who, like another Monica, was zealously con- 
cerned for my eternal happiness. These are they that sowed so 
many prayers, which God gave them not time to reap the fruits of 
on earth, but now they shall reap the fruit and comfort of them for 
ever. O joyful meeting in the kingdom of God ! The joy of such 
a meeting abundantly recompenses for all the tears and groans of a 
dolorous parting. 

Now, put all this together, and value the arguments produced to 
make good the first thing propounded, namely, the sufficiency of the 
covenant to relieve and remedy all the sorrows and losses of believers, 
be they never so many, or so great : this cannot be doubted, since it 
hath been proved, that it disarms all their afflictions of the only sting 
by which they wound ; alters the very nature and property of their 
afflictions, turning them from curses into blessings; rariksand disposes 
them into their proper class and place of service, so as the counsel of 
n^en and angels could never lay them better to our advantage ; engages 
the gracious and special presence of God with you in all your troubles; 
secures all your essential and substantial mercies from all hazards and 
contingencies ; discovers a consistency, yea, a connection betwixt the 
rod and the love of God ; and assures you, that whatever temporal 
mercy you ever enjoyed, in and by virtue of the covenant, shall be re- 
stored to you again with an admirable improvement, and singular ad- 
vantage. It is by all this, I say, abundantly proved, that the cove- 
nant is a sovereign and effectual remedy to all the sorrows of God's 



108 T«E BALM OF THE COVENANT 

people; and that it was no hyperbole in David's encomium^ when he 
called it his salvation, and all his desire. Butthen, as I hinted before, 

II. It must be able to do these things at all times, and in all ages, 
or else it will be but a temporary relief to some only and not to all. 
Now, that the covenant hath this ability in all ages, and is as able to 
relieve us now, as it was to relieve David in his day fully appears by 
the epithet given it in the text, it is an EVERLASTING COVE^ 
NANT. " Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant." 

Time is the measure of other things ; but everlastingness is the 
measure of the covenant. When the Lord espouseth a people to 
himself in covenant, " he betrothes them to himself for ever," Hos. 
ii. 19. And from that day forward they may say on good grounds, 
" This God is our God for ever and ever ; he will be our guide 
'' even unto death," as it is in Psal. xlviii. 14. Nothing in nature is 
so firmly established as the covenant is. Hills and mountains shall 
sooner start from their basis and centre, and fly like wandering atoms 
up and down in the air, than this covenant shall start from its sure 
and steadfast foundation, Isa. liv. 10. 

The causes and reasons of the immutability of the new covenant, 
9.re, 

1. The unchangeable purpose of God, which is a sure and stead- 
fast foundation, 2 Tim. iii. ^9. " Nevertheless, the foundation of 
" God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that 
'' are his." The first act of God's love to the creature, is that by 
which he chooseth such a one to be his, and is therefore called the 
foundation of God, as being that on which he lays the superstructure 
of all other mercies. And this stands sure, there can be no vacillancy 
or slipperiness in such a foundation ; for he knows who are his ; he 
knows them as his creatures, and as his new creatures in covenant 
with him ; as his by election, and his by covenant-transaction and 
compact. The purpose of his grace before time, gave being to the 
covenant of grace in time, and is the foundation of it. 

2. The free grace of God in Christ, is that which gives immuta- 
bility to this covenant. It is not built upon works, but grace : 
" Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace : to the end the 
'' promise might be sure to all the seed," Rom. iv. 16. This cove- 
nant is not founded as the first was, upon the variable and incon- 
stant obedience of man, but upon grace, which is a steady and firjn 
foundation of it. 

3. The suretiship of Christ gives everlasting stability to this cove- 
nant, Heb. vii. 22. " He was made * the surety of a better testa- 
" ment," or covenant : For oiu&rtXT} signifies both ; he struck hands, 
or engaged himself for the whole covenant, and every condition in it, 
and that both on God's part and ours ; to undergo all our punish- 
ments, to pay all our debts, and to work in us all that God required 

* Eyr-jo^j from syrvau which signifies to strike hands, iv yvioii. 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 109 

of US in the covenant of grace : And all this under the penalty that 
lay upon us to have undergone. And this not as otlicr sureties, who 
enter into one and the same bond with the principal, so that the 
creditor may come upon which he will : but he lays all upon Christ, 
and relies wholly upon him for satisfaction, knowing he was able to 
perform it ; and so under the ty})e of God's covenant with David, 
Christ is brought in, Psal. Ixxxix. 19. " Thou spakest in vision to 
*"= thy holy One, and saidst, I have laid help on one who is mighty :"" 
q. d. I know thy ability, my Son, thou art able to pay me, and 
therefore I lay all upon thee. 

It follows strongly from what hath been said, that the virtue of 
the covenant decays not by time as other things do, but is at this 
day, and will be to the end of the world, as potent and efficacious a 
relief to all God's people, as ever it was to David, or any of the 
believers of the first ages. 

And if so, certainly nothing can be more strongly supporting, or 
sweetly relieving in such a changeable world tlian this, He hath made 
with me an everlasting covenant. What David speaks of the natural 
Ijeavens will be found true, of things overspread and covered by them, 
Fsal. cii. 26, 27. " They shall perish, but thou shalt endure : and 
" all of them shall wax old like a garment ; and as a vesture shalt 
" thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the 
" same, and thy years shall have no end." The creature was, and 
is not; but my covenant God is the same ; his name is I am, and his 
covenant is the same that ever it was ; which is the second property 
or ingredient of this complete remedy to the saints afflictions. The 
covenant hath not only all power, virtue, and efficacy in itself to 
relieve a distressed Christian, but it hath it in all ages, as well for 
one as for another. The third and last follows, namely, 

III. That it is a sure covenant. So David stiles it in my text. The 
certainty of the covenant is the glory of the covenant, and the com- 
fort of all that are in it. The certainty of it in itself is past all doubt, 
by what hath been said before. It is certain God did make such an 
everlasting covenant with his people in Christ, and it must remain an 
eternal truth, that such a covenant there is betwixt God and them. 
It is as impossible that this everlasting covenant should not be made 
with them, as it is impossible for God to lie, Heb. vi. 18. If he might 
make himself not to have covenanted everlastingly with them when 
once he had so covenanted, such a supposition would destroy the 
foundation of all faith and certainty, and overthrow the apostle's con- 
sequence on which the faith and comfort of believers is built. Nor 
is it an infringement of the Almighty power, to say, God himself 
cannot do that which implies a plain contradiction, 2.?, factum iixfec- 
turn reddere, to make that which was done, not to be done. 

But of this there is no doubt ; it is a sure covenant in itself. That 
which makes to my purpose here, is to prove it capable of personal 
security and certainty to us. David had, and all the federates, as 



110 THE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

well as he, may have a subjective or personal certainty also. He 
speaks categorically and positively in the text. " Yet hath he made 
" [with me] an everlasting covenant.'" 

Objection. If it be said, he might have a personal certainty of it, be- 
cause it was revealed to him in an extraordinary way by the prophet 
Natlian, 2 Sam. vii. 12, 13,. 14. and extraordinai'ia no7i current in 
exemplum^ this was a pecuhar favour, which we may not expect. 

Solution. I reply, and why may not we know it with as full a cer- 
tainty to whom God is pleased to make it known in his ordinary way ? 
Think you his word and Spirit cannot ratify it as fully and firmly to 
our souls,, as Nathan's discovery of it did to David's soul ? God give 
me hut such a seal of it in his ordinary method and way of confirma- 
tion, and I will desire no more of him in this world for my relief 
and comfort, whatever afflictions it shall please him to lay upon me. 

And thus you see all the properties of a complete remedy in the 
covenant, and of it every believer may say, '^ This is all my salvation, 
'* and all my desire, though he make not my house to grow." And now 
what hinders, but that all God's afflicted should say from henceforth, 
" Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bounti- 
" fully ^nth thee," Psal. cxvi. 7. I have all the desires of my heart in 
the covenant of God, though he take away the desire of mine eyes 
upon earth with his stroke. In this covenant my soul is at rest, and 
my very heart is centred. Xo affliction can be great enough to make 
the consolations of the Almighty seem small in mine eyes. Worldly 
sorrows may swallow up worldly comforts, but no sorrows upon earth 
can swallow up the consolations of the covenant. 

I know many Christians droop and are dejected under the rod, not- 
withstanding such sovereign cordials are prepared for them in the 
covenant ; but this is not for want of efficacy in the covenant, but 
for want of faith to clear their interest, and draw forth the virtue of 
it to their relief Some are ignorant of their privileges, and others 
diffident about their interest. It is vrith raanv of God's children, 
as it is with our children in their infancy, they know not their father, 
nor the inheritance they are born unto. 

That which remains, is the improvement of this truth to our 
actual comfort and relief in the day of trouble. And this I shaU 
assist you in, as God shall assist me, by way of, 

1. Information. 

2. Exhortation. 

S. Examination, and 
4. Consolation. 
USE 1. For iiiformation^ in three corollaries. 
Corollary 1. By what hath been discoursed from this text, it ap- 
pears, That God governs the spiritual part of the world by faiths 
and not by sense. He will have them live upon his covenant and 
promises^ and fetch their relief and comfort thcncCy under all their 
sorrows and distresses in this life. 

God never intended temporal things for liis people^s portion^ 



APPLIED TO AFFLrCTED SAIXf S, 111 

therefore from them they must not expect their reUef in times of 
trouble. He will have us read his love to us by things within us, not 
by things without us. He hath other ways of expres.sing his love to 
his people, than by the smiles of his providence upon them. How- 
would earthly things be overvalued and idolized, if besides their con- 
veniency to our bodies, they should be the marks and evidences of 
God's love to our souls ! A Christian is to value himself as the mer^ 
chant, or the husbandman doth. The merchant values himself by 
his bills and goods abroad, not by the ready cash that lies by him. 
And the husbandmen by his deeds and leases, and so many acres of 
corn he hath in the ground, and knows he hath a good estate, though 
sometimes he be not able to command twenty shillings. Christian, 
thy estate also lies in good promises, and new-covenant-securities, 
whether thou hast more or less of earthly comforts in thy hands. 

Every creature feeds according to its nature ; the same plant af- 
fords food to several sorts of creatures: The bee feeds upon the flower, 
the sheep upon the branch, the bird upon the seed, and the swine 
upon the root. One cannot live upon what the other doth. So it 
is here : A Christian can feed upon the promises, and make a sweet 
meal upon the covenant, which the carnal mind cannot relish. " The 
'' life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God ;'' saith 
the apostle, Gal. ii. 21. 

This is that mysterious and excellent life of faith, and the test of 
true Christianity, to relieve ourselves by our hopes of things to come, 
against present evils ; to balance the sorrows and losses of this life, 
with the promises and expectations of the next. Thus did the re- 
nowned believers of the first age ; whenever they felt a pang or qualm 
upon their hearts, under their trials and sorrows from the world, they 
would presently run to their cordial, the promises, and, by faith, from 
thence would refresh and invigorate their souls with new life and 
power. " We faint not, whilst we look not at the things which are 
" seen, for they are temporal ; but at the things which are not seen, 
" for they are eternal,*' 2 Cor. iv. 16, 17, 18. And truly so must 
we also, when our hearts are faint within us in days of affliction, or 
our spirits will fail, and we shall go away in a faint fit of despon- 
dency. 

Corol. 2. Lenrn hence the sovereign efficacy of the icord^ and 
•what a choke privilege it is to have these lively oracles of God in 
our hajids, in a day of distress and trouble. 

It is no ordinary mercy to be born in a land of bibles and ministers; 
to have these choice supports and reliefs at hand, in all our fainting 
hours. " This is my comfort in my affliction, for thy word hath 
" quickened me," Psal. cxix. 50, It was no small mercy gained by 
the reformation, that it put the oracles of God into our hands. It 
affords us many cordials for the support of our souls. For this, among 
other great and excellent uses, the scriptures were written, " That 
*' we, through patience, and comfort of the scriptures, might have 



112 THE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

" hopc,'^ Rom. XV. 4. In other parts of the world, it is a sealed 
book ; bless God it is not so to you. All creature-comforts have a 
double defect, they are neither suitable nor durable ; but the word is 
so. Compare the arguments that have been urged from the cove- 
nant with such as these. It is in vain to trouble ourselves about what 
we cannot help : We are not alone in trouble, others have their losses 
and afflictions as well as we. Alas ! what dry and ineffectual com- 
forts are these ! they penetrate not the heart, as pardon of sin, peace 
with God, and sanctification of troubles to our salvation do. 

And no less is the mercy of an able New-testament ministry, to 
open, apply, and inculcate the consolation of the scriptures, to be 
esteemed. It is no common favour to the afflicted soul, to have with 
or near him an " Interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto 
" him his uprightness,'' Job xxxiii. 23. O England, prize and im- 
prove these mercies, and provoke not thy God to bereave thee of 
them. 

lean find no such settlement made of the gospel and ministry upon 
any place or people, but that God may remove both upon their abuse 
of them ; and if he do, sad will the case of such a people be, especi- 
ally when a day of distress and trouble shall be upon them. It is 
sad to be in a storm at sea, without a compass or pilot to direct and 
advise the distressed passengers. Much so is the case of the afflicted, 
when deprived of the word and ministry. 

Let it therefore be your care to hide the word in your hearts, and 
get the teachings of the Spirit ; that whatever changes of providence 
be upon the world, you may have the light and comfort of the scrip- 
tures to direct and cheer your souls. Sanctification is the writing of 
God's law in your hearts ; and what is written there is secure and 
safe. The word within you is more secure, sweet, and effectual, than 
the word without you. Jerom saith of Nepotianus, that by long and 
assiduous meditation of the scriptures, his breast was at last become 
the library of Christ. O that the breast of every Christian were so 
too. 

Corol. 3. How sad and deplorably miserable is their condition^ 
who have no title to, nor comfort from the covenant of God, when a 
day of affliction and great distress is upon them ! 

Unrelieved miseries are the most intolerable miseries. To be over- 
weighed with troubles on earth, and want support and comfort from 
heaven, is a dismal state indeed ; yet this is the case of multitudes in 
the world. If abehever be in trouble, his God bears his burden for 
him, yea, he bears up him and his burden too ; but he that hath no 
covenant-interest in God, must say as it is, Jer. x. 19. *' This is my 
" affliction, and I alone must bear it." 

There are but two ways they can take for relief, either to divert 
their trouble by that which will inflame them, or rest their burdened 
spirits upon that which will fail them. To run to the tavern or 
ale-house, instead of the closet, is to quench the fire by pouring on 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 113 

Oil : and to run from one creature whieh is smitten and withered, to 
another which still continues with us, is to lean upon a broken reed, 
which not only deceives us, but wounds and pierceth us. What a 
miserable plight was Saul in, and how doleful was his cry and com- 
plaint to Samuel, 1 Sam. xxviii. 15. " I am sore distressed, for the 
" Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, 
" and answereth me no more." Heaven and earth forsook him at 
once. 

Reader, if this be thy case, I advise thee to rest no longer in so 
miserable a condition. Thy very distress seems by an happy necessity 
to put thee upon God, and drive thee to him for refuge ; and it seems 
to be the very aim and design of God in blasting all thy earthly com- 
forts, to necessitate thee to come to him, which thou wouldst never 
be persuaded to do, whilst thou hadst any creature-prop to stay and 
rest upon. And think not that thou shalt be rejected, because thou 
art brought by a plain necessity to him ; come sincerely, and thou 
shalt not be upbraided because a necessity threw thee upon him. 

Use II. Seeing then that the covenant of God is the great relief 
and support of all his afflicted people, let the afflicted soul go to this 
blessed covenant ; study and apply it in all distresses. It is in itself a 
sovereign cordial, able to revive a gracious spirit at the lowest ebb ; 
but then it must be studied and applied, or it will never give forth its 
consolations to our refreshment. Extreme sorrows are apt to deafen 
our ears to all voices of comfort. The loud cries of affliction too 
often drown the sweet still voice of spiritual consolation ; but either 
here or no where our redress is to be found. Why seek we the 
living among the dead ? Comfort from things that cannot yield it ? 
The covenant can discover two things which are able to pacify the 
most discomposed heart, viz. 

i Thefnd^} °f^®<=t'<'"- 
1. It will discover to us the good of affliction, and so rectify our 
mistaken judgments about it. God is not undoing but consulting our 
interest and happiness in all these dispensations. It will satisfy us, that 
in all these things he doth no more than what we ourselves allow and 
approve in other cases. It is not merely from his pleasure, but for 
our profit, that these breaches are made upon our families and com- 
forts, Heb. xii. 10. Who blames the mariner for casting the goods 
over-board to save ship and hfe in a storm .^^ or the surgeon for lancing, 
yea, or cutting off a leg or arm to preserve the life of his patient ? or 
soldiers for burning or beating down the suburbs to save the city in a 
siege ? And why must God only be censured, for cutting off those 
things from us which he knows will hazard us in the day of tempta- 
tion ? He sees the less we have of entanglement, the more prompt- 
ness and fitness we shall have to go through the trials that are coming 
upon us ; and that all the comforts he cuts off' from our bodies are 
for the profit and advantage of our souls. 



114? THE BALM OF THE COVEKAXT 

2. Here you gain a sight not only of the good of affliction, but also 
of the comfortable end and issue of affliction. This cloudy and stormy 
morning will wind up in a serene and pleasant evening. There is a 
vast difference betwixt our meeting with afflictions, and our parting 
from them. " You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen 
" the end of the Lord."" O get but Jobs spirit under affliction, and 
you may see as happy an end of them as he did. 

Had Naomi seen the end of tlie Lord in taking away her liusband, 
and starving her out of Moab, she would not have changed her name,* 
or said the Lord had dealt bitterly M-ith her, in grafting her daughter 
by that providence into that noble line, out of which the Saviour of the 
world was to rise ; and could you but see that good in order to which 
all this train of troubles is laid, you would not murmur or despond 
as you do. 

Objection 1. O but this is a grievous stroke ; God hath smitten me 
in the apple of mine eye, and written bitter things against me. No 
soiTow is like my sorrow ; it is a mourning for an only son ; I have 
lost all in one. 

Solution!. Yon can never lose all in one, except that one be Christ; 
and he being your's in covenant can never be lost. But your mean- 
ing is, you have lost all of that kind in one, no more sons to build 
up your house, and continue your name. 

2. But yet religion will not allow you to say that your dead chil- 
dren are a lost generation. Prcemittuntur, non amittuntur ; They 
are sent before, but not lost. For they are a covenant-seed, by you 
dedicated to the Lord : They were children of many prayers ; a great 
stock of prayers was laid up for them ; in them also you, and all that 
knew them, discerned a teachable spirit, pious inclinations, and con- 
science of secret duties, some good things toward the Lord God of 
Israel, as was said of young Abijah, 1 Kings xiv. 13. So that you 
parted from them upon easier terms than good David parted from 
his Amnon, Absalom, or Adonijah,who died in their sins and open 
rebellions. There was a sting in his troubles which you feel not ; and 
if he comforted himself, notwithstanding, in the covenant of his 
God, in this respect you may much more. 

Object. 2. O but my son was cut off in the very bud, just when 
the fruits of education were ready to disclose and open, 

Sol. Let not that consideration so incense your sorrows ; God 
knows the fittest time both to give and to take our comforts ; and 
seeing you have good grounds to hope your child died interested in 
the covenant of God, you have the less reason to insist upon that 
afflicting circumstance of an immature death. He that dies in Christ 
hath hved long enough both for himself and us. That mariner hath 
sailed long enough that hath gained his port ; and that soldier fought 
long enough that hath won the victory ; and that child lived long 
enough that hath won heaven, how early soever he died. 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 115 

l3esi(le, the sooner he died, the less sin he hath committed, and 
the less misery he saw and felt in this wretched world, which we are 
left to behold and feel. And it is but a vanity to imagine that the 
parting pull with him would have been easier, if the enjoyment of 
him had been longer : For the long enjoyment of desirable comforts 
doth not use to weaken, but abundantly to strengthen and fasten 
the ties of affection. 

Submit your reason therefore, as is meet, to the wisdom of God, 
"who certainly chose the fittest season for this affliction. 

but, ' — -No more buts and objections, I beseech you. 

Enough hath been offered from the covenant of your God, to silence 
all your objections, and to give you the ease and pleasure of a resigned 
will. And what are all your buts and objections, but a spurning at 
Divine Sovereignty, and the thrusting in the affliction deeper into 
your own hearts, which are wounded but too deep already ? 

1 persuade you not to put off, but to regulate natural affections : 
To be without them would deservedly rank us among the worst of 
heathens : but rightly to bound and manage them, would set you 
among the best of Christians. 

I cannot imagine what ease or advantage holy, * Basil gained by 
such a particular and heart-piercing account as he gave of a like af. 
fliction with this ; nor to what purpose it can be to you, to recal and 
recount those things which only incense and aggravate your trou- 
bles : Doubtless, your better way were to turn your thoughts from 
such subjects as these ; to your God in covenant, as David in the 
text did, and to recount the many great and inestimable mercies that 
are secured to you therein ; which death shall never smite, or cut 
off from you, as it doth your other enjoyments. 

Quest But yet unless we can in some measure clear our covenant- 
interest, all these excellent cordials prepared, will signify no more 
to our relief, than water spilt upon the ground : Help us therefore 
to do that, or else all that hath been said is in vain ? How may a 
person discern his covenant-right and interest. 

Answ. This indeed is worthy of all consideration, and deserves a 
serious answer, forasmuch as it is fundamental to 3^our comfort, and 
all actual refreshment in times of trouble ; and will bring us to the 
next use, which is for trial of our covenant-interest. 

USE III. The great question to be decided, is, whether God be 
our covenant-God, and we his people.^ A question of the most solemn 
nature, and such as requires awful attention. 

We cannot expect satisfaction in this matter by such an extraor- 
dinary way as David had it, but we may know it by, 
Firsts Our covenant-engagements. 

* I once had a son (said he), who was a young man, my only successor, the solace 
of my age, the glory of his kind, the prop of my family, arrived to the endearing age> 

'Vol. VI. H 



116 THE BALM OF THE COVENANT 

Secondly, Our covenant impressions. 

Thirdly, Our covenant-conversations. 
First, By our covenant-engagements, or dedications of ourselves t(J 
God ; sometimes called our joining ourselves to the Lord, Zech. ii. 11# 
our yielding ourselves to him, Rom. vi. 19- our giving ourselves to 
him, 2 Cor. viii. 5. The soul that freely and deliberately consents to 
take or choose the Lord to be his God, may warrantably conclude 
the Lord hath taken or chosen him : for our choice of God is but the 
result of his choice of us, John xv. 16. '•' You have not chosen me, 
'' but I have chosen you," i. e. you could never have chosen me, 
but in consequence to, and by virtue of my first choice of you. 

Well then, let it be seriously considered, whether you have duly 
consented to take the Lord for your God, and Christ for your Re- 
deemer. This includes two things in it. 

1. Your relinquishing of all things inconsistent with him. 

2. Your acceptation of all that promotes the glory and enjoyment 
of hiin. 

1. Your rehnquishing of all things that are inconsistent with an 
interest in him. Except we let these go, God cannot be our God, 
nor Christ our Redeemer. The things to be relinquished for Christ 
are, in short, both our sinful, and our righteous self. Sinful-self 
must be disclaimed and renounced: For we cannot be the servants 
of sin, and the servants of Christ too, Rom. vi. 14, 18. And right- 
eous-self must be renounced also, or we can have no part or interest 
in his righteousness, Rom. x. 3. These are two difficult points of 
self-denial, to part with every beloved lust, and to give up our own 
righteousness. Thousands choose rather to be damned for ever, 
than to do either of these. 

% Your acceptance and embracing of all things that promote his 
glory, and further the enjoyment of him. As all the painful ways 
of duty, hearing, praying, meditating, and all this with the intention 
of the inner-man, and offering up of the soul to God, in these duties ; 
and the more painful ways of suffering for God, and enduring all 
losses, reproaches, torments, and death for him, if his glory requires 
it, and you may be thereunto called. All this is included in your 
choosing God to be your God. And upon our understanding and 
free consent, and sealing to these articles, we have right to call him 
our God. Matth. xxi. 24. " If any man will come after me, let him 
^' deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me."" Now, have 
you considered the terms of the covenant, weighed and balanced all 
the conveniences and inconveniences of godliness, and then deter- 
mined for Christ and hoHness, let the cost be what it will ; then you 
have chosen him aright for your God. Many think they have cho- 
sen God for their God, that never understood or deliberated these 
terms. But non consentit, qui non seniit : He that neither knows 
nor ponders them, is not capable of giving a due consent. 

Secondly, We may discern our covenant-interest, in the covenant* 



APPLIED TO AFLFICTED SAIXTS. 117 

impressions that are maide upon our souls. All God's covenant-people 
have a double mark or impression made upon them, viz. 

1. Upon their minds. 

2. Upon their hearts. 

1. Upon their minds, in a more spiritual and efficacious know-* 
ledge of God, Jer. xxxi. 33. " They shall all know me, from the 
" greatest of them, even to the least of them." This knowledge is 
said to be given, not acquired by mere strength of natural abilities 
and human aids ; said given as in theJuceqfCh?'ist, not by the foot- 
steps of the creatures only, as he speaks, 2 Cor. iv. 6. It is the 
choice teaching of the anointing, 1 John ii. 27. A knowledge 
springing from inward experience and spiritual sense ; as we know 
the sweetness of honey by tasting, better than by all the descriptions 
and reports that can be made of it. 

2. Upon their hearts, in that gracious tenderness and meltings of 
it for sin, or the discoveries of free-grace in the pardon of it. So you 
read in Ezek. xxxvi. 26. " A new heart also will I give you, and a 
'' new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony 
*' heart out of your flesh, and I Avill give you an heart of flesh. 

It is as easy to melt the obdurate rocks into sweet syrup, as it is to 
melt the natural heart into a penitential and tender melting for sin ; 
but now there is a principle or habit of tenderness implanted in the 
soul, whereby it is disposed and inclined to relent and thaw ingenu- 
ously upon any just occasion. 

Thirdly y Our covenant-interest may be evinced in and by our 
covenant-conversations. All the knowledge which is communicated 
to our minds, and all the tenderness given to our hearts, do respect 
and tend to this : Ezek. xxxvi. 27. " I will put my Spirit within 
♦' you, and cause you to walk in my statutes." Habits and princi- 
ples are for action and practice : Grace in the heart is for obedience 
and holiness of life. 

It is true, that as our graces are imperfect, so is our obedience also. 
Perfect working is not to be expected from imperfect creatures. God's 
own covenanted-people do often grieve him, and provoke him to 
bring them under the rod of affliction ; but those their infirmities 
break not the bond of the covenant, Psal. Ixxxix. 30, 31, 32. Care 
and watchfulness ordinarily go before them, conflicts and resistance 
accompany them, and shame, grief, and renewed care, usually follow 
them, 2 Cor. vii. 11. By these things (which deserves a more co- 
pious discourse than my present design can allow) we may be helped 
to clear our interest in the covenant of grace: And that being done, 
it should be out of the power of all the afflictions in the world to sink 
your spirits. Let me therefore in the last place add, 

USE IV. A word of consolation to your dejected and drooping 
hearts, upon this sad and mournful occasion. Why are you so trou- 
bled ? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts ? Methinks there 
hath been so much of support and comfort already discovered to you 

H2 



118 THE BALM OF THE COVENAKT 

in this blessed covenant, that could your faith but once fix upon it, 
and realize and apply it, I might lay down my pen at this period, 
and say, The work is done, there needs no more ; but knowing how 
obstinate deep sorrows are, and how difficult a task the comforting of 
an afflicted mind is, I will, for a close, superadd a few considerations 
more, to all that hath been urged and argued before. 

Consideraiionl. Consider how small and trivial the comforts, whose 
loss you bewail, are in comparison with Jesus Christ, who is still your 
own, under the bond of a sure covenant. A son, an only and 
promising son, is a great thing, when he stands in comparison with 
other creature-comforts, but surely he will seem a small thing, 
and next to nothing, when set by, or compared with Jesus Christ. 
Behold the Father, Son, and Spirit ! Pardon and eternal salvation 
are this day presented in the covenant of grace before your souls, as 
your OAvn. " God, even our own God, shall bless,'" Psal. Ixvii. 6, 
When you feel your hearts wounded with such a thought as this, I 
cannot embrace my children in my arms, they are now out of my 
reach ; then bless and admire God, that the arms of your faith can 
embrace so great, so glorious a Saviour, and that you can say, " My 
" beloved is mine, and I am his." 

Ccnisid. II. Consider what evil days are coming on, and what a 
mercy it is to your dead, that God hath taken them away from the 
evil to come, Isa. Ivii. 1, 2. There are two sorts of evils to come, 
viz. Evils of sin, and evils of sufferings ; and it is no small favour 
to be set out of the way of both. The grave is the hiding-place 
where God secures some from the dangers of both. 

We are apt to promise ourselves times of tranquillity, and then it 
cuts us to think that our dear ones shall not partake with us in that 
felicity : But if we wisely consider the sins or the signs of the times, 
•we have more cause to rejoice that God hath set them out of harm's 
way. 

All things seem to conspire and work towards a day of great temp- 
tation and tribulation. Now as Christ told his disciples, who were so 
dejected, because he was to leave them, John xiv. 28. " If ye loved 
" me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father :" So 
truly you would much better express and manifest your love to your 
children, in your satisfaction in the will and appointment of God, in 
taking them into rest and safety, than in your dejections and sorrows 
for their removal. Surely they are better where they are, than 
where they were, whom God hath housed in heaven out of the storm 
and tempest. And could your dear friends that are with Christ, 
have any more intercourse with this world, and see your tears, and 
hear your sighs for them, they would say to you, as Christ did to 
those that followed him wailing and mourning, Weep not for us^ 
but for yourselves, and such as remain in the world with you, ta 
see and feel the calamities that are coming on it. 

Consid. III. Consider how near you are to that blesed state your* 



APPLIED TO AFFLICTED SAINTS. 119 

Selves, where God shall he all in all^ and you shall feel no want of 
any creature-comfort, 1 Cor. xv. 28. 

Creature-comforts are only accommodated comforts to this animal 
life we now live, but shortly there will be no need of them : for God 
will be all in all: That is, all the saints shall be abundantly satisfied 
in and with God alone. As there is water enough in one sea to fill 
all the rivers, lakes, and springs in the world : And light enough in 
one sun to enlighten all the inhabitants of the world : So there is 
enough in one God eternally to fill and satisfy all the blessed souls 
in heaven, without the addition of any creature-comfort. God is 
complete satisfaction to all the saints in the absence (I cannot say 
"want) of wives and children, meats and drinks, estates and sensitive 
pleasures ; There will be no more need of these things, than of can- 
dles at noon-day. You shall be as the angels of God, who have no 
concernment for relations. 

Your fulness of years, infirmities of body, and I hope, I may add, 
your improvements in grace, speak you not far short of this blessed 
state : And though you may seem to need these comforts in the 
way, your God shall supply all your wants. 

Consid. IV. To conclude. Whatsoever your troubles, wants, 
fears, or dangers are, or may be in your passage to this blessed state, 
the covenant of grace is your security, and by virtue thereof your 
troubles shall open and divide, as Jordan did, to give you a safe 
passage into your eternal rest. 

Look, as when the Israelites came near the land of promise, there 
was a swelling Jordan betwixt it and them, which seemed to forbid 
their farther passage and progress; but is is said. Josh. iii. 17. 
'' The priests that bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, stood 
*' firm on the ground in the midst of Jordan ; and all the Israelites 
^' passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean 
" over Jordan."" Just so it is here : The covenant of grace stands 
on firm ground, in the midst of all the deep waters of tribulation 
you are to pass through, to secure unto you a safe passage through 
them all. Rejoice, therefore, and triumph in the fulness and firm- 
ness of this blessed covenant, and whatsoever affliction your God 
shall please to lay upon you, or whatsoever comfort he shall please 
to remove from you, still comfort and encourage yourselves, as David 
here doth. " Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant, 
" ordered in all things, and sure : For this is all my salvation, and 
^^ and all my desire ; although he make it not to grow." 



113 



( 120 ) 

A 

SERMON 

Preached for the Funeual of that Excellent and Religious 
Gentleman, 

JOHN UPTON, OF LUPTON, Esq. 



2 Che.on. XXXV. 24, 25. 

His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put hirji in 
the second chariot that he had ; and they brought him to Jerusa^ 
lem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his 
fathers : and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And 
Jeremiah lamented for Josiah, and all the singing-men and the 
singing-womeyi spahe of Josiah in their lamentations to this day^ 
and made them an ordinance in Israel : and behold they are writ-' 
ten in the lamentations. 

XN this context we have the history of the pious life^ and tragical 
death of good king Josiah. The history of his life gives us an ac- 
count of both what he was, and what he did. As to his personal 
endowments and qualifications, they were singular and eximious, as 
appears by the fourfold character by which he is described in the 
context: For, 

First, He espoused the interest of religion betimes, even in his 
youth ; chap, xxxiv. ver. 3. " For in the eighth year of his reign, 
^' while he v/as yet young, he began to seek after the God of David 
" his father :" And that under the great disadvantage of an ill 
education, such a morning promised a glorious day. 

Secondly, He hated all corrupt mixtures in the worship of God, 
and was answerably zealous for reformation : " And in the twelfth 
" year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, 
^* and the groves,*'' &c. as knowing well he and his people might expect 
no more of God's blessing on the ordinances, than there was of his 
presence in them ; and no more his presence can rationally be ex- 
pected, than there is of his own order and institution. 

Thirdly, He was of a very tender and impressive heart, mourning 
for public sins and dangers ; chap, xxxiv. 26, 27. " Because thy heart 
" was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when 
" thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabi- 
*' tants thereof; and humblest thyself before me, and didst rend thy 
*' clothes and weep before me," &c. He was not so intent upon his 
own pleasures, (though in the sprightly vigour of youth) nor on the 



A SERMON PREACHED, kc. 121 

•weio-hty concerns of the kingdom, as to forget the interest of God, 
and the greater concerns of his glory. 

Fourthly, He was exceeding careful to propagate the interest of re- 
ligion, and spread it far and wide among his people. Though he 
could not infuse the inward principle^ (that was the work of God) yet 
he did enjoin the extei-nal practice of it upon all his subjects, which 
was his part and duty: chap, xxxiv. ver. 33. " He made all that 
" were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their 
" God. And all his days they departed not from following the God 
" of their fathers." 

But yet good Josiah had his mistakes and failings. The best of 
men are but men at best: he was too rash and hasty in resolving, 
and too stiff and obstinate when resolved ; and this was the occasion 
of his ruin. The case v/as thus : 

Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, was at that time making war upon 
Charchemish, a place tliat belonged to him, but was taken from him 
by the king of Assyria; so the war .of Necho was a just war; and 
Judah lying between him and Charchemish, and being at peace with 
Judah, he requests leave of Josiah to march his army peaceably 
througli his country to the seat of war : Josiah takes an alarm from 
this message, and arms against him. Hereupon Necho sent ambassa- 
dors to Josiah, chap. xxxv. ver. 21. saying, " What have I to do 
" with thee, thou king of Judah ? I come not against thee this day, 
^' but against the house wherewith I have war : For God commanded 
" me to make haste ; forbear thee from meddling with God, who is 
'' with me, that he destroy thee not." 

Expositors conceive Necho had this discovery of the mind of God, 
from the prophet Jeremiah, Per oraculum non sc7^iptum,sed viva voce 
editum'^^ : even by word of mouth. If so, no doubt Jeremiah ajso 
dissuaded Josiah from going out against him : however, this is clear, 
Josiah did not consult the mind of God about that expedition as he 
ought, and was too hasty and resolute therein ; chap. xxxv. 22. 
" Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him," &c. By 
this means this excellent man came to a tragical end, and that in the 
very flower of his days. He dies in that unhappy expedition, from 
which he would not be diverted ; is brought home to Jerusalem in 
the second chariot : dies, and is buried in the sepulchre of his fathers, 
to the universal sorrow of all good men in Israel, as you read in the 
text ; wherein we have these two parts to consider ; 

I. The nature and quality of the lamentation. 

II. The cause and grounds of it. 

1. For the lamentation here made, it was extraordinary; never 
such cries heard before in Israel at any funeral, whether we consider 
it either, 

* Jerom. a Lapide. Just. Mart. 

H 4 



1S2 A SERMON PREACHED AT THE 

1. Extensively, 

S. Intensively, or, 

3. Protensively. 
1. Extensively^ AllJudah and Jerusalem, that is, city and country 
mourned that day ; not every individual, but all that had any sense 
of the worth of the man, the good that he did, or the evils that fol- 
lowed upon his removal. No doubt the priests of Baal, their abettors 
and associates, secretly rejoiced at his fall; but all good men mourned. 
But among all the mourners, one is only specified by name, and that 
is Jeremiah the prophet, in whom all the faithful ministers of God 
were included. To them he was a true and faithful friend; and in 
him they lost a father, and a famous instrument of reformation. 

2. Consider it. Intensively, as to the degree of the sorrow, it was a 
bitter lamentation : so pungent, intense, and deep, that the mourning 
of the Jews for Christ, at the time of their conversion to him, is 
compared to this mourning for Josiah, Zech. xii. 11. " In that day 
<' there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of 
*' Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon." This Hadadrimmon 
was a little town in the valley of Megiddon, near the place of this 
fatal battle, whose inhabitants receiving the first tidings of the fall 
of Josiah, made the town ring with doleful cries and lamentations. 

3. Consider it Protensively, in its continuance and duration, it was 
*' made an ordinance in Israel ;''' and accordingly " the singing-men 
*' and singing- women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this 
*' day ;" i. e. Whenever any solemn funeral or public calamity was 
solemnized in Israel, those persons that were skilful in lamentations, 
brought in the story of Josiah's death, as the burden of that doleful 
song or funeral elegy. 

II. Let us consider the cause and ground of this lamentation, 
which certainly was great and weighty enough to justify that sorrow, 
as great and bitter as it was : for in him they lost a faithful, public, 
useful, zealous, and tender-hearted instrument, whose life had been 
eminently useful to the church of God, and whose death opened the 
gap to all the following calamities upon Judah. 

Now, considering Josiah here, especially in his religious capacity, 
as so faithful, industrious, and useful an instrument for the church 
of God, rather than in his political capacity as a king, the note from 
it will be this, 

Doct. That faitli fill, active, and puhlic-sjnritcd men in the clmrch of 
God should not be laid in their graves without great lamentati07is. 

When Jacob was buried, a man famous for religion, a great and 
sore lamentation was made for him. Gen. 1. 10. And when Aaron 
died all the house of Israel mourned for him thirty days. Numb. xx. 
29. When Stephen the proto-martyr died, devout men carried him 
to his grave with great lamentations. Acts viii. 2. and indeed for any 
good man to be laid in his grave without lamentation, is lamentable. 
The living saints have ever paid this respect and honour todead saints. 



rUNEEAL OF JOHN rPTON, ESQ. 



123 



«s men sensible of their worth, and how great a loss the world sus- 
tains by their removal. 

I know the departed souls of saints have no concernment in these 
things, yet respect is due to their very bodies, as the temples wherein 
God hath been served and honoured, as they are related to Christ, 
who will one day put great glory and honour upon them. 

In the explication and conlirmation of this point, I will shew you, 

1. Negatlvclij, On what account the death of good men is not 
to be lamented. 

2. Positively, On what account tears and lamentations are due 
to them, with the grounds and reasons thereof 

1. Negatively, There is' not a tear or sigh due to the death of any 
good man, upon the account of any real loss or detriment that he sus- 
tains thereby. No, in this case all tears are restrained, all sorrow 
prohibited by the principles and rules of Christianity, 1 Thess. iv. 
13, 14. llehgion differences the sorrows, as well as the joys of its 
professors, from the common joys and sorrows of the world. Dead 
saints are better wliere they are, than where they were ; to be with 
Christ is far better : death to them is gain and infinite advantage, 
Phil. i. 21, 23. This world is the worst place that ever God designed 
his people to live in ; for if a state of perfect holiness and purity be 
better than a state of temptation and corruption ; if a state of rest 
and peace, be better than a state of labour and sorrow ; if it be better 
to be triumphing above than sighing and groaning beneath; then 
it is better for departed Christians to be where they are, than where 
they were. And could they now communicate their minds to us by 
words, as they lately did, they would say to us as Christ said, Luke 
xxiii. 28. " Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for 
" yourselves, and for your children."' Or, as he spake to his disci- 
ples under their sad resentments of his departure, John xiv. 28. " If 
" ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I go to the Father."" So 
then no tears of sorrow are due to them, or becoming us, upon the 
account of any real loss or detriment they receive by death. 

2. Positively. But the true grounds and causes of our lamentation, 
are upon divers other weighty accounts ; as, 

1 Reason. First, Because so much of the Spirit of God as dwelt 
in them, when amongst us, is now recalled and gathered up from 
this lower world. Those precious graces which they exercised among 
us, in prayer, conference, and other beneficial duties, are now gone 
with them to heaven. 

The church had the benefit of them during their abode with men, 
but now no more, except only what the remembrance of their holy 
words and instructive examples (whereby they still speak to us, 
though dead) may afford unto us. 

Theje are choice effusions of the Spirit at the time of our sanctifi- 
cation, of which the church reapeth the benefit whilst we live ; but 
all these are recalled at our dissolution, and thenceforth we can be no 



124! A SERMON PIIE ACHED AT TKE 

farther useful in this lower world : for as the soul is the subject in 
which these precious graces inhere, so they accompany and go along 
with the soul into glory. 

Now, as it is a real loss to a company when any merchant with- 
draws a great stock he had running in trade, out of the bank ; so 
certainly it is a great loss to the church of God, when the precious 
gifts and graces of the Spirit, dwelling in the saints, are drawn out 
by death ; so as the church can have no farther benefit by them, their 
prayers for us, and with us, are now ended ; Abraham knoweth us 
not, and Israel is ignorant of us. 

2 Reason. Secondly^ The death of the saints deserves a bitter lamen- 
tation, because thereby a breach is made, a gap opened, to let in the 
judgments of God upon the remnant that is left. It is said of Moses, 
Psal. cvi. 23. " Therefore he said, that he would destroy them, had 
'' not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, lest he should 
*' destroy them.*" A metaphor from a besieged city, when a breach 
is made in the walls, and an enemy ready to enter; but some cham- 
pion stands in the breach to defend the city. Such a champion was 
Moses, who by his constant and fervent prayers, put a stop to the in- 
undation of God's judgments against Israel. And such another was 
Lot, Gen. xix. 22. whose prayers for that wicked place he lived in 
bound up the hand of judgment, insomuch as the Lord told him, 
/ can do nothing till thou art gone. But when the Lord by death re- 
moves such men, he thereby maizes a way to his anger ^ as the expres- 
sion is, Psal. Ixxviii. 50. Hence the death of eminent saints, especi- 
ally when many are taken away at or near the same time, hath been 
ever looked upon as a direful omen, and dreadful presage of ensuing 
judgments, and that not without good scripture-authority, Isa. Ivii. 
1. " The righteous perish, and no man layeth it to heart ; and mer- 
" ciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is 
" taken away from the evil to come." 

Thus Methuselah, whose very name signified a /oo<:/co7«^M, died 
the year before the flood : Augustine, a little before the sacking of 
Hyppo : Paraeus, a little before the taking of Hydelberg : And Lu- 
ther, before the wars broke out in Germany. Death, as a pioneer, 
clears the way to a troop of miseries following after. This, there- 
fore, is a just and weighty ground of our lamentations for the death 
of useful and godly men. 

3 Reason. Thii-dly, The beauty and ornaments of the places they 
lived in, are defaced and removed by their death ; they look not lika 
themselves, when the gcdly are removed out of them : for as wick- 
ed men are the spots and blemishes, so good men are the beauty and 
ornaments of their country. A good man was wont to say of Mr. 
Barrington, of Barriiigton-ha]), in Essex — Methinks the town is not 
at home when Mr. Barrington is out of town. How desolate and dis- 
mal doth a family look (whatever other ornaments be about it) when 
the religious governor of it is gone ! Take away good men from theii* 



Funeral of john urxox, esq. 1^5 

ffimilies and country ; and what are they but like a vineyard when 
the vintage is past ? as the prophet speaks, Mic. vii. 1. 

4 Reason. Fourthly, The death of good men deserves a bitter la- 
mentation, because thereby the passage of the gospel, and propaga- 
tion of religion, is obstructed in the places from whence they are 
removed. Of how great use in a country may one zealous, public- 
spirited man be ? Hundreds may have cause to bless God for such a 
man. It was the apostle's desire to the Thcssalonians, " to pray that 
^' the word of the Lord may have its free course, that it might run 
" and be glorified, '" 2 Thess. iii. 1. The removal of such a person 
as naturally took care for the souls of those that were about him, to 
provide food for them, is no small loss, nor lightly to be passed over. 

5 Reason, Fiftlihj, The consideration of the time in which good 
men die aggravates the loss, and justly incenses the sorrow of them 
that remain, and that upon a 4:hreefold account (1.) That it fallsout in 
the declining state of religion, when the spirit and pov, er of godli- 
ness is so much weakened and impoverished. This is like the loss of 
good blood in a consumptive body, which must bring it very low. (.^.) 
That it falls out also in a time when the numbers of the godly are so 
much thinned and lessened, not when the church's children say in her 
ears, the place is too strait, give place that we may dwell : but when 
they are every where lamenting the paucity of good men, as the 
psalmist did, FsaL xii. 1. '^ Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth, 
" for the righteous fail from among the children of men."" At a time 
when they are bewailing themselves in the language of the prophet, 
Micah vii. 1. " Woe is me, for I am as when they have gathered the 
" summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage : there is no 
" cluster to eat : my soul desireth the first ripe fruit."" Alluding to 
a hungry man that goes into a vineyard to refresh his spirits with the 
fruit thereof; but, alas ! there is not one pleasant bunch to be found, 
none but sour grapes to increase his hunger, and set his teeth on edge 
(3.) And that which more aggravates the loss is this ; when it falls in 
a time wherein the spring and succession of good men is obstructed. 
In this case death, like a storm of wind, overturns the fairest, plea- 
santcst, and most fruitful trees in the orchard, when there is no nur^ 
scry from whence others may be taken to plant in their rooms. 

6 Reason. Lastly, There is just cause to lament the removal of 
public and pious men, when we consider what influence our sins 
and provocations have had upon those judgments and calamities: our 
unworthiness of them, unthankfulness for them, and non-improve- 
ments of such mercies have bereaved us of them. I look upon every 
good man, as a good book, lent by its owner for another to read, and 
transcribe the excellent notions and golden passages that are in it 
for his own benefit, that they may return with him when the owner 
shall call for the book again : But in case this excellent book shall 
be thrown into a corner, and no use made of it, it justly provokes 
the owner to take it away in displeasure. 



iS6 A SERMON PrvEAClIED AT THE 

Thus you see upon what account our sorrows for the death of good 
men are restrained, and upon what accounts and reasons they are a 
due debt to the death of eminent and useful instruments for God. 
AVhat remains, is the application of this point. And, 

1. Use. Firsts The point before us justly reproves three sorts of 
men. 

1. Tlie worst of men, such as secretly rejoice, and are inwardly glad 
at the removal of such men ; they took no dehght in them while 
they lived, and are glad they are rid of them when they are dead. 
Those that persecuted and hated them when alive, may be presumed 
to be pleased and gratified with their death. But, alas ! poor crea- 
tures, they know not what they do ! The innocent preserve the island. 
" Except the Lord of hosts (saith the prophet) had left us a small 
" remnant, we had been as Sodom, we had been like unto Gomor- 
" rah," Isa. i. 9. It is a proverb among the very Jews, Sine suppli- 
cationibus non staret mundus : The world stands by the prayers of the 
godly. Let the world think what they will of them. I tell you these 
men are a screen, a partition wall, betwixt them and destruction. 

2. It reproves the insensibleness of good men, who are apt too 
slightly to pass over such tremendous strokes of God : For this it was 
that God reproved his own people, Isa. Ivii. 1. No man layeth it to 
heart. Where the want of affection is charged upon the want of 
consideration, none considering their worth, their use, or the conse- 
quences of their fall. Such rebukes of God do certainly call for a 
deeper sense and sorrow, than is found in most men. 

3. It reproves the very best of men, who though they do bewail 
and lament the loss of such men, yet they do not lament it in the 
due manner. They lament it one to another, saying, Alas ! alas, 
such a worthy is fallen, such an eminent instrument in the church 
or state is dead; but they do not lament it in prayer to the Lord, 
they mourn not over the matter to him, as David did, Psal. xii. 1. 
*' Crying, Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth.''' Help, Lord, 
the remnant that is left ; help, Lord, to repair the breach made by 
their death ; let the God of the spirits of all flesh raise up a man 
to fill the room, and supply the want. Alas, how insignificant are 
the lamentations of most men upon this account. 

Use 2. Secojidhj, This point invites us all this day to bewail the 
stroke of God that is upon us. I could wish that he that looks upon 
this text and then upon the countenace of this assembly, might be 
able to discern the agreeableness of the one to the other, on such a 
sad and solemn occasion. 

O let all that love Zion lament, this day, the fall of one of her 
true friends and lovers. I know funeral panegyrics are apt to be sus- 
pected of flattery ; but as I want a rhetorical tongue for such a work, 
so if I had it, it should never be saleable for so bad a use and purpose. 
I am sure, by sending the generality that die to heaven, many are 
confirmed in the way to hell : Nor can I but think of that serious 



rrxERAL OF jonx tPTox, Es(i. 127 

line in Chrysostom, * What a poor comfort is it to be praised, where 
* a man is not ; and to be tormented where he is :' ** But yet the 
*' righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance,^ Psal. cii. 6. 
Expect nothing from me on this occasion, but what may be spoken 
with the greatest assurance of truth, and that intended for the benefit 
and imitation of all that hear it. Some may think it a strain too 
high, to compare a private person with such a glorious king as Josiah 
was ; but if Christ compared and preferred the very grass of the field 
to Solomon in all his glory, 1 know no reason why we may not com- 
pare and parallel the precious graces of a private person with a royal 
saint ; especially since the comparison is made in the Q'eUgious, not 
in the civil capacity, 

I am sure the graces, and gracious performances of David, Hezekiah, 
and Josiah, with all the other dignified saints, were intended and 
propounded as patterns for our imitation ; and no doubt but private 
Christians may measure by their pattern. Beside, it is abundantly 
more safe to relate the virtues of the saints when they are dead, than 
whilst they were alive ; for now there is no danger of provoking 
pride and vain-glory in them that are praised, but much hope of 
provoking a holy emulation and imitation in them that hear them. 

Well then, Ahsit invidia verbis: Suffer me this day to erect a pillar, 
to perpetuate the memory of this deceased worthy ; to pay the tri- 
bute of my tears due to that mournful hearse ; and to engage you to 
imitate those excellencies of his, which I shall, with equal truth and 
modesty, display this day ; that v/e also may be duly affected with the 
rebuke of God upon us, and mourn over it before him. 

If, when an eminent commander in any army falls, the whole army 
is affected with, and concerned at his death : 

The mourning drum, the lance and ensigns trrnVd^ 
The robes of honour all in sables vaiVd. 

Let it not be thought much, Christians should express their sense 
and sorrow in sighs and tears, for so useful and worthy a man as God 
hath this day removed from among us ; whose character I shall give 
you in the following imitable particulars. 

1. That worthy man, whose fall we lament this day, was seasoned 
with religion in his youth, by God's blessing upon his pious education : 
In this he had the advantage of Josiah. His progenitors were men 
of piety, and himself a child of many prayers : and as Monica said of 
herson Austin, it was not likely that a child of so many prayers should 
perish. How importunately did they request the fervent prayers of 
their pious friends for him, in the time of his education ? Nor was 
it in vain, for they were manifestly answered in him : He soon dis- 
covered that probify and piety, in his youth, which justly raised 
great expectations from him in his riper years. 

2. Nor did he frustrate those hopes ; for as soon as ever God had 
fixed him a proper sphere of activitv (I mean a family of his own) those 
graces that were in him shone forth to the comfort and benefit of 



128 A SERMON PREACHED AT THE 

all that were about him : Joshua's pious resolution was his ; " A^ 
" for me, and my house, we will serve the Lord." 

He kept up the\vorship of God in his closet, as well as in his family: 
And truly, if religion languish in the closet, it will quickly die in the 
family. His house Vv as a temple consecrated to God ; there the morn- 
ing and evening sacrifices of prayers and praises were offered up : He 
called his children and servants"^ to those duties, not reckoning that 
time lost to him which was spent for God. The Lord had endowed 
him with an excellent spirit of prayer himself I have sometimes ac- 
cidentally heard him praying in his family, with such solidity of judg- 
ment, pertinency of expressions, and holy warmth of affection, that 
hath at once edified, refreshed, and reproved me in hearing him. 

He constantly read the scriptures in course before prayer, and 
oft-times with a commentary upon them, for his own and his family's 
edification. 

The Lord's day he sanctified, not only in more public attendance 
on the ordinances, but in the duties of reading, repeating, singing, 
and catechising all his children and servants about him : And all 
this before he allowed himself or them any bodily refreshments, lest 
the edge of their affections should be blunted in duty, by the clog- 
ging of nature with creature-repasts. And thus did he, as Job, con- 
tinually : to this course he was severe and constant ; no incident oc- 
casions, how great or many soever, could divert him from it. 

3. Neither was his holy zeal and Christian care limited and cir- 
cumscribed within his own family, but was extended to the souls of 
all in his neighbourhood, who desired helps and means in the way 
of salvation. 

His house was seldom without a godly minister in it ; and loth he 
was to cat his pleasant morsels alone. It was the joy of his heart to 
see his house filled on this account : How many witnesses to the truth 
of this are here this day ! Like another Joseph, he provided food 
for your souls; he loved, honoured, received, and encouraged the 
ministers of the gospel in their deepest sufferings ; gave them op- 
portunities of service, when some durst not own them, and others 
violently persecuted them. 

4. When God called him to public employments in the common- 
wealth, he neither purchased, nor abused that trust ; but with a true 
English, rather a Christian, zeal and courage, he dedicated himself 
to the service of God and his country; cheerfully quitting all domes- 
tic concerns, spent his estate, time, and pains, to heal the breaches 
of England. I know not a man, whose zeal for the common good 
■would have carried him nearer to the example of that noble Roman, 
who, when a chcism was made by an earthquake, and the oracle had 
declared, that it could never be closed, except something of value 
w^as thrown into it, cast in himself to close it. 

I could truly have said, had there been conveniency and opportu- 
nity for it, when he was laid in his grave. ' Here lies a man that 



rUNERAL OF JOHN UPTON, ESQ. 129 

' never betrayed nor deserted the public, for any private interest of 
*^ his own.' 

5. He was a man that came as near Josiah in tenderness of heart, 
as ever I had the happiness to be acquainted with. The church's 
troubles were his troubles ; they all met in him as lines in a centre ; 
he even hved and died with the interest of religion : And of him I 
will say, as the apostle said of Timothy, Phil. ii. 20, 21. "I have 
" no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state, for 
« all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's."" Na- 
turally, in this place, is not opposed to spiritually^ but to artificially. 
Many can artificially act the part of a zealot, when their own inte- 
rest lies in it ; but he naturally^ and therefore, freely, cheerfully, 
and constantly. 

6. But though these excellencies were in him, he had his 7ioevi^ 
blemishes, and imperfections. Elias was a man of like passions and 
weaknesses of spirit. All these I doubt not but God hath covered, 
and he is now perfectly freed from them all. 

There is now no passion left within him to be stirred by tempta- 
tion ; no despondencies and sinkings of spirit under dismal aspects 
of providence. His graces are perfected, and his corruptions finally 
eradicated. 

T. To conclude ; He was a man of great afflictions, as well as 
tender affections. And as the Lord greatly honoured him in the 
course of active obedience, so he greatly proved and tried him in a 
course oi passive obedience. He not only gave the cross'm. his coat^hnt 
bare it upon his shoulders : For besides those troubles which were 
properly sympathetical, he had his idiopatheticcd sufferings also, and 
that both from the hands of men, and from the hand of God. His 
piety made and marked him for an object of persecution ; the ar- 
chers shot at him, and sorely grieved him ; he and his family were 
hunted with a net : The Lord lay it not to their cliarge ; Ef hinc 
nice lachrymce. The sad effects thereof I chose rather at this time 
to pass over with a sigh, than in this place to commemorate. 

And as the hand of man was upon him, so the hand of his God 
also: first lopping off all the pleasant branches that sprang from him, 
and that one after another, when come to the endearing age, open- 
ing and disclosing the bud ; and, as the complement and issue of all, 
breaking his constitutional strength with a long languishing disease, 
which at last extinguished this bright lamp, and hath left his family 
and neighbourhood in darkness and sorrow. His poor heart was the 
anvil on which many hammers of affliction had been a long time beat- 
ing ; and no v/onder it appeared relaxed and tumified when it was 
inspected, having endured so many successive strokes of sorrow. 

And now what the Lord spake of Israel, in Jer. xi. 16. is fulfilled 
upon this worthy person : " The Lord called thy name a green olive 
" tree, fair and of goodly fruit : with the noise of a great tumult he 



130 A SERMOX PREACHED AT TlJE 

" hath kindled a fire upon it, and the branches of it are brot^en.''* 
Use S. Thirdli)^ I shall wind up tlie vhole in several seasonable 
and necessary counsels ; some more general, others more particular, 
and some most particularly and especially. 

Firsts Counsel to all in jreneral to awaken themselves, and recovei^ 
a due sense of such sore rebukes of God as this is. When Saul fell, 
" David lamented it, saying, The beauty of Israel was slain on thy 
*' high places." 

God hath this day stript off an ornament from this country. Such 
dispensations of Providence speak indignations coming on : It requires 
almost an age to breed and furnish a man with due qualifications foi* 
the service of the church and commonwealth. England doth not so 
abound with pious, zealous, and faithful gentlemen at this time, but 
that it may sensibly feel the loss of such a man. 

Secondly^ jMore particularly, let the ministers of Christ lament his 
fall, as Jeremiah did the fall of Josiah in the text. He was a true 
friend to Christ's faithful ministers, and had them in honour for their 
work's sake. It is true, he hath no more need of us, he is now wiser 
than his teachers ; but we greatly need him, and men of his spirit, 
in such a dull degenerate age as we live in. 

Thirdly, And most particularly, I shall apply and close all with a 
few words of counsel to the dear and now desolate relict of this wor- 
thy person, whose sad lot it is this day, to overlive the mercies and 
comforts she once enjoyed in him. 

Madam, God hath this day covered you with sables, written bitter 
things against you, broken you with ])reach upon breach. Your 
sorrows need not to be excited, but regulated. It is my trouble that 
I cannot discharge my duty to the memory of your dear husband, 
without exasperating your griefs, which, alas, were too acute before; 
but rods have their voices ; " Blessed is the man whom God cor- 
" recteth, and teacheth him out of his law."" Hear you the rod, and 
who hath appointed it ; and, oh ! that your soul may this day take 
in these necessary counsels and cautions, without which your afflic- 
tions cannot be sanctified to the advantage of your soul I And, 

1. Learn froin hence the vanity of the creature, the emptiness, and 
nothingness of the best things here below. How hath God made 
your best comforts on earth to shrink up and vanish into nothing f 
How do your fancies varnish and gild over these empty bubbles ? 
What great expectations are we apt to raise from them ? How apt 
to fall asleep in the bosoms or la})S of earthly enjoyments, and say 
with Job, " I shall die in my nest, and multiply my days as the sand?^* 
When lo, in a moment, the projects and expectations of many years 
are overturned. O what a difference will you find betwixt hope 
founded in Christ, comforts drav/n out of the promises, and the 
flattering comforts and vain hopes founded in the creature, whose 
breath is in its nostrils ? 

It is time for you, and for us all, to wean off from this vain world ; 



rUNERAL OF JOHN UPTON, Esa. 131 

mortify your fancies and affections to it, and place them where they 
shall not be capable of disappointment. 

2. Guard carefully, I beseech you, against those temptations 
which probably may accomplish this affliction. It may be Satan will 
suggest to your heart, what he once put into their lips; I\Ial. iii. 14. 
" What profit is it that we have kept his ordinances, and walked 
" mournfully before him .?" Where is the fruit of prayer ? What 
good have I seen of fasting ? What hath religion availed ? Do not 
prayerless and ungodly families thrive and prosper ? Beware of this. 
Madam, I doubt not but you will acknowledge, there liave been 
sins and provocations within your walls, yea, within your heart, for 
which God may as justly and severely judge your house as he did 
Eli's. Remember the rewai'ds of religion are not in this world ; and 
should we speak thus, we shall offend against the generation of 
his children. All we must expect from religion, is to save our souls 
by it. 

3. Call not the love of God into question to yourself, or yours, 
because of these severe strokes of God upon you and them : You 
know Josiah was dear to God^ yet he died in the prime of his daysj 
by a violent hand, remote from his own home, and was brought home 
in the second chariot to Jerusalem ; a spectacle of far greater sorrow 
than your dear husband was ; and yet, notwithstanding all these sad 
circumstances of his death, the promise of his God was punctually 
performed to him, that he should die in peace, and not behold the 
evil that was to come. " There is a vanity (saith Solomon) which 
" is done upon the earth, that there be just men unto whom it hap- 
*' peneth according to the work of the wicked : Again, there be 
" wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the 
*' righteous," Eccl. viii. 14. But then remember, that it is but in 
the earth ; here, or no where, God must chastise his children. 

4. See that you maintain that holy course of religious exercises in 
your family, and in your closet, wherein he walked so exemplarily 
before you. Let religion live, though he be dead ; and convince the 
world, I pray you, that it was God's influence, and not your husband's 
only, which was the spring and principle of this holy course. 

5. Strive not with your Maker, nor fret against the Lord under 
this irksome and painful dispensation : Remember, there is a woe 
hanging over this sin ; Isa. xlv. 9, 10. Woe to him that striveth with 
his Maker. There is a twofold striving of men with God, one law- 
ful and commendable ; when we strive with him upon the knee of 
importunity in prayer ; thus Jacob wrestled with God, and prevail- 
ed, Hos. xii. 4. The other is highly sinful and dangerous, when we 
presume to censure, or accuse any of his works, as defective in wis- 
dom or goodness. He that reproveth God, let him answer it, i. e. 
At his peril be it. This sinful striving with God is twofold ; either 
I'ocal or mental. 

1. Vocal. When men, in bold blasphemous language, arraign the 
Vol. VI. I 



132 A SERMON PilEACHED AT TIIi: 

wisdom, power, goodness, or faithfulness of the Lord, at the bar of 
tlieir own reason ; and there condemn them, setting their mouths 
against the heavens, Ps. Ixxiii. 8, 9- This is the sin of the wicked, 
yea, of the first-born sons of wickedness. 

2. Mental. In inward frets, murmurs, repinings against God ; 
Prov. xix. 3. " The foolishness of man perverts his way, and his heart 
^' fretteth against the Lord." The heart may cry out impatiently 
against God, when the tongue is silent : And if the frets and mur- 
murs of the heart be (as indeed they are) interpretatively no better 
than a striving with our Maker ; then this sin would be found more 
common among good men in the jmroxisms of affliction than we 
imagine. It will be necessary therefore, for your sake, and for the 
sakes of many more in a like state of affliction with you, to stay a 
while on this head, and consider these following queries. 

Qiiei-y I. How far may we enquire of God, expostulate, and com- 
plain in times of affliction, without sin ? 

Query II. Wherein lies the sinfulness and danger of exceeding 
these bounds ? 

Query III. What considerations are most proper and powerful to 
restrain the afflicted soul from this sinful excess ? 

Query 1. How far may we enquire of God, expostulate with him^ 
and complain to him in times of affliction, without sin .? 

Sol. 1. We may humbly enquire into the causes and reasons of 
God's displeasure against us, not to seek matter for owx justification^ 
but direction in the work of our humiliation : so David enquired about 
the three years famine, and the Lord informed him, for whose sake, 
and for what sin it was, 2 Sam. xxi. 1. And thus Job addressed to 
him in the day of his affliction, Job x. 2. Shew me wherefore thou 
contendest with me ; i. e. convince me, what special sin it is, for which 
I am thus afflicted. This is so far from being our sin, that it is both 
our duty, and the excellency of our spirits : it is a child-like temper, 
willing to know, that we may be particularly humbled for that sin, 
and for ever the more careful to shun it. " That which I see not, 
" teach thou me ; if I have done iniquity, I will do so no more," 
Job xxxiv. 32. Thus far we are safe. 

2. We may plead by prayer, and put him in mind of his mercies, 
relations, and promises, in order to the change of his providential dis- 
pensations towards us : Wc may say to him under the smartest rod, 
as the church did, " Doubtless thou art our Father,"" Psalm Ixxiv. 
20. Have respect to the covenant; or as Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 9, 12. 
" Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." 

3. We may complain to God under our sufferings, and spread 
them before him in all their circumstances and aggravations, as Job, 
Heman, Asaph, Hezekiah and David did. He allows his children to 
complain to him, bat not of him : " I poured out my complaint before 
" him ; I shewed before him my trouble," Psal. cxlii. 2. To whom 



FUTfERAL OF JOHN UPTOX, ESQ, 183 

sliould a child make his complaint, but to his father ? So far we are 
safe. 

4. We may submissively pray for the removal of his hand from us, 
and entreat, that his anger may cease, and that he will turn again and 
heal us and our families, and not draw forth his anger for ever. So 
did David, Psal. xxxix. 10. " Remove thy stroke awav from me ; 
" I am consumed by the blow of thine hand ;'"* q. d. Ah, Lord, I 
am not able to endure another stroke. All this while, we are safe, 
within the bounds of our duty. But then. 

Query 2. Wherein lies our sin and danger, in exceeding these 
bounds.' I answer, 

Sol. When forgetting God's sovereignty, and the desert of our 
iniquities, we arrogantly censure his affecting, or permitting provi- 
dences, as if they had no conducency to his own glory, or our good. 
This is both sinful and dangei*ous : For, 

1. This is a proud exalting of our own reason and understandino* 
above the infinite wisdom of God. God hath made our reason a 

judge and arbiter in matters ^vithin its own sphere and province: but 
when it comes to summon God to its bar, and article against heaven, 
it is an insufferable arrogancy ; and we do it at our own peril. God 
will have all men know, that he is an unaccountable being, Jobxxxiii. 
13. Yea, he will have us to know, thot the " foolishness of God is 
'' wiser than men,'' 1 Cor. i. 25. That is^ that those very works of 
God, which man's proud reason adventures to censure as not so wise 
a method as their own would be, hath more wisdom in them, than 
all the deep-laid designs of the greatest politicians in the world. And 
it is strange that men should dare to attempt such a wickedness as this, 
after God hath so severely punished it in the fallen angels. 

2. It is no less than a spurning at the sovereignty of God, from 
whose pleasure we derive our beings, and all our mercies, Rev; iv. 
11. In these quarrellings at providence, and frets at divine appoint- 
ments, we invade his throne, and controul his sovereign pleasure : 
How monstrous were it to hear a child quarrelling with his father, 
that he was not so and so figured ; or the clay to chide the potter 
for moulding it as it is ? 

3. It is destructive to our inward peace and tranquillity of mind, 
which is part of the punishment of this sin: and a smart stripe, a 
sore rebuke it is from the hand of God upon us. 

Contention is uncomfortalile, thouo^h but with a neig-hbour, worse 
with a near relation ; but a quarrel with God is destructive to all 
comfort in the world. Afflictions may disturb a good man's peace; 
but a mutinous spirit against God, destroys and stabs it at the very 
heart. What is the sin and torment of the devils, but their rage a- 
gainst the Lord, and swelling against the metliods of his grace.? "He 
" seeketh rest, but findeth none," Mat. xii. 43. The peace of our 
spirit is a choice mercy, and might be maintained amidst all our af^ 

12 



134j a sermon rHEACHED AT THE 

flictions, were but our interest in his promises, and the true level of 
his providences cleared to us. 

4. It is irrational, and highly unjust, to give the cause, and quarrel 
at the effects. God hath righteously and inseparably linked^^TiaZ with 
moral evils ; sin and sorrow, by the laws of heaven are tacked and 
linked together; he that doth evil, shall feel evil, Gen. iv. 7. We 
adventure upon sin, and then fret at affliction, Prov. xix. 3. " The 
" foolishness of man perverts his way, and his heart fretteth against 
" the Lord."" Is this becoming a reasonable creature ? Doth not 
every man reap as he soweth ? Can the seed of sin bring forth a crop 
of peace and comfort ? " Why doth the living man complain, a man 
" for the punishment of his sins .^" Lam. iii. 39- Search your hearts, 
and search your houses, and you will quickly find that all your af- 
flictions in this world, were they ten thousand times more, and heavier 
than they are, do not come near to the desert of one sin. All sorrows, 
losses, afflictions on this side hell, are quite below the value of sin, 
the meritorious and provoking cause of them all. 

5. It is foohsh and vain, to strive against God, and contest per- 
versely with him. Can our discontents relieve us.'^* Or our murmurs 
ease us ? Will they turn God out of his way ? No, He is in one 
mind, and wlio can tnrn him aside? Job xxiii. 13. The wheels of 
providence go straight forward, and turn not when they go, Ezek. 
i. 17. We may bring them over us to crush us, by standing thus 
in their way ; but cannot turn them out of their way. 

" If they still walk contrary to me, then will I walk contrary to 
" you, and pvmish you yet seven times for your sins,^"* Lev. xxiii. 14. 
Or I will walk in the rashness of mine anger,-|- smiting you without 
moderation, as men do in their rage and fury. This is all we shall 
get by fretting against God. Never expect relief under, or release 
from the yoke God hath laid on your necks, till you be brought to 
accept the punishment of your iniquities. Lev. xxvi. 41. 

6. It is a sin full of odious ingratitude towards your God : Which 
appears (1.) In murmuring because it is so bad, when we should be 
admiring that it is no worse. Are there not millions in hell that never 
sinned at higher rates than you have done.^ Is this affliction as bad as 
hell ! Hath God pardoned you and saved you, and yet doth he deserve 
to be thus requited by you ? (2.) In murmuring that our condition is 
so bad, when we may every day see others in a far worse case, who 
are equal with us by nature, and we are equal with them in guilt and 
provocation. If we speak of outward afflictions, certainly others 
would be glad to exchange conditions with us, and account themselves 
happy in our circumstances. Consider the description given of those 
persons. Job xxx. 3, 4, 5. And how little they differ in the manner 



* When a patient struggles under the physician's hand he receives a smarter 
touch. 



t ^Ipl tcmere ambulabo^ u e. I will walk rashly. 



KSQ. 135 

of life from brute beasts : And if we speak of inward troubles, com- 
pare your own with those of Heman, and Asaph, in Ps. Ixxvii. and 
Jxxxviii. and if both together, and that in an intense degree, consider 
Job vii. 4. and you will soon find your condition full of sparing mercy: 
Those excellent persons that were so much above you in grace, were 
yet plunged so much deeper than you into afflictions. And is it not 
then vile ingratitude in you, thus to mutiny and charge your God 
JboUshly? (3.) But especially here lies our ingratitude, in quarrellino- 
and censuring those providences, whose very end and errand is our 
eternal good ; Heb. xii. 10. " But he for our profit, that we might 
" be partakers of his holiness." 

7- It is a sin that deprives us of the fruits and benefits of our afflic- 
tions : A tumultuous raging spirit reaps no good by the rod. The 
fruits of affliction are called the peaceable Jt'uits^ Heb. xii. 11. becausO 
they are always gathered and reaped down by the afflicted soul in a 
quiet and peaceful temper : Anima sedcfulo, Sf qu'iescendofit sapie?is. 
Blossoms and flowers open not in the boisterous storms of winter, 
but in the mild and gentle spring. 

Well then, be convinced of the sin and danger of a discontented 
spirit under the hand of God, and instead of mourning over lost re- 
lations, now mourn for the loss of patience, the want of submission, 
and for the pride and arrogancy of your own reason, that presumes 
to correct the works of the Almighty ; and say to God, as Joseph did 
to his father, when he wittingly crossed his hands in blessing Ephraim 
and Manasseh, Not so, myjather. This is not fit. 

Query 3. But how may these evils be prevented ore ured, and tlie 
tempestuous soul calmed under the rod.'' How shall all strifes betwixt 
God and his people be ended, and the soul made quiet at his feet ? 

Reply. This blessed frame of spirit may in a great degree and 
measure be attained in the use of the following directions : I say, in 
their use and application, not by the prescription or simple know- 
ledge of them. And, 

Rule 1. The first rule or direction is this : Study zcell the glorious 
sovereignty of God over you, and awe your hearts with the same con- 
sideration of' it. From his mere pleasure, you, and all that is yours, 
proceeded ; on his pleasure you depend, and into that good pleasure 
of his will, your wills therefore ought to be resolved: "Whatever the 
** Lord pleased, that he did, in heaven and in earth, in the sea, and 
" in all deep places," Psal. cxxv. 6. Man and man stand on equal 
ground ; and if our reason be not satisfied about tlie equity of men's 
dealings with us, we may ask who did it, and demand the reasons 
why he did it ; but when we have to do with God, we must not 
dispute his pleasure. Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of 
the earth ; but let not the clay dispute with \\\e potter. Now the so- 
vereignty of God is gloriously displayed in \\\^ decrees, laws, and provi- 
dences. (1.) In his decrees, appointing the creatures to their ends, 
whether to be vessels of mercv, or of wrath, Rom. ix. 18, 19, 20. In 

' 13 



136 A SERMON PREACHED AT THE 

this case there must be no disputing with God. (2.) In his laws, ap-' 
pointing the work and duty of the creature, as also the rewards and 
punishments ; Jam. iv. 12. " There is one Lawgiver, that is able to 
save and to destroy.*' In this case his sovereignty immediately and 
indispensably binds the conscience of man, and no human authority 
can dissolve that obligation : Nor must we snuff at the severest com- 
mand. (3.) The glorious sovereignty of God is displayed in his pro- 
vidential administrations, appointing every man to that station and 
condition in which he is in this world ; whether it be high or low, 
prosperous, or afflicted : Ps. Ixxv. 6. " I said to the fools, deal not 
" foolishly, &c. for promotion cometh not from the east, nor the 
*' west, but God is Judge ; he putteth down one, and setteth up ano- 
*' ther.'' Let not them that are at the top of the world be lifted up ; 
nor those that are at the bottom be dejected ; for God casts every 
man's lot, and changeth their condition at his pleasure ; a word of 
his mouth plucks dov. n the lofty, and exalts the lowly ; he woundeth, 
and his hands make ^hole. Hence it becomes the afflicted to be 
still, and knoAV that he is God, Psal. xlvi. 10. to put his mouth in 
the dust, and quietly to wait for his salvation : All our fretting and 
struggling cannot shake off the voke which he hath put upon us ; 
but a meek and quiet submission to his will, and compliance with 
his designs, is the best expedient to procure our freedom. There 
is not one circumstance of trouble befals you without his order ; nor 
can you expect deliverance but by order from him. 

Rule 2. Study the transcendent evil ofsin^ and wJiat the demerit of 
the least sin that ever you committed is. This will becalm your tem- 
pestuous spirits, and at once work them into contentment with your 
present state, and admiration that it is no worse. Lam. iii. 22,69, 40. 

Consider, thou querulous and discontented soul, that the wages of 
sin is death, Rom. vi. ult. that tribulation, anguish, and wrath, are 
due by law, to every soul of man that doth evil ; that so often as we 
have sinned, so often have we deserved hell : and shall we then 
charge God with severity, for scourging us with the rods of gentle, 
fatherly, chastisements.? Is this hell ? Dare'you say the severest afflic- 
tion that ever was upon you, is above the demerit of your sin ? 

It is true, indeed, the Lord tells Jerusalem, that she had " received 
" of his hand double for all her sins,'' Isa. xl. 2. But that is not the 
language of strict justice, but of compassions rolled together. There 
is not a gracious soul in all the world but will readily subsciibe Ezra's 
confession, that God hath afflicted it less than its iniquities deserve, 
Ezra ix. 13. Oh ! if once we measure our afflictions by our sins, 
we shall admire they are so few, so mild and gentle as they are ! 

Rule 3. Consider uhat a difference there is hetzoixt the saints meet-' 
ing with ajffiictions, and their parting iviih them. You meet them 
with trembling and astonishment, but you shall part with them with 
praise and thanksgiving ; blessing God for the manifold blessings they 
have instrumentally conveyed to your souls. It is good for me, saith 



FUNERAL OP JOHN UPTON, ESQ, 137 

David, that I have been afflicted. By these things sin is prevented, 
discovered, and mortified, the ensnaring world embittered, and the 
rest to come sweetened. 

Many other excellent rules may be added : try these, and the 
blessing of the Spirit accompany them. 

To conclude ; be not swallowed up of sorrows for what you have 
lost; but balance all the troubles of this life with the hopes of the 
next. Your dear children are gone, your sweet husband is gone ; 
but to consider who took them, and whither. It is said of Enoch, 
Gen. V. 24. " He walked with God, and was not, for God took him." 
Mr. Upton is not, and yet he is : he is not with men, — he is with 
God : he ceases not to he^ though he ceases to breathe : he is taken 
away, but God took him : he is better where he is than where he 
was : though he be not in your bosom, he is in Christ's. 

Imitate his zeal, plain-hcartcdness, diligence in duties, and you shall 
shortly meet him again, and never part any more ; 1 Thess. iv. 15, 
16, 17, 18. "For this we say by the word of the Lord, that we 
" which are alive, and remain to the coming of the Lord, shall not 
*' prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall des- 
" cend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the arch- 
" angel, and the trump of God : and the dead in Christ shall rise 
*' first : Then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up 
" together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : 
" and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one 
'' another with these words." Did you but know the deep emphasis 
of these words, ever with the Lord ; I doubt not, but you would find 
comfort enough in them for yourself, and a great overplus for the 
(comforting of others. 



14 



AX 

EXPOSITION 

OF THE 

ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

With Practical Inferences from each Question : 

As it was carried on in the Lord's Days Exercises in Dartraoutli,^ in 
the first Year of Liberty, 1688, 



THE PREFACE. 



JL HAT catechising is an ordinance of God, {ew will doubt, when 
they consider the apostles did first lay the fundamentals of religion ; 
Heb. vi. 1. And **fed babes with milk, teaching them the first prin- 
*^ ciples of the oracles of God," Heb. v. 12. and questionless taught 
them in that manner, which was most suitable to the capacity of the 
learners, which may be well supposed to be by plain and short ques- 
tions, and suitable answers thereunto ; and therefore this hath been 
a constant practice in the church of God ; and the primitive church 
had a particular person appropriated thereunto, whom they called 
Catechisf. 

And so all well-governed, and wisely-managed chiu'ches, have 
still maintained and used it, as knowing the necessity and usefulness 
thereof; for the younger sort to inform them in the principles of 
that religion whereinto they were baptized ; and for the establish- 
ment of the adult and more aged therein. 

Hence have issued those little composures of all the fundamental 
doctrines of faith and practice so handled (which we call Catechisms) 
in the churches ; and particularly in ours, whereof there are many 
and divers, whose authors have well deserved for their endeavours to 
inform and edify the people thereby. 

But among them all, none excel this little Catechism of the As- 
sembly for orthodoxy, fulness, and method. 

And because the answers therein are some of them pretty large, 
and treat of the most profound mysteries of our religion ; therefore 
several persons have bestowed their good and laudable pains, some in 
descanting more largely, and proving by scriptural reasons the parti- 
culars : one has shown the harmony thereof with the articles and ho- 
milies of the church of England (designed, I suppose, to remove the 
prejudice which some have taken against it:) others have parted the 



AN EPISTLE TO THE rtEADElt. 139 

q\]cstions and answers into several little ones, under each, to make 
them more intelligible to younger ones, and more easy to be remem- 
bered. 

Among whom, worthy, orthodox, and excellent Mr. John Flavel 
may be ranked, who among other of liis many most profitable labours, 
applied himself to the chewing of tliis bread of life, or crumbling it 
into smaller pieces, for the covenience of children, and, indeed, of 
all ; wherein (as in all his other works) he hath shewn himself a 
workman, that needs not to be ashamed. 

There needs no other recommendation to this posthumous piece, 
but the worthy author's name; he was removed before he had com- 
pletely finished it ; he had prepared his questions and answers upon 
the second petition of the Lord's Prayer ; but lived not to propose 
them in the public congregation. God then translated him into his 
kingdom of glory above, while he was so industriously endeavouring 
to promote the kingdom of grace below. 

The other five remaining questions and answers (to complete the 
work) were done by a ruder hand ; as may be easily discerned by 
any observant reader, who will find himself transferred from a plain, 
clear, and delightful stile, method, and manner, into more rough, 
disorderly, and unpleasant ones ; for, who indeed could equal this di- 
vine labourer ? Not the completer ; who would account himself to 
have made very great attainments in divinity and usefulness, if he 
were left but a few furlongs behind him. 

Let the reader use and peruse this piece, and he will see cause to 
bless God for the author. 

VALE. 



TO THE READER. 

JL HE Divine Providence having unexpectedly cast my lot, for a 
few days, in Dartmouth, where that blessed man of God, Mr. John 
Flavel, did for many years honour Christ, and was honoured by 
him ; I have been favoured with a sight of that most judicious ex- 
plication of the Assembly's Catechism, which is emitted herev/ith. 

Being desired to testify my respect to the worthy author, by pre- 
facing this excellent labour of his with a few lines ; I can truly say, 
(as sometimes Beza of Calvin,) Now Mr. Favel is dead, life will be 
less sweet, and death less bitter to me. 

My heart bleeds to look on this desolate place, and not to see him, 
that, whilst living, was the glory of it. 

But neither the author, nor his writings, stand in need of the com- 
mendation of others, much less of mine. 

His works, already published, have made his name precious in 
both Englands; and it will be so, as long as the earth shall endure. 

There are some considerations which may cause the reader to ex- 



I4i0 AN EPISTLE TO THE HEADER. 

pect (and he will not find himself disappointed therein) that which is 
extrordinary in this httle manuel ; for the author's heart was very- 
much engaged in doing this service for Christ, in thus feeding his 
lambs. And he did himself design the publication of what is here 
committed to the press ; and was very desirous (with an holy sub- 
mission to the will of God) to have perfected this work before his 
decease; but had strange intimations that he should finish his course 
before that could be done. 

When he did, viva voce, deliver his meditations, there were many 
enlargements, and lively passages, which are not here inserted; never- 
theless, here is as much as he thought needful for public view, not 
being willing that his book should be voluminous. 

In his last catechetical exercise, concerning Hallowing' the name 
of God, he was exceedingly enlarged; but he must himself go into 
the kingdom of glory, when he intended to have discoursed on that 
petition, Th?/ I'lngdom come. 

He also began some meditations on ihejoys of heaven ; but before 
he had an opportunity to express what had been in his heart, the 
Lord Jesus said unto him, " Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.'* 
And thus doth it happen many times to the eminent and holy ser- 
vants of God. 

Another consideration, recommending what comes herewith, isj, 
that it was amongst Mr. Flavel's last works. The {i'^ohia ^ni^ala) last 
sayings of wise and great men have been esteemed oraculous ; and 
the Scripture puts an emphasis on the last words of David, the sweet 
singer of Israel, 2 Sam. xxiii. 1. Not that those were the last words 
that ever David spake, only they were written not long before his 
death, when he was come near heaven. 

So was what is now put into the reader's hand, written by Mr. 
Flavel not long before his translation to the world of souls, where 
the spirits of just men are made perfect. 

There was a more than ordinary presence of God with him to his 
last; and in his last day, not the last sermon that he preached (which 
was June 21, 1691) he did more than once surprize his hearers with 
an intimation, that that might be the last time he should speak to 
them in the name of the Lord. And was not then the secret of the 
Lord with him .? 

Dartmouth will know, and Devonshire will know, that there has 
been a prophet among them. 

And now my soul bleeds to look on the dear flock of God, which 
are as sheep without a shepherd. The Lord Jesus, the great Shep- 
herd of the sheep, have compassion on them, and give them a shep- 
herd like to his blessed servant Flavel, who did for many years feed 
them with knowledge, and with understanding. 
Dartmouth, March ^\st. 



} 



1692. I IiNCREASE MATHER. 



AX 

EXPOSITION 

or THE 

ASSElNlBLY's SHORTER CATECHISM, 



Question I. Of Man^s chief End. 

Vr HAT is the chief end of man ? 

A. Marts chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever, 

Q. 1. Seeing a chief supposeth an inferior end ; what is that in- 
ferior end for which man was made ? 

A. It is prudently, soberly, and mercifully, to govern, use, and 
dispose of other creatures in the earth, sea, and air, over wliich God 
gave man the dominion ; Gen. i. 26. And God said let us make 
man in our own image, after our likeness : and let him have dominion 
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the 
cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that 
creepeth upon the earth. So Psal. viii. 6. Thou madest him to 
have dominion over the works of thy hands ; thou hast put all things 
under his feet. 

Q. S. What then is to be thought of those men, who being wholly 
intent upon inferior things, forget and neglect their principal end? 

A. They are dead whilst they live; 1 Tim. v. 6. But she that 
liveth in pleasure, is dead whilst she liveth : They have their portion 
in this life; Psal. xvii. 14. From men of the world, which have 
their portion in this life, and their end is destruction, Phil. iii. 19. 
Whose end is destruction. 

Q. 3. How can a man glorify God, seeing he is perfectly glorious 
in himself.? 

A, Man cannot glorify God by adding any new degree of glory to 
liim ; Job xxxv. 7. If thou be righteous, what givest thou him, but 
by manifesting his glory with the lips .? Psal. 1. 23. Whoso offereth 
praise, glorifieth me; or with the life ; Matth.v. 16. Let your light 
so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorily 
your Father which is in heaven. 

Q. 4. Wherein consists the enjoyment of God .? 

A. It consists, ^r^^, in the facial vision of him in heaven. Second- 
ly, in full conformity to him ; 1 John iii. 2. But we know, that 
when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall sec him as 
he is. Thirdly, in that full satisfaction which results from both the 
former; Psal. xvii. 15. I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy 
likeness. 



142 AX EXPOSITION OF TIIF- ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

Q. 5. Can none enjoy him in lieaven, who do not glorify him on 
earth ? 

A. No adult person can scripturally expect happiness in heaven 
-without hohness on earth ; Heb. xii. 14. And hohness, without which 
no man shall see the Lord. Rom. viii. 30. Whom he justifiedy 
them he also glorified. 

Q. 6. How comes the glory and enjoyment of God our chief end ? 

A. He is our Master, and rightful Owner and Benefactor ; we re- 
ceive our being and preservation from him, of him, and through him, 
and therefore to him be all things, Rom. xi. 36. 

Q. 7. Do all men make God their chief end ? 

A. No, they do not ; some make their sensual pleasure their chief 
end : Phil. iii. 19. Whose God is their belly : and some the worlds 
Col. iii. 5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the 
earth, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 

Q. 8. What are the signs of a man's making liimself his chief 
end.f^ 

A. Those make themselves their chief end, who ascribe the glory 
of what they have, or do, to themselves, and not to God ; Dan. iv. 30. 
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon which I have 
built ? Isa. X. 18. For he saith, by the strength of my hand have I 
done it ; and by my wisdom, for I am prudent ; therefore they sacri- 
fice to their own net, and burn incense unto their drag, Hab. i. 16. 

Q. 9. Why are the glorifying and enjoying of God put together, 
as making up our chief end ? 

A. Because no man can glorify God, that takes him not for his 
God ; and none takes him for his God, that takes him not for his 
supreme good ; and both these being essentially included in this 
notion of the chief end, are therefore justly put together. 

Q. 10. What is the first truth inferred hence ? 

A. That God hath dignified man above all other creatures on earth, 
in giving him a capacity of glorifying God here, and of enjoying 
him hcreaiter. 

Q 11. What is the second truth inferred hence .^ 

A. That the soul of man is not annihilated by death, but advanc- 
ed by it; Phil. i. 21. To die is gain. V. S3. Having a desire ta 
depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better. 

Q. 12. What is the third truth inferred hence ? 

A. That it is the duty and wisdom of every Christian to renounce, 
deny, and forsake all inferior interests and enjoyments, when they 
come in competition with the glory of God, and our enjoyment of 
him : Luke xiv. 33. So likewise whosoever he be of you, that for- 
saketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 

Q. 13. What is the fourth inference hence ? 

A. That we are to abhor and renoimce all those doctrines and 
practices, that debase the glory of God, and exalt and magnify the 
creature. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 14)S 

Of the Scrijjtures as our Rule. 

Quest. 2. W HAT rule hath God given to direct us how we may 
glorify and enjoy him ? 

A. The word of' God, which is contained in the Scriptures erf the 
Old and new Testament, is the only rule to direct us how we mat/ 
glorify and enjoy him. 

Q. 1. How can the Scriptures be called the word of God, seeing 
the things contained there were spoken and written by men ? 

A. They are truly and properly called the word of God, because 
they came not by the will of man ; but holy men of God spake as 
they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. i. 21. 

Q. 2. What are the principal arguments to persuade us that the 
scriptures are of Divine authority and inspiration ? 

A. Three things especially convince us : First, The holiness of 
the doctrine therein contained. Secondly, The awful efficacy thereof 
on the soul. Thirdly, The uncontrollable miracles by which they 
are sealed, put it beyond all rational doubt that they are the very 
words of God. 

Q. 3. AVhat is the holiness of the scriptures ; and how doth that 
prove them to be God's word ? 

A. The holiness of the scriptures doth appear in two things : 
First, In commanding and encouraging whatsoever is pure, and 
holy ; Phil. iv. 8. Whatsoever things are pure. Secondly, In for- 
bidding all unholiness, under pain of damnation ; 2 Cor. vL 9- 
Know ye not, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of 
God, c5'C. This shews that they came not from Satan, being cross 
to his design ; nor from man, it being against his corrupt nature ; 
and therefore from God only. 

Q. 4. What is their authority and efficacy on the soul ? and how 
doth that prove them divine ? 

A. Their authority, and efficacy on the soul, consists in three things: 
First, In the power they have to search and discover the secrets of 
men ; Heb. xii. 4. The word of God is quick and powerful, and 
sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing 
asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow ; and is a 
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Secondly, In 
their converting efficacy, changing and renewing the soul; Psalm 
xix. 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Thirdly, 
In their cheering and restoring efficacy, when the soul is cast down 
under any inward or outward trouble; Psal. xix. 8. The statutes 
of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. No Imman power can 
do such things as these; John xvii. 17. Sanctify them through thy 
truth ; thy word is truth. 

Q. 5. How do miracles confirm it } 

A. Because all proper miracles are wrought only by the hand of 
God : John iii. 2, And no man can do these miracles that thou 



1 44 AX EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMI?LY*S CATECHISM. 

dost, except God be with him : and so are his seal to whatsoever he 
affixes them, and it consists not with his trutli, and hoUness to set it 
to a forgery. 

Q. 6. What was the end of writing the word? 

A. That the church to the end of the world might have a sure, 
known, standing-rule, to try and judge all things by, and not be 
left to the uncertaintv of traditions ; John v. 39- Search the scrip- 
tures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they 
which testify of me. 

Q. 7. Doth not the authority of the scriptures depend on the 
church, fathers, and councils ? 

A. No, the scriptures are not built on the authority of the church, 
but the church on them ; Eph. ii. 20. And are built on the founda- 
tion of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief 
comer-stone. And as for councils and fathers, the scriptures are not 
to be tried by them ; but they by the scriptures ; Isa. viii. 20. To the 
law and to the testimony ; if they speak not according to this word, it 
is because there is no light in them. 

Q. 8. What may be fairly inferred from this proposition, that the 
scriptures are the word of God ? 

A. Three things may be hence inferred. First, The perfection of 
the scriptures, which being the only rule given by God, must there- 
fore be perfect. Secondly, That it is the right of common people to 
read them; John v. 39. Search the scriptures, Actsxvii. 11. These 
were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the 
"word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, 
whether those things were so. Thirdly, That we owe no obedience 
to the injunctions of men farther than they are sufficiently warranted 
by the written word ; Matth. xv. 9. But in vain do they worship 
me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 

Of Faith and Obedience. 

Quest. 3. W HAT do the scriptures principally teach ? 

A. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe con- 
cerning God, and 7vhat duty God requires of man. 

Q. 1. Why is faith conjoined with obedience, and put before it ? 

A. Because faith is the principle from whence all obedience flows; 
and no man can perform any duty aright in the estate of unbelief; 
Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him ; for he 
that Cometh to God, must believe that he is. 

Q. 2. Can there be no saving faith where the scriptures are not 
known and preached ? 

A. No ; for the apostle saith, Rom. x. 14, 15. How then shall 
they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall 
they beheve in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall 
they hear without a preacher.? and how shall they preach except they 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 145 

be sent ? And ver. 17. So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hear- 
ing by the word of God. 

Q. 3. Are not we bound to believe what learned men teach us, as 
points of faith, though the things they teach be not contained in the 
word of God ? 

A. No ; if the things they teach be not contained expressly, or by 
necessary consequence in the word of God, we are not obliged to be- 
lieve them as points of faitJi ; Isa. viii. 20. To the law, and to the 
testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there 
is no light in them : Gal. i. 8. Though we, or an angel from hea- 
ven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have 
preached unto you, let him be accursed. And Christ hath charged 
us, Matth. xxiii. 10. To call no man master, for one is your mas- 
ter, even Christ. 

Q. 4. Are there some things in scripture more excellent than 
others ; because it is said, the scriptures principally teach matters of 
faith and duty ? 

A. Every part of scripture is alike pure ; Prov. xxx. 5. Every 
word of God is pure, and of equal authority, but not of equal weight; 
as several pieces of gold are alike pure, and of the same stamp, but 
not of equal value. 

Q. 5. What may be inferred hence for use ? 

A. Firsts Hence it is our duty to examine what we hear, by the 
word ; and not receive any doctrine because men confidently affirm 
it, but because the scriptures require it ; Acts xvii. 11. These were 
more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the 
word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures dailv, 
whether these things were so. Secondly^ That the Christian religion 
is not notional, but practical ; and that impractical faith saves no 
man ; James ii. 20. Faith without w^orks is dead. 

God is a Spirit 

Quest. 4. W^HATisGod.? 

A. God is a Spirit^ infinite^ eternal^ anduncltangeahle in his beings 
ii'isdom, powej', holiness^ justice^ goodness, and truth. 

Q. 1. Can the nature of God be defined, so as men may express 
properly and strictly what God is? 

A. No ; Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God ? canst 
thou find out the Almighty unto perfection ? 

We do then conceive most rightly of God, when we acknowledge 
him to be inconceivable ; and therefore, one being asked the ques- 
tion, what God is ? answered rightly ; If I fully knew that, I should 
be a God myself; for God only knows his own essence. 

Q. 2. How many ways are there by which men may know and 
describe the nature of God, though still with imperfect knov, ledge? 

A. There are two ways of knowing God in this life. J^irst, By 



116 A>? EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

■way of affirmation; affirming that of God by way of eminence, wliicli 
is excellent in the creature ; as when we affirm him to be wise, good^ 
merciful, &c. Secondly, By way of negation, when we remove from 
God, in our conceptions, all that is imperfect in the creature; so we 
say, God is immense, infinite, immutable ; and in this sense we also 
call him a Spirit, i. e. he is not a gross corporeal substance. 

Q. 3. How many sorts of spirits are there ? and of which sort is 
God ? 

A. There be two sorts of spirits, created and finite, as angels and 
the souls of men are. Secondly, Uncreated, and infinite ; and such 
a Spirit God only is, infinitely above all other spirits. 

Q. 4. If God be a Spirit, in what sense are we to understand all 
those scriptures which speak of the eyes of the Lord, the ears and 
hands of God 't 

A. We are to understand them as expressions of God, in con- 
descension to the weakness of our understanding; even as the glory 
of heaven is expressed to us in scripture by a city, and the royal 
feast. These shadows are useful to us whilst we are in the body ; 
but we shall know him in heaven after a more perfect manner. 

Q. 5. What may be inferred from the spiritual nature of God ? 

A. Hence learn, that it is both sinful and dangerous to frame an 
image or picture of God. Who can make an image of his soul, 
which yet is not so perfect a spirit as God is "t And as it is sinful 
to attempt it, so it is impossible to do it; Deut. iv. 15, 16. Take 
ye therefore good heed unto yourselves ; for ye saw no manner of 
similitude on the day that the Lord spake to you in Horeb, out of 
the midst of the fire ; lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a 
graven image, the similitude of any figure, &c. 

Q. 6. W^hat else may be inferred from thence ? 

A. That our souls are the most noble and excellent part of us, 
which most resembles God ; and therefore our chief regard and care 
should be for them, whatever becomes of the vile body ; Matth. xvi. 
26. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and 
lose his own soul ? Or what shall a man mve in exchanfije for his soul 't 



Q. 7. What further truth mav be inferred hence ? 



A. That men should beware of spiritual sins, as well as of gross and 
outward sins ; for there is a faithfulness of the spirit, as well as of the 
flesh ; 2 Cor. vii. 1. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of 
flesh and spirit ; and as God sees them, so he greatly abhors them, 
as sins that defile the noblest part of man, on which he stamped his 
own image. 

Q. 8. What also may be inferred from hence ? 

A, Hence we learn, that spiritual worship is most agreeable to 
his nature and will ; and the more spiritual it is, the more acceptable 
it will be to him ; John iv. 24. God is a Spirit, and they that wor- 
sliip him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Externals in wor- 
ship are of little regard with God; as places, habits, gestures, &e. 



Ale EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBlV's CAtECHISM. 147 

Apply this. 
First, To superstitious men, Isa. Ixvi. 1, 2^ 3. 
Secondly, To children, that say a prayer, but mind not to whom, 
tior what they say, 

Of God's Infinity. 

Quest. 1. W HAT is the sense and meaning of this word, in- 
finity ? 

A. It signifies that which hath no bounds or limits, within which 
it is contained, as all created things are. 

Q. 2. In how many respects is God infinite ? 

A. God is infinite and boundless in three respects. 

First, In respect of the perfection of his nature ; his wisdom, power, 
and holiness, exceed all measures and limits ; as 1 Sam. ii. 2. There 
is none holy as the Lord, &c. Secondly, In respect of time and place; 
no time can measure him ; Isa. Ivii. 15. Thus saith the high and lofty 
One, that inhabiteth eternity; 1 Kings viii. 27. Behold the heaven of 
heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house which I have 
built ? The heaven of heavens contains all created things ; but not 
the Creator. Thirdly, In respect of his incomprehensibleness, by 
the understanding of all creatures ; Job xi. 7. Canst thou by search- 
ing find out God ? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection ? 

Q. 3. *[f God be thus infinite, and no understandmg can compre- 
hend him, how then is it said in 1 John iii. % We shall see him as 
he is ? 

A. The meaning is not, that glorified saints shall comprehend God 
in their understandings ; but that they shall have a true apprehensive 
knowledge of God ; and that we shall see him immediately, and not 
as we do now through a glass darkly. 

Q. 4. What is the first lesson to be learnt from God's infinity ? 

A. That therefore men should tremble to sin even in secret ; Psal. 
cxxxix. 11. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me, even the 
night shall be light about me. 

Q. 5. What is the second instruction from hence ? 

A. The second instruction is, That there is an infinite evil in sin, 
objectively considered, as it is committed against an infinite God ; and 
therefore it deserves eternal punishment : and no satisfaction can pos- 
sibly be made for it, but by the blood of Christ ; 1 Pet. i. 18. Foras- 
much as ye know that we are not redeemed with corruptible things, 
as silver and gold but with the precious blood of Christ. 

Q. 6. What is the third instruction from God's infinity ? 

A. The third instruction is, that those who are reconciled to God 
in Christ, need not fear his ability to perform any mercy for them ; 
for he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or 
think, Eph. iii. 20. And those that are not reconciled are in a very 
miserable condition, having infinite power set on work to punish 
them ; 2 Thess. i. 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting des* 

Vol. VI. K 



148 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

truction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of hi3i 
power. 

Q. 7. What is the fourth instruction from God''s infinity ? 

A. That no place can bar the access of gracious souls to God ; 
They are as near him in a dungeon, as Avhen at liberty ; and that he 
knows their thoughts when their tongues cannot utter them. 

[Eternal.'] 

Quest. 1. W HAT is it to be eternal as God is ? 

A. The eternity of God is, to be without beginning, and without 
end ; Psal. xc. 2. From everlasting thou art God. 

Q. 2. How doth God's eternity differ from the eternity of angels, 
and human souls ? 

A, It differs in two respects ; First, In this, that though angels, 
and the souls of men shall have no end ; yet they had a beginning, 
which God had not. Secondly, Our eternity is by gift from God, or 
by his appointment ; but his eternity is necessary, and from his own 
nature. 

Q. 3, In what sense is the covenant called the everlasting covenant? 

A. The covenant is called an everlasting covenant, 2 Sam. xxiii. 
5. because the mercies of it, conveyed to believers, as pardon, peace, 
and salvation, are mercies that shall have no end. " 

Q. 4. In what sense is the gospel everlasting ? 

A. The gospel is called the everlasting gospel. Rev. xiv. 6. because 
the effects thereof, upon the soul it sanctifies, will abide in them 
for ever. 

Q. 5. In what sense is the redemption of Christ called the eternal 
redemption ? 

A. The redemption of Christ is called eternal redemption in Heb. 
ix. 12. because those whom he redeems by his blood, shall never 
more come into condemnation ; John v. 24. He that heareth my 
word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath e\'prlasting life, and 
shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life. 

Q. 6. Why is the last judgment of the world by Christ called 
eternal judgment ? 

A. The last judgment is called eternal judgment, not because God 
judged men from eternity, or because the day of judgment shall last 
to eternity ; but because the consequences of it will be everlasting 
joy or misery to the souls of men ; therefore it is called eternal 
judgment ; Heb. vi. 2. 

Q. 7. What may wicked men learn from the eternity of God ? 

A. Hence wicked men may see their own misery in the perfection 
of it ; that they will have an eternal enemy to avenge himself upon 
them for ever, in the world to come ; 2 Thess. i. 9. Who shall 
be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the 
Xord. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 149 

Q. 8. Wliat may good men learn from it ? 

A. That their joy and happiness will be perfect and endless, who 
iiave the eternal God for their portion ; Psal. xvi. 11. In thy pre* 
sence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for ever- 
more. 

Q. 9. What may all men, good and bad, learn from it ? 

J. All men may learn three things from the eternity of God; Firsfy 
That their life is a thing of nought compared with God ; Psal. xxxix. 
5. Mine age is as nothing before thee. Secondly^ That sins, or duties, 
long since committed, or performed, are all present before God. 
Thirdhj, That God can never want opportunity to do his work, and 
carry on his designs in the world. All time is in the hand of the eter- 
nal God; Rev. xii. 12. The devil is come down unto you, having 
great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 

Cff God's Unchangeableness. 

Quest. 1. T T HAT scriptures plainly assert this attribute.? 

A. Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto Moses, I AM that I AIM. 
Dan. vi. 16. For he is the living God, and stedfast for ever; Jam. i. 
17. With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, 

Q. % Whence doth God's immutability flow ? 

A. The immutability of God flows from the perfection of his na- 
ture, to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be 
taken away. If any thing could be added to make him better than 
he is ; or if any thing could be taken away, to make him less good 
than he is, then he were not the chiefest good, and, consequently, 
not God. 

Q. 3. By what other argument prove you his immutability ? 

A. I prove it from the eternity of God. If God be eternal, he 
must be immutable : for if he change by addition of sometliing to him 
he had not before, then there is something in God which he had not 
from eternity : And if he change by diminution, then there was some- 
thing in God from eternity, which now is not ; but from everlasting 
to everlasting he is the same God, and therefore changeth not. 

Q. 4. But it is said, God repents, and repentance is a change : 
How then is he unchangeable, and yet repents ? 

A. In these phrases God speaks to us, as we must speak of, and 
to him ; not properly, but after the manner of men : ^nd it only 
notes a change in his providence, not in his nature. 

Q. 5. But how could God become man, and yet no change made 
on him ? 

A, There is a twofold change ; one active, made by God, that we 
allow : He made a change upon our nature by uniting it to Christ ; 
but a passive change made upon God, we deny. The nature of 
man was made more excellent, but the divine nature was still the 
same. 

K2 



150 AN EXrOSISION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISIif* 

Q. 6. What is the first instruction from God's immutability ? 

A, That those that are most unchangeable in holiness, are most 
like God : Let him that is holy be holy still. 

Q. 7. What is the second instruction hence ? 

A, That the happiness of God's people is firm and sure, being still 
upon the word of an unchangeable God ; Mai. iii. 6. For I am the 
Lord ; I change not : therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed, 
Heb. vi. 18. 

Q. 8. What is the third instruction from this attribute ^ 

A. That the hopes of all -svicked men are vain, being built upon zt 
presumption, that God will not deal with them as he hath threat- 
ened he will do. 

Q. 9. What is the last instruction from God's immutability ? 

A. That Christians may take as much encouragement now from 
the nature, word, and providence of God, as the saints in any for- 
mer generation did, or might do ; for he is the same now he was 
then. 

Of GocTs Wisdom. 

Quest. 1. How manifold is the wisdom of God ? 

A. There is a personal and essential wisdom of God ; the personal 
wisdom is the Son of God ; 1 Cor. i. 24. Christ, the power of God, 
and the wisdom of God ; Col. ii. 3. In whom are hid all the trea- 
sures of wisdom and knowledge. The essential wisdom of God is 
the essence of God ; of which this question speaks. 

Q. 2. What is the essential wisdom of God. 

A. The essential wisdom of God is his most exact and perfect 
knowledge of himself and all his creatures, and his ordering and dis- 
posing them in the most convenient manner, to the glory of his own 
name; Eph. i. *11. According to the purpose of him who worketh 
all things after the counsel of his own will. 

Q. S. What is the first property of God's wisdom ? 

A. The first property is, he is only wise ; Rom. xvi. 27. To God, 
only wise, be glory : And whatsoever wisdom is in angels, or men, 
is all derived and borrowed from God, but his from none ; Isa. xL 
14. With whom took he counsel ? and who instructed him, and 
taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and 
shewed to him the way of understanding ? 

Q. 4. What is the second property of God's wisdom ? 

A. The second property is, that he is incomprehensible in his wis- 
dom ; Rom. xi. 33, 34. O the depth of the riches, both of the wis- 
dom and knowledge of God, &c. 

Q. 5. What is the third property of the wisdom of God ? 

A. The third property is, that Gbd is perfectly wise, which no 
creatures, no, not the very angels in heaven are : Job iv. 18. And 
his angels he chargeth with folly. 



i^N EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 151 

Q. 6. What is the most glorious and eminent discovery of the wis- 
dom of God ? 

A. The most glorious display of the wisdom of God, was in the 
work of our redemption by Jesus Christ ; Col. ii. 3. In whom are 
hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge ; 1 Cor. i. 24. Christ 
the wisdom of God. 

Q. 7. What is the first instruction from God's wisdom ? 

A. The first instruction is, that God is a fit object of our trust, de- 
pendence and resignation ; Isa. xxx. 18. And therefore will the Lord 
wait, that he may be gracious unto you ; and therefore will he be 
exalted, that he may have mercy upon you ; for the Lord is a God 
of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for him. 

Q. 8. What is the second instruction from hence ? 

A. The second instruction is, that it is a dangerous arrogancy in 
the creature, either to prescribe unto God, and direct his Maker ; Job 
xxi. 22. Shall any teach God knowledge, seeing he judgeth those 
that are high ? Or to quarrel with his pi^ovidences, as not so fit and 
convenient as they should be ; Job xl. 2. Shall he that contendeth 
with the Almighty instruct him ? He that reproveth God, let him 
answer it. 

Q. 9. What is the third instruction from it ? 

A. That the people of God have much reason to quiet and encou- 
rage themselves, when crafty and subtle enemies surround them ; for 
the foolishness of God is wiser than men, 1 Cor. i. 25. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction from God's wisdom ? 

A. The fourth instruction is, that the true way to wisdom is to be 
sensible of our own folly; 1 Cor. iii. 18. If any man among you 
seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may 
be wise. And to apply ourselves by prayer to God the foundation of 
it, Jam. i. 5. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God. 

Q. 11. What is the last instruction from God's wisdom ? 

A. That the study of Christ, and of the scriptures, is to be preferred 
to all other studies in the world ; Col. ii. 3. In whom are hid all the 
treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And the scriptures contain all 
that wisdom which is for our salvation ; 1 Cor. ii. 17. But we speak 
the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which 
God ordained before the world unto our glory. 

Of God's power. 

Quest. 1. TV HAT is the power of God ? 

A. An essential property of his nature, whereby he can do all things 
that he pleases to have done ; Jer. xxxii. 17. Ah Lord God, behold, 
thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power and 
stretched-out arm ; and there is nothing too hard for thee. 

Q. 2. What evidences have we before our eyes of the almighty 
power of God .'' 

K3 



152 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

A. It appears in the creation of the world ; Rom. i. 20. For the 
invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly 
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal 
power and Godhead. And its sustentation ; Heb. i. 8. Who up- 
holdeth all things by the word of his power. 

Q. Did God's power ever act its utmost ? 

A. No ; he can do more than ever he did, or ever will do ; Mat. 
iii. 9. God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham, 
Mat. xxvi. 53. 

Q. 4. Are there not some things which God cannot do ? 

A. Yes, there are ; but thev are such things as are inconsistent 

with his truth and holiness; Tit. i. f2.- which God, that cannot 

lie; 2 Tim. ii. 13. He cannot deny himself 

Q. 5. What is the first thing inferred from God's power ? 

A. That all the creatures necessarily depend on him for what 
ability they have; and without the permission of the supreme 
power they can do us no hurt ; John xix. 11. Thou couldcst have 
no power against me, except it were given thee from above. 

Q. 6. W^hat is the second inference from hence ? 

A. That the difficulties which lie in the way of the promises need 
be no stumbling-blocks to our faith ; Rom. iv. 20, 21. He staggered 
not at the promises through unbelief, being fully persuaded, that 
what he had promised he was able also to perform. 

Q. 7. What is the third inference from this attribute ? 

A. The saints need not to be scared at the greatness of their suffer- 
ings; their God can carry them through; Dan. iii. IT. Our God, 
whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. 

Q. 8. What is the fourth inference ? 

A. That the salvation of God's people is certain, whatever their 
dangers be, being kept by this mighty power ; 1 Pet. i. 5. Who are 
kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 

Q. 9. What is the last inference hence ? 

A. That the state of the damned is inconceivably miserable ; their 
punishment proceeding from the glory of the Almighty ? 2 Thes. i. 
2. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the pre-^ 
sence of the Lord, and the glory of his power. 

Of God^s Holiness. 

Quest. 1. iloW manifold is the holiness of God ? 

A. The holiness of God is tv/ofold ; communicable, or incommuni- 
cable ; of his communicable holiness the apostle speaks, Heb. xii. 10. 
But he, for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 
Of his incommunicable holiness that scripture speaks, 1 Sam. ii. 2. 
There is none holy as the Lord. 
Q. 2. What is the essential and incommunicable holiness of God ?■ 
A. It is the infinite purity of his nature, whereby he delights in his 
own holiness, and the resemblance of it it his creatures, and hates all 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 153 

impurity; Hab. i. 13. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, 
and canst not look on iniquity. 

Q. S. What is the first property of God's holiness ? 

J. He is essentially holy : Holiness is not a separable quality in 
God, as it is in angels and men ; but his being and his holiness are 
one thing. 

Q. 4. What is the second property of God's holiness ? 

A. God is essentially holy, the author and fountain of all commu- 
nicated holiness ; Lev. xx. 8. I am the Lord which sanctifieth you. 

Q. 5. What is the third property ? 

A. That the holiness of God is the perfect rule and pattern of 
holiness to all creatures ; 1 Pet, i. 16. Be ye holy, for I am holy. 

Q. 6. What is the first instruction ? 

A. That the holiest of men have cause to be ashamed and hum- 
bled when they come before God ; Isa. vi. 3, 5. And one cried 
vmto another, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the 
whole earth is full of his glory." Then said I, Woe is me, for I am 
undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, S^c. 

Q. 7. What is the second instruction from God's holiness ? 

A. That there is no coming near to God without a Mediator ; for 
our God is a consuming fire. 

Q. 8. Wlmt is the third instruction from God's holiness ? 

A. That holiness is indispensably necessary, to all those which 
shall dwell with him in heaven ; Heb. xii. 14. And holiness, with- 
out which no man shall see the Lord. 

Q. 9. What is the fourth instruction from hence ? 

A. That the gospel is of inestimable value, as it is the instrument 
of conveying the holiness of God to us ; 2 Cor. iii. 18. But we all 
with open face, beholding as it were in a glass the glory of the Lord, 
are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the 
Spirit of the Lord : John xvii. 17. Sanctify them through thy 
truth, thy word is truth. 

Q. 10. What is the last instruction from God's holiness ? 

A. That all the despisers of, and scoffers at, holiness, are despisers 
of God ; for holiness is the very nature of God ; and in the creature 
it is his represented image. 

Of GocVs Justice. 

Quest. 1. What is the justice of God ? 

A, The justice of God is the perfect rectitude and equity of his 
nature; whereby he is just in himself, and in all his ways towards 
the creatures ; Deut. xxxii. 4. He is the rock, his work is perfect ; 
for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth, and without ini- 
quity : just and right is he. 

Q. 2. What is the first property of God's justice ? 

4' That it infinitely excels all human justice in the perfection of 

K4 



154i 

it. No creature can compare in justice with God ; Job ix. S. How 

shall man be just with God ? 

Q. 3. What is the second property of God^s justice ? 
A. That he is universally righteous in all his administrations in the 
world; Psal. cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and 
holy in all his works. 

Q. 4. What was the greatest demonstration of the justice of God, 
that ever was given to the world ? 

A. The greatest evidence that ever was givenof the justice of God, 
Avas in his exacting full satisfaction for our sins of Christ; Rom. iii. 25, 
S6. Whom God hath set forth, to be a propitiation through faith 
in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that 
are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this 
time, his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of 
him which believeth in Jesus, Rom. viii. 3S. He spared not his own 
son, but delivered him up for us all. 

Q. 5. What is the second discovery of God's justice ? 
A. The second discovery of the justice of God, is in the eternal 
punishment of sin in hell upon all that do not repent, and come to 
Christ by faith, in this woi'ld ; Rom. ii. 5. But after thy hardness 
and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself WTath against the day 
of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. 
Q. 6. What is the third evidence of God's justice ? 
A. The third evidence of the justice of God, is in making good all 
the mercies he hath promised to believers, exactly to a tittle ; 1 John 
i. 9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our 
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 2 Tim. iv. 8. Hence- 
forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the 
Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me at that day. 
Q. 7. What is the first inference from God's justice ? 
A. That sinners have no cause to complain of God's judgments, 
though they be never so terrible or durable ; Rom. ii. 5. But after 
thy hardness, and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath 
against the day of wrath, and revelation of the rigliteous judgment 
of God. 

Q. 8. What is the second inference from God's justice.^ 
A. That without doubt there is a judgment to come in the next life, 
otherwise God would not have the glory of his justice ; Eccl. iii. 16, 
17. I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was 
there ; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there ; I said 
in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous, and the wicked. 
Q. 9. What is the third inference from God's justice.? 
A. That penitent and believing sinners need not doubt of the 
forgiveness of their sins ; 1 John i. 9. If we confess our sins he is 
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all 
unrighteousness. 

Q. 10. What is the last inference from it ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 155 

J. The last inference is, that meekness and patience under afflic- 
tions, is our unquestionable duty ; and murmuring against God, is 
a great sin and evil ; l.am. iii. 39. Wherefore doth a hving man 
complain, a man for the punishment of his sins ? 

Of GocTs Goodness. 

Quest. 1. fVlIAT is the goodness of God ? 

A. It is an essential property of his nature, whereby he is abso^ 
lutely and perfectly good in himself, and the fountain of all com- 
municated goodness to the creature ; Psal. cxix. 68. Thou art good, 
and dost good, teach me thy statutes. 

Q. 2. How doth the goodness of God differ from the mercy of Gpd ? 

A. It differs in its objects ; for misery is the object of mercy ; but 

goodness extends to the creatures that are happy, as well as miserable, 

as the angels ; Psal. cxlv. 9- The Lord is good to all, and his tender 

mercies are over all his works. 

Q. 3. What is the first property of God's goodness ? 
A. That all his other attributes flow out of it as their fountain : 
the other acts of God are but the effluxes of his goodness ; Exod. 
xxxiii. 19. And he said I will make all my goodness pass before thee, 
and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, and I willbe 
gracious to whom I Avillbe gracious, and will shew mercy unto whom 
I will shew mercy. Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord passed by before 
him, and proclaimed. The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gra- 
cious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. 

Q. 4. What is the secondary property of the divine goodness ? 
A. That it is supreme and perfect in itself, so as the goodness of 
no creature is, or can be; Luke xviii. 19. None is good save one, 
and that is God : And consequently above all additions from the 
creature ; Psal. xvi. 2. O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, 
My goodness extendeth not unto thee. 

Q. 5. What is the third property of God's goodness .? 
A. That it is communicative with pleasure and delight to the crea- 
ture : no mother draws out her breast to an hungry child with more 
pleasure than God doth his goodness to the saints ; Psal. cxlv. 9. 
The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works. 
Q. 6. In what acts hath God manifested his goodness ? 
A. He hath manifested it in the creation and government of the 
world ; Psal. civ. 24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works ! in 
wisdom hast thou made them all. 

Q. 7. What was the principal work in which God hath manifested 
his goodness to men. 

A. The principal manifestation of God's goodness was in the work 
of redemption by Christ ; Rom. v. 8. God commended his love 
towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us» 
1 John iv. 9. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, be- 



156 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

cause that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we 
might live through him. 

Q. 8. But are not the judgments of God on the wicked, and his 
afflictions on the saints, impeachments of his goodness. 

A. No ; it is the property of goodness to hate and punish evil in 
the impenitent ; Exod. xxxiv. 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, for- 
giving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means 
clear the guilty, &c. And the affliction of the saints flow from his 
goodness, and end in their true and eternal good ; Heb, xii. 6. For 
Avhom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom 
he receiveth, Psal. cxix. 71. It is good for me that I have been afflict- 
ed, that I might learn thy statutes. 

Q. 9. What may we infer from the goodness of God ? 

A. The first thing is, that sin hath made our natures base and dis- 
ingenuous, in that we take no notice of his goodness ; Isa. i. 3. The 
ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib ; but Israel doth 
not know, my people doth not consider, and answer not the design 
of it ; Rom. ii. 4. Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth 
thee to repentance. 

Q. 10. What is the second inference from the goodness of God ? 

A. That therefore God is the fittest object of our delight and love, 
and of our trust and confidence, (1.) Of our delight and love ; Psal. 
cxvi. 1. I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice, and my 
supplications. (2.) Of our trust and confidence ; Psal. xxxiv. 8. O 
taste and see that the Lord is good ; blessed is the man that trusteth 
in him. 

Q. 11. What is the third inference from God's goodness.? 

A. That Christians should imitate God in his goodness, in love to 
our enemies ; INIatth. v. 44, 45. But I say unto you, love your ene- 
mies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray 
for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that ye may 
be the children of your Father which is in heaven. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference from God's goodness ? 

A. That Christians have great encouragement to go to God for 
pardon in case of sin ; Psal. cxxx. 4. But there is forgiveness with 
thee, that thou mayest be feared ; and for refuse in dangers. The 
Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble ; he knoweth them 
that trust in him, Nahum i. 7. 

OfGocTs Truth, 

Quest. 1. ^VhAT is the truth of God ? 

A. It is an essential property of his nature, whereby he is perfectly 
faithful in himself, and in all that he hath spoken ; Deut. xxxii. 4. 
He is the rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are judgment ; 
a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he, Psal. 
cxix. 142. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and 
thy law is the truth. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 157 

Q. 2. What is the first property of Divine trutli ? 

J. The first property of it is, That it is essential and necessary 
to God : He cannot lie, Titus i. 2. 

Q. 3. What is tlie second property of it ? 

J. The second property is, That it is everlasting, and abiding to 
all generations, Psal. c. 5. For the I^ord is good, his mercy is ever- 
lasting, and his truth endureth to all generations. Isa. xxv. 1. O 

Lord, thou art my God, I will exalt thee thy counsels of old 

are faithfulness and truth. 

Q. 4. What is the third property of Divine truth ? 

A. The third property is, that he is universally true in all his words 
and works. (1 .) In all his words; John xvii. 17. Thy word is truth. 
(2.) In all his works ; Psal. xxv. 10. All the paths of the Lord are 
mercy and truth, unto such as keep his covenant. 

Q. 5. What is the first lesson from God's truth to be learnt ? 

A. That truth and sincerity of heart is that which is most suitable 
and pleasing to God ; Psal. h. 6. Behold thou desirest truth in the 
inward parts. 

Q. 6. What is the second lesson from God's truth ? 

A. That whatever God hath foretold shall assuredly come to pass, 
and be fulfilled in his time ; Josh, xxiii. 14. Not one thing hath fail- 
ed of all the good things which the Lord our God spake concerning 
you ; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed 
thereof 

Q. 7. What is the third lesson from the trutli of God .? 

A. That a promise from God is full security to the faith of his 
people, and they may look upon it as good as a mercy in hand; Heb. 
X. 2,S. For he is faithful that promised. 

Q. 8. What is the fourth lesson from God's truth ? 

That whatever God hath threatened in his word against sinners 
shall surely come upon them except they repent ; Zech. i. 6. But 
my word, and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the 
prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers ? and they returned, 
and said, like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according 
to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us. 
Ezek. xii. 27, 28. The word which I have spoken shall be done, saith 
the Lord God. 

Q. 9. What is the fifth lesson from God's truth ? 

A. That falsehood in words and actions is contrary to God's nature, 
and abhorred by him ; John viii. 44. Ye are of your father the devil, 
and the lusts of your father ye will do ; he was a murderer from the 
beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there was no truth 
in him ; when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own ? for he is 
a liar, and the father of it. 

Q. 10. What is the last lesson from God's truth ? 

A. The day of judgment will rightly and justly state every man's 



15S AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

condition ; Rom. ii. 2. But we are sure that the judgment of God is 
according to truth against them which commit such things. 

Of one God. 

Quest. 5. xSlRE there more gods than one ? 

A. There is but one only^ the living and true God, 

Q. 1. How doth it appear that there is but one God ? 

A. It is evident from scripture there is but one God ; Deut. vi. 4. 
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Jer. x. 10. but the 
Lord is the true God; he is the hving God, and an everlasting King: 
and as scripture reveals no more, so reason will allow no more. 

Q. 2. Why will reason allow no more but one God ? 

A. Because God is the first being; Rev. i. 11. Saying, I am 
Alpha and Omega, the first and the last ; and there can be but one 
first being, and God is the most perfect and excellent being ; Psal. 
Ixxi. 19. Thy righteousness, also, O God, is very high, who hath 
done great things : O God, who is hke unto thee ? And there can 
be but one most perfect and excellent being. 

Q. 3. But doth not the scriptures say, in 1 Cor. viii. 5. that there are 
gods many, and lords many ? 

A. Yes ; there are many in title, and many in opinion, but one 
only in truth; Jer. x. 10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the 
living God, and an everlasting King. 

Q. 4. Why is he called the true God ? 

A, To distinguish him from the idols and false gods of the hea- 
thens ; 1 Thes. i. 9. How ye turned to God from idols, to serve the 
living and true God. Acts xiv. 15. We preach unto you, that ye 
should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made 
heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein. 

Q. 5. Why is he called the living God ? 

A. Because all life, natural, spiritual, and eternal, is in him, and 
from him only. Firsts Natural life; Acts xvii. 28. For in him we 
live, and move, and have our being. Secondly^ Spiritual life ; Eph. 
11. 1. You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. 
Thirdly^ Eternal life in glory ; Col. iii. 4. When Christ who is our 
life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 

Q. 6. What is the first instruction from hence ^ 

A. If but one God, then all his children should be of one heart, 
having one and the same Father ; Eph. iv. 5, 6. One Lord, one 
faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and 
through all, and in you all. 

Q. 7. What is the second inference from hence ? 

A. That it is idolatry to perform worship to any other but God 
only ; Psal. Ixxxvi. 9, 10. All nations whom thou hast made, shall 
come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name, 
for thou art great, and dost wondrous things, thou art God alone. 

Q. 8. What is the third inference from it ? 



{ 



' AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMfiLv's CATECHISM. 1-59 

A. That our supreme love is due to God only, and it is very sinful 
to place it in any other ; Deut. vi. 4, 5. Hear, O Israel. The 
Lord our God is one Lord ; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 

Q. 9. What is the fourth inference from God's unity ? 

A. That God only must have the reliance and dependence of our 
souls; Jer. xvii. 5, 7. Thus saith the Lord, cursed be the man that 
trusteth in man, that maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart depart^ 
eth from the Lord. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, 
and whose hope the Lord is. 

Q. 10. What is the last inference from it? 

A. That we have great cause to be thankful for the gospel, which 
discovers the only true God to us ; and that we are not as the hea- 
thens, worshipping many and false gods ; 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6. For 
though there be that are called gods, wdiether in heaven or in earth, 
ss there be gods many, and lords many ; but to us there is but one 
God^ the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him ; and one 
Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, 

Oftliree Persons in the Godhead. 

Quest. 6. JtlOW many persons are there in the godhead ? 

A, There are three persons in the godhead, the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one God, the same in sub-- 
stance, equal in power and glory. 

Q. What mean you by the word, godhead ? 

A. It is the nature, essence, or being of God, as the apostle speaks, 
Acts xvii. 29. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we 
ought not to think that the godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or 
stone, graven by art, and man's device. 

Q. 2. W^hat is a person in the godhead ? 

A. It is the godhead distinguished by personal properties ; each 
person having his distinct personal properties ; Heb. i. 3. Who be- 
ing the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, 
upholding all things by the word of his power. 

Q. 3. How doth it appear there are three persons, and no more ? 

-4. Fir^^, From Christ's baptism; Mat.iii. 16, 17. And Jesus, when 
he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, and lo, the 
heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God de- 
scending, like a dove, and lighting upon him ; and lo, a voice from 
heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, 

Q. 4. How else in the second place, doth it appear ? 

A. From the institution of our baptism ; Mat. xxviii. 19. Go ye, 
therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the 
Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 5. What is the third proof from scripture ? 

A. From the apostolical benediction ; 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace 
©f our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of 



100 'aV. exposition? of the assembly's CATECHISSf. ' 

the holy Ghost, be with you all, Amen : Where the three distinct bless- 
ings are wished from the three divine persons in the godhead, grace 
from Christ, love from the Father, and communion with the Spirit. 

Q. 6. What farther evidence is there of it in scripture? 

A. From plain positive assertions of the scripture, asserting, First, 
A trinity of persons. Secondly^ A unity of essence ? 1 John v. 7. For 
there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, 
and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. 

Q. 8. AVhat is the first instruction from the trinity ? 

A. That the doctrine of the gospel concerning Christ, is fully con- 
firmed and ratified by three witnesses from heaven, who are above 
all exceptions ; 1 John v. 7. For there are three that bear record 
in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, 

Q. 8. What is the second instruction from the trinity ? 

A. Hence we learn the true order and manner of worshipping 
God, in the Son ; John xvi. 23. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father 
in my name, he shall give it you. And by the Spirit ; Eph. vi. 18. 
Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. 

Q. 9. What is the third instruction from the trinity ? 

A. That the covenant of grace conveys a rich portion to behevers 
in making over all three persons to them; Jer. xxxi. 33. But this 
shall be tlie covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after 
those days, saith the Lord ; I will put my law into their inward parts, 
and ^vrite it in their hearts ; and I will be their God, and they shall 
be my people. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction from the trinity ? 

A. That as it is the duty of all the saints to give distinct glory to 
the three persons in the Godhead ; so it will be a special part of their 
blessedness in heaven, to conteaiiplate the distinct benefits received 
from them all ; Rev. i. 5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faith- 
ful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the 
kings of the earth ; unto him that loved us, and washed us from our 
sins in his own blood. 

Of Gocts decrees. 

Quest. % fT HAT are the decrees of God ? 

A. The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to tht 
council of his loiU, icherehyfor his own glory he hath fore-ordained 
whatsoever comes to pass. 

Q. 1. What things are decreed of God .? 

A. All things whatsoever come to pass, even the smallest ; Eph. i, 
11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predesti- 
nated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after 
the counsel of his own will. 

Q. 2. What is the end of God's decrees ? 

A. The glory of his own name ; Eph. i, 11, \% Who worketh 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECIIlSxM. IGl 

all things according to the counsel of his own will, that we should be 
to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

Q. 8. But there are some evil things done in the world ; Do they 
fall under God's decree ? 

J. Though God doth neither approve them, nor necessitate men 
to commit them, yet he doth permit and suffer them to be done, and 
will turn them to his own glory ; Acts iv. 27, 28. For of a truth, 
against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Ilerod, 
and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel are 
gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel 
determined before to be done. 

Q. 4. Who are the objects of God^s special decrees.^ 

A. Angels and men are the objects of God's special decrees ; 1 
Tim. V. 21. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, &c. Rom. viii. 
33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect ? 

Q. 5. What is the first property of God's decrees ? 

A. That they are most wise acts of God, laid in the depth of wis- 
dom and counsel ; Rom. xi. 83. O the depth of the riches both of 
the wisdom and knowledge of God ! How unsearchable are his judg- 
ments, and his ways are past finding out ! 

Q. 6*. What is the second property of God's decrees ? 

A. The decrees of God are most free, all flowing from the mere 
pleasure of his will; Rom. ix. 18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom 
he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 

Q. 7. What is the third property of God's decrees ? 

A, They are most firm and stable ; 2 Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless, 
the foundation of God standeth sure ; having this seal, The Lord 
knovveth them that are his; Zech. vi. 1. 

Q. 8. What is the fourth property of God's decrees ? 

A. They are eternal, and before all time ; Acts xv. 18. Known 
unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world. 

Q. 9. What is the fifth property of God's decrees ? 

A. They are most pure, and altogether unspotted of sin ; 1 John 
i. 5. This is the message which we have heard of him, and declare 
unto you. That God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 

Q. 10. What is the first instruction from God's decrees ? 

A. That we ought to ascribe nothing to chance, but to the appoint- 
ment or providence of God ; Prov. xvi. 33. The lot is cast into the 
lap ; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. 

Q. 11. What is the second instruction from God's decrees ? 

A. That God's hand is to be acknowledged in the greatest afflic- 
tions that befal us ; 2 Sam. xvi. 11. And David said to Abishai, 
and to all his servants, behold my son, which came forth of my bow- 
els, seeketh my life ; how much more now may this Benjaniite do 
it ^ Let him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord hath bidden him. 



16£ i\N EXPOSITIOX OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHlSIt^. 

Q. 12. What is the last instruction from God's decrees? 

J. That we ought to be thankful to God for all the good, and 
patient under all the evils that befal us ; Job ii. 10. Shall we receive 
good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil ? 

Quest. 8. XXOW doth God execute his decrees ? 

A. God executeth his deci^ees in the woi'hs of creation and jprovi" 
dence. 

Of the Creation. 

Quest. 9. TT HAT are the works of creation ? 

A. The zivrJc of creation is, God''s making all things of nothing, 
by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very 
good. 

Q. 1 . What is it to create ? 

A. To create, is to give a being to that which had no being ; or 
to bring something out of nothing ; Heb. xi. 3. Through faith we 
understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God ; so that 
things which are seen were not made of things that do appear. 

Q. 2. How did God create the world ? 

A. By his infinite power, executed in his word of command ; PsaL 
xxxiii. 6, 9. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and 
all the host of them by the breath of his mouth ; for he spake, and 
it was done ; he commanded, and it stood fast. 

Q. 3. What attributes of God shme forth in the creation ? 

A. The wisdom of God shines forth gloriously, not only in their 
formation, but dependence one upon another; Psal. civ. 24. O Lord, 
how manifold are thy works ! In wisdom hast thou made them all. 
The earth is full of thy riches. 

Q. 4. What may we learn from the creation ? 

A. That God perfectly knows all that is in the creature, be it ne- 
ver so secret ; Psal. xciv. 8, 9. Understand, O ye brutish among the 
people ; and ye fools, when will ye be wise ? He that planted the ear, 
shall he not hear : He that formed the eye, shall he not see ? 

Q. 5. AVhat is the second instruction from the creation ? 

A. That God is the rightful owner of us all, and may do what he 
will with us ? Rom. ix. 20. Nay but, O man, who art thou that re- 
pliest against God ! shall the thing formed say to him that formed 
it, why hast thou made me thus ? Hath not the potter power over 
the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another 
to dishonour ? 

Q. 6. What is the third instruction from the creation ? 

A. That God only is the proper object of worship; Jer. x. 11» 
Thus shall he say unto them. The gods that have not made the hea- 
vens, and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from 
under these heavens. 

Q. 7. What is the fourth instruction from hence ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 163 

J. That Christians should not fear the power of creatures, 
Since they derive their being and power from God ; Isa. Uv. 16, 17. 
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, 
that bringeth forth an instrument for his work ; and I have created the 
waster to destroy ; no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. 

Q. 8. What is the fifth instruction from hence ? 

A, That Atheism is a sin against natural light and reason ; Rom, 
i. 20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world 
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even 
his eternal power and godhead ; so that they are without excuse. 

Q. 9- AVhat is the sixth instruction from hence ? 

A. That God's glory is the end of all being ; Col. i. 16. For by 
him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, 
visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or princi- 
palities, or powers : all things were created by him and for him. 

Q. 10. What is the seventh instruction from hence ? 

A. That there is an unnatural rebellion in sin, smiting at him that 
made and preserves our being ; Isa. i. 6. I have nourished and 
brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 

Q. 11. What is the eighth instruction from hence .'^ 

A. That God can in a moment revive and save the church when 
at the lowest ebb ; Isa. Ixv. 18. Behold, I create Jerusalem a res- 
joicing, and her people a joy. 

Q. 12. What is the last instruction from hence? 

A. That it is easy with God to revive a dejected soul ; Isa. Ivii. 19- 
I create the fruit of the lips : Peace, peace to him that is far off, and 
to him that is near, saith the Lord ; and I will heal him. 

Of Mali's Creation, 

Quest. lO.lrloW did God create man.? 

A. God created man male and female^ after Ms own image, in know- 
ledge, righteousness, and holiness, with doninion over the creatures, 

Q. 1. How did God create man ? 

A. God created man in his own image; Gen. i. 27. So God 
created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, 
male and female created he them. 

Q. 2. What is meant by the image of God ? 

A. Not a resemblance of God in any bodily shape or figure, but 
in holiness ; Eph. iv. 24. And that ye put on the new man, which 
after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 

Q. 3. In what graces did man resemble God ? 

A. In such a knowledge of God himself, and the creatures, which 
made him happy ; Col. iii. 10. And have put on the new man, 
which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created 
him. 

Vol. VI, L 



164 AN EXPOSITION OF THl 

Q. 4. In what other graces did this image consist ? 

A. In righteousness as well as holiness ; Eph. iv 24. And that ye 
put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness 
and true holiness. 

Q. 5. ^Vhat is the first inference from hence ? 

A. The deplorable misery of the fall ; Rom. v. 12. Wherefore as 
by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so 
death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned* 

Q. 6. What is the second instruction from hence ? 

A. The beauty of holiness, which is the image of God, and the ex- 
cellency of man ; Psalm xvi. 3. But to the saints that are in the earth, 
and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. 

Q. 7. What is the third instruction from hence .'' 

A. We have infinite cause to bless God for Christ, who repairs 
this lost image in his people ; Eph. iv. 23. And be renewed in the 
spirit of your mind. 

Q. 8. What is the fourth instruction from hence ? 

A. That the despisers of holiness are the despisers of God ; for 
holiness is God's imao^e. 

Q. 9. What is the fifth instruction from hence ? 

A. The excellency of sanctification, which defaces the image of 
Satan, and draws the image of God upon the soul of man. 

Of Divine Providence. 

Quest. 11. V V HAT are God's works of providence ? 

A. God's icorks of providence are his most holy^ wise, and power^ 
ful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions ^ 

Q. 1. How doth it appear that there is a Divine Providence ? 

A. It appears by plain scripture testimonies. Heb. i. 3. Upholding 
all things by the word of his power. Col. i. 17. By him all things 
consist, Luke. xii. 6, 7. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, 
and not one of them is forgotten before God ; but even the very 
hairs of your head are all numbered. 

Q. 2. How else is providence evinced ? 

A. By scripture emblems; as Jacob's ladder, Gen. xxviii. 12, 13. 
And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set upon the earth, and the 
top of it reached to heaven ; behold the angels of God ascended and 
descended on it : And Ezekiefs wheels, Ezek. i. 20. Whithersoever 
the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go, and the 
wheels were lifted up over against them, for the spirit of the living- 
creature was in the wheels. 

Q. 3. What farther scripture evidence is there ? 

A. The sure accomplishment of scripture predictions; as Israel's 
captivity, and deliverance from Egypt and Babylon; Christ's incarna- 
tion ; the rise and ruin of the four monarchies ; Dan. ii. 31. Thou, 
O king, sawest, and behold a great image, whose brightness was ex- 
cellent, stood before the€, and the form thereof was terrible. Daiw 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM, 165 

Vii. 3. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from 
the other. 

Q. 4. What is its first act about the creatures ? 

J. It sustains, preserves, provides for them ; Psalm cxlv, 15, 16. 
The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat 
in due season ; thou openest thine hand, and satisfied the desire of 
every living thing, and defendest them from danger. Psalm xxxvi. 6. 
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains, thy judgments are a 
great deep ; O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. 

Q. 5. What is the second act of providence about the creatures? 

A. It rules and governs the creatures and their actions; Psalm Ixvi, 
7. He ruleth by his power for ever, his eyes behold the nations ; let 
not the rebellious exalt themselves. 

Q. 6. How manifold is Divine Providence ? 

A. It is common and general over all, or special and peculiar to 
some men ; 1 Tim. iv. 10. Who is the Saviour of all men, especially 
of those that believe. 

Q. 7. How is providence exercised about sinful actions ? 

A. In permitting them ; Acts iv. 16. In restraining them; Psalm 
Ixxvi. 10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee, and the re- 
mainder of wrath shall thou restrain. And over-ruling them to good ; 
Gen. L 20. But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God 
meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much 
people alive. 

Q. 8. What are the properties of providence ? 

A. It is (1.) Holy ; Psalm cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in all 
his ways, and holy in all his works. (2.) Wise ; Psal. civ. 24. O 
Lord, how manifold are all thy works ! in wisdom hast thou made 
them all. (3.) Powerful .? Dan. iv. 35. And all the inhabitants of 
the earth are reputed as nothing, and he doth according to his will^ 
in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and 
none can stay his hand, or say unto him. What dost thou ? 

Q. 9. What is the first instruction from it ? 

A. That God's people are safe amidst all their enemies and dan- 
gers; 2 Chron. xvi. 9. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro 
throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of 
them whose hearts are perfect toward him. 

Q. 10. What is the second instruction from it. 

A. That prayer is the best expedient to prosperity and success of 
our lawful affairs ; Psalm cxlv. 18. The Lord is nigh unto all them 
that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 

Q. 11. What is the third instruction from \i? 

A. That God's people should rest quietly in the care of his provi- 
dence for them in all their straits ; JVIatth. vi. 26. Behold the fowls of 
the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns ; 
yet our heavenly Father feedeth them: are not ye much better than^ 
thev ? 

L2 



166 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISIif. 

Q. 12. What is the last instruction from it? 

A. That it is no small privilege to be adopted children of GoJ^ 
and the members of Christ ; for all is ordered for their eternal good ; 
Eph. i. 22, 23. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave 
him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the 
fulness of him that filleth all in all. 

Of the Covenant of Worhs. 

Quest. 12. T T HAT special act of providence did God exercise 
towards man, inthe estate wherein he was created ? 

A. When God created man, he entei-ed into a covenant of life with 
him, upon condition of perfect obedience, forhidding him to eat of 
the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death. 

Q. 1. What was God's covenant with Adam before the fall.? 

A. It was to give life and happiness upon condition of perfect 
personal obedience; Gal. iii. 12. The law is not of faith; but the 
man that doth them shall live in them. 

Q. 2. Was this covenant made only with Adam, or with him and 
his posterity ? 

A. It was made with him, and all his natural posterity, descending 
in the ordinary way of generation from him ; Rom. v. 12. Where- 
fore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and 
so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Ver. 14, and 
18. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over 
them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgres- 
sion, who is the figure of him that was to come : Therefore as by 
the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation ; 
even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men 
unto justification of life. 

Q. 3. Was Adam able to perform the obedience required of him 
in this covenant ? 

A. Yes ; for he was made upright ; Eccl. vii. 29. God made man 
upright ; but they have sought out many inventions. 

Q. 4. Had this covenant any Mediator ? 

A. No ; he neither had, nor needed any Mediator for satisfac- 
tion, because no sin was in him ; nor intercession, for he wanted 
nothing. 

Q. 5. Did this covenant admit of no repentance, nor accept any 
shorter endeavours ? 

A. No, it did not ; but sentenceth and curseth the transgressors 
of it, for the least breach ; Gal. iii. 10. Cursed is every one that 
continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the 
law to do them. 

Q. 6. How was this threatening fulfilled, of dying the day he eat, 
seeing he lived 930 years ? 

A. He died spiritually that day : and though the sentence on his 



AS EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 167 

body was respited in order to posterity, yet then his body received 
the death's wound, of which afterward he died. 

Q. 7. What is the first inference from Adam's covenant ? 

A. Miserable are all they that grow on the natural root of the first 
Adam : Gal. iv. 21, 22. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, 
do ye not hear the law ? For it is written, that Abraham had two 
sons, the one by a bond-maid, the other by a free-woman. 

Q. 8. What is the second inference ? 

A. That God is just in all the punishments and miseries that come 
upon man ; yea, infants that never sinned after his similitude; Rom. v. 
1 4. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them 
that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression. 

Q. 9. What is the third inference ? 

A. The glorious privilege of believers who are under a better cove- 
nant, established upon better promises ; Heb. viii. 6. But now hath 
he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the Me- 
diator of a better covenant, which is established upon better promises. 

Q. 10. What is the last inference? 

A. That we should pity the unregenerate, especially our own 
among them ; and labour to plant them in the second Adam. 

Of the Fall of Man, 

Quest. 13. X-rlD our first parents continue in the estate wherein 
they were created ? 

A. Our first parents he'ing left to the freedom of their own willy 
fell from the estate wherein they were created, hy sinning against God. 

Q. 1. How doth it appear that man is fallen ? 

A. By the scripture history : An account of it is in Gen. iii. 6, 7. 
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that 
it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, 
she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto her hus- 
band with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were 
opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig- 
leaves together, and made themselves aprons ? and they heard the 
voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day ; 
and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord 
God, amongst the trees of the garden. And the sad experience we 
all have of it in ourselves ; Rom. v. 12. Therefore as by one man 
sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed 
upon all men, for that all have sinned. 

Q. 2. How could man fall, since he was made upright ? 

A. Though he was upright, yet his will was mutable ; and by 
abusing that liberty, he fell ; Eccles. vii. 29. Lo, this only have I 
found, that God hath made man upright, but they have sought ou- 
jnany inventions. 

L3 



IGB AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

Q. S. How did God leave him to abuse the freedom of his will ? 

A. Not by inclining him to abuse it ; but by withholding that 
further grace which he was no way obliged to continue to him. 

Q. 4. Did the will of man lose its Hberty to good by the Fall ? 

A. Yes, it did, and is so wounded, that it cannot, without thy pre- 
venting and regenerating grace, put forth one spiritual and saving act; 
Eph. ii. 8, 9, 10. For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that 
not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God. Not of works, least any 
man should boast ; for we are his workmanship, created in Christ 
Jesus unto good works, &c. 

Q. 5. What was the aggravation of Adam's sin ? 

A. It was aggravated in his being a public innocent person, sq, 
newly placed in a state of happiness and liberty. 

Q. 6. What is the first inference from the fall .'' 

A, That the best creature left to himself, cannot be long safe; as 
the angels, and Adam ; Psal. :^\ix. 12. Nevertheless, man being in 
honour abideth not ; he is like the beasts that perish. 

Q. 7. What is the second inference ? 

A. That since man could not be his own keeper, he can be much 
less his own saviour ; 2 Cor. iii. 5. Not that we are sufficient of ourr= 
selves to think any thing as of ourselves ; but our sufficiency is of 
God. 

Q. 8. What is the third inference ? 

A. That it is impossible for the covenant of works to justify any 
one ; Rom. iii. 20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shaU 
no flesh be justified in his sight; Rom. viii. 3. For what the law 
could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh ; God sending 
his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned 
sin in the flesh. 

Q. 9. What is the last inference? 

A, What cause have we to bless God for Christ, who recovered 
us when the fall left us helpless ? Rom. v. 6. For M'hen we were 
yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 

Of Sin, 

Quest. 14. W'hAT is sin.? 

A. Sin is any want of cotiformity vnto, or transgression of the 
law of God. 

Q. J . What is meant by the law ? 

A. Tlie commands and rules flowing from God's sovereignty, 
whereby his will is manifested, and the creature bound to obedience. 

Q. 2. Where is this law written ? 

A. It is written either in the heart ; Rom. ii. 25. Which shewg 
the work of the law written in their hearts, (which we call the law: 
of nature ;) or in the Bible, which we call the written moral law. 

Q. 3. What conformity is due to the law of God .? 



i 



AN EXrOSITFON OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 169 

A, A twofold conformity is due to it : Firsts Internal, in our 
hearts. Secondly^ External, in our lives ; and the want of either is 
sin ; 1 John iii. 4. Whosoever committeth sin, transgresseth ^Iso 
the law ; for sin is the transgression of the law. 

Q. 4. How doth it appear that the want of internal conformity is 
sin .'* 

A. Because the law requires it ; Mark xii. 30. And thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, 
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength ; for this is the first 
commandment: And condemns the want of it.'' Rom. vii. 7. What 
shall we say then .? Is the law sin ? God forbid ! nay, I had not 
known sin but by the law ; for I had not known lust except the law 
had said, Thou shalt not covet. 

Q. 5. Is nothing a sin but what is against God's law ? 

A. No, nothing can be a sin but what God hath either expressly, 
or by consequence, forbidden in his word. 

Q. (j. Wherein lies the evil of transgressing God's law ? 

A. The evil of sin principally lies in the offence and wrong done 
to God, whose sovereignty it labours to shake off, and despises his 
will ; Psal. li. 4. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done 
this evil in thy sight. 

Q. 7. What further evil is in sin ? 

A. It highly wrongs the sinner's soul by defacing, defiling, and 
damning it ; Prov. viii. 36. But he that sinneth against me, wrong- 
eth his own soul : all they that hate me, love death. 

Q. 8. Wherein is the evil of sin manifested ? 

A. It is manifested in the death of Christ, the terrors of conscience, 
and torments of hell. 

Q. 9. What course must the sinner take to recover himself out of 
his misery ? 

A. Repentance towards God, faith towards Christ, and both evi- 
denced by new obedience; Acts xx. 91. Testifying both to the Jews, 
and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith towards 
our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Q. 10. What may we infer from hence ? 

A. That we have infinite cause to bless God for Christ's satisfac- 
tion of the law for our sins. 

Of the Tree of Knowledge. 

Quest. 15. T ▼ HAT was the sin whereby our first parents fell 
from the estate wherein they were created ? 

A. The sin whereby our first -parents fell from the estate xoherem 
they were created^ was their eating the forbidden fruit. 

Q. 1. Why was this tree called the tree of knowledge? 

A' Not from any natural efficacy it had to give knowledge, but the 

L 4 



ITO AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLy'^S CATECHISM. 

knowledge he should have by eating, or not eating, was experimental 
knowledge, i. e. Knowledge to his sorrow. 

Q. 2. Why did God forbid him this tree ? 

A. Firsts For the discovery of his dominion over man. Secondly, 
For the trial of his subjection and obedience. Thirdly, For the ag- 
gravation of his sin, if he should eat. 

Q. 3. What evil was there in eating of it ? 

A. There was a twofold evil, the evil of sin, and the evil of punish^ 
nient, both very great. 

Q. 4. What was the evil of sin ? 

A. A threefold evil of sin. First, Against God, called disobedi- 
ence; Rom. V. 19. For as by one man's disobedience many v/ere 
made sinners. Secondly^ Against himself, soul, body, and estate. 
Thirdly, Against his postenty ; Rom. v. 12. Wlierefore as by one 
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so death 
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. 

Q. 5. What was the evil of punishment ? 

A. First, Loss of God's image. Secondly, Horror of conscience. 
Thirdly, Sorrow on the female sex. Fourthly, Curse on the crea- 
ture. Fifthly, Expulsion from paradise. Sixthly, Death both of 
body and soul. 

Q. 6. What is the first instruction from it .? 

^. To take heed of small beginnings of temptations, and to resist 
it in the first motions ; James iii. 5. Behold how great a matter a 
little fire kindleth. 

Q. 7. What is the second inference "i 

A. Not to hold a parly with the tempter ; see 2 Cor. xi. 3. But 
I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve, through his 
subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that 
is in Christ. 

Q. 8. W^hat is the third inference .^ 

A. That Satan's policy lies much in the choice of his tempting 
instruments ; as Eve and Peter, 4"c. 

Q. 9. What y< the fourth inference.^ 

A. A necessity of keeping strong guards on our senses; Isa. xxxiii. 
15. That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his 
eyes from seeing evil, he shall dwell on high, his place of defence 
shall be the munition of rocks. 

Q. 10. What is the fifth inference.? 

A. That covenant- breaking is a heinous sin, which God will pun- 
ish ; Hosea viii. 1. He shall come as an eagle against the house of 
the Lord, because they have transgressed my covevant, and trans- 
gressed against my laws. 

Q. 11. What is the last inference? 

A. That the corruption of our nature is much seen in desiring for- 
bidden things ; Rom. vii. 7. W^hat shall we say then .? Is the law 
fcin t God forbid ; Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law ; for I 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 171 

liad not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 
Of the Fall of Adam ^ and ours in him. 

Quest. 16. JLf ID all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression? 

A. The covenant hein^made zc'ith Adam, not only for himself hut 

Jor his poster ity^ all mankind deseendingfrom him hy ordinary gene^ 

ration, sinned in him, and fell "with him in his first transgression^ 

Q. 1. Did no man ever escape the sin of Adam ? 

A. Yes, the man Christ Jesus did, and he only ; Heb. vii. 2(5. 
For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undo- 
filed, separate from sinners. 

Q. 2. Why was not Christ tainted with it ? 

A. Because he came into the world in an extraordinary way ; 
Matth. i. 18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on thiswise: When 
as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came to- 
gether, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 3. How doth it appear all others are tainted w4th it ? 

A. It appears by scripture testimony, Rom. v. 12. Wherefore as 
by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so 
death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned ; and experience 
of the best men, Rom. vii. 91. I find then a law, that when I would 
do good, evil is present with me. 

Q. 4. How came all men to fall with Adam ? 

A. Because all were included in Adam's covenant, as a man's co- 
venant includes his children before they be born, or the treason of 
the father affects his posterity. 

Q. 5. What infer you from hence ? 

A. The stupendous wisdom of God in sending Christ in our na- 
ture, and yet witnout the sin and taint of it ; 1 Cor. i. 24. Christ 
the wisdom of God. 

Q. 6. What is the second inference ? 

A. Hence we learn the admirable love of Christ in taking our na- 
ture, with all the sinless infirmities thereof; Rom. viii. 3. For what 
the law could not do, in that it was weak, through the flesh, God 
sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin con- 
demned sin in the flesh. 

Q. 7. What is the third inference ? 

A. The necessity of our union with Christ, in order to our partici- 
pation of his righteousness and redemption ; 1 Cor. xv. 22. For as in 
Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. 

Q. 8. What is tlie fouith inference ? 

A. Hence we learn the malignant and mortal nature of sin^ inas- 
much as one sin defiled and destroyed a whole world. 

Q. 9. What is the fifth inference ? 

A. That though ail be not equally sensibb of their need, yet one 
sinner needs Christ as much as another. 



172 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

Q. 10. What is the last inference ? 

A. That no man hath any cause or reason to boast of the goodness, 
of his nature, since the best were by nature under the same sin and 
misery as the worst ; Eph. ii. 3. Among whom also, we all had our 
conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the de^ 
sires of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature the children 
of wrath even as others. 

Of Original Sin. 

Quest. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind ? 
A. The Jail hrougJit mankind into a state of sin and misery. 

Quest. 18. ▼ ▼ HEREIN consists the sinfulness of that estate 
■wherein to man fell ? 

A. The siirfulness of that estate where? nto manjell^ consists in the- 
guilt of Adam^s first sin, the want of original righUousness, and the 
corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original 
sin, together with all actucd transgressions which proceed from it. 

Q. 1. How many sorts of sins are all men under? 

A. All men are guilty before God of two sorts of sin; of original, 
and of actual ; Psal. li. 5. Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in 
sin did my mother conceive me. Eccles. vii. 20. For there is not 
a just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not. 

Q. Hov/ can we be guilty of Adam's first sin ? 

A. We are guilty of it, because Adam sinned not only as a single, 
but also as a public person, and representative of all mankind : Rom. 
V. 1-5, 16, 17. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift: for if 
through the offence of one many be dead ; much more the grace of 
God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus (Christ, hath 
abounded unto many : And not as it was by one that sinned, so is 
the gift ; for the judgment was by one to condemnation. 

Q. 3. How else came Ave under his guilt? 

A. We are guilty of his sin by generation ; for we were in his. 
loins, as treason stains the blood of the posterity, or parents leprosy 
the children : Psalm, li. 5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in 
sin did my mother conceive me. 

Q. 4. Wherein doth it consist ? 

A. It consists in tv.o things. First, In our aversion and enmity 
to that which is good; Rom. vii. 18. In me, that is, in my flesh, 
there dwelleth no good thing, Secondly, In proneness to that which 
is evil ; Rom. vii. 14. But I am carnal, sold under sin. . 

Q. 5. Is this corruption of nature in all men ? 

A. Yes ; in all mere men, and women, none exempted ; Rom. 
iii. 10. and 23. As it is written, there is none righteous, no not oiie^ 
for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. 

Q. 6. In what part of our nature doth this sin abide ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF TIIF ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 173 

A. It abides in the whole man, in every part of man, botli soul 
and body ; Gen. vi. 5. God saw that the wickedness of man was 
great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his 
heart was only evil continually; 1 Thess. v. 23. Now the God of peace 
sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and 
body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. 

Q. 7. How is the body infected by it ? 

A. In the readiness of the bodily members to further sin, and its 
temptations in the soul; Rom. iii. 13, 14, 15. Their throat is an 
open sepulchre, with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison 
of asps is under their lips, whose mouth is full of cursing and bitter- 
ness, their feet are swift to shed blood. 

Q. 8. What learn we from original sin ! 

A. Tq bear patiently the miseries we see on our children, and their 
death also without murmuring; Rom. v. 14. Nevertheless death 
reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned 
j;fter the similitude of Adam's transgression. 

Q. 9. What is the second instruction ? 

A. It teaches us humility, and should be matter of confession and 
humiliation, when we sin actually ; Psal. h. 5. Behold I was shapen 
in inl.^uity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 

Q. 10. What is the third instruction.? 

A. It should provoke parents to use their utmost diligence for the 
conversion of their children who draw sin from them. 

Q. 11. What is the last instruction ? 

A, It teaches us the necessity of regeneration, and should provoke 
ps greatly to desire it. 



W] 



Of Man's Misery. 



Quest. 19- ▼ T HAT is the misery of that estate whereinto man 
fell.? 

A. All manMnd hy their fall lost communion with God, are under 
his wrath and curse ; a7id so made liable to all the miseries in this 
life, to death itself and to the pains of hell for ever. 

Q. 1. What communion had God with man before the fall ? 

A. Man that enjoyed the gracious presence and favour of God 
with him, which was better than life. 

Q. 2. How doth it appear this was lost by the fall .? 

A. It appears by scripture-testimony, that Adam lost it as to him- 
self; Gen. iii. 8. And Adam and his v/ife hid tii-^mselves from the 
presence of the Lord God, among the trees of the garden. And we 
in him ; Eph. ii. 12. At that time ye were without Ciu'ist, being 
aliens from the common-wealth of Israel, ard strangers from the 
covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. 

Q. 3. Was this the only misery that came by -the fall.? 



174 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

J. No ; man did not only lose communion with God, but fell 
under his wrath and curse ; Eph. ii. 3. And were by nature children 
of ^\Tath, even as others. 

Q. 4. Doth the wrath and curse of God then lie on all men ? 

A. It lies on all the unregenerate in the world ; Gal. iii. 10. Curs- 
ed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in 
the book of the law, to do them : But believers are delivered from it 
by Christ; 1 Thess. i. 10. Even Jesus, which delivered us from the 
wrath to come. 

Q. 5. How are the miseries of man by the fall divided ? 

A. They are divided into the miseries of this world, and of the 
"World to come. 

Q. 6. What are the miseries that come on them in this world .^ 

A. The miseries of life, as sickness, pain, poverty on the body ; 
fear, trouble, sorrow on the mind, and at last death itself; Rom. vi. 
ult. The wages of sin is death. 

Q. 7. What are the miseries after this life ? 

A. The pains and torments of hell for ever; Psal. ix. 17. The 
wicked shall be turned into hell. 

Q. 8. What are the torments of hell ? 

A. Pain of loss and pain of sense; Matth. xxv. 41. Depart from 
me, ye cursed into everlasting fire. 

Q. 9- What learn you from hence ? 

A. The woeful state of the unconverted ; miserable here, and 
miserable to eternity. 

Q. 10. What else learn we hence ? 

A. The great salvation believers have by Christ from all this mi- 
sery; Heb. ii. 3. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, 
which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirm- 
ed unto us by them that heard him. 

Of the Salvation ofGotTs Elect, and of the Covencmt of Grace, 

Quest. 20. UlD God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of 
sin and misery ; 

A. God having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, 
elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to 
deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery ; and to bring them 
into an estate of salvation hy a Redeemer. 

Q. 1. Are some persons chosen to salvation, and others left .? 

A, Yes : God hath chosen some to salvation, and passed by others; 
as the Scriptures speak ; See Rom. viii. 30. Moreover whom he did 
predestinate, them he also called. And Jude 4. For there are cer- 
tain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this 
condemnation, ungodly men, &c. 

Q. 2. Did God chuse some, because he foresaw they would be 
better than others ; 



AN EXrOSITIOX OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 175 

A. No : God's choice was not on foreseen works, but merely of 
his grace, and good pleasure of his will ; Eph. i. 5, 6. Having pre- 
destinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to him- 
self, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the 
glory of his grace. 

Q. 3. Is this election of God made in time, and that according as 
men use their free-will, or from eternity ? 

A. Election is an eternal act of God before the world was, and 
depends not on man's using his free-will ; as appears from Eph. i. 4, 
According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the 
world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love. 

Q. 4. Shall all that are elected be called and saved ? 

A, Yes, the scripture is full and plain for it ; Acts xiii. 48. And 
when the Gentiles heard this, they wer6 glad, and glorified the word 
of the Lord ; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 
Rom. viii. 30. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also 
called, &c. 

Q. 5. By whom are the elect saved ^ 

A. By Christ, the only Redeemer ; Titus iii. 4, 5, 6. But after 
that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appear- 
ed not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according 
to his mercy, he saved us, by the washingof regeneration, and renew- 
ing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through 
Jesus Christ our Saviour. 

Q. 6. Is there no other way of salvation but by Christ ? 

A. No ; no other way is revealed in scripture ; Acts iv. 12. Nei- 
ther is there salvation in any other : for there is no other name under 
heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 

Q. 7. What learn you from God's election ? 

A. What cause we have to admire free-grace in our choice, who 
were no better than others ; Eph. ii. 3. And were by nature children, 
of wrath even as others. 

Q. 8. What is the second instruction ? 

A. It teaches us humility ; we made not ourselves to differ, but 
the free-grace of God made the difference ; 1 Cor. iv. 7. For who 
xnaketh thee to differ from another ? 

Q. 9. AVhat is the third instruction ? 

A. It teaches us diligence to make our election sure to ourselves, 
by our calling ; 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give di* 
ligence to make your calling and election sure. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction ? 

A. It is matter of comfort to God's elect, amidst all dangers in the 
world ; 2. Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standcth 
sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. 



1T6 



Of the Covenant of Greece. 



Quest. 1. ▼ T HAT is the covenant of grace? 

A. It is a new compact, or agreement, made mth sinners, out of 
mere gi'ace, wherein God promiseth to be our God, and that we shall 
be his people, and to give everlasting life to all that believe in Christ ; 
Jer. xxxi. 33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with 
the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my 
law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be 
their God, and they shall be ray people. 

Q. 2. How doth this covenant differ from the covenant of works ? 

A. They differ many ways ; but principally in three things. Firsts 
The covenant of works had no Mediator ; the covenant of grace 
hath a Mediator ; Heb. xii. 24. And to Jesus the Mediator of the 
new covenant. Secondly, In the former no place was found for re- 
pentance ; in the second^ God admits it ; Heb. viii. 10. For this is 
the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those 
days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their minds, and write 
them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be 
to me a people ; ver. 12. For I will be merciful to their unrighteous- 
ness, and their sins will I remember no more. Thirdly^ in their con- 
dition, the former requires exact obedience ; the latter faith and sin- 
cere obedience; Mark xvi. 16. * He that believeth, and is baptized* 
shall be saved. 

Q. 3. May a sinner that hath no worthiness at all of his own, be 
taken into the covenant of grace ? 

A. Yes, he may ; Isa. xliii. 25. I, even I, am he that blotteth out 
thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 
This covenant is not of works, but of grace, Rom. xi. 6. And if by 
grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace. 
But if it be of works, then it is no more grace, otherwise work is no 
more work. 

Q. 4. Is this covenant changeable, or an unchangeable covenant ? 

A. No, it is not changeable, but everlasting and unchangeable 
for ever; Isa. liv. 10. For the mountains shall depart, and thehilLs 
be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither 
shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that 
hath mercy on thee. 

Q. 5. AVhat are the principal things bestowed in this covenant ? 

A. God himself, and in and with him pardon and salvation; Jer. 
xxxi. 33. I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Q. 6. Can no sin be forgiven out of this covenant ? 

A. No, God pardons none out of this covenant; John iii. 18. 
But he that believeth not is condemned already. 

Q. 7. What is the first instruction hence ? 

A. Humbled and believing sinners have singular supports from this 



AV EXrOSlTIO:5^ OF THE ASSEMBLY'S' CATECHISK. 177 

rrevf covenant, 1 John ii. 12. I write unto you, little children, be- 
cause your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. 

Q. 8. What is the second instruction from hence ? 

A. That it is the great concern of all men to examine whether they 
be in this covenant or no ; 2 Cor. xiii. 5. Examine yourselves, whe- 
ther ye be in the faith ; prove your ownselves ; know ye not your 
ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ? 

Q. 9. What is the third instruction ? 

A. See here the miserable state of the wicked, which have no in- 
terest in it : Psalm 1. 16. But unto the wicked God saith. What hast 
thou to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant 
in thy mouth ? 

Q. 10. What is thfe last instruction ? 

A. That Christians are obliged to walk as people in covenant with 
God ; 1 Pet. ii. 9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, 
an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises 
of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 

Of the only Redeemer. 

Quest. 21. T ▼ HO is the Redeemer of God*s elect ? 

A. The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christy 
who, heing the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and 
continueth to be God and man, in two distinct natures, and one per^ 
son for ever. 

Q. What doth the name Redeemer signify.^ 

A. It signifies one that frees another out of captivity and bondage, 
as Christ did us ; Matth, xx. 28. And to give his lite a ransom for 
many. . 

Q. 2. What was the misery from which Christ delivered us .^ 

A. A twofold misery, viz. Sin and hell. First, Sin ; Matth. i. 21. 
Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from 
their sins. Secondly, Hell ; 1 Thess. i. 10. Even Jesus, who deli- 
vered us from the wrath to come. 

Q. 3. How did Christ deliver us from this misery.'* 

A. First, by price; Secondly, l^y power. By price ; 1 Pet. i. 18, 
19. Ye are not redeemed with silver and gold from your vain conver- 
sation, received by tradition from your fathers ; but with the precious 
blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot. By 
power; Col. i. 13. Who hath deUvered us from the power of dark- 
ness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. 

Q. 4. When was the redemption wrouglit by Christ ? 

A. It was decreed from eternity ; it was actually wrought on the 
cross ; Col. i. 20. And (having made peace through, the blood 
of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I 
say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 

Q. 5. How then could they be redeemed tliat died before? 



ITS AX EXrOSlTlON OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CxVTECHlSM. 

A. Though Christ's blood was actually shed after the Old Testa- 
ment believers died: yet the virtue of Christ's death extends to them^ 
as well as us ; Heb. xi. 39, 40. And these all, having obtained a 
good report through faith, received not the promise, God having 
provided some better things for us, that they without us should not 
be made perfect. 

Q. 6. Why would not God deliver us without such a Redeemer ? 

A. Because it was not so much for the honour of his justice ; Rom. 
iii. 25, 26. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins 
that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at 
this time, his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier 
of him that belie veth in Jesus. 

Q. T. What is the first instruction from hence ? 

A. That all that are out of Christ are in a miserable bondage and 
captivit)/ ; John viii. 36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, 
ye shall be free indeed. 

Q. 8. What is the second instruction ? 

A. Hence see the heinous nature of sin, which required such a 
price to satisfy^ for it ; 1 Pet. i. 18, 19- We were not redeemed with 
corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood 
of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot. 

Q. 9. What is the third instruction from hence ? 

A, The wonderful love of Christ in redeeming us at such a rate ; 
Rev. i. 5. Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 

Q. 10. What is the last instruction ? 

A. This strongly obligeth us to an universal holiness ; 1 Cor. vi, 
SO. For ye are bought with a price ; therefore glorify God in your 
body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

o OfChrisfs Incarnation. 

Quest. 22. Jio W did Christ, being the Son of God, become man ? 

A. Christ the Son of God became man hij taking to himself a true 
body and a reasonable soul^ being conceived by the power of the Holy 
Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet with" 
out sin. 

Q. 1. Who is the only Redeemer of God's elect .?^ 

A. The Lord Jesus Christ is their only Redeemer, and there is 
no other Redeemer besides him ; Acts iv. 12. Neither is there salva- 
tion in any other ; for there is none other name under heaven given 
among men, whereby we must be saved. 

Q. 2. How is he the Son of God, or can be, as no other is so ? 

A. He is the Son of God by nature, from all eternity, and so no 
angel or saint is ; Heb. i. 5. For unto which of the angels said he at 
any time. Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 179 

Q. 3. Why was it necessary he should become man ? 

A. That he might be capable to suffer death in our room ; Heb. 
ii. 15, 16, 17. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, 
but he took on him the seed of Abraham ; wherefore in all things it 
behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a 
merciful and faithful high priest, in things pertaining to God, to make 
reconciliation for the sins of the people. 

Q. 4. Why must the Redeemer be God as well as man ? 

J. Because the blood of a mere man could not satisfy and redeem 
us ; Acts XX. 28. Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased 
with his own blood. 

Q. 5. Do these two natures make two persons ? 

A, No, the human nature is united to the second person, and sub- 
sists in union with it; John i. 14. And the word was made flesh, 
and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the 
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 

Q. 6. Was the union only for a time ? 

A. No, it continues and abides for ever; Heb. vii. 24. But this 
man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 

Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence ? 

A. Hence we learn the transcendent love of God to poor sinners ; 
John iii. 16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever beheveth on him should not perish, but have 
everlasting life. 

Q. 8. What is the second instruction ? 

A. Hence we learn the matchless love of Christ, that he should 
stoop to such a condition for us ; 2 Cor. viii. 9. For ye know the 
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your 
sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be made rich. 

Q. 9. What is the third instruction ? 

A. That the greatest sins are capable of remission to believers ; 
John i. 29- Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of 
the world. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction ? 

A. That those that be in Christ need not fear the denial or want 
of any other mercy ; Rom. viii. 32. He that spared not his own 
Son, but delivered him up for us all ; how shall he not with him 
also freely give us all things ? 

Q. 11.* What is the fifth instruction ; 

A. Hence we learn how impious it is to ascribe any part of the 
glory of redemption to any other besides Christ. 

Q. 12. What is the sixth instruction ; 

A. This teaches us the miserable condition of all that are out of 
Christ, and the necessity of their damnation, he being the onlj 
Redeemer. 

Vol. VI. M 



180 AN EXrOSISION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHlSSf* 

Of the Manner ofChrisfs Incatmation. 

Quest. 1. T T AS Christ's incarnation a voluntary act in him ? 

A. Yes, it was ; for though he had a command to die for us, John 
X. 18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I 
have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. Yet 
he came willingly ; Psal. xl. 6^ 7. Sacrifice and offering thou didst 
not desire, mine ears hast thou opened ; burnt-offerings and sin- 
offerings hast thou not required ; lo, I come ; in the volume of thy 
book, it is written of me. Ver. 8. I delight to do thy will, O my 
God, yea, thy law is within my heart. 

Q. 2. Was the body of Christ a real and true human body ? 

A. Yes, it was a true and real body, not the appearance and shape 
of a body only ; Luke xxv. 38. And he said unto them, Why are 
ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts ? Ver. 39- 
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and 
see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have. 

Q. 3. Had he a true human soul as well as a body ? 

A. Yes, he had a real human soul also, and all the natural faculties 
and powers thereof; Matth. xxvi. 38. Then saith he unto them. 
My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. 

Q. 4. Was he then in all respects like to other men ? 

A. No, his conception was not like others; Isa. vii. 14. Behold, 
a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emma- 
>ruEL. And he had no sin in him- as others have ; Heb. vii. 26. For 
such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, 
separate from sinners. 

Q, 5. Did Christ put off the human nature at his ascension .? 

A. No, he did not, but carried it up to glory, and now is in our 
nature in heaven ; 1 Tim. iii. 16. Received up into glory. 

Q. 6. Why did he assume our nature ? 

A. That he might die in it for our salvation; Heb. ii. 15. And 
deliver them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime sub- 
ject to bondage. 

Q. 7. Why did he rise in it after death ? 

A. He raised it from the dead for your justification ; Rom. iv. 25. 
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our 
justification. 

Q. 8. Why did he ascend in our nature into heaven ? 

A. To be a Mediator of intercession in our nature; Heb. vii. 25. 
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto 
God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 

Q. 9. What is the first instruction from hence ? 

A. That the body of Christ is not every where, but is contained 
in heaven ; Acts iii. 21. Whom the heaven must receive, until the 
times of restitution of all things. 

Q. 10. What is the second instruction? 



A^ EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 181 

J, That Christ is full of tender compassion to his people's infir- 
tnlties ; Heb. iv. 15. For we have not an high priest which cannot 
be touched with the feeling of our infii*mities; but was in all points 
tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 

Q. 11. What is the third instruction.? 

J. That great and admirable is the glory designed for the bodies 
of believers ; Phil. iii. 21. Who shall change your vile bodies, that it 
may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the work- 
ing whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself 

Q. 12. What is the last instruction.? 

J. That the bodily eyes of believers after the resurrection, shall 
see Christ in glory ; Job xix. 26, 27. And though after my skin 
■worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I 
shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. 

0/ ChrisCs Offices, 

Quest. 23. W HAT offices doth Christ execute as our Redeem- 
er .'' 

A. Christ, as our Redeemer, cloth execute the office of a prophety 
of a priest, and of a Icing, both in his estate of humiliation and ex-- 
altation. 

Q. 1. What are the states and conditions of our Redeemer? 

A. Christ's states are twofold ; namely, his state of humiliation, 
and his state of exaltation; Phil. ii. 8, 9- And being found in fashion 
as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even 
the death of the cross : Wherefore God also hath highly exalted 
him, and given him a name above every name. 

Q. 2. How many offices belong to Christ in these states ? 

A. Christ hath a threefold office ; namely, of a prophet, of a priest, 
and of a king. 

Q. 3. Why doth Christ take all these three offices ? 

A. Because they are all necessary for our salvation, and we have 
the benefit of them all ; 1 Cor. i. 30. Who of God is made unto 
us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. 

Q. 4. Can no man take Christ in one office, and not in another ? 

A. No; whoever will have the benefit of any one, must receive 
him in all ; Acts v. 31. Him hath God exalted with his right hand 
to be a Prince, and a Saviour, for to give repentance unto Israel, and 
forgiveness of sins. 

Q. 5. What respect have the offices of Christ to the promises? 

A. The promises flow out of them as out of their fountain ; 2 
Cor. i. 20. For all the promises of God in him, are yea, and in him, 
Amen. 

Q. 6. What promises flow out of the prophetical office ? 

A. All promises of illumination, guidance, and direction flow out 
of Christ's prophetical office ? 

Q. 7. What promises flow out of the priestly office ? 

M2 



182 

A. All the promises of a pardon and peace flow out of it 

Q. 8. "What promises flow out of the kingly ofl^ice ? 

A. All the promises of defence, protection, and deliverances, 

Q. 9. What is the first instruction ? 

A. Henc€ we learn the completeness of Christ for all the wants of 
his people ; Col. ii. 10. And ye are complete in him. 

Q. 10. What is the second instruction ? 

A. Hence we learn the folly and misery of all those hypocrites that 
close partially with Christ. 

Q. 11. What is the third instruction.? 

A. Hence we learn the singular dignity of the Lord Jesus : None 
ever having had all those ofiices but Christ. 

Q. 12. What is the last instruction.? 

A. That faith is a considerate act ; and requires much deliberation. 

OfChrisfs Prophetical Office. 

Quest. 24. JlI-OW doth Christ execute the ofiice of a prophet.? 

A. Christ executeth the office of a prophet^ in revealing to us hy 
his word and Spirit^ the will of God for our salvation. 

Q. 1. What doth Chrisfs prophetical oflice imply.? 

A. It implies man's natural blindness and ignorance ; 1 Cor. ii. 
14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of 
God, for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them^ 
because they are spiritually discerned. 

Q. 2. AY hat else doth it imply .? 

A. That Christ is the original and fountain of all that Hght which 
guides us to salvation ; 2 Cor. iv. 6, 7. For God who commanded 
the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give 
the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus 
Christ. 

Q. 3. How doth Christ teach men the will of God .? 

A. He doth it by external revelation of it; Acts ili. 22. For Mo- 
ses truly said to the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise 
up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear, in all 
things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. And by internal illumina- 
tion ; Luke xxiv. 45. Then opened he their understanding, that they 
might understand the scripture. 

Q. 4. What need then of man's ministry .? 

A. Very much; for Christ hath instituted ministers as instruments, 
by whom he will teach us; Eph. iv. 11, 12. And he gave some 
apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists and some pastors, 
and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the mi- 
nistry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Acts xxvi. 18. To open 
their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the 
power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 18S 

Q. 5. Can no man savingly know the will of God without the 
teachings of Christ ? 

J. No ; though common knowledge may be obtained in a natural 
way, yet not saving; Matth. xi. 25. At that time .Jesus answered, 
and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord, of heaven and earth, because 
thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast re- 
vealed them unto babes. 

Q. 6. How appears it that Christ is appointed to this oflTiice ? 

A. We have the written word for it ; Acts iii. 22. For Moses truly 
said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up 
unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all 
things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. 

Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence ? 

A. None need be discouraged at their natural weakness, if Christ 
be their teacher ; Matth. xi. 25. At that time Jesus answered and 
said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou 
hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed 
them unto babes. Psalm, xix. 7. The testimonies of the Lord arc 
sure, making wise the simple. 

Q. 8. AVhat is the second instruction ? 

A. That it is a dreadful judgment to be spiritually blinded under 
the gospel ; 2 Cor. iv. 3. 4. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them 
that are lost ; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds 
of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of 
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 

Q. 9. What is the third instruction ? 

A. That prayer is the best expedient to obtain saving knowledge ; 
James i. 5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that 
giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given 
him. 

Q. 10. What is the last instruction ? 

A. Learn hence the transcendent excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ above all other knowledge ; Phil. iii. 8. Yea, doubtless, I 
count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ 
Jesus my Lord. 

Of Chrisfs Priesthood, 

Quest. 25. XXOW doth Christ execute the office of a priest ? 

A. Christ executeth the office of a priest^ in his once offering up 
of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice y and recmicile us to 
Godf and in making continual intercession for us. 

Q. 1. What is the priesthood of Christ in general ? 

A. It is his expiation of our sins by the sacrifice of himself, and 
obtaining God's favour for us ; Col. i. 20. And (having made peace 
through the blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto 
himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things 
in heaven. 

M 3 



184 

Q. 2. What are the parts of Christ's priestly office ? 
A. It hath two parts. Firsts Oblation, or offering of himself; 
Heb. ix. 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through 
the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge youf 
consiiences from dead works, to serve the living God ? Secondly^ In- 
tercession for us; Heb. vii. 9,5. Wherefore he is able also to save 
them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever 
liveth to make intercession for them. 

Q. 3. What is the end of Christ's oblation ? 
A. The end of it, as to God, was to satisfy his incensed justice ; 
Rom. iii. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, througli 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of 
sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. And as to men, 
to put away their sins ; Heb. ix. 26. For then must he often have 
suffered since the foundation of the world ; but now once in the end 
of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of 
himself. 
Q. 4. What is the first difference between Christ and other priests ? 
A. Other priests offered the blood of beasts ; Christ his own blood ; 
Heb. ix. 12. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own 
blood, he entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal 
redemption for us. 

Q. 5. What is the second difference ? 

A. They offered many sacrifices ; Christ perfected all by one offer- 
ing, Heb. X. 14. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them 
that are sanctified. 

Q. 6. What was the sacrifice Christ offered to God.? 
A. His body ; Heb. x. 10. By the which will we are sanctified, 
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And 
h s soul ; Isa. hii. 10. When thou shalt make his soul an offering 
for sin. 

Q. 7. Whence is the efficacy of this sacrifice ? 
A. From the divine Person to whom that soul and body was 
united ; Acts xv. 28. Feed the church of God, which he hath 
purchased with his own blood. 

Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence ? 
A. That believers are discharged by Christ from all their sins and 
debts ; Acts xiii. 39. And by him, all that believe are justified from 
all things. - 

Q. 9. What is the second inference ? 

A. That it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an absolute 
God ; Luke xxiii. 31. For if they do these things in a green tree, 
what shall be done in the dry ? 

Q. 10. What is the third inference.? 

A. That it is impossible for man to satisfy God for his own sins ; 
J*sal. cxxx. 3. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, wlio 
shall stand ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 185 

Q, 11. What is the last inference ? 

A. That the Christian religion only settles the conscience in peace; 
Heb. ix. 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through 
the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your 
consciences from dead works to serve the living God ? 

Of Christ's Kingly Office, 

Quest. 26. JtlOW doth Christ execute the office of a king? 

A. Christ exectiteth the office of a king, in subduing us to hivu 
self, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquer- 
ing all his and our enemies. 

Q. 1. How manifold is Christ's kingdom ? 

A. Twofold. First, Internal in men's souls ; Lukexvii. 21. Be- 
hold, the kingdom of God is within you. Secondly, External, over 
all the world ; Eph. i. 22. And hath put all things under his feet, 
and gave him to be Head over all things to the church. 

Q. 2. What is the end of Christ's providential kingdom ? 

A. The good and salvation of the church ; John xvii. 2. As thou 
hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life 
to as many as thou hast given him. 

Q. 3. Wherein doth he exercise his kingly power ? 

A. In restraining his, and his people's enemies; Psal. Ixxvi. 10. 
Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee ; the remainder of wrath 
shalt thou restrain. 

Q. 4. How else is it exercised ? 

A. In protecting his church amidst all enemies ; Exod. iii. 3. And 
Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the 
bush is not burnt. 

Q. 5. What instruments doth Christ use.^ 

Af Angels are ministring spirits to him ; Heb. i. 14. Are they not 
all ministring spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs 
of salvation ; And men, yea, the worst of men ; Rev. xii. 16. And 
the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and 
swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 

Q. 6. In what manner doth Christ rule the world ? 

A. By supreme power; Rev. xix. 16. He hath on his vesture, and 
on his thigh a name written. King of kings, and Lord of lords. And 
perfect wisdom ; Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have obtained an in- 
heritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who 
worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. 

Q. 7. What learn we from hence ? 

A. That the church is saved amidst all dangers; Jer. xxx. 11. 
For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee ; though I make a 
full end of all nations, whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not 
make a full end of thee. 

Q. 8. What is the second instruction ? 

M4 



186 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY S CATECHISM. 

A. That the godly may safely trust to Christ's care ; 2 Chron. xvi. 
9. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole 
earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is, 
perfect towards him. 

Q. 9. What is the third instruction ? 

A. That all plots against the church shall surely be defeated ; Isa. 
liv. 17. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction ? 

A. It gives the saints full satisfaction in all conditions ; Rom. viii. 
28. And we know that all things work together, for good to them 
that love Gcd, to them that are the called according to his purpose. 

Q. 11. What is the last inference.^ 

A. We should not stand in a slavish fear of men ; Isa. li. 12. I, 
even 1 am he that comfovteth you ; who art thou, that thou shouldst 
be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man, which shall 
be made as grass. 

Of Chrisfs Humiliation. 

Quest. 27. tV HEREIN did Christ's humiliation consist ? 

A. Chrisfs liumiliation consisted in his being born^ and that in 
a low conditioji, made under the law, undergoing" the miseries of 
this life^ the wrath qfGod, and the cursed death of the o-oss ; in being 
buried, and continuing under the power of death fbr a time. 

Q. 1. What doth Christ's liumbling of himself import ? 

A. His voluntariness in the deepest point of self-denial ? Psal. xl. 
7. Then said I, Lo, I come ; in the volume of the book it is written 
of me. 

Q. 2. What was the first act of Christ's humiUation ? 

A. His taking man's nature on him, with all its sinless infirmities ; 
Rom. viii. 3. God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, 
and for sin condemned sin in the flesh. 

Q. 3. What is the second part of his humihation ? 

A. That mean life he lived in this world, which obscured his di- 
vine glory .? Mark vi. 3. Is not this the ca]penter, the son of Mary ? 

Q. 4. What was the first thing in Christ's life that humbled him ? 

A. The poverty of it; Mat. vii. 20. And Jesus saith unto him, 
the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests ; but the 
Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 

Q. 5. What was the second thing in his life that humbled him ? 

A. The temptations of Satan, to which he was subject ; Mat. iv. 1. 
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempt- 
ed of the devil, and that for our sakes. Heb. ii. 17. Wherefore in 
all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, ver. 18. 
For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to 
succour them that are tempted. 

Q. 6. What was the third thing in Christ's life that humbled 
him.^ 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 1^7 

yf. His subjection to the law; Gal. i. 4. But when the fulness of 
the time was come, God sent forth his Son, mad'j of a woman, made 
under the law. 

Q. 7. What was the fourth thing in Christ's life that humbled 

him ? 

A. The revilings and contradictions of sinners ; Heb. xii. 3. For 
consider him that endureth such contradiction of sinners against 
himself 

Q. 8. Wherein was Christ humbled in his death? 

A. His death was painful aixl ignominious ; Gal. iii. 13. Christ 
hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for 
us : For it is written, cursed is every one that hangcth on a tree. 
Made a curse for us, and deserted in it ; Mat. xxvii. 46. And about 
the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama 
sabacthani ; that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou for- 
saken me ? 

Q. 9. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That lowliness and humility becomes Christ's followers ; Mat. 
xi. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek 
and lowly in lieart. 

Q. 10. What is the second inference ? 

A. That Christ's love to sinners is astonishingly great; 2 Cor. viii. 
9. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he 
was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that ye through his 
poverty might be made rich. 

Q. 11. What is the third inference ? 

A. Christians should be ready to suffer for Christ ; 1 Pet. iv. 1. 
Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm your- 
selves likewise with the same mind : for he that hath suffered in the 
flesh hath ceased from sin, 

Q. 12. What is the last inference ? 

A. That humiliation is the true way to exaltation; Mat. xxiii. 12. 
And whosoever shall exalt himself, shall be abased ; and he that shall 
humble himself, shall be exalted. 

Of Christ'' s Exaltation. 

Quest. 28. W HEREIN consists Christ's exaltation ? 

A. Christ''s exaltation consists in his risi?ig again from the (lend on 
the third day ; in ascending up into heaven.^ in sitting at the right 
hand of God the Father^ and in coming tojudge tJi e zmrldai the last day, 

Q. 1. What is the first step of Christ's exaltation ? 

A. His resurrection from the dead. 

Q. 2. How dotli his resurrrection appear ? 

A. By the scripture prophecies accomplislied in him ; 1 Cor. xv. 
4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, ac- 
cording to the scriptures. 



18S AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM, 

Q. 3. Why did Christ rise again? 

A. To establish our faith, and abolish our sins ; 1 Cor. xv. 17, 
And if Christ be not risen, your faith is vain ; ye are yet in your sins. 

Q. 4. What other end was there of Christ's resurrection ? 

A. To declare his divine power ; Rom. i. 4. and declared to be the 
Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the 
resurrection from the dead. And to evidence the fulness of his 
satisfaction ; John xvi. 10. Of righteousness, because I go to my 
Father, and ye see me no more. 

Q. 5. Did Christ rise in the same body he laid down ? 

A. It was substantially the same ; John xx. 27. Then saith he to 
Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands ; and reach 
hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but 
believing. 

Q. 6. What doth Christ's resurrection teach us ? 

A. The certainty of our resurrection after death ; 1 Cor. xv. 20. 
Rut now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits 
of them that slept. 

Q. 7. What is the second step of Christ's exaltation ? 

A. His ascension after forty days into heaven ; Acts i. 2, 3. Until 
the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy 
Gho3t, had given commandment unto the apostles, whom he had 
chosen : To v/hom also he shewed himself alive after his passion, by 
many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking 
of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. 

Q. 8. Why did Christ stay so long on earth ? 

A. To assure the truth of his resurrection, and to settle the due 
government of his church. Acts i. 2, 3. 

Q. 9. For what end did he ascend ? 

A. To take possession of his glory ; John xvii. 5. And now, O. 
Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which 
I had with thee before the world was. And that as our fore-run- 
ner, Heb. vi. 20. Whither the Fore-runner is for us entered, even 
Jesus, &c. 

Q. 10. In what manner did Christ ascend ? 

A. Triumphantly, and magnificently ; Psal. xlvii. 5. God is gone 
up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. 

Q. 11. What doth his ascension teach us ? 

A. Heavenly-mindedness ; Col. ill. 1, 2. If ye then be risen with 
Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the 
right-hand of God ; set your affections on things above, and not on 
things on the earth. And an encouragement in our Christian race ; 
Heb. xii. 1, 2. Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with 
so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin 
which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race 
that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of 
our faith ; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 189 

eross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right-hand of the 
throne of God. 

The second Part of the 9Sth Question of Christ'' s exaltation. 

Quest. 1. W HAT was the third degree of Christ's exaltation .? 

A. His sitting at God's right-hand in heaven ; Heb. i. 3. When 
he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right-hand of 
the majesty on high, 

Q. 2. What doth God's right-hand signify ? 

A. A state of honour; Heb. i. 13. But to which of the angels 
said he at any time, Sit on my right-hand until I make thine enemies 
thy footstool .f^ And power; Matt. xxvi. 64. Hereafter shall ye see 
the Son of man sitting on the right-hand of power. 

Q. 3. What is implied in Christ's sitting there ? 

A. That his work on earth is finished ; Heb. x. 12. But this man 
after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, for ever sat down on the 
right-hand of God. 

Q. 4. What else doth it signify ? 

A. Christ's power over all his enemies ; Psal. ex. 2. The I^ord 
shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the 
midst of thine enemies. 

Q. 5. What learn we from Christ's sitting there ? 

A. The high honour believers are advanced to by Christ ; Eph. 
ii. 6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in 
heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 

Q. 6. What is the last step of Christ's exaltation ? 

A. His coming to judgment; Acts x. 42. And he commanded 
us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was 
ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 

Q. 7. Is it certain there shall be a judgment-day .'* 

A. Yes; the scripture assures it; 2 Cor. v. 10. For we must all 
appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. And every man's con- 
science witnesseth to it; Rom. ii. 16. In the day when God shall 
judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. 

Q. 8. What is the first property of Christ's judgment ? 

A. It will be awful and solemn; 1 Thess. iv. 16. For the Lord 
himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of 
the archangel, and with the trump of God ; and the dead in Christ 
shall rise first. 

Q. 9. What is the second property of it ? 

A. It will be exact and critical; Rom. ii. 16. In the day when 
God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my 
gospel. Mat. xii. 36. But I say unto you, That every idle word 
that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day 
of judgment. 

Q. 10. What is the third property of it ? 

A, It will be an universal judgment ; Rev. xx. 12. And I saw the 



190 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened. 

Q. 11. How is this a }3art of Christ's exaltation ; 

A. He now acts in the fulness of his kingly power ; Mat. xxv. 34. 
Then shall the king say unto them on his right-hand, Come ye bles- 
sed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the 
foundation of the world. And this will roll away the reproach of 
his enemies ; Rev. i. 7. Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every 
eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him. 

Q. 12. What learn we from Christ's being judge ? 

A. That believers shall not be cast in judgment; Rom. viii. 1. 
There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ 
Jesus. 

Q. 13. What learn we from hence ? 

A. The deplorable state of Christless persons ; Luke xix. 27. But 
those mine enemies that \\ould not that I should reign over them, 
bring hither, and slay them before me. 

Q. 14. What else learn we from Christ''s judgment ? 

A. To give all diligence to be found of him in peace ; 2 Pet. iii. 
14. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be dili- 
gent, that ye may be found of him in peace. 

Of the Applicaticni of Christ. 

Quest. 29. -HO"W are we made partakers of the redemption pur- 
chased by Christ.'^ 

A, We are made partakers of the redemption purchased hy Chj'isf^ 
hy the effectual application of it to us by Ms Holy Spirit, 

Q 1. What did our redemption cost Christ.'' 

A. It cost him his own blood to obtain it; Heb. ix. 12. Neither 
by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in 
once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 

Q. 2. Can none have the benefit of it, except it be applied to them ? 

A. No, if Christ be not applied, we cannot be saved ; John i. 12. 
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the 
sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. 

Q. 3. Whose work or office is it to apply Christ to us ? 

A. It is the office and work of God's Spirit; Titus iii. 4, 5. But 
after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toAvards man ap- 
peared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but 
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, 
and renewing of the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 4. What means doth the Spirit use in applying Christ ? 

A. The external means he makes use of, is the ministry of the 
gospel ; 1 Cor. iii. 5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but 
ministers by whom ye believed ? 

Q. 5. Is this sufficient of itself .? 

-/. No, the blessing and power of the Spirit must accompan}^ it, 
or Christ cannot be apphed \ 1 Thess, i. 5, 6. For our gospel came 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 191 

not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, 
and in much assurance, as ye know what manner of men we were 
among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of 
the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of 
the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 6. To whom doth the Spirit apply Christ ? 
A. To those that were given him of the Father before the world was; 
Acts xiii. 48. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 
Johnxiv. 17. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot re- 
ceive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him ; but ye know 
him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 

Q. 7. Is the application of Christ to a soul finished at once ? 

A. Though the first act of faith unites the soul to Christ, yet it is 
a continued act ; 1 Pet. ii. 4. To whom coming, as unto a Hving 
stone. 

Q. 8. What learn we from hence ? 

A. What a destitute thing the soul is that is out of Christ ; Rev. 
iii. 18. Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods, and 
have need of nothing ; and knowest not that thou are wretched and 
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. 

Q. 9. What else doth it teach us ? 

A. The riches and dignity of believers. Christ and all his purcha- 
ses are theirs ; 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Ce- 
phas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to 
come ; all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. 

Q. 10. What else doth it teach us ? 

A. The righteousness of God in the destruction of all unbelievers; 
John V. 40. Mark xvi. 16. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall 
be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

Of our Union with Christ 

Quest. 30. iioW doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption 
purchased by Christ ? 

A. By worh'mgjmth in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in 
our effectual calling. 

Q. 1. Can none have saving benefit by Christ, but such as are 
united to him ? 

A. No, for as Adam's sin could not hurt us, except we liad been 
in him ; so Christ's redemption cannot profit us, except we are in 
him; 1 Cor. i. 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God 
is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, afid sanctification, and 
redemption. 

Q. 2. What are the bonds of this union ? 

A. The Spirit on God's part; 1 John iii. 24. And he that keepeth 
his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him; and hereby 
we know thg^t he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given 



11)2 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM* 

US. And faith on our part: Eph. iii. 17. That Christ may dwell 
ill jour hearts by faith. 

Q. 3. What is the first property of this union? 

A. It is an intimate union ; Eph. v. 30. For we are members of 
his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 

Q. 4. What is the second property •'* 

J. It is an union never to be dissolved ; Rom. viii. 35, 88. Who 
shall separate us from the love of Christ ? Shall tribulation, or dis- 
tress, or persecution, famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? For 
I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor princi- 
palities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor 
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate 
us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Q. 5. What is the third property of this union ? 

A. It makes Christ, and all that he hathpurchased, become ours; 
I Cor. iii. 22, 23. AH are yours, and ye are Christ's ; and Christ is 
God's. 

Q. 6. What is the fourth property of this union ? 

A. It is the foundation and root of all our spiritual and acceptable 
obedience ; John xv. 4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch 
cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine ; no more can 
ye, except ye abide in me. 

Q. 7. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That saving grace in the saints is immortal, being secured to 
them in and by Christ ; Col. iii. 3. Your life is hid with Christ in 
God. 

Q. 8. What is the second inference ^ 

A> That the relation between Christ and believers is very near 
and intimate ; Eph. v. 30. For we are members of his body, of his 
flesh, and of his bones. 

Q. 9. What is the third inference .? 

A, That believers need not be afraid to go down to the grave ; 
Rom. viii. 38, 39. For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, 
— nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of 
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And this union holds after 
death ; Mat. xxii. 31, 32. But as touching the resurrection of the 
dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, 
saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the 
God of Jacob ? God is not the God of the dead, but the God of 
the living. 

Q. 10. W^hat is the fourth inference .? 

A. That in wronging and persecuting the saints, men wrong and 
persecute Christ himself; Acts ix. 4. And he fell to the earth, and 
heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 

Q. 11. What is the fifth inference? 

A. That in relieving and refreshing the saints, we relieve and re- 
fresh Christ himself; Matth. xxv. 35, 36. For I was an hungered, 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 103 

ftnd ye gave me meat ; and I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink ; I 
was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me ; I was 
sick, and ye visited me ; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Ver. 
40. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my 
brethren, ye have done it unto mc. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference.? 

A. That there is a sympathy in Christ, under all the pressures and 
grievances of his people; Heb. iv. 15. We have not an high priest 
which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but wa» 
in all points tempted like as we arc, yet without sin. 

Of Effectual Calling. 

Quest. 31. ?T HAT is effectual calling.? 

A. Effectual calling is the icork of God's Spirit, •where!??/ convinc^^ 
ingus of' our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the know- 
ledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade aiid enable 
us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel. 

Q. 1. What makes the difference between effectual and ineffectual 
calling ? 

A. Ineffectual calling is, when men have nothing but the external 
sound of the gospel ; Matth. xx. 16. For many be called, but few 
chosen. Effectual is, when the Spirit works in conjunction with the 
word ; John vi. 45. It is written in the prophets, iVnd they shall be 
all taught of God ; every man therefore that hath heard, and hath 
learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 

Q. 2. What is the first act of the Spirit in effectual calling ? 

A. Conviction of sin ; John xvi. 8. And when he is come, he will 
reprove the world of sin. 

Q. 3. Do the called of God hear any voice from heaven ? 

A. Ordinarily it is a call without sound, yet as efficacious as an 
audible voice from heaven. 

Q. 4. What is the second act of the Spirit in our effectual calling? 

A. The illumination of the mind in the knowledge of Christ; Acts 
xxvi. 18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to 
light, and from the power of Satan unto God. 

Q. 5. In what things doth it enlighten them ? 

A. In this; That Christ is their only remedy; Acts iv. 12. Nei- 
ther is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name 
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. And 
their all-sufficient remedy; Heb. vii. 25. Wherefore he is able also 
to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him. 

Q. 6. What is the third act ? 

A. His renewing of tlie sinner's will, and making it flexible ; Psal. 
ex. 3. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Ezek. 
xxxvi. 26. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I 



19^ 

put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of yowT 
iiesh, and 1 will give you an heart of flesh. 

Q. 7. Can no man come to Christ till thus enabled ? 

A. No ; it is not in the power of man's nature or will, till thus re- 
newed and enabled ; Eph. i. 19, 20. And what is the exceeding 
greatness of his power to us-ward, who believe, according to the 
working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he 
raised him from the dead, and set him on his own right-hand in the 
heavenly places. John vi. 44. No man can come to me except the 
Father, which hath sent me, draw him, 

Q. 8. What sort of men are most ordinarily called ? 

A. The poor and mean ones in the world ; 1 Cor. i. 26. For ye 
see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, 
not many mighty, not many noble, are called ; but God hath chosen 
the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath 
chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which 
are mighty. 

Q. 9. What is the first instruction from it ? 

A. Souls effectually called are never lost ; Rom. xi. 9Q. For the 
gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 

Q. 10. What is the second instruction ? 

A, All things co-operate to their good ; Rom. viil. 28. For we 
know that all things work together for good to them that love God, 
to them who are called according to his purpose. 

Q. 11. What is the third instruction.^ 

A. It is dangerous to refuse God's call ; Prov. i. 24. Because I 
have called, and ye have refused, I have stretched out my hand, and 
no man regarded. 

Q. 12. What is the last instruction ? 

A. That Christians are obliged to walk suitably to their heavenly 
calling; 1 Thess. ii. 12. That ye would walk worthy of God, who 
hath called you into his kingdom and glory. 

Of the Concomitants of Vocation. 

Quest. 32. Vf HAT benefits do they that are efi*ectually called 
partake of in this life ? 

A. They that are effectually called do in this life partak'e of jus- 
tification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benejits which 
in this life do either accompany or jiowfrom them. 

Q. 1. Are all that be effectually called, justified "^ 

A. Yes; God justifies all, and every soul that obeys and answers 
his call ; Rom. viii. 30. Whom he called, them he also justified. 

Q. 2. What other benefits have the called in this life .? 

A. They are all the adopted children of God ; Eph. i. 5. Having 
predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, 
unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. 

Q. 3, Are those all the benefits the called receive ? 



AX EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. IQS 

A. No ; they are not only justified and adopted, but also sanctified ; 
1 Cor. i. 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made 
unto us wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. 

Q. 4. Do these three blessings come singly to the called ? 

A. No; they are all accompanied with multitudes of other blessings 
flowing from them ; Eph. i. 3. Blessed be the God and Father of 
ourLord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, 
in heavenly places in Christ. 

Q. 5. What are the mercies flowing from justification ? 

A. They are great and manifold ; Rom. v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. There- 
fore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this 
grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

Q. 6. What are the benefits flowing from adoption ? 

A. Free access to God ; Eph. iii. 12. In whom we have boldness 
and access with confidence by the faith of him. And a title to 
heaven; Rom. viii. 17. If children, then heirs. 

Q. 7. What blessings accompany sanctification ? 

A. Union with Christ; Heb. ii. 11. For both he that sanctifieth^ 
and they who are sanctified, are all of one. And right to the in- 
heritance ; Acts XX. 32. And now, brethren, I commend you to 
God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and 
to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 

Q. 8. What is the first lesson from hence ? 

A. That they are enemies to their own souls, who obey not the 
gospel call ; 2 Thes. i. 8. In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them 
that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. 

Q. 9. What is the second lesson from hence ? 

A. That the estate of believers abounds with spiritual privileges ; 
1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the 
world, or life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are 
yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. 

Q. 10. What is the third lesson from hence.'* 

A. That all the believer's privileges are not in hope, but some in 
hand; 1 John iii. 1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath 
bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 

Q. 11. What is the fourth lesson from hence.? 

A. The greatest sufferers for Christ have no reason to repent their 
call ; Rom. viii. 18. For I reckon, that the suff*erings of this presen. 
time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be 
revealed in us. 

Q. 12. What is the last lesson from hence ? 

A. That we have infinite reason to bless God for the gospel, by 
which we are called; 2 Thes. ii. 14. Whereunto he called you bj 
our gospel. 
Vol. VL N 



196 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISJf. 

> 

Of Justification. 

Quest. 33. W HAT is justification ? 

A. Justification is an act of God! s free grace ^ wlierein he par^ 
doneth all our sins^ and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only 
for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith 
alone. 

Q. 1. What are the parts of justification ? 

A. It consists of two parts. First, The pardon of sin ; Acts xiiio 
-39. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from 
which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Secondly^ The 
acceptation of our persons as righteous; Rom. v. 1, 2, 3. There- 
fore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our 
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this 
grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

Q. 2. Whose act is it to justify sinners ? 

A. It is the act of God alone ; Rom. viii. 33. It is God that 
iustifieth. Man'sjustifying of him self is nothing: Lukexvi. 15. And 
he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men, 
but God knoweth your hearts ; for that which is highly esteemed 
amongst men, is abomination in the sight of God. Nor other men's 
justifying of us; Rev. iii. 1. I know thy works, that thou hast'a name 
to hve, and art dead. 

Q. 3. Is there any thing in man to merit his justification.'' 

A. No; it is an act of free grace in God;, Rom. iii. 24. Being 
justified freely by his grace, through the redemption which is in Jesus 
Christ. 

Q. 4. If it be not for any inherent righteousness ; how then ? 

A. It is for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us ; Rom. iv. 
6. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto 
whom God imputeih righteousness without works. 

Q. 5. How is Christ's righteousness made ours ? 

A. By apphcation of it to us by faith ; Gal. ii. 16. Knowing that a 
man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus 
Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be jus- 
tified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law ; for 
by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 

Q. 6. Js it not partly by Christ's righteousness made ours, and 
partly our own ? 

A. No ; by Christ's righteousness, without any mixture of ours ; 
Rom. iii. 28. Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith 
without the deeds of the law. 

Q. 7. But doth not James say otherwise, James ii. 14. What doth 
it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith and have not 
works ; Can faith save him ? 

A. The two apostles contradict not one another ; Paul speaks of 



at: exposition of the assembly's catechism. 197 

justification before God ; and James of justifying our faith before 
men. 

Q. 8. Is no regard then to be had to good works? 

A. Yes, very great ; tliey that believe must be careful to maintain 
good works ; Tit. iii. 8. That they which have believed in God might 
be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and pro- 
fitable unto men. 

Q. 9- Why can none be justified by works.? 

A. Because all are guilty before God ; Rom. iii. 29. Is he the 
God (;f the Jews only ? Is he not also of the Gentiles ? Yes, of the 
Gentiles also. And the law curses all that are under guilt ; Gal. iii. 
10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are 
written in the book of the law to do them. 

Q. 10. What is the first inference from hence.? 

A. The happy state of believers who are now at peace with God ; 
Rom. v. 1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with 
God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And whom he justifieth he 
glorifieth. Rom. viii. 80. Whom he justified, them he also glorified. 

Q. 11. What is the second inference from hence ? 

A. The excellency and necessity of faith ; Rom. iii. 30. The cir- 
cumcision is justified by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. 

Q. 12. What is the third inference.? 

A. That the greatness of sin is no bar to faith, since it is the righ- 
teousness of Christ that justifieth ; 2 Cor. v. 21. For he hath made 
him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we may be made the 
righteousness of God in him. 

Q. 13. What is the last inference ? 

A. That believers ought to be exceeding humble, and far from 
boasting. The law of faith excludes boasting; Rom. iii. 27. Where 
is boasting then.? It is excluded: By what law.? of works.? nay, 
but by the law of faith. 

Of Adoption, 

Quest. 34. >VhAT is adoption .? 

A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received 
into the number, and have a right to all the privileges qftlie sons of 
God. 

Q. 1. How many sorts of sons are there .? 

A. There is one by generation, and another by adoption ; John 
i. 12, 13. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to 
become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name ; 
which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of 
the will of man, but of God. 

Q. 2. What moves God to adopt any man ? 

A. Nothing but his free love; 1 John iii. 1. Behold what manner 
of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called tli^ 
sons of God. 

N2 



198 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM* 

Q. 3. Is this privilege common to all men ? 

A. No ; it is peculiar to them that receive him ; John i. 12. But 
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the soni 
of God. 

Q. 4. What is the first property of adoption ? 

A. It is a costly relation ; Gal. iv. 4. When the fulness of time 
was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the 
law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive 
the adoption of sons. 

Q. 5. What is the second property of adoption ? 

A. It is an high and honourable relation ; 1 John iii. 1. Behold 
what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should 
be called the sons of God. 

Q. 6. What is the third property of adoption ? 

A. It is a free relation on God's part ; Eph. i. 4, 5. According as 
he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we 
should be holy and without blame before him in love. Having pre- 
destinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ to him- 
self, according to the good pleasure of his will. And it makes us 
free ; John viii. 36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye 
shall be free indeed. 

Q. 7. What is the fourth property of adoption ? 

A. It is a permanent relation ; John viii. 35. The Son abideth in 
the house for ever. 

Q. 8. What is the first privilege of the adoption? 

A. They have an interest in God, as children in a father ; 2 Cor, 
vi. 18. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons 
and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 

Q. 9. What is the second privilege ? 

A. Being God's sons, they are heirs of God, and joint heirs with 
Christ; Rom. viii. 17. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, 
and joint heirs with Christ. 

Q. 10. What was the third privilege ? 

A. Seasonable and sanctified afflictions ; Heb. xii. 6. He scourgeth 
every son whom he receiveth. 

Q. 11. What is the fourth privilege ? 

A. The attendance and ministry of angels ; Heb. i. 14. Are they 
not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall 
be heirs of salvation ? 

Q. 12. What is the fifth privilege ? 

A. The assistance of the Spirit in prayer ; Rom. viii. 15. For wo 
have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have re- 
ceived the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. And 
God's audience of their prayers ; 1 John v. 14. And this is the 
confidence that we have in him, That if we ask any thing accord- 
ing to his will, he heareth us. 

Q. 13. What use should we make of this ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLy''s CATECHISM. 19^ 

A. It teacheth us to carry ourselves as children to our heavenly 
Father. First, In our imitation of him ; Eph. v. 1. Be ye therefore 
followers of God, as dear children. Secondlij, In our submission to 
him ; Heb. xii. 9- Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, 
who corrected us, and we gave them reverence ; shall we not much 
rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live ? Thirdlyy 
In our dependence on him ; Matth. v. 32. For your heavenly Fa- 
ther knoweth that you have need of all these things. 

Of Sanctification. 

Quest. 35. W HAT is sanctification .? 

A. Sanctification is the worlc of Godtsfree grace^ ivherehy we are 
renezved in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled 
more and more to die unto sin, and live imto righteousness. 

Q. 1. What are the parts of sanctification ? 

A. Dying unto sin, and living unto God; Rom. vi. 11. Like- 
wise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive 
unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Q. 2. Who is the Author of sanctification ? 

A. God only ; Jude ver. 1. To them that are sanctified by God 
the Father. 

Q. 3. What is the instrument of it ? 

A. The word of God; John xvii. 17. sanctify them through thy 
truth ; thy word is truth. 

Q. 4. What part of man is sanctified ? 

A. Every part, both of soul and body; 1 Thess. v. 23. And the 
Tery God of peace sanctify you wholly ; and I pray God your whole 
spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

Q. 5. Is sanctification perfected at once ? 

A. No; but by degrees; 2 Pet. iii. 18. But grow in grace, and in 
the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Q. 6. When will it be made perfect ? 

A. When we come to heaven, and not before; 1 Cor. xiii. 10, 11. 
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part 
shall be done away. 

Q. 7. What are the signs of true sanctification ? 

A. When it runs into all parts of our conversation ; 1 Pet. i. 15. 
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner 
of conversation. Secondly, And continues to the end ; Rev. xxii. 11. 
Let him that is holy be holy still. 

Q. 8. What is the inseparable companion of sanctification ? 

A. Righteousness towards men ; Luke i. 74, 75. That he would 
grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our ene- 
mies, might serve him without fear, in holiness, and righteousness 
before him all the days of our life. 

Q. 9. What is opposite to sanctification ? 

N3 



^00 

A. All filthiness of flesh and spirit; 2 Cor. vii. 1. Having there- 
fore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from 
all filthiness of flesh and spirit. 

Q. 10. What is the privilege of the sanctified ? 

A. They are all elected, and shall be glorified ; 1 Pet. i. 2, 4. Elect 
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctifi- 
cation of the Spirit — to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, 
and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. 

Q. 11. What is the case of them who live and die unsanctified ? 

A. They shall never see God ; Heb. xii. 14. Follow peace with 
all men, and holiness ; without ^vhich no man shall see the Lord. 

Q. 12. What difi'erenceth true from pretended sanctification .? 

A. True sanctification pargeth the heart from the love of sin ; 
Rom. vii. 15. For that which I do, I allow not. And the life from 
the dominion of sin ; Rom. vi. 19. As ye have yielded your members 
servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now 
yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness. 

Q. 13. May great sinners be sanctified ? 

A. Yes ; the Spirit of God can sanctify the vilest heart ; 1 Cor. 
"vi. 11. And such were some of you ; but ye are washed, but ye 
are sanctified. 

Of Assurance, the Fruit of Justification, 

Quest. 36. T ▼ HAT are the benefits which in this life do either 
accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification? 

A. The benefits ivhich hi this life do either accompany, or Jlom 
Jrom justification, adoption, and sanctification, are assurance of 
God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of 
gi'ace, and perseverance therein to tlie end. 

Q. 1. Is assurance possible to be attained in this life .^ 

A. Yes ; for some have had it ; Cant. vi. 3. I am my beloved's, 
and my beloved is mine. And all Christians are commanded to 
strive for it; % Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give 
diligence, to make your calling and election sure. 

Q. 2. How many sorts of assurance are there .^ 

A. There is an objective assurance ; 2 Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless, 
the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord 
knoweth them that are his. And a subjective or personal assurance; 
Gal. ii. 20. Who loved me, and gave himself for me. 

Q. 3. Is personal assurance perfect in this life "^ 

A. No; It admits of doubts and fears, which interrupts it, and it 
is not always at one height; 1 Cor. xiii. 10. When that which is 
perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 

Q. 4. On what testimony is personal assurance built "^ 

A. Upon the testimony of God's Spirit v/itnessing with ours ; 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 20l 

Rom. vili. 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that 
are the children of God. 

Q. 5. Doth the Spirit make use of signs in us to assure us ? 
A. Yes; ordinarily he doth; 1 John iii. 14. We know that we 
are passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. And 
ver. 24. Hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which 
he hath given us. 

Q. 6. How is true assurance discerned from presumption ? 
A. True assurance humbles the soul ; Gal. ii. 20. I am crucified 
with Christ : nevertheless I live : yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. 
And makes the soul afraid of sin; 2 Cor. vii. 1. Having therefore 
these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthi- 
ness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 
Q. 7. What is the usual season of assurance ? 
A. The time of greatest sufferings for Christ ; 1 Pet. iv. 14. If 
ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye ; for the 
Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. 

Q. 8. Is personal assurance absolutely necessary to salvation ? 
A. No; a man may be saved, and in Christ, without it ; Isa. 1. 
10. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice 
of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? Let him 
trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. 
Q. 9. What is the fruit of assurance ? 

A. Joy unspeakable amidst outward troubles; Rom. v. 11. And 
not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
by whom we have now received the atonement. 
Q. 10. What sins usually eclipse our assurance ? 
A. Negligence in duty starves it ; 2 Pet. i. 10. Give diligence to 
make your calling and election sure : For if you do these things ye 
shall never fall. And sinning against light, stabs it ; Psalm li. 8. 
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast 
broken may rejoice. 

Q. 11. What is the first inference from this doctrine ? 
A. That no unregenerate person can have any assurance ; for it 
is the fruit of justification, adoption, and sanctification. 
Q. 12. What is the second inference.'^ 

A. That all the joys of heaven are not to come; but some com- 
municated in this life ; 1 Pet. i. 8. Whom having not seen ye love ; 
in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with 
joy unspeakable, and full of glory. 
Q. 13. What is the third inference ? 

A. That assured believers need to be circumspect persons, that 
they grieve not the Spirit ; Eph. iv. 30. And grieve not the holy 
Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 

N4. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY S CATECHISM. 

Of Peace of Conscience. 

Quest. 1. ▼ V HAT doth the word peace signify in scripture ? 

A. In the language of the Old Testament it signifies all temporal 
good ; 1 Sam. xxv. G. Peace be both to thee, and peace be in thine 
house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. And in the New Tes- 
tament all special good ; as 2 Thess. iii. 16. Now the Lord of peace 
himself give you peace always. 

Q. 2. What are the kinds of special peace .^ 
A. There is a twofold peace; one without us, by reconciliation ; 
Rom. V. 1. Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with 
God. And peace within us, by -vvay of consolation ; Col. iii. 15. And 
let the peace of God rule in your hearts. 
Q. 3. What did our peace cost Christ ? 

A. It cost him bloody stripes and sufferings; Isa. liii. 5. The chas- 
tisement of our peace was upon him ; and by liis stripes we are 
healed. 

Q. 4. Can none have true peace but such as are in him .? 
A. No; others mav have false peace; Luke xi. 21. When a strong 
man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. But believers 
only have true peace; Rom. v. 1. Therefore, being justified by 
faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Q. 5. Have all believers peace in their consciences at all times .'^ 
A. No, they are always in a state of peace, but have not always 
the sense of peace; Isa. 1. 10. Who is among you that feareth the 
Lord, and obeveth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, 
and hath no hght "t Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay 
upon his God. 

Q. 6. What is that which hinders the sense of peace in believers } 
A. Their sins against the Lord, and grieving of his Spirit; Isa. lix. 
% But your iniquities have separated between you and your God ; 
and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. 

Q. 7. What maintains the state of peace when the sense of peace 
is lost "^ 

A. Christ's continual and potent intercession with the Father for 
us ; 1 John ii. 12. My little children, these things write I unto you, 
that ye sin not : And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the 
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 

Q. 8. What is the best way to maintain our peace with God "^ 
A. Strict walking by gospel rules; Gal. vi. 16. And as many as 
walk according to this rule, peace be on them. 

Q. 9. Doth this peace come and go with outward peace ? 
A. No ; we may enjoy this when no peace is to be had in the world ; 
John xvi. 33. These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye 
might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation ; but be 
of good cheer, I have overcome the world. 

Q. 10. What is the first instruction fi'oni hence ? 



A^ EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBlVs CATECHISM. 203 

A. That the wicked are in a sad case at all times, but especially in 
evil times; Isa. Ivii. 20, 21. But the wicked are like the troubled 
sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire imd dirt. There 
is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. 

Q. 11. AVhat is the second instruction from hence? 

J. That the chief care of a Christian should be to keep his peace 
with God ; Jer. xvii. 17. Be not a terror to me ; thou art my hope 
in the day of evil. 

Q. 12. What is the last instruction from hence ? 

A. Let the saints long to be in heaven, the state of full and per- 
fect peace ; Isa. Ivii. 2. He shall enter into peace ; they shall rest in 
their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. 

Of Jot/ in the Holy Ghost. 

Quest. 1. JHOW many sorts of joy are there among men ? 

A. There is a sensitive joy ; Acts xiv. 17. Nevertheless he left 
not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain 
from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and 
gladness. A sinful joy; Prov. xv. 21. Folly is joy to him that is 
destitute of wisdom. And a spiritual joy ; Rom. v. 11. And not 
only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Q. 2. Why is spiritual joy called joy in the Holy Ghost ? 

A. Because the Holy Ghost is the author of it ; Gal. v. 22. But 
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, &c. 

Q. 3. What is the first thing begets joy in the saints ? 

A. The first thing they joy in is, their justification before God ; 
Isa. Ixi. 10. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord ; my soul shall be joy- 
ful in my God ; for he hath cloathed me with the garments of sal- 
vation, he hath covered me with the robes of righteousness. Rom. v. 
11. And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus 
Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 

Q. 4. What is the second thing that breeds this joy ? 

A. Hope of glory breeds joy in the saints ; Rom. v. 2. And rejoice, 
in hope of the glory of God. 

Q. 5. What is the instrument by which the Spirit conveys this 

A. Faith is the instrument of it; Phil. i. 25. And having this 
confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all, for 
your furtherance and joy of faith. 

Q. 6. ^Vhat is the first property of this joy ? 

A. It is joy unspeakable, and full of glory ; 1 Pet. i. 8. Believing, 
ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. 

Q. 7. What is the second property of it ? 

A. That it is not in the power of men to deprive the saints of it ; 
John xvi. 22. And your joy no man taketh from you. 

Q. 8. What is the third property of it ? 

A. It makes the soul free and cheerful in the ways of obedience ; 



204f AN EXrOSITIOX OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHI&M. 

Psal. cxix. 32. I will run the ways of thy commandments, when 
thou shalt enlarge my heart. 

Q. 9. What is most destructive to a Christian's joy ? 

J, Sin, especially sin against light ; Psal H. 8. Make me to hear 
joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 

Q. 10. What should be the main care of a Christian in this world? 

A. To maintain his joy in God to the last ; Acts xx. 24*. But none 
of these things move me ; neither count I my life dear unto myself, 
so that I might finish my course with joy. 

Q. 11. Have not hypocrites their joys as well as real Christians ? 

A, Yes; but the joy of the hypocrite is not grounded upon scrip- 
ture-warrant, and will vanish away, and will come to nothing at last ; 
John V. 35. He was a burning and a shining light ; and ye were 
willing for a season to rejoice in his hght. 

Q. 12. AVhat is the first inference from hence ? 

A. Let all that expect joy in the Holy Ghost, see that they pre- 
serve purity of conscience and conversation ; 2 Cor. i. 12. For our 
rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and 
godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we 
have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to 
you-wards. 

Q. 13. What is the last inference.? 

A. That religion is no melancholy thing, but the fountain of all 
joy and pleasure ; Prov. iii. 17. Her ways are ways of pleasantness^ 
and all her paths are peace. 

Of the Increase of Grace. 

Quest. 1. JL^OTH all true grace increase and grow ? 

A. Yes, it doth, like the morning light ; Prov. iv. 18. The path 
of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto 
the perfect day. And for that end God hath appointed ministers and 
ordinances : Eph. iv. 11, 12. And he gave some, apostles ; and some, 
prophets ; and some, evangelists ; and some, pastors and teachers ; 
for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the 
edifying of the body of Christ. 

Q. 2. Cannot false or seeming grace grow.? 

A. It may spring up, and seem to flourish for a time, but comes 
not to perfection ; Luke viii. 14. And that which fell among thorns, 
are they, which when they have heard, go forth, and are choaked 
with the cares, and riches, and pleasures of this life, and bring no 
fruit to perfection. 

Q. 3. What is the first respect in v, hich grace grows .'' 

A. It grows by deeper rooting itself in the soul ; Eph. iii. 17. That 
Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith ; that ye being rooted and 
grounded in love, may be able, &:c. 

Q. 4. What is the second respect or manner of its growth ? 

A. It grows in respect of its greater fitness and readiness for acts; 



AN EX?0STTION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 205 

of obedience; Col. i. 11. Strengthened with all mioht, according to 
liis glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyful- 
ness. 

Q. 5. What is .tlie third respect or manner of its growth ? 

A. It grows in respect of its abilities to fix the mind more steadily 
on spiritual things. Hence grown Christians are called spiritual 
inen; Gal. vi. 1. Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the 
spirit of meekness. 

Q. G. Why must all true grace grow ? 

A. Because there is a stature to which Christians arc appointed ; 
Eph. iv. 13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the 
knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure 
of the stature of the fulness of Christ. 

Q. 7. What are the causes of a Christian's growth ? 

A. Union with Christ; John xv. 4. As the branch cannot bear 
fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine ; no more can ye, except ye 
abide in me. And his blessings on the ordinances; Isa. Iv. 10, 11. 
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and return- 
eth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and 
bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so 
shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth ; it shall not re- 
turn unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it 
shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. And providences ; Phil. 
i. 19. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your 
prayers, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 

Q. 8. May not true grace sometimes decay ? 

A. Yes, it may ; Rev. ii. 4. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against 
thee, because thou hast left thy first love. But not utterly ; 1 John 
iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin ; for his seed 
femaineth in him. 

Q. 9. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. To bless God for gospel ordinances; Psal. xcil. 13, 14. Those 
that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts 
of our God ; they shall still bring forth fruit in old age ; they shall 
be fat and flourishing. 

Q. 10. What is the second inference ? 

A. Hence we see the miserable state of tlicm that grow worse and 
worse; Judc, ver. 12. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when 
they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear : Clouds they 
;ire without water, carried about of winds : Trees whose fruit wi- 
thereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the root. 

Q. 11. What is the third inference.? 

A. Christians should not be discourac^cd at their weakness in grace, 
for they have a merciful Christ ; Isaiah xlii. 3. A bruised reed shall 
he not break ; and the smoking flax shall he not quench ; he shall 
bring forth judgment unto truth. And a sure promise ; Job xvii. 9. 



206 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLy'^S CATECHISjr. 

The righteous also shall hold on his way ; and he that hath clean 
hands shall be stronger and stronger. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference.? 

A. That all true Christians draw daily nearer and nearer to the 
heavenly and perfect state ; S Cor. iv. 16. For v/hich cause we faint 
not ; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is 
renewed day by day ; Rom. xiii. 11. For now is our salvation nearer 
tlian when we believed. 

Of Perseverance. 

Quest. 1. VV HAT is perseverance to the end.? 

A. It is the steady and constant continuance of Christians in the 
ways of duty and obedience, amidst all temptations and discourage- 
ments to the contrary ; Col. i. 23. If ye continue in the faith, 
grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the 
gospel, which ye have heard, and v/hich was preached to every crea- 
ture which is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister. 

Q. 2. Do all that profess Christ continue in him ? 

A. No; many that at first zealousl}^ profess him, afterwards fall 
away; John vi. 66. From that time many of his disciples went back, 
and walked no more with him. 

Q. 3. Why do not all persevere .? 

A. Because all professors have not a good root and foundation ; 
Matth. xiii. 20, 21. But he that received the seed into stony places, 
the same is he that henreth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it ; 
yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while; for when 
triI)ulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he 
is offended. 

Q. 4. What is the first ground of the saints perseverance.? 

A. God's electing love, in which they are given to Christ ; John 
X. 20. My Father which gave them me is greater than all ; and none 
is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 

Q. 5. What is the second ground of perseverance ? 

A. The immortal nature of sanctifying grace ; John iv. 14. But 
whosoever drinkethof the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, 
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water 
springing up into everlasting life, 1 John iii. 9. For his seed remain- 
eth in him. 

Q. 6. What is the third ground of it .? 

A. The covenant of grace; Jer. xxxii. 40. And I will make an 
everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them 
to do them good ; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that thej 
shall not depart from me. 

Q. 7. What is the fourth ground of it ? 

A, Christ's effectual intercession ; Luke xxii. 32. But I have pray- 
ed for thee, that thy failii fail not. 

Q. 8. Are there no declinings of grace in the saints.? 

A, Yes, there are ; Rev. ii. 4. Nevertheless I have somewhat 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMI}LY''s CATECHISM. SO? 

against thee, because thou Jiast left thy first love. Yet grace cannot 
be totally or finally lost : For the seed of God remaineth in the sanc- 
tified; 1 John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit 
sin ; for his seed remaineth in him : And he cannot sin ; because he 
is born of God. 

Q. i). Is there no hope of salvation for final apostates ? 

A. No, the gospel gives none ; Heb. x. 38. But if any man draw 
back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 

Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence ? 

A. It warns all men to lay a good foundation, lest the buildings of 
hope be over-turned when the storm comes; Matth. vii. 24, 25. 
Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them, 
I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock : 
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, 
and beat upon that house ; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a 
rock. 

Q. 11. What is the second instruction ? 

A. That all men should look to themselves, lest they lose the things 
which they have wrought; 2 John, verse 8. Look toyourselves, that 
ye lose not these things which we have wrought, but that we receive 
a full reward. 1 Cor. x. 12. Wherefore let him that thinketh he 
standeth take heed lest he fall. 

Q. 12. What is the last instruction.'' 

A. Let no true Christian be discouraged, how weak soever, for 

God is able to make him stand ; Rom. xv. 4. Who art thou that 

judgest another man's servant ? To his own master he standeth or 

falleth; yea, he shall be holden up, for God is able to make him stand. 

Of Perfection at Death, 

Quest. 37. ▼ T HAT benefits do believers receive from Christ at 
their death .? 

A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in hoVu 
ness, and do immediately pass into glory ; and their bodies being 
9till united to Christy do rest in their graves till the resurrection. 

Q. 1. What is the state of perfect holiness.? 

A. It consists in a perfect freedom from sin, or tlie least inclinations 
to sin ; Eph. v. 27. That he might present it to himself a glorious 
church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it 
should be holy and without blemish. 

Q. 2. Wherein else doth perfection consist ? 

A. It consists in the attainment of the highest measures and de- 
grees of holiness the creature is capable of; Eph. iv. 12, 13. For the 

perfecting of the saints, Till we all come in the unity of the faith, 

and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto 
the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. 

Q. 3. Cannot this be attained whilst in the body ? 

A. No, for here all our graces are imperfect ; 2 Cor. xiii. 12. For 
now we see through a glass darkly ; but then face to face. And we 



20S AX EXPOSITION OF THE ASsE:irSLY''s cateciiIsm; 

live at a distance from God ; 2 Cor. v. 6. Whilst we are at home in 
the body, we are absent from the Lord. 

Q. 4. How is this attained at death ? 

A. At death the roots of sin are pulled up out of the believer's 
nature ; Heb. xii. 23. And to the spirits of just men made perfect. 

Q. 5. Why must the soul be made perfect at death ? 

A. Because the purity of the heavenly state admits no sin or imper- 
fection ; Rev. xxi. 27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any 
thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or mak- 
eth a lie, but they which are written in the I^amb's book of life. 

Q. 6. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That death should be lovely and desirable in the eyes of believ- 
ers ; Phil. i. 23. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ ; 
which is far better. 

Q. 7. What is the second inference ? 

A. That God hath provided singular relief for his people that now 
groan under their sins, and many imperfections : 1 Cor. xiii. 12. For 
now we see through a glass darkly ; but then face to face : Now I 
know in part ; but then shall I know even as I am known. 

Q. 8. What is the third inference ? 

A. That the heavenly state is infinitely above and beyond \vhaU 
ever we enjoy here; 1 Cor. ii. 9. But as it is written, eye hath not 
seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the 
things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 

Q. 9. What is the fourth inference ? 

A. That believers are but at a small distance from the satisfaction 
of all their desires ; Rom. xiii. 11. For now is our salvation nearer 
than when we believed. 

Q. 10. What is the fifth inference? 

A. That the saints should earnestly pursue that perfection, evei^ 
in this imperfect state; Phil. iii. 13, 14. Brethren, I count not my^ 
self to have apprehended ; but this one thing I do, forgetting those 
things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are 
before, I press towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling 
of God in Christ Jesus. 

Q. 11. What is the sixth inference. 

A. That death to the saints is better than life ; Phil. i. 21. For to 
me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference. 

A. That faith is absolutely necessary to entitle us to this perfect 
state. 

Of immediate Glorification. 

Quest. 1. JLIO all that die in Christ immediately pass into glory ? 

A. Yes, they do ; Luke xxiii. 43. To day-shalt thou be with me 
in paradise ; Phil. i. 23. Having a desire to depart, and to be with 
Christ. 



A^NT EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. l7l 

Q. 2. What is the first reason for their immediate glorification ? 

A. Because heaven is prepared and ready for them ; Matth. xxv. 
34. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared 
for you from the foundation of the world. 

Q. S. What is the second reason for it ? 

A. Because at death they are as ready for heaven as ever they shall 
be; John ix. 4. I must work the work of him that sent me, while it 
is day ; the night cometh, when no man can work. 

Q. 4. What is the third reason for it ? 

A. Because death else could not be gain, as it is, Phil. i. 21. For 
to me to live is Christ ; and to die is gain. 

Q. 5. What is the fourth reason for it ? 

A. Because there is the same reason for all, as for any one : But 
some are immediately glorified ; Luke xxiii. 43. To-day shalt thou 
be with me in Paradise. 

Q. 6. What is the fifth reason for it ? 

A. Because Christ longs for their coming to him, and they for his 
enjoyment ; and these longings are in vain, if not satisfied ; Ilev. xxii. 
17, 20. And the Spirit, and the bride say. Come. And let him that 
heareth, say. Come. And let him that is athirst, come : And who- 
soever will, let him take the water of life freely. He which testifieth 
these things, saith. Surely I come quickly. Amen, Even so come, 
Lord Jesus. 

Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence ? 

A. That the apparition of departed saints ordinarily are but fa- 
bles: They wander not; Rev. iii. 12. Him that overcometh, will 
I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more 
out. 

Q. 8. What is the second inference ? 

A. That Purgatory is a groundless fable, and invention of men ; 
and the scriptures alleged to countenance it, grossly abused ; 1 Pet. 
iii. 19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in 
prison. 

Q. 9. What is the third inference ? 

A. That heaven must needs be a marvellous surprise to believers, 
how long soever they have conversed with it here. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth inference ; 

A. The consideration of this should provoke saints to work hard 
to finish all they have to do on earth ; Eccles. ix. 10. Whatsoever 
thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, 
nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou 
goest. 

Q. 11. What is the fifth inference ? 

-4. That there is no reason to grieve excessively for departed saints; 
1 Thess. iv. 14. Even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God 
bring with him. 



210 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECIIISaT. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference ? 

A. That Christless ones are immediately in hell; Luke xvi. 22, 2S^ 
The rich man also died, and was buried ; and in hell he lift up his 
eyes, being in torments. 

Of Rest in the Grave. 

Quest. 1. T y HY must believers come to the grave ? 

A. Because where sin has been, death by the law must follow ; 
Kom. y. 12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the worlds 
and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, for that all 
have sinned. Rom. viii. 10. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead 
because of sin ; but the spirit is life, because of righteousness. 

Q. 2. What is the first privilege of their bodies there ? 

A. It is the privilege of their bodies to be there in union with 
Christ; 1 Thess. iv. 14. Them also which sleep in Jesus, will God 
bring with him. 

Q. 3. What is their second privilege ? 

A. Their graves are places of rest ; not prisons, but beds of rest ; 
Isa. Ivii. 2. He shall enter into peace ; they shall rest in their beds, 
each one walking in his uprightness. 

Q. 4. What is the first evil they rest from ? 

A. All the toils, and troubles, and afflictions, of this life ; Rev. 
xiv. ] 3. They may rest from their labours ; and their works do fok 
low them. 

Q. 5. What is the second evil they rest from ? 

A. They rest from all persecutions from men ; Job iii. 17. There 
the wdcked cease from troubling ; and there the weary be at rest. 

Q. 6. What is the third evil they rest from ? 

A. They rest from sin, never to feel temptation or inclination to 
sin ; Heb. xii. 23. And to the spirits of just men made perfect. 

Q. 7. How long shall the bodies rest in the grave ? 

A. Not for ever, but till the day of the resurrection ; Job xix. 26. 
And though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh 
shall I see God. 

Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That union with Christ redounds to the singular advantage of 
the body, as well as the soul ; Rom. viii. 11. But if the Spirit of him 
that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you ; he that raised up 
Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his 
Spirit that dwelleth in you. 

Q. 9. What is the second inference ? 

A. That death dissolves not the union betwixt Christ and the souls 
or bodies of his ; Mat. xxii. 32. I am the God of Abraham, and the 
God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ; God is not the God of the 
dead, but of the living. 

Q. 10. What is the third inference ? 



AN fiXrosiTIOX OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. Sll 

A. That seeing our bodies are to have so long and so sweet rest in 
the grave, we should not spare them in God's service now ; 2 Pet. i. 
13, 14. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to 
stir you up, by putting you in remembrance : Knowing that shortly 
I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ 
hath shewed me. 

Q. 11. What is the fourth inference? 

A. That (christians should neither too much fear their own, nor 
sorrow for others death; Rom. viii. 38, 39- For I am persuaded, that 
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, 

nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love 

of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Thess. iv. 13. But I 
would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which 
are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 

Of the Resurrection. 

Quest. 1. JtS the resurrection a credible doctrine ? 

A. Yes, it is ; Acts xxvi. 8. Why should it be thought a thing 
incredible with you, that God should raise the dead ? 

Q. 2. Why then doth it seem incredible to man ? 

A. Because they err, not knowing the scriptures and the power of 
God ; Mark xii. S4. Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not 
the scriptures, nor the power of God ? The power of God assures us 
it ma}^ be so, and the word of God tells it must be so. 

Q. 3. Is it sinful to doubt of the doctrine of the resurrection ? 

A. It is not only a sin to doubt it, but an heresy to deny it, it 
being a fundamental article ; Heb. vi. 2. And of the resurrection of 
the dead. 1 Cor. xv. 13, 14. But if there be no resurrection of the 
dead, then is Christ not risen ; and if Christ be not risen, then is our 
preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 

Q. 4. Who must rise again at the resurrection ? 

A. All men, good and bad, must rise again ; Acts xxiv. 15. And 
have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that 
there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the 
unjust, Rev. xx. 12, 13, 14. And I saw the dead, small and great, 
stand before God, &c. 

Q. 5. What is the first difference betwixt the resurrection of the 
just and unjust ? 

A. Saints rise by virtue of their union with Christ ; Rom. viii. 11. 
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell 
in you ; he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken 
your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you; But the 
^vicked by his power. 

Q. 6. What is the second difference ? 

A. The second and main difference will be in the contrary ends to 
which they rise; some to life, and some to condemnation; Dan. xii. 
2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awak^. 

Vol. VI. O 



212 AN EXPOSITION 01" THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

some to everlasting life, and some to shame, and everlasting con* 
tempt. 

Q. 7. What is the glory to which saints bodies shall be raised ? 

A. In the likeness of Christ's glorious body; Phil. iii. 21. Who 
shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glo- 
rious body. 

Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That every man should strive to the uttermost to attain to the 
resurrection of the just ; Phil. iii. 10, 11. That I may know him, and 
the power of his resurection, and the fellowship of his suiTerings, 
being made conformable unto his death, if by any means I might 
attain to the resurrection of the dead. 

Q. 9. What is the second inference ? 

A. Comfort to them that now groan under manifold distempers, 
and deformities of body ; they being made equal to angels ; Mark 
xii. 25. For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, 
nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven. 

Q. 10. What is the third inference ? 

A. Get union with Christ by faith, as you expect a joyful resur- 
rection ; John xi. 25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, 
and the life ; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet 
shall he live. 

Q. 11. W^hat is the fourth inference ? 

A. Saints should not fear death ; Gen. xlvi. 3. Fear not to go down 
into Egypt. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference.? 

A. Employ your bodies for good now. 

Of Christ'' s acknowledging Believers. 

Quest. 38. ▼ V HAT benefit do believers receive from Christ at 
the resurrection ? 

A. At the resurrection believers being raised up in glory, shall be 
openly acknowledged, and acquitted in the day of judgment, and 
7nade perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity. 

Q. 1. What is it to be acknowledged by Christ.? 

A. It is Christ's owning of the special relation betwixt him and 
them ; Mat xxv. 34. Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the 
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 

Q. 2. Whom will Christ acknowledge for his? 

A. Such as confess Christ now; Mat. x. 32. Whosoever therefore 
shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father 
which is in heaven. 

Q. 3. Before whom will Christ confess them ? 

A. Before his Father, angels and men ; Rev. iii. 5. He that over- 
cometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not 
blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name 
befoie my Father, and before his angels. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. SIB 

Q. 4. Who shall be denied by Christ in that day ? 

A. All that now deny Christ, shall be denied by him ; 2 Tim. ii. 
12. If we deny him, he also will deny us, Tit. i. 16. They profess 
that they know God ; but in works they deny him, being abominable, 
and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. 

Q. 5. Why will Christ openly acknowledge them ? 

A. To wipe off all aspersions and censures that now are cast upon 
them ; Isa. Ixvi. 5. Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out 
for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified ; but he shall 
appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. 

Q. 6. What will be the efect of Christ's acknowledgment ? 

A, It will put a full end to all doubts, fears and jealousies of 
themselves; 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. But with me it is a very small thing 
that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment ; yea, I judge 
not my own self; for I know nothing by myself, yet I am not here- 
by justified; but he that judgeth me, is the Lord. 

Q. 7. What other effect will it produce in them ? 

A. Joy unspeakable and transcendent : hence called time of re- 
freshing ; Acts iii. 19. When the time of refreshing shall come from 
the presence of the Lord. 

Q. 8. Is this the only time Christ acknowledgeth them ? 

A. No ; he acknowledgeth them b)^ his Spirit's testimony now, but 
that is private in their bosoms ; Rom. viii. 16. The Spirit itself bear- 
eth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God. 

Q. 9. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. To warn all how they pass rash censures on Christ's servants; 
Psal. Ixxiii. 15. If I say, I will speak thus; behold I should offend 
against the generation of thy children. 

Q. 10. What is the second inference ? 

A. Let none be afraid or ashamed to confess the person, office, or 
any truth of Christ, for any loss or danger that may threaten them ; 
Luke xii. 8, 9. Also I say unto you. Whosoever shall confess me 
before men, 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. 

Q. 11. W^hat is the third inference ? 

A. Let Christians abound in good works. Every act of charity for 
Christ shall be acknowledged by him in the day of judgment ; Mat. 
XXV. 35. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, 
and ye gave me drink ; I was a stranger, and ye took me in. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference ? 

A. Let all Christians love and long for the day of Christ's appear- 
ing; 2 Tim. iv. 8. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of 
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at 
that day, and not to me only, but unto them ajso that love his ap- 
pearing. 

02 



^14 AN EXPOSITION 0^ THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM, 

Of Chris£s acquitting Believers. 

Quest. 1. W HAT is it to be acquitted by Christ? 

A. It is to be discharged and cleared from all the guilt of sin, and 
punishment due to it by the law, upon the account of Christ's right- 
eousness imputed by God, and received by faith ; Rom. v. 1. There- 
fore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no con- 
demnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. 

Q. 2. How many ways are believers acquitted ? 

A. They are acquitted now in the court of heaven ; Rom. viii. 33. 
Wlio shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect ? It is God that 
justifieth. In the court of their own consciences ; 1 John iii. 21. 
Beloved, if our hearts condemn us not, then have we confidence to- 
wards God. And in the day of judgment : both particular, Heb. ix. 
27. As it appeared unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. 
And general; Acts iii. 19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, 
that your sins may be blotted out. Their sins are then blotted out. 

Q. 3. How doth Christ's acquittance now, differ from that at 
judgment ? 

A. They differ in respect of publicness ; this is secret in the believ- 
er's bosom, and that open before men and angels ; Rev. iii. 5. I will 
confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 

Q. 4. What is the second difference ? 

A. They differ in respect of subjective certainty and assurance. A 
bsliever may doubt of this, but not of that ; 1 Cor. iv. 4, 5. For I 
know nothing of myself, yet am I not hereby justified ; but he that 
judgeth me, is the Lord; therefore judge nothing before the time, 
initil the Lord come. 

Q. 5. What is the third difference betwixt them ? 

A. They differ in point of consolation : this way always bears pro- 
portion to the certainty of it. Hence that day is called the time of 
refreshing ; when Christ blots out their sins by sentencial justification; 
Acts iii. 19. Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins 
may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come froni 
the presence of the Lord. 

Q. 6. Do believers then lie under condemnation till that day ? 

A. No; they are truly and fully justified now; John v. 24. He 
that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath ever- 
lasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from 
death unto life. But this sentence is not yet published by Christ's 
own mouth, as it shall be then. 

Q. 7. On what account shall they be acquitted in that day .'' 

A. On the very same account and score they are now, viz. For the 
imputed righteousness of Christ in the way of free grace ; Eph. i. 7. 
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of 
sins, according to the riches of his grace. 

Q. 8. Must the saints be summoned to Christ's bar in that day ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 215 

J. Yes; they must appear as well as others; 2 Cor. v. 10. For 
we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. But not to 
the same end ; John v. 29- And shall come forth ; they that have 
done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done 
evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 

Q. 9. What is the first inference hence ? 

A. How sure is a believer's justification, being so ratified privately 
and publicly in this world, and that to come. 

Q. 10. What is the second inference ? 

A. Though the day of judgment be awfully solemn, it should not 
be dreadful to believers : they should look for, and hasten to the 
coming of the day of God ; 2 Pet. iii. 12. Looking for, and hasten- 
ing unto the coming of the day of God, &c. 

Q. 11. What is the third inference? 

A. That faith is a grace of absolute necessity, and unspeakable 
excellency; Rom. v. 1, 2. Therefore being justified by faith, we 
have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom 
also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference.? 

A. All unbelievers re in a miserable state now; John iii. 18. He 
that belie veth not, is condemned already. And worse in the world 
to come; Matth. xxv. 41. Depart from me ye cursed into everlast- 
ing fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. 

Of the full etijoyment of God. 

Quest. 1. * T HAT doth perfect blessedness suppose and imply ? 

A. It supposes the total freedom of believers from all the moral 
evil of sin ; Eph. v. 27. That he might present you to himself a 
glorious church, not having spot nor wrinkle, or any such thing, but 
that it should be holy and without blemish. And from all the penal 
evils of suffering ; Rev. xxi. 1;. And God shall wipe away all tears 
from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow^ 
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former 
things are passed away. 

Q. 2. What else is implied in perfect blessedness ? 

A. It implies the full and perfect enjoyment of God v 1 Cor. xv. 
28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the 
Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, 
that God may be all in all. 

Q. 3. What is it for God to be all in all ? 

A. It implies three things in it. Firsts That all the saints shall 
be filled and satisfied from God alone. Secondly, That there shall 
be no need of other things out of which they were wont to fetch 
comfort. Thirdly, That all other things, as heaven, angels, saints, 
shall be loved and enjoyed in God. 

03 



S16 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

Q. 4. In what respect shall they enjoy God in heaven? 

A. They shall have the glorious and immediate presence of God 
Tvith theni ; Rev. xxi. 3. God himself shall be with them, and be 
their God. 

Q. 5. In what other respects shall they enjoy God ? 

A. They shall see him as he is ; 1 John iii. 2. We shall be like 
him ; for we shall see him as he is. 

Q. 6. What will such a vision of God produce ? 

A. It will produce perfect conformity in them to God ; 1 John iii. 
2. When he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him 
as he is. And perfect joy will result from hence; Psalm, xvi. 11. In 
thy presence is fulness of joy ; at thy right hand there are pleasures 
for evermore. 

Q. 7. Do not the saints enjoy God here ? 

A. Yes, they do ; but not so as they shall enjoy him in heaven ; 

1 Cor. xiii. 12. Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face 
to face ; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I 
am known. 

Q. 8. What are the special differences between the saints commu- 
nion with God here, and that in heaven ? 

A. Their communion with God here is clogged with sin ; Rom. 
vii. 21. I find then a law, that w^hen I would do good, evil is pre- 
sent with me. Here it is not constant ; Psalm xxii. 1. My God, my 
God, why hast thou forsaken me ? Nor is it satisfying; but in heaven 
it will be pure, constant, and satisfying. 

Q. 9. How long shall they here enjoy God .'' 

A. Not for days, years, ages, but for ever and ever ; 1 Thess. iv. 
17. x\nd so shall we be ever with the Lord. 

Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence.? 

A. That the world is not the placeof the saints rest and satisfaction; 
Heb. iv. 9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 

2 Cor. V. 2, 6. For in this we groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed 
upon with our house, which is from heaven : therefore we are al- 
ways confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we 
are absent from the Lord. 

Q. 11. What is the second instruction from hence.'' 
A. That death is a singular benefit to the saints ; and though it be 
an enemy to nature, yet it is the medium to glory ; 2 Cor. v. 4. For 
-we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened, not for that 
we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortahty might be 
swallowed up of life. 

Q. 12. What is the third instruction from hence.'' 
A. The necessity of faith and regeneration in this world. None 
shall be raised up in glory, acknowledged, acquitted, and made per- 
fectlv blessed in the full enjoyment of God, but believers; Rom. 
viii. 30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called ; 
and whom he called, them he also justified ; and whom he justified. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 21T 

them he also glorified. Heb. xii. 14. Follow peace with all men, and 
holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. 

Of Mali's Duty to God. 

Quest. 39. ▼ ▼ HAT is the duty that God requireth of man.? 

A. The duty which God requireth of man is obedience to his re" 
vealed will. 

Q. 1. Is obedience to God's will the duty of every man ? 

A. It is unquestionably the duty of every man to obey the will of 
God, so far as he hath made it known to him; Micah vi. 8. He hath 
shewed thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require 
of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with, 
thy God. 

Q. 2. On what account is man's obedience due to God? 

A. It is due to him, First, as he is our Creator, in whom we live, 
and move, and have our being ; Acts xvii. 27, 28. Secondly, As he 
is our Benefactor, from whom we receive all our mercies ; Dent. 
xxviii. 47. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyful- 
ness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things ; 
therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies, which the Lord shall send 
against thee, in hunger, thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all 
things. Thirdly, As he is our Lord, and lawgiver; James iv. 12. 
There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. 

Q. 3. Is obedience due to none but God only ? 

A. Yes; subjects must obey their lawful magistrates; Rom. xiii. 
1. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, for there is no 
power but of God ; The powers that be are ordained of God. Peo- 
ple their ministers; Heb. xiii. 17. Obey them that have the rule 
over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as 
they that must give an account. Children their parents ; Eph. vi. 
1. Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. But 
not as they are to obey God. 

Q. 4. What is the difference betwixt our obedience to God's com- 
mands, and men's ? 

A. We are to obey God, chiefly and supremely, for his own sake, 
but creatures secondarily, and for God's sake ; 1 Pet. ii. 13. Submit 
yourselves to every ordinance of men for the Lord's sake. And Eph. 
vi. 1. Children obey your parents [in the Lord,] for this is right. 

Q. 5. What must we do when the commands of God and men fall 
cross to one another ? 

A. In that case we must yield our obedience to God, and not to 
man, whatever we suffer for it; Acts iv. 19. Whether it be right 
in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than unto God^ 
judge ye. 

Q. 6. Why must we obey God rather than man ? 

04 



SI 8 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMRLy's CATECHISM, 

A. Because God is the supreme and sovereign Lord of our con- 
sciences ; and no creature hath power to command our obedience 
but in and from him ; Isa. xxxii. 22. For the Lord is our judge, 
the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us. 

Q. 7. Have the people liberty to compare the laws of God and 
men, and judge how they agree or differ ? 

A. Yes ; their judgment of discretion is both commanded ; 1 Cor, 
i. 10, 15. I speak as to wise men ; judge ye what I say. And com- 
mended ; Acts xvii. 11. These were more noble than those in Thes- 
salonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, 
and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 
Q. 8. What is the only rule for our obedience to God ? 
A. The will of God revealed in the scriptures is our only rule of 
obedience ; Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the testimony ; if they 
speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light ia 
them. 

Q. 9. But if a man have a voice, a vision, or a dream, seeming to 
hint the secret v\ ill of God, may he not obey it ? 

A. Yes; if it be consonant to the revealed will of God in the word, 
otherwise not ; Deut. xxix. 29. The secret things belong unto the 
Lord our God ; but those things which are revealed, belong unto us, 
and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this 
law. 

Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence ? 
A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to disobey the known will 
of God in any thing ; Horn. i. 18. For the wrath of God is revealed 
from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who 
hold the truth in unrighteousness. Luke xii. 47. And that servant 
which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did 
according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 
Q. 11. What is the second instruction ? 

A. That is a blessed man, who conscientiously labours to obey the 
will of God, so far as he can discover it ; John xiii. 17. If ye know 
these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Gal. vi. 16. And as many 
as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy. 
Q. 12. What is the third inference? 

A. It is highly sinful and dangerous to command others, or obey 
commands from others, which are not according to God's command; 
Hosea v. 11. Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because 
he willingly walked after the commandment. Jer. vii. 31. And they 
have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son 
of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which 
I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart* 

Of the Moral Law. 

Quest. 40. and 41. W HAT did God at first reveal to man for 

the rule of his obedience r 



AX EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLy's CATECHISM. 219 

A. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, 
was the moral law, 

Q. 41. Wherein is the moral law summarily comprehended ? 

A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten com- 
Qnundments. 

Q. 1. Is every man under the direction and obligation of law? 

A. Yes ; man being a reasonable creature, is capable of, and fitted 
for government by law, which other creatures are not ; and being an 
accountable creature to God, must needs be under a law ; Rom. 
ii. 15. Which shew the works of the law written in their hearts ; 
their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean 
while accusing, or else excusing one another. 

Q. 2. How could man be under a law before the law was given 
by Moses ? 

A. Before ever the law was given at Sinai, all tlie race of Adam 
had a law written in their hearts, viz. the light of reason, and dictates 
of natural conscience; Rom. ii. 14. For when the Gentiles, which have 
not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having 
not the law, are a law unto themselves. And besides this, the church 
had the revealed will of God to direct them ; 2 Pet. i. 19, 20. We 
have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well to take 
heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day 
dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, 
that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 

Q. 3. What is the meaning of the moral law ? 

A. It is not a law to direct and order our manners ; but a law that 
binds universally and perpetually, as the ten commandments do those 
to whom they are promulged, and the light of nature doth all others ; 
Rom. ii. 14. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by 
nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are 
a law unto themselves. Luke xvi. 17. It is easier for heaven and 
earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. 

Q. 4. Why is it said to be summarily comprehended in the ten 
commandments ? 

A. Because much more is included in every command than is ex- 
prest, as our Saviour shews in his exposition of it ; Mat. xxii. 40. On 
tliese two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 

Q. 5. Doth the moral law bind Christians under the gospel ? 

A. Yes, it doth, as a rule to order their conversations by ; Jam. 
ii. 8, 9, 10. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture. Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; ye do well : But if ye have res- 
pect to persons, ye commit sin, and arc convinced of the law as 
transgressors ; for whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet 
offend in one point, is guilty of all. 

Q. 6. Is the moral law the same thing with the covenant of 
works, and imposed for the same end ? 
A, God never designed the law to be the way of man's justifica- 



S20 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

tion since the fall; Gal. iii. 21, 22. Is the law then against the pro- 
mises of God ? God forbid ! for if there had been a law given which 
could have given life, verily righteousness would have been by the 
law ; but the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise 
by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But it 
was promulged to convince man of sin ; Rom. vii. 7. What shall we 
say then ? Is the law sin ? God forbid ! Nay, I had not known sin, 
but by the law ; for 1 had not known lust except the law had said. 
Thou shalt not covet. And bring them to Christ ; Gal. iii. 24. 
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christy 
that we might be justified by faith. 

Q. 7. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. Hence we learn the abominable nature of Popery. The Pope 
being that lawless one, who will not be bound by the laws of God 
himself; 2 Thess. ii. 8. Then shall that wicked one be revealed 
whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and 
shall destroy with the brightness of his coming ; but assumes power 
to dispense with God's laws to others. 

Q. 8. What is the second inference hence ? 

A. That man dieth not as beasts die ; which are under no moral 
law, and therefore capable of no sin ; but must come to judgment 
after death ; Eccl. iii. 21. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth 
upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the 
earth ? Heb. ix. 27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, 
so after this the judgment. 

Q. 9. Wlmt is the third inference hence ? 

A. That though the actions of men naturally considered are tran- 
sient, yet their consequences and effects are permanent ; an act is 
soon done, a word soon spoken, a thought soon thought ; but when 
done, spoken, or thought, they are placed to account ; Gal. vi. 7, 8. 
Be not deceived, God i^ not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, 
that shall he also reap ; for he that soweth to the flesh, shall of the 
flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the 
spirit reap life everlasting. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth inference from hence ? 

A. That God will proceed with men by different rules in the day 
of judgment, according to the different laws they lived under in this 
world; Rom. ii. 12. For as many as have sinned without law shall 
also perish without law ; and as many as have sinned in the law, 
shall be judged by the law. 

Q. 11. What is the fifth inference from hence ? 

A. That those who have sinned against the clearest light, and best 
helps, will, if they die impenitent, be judged to the greatest misery ; 
Matth. xi. 23. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto hea- 
ven, shall be brought down to hell ; for if the mighty works which 
have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 22t 

remained until this day. Heb. ii. 3. How shall we escape if we 
neglect so great salvation. 

Q. 12. What is the sixth inference from hence? 

A. That we are to prize the moral law highly, as a rule of life ; 
Ps. cxix. 105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unta 
my path : So are we to bless God for the gospel dispensation, by 
which only we can attain to justification and salvation ; Heb. xii. 22. 
But ye are come to mount Sion, and unto the city of the hving God, 
the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels. 

Of love to God and Man. 

Quest. 42. ? 7 HAT is the sum of the ten commandments.^ 

A. The sum of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our 
God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and 
with all our mind, and our neighbour as ourselves. 

Q. 1. What is the sum of the ten commandments ? 

A. To love the Lord our God with a supreme love, and men with 
a sincere love, in and for him ; Mat. xxii. 37, 38. Jesus said unto 
him. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great 
commandment : The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy 
neighbour as thyself 

Q. 2. What is the first thing contained in our supreme love to God ? 

A. It implies tlie loving of God purely and absolutely for himself 
The excellencies that are in him ; Cant. i. 3. Thy name is as oint- 
ment poured forth ; therefore the virgins love thee. And the 
benefits we receive from him ; Psal. cxvi. 1. I love the Lord, be- 
cause he hath heard my voice and my supplication. 

Q. 3. What is the second property of this supreme love ? 

A. Supreme love denotes the whole man to God and Christ : So 
that in life and death that man designs the glory of God as his main 
end ; Rom. xiv. 7, 8. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man 
dieth to himself; for whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and 
whether we die, we die unto the Lord ; whether we live therefore 
or die, we are the Lord's. 

Q. 4. What is the third property of supreme love ? 

A. It causes the soul to depreciate and slight all other things in 
comparison of God's glory, and an interest in Christ ; Acts xx. 24. 
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto 
myself, so that I might finish my course with joy ; Phil. iii. 8. I 
count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus my Lord. 

Q. 5. What is the fourth property of supreme love ? 

A. It centers the soul in God as its only rest ; Psal. cxvi. 7. Re- 
turn unto thy rest, O my soul. And cannot be satisfied till it come 
to the full enjoyment of liim ; 2 Thess. iii. 5. And the Lord direct 



S22 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECinsST. 

your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for 
Christ. 

Q. 6. Why must we love God with a supreme love ? 

A. Because such a love only suits the transcendent excellency of 
God ; commands all we are and have for God ; and is the only love 
that will continue to the end ; Rom. viii. 35. Who shall separate us 
from the love of Christ ? 

Q. 7. What is it to love our neighbour as ourselves. 

A. It is the exact observation and practice of the golden rule of 
Christ; Matth. vii. 12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would 
that men should do to you, do ye even so to them ; for this is the 
law and the prophets. 

Q. 8. Are all men to be loved alike, and with the same degree of 
love ? 

j4. No ; though we must love all men with the love of benevo- 
lence, yet the saints only with the love of complacency ; Ps. xvi. 3. 
But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom 
is all my dehght. Ps. xv. 4. In whose eyes a vile person is contemn- 
ed ; but he honoureth them that fear the l.ord. And to such we 
must especially do good ; Gal. vi. 10. As we have therefore oppor- 
tunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are 
of the household of faith. 

Q. 9. What is the first instruction from hence ? 

A. Hence we learn the excellency of divine love. Moses expresses 
the whole duty of man in ten commandments : Christ hangs the whole 
law upon these two, love to God and our neighbour ; Mark xii. 30, 
31. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength : 
This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, 
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: There is none other com- 
mandment greater than these. And the apostle reduces these two 
into one; Gal. v. 14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even 
this. — Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

Q. 10. What is the second inference from hence ? 

A. It convinces the holiest of men how far short they come in 
their obedience to the rule of duty, and therein the law was our 
schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, Gal. iii. 24. 

Q. 11. What is the third inference from hence .'* 

^. It discovers the excellency and perfection of the law of God ; 
Psal. xix. 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul : 
And that we are highly to honour and magnify it as a rule of duty, 
though we must utterly renounce it as the way of our justification. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference from hence ? 

A. That there is nothing too dear for a Christian in this world, 
but he must give it up by self-denial, when it comes in competition 
with his supreme love toGod ; Luke xiv. 26. If any man come to 
me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 5!23 

brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my 
disciple ; i. e. Love them less than me. 

Of the Preface to the ten Commandments. 

Quest. 43. f ▼ HAT is the preface to the ten commandments ? 

A. The preface to the ten commandments is in these zvords, I am 
the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt^ 
out of the house of bondage. 

Q. 44. What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us? 

A. The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us that because 
God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemery therefore we are 
bound to keep all his commandments. 

Q. 1. Why doth God use arguments and inducements to win 
men to the obedience of his laws ? 

A. Because he loves to work on man as a rational creature, ac- 
cording to the principles of his nature ; Hos. xi. 4. I drew them 
with cords of a man, with bands of love : And because he delights 
In none but free and cheerful obedience ; Psal. ex. 3. Thy people 
shall be willing in the day of thy power. 

Q. 2. What is the first argument in this preface ? 

A. It is the sovereignty of the Lawgiver, [I am the Lord,] which 
sliould awe the heart of every man to obedience ; James iv. 12, 
There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. 

Q. 3. What is the second argument to obedience ? 

A. Our propriety in God by covenant, [I am the Lord thy God ;] 
this obligeth to obedience, and aggravateth disobedience ; Psal. 1. 7- 
Hear, O my people, and I will speak ; O Israel, and I will testify 
against thee; I am God, even thy God. Hos. ix. 1. For thou ha^i 
gone a whoring from thy God. 

Q. 4. What is the third argument unto obedience ? 

A. The benefits of redemption that they receive from God. Be- 
nefits persuade to duty ; and the goodness of God Icadeth thee to 
repentance, Rom. ii. 4. 

Q. 5. How can deliverance out of Egypt be an argument to them 
that never were in Egypt ? 

A. As that deliverance was a type of our deliverance, so it is an 
argument to us, and an argument from the less to the greater ; for 
it obligeth us more than them ; Luke i. 74, 75, That he would 
grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our 
enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness 
before him, all the davs of our life. 

Q. 6. What is that deliverance we have ? and how doth it oblige 
us to obedience ? 

A. Our deliverance is not from Egypt, but from hell ; Col. i. IS, 
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath trans- 
lated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. And our persons are 
bought by the Redeemer to glorify God; 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. What 



S2-i AX EXrOSISION- OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which 
is in you ? For ye are bought with a price : Therefore glorify God 
in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

Q. 7. Is it not mercenary to serve God upon the account of 
benefits received, or to be received ? 

A. He that maketh religious duties mediums to attain carnal ad- 
vantages only, is of a worse than mercenary spirit; Hosea vii. 14. 
And they have not cried unto me with their hearts, when they 
howled upon their beds : They assemble themselves for corn and 
wine, and they rebel against me. But to be quickened by mercy to 
duty is not mercenary, but evangelical ; Hosea iii. 5. They shall 
fear the Lord, and his goodness. 

Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That great is the condescension of God to man, that he will 
use arguments to induce him to obedience, who might exact it only 
by his sovereignty, and justly damn us for our disobedience; 2 Cor. 
V. 20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did 
beseech you by us : We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye recon- 
ciled to God. 

Q. 9. AVhat is the second inference from hence .'* 

A. That the more mercy any receive from God, the more obliga- 
tions are laid on them to obey him ; Psalm cxvi. 1, 2. I love the 
Lord, because he hath heard my voice, and my supplications : Be- 
cause he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon 
him as long as I live. 

Q. 10. Vv hat is the third inference from hence ? 

A. The more mercies and favours any man sins against, the greater 
is that man's sin, and the sorer will be his punishment ; Amos iii. 
2. You only have I known of all the families of the earth ; there- 
fore I will punish you for all j'our iniquities. 

Q. 11. What is the fourth inference from hence.? 

A. That God's expectations are greater, where his mercies and fa- 
vours have been so ; Isa. v. 4. AVhat could have been done more to 
my vineyard, that I have not done in it ? Wherefore when I looked 
that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes. 

Q. 12. What is the last inference from hence ? 

A. That memorials of God's mercies are to be kept by us, to pro- 
yoke us to constant and cheerful duties of obedience ; Exod. xvii. 
14. And the Lord said unto Moses, write this for a memorial in a 
book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua. Psal. ciii. 2, 3. Bless 
the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. 

Of tJiC first Commandment, 

Quest. 45. V? HICH is the first commandment ? 

A. The first commandment is, Thou shcdt have no other gods he^ 
fore me. 



AK EXrOSlTIO\* OF THE ASSEMDLY's CATECHISM. 225 

Q. 1. What is the first duty enjoined in the first commandment ? 

A. It is to know and acknowledge the existence or being of God, 
and consequently condemns all atheism, both in judgment and prac- 
tice; Heb. xi. 6. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he 
is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Ps. 
xiv. 1. The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. 

Q. 2. What is the second duty of the first commandment ? 

A. It requires all men to know and acknowledge the unity of 
God ; Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. 
And condemns polytheism, or plurality of gods ; 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6. 
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in 
earth (as there be gods many, and lords many ;) but to us there is 
but one God. 

Q. 3. Whence sprang the opinion of more gods than one at first 
in the world ? 

A. It sprang from ignorance of God's omnipresence and omnipo- 
tence. Hence came their vain imaginations; Rom. i. 21. Because 
that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither 
were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolisli 
heart was darkened. They thought the presence and power of God 
might reach one place, and not another ; 1 Kings xx. 23. And the 
servants of the king of Syria said unto him. Their gods are gods of 
the hills, therefore they were stronger than we : But let us fight 
against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 

Q. 4. What were the first creatures worshipped as gods ? 

A. Probably the heavenly bodies, sun, moon, and stars, because 
of their splendour and influences. These as heralds, do proclaim 
God to the world; Ps. xix. 1, 2. The heavens declare the glory of 
God ; and the firmament shev/eth his handy work : Day unto day 
uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. And 
these messengers of God were mistaken for God himself; Job xxxi. 
26, 27, 28. If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking 
in brightness, and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth 
hath kissed my hand ; this also were an iniquity, for I should have 
denied the God that is above. 

Q. 5. What doth these words [before me] import ? 

A. It notes God's perfect knowledge and abhorrence of all idola- 
try, or worshipping of another God, as what he cannot endure to 
behold ; Jer. xliv. S, 4. Because of their wickedness which they have 
committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn in- 
cense to serve other gods whom they knew not, neither they, you, 
nor your fathers. Howbeit, I sent unto you all my servants the 
prophets, rising early, and sending them, saying. Oh do not this 
abominable thing that I hate. 

Q. 6. Are none guilty of this sin but heathenish idolaters ? 

A. Yes ; all that place their supreme love or trust in any creature, 



22G AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

make that creature their god ; and in scripture are called idolaters, 
CoL iii. 5. And covetousness, which is idolatry. Phil. iii. 19. Whose 
end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their 
shame, who mind earthly things. 

Q. 7. How^ doth the idolatry forbidden in the first, differ from 
that forbidden in the second commandment. 

A. The idolatry forbidden in the first commandment is a sin re- 
specting the object of worship, when we set up any thing in the place 
of God, which by nature is not God ; Gal. iv. 8. Howbeit, then 
when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature 
are no gods. But that against the second commandment is, when 
we pretend to worship the true God, but do it by such means, and 
in such a manner as he hath not required, or hath forbidden ; Exod. 
xxxii. 4. And he received them at their hands, and fashioned it 
with a graven tool, after he had made it a molten calf; and they said. 
These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the 
land of Egypt. 

Q. 8. What is the first inference from the first commandment ? 

A. That it is a special mercy to be brought forth in a land where 
the true God is known and worshipped ; Psal. cxlvii. 20. He hath 
not dealt so with any nation ; and as for his judgments, they have 
not known them ; praise ye the Lord. 

Q. 9. What is the second inference from the first command- 
ment ? 

A. That it is a great and dreadful sin to live without the worship 
of God in the world ; Eph. ii. 12. That at that time ye were without 
Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers 
from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God 
in the world. 

Q. 10. What Is the third inference from the first commandment.? 

J. That Christians must not comply with idolatrous and supersti- 
tious w orship, when they are cast into idolatrous places, how great 
soever the danger be ; Psal. xvi. 4. Their sorrows shall be multi- 
plied, that hasten after another god ; their drink-offerings of blood 
%vill I not offer, nor take up their name into my lips. 

Q. 11. What is the fourth inference from hence ? 

A. That supreme love, fear, and trust of the soul, is God's pecu- 
liar right and due. Whosoever places them on any other besides 
God, is guilty of a very heinous and great sin against him ; 1 John 
ii. 15. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world : 
If any m.an love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 
Compared with Job xxxi. 24, — 28. If I have made gold my hope, 
or have said to the fine gold, thou art my confidence; this also were 
an iniquity to be punished by the judge; for 1 should have denied 
the God that is above. 

Q. 12. What is the fifth inference from hence ? 

A. That God's eye discovers the closest idolatry in the world, 



O07 

whether it be in secret actions; Ezek viii. 12. Hast thou seen wliat 
the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark ? Every man in the 
chambers of his imagery ? for they say, the Lord seeth us not, the 
Lord hath forsaken the earth. Or inward affections ; Col. iii. 5. 
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornica- 
tion, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covet- 
ousness, which is idolatry. 

Q. 13. What is the sixth inference from hence? 

J, That an high and full condition in the world, is a dangerous 
condition, and lies most exposed to the danger of heart-idolatry ; 
Prov. XXX. 9. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, who is the Lord? 
Mark x, 24. How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter 
into the kingdom of heaven ? 

Q. 14. What is the last inference ? 

A. That in covenanting with Gt)d, and avouching him for our 
God, we must wholly renounce all others, and take God alone for 
our portion, and object of our love and dependence ; Hosea iii. 3. 
Thou shalt not be for another man ; so will I also be for thee. 
Luke xiv. 33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not 
all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 

Oftlie second Commandment. 

Quest. 49. ▼ ▼ HIGH is the second commandment? 

A. The second commandment is,[Tkou shali not make unto thee any 
graven image ^ or any likeness of any thing, that is in heaven above, 
or that is in tlie earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 
thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them : For I the 
Lord thy God am a jealo^i^ God, visiting the iniquities of the fa- 
thers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of 
them that hate me, and shewing merxy unto thousands of them that 
love me, and keep my commandments.] 

Quest. 50. What is required in the second commandment ? 

A. Tlie second command^ment requireth, the receiving, observingy 
and keeping pure and entire all such religious ivorship and ordi- 
nances, as God hath appointed in his word. 

Quest. 51. WHiat is forbidden in the second commandment? 

A. The second commandment frbiddeth the worshipping of God 
by images, or any other way not appointed in his word. 

Quest. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second com- 
mandment ? 

A, The reasons annexed to the second commandment, are God's 
sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his 
own worship. 

Q. 1. What is the sin especially forbidden in the second command- 
ment ? 

A. The sin here forbidden, is the corruption of God's worship, by 
making any similitude of any person in the Godhead, and performing 

Vol. VI, P 



228 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

divine worship before it, or to it ; Exod. xxxii. 8. They have turned 
aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them : They have 
made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed 
thereunto, and said, these be thy gods O Israel, which have brought 
thee up out of the land of Egypt. Deut. iv. 15, 16. Take ye there- 
fore good heed unto yourselves (for ye saw no manner of simihtude 
on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst 
of the fire) lest ye corrupt yourselves and make you a graven image, 
the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female. 

Q. 2. What is the second sin forbidden in this commandment ? 

A. The second sin against this commandment is will- worship, con- 
sisting in the addition of man's inventions to the worship of God, as a 
part thereof; Matth. xv. 9. But in vain they do worship me, teach- 
ing for doctrines the commandments of men. Col. ii. 20, 21, 22, 23. 
Whereof if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, 
why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances. 
(Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the 
using) after the commandments and doctrines of men ? Which things 
have indeed a shew of wisdom in will-worship and humility, and 
neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the 
flesh. 

Q. 3. But if those additions be for the more decent worshipping 
of God, is it not allowed by 1 Cor. xiv. 40. Let all things be done 
decently, and in order ? 

A. No ; that scripture commands that God's institutions be regu- 
larly and decently performed, but not that we invent ceremonies that 
are symbolical, to make them more decent than Christ left them. 

Q. 4. Why is the second commandment left out in all the public 
oflBces of the popish church ? 

A. Because it expressly condemns their idolatrous images, kneel- 
ing at the sacrament, prayers to saints, and all their superstitious 
crosses, surplices, and chrisme, as sinful. 

Q. 5. Do they not clear themselves from idolatry, by telling us 
they only worship God before, or by them, but not the images them- 
selves ? 

A. No, they do not ; for the use of images in God's worship is 
expressly condemned in this commandment ; as if this would excuse 
the papists, it had also excused the Israelite in worshipping the calf, 
Exod. xxxii. 4. — And they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, that 
brought thee out of the land of Egypt. 

Q. 6. What is the first reason annexed to the second command- 
ment ? 

A. The first reason annexed is God's sovereignty, I the Lord; which 
shews that it belongs to God only to institute his own worship, and 
make it effectual ; and therefore to do that in his worship which he 
never commanded, is sinful and dangerous ; Jer. vii. 31. And they 
have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. ^29 

son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their .daughters in the fire, 
which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. 

Q. 7. What is the second reason annexed to the second com- 
mandment ? 

J. The second reason is God's propriety in us : He is our God, and 
we belong to him ; and therefore to corrupt his worship, greatly ag- 
gravates our sins ; Hosea ix. 1. Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as 
other people ; for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, &c. 

Q. 8. AVhat is the third reason annexed to the second command- 
ment ? 

A. The jealousy of God over his worship and worshippers; so that 
this sin of corrupting his worship will dreadfully incense his wrath, 
as it did. Lev. x. 1, 2. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, 
took either of them his censer, and put fire thereon, and offered 
strange fire, before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And 
there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they 
died before the Lord. 

Q. 9. What is the first instruction from the second command- 
ment ? 

A. That it is an heinous sin to neglect the w^orship of God in that 
manner he hath appointed us to worship him, as in prayer ; Jer. x. 
25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and 
upon the families that call not on thy name. Hearing the word ; 
Prov. xxviii. 9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, 
even his prayer shall be abomination. 

Q. 10. What is the second instruction from the second command- 
ment. 

A, That those who suffer for endeavouring to preserve the purity 
of God's ordinances, and nonconformity to the contrary injunctions 
of men, have a good warrant to bear them out in all such sufferings ; 
Deut. iv. 2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, 
neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the com- 
mandments of the Lord your God, which I command you. 

Q. 11. What is the third instruction from the second command- 
ment ? 

A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to innovate and prescribe 
by human authority such symbolical rites in the worship of God, as 
he never appointed or allowed in his word ; Matth. xv. 9. But in 
vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments 
of men. 

Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction hence? 

A. Hence we learn how much parents and children are obliged to 
worship God constantly, spiritually, and agreeably to his will revealed 
in his word ; otherwise the jealousy of God will visit them both in 
•the way of judgment : For as obedience entails a blessing, so disobe- 
dience entails a curse on posterity ; Exod. xxxiv. 14. For thou shalt 

P2 



230 A>; EXPOSITION? OF THE ASSEMBLY^'s CATECHISM. 

worship no other god ; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is si 
jealous God. 

Of the tim'd Commandment. 

Quest. 53. W HIGH is the third commandment? 

A. The third commandment is, [Thou shalt not take the name of 
the Lord thy God in vain : for the Lord xvill not hold him g'uiltless, 
that takeih his name in vain.'\ 

Quest. .54. What is required in the third commandment? 

A. The tJiird commajidment requireth the holy and reverend use of 
God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, words, and woi-ks. 

Quest. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment? 

A. The third commandment Jbrbiddeth all profaning or abusing 
of any thing whereby God maketh himself known. 

Quest. 5^. What is the reason annexed to the third command- 
ment ? 

A. The reason annexed to the third commandment is, that however 
the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, 
yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judg- 
ment. 

Q. 1. How doth this commandment differ from the first and se- 
cond ? 

A. The first hath respect to the object of worship, forbidding us 
to worship any other but God. The second respects the means of 
worship, forbidding us to worship God by any other means than what 
he hath prescribed. But the third respects the manner of his wor- 
ship, forbidding all careless, or profane use of his name, and conv- 
manding an holy reverence from us in all our solemn addresses to 
him, or ordinary mention of his name. Mai. i. 6. A son honoureth 
his father, and a servant his master : If then I be a father, where is 
mine honour ? and if I be a master, where is my fear! saith the Lord 
of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name : And ye say. 
Wherein have we despised thy name ? 

Q. % What is the first thing especially required in the third com- 
mandment ? 

A. It requires the most awful and reverential frame of our hearts 
in all our approaches to God ; Psal. Ixxxix. 7. God is greatly to be 
feared in the assembly of the saints ; and to be had in reverence of 
all them that are about him. And in his worship ; John iv. 24. 
God is a Spirit ; and they that worship him must worship him in 
spirit and in truth. 

Q. 3. AVhat is the second thing required in this commandment ? 

A. It requires truth in our witness-beaiing, as knowing God seeth 
our hearts, and is witness to all that we think or speak ; Zech. v. 4. 
I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into 
the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely 
by my name, &c. 

Q. 4. What is the third thing required in this commandment ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASST.MBLY's CATECHISM. -^1 

A. That in all our appeals to God in secret, or doubtful matters, 
we be sure that the appeal be necessary, awful, and true ; Jer. xvii, 
16. As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow 
tliee, neither have I desired the woeful day, thou knowest : that 
which came out of my lips was right before thee. Psalm cxxxix. 23, 
24. Search me, O God, and know my heart : try me, and know my 
thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me ; and lead me 
in the way everlasting. 

Q. 5. What doth this commandment especially forbid ? 

A. It forbids and condemns all profane oaths, as most injurious to 
the name of God, Matth. v. 34, 37. — Swear not at all, neither by 
heaven, for it is God's throne, &c. But let your communication be, 
Yea, yea ; Nay, nay : for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of 
evil. 

Q. 6. AVhat is the danger of profane or false swearing ? 

A. Such are reckoned enemies to God, Psalm cxxxix. 20. Thine 
enemies take thy name in vain. The curse of God enters into such 
families. Zech. v. 4. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, 
and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of 
him that sweareth falsely by my name, &c. And the Lord will not 
hold them guiltless. 

Q. 7. What else is forbidden in this commandment.? 

A. It forbids and condemns all heedless, wandering, and drowsy 
performance of God's worship; Isa. xxix. 13, 14. Wherefore the 
Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouths, 
and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far 
from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men : 
Therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this 
people, even a marvellous work, and a wonder ; for the w isdom of 
their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent 
men shall be hid. And 2 Kings x. 31. But Jehu took no heed to 
walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel, with all his heart : for he 
departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. 

Q. 8. What other sin is forbidden in this command ? 

A. It forbids all light and irreverent use of the scriptures, espe- 
cially in our jests, or by way of scoffing ; Jer. xvii. 15. Behold, they 
say unto me. Where is the word of the Lord ? Let it come now. 
Jer. vi. 10. — Behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; 
they have no delight in it. 

Q. 9. By what argument doth God enforce the third command- 
ment on men ? 

A. That the breakers of this commandment shall surely be punish- 
ed by the Lord, either in this life, Deut. xxviii. 58, 59. If thou wilt 
not observe to do all the words of this law, that are written in this 
book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord 
thy God : Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the 
plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and 

P3 



232 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

sore sickness, and of long continuance : Or in that to come, Rom, 
ii. 5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto 
thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous 
judgment of God : Except they repent and reform. 

Q. 10. What is the first instruction from the third command- 
ment ? 

A. That great and infinite is the patience of God in forbearing 
and provoking sinners so long as he doth ; Rom. ix. 22. What if 
God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, en- 
dured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruc- 
tion ? 

Q. 11. What is the second instruction from hence.'' 

A. That God is to be justified in the severest of his judgments, by 
which at any time he manifests his displeasure against the profaneness 
of the world ; Hosea iv. 1, 2, 3. Hear the word of the Lord, ye chil- 
dren of Israel : For the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants 
of the land, because there is no tru :h, nor mercy, nor knowledge of 
God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and kiUing, and stealing, 
and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. 
Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein 
shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and wdth the fowls of hea- 
ven, yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. 

Q. 12. VvHiat is the third instruction from hence ? 

A. That God takes special notice of, and greatly delighteth in them 
that fear and reverence his name ; Isa. Ixvi. 5. Hear the word of the 
Lord, ye that tremble at his word : Your brethren that hated you, 
that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; 
but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. Mai. iii. 
16. — And a book of remembrance was written before him, for them 
that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. 

Q. 13. What is the last inference from hence ? 

A. That those parents have much to answer for, that by their ex- 
amples teach, or by their negligence encourage their children to pro- 
fane God's name : Jer. v. 7. How shall I pardon thee for this ? Thy 
children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods, &c. 

Of the Sabbath. 

Quest. 57. y? HIGH is the fourth commandment.? 

A. The fourth commandment is, [Remember the Sabbath-da?/, to 
"keep it Iwly. Six days shalt than labour and do all thy work ; but the 
seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God ; in it thou shalt not 
do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, 
nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger which is 
within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, 
the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore 
the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed i7.] 

Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 233 

A. The fourth commandment requireth the Iceep'mg holy to God^ 
such set time as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole 
day in seven, to be an Jioly Sabbath unto the I^rd. 

Quest. 59. Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be 
the weekly Sabbath ? 

A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christy 
God appointed the seventh day of the iveek to be the weekly Sab 
bath ; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end 
of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath. 

Q. 1. What special marks of honour hath God set upon this fourth 
commandment. 

J, God hath set four peculiar marks of honour on it» 

(1.) It is the largest of all the commands. 

(2.) It hath a solemn memento prefixed to it. 

(3.) It is delivered both positively and negatively, which the rest 
are not. And, 

(4.) It is enforced with more arguments to strengthen the com, 
mand on us, than any other. 

Q. 2. Why will God have a Sabbath on earth ? 

A. God will have a Sabbath on earth, to give us therein an em- 
blem of that eternal Sabbath in heaven, wherein his people shall be 
serving him, and praising him without interruption, or mixture of 
any other business throughout eternity ; Heb. iv. 9- There remain- 
eth therefore a rest to the people of God. 

Q. S. For what other reasons will God have a Sabbath ? 

A. He will have a Sabbath for the honour of his name, Isa. Iviii. 
13. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy 
pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy 
of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own 
ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. 
For the good of men's souls ; Mark ii. 27. And he said unto them, 
The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 
And in mercy to the bodies of men and beasts. 

Q. 4. Is this commandment moral and perpetual, or ceremonial 
and temporary ? 

A. It is, and must needs be moral, and not ceremonial ; because all 
the reasons that enforce it are perpetual, and the Sabbath continued 
when the ceremonial law ceased, and was vanished; Mat. xxiv. 20. 
But pray ye, that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the 
Sabbath-day. 

Q. 5. What day of the seven is the Christian Sabbath ? 

A. The first day of the week is our Sabbath, since the resurrection 
of Christ. This is the day which was foretold to be our Sabbath ; 
Psal. cxviii. 24. This is the day which the Lord hath made ; we 
will rejoice and be glad in it. The Lord hath marked it for himself, 
by setting his own name on it ; Rev. i. 10. I was in the Spirit on the 

P4 



Lord's day. And the apostles and primitive church constantly set 
it apart to religious uses and ends ; Acts xx. 7. And upon the first 
day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, 
Paul preached unto them, &:c. 1 Cor. xvi. 2. Upon the first day of 
the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath pros^ 
pered him, that tliere be no gatherings when I come» 
Q. 6. When doth the Christian Sabbath begin ? 
A. It appears that this day is not to be reckoned from evening to 
evening, but from morning to morning ; because the Christian Sab- 
bath must begin when the Jewish Sabbath ended, but that ended 
towards the morning. Mat. xxviii. 1. In the end of the Sabbath, as 
it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary 
Magdalen, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. 
Q. 7. What is the ground of changing the day ? 
A. The solemn commemoration of our redemption by the resur- 
rection of Christ from the dead, is the ground of translating the 
Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week : Psal. cxyiii. 
24. This is the day which the Lord hath made ; we will rejoice and 
be glad in it. Mark xvi. 9- Now when Jesus was risen early the 
first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of 
whom he had cast seven devils. 

Q. 8. Is it the whole day, or only some hours of the day, that are 
set apart for God ? 

A. Not a part, but the whole day is the Lord's; and it is as dan- 
gerous to halve it with God in point of time, as it was for Ananias 
and Sapphira to halve their dedicated goods, and bring in but a part. 
Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day, is the command. 
Q. 9. Is there any other day holy besides this day ? 
A. No day but this is holy by institution of the Lord ; yet days of 
humiliation and thanksgiving may be lawfully set apart by men on 
a call of providence ; but popish holidays are not warrantable, nor to 
be observed ; Gal. iv. 10. Ye observe days, and months, and times, 
and years. 

Q. 10. But seeing every day sliould be a Sabbath to a Christian, 
•what needs any other set time ? 

A. Though Christians must walk every day with God, yet every 
day cannot be a Sabbath, because God calls us to other duties on 
those days, but will have this to be a solemn and entire day to him- 
self. 

Q. 11. But if a man scruple the change of the Sabbath, may he 
not keep both days weekly .'' 

A. No ; for then, by doing more than God requires, he breaks a 
plain command. Six days shalt thou labour. 

Q. 12. At what time should Christians be up, and at their duties, 
on the Lord's day ? 

A. As early in the morning as their strength will permit, to pre- 
pare by private for public duties; yet the public are not to be en- 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. ^'j5 

trenched on by private duties ; Acts x. 33. Now therefore are we all 
here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded 
thee of God. 

Of the SabbatJi. 

Quest. 60. IrloW is the Sabbath to be sanctified ? 

A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by an holy resting all that day^ 
even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful 
on other day s^ and spending the whole time in the public and private 
exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in 
the works of necessity and mercy. 

Q. 61. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment.^ 

A. The fourth comraandment forbiddeth the omission or careless 
performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by 
idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinfid, or by unnecessary 
thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or re- 
creations. 

Q. 62. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth command- 
ment ? 

A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God's 
allowing us six days of the weekfoP our ozmi employment, his chal- 
lenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his 
blessing the Sabbath-day. 

Q. 1 . What is the rest which God requires on the Sabbath ? 

A. It is not a mere natural or civil, but an holy rest, resembling 
the rest in heaven, wherein the mind is most active and busy in the 
work of God, though the body be at rest, and the spirit not wearied 
with its work ; Rev. iv. 8. and the four beasts had each of them six 
wings about him, and they were full of eyes within, and they rest 
not day and night, saying. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, 
which was, and is, and is to come. 

Q. % May not any works of our civil calling be ordinarily done 
on that day ? 

A. No ; it is sinful to put our hands ordinarily to our callings on 
that day, and God usually punishes it. Neh. xiii. 15, 16, 17, 18. In 
those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the Sabbath, 
and bringing up sheaves, and lading asses, as also wine-grapes, and 
figs, and all manner of burdens which thev brought into Jerusalem on 
the Sabbath-day ; and I testified against them in the day wherein they 
sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought 
fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath, unto the chil- 
dren of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the no- 
bles of Judah, and said unto them. What evil thing is this that ye 
do, and profane the Sabbath-day.? Did not your fathers thus, and 
did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city ? Yet 
ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath. 

Q. 3. May we not refresh our bodies by recreations, or our minds 



236 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

by thoughts of earthly business, or discourses, on that day ? 

A. Recreations of the body, which are lawful on other days, are 
sinful on this day ; and all the recreations of the mind allowed on thi« 
day, are spiritual and heavenly ; Isa. Iviii. 13, 14. If thou turn away 
thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, 
and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, 
and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine 
own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight 
thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high 
places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy 
father ; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 

Q. 4. What works may lawfully be done on that day ? 

A. Christ's example warrants works of necessity, and works of 
mercy, but no other ; Mat. xii. 3, 4. But he said unto them, have 
ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that 
were with him. How he entered into the house of God, and did eat 
the shew-bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for 
them that were with him, but only for the priests. And ver. 7. 
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and 
not sacrifice, &c. 

Q. 5. What are the holy duties of the Sabbath ? 

A. The public worship of God ; in reading, and hearing the word 
preached. Isa. Ixvi. 23. And it shall come to pass, that from one new 
moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh 
come to worship before me, saith the Lord, Luke iv. 16. — And as 
his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath-day, and 
stood for to read. And prayer; Acts xvi. 13, 14. And on the Sab- 
bath-day we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was 
wont to be made, &c. And receiving the Sacrament ; Acts xx. 7. 
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came to- 
gether to break bread, Paul preached, &c. 

Q. 6. Are private duties in our families required, as well as 
public, on the Sabbath ? 

^. Yes; it is not enough to sanctify the Sabbath in public ordin- 
ances, but God requires it to be sanctified in family and private 

duties; Lev. xxiii. 3. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of 

rest, an holv convocation ; ye shall do no work therein : it is the 
Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. 

Q. 7. With what frame of spirit are all Sabbath duties, both 
public and private, to be performed ? 

A. They are to be performed with spiritual delight; Isa. Iviii. 13. 
If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy plea- 
sure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, he. And all 
grudging at, and weariness of spiritual exercises, is a sin forbidden; 
Mai i. 13. Ye said also, behold what a weariness is it, and ye have 
snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts, and ye brought that which was 
torn, and the lame, and the sick ; thus ye brought an offering : should 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 237 

I accept this of your hand ? saith the Lord. Amos viii. 5. When 
will the new moon be gone, that we may sell com ? and the Sabbath, 
that we may set forth wheat ? &c. 

Q. 8. What is the first reason annexed to this command ? 

J. The first reason is the sufficient, and large allowance of time 
God hath given us for our civil callings, and earthly business. Six 
days in the week is a large allowance. 

Q. 9. What is the second reason annexed to this fourth com- 
mand ? 

A. The second reason is God's sanctifying and separating this day 
by a special command and institution for his service ; so that to pro- 
fane this time, is to sin against an express divine command. 

Q. 10. What is the third reason annexed to this command ? 

A. The third reason is God's own example, who rested the seventh 
day from all his works, and blessed this day, by virtue of which 
blessing we are encouraged to sanctify it. 

Q. 11. Is it not enough to sanctify this day in our own persons ? 

A. No ; if God hath put any under our authority, their profaning 
the Sabbath will become our sin, though we be never so strict in 
the observation of it ourselves. 

Q. 12. May we continue our civil employment to the last mo- 
ment of our common time ? 

A. Except necessity or mercy urge us, we ought to break off be- 
fore, and allow some time to prepare for the Sabbath, Luke xxiii. 54. 
And that day Avas the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. 

Q. 13. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That we have all great cause to be humbled for our Sabbath 
transgressions, either in our unpreparedness for it, our want of de- 
light and spirituality in it, or the due government of our families as 
God requires. 

Q. 14. What is the second inference from hence? 

A. That Christians on the Sabbath-day have a fair occasion and 
help to realize to themselves the heavenly state, in which they are 
to live abstract from the world, and God is to be all in all to them. 

Of the Jiflh Commandment. 

Quest. 63. Which is the fifth commandment.? 

A. The fifth commandment is^ [Honour thy father and thij mo- 
ther, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God 
g'lveth thee.] 

Quest. 64. What is required in the fifth commandment ? 

A. The fiflh comma^idment requlrcth the preserving the honour^ 
and performing the duties belongi?ig to every one in their several 
places and relations^ as superiors, inferiors, or equals. 
Quest. Q5. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment? 
A. The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of,or doing any 



25S AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHIS>f» 

thing against the honour and duty which helongeth to every one in 
their several places and relations. 

Quest. QQ. What is the reason annexed to the fifth command- 
ment ? 

A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is, a promise of 
long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God's glory and 
their own good) to all such as keep this commandment. 

Q. 1. What relatives are directly and more especially concerned 
in this fifth commandment ? 

A. All superiors and inferiors are concerned in it; especially, (1.) 
Political fathers and their children ; that is, kings and subjects ; Mark 
xi. 10. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, &c. (2.) Spirit- 
ual fathers, and their children ; that is, ministers, and their people ; 
1 Cor. iv. 15. For though you have ten thousand instructors in 
Christ, yet have ye not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus have I be- 
gotten you through the gospel. (3.) Natural parents, and their chil- 
dren ; JEph. vi. 1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. (4.) 
All civil superiors and inferiors, as husbands and wives, masters 
and servants ; Eph. v. 22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your hus- 
bands, as unto the Lord. And Eph. vi. 5. Servants be obedient to 
them that are your masters, according to the flesh, &c. 

Q. 2. What is the duty of political fathers, or magistrates, to 
their political children, or subjects ? 

A. It is to rule and govern the people over whom God hath set 
them with wisdom ; 2 Chron. i. 10. Give me now wisdom and know- 
ledge, that I may go out and come in before this people. Justice ; 
S Chron. xix. 5, 6, 7. And he set judges in the land, throughout all 
the fenced cities of Judah, city by city. And he said to the judges, 
take heed what ye do ; for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, 
who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now, let the fear of the 
Lord be upon you, take heed, and do it, &c. And piety ; 2 Sam. 
xxiii. 3. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of 
God. Carefully providing for their souls in every place of their do- 
minion ; 2 Chron. xvii. 9- And they taught in Judah, and had the 
book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout 
all the cities of Judah, and taught the people. And for their common 
outward peace and safety; 2 Chron. xvii. 12. And Jehoshaphat waxed 
great exceedingly, and he built in Judah castles and cities of store. 

Q. 3. What are the duties of subjects to their rulers ? 

A. It is to pray for them ; 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. I exhort therefore, that 
first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, 
be made for all men : For kings, and for all that are in authority, &c. 

To honour them ; 1 Pet. ii. 17. Fear God, honour the king. To 

obey their just laws; Rom. xiii. 1. Let every soul be subject unto 
the higher powers, t^-c. And to pay them the tribute that is due to 
them ; Rom. xiii. 7. Render therefore to all their dues, tribute to 
whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, 4'C. 



AN EXfOSlTION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 239 

Q. 4. What are the duties of ministers to their people ? 
A. Their duty is, (1.) To feed their flock constantly with whole- 
some food ; 2 Tim. iv. 2. Preach the word, be instant in season, and 
out of season ; rebuke, reprove, exhort, with all long-suffering and 
doctrine. (2.) To be full of bowels of tender affection to them ; 
1 Thess. ii. 7, 8. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse 
cherisheth her children : So being affectionately desirous of you, we 
were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, 
but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. (3.) To pray 
for them, Eph. i. 15, 16. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your 
faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to 
give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. (4.) To 
watch over them ; 1 Pet. v. 2. Feed the flock of God which is 
among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but wil- 
lingly, &c. And, (5.) To walk as an example of godliness before 
them ; Tit. ii. 7. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good 
works, &c. All which duties require their residence among them ; 
1 Pet. v. 2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, &c. 
Q. 5. What are the people's duties towards their ministers ? 
A. Their duty is, (1.) To esteem and love them dearly for their 
work's sake; 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. And we beseech you, brethren, 
to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the 
Lord, and admonish you ; and to esteem them very highly in love 
for their work's sake. (2.) To attend on the word preached by them, 
as the word of God ; 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this cause also thank we 
God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God, 
which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but (as 
it is in truth) the word of God. (3.) To pray for them, and the 
success of their labours ; Heb. xiii. 18. Pray for us, &c. (4.) Not 
to receive light and malicious reports against them ; 1 Tim. v. 19. 
Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three 
witnesses. (5.) To make a competent and comfortable provision for 
them ; Gal. vi. 6. Let him that is taught in the word, communicate 
unto him that teacheth in all good things. 

Q. 6. What are the duties of natural parents to their children ? 
A. It is their duty, (1.) To be tenderly, but not fondly affection- 
ate to, and tender over them ; Isa. xlix. 15. Can a woman forget her 
sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her 
womb ? (2.) To educate them for God ; Eph. vi. 4. And ye fa- 
thers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord. (3.) To restrain their sins by 
correction; Prov. xxix. 15. The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a 
child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. (4.) To provide 
for their livelihood ; 1 Tim. v. 8. But if any provide not for his own, 
and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, 
and is worse than an infidel. (5.) To pray daily for them ; Job i. 5, 
And it was so, when the days of tlieir feasting were gone about, that 



S-iO AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLy''s CATECHISM. 

Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morn, and of- 
fered burnt- offerings according to the number of them all : for Job 
said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their 
hearts : Thus did Job continually. (6.) To encourage them with 
endearing language in the way of godliness ; Prov. xxxi. 2, S. The 
words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. 
What, my son ? and what the son of my womb ? and what the son 
of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to 
that which destroyeth kings. 

Q. 7. What are the duties of children to parents ? 

A. Their duty is, (1.) To obey them only in the Lord; Eph. vi, 
1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. (2.) To reverence and 
honour them ; Lev, xix. 3. Ye shall fear every man his mother and 
his father, &c. (3.) To submit to their reproofs and corrections ; 
Heb. xii. 9. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, which 
corrected us, and we gave them reverence. (4) To provide for 
them, if they be poor and needy, and we have ability ; Gen. xlvii. 
12. And Joseph nourished his father and his brethren, and all his 
.father s household, with bread, according to their families. 

Q. 8. What shall children do when parents abuse their authority, 
hy forbidding duty, or commanding sin ? 

A. In such cases children are to obey God, rather than their 
parents; Acts iv. 19. But Peter and John answered, and said unto 
them, whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you, 
more than unto God, judge ye. But yet to manage their refusals 
of obedience with all meekness and humility. 

Q. 9. What is the first duty of husbands to their wives ? 

A. The first duty, on which all other duties depend, is cohabita- 
tion with them; 1 Pet. iii. 7. Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them, 
according to knowledge, &c. And nothing can make this duty void, 
but a lawful divorce for adultery ; Mat. v. 31, 32. But I say unto 
you. That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause 
of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery, &c. 

Q. 10. What is the husband's second duty to his wife ? 

A. True and hearty love to soul and body; Eph. v. 25. Husbands, 
love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave him- 
self for it. Evidencing itself in careful provision for them ; 1 Cor. vii. 
83. But he that is married, careth for the things of the world, how he 
may please his wife. But especially to their souls, in winning them to 
Christ; 1 Cor. vii. 16. Or, how knowest thou, O man, whether 
thou shalt save thy wife ? And building them up in Christ ; 1 Pet. 
iii. 7. Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them according to know- 
ledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and 
as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not 
hindered. 

Q. 11. What are the duties of wives to their husbands.? 

A. It is their duty. (1.) to be in subjection to their own husbands; 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 241 

Eph. V. 22, 23. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands^ 
as unto the Lord : For the husband is the head of the wife, even as 
Christ is the head of the church. (2.) To reverence them ; Eph. v. 
33. And the wife see tliat slie reverence her husband. (3.) To ex- 
press tlicir reverence in suitable words and actions; 1 Pet. iii. 6. Even 
as Sarah obeyed lAbrah am, calling him Lord, <SfC. (4.) To be faith- 
ful to them ; Prov. xxxi. 12. She will do him good, and not evil, 
all the days of her life. (5.) To adorn their relation with meekness, 
and quietness of spirit ; 1 Pet. iii. 4. But let it be the hidden man of 
the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 

Q. 12. What are the duties of servants to their masters ? 

A. It is their duty, (1.) To be faithful in all things committed to 
their charge ; Tit. ii. 10. Not purloining, but shewing all good 
fidelity, <^c. (2.) To honour them in all respectful words and 
carriages ; 1 Tim. vi. 1. Let as many servants as are under the yoke, 
count their own masters worthy of all honour, ^c. (5.) To bear 
patiently their rebukes; 1 Pet. ii. 18, 19. Servants, be subject to 
your masters with all fear ; not only to the good and gentle, but 
also to the froward. For this is thank-worthy, if a man for con- 
science toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 

Q. 13. AVhat is the first duty of masters to their servants .'' 

A. The first duty is to rule over them with gentleness, and not 
with terror and rigour; Eph. vi. 9- And ye masters, do the same things 
unto them, forbearing threatening : Knowing that your Master also 
is in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with him. 

Q. 14. What is the second duty of masters to their servants ? 

A. To pay them their wages fully, and without delay ; Deut. 
xxiv. 14, 15. Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and 
needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in 
thy land within thy gates. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, 
neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is poor, and setteth his 
heart upon it ; lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin 
unto thee. And to provide food for them convenient ; Prov. xxvii. 
27. And thou shalt have goat's milk enough for thy food, for the 
food of thy household, and for maintenance for thy maidens. 

Q. 15. What is the third duty of masters to their servants ? 

A. The third and principal duty is, to engage them as much as in 
them lies, to the ways of God, and duties of religion, as Abraham ' 
did ; Gen. xviii. 19. For I know him, that he will command his 
children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way 
of the Lord, &c. And Joshua, Josh. xxiv. 15. But as for me and 
my house, we will serve the Lord. 

Of the sixth Commandment. 

Quest. 67. TT HIGH is the sixth commandment.^ 
A. The sixth commcmdment i^ [Thou shalt not kill] 



2i2 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

Quest. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment ? 
A. The sixth commandment requirefh all lawful endeavours to 
preserve our own life, and the life of others. 

Quest. 69. What is iorbidden in the sixth commandment ? 
A. The sixth commandment fhrbiddeth the talcing away of our own 
life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or wkatsoever tendeth 
thereunto. 

Q. 1. What is the natural order of these commandments in the 
second table ? 

A. In these commands God begins with the nearest concern of 
man, which is life ; Job ii. 4. — Skin for skin, yea, all that a man 
hath, will he give for his life. Next to that his command guards his 
nearest relative, from whom the best outward comfort is to rise, his 
wife : Mark x. 8. And they twain shall be one flesh, &c. After that 
his good name, which is very precious to him ; Eccl. vii. 1. A good 
name is better than precious ointment. And then his goods, which 
support his life; Isa. iii. 1. For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, 
doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the stay and the 
stafl", the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. 
Q. 2. How far doth this commandment extend itself.'* 
A. It prohibits all cruelty, and commands all help, care, and pity, 
so far as men's hearts and hands can go, for the relief and preservation 
of others; Ps. cxix. 96. — But thy commandment is exceeding broad. 
Q. 3. Doth this command respect only the outward action, or 
also the inward passion of the soul ? 

A. It respects and bridles the inward passion of the soul, as well 
as outv.ard actions ; as hatred, 1 John iii. 15. Whosoever hateth his 
brother, is a murderer, &c. And causeless anger ; Matth. v. 22. 
But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother with- 
out a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, &c. 

Q. 4. Doth this command only respect the lives of others ? 
A. No ; it primarily respects our own lives, and forbids us all 
things tliat tend to the shortening and ruin of them ; Eph. v. 29. 
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cher- 
isheth it, even as the Lord doth the church. 

Q. 5. How many ways may men sin against this command, with 
respect to their own lives. 

A. A man sinneth against his own life, not only by destroying 
himself, as the jailor would have done; Acts xvi. 27. And the 
keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison 
doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, 
supposing that the prisoners had been fled ; but by refusing food or 
physic to preserve life, or macerating our bodies with excessive sor- 
rows; 2 Cor. vii. 10. But the sorrow of the world worketh 

death. Or envy at others felicity ; Prov. xiv. 30. — But envy, the 
rottenness of the bones. 

Q. 9. How are men guilty of murder with respect to others ? 



I 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. S45 

A. Murder, witli respect to others, may be either with relation 
to their bodies; Numb. xxxv. 30. Whoso killeth any person, the 
murderer shall be put to death, &c. Or to their souls, which is the 
most heinous murder in the world ; Ezek. iii. 18. When I say unto 
the wicked. Thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not warning, 
nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his 
life : the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity ; but his blood 
will I require at thine hand. 

Q. 7. Is all destruction of another's life murder in the account of God? 

A, No ; It is not, if the life of a person be taken away in the course 
of justice ; Gen. ix. 6. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall 
his blood be shed. Or, in a just and necessary war; Judg. v. 23. Curse 
ye Meroz, (said the angel of the Lord) curse ye bitterly the inhabit- 
ants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the 
help of the Lord against the mighty. Or by pure accident ; Deut. 
xix. 5. As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to 
hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the ax to cut down 
the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his 
neighbour that he die, he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live. 
Or in self-defence ; Exod. xxii. 2. If a thief be found breaking up, 
and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 

Q. 8. Is there no other way of breaking this command ? 

A. Yes there is : Innocents may be murdered under the forms 
and solemnities both of justice and religion. So Naboth v/as mur- 
dered by Jezebel : 1 Kings xxi. 12, 13. They proclaimed a fast, 
and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two 
men, children of Belial, and sat before him : And the men of Belial 
witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the 
people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then 
they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones 
that he died. And the martyrs by bloody Papists. And this 
strongly proves a day of judgment ; Eccl. iii. 16, 17. And moreover, 
I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was 
there, and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. I 
said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked : 
For there is a time there for every purpose, and for every work. 

Q. 9. Are duels forbidden in this commandment ? 

A. Yes, they are ; for whatever point of honour be touched, or 
whatever provocation be given, we are not to be our own avengers ; 
Rom. xii. 19- Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, &c. 

Q. 10. What is the first inference hence.? 

A. That we have great cause to bless God for his protecting law, 
and for human laws grounded upon his law for the protection of our 

lives ; Rom. xiii. 4. For he is the minister of God, a revenger 

to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. 

Q. 11. What is the second inference hence.? 

A. That all that are guilty of this sin, have great cause to be hum* 

Vol. VL ' Q 



S44 AN EXPOSITIOX OF TilE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM* 

bled and afflicted : For it is a crying sin, Gen. iv. 10. The voice 

of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. Yet not to 
despair of mercy upon true repentance. Manasseh shed innocent 
blood, and yet was pardoned, upon repentance ; 2 Kings xxi. 16. 
Moreover, Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had 
filled Jerusalem from one end to another, &c. 

Q. 12. What is the third inference hence ? 

A.J^et all men watch against pride, passion, malice, and revenge, 
the sin of the heart, from which this horrid sin proceeds ; Mat. xv. 
18, 19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, &c. 

Of the seventh Commandment. 

Quest. TO. ▼ T HIGH is the seventh commandment.? 

A. The seventh commaiidment is, [Thou shalt not commit adidtery.'] 

Quest. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment.? 

A. Tlie seventh commandmejit requireth the preservation of our 
own and our neighbour's chastify in heart, speech, and behaviour. 

Quest. 72. AVhat is forbidden in the seventh commandment .? 

A. The seventh commandmefit Jbrbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, 
7cords, and actions. 

Q. 1. What is the duty required in this commandment.? 

A. The first duty required in this commandment is, the preserva- 
tion of our own chastity in heart, lip, and life ; 1 Thess. iv. 3, 4. For 
this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should ab- 
stain from fornication. That every one of you should know how to 
possess his vessel in sanctification and honour. And Eph. iv. 29- 
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, &c. 

Q. 2. Why must we preserve our own chastity ? 

A. Because our bodies are, or ought to be the temples of the Holy 
Ghost ; 1 Cor. vi. 15, 19. Know ye not, that your bodies are the 
members of Christ ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and 
make them the members of an harlot ? God forbid. What, know 
ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in 
you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own ? And it is 
the express charge of God that they be kept pure and clean ; 1 
Thess. iv. 3, 4. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, 
that ye should abstain from fornication. That every one of you 
should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour. 

Q- 3. What is the second reason ? 

A. The second reason is, because of the evil of it to ourselves : As, 
(1.) It injures the body; 1 Cor. vi. 18. He that committeth fornica- 
tion, sinneth against his own body. (2.) It levels us with the Hea- 
then ; Eph. iv. 17, 19. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, 
that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, — who being past 
feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all un- 
cleanness with greediness. (3.) Dishonours our names; Prov. vi. 32, 
53« But whoso committeth adultery with a woman, a wound and 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 245 

dishonour shall he get, SfC. (4.) Scatters our estates; Prov. v. 10. 
Leb't strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy labours be in the 

house of strangers. (5.) Destroyeth the soul ; Prov. vi. 32. He 

that doth it, destroyeth his own soul. 

Q. 4. What age is most incident to this sin ? 

A. The youthful age is most apt to be drawn into this sin ; Prov. 
vii. 7. And behold among the simple ones, I discerned among the 
youths, a young man void of understanding. And 2 Tim. ii. %% 
Flee also youthful lusts, c^c. 

Q. 5. How far doth this command extend itself.'' 

A. It extends itself to the heart, mind, and fancy, as well as to 
the body, and external actions ; Matth. v. 28. But I say unto you, 
that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath commit- 
ted adultery with her already in his heart. 

Q. 6. What are the usual inducements to this sin ? 

A. The usual inducements to this sin are, (1.) Idleness and fulness 
of the creatures; Ezek. xvi. 49, 50. Behold, this was the iniquity of 
thy sister Sodom ; pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness 
was in her, and in her daughters, S^c. (2.) Wanton gestures ; Isa. 
iii. 16. Moreover, the Lord salth. Because the daughters of Zionare 
haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks, and wanton eyes, 
walking, and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their 
feet. (3.) Filthy communication ; Eph. v. 4. Neither filthiness, nor 
foohsh talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient, &;c. 

Q. 7. What is the first remedy against this sin ? 

A. The first remedy, and the most effectual, is, to get the Spirit 

of God within us, to sanctify and rule us; Gal. v. 16. Walk in 

the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. 

Q. 8. What is the second remedy ? 

A. The keeping of a strict wach over the heart ; Prov. iv. 23. 
Keep thy heart with all diligence, &c. And over the external senses; 
Job xxxi. 1. I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should 
I think upon a maid ? 

Q. 9. What is the third remedy against it ? 

A. Deep and serious consideration of the danger of this sin, and 
what God threatens against adulterers; Heb. xiii. 4. Whore- 
mongers and adulterers God will judge. 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. — Be not 
deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effe- 
minate, — shall inherit the kingdom of God. And how he describes 
them, Prov. xxii. 14. The mouth of a strange woman is a deep pit; 
he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth remedy against it ? 

A. Prayer; Psalm cxix. 37. Turn away mine eyes from behold- 
ing vanity, &c. And, to evidence our sincerity in prayer, we must 
study to shun all occasions of this sin ; Psal. xviii. 23. I was also up- 
right before him ; and I kept myself from mine iniquity. 

Q. 11. What is the first inference from hence '^ 

Q2 



246 AX EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLIES CATECHISM. 

A. What cause those have to bless God, that have been kept from 
this sin ; though the best ought to be humbled for their heart-pol- 
lutions. 

Q. 12. What is the second inference from hence .^ 

A. Let it warn parents to do what in them lies to prevent the ruin 
of their children by this sin, (1.) By fiUing their heads and hands 
with lawful business. (2.) By serious admonitions and prayers for 
them. (3.) By keeping them from vain and tempting company. 
(4.) By disposing them seasonably in suitable marriage. 

Q. 13. What is the third inference from hence ? 

A. Let those that are defiled with this sin repent seriously of it as 
David did ; Psalm li. 8. Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the 
bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. And apply the blood 
of Christ by faith ; for in so doing it may be pardoned ; 1 Cor. vi. 
11. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are 
sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christy 
and by the Spirit of our God. 

Of the eiglitli Commandment 

Quest. 73. ^ V HICH is the eighth commandment ? 

A. The eighth commandment is, [Thou shalt not steal.'\ 

Quest. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment ? 

A. The eighth commandment requireth the lazvful procuring and 
furthering the wealth, and outward estate of ourselves and others. 

Quest. 75. W^hat is forbidden in the eighth commandment ? 

A. The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth, or may 
iinjustly] binder our own, or our neighbour'' s wealth, or outward estate, 

Q. 1. What is presupposed in this commandment.^ 

A. It presHpposeth that God hath given every man a propriety in 
his estate, and that no man's goods are common to others, except by 
his consent in times and cases extraordinary ; Acts ii. 44. And ali 
that believed were together, and had all things common. 

Q. 2. What is required in this commandment ? 

A.\t requires of every man diligence in a lawful calling, to get 
and preserve an estate for his own and other's good ; Prov. xiii. 11. 

He that gathereth by labour, shall increase. Eph. iv. 28. But 

rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is 
good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 

Q. 3. What else is required in this commandment ? 

A. It requires us not only to get and keep the things of the world 
in a lawful manner, but to distribute and communicate them to those 
that are in want, and not cast them into temptations of sin, or ine- 
vitable ruin; Isa. Iviii. 10. And if thou draw out thy soul to the 
hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul : Then shall thy light rise in 
obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon-day ; 1 John iii. 17. But 
whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and 



An exposition* of the ASSEilBLV's CATECltlSM. 247 

shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, howdwelleth the love 
of God in him ? 

Q. 4. What else is required in this commandment ? 

A. It requires in every man a public spirit to procure and promote 
the good and prosperity of others : 1 Cor. x. 24. Let no man seek 
his own, but every man another's wealth. 

Q. 5. What else is required in this command ? 

A. It requires restitution of all goods, unjustly gotten, or taken 
from others ; Lev. vi. 4. Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, 
and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, 
or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, &c. And the restor- 
ing of pawns and pledges, when they are due ; Ezek. xviii. 7. And 
hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, 
&c. Or things lost, if we can discover the true owners. 

Q, 6. What is the first sin forbidden in this command ? 

A. It forbids all cozening and cheating of others in our dealings, 
and civil commerce with them ; 1 Thess. iv. 6. That no man go be- 
yond and defraud his brother in any matter, &c. Prov. xxvi. 2S. A 
lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it, and a flattering 
mouth worketh ruin. 

Q. 7. What is the second thing forbidden in this command ? 

A. It forbids all exaction and oppression of our neighbour, by go- 
ing beyond them, or working on their necessities, or detaining their 
dues ; Lev. xxv. 14. And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or 
buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one ano- 
ther ; Prov. xxiv. 28, 29- Be not a witness against thy neighbour 
without cause : And deceive not with thy lips. Say not, I will do so 
to him as he hath done to me : I will render to the man according 
to his work. 

Q. 8. What is the third thing forbidden in this command ? 

A. It forbids all unlawful weights and measures, which is no bet- 
ter than theft in God's account ; Micah vi. 10, 11. Are there yet the 
treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant 
measure that is abominable? Shall I count them pure with the wicked 
balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights ? 

Q. 9. What is the fourth sin forbidden in this command ? 

A. It forbids all family frauds by children ; Prov. xxviii. 24. Who- 
so robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, it is no transgression, 
the same is the companion of a destroyer. Or servants ; Tit. ii. 9, 
10. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own jnasters; — 'not 
purloining, but shewing all good fidelity, &c. 

Q. 10. What is the fifth thing forbidden in this command ? 

A. It forbids all tempting o?^ or encouraging others to defraud 
those who have any trust committed to them; Psalm 1. 1$. When 
thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him ; Prov. xxix. 24. 
Whosoever is partner with a thief, hateth his own soul, &c. 

Q. 11. What is the sixth thing forbidden in this command .^ 

Q3 



S48 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

A. It forbids the taking away of another's goods by open robbery 

by sea or land ; Job v. 5. And the robber swalloweth up their 

substance. Or clandestinely and privately ; 1 Pet. iv. 15. But let 
none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, &c. 

Q. 12. What is the danger of this sin .'* 

A. It brings men's souls, bodies, and estates, under the curse of 
God ; Zech. v. 3, 4. Then said he unto me. This is the curse that 
goeth forth over the face of the whole earth : For every one that 
stealeth shall be cut off, as on this side, according to it : — I will 
bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the 
house of the thief 

Q. 13. What is the first instruction hence.? 

A. Let all that are guilty of this sin repent, and restore, as they 
expect mercy from God ; JEph. iv. 28. Let him that stole, steal no 
more, c^r. Luke xix. 8. And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the 
Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and 
if I have taken away any thing from any man by fake accusation, 
I restore him fourfold. 

Q. 14. What is the last inference from hence ? 

A. To excite all, to whom God hath given a competency of the 
things of the world, that they bless God for keeping them from the 
temptations of this sin ; Prov. xxx. 8, 9- Give me neither jx)verty 
nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me : Lest I be full, 
and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord ? Or lest I be poor, and 
steal, and take the name of my God in vain. 

Of the ninth Coimnandnient. 

Quest. 76. ▼ ? HICH is the ninth commandment.-* 

A. The ninth commandment is, [Thou shalt not bear Jhlse wit- 
ness against thy neighbour.'] 

Q. 77. What is required in the ninth commandment.? 

A. The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and pio- 
moting of' truth beticcen man and man, and of our own and our 
neighhour'^s good name, especially in witness-bearing, 

Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment ? 

A. The ninth commandment Jbrbiddeth whatsoever is jirejtidicial 
to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour''s good name. 

Q. 1. What is thje general scope and aim of the ninth command- 
ment? 

A. The ninth command aims chiefly at the preservation and pro- 
moting of truth amongst men ; Zech. vlii. 16. — Speak ye every man 
the truth to his neighbour, c^r. This being of indispensible necessity 
to the subsistence and welfare of human society ; Eph. iv.^5. Where> 
fore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour, 
for we are members one of another. 

Q. 2. What is the first thing required particularly in this com- 
mand ? 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 249 

A. This command requires every man to take care of preserving 
his own good name, by ordering his conversation in universal inte- 
grity ; 1 Pet. iii. 15, 16. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, 
and be ready always to give an^answer to every one that asketh you 
a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear ; having 
a good conscience ; that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil- 
doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conver- 
sation in Christ. 

Q. 3. What is the second thing required in this command ? 

A. It requires all due care to preserve the good name and honour 
of other men as well as our own ; for Christians are not to be of 
narrow and private spirits, which centre only in their own interests 
and concernment; Phil. ii. 4. Look not every man on his own 
things ; but every man also on the things of others. 

Q. 4. How are we to preserve the good names of others ? 

A. We are to preserve the good names of others by an inward 
esteem of all the good that is in them ; Phil. ii. 3. — In lowness of 
mind let each esteem others better than themselves. And mani- 
festing our inward esteem of them by a wise and seasonable expres- 
sion thereof for their encouragement in the ways of godliness ; Rom. 
i. 8. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that 
your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 

Q. 5. How else are we to defend other men's names ? 

A. By our readiness to receive with joy the reports of that good 
that is in them ; 3 John 3. For I rejoiced greatly when the breth- 
ren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou 
walkest in the truth. And discountenancing all reproaches mali- 
ciously vented against them ; Psalm xv. 3. — Nor taketh up a re- 
proach against his neighbour. 

Q. 6. But what if the report be evidently true ? 

A. In that case we are to grieve for their miscarriages, as the effect 
and fruit of our love to their souls; 2 Cor. ii. 4. For out of much 
affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote unto you with many tears, 
not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which 
I have more abundantly unto you. And to discharge our duties 
privately and faithfully, in order to their recovery ; Matth. xviii. 15, 
16, 17. Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and 
tell him his fault between thee and him alone, &c. Winking at, 
and concealing in love, their lesser and common infirmities ; 1 Pet. 
iv. 8. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves : 
For charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 

Q. 7. AVhat is forbidden in the ninth commandment ? 

A. It forbids us to injure others, by raising or receiving lies,. and 
false reports which are highly injurious to their good names ; CoL 
iii. 9. Lie not one to another, &c. 

Q. 8. What else is forbidden in the ninth commandment ? 

Q4 



^50 

A. It especially forbids perjury, or false swearing, whereby not 
only the names, but estates and lives of the innocent are injured and 
ruined ; Psal. xxxv. 11. False witnesses did rise up. They laid to 
my charge things that I knew not ; Prov. xix. 5. A false witness shall 
not be unpunished : And he that speaketh lies shall not escape. A 
sin which God will punish ; Mai. iii. 5. And I will come near to you 
to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and 
against the adulterers, and against false swearers, &c. 
Q. 9. What else is forbidden in this commandment ? 
A. It forbids all whispering and backbiting of others secretly ; 
52 Cor. xii. 20. — Lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, 
backbitings, whisperings, &c. And all tale-carrying from one to 
another, to our neighbour's injury; Lev. xix. 16. Thou shalt not 
go up and down as a tale-bearer among the people, &c. And 1 Tim. 
V. 13. — And not only idle, but tatlers also, and busy-bodies, speak- 
ing things which they ought not. 

Q. 10. What else doth the ninth commandment forbid ? 
A. It forbids all rash and unwarrantable judging of other men's 
hearts and final estates which is usually accompanied with ignorance 
of our own ; Matth. vii. 1, 3. Judge not, that ye be not judged. 
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but 
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye ? 
Q. 11. What else is forbidden in this commandment ? 
A. It forbids the eclipsing of the true worth and honour of others, 
by a proud exalting of ourselves ; 1 Cor. xiii. 4, 5. Charity envieth 
not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, &c. Or by crying 
up one to the disparagement of another good man ; 1 Cor. iii. 4, 5. 
For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos, 
are ye not carnal ? &c. 

Q. 12. What is the first inference from hence ? 
A. That the best Christians have cause to be humbled for the sins 
of the tongue whereby God is dishonoured, and others are injured ; 
James iii. 2. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect 
man, and able also to bridle the whole body. And verse 5, 6. Even 
so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things : behold 
how great a matter a little fire kindleth. And the tongue is afire, 
a world of iniquity : so is the tongue amongst our members, that 
it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; 
and it is set on fire of hell. 

Q. 13. What is the second inference from hence.? 
A. It is our great concernment to walk with that piety and justice 
towards God and men, as to cut off all just occasions of reproach 
from our names ; 2 Cor. xi. 12. But what I do, that I will do, that 
I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasions, &c. 1 
Tim. V. 14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear 
children, guide the house, give none occasioti to the adversary to 
speak reproachfully. 



AN fex^dsiTTOU or TiiE asIsewtjly's catechism. 25t 

Q. 14. What is the third inference from this commandment? 

A. To bless God that our names are kept sweet and honourable 
in the world among good men ; 3 John 12. Demetrius hath a good 
report of all men, SfC. Or if we be reproached, it is by none but 
wicked men, and that for our duty to God ; Dan. vi. 5. Then said 
these men, we shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except 
we find it against him concerning the law of his God. 

Of the tenth Commandment. 

Quest. 79. W HICH is the tenth commandment.? 

A. The tenth commandment is, [ Thou shalt not covet thy neigh- 
hour's hoicse, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's 'wife, nor his man- 
servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing 
that is thy neighbour'' s.] 

Q. 80. What is required in the tenth commandment? 

A. The tenth commandment rcquireth J'ldl contentment with our 
own condition, and a right and charitable frame of spirit towards 
our neighbour, and all that is his. 

Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment ? 

A. The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with 
our ozvn estate., envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, 
and all inordinate motions and affections to any thing that is his. 

Q. 1. AVhat is the principal scope and aim of the tenth command- 
ment? 

^. It is to prevent all occasions of transgressing the other pre- 
cepts of the second table, by restraining this sin of covetousness in 
the heart ; Psalm cxix. 35, 86. Make me to go in the path of thy 
commandments, for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy 
testimonies, and not to covetousness. 

Q. 2. What doth this tenth command require of us in reference 
to ourselves? 

A. It requires of us perfect contentment and satisfaction with that 
estate and condition wherein God hath placed us in the world ; Ileb. 
xiii. 5. Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be con- 
tent with such things as ye have, &c. Reckoning it to be good for 
us to be in that state we are, though never so low or afflicted ; Psal. 
cxix. 67. Before I was afflicted, I went astray ; but now have I kept 
thy word. And verse 71. It is good for me that I have been afflict- 
ed, that I might learn thy statutes. 

Q. 3. Is contentment with God's appointments attainable in this 
life ? 

A. Some Christians have attained to a very great measure, and 
eminent degree of contentment in the midst of changeable and afflic- 
tive providences; Phil. iv. 11. — I have learned in whatsoever state 
I am, therewith to be content. Psal. xvi. 5, 6. The Lord is the por- 
tion of mine inheritance, and of my cup : thou maintainest my lot. 



252 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places : yea, I have a goodly 
heritage. 

Q. 4. Is there no danger of the sin of discontentment in a full and 
prosperous condition ? 

A. Fulness of the world secures no man from the sin of discon- 
tentment with his own, or covering that which is another's ; because 
the desires enlarge as the estate doth ; Psalm Ixii. 10. — If riches 
increase, set not your heart upon them. An instance whereof we 
have in Ahab, 1 Kings xxi. 4. And Ahab came into his house heavy 
and displeased, because of the v,ord which Naboth the Jezreelite 
had spoken to him : for he had said, I will not give thee the inherit- 
ance of my fathers ; and he laid him down upon his bed, and turned 
away his face, and would eat no bread. 

Q. 5. Whence doth discontent with our condition spring .'' 
^. It springs partly from our ignorance of God's wisdom and love 
in ordering all for our good ; Rom. vii. 28. And we know that all 
things work together for good to them that love God, &c. Partly 
from our inconsiderateness of the vanity of the creatures ; 1 Tim. vi. 
7, 8. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can 
carry nothing out. And having food and raiment, let us be there- 
with content. And partly from our unbelief; Matth. vi. 31, 32. 
Therefore take no thought, saying. What shall we eat.? Or what 
shall we drink.? Or wherewithal shall we be clothed.? (For after all 
these things do the Gentiles seek;) for your heavenly Father know- 
eth that ye have need of all these things. 

Q. 6. Is contentment with our own estate all that this command- 
ment requires i* 

J. No ; it requires a charitable frame of spirit towards our neigh- 
bours also; Rom. xii. 10, 15. Be kindly affectionate one to another, 
with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another. Rejoice 
with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 
Q. 7. W^hat is the first sin forbidden in this commandment ? 
J. It directly and especially forbids all sinful and inordinate de- 
sires and motions after other men's enjoyments ; Col. iii. 5. Mortify- 
therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, un- 
cleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, 
which is idolatry. 

Q. 8. What is the second sin forbidden in this commandment.? 
A. It forbids all cruelty and incompassionateness to others in ne- 
cessity, and keeping back from them that relief which is made theirs 
by God's command ; Prov. xi. 24. There is that with-holdeth more 
than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. Lev. xix. 9, 10. And when 
ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the 
corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy 
harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou 
gather every grape of thy vineyard ; thou shalt leave them for the 
poor and the stranger : I am the Lord your God. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLy''s CATECHISM. 253 

Q. 9. What is the third sin forbidden in this commandment ? 

Jf. It forbids the detaining of the hirelings wages, when it is due ; 
Hab. ii. 9, 10, 11» Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness 
to his house, that he may set his nest on higli, that he may be de- 
livered from the power of evil. Thou hast consulted sliame to thy 
house, by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. 
For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the 
timber shall answer it. 

Q. 10. What is the fourth sin forbidden in this commandment ? 

A. It forbids all inward grudgings at, and envyings of the enjoy- 
ments of others, whether they be inward goods of the mind, or out- 
ward, belonging to the body; 1 C'or. xiii. 14. Charity envieth not, 
&c. 

Q. n. What is the mischief of covetousness.'^ 

A. It distracts thy heart in duties; Ezek. xxxiii. 31. And they 
come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my 
people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them ; for 
with their mouths they shew much love, but their heart goeth after 
their covetousness. Provokes the wrath of God ; Isa. Ivii. 17. For 
the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him, &c. 
And where it reigns it becomes idolatry ; Gol. iii. 5. And covetous- 
ness, which is idolatry. 

Q. 12. What is the first inference from hence .'^ 

A. It calls all men to humiliation for the inordinacy of their affec- 
tions towards the world, their discontent with their own and envyings 
of others conditions. 

Q. 13. What is the second inference from hence ? 

A. As ever we would keep clear from this sin, let us make God 
our portion ; Psal. xvi. 5, 6. The Lord is the portion of mine inhe- 
ritance, and of my cup ; thou maintainest my lot. And labour to 
get the soul- satisfying comforts of his Spirit ; John iv. 14. But who- 
soever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst, 
&c. 2 Cor. vi. 10. As having nothing, and yet possessing all 
things. 

Q. 14. What is the last inference from hence .'' 

A. If God has given us a sufficiency of the things of this life for 
our necessity, let us be satisfied, though we want other things for our 
delight ; 1 Tim. vL 8. And having food and raiment, let us be 
therewith content. And relieve ourselves by an expectation of those 
better things laid up in heaven for us, if we be believers ; James ii. 5. 
Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs 
of the kingdom, which he hath promised to them that love him. 

Cff keephig' the Law. 

Quest. 82. XS any man able perfectly to keep the commandments 
of God .? 
A. No mere man since the Jail is able in this life perfectly to keep the 



S54 AN EXrOSlTION OF THE ASSEMJ^LY's CATECHlsk. 

commemdments of God, but doth dally break them in thought, w&rd, 
and deed. 

Q. 1. Wherein doth the perfect keeping of Grod's la# consist ? 

A. It consists in the perfect and constant conformity of the internal 
and external actions of heart and life, to every command of God ; 
Gal. iii. 10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things 
V'hich are written in the book of the law to do them. Matth. xxii. 
87, 38, 39. Jesus said unto them. Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 
This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like 
unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

Q. 9.. But if a man commit no external act against the latv, may 
he not be said perfectly to keep it, although in mind or thought ht 
should trangress.? 

A. No; for an inward motion of sin in the heart, that nevier breaks 
forth into act, is a violation of the law, and brings the soul under the 
curse of it; Matth. v. 21, 22. Ye have heard that it was said by 
them of old time. Thou shalt not kill : And whosoever shall kill, 
shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you, that who- 
soever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danget* 
of the judgment, &c. And ver. 27, 28. Ye have heard that it was 
said by them of old time. Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I 
say unto you, that whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after 
her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 

Q. 3. May not a man keep the law if he keep some of its com- 
mands, though he cannot keep every one of them punctually 't 

A. No, he cannot; for the transgression of any one command in 
the least degree, is a breach of all, and brings the curse of the whole 
upon a man's soul ; James ii. 10. For vrhosoever shall keep the 
whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 

Q. 4. Was the law never kept b}^ any since it was made ? 

A. Yes, Adam in his innocent state kept it ; for he was made up- 
right ; EccL vii. 29. God made man upright, &c. And Christ per- 
fectly kept it; Mat. v. 17. Think not that I am come to destroy 
the law or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 

Q. 5. What is the first reason why no mere man in this hfe can 
fulfil and keep the law of God perfectly ? 

A. It is because the law of God is perfect, and the best of men in 
this life are imperfect ; Psal. xix. 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, 
&c. Eccl. vii. 20. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth 
good, and sinneth not. 

Q. 6. But may not men perfectly keep it when regenerate, and 
born of God ? 

A. No ; because even in the regenerate there is a law of sin, which 
wars against the law of God ; Gal. v. 17. For the flesh lusteth against 
the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, &c. Rom. vii. 22, 23. For 
I dehght in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another 



AN EXPOSITION 0;F THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. S55 

law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, &c. And 
though thev are said not to sin, 1 John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of 
God, doth not commit sin, &c. That is not to be taken absolutely, 
but comparatively, as they once did, and others still do. 

Q. 7. But did not Christ command the young man to keep the law ? 

A. It is true that Christ did put the young man upon this task ; 
Matth. xix. 17. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 
But it was not on a supposition that he was able to do it ; but to 
convince him of the impossibility of justification that way. 

Q. 8. But doth not the apostle say, that the righteousness of the 
law is fulfilled in believers ? 

A. It is true that the apostle doth say, Rom. viii. 4. but the mean- 
ing is not, that we fulfil it in our own persons, by our complete obedi- 
ence to it ; but it is fulfilled in us, by our union with Christ, whq 
perfectly kept it ; and the righteousness of the law, which is in Christ, 
becomes ours, by God's imputation of it to us ; Rom. iv. 23, 24. 
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to 
him ; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on 
him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 

Q. 9. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That justification by our own works is utterly impossible to 
the holiest of men; Gal. ii. 16. For by the works of the law no 
flesh can be justified ; Psalm ciii. 3. If thou, Lord, shouldst mark 
iniquities ; O Lord, who shall stand ?i 

Q. 10. What is the second inference from hence .^^ 

A. Hence we learn what an infinite mercy it is, that God sent Jesus 
Christ made under the law ; Gal. iv. 4, 5. But when the fulness of 
time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a w oman, made 
under the law, &c. To do that for us we could never do for our- 
selves ; Rom. viii. 3, 4. For what the law could not do, in that it 
was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the like- 
ness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh ; that the 
righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us ; who walk not 
after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 

Q. 11. What is the third inference from hence ? 

A. That the dreadful curse must needs lie on all unbelievers that 
are out of Christ ; John iii. 36. He that believeth not the Son, shall 
not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him. And seek their 
justification by the deeds of the law ; Gal. iii. 10. For as many as 
are of the works of the law, are under the curse, &c. 

Q. 12. What is the fourth inference from hence ? 

A. That a deluge of sin and misery brake in upon the whole world 
by the fall of Adam, and all his posterity being by him plunged under 
both ; Rom. v. 12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the 
world, and death by sin : And so death passed upon all men, for that 
all have sinned. 

Q. 13. Wha.t is the fifth inference from Keuce f . 



S56 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

A. Tk^at the Popish doctrines of merits, and works of supereroga- 
tion, are lalse and groundless doctrines, springing out of the ig- 
norance and pride of man's heart. 

Q. 14. What is the last inference from hence ? 
A. That all God's people should sigh under their unhappy necessity 
of sinning ; Rom. vii. 24. O wretched man that I am, who shall de- 
liver me from the body of this death ! And long to be with Christ 
in the perfect state ; Heb. xii. 23.< And to the spirits of just men 
made perfect. 

Of the incqualky of Sin. 

Quest. 83. -A-RE all transgressions of the law equally heinous ? 

A. Some sins in themselves, and hy reason of several aggrava- 
tions, are more heinous in the sight of God than others. 

Q. 1. Whence ariseth the first difference of sin ? 

A. The first difference betwixt one sin and another, ariseth from 
the immediate object, against which the sin is committed ; on this 
account, sins immediately committed against God, are more heinous 
than sins immediately committed against man ; 1 Sam. ii. 25. If one 
man sin against another, the judge shall judge him : But if a man sin 
against the Lord, who shall intreat for him ? And all sins of the first 
table are greater than those of the second : yet there are crying sins 
against the second. 

Q. 2. What is the first sin noted for an heinous sin ? 

A. The sin of murder is in scripture set down for an heinous 
and crying sin in its own nature ; Gen. iv. 10. The voice of thy 
brother's blood crieth unto tne from the earth. 

Q. 3. What other sin is noted for a crying sin ? 

A. The sin of oppression is noted in scripture for a crying siri; Hab. 
ii. 11. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of 
the timber shall answer it. Especially the oppression of the widow 
and fatherless; Exod. xxii. 22, 23. Ye shall not afflict any widow, 
or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry 
at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry. 

Q. 5. What is reckoned in scripture an heinous sin against the 
rst table. 

A. The sin of atheism, or denying the being of a God, is a sin of 
the first magnitude ; Job xxxi. 28. This also were an iniquity to be 
punished by the judge; for I should have denied the God that is 
above. This was the sin of Pharaoh ; Exod. v. 2. And Pharaoh 
said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel 
^o ? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. 

Q. 5. What other sin is heinous in God's account ? 

A. The sin of idolatry is a most heinous sin, and goes nearer to the 
heart of God than other sins do ; Ezek. vi. 9. And they that escape of 
you, shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be car- 
ried captives ; because I am broken with their whorish heart, which 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 25T 

liath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring 
after their idols; and tliey shall lothe themselves, for tlie evils 
which they have committed in all their abominations. Jer. xliv. 4. O 
do not this abominable thing that I hate. 

Q. 6. What is the most heinous of all the sins in the world ? 

A. The sin against the Holy Ghost is the most heinous of all other 
sins, and shall never be forgiven by him ; Matth. xii. 31. All man- 
ner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men ; but the blas- 
phemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 

Q. 7. From whence doth this scripture aggravate sin ? 

A. The Spirit of God in scripture aggravates and estimates sin, 
from the degree of light and knowledge men sin against; Luke xii. 
47. And that servant which knew his Lord''s will, and ^^repared not 
himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many- 
stripes. John XV. 22. If I had not come, and spoken unto them, they 
liad not had sin : But now they have no cloak for their sin. 

Q. 8. What is the second thing that aggravates sin ? 

A. The more mercies any man sins against, the greater is his sin ; 
Rom. ii. 4. Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and for- 
bearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of Crod 
leadeth thee to repentance ? And especially when it is against spiri- 
tual mercies, and means of salvation ; Heb. ii. 3. How shall we 
escape, if we neglect so great salvation ? &c. 

Q. 9. Are heinous and crying sins capable of forgiveness ? 

A. Yes ; great and heinous sins are capable of forgiveness, upon 
true repentance ; Isa. i. 18. Though your sins be as scarlet, they 
shall be as white as snow ; though they be red like crimson, they 
shall be as wool. 

Q. 10. From what fountain doth the pardon of all sins, both 
great and small, flow ? 

A. They all flow from the free grace of God; Luke vii. 41, 42. 
And when they had nothing to pay, he forgave them both. And 
through the meritorious, satisfying blood of Christ ; Eph. i. 7. In 
whom we. have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of 
sins, according to the riches of his grace. 

Q. 11. What is the first inference hence ? 

A. Though some sins are more heinous than others, yet no sinner 
should absolutely despair of mercy ; for the vilest have been par- 
doned ; 1 Cor. vi. 11. And such were some of you : But ye are 
washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are jutsified, &:c. 

Q. 12. What is the second inference hence ? 

A. That there are different degrees of torments in hell, propor- 
tioned to the different degrees of sins on earth ; Mat. xl. 21, 22. Wo 
unto thee, Chorazih, wo unto thee, Bethsaida : For if the mighty 
works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, 
they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But 



So8 AN EXBOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

\ say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, at 
the day of judgment, than for you. 

Q. 13. What is the third inference hence? 

A. That great sinners, when pardoned and received to mercy, 
should excel all others in love to Chrisi; Luke vii. 42, 43. Which 
of them will love him most? Simon answered and* said, I suppose 
that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou 
hast rightly judged. 

Q. 14. "What is the last inference hence ? 

A. Let no man neglect Christ, because his sins are not so heinous 
as others; because the least sin without Christ is damning; Rom. 
vi. 23. For the wages of sin is death, &c. And greater sinners are 
often called when lesser are not ; Mat. xxi. 81, 32. The publicans 
and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 

Of the Demerit of Sin. 

Quest. 84. V V HAT doth every sin deserve ? 

A. Every sin descrveth God's wrath and curse, both in this life 
and in that which is to come. 

Q. Wherein doth the evil of sin principally consist ? 

A. It consists principally in the offence it gives, and the wrong it 
doth to God ; Psalm h. 4. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, 
and done this evil in thy sight. 

Q. 2. What is the first offence and wrong sin doth to God ? 

A. It consists in its enmity to God ; Rom. viii. 7. Because the 
carnal mind is enmity against God, &c. Expressed in scripture by 
walking contrary to him ; Lev. xxvi. 40. They have also walked 
contrary to me. Fighting against God; Acts v. 39. Lest haply ye 
be even found to fight against God. And resisting his Spirit ; Acts 
vii. 51. Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 3. Wherein is its enmity to God further discovered in scripture ? 

A. It is discovered under the names and notions of hatred of God ; 
Rom. i. 30. Backbiters, haters of God, &c. Rebellion against God ; 
1 Sam. XV. 23. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, &c. And 
despising the commandment of God ; 2 Sam. xii. 9. Wherefore hast 
thou despised the commandment of the Lord ? 

Q. 4. What are the attributes of God that sin wrongs? 

A. It wrongs all his attributes ; for it slights his sovereignty; Exod. 
V. 2. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his 
voice, to let Israel go ? Resists his power ; I Cor. x. 22. Are we 
stronger than he ? Despiseth his goodness ; Rom. ii. 4. Or despisest 
thou the riches of his goodness, &c. Taxeth his justice ; Ezek. xviii. 
25. Yet ye say, the way of the Lord is not equal, &c. And clouds 
his holiness ; Jam. ii. 7. Do not they blaspheme that worthy name, 
by which ye are called ? 

Q. 5, What doth sin deserve in the course of justice from God? 



AN EXPOSITION O'F THE AS8EM1BLY*S CATECHTSM. ^59 

J. It deserves all temporal and eternal effects of God's wrath, on 
the souls and bodies of sinners, all which in scripture go under the 
name of death ; Rom. vi. 23. For the wages of sin is death, &c. 

Q. 6. Can these siifferings satisfy God for all this wrong? 

J. No, they cannot; and therefore they must, and shall be eter- 
nal on the damned ; Matth. v. 26. Verily, I say unto thee, thou 
shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost 
farthing. Mark ix. 44. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is 
not quenched. 

Q. 7. Shall all sinners bear the desert of their sins ? 

A. No, all that are out of Christ shall ; but Christ hath freed be- 
lievers from it ; John iii. 18. He that believeth on him is not con- 
demned, &c. 

Q. 8. But is it not hard, that sinners should suffer eternally for 
the sins of a few years ? 

A. No, it is not; for the evil of sin is not to be measured by the 
time in which, but by the object against which it is committed ; Psal. 
ii. 4, 5. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in 
thy sight, &c. 

Q. 9. What learn we from hence .^ 

A. Hence in the first place we learn the impossibility of satisfying 
God's justice for the least sin that ever we committed ; Job vii. 20. 
I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee.'' &c. Psalm cxxx. 3. If 
thou. Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord, who shall stand ? 

Q. 10. What is the second instruction hence ? 

A. Hence we see the necessity of a Mediator betwixt God and us ; 
Psal. xl. 6, 7. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, &c. Then 
said I, Lo, I come : in the volume of the book it is written of me. 

Q. 11. What is the third instruction hence ? 

A. That the greatest suffering is rather to he chosen than the least 
€in ; Heb. xi. 25. Chusing rather to suffer affliction with the pco])le 
of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. 

Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction hence ? 

A. It teacheth us wliat an invaluable mercy tlie full, free, and final 
remission of sin is; Psal. xxxii. 1. Blessed is he whose transgression 
is forgiven, whose sin is covered, &c. 

Q. 13. What is the fifth instruction hence? 

A. It vindicates God in his severest strokes on sinners ; Hos. vi. 
Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets : I have slain them 
by the words of my mouth, and thy judgments are as the light that 
goeth forth. 

Q. 14. What is the last instruction? 

A. Hence we learn the infinite nature of Christ's sufferings; Rom. 
viii. 32. He that spared not his own Son, but dehvered him up for 
us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all tilings? 

Vol. VI. R ^ 



260 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

Of what God requires of us. 

Quest. 85. ? ▼ HAT doth God require of us, that we may escape 
his wrath and curse due to us for sin ? 

A. To escape the ivrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God 
reqiiheth qfusja'iih in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the 
diligent use of all the outward means, wherehy Christ cornmnnicatetli 
to us the benefits of redemption. 

Q. 1. What are the things required of us to escape God's wrath 
and curse due to us for sin ? 

A. The things required of us are, (1.) Faith in Jesus Christ ; Acts 
xvi. 31. And they said. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou 
shalt be saved, and thy house. (2.) Repentance for sin ; Acts iii. 19. 
Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blot- 
ted out, &c. (3.) Diligent striving in the use of all God's appointed 
means ; Luke xiii. 24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate : For many, 
I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 

Q. 2. Are these things in man's power to perform, that God re- 
quires of him .'^ 

A. Though they are our duties, yet we have no power in ourselves 
by nature to perform them, but the power is of God ; 2 Cor. iii. 5. 
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of our- 
selves, but our sufficiency is of God. 

Q. 3. But if men be in Christ, and justified from eternity, what 
need of this ? 

A. Though God from eternity decreed, and Christ long since pur- 
chased the salvation of the elect ; yet have they no union with Christ 
till they believe; Eph. iii. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts 
by failh, that ye being rooted and grounded in love. Nor remission 
of sin ; Acts iii. 19- That your sins may be blotted out, when the 
times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. But 
lie under wrath as others do ; Eph. ii. 3, 12. And were by nature 
the children of wrath, even as others. Ver. 12. That at that time 
ye were without Christ, being aliens from the common-wealth of 
Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, 
and without God in the world. 

Q. 4. If it be God that can only work these graces in us, to what 
purpose is our striving ? 

A. God's working doth not exclude man's striving, but more ex- 
cites and obliges us to it; Phil. ii. 12, 13. Work out your own sal- 
vation with fear and trembling : For it is God which worketh in 
you, both to will and to do, of his own good pleasure. 

Q. 5. To what purpose is it to strive in the use of means, except 
we knew we were elected ? 

A. The knowledge of our election is not antecedent to our diH^ 
gence, but our diligence is required antecedently to that knowledge; 
1 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make 
your calling and election sure, &c. 



AN EXPOSITION^ OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 261 

Q. 6. Is it not legal to put natural men upon striving in the use 
of means ? 

J. No, it is not ; for Christ himself enjoins it ? Luke xiii. 24. 
Strive to enter in at the strait gate, &c. And so did the apostles after 
him ; Acts viii. 22. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and 
pray God, if perhaps the thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. 
Q. 7. Is' there no escaping of God's wrath and curse without faith 
and repentance ? 

A. No, it is impossible to escape them ; John iii. 18. He that be- 
lieveth not, is condemned already. Heb. ii. 3. How shall we escape 
if we neglect so great salvation ? 

Q. 8. But if a man reform his life, and live soberly and justly 
for time to come, may he not that way escape God's wrath and 
curse ? 

A. No; sobriety and reformation are duties, but it is faith and re- 
generation that puts men into Christ, and out of danger; Matth. v. 
20. Except your righteousness shall exceed tiie righteousness of the 
Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of 
heaven. Tit. iii. 5. Not by works of righteousness, which we have 
done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of re- 
generation, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 9. Do all believing and penitent sinners escape God's wrath 
and curse ? 

A. Yes, they do, and shall for ever escape it; Rom. viii. 1. There 
is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, 
&c. Col. i. 12, 13. Giving thanks unto God the Father, which hath 
made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in 
light ; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath 
transLited us into the kingdom of his dear Son. John v. 24. He 
that hearcth my word, and bclieveth on him that sent me, hath ever- 
lasting life, and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed 
frorn death unto life. 

Q. 10. What is the first inference hence.? 

A. Hence it appears how false and dangerous the Antinomian doc- 
trine is, which teaches that our sins are pardoned before they are 
conmiitted, or we either believe or repent ; contrary to Acts xxvi. 18. 
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness unto light, and 
from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgive- 
ness of sin, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith 
that is in me. James v. 20. He which converteth the sinner from 
the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, &c. Acts x. 43. 
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoso- 
ever beheveth in him shall receive remission of sins. 
Q. 11. What is the second inference hence.'' 
A. Hence it follows, that it is dangerous on the one side not to 
strive in all the ways of duty for Christ and salvation, contrary to 

R2 



26s AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

Luke xili. 24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate ; for many, I say 
unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. And as dan- 
gerous, on the other side, to rest in, and depend on our own works 
and duties ; Phil. iii. 9. And be found in him, not having mine own 
righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the 
faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. 

Q. 12. What is the third inference hence ? 

A. Hence we learn the miserable state of all unbelievers, and im- 
penitent persons ; the curse and wrath of God lies upon them ; Gal. 
iii. 10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the 
curse, &c. And their mittimus for hell is already made ; John iii. 
18. He that belie veth not, is condemned already. 

Q. 13. What is the fourth inference hence ? 

A. Hence we learn the happy state into which faith and repent- 
ance bring the souls of men ; Acts xiii. 38, 39. By him all that believe 
are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by 
the law of Moses. 

Of saving Faith. 

Quest. 86. T^^HAT is f\iith in Jesus Christ.? 

A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace^ UDherehy we receive 
and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the 
gospel. 

Q. 1. What is the root or cause of faith.? 

A. Not the power of man's will ; Eph. ii. 8. For by grace are ye 
saved through faith, and that not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God ; 
But the Spirit of God. Gal. v. 22. But the fruit of the Spirit is 
love, joy, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. John i. 12, 13. 
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the 
sons of God, even to them that believe on his name ; which were 
born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of 
man, but of God. 

Q. 2. Hov/ doth the Spirit of God ordinarily produce faith ? 

A. By the preaching of the word he ordinarily begets it ; Rom. 
X. 17. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; 
though sometimes he doth it immediately. 

Q. 3. Who are the proper subjects of faith ? 

A. Convinced and sensible sinners are the proper subjects of faith ; 
John xvi. 8, 9, 10. And when he is come, he will reprove the world 
of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they be- 
lieve not on me : of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and 
ye see me no more: of judgment, because the prince of this world 
is judged. 

Q. 4. What is the seat or habitation of faith ? 

A. Not only the head or understanding, but principally the heart 
and will ; Rom. x. 10. With the heart man believeth unto righteous- 



AX EXPOSITION OF TITE ASSEMBLY S CATECHISM. xbb 

ness, &c. Acts viii. 37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all 
thine heart, thou niayest. 

Q. 5. But is not the assent of the understanding true faith ? 

A. The mere assent of the understanding to the truths of scrip- 
ture, is not such a faith as will save the soul ; James ii. 19. Thou 
believest that there is one God ; thou doit well : the devils also be- 
lieve, and tremble. 

Q. 6. AVhat is the act of faith that justifies a sinner? 

A. It is the receiving of Christ, by the full and hearty consent of 
the heart that justifies us ? John i. 12. But as many as received him, 
to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to thera 
that believe on his name. 

Q. 7. What is the object of faith ? 

A. The primary object of faith is the person of Christ, and the se- 
condary are his benefits ; Isa. xlv. 22. Look unto me, and be saved, 
all the ends of the earth, &c. Phil. iii. 8, 9- Yea, doubtless, and I 
count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus my Lord : For whom I have suffered the loss of all 
things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and 
be found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of 
the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ ; the righte- 
ousness which is of God by faith. 

Q. 8. May not a man look partly to Christ, and partly to his own 
works and duties for righteousness ? 

A. No; he must eye Christ only, and exclude all others, or he 
cannot be justified; Phil. iii. 9. And be found in him, not having 
mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through 
the faith of Christ: The righteousness which is of God by faith, 
Rom. iv. 5. But to him that worketh not, but belie veth on him that 
justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 

Q. 9. Is it enough to eye the person of Christ only in believing? 

A. No ; we must eye the person of Christ, as clothed with all his 
offices ; Acts xvi. 31. And they said. Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thine house. Our ignorance 
needs him as a prophet, our guilt as a priest, our sins and enemies 
as a king. 

Q. 10. Is true faith faith exclusive of all fears and doubts ? 

A. No ; it is not, but true believers are troubled with many fears 
and doubtings ; Isa. 1. 10. Who is he among you that feareth the 
Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in dark- 
ness, and hath no light, &c. Mark ix. 24. And straightway the 
Father of the child crieth out with tears, Lord, I believe, help thou 
mine unbelief. 

Q. 11. Is no man actually justified till he believe? 

A. No, he cannot be justified actually till he believe actually; Gal. 
iii. 22. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the pro- 
raise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe 

R3 



^64 

John ill. 18. He that beUeveth on him, is not condemned : But he 
that beheveth not is condemned alread}^^ because he hath not be- 
heved in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

Q. 12. Is every man that believes justified immediately and fully 
upon his believing ? 

A. Yes, he is ; Rom. v. 1. Therefore being justified by faith, we 
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. John v. 24. 
He that heareth my words, and believeth on him that sent me, hath 
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed 
from death unto life. 

Q. 13. What is the true character or description of a believer 't 

A. He is one that, having been convinced of his sin and misery, 
and of his own and all other creatures inability to save him, and of 
the ability and willingness of Christ to save him, lets go all hold 
and dependence on creatures, and his own righteousness, and casts 
himself entirely upon Christ for righteousness and life. 

Of the Properties, Signs, and Means of Faith. 

Quest. 1. W HAT is the first property of faith ? 

J. It is a most precious grace ; 2 Pet. i. 1. To them that have 
obtained like precious faith with us, &c. And must needs be so, 
seeing it is the bond of our union with Christ ; Eph. iii. 17. That 
Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and 
s^rounded in love. That by which we are justified; Rom. v. 1. 
Therefore being justified by faith, &c. And that by which our souls 
do hve ; Heb. ii. 4. The just shall Hve by faith. 

Q. 2. What is the second property of saving faith ? 

A. The second property of faith is this, that it is the most useful 
grace in this world to a believer, it being the souPs eye ; Heb. xi. 27. 
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wi^ath of the king : For he 
endured, as seeing him who is invisible, &c. It is hard to apprehend 
Christ; Phil. iii. 12. That I may apprehend that for which also I 
am apprehended of Christ Jesus. It is a cordial in a fainting season ; 
Psal. xxvii. 3. I had fainted unless I had beheved, &c. 

Q. What are the foundations that support faith ? 

A. The first foundation or prop of faith, is the power of God ; 
Rom. iv. 20, 21. He staggered not at the promise through unbelief, 
but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully 
persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 
Heb. vii. 25. He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come 
unto God by him, &c. 

Q. 4. What is the second prop of faith ? 

A, The truth and faithfulness of God in his promises; Heb, x. 23. 
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith Avithout wavering, for he is 
faithful that hath promised. Heb. vi. 18. That by two immutable 
things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 265 

Strong consoliitlon, who have fled for refuge to hy hold upon tlie 
hope set before us. 

Q. 5. What encourages the faith of the saints? 

A. The manifold, sweet, and sensible experiences of others ; Psal. 
Ixxiv. 14. Thou breakest the heads of Leviatlian in pieces, and gavest 
him to be meat for the people inhabiting the wilderness. And espe- 
cially their own experiences ; Josh, xxiii. 14. Ye know in all your 
hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the 
good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you ; all are 
come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof 

Q. 6. What is the first sign of a weak faith ? 

A. Staggerings in our assent to divine truths, argue the weakness 
of faith ; Rom. iv. 10. He staggered not at the promise of God 
through unbelief, but was strong in faith, &c. 

Q. 7. What is the second sign of a weak faith ? 

A. Inability to trust God in time of danger, evidenced by sinfid 
haste to avoid it ; Isa. xxviii. 16. He that belie veth, shall not make 
haste. 

Q. 8. What is the third sign of a weak faith ? 

A. When we cannot live purely by faith, except we have some 
sensible encouragement; John xx. 25. Except I shall see in his 
hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the^ 
nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 

Q. 9. What is the fourth sign of a weak faith ? 

A. When a new temptation makes us easily let go our former 
confidence; Luke xxiv. 21. But we trusted that it had been he 
which should have redeemed Israel : And besides all this, to-day is 
the third day since these things were done. 

Q. 10. What is the fifth sign of a weak faith ? 

A. The prevalence of carnal fears, in times of trouble, argues weak 
faith ; Matth. viii. 26. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fear- 
ful, O ye of little faith ? <SfC. 

Q. 11. What is the sixth sign of a weak faith ? 

A. Too much carefulness and anxiety about the things of this life ; 
Matth. vi. 30. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, 
which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not 
much more clothe you, O ye of little faith ? 

Q. 12. What is the first benefit of a strong faith ? 

d. A strong faith gives much glory to God ; Rom. iv. 19, 20. 
And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now 
dead, when he was about an hundred years olrl, neither yet the 
deadness of Sarah's womb. He staggered not at the promise of God 
through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. 

Q. 13. What is the second benefit of a strong faith ? 

A. It gives the soul the ravishing foresight and foretastes of hea-^ 
ven upon earth ; 1 Pet. i. 8. Whom having not seen, ye love ; in 

R4 



266 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISxV, 

whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice witli 
joy unspeakable, and full of glory. 

Q. 14. What is the last office faith doth for a believer in this- 
world ? 

A. It supports and encourages him at death by the promises, when 
all other comforts fail ; Heb. xi. 13. These all died in faith, not hav- 
ing received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were 
persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were 
strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 

Of saving Repentance. 

Quest. 87. ▼ V HAT is repentance unto life ? 

A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out 
of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in 
Christ, doth "tcith grief and hatred of his sin, turn J'rom it unto Gody 
with full purpose of and endeavour after new obedience. 

Q. 1. Who is the author of saving repentance ? 

A. The Spirit of God is the author of it ; the heart by nature is 
so hard, that none but the Spirit can break it ; Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. 
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within 
you : And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and 
I will give you an lieart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within 
you, &c. 

Q. 2. In what act doth all true repentance begin ? 

A. It begins in a true sight and sense of sin, and the danger and 
misery we are in- by sin ; Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard this, 
they were pricked hi their hearts, &c. 

Q. 3. Way doth God work such a sense of sin and misery ? 

A. He doth it to make Christ desirable in the sinner's eyes, that 
he may fly to him ; Matth. ix. 12, 13. But when Jesus heard that, 
he said unto them. They that be whole need not a physician, but 
they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, and I 
will have mercy, and not sacrifice ; for I am not come to call the 
righteous, but sinners to repentance. 

Q. 4. Is the sight of sin sufficient to repentance ? 

A. No; there must be apprehension of mercy and forgiveness 
■with God, or else no man can sincerely repent ; Rom. ii. 4. Not know- 
ing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. And this 
mercy must be discerned in and through Christ ; Zech. xii. 10. And 
they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall 
mourn for him as one moumeth for his only son, and shall be in 
bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. 

Q. 5. Wherein doth repentance chiefly consist ? 

A. It consists in real inward sorrow for sin, as committed against 
God: Psalm Ii. 3, 4. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my 
sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and 
done this evil in thy sight, &c. A loathing of ourselves for it ; Ezek. 



AN EXPOSTTIOX OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM* ^T 

xxxvi. 31. And shall lothe yourselves in your own sight, for your 
iniquities, and for your abominations. And of our best duties, as sin- 
ful and insufficient things ; Isa. Ixiv. 5, 6. We are all as an unclean 
thino- ; and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, kc. 

Q. 6. Wherein else doth it consist ? 

J. In turning from sin, as well as grieving for it ; Isa. Iv. 7. Let 
tlie wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, 
&c. Prov. xxviii. 13. He that covereth his sins, shall not prosper ; 
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them, shall have mercy. 

Q. 7. Is turning from sin sufficient ? 

A. No, that is but the negative part of religion ; there must be 
also a sincere turning to God ; Psalm cxix. 59. I thought on my 
ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies ; Acts xi. 23. And 
exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave 
unto the Lord. 

Q. 8. Is all sorrow for sin saving.? 

A. No ; there is a repentance that doth no good ; Matth. xxvii. 
3. Then Judas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was 
condemned, repented himself, &c. And a repentance unto life ; 
Acts xi. 18. Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repen- 
tance unto life. 

Q. 9. What are the signs of true repentance ? 

A. Fear of sin ; care to preserve ourselves from it ; and zeal to 
honour God by new obedience ; 2 Cor. vii. 11. For behold, this self- 
same thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it 
wrought in you ; yea, what clearing of yourselves ; yea, what indig- 
nation ; yea, what fear ; yea, what vehement desire ; yea, what zeal; 
yea, what revenge.'' In all things you have approved yourselves to 
be clear in this matter. 

Q. 10. Is there a necessity of repentance in order to forgiveness? 

A. Yes, there is; and they are therefore conjoined in scripture; 
Acts V. 31. For to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins* 
And destruction threatened to the impenitent : Luke xiii. 3. Except 
ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 

Q. 11. AVhat is the first inference hence ? 

A. That it is a false doctrine which teaches us that sins are ac- 
tually forgiven from eternity ; and therefore no need either of re- 
pentance or prayer, save only for the manifestation of pardon. 

Q. 12. What is the second inference hence ? 

A. That an hard heart is a dreadful sign of a lost state of soul ; 
Rom. ii. 5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest 
up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the 
righteous judgment of God. 

Q. 13. What is the last inference hence ? 

A. That there is no cause to despair of the vilest sinner, seeing 
there is power enough in the Spirit of God to break the hardest heart; 



268 AN ExrosiTiON of the assembly's catechism. 

Ezek. xxxvi. 26. I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, 
and I will give you an heart of flesh. 

OfChrisfs Ordinances. 

Quest. 88. W HAT are the outward means whereby Christ 
communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.^ 

A. The outzvard and ordinary means whereby Christ communis 
cateth to us the benefits of redemption^ are his ordinances ; especi- 
ally the word, sacraments, and prayer ; all which are made effec- 
tual to the elect for salvation. 

Q. 1. What makes any thing become a divine ordinance .^^ 

A. The institution or appointment of God, is that alone which 
makes a divine ordinance ; Matth. xxviii. 20. Teaching them to 
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, &c. 

Q. 2. Are the institutions of all ordinances alike clear in scrip- 
ture ? 

A. No ; Some are more explicitly and clearly revealed in scripture 
than others; as the Lord's supper is more clear than baptism : But 
whatever hath scripture-warrant, in the words or consequence, is of 
divine appointment. 

Q. 3. May not men institute ordinances of divine worship ? 

A. No ; this in scripture is condemned as will-worship ; Col. ii. 
20, 22, 23. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments 
of the world ; why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to 
ordinances ? &c. W^hich things indeed have a shew of wisdom in 
will- worship, &c. 

Q. 4. Why cannot man institute a divine ordinance ? 

A. He cannot do it, because it is the prerogative belonging to 
Christ's kingly ofiice ; Mat. xxviii. 20. Teaching them to observe 
all things whatsoever I have commanded you. 

Q. 5. For what other reason cannot man do it ? 

A. Because he cannot bless them, and make them effectual to their 
ends: but they will be in vain ; Matth. xv. 9. But in vain do they 
worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 

Q. 6. Why are the ordinances called means of salvation ? 

A. Because by and through them the Spirit of the Lord conveys 
spiritual graces into men's souls; 1 Cor. i. 21. It pleased God, by 
the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. 1 Cor. iii. 5. 
Who then is Paul, and who is ApoUos, but ministers by whom ye 
believed, even as the Lord gave to every man ? 

Q. T. Whence is the virtue of ordinances ? 

A. It is not in and from themselves, or the gifts and abilities of 
him that administers them, but from the blessing and Spirit of the 
Lord ; 1 Cor. iii. 7. Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither 
he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase. 

Q. 8. Do all God's ordinances attain their end ? 

A. Yes ; there is none of them in vain, but do attain their end, in 



269 

the salvation or damnation of all that come under tliem ; Isa. Iv. 10, 
11. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and 
returneth not tliither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring 
forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the 
eater: So shall my word be, that goeth forth out of my mouth : It 
shall not return unto me void ; but it shall accomplish that which I 
please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it. 2 Cor. ii. 
15, 16. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that 
are saved, and in them that perish : To the one we are the savour 
of death unto death, and to the other the savour of hfe unto life, &c. 

Q. 9. Are instituted ordinances the only means of salvation ? 

J. They are not the only means ; for God can convert men to 
Christ Avithout them ; Acts ix. 4, 5. And he fell to the earth, and 
heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes! thou me ? 
And he said. Who art thou Lord ? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, 
whom thou persecutest : It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 
But they are the ordinary standing means ; Rom. x. 14, 15. How 
then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed ? And 
how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard ? And 
how shall they hear without a preacher ? And how shall they preach, 
except they be sent ? &c. 

Q. 10. To whom are the ordinances made effectual to salvation ? 

A. To all God's elect they are effectual to salvation, and to them 
only ; Acts xiii. 48. As many as were ordained to eternal life, be- 
lieved. John X. 26. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my 
sheep, &c. 

Q. 11. What is the first instruction from hence ? 

A. That great preparation is due to all the ordinances, before we 
engage in them ; Job xi. 13, 14. If thou prepare thine heart, and 
stretch out thine hands towards him. If iniquity be in thine hand, 
put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. 1 
Chron xxix. 18. And prepare their heart unto thee. 

Q. 12. What is the second inference from hence .'^ 

A. That great reverence is due to God's ordinances, when we 
are actually engaged in the use of them ; Psalm Ixxxix. 7. God is 
greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints ; and to be had \\\ 
reverence of all them that are about him. 

Q. 13. What is the third inference from hence.? 

A. That those people that want ordinances, are in a sad and de- 
plorable condition; Eph. ii. 11, 12. Wherefore remember that ye 
being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircum- 
cision by that which is called the circumcision in the flesh made by 
hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from 
the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of 
promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. 

Q. 14. What is the last instruction hence ? 

A. That those that perish in the midst of ordinances, and means of 



270 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISIC. 

salvation, will perish with aggravated perdition ; Mat. xi. 23. And 
thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought 
down to hell : for if the mighty works, which have been done in 
thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this 
day. 

Of the Word read and heard. 

Quest. 89- JHOW is the word made effectual to salvation ? 

A. The Spirit of God maketh the readings but especially the 
preaching of' the rc'ord, an effectual means of' convincing and con- 
verting sinners ; and building tJiem up i7i holiness and comfort^ 
through Jaith^ unto salvation. 

Q. 1. What mean you by the word ? 

A. By the word is meant the word of God, consigned to writing 
in the books of the Old and New Testament ; which though it be 
ministered by men, yet is no other than the very word of God, and as 
such to be received ; 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this cause also thank we 
God ^vithout ceasing, because when ye received the word of God, 
which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men ; but (as 
it is in truth) the word of God, &c. 

Q. 2. Whence is the efficacy of this word ? 

A. It is wholly from the Spirit of God that it becomes effectual to 
any man's salvation ; 1 Cor. iii. 6, 7. I have planted, and Apollos 
watered, but God gave the increase. So then, neither is he that 
planteth any thing, neither he that watereth ; but God that giveth 
the increase. 

Q. 3. Is the reading of the scripture an ordinance of God for 
men's salvation ? 

A. Yes, it is; Deut. xvii. 19- And it shall be with him, and he 
shall feed therein all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the 
Lord his God, to keep aii the words of this law, and these statutes 
to do them. And in reading of it, God sometimes comes in by his 
Spirit to men's conversion ; Acts viii. ^7, 28, 29. And he arose and 
went, and behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority 
under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her 
treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, 
and sitting in his chariot, read Isaias the prophet. Then the Spirit 
said to Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot, &c. 

Q. 4. Is the hearing of the word a means of salvation ? 

A. Yes, it is; Isa. Iv. 3. Incline your ear, and come unto me; 
hear, and your soul shall live, &c. 1 Cor. i. 21. It pleased God by 
the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. 

Q. 5. To v,hat end is the word useful to men.'* 

A. The first end and use of the word is to convince men of their 
sin and misery out of Christ ; 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. But if all prophesy, 
and there come in one tliat bdieveth not, or one unlearned, he is con- 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 271 

\mced of all, he is judged of all. And thus arc tlic secrets of his 
heart made manifest, &c. 

Q. 6. What is it useful for, besides conviction ? 
A. It is useful for conversion, as well as conviction ; Psal. xix. 7. 
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul, &c. Acts xxvi. 
18. To turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan unto God, &c. 

Q. 7. Doth the word convince and convert all that hear it ? 
A. No, but tiiose onlythat are ordained to eternal life; Actsxiii. 
48. As many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 
Q. 8. What else is the word useful for ? 

A. To build up the saints to perfection in Christ; Eph. iv. 11, 12, 
13. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evan- 
gelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, 
for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ ; 
till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of 
the Son of God, unto a perfect man ; unto the measure of the stature 
of the fulness of Christ. Acts xx. 32. And now, brethren, I com- 
mend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to 
build you up, and give you an inheritance among all them that are 
sanctified. 

Q. 9. May the common people read the scriptures ? 
A. Yes, it is a duty commanded by Christ ; John v. 39. Search 
the scriptures, &c. And commended by the apostle; Acts xvii. 11. 
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they 
received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the 
scriptures daily, whether those things were so, 

Q. 10. Is it their duty or liberty also to preach it ? 
A. No, it is not ; for besides abilities for that work, there must be 
a call ; Rom. x. 1 4, 15. How shall they hear without a preacher r 
and how shall they preach, except they be sent, Sec. 
Q. 11. What is the first instruction from hence ? 
A. That the enjoyments of the scriptures, and an able, faithful 
ministry to expound and apply them, is a special mercy to any 
people ; Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his 
statutes and judgments unto Israel ; he hath not dealt so with any 
nation ; and as for his judgments they have not known them. 
Q. 12. What is the second instruction ? 

A. That men cannot expect special and spiritual blessings from 
God in the wilful neglect of the ordinances ; Prov. xxviii. 9. He 
that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer 
shall be abomination. 

Q. 13. What is the third inference ? 

A. That sad is their condition, who sit all their days under tlie 
word to no purpose at all ; 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. If our gospel be hid, it 
is hid to them that are lost : in whom the god of this world hath 
blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of th«^ 



27^ AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine 
into them. 

Q. 14. What is the last inference ? 

A. That Christ's ordinances and ministers should be most wel- 
come to the people to whom God sends them ; Isa. lii. 7. How- 
beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good 
tidings, that pubhsheth peace, that publisheth salvation, that saith 
unto Zion, Thy God reigneth. 

Cff the Manner of' Hearing. 

Quest. 90. JrloW is the word to be read and heard, that it may 
become effectual to salvation ? 

A. That the zcord may become effectual to salvation, we must at- 
tend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer, receive itwith 
faith and love, lay it up in your hearts, and practise it in your lives. 

Q. 1. If the matter we read or hear be good, is not that enough 
for our salvation ? 

A. No, God requires that the word be read and heard in a due 
manner, and the manner of hearing is of special regard with God ; 
Luke viii. 18. Take heed therefore how ye hear, &c. 

Q. 2. How many things belong to the due manner of hearing? 

A. Three sorts of duties belong to it ; some antecedent, as pre- 
paration and prayer ; some concomitant, as due diligence and re- 
tention ; and some subsequent, as practice. 

Q. 3. What is due preparation for hearing ? 

A. It consists in serious consideration of the greatness and holiness 
of that God whom we approach in hearing the word ; Acts x. 33. 
Now therefore v*e are all here present before God, to hear all things 
that are commanded thee of God. And awing the heart even to a 
degree of holy trembling thereby ; Isa. Ixvi. % To him will I look, 
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at 
my word. 

Q. 4. What is the principal consideration thus to awe the heart ? 

A. The word is in its own nature a heart-searching word ; Heb. 
iv. 12. For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sliarper 
than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of 
soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of 
the thoughts and intents of the heart. And that eventually it will 
be the savour of life or death to us; 2 Cor. ii. 16. To the one we 
are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of 
life unto life, &c. 

Q. 5. What else belongs to due preparation to hear ? 

A. The discharging of the heart from worldly cares; Mat. xiii. 7. 
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choaked 
them. And carnal lusts; James i. 21. Whereiore lay apart all 
iilthiness and supei-fluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness 
the ingrafted word, whicli is able to save your souls. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 275 

Q. 6. What is the third act of due preparation ? 

A. Longing after the word for further communications of grace by 
it ; 1 Pet. ii. 2. As new-born babes desire the sincere milk of the 
word, that ye may grow thereby. Isa. ii. 3. And many people shall 
go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, 
to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, 
and we will walk in his paths : for out of Zion shall go forth the 
law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 

Q. 7. What is the second antecedent duty of hearing ? 

A. Prayer is an antecedent duty to hearing the word, and that 
both for the assistance of the minister; 2 Thess. iii. 1. Finally, 
brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free 
course, and be glorified, even as it is with you. And our own il- 
lumination ; Psal. cxix. 18. Open thou mine eyes, that I may be- 
hold wondrous things out of thy law. 

Q. 8. What else should we pray for ? 

A. That God would pour out his Spirit with the word, according 
to that promise, Prov. i. 23. I will pour out my Spirit upon you, 
I will make known my words unto you. 

Q. 9. Doth unpreparedness for the word always hinder its efficacy 
on the heart ? 

A. No, God sometimes is found of them that sought him not ; 
Isa. Ixv. 1. I was found of them that sought me not, S^c. But it is 
a sin to neglect it, and needs a pardon of God. 

Q. 10. What is the first motive to prepare for solemn duties ? 

A. That it argues the sincerity of the heart, and in that case God 
will be merciful to infirmities ; 2 Chron. xxx. 18, 19. For a multitude 
of the people, even a multitude of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar, 
and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did eat the passover, 
but not as it is written ; wherefore Hezekiah prayed for them, saying. 
The good Lord be merciful towards him that prepareth his whole 
heart to seek the Lord God, the God of his fathers, though he be 
not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 

Q. 11. W^hat is the second motive ? 

A. It is a sweet sign that God will make that duty successful for 
which the heart is prepared ; Psalm x. 17. Thou .preparest their 
heart ; thou bendest thine ear to them. 

Q. 12. What is the third motive to preparation? 

A. The majesty and jealousy of God, to whom we approach, 
obliges us to solemn preparation ; Ileb. xii. 28, 29. Whereby we 
may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear ; for our 
God is a consuming fire. 

Q. 13. But must a man neglect the duty, if his heart be not duly 
prepared for it ? 

A. No ; for that would be to add a new sin to a former, and ag- 
gravate it the more. 



274 AN ExrosiTioN of the assembly's catechism. 

Q. ] 4 In what manner must the prepared heart go to the word p 
A. Not in dependence on its own preparations, but upon the 
Spirifs assistance; Psal. Ixxi. 16. I will go forward in the strength 
of the Lord God, &c. 

Q. 15. What is the first act of faith due to the word ? 
A. The assenting act of faith is required to the word read or 
preached, whereby we acknowledge it to be of divine authority ; 
2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is 
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in 
righteousness; 2 Pet. i. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time 
by the will of man ; but holy men of God spake as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 16. What is the second act of faith required of us ? 
A. An applying act of faith is also required of us; Rom. xv. 4. 
For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our 
learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures 
might have hope. 

Q. 17. What is the first end in applying the word ? 
A. It is first to be applied to our conviction both of sin and misery ; 
Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard this they were pricked in their 
hearts, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the apostles. Men 
and brethren, what shall we do ? 

Q. 18. What is the second end, or use of applying it ? 
A. It must be applied for our guidance and direction to Christ ; 
John vi. 45. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned 
of the Father, cometh unto me. 

Q. ID. What is the third use to which it must be applied ? 
A. We must apply it for our direction through the whole course 
of Christian duties: 2 Pet. i. 19- We have also a most sure word of 
prophecy ; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light 
that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star 
arise in 3'Oin' hearts. 

Q. 20. What other use must we apply it to ? 
A. It must be applied for our comfort in all inward and outward 
troubles: Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things were written afore- 
time, were written for our learning, that we through patience and 
comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 

Q. 21. On what account are we to receive it with love .'' 
A. We are to love it for its author's sake, because it is tlie word 
ef God ; Psal. cxix. 159- Consider how I love thy precepts, &c. 
Q. 22. What is the second motive of love to the word ? 
A. The holiness and purity of it deserves and engages our love 
to it; Psal. cxix. 140. Thy word is very pure; therefore thy ser- 
vant loveth it. 

Q. 23. What is the third motive to engage our love to it ? 

A. The great and constant usefulness of it to our souls, as that we 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 275 

cannot subsist without ; Job xxiii. 1% I have esteemetl the words 
of his mouth more than my necessary food. 

Q. 24s. How doth this love to the word manifest itseh\^ 

A. Our love manifests itself in our longing after it ; Psalm cxix. 
SO. My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judg- 
ments at all times. Our diligent attendance on it ; Acts x. 33. Im- 
mediately therefore I sent unto thee, and thou hast well done that 
thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, 
to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. 

Q. 25. How is faith and love evidenced to the word after hear- 
ing it ? 

A. By preserving it carefully in our hearts and memories ; Psalm 
cxix. 11. Thy word have I hid in ray heart, that I might not sin 
against thee. 

Q. 26. What is the best cure for a bad memory ? 

A. Labour to get an high esteem of it, and an experimental feel- 
ing of it, and frequently meditate on it ; Psal. cxix. 16. I will delight 
myself in thy statutes : I will not forget thy word. Psal. cxix. 93. 
I will never forget thy precepts ; for with them thou hast quickened 
me. Psalm cxix. 99. Thy testimonies are my meditation. 

Q. 27. How is faith and love principally manifested to the word 
after hearing ? 

A. It is principally manifested by bringing forth the fruits of it in 
our lives ; Col. i. 5, 6. For the hope which is laid up for you in hea- 
ven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the trutli of the gos}>el, 
which is come unto you, as it is in all the world, and bringeth forth 
fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye have heard of it, and 
knew the grace of God in truth. 

Q. 28. What is the use of all this ? 

A. This serves to reprove our formal and dead hearing the word, 
and excites us all to evidence and exercise more faith, love, and obe- 
dience, in hearing it. 

Cff Sacraments as Means of Salvation. 

Quest. 91. JrlOAV do the sacraments become effectual means of 
salvation ? 

A, The sacraraents become effectual means of salvation^ not from 
uny virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them, hut only 
hy the blessing of Christ, and the working of his Spirit in them 
that byjaith receive them, 

Q. 1. What is the first proper sense of this word sacrament.'* 

A. It primarily signifies a solemn oath taken by soldiers, when they 
iist themselves under a prince or general ; and this oath was mutual. 

Q. 2. Why do we use it, seeing it is not a scripture word? 

A. Though the word be not found in scripture, yet the thing in- 
tended by it is, and that brings the word in use; for in the sacraments 
God obliges himself to us by confirming his covenant bv it ; Rom. iv. 

Vol. VI. ' S 



276 AX EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteous- 
ness of the faith, which he had yet being uacircumcised : that he 
might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not cir- 
cumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. And 
we oblige ourselves to God ; Rom. vi. 3, 4. Know ye not that so 
many of us as were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his 
death ? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, 
that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the 
Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

Q. 3. What is here meant by salvation ? 

A. By salvation is meant our complete and final deliverance from 
sin and misery, both temporal and eternal. From sin, Mat. i. 21. 
For he shall save his people from their sins. From misery, 1 Thess. 
i. 10. Even Jesus who delivered us from the wrath to come. 

Q. 4. What is a mean of salvation ? 

A. A mean of salvation signifies any appointment of God, where- 
by he promotes and accomplishes his design of saving our souls ; so 
the word is a mean ; Rom. i. 16. For I am not ashamed of the gos- 
pel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one 
that believeth. 

Q. 5. How doth the word and sacraments differ as means of sal- 
vation ? 

A. The word is appointed to be the first means of begetting faith ; 
1 Cor. iii. 5. Who then is Paul ? And who is Apollos ? But minis- 
ters by whom ye believed, &c. Sacraments are to seal and confirm 
it; Rom. iv. 11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of 
the righteousness of faith, &c. 

Q. 6. What is meant by an effectual mean of salvation ? 

A. By an effectual mean, is meant such a mean as fully obtains 
and accomplishes the end it was appointed for, 1 Thess. ii. 13. Be- 
cause when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye 
received it not as the word of men ; but (as it is in truth) the word 
of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 

Q. 7. Do not all the means of salvation prove effectual to men ? 

A. Though the means of salvation prove effectual to all God's 
elect, yet they are not so to others ; Acts xxviii. 23, 24. And when 
they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodg- 
ing, to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, per- 
suading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and 
out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed 
the things which were spoken, and some believed not. 

Q. 8. Do not the sacraments save all that partake of them ? 

A. No, they do not ; baptism may pass on a cast-away ; Acts viii 
23. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the 
bond of iniq uity. And the Lord's supper may be received unworthily ; 
1 Cor. xi. 27. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 277 

the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood 
of the Lord. 

Q. 9. What is the reason they prove not effectual to all ? 

J. Because their virtue and efficacy is not in themselves, but in 
God ; for we see they work as God's Spirit concurs, or not concurs 
with them, as in the instance before given. 

Q. 10. But is not that for want of wisdom, holiness, or zeal in the 
minister, that they have no more efficacy ? 

A. No, it is not principally, or only from thence; for it is not in 
the power of the holiest minister in the world to make them effectual; 
1 Cor. iii. 7. Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that 
watereth ; but God that giveth the increase. 

Q. 11. Whence is it that sacraments become effectual ? 

A. It is only from the Spirit of Christ working in them, and by 
them on the souls of men ; 1 Cor. xii. 13. For by one Spirit are we 
all baptized into one body, — and have been all made to drink into 
one Spirit. 

Q. 12. What is the first instruction hence? 

A. That men enjoying all the ordinances of the gospel, and par- 
taking of the sacraments annexed to the covenant of grace, may vet 
perish for ever ; 1 Cor. x. 3, 4, 5. And did all eat the same spiritual 
meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; (for they drank 
of that spiritual rock that followed them : and that rock was Christ.) 
But with many of them God was not well pleased ; for they were 
overthrown in the wilderness; Luke xiii. 26, 27. Then shall ve be- 
gin to say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast 
taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not 
whence ye art? ; depart from me all ye workers of iniquity. 

Q. 13. What is the second inference ? 

A. That men should not idolize some ministers for the excellency 
of their gifts, and despise others, seeing it is not in them to make 
the means effectual. 

Q. 14. What is the last inference ? 

A. That in all our attendance upon the means of salvation, we 
should be careful to beg the Spirit and blessing of Christ, without 
which they cannot be effectual to our salvation. 

Oftlie Nature of Sacraments. 

Quest. 92. What is a sacrament? 

A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance institutedhy Christ ; where- 
in by sensible signs, Christ and the beiiejits of the new covenant are 
represented, sealed, and applied to believei's. 

Q. 1. How many sorts of sacraments are found in scripture ? 

A. Of sacraments there are two sorts, some extraordinary and tran- 
sient, as the fiery pillar, manna, and water out of the rock ; 1 Cor. x. 
1, 2, 3, 4. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be igno- 
rant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed 

S2 



278 AX EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

through the sea ; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, 
and in the sea; and did a)l eat the same spiritual meat ; and did all 
drink the same spiritual drink ; (for they drank of that spiritual rock 
that followed thera : and that rock was Christ.) And some ordinary 
and standing, as circumcision and the passover, before Christ ; and 
baptism and the Lord's supper, since (Christ's death. 

Q. 2. How many things are to be considered in every sacrament ? 

A. In every sacrament five things must be considered ; (1.) The 
author. (2.) The parts. (3.) The union of those parts. (4.) The 
subjects. (5.) The ends and uses of it. 

Q. 3. Who is the author of the sacraments ? 

A. The Lord Jesus Christ as King of the church, by whose sole 
authority baptism was instituted ; Mat. xxviii. 19, 20. Go ye there- 
fore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost : Teaching them to observe 
all things, whatsoever I have commanded you, &c. And the Lord's 
supper ; 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24. For I have received of the Lord that 
which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same 
night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given 
thanks, he brake it, and said, take, eat, this is my body, which is 
broken for you : This do in remembrance of me. 

Q. 4. Are the old sacraments yet in being and in use in the 
church ? 

A. No, they are passed away, and the new come in their room. 
Baptism takes place of circumcision ; Col. ii. 11, 12. In whom also ye 
are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting 
off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ ; 
buried with him in baptism, &c. And the Lord's supper of the pass- 
over ; 1 Cor. V. 7. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may 
be a new lump, as ye are unleavened, for even Christ our passover 
is sacrificed for us. 

Q. 5. Of what parts doth every sacrament consist ? 

A. Every sacrament consists of two parts, one external and earthly; 
another internal and heavenly, or spiritual. Bread, wine, and water, 
are the external, Christ's blood and Spirit the internal parts ; Rom. 
vi. 3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus 
Christ, were baptized into his death ? 1 Cor. xi. 25. This cup is the 
New Testament in my blood, &c. 

Q. 6. Wherein consists the sacramental union of those parts ? 

A. It consists, by virtue of Christ's institution, in three things; 
(1.) In apt signification. (2.) Firm obsignation. And, (3.) Real 
exhibition of the blessings signified and sealed. 

Q. 7. What are the blessings signified by water in baptism ? 

A. It signifies our implantation into Christ, and communion with 
him in his death and resurrection ; Rom. vi. 4. Therefore we are 
buried with him by baptism into death, that hke as Christ was raised 
up from the dead'by the glory of the Father ; even so we also should 



AN EXPpSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 279 

"walk in newness of life. And our solemn admission into the visible 
church ; Gal. iii. 26, 27, 28, 29. For ye are all the children of God 
by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized 
into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, 
there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female ; For 
ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's then are ye 
Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

Q. 8. What are the blessings signified by bread and wine ? 
J. They signify Christ's body and blood, broken and poured out 
for us, with all the blessings of remission, peace, and salvation pur- 
chased by his blood, 1 Cor. x. 16, 17. The cup of blessing which 
we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? The bread 
which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ ? 
For we being many, are one bread, and one body ; for we are all 
partakers of that one bread. 

Q. 9. Do the sacraments seal, as well as signify these things ? 

A. Yes, they do; Rom. iv. 11. And he received the sign of cir- 
cumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith, &c. Their use 
is to confirm God's covenant with believers. 

Q. 10. Who are the proper subjects of the sacraments.? 

A. Believers and their seed are the subjects of baptism, but adult 
Christians only of the Lord's supper ; Acts ii. 38, 39. Repent, and 
be baptized every one of you ; for the promise is unto you, and to 
your children, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 1 Cor. 
xi. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that 
bread, and drink of that cup. 

Q. 11. What is the main use and end of sacraments .? 

A. It is to ratify and confirm God's covenant with believers ; Rom. 
iv. 11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righ- 
teousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised, &c. 
1 Cor. xi. 26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, 
ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 

Q. 12. What is the first instruction from hence.? 

A. That the abuse of such holy and solemn mysteries is a sin of 
dreadful aggravation, and such as God will punish ; 1 Cor. xi. 27. 
Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the 
Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 

Q. 13. What is the second instruction .? 

A. Hence we learn the tender care and love of Christ over the 
church, in instituting such useful and comfortable ordinances for us. 
Of the Number of Sacraments. 

Quest. 93. W^HICH are the sacraments of the New Testament.? 

A. The sacraments of the New Testament are, baptism and the 
Lord's supper. 

Q. 1. How many sacraments hath Christ appointed in the New 
Testament ? 

S6 



280 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHTS.\r. 

J. Christ hath appointed two, and no more : these being sufficient 
for our initiation and confirmation. 

Q. 2. How many have the Papists added to them ? 

J. They have added five more ; viz. Confirmation, penance, or- 
dination, marriage, and extreme unction. 

Q. i!>. What is their sacrament of confirmation ? 

A. It is the anointing of the baptised with chrism in the forehead, 
with this form of words ; I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and 
confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost. 

Q. 4. What is their ground for this practice ? 

A. The abuse of that Scripture, Heb. vi. 2. Of the doctrine of 
baptisms, and laving on of hands, &c. which, by a figurative speech, 
expresseth the whole standing ministry in the church, by laying on 
of hands. 

Q. 5. What is their sacrament of penance ? 

A. It is repentance manifested by outward signs, to which the word 
of absolution coming, makes it a sacrament misgrounded on John 
XX. 23. Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them ; and 
whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained. 

Q. 6. What is their sacrament of orders, or ordination ? 

A. It is the laying on of hands in ordination of ministers, by which 
they conceive spiritual grace is given ; by mistake of 2 Tim. i. 6. 
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of 
God which is in thee, by the putting on of my hands. 

Q. 7. What is their fourth superadded sacrament ? 

A. It is marriage, grounded upon those words of the apostle, Eph. 
V. 32. This is a great mystery ; but I speak concerning Christ and 
the church. Which only shews a similitude of our union with Christ, 
not an instituted sign to that end. 

Q. 8. What is their fit\h superadded sacrament ? 

A. Extreme unction, or anointing the sick, near death, with con- 
secrated oil, grounded on Mark vi. 13. And anointed with oil many 
that were sick, and healed them. And James v. 14. Is any sick 
among you ? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them 
pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 
Which are neither sacramental rites, nor of ordinary standing use 
in the church, but extraordinary and temporary for that age. 

Q. 9. What learn we hence ? 

A. Hence we learn, how apt men are to corrupt God'*s ordinances, 
by their superstitious additions ; Mat. xv. 9. Teaching for doctrines 
the commandments of men. 

Q. 10. What is the second instruction hence .^ 

A. How just and necessary our separation from Rome is, who have 
grossly corrupted God's ordinances, and left men no other remedy; 
Rev. xiii. 6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLV's CATECHISM. 281 

blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in hea- 
ven. 

Q. 11. What is the third instruction.? 

A. That the reformation of religion is an invaluable mercy, a 
^reat deliverance from spiritual bondage; Rev. xi. 19. And the 
temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his tem- 
ple the ark of his testament : and there were lightnings, and voices, 
and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. 

Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction.'^ 

A. That Rome shall certainly fall, and all her adherents, for the 
horrid injury done by them to Christ, and the souls of men ; Rev. 
xviiL 20, 21. Rejoice over her thou heaven, and ye holy apostles 
and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty 
angel took up a stone like a great milstone, and cast it into the sea, 
saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown 
down, and shall be found no more at all. 

Of Baptism^ 

Quest. 94. \t HAT is baptism ? 

A. Baptism is a sacrament^ wherein the washing with water, in 
the navie of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 
doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking rrf 
the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the 
Lord's. 

Q. 1. AVhat is the external part of baptism ? 

A. It is pure unmixed water ; Hex. x. 22. And our bodies wash- 
ed with pure water. And therefore it is a vile practice of Papists, 
to add oil, salt, and spittle, to water in baptism. 

Q. 2. What doth water in baptism signify ? 

A. It signifies the blood of Christ ; Rev. i. 5. Unto him that lov- 
ed us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. 

Q. 3. What is the first resemblance it hath to Christ's blood ? 

A. In the freeness of it to all, it represents the unpurchased blood 
of Christ ; Isa. Iv. 1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the 
waters ; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat ; yea, 
come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price. 

Q. 4. What is the second resemblance to Christ's blood ? 

A. It resembles it in its refreshing quality ; water refresheth the 
thirsty, so doth Christ's blood ; John vi. 35. He that believeth on 
me shall never thirst. 

Q. 5. What is the third resemblance it hath to Christ's blood ? 

A. The cleansing property of water shews the purifying virtue of 
Christ's blood ; Heb. ix. 14. How much more shall the blood of 
Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot 
to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living 
God.? 

S4 



23S 

Q. 6. What is the fourth resemblance it hath to Christ's blood ? 

A. It resembles it in the necessity of it : For as the body cannot 
live without water, so neither can the Soul without Christ's blood ; 
Heb. ix. 23. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things 
in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things 
themselves with better sacrifices than these. 

Q. 7. What is the fifth resemblance of water to the blood of 
Christ ? 

A. As water neither refresheth nor purifies the body without ap- 
plication ; so neither doth Christ's blood refresh or purify the soul 
till applied ; 1 Cor. i. 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of 
God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, 
and redemption. 

Q. 8. Is it necessary to plunge the whole body under water, in 
baptizing every person ? 

A. The Vvord [baptize] signifying as Avell to wash, as to plunge; 
a person may be truly baptized, that is not plunged. And we cannot 
think by the circumstance of time and place, that the jailor, in the 
night, was carried to a river out of the city ; Acts xvi. 33. And he 
took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and 
was baptized, he and all his straightway. 

Q. 9. But it is not said, John iii. 23. That John also was bap- 
tizing in Enon, near to Salim, because there was much water there : 
and they came and were baptized ? 

A, The word signifies many waters, that is, springs of waters there; 
whicli are known by travellers to be small, not capable of plunging 
into. 
» Q. 10. What are the benefits accruing to us by baptism ? 

A. The benefits are twofold : some external, called the fatness of 
the olive-tree ; i. e. ordinances, and visible membership ; Rom. xi. 
17. And thou being a wild olive-tree, wert graffed in amongst them, 
and with them partakers of the root and fatness of the olive-tree. 
And some spiritual and saving ; 1 Pet. iii. 21. The like figure where- 
unto, even baptism, doth also now save us, (not the putting away 
the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards* 
God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Q. 11. What engagements are laid on the baptized .^ 

A. They are engaged to be the Lord"*s people, and to walk suitably 
to that engagement ; Rom. vi. 4. Therefore we are buried with him 
by baptism into death : that like as Christ was raised up from the 
dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in new- 
ness of life. 

Q. 12i Is baptism to be reiterated, as the Lord's supper.^ 

A. No ; for the Lord's supper is a sacrament for nourishing, but 

this tor implantation ; Rom. vi. 4, 5. Therefore we are buried with 

him by baptism into death : that like as Christ was raised up from the 

dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in new- 



AN EXPOSITION or THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM, 28S 

ness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness 
of his death, we should be also in the likeness of his resurrection. 

Q. IS. Doth baptism regenerate men, and confer saving grace ? 

A. No, it doth not, in its own virtue, convey grace, no more 
than the Lord's supper ; but the Spirit of God is the author of 
grace, and works it as he pleases, before or after baptism. 

Of the Subjects of Baptism. 

Quest. 95. X O whom is baptism to be administered ? 

A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the 
visible churchy till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience 
to him. ; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church 
are to be baptized. 

Q. 1. Who are to be baptized ? 

A. Believers, and their infant-offspring; Acts ii. 39. For the pro- 
mise is to you, and your children, and to all that are afar off, even 
many as the Lord our God shall call. 

Q. 2. How doth it appear, that the infant-seed of believers ought 
to be baptized ? 

A. It appears by this, that they being Abraham's seed, were taken 
into covenant with God, and ordered to have the sign of the cove- 
nant applied to them ; and that grant was never reversed ; Gen. xvii. 
7, 10. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy 
seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant ; to 
be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thcc. This is my cove- 
nant, which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after 
thee ; even every man-child among you shall be circumcised. 

Q. 3. But was not that the covenant of works ; and so will not 
hold, to infer their privilege under the covenant of grace ? 

A. No, it was not ; for God never did, nor will become a God by 
way of special interest to any people ; by virtue of the covenant of 
works, since the breach of it by the fall. 

Q. 4. But if it were the covenant of grace, how doth it appeat 
the right of believers infants is still the same it was before in Abra- 
ham's time ? 

A. Itappears plainly from the apostle's own words and arguments ; 
Acts ii. 39. For the promise is to you, and to your children, &c. 

Q. 5. But though infants then were members of God's visible 
church among the Jews, how doth it appear they are so now, when 
God hath cast them off.? 

A. It appears, the membership and privileges are as free and 
complete to them now, that are the children of Gentile believers, as 
ever they were to the Jewish infants; Rom. xi. 17. And if some of 
the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, were 
graffed in amongst them, and with them partakest of the root and 
fatness of the olive-tree. 

Q. 6, How else doth it appear they are within the covenant.? 



S84 

A. It appears by this, that they are pronounced holy ; 1 Cor. vlL 
14. Else were your children unclean, but now are they holy. Which 
is a foederal holiness, and none out of covenant can be holy by cove- 
nant. 

Q. 7 But may not that place mean only their legitimacy "^ 
A. No, it cannot ; for then the apostle must pronounce all the in- 
fants in the world bastards, that descend not at least from one believ- 
ing parent. 

Q. 8. But infants are not capable to covenant with God, or to 
perform covenant-duties ; and therefore why should they be admit- 
ted to covenant-privileges .^ 

A. A child now of eight days old, is as capable of being admitted 
into covenant with God, as children of the same age were in Abra- 
ham's days : and then it is manifest they were admitted. 

Q. 9. Though they were admitted by circumcision then, will it 
follow, they may be so by baptism now, seeing that ordinance is 
abolislied r 

A. i'es, it will : For though circumcision cease, yet baptism is 
come in its place ; Col. ii. 10, 11, 12. And ye are complete in him, 
which is the head of all principality and power. In whom also ye 
are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in put- 
ting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of 
Christ, buried with him in baptism, &c. 

Q. 10. But circumcision was a seal of the covenant of works; 
and th: aigiiment will not ho! ri, from a seal of the covenant of works, 
to a seal oi the covenant of gi'ace .? 

A, Circumcision never was, nor was intended to be a seal of the 
covenant of works, but of the righteousness of faith ; Rom. iv. 11. 
And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness 
of the faith which he had yet, being uncircumcised, &c. 

Q. 11. But have we no express command in the New Testament 
to baptize infants .^ 

A. There needed no new command ; their privilege had been set- 
tled many ages before upon them, and never reversed by Christ, or 
his apostles, but their former right declared to continue still to them ; 
Acts ii. 39. For the promise is to you and to your children, &c. 

Q. 12. But if they have a right, we might expect to find some 
examples of their baptizing .^ 

^. It is manifest that believers households were baptized with them; 
Acts xvi. 15, 33. And when she was baptized, and her household, 
&:c. Ver. 33. And he took them the same hour of the night, and 
washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his straightway. 
And if infants are not named, so neither are any of age, born of 
Christian parents. 

Q. 13. But many trust to their infant-baptism, as to their regene- 
ration, and so much mischief is done .^ 

A. They do so ; yet the duty is not therefore to be neglected. Th& 



A>J EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 285 

preaclilng of Christ is to some a stumbling-block ; yet Christ must 
be preaclied for all that. 

Q. 14. But many baptized infants prove naught? 

J. And so do many baptized at age too. Duties are not to be 
measured by events. 

Of the Lord's Supper. 

Quest. 96. W HAT is the Lord's supper ? 

A. The Lord's supper is a sacrament, li^herein, hy giving and 
receiving bread and zvine, accord'mg to ChrisCs appointment, his 
death is shewed Jbrth ; and the worthy receivers are not after a cor- 
paral and carnal manner, but by faith made partakers of his body 
and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and 
growth in grace. 

Q. 1. By whose authority is the Lord's supper instituted and ap- 
pointed ? 

A. By the sovereign authority of Christ, the king of the church, 
and not by the pleasuie of man ; 1 Cor. xi. 23. For I have received 
of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you ; that the Lord 
Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. 

Q. 2. Of what parts doth this sacrament consist ? 

A. It consists of two parts ; one earthly and visible, to wit, bread 
and wine ; the other spiritual add invisible, the body and blood of 
Christ ; 1 Cor. x. 16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not 
the communion of the blood of Christ.'^ The bread which we break, 
is it not the communion of the body of Christ.'^ 

Q. 3. How doth these earthly and heavenly things become a sa- 
crament ? 

A. Hy the word of institution, and blessing coming from Christ 
upon them ; 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25. For I have received of the Lord, 
that which also I delivered unto you ; that the Lord Jesus, the same 
night in which he was betrayed, took bread. And when he had 
given thanks, he brake it, and said. Take, eat, this is my body which 
is broken for you : This do in remembrance of me. After the same 
manner also be took the cup, when he had supped, saying. This 
cup is the New Testament in my blood ; This do ye, as often as ye 
drink it, in remembrance of me. 

Q. 4. When did Christ ordain and institute this sacrament ? 

A. He instituted it in the same night he was betrayed ; 1 Cor. xi. 
23. The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took 
bread. It could not be sooner, because the passover must be first 
celebrated, and, by the institution of this, abrogated ; not later, for 
soon after he was apprehended. 

Q. 5. AVhat doth the time of its institution teach us ? 

A. It teaches us, how great Christ's care and love to his people 
is, that he makes in his ordinance such provision for our comfort, 
though he knew his own bitter agony was just at hand. 
Q. 6. What is the general use and end of this sacrament ? 



S86 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHJSM. 

A. It is to confirm, seal, and ratify the new covenant to believers ; 
1 Cor. xi. 35. This cup is the New Testament in my blood : This 
do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 

Q. 7. What are the particular ends and uses of it ? 

J. The first particular end and use of it, is, to bring Christ and 
his sufferings afresh to our remembrance ; 1 Cor. xi. 24, 25. This 
do in remembrance of me. 

Q. 8. What kind of remembrance of Christ is here intended ? 

A. Not a mere speculative, but an affectionate heart-melting re- 
membrance of him like that of Peter, Matth. xxvi. 75. And Peter re- 
membered the words of Jesus, which said unto him. Before the cock 
shall crow thou shall deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept 
bitterly. Or of Joseph, Gen. xliii. 29, 30. And Joseph made haste, 
for his bowels did yern upon his brother : And he sought where to 
weep, and he entered into his chamber and wept there. 

Q. 9. What doth this end of the sacrament imply ? 

A. It implies this ; that the best of God's people are too apt io 
forget Chi-ist, and what he hath endured and suffered for them. 

Q. 10. What else doth it imply ? 

A. It implies this ; that none but those that have the saving know- 
ledge of Christ, and have had former acquaintance with Christ, are 
fit for this ordinance ; for no man can remember what he never 
knew ; 1 Cor. xi. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him 
eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 

Q. 11. Wliat is the second particular use and end of this sacra- 
ment ? 

A. It is to represent Christ to believers, as an apt sign of him, 
and of his death ; and that both memorative, significative, and in- 
structive. 

Q. 1 2. How is it a memorative sign of Christ ? 

A. It brings Christ to our remembrance, as his death and bitter 
sufferings are therein represented to us, by the breaking of bread, 
and pouring forth of wine ; 1 Cor. xi. 26. For as often as ye eat 
this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew forth the Lord's death 
till he come. 

Q. 13. How is it a significative ordinance ? 

A.li is a significative ordinance, not only as it represents Christ's 
sufferings, but the believers union with him as the Head, and with 
each other as members of his body ; 1 Cor. x. 16, 17. The cup of 
blessing which we bless, is it not thecommunion of the blood of Christ; 
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of 
Christ ? For we being many, are one bread, and one body, &c. 

Q. 14. In what respect is it an instructive sign? 

A. It is an instructive sign in divers respects ; namely, first, as it 
teaches us, that Christ is the only nutritive bread, by which our souls 
live; John vi. 51. I am the living bread, which came down from 
heaven : If any man eat of this bread, he ghall live for ever, and the 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 287 

"bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the 
world. And, secondly^ as it instructs us, that the New Testament is 
now in its full force, by the death of Christ the Testator ; Heb. ix. 
16, 17. For where a Testament is, there must also of necessity be the 
death of the Testator. For a testament is of force after men are 
dead ; otherwise it is of no force at all, whilst the Testator livcth. 
Thus much of the Author, nature, and ends of the Lord's supper. 

Of the Elements, Action, arid Subjects of it. 

Quest. 1. ill RE not bread and wine too small and common things, 
to represent the body and blood of Christ ? 

A. Though a bit of bread, and a draught of wine, be things of 
small value in themselves ; yet they are great in respect of their use 
and end. A pennyworth of wax is a small thing in itself, but being 
applied to the label of a deed, may be advanced to the worth of thou- 
sands of pounds, as it receives the seal to a great inheritance. 

Q. 2. Is not the bread in the sacrament turned into the very body 
of Christ itself, by transubstantiation ? 

A. No, it is not ; but the elements retain still their own proper 
nature of bread and wine, after the words of consecration ; and are 
so called ; 1 Cor. xi. 26. For as often as ye eat this bread, &c. 
Mat. xxvi. 29. But I say unto you, I will not henceforth drink of 
this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you 
in my Father''s kingdom. 

Q. 3. What is the first argument, by which Protestants confute 
the Popish doctrine of transubstantiation ? 

A. The first argument against it, is taken from the end of the 
sacrament ; whicli is, to bring Christ's body and blood to our remem- 
brance ; 1 Cor. xi. 24, 25. This do in remembrance of me. Now 
signs for remembrance, are of things absent, not present. 

Q. 4. What is the second argument ? 

A. Because the language in which our Saviour spake, had no other 
property of expression ; there being no other word for signify, but 
is instead thereof, as is manifest in both Testaments ; Gen. xli. 27. 
And the seven ill-favoured kine, that came up after them, are seven 
years of famine. Rev. i. 20. Tlie seven stars, are the angels of the 
seven churches ; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are 
the seven churches. 

Q. 5. "What is the third argument against transubstantiation ? 

A. The manifold gross absurdities, that naturally and necessarily 
follow on this doctrine, shew the falseness of it, and that it is justly 
rejected and abhorred by all sound Christians. 

Q. 6. What is the first absurdity that follows it ? 

A. This doctrine allows that to a silly priest, which is not to be al- 
lowed to all the angels in heaven. It allows him power to make his 
Maker, and eat his God ; and in justifying this by the omnipotency 



-S88 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISit. 

of God, they say no more, than what a Turk may say to justify the 
most ridiculous fooleries of the Alcoran. 

Q. 7. What is the second absurdity of transubstantiation ? 

A. The second absurdity is this, that it denies the truth of the tes- 
timony given by the senses of all men, that it is real bread, and 
real wine, after consecration, and not flesh and blood. And if the 
testimony of sense be not certain, then the being of God cannot be 
proved by the things that are made ; contrary to Rom. i. 20. For the 
invisible things of him from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, 
being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power 
and Godhead, &c. Nor the truth of Christ's resurrection, by seeing 
and feeling ; contrary to Luke xxiv. 39. Behold my hands and my 
feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see, &c. 

Q. 8. What is the third absurdity of transubstantiation ? 

A. The third absurdity is this, that in affirming the accidents of 
bread and wine to remain, and their substance to vanish ; they affirm, 
that there is length, breadth, thickness, moisture, and sweetness ; 
and yet nothing long, broad, thick, moist, or sweet ; which is a 
perfect contradiction. 

Q. 9. W^hat is the fourth absurdity of transubstantiation ? 

A. It implies, that the entire living body of Christ sat at the table, 
and at the same time was dead, and in the disciples mouths and 
stomachs in the first sacrament ; and that in all after-sacraments it 
is wholly in heaven, and wholly in as many thousand places in the 
world, as there are sacraments administered. 

Q. 10. What doth the breaking of this bread, and pouring out 
of wine in the sacrament, signify? 

A. It signifies the violent painful death, and bitter sufferings of 
Christ for us ; 1 Cor. xi. 26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and 
drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 

Q. 11. What doth the giving and taking of the sacramental bread 
and wine signify ? 

A. These actions signify God's exhibiting, and the believers ap- 
plying of Christ, and all his benefits, to their souls. 

Q. 12. Who arc fit subjects to receive the Lord's supper.^ 

A. None that are grossly ignorant, scandalous, or unbelievers in 
their natural state, for such cannot examine themselves, as the word 
requires ; 1 Cor. xi. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let 
him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. But do eat and drink 
judgment to themselves; 1 Cor. xi. 29. For he that eateth and 
drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not 
discerning the Lord's body. 

Q. 13. Are morally honest and sober persons qualified for this 
sacrament. 

A. No ; civility and morality do not qualify persons, they are not 
the wedding-garment; but regenerating grace and faith doth, in the 
smallest measure ; Mat, xxii. 12. And he saith unto him, Friend^ 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 289 

bow earnest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment ? &c. 1 
Cor. X. 16, 17. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the 
communion of the blood of Christ ? The bread which we break, is it 
not the communion of the body of Christ.'' For we being many, are 
one bread, and one body ; for we are all partakers of that one bread. 

Of the Duties of Communicants. 

Quest. 97. ▼ ▼ HAT is required to the worthy receiving of the 
Lord's Supper ? 

A. It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lords 

supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern 

the Lord's body; of their faith to feed upon him ; of their repentance^ 

love, and new obedience ; lest coming tmworthily, they eat and drink 

judgment to themselves. 

Q. 1. What are the duties of worthy receivers.? 

A. There are three sorts of duties incumbent on them; some an- 
tecedent to it, some concomitant of it, and some subsequent to it. 

Q. 2. What are the antecedent duties to it ? 

A. They are two. (1.) Examination of their graces. (2.) Prepa- 
ration of their souls. Examination of their graces ; 1 Cor. xi. 28, 
29. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, 
and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, 
eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's 
body. And preparation of their souls ; 1 Cor. v, 8. Therefore let 
us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of 
malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity 
and truth. 

Q. 3. What is the first grace to be tried ? 

A. Our saving knowledge of God in Christ, without which we 
cannot discern the Lord's body ; 1 Cor. xi. 29. For he that eateth 
and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, 
not discerning the Lord's body. 

Q. 4. What are we to enquire of, touching our knowledge of 
God in Christ.? 

A. We are to examine whether it be competent for quantity, and 
savingly operative and influential on the heart and life, for quality ; 
Hosea iv. 6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, &c. 
1 Cor. xiii. 1. Though I speak with the tongues of men, and of 
angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or 
tinkling cymbal. 

Q. 5. When is knowledge competent and influential ? 

A. When we truly understand, by the teachings of the Father, the 
sin and misery of the fall, the nature and necessity of Christ, and ^ un- 
der these convictions, come to liim in the way of faith; John vi. 45. 

Every man therefore that hath heard, anrl hath learned of the 

Father, conieth unto me. And subject ourselves to him in sincere 
obedience ; Mat. xi. 28, 29. Come unto me, all ye that labour and 



5290 AN EXrOSlTIOX OF THE ASSE^rBLYV CATECHISM. 

are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, 
and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall 
find rest unto your souls. 

Q. 6. What are we to examine ourselves about, besides know- 
ledge ? 

A. We are obliged to examine ourselves about our faith, whether 
we have it in any saving degree ; ^ Cor. xiii. 5. Examine yourselves, 
"whether ye be in the faith : Prove yourselves, &c. For without faith 
we cannot please God ; Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it is impossible 
to please God, &c. Nor enjoy spiritual communion with Christ; 
Eph. iii. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: that 
ye being rooted and grounded in love, &c. 

Q. 7. What other grace must be examined and sought for ? 
A. We must examine our love to Christ, and all that are his : be- 
cause no gifts signify any thing without love ; 1 Cor. xiii. 2. And 
though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and 
all knowledge ; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove 
mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 

Q. 8. What else must worthy receivers examine themselves about ? 
A. The sincerity of their hearts, evidenced by their obedience ; 
without which they cannot worthily approach the table ; 1 Cor. v. 
8. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with 
the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread 
of sincerity and truth. 

Q. 9. But if, upon examination^ we are in doubts about our faith 
and sincerity, must we forbear ? 

A. If our doubts arise from the weakness, and not the total want 
of grace, such doubts should not hinder us; Rom. xiv. 1. Him that 
is weak in the faith, receive you, &c. 

Q. 10. What is the danger of coming to the Lord's table without 
these graces ? 

A. The danjrer is exceeding great both to soul and body. (1.) 
To the soul ; 1 Cor. xi. 29. For he that eateth and drinketh un- 
worthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, &c. And to 
the body; 1 Cor. xi. 30. For this cause many are weak and sickly 
among you, and many sleep. 

Q. 11. W^hat are the duties of worthy receivers at the Lord's 
table ? 

A. Their duties at the table are, to discern Christ by the eye of 
faith, under those signs of his body and blood ; 1 Cor. xi. 29. For he 
that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation 
to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. On the discovery of him, 
to mourn bitterly for sin ; Zech. xii. 10. — And they shall look upon 
me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one 
mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one 
that is in bitterness for his first-born. And to excite all their graces 
into vigorous acts for the applying of Christ to themselves; Cant. iv. 16. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMfiLY^S CATECHIWT. 291 

Awake, O north-wind, and come, thou south, blow upon my gar- 
den, that the spices thereof may flow out, &c. 

Q. 12. What is the duty of worthy receivers, after the sacra- 
ment ? 

J. Their duty is, heartily to bless God for Christ, and the benefits 
of his blood, Matth. xxvi. 30. And when they had sung an hymn, 
they went out into the mount of Olives. To double their care and 
watchfulness against sin ; Eph. iv. 30. And grieve not the Holy Spi- 
rit, whereby ye arc sealed to the day of redemption. And to grow 
more fruitful in all spiritual obedience ; Col. i. 10. That ye might 
walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing ; being fruitful in every 
good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. 

Q. 13. What is the first inference from hence ? 

J. That the abuse and profanation of this ordinance, either by 
coming to it for carnal ends, or being forced upon it by fear of suffer- 
ings, or approaclnng to it without due qualifications, is a dreadful sin, 
which God will terribly avenge : Matt. xxii. 11, 12, 13. And when 
the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had 
not a wedding-garment. And he saith unto him. Friend, how earnest 
thou in hither, not having on a wedding-garment? And he was 
speechless. Then said the king unto the servants. Bind him hand 
and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness: There 
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

Q. 14. What is the second inference from hence ? 

A. That great and manifold are the blessings and advantages 
which Christians duly prepared may reap by this ordinance. 

Of Prayer. 

Quest. 98. What is prayer? 

A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God^for things 
agreeable to Ms will, in the navie of Christ, zvith confession of our 
sins, and thankful achnowledgment of his mercies. 

Q. 1. Who is the proper and only object of prayer ? 

A. God only is the proper object of prayer ; it is a part of 
his natural worship, therefore it is peculiarly his honour and pre- 
rogative, and none else can hear and answer them but God ; Psalm 
Ixv. 9. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. 

Q. 2. Through whom, or in whose name, are our prayers to be 
directed to God ? 

A. Our prayers are to be directed to God only through Christ, 
and his name ; and not by the mediation of angels or saints ; Cd. 
ii. 18. Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humi- 
lity, and worshipping of angels. For the merit and satisfaction of 
Christ alone give success and acceptance to our prayers ; Rev. viii. .^» 
4. And another angel came, and stood at the altar, having a golden 
censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should 
offer it with the prayers of all saints, upon the goldeu altar, which w»s 

Vol. VI. T 



"29^ AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

before the throne. And the smoke of the incense which came with 
the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God, out of the angelV 
hand. 1 Tim. ii. 5. For there is one God, and one Mediator be- 
tween God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 

Q. 3. What is the first property or quaHty of acceptable prayer ? 

A. No prayer can be acceptable to God, except the matter of it 
be agreeable to his will ; Jam. iv. 3. Ye ask and receive not, because 
ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts ; 1 John v. 14, 
15. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask 
any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that 
he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions 
that we desire of him. 

Q. 4. Is it enough to make prayer acceptable, that the matter is 
agreeable to God's will ? 

A. No, it is not ; for the manner, as well as the matter, must be 
so too ; Psalm Ixvi. 18. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord 
will not hear me. 

Q. 5. What is the first qualification of an acceptable prayer, res- 
pecting the manner of it ? 

A. That it be sincere, and flowing from the heart of a regenerate 
person ; Prov. xv. 29. The Lord is far from the ^vicked ; but he 
heareth the prayer of the righteous. Jer. xxix. 13. And ye shall 
seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your 
heart. 

Q. 6. What is the second qualification of prayer respecting the 
manner ? 

A. It must be performed in the heart of a child of God by the 
Spirit of adoption ; Gal. \\. 6. And because ye are sons, God hath 
sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Fa- 
ther. Rom. viii. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities ; 
for we know not what we should pray for as we ought ; but the Spi- 
rit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be 
uttered. 

•Q. 7. What is the third qualification of an acceptable prayer, 
respecting the manner ? 

A. It must be fervent and important, not cold and formal, James 

V. 16. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth 

.much, Matth. vii. 7. Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye 
shall find ; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 

Q 8. Wherein doth true importunity with God in prayer con- 
sist ? 

A. Not in the multitude of words : Matth. vi. 7. But when ye 
pray, use not vain repetitions, as the Heathen do : for they think they 
shall be heard for their much speaking. But in an holy earnestness 
of spirit to be heard; Psalm cxliii. 7. Hear me speedily, O Lord, my 
spirit faileth ; hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them 
that go down into the pit. A prudent choice of prevalent argu- 



A^ EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY\s CATECHISM. 293 

rnents; Job xxiii. 4. I would order my cause before him, and fill my 
mouth with arguments. And a resolute persistance in our requests, 
till they be granted ; Isa. Ixii. 7. And give him no rest, till he esta- 
blish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 

Q. 9. Do not prayers thus qualified sometimes miscarry ; 

J. God may delay and suspend the answer of them for a time ; 
Psal. xxii. 2. O my God I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not, 
&c. But sooner or later God will always answer them, either in the 

very thing we ask ; 1 John v. 15. -We know that we have the 

petitions that we desired of him : Or in that which is equivalent, or 
better ; Gen. xvii. 18, 19. And Abraham said unto God, O that 
Ishmael might live before thee : And God said, Sarah thy wife 
shall bear thee a son indeed, and thou shalt call his name Isaac : 
and 1 will establish my covenant with him, for an everlasting cove- 
nant, and with his seed after him. 

Q. 10. Is there no prayer but what is stated and fixed ? 

A. Yes, there is a sudden occasional prayer, which we call ejacu- 
latory. Such was Jacob's, Gen. xlix. 18. I have waited for thy sal- 
vation, O Lord. And this is exceeding useful, to maintain constant 
communion with God, and keep the heart in a spiritual frame. 

Q. 11. Is all stated and fixed prayer public in the congregation 
or church ? 

A. No ; stated prayer ought to be in our families, with those under 
our charge ; and in our closets, betwixt God and us alone ; Josli, 

xxiv. 15. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, 

And Mat. vi. 6. But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet ; and 
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in se- 
cret ; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 

Q. 12. What do you infer from hence ? 

A. That the restraint of prayer is not only a great sin, but an ill 
sign of a graceless heart ; Job vi. 4. Yea, thou castest off* fear, and 
restrainest prayer before God. And that which entails a judgment 
and curse upon men, and their families ; Jer. x. 25. Pour out thv 
fury upon the Heathen that know thee not, and upon the families 
that call not upon thy name. 

Q. 13. What is the second inference from the ordinance of prayer ? 

A. That the true reason why we enjoy not the mercies we pray 
for, is not because God is unwilling to grant mercies, but because wc 
either neglect prayer, or miscarry in the manner of prayer; James 
iv. 2, 3. Ye lust, and have not : ye kill, and desire to have, and 
cannot obtain : ye fight and war, yet ye have not, l^ecause ye ask not. 
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume 
it upon your lusts. 

Of Direction in Prayer . 

Quest. 99. W HAT rule hath God given for our direction in the 
duty of prayer.^ 

T2 



294? AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLy's CATECHISM. 

A. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer ; but the 
special rule of direction, is that form of prayer which Christ taught 
his disciples, commonly called the LordCs prayer. 

Q. 1. Do men need directions, rules, and helps in prayer ? 

A, They do greatly need them, for in, and of ourselves we know 
not what to pray for as we ought ; Rom. viii. 26. Likewise the Spi- 
rit also helpeth our infirmities ; for we Vuow not what we should 
pray for as we ought, &c. Nor how to pray in a right manner, and 
for right ends; and a mistake in either frustrates our prayers; 
James iv. 3. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye 
may consume it upon your lusts. 

Q. 2. When do men mistake in the matter of their prayer.? 

A. They mistake in the matter of prayer, when they ask of God 
things that are not lawful, good and agreeable to his will. So the dis- 
ciples were ready to do, in calling for fire from heaven on the Sama- 
ritans ; Luke ix. 54, 55. And when his disciples, James and John, 
saw this, they said. Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come 
down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did ? But he 
tunied and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of 
spirit ye are of. 

Q. 3. When do men mistake in the manner of prayer ? 

A. They mistake in the manner, v.hen they ask mercies of God 
for carnal ends, to satisfy their lusts ; James iv. 3. Ye ask, and re- 
ceive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your 
lusts. Or in a drowsy and careless manner ; Isa. Ixiv. 7. And there 
is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take 
hold of thee, &c. 

Q. 4. What helps hath God afforded us to furnish us to prayer, 
both in respect of the matter and manner ? 

A. The scriptures abundantly furnish us with all sorts of helps and 
directions for the matter of prayer. It directs us, both in confession 
of sin, original and actual ; Psalm li. 4, 5. Behold I was shapen 
in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Against thee, 
thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, &c. Peti- 
tion and thanksgiving ; Phil. iv. 6. Be careful for nothing, but in 
every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your 
requests be made known unto God. 

Q. 5. Doth it afford us any help, or direction, as to the manner 
of prayer also ? 

A. Yes, it doth; and that both as to, (1.) Our sincerity in pray- 
er ; Heb. x. 22. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance 
of faith ; having our hears sprinkled from an evil conscience, and 
our bodies washed with pure water. (2.) As to our humility in pray- 
er; Psalm X. 17. Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble; 
thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear. (3.) 
As to our faith in prayer; James i. 6. But let him ask in faith, no- 
thing wavering, &c. (4.) As to our fervency in prayer ; James v. 6. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. S95 

—The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

Q. 6. Are these external rules and directions sufficient in them- 
selves to enable us to pray acceptably ? 

A. In respect of external direction they are sufficient, and we need 
no other outward rules than what the scriptures furnish ; but besides 
that, the internal helps and assistances of the Spirit are necessary to 
the offering up acceptable prayer; Rom. viii. 26. Likewise the Spirit 
also helpeth our infirmities ; for we know not what we should pray 
for as we ought ; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, &c. 

Q. 7. But doth the scripture only furnish us with general rules 
of direction for prayer ; 

J. No, it furnishes us also with an excellent pattern and example 
of prayer, composed by Christ for our direction ; Matth. vi. ^. 
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father, which art in 
heaven, &c. 

Q. 8. Are Christians tied by a necessity to use that form of words .^ 
Or was it only intended for a directory to them ? 

A. That form of words may be lawfully used, but it is plain its 
intention was to regulate our petitions by it ; and therefore they that 
use it in spells and charms, as the Papists ; or those that think 
nothing is prayer, but that form of words ; abuse Christ's intention 
in it. 

Q. 9. How doth it appear, it was not Christ's intention strictly to 
bind us to that very form of words in our prayers ? 

A. Divines give us these reasons against it, (1.) Because this prayer 
is set down diversly by the evangelists; Mat. vi. 10, 12. Thy king- 
dom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. And forgive 
us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And Luke xi. 3, 4. Give us 
day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins ; for we also 
forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into 
temptation, but deliver us from evil. (2.) Christ and his apostles did 
not always use this form of words afterwards, as appears by his prayer 
at Lazarus' grave, John xi, and that for his apostles, John xvii. 
(3.) Because these words. Mat. vi. 9. After this manner, &c. plainly 
shew, its use was intended for a directory to us. 

Q. 10. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. Hence we learn the fulness and completeness of the Scriptures, 
not only for the guiding and settling of our faith in things that are 
to be believed, but also of our whole practice, in every duty we are 
to perform. 

Q. 11. What is the second inference hence ? 

A. Hence we are informed, liow necessary it is to acquaint our- 
selves with the mind of God, revealed in his word, that we may 
guide ourselves in prayer, both for matter and manner thereby : and 
not utter to God words without knowledge. 

Q. 12. What is the last int'erence from hence ? 

A. That those who neglect all prayer, and those that satisfy them* 

T3 



296 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

selves with a form of prayer, which they utter without knowledge of 
affection, do greatly sin against God. And that it is the duty of all 
Christians, from a sense of their own sins, wants, and mercies, to be 
often with God in prayer, guiding themselves in that spiritual duty, 
by such inward, and outward helps, as his word and Spirit are able 
to furnish them with. 

Of the Preface to the Lord's Prayer. 

Quest. 100. W HAT doth the preface of the Lord's prayer 
teach us.'* 

A. The preface to the Lord's prayer^ which is, [Our Father which- 
art in heaven,] teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy rever- 
ence and confidence^ as children to a Father, able and ready to help 
us: and that we should pray with and for others. 

Q. 1. What doth the word Father import in this preface ? 

A. It imports the Spirit of adoption to be the principal thing in 
all acceptable prayers ; Gal. iv. 6. And because ye are sons, God 
hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, 
Father. 

Q. 2. What is the first benefit, or help we have in prayer, from 
the Spirit of adoption ? 

A. He excites our spirits to seek God in prayer ; Psal. xxvii. 8. 
When thou saidst. Seek ye my face ; my heart said unto thee. Thy 
face, Lord, will I seek. 

Q. 3. What is the second assistance he gives us in prayer ? 

A. He indites and suggests suitable and acceptable matter to us 
in prayer ; Rom. viii. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our in- 
firmities : for we know not what we should pray for as we ought ; 
but the Spirit itself makcth intercession for us, &c. 

Q. 4. What is the third benefit we have by him in prayer.^ 

A. He fills our souls with spiritual and holy affections in prayer, 
and helps us to act his graces in our duties ; Rom. viii. 26. Likewise 
the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities : for we know not what we 
should pray for as we ought ; but the Spirit itself maketh interces- 
sion for US, with groanings which cannot be uttered. 

Q. 5. What else doth this word Father import ? 

A. It imports that holy confidence which believers may, and ought 
to draw near to God withal, as children to a Father ; Eph, iii. 12. 
In whom we have boldness and access, with confidence, by the faith 
of him. 

Q. 6. Doth it only signify our relation and confidence ? 

A. No, it also signifies the reverential fear of God, which ought 
at all times to be on our hearts, especially in prayer ; Mai. i. 6. A 
son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: If then I be a 
father, where is mine honour.? and if I be a master, where is my fear ? 

Q. 7. What is further imported in this word Father .? 
. A^ It imports God's willingness and readiness to grant the best 



AX EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLV's CATECHISM:. 297 

mercies to bis people that seek them duly at his hand; Mat. vii. 11. 
If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your chil- 
dren ; Ik)W much more shall your Father which is in heaven give 
good things to them that ask him ? 

Q. 8. Why is he here called our Father "? 

A. To signify to us, that it is not only our duty to pray secretly 
by and for ourselves, but also with and for others? Eph. vi. 18. 
Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and 
watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all 
saints. 

Q. 9. Why is God said here to be in heaven ? 

A, It is to note his sovereign power and dominion over all, as a 
ground-work of faith in prayer. 

Q. 10. What else doth it import ? 

A. The great distance between God and us, which should fill our 

hearts with an holy awe of him ; Eccl. v. 2. God is in heaven, 

and thou upon earth : therefore let thy w^ords be few. 

Q. 11. What is the first inference from hence ? 

^. It shews us, what a sad case all those are in, that have no 
special interest in God as a Father. 

Q. 12. What is the second inference from hence.'* 

A. It shews us, what a glorious privilege the Lord Jesus Christ 
hath purchased for, and settled on his people.? Heb. iv. 15, 16. For 
we have not an high-priest which cannot be touched with the feeling 
of our infirmities ; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet 
without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, 
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 

Q. 13. What is the last inference from hence ? 

A. That seeing believers have a Father in lieaven, thev should 
never fear wants while they live, nor be afraid to die, since death 
briags them to heaven their Father's house. 

Of sanctifying God's Name. 

Quest.. 101. f V HAT do we pray for in the first petition ? 

A. In the first petition, which is, [Hallowed be thy name,] zve 
pray, that God would enable us and others, to glorify him in all 
that whereby he maketh himself' known, and that he would dispose 
all things to his own glory. 

Q. 1. Is there any ward full enough, perfectly to express what 
God is ? 

A. No, his name is secret; Judges xiii. 18. And the angel of the 
Lord said unto him. Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is 

secret ? A name which none can tell ; Prov. xxx. 4. AVhat is his 

name, and what is his Son's name, if thou canst tell ?■ A name above 
every name ; Phil. ii. 9. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, 
and given him a name which is above every name. But the name by 

T4 



S98 AN EXPOSITIO^^ OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISMr 

which he more especially manifests himself, is the name I AM ; Exod, 
iii. 14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM : And he 
said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath 
sent me unto you. 

Q. 2. What doth the name of God, I AM, signify to us ? 

A.\t signifies to us, first, The reality of his being, in opposition to 
idols, which are but imaginary and fantastic things ; 1 Cor. viii. 4, 

We know that an idol is nothing in the world, &c. God is not 

only the most perfect Being, but the root of all other beings, 

Q. 3. What else doth this name I AM import ? 

A. It imports both the perfection and eternity of God's being. 
I A]\I implies, he hath not that now, which he had not formerly ; 
and that he shall not afterwards have, what he hath not now ; and 
that there is neither beginning, end, nor succession with God, whose 
name is I AM. 

Q. 4. But what are we here to understand by the name of God ? 

J. All those things are here intended, by which he manifests him- 
self to the creature ; as his words, works, and ordinances, but espe- 
cially his glorious attributes ; Exod. xxxiv. 5, 6. The Lord, the 

Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in 
goodness and truth. 

Q. 5. What is it to hallow, of sanctify his name ? 

A. Not to infuse any holiness into him, which he had not before; 
so he sanctifies us ; but to manifest and acknowledge the holiness of 
God ; Isa. xxix. 23. But when he seeth his children, the work of my 
hands in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify 
the holy one of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. 

Q. 6. Why hallowed or sanctified, rather than glorified ^ Why 
that word, rather than this ? 

A. Because his holiness is the beauty and lustre of his other attri- 
butes. His greatness appears in his holiness ; Isa. xii. 6. — Great is 
the holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. So doth his power; 
Luke i. 49. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things, and 
holy is his name. And therefore his holiness is that attribute, which 
angels single out especially to celebrate ; Isa. vi. 3. And one cried 
unto another, and said. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, &c. 
An ■ so did men also, as it is the cause why they should glorify him ; 
Exod. XV. 11. Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, &c. 

Q. 7. What is the first thing we are to intend in this petition ? 

A. The meaning is, that God would so dispose and order all things 
in the world, as may best promote and advance the glory of his name; 
on which account we may pray for the defeat of God's enemies ; 
Psal. Ixxxiii. 16, 17, 18. Fill their faces with shame, that they may 
seek thy name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and troubled for 
ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish ; that men may know 
that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most High over all 
the earth. And the deliverance of his church and people ; Psalm 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. S99 

Ixxlx. 9. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of 
thy name ; and deliver us, and purge away our sins for thy name's 
sake. 

Q. 8. What is the second thing we are to intend in it ? 

A. That God would fit us for, and use us in the most serviceable 
capacity for the glorifying of his name ; Psal. Ixvii. 1, 2, 3. God be 
merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us : 
That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among 
all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God, let all the people 
praise thee. 

Q. 9. What is the third thing intended in this petition ? 

A. That God may not only glorify his own name, and use us to 
glorify it, but that it should be our endeavour and joy to have it 
glorified by others all the world over ; Psalm cxlv. 4, 5, 6. One 
generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy 
mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, 
and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of 
thy terrible acts ; and I will declare thy greatness. 

Q. 10. Why must our hearts be so intently set upon the sanctifi- 
cation of God's name ? 

A. Because this is the ultimate end of our own, and every other 
being ; Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are 
all things ; to whom be glory for ever, Amen. And the particular 
end of God in our effectual calling ; 1 Pet. ii. 9- but ye are a chosen 
generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that 
ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of 
darkness into his marvellous light. 

Q. 11. What is the first inference from hence? 

A. That the dishonour of God's name must needs be a cutting 
affliction to a gracious soul ; Psalm xlii. 10. As with a sword in my 
bones my enemies reproach me ; while they say daily unto me, Where 
is thy God ? 

Q. 12. What is the second inference hence ? 

A. That it is a dreadful infatuation, and spiritual judgment upon 
those men that think they glorify God in doing those things which 
his soul hateth ; Isa. Ixvi. 5. Hear the word of the Lord, ye that 
tremble at his word : Your brethren that hated you, that cast you 
out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified : But he shall 
appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. And John xvi. 2. 
They shall put you out of the synagogues : Yea, the time cometh, 
that whosoever killeth you, he will think that he doth God service. 
Q. 13. What is the third inference from hence? 
A. That it should be indifferent to a Christian what condition God 
puts him into, so that he may but be useful to sanctify and exalt the 
name of God therein ; Phil. i. 20. — As always, so now also Christ 
ghall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. 
Q. 14. What is the last inference hence .^ 



300 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

A. That it is an high and dreadful provocation of God to pro- 
fane and abuse his worship, whereon his name is called, and where- 
in it is to be sanctified ; Lev. x. 1, 2, 3. And Nadab and Abihu, the 
sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, 
and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, 
which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the 
Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then 
iMoses said unto Aaron, this is that the Lord spake, saying, I will be 
sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people will 
I be glorified. 

Of God's Kingdom. 

Quest. 102. ▼ T HAT do we pray for in the second petition ? 

A. In the second petition, which is, [Thy kingdom come,] we pray 
that Satan'' s kingdom may be destroyed, and that the kingdom of 
grace may he advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and 
kept in it, and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened. 

Q. 1. What is the first thing signified by the kingdom of God here.? 

A. The gospel is here intended by the kingdom of God, Matth. 

xiii. 47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that 

was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. 

Q. 2. What is the thing signified by the coming of this kingdom 
of God.? 

A. It signifies the removal of all impediments, that hinder its pro- 
pagation in the world ; 2 Thess. iii. 1. Finally, brethren, pray for 
us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, 
even as it is with you. 

Q. 3. Who, and what hinders the propagation of it .? 

A. Antichrist, that man of sin, hinders it externally ; 2 Thess. ii. 
4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, 
or that is worshipped ; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, 
shewing himself that he is God. The devil and men's lusts inter- 
nally ; 1 Thess. ii. 18. Wherefore we would have come unto you 
(even I Paul) once and again ; but Satan hindered us. Luke xix. 
14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a messenger after him, say- 
ing. We will not have this man to reign over us. 

Q. 4. What then is the desire of all good men, with respect to 
the coming of the gospel-kingdom .? 

A. That all nations may be brought to Christ by the preaching of 
it, and so Christ's kingdom be greatly exalted and enlarged ; Isa. ii. 
2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the 
Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and 
shall be exalted above the hills ; and all nations shall flow into it. 

Q. 5. What is the second thing here meant by the kingdom of 
God? 

A. It signifies and intends the work of saving grace wrought ia 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISxM. 801 

men's souls ; Luke xvii. 21. Behold, the kingdom of God is 

within you. 

Q. 6. Why is this work of grace called the kingdom of God ? 

A. Because wherever saving-grace comes, it subdues the soul to 
Christ's sceptre ; 2 Cor. x. 5. Casting down imaginations, and every 
high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and 
bringeth into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ ? 

Q. 7. Wherein consists the kingdom of grace ? 

A. It consists not in external rites and observances, but in righte- 
ousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost ; Rom. xiv. 17. For 
the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and 
peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 8. What do we ask of God in this petition, with respect to this 
kingdom of grace ? 

A. Herein we desire not only our own personal progressive sancti- 
fication, but the sanctification of others all the world over ; Acts xxvi. 
9Q. And Paul said, I would to God that not only thou, but also all 
that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I 
am, except these bonds. 

Q. 9. What is the third thing here meant by the kingdom of God? 

A. By it is here meant the future state of glory and blessedness ; 
1 Cor. XV. 50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot 
inherit the kingdom of God, &c. 

Q. 1 0. Why is the heavenly state called the kingdom of God ? 

A. This is called the kingdom of God, because in that state God 
reigns over his people gloriously, there being no rebellion in them 
in the least degree ; Luke xx. 36. — For they are equal unto the an- 
gels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resur- 
rection. And they reign with Christ ; Rev. iii. 21. To him that 
overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, &c. 

Q. 11. W^hat do we desire in prayer for the coming of this king- 
dom ? 

A. We desire not only our preservation in our passage to that state 
of glory ; 1 Pet. v. 10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us 
unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a 
while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. But the 

hastening of it to ourselves and others ; Rev. xxii. 20.— Amen, 

even so come Lord Jesus. 

Q. 12. What is the first instruction hence ? 

A. That the gospel is an invaluable mercy, as it is the instrument 
of bringing us into Christ's gracious and glorious kingdom ; Acts 
xxvi. 18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to 
light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive 
forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified 
by f^ith that is in me. 

Q. 13. What is the second inference from hence .^ 



302 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

A. That men may really hate and oppose the very thing they 
pray for. 

Q. 14. What is the last instruction hence? 

A. That how firmly soever Satan's and Antichrist's kingdom seem 
to be founded in the world, they must and shall fall before the daily 
prayers of the saints. 

Concerning the Doing of God's Will 

Quest. 103. V? HAT do we pray for in the third petition ? 

A. In the third petition, which is, [Thy ^^ ill be done in earth as 
it is in heaven], zee pray that God, hy his grace, would make us able 
and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as 
the angels do in heaven. 

Q. 1. What will of God is here intended ? 

A. Not the will of his decree ; for that is in himself alone ; 1 Cor. 
ii. 11. The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 

Q. 2. What will then is here meant ? 

A. The will of his providence may be here meant ; Psal. cxxv. 6. 
Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, 
and in the seas, and all deep places. And Psal. cxix. 89. For ever, 
O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Ver. 91. They continue this 
day according to thine ordinances ; for all are thy servants. 

Q. 3. How are we to understand the doing of this will of provi- 
dence in heaven ? 

A. (I.) As it done by the sun, moon, and stars ; Psalm cxix. 89. 
Thy word is settled in heaven. Ver. 91. They continue this day 
according to thine ordinances. Psalm xix. 6. His going forth is 
from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it ; and 
there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. (2.) As it is done by 
angels ; Psal. civ. 4. AVho maketh the angels spirits, his ministers a 
flaming fire. Heb. i. 14. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent 
forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ? 

Q. 4. How do these perform the vvill of God's providence ? 

A, (1.) The heavenly bodies do it evenly, constantly, and unwea- 
riedly ; Psalm civ. 19- He appointeth the moon for seasons, the sun 
knoweth his going down. (2.) The angels do it speedily, voluntarily, 
cheerfully, and so knowingly ; Psalm ciii. 21. Ye ministers of his 
that do his pleasure. 

Q. 5. Must we be agents in this providential will ? 

A. Yes, we must ; Acts xiii. 36. For David, after he had served 
his generation by the will of God, fell on sleep. 

Q. 6. How must we do it ? 

A. By employing our abilities, faculties, and interests, in the duties 
of our particular callings, and by moving constantly, prudently, and 
vigorously in our own sphere, and so imitate those in heaven. 

Q. 7. Why do we pray that God's will of providence may be done 
bv us? 



AIJ EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. SOS 

A. Because we are his creatures, and the most noble instrument of 
the inferior world ; and therefore we should be willing to be acted 
bv him, and active for him ; and because this will of providence is 
always just, good, and true, and for his own glory ; Psalm cxlv. 17. 
The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Psal. 
cxix. 89- Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Ver. 9L 
They continue this day according to thine ordinances ; for all are 
thy servants. 

Q. 8. What other will of God is here meant ? 

A. The will of his precepts, and this is chiefly intended. 

Q. 9. And how is this will of God done in heaven ? 

A. By the angels it is done universally, cheerfully, constantly, 
humbly, thankfully, readily ; Psalm ciii. 20. Bless the Lord, ye hia 
angels that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearken- 
ing unto the voice of his word. And so it is done by the saints in 
heaven ; Rev. vii. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, 
and serve him day and night in his temple ; And chap. xxii. 3. And 
his servants shall serve him. 

Q. 10. Do we pray then that we may thus do the will of God ? 

A, Yes ; for though we cannot perfectly without sin do it, yet that 
is our duty ; Mat. v. ult. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Fa- 
ther which is in heaven is perfect. And in all other particulars we 
may and we must intimate them herein ; Psalm cxix. 6. Then shall 
I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 
Verse 14. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies as much as 
in all riches. Verse 69. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy 
commandments. Verse 112, &c. I have inclined my heart to perform 
thy statutes always even unto the end. 

Q. 11. How must we know God's will.'' 

A. Not notionally and rationally only ; but spiritually also ; 1 
Cor. ii. 14. They are spiritually discerned. 

Q. 12. Why is knowing God's will placed here before doing it* 
&c. .? 

A. Because the understanding is the leading faculty, without 
which it is impossible there should be any obedience ; Prov. xix. 2. 
Also that the soul be without knowledge it is not good. Jer. v. 4. 
Therefore I said. Surely these are poor, they are foolish ; for they 
know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God. 

Q. 13. Why pray we to God for this knowledge ? can we not 
know it of ourselves ? 

A. No, it is the special gift and grace of God ; Gal. i. 15, 16. But 
when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and 
called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach 
him among the Heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and 
blood. Eph. i. 17, 19. That the God of our Lord .Tesus Christ, the 
Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revela- 
■tion in the knowledge of him. ■ ■ A nd what is the exceeding great- 



SOi AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSE^fBLY^S CATECHISM. 

ness of his power to us-ward who beheve, according to the workino" 
of his mighty power. Eph. v. 8. For ye were sometimes darkness, 
but now are ye light in the Lord. 

Q. 14. AVhy do we pray that we may obey; can we not do it of 
our own free-will when we know it ? 

A. No, for our wills are stubborn and rebellious asrainst God's 
commands, as well as our minds ignorant of them ; Rom. viii. 7. 
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject 
to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26. 
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean ; 
from all your filthiness, and from all vour idols, will I cleanse you. 
A new heart also \N-ill I give you, and a new spirit will I put within 
you ; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I 
will give you an heart of flesh. Phil.'ii. 13. For it is God that work- 
eth in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 

Q. 15. What is meant by submitting to God's will ? 

A. (1.) Either a voluntary subjection of soul, and a preparedness 
actually to do his will : Or, (2.) A voluntary and silent submission 
to his will of providence in affliction : but in this particular we can- 
not imitate those in heaven, because no cross ever befals them. 

Q. 16. Why is will added in all things ? 

A. Because partial obedience is no obedience ; he that does not 
obey God in every thing, obeys him in nothing; James ii. 10. For 
whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he 
is guilty of all. 

Q. 17. Why do we pray that God by his grace would work this 
will in us, and by us ? 

A. Because it is free grace that determines it ; 2 Tim. i. 9. Who 
hath saved us. and called us Avith an holy calling, not according to 
our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was 
given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began. And efficacious 
grace that works it in us, and enables us to do it ; Eph. v. 8. For 
ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. 
Verse 10. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 

Q. 18. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That it is man's glory and felicity to be conformed to the will 
of God, Prov. xii. 26. The righteous is more excellent than his 
neighbour. Psal. xix. 10, 11. More to be desired are they than gold, 
yea, than much fine gold ; sweeter also than honey and the honey- 
comb. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned, and in keeping of 
them there is great reward. 

Q. 19. What is the second inference.^ 

J. That we must mortify in ourselves every lust that contradicts 
God's will, and renounce without ourselves every thing that comes in 
competition therewith ; 1 Cor. ix. ult. But I keep under my body, 
and bring it into subjection ; lest that by any means, Avhen I have 
preached to other?;, I myself should be a cast-away. Gal. vi. 14. But 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 305 

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the 
world. 

Q. 20. What is the third inference ? 

A. That it is in vain, yea, a provocation to pray, if we be not 
obedient to God's will ; Prov. ii. 8, 9. He keepeth the paths of 
judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou 
understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity ; yea, every 
good path. 

Q. 21. What is the fourth inference ? 

A. That the law still hath the authority of a rule to believers, be- 
cause it reveals God's will, which they must do. 
Concerning our daily Bread. 

Quest. 104. ▼ ▼ HAT do we pray for in the fourth petition ? 

A. In the fourth petition, which is^ [Give us this day our daily 
bread,] we pray that ofGodCsfree gift we may receive a competent 
portion of the good things of this life^ and enjoy his blessing with 
tliem. 

Q. 1. Why is this petition placed after the three former? 

A. Because those concern immediately and generally God's glory, 
in the advancement of his name, kingdom and will, which ought to 
be preferred to all our personal concerns ; Psal. Ixix. 9. The zeal 
of thine house hath eaten me up. Acts xxi. 13. I am ready not to 
be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the 
Lord Jesus. 

Q. 2. Why is it put before the two following petitions ? 

A. Not for its worth, but for its order ; for we can have no spirit- 
ual blessings, unless we have a natural being in this life. 

Q. 3. What kind of bread is here meant? 

A. Not spiritual bread, or our Lord Jesus Christ, (as some,) but 
corporal and temporal. 

Q. 4. What is included in this word bread ? 

A. Not that only which we call strictly bread, but all the good 
things of this present life. 

Q. 5. Do we hereby beg pure necessaries only ? 

A. No, we pray for conveniences for our comfort, as well as neces- 
saries for our life. 

Q. 6. Do we herein pray only for personal good things for our 
being ? 

A. No, we pray for civil good things for our condition, that ac- 
cording to our degree in the world, in which God hath placed us, 
we may have a convenient allowance. 

Q. 7. Do we pray here for ourselves only ? 

A. No, but also for our charge, children, and family, that under 
and with us they may have the good things of this life. 



80C 

Q. 8. Why do we pray to God for these good things, can we not 
get them ourselves, or our fellow-creatures give them to us ? 

A. Not without God : whatever we have of these things, they are 
from God ; whoever be the second cause or instrument : If ourselves, 
God gives us ability and success to get them ; if others, God inclined 
their hearts, and opened their hands to bestow them ; Deut. viii. 17, 
18. And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of my 
hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the 
Lord thy God ; for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. 
Q. 9. Why do we pray to God to give us bread ? 
A. Because the least crumb of bread is a free gift, and never can 
be merited by all we can do or suffer; Luke xvii. 10. So likewise 
ye, when ye shall have done all these things which are commanded 
you, say, We are unprofitable servants. 

Q. 10. Why are all these things couched under the expression of 
bread ? 

A. (1.) Because bread is one of the most necessary and useful things 
to preserve life. (2.) Because we must not ask delicacies and dainties 
of God. 

Q. 11. What is meant by day in our petition ? 
A. Either (1.) A natural day of twenty four hours ; or, (2.) 
The day of our whole life. 

Q. 12. Why do we pray for daily bread ? 

A. Becnuse God must give us the mercies and good things of every 
day, or else we cannot have them. 

Q. 13. Why should we not pray for weekly, or monthly, or year- 
ly bread, as well as daily ? 

A. (1.) Because it is fit we should be still sensible of our depen- 
dence upon God. (2.) Because we do frequently pray to God, and 
so exert our graces, and maintain communion with him, and daily ren- 
der thanks for daily favours ; Psalm Iv. 17. Evening and morning, 
and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice. 
Q. 14. What need we to pray for daily bread, when we may have 
stores laid up for years ? 

A. They that have the good things of this life need to pray this 
petition, as well as they that have them not. Not that they may have 
bread, but that it may be bread to them : for except God give his 
blessing upon it, bread would be ashes, and not sustenance to us ; 
neither could all the comforts of this life do us any good ; Isa. iii. 1. 
For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts doth take away from Jeru- 
salem, and from Judah, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay 
of water. Mai. ii. 1, 2. And now, O ye priests, this commandment 
is for you : if ye will not hear, and if ye Avill not lay it to heart, to 
give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send 
a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings ; yea, I have cur- 
sed them already, because you do not lay it to heart. 



AN EXPOSITION OF THJ2 ASSliMHLY's CATKCIIISM. -^07 

Q. 15. Why do we pray only for daily bread, or a coinpetLUcy, 
may we not pray for abundance and riches ? 

J. No, because riches are a great snare and temptation ; Matth. 
xix. 23, 24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Vcriiy I say unto 
you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kinodom of heavem 
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the 
eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of 
God. Prov. XXX. 8, 9- Remove far from me vanity and lies ; give 
me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me: 
lest I be full and deny thee, and say. Who is the Lord ? Or lest I 
be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. 

Q. 16. What shall we then do with riches, if providence cast them 
upon us, shall we cast them away ? 

A. No, for some of the best of men, and greatest of God's favour- 
ites, have lived and died rich. But, (1.) We must wean our hearts 
from them ; Psal. Ixii. 10. Trust not in oppression, and become not 
vain in robbery ; if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. 
(2.) Be thankful for them ; and, (3.) Fruitful with them in acts of 
piety and charity; 1 Tim. vi. 17, 19. Charge them that are rich in 
this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, 
but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy : lay- 
ing up in store lor themselves a good foundation against the time to 
come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 

Q. 17. Wherefore is the bread called our bread.? 

A. Not because we are absolute lords and possessors of it, for it is 
God's only ; Psal. xxiv. 1, 2. The earth is the Lord's and the ful- 
ness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath 
founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Psalra 
1. 10, 12. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon 
a thousand hills. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee, for the 
world is mine, and the fulness thereof. But, (1.) Because we must 
have a covenant right to it ; and, (2.) A civil right ; we must come 
lawfully and honestly by, and so keep the good things of this life; 2 
Thess. iii. 10. For even when we were vvith you, this we commanded 
you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 

Q. 18. Having prayed for our daily bread, need we to labour and 
endeavour to get it ? 

A. Yes, we must labour in good and honest callings; God's bles^ 
sing and man's industry must concur towards the present maintenance 
of life; Psal. cxxviii. 1, 2. Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord: 
that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine 
hands : happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Prov. 
X. 4, 22. He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand ; but the 
hand of the diligent maketh rich. The blessing of the Lord maketh 
rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. 

Q. 19. What is the first inference from it ? 

A. That we must not seek *?reat matters for ourselves, neither make 
Vol. VL U 



308 AN' EXPOSrriON OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

them the matter of prayer to God ; nor the end and design of our 
labours and callings among men. 

Q. 20. What is a second inference from hence ? 

J. That having food and raiment, we must be therewith content, 
and therefore thankful ; 1 Tim. vi. 8. And having food and raiment, 
let us be therewith content. 1 Thess. v, 18. In every thing give 
thanks. 

Q. 21. What is tlie third inference.? 

J. That we ascribe not our success in the world to our own skill 
and industry, for the wisest and most industrious do sometimes labour 
in the fire, and put their gain in a bag with holes ; but to God's free 
donation to us, and to his blessing upon our endeavours ; Gen. xxxiii. 
5, 11. And he hft up his eyes, and saw the women and the children, 
and said, Who are those with thee ? And he said, the children which 

God hath graciously given thy servant. Take, I pray thee, my 

blessing that is brought to thee, because God hath dealt graciously 
with me, and because I have enough. Deut. xxviii. 3. Blessed shalt 
thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Ver. 6. 
Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou 
be when thou goest out. 

Concei'ning Forgiveness of Sins. 

Quest. 105. V? HAT do we pray for in the fifth petition? 

A. In the fifth petition, which is, [And forgive us our debts, 
as we forgive our debtors,] zee praij, that God, for Christ's sake, 
licouldfrecJy pardon all our sins ; which zoe are the rather encoura- 
ged to ask, because by his g7'ace ive are enabled from the heart to 
forgive others. 

Q. 1. Why doth this petition immediately follow the former.'' 

A, To teach, that all temporal and corporal good things, without 
special and spiritual ones, are little worth ; Psalm iv. 6. There be 
many that sa}', who will shew us any good ? Lord, lift thou up the 
light of thy countenance upon us. Psalm xvii. 14, 15. From men 
which are thy hand, O Lord, from men of the world, which have 
their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid 
treasure. They are full of children, and leave the rest of their sub- 
stance to their babes. As for me, I will behold thy face in righteous- 
ness ? I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. 

Q. 2. Why is it annexed to the former with the copulative and ? 

A. To teach, that to be one minute in the confluence of all earth- 
ly good things, without the pardon of sin, is a very dangerous and 
dreadful condition ; Luke xii. 16, 20. And he spake a parable unto 
them, saying. The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plen- 
tifully : But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night shall thy 
soul be required of thee ; then whose shall those things be which 
thou hast provided r 



AM EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMliLV's CATECHISM. 309 

Q. 3, Why is forgiveness of sins placed in the front of spiritual 
blessings ? 

J. Because till sin be pardoned, we are under wrath, and can have 
no special saving grace applied to us, till we are accepted ; till we are 
in Ciirist, we have no covenant-right to the blessings of Christ ; Mat. 
xi. 28. Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I 
will give you rest. Ver. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is 
light ; John xv. 4, 5. Abide in me, and I in you ; as the branch can- 
not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine ; no more can ye, 
except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He 
that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much 

fruit ; for without me ye can do nothing. Ver. 7. If ye abide in 

me, and my words abide in you ; ye shall ask what ye will, and it 
shall be done unto you. John iii. nit. He that believeth on the Son, 
hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not 
see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him. 

Q. 4. Why do we pray for forgiveness ? Cannot we make amends 
for our sins, and be freed from their guilt, without pardon ? 

A. No, all that we can ever do, or suffer, can never expiate the 
guilt of the least sin ; Psalm xlix. 7, 8. None of them can by any 
means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him ; (for 
the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever) 
1 Sam. ii. 25. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge 
him : but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him ? 

Q. 5. Does God then freely, and out of mere grace, forgive us ? 

A. Yes, without any respect had to anything we can do, or be; Isa. 
xliii. 25. I, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine 
own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Rom. ix. 15. I will have 
mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on 
whom I will have compassion. Ver. 18. Therefore hath he mercy 
on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 

Q. 6. How doth God forgive sins ? 

A. (1.) Universally, all sins; Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. And the Lord 
passed by before him, and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God, mer- 
ciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodncssand truth, 
keeping mercy for thousands ; forgiving iniquit}, and transgression, 
and sin. Jer. xxxiii. 8. And I will cleanse them from all their ini- 
quities, whereby they have sinned against me ; And I will pardon all 
their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and where])y they have 
transgressed against me. Hosea xiv. 2. Take away all iniquity, and 
receive us graciously. (2.) Completely, and perfectly ; Isa. xliii. 25. 
I, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, 
and will not remember thy sins. Psal. ciii. 12. As far as the east is 
from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 
Mic. vii. 19. He will subdue our iniquities ; and thou wilt cast all our 
sins into the depths of the sea. Isa. xxxviii. 17. Forlhou hastcastallmv 
sins behind thy back. (3.) Everlastingly ; Jer. xxxi. 34. For I will 

U2 



310 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Heb. 
viii. 12. And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 

Q. 7. But doth not God punish them afterward, whom he has 
justified and forgiven ? 

A. No, not with a proper and vindictive punishment; but he brings 
evils upon them for their sins, as a Father chastises his child ; and 
other sorts of afflictions for their spiritual good : He may be angry, 
as a Father, with those he has pardoned, but never hate them as a 
condemning Judge; Psal. Ixxxix. 28. My mercy will I keep for him 
for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. Ver. 34. 
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out 
of my lips. 

Q. 8. How can God be said freely to pardon all our sins, when we 
pray it may be done for Christ's sake ; does not that imply that Christ 
nas satisfied God for our sins, and deserved our remission ? 

A. Yes, it does so ; for the Lord Christ, by his life and death, did 
satisfy Divine Justice, and did merit our forgiveness : But if he did 
so, we did not so ; our sins cost him dear, but their pardon cost us 
nothing ; our pardon is perfectly free to us, though due to Christ, for 
God gave Christ freely for us ; God accepts of his merits, and applies 
them to us freely ; Rom. iii. 24. Being justified freely by his grace, 
through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. 

Q. 9. But is there nothing required from us as the condition of 
pardon ? and if so, how can it be absolutely free ? 

A. There are required repentance from sin, and faith in the Lord 
Christ ; Luke xiii. 3. But except ye repent, ye shall all likewise per- 
ish ; John iii. ult. And he that believeth not the Son, shall not see 
life ; but the wrath of God abideth on liim. This is required from 
us towards our pardon, but yet it is free, (1.) Because God freely 
ordains thus to pardon. (2.) Because both these are the free gifts 
of God; Acts xi. 18. Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted 
repentance unto life. Eph. ii. 8. For by grace are ye saved, through 
faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 

Q. 10. When then are our sins forgiven .'' 

A. Just upon our closure with Christ by faith, in that very mo- 
ment; Rom. V. 1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace 
with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. viii. 1. There is 
therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. 

Q. 11. Why do we pray, in the answer, for the forgiveness of all 



our sins 



A. Because if the least guilt should remain upon us, it would ex- 
clude us from God's favour, and lodge us in everlasting burnings; 
Rom. vi. ult. For the wages of sin is death. 

Q. 12. What are the privileges and blessings that accompany par- 
don ? 

A. Justification is accompanied with adoption ; John i. 12. But 
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBTA'Vs CATECHISM. 311 

sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. With the Spi- 
rit and principle of all grace and holiness; 1 Cor. vi. 11. And such 
were some of you ; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye 
are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our 
God. With an infallible title to eternal glory ; John iii. 16. That 
whosoever belicveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting 
life; Rom. viii. 30. Whom he justified, them he also glorified. 

Q. 13. How may we know that we are pardoned and justified.? 

A. Ordinarily, by our sanctification, by our loathing of sin, our 
contempt of the world, our valuing of Christ, our love and thankful- 
ness to God, &c. 1 Cor. vi. 11. But ye are sanctified. Rom. vii. 24. 
O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of 
this death ? Gal. vi. 14. By whom the world is crucified unto me, 
and I unto the world. 1 Pet. ii. 7. Unto you therefore which be- 
lieve, he is precious. Luke vii. 47. Her sins, which are many, are 
forgiven ; for she loved much. 

Q. 14. What is meant by [our ?] Is it only such sins as we have 
personally and actually committed ? 

A. No, but also Adam's sin, which is ours by imputation; Rom. 
V. 19. By one man's disobedience many were made sinners. And ori- 
ginal sin, which is ours by inhesion ; Psal. li. 5. Behold, I was sha- 
pen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. And other 
men's sins, which we have made ours, by exciting them to them, not 
hindering of them, silence at them, and other ways ; 2 Sam. xii. 9. 
Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his 
wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children 
of Ammon. 1 Tim. v. 22. Neither be partaker of other men's sins. 

Q. 15. Wherefore are sins called debts ? 

A. Because they are a non-payment of God's dues, a non per- 
formance of our duty ; which makes us liable to the arrest of death, 
and to the prison of hell. 

Q. 16. Why do we plead our own forgiveness of others? 

A. Not as any merit of our own pardon ; but either as an encou- 
ragement of ourselves to beg pardon ; seeing such evil, envious, and 
malignant persons, are enabled to forgive others, much more may we 
hope the good and gracious God will forgive us : or, as a condition, 
without which we can have no pardon, and with which we shall ; 
Matth. vi. 14. For if we forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly 
Father will also forgive you. 

Q. 17. How do others trespass against us ? 

A. When they injure us, either in our persons, or names, or fami- 
lies, or estates, or souls, &c. 1 Sam. ii. 25. If one man sin against 
another, the judge shall judge him; but if a man sin against the 
Lord, who shall intreat for him ? 

Q. 18. Can we forgive our neighbour freely, fully^ and perfectly, 
as God doth forgive us ? 

A. We cannot. 

U3 



812 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

Q. 19. What then is the meaning of God's forgiving us, as we 
forgive others ? 

A. Not as to the quantity and perfection of forgiveness, but as to 
the sincerity and quality thereof; Mat. xviii. ult. So likewise shall 
my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive 
not every one his brother their trespasses. 

Q. 20. Are we always bound to manifest outwardly our love and 
forgiveness to all our enemies, and to behave ourselves towards them 
as friends ? 

A. No, if we have experienced them to be treacherous and false, 
and see no change, we are not bound to trust them ; if they be, and 
remain wicked and profane, we must not associate with them ; Psal. 
xxvi. 5. I have hated the congregation of evil doers, and will not sit 
with the wdcked. Ver. 4. I have not sat with vain persons, neither 
will I go in with dissemblers. 

Q. 21. What then must we do to such .? 

A. We must heartily forgive them all their injuries, we must love 
them with the love of benevolence, pray for them, and be ready and 
willing to do them all good, both of body and soul ; Mat. v. 44, 45. 
But I say unto you, Love your enemies ; bless them that curse you, 
do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite- 
fully use you and persecute you. That you may be the children of 
your Father which is in heaven ; for he maketh his sun to rise on the 
evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 

Q. 22. If we forgive others, shall we be forgiven ourselves ? 

A. We shall, if out of obedience to God, and love to Christ, we 
do it. 

Q. 23. What is the first inference from hence ? 

A. That except our sins be forgiven, we are lost and undone crea- 
tures ; and therefore we must never be contented, till we are par- 
doned. 

Q. 24. AVhat is a second inference 't 

A. That God is a God of love, goodness, and pardon ; seeing he 
will not pardon us, if we do not pardon others ; but will, if we 
do so. 

Q. 25. What is a third inference .? 

A. That if we live in hatred when we pray the Lord's prayer, we 
pray for our own damnation ; Mat. xviii. 22. Jesus saith unto him, 
I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but until seventy times seven. 
Ver. 45. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if 
ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their tres- 
passes. 

Of Gods hading us into temptation. 

Quest. 106. ▼ T HAT do we pray for in the sixth petition ? 

A. In the sixth petition, which is, [And lead us not into 
temptation ; but deliver us from evil :] we prai/, that God 



AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. J^18 

: .i'ould either leap tisjrorn being' tempted to sin, or support and de- 
liver us when we are tempted. 

Q. 1. Why is this petition joined to the former with the copulative 
and? 

J. Because it will be but little advantage to have former sins par- 
doned, and to be left to the povver and practice, to the love and trade 
of sin for the future ; Ezek. xviii. 26. When a righteous man turn- 
eth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth 
in them; for his iniquity that he hath done, shall he die. 

Q. 2. What is meant by temptation ? 

A, In general, a trial or probation of what is in us, or of what we 
will do. 

Q. 3. What is meant by temptation here ? 

A. Temptation to sin and wickedness. 

Q. 4. How may we be said to be tempted to sin ? 

A. (1.) Effectually by ourselves, and our own hearts; Jam. i. 14, 
15. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own 
lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth 
sin ; and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (2.) Formal- 
ly, with an intention to draw into sin ; and so we are tempted of the 
devil ; 1 Chron. xxi. 1. And Satan stood up against Israel, and pro- 
voked David to number Israel. Mat. iv. 1, 3. Then was Jesus led 
up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And 
when the tempter came to him, he said. If thou be the Son of God, 
command that these stones be made bread. (3.) Innocently, and 
blamelessly; and so God is said to tempt; 2 Sam. xxi v. 1. And 
again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel ; and he 
moved David against them to say, Go number Israel and Judah. 

Q. 5. How many ways may God be said to tempt evil ? 

A. (1.) By withdrawing his grace, either common or special ; 2 
Chron. xxxii. 31. Howbeit, in the business of the ambassadors of the 
princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that 
Avas done in the land ; God left him to try him, that he might know 
all that was in his heart. (2.) By permitting Satan, and wicked men, 
to tempt; 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. He moved David against them, to say. 
Go and number Israel and Judah. With 1 Chron. xxi. 1. Satan 
stood up against Israel, and provoked David. Matth. iv. 1. Then 
was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of 
the devil. (3.) By presenting occasions in his providence, which he 
knows will be abused to sin ; as in the fall of Adam, the hardening 
of Pharaoh, &c. 

Q. 6. What do we beg in this petition ? 

A. We beg, that we may not any of these, or any other ways, 
whereby the holy God may be said to lead into temptation, be led 
thereinto; Psalm cxli. 1. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to 
practise wicked works with men that work iniquity ; and let me not 
cat of their dainties, Psal. xix. 13. Keep back thy servant also froia 

U4 



314 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY''s CATECHISM. 

presumptuous sins ; let them not have dominion over me : Then shall 
I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 

Q. 7. What is meant by evil ? 

A. Some understand of the devil, but the best meaning is sin, 
which is the evil of evils, and makes the devil evil,, and is the worst 
of evils the devil can bring upon us, and is usually so understood in 
scripture; Psalm xcvii. 10. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil, Isa. i. 
16. Cease to do evil. Amos v. 15. Hate the evil, and love the good. 
Rom. xii. 9. Abhor that which is evil. 

Q. 8. What is meant by deliverance from evil ? 

A. That if God sees meet to permit us to be tempted by Satan, 
and the wicked without, or by our own hearts within, to sin ; or oc- 
casionally, by his providence; that he will not leave us, but undertake 
for us, that we may not be led into sin thereby, but by his grace be 
made more than conquerors. Psal. li. 10. Create in me a clean heart, 
O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psal. cxix. 133. Order 
my steps in thy word and let not any iniquity have dominion over 
me. According to his promise; 1 Cor. x. 13. But God is faithful, 
who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. 2 
Cor. xii. 9. And he said unto me. My grace is sufficient for thee ; 
for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 

Q. 9. What is the first inference ? 

A, That sin is the worst of evils. 

Q. 10. What is the second inference.^ 

A. That without God's grace we can never withstand, but shall be 
overcome by every temptation ; 9, Cor. iii. 5. Not that we are suffi- 
cient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves ; but our suffi- 
ciency is of God, John xv. 5. For without me ye can do nothing. 

Q. 11. What is the third inference.'^ 

A. That we must do all we can to keep ourselves from temptation, 
and to engage the grace of God with us in temptation, by prayer, by 
pleasing the Spirit of God, by looking to Jesus, &c. 

Of the Conclusion. 

Quest. 197. ▼'? HAT doth the conclusion of the Lord's prayer 
teach us.^ 

A. The conclusion of the Lord's prayer^ which is, [For thine is 
the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever; 
Ame?!.'^ teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God 
only ,• and in our prayers to praise him; ascrihing'kingdom,power^ 
and glory to him ; and in testimony of our desire, and assurancCy 
to be heard, zee say, Amen. 

Q. 1. Why is the conclusion joined to the particle For ? 

A. To teach us, that therein are included arguments, or reasons 
to press God withal, and to prevail with him for audience. 

Q. 2. But is it lawful to argue with God, and to urge him with 
reasons in prayer ? 



\ 



AN EXi-OSITlON OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 315 

A. It is not only lawful, but expedient, yea, highly commendable; 
as is seen in the saints prayer. In Moses,' Num. xiv. 13. And Moses 
said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou 
broughtest up this people in thy might from among them.) Ver. 19. 
Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according unto the 
greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people from 
Egypt, even until now. In Joshua's, chap. vii. 7. And Joshua said, 
Alas ! O Lord God ; wherefore hast thou at all brought this people 
over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy 
us.? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side 
Jordan. Ver. 9. For the Canaanites, and all the inhabitants of the 
land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name 
from the earth : And what wilt thou do unto thy great name ? Jn 
Asa's, 2 Chron. xiv. 11. And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and 
said. Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or 
with them that have no power. Help us, O Lord our God, for we 
rest on thee ; and in thy name we go against this great multitude. O 
Lord, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee. In Jeho- 

shaphat's, 2 Chr. xx. 6. 'And said, O Lord God of our fathers, 

art not thou God in heaven ? And rulest not thou over all the king- 
doms of the heathen ? And in thine hand is there not power and 
might, so that none is able to withstand thee ? And Hezekiah's, 2 
Kings xix. 15. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O 
Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims; thou 
art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth : 
Thou hast made heaven and earth. Ver. 19- Now therefore, O 
Lord our God, &c. 

Q. 3. But to what purpose, can we think to prevail with God, by 
our arguments and importunities ? 

A. They are not used, as though we would put God in remem- 
brance of any thing, or would prevail with God to do that for us, 
which he is unwilling to give. 

Q. 4. Why then ? 

A. For our own profit, for the enlarging of our own hearts, for 
the exciting of our fervency, for the exerting of faith, hope, zeal, 
charity, &c. in prayer ; and so to prepare ourselves for the mercy, 
that we may the more gratefully receive it, and the more fruitfully 
employ it. 

Q. 5. How many arguments are in this conclusion ? 

A. Three. 

Q. 6. From whence are they taken ? 

A. From God's kingdom, from his power, and from his glorjr- 

Q. 7. What kingdom is here meant ? 

A. God's universal, essential, and absolute kingdom; wherein may 
be, and is involved, his special kingdom over the church. 

Q. 8. What are the arguments from hence.? 

A. Because all that we can pray for in this prayer, is for the ad- 



S16 AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY'S CATECHISM. 

vancement and perfecting of this his kingdom^ by the destructioi? 
of all persons and things that oppose it, and the completion of his 
dominion over all his subjects ; therefore he would grant all these 
requests. 

Q. 9. What is another ? 

A. Because he being such an absolute Lord and Sovereign has an 
undeniable right, and unquestionable authority, to give and grant 
all we ask, and to effect and bring to pass all we beg : For all per- 
sons and things are his own, and at his disposal. Mat. xx. 15. Is it 
not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own ? 
Q. 10. What is meant by power ? 

A. God's essential, infinite, irresistible power, whereby he can do 
what he pleases ; Psal. cxxxv. 6. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, &c. 
Q. 11. What is the argument from hence .'^ 

A. That we ask nothing from God, but what we can do with in- 
finite ease, in despite of all the opposition that hell, earth and heart 
can make to the contrary ; Phil. iii. ult. According to the working, 
&c. Eph. iii. 20. Now unto him that is able, &c. 
Q. 12. What is meant by glory ? 

A. Not his essential glory, which no man, or angel, can ever ap- 
prehend. 

Q, 13. What glory then ? 

A. His declared and acknowledged glory, even the accomplish- 
inent of all his decrees by his providence ; and then the love, the 
adoration, and the praises, the self-dedications of angels and saints, 
returned to him for the same. 

Q. 14. What is the argument or motive from hence ? 
A. That seeing the substance of every request does directly tend to, 
and will perfectly end in, this glory of God, when they are fully an- 
swered; therefore he would gradually answer them while we are here, 
and perfectly at last, to the advancement of his glory now, and the 
completion of it then. 1 Chron. xxix. 11. Thine, O Lord, is the 
greatness, and the power, and the glory, &c. Josh. vii. 9- And what 
wilt thou do unto thy great name ? Isa. xlii. 8. I am the Lord, that 
is my name, &c. Isa. xlviii. 11. For my own sake, even for my own 
sake, will I do it, &c. 

Q. 15. Why is Amen added ? 

A. Because it is the usual conclusion of prayers and praises; Psal, 
xli. 13. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, &c. Psal . Ixxii. 19. And 
blessed be his glorious name for ever, &c. 2 Cor. xiii. ult .The grace 
of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God, &c. Rom. xvi. 20. The grace 
of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. 
Q. 16. But what does this word here signify.? 
, A. It signifies, (1.) The reality and ardency of our desires to be 
granted in what we pray for: Rev. xxii. 20. He which testifieth 
these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so come 
Lord Jesus. 



31T 

Q. 17. And what besides ? 

A. Our trust and firm confidence that we shall be heard and an- 
swered in all these our requests ; Rev. i. 7. Even so, Amen. Rev. 
vii. 12. Saying, Amen. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, &c. 

Q. 18. What are the inferences from hence ? 

J, That we ought to use in prayer all such arguments, as may 
most and best affect our hearts towards God, excite our graces, and 
succeed with God. 

Q. 19. What is another .5* 

A. That all we pray for must be in a subserviency to God's king- 
dom, and with a desire of his glory. 

Q. 20. What is the next ? 

A. That we must act according to our prayers ; do all we can for 
the advancement of God's kingdom, and the exaltation of his glory, 
as subjects and votaries thereto ; Psalm cxvi. 16. 1 Cor. x. 31. 

Q. 21. What may more be gathered hence ? 

A. That as we ought to begin, so to continue, and conclude our 
prayers, in lowest adorations of God, and acknowledgments of his 
glory and attributes. 

Q. 22. What more doth this conclusion teach ? 

A. That in prayer we must be fervent in our desires, and long- 
ing for what we pray, James v. 16. 

Q. 23. Is there any thing besides ? 

A. That praying for things agreeable to God's will, we ought to 
be confident that we shall succeed in bur requests praying for the 
matter, and after the manner of this prayer ; James i. G, 8. Matth. 
xxi. 22. 



r 318 ] 

Vindicice Legis et Fosderis : 

OE, A 

REPLY 

TO 

MR. PHILIP CAHY'S solemn CALL; 

Wherein he pretends to answer all the Arguments of 



Me. ALLEN, 
Mr. BAXTER, 
Mk. SYDENHAM, 



Mr. SEDGWICK, 
Mr. ROBERTS, anb 
Dr. BURTHOGGE, 



For the Right oi Believers Infants to BAPTISM. 

By proving the law at Sinai, and the Covenant of Circumcision 
with Abraham, were the very same with Adam's Covenant of 
Works, and that because the Gospel-covenant is absolute. 



A friendly Preface to the Author of the Soleirrm Call, 
and the more discreet and charitable of the Party con- 
cerned with him in this Controversy. 

Christian Friends^ 

▼ T HEN we open our Bibles, and read that text, 1 Cor. i. 10. 
we have cause to deal with it as Origen once did by another scrip- 
ture, even close the book and weep over it, in consideration of the 
weak and feeble influences such melting words, delivered with such a 
pathos, have upon the hearts of professors this day. " Now, I be- 
*' seech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that 
'' ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among 
'^ you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, 
" and in the same judgment." 

/ beseech you] He dips the nail in oil, that it may drive the easier. / 
beseech you, brethreii] A compellation breathing sweetness and affec- 
tion, and should drop from our lips into each others ears with the same 
effect that word once did upon the ears of Benhadad's servants, My 
brother Benhadad. Sirs, (said Moses to the striving Israelites) ye are 
brethren. O when shall the church become a true Philadelphia ? 

I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ] or as 
you love Jesus Christ, ut quantumipsum amant tantumsiudeant con- 



A FRIENDLY PREFACE TO THE AUTHOR. 819 

cordice, saith Calvin ; Be as studious of concord as you are free in pro- 
fessing love to Christ. 

That tJi£re be no divisions] or rents among you ; a 2;^/<r/xa^, schism, 
or rent in the church, is much the same, and altogether as dangerous 
as a 2ra<r/;, or sedition in the commonwealth, and harder to be cured. 
For as the Lord Verulam truly observes, Differences amongst perse- 
cuting enemies and the church, are like the strivings of the Egyptian 
with the Israelite, which Moses quickly ended by knocking down the 
Egyptian ; but dissensions in the church are like the striving of 
one Israelite with another; and all that Moses can do to quiet and 
part these, is only by fair and gentle words, and reiuinding them 
that they are brethren. 

Great is the mischief of divisions among Christians ; and the less 
the grounds and causes are, the greater always is the sin and mischief 
of them. In the primitive church contentions grew fervent about 
meats lawful and unlawful, which did not profit, the meaning is, it 
greatly damnified them that were occupied therein, Heb. xiii. 9. 
Practical religion among them grew cold, as disputations about these 
trifles grew fervent. 

The readiest way to cool such heats is, by discovering the trivial na- 
ture of the matter contended about ; as Demosthenes appeased the 
tumult among the people raised by a small occasion, by relating to 
them the story of a man that hired an ass to carry him a journey, but 
the sun shining fervent, he was forced to quit her back, and betake 
himself to her shadow ; the owner withstood him, alleging, that he 
had hired the body of the ass, but her shadow was not in the bargain ; 
and so the contention between them grew as hot as the sun. Many 
such trifles have raised great contentions in the world, witness the 
great contention betwixt the Eastern and Western church about 
keeping of Easter. 

Other points there are of greater moment, about which good men 
contend, and yet these oftentimes are magnified much above their true 
intrinsical value. So I am sure it is in the controversy before us. Mr. 
Cary tells us, that these things will be found at length to be of highest 
concernment unto us, and must therefore be our most serious prac- 
tice, p. 243. If so, then the proper subject of baptism must be one of 
those that is of greatest weighty and the profession thereof the very 
Schibboleth to distinguish one person from another in matters of re- 
ligion. No wonder therefore the fires of contention are blown up to 
such a vehement heat, even in such an improper season ; much like 
the contentions among the 'Engiishjugitives at Frankfort, when their 
brethren were frying in the flames at Smithfield. Just so we must be 
scuffling, whilst thousands of our brethren are bleeding in Ireland. 
Had we a true sense of the quality of the subjects, or the unseasonable- 
ness of the time, it should certainly allay those heats among us. Did 
we see who stand by, and look with pleasure upon our follies, it 
would quickly allay our hearts. Tertullian tells the Christians of his 



820 A FJIIENDLY PREFACE TO THE AUTltOE. 

time, that they were Hke the Funarabulones, or men that walk upon 
hopes, the least tread awry might be their ruin, so narrowly did their 
enemies watch them. 

Sirs, the peace, safety, and honour, of the dissenting interest are 
things of too great value to be hazarded amongst the hands of our 
common enemies. You may fancy they will neglect the advantage 
you give them ; but if they do, the devil will call them fools for it. 
Hr. Herle tells us of a king's fool, who wrote down the king himself 
in his table among his brother-fools, because he had trusted an Af- 
rican stranger with four thousand pounds to buy Barbary horses. The 
kingasked him how he would make him amends, if the stranger should 
come again .^ AVhy then (said he) I'll blot your name out of my table 
of fools, and write down the African in your stead. Think not our 
enemies are such fools to neglect the advantage we cast into their hands. 
It is a weighty note of Livy, Consilia non dant homines rehus^ sed 
res hominibus ; Men do not counsel things, but time and things 
counsel men. Methinks the postures of times and affairs give us 
better counsels than we seem to be governed by in such work as this. 
Divisions of forty years standing and more, about infants baptism, 
have eaten up the time, wasted the spirits, and alienated the hearts of 
English professors, divided them both in society and love ; by reason 
"vvhereof God's pleasant plant in this resembles the bramble, which 
taking root at both ends, by reason of the rencounters of the sap, com- 
monly withers in the middle. Your brethren, in their Narrative 
from their General- Assembly, make a sad and sensible complaint of 
withering in the power of godliness. And truly we as well as they 
may complain with the church, We do all fade as a leaf: The Lord 
help us to discern the true cause, whether it be not the misplacing 
of our zeal, our being cold where we should be fervent, and fervent 
hot where it should be cold ; and whether the eating up of so much 
time and study about baptizing of infants, have not kept us these 
forty years in the infancy of our graces ? 

I well remember that blessed time, when o^irs and yours were terms 
almost unknown amongst professors in England. When their affec- 
tions and prayers melted and mingled together sweetly in days of hu- 
miliation, and other duties of edifying and heavenly communion ; and 
then churches began to flourish, and the graces of Christians every 
where flourished, and became fruitful : but no sooner did the saints 
divide in society and affection, but these pleasant blossoms were nipt by 
it, as by a frosty morning, the church formed itself as it were, into 
two armies set in battalia against each other. It was now with us 
much like as it is said of the amphisbcna^ that hath an head at either 
end, of which neither can well move without the consent of both ; 
but, if each move a contrary way, the body tears in the middle. I 
doubt not but many that differed from us belonged to Christ, the same 
Jicad with us; and yet it is past doubt, that many who seemed to be 
of us were headed by Satan ; and quickly discovered themselves to 



A FRIENDLY PREFACE TO TH£ AUTHOR. 321 

be SO, by running farther than we first, or you next, imagined, even 
into Quakerism, Socinianism, Ranterism, and the foulest puddle and 
sink of complicated errors ; of which an imperial stranger, under the 
name of HonoriusReggius, amy^aiiixarutug, Georgius Hornius having 
heard the report in his own country, came over on purpose into 
England for his particular and perfect information, and hath given 
the foreign churches a full and sad account thereof in a Latin narra- 
tive, which I have by me ; whereby I find, that, if the Lord in mercy 
to us had not let in a third party with the common calamity upon 
us all, we ourselves must in all probability have mutually ruined each 
other. But God saw other hands fitter for such dirty work than 
ours ; and now it was time to reflect upon former follies, and renew 
our ancient acquaintance in the common gaols. And, through the 
goodness of God, this did somewhat allay the heats of good men, and 
gave us fresh hopes of an hearty and lasting redintegration. We 
hoped the furnace might have purged our dross, and melted our 
hearts into unity, both by discovering the evils for which the Lord 
afflicted us, and the sincerity of the sufferers hearts under those trials. 
' Christians, (saith Mr. Jenkins) if we must die, let us die like men, 
' by an unanimous holy contention against the common enemy ; not 
' like fools, by giving him our sword, and destroying one another 
* by schisms in our own bowels.' 

But alas ! alas ! no sooner is the rod of our backs, and a respite 
from sufferings given us, but we are presently sounding an alarm to 
the battle again, and, to my sorrow, myself unavoidably engaged 
therein. 

Friends, I have a witness in many of your bosoms, how peaceably 
and respectfully I have always carried it towards you, even to such a 
degree as began to bring me under the suspicion of some of your party, 
that I was inclining to their opinion, though I did not openly pro- 
fess it. But the true reasons of my moderation in this point were, 
(1.) That I ever did, and still do look upon many of you as Christians, 
sound in the other great doctrines of the gospel. (2.) That there are 
difficulties in this controversy which may puzzle the minds of well- 
meaning Christians. (3.) I highly value the peace of the churcJu 
and durst do nothing that tended to keep open the breaches upon a 
controversy of this nature, you being for purity in doctrine and 
worship in most other controverted points, as well as we. (4.) I oh- 
served how rare a thing it is for engaged parties to give ground. 
Qui velit mgenio cedere, varus erit. 
' Mad disputants to reason seldom yield.' 
(5.) My head, heart, and hands have been filled with better em- 
ployments, from which I am extremely loth to be diverted. If Bcl- 
larmine turned with loathing from school-divinity, because it wanted 
the sweet juice of piety, much more may I turn from such perverse dis- 
putes as these : Sure I may find as fair expositions of scripture, and 



322 A FKIEKBLY rHEFACE TO THE AUTIIOK. 

and as accurate and legitimate distinctions among the school-men, as \n 
Mr, Tombes' Examen and Apology ; or (which for the most part is 
but a transcript of both) in Mr. Gary's Solemn Call. But I see I must 
not be my own chuser ; I cannot now be both silent and innocent ; 
for in this Solemn Call I find the great doctrines of God's covenants 
abused by my neighbour ; the books dispersed into many families re- 
lated to me in this place, one of them delivered to me by the Author's 
own hands, with a pressing desire to give my judgment upon it: 
Several objections which I privately and seasonably sent him to pre- 
vent the sin and folly of his attempt, pretended to be answered from 
p. 164. ad p. 183. Thus I am necessarily brought into the field of 
controversy : whither I come not a volunteer^ but a pressed man ; 
not out of choice, but necessity. And now I am here, I resolve to 
be only Adversarius litis, nan personoe, an adversary in the con- 
troversv, not to the person, especially of my friendly neighbour. 
Neither would I have appeared thus publicly against him, if dif- 
ferences could have been accommodated, and the evil prevented, in 
a more private way ; in order thereunto, I have punctually observed 
and kept the rules and measures of friendship. 

It is possible some may judge ray stile against him to be too sharp; 
but if they please to read the conclusion of his Call, and my Answer, 
I presume they will find enough to make atonement for that fault, 
if it be a fault. It is from the nature of the matter before me, not 
from defect of charity to the person or party, that I am forced to 
be so plain and pungent as I am. 

To conclude, I suspect this very preface may be also censured 
for its plainness and tediousness. I confess, when times are busy 
we should be brief; and I am persuaded a sufficient preface may 
be contracted into four words, auu Teoi/Miojv y.ai 'ra&ujv, without pre- 
face or passions. However, I have a little eased my own heart, by 
discharging my duty to my differing brethren, and pleased myself, 
if not them. 

The God of peace create peace in all the borders of Sion, beat 
our swords into plow-shares, and our spears into pruning-hooks ; 
I mean, our polcmicals into practicals ; that Jerusalem may once 
more be a city compact, and no more terrible to herself, but only 
to her enemies, as an army with banners. This, brethren, is the 
prayer, and sliall ever be the endeavour of, 

Your Friend and Servant in Christ, 

JOHN FLAVEL. 



( 323 ) 
PROLEGOMENA. 



XjEFORE we enter into the main controversy, it will be necessary 
to acquaint the reader, why I begin with the middle of the book ; 
and it is because I there find these three principles or positions, on 
which the other parts of his discourse are superstructed ; and these 
being destroyed, his other discourses are but arence, sine calse. I 
properly therefore begin with the foundation. 

Next I shall shew how far we are agreed in the matters here con- 
troverted, and where it is in each of these that the controversy indeed 
Hes betwixt us. And as to 

I. Position^ viz. 
That the Sinai law is the same with Adam's covenant (yf worhs^ 
made in paradise. 

The difference betwixt us here is not (1.) Whether both these 
be called covenants in Scripture ? Nor (2.) Whether there was no 
grace at all in both, or either of them ; for we are agreed, it is grace 
in God to enter into covenant with man, whatever that covenant be. 
Nor (3.) Whether the Sinai law be not a covenant of works to some 
men, by their own fault and occasion ? Nor (4.) Whether the scrip- 
tures do not many times speak of it in that very sense and notion 
wherein carnal justiciaries apprehend and take it ; and by rejecting 
Christ, make it so to themselves ? Nor (5.) Whether the very mat- 
ter of the law of nature be not revived and represented in the Sinai 
law? These are not the points we contend about. But the ques- 
tion is, Whetlier the Sinai law do in its own nature, and according to 
God's purpose and design in the, promulgation of it, revive the law of 
nature, to the same ends and uses it served to in Adam's covenant; 
and so be properly and truly a covenant of works ? Or whether God 
had not gracious and evangelical ends and purposes, viz. By such a 
dreadful representation of the severe and impracticable terms of the 
first covenant, instead of obliging them to the personal and punctual 
observance of them for righteousness and life, he did not rather de- 
sign to convince them of the impossibihty of legal righteousness, hum- 
ble proud nature, and shew them the necessity of betaking themselves 
to Christ, now exhibited in the new covenant, as the only refuge to 
fallen sinners. The latter I defend according to the Scriptures, the 
former Mr. Cary seems to assert and vehemently argue for. 

2dZz/, In this controversy about the Sinai law, I do not iind Mr. 
Cary distinguish (as he ought) betwixt the law considered more large- 
ly and complexly, as containing both the moral and ceremonial law, 
for both which it is often taken in Scripture, and more strictly for the 
moral law only, as it is sometimes used in Scripture. These two he 

Vol. VI, X 



524 rROLEGOMEN'A. 

makes one and the same covenant qficorks ; though there be some 
that doubt whether the mere moral laze, may not be a covenant of 
works ; yet I never met with any man before, that durst affirm the 
ceremonial laic, which is so full of Christ, to be so; and to this law 
it is that circumcision appertains. 

^dJy, The moral law, strictly taken for the ten commandments, is 
not by him distinguished (as it ought to be, and as the scripture fre- 
quently doth) according to God's intention and design in the promul- 
gation of it, which was to add it as an appendix to the promise. Gal. 
iii. 19. and not to set it up as an opposite covenant, Gal. iii. 21. as 
the carnalJews, mistaking and perverting the use and end of the 
law, and making it to themselves a covenant of works, by making it 
the very rule and reason of their justification before God, Rom. ix. 
32, 33. Rom. x. 3. These things ought carefully to have been distin- 
guished, forasmuch as the whole controversy depends on this double 
sense and intention of the law ; yea, the very denomination of that 
law depends hereon : for I affirm, it ought not to be denominated from 
the abused and mistaken end of it amongst carnal men, but from the 
true scope, design and end for which God published it after the fall : 
and though we find such expressions as these in Sci'ipture, " The man 
" that doth them shall live in them ;" and, " Cursed is every one 
'' that continueth not in all things," Sec. yet these respecting the law, 
not according to God's intention, but man's corruption and abuse of 
it, the law is not thereby to be denominated a covenant of works. 
God's end was not to justify them, but to try them by that terrible 
dispensation, Exod. xx. 20. whether they would still hanker after 
that natural way of self- righteousness ; for this end God propounded 
the terms of the first covenant to them on Sinai, not to open the way 
of self-justification to them, but to convince them, and shut them up 
to Christ ; just as our Saviour, Matth. xix. 17. puts the young man 
upon keeping the commandments not to drive him from, but neces- 
sitate him to himself in the way of faith. 

The law in both these senses is excellently described, Gal. iv. in 
that allegory of Hagar and Sarah, the figures of the two covenants. 
Hagar, in her first and proper station was but a serviceable handmaid 
to Sarah, as the law is a schoolmaster to Christ ; but when Hagar the 
handmaid is taken in Sarah's bed, and brings forth children that as- 
pire to the inheritance, then saith the Scripture, " Cast out the bond- 
" woman with her son." So it is here ; take the law in its primary 
use, as God designed it, as a schoolmaster or handmaid to Christ and 
the inomisc, so it is consistent with them, and excellently subservient 
to them ; but if we marry this handmaid, and espouse it as a covenant 
of works, then are we bound to it for life, Rom. vii. and must have 
nothing to do with Christ. The believers of the Old Testament had 
true apprehensions of the right end and use of the law, which direct- 
ed them to Christ, and so they became children of the free-woman. 
The carnal Jews trusted to the works of the law for righteousness. 



niOLEGOMENA. 325 

hnd so became the children of the bond-woman ; but neither could 
be children of both at once, no more than tlie same man can na- 
turally be born of two mothers. This is the difference betwixt U9 
about the first position. And as to the 

II. Position, 

That Ahrahairi's covenant^ Gen. xvii. is an Adani's covenant of 
works also^ because circumcision was annexed to it, which obliged 
men to keep the n^hole law. 

The controversy betwixt us in this point, is not whether circunici- 
sion were an ordinance of God, annexed by him to his covenant with 
Abraham ? Nor (2.) Whether Abraham's ordinary and extraordina- 
ry seed ought to be, and actually were signed by it? Nor, (-S.) Whe- 
ther it were a seal of the righteousness of faith to any individual per- 
son, for he allows it to be so to Abraham ? Nor (4.) Whether it per- 
tained to the ceremonial law, and so must cease at the death of Christ? 
J3ut the difference betwixt us is, Whether (1.) It was a seal of the 
covenant to none but Abraham ? And (2.) W^hether in the very na- 
ture of the act-, or only from the intention of the agent, it did oblige 
men to keep the whole law, as Adam was obliged to keep it in inno- 
cency ? (.'^5.) Whether it were utterly abolished at the death of Christ, 
as a condition of the covenant of works ? or being a sign of the same 
covenant of grace we are now under, it be not succeeded by the new 
gospel-sign, which is baptism? Mr. Cary affirms, that it was in itself a 
condition of the covenant of works, and being annexed to God's cove- 
nant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. it made that a true Adam's covenant 
of works also. This I utterly deny, and say, Abraham's covenant was 
a true covenant of grace. (2.) That circumcision was a seal of 
righteousness of faith, and therefore could not possibly belong to the 
covenant of works. (3.) That as it was applied both to the ordinary 
and extraordinary infant-seed of Abraham, during that administra- 
tion of the covenant, so it is the will of Christ that baptism should 
take its place under the gospel, and be applied now to the infant-seed 
of all Abraham's spiritual children. These are the things wherein 
we differ about the second position. And lastly, as to the 

III. Position. 

That neither Moses"" law, Exod. xx. nor God's covenant with Abra- 
ham. Gen. xvii. can be any other than an Adam^s covenant ofworks^ 
because they have each of them conditions in them on man s part ; but 
the gospel-CQvenanthath none at all, but is altogether free andabsolute. 

The controversy here betwixt us is not (1.) Whether the gospel- 
covenant requires no duties at all of them that are under it ? Nor 
(2.) Whether it required any such conditions as were in Adam's co- 
venant, namely, perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience, under 
the severest penalty of a curse, and admitiing no place of repentance ? 
Nor, (3.) Whether any condition required by it on oz^?*part, have any 
thing in its own nature meritorious of the benefits promised ? Nor 
(4.) Whether we be able in our own strength, and by the power of 

X2 



S36 PI10LEG03IEXA. 

our free-will, ^\4t"hout the preventing as well as the assisting grace of 
God, to perform any such work or duty as we call a condition 9 In 
these things we have no controversy ; but the only question betwixt 
us is, 

Whether in the new covenant some act of ours (though it have no 
merit in it, nor. can be done in our own single strength) be not re- 
quired to be performed by us, antecedently to a blessing or privilege 
consequent by virtue of a promise ? And whether such an act of 
duty, being of a suspending nature to the blessing promised, it have 
not the true and proper nature o^ a gospel-condition ? This I affirm, 
and he positively denies. 

These three ^o.577io?i* being confuted, and the contrary well con- 
firmed, viz. that the law at Sinai was not set up by God as an Adam's 
covenant, to open the old way of righteousness and life by works; but 
was added to the promise, as subservient to Christ in its design and 
use, and consequently can never be a pure Adam's covenant of works. 
And, secondly^ 

That Abraham's covenant, Gen. xvii. is the very same covenant of 
grace we are now under ; and, (9,dlij,) That circumcision in the na- 
ture of the act did not oblige all men to keep the whole law for righ- 
teousness. And (3f%,) 

That the neiv covenant is not absolutely and wholly unconditional, 
though notwithstanding a most free and gracious covenant; the pil- 
lars on which Mr. Gary sets his new structure sink under it, and the 
building falls into ruins. 

I have not here taken i\Ir. Gary's two Syllogisms, proving Abra- 
ham's coc;^?ia?z^ to hQ2i covenant of works, because I find myself therein 
prevented by that ingenious and learned man, Mr. Whiston, in his late 
answer to Mr. Grantham. Neither have I particularly spoken to his 
twenty-three arguments to prove the Sinai law to be a pure Adam's co- 
venant, hQQ,?LU?>Q frustrajit per 2:)lura, qiiod fieri, 'potest per paucior a : 
I have overthrown them all together at one blow, by evincing every 
argument to have four terms in it, and so proves nothing. But I 
have spoken to all those scriptures which concern our four jyo.yi^iow^, 
andfully vindicated them from the injurious senses to which Mr. Gary 
(following Mi\ Tombes) had wrested them. 

These things premised, I shall only further add, that if Mr. Gary 
shall attempt a reply to my answer, and free his own theses from 
the gross absurdities with which I have loaded them, he must plainly 
and substantially^ prove against me, 

(1.) That the Sinai law, according to its true scope and end, was 
promulgated by God for man's justification and happiness in the 
way of personal obedience ; and that the Jews, that did accordingly 
endeavour after righteousness by the works of the law, did not mis- 
take its true end and meaning ; or if they did, and thereby made it 
what God never intended it to be, a covenant of works to themselves, 
that the Sinai law ought rather to be denominated from their mistake 



A EEPLY TO MR. CARy's SOLEMN CALL. 327 

and abuse of it, than from its primary and proper use, and God's 
design in its promulgation. 

(2.) He must prove against me, with the Uke evidence of truth, that 
circumcision discovered no more of man's native corruption, nor any 
more of his remedy by Christ; nor sealed to any person whatsoever 
the righteousness of faith, than Adam's covenant in paradise did ; and 
that it did in its own nature oblige all upon whom it passed, to the 
same terms of obedience that Adam's covenant obliged him. And, 

(3.) That there is not to be found in the new covenant any such 
act or duty of ours, as hath been described and limited above ; which 
is of a suspending nature to the benefits therein granted. x\nd, 

(4.) That the respective expositions he gives of the several texts to 
be explained and vindicated, are more congruous to the scope and 
grammar than mine are, and more agreeable to the current sense of 
orthodox' expositors ; and then he shall be sure to receive an answer- 
able return from me, else it is but labour lost to write again. 



A • 

REPLY 

TO 

Mr. PHILIP GARY'S Solemn Call, &c. 



X HE book I have undertaken to animadvert briefly upon, bears 
the title of a solemn call ; but I am not so much concerned with the 
solemnity, as I am with the authority of this call. Not how it is, 
but whose it is. If it be the call of God, it must be obeyed though 
it be to part not only with \\\q privileges, but lives of our dearest chil- 
dren ; but then we had need to be very well assured it is the call of 
God, else we are guilty at once of the highest folly, and basest treach- 
ery, to part with so rich an inheritance, conveyed by God's covenant 
with Abraham, to us believing Gentiles, and our seed, at Mr. Gary's 
call. 

You direct your Solemn Call to all that would he oztmedas Chrisfs 
JmthJiU witnesses. 

Here you are too obscure and general : do you mean, all that would 
be owned by you, or by Christ ? If you mean, that we must not ex- 
pect to be owned by you till we renounce infants baptism, you tell us 
no news, for you have long since turned your back upon our minis- 
try and assemblies: yet,methinks it is strange, that we who were lately 
owned as Christ's faithful witnesses, under our late sufferings, must 
now be disowned by you, when we liave liberty to amplify and con- 

X3 



628 A REPLY TO MR. GARY S SOLEMN CALL. 

firm our testimony in the peaceful improvement of our common 
liberty. 

But if your meaning be, (as I strongly suspect it is) that we must 
not expect to be owned bv Christ, except we give up infants baptism ; 
then, I sav, it is the most uncharitable, as well as unwarrantable, and 
dangerous censure that ever dropt from the pen of a sober Christian. 
It is certainly your great evil to lay salvation itself on such a point as 
the proper subject of baptism, and to make it articulus stantis velca- 
dentis religion'is^ the very basis on which the whole Christian religion, 
audits professors salvation must stand. I hope the rest of your breth- 
ren are more charitable than yourself; but however it be, I do openly 
profess, that I ever have, and still do own you, and many more of your 
persuasion, for my brethren in Christ, and am persuaded Christ will 
own you too, notwithstanding your many errors and mistakes about 
the lesser and lower matters of religion. Nor need your censure 
much to afreet us, as long as we are satisfied you have neither a fa- 
culty nor commission thus solemnly to pronounce it upon us. 

But what is the condition upon which this dreadful sentence de- 
pends ? wh}^, it is our attendance or non-attendance to the primitive 
purity of the gospel-doctnne. 

Sir, I hope we do attend it, and, in some respects, better than some 
great pretenders to primitive purity, who have cast off not only the 
initiating sign of God's covenant, (this did not Abraham) but also 
that most comfortable and ancient ordinance o^ singing Psnlms : and 
what other primitive ordinance of God may be cashiered next, who 
can tell ? 

AVe have a witness in our bosom, that the defence of Chrisfs pure 
icoj'ship and institution hath cost us something; and as for me, were I 
convinced by all that you have here said, or any of your friends, that 
in baptizing the infants of believers, we did really depart from the pri- 
mitive purity, I would renounce it, and turn Anabaptist the same day. 

But really, sir, this discourse of yours hath very much convinced 
me of the weakness and sickliness of your cause, which is forced to 
seek a new foundation, and is here laid by you upon such a founda- 
tion as must inevitably ruin it, if your party, as well as yourself, 
have but resolution enough to venture it thereupon. 

And it appears to me very probable, that they intend to fight us 
upon the new ground you have here chosen and marked out for them, 
bvthehigh encomiums they give your hook in their epistles to it, where- 
in they tell us, your notions are of so rare a nature, that you are not 
beholden to any other Jvr them ; and it is a wonder if you should, for 
I think it never entered into any sober Christian's head before you, 
that Abraham's covenant. Gen. xvii. was the very same with Adam's 
covenant made in paradise ; or that Moses, Abraham, and all the 
elect of God in those days were absolutely under the very rigour and 
tyranny of the covenant gfzvorl's, and at the same time under the 
covenant of grace, and all the blessings and privileges thereof; with 



A RErLY TO MR. CARY's SOLEMN CALL. 3S9 

•many otlier such rare notions, of which it is pity but you should 
have the sole propriety. 

I am particularly concerned to detect your dangerous mistakes, 
both in love ioyoitr oicn soul, and care of itit/ people's, amongst whom 
you have dispersed them ; though I foresee by M. E's epistle to 
9/our boolc, what measure I am like to have for my plain and faithful 
deahng with you : for if that gentleman, upon a mere surmise and pre- 
sumption that one or otlier would oppose your book, dare adventure 
to call your unknown answer, before he ever put pen to pa])er, a 
man-piease?; a quarreller at reformation, and rank him with the Pa- 
pists, which opposed the faithful for their non-conformity to their 
inventions ; what must I expect from such rash censurers, for my 
sober, plain, and rational confutation of your errors ? 

As to the controversy betwixt us, you truly say, in your title page, 
and many parts of your boolc, and your brethren comprobate it in 
their epistles, that the main arguments made use of by the Pasdo-bap- 
tists, for the support of their practice, are taken from the covenant 
of God with Abraham, Gen. xvii. You call this the very hinge of 
the controversy ; and therefore if you can but prove this to be the very 
same covenant of works with that made with Adam m paradise, we 
shall then see what improvements you will quickly make of it. 

Ay, sir, you are sensible of the advantage, no less than a complete 
victory you shall obtain by it : and therefore being a more hardy and 
adventurous man than others, put desperately upon it, (which never 
any before you durst attempt) to prove Abraham's covenant, which 
stands so much in the way of your cause, to be a mere covenant of 
works, and therefore now abolished. 

My proper province is to discover here, that part of the foundation 
(I mean Abraham's coveiiant) whence our divines with great strength 
and evidence, deduce the right of believers infants to baptism now. 
Next, to evince the absurdity of your assertions, and arguments you 
bring to destroy it : And, lastly, to reflect, briefly upon the answers 
you give in the beginning of your book, to those several texts of scrip- 
ture pleaded by the learned and judicious divines you oppose, for 
the justification of infants baptism. 

(1.) Those that plead God's covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. as 
a scripture-foundation for ba])tizing believers infants under the gos- 
pel, proceed generally upon these four grounds or principles. 

(1.) That God's covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. was the same 
covenant for substance we Gentile believers are now under; and they 
substantially prove it from Luke i. from the 54th to the 74th verse ; 
which place evidently shews the sameness of the covenant of grace 
they were, and we are now under; and from Matth. xxi. 41, 43. the 
same vineyard and kingdom the Jews then had, is now let out to us 
Gentiles; and from Rom. xi. that the Gentile Christians are grafted 
into the same olive-tree, from which the Jews were broken off for 

X4 



830 A REPLY TO Mil. 

their unbelief; and that the blessing of Abraham cometh now upon 
the Gentiles, Gal. iii. 8, 14, 16. And in a word, that the partition- 
wall bet\\axt them and us is now pulled down ; and that we, through 
faith, are let into the self-same covenant, and all the privileges they 
then enjoyed, Eph. ii. 13. 

(2.) They assert and prove, that in Abraham's covenant the infant- 
seed were taken in with their parents, and that in token thereof, 
they were to have the sign of the covenant applied to them, Gen. 
xvii. 9. 

(3.) They affirm and prove. That the promise of God to Abra- 
ham and his seed, with the privileges thereof to his children, do, for 
the substance of them, descend to believers now, and their seed, Actsii. 
38, 39. and though the external sign, viz. circumcision^ be changed, 
yet baptism takes its place under the gospel. Col. ii. 11, 12. 

(4.) They constantly affirm, that none of those grants or privileges 
made to the infant-seed of Abraham's family, were ever repealed or 
revoked by Christ or his apostles; and therefore believers children 
are now in the rightful possession of them ; and that therefore there 
needed no new command or promise : In Abraham's covenant we 
find our duty to sign our children ^vith the sign of the covenant ; and 
in Abraham's promise we find God's gracious grant to our children, 
as well as his, especially since the apostle directs us, in this very re- 
spect, to the covenant of God with Abraham, Acts ii, 38, 39. 

These, sir, are the principles on which we lay (as you say) great 
stress, and which to this day you have never been able to shake down; 
here therefore you attempt a new method to do it, by proving this 
covenant is now abolished ; and this is your method, in which 
you promise yourself great success : Three things yon pretend to 
prove ; 

(1.) That the Sinai covenant, Exod. xx. 

(2.) That Abraham's covenant, Gen. xvii. are no gospel-cove- 
nants ; and that because, 

(3.) The gospel-covenant is absolute and unconditional. 

How you come to hook in the Mosaic covenant into this controver- 
sy, is not very evident, unless you think it were easy for you to prove 
that to be a covenant ofucorks ; and then Abraham's covenant, Gen. 
xvii. being an Old Testament covenant, were the more easily proved 
to be of the same nature. I am obliged to examine your three posi- 
tions above noted, and if I evidence to the world the falsity of tliem, 
the cause you manage is so far lost, and the right of believers infants 
to baptism stands firm upon its old and sure foundation. I begin 
therefore with your 

1. Position. 

That the covenant made with Israel, on mount Sinai, is the very 
same covenant qficorks made zcith Adam in innocency, p. 122. and 
divers other places of your book, the very same. 



A REPLY TO WR. CAllY^S SOLEMN CALL. 331 

Now, if you prove that this assertion of yours doth naturally and re- 
gularly drawmany false and absurd consequents upon vou, which yoii 
are, and must be Ibrced to own, then this your ^067^7o/? cannot be true; 
for from true premises, nothing but truth can naturally and regularly 
follow ; but I shall make it plain to you, that this your position regu- 
larly draws many false conclusions, and gross absurdities, upon you ; 
some of which vou own expressly, and others you as good as own, be- 
ing able to return nothing rational or satisfactory in your own de- 
fence against thtm. 

(1.) From this assertion, that the Sinai covenant was a pure cove- 
nant o/'zcorJis, the very same with Adam's covenant^ it regularly and 
necessarily follows, that either Moses and all Israel were damned, 
there being no salvation possible to be attained by that first cove- 
nant ; or else, that there was a covenant of grace at the same time 
running parallel with that covenant of works ; and so the elect peo- 
ple of God were at one and the same time under the first, as a cove- 
nant of death and condemnation ; and under the second, as a cove- 
nant of grace and justification. 

This dilemma pinches you. To assert, that Moses, and all the elect 
of God, under that dispensation, were damned, you dare not ; and if 
you had, you must have expunged the eleventh chapter to the He- 
brews, and a great part of the New Testament, together with all your 
hopes of sitting down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the kingdom 
of heaven. The latter, therefore, (seeing you cannot avoid) you are 
forced upon, and in plain words yield it, p. 174, 175. ' That Moses 
and the whole body of the children of Israel, without exception of 
any, were under, yea, absolutely under the severest penalties of a 
dreadful curse ; that the covenant they were under, could be no other 
than a covenant of works, a ministration of death and condemnation ; 
when yet it is also evident from the same holy scriptures of truth, that 
at the same time both Moses and all the elect among that people were 
under a pure covenant of gospel-grace; and that these two covenants 
were just the opposite the one to the other; but to this you have 
nothing to say, but with the apostle in another case, O the depth !' 

Here, sir, you father a pure and perfect contradiction upon the 
holy scriptures, that it speaks things just opposite and contradictory- 
one to the other, and of necessity one part or member of a contradic- 
tion must be false : this all the rational world knows ; but so it is, say 
you, and fly to the infinite wisdom to reconcile them ; for you say, 
You know not what to say to it. Just so the papists serve us in the 
confroversy about tr an substantiation, when they cannot reconcile 
one thing with another, they fly to the omnipotent power to do it. 

But, sir, I wonder how you hold and hug a principle that runs na- 
turally into such gross absurdities: Do you see wh.at follows from 
hence by unavoidable consetjuences? You must, according to thisprin- 
ciple, hold, That Moses, and all God's pecidiar elect people in Israel, 



352 A KEPLY TO MR. CARY*S SOLEMN CALL. 

most, during their life, hang mid- way between justification and con- 
demnation ; and, after death, between heaven and hell. 

(1.) During life, they must hang mid-way between justification 
and condemnation; justified they could not be, for justification is 
the soul's passing from death to life, 1 John iii. 14. John v. 24. 
This they i:ould not possibly do, for the ministration of death and 
condemnation hindered. He that is under condemnation by the law, 
cannot, during thai state, pass into life. And yet to be under con- 
demnation is as impossible on the other side; for he that is justified, 
cannot at the same time be under condemnation, Rom. viii. 2. John 
v. S4. What remains then, but that during life they must stick 
mid-way betwixt both, neither justified nor condemned; and yet 
both so and so. Justification is our life, and condemnation our death, 
in law : Betwixt these two, which are privately opposed, there can 
be no meditim of participation, and yet such a medium you here fancy* 

(2.) And then after death they must necessarily hang betwixt hea- 
ven and hell ; to heaven none can go that are under the very rigour 
and tyranny of the law, a pure covenant of works^SiS you say they were. 

To hell they could not go, being under the pure covenant of 
grace : What remains then, but some third state must be assigned 
them ? and so at last w^e have found the limhm: patiirim, and your 
position leads us right to purgatory : a conclusion which, I believe, 
you yourself abhor as much as I. 

(^dly.) This hypothesis pinches you with another dilemma, viz. 
Either there was pardon or repentance in Moses' covenant, and the 
Sinai dispensation of the laic, or there was none ; if you say none, 
you directly contradict Lev. xxvi. 40, 46. if there were, then it can- 
not be Adam's covenant of works. 

You answer, p. 179. ' That God promiseth pardon for the breach 
of Moses' covenant, and of Adam's covenant too, but neither Adam's 
covenant, nor the Jewish legal covenant, promised any pardon upon 
repentance, but rather threatens and inflicts the contrary.' 

Reply. Either this is a direct answer to my argument, to prove the 
law at Sinai cannot be a pure Adam's covenant, because it had a pro- 
mise of pardon annexed to it. Lev. xxvi. 40. but Adam's covenant had 
none. If your answer be direct, then it is a plain contradiction in say- 
ing it had* and it had not a promise of pardon belonging to it. Or 
else it is a mere evasion, and an eluding of the argument ; and your 
only meaning is, that the relief I speak of is not to be found in any 
promise belonging to the Sinai dispensation, but in some other gospel 
covenant or promise. But, sir, this will not serve your turn ; you see 
I cite the verv promise of grace made to the Israehtes on mount Sinai 
by the hand of Moses, wherein God promiseth upon their humiliation 
to remember his covenant for their good. Now, sir, you had as good 
have stood to your first answer, which is less contradictory, as to this 
which is no less so ; as will evidently appear, by a nearer and more 
particular view of the place, and gathering up your own concessions 



A REPLY TO Mil. GARY S SOLEMN CALL, "33 

4^1)out it. That this text, Lev. xxvi. 40. hath tlie nature of a gracious 
promise in it, no man will deny, except he that will deny that God's 
remembering of his covenant^ for the relief of poor broken-hearted 
sinners, is no gospel promise pertaining to the covenant of grace : 
That it was made to the penitent Israelites upon mount Sinai, and 
tliere delivered them by the hand of Moses for their relief, is as 
visible and plain as the words and syllables of the 4Gth verse are to 
him that reads them. Let the promise then be considered both ways, 
(L) In your sense, as ii plain direction to tlic covenant of grace made 
•With Abraham for their relief; for you say it was, p. 1 SO. or let it 
be considered absolutely, as that which contained relief in itself for 
the penitent Israelites that should live towards the end of the v/orld, 
after they should be gathered from all their dispersions and capti- 
vities, as you there speak, and more fully explicate in your accom- 
modation of a parallel promise, p. Ill, IIS, 113. First, Ictus 
view it in your sense, as a relative j)romise to the covenant of grace 
made with Abraham, Gen. xii. to which, say you, it plainly directs 
them ; and then this legal dispensation can never be the same with 
Adam's covenant, for to that covenant no such promise was ever 
annexed, which should guide and plainly direct them to Christ and 
pardon, as that star which appeared to the wise men directed their 
way to Christ. If there be any such relative promise belonging to 
Adanf s covenant in paradise, as this which I plainly shew you was 
made on mount Sinai, be pleased to produce it, and you end the 
controversy ; but if you cannot, (as you know you cannot) then 
never say the legal dispensation at Sinai, and the covenant of works 
with Adam in paradise, are the very same covenant. Secondly, Let 
us consider this promise absolutely in itself, aud then I demand, was 
there mercy, relief and pardon contained in it for any penitent sin- 
ner present or to come? Yes, say you, it extends relief to penitents, 
after God shall gather them from all their captivities at the end of 
the world ; very good. Then it is a very vigorous promise of grace, 
which not only reaches 430 years backward, as far as the first pro- 
mise to Abraham, but also extends its reliefs and comforts many 
thousand years forwards, even to the purest times of the gospel, just 
before Christ's coming to judgment: And can such a promise as 
this be denied to be in itself a gospel-promise ? Sure it can neither 
be denied to be such, nor yet to be made upon mount Sinai by the 
hand of Moses. This dilemma is as pinching as the former. 

Perhaps you will say. This promise did not belong to the moral 
lazv given at Sinai, but to the ceremonial laic : If so, then I shoidd 
reasonably conclude, that you take the ceremonial law (of which you 
seem to make this a branch, p. 181.) to be a covenant of grace, see- 
ing one of its branches bears such a gracious promise upon it. No, 
that must not be so neither; for say you, p. 151. the ceremonial 
covenant is of the same nature with the covenant of zoorhs, or law- 
written in tables of stone : Whillier then shall we send x\\u promise.^ 



334- A REPLY TO MK. CAKY's SOLEMN CALL. 

To the covenant of grace we must not send it, unless only as an 
inde^: or finger to point to it, because it was made upon mount Sinai, 
and delivered to Israel by the hand of Moses : To the gospel-cove- 
nant we must not therefore annex it; and to the legal dispensation 
at Sinai you are as loth to annex it, because it contains so much re- 
lief and grace in it for poor penitents ; and that will prove, that 
neither the moral nor ceremoniul laio (place it in which you please) 
can be a pure covenant of works as Adam's was. 

Moreover, in making this the promise which must relieve and com- 
fort the distressed Israelites in the purest gospel-times, towards the 
end of the world, you as palpably contradict yourself in another res- 
pect ; for we shall find you by and by stoutly denying, that the gos- 
pel promises have any conditions or qualifications annexed to them ; 
but so hath this, which you say relates to them that shall live at the 
end of the world, " If their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and 
if they accept the punishment of their iniquities, then will I remem- 
ber my covenant," S^c. But be this promise conditional or abso- 
lute, two things are undeniably clear : (1) That it is a promise full 
of grace, for the relief of law- transgressors, ver. 40. (2.) That it 
was a mount Sinai promise^ ver. 46. And such a promise as you 
can never shew in Adam's covenant. 

Besides, it is to me an unaccountable thing, that a promise which 
hath a double comfortable aspect 430 years back, and some thousands 
of years forward, should not cast one comfortable glance upon the 
penitents of the present age, when it was made, nor upon any till 
near the end of the world. What think you, sir, of the 3000 Jews 
pricked at the heart. Acts ii. had they no relief from it, because 
their lot fell not late enough in time ? Were the penitent Jews in 
Closes and Peter's days all born out of due time for this promise to 
relieve ? O what shifting and shuffling is here ? Who can think a man 
that twists and winds every way, to avoid the dint of an argument, 
can possibly have a moral assurance of the truth of his own opinion.^ 

(3.) You say, page 134. ' That through Christ's satisfaction there 
' is no repugnanc}", or hostile contrariety, betwixt the law and pro- 
' mise, but an agreement betwixt them, and that they differ only in 
' respect of strength and weakness ; the gospel is able to go througli- 
* stitch with it, which the law cannot do.' 

Reply. Well then, the law considered as a covenant of works, 
whose terms or condition is, " Do this and live ;" and the promise or 
gospel, whose condition is, " Believe and thou shalt be saved ;" are 
not specifically different, but only gradually, in point of strength and 
weakness : and the reason you give is as strange, that this comes to 
jmss through the satisfaction of Christ. Good sir, enlighten us in this 
rare notion. Did Christ die to purchase a reconciliation betwixt the 
covenant of works as such and the covenant of grace, as if both were 
now by the death of Christ agreed, and to be justified by works and by 
faith, should after Christ's death, make no odds or difierence between 



A REPLY TO MR. CARy''s SOLEMN CALL. S35 

lliem ? If it be so, why liave you kept such a coil to prove Moscs^ 
and Adam's covenant, yea, Abraham's too, being a covenant ofivorks^ 
can never consist or mingle with the gospel-covenant f And then I 
say, you contradict the apostle^ who so directly opposes the covenant 
of works as such, to the covenant of grace ^ Gal. iii. 18. and tells us 
tliey are utterly inconsistent and exclusive of each other; and this 
he spake after Christ's death and actual satisfaction. But, 

(4.) That which more amazes me, is the strange answer you give 
to Mr. Sedgwick,;?. 132, 153. In your return to his argument, ' That 
' if the law and the promise can consist, then the law cannot be set 

* up as a covenant of works. You answer^ That the law and the pro- 
' mise having divers ends, it doth not thence follow, that there is an 
' inconsistence betwixt them, and that the law, even as it is a cove-. 

* nant of works, instead of being against the promise, tends to the 

* estabhshment of it. And j9. 13S. that by convincing men of the 
' impossibility of obtaining rest and peace in themselves, and the ne- 

* cessity of betaking themselves to the promise, &c. the law is not 
' against the promise, having so 5/f?5^<?f/«^i«te?'i'i£^7ic?/ towards the esta- 

* blishment thereof.' Here you own a subserviency^ yea, a hlcssed suh- 
serviencyo^the\siv/ to the promise, which is that Mr. Sedgwick and my- 
self have urged to prove it cannot be so, as it is a pure Adam's cove- 
nant, but that thereof it must come under another consideration ; 
only here we differ ; you say it hath a blessed subserviency to the pro- 
mise, as it is the same with Adam's covenant ; we say it can never be 
so as such, but as it is either a covenant of grace, though more obscure, 
as he speaks ; or though the matter of it should be the same with x\danf s 
covenant, yet it is subserviently a covenant of grace, as others speak; 
and under no other consideration can it be reconciled to the promise. 

But will you stand to this, that the law hath no hostile contradic- 
tion to the promise, but a blessed subserviency to it, as you speak, ^7. 
173. where you say, * That if we preach up the law as a covenant of 
life, or a covenant of faith and grace (which are equipollent terms) 
let us distinguish as we please between a covenant of grace absolutely 
and subserviently such ; then we make an ill use of the law, by per- 
verting it to such a service as God never intended it for, and are 
guilty of mingling lavv^ and gospel, life and death together.' 

Reply. Here, sir, my understanding is perfectly posed, and I know 
not how to make any tolerable orthodox sense out of this }X)sition : Is 
the law preached upas a Y^^ve, covenant of works, (that is, pressing men 
to the personal and punctual obedience of it, in order to their justifi- 
cation by works) no way repugnant to the promise, but altogether so, 
when preached in subserviency toChrist and faith ? This is new divinity 
with me, and I believe must be so to every intelligent reader. Do not 
I oppose the promise when I preach up the law as a pure covenant of 
works, which therefore as such must be exclusive of Christ and the 
promise .? And do I oppose either, when 1 tell sinners the terrors of 
the law serve only to drive them to Christ, their only remedy, who is 



336 A liEfLV TO MH. CARl's SOLEM]^ CALt. 

•' the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth,'* 
Rom. X. 4. Are works and grace more consistent than grace with 
grace ? Explain your meaning in this paradoxical eocpression, and 
leave not yourself and others in such a maze. I read, Gal. iii. 19. 
for what end God published the law 430 years after the promise 
•was made to Abraham, and tind it zcas added because of ' transgres- 
sion, rr^cGiTidn, it was put to, not set up by itself alone as a distinct 
covenant, but added as an appendix to the cove^iajit of grace ; whence 
it is plain, that God added the Sinai laiv to the profnise, with evaii- 
gelical ends and purposes. If then I preach the law to the very same 
evangelical uses and purposes for which God added it to the promise, 
do I therein make an ill use of the law, and mingle life and death 
together .'^ But preaching it, as a pure covenant of ivories, as it holds 
forth justification to sinners by obedience to its precepts, do I thcri 
make it blessedly subservient (as you speak) to the promise or cove- 
'iiant of grace .? The law was added because of transgression, that is. 
to restrain sin in the world, and to convince sinners under guilt, of tlie 
necessity of another righteousness than their own, even that of Chri,'3t, 
and for the same ends God added it to the promise. I always did, 
and still shall preach it, and I am persuaded, without the least danger 
of mingling law and gospel, life and death together, in vour sense. 

It is plain to me, that in the publication of the law on Sinai, God 
did not in the least intend to give them so much as a direction how 
to obtain justification by their most punctual obedience to its precepts, 
that being to fallen man utterly impossible ; and beside, had he pro- 
mulged the law to that end and purpose, he had not added it, but di» 
rectly opposed it to the promise ; which it is manifested he did not ; 
Gal. iii. 21. " Is the lavr then against the promise of God .? God for-* 
bid." And verse 18. makes it appear, that had it been set up to that 
end and purpose, it had utterly disannulled the promise ; for iftln; 
inheritance he of the law, it is no more hy promise. What then can 
be clearer, than that the law at Sinai was published with graciou3 
gospel-ends and purposes, to lead men to Christ, which Adam's co- 
venant had no respect or reference to 't And therefore it can never 
be a pure Adam's covenant, as you falsely call it, neither is it capable 
of becoming a pure covenant oficorks to any man, but by his own 
fault, in rejecting the righteousness of Christ, and seeking justifica- 
tion by the works of the law, as the mistaken carnal Jews did, Rom. 
X. 3. and other legal justiciaries now do. And upon this account 
only it is that Paul, who so highly praises the law in its subserviency 
to Christ, thunders so dreadfully against it, as it is thus set by igno- 
rant mistaken souls in direct opposition to Christ. 

(pthly,) And further, to clear this point, the apostle tells us, Rom. 
X. 4. " For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every 
one that believeth.'' Whence I argue. That if Adam's covenant had 
an end, namelv, the justification of men by their own personal obe- 
dience ; and the law at Sinai had a quite contrary end, namely, to 



A REPLY TO MR. CARY"*S SOLEMX CALL. 337 

Wing sinners to Christ by faith for their rii^hteousncss ; the one to 
keep him witliin himself, tlie other to take him quite out of himself, 
and bring liim for his justification to the righteousness of another, 
even that of Christ ; then that Sinai law cannot possibly be the same 
thing with Adam's covenant of' Kvrks. But the antecedent is true 
and plain in the forecited text, therefore so is the consequent. 

Christ is the end of the law for righteousness. Take the law here 
either more strictly, for the moral la:i\ or more largely, as it compre- 
hends the ceremonial laza, still Christ is the end of the laze. The 
moral law shuts up every man to Christ for righteousness, by con- 
vincing him (according to God's design in the publication of it) of 
the impossibility of obtaining justification in the way of works. 

And the ceremonial law many ways prefigured Christ, his death and 
satisfaction, by blood, in our room, and so led men to Christ their true 
propitiation ; and all its types were fulfilled and ended in Christ. Was 
there any such thing in Adam's covenant? You must prove there was, 
else you will never be able to make them one and the same covenant. 

(6thl//,) It seems exceeding probable from Acts vii. 27, 38. that 
the Sinai cove }ia7it wasdelivercd to Mosesby Jesus Christ, therecalled 
the ayigel. " This is he that w^as in the church in the wilderness, 
with the angel that spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our 
fathers, who received the lively oracles to give unto us." Now, if 
Christ himself were the Angel, and tlie precepts of the law delivered 
by him to Moses were the lively oracles ofGod^ as they are expressly 
aifirmed to be ; then the law delivered on mount Sinai cannot be a 
pure Adam's covenant of works : for it is never to be imagined that 
Jesus Christ himself should deliver to Moses such a covenant, di- 
rectly opposite to all theends of hisfuture incarnation; and that those 
precepts (which, if they were of the same nature, and revived to the 
same end, at which Adam's covenant directly aimed) should be call- 
ed the lively oracles of God ; when contrariwise, upon your supposi- 
tion, they could be no other than a ministration of condemnation and 
death : but that they were lively oracles, viz. in their design and in- 
tention, is plain in the text ; and that they were delivered to Moses 
by Jesus Christ, the angel of the covenant, seems more than proba- 
ble, by comparing it with the former verses. 

(7^/%,) Neither is it easy to imagine how such a covenant, which by 
the fall of Adam had utterly lost all its promises, privileges and bles- 
sings, and could retain nothing but the curses and punishments an- 
nexed to it, in case of the least failure, could possibly be numbered 
among the chief privileges in which God's Israel gloried ; as it appa- 
rently was, Rom. ix. 4. " Who are Israelites ; to whom pcTtaineth 
the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the givino- of 
the law, and the service of God, and the promises." 

These things considered, with many more (whicli the intended bre- 
vity of this discourse will not now admit) I am fully satisfied of the 



S38 A RrPLY TO ME. CAR\"s SOLEMN CALL. 

falsity of youv position, and so may you too, when you shall review tnc? 
many gross and palpable absurdities with which I have clogged and 
loaded it, with many more, regularly and fairly deducible from it ; 
which I could easily produce, did I not suspect these I have produced, 
liave already prest your patience a Httle too far ; but if ever I shall see 
(which I never expect) a fair and scriptural solution of these weighty 
objections, you may expect from me more arguments against your 
unsound jjosition^ which, at the present, I judge needless to add. 

To conclude: These premises (as before I noted) can never be true, 
from whence such, and so many gross and notorious absurdities are 
regularly and unavoidably deducible. For ex veris nil nisi verum, 
from true premises nothing but truth can regularly follow. 

Had 3^ou minded those things which I seasonably sent you, you had 
avoided all those bogs into which you are now sunk, and been able 
fairly to reconcile all those seeming contradictions in Paufs epistles^ 
with respect to the law at Sinai: But, however, by what hath been 
said, your first position, That the Sinai covenant is the same covenant 
of' icorks li'ith Adam's in paradise, vanishes before the evidence of 
scripture, truth, and sound reason. 

But yet, though v.hat I have said destroys your false position, I 
am not wilhng to leave you, or the reader ignorant, wherein the 
truth lies in this controverted point betwixt us ; and that will appear, 
by a due consideration of the follov/ing particulars. 

(1.) It is plain and uncontroverted, that Adam's covenant in para- 
dise, contained in a perfect law and rule of natural righteousness, 
founded both in God's nature and in man's ; which, in its perfect 
state of innocency, was every way enabled perfectly to comply there- 
with : For the scripture tells us, Eccl. vii. 29. That God made man 
upright ; and his punctual complying therewith, was the righteous- 
ness by which he stood. 

(2.) This covenant oficorlis being once broken, can never more be 
available to the justification and salvation of any fallen man. There 
was not now a law found that could give righteousness : The broken 
covenant qf works lost immediately ail the blessings and privileges 
which before it contained, and retained only the curse and pun ish ment ; 
in token whereof, cheruhims, with flaming swords, turning every 
way, were set to keep the way of the tree of life. Gen. iii. 24*. 

(3.) Soon after the violation of the covenant ofzco?'ks, God was gra- 
ciously pleased to publish for therehef of mankind, now miserable and 
hopeless, the second covenant, which we caWthe covenant of grace. Gen. 
iii. 15. which is the first opening of the grace of God in Christ to 
fallen man. And though this first promise of Christ was but short and 
obscure, vet it was in every age to be opened clearer and clearer, until 
the promised seed should come. After the first opening of this new 
covenant, in the first promise of Christ, the first covenant is shut up 
forever, as a covenant of life and salvation; and all the world are shut 
up to the only way of salvation by Christ, Gal. iii. 23. It being con* 



A REPLY TO MR. CARy's SOLEMN GALL. 339 

trary to the will of God, that two ways of salvation should stand open 
to man at once, and they so opposite one to another, as the w-ay of 
works, and the way of faith are, Acts iv. 12. John xiv. 6. Gal. ii. 21. 

(4.) It is evident, however, that after the first opening of the pro- 
mise of Christ, Gen. iii. 15. God foreseeing the pride of fallen man, 
who naturally inclines to a righteousness of his own in the way of do- 
ing, was pleased to revive the law of nature, as to its matter, in the Si-i 
nai dispensation; which was 430 years after the first promise had been 
renewed, and further opened unto Abmham, of whose seed Christ 
should come : And this he did, not in opposition to the promise, but 
in subserviency thereto. Gal. iii. 21. And though the matter and 
substance of the law of nature be found in the Sinai covenant, strictly 
taken for the ten commandments; yet the ends and intentions of God 
in that terrible Sinai disj^ensation were twofold; (1.) To convince 
fallen man of the s'mfulneas and impotency of his nature, and the im- 
possibility of obtaining righteousness by the law, and so by a blessed 
necessity, to shut him up to Christ, his only remedy. And, (2.) To 
be a standing rule of duty, both towards God and man, to the end 
of the world. But if we take the Sinai covenant more largely, as 
inclusive of the cc7'emonial with the moral law (as it is often taken, 
and is so by you, in the New Testament ;) then it did not only serve 
for a conviction of impotency, and a rule of duty ; but exhibited and 
taught much of Christ, and the mysteries of the new covenant in 
those its ceremonies, wherein he was prefigured to them. 

(5.) Whence it evidently appears, that the Sinai covenant was nei- 
ther repugnant to the nexo covenant in its scope and aim ; " The law- 
is not against the promise,"" Gal. iii. 21. nor yet set up as co-ordi- 
nate with it, with a design to open two different ways of salvation to 
fallen man; but was added to the promise in respect of its evangelical 
purposes and designs; On which account it is called by some a 
covenant of faith, or grace, in respect of its subserviency unto Christ, 
who is the end of the law for righteousness, Rom. x. 4, and by 
others a subservient covenant, according to Gal. iii. 23, 24. And 
accordingly we find both tables of the law put into the ark, Heb. ix. 
4. which shews their consistency and subordination with, and to the 
method of salvation by Christ in the new-covenant. 

(6.) This design and intention of God was fatally mistaken by the 
Jews, ever since God promulgated that law at Sinai, and was by them 
notoriously perverted to a quite contrary end to that which God pro- 
mulged it for, even to give righteousness and life, in the way of per- 
sonal and perfect obedience ; Rom. x. 3. " For they being ignorant 
" of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own 
righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness 
of God.'' Hence Christ came to be slighted by them, and his righ- 
teousness rejected; For they rested in the law, Eoin.. ii. 17. were 
married to the law, as an husband, Rom. vii. 2, 3. and so might 
have no conjugal coajmuniou with Christ. However, Moses, Abra- 

VoL. VI. Y 



340 A REPLY TO MR. CARTAS SOLEMN CALL. 

elect, discerned Christ as the end of the law for righteousness, and 
were led to him thereby. 

(7) This fatal mistake of tlie use and intent of the law, is the 
ground of those seeming contradictions, in Paul's epistles. Sometimes 
he magnifies the law, when he speaks of it according to God's end 
and purpose in its promulgation, Rom. vii. 12, 14, 16. But as it was 
fatally mistaken by the Jews, and set in opposition to Christ ; so he 
thunders against it, calls it a ministration of death and cmidemnor- 
i'lon : and all its appendant ceremonies weal: and beggarly elements. 
And by this distinction, whatsoever seems repugnant in PauPs epis- 
tles, may be sweetly reconciled ; and it is a distinction of his own 
making, 1 Tim. i. 8. " We know that the law is good if we use it 
lawfully."" There is a good and an evil use of the law. Had you 
attended to these things, you had not so confidently and inconsider- 
ately pronounced it a pure covenant of works. 

II. Position. 

Secondly, You affirm with like confidence. That the covenant of 
circumcision is also the same ; viz. the covenant qfworlis made with 
Adam in paradise. 

This I utterly deny ; and will Xxy whether you have any better 
success in the proof of your second, than you had in your ^Y$,t posi- 
tion. And to convince you of your mistake, let us consider what 
the general nature of this ordinance of circumcision was ; what its 
ends were ; and then prove, That it cannot be what you affirm it to 
be, the very same covenant God made with Adam before the fall, 
but must needs be a covenant of grace. 

(1.) Circumcision^ in its general nature, was, (1.) An ordinance of 
God's own institution, in the 99th year of Abraham's age ; at which 
time of its institution, God renewed the covenant with him. Gen. xvii. 
9, 10. (2). That it consisted (as all sacraments do) of an external 
sign, and a spiritual mystery signified thereby. The external part 
of it (which we call the sign) was the cutting off the foreskin of the 
genital part of the Hebrew males, on the eighth day from their birth. 
The spiritual mystery thereby signified and represented, was the cut- 
ting off the filth and guilt of sin from their souls, by regeneration and 
justification, called " the circumcision of the heart," Deut. x. 16. 
And though this was laid upon them by the command, as their duty, 
yet a gracious promise of power from God to perform that duty, was 
added to the command; Deut. xxx. 6. "The Lord thy God will 
circumcise thy heart to love him," &c. just as promises of grace in the 
New Testament are added to commands of duty. (3.) Betwixt this 
visible outward sign, and spiritual mystery, there was a sacramental 
relation ; from which revelation it is called the " token of the cove- 
nant," Gen. xvii. 12. " The sign and seal of the covenant," Rom. 
iv. 11. Yea, " the covenant itself," Acts vii. 8. 



A REPLY TO MR. CA11Y*S SOLEMN CALL. 841 

(S.) Next, let us consider the ends for which circumcision was insti- 
tuted and ordained of God ; Of which these were the principal. 

(1.) It was instituted to be a convictive sig^i of their natural cor- 
ruption, propagated by the way of natural generation : For which 
reason, this natural corruption goes in scripture under the name of 
the uncircumcision of the hearty Jer. ix, 26. 

(2.) It also signified the putting off of this body of sin, in the vir- 
tue of Christ's death. Col. ii. 11. 

(3.) It was appointed to be the initiating sign of the covenant, or 
a token of their matriculation, and admission into the church and 
covenant of God, Gen. xvii. 9, 10, H. 

(4.) It was ordained to be a discriminating mark betwixt God's 
covenanted people, and the Pagan world, who were strangers to the 
covenant, and without God in the world. And accordingly both 
parties were, from this ordinance, denominated the circumcision and 
the uncircumcision. Col. iii. 11. 

(5.) It was also an obliging sign to Abraham and his seed, to walk 
•with God in the uprightness and sincerity of their hearts, in the per- 
formance of all covenanted duties ; in which duties, Abraham, and 
the faithful, walked obediently, Avith God, looking to Christ for righ- 
teousness: but the carnal Jews resting in, and trusting to those duties 
and ordinances for righteousness and justification, made it a covenant 
of works to themselves, and circumcision itself a bond o^ thai covenant. 

(6) Now, forasmuch as circumcision prefigured Christ, who was to 
come of this holy circumcised seed of Abraham, and his death also 
was pointed at therein, Heb. ii. 16. Col. ii. 11. of necessity this ordi- 
nance must vanish at the death of Christ : and accordingly did so. 

These things duly pondered, how irrational is it to imagine this 
covenant of circumcision to be the very same with the paradisical 
covenant ? Did that covenant discover native corruption, and direct 
to its remedy in Christ, as this did ? Surely it gave not the least 
glimpse of any such thing. Did that covenant separate and distin- 
guish one person from another, as this did ? No, no ; it left all under 
equal and common misery, Eph. ii. 3. 

Had Adam's covenant a seal of the righteousness of faith annexed 
to it, as thishad.^ Rom. iv. 11. " He received circumcision, a seal of 
the righteousness of faith." The righteousness of faith is evangelical 
righteousness; and tliis circumcision sealed. Say not it was to Abra- 
ham only that it sealed it ; for it is an injurious restriction put upon 
the seal of a covenant, which extended to x\\g Jhthers as well as to 
Abraham, Luke i. 72. But you admit, however, that it sealed 
evangelical righteousness to Abraham : but I hope you will not say, 
that a seal of the covenant oficorTts ever did, or could, seal evange- 
lical righteousness to any individual person in the world. So then, 
turn which way you will, this truth still follows you, and will fasten 
upon you, that the covenant of circumcision was not a pure covenant 
ofzvorks, but a gospcl-covcnanf. Which I thus prove : 



342 A REPLY TO MR. CARY's SOLEMN CALL. ^ 

Argument I. 

If circumcision be a part of the cermonial law, and the ce^'emO" 
nial lazv was dedicated by blood, and whatsoever is so dedicated, is 
by you confessed to be ho part of the covenant of works ; then cir- 
cumcision is no part of the covenant of works, even by your own 
confession. But it is : ergo. 

That it is a part of the ceremonial lato, was never doubted, or de- 
nied by any man : that it was dedicated by blood, and therefore no 
part of the moral law, you yourself not only acknowledge, but vehe- 
mently plead for it, page 148, where you blame Mr. Sedgwick with 
some sharpness, and unbecoming reflection, for making no distinction 
heX.'ivhiiihe ceremonial covenant,\v\\\ch was dedicated by blood, and the 
law written in tables of stone; which was not so dedicated, and there- 
fore could not be the same with the moral law, which you make the 
covenantofworh ; telling him, that this dedication by blood ought to 
distinguish it from the moral law, or Sinai covenant o^ y!oxk%, as you 
say it doth, and ought to do ; how then can circumcision be the same 
with, and yet quite another thing from the Sinai covenant ? Was the 
ceremonial law dedicated by blood? Yes, the apostle plainly asserts it, 
(Heb. ix. 18, 19.) from Exod. xxiv. 7, 8. ' Moses took the book of 
the covenant, and read it m the audience of the people ; and took the 
blood, and sprinkled it upon the people, and said, Behold the blood 
of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you, concerning 
these things." But what kind of covenant then was this covenant 
that was sprinkled with blood ? You tell us, p. 147, it could not pos- 
sibly be the law written in stones, (which you make the covenant of 
works;) h\ii was indeed another covenant, delivered at a distinct sea- 
son, and in a distinct method. What covenant then must this be, 
seeing it could not possibly (as you say) be the Sinai covenant written 
in stones .? It must either be the covenant of grace, or none. No, 
say you, that it was not, neither ; for it was of the same nature with, 
and is no other than a covenant of works, p. 151. It was the same, 
and yet could not possibly be the same. 

Mr. Sedgwick, that learned and grave divine, is checked, p. 148. for 
confounding the ceremonial lazv that was sprinkled with blood, with 
themorallaw (which you call the covenant of works)t.hgit was not sprink- 
led with blood ; and say you, p. 147. It could not possibly he the same. 
And then, p. 151, you say. It is clear, these two, viz. the moral and 
ceremonial law, were both ofths same nature; that is, no other Hian a 
covenant of works. How doth this hang together ? Pray reconcile 
it if you can. You say. It is an ungrounded supposition of Mr. 
Sedgmck's, that that covenant which was so confirmed by blood, must 
of necessity be confirmed by the blood of Christ also: p. 148. But, sir, 
the truth you oppose, viz. That the book of the ceremonial law was 
sprinkled by typical blood, and therefore confirmed by the blood of 
Christ, for the time it was to continue, shines like a bright sun-beam 



A REPLY TO MR. fAIlv's SOLEMN CALL. 543 

in your own eyes, from Heb. ix. 14, 23. Was not the blood that 
sprinkled this law, the figure or type of Christ's own blood ? Whose 
blood was it then, if not Christ's .? How dare you call this an un- 
grounded supposition ? Was not that blood typical blood ? And what, 
I pray you, was the antitype, but Christ's blood ? And did not the 
Holy Ghost signify the one by the other ? Heb. ix. 8. I stand amazed 
at these things ! You distinguish, and confound all again. You say, 
it could not possibly be the same with the law written in stone ; and 
you say, it is clear both were of the same nature, no other than a 
covenant of works. At this rate you may say what you please; for 
I see contradiction is no crime in your book. 

Argument II. 

If circumcision was the seal of the righteousness of faith, it did not 
pertain to the covenant ofworlcs ; for the righteousness o^ faith and 
works are opposites, and belong to the two contrary covenants. 

But circumcision was the seal of the righteousness of faith; Rom. 
iv. 11. "He (i. e. Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a 
seal of the righteousness of faith." Therefore it pertains not to the 
covenant of works, but grace. 

A man would think it impossible to evade so clear and scriptural 
an argument as this is. The major proposition is even self-evident 
and undeniable ; the minor, the plain words of the apostle. 

And what is your reply to this ? Certainly as strange a one as ever 
I met with ; p. 105. you say. It is true, circumcision was a seal of 
the righteousness of faith to Abraham ; but it was so to him only in 
his extraordinary circumstances ; but it was not so to any of his 
natural seed in its ordinary use. 

I cannot deny but I have met with such an assertion before in Mr. 
Tombes ; and I can tell you too, that Bellarmine invented it before 
Mr. Tombes was born, and that Dr. Ames fully confuted it in his third 
tome, p. 27. proving, that there was no extraordinary cause on Abra- 
ham's account, why God should justify or seal him more than any 
other believer; and that Abraham had nothing to glory in before God. 
But to restrain as you do, the public seal of a covenant, that compre- 
hended and equally concerned the whole church and people of God, to 
one single person; so that neither Isaac nor Jacob, who were by name 
enrolled in that great charter, should have any right to the seal of it, 
is such a conceit as amazes an intelligent reader. We know Abra 
ham was the first that received it, but utterly deny that he received it 
only for himself; but he received it as the father of all them that be- 
lieve, whither Jews or Gentiles, as the very next words tell us, " He 
received it, that he might be the father of all them that believe;"** that 
is, for himself, and all his spiritual children. Onehalf of this sacrament 
of circumcision you allow, p. 205. to the rest that were under it, viz. 
to be a sign of the covenant; but the other half you cut off, and say, it 
was only a seal to him. What good vouchers have you for this ex- 

Y3 



S44 

position of the text? Have you the concurrence oi^ orthodox expositors? 
Or is it the rash and bold adventure of your own head ? I am sure it 
no way agrees with the drift and scope of the apostle's argument, 
■which evidently is to prove, that both Jews and Gentiles are justified 
by faith, as Abraham was; and that the ground of justification and 
blessedness iscommon both to theuncircumcised Gentiles, and circum- 
cised Jews; and that Abraham and all other believers, have but one 
way of justification, and salvation, and that how great soever Abra- 
ham was, in this case he hath found nothing whereof to glory, ver. 1, 
2. And is not your exposition a notable one, to prove the com- 
munity of the privilege of justification, because the seal of it was 
peculiar to Abraham alone ? Rectify it, and better consider it. 

Argument III. 

In the covenant of circumcision, Gen. xvii. God makes over him- 
self to Abraham and his seed to be their God, or give them a special 
interest in himself 

But in the covenant qfworlcs, God doth not, since the fall, make 
over himself to any, to be their God by way of special interest. 

Therefore the covenant of circumcision cannot be the covenant 
qfi£07'ks. 

This is so plain and clear, that none can doubt or deny it, that un- 
derstands the nature of the two covenants. And now, sir, what course 
do you take to avoid this argument "^ Such a one sure as no man that 
ever I met with took before you, and that is this ; you boldly cut 
Abraham's covenant. Gen. xvii. into two parts, and make the first to 
be the pure covenant of grace, which is the promissory part, to the 
ninth verse; and the restipidation (as you call it,p.S05.) to be as pure 
a covenant of works. What hard shift will some men make to main- 
tain their opinion ! You say truly, p. 205, that at the seve7ithar\d eighth 
lyerses was their restipulation : why then do you say, p. 224, that at ver. 
1th he proceeds to speak of another covenant than what he had been 
speaking of before.^ Does the promise and the restipulation make two 
covenants; or are they just and necessary parts of one and the same co- 
venant f You also tell us, that the covenant, Gen. xvii. 1, 2, 3, 4. was 
a plain transcript of several free promises of the gospel under the de- 
nomination oi 3. covenant. But why then don't you take the restipu- 
lation, ver. 7, 8, 9, 10. to be a part of it ? O no ; there is something 
required on Abraham's and his posterity's part ; they must be circum- 
cised, and that spoils all. Why but, sir, if the requiring of circumcision 
alters the case so greatly, as to make it a quite contr 3iry covetiant ; how 
comes it to pass, that in the covenant to Abraham, he himself was first 
required to he circumcised? Why, this is the reason ; here is somewhat 
required on their part as a condition ; and a condition quite alters the 
nature of the covenant. Very well ; but tell me then why you say, 
p. 223, and in many other places, that the covenant made with Abra- 
ham, in Gen. xii. was a gospel-covenant ; and yet there Abraham is 



A REPLY TO MR. CAIIY's SOLI^MX CALL. 345 

obliged to walk before God, and be perfect ? Does not that also there 
alter the nature of the covenant, as well as here in the seventeenth 
chapter? You also grant, the covenant made with Abraham, Gen. 
xxii. was a pure gospel-covenant ; or if you deny it, the apostle proves 
it, Heb. vi. 1^5. And yet there is more appearance of respect to Abra- 
ham's obedience in that covenant, than is in submitting to circum- 
cision: see Gen. xxii. 16, 17. "By myself have I sworn, saith the 
Lord ; for because thou hast done this thing, &c. That in blessing, 
I will bless thee; and in multiplying, I will multiply thee.'"* 

I will trouble you, on this head, but with one quei-y more : if the 
four first verses of the xvii. of Genesis contain a pure gospel-covenant, 
as you say, and the restipulation in the following verses make a cove- 
nant of works, because it thereby becomes conditional ; then tell me, 
if you please, whether what God graciously granted to Abraham in the 
former verses be not all nulled, and made void again by their restipula- 
tion ? Does not this seem harsh ? Here you have brought Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, and all the believers of Abraham's race, just into the 
same case you brought Moses and all the Israelites before, under two 
opposite covenants, where one cuts off all that the other granted. 

But there is a stronger reason urged than the conditionality of the 
covenant, to prove it a covenant of works ; and that is, circumcision 
is made the condition of Abraham's covenant ; and that is the worst 
of all conditions, for it obliges a man to keep the whole law, Gal. v. 
3. it is the yoke of bondage, and to whatsoever covenant it be so an- 
nexed, it makes it become a bondage legal covenant. " If we be 
circumcised, Christ shall profit us nothing." Thus it was in the 
covenant, Gen. xvii. 

Great use is made of this in many parts of your discourse. But, sir, 
you are greatly mistaken in applying these texts to the purposes you 
do ; for the apostle all along in that epistle to the Galatians, argues 
against the false teachers, who taught and pressed the necessity of cir- 
cumcision, as a bond obliging them to the strict and perfect obedience 
of the law, in order to their justification thereby, or at least to join it 
with the righteousness of Christ, as a con-cause q/'justijicatf on ; see Gal. 
ii. 4, 5. and iii. 1. Now against this abuse of circumcision, it is 
that the apostle argues thus, and tells them, that in submitting to it 
on thai account, they made the deathof Christ of no effect, and obliged 
themselves by it to the whole law ; for circumcision did not simply 
and absolutely in the nature of the work or action, oblige men to 
the whole law in the way of justification by it, but it did so from the 
intention of the worker, and the supposition of such an opinion of it, 
and design in it; for in itself, and with respect to God's design in the 
institution of it, it was to be a seal of the righteousness of faith, Rom. 
iv. 11. and so it was an excellent, useful, instructive ordinance to all 
believers, as long as the ceremonial law stood : and even when it was 
expiring, as the gospel began to open more and more clearly, there 

Y 4 



S46 A REPLY TO ME. CARV's SOLEMN CALL. 

was yet some kind of toleration of it to such as were born of Jewish 
parents : Thus Paul himself circumcised Timothy, his mother being 
a Jewess, Acts xvi. 1, 3. but Titus, being a Greek, was not circum- 
cised, and that because of these false teachers, that would makean ill use 
of that their liberty. Gal. ii. 3, 4. This Paul could never have done, 
in case circumcision, in the nature of the act, had bound Timothy to 
keep the law for justification. By which it appears, that the action in its 
own nature did not oblige to the keeping of the whole law, but from 
the intention of the agent; and therefore, as the apostle rightly argues, 
if a man be circumcised with a design to be justified by it, he would 
thereby bind himself to the whole law, and frustrate the death of 
Christ to himself; but it was now to have its funeral with all other 
parts of the ceremonial law, which vanished, and were accomplished 
in the death of Christ; and it falling out that such a vile use was made 
of it at that time, the apostle thus thunders against it. Had this been 
observed, as also the like abuse of the moral law. you would have 
known how to have reconciled the apostle's encomiums of them both, 
with his sharp invectives against the one and the other. But being 
ignorant of these two great and necessary distinctions of the law, ac- 
cording to God's intention in the promulgation of it at Sinai, and the 
carnal Jews sense of it, as apure covenant of worlds ^ against which the 
apostle so sharply inveighs in the places by you cited, all your 23 
arguments from page 183, to page 187, fall to the ground at one 
stroke ; your medius terminus having one sense in your major pro- 
position, and another in your minor ; and so every argument had 
four terms in it, as will easily be evinced by the particular conside- 
ration of the respective places from whence you draw them. 

So in like manner, in your arguing here against circumcision, as a 
bond to keep the whole law, and as such vacating the death of Christ, 
isastumble at the same stone, not distinguishingas you ought to have 
done, betwixt an obligation arising out of the nature of the work, 
and out of the end and intention of the workers ; and this every 
learned and judicious eye will easily discern. But we proceed to 

Argtiment IV. 

That which in its direct and primary end teacheth man the cor- 
ruption of his nature by sin, and the mortification of sin by the Spirit 
of Christ, cannot be a condition of the covenant of works ; but so did 
circumcision in the very direct and primary end of it. 

This ordinance supposeth the fall of man, points to the means and 
instruments of his sin and misery, and also to the remedy thereof by 
Christ: (1.) It singles out that genital part by which original sin was 
propaj^jated. Gen. xvii. 11. Ps. li. 1. To this the sign of the covenant 
isapplied mcircumcision^ioY theremissionof sins past, and theextirpa- 
tion of sin for the future. (2.) Therefore it was instituted of God, 
hat men might see both the necessity and true way of mortifying 



A RV.TI.Y to MR. CARY's SOLIIMN CALt. 34*7 

their lusts, in the virtue of Clirist's death and resurrection, whereof 
baptism that succeeds it, is a sign now, as circumcision was then ; as 
is plain from Col. ii. 11, 12. 'In whom also ye are circumcised with 
the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the 
sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, buried with him in 
baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him, through the faith of the 
operation of God, who raised him from the dead."* It is clear then 
that circumcision directed men to the death and resurrection of Christ, 
as the true and only means of mortifying their lusts ; and if it did 
so, sure it was not the covenant of works, for that gives fallen man 
no hint of a remedy. (3.) It was also a discriminating' sign, or tohen^ 
betwixt the church and the world : God's people, and the heathens, 
who were accordingly denominated from it the circumcision and the 
uncircumcision, the holy seed and the Gentiles ; and now under the 
New Testament, the children of Abraham by faith, and the children 
of the flesh : This also shews it cannot be the cove7ia7it of worhs ; 
for in that covenant all are equally and alike concluded under sin 
and misery, Eph. ii. 3. and there is no difference made by that cove- 
nant betwixt person and person, state and state. 

If this be not enough to evince, that the covenant of circumcision is 
a covenant of grace, I promise you many more arguments to prove it, 
as soon as I shall find these refuted, and your contrary assertion well 
discharged from the gross absurdities with which it is clogged and 
loaded. You see how genuine, natural, and congruous to scripture 
the notion of it as a covenant of grace is, and all the world may see 
how harsh, alien, and repugnant to scripture your notion of circum- 
cision, as a covenant of works, is. You see into what bogs you are 
again driven in defence of your opinion : Exemp. girt. 

That circumcision is a part of the ceremonial law, which was dedi- 
cated with blood, and therefore could be no part of the moral law or 
ten commandments, which was (say you) the covenant of works; and 
yet that it is of the same nature, and that it is clear it is no other than 
a covenant of works : do you not there distinguish and confound all 
again, blame and check Mr. Sedgwick without cause, and commit a 
greater absurdity presently than you charged him with ? Do not you 
question whether that covenant was typically sealed by Chrisf s blood? 
Pray, sir, consider wherever God commands typical blood to be ap- 
plied, it relates to Christ's blood spiritually applied^ or to nothing. 

Are not you forced, in defence of your erroneous thesis, to say with 
Bellarmine, That circumcision was extraordinary in its institution, 
and applied as a seal to none but Abraham himself? It excluded even 
Isaac, the type of Christ, and Jacob, a prince with God. O what 
will not men venture upon in defence of their darling opinions ! 

Are you not forced, for your security from the danger of the third 
argument, to cut one of the same covenants made with Abraham just 
in two, and of the pure promissory part to make a covenant of grace ; 
and of the other part, which you yourself call a restipulation, to make 



348 A REPLr TO MR. CARY's SOLEMN CALL. 

another quite opposite covenant ? Do not you magnify the bounty 
and grace of God to Abraham in the first four verses, and then de- 
stroy it all, by putting him at once under a contrary covenant, and 
so cut off all capacity to enjoy one of those mercies? 

Do not you make circumcision, in its own nature, without respect 
to the intention of the person, an obligation to the whole law, and that 
which frustrates the death of Christ, and yet must grant, that Paul 
himself took Timothy, and circumcised him, and yet thereby brought 
him under no such dangerous obligation to the law ? In a word, 

You reject all those covenants as legal, that have any conditions 
in them, or respect to any thing that is to be done by us, and allow 
Gen. xii. and Gen. xxii. to be pure gospel covenants of grace ; and 
yet in the first, Abraham is bound to ' walk before God and be per- 
fect ;' and in the other God saith, ' For because thou hast done this 
thing, surely blessing I will bless thee.' 

And so much for Abraham's covenant. 

III. Of the conditionallty of the new covenant. 

Come we next to consider that opinion of yours, which led you into 
these other gross mistakes and absurdities, and that is this, that the 
covenant of grace is absolute ; and whatever covenant is not so, but 
hath any condition upon our part, must needs for that reason be a 
covenant of worlds. See page 229- It is observable (say you) that as 
the covenants mentioned Gen. ii. Exod. xx. ^c. we?'e all conditional^ 
and therefore legal covenants, requiring strict and perfect obedience, 
as the ccmdition propounded, in order to the enjoyment of the mei'cies 
contained in them, which are all therefore done away in Christ ; so 
on the other hand we see, that the covenant God made with Abraham, 
Gen. xii. 2, 3. and Gen. xvii. 2, 3. and Gen. xxii. 16, 17, 18. was 
wholly free and absolute, and therefore purely evangelical, <^c. We 
will review these things anon, and see if you truly represent the 
matter ; but in order to it, let me tell you, 

First, What we mean by a gospel-condition. 

Secondly, Prove that there are such in the gospel-covenant. 

Thirdly, Shew you the absurdity of your opinion against it. 

(1.) What we mean by a coiidition in the gospel-covenant. By a 
condition of the covenant, we do not mean in the strictest rigid sense 
of the word, such a restipulation to God from man of perfect obe- 
dience in his own person, at all times, so as the least failure therein 
forfeits all the mercies of the covenant ; that is rather the condition 
of Adam's covenant of works, than of the evangelical covenant : nor 
do we assert any meritorious condition, that in the nature of an im- 
pulsive cause shall bring man into the covenant and its privileges, 
or continue him in when brought in. This we renounce as well as 
you : but our question is about such a condition as is neither in the 
nature of an act perfect in every degree, nor meritorious in the least 
of the benefit conferred, nor yet done in our own strength. But 
plainly and briefly, our question is. Whether there be not something 



A REPLY TO MH. CARy's SOLEMN CALL. 349 

cp»s an act required of us in point of duty ^ to a blessing consequent by 
'virtue of a promise ? Such a thing, whatever it be, hath the nature 
of a condition, inasmuch as it is antecedent to the benefit of the 
promise; and the mercy or benefit granted, is suspended until it be 
peribrmed. The question is not, whether there be any intrinsical 
wortli or value in the thing so required, to oblige the disposer to 
make or perform the grant or promise, but merely that it be antece- 
dent to the enjoyment of the benefit ; and that the disposer of the 
benefit do suspend the benefit until it be p