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^ /Mfi,. j./o j:^-K 




HARVARD 
COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 



THE 



WORKS 



OF 



THOMAS SHEPARD, 



FIRST PASTOR Of 



THE FIRST CHURCH, CAMBRIDGE, MASS. 



WITH A 



MEMOIR OF HIS LIFE AND CHARACTER. 



VOL. II. 



: BOSTON: 

DOCTRINAL TRACT AND BOOK SOCIETY. 

1853. 



t^.^^o 'I' ' r> f^.j (-1) 



C/3W.9. Io^tS) 






TO THE READER. 



If tboa art one who knowest what it is to be serious in the/ 
great business of providing for eternity, it is very probable thou] 
mayst be no stranger to the name of this reverend author, nowl 
with God, whose name in both the Englands is as an ointment \ 
poured forth ; and then thou wilt be eagerly desirous to peruse / 
the^e following Sermons, in tendency to the further increasing J 
thy jitock of spiritual oil ; and when thou hast read thcra, and/ 
sucked forth the sweetness and nourishment contained in them, 
and. by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, turned them into good 
and healthful nutriment to thy soul, we question not but it will 
enhance the author's worth in thy thoughts and estimation. But 
ptrhaps thou hast never lighted on any of those flowers which 
this holy man has planted in God's garden, and thenWFare con-, 
fident thou wilt meet with such savory sweetness in this Discourse 
as will make thee wish Christ's church had longer enjoyed so 
<.-h()i(^ and skillful a workman.! If thou be one who hiist hitherto • 
little considered of God, and thy soul, and the concernments of 
eternity, or only now and then had some moming-dew thoughts 
of that which deserves and requires the choicest and most vigor- 
ous workings of thy soul, we wish thou wouldst so far comply 
with God's goodness in bringing this book to thy hand, and 
gratify thyself, — we mean thy soul, thy better self, — as to read 



4 TO THE READER. 

over this treatise, in which thou wilt meet with tho^e serious and 
soul-piercing truths which, by GU>d's blessing, may be as poison 
to thy lusts, and awaken thee to a serious and hearty engaging 
in that work which none ever yet repented of. For the occasion 
of publishing this piece, we refer thee to the larger epistle of 
our reverend brother, and only add, that though a vein of seri- 
ous, solid, and hearty piety run through all this author's works, 
yet he has reserved the best wine till the last The Lord help 
thee and us so to read and improve these and such like labors 
of God's harvestmen, that we may, with the wise virgins, have 
the lamps of our souls trimmed and furnished with oil, that, 
when the Bridegroom shall come, we may be ready to enter with 
him into his kingdom. Which is and shall be the prayer of us 
who are hearty well-wishers to thy soul. 

WILLIAIlC GREENHILL. 
EDMUND CALAMY. 
JOHN JACKSON. 
SIMON ASH. 
WILLIAM TAYLOB. 
24th December, 1659. 



PREFACE. 



To the Header, and especially to the Inhabitants of Cambridge, 

in New England, 

That to make sure of life eternal is the one necessary busi- 
ness that we sons of death have to do in this world, and without 
which all our time here is worse than lost, every enlightened 
mind will easily acknowledge; this present life being, by the 
rule of it, appointed but to this end, to be preparation time, spent 
in a continual care to make ready, that we might have a good 
rof^eting with Ilim who shall be seen in this air one day. And 
whether we look up to heaven, or down to hell ; whether we re- 
flect upon our own immortal souls, or turn our eyes toward the 
pn\ntness and goodness of that God in Christ with whom we 
have to do ; whether we pace over the time between this and 
jud^rment day, or send our thoughts to view the eternity that is 
to follow after, — all things put a necessity, a solemnity, a glory 
«j»on this work. 

But difpciiia qu<B pulcbra. It is one of the oracles uttered 
by our Ix)rd with his own mouth, " Strait is the gate and narrow 
i> tlic way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." 
It i'* not so easy a thing to get to heaven, nor so broad a way 
thither, as the slight and loose opinions of some, and practices of 
more, would make it, nor lu* the carnal hearts of all would have 
it ; though that, if it be examined, is tlie common scope of all 
ernineous conceits ; and how restlessly have the corrupt minds of 
men liiln^re*! therein in all ages, and do in these our days, to 
widen the way to life, to break down the boundaries of this nar- 
row path, and make it broader than ever God made it ! Man's I 

1 • 



8 PREFACE. 

and fitting scribes not easily attainable in this wilderness, it has 
occasioned this delay hitherto. But we hope it will now be 
neither unacceptable nor unseasonable. 

These Sermons are now transcribed by industrious and intelli- 
gent persons, and have been carefully reviewed and corrected. 
They are written out of the author's own notes, which he pre- 
pared for preaching, (only about a sheet himself wrote out in 
his lifetime, having thoughts, it seems, of yielding to their desires 
who were earnest for their publishing,) by means whereof, though 
the reader will often meet with curtness of expression, and 
though some lively passages that were uttered in preaching may 
be wanting, yet you will have this benefit, to have much in little 
room. It may also easily be observed, that not curiosity of 
words, but weight of things, was here studied by and flowed from 
I the heart and pen of the author, which yet produceth the best 
i (and truest, i. e.^.a real rhetoric . In sum, although many imper- 
' fections, incident to such posthumous editions, can not be want- 
ing, yet we doubt not but the work will speak for itself, to the 
intelligent and serious reader. 

^Ve are not ignorant that there be some who somewhat differ 
from this our author in accommodation of this parable, and 
analysis of some part of the context, referring it to the times 
about the expected calling of the Jews ; and if so, the substance 
,,of the work may be accounted to be in a more than ordinary 
manner proper and seasonable for these times ; but therein every 
'man is left free to his own further disquisitions. Neither is it 
for the sake of the bare exposition, much less chronical accom- 
modation, of the text, so much, that we publish these things, (in 
that kind the labors of others do abound,) but for the 8])iritunl, 
practical, lively, soul-searching truths and applications thereof 
that are therein contained ; the substance of which truths the im- 
partial reader will easily acknowledge to be clear, both from tliis 
\and from other scriptures. 

These Sermons, preached by the author in a weekly lecture, 
were begun in June, IGSG, and ended in May, 16-10. In which 
time there was a leaven of Antinoraian and Familistical opinions 



PKEFACE. 9 

Stirring in the country, as the world has already in print been 
informed ; by occasion whereof, the reader will meet with sundry 
passages tending to reprove and refute some of those conceits, 
and to establish the contrary truth ; which we have not expunged, i 
but let them pass mostly as we have found them ; seeing it is no] 
more than the world already knows, that there were such things 
then among us ; and though that storm be, as to its open influence, 
comfortably Uown over with us, yet the like errors are, if not 
latent among some here, spread elsewhere by the new Ughts of 
these times, whence these helps against them are still needful. 
And we doubt not but the substance of the truth here defended 
by oar author will stand and abide the trial. Yea, I suppose I / 
may freely take hberty to say, that among the many excel- | 
lendes wherewith the Lord endowed this precious instrument of 
his, this was none of the least, that Grod taught him and helped 
bim to teach others the true middle way of the gospel, between 
the Legalist, on the one hand, and the Antinomian, or loose gospcl- 
er, on the other, with much and sweet clearness, as was evident 
in the whole course and way of his preaching, and may in some 
measure appear both in his books formerly printed and in the . 
following Sermons. Other passages, also, of special application j 
to this country and to those first times of it, we willingly permit 
to pajs^ the press, because they may be profitable to others in like 
cases elsewhere, and of special benefit to the New English reader. 
For why should we not desire and hope that the suitable, solemn 
counsels and warnings here given to these churches by this seer 
in Israel, in reference to the main matters of life and godliness, 
may now be of living, awakening, and soul-instructing use to 
them (O that it may be !) unto many generations ? 

Reader, if thou comest hither to carp and cavil, or to criticise I 
upon each circumstantial imperfection, this work is not for thy 
turn ; but if thou bringest with thee a serious and humble heart, 
desirous to have thy soul searched to the quick, the sores thereof 
lanced, thy spiritual work and way directed, and the interest of 
thy eternal peace furthered ; if thou desirest to walk with Grod 
in good earnest, and escaping all the snares of a slight and slum- 



10 PREFACE. 

bering generation, to stand before the Son of man with comfoi*t 
in the day of his glory, then mayst thou here find that that will 
'^ suit thee, and which thou wilt bless the Lord for, even words that 
are as goads and nails fastened by this master of assemblies, 
1 given from that one and chief Shepherd. The Lord fix and 
fasten them in all our hearts, that, abiding and being ingrafted 
there, they may be instrumental to further our salvation, that 
neither deficiency in the main, nor slothful security, may hinder 
us from our desired end ; but when that chief Shepherd and that 
heavenly Bridegroom who now sends to us by so many servants 
and messages of his, both in word and writing, shall appear him- 
self " in the glory of his Father and of all his holy angels," we 
also may " receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away ; " and, 
for the last consummation of this happy marriage, may go home 
with him to his Father's house, there to abide in his rest, in the 
"fullness of his joy," and drink down his "pleasures forever-r 
more." 

And you that sometimes were the flock of this shepherd, and 
have heard these things from the lively voice of this soul-melting 
preacher, whom you never can forget, let it be a welcome provi- 
dence to have these truths thus revived to you and put into your 
hands, that he who is dead may yet speak to you and yours. Gret 
them into your houses to read, nay, into your hearts to feed upon, 
as a choice and precious treasure. And let them still be a living 
and continual warning to you to watch and keep alive the power 
of godliness, the daily practice of working " out your salvation 
with fear and trembling," the love of the truth, the hatred of 
every false way, the esteem and improvement of God's ordi- 
nances, and the true, humble, heavenly life of faith in Christ 

Jesus. 

JONATHAN MITCHELL. 

Camdridoe, New England, 
December, 1659. 



I 



CONTENTS 



TO 



VOLUME II. 



PART I. 

CHAP. Pa OB. 

I. General Scope of the Parable, 13-16 

II. The Visible Church, 16-23 

m. The Coming of Christ and the Security of Professors, 24-26 
IV. The Soul that will enjoy Communion with Christ must 
be divorced from all other Lords, particularly from 
Lusts and from the Law. The Manner of its Espou- 
sals unto Christ, 26-^ 

V. The Marks and Signs whereby the Soul may know 
whether he be in League or Love with any Lust or 

Creature, or married to the Law, 33-41 

VI. Motives and Arguments to persuade us into the Love 

of Christ, and to be csjwused to him, 41-50 

VII. All Power for Spiritual Work from Christ, 50-68 

VI II. Christian's Duty of being constantly ready to meet 

Christ, and to enjoy Communion with him, .... 68-77 

IX. A fourfold Exhortation to Believers, 77-110 

X. The Soul's immediate Closing with the Person of Christ, 

as the proper Object of saving Faith, 111-143 

XI. True Believers do with Hope expect the Second Com- 
ing of Christ, 143-159 

XIL Believers do long and desire for the Appearance and 

Second Coming of Christ, 159-182 

i XIII. There are Hypocrites in the best and purest Churches, 183-191 

XIV. A Discovery of Gospel Hypocrites, 191-206 

XV. There is a vast Difference between a Sincere Christian 

and the Closest Hypocrite, 206-229 

XVI. The Hypocri.*»y of the Heart proceeds from a Want of 

saving Illumination in the Understanding, .... 229-237 
XVII. Hypocrites discover themselves in an ineffectual Use of 

tlic Means of Grace, 238-260 

XVIII. The Hearts and Souls of Believers are made as Vessels 
only for the Reception of Christ, his Spirit, and the 
Graces thereof, 261-268 



12 " CONTENTS. 

XIX. The Holy Spirit is in Believers as the Principle of their 

Spiritual Life and Holiness, 268-295 

XX. There is such a Fallncss or Measure of Grace in the 
Heart of Believers, which the most refined Hypocrites 
never arise onto, 295-^02 

XXL A more extended Account of that Fullness of Grace 
that is in Believers, and how the most glorious Hypo- 
crites come short of it, . 302-351 

XXn. True Saving Grace in the Hearts of Believers can never 

faU, 351-369 

PART II. 

I. Carnal Security in Yii^gin Churches, 370-384 

II. Carnal Security comes by Degrees, 384-391 

III. Security the last Sin of Good and Bad, 391-402 

IV. Christ's Absence the Cause of Security in his Churches, 403-409 1^ 
V. Christ's Awakening Cry before his Coming, .... 409-416 

VL The Certainty of Christ's Coming, 416-423 

YII. God's Compassion towards Wise and Foolish Virgins, 423-429 
Vm. Christ's Coming and his awaking Sleeping Christians, 430-437 
IX. Christians trimming their Lamps, and Holiness the 

Christian's Glory, 437^50 

X Counterfeit Grace is not lasting, 451-457 

XI. Unregenerate Persons may have a Sense of their Want 

of Grace, 458-465 

XII. The Desire of Grace that may be in Hypocrites, . . 465-472 
XIIL The Desires and Endeavors of Hypocrites after Grace 

are not lasting, 472-485 

XIY. The Grace of one Person will not advantage another 
that wants Grace himself, and the best Christians can 

not dispense Grace to those that want it, 485-494 

|N)S[V. The plentiful Dispensing of Grace in the Gospel Min- 
istry, 494-507 

XVI. Concerning Christ's Coming, 507-514 

XVn. Christ's Coming as a Bridegroom to his own, .... 514-526 
XVni. Christ will not tarry when once his. Time is come, and 
the Folly of such whose Work is then to do ; and the 
Blessedness of Saints consists in immediate Com- 
munion with Christ, 526-549 

TCnc. None shall enjoy Christ hereafter, but those that are 

prepared here, 549-635 



THB 



PAKABLE OF THE TEN VIRQINS 



UNFOLDED. 



CHAPTEB L 

Vatt. XX f. 1—13. '^Umii riiall tbe kingdera of haavm be ISkaaed onto tea virgini, 
vhich look their laai|Mi and went forth to meet the bridecroom. And five of th«n were 
wiae and fire wef« foMUb. Thn that were fooUah took toeir Jampa and took no oil with 
Ibrm. Bat the wine took oil in their veeeeb with their lampe. While the bridefroom tar- 
iMd, they all alumbefed and alepc And at midni|d)t there waa a cry nuule, Behold the 
bnilefruom cometh : f(o ye out to meet him. Tlien all ihoae virgios arose and trimmed 
Ihrir lamp*. And the fooli«h said unto the wise, GHve u« of srour oil, ibr our lampa are 
fuo« ouL But the wise anawered, saying Not to, leet there be not enou([h for us and you ; 
iMt eu ye rather to them that sell, and buy for younelvee. And while they went to buy, 
the bndegrrxMn came, and they that were readv went in with him to the marriage, and the 
4oor waa abuL Afterward came aleo the other Tirgina, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 
Bat be answered and said. Verily I say unto y^, I know you not Watch, therefore, for 
ye know neither the day aor the hoar whereul the Boa of man GomeUi." 



Section I. 

These words are part of our Saviour's answer unto two solemn 
questions which his disciples propounded unto him, chi^K xxiv. 3. 
The first was concerning the destruction of the temple at Jeru- 
salem ; the second, concerning the sign of his coming, and so of 
the end of the world. The first seems to be occasioned by our 
Saviour's speech, chap. xxiv. 2 ; the second, from his speech, chap, 
xxiii. 39. To the first, therefore, he answers, from the 4th verse 
of the twentj-fourth chapter to the 23d verse of it To the 
second, he answereth from the 23d verse of the same chapter to 
the end of this twenty-fiflh chapter. Wherein ho acquaints them, 

1. With some things which shall be before his coming, viz., 
subtle and strong delusions, mixed with sore tribulations and 
opfiressions, especially in the time of Antichrist's reign, as also 
great confusions in all hearts and churches, if not throughout all 
the world, afler the tribulation of those days ; and then, saith 
he, verse 30, *' shall appear the sign of the Son of man," and 
he shall be seen ^ coming in power and great glory ; '* but if 
joa desire further to know the day and hour when tliis shall be, 
TOL. n. 2 



14 THE PARABLE OF 

it is such a secret as my Father revealeth not to any, no, not to 
the very angels in heaven, and therefore you need not know it, 
nor yet should seek to know it ; it is sufficient for you to know 
that, before my coming, there shall be lamentable and sad times, 
and that when they are at their worst, that the sun and the moon, 
through the horrors of men's hearts, and the universal confu- 
sions in the world, shall seem to be darkened, &c., that then it 
is time for me to come and set all in order again, then the time 
of my coming draws nigh ; now, this Christ doth, from verse 23 
of the twenty-fourth chapter to verse 37. 

2. Having thus spoken concerning his coming, he breaks off 
his speech in describing his coming, and falls to discovering the 
state of the times towards and about the days of liis coming, and 
this he doth from chap. xxiv. 37 to chap. xxv. 31, by the con- 
sideration of which he persuades to watchfulness against his 
coming. 1. Either, saith he, the times will be very sensual and 
degenerate, as in the days of Noah, in some places of the world, 
chap. xxiv. 38, which he illustrates from two parables, persuading 
therefore to watchfulness, to the end of chap. xxiv. 2. Or there 
will be great security in other places, and among other persons, 
not given up to sensuality as in the days of Noah, but who are 
the chaste, virgin, pure churches of the world, not defiled with 
the whoredoms in the world ; and this our Saviour unfolds in this 
parable. 3. Or if any be awakened, as some shall, to look for 
Christ's coming, yet among these, some through hard conceits 
of the Lord Jesus shall be willfully careless and not improve 
their talents for the sake and use of the Lord Jesus, and this 
is set down in the next parable of the ten talents, from verse 
14 to verse 31. You see, therefore, where this parable stands, 
and to what purpose it is brought in. In which are two things. 

Section II. 

1. The parable itself, concerning the Ten Virgins, from verse 
1 to verse 13. 

2. The scope of the parable, verse 13, which is to persuade 
not simply to watchfulness, but to continuance and perseverance 
in it from a prudent foresight of the coming of Christ. 

1. The parable itself is set down agreeable to the custom of 
those times wherein our Saviour lived, wherein their marriages 
were usually celebrated in the night time ; she that was the 
bride was attended with sundry virgins to meet the bridegroom ; 
these virgins, it being the night season, took therefore their lamps 
with them ; those that were ready, and met the bridegroom, were 



THE TEX VIRGINS. 15 

ad[nitte<l to the marriage room and supper; those that came 
alter that time, if once the doors were shut, were surely kept out 
though they knocked hard to come in. All this, those who are 
acquxiinted with Jewish histories and customs know to be true, 
which we are to attend, because it gives, not a little light to the 
true and genuine explication of this parable. 
In which parable note these two parts. 

1. The church's preparation to meet with Christ, called here 
the bridegroom, from the 1st to the 5th verse. 

2. The bridegroom's coming forth to meet them, from the 5th 
to the 12th verse. 

Section III. 

The First Part of the ParaUe. 

First, I shall speak of the preparation made bj the church to 
meet with Christ Jesus. Wlierein also note these three things. 

1. The place where this preparation is made, viz. : in " the 
klngflom of heaven," verse 1. 

2. The time when it shall be made, set down in the first word, 
**Then," verse 1. 

3. The persons that shall make this preparation ; they shall not 
l»e corrupted members of degenerate churches, w^here men's j)ro- 
fession is grown foul through length of wearing ; but they are 
professors of some eminent strain, some whereof are truly sin- 
cere, otliers secretly unsound ; and there is a double description 
of them. 1. From some things wherein they all agree. 2. From 
fome other particulars wherein they manifestly differ. 

Firsts Those things wherein they all agree are three. 

1. They are all virgins; virgin professors. 

2. They were all awake and watchful for some time, ready to 
ro»*et the bridegroom ; and hence it is said, " They took their 
Limps." 

3. Tliey all had so much faith as to go out to meet the bride- 
groom. 

Secondly^ Those things wherein they did differ are, — 

1. Generally, ^^^\q were wise" and "five were foolish," verse 2. 

2. Specially, the foolish took lamps, but no oil ; the wise did 
botli, verses 3, 4. 

This is the rude draught of the first part of the parable, the 
ffum when^of is this: that the state of the members of some 
churches, about the time of Christ's coming, shall be this — that 



16 . THE PARABLE OP 

thej shall not be openly profane, corrupt, and scandalous, but 
virgin professors, awakened for some season out of carnal se- 
curity; stirring, lively Christians, not preserving their chastity 
and purity merely in a way of works, but waiting for Christ in 
a covenant of grace ; only some of these, and a good part of 
these, shall be indeed wise, stored with spiritual wisdom, filled 
with the power of grace ; but others of them, and a great part 
of them too, shall be found foolish at the coming of the Lord 
Jesus. 

I come, therefore, to handle the first particular in this part, 
viz., — 



CHAPTER IL 
op the visible church op god. 

Section L 

1. The place where this preparation to meet Christ shall be 
made, and that is not in the kingdoms of this world, (earthly 
kingdoms,) but in the kingdom of heavep ; and therefore it is 
said, '* The kingdom of heaven shall be like," etc 

I will not trouble you with telling you how many ways the 
kingdom of heaven is taken in Scripture : by kingdom of heaven, 
here, is not meant the kingdom of glory in the third heaven, for 
there shall be no foolish virgins at all there ; no unclean thing 
shall enter thither ; nor by it is meant the head of this kingdom, 
viz., Christ Jesus, for how can he be like to ten virgins ? nor 
by it is meant the gospel of the kingdom which (Matt, xiii.) is 
called the " kingdom of heaven," and compared to a draw net, 
for how can it be like unto ten virgins ? nor yet the internal 
kingdom of grace kept up in the heart of every believer, which 
is called a grain of mustaxd seed, (Matt xiii.,) for how can any 
foolish virgins be there? or what share have they in that? 
Therefore, I conceive, it is clear that by the kingdom of heaven, 
here, is meant the external kingdom of Christ in this world ; 
that is, the visible church, or the estate of the visible church, 
which is frequently called in Scripture " the kingdom of heaven," 
as Matt. viii. 12, and xxi. 43. In which kingdom some are wise, 
some foolish ; all profess Christ, look for the coming of Christ, 
for salvation from Christ. The estate of this visible church shall 
be like ten virgins. 



THE TEN VIRGINS. • 17 



Section II. 

And hence I shall note this one thing. 

Doctrine 1. That the visible church of God on earth, especially 
in the times of the gospel, is the kingdom of heaven upon earth. 

For look upon tlie face of the whole earth ; there you may see 
the kingdoms of men, and the kingdom of Satan, sin, and death, 
which the apostle saith (Rom. v.) reigneth over all men ; here is 
only the kingdom of heaven upon earth, viz., in the visible church. 
It is not the place only which makes either heaven or hell, though 
there is a place for both, but the state principally makes both. 
One may be in hell upon earth, as Christ was in his bitter agony ; 
and a man may be in a kind of heaven upon earth, as Christ tells 
hi> hearers that " the kingdom of heaven was at hand ; " a man 
may \ye under the kingdom of Satan and darkness upon earth, 
(C'ul. i. 13.) which is a kind of hell ; and why not as well under 
the kingdom of Gknl on earth, which is a kind of heaven ? espe- 
ci:illy. I say, now under tlie gospel, wherein the Lord hath begun 
to fulfill tliat wliicli wjis but only promised under the Old Testa- 
ment tu be fulfilled in the fourth and last monarchy (Dan. ii. 44) 
in the time of the New ; in the state of Christ's visible church, 
which should, by little and little, beat down all other kingdoms 
of the world. 

Section III. 

Reason 1. Because the same King that is reigning in heaven is 
reigning here, is present here, (Ps. ii. 6 ;) and here the saints are 
oommaiKled to rejoice, to shout, and to be glad with all their hearts, 
iMM'ause of the pn^sence of this their King among them. Zeph. iii. 
14, 1.'). It is truf, indeed, he is King over all the world. The im- 
mediate execution of all Gcxl's common, as well as special, provi- 
d«'iu?«* is put into the hand of this King, the Lord Jesus, liut as 
for his enemies, and other creatures, he reigns over them as a 
Kin;; of pf>wer, but he reigns not for them also as a King of grace 
and lo\T ; for thus he reigns among his people in his church. Deut. 
xxxiii. 2<), 27. The Lord is present with every one of his peo- 
ple severally, but much more jointly when two or three of them 
are met together in his name. 

Reason 2. IJecAuse here are the laws of heaven. Ileb. xii. 25. 
Take heed — speaking of the ministry of the gospel in the 
churches — that you refuse not to hear Him who speaketh from 
heaven, which laws are not only here promulgated, (as they 
Ik* among the enemies of this kingdom,) but accepted and re- 
o iv«rd aLv>, without which laws what kingdom could there be ? 

2* 



18 THE PABABLE or 

Cbiist'a kingdom in this world is neither tyrnnnical nor arbitrary 
to goTerii wi tljou t^ law. No, no ; but if he be our King, he ia 
ou r Lawgiver al ao. "ETix^iii. 22. Nay, the same laws by which 
we shall )>e ruled in heaven we have here, and we are now un- 
der ; that, 118 our divines say against the Papists, though before 
Moses" time there was not tcrip tjsjieil/it jet there was verbuTa 
tcriprum, which the piitriarclishad before the flood, and after- 
wa«l"uiitil Moses' time ; so I say here, though iu heaven the 
external letter and sc'ription botli of law and gospel shall be 
abolished, because they need lliem not when the day star is 
risen, (2 Pet i. 19,) yel the living rules of bolli, for substance, 
shall remain ; the end of the mbistry is to bring us to the unity 
of faith in a perfect estate. Eph. iv. 13. Therefore faith shnU 
not cease when ministers shall, and that perfect man shall come. 
Our faith, indeed, shall not then, by such glasses, see Christ, nor 
adhere unto Christ by such means of promises snd ordinances 
as we do now; but, without them, we shall both see and forever 
adhere to Him who is our King at that day ; and though, indeed, 
the law is now abolished as a covenant^of life, yet it shall ever 
remaio aa a rule jif life. Perfect subjection to it is the happi- 
ness of saints in heaven, (1 John i.,) as a heart contrary to it is 
the greatest misery of the saints on earth. Rom. vii. 24. 

lieaion 3. Because here are tlie subjects of heaven. Eph. ii. 
19. Fellow-citizens of the saints, noi only on earth, but, as 
Paul speaketh, (Philip, iii. 20,) " Our conversation (or, as it may 
be rendered, our ixna burges&dlup) is in heaven." God himself 
hath canonized all the true members of visible churches with 
the name of saints throughout the whole New Testament ; here 
are the great heirs of heaven ; nay, possessors of heaven by 
faith, as others are by feeling, as near and dear to (lod, in some 
respect, aa those that be in heaven already ; because the same 
motive which makes him love them makes him love those, though 
poor abjecls and outcasts of the world. There is but a paper 
wall of their bodies between them and heaven, only here is the 
difference — they there are subjects in their own country ; these 
here arc the same countrymen, only strangers for a lime here 
upon earth. Some deline a kingdom to be dominatJi* regit %n 
popalam su^ectuia. If Christ, the King, was present, and his 
laws published, but there were no people to be subject to him, 
there could be no kingdom; but when the_^ing, l^ur^, and sub- 
jects of heaven are here met togetlicr iu the visible church, Ewe 
is now the kingdom of heaven. 

Reaton 4. Because here is the very glory of heaven begun, 
that look as the same sun which fills ihe Man with gloty % tba 



THE TEN VmOINS. 19 

▼eij same beams touch the earth also, so the same gloiy which 
shioes io heaven shmes into the poor church here. 1 Pet. v. 10. 
God hath called his people into his eternal glory. And (Rom. 
TiiL 30) « Whom Christ hath justified, them he hath glorified ; " 
L e., he hath begun it here ; here, in a special manner, is the 
presence of the angels in heaven. Eph. iii. 10. Here the pure 
ID heart see Grod, and that after another manner than many times 
thej can in their solitary condition. Ps. Ixiii. 1, 2, 3. And what 
» this but heaven ? 

Section IV. 

Use 1. See, therefore, hence their happiness and honor whom 
God hath called oat' of the world, and planted in his church. 
What hath the Lord done, but opened the way to the tree of life, 
and let you into paradise again ? Nay, which is more, what hath 
he done but taken you up into the very kingdom of heaven itself, 
where you have the Lord of glory to be your King, the laws of 
heaven made known ; his heart opened, where you have the 
heirs of heaven your companions, and the angels of heaven your 
guard, desiring to look into those things which your eyes see and 
your hearts feel. 1 Pet. i. 12. Where you have the love of a 
Father appearing, the Son of God inhabiting, and the Spirit of 
heaven comforting. ^' Lord, what is man, that thou art thus 
mindful of him ! " That when the Lord seeth it unmeet to take 
you out of this world up into heaven, that heaven should come 
down into this world unto you, who were once enemies to this king- . 
dom, shut up under the kingdom of death and darkness, strangers 
to the commonwealth of Israel, without Gk)d and Christ in the 
world, without promise, without hope. I do not cry the temple 
of the Lord, nor idolize order and churches ; but I tell you what 
your privilege is, and thereby what Gkni's goodness is. I know 
the world neither seeth nor feeleth any such heaven on earth, 
but soon grow despisers secretly of all ordinances, who, if they * 
were in heaven itself, with their carnal hearts, they would not 
abide there with much contentment ; yet, verily, heaven hath 
been and is found here by God's hidden ones, even such things 
which eye hath not seen nor ear heard; and if it be not thus 
with thee, blame thyself, and mourn the more, who, in the midst 
of light, art in utter darkness ; and in the place where heaven is 
begun to some, it should be made a little hell to thee. 

Use 2. Take heed of defiling secretly the church of God. For 
what do you thereby but jwUute the kingdom of heaven itself? 
and the better any thing is, the greater is the defilement cast upon 
it. It is said (1 PeL i. 4) that the kingdom of heaven above 



ia "an inlieritanee undefiled."' never yet the subjecl-plnce 
wbi^rc luiy sin van committed, and this fa one port of the glory 
of it. Take you heed of coming into church fellowship with 
defiled hearts, and so defiling God's holy things ; for do you 
know where you are? I know it is not in that heaven wliere 
you can not sin, but yet it ia in such a heaven where you should 
not sin, much less defile the church of God. It was one of God's 
heavy indictmenta against the church of the Jews, that when 
the Lord had brought them out of a lund of pil^ into a plentiful 
cooniry, yet they defiled his land ; neither priests nor people said, 
"Where is the Lord?" Jer. ii. 6, 8. It will be mneli more 
heavy another day with you that, walking in the feUowship of 
God's people, ehall be found guilty of defiling the kingdom of 
heaven itself, which you should be careful to keep as au un- 
defiled inheritance, which defilements, whether spiritual or sen- 
8uai< M ihey tdain the very glory of heaven itself, so ihey keep 
you from feeling the truth of tliis doctrine, even of this heaven 
u]K)n earth in your own experience. 

Uk 3. Let all members of churches hence learn to have their 
conversation in heaven, and walk as men come down from heaven 
and returning Uiither again ; and that as it were already in heaven. 
Pan) did thus, and wept to see so many that did not thus, but 
did " mind earthly things." Philip, iii. 19, 20. Do not only for- 
sake, but even " forget your countjy, and your father's hrjuse ; bo 
shall the King of glory desire your beauty." Ps. xlv, 10, 1 1. 
Let the reproach of eoi'thly mtndedncss, cast upon the face of 
Christians, be wiped off by yoiir carriage being heavenly, holy, 
loosened from things below. Art thou in heaven with an earthly 
heart? Is not heaven good enough for thee? Can not ihat eon- 
tent thee wliich many have desired to see, and could nut i^ee^ 
even the I^ord Jesus, the King of glory in hia beuuly, in tho 
assemblies of his saints? 

Cm 4. Take heed of pulling down this kingdom. Loyal eub- 
jncts will rather lose their lives than their prinee shall lose Lis 
kingdom. Fear not enemies without, but youreelves at home. 
The enemies of the church did never yet hurt the church, but 
the church's sins. Zech. vii. 4. O, consider what mercy the 
Lord hath betrusted us withal, iliat unless the Lord should carry 
us to heaven itself, immediately on the wings of angcia, he can 
show us no greater outward favor, in. this world, than to bring 
us into this his kingdom of heaven on earth. I profess one 



THE TSN VIBOINS. 21 

dtj'g fellowship here with a number of broken-hearted Christians, 
eitlMr moiiming together or rejoicing in their Grod and King 
, together, it on^ids the many years' glory of the whole world, 
liowBoeTer it is hidden from the world. And will you betray 
tUs kingdom? 

Section V. 

Quest, What are those things that may pull down this king- 
dom? 

Am, 1. Ifig granee of thoa^ sins which may hurt and ruin it. 

Iliere are o^unon infirmities which all the faithful have in 

eommon, for the liOrd pities his ; but there are some that are 

proper and personal to some particular persons, (Ps. xviii. 23,) 

for which the Lord is even angry with his own ; so there are 

some sins which are common church infirmities, for which the 

Lord will not cast off his people ; but there are sometimes in 

sereral churches proper church sins. Now, the rule here is, if 

these be not seen, and lamented, and removed; if the Lord be 

angry for these, as verily he will, and yet they do not so much 

as know all this while what it is that hurts them, these sins 

will canker the roots, and bl|^ the most flourishing churches. 

Ephesus (Rev. i. 4) had her sin; Sardis (Rev. ii. 1) had her 

sin; Laodicea had her sins. Rev. iii. 16. Now, what if they 

never know these, nor repent of these ; you know then Ephesus' 

candlestick must be removed, and Laodicea must be spued out 

of Christ's mouth. O, this hath been the bane of churches, 

while they enjoyed their liberties, they could not — nay, in truth 

would not — know their all in the day of Christ'^ visitation 

of them, and hence came their ruin, the cause of which they 

saw not ; only it may be, the remnant that escaped, to whom the 

Lord showed mercy, could read their sins in their plagues. It 

is a lamentable spectacle to behold the ruins of Germany, and 

that, after such great slaughter and effusion of blood, they can 

not tell the thing that hath hurt and doth still waste them. 

2. Selfrseekiogf a spirit of self. Look as it is in a kingdom, 
if there be a common enemy, and the body of the army should 
encounter with them, be every man taken up, and taking thought 
how he may preserve his own tent, and do not join their forces 
together for common safety, it must perish, and the kingdom will 
be easily conquered ; or, as it is with the body, if every member 
seeks to preserve itself alone, and not that which preserves them 
all, (viz«, the head,) the body will drop down and die shortly. 
Christ Jesus is at the head of this body — his church. Now, it is 
certain, if ye seek to preserve your own name more than Christ's, 



22 TOE PAItABLE OP 

to giye more content to your own lusts thnn lo the will and heart 
of Christ ! if more careful of fetching feaihei-a to your own neslfi, 
and to shift for youraelves, and not to attend, every man in his 
place, the public good of the church, and Christ in it ; it h cer- 
tain God will forsake you, and all will to ruin quickly- 2 Chroa. 

JY. 1, 2/ 

Church memhers of public spirits are ever prosperous men. 

"They shall prosper that love thee," (Ps. cixii. G ;) that say in 

Ibeir hearts, out of sense of Christ's love. Lord, what shall I do 

for tliee ? How may I be useful to thy people ? But if back 

V and belly, mine and thine, be chief in request, thig will ruin 

3. League and amity with the enemies of Christ's kingdom, 
or peace with our lusts. It is not sin, bnl a privy pence witli 
sin, and a secret quietness in sin, which overtbrowB Christ's king- 
dom. The Canaaniles that were left alive, because, it is said, 
they eould not drive them out — how often did they vex, and 
prick, and yoke the Israel of God ! Those sins which, you say, 
you can not part with, and hence yield lo them, and mourn not 
under them — those will ruin ebiirchea. Some sins yon have 
forsaken and could forsake i the danger lies not here — wrath 
goeth out against Jchosapliat, because he loved him who hated 
the Lord. '2 Chron. six. 2. 

4. When the church hiys by her weapons. No kingdom can 
be safe in an ordinary way, where all their weapons arc taken 

\ from them, or not used by them when their enemies are upoa 
f their borders. When the church hang by, and lay aside faith, 
I the shield whereby we defend ourselves, and prayer, whereby we 
ofTend our enemies, what safety is to be expected now in churches ? 
" Only be strong," saith the Lord to Joshua, when he went out 
upon that great service of the Lord. Josh. i. 17. Epb. vi. 13. 
There Is no more fearful sign of ruin to a church than where 
the epirit of prayer begins to fail ; and, verily, if any people 
under heaven are ready to miscarry herein, we that have our till 
of peace and our yoke« broken off from our shoulders arc in 
most danger ; hut if it be so, look for such shakings of all hearts, 
and churches also, as shall make you find your tongues, and 
knees, and ears, and hearts again, if the Lord means to dwell 
with you. 

5. Not bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom. Matt.xxi.43. 
Cut that church down that cumbers the ground after many 
years' pruning and wetting. That kingdom where tbere is 
church trading, hut no considerable gain coming in, will eon 

• quieUy, aud die of it^lf. Fruit is the laHt end of the 



i 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 2^ 

All duties you do wherein yon attain not, or, at least, aim not at 
jour last and utmost end, that is not fruit; fruit refresheth others 
that taste it ; when a Christian walketh so as another is not the 
better (not much refreshed) by him, but it may be hardened 
rather, by a sapless example, here is no fruit, and this calls for 
the ax to cut down the tree. 

6. Divisions. This pulls down kingdoms without help of 
foreign enemies. K a kingdom thrusts swords into each other's 
bellies, this wiU soon despatch them. It is the Jesuits' plot to 
pulxlne by private divisions whom they cannot conquer by force 
of arms. It was most pleasing to Satan to prevail with Christ 
to cast himself down headlong from the pinnacle, rather than to 
fling him down himself. It is the delight of hell to set and sec 
churches at variance among themselves ; this is the first thing 
he attempts in the best churches, and it is commonly prosperous, 
if the Lord leaves the watchmen to slumber, and not to be 
watchful, and fearful, and suddenly sensible of the least begin- 
nings herein. It is a wonderful thing to see w^hat a small occa- 
fiion of offence will do ; a word, a gesture, a garment, a matter 
of indifferency. It is strange to see how much small matters 
will gore, if Satan's head be in them, and his horns be set upon 
them, esi)ecially in churches where men are set at liberty ami 
enjoy it jf one must have liberty to speak one thing, and another 
another thing ; I am of this mind, saith one ; I am not of 
that mind, brother, saith another. It is w^onderful to see what 
a fire a secret smother and smoke of suspicion will do. But, O, 
take heed here. Gal. v. 15. Love the truth, receive no opin- 
ion differing from the most approved in the church suddenly ; 
but weep, and pray, and ask counsel, and tremble to entertain a 
thought of contention. The first sin which brake out in the first 
Christian church was murmurings. Acts vi. 1. What follows? 
Stephen, an earthly angel, full of the Holy Ghost, suffers, and 
is taken from them, (Acts vii. ;) and after this the whole church 
is scattered. Acts viii. O, keep the peace of the church, and 
rend it not for small matters. Love one another sincerely, and 
you can not but live together quietly. 



I 



CHAPTER riL 

AND THE BECUJilTT OP 

Section I. 

Thds much of ihe place t now let us consider of the time 
when tliis prc[iaralion is made, set down in that wonJ, TTien, 
which word hath reference to chapter xxiv. 37, viz., to the 
daj'S of the coming of the !!k>n of man. 

Quesl, Now, when are these days? 

Atim. We Ehidl read bulh ia prophetical and apostolical writ- 
iogfi, that all the time from the ascensitm to the second coming 
of Christ ia colled the last days. Acts ii. 16, 17. Hence the 
primitive churches did, (l^^Os since.) and all the churches at ihia 
day ought to live in a daily expectation of hie coming again, as 
these virgins here did. And hence some think that all this lime 
may be the days of the coming of Christ, wherein oil the churches 
either do, or should look out for the coming of Christ. Now, 
although I dare not CKclude these days, in a large sense, from 
being the days of Christ's coming, as being the last days, and it 
being the duty of all to wait for this coming of Christ, as well 
aa those who lived long before us, (I The*, i. 10 ; 1 Cor. i. 7.) 
yet, I believe, here is meant, more particularly, the latter part 
of tliose last days ; for our Saviour having foretold of many 
things which shall fall out before his second coming, yet he 
seemis to single out some particular time in these last days, ta 
which he dolh annex this (tiien,) and that is evident to all tliat 
view well the text, that they are the days of his coming; for 
though all the days of the gospel may be called the days of the 
Son of man, and some days especially whereb there is some 
kind of coming of the Son of man, na when he comes to hear 
prayers, (Luke xviii. 8,) yet, to speak properly, they are not iha 
days of the coming of the Son of man. And look, as the days 
of Noah were not all the days from the creation to the deluge, 
but those particular years before the flood, »> it is here — some 
special times before his coming ore the days of his coming. 

Section IT. 
Quest. But what is (his coming of Christ ? 
A/ii. Tliere is a double coming of Christ. 
1. His coming to call the Jews and to gatlier in (he fullness of 
the Gentiles with them, which is called the "brightness of his 



1 



THE TEN YIBQINS. 25 

eoDung," (2 Thes. ii. 8 ;) when there shall be such a brightness 
of the trath shining forth in the world, armed with such instru- 
ments as shall utterly destroy Antichrist, long before his second 
eoming. Rev. xix. 19, 20. 

2. His coming to judgment, (Heb. ix. 28 ; 1 Cor. xv. 13, 24 ;) 
when there shall be a universal resurrection of good and bad. 
1 Thes. iv. 15, 16, 17. Now, although it be true that, at the 
time of the coming of Christ to call the Jews, the churches, like 
chaste virgins, shall wait and make themselves ready for the 
marriage of the Lamb, (Rev. xL 7,) yet the second coming of 
Christ seems to be the time which is here directly pointed at. 
Then shall those churches be virgin churches, waiting for Christ's 
eoming, both to their particular judgment, but especially to the 
general judgment, when he shall appear as a glorious Bridegroom 
to the consolation and salvation of those who, in truth, have 
waited for him the second time. For this coming of Christ, 
spoken of in these two chapters, is that coming which is ** in 
power and great glory," not in the churches spiritually, but " in 
the clouds of heaven." Chapter xxiv. 38. Wherein he shall* 
separate the sheep from the goats ; the one to lie among devils ; 
the other to possess, not an earthly kingdom here for a thousand 
years, as some, from mistaking the meaning of the 20th chapter of 
the Revelation, imagine ; but to inherit '^ the kingdom prepared 
for them from the foundation of the world," (Matt. xxv. 34 ;) which 
can not be any better, nor any other, than the third heaven, where 
the face of Giod is seen, and where he hath had an innumerable 
host of glorious angels, his subjects, to serve him, not only since 
the first time of man*s creation, but the first foundation of the 
world. Gen. i. 1. Which also Christ himself "is gone to pre- 
pare for us." John xiv. 2, 3. And which Abraham's faith only 
expected, even a city which was not earthly, but heavenly, 
^ which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God." 
Heb. xi. 10, 11. So that although this parable looks most 
directly into those times which are yet to come, yet as all exam- 
ples registered in holy Scripture for time past are applicable and 
useful to us, so these that are yet to come are alike instructive 
to us, especially in these times and places wherein the Lord, 
according to his manner of working great things usually, gives 
among us some small, yet lively resemblance of those days. 

Section HL 

Doct. That in those days of Christ's coming, wherein the 
cbnrches of Christ and professors of the gospel shall grow virgin 

VOL. II. 8 



2fi THE PARABLE OF 

churches, — all visible saints, — when all members seem lo be 
eiipoused to Chriat, yet there will be found desperate foUy in 
some. Olid in time great accurily will fall upon all. 

Home there lire who ihink the days we live in now are not 
only the days of tlie Son of man, hut part of the days of the 
coming of the Son of man, wherein the churches, especially in 
these places, grow to be virgin profeswrs. Our judgments hold 
it, our practice maintains it, all uhurch members are and must be 
visible Paints, visible believers, virgins espoused lo Clirist, escap- 
ing 'the poUulions of idolatry and the world. Take heed tlu; 
Lord find not many of you fooliitli ; take heed that you are not 
90, that in time you grow not secure. You have the pillow of 
]ieace to lie on, and the cores of Lhe world to make you dream 
away your time, and you have no pinching persecutions lo 
awaken you ; and if no wrestlings within, look for security 
there. Folly will be the death aj)d bane of some ; hence 
boast not. ^cnrily^^^^gieejii^g^sickaess') will be the disease 
nf others, if the toSlpreveiit not. But I intend not to anchor 
hcru, only to set up marks at thcae flata, that you may avoid 
thum, and come not near them. 



CHAPTER IV. 

SUOwerU TUAT THE StlUL THAT WILL EKJOY COMMUNION WITH 
I'UIUST UlTST BE DIVOBCGD FROU ALL OTUElt LUIIDtl, I'AK- 
TH.'UI^HLY FKOM LUSTS AKD FROM THE X.AW. THE UANNElt 
OF ITS liSrOUSAIi tJKTO CI1KI8T. 



■Section I. 

Now, (horefore, to come lo the third thing — the persona that 

make this preparation are act forth. I. In what they all agree inj 

ntid that is, first, in that they are all virgins. What are these ? _ 

Ans. To omit lhe Popish interpretation of their nuns and mock A 

I shall rather make use of Scripture to give light to interpret J 
this place. For opening of it, know, the whole church may b 
called the spouse of Christ ; and take every member alone, a vii 
gin Httending on this spouse, (Pb. ilv. :) nay, the aposilc (2 Cop.1 
xi. 2) calls the whole church a virgin ; so that hy virgins s 
meant whole particular churches of Christ, together with tbti I 
ecveral members thcreol'. Now, virgins are such as are fit for I 
marriage, and not defiled with any man, as it is said of Rebecc&j.J 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 27 

60 by virgins is meant those that are not polluted within or with- 
out with the evils of the world, (Rev. xiv. 4 ;) but more is to be 
understood here, (2 Cor. xi. 2 ;) when once marriage is come, they 
cea^e to be virgins, and are wives ; yet when espoused to Christ, 
Duw they are spiritually virgins ; hence these here are only like, 
to virgins. So that the meaning of virgins is this : by virgins 
i^ meant such churches, or members of churches, as are divorced 
from all other lovers, and matched only to Jesus Christ. These 
only look for the coming of Christ, and communion with him ; 
these only are received into conmiunion. "" 

Section II.' 

06$. 1. Whoever look for everlasting conmiunion with the 
Bridegroom of the church, Jesus Christ, must be virgins, di- 
vorced from all others, and espoused only to Jesus Christ. 

Here were, indeed, foolish ones among these ; yet, as foolish 
and blind as they were, they saw that this was the way, to be 
like the wise, to be virgins as well as they, (Ps. xlv. 10, 11 ; Jer. 
iii. 19, 20 ;) as a wife departs, so ye — ** but how sliall I put thee 
among the children," etc.; "you shall cidl me, My Father;" 
i. e., one instead of all other things ; " and shall not turn aside 
from me," (IIos. ii. 23 ;) there is their communion ; hence the 
Lord will, 1. Take away the names of Balaam ; 2. Betroth them 
to himself. 

Section in. 

Qufst. What is it to be divorced from all other lovers ? 

Ans, IdolatrY Js^r^^^*^^^ w horedom in Scripture, and this is one 
thin;^ the soul must be divorced from before it can be matched to 
the Lord. IIos. ii. 2. I shall not need to press this here; but 
tIi«Te are two other things which I shall show, for there are two 
things that every man doth before he is espoused to the Lord 
Jr?u> ; either, first, he departs and goes a whoring, by unlaw- 
fully l uatin^ after the creat ure, (Ps. Ixxiii. 27 ; Jas. iv. 4 ;) or, 
r«e<iind, he is lawfully married, as he thinks, un to the law . Rom. 
vii. .'{, 4. The law is there compared to a husband, from which 
Chri?t, indeed, delivers his, yet some will stick to it ; either the 
soul takes content in some creature more than in Christ, or in 
home righteousness more than in the Lord Jesus. Now, to be 
divorctjd from all other things is for the heart to be tiiken oft* 
from all worldly contentments. Secondly, from comforting itself 
in the l)osom of its own work and righteousness, and this must bo 
found in all them that look for communion with the Lord Jesus. 



THE 1-ASABLE OP 



Section TV. 



The heart must bu divorced frum lusts after, and pleasures in, 
any croalure. For proof, we must kuow this; — 

1. The soul of every man must have something to quiet nnd 
comfort it. like the stomach. It is death and hell lo want it, (ua 
the Israelites in the wilderness;) hence it must liave it. 

2. There is nothing that can comfort the thirsty heart ; but it 
is either in the spring or cistern, fountain or bottles ; either ia 
God or in the creature. 

3. Hence man, having lost God and all good there, seeks for 
it in the creature ; and because he finds not enough in one, digs 
for it in another. Ps. iv., " Who will show us any good ? " And 
hence the soul, because it never found that infinite sweetness in 
God himself, hisis after and delights in the creature for itself, 
loves pleasure for plcnsure, delights in the creature for the crea- 
ture, not for God. Why should he, seeing he never found content 
there ? And here the soul of man cleaves night and day, com- 
mitting spiritual whoredom before the face of God, Now, if ever 
any soul has communion with Christ, it must be divorced frum 
all creatures tlms ; foclufilJ&a desire after, and content in, the 
creat ure for t hejrgature's saJte. 

Reaton iTlBecause, whSe the heart b in league with any 
creature besides the Lord, it is at deadly enmity with the Lord. 
Jamed iv. 4. If a man hath a rich commwliiy, and one comes 
and offers half the worth of it, he takes it iis a contempt; if it 
be not worth this, it is worth nothing. So the Lord is worthy 
of all our love, our lives, our souls, (though we had a thousand 
of tbem ;) and will a man not part with his lusts for him ? I l«ll 
you, the Lord lakes himself sUghted, contemned, and loathed ; if I 
not wortti all a man's love, he is worth nothing. Now, the crea>*B 
tnre is made a god, because made a man's last end, which is i 
proper to Goil as lo make him the Alpha of all. Here the grct 
est wrath is to give a raan his fill of the creature. 

Reason 9. Because so long the soul can not see nor come b 
the eye and feet of faitli to the Lord Jesus, (John v. 44,) i 
think Christ better than all ; as birds in a string may tly high* 
but when they come to the end of the line they fall down thersfl 
and BO, though the soul flies to Christ, yet when, indeed, it comi 
to the end of parting with all, it falls down and foils otf fro 
Christ Whole men have no heart nor desire after physicians ; ■ 
when all limbs are whole and strong, no desire after plasters ; so, 
while any thing eases and contents the heart, there is no desire 
after ChrisL Hos. iv. 11, "Whoredom and wine have taken 
away the heart." 



THE TEN VIRG^^S. 29 

Reason 3. Because so long the heart, if it do come, am not stay 
with Christ to do any thing for Christ. Matt. vi. 24, " You can 
not swerve God and riches," i. e., two masters, who have constant 
employment ; and Christ hath set us such employment. Hence 
men on sick beds are tame as may be, promise any thing, because 
their joy in the creature is gone. Hence, on the other side, many 
men, after maily springings of heart, are choked by thorns of the 
world. 

Reckon 4. From the abundant love that the Lord Jesus shows 
to them that ever have, or look for, communion with him. Those 
to whom we show much love, from those we expect mjich again. 
As a man if taken or cast out to be servant, one looks not for 
love from him ; but when a man hath given himself and made 
over all his estate to another, now all love is too little. So it 
is with the Lord Jesus. John vi., ^' Will you also depart ? " 

Section V. 

2. The poul must be divorced from the law, i. e., from com- 
forting itself with the righteousness thereof. For oxi)lication 
of whifh we must consider these things: — 

1. That the Lord doth not ever give a man content in his sins 
and lusts, but wounds conscience for the same. 

2. That tso long as the I^rd wounds a man's conscience for 
i«in. no creiiture can give a man comfort or content. " A wounded 
spirit who can liear ? " Judas casts away his silver pieces, and 
IVlshazziir quakes, who was but even now ({ualling in his cups. 
A<i a man that hath an aching tooth, or broken bones, what can 
comfort him now ? 

3. Hereupon the law falls upon a man, or a man meets with 
the law ; for as all a man's sorrow is uj)on him, because the law 
is broken, all a man\s care is how he may keep it ap:ain. What 
sliall I do ? yVs a man cast in prison for debt, there all is opened ; 
and the law, like an earnest suitor, 1. Presseth hard for love and 
i»lK-dirnce ; 2. Promiseth a rich portion — eternal life, if he can 
k«r«'i> it ; if not, you must be damned ; therefore now forsake 
vour .«ins, etc. 

I. Hence the soul, not knowing a l>etter hu>ban<l, con^'cnls and 
r« -solves to cleave to it. Rom. x. ti Deut. v., ** Wluitever the 
Lonl will have us do, we will do it ; " and here it stays and is 
comforted, here it rests ; as in Asa's time, all rcjoicrd for the 
oath. (2 Chron. xv. ; Isa. Iviii. 1, 2;) and if it lind not |;cricct 
comtbrt Ix'cause of imperfect work, it then clo.^cth with Christ 
fur lo make up and piece up all. Oal. v. 1. And now, 1 say, it 

3* 



so THE FARABtK OF 

IB comfbrled in what it hath and doth, and here it rests ; now, 
from hence it must be divorL-ed. What need I prove it, when 
the apostle halh so fully. Ga/at. per tolum f and consider the 
young man. MatL xix. Divorced, I say, the soul mu»t be from 
this. 

1. Because he that doth thus, set.4 up another Christ, and makes 
himself his own saviour. Can the Lord Jesus take such a soul 
into communion with him ? Suppose a prince be pulled by his 
people from his throne, and tbey set up another pious prince to 
rule, will this serve the turn, to say he is an honest prince? so, 
though duties be never ao good, yet not to advance Christ is to 
pull down Christ. 

2. Because such persons do commonly most oppose the Lord 
Jesus in a way of believing, though not in a way of doing ; the 
Lord hath more ado, if any of these he brought home, to bring 
them in ; (hey have somewhat to say for tlioraselves, they have 
stronger forts, etc. The Scribes and Pharisees rejected the coun- 
sel of Gtod against themselves, and hence no people left to auch 
deep desertions as these, if the Lord intend mercy to them, for 
they have more need than others. 

3. Because hereby a man doth but make a conspiracy agnjust 
God's greatest plot that ever be had afoot, viji. ; to lulvance his 
free grace (GaL v. 4) you are fallen from grace, for nothing 
makes a man more fit to boast than works, and resting in them. 

■ Sin makes a man ashamed, and therefore, if they come to heaven, 
they have laid a foundation to thank themselves for somewhat} 
hence no communion with Jesus Christ in this frame ; no, thn 
Lonl will tear down this foundation, and make the soul cry 
guilty ; mid make this husband, the law, to be judge, to examine' 
and condemn ; and now come to ask. What have you to plead' 
for your life and peace ? Ii hath no plea to show but 
etc. ; it hath its duties evidencing against it. 



'"^ 



.Section VI. 

2. The soul now comes to be cs}w>iised to the Lord Jesus. 

Quest. How? 

Aiit. 1- The soul, heholdingthc glory of the Lord Jesus, makes 
choice of him, as in all marri^e bonds there is a choice made t 
and, if love be great, there is little standing on terms — Ici 
have him though I beg with him ; so the soul sees such a suit* 
ableness in the Lord Jesus, as that it stands not on terms — loi 
me have him, though in prison with him, though in the garden 
In i^nies with him, though in the crass in desertions with him( 



THE TEN YIK6INS. 81 

he is enoagh, as Peter, when he saw Christ on the sea, desired 
he might oome to him there ; (Heb. zi. 26,) *^ choosing the re- 
proach of Christ," etc. ; and look, as Christ chooseth the soul, 
1. The whole soul ; 2. Everlastingly ; 3. Above all others ; 
so it makes choice of Christ, whole Christ. Phil. iii. 9. 2. 
Everlastinglj, " The Lord is my portion forever." Ps. Ixxiii. 26. 
And before ever you can look for communion with him, you 
most make this choice of him, and glad too you may have him on 
any terms ; nay, put it to any soul the Lord hath done good to, 
and ask it, Will you have him ? It is such a mercy, I can not 
oooceive how one so vile as I should have it ; have him, the 
Lord of glory, the Prince of life and peace ; O, yes ! Hence 
Peter said, ^ Master, what shall we have that have forsaken all 
and followed thee?" You shall sit with me on thrones; and 
look, as Christ now chooseth the soul above others, as well as in 
heaven, (John xv. 1 6,) so it now chooseth Christ, ^' Whom have 
I in heaven or earth ? " Many, when they think of death, or are 
dying, then choose him, but not now, or choose him for out- 
ward blessings, not spiritual favor and life. John vi. 26, 27^^ 

2. The soul hence gve s itself, like one espoused to her hus- 
band, to the Lord JesusT" CaiiL" ii. 16, "I am my beloved's." 
Servants give work for their wages, and masters give wages for 
their work, but husbands and wives give themselves one unto 
another ; suitors also give tokens to draw on love, not them- 
selves ; so servants in the church they do for Grod in hope of 
wages, and the Lord blesseth them, it may be outwardly ; but he 
that is espoused to Christ gives himself. Lord, I can do nothing 
for thee ; give nothing to thee, but I give myself to thee, that thou 
wouldst work in me and by me. Rom. vi. 13. So the Lord is a 
suitor to many a man that never gives himself to him ; he gives 
them some comforts, some winning, drawing, melting mercies, but 
not himself; they give him some entertainment and good words, 
a thousand wishes, as Capernaum did, but not themselves ; but 
this must be, if ever you look for communion with him. Hence 
David saith, " I am thine, save me ; " hence some made ship- 
wreck of faith, they were not the Lord's ; hence the Lord saith, 
he knows who are his, (2 Tim. ii. 18, 19 ;) his send their tokens 
again. For look, as it is an evidence of much love when a man 
gives the dearest thing he hath, viz., his whole self, to the Lord 
Jesus, so it is also an evidence of little love when he will not 
give, especially another's own. Thou art none of thine own ; 
thou hast but little love if thou give not thyself to him, without 
which never look for life and communion with the Lord. 

3. The soul hence takes full contentment in the Lord Jesus, 



32 TUE PARABLE OF 

as a spouse hath enoujrh, wouM liot chanire for all the world, as 
Peter when he had a glimpse of Christ's glory, ** Lord, let lis be 
here ; " or, as Simcjn that liad been waiting lor the consolation 
of Israel, when once he had Christ in his arms, "^ Now let thy 
servant depart in peace." I have cnougli ; now let me die, mid 
not live to sin more ; and it is certain as there is somewhat in 
creatures that contents the heart without Christ in an unregen- 
erate man, so contrariwise in a regenerate. John iii. 29, if hear- 
ing the bridegroom is joy, what is having him ? Indeed, they 
take content in other tilings but as coming from the husband ; 
and this you must do if ever you look for communion with him. 
Can not you be content with the Lord alone in heaven ? you shall 
never come there, then, lest you quarrel for want of som(;thing. 
Men make nothing of this, to bathe their hearts in the sun, and 
joy in what they have and hope to have, but the Lord may be 
gone, and you grieve not. Why ? Because other things ease 
your hearts. There can be no communion hereafter if you de- 
spise it now./^ 

Section VII. 

Use 1. This serves to discover/' the great error, most common 
and dangerous of the whole Christian world, who think that they 
may love and embraee the world and the Lord Jesus too ; i. e., 
they may not be virgins, but go a whoring from Christ, and yet 
partake of Christ and mercy from him ; that look as it was in 
those sad days, (Isa, iv. 1,) so in these days many lay hold on 
Jesus Christ ; they will eat their own bread, live on their own 
lusts, and wear their own apparel, their own rags, only let us 
be called by thy name, believers, to take away our re- 
proach, for that is an open shame not to believe in Christ. For 
this is the professed thought of some ; every one is a sinner, 
and I am one, and a great one too, and who can say his heart is 
clean, none can free himself from sin in this life, and I can not 
do it if I would ; and hence look on Christ to save them, though 
sin sleeps in them. You can not have both. I would but incjuire, 
Ilath not every man something that contents him ? What is it? 
Is it the love, the fellowship of Jesus ? Yes, it may be at a sac- 
rament, and it may be not ; for thou mayst say. The Lord never 
yet revealed his love and self unto me, never yet assured me, yet 
somewhat joys thy heart. /What think you? can you have the 
Lordand content yourselves thus willi other things ? Why ? I mist 
t4» him I hope so. It can not be so. Jf the Lord Jesus was a ])a- 
tron of brothel houses, a protector of stews, you might think so. 
Some say they can not pray to him, nor jirize hini. Why ? Some- 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 83 

tfainsT else oontentd them besides him ; but know it can not be so. 
I know a saint may be taken aside, as David, with envy at others' 
prosperitj ; bat when he considers of it, O, what a beast he re- 
turns again ! The raven and the dove were sent forth ; the one 
came i^ain and again, the other not ; therefore, as Josh. xxiv. 
brought the people to these thoughts, " jou can not serve the Lord 
and other gods," as Junius notes, so bring thyself to that strait. 

that the Liord would set on this one thing this day ! When 

1 sadly weigh it, it confounds me and makes me say. Lord, who 
then can be saved ? I know with God all things are possible ; 
but this is rare. 

Section VllL 

Use 2. Hence we may learn who they are that never shall 
have everlasting communion with the Lord, viz., those that never 
were espoused to him ; and you may know this, if never yet di- 
vorced from all others besides him. Ps. Ixxiii. 25, 26. I shall 
stay a while here, because there is never an unsound heart in 
the world ; but as they say of witches, they have some familiar 
that sucks them, so they have some lust that is beloved of them, 
some beloved there is they have given a promise to, never to 
forsake ; and, also, because most men do seem and think they 
are virgins espoused to Christ, and look for communion with 
him, and yet not divorced from all other besides him. I shall 
show hence, — 

1. When the soul is in league with the creature. 

2. When married to the law. I should account it happy if 
any be found out. 



CHAPTER V. 

showeiii the marks and signs whereby the soul may 
kxuw whether he be in leagtje or love with any 
lust or creature, or married to the law. 

Section L 

Those that never were in bitterness and sorrow of heart for 
the loss of God. For these two things arc as clear as the sun : — 

1. That the loss of God is the greatest loss; for it is the ut- 
mt»i and last plague upon the damned in hell. My comforts, 
my friends, means, heaven is gone ; but if God were mine, I 
would be comforted. No, God is gone ; hence no sorrow for 
any loss so much as for this. Saul, (1 Sam. xxviii. 15,) " Grod is 



34 TUE TAUABLE OF 

departed from me." Hence sore distressed. Nay, the Lord 
Jesus, when the Father defuirted for a tim(;, luid he knew he 
would return luid visit him, cried out, " My God, why hast thou 
forsaken me ? " 

2. That all men living have lost God. Isa. lix. 1,2; Ps. 
Iviii. 3, " The wicked go astray from their womb." Now^, I 
would demand why men either feel no loss at all, or if they do, 
have not so much grace as the damned in hell» to mourn bitterly 
for it, so as nothing can comfort them, or if they do, they are 
soon eased and quieted before the Lord returns. Why, surely 
here is the great cause of it — they have some other thing to ease 
their hearts in the want and loss of God. Jer. ii. 13, 14. Men 
must have water to drink ; why do men live from the fountain, 
nor go to it, nay, not know it ? Because they have broken pits 
and wells at their own doors ; so here. And hence the dimmed 
that have lived at ease here all their lifetime, as soon as ever 
dead, then tliey cry out of the loss of God, when it is too late, 
because while they lived they had somewhat to ease themselves 
withal. And hence, many that have lived long with convinced 
spirits and guilty consciences, when they come to die, then they 
arc in perplexities of mind, agonies of heart, insomuch as their 
sweat trickles like water from them, and their doleful outcries 
for loss of time strike to the hearts of all that come near them. 
0, God is gone ; because now all comforts which were their 
gods, and instead of God, before, have taken their final leave of 
them. Search your hearts, therefore, all you that hear me this 
day. Wast thou never troubled y^t? Yes, I have lost my 
health, my child, my husband, my goods, and this hath troubled 
me. But tell me, didst thou never feel a loss of God blessed 
forever — loss of his light, his sweetness, his love, his fellowship, 
liis presence, &c., and this hath been thy intolerable load ? Or, 
if thou hast felt it, hast thou sought and found him ? No, but 
art jocund in that estate, and now and then it troubles thee a 
little, then it is certain and as clear jus the sun, there is some 
creature or content that thy heart is in league withal, which 
easeth thee in want of God, and which is instead of God to thee, 
and which, therefore, is thy God ; it may be thy apparel, thy 
wife, child, etc. ; and, if thou die in this estate, never shalt thou 
have communion with Jesus Christ ; " The mouth of the Lord 
hath spoken it." 

Sign 2. Dost thou find the Lord a stranger to thee in all his 
ordinances, wherein it may be the Lord sweetly, and wonderfully, 
and mightily, yet not always, but seasonably reveals himself to 
others? O, but thy heart dries and parches aw^ay, and that 



THE TEX VIRGINS. 35 

witlioat mncli trouble under them all. If so, suspect it, believe 
iu that there is some league with a lust. For there is a double 
life of a Christian. 1. An outward life which others see. Men 
see he comes to church, prays in the family, etc. 2. There is 
.1 fecret inward life; according to that of Matt. vi. 6, "Thy 
Father which sees in secret," which none knows but him- 
self and the Liord ; and this an ineffable comn^nion with Grod, 
nsion of God, delight in God, etc. Ps. xlv., "The King's 
daughter is all glorious within." There is an open life of prayer, 
and hearing, and fasting, and there is an inward secret life in ^11 
liie«e, wlicrein the Lord acquaints himself with his people. Ps. 
Ixiii. 1, 2, 3, " To see thee as I have seen thee." Now, there 
be divers have this open life, yet wanting the secret life. As we 
love not to live among tombs, nor to have any communion with 
dead mea, so the Lord is a stranger to them. He may secretly 
sweeten an ordinance to them, and move them, and shake and 
trouble them ; but himself is a stranger, spiritual miseries not 
r»*moved, spiritual mercies not conveyed. Is. hiii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 
*• Why have we fasted, and thou regardest not ? You took 
plcjisure, S4iith the Lord, and break the bonds of wickedness," 
ett*. I know saints may be thus denied, and it may be for some 
jipat'e of lime ; yet they quarrel not with God for denying them, 
but are nion; taken off from pleasures thereby. " Thou hidest 
thyfactf\and I was troubled," though the mount stood still. But 
some there be whom neither good day mends them nor bad day 
Han»i them. Surely there is some content thy heart is bewitched 
withal. That look as it is with a suitor to another ; let him, while he 
rom«»s to her, profess never so much love, and desire love, yet if, 
when he goes from her, commits lewdness with every one, she will 
l«K"k him out. So it is here. Never did 1 know anv locked out 
from the jwwer and sweetness of ordinances, but because ihoy 
went a whoring from (i<k1 out of them. The Lord knows, 
thou<rh oth<*rs do not, whether it is so with vou. Look, there- 
for**, ujMm thyself. You enjoy great means every whore in this 
pl:w*». I'* it enough to have ordinances, the ark ? No. Do you 
find the I^inl in them ? Blessed l)e (lOil ! But tell me trulv, do 
you find no want of God ? Yes. Do you find him ? 1 lind 
in«»re knowliMlgt*. strength, etc. But do you find no God usu- 
allv? No. Then either some creature contents theo, or if the 
I>»rd should refresh thee, thou wouldst be cont(.*nt without him. 
Man and wife will, if thev love, mert at meals. John xiv. But 
wh»-n no meeting, d«*a<l prayers, dry sermons, saph'ss >a(Ta- 
nH-nt«, worse than bi'fon*. If thou art \\\v. I^>nrs, h<* will, l)y 
afllirtions, purge, et^^*. But if thou continuest so, look for no 
communion in heaven. 



86 1 

SiffH S. Doet thou find no rest in any thing thnt thou bast ? 
For this is clear, notliing can give rest to a man's soul but God. 
He is big enough onl^ to till it, and then a man hath it. la. 
xxvi. 3. Now, if DO rest, it is a sign thj heart eticke to the 
creature ; jet thou sajest, I would fain have the Lord. It may 
be BO, but thou wouldst have creatures too. And hence God 
will not, and creatures can not, give the fullness of rest. Thus it 
was with Solomon, Eccles. ii. 3, So it is with thee ; thou fiiid- 
c't thy soul delighting il^elf in all things ; jet vanit}' and vexa- 
lion, and withal giving thyself to wisdom, too. It is true, a saint 
feels an emptiness in lliesc things, yet he feels a fullness in some> 
ihing else. He liath better meat, which you know not of, which 
Solomon did not for a time, vet afterward he did. But thou find- 
eat a vanity and trouble, and art never at peace when all is dona, 
weary of the world. But hath the Lord swallowed thee up ii ~ 
himself, in the cloud of his glory, go that in bis favor aUd pr 
encB thou iindcst life? No: then there is some lust thou lov( 
and dying thus, shall never* see the face of ChrisL Yea, t 
will come as a heavy indictment against thee, that God hath 
wearied thee in thy way. Tel, (Jer. ii. 25,) " There is no hope 
after thy lovers thou wilt go." You shall scarce find any bi 
feel the creature vain, and yet get not lo rest in Godt 

Section II. 

Discoveries whether we are married to the law or not. As 
here I shall stay longer. Where I premise, — 

1. When I speak of not being married to the law instead of 
Christ, I do not hereby exempt yourselves from obedience to tJ 
law after you are in ChrlsL 

2. Do not think I speak against all, evidencing your estati 
from conformity to the law, though I do from some eut^eclit 
and obedience performed to the law. 

1. If the law was never dead in thee, thou art married to tl 
law. Hom. vii. 2. Now, look as it is with a husband, if the wi 
be sick, and he be at home, whoever forsakes her, he will uomfo 
her, and support and cheer her ; so that, if he cheer her not, 
is a sign be is dead ; if be doth, it is a sign he is alive ; for d 
life of the law is the comfort and support that the law doth gii 
for a time. So that thou wert never brought to tbat sore eVai 
that thou hast not felt any one duty to cbeer or revive thee at 
comfort thee ; but hast found some little ihing or other to do i 
it is certain you are yet married to the law. Ex. gr. It may 1 
tbou hast been troubled in uund for tby sins ; what hath ' 



TH£ TEN VIBGIN8. 9f 

thee? I hare forsaken them, and cast out Jonah, and there has 

been i cahn. Why, this forsaking thj sins (which hath not been 

bB, bat some) is not Christ, but an act of the law. O, but I have 

&OeD again into sins ; this hath troubled thee. What hath 

cbeered thee ? I have repented and been sorrj for them, and 

parposed to do so no more. This is the life of the law stilL 

0, but you find sins prevailing against jou, and jou can not part 

with them ; and hence dare not resolve against them. O, but 

iBj desire is good, though my will hath ever been against them. 

ignorance I This desire is but a work of the law ; it is not 

Chnst O, but I have found no desire sometime. What hath 

quieied you now ? I have trusted in Christ. You have done 

it The Lord never made you feel a need of the Lord to draw 

TOO to trusty though to be assured of Christ's love. Is this a 

legal act? 

Ans. As obedience to the law done by the power of Christ is 
an evangelical work, so to perform any evangelical work from a 
man's self is a legal work ; and you are under the life of the 
law. So that thou hast not been brought to that pass as the 
church, the spouse, was. Is. liv. 5, 6. And as one of my best 
friends, and best men that lives this day in the world, after many 
wrestlings to find somewhat in himself to cheer him, and could 
not ; now, saith he, ^ If the Lord, out of his good nature, etc., 
do not help me, I am undone forever ; for I have a heart and 
nature against him, and the more I do, the worse I am." And, 
therefore, thither 1 look. Surely you are under the life of the 
law, and are far enough off from Clirist, if not sensible of this, 
^ot that a man is always thus ; for he that can not feel after- 
ward the Lord Jesus, by the power of his grace working in his 
heart, I would conclude he never had any at all. But at first it 
is so. For these two tilings man naturally seeks,— 

1. To have a righteousness in himself that will ease him. 

2. To have it from himself. Kitchen physic is not far to 
fetch. 

Now, the Lord's plot in saving his, is, 1. To make them seek 
it out of themselves in another : " Look unto me and be saved, 
all the ends of the earth." 2. To have all from another, that so 
** no flesh might glory before him." And to doubt of this is to 
doubt whether God hath plotted the glory of his grace or no. 
Hence the Lord empties the soul of both, that the soul saith, 
** Ashur shall not save us." llos. xiv. 3, 4. None durst, none 
can comfort it. And now, to the wonderment of heaven and 
everlasting joy of a poor castaway, and the eternal honor of his 
fr«e grace ; now, and never till now, doth he begin to make the 

VOL. II. 4 



I 



Bo THE TAUABLE OF 

m&Iclt between the Lord Jesus and his poor soul. And an ibe 
Lord ne^er comes to him till now, so Le never will come to the 
Lord wLilc lie hath (he least good ; ns it was with ihe proilignl 
while anj husks, or as it was with the wouaa with her bloody 
issue, while any money to spend on other physicians, never will 
try what Christ can do. And, therefore, those that never yet knew 
of the death of the law, they are yet married to it. Hum. ii. 17. 
I know many a soul grieves for the death of this husband, and 
now thinks it is undone ; I con not do this and that, though for- 
merly I could, indeed ; I soy, if there be any love of Christ, 
now is the time of it Only understand God's scope here in iL 
Sign 2. If a man compl^s more, or chiefly, for want of grace 
or righteousness to remove sin, and not so much fur wont of 
Jesua Christ, then in this case it is as it is with n woman, that 
man for whose absence she mourns most, that is her husband. 
She s^th the other is ; no, but he is not. So tliis is the estate of 
many a soul ; they have neither Christ nor righteousness. Now, 
they complain so much that their hearts sink and die away quite 
within tliem. And what is it for ? I can not do this, nor I do J 
not find nor feel such signs and ofiections within me. Such i 
vile heart, I know not the like, such rising in ray heai 
and thoughts of it ; why, if you had Christ, all this would b^J 
mended. " I can do all through Christ." But you con " 
not for want of Christ, nor need of him, from these (wo 
ments: — 

1. Because the feeling of your sins does not make you feel ti 
greater need of Christ, as John, " I have need to be baptized,**! 
etc; but drive yon farther from Chrisl, and reason it onltM 
Sg^st him. And why ? Because you would have a righleotu^ 
ness without him which you stand in need of. 

2. Because he that feeb a need of the Lord Jesus shall not, 
when he is offered, need entreating to take him ; as you shall 
not need entreat hungry men to eat their bread, you shall not 
need to entreat Zoceheus to receive Christ joyfully. But no 
commands, no entreaties, can prevail with you to take him when 
he is offered ; you have no heart to it. Like women that love 
their own husbands, grieve so for their absence, that (hey hnve 
no heart to any other offer. Is it thus with thee ? Then it is 
with thee as it was with that young man that asks Christ what 
ho should do to inherit eternal life. He liked Christ well, but 
he did not feel a need of Christ himself so much as of some 

pMOre knowledge of the law and ability (o do it. It is (he grcAt 

.. 1 plot of Arminians to make Christ a means only, to mnkc every 

Quui a lirat Adam ; setting men to work for their livmg again ; 



THE TEN VIRGINS. , 39 

for tbey grant all grace is lost, all comes from Christ, Christ 
giTes all, and to Christ we must look for all ; and then when we 
have it use it well ; thus you shall have life, else look for death. 
So it is a misery many a soul is in. Men will trade in small 
vares, rather than live on another's alms. Do you think the 
Lord takes it well to make him a merchant for your ends ? O, 
DO ! Never look to have communion with him in this way. _ i— 

Siffn 3. Those that close with, but rejoice more in a little 
grace they receive from Christ than in all the fullness in Christ, 
more in a little they do than in all the Lord Jesus hath done. 
Philip. iiL 3. That is a woman's husband whom she rejoiceth 
most. Do you rejoice more in what you have received from 
him (for a hypocrite may receive from Christ, John xv. 2) than 
in what there is in him ? It argues a whorish heart. I know 
a man may rejoice in what Christ works in him; but, 1. Not 
more in this than in Christ himj*elf. 2. A child of Grod may, 
whOe he knows not whether Christ is his, do so ; but you think 
the Lord is yours. Well, when you feel affections and life, then 
you are glad ; when that is lost, then sad. Why, is there no 
life when thou art dead, no glory when thou art base, no wisdom, 
no communion with Grod, when thou hast none ? Yes ; why 
doi?t thou not rejoice in this which is here most fully, which 
Faints presenting please the Lord more by than by giving the 
glory of angels infinite millions of years ? O, thy heart is not in 
love with Christ, but somewhat else ; for here is the joy of all 
saints, " In thy seed shall all nations account themselves bless- 
ed ; " all nations, one and another. Is. xlv. 24, 25, " Shall all 
the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." Consider, there- 
fore, thii*, thou art sometime joyed. Why ? O, I find my heart 
thus and thus. And is this all ? Yes ; for when this is gone all 
joy dies. And should I not do thus ? Yes, else thou never felt 
comfort of it ; but not only rejoice here, but when the beam is 
gone, the Lord is not gone, Rom. vii. ulL ; when the bottles are 
spent, the spring is full. 

4. He that performs any duty ultimately to ease his conscience, 
he is married yet unto the law ; for there are two sorts of duties 
to the law. 

1. Some are directed to give Christ content to ease his heart, 
by seeing Grod's love in Christ ; then, love being shed, the heart 
sheds it on Christ again ; and thus saith the apostle, ^' I through 
the law am dead to it, that I might live to Grod." Gal. ii. 19. 

2. Some are to give the soul ease ; it sees sin, and fears it 
most die, and the devil appears, and when it lies down it fears it 
shall never awaken again ; and when it hears, thinks no mercjy 



«0 THE PARABLE OF 

but only tliroaU belong to it ; and lii>nco, Imving no peace of con- 
sdence to think God will love it, it loves ilnties. doth duties, ani" 
now takes lliese for good tokens and aigns of love ; nnd ii' it feel 
R need of Christ, it is only to case it. Now, a man is morriea 
to the law, when he crowds for ease into the bosom of it. Deuti- 
V. 37. They were in great fear — " Whatever God wiU have oft 
do, we will do iL" la it not llius with many F How ehall wfii 
kuow this ? 

Ani. Dost thou find this while fears and terrors of consCienos 
ore on thee, so long thou dost seek, and pray, and hear, and caU 
on G!<kI, and when Ihey are worn away with time, or blown over 
wiihfeeling some good things and hopea from them, then tliy heart, 
is careless again, it is certain you are yet married to the law ; at ' 
many a man exceeding forward while pressed under sense of UBr 
for a year or two. Lord, how many hundreds drop away by liltia 
and little afterward 1 Dent. v. 29, " that there were such «. 
heart alwayl" Matt. iii. 8, 7 to 13, they saw a wrath to coroc^ 
hence feared, and hence came to John's baptism to repent and 
confess him. 

5. No man that is married to the law, but his fig leaves ever 
cover some nakedness; all the duties ever brood some luat. 
There is some one sin or other the man lives in, which either the 
Lord discovers, and he will not part with, as the young man, or 
else is so spiritual he can not see all his lifetime. Bead through 
. the strictest of all. and see this ; Matt, xxiii., painted sepulchers. 
Paul, that was blameless, yet (Eph. ii. 3 ; Tit. iii. 3) served 
divers " lusts and pleasures ; " and the reason is, the law ii not 
the ministration of the Spirit, (2 Cor. iii. 8, 9,) which breaks off 
&om every sin ; there is no law that can give life. Gal. iii. 21> 
And hence many men have strong I'esolutionB, and break all 
again ; hence men sin and sorrow, and pray again, and then 
with more case in their sin. Examine thyself. Is there 
living lust with thy righteousness? It is sure it is a righlet 
ness that thou art married to, and never wert yet matched iO- 
Christ. Hence note thj^clf ; it may be thou hast rested in du- 
ties, and Eince more light came, mfi it ; and seeing this, tlunking 
that here is all thy error, thou hast labored to see the emptinesB 
of thy own righteousness and the fullness of Christ, and now tbo*' 
art come to bolh, and now well. So, then, thou hast 
out any lust thou livest in all that lime, nor the venom of thy 
nature. No, Why, then, I pronounce thou art yet married 
the law ; take and trust never bo much to Cliriat's righteousnof 
if under the power of a proud heart, on unclean heart etill, nc 
Speak of Christ. 



toox^V 
id *>-■ 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 41 

Si^ 6. Thej that are fearful to be troubled at their estate to 
hare it prove ill, which a saint may do, yet brings it out to the 
light at last. John iii. 20. When a woman is married to a con- 
demned man, guilt being upon him, he loves not to be seen abroad 
in the sight of others. Thou hearest a sermon, and art loth it 
should be found out, loth to be troubled. He that hath right- 
eousness in Christ will not only bring it to trial before men, but 
God himself. Now, is it thus with any of you ? What shall I 
say ? Shall I say that Christ is or may be thine in this estate ? 
Truly, if I durst, I should. Bless thyself thou mayst ; but re- 
member that the Lord will take thee to do for it; and what is it 
to lose communion with Christ ? I can not express it. The dis- 
ciples were sad when he went away from them in his abasement ; 
but for the Lord to leave thee when in his glory, to stand afar 
off and see him go, never to see him more, when no tears shall 
ever prevail again. Therefore, if thou hast been found out this 
day, confess and give glory to God, and let thine eyes be tears, 
that Christ would overcome and draw thy soul with love, and 
espouse thee to himself forever.*^ 



CHAPTER VI. 

COKTAINING MOTIVES AND ARGUMENTS TO PERSUADE US UNTO 
THE LOVE OF CHRIST, AND TO BE ESPOUSED TO HIM. 

Use 3. Is there no communion to be had with the Lord Jesus, 
unless virgins — unless espoused to him ? O, therefore, here is 
a match for you ; choose him, get your affections, if entangled, to 
come off if insnared to any other thing, and set your hearts, 
bestow your love upon him. For it is not a dead faith (but such 
a faith as is animated by love) that docs espouse you to him. 
GaL V. 6, " Faith which works by love." And, therefore, as 
the love of other things (not worth looking after) has got the 
sovereignty and royalty of thy heart, so this is a conjugal love, 
when it bears rule in the heart. Let Christ have this love. And 
as you have loved creatures for themselves, now love the Lord 
Jesus for himself. And as they have easily enticed you to set 
your hearts upon them, now be persuaded to set your dearest 
affections on him. It is said of John Baptist, he was the bride- 
groom's friend, to speak for him. John iii. 29. And f truly it is 
the main work of the ministry to woo for Christ, and so to pre- 
eeot chaste virgins to Christ. This shall be my work now, 

4» 



49 THE PARAtlLK OP 

which may be BPHSonable in ihis decaying lime. Therefore I 
ahail chieflj bend my speech to three sorts. 

1. To them that never yet loved the Lord Jesua, unlcaa it be 
from the teeth outward. 

2. Those tbnt have been Btriving for this ; yet can not, to iJieir 
own feeling, come to this. 

3. Those that have ao ; but their affections are dried up, and 
love is parched away, " iniquity abounds," elc. And my mo- 
tives shall be these four: — 

1. Consider the glory of the person whom I shall be a spokce- 
tnan for this day. 

2. Consider he makes love to thee. 

S. Consider that all he seeks for is love. 

4. Consider what he will do for thee, how ho will love thee, if 
thou wilt love him. 

Section I. 

Consider the glory of the person for whom I plciid for love. 
What can you love besides him ? Where can you find any like 
unto him ? I know the glory of the Lord is not revealed, be- 
cause the grass withers not, the flower fades not, the creature 
appears not in his withering vanity. Is. xl. But if the Lord 
would but open your eyes to see him, tliis would win your hearts 
alone to hUu. 

Now, I shall single out only these five things, to give you ft 
glimpse of his glory. Lift up thy heart, and say, " Lord, hide 
not now thy face from nie." 

1. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth. Rev, i. 5. Tho 
glory of the world is a kingdom, the glorious diamond of tliat 
kingdom is a prince in his glory. Now, for a poor beggar to 
have an offer of love from the greatest prince in the world, 
would it not tempt her? Would she not forsnke her lovers, and 
sot her heart on him? Why, look what a distance thero is be- 
tween the poorest peasant and the highest prince ; so base, and 
a thousand times, are all the princes of the world to Christ, 
whoso dominion is from sea to sea, from sun to sun, who sets up 
and pulls down kings like counters, who rules their courts, their 
kingdoms, their hearts, and they do not do, they can not do, but 
what ho will. Other kings are princes, are rulers of men j 
Christ Prince of kings. Now, who would not be glad of liia 
love? who, having tastoil death, is set down on the right hand 
of God on high, clothed with emlle^a glory, who has kings in hla 
chains, whose breath is not in his nostrils, whose favor is not for 
a day, but he Uvea and reigna forever. Now, does Christ reign ? 



THE TEN YIROINS. 48 

Is he a Lord, and in glory upon bis throne ? Methinks I see 
Jesos at the right hand of God. Your foolish affections have 
undone you, if you love him not. 

2. He is appointed by the Father to be Judge of quick and 
dead at the last day, (John v. 22, 23,) as well as to rule all now. 
So that if you do maintain enmity against him, he may let you 
akme, you may live in health and die in peace, in the eye of man, 
and in thine own eyes, too ; yet there is a day coming he will 
break out of heaven, with a shout, and appear in the clouds, in 
the amazing glory of his Father, ^ with all his mighty angels, 
and all the dead shall hear his voice," and you shall appear be- 
fore him with this body, when the heavens shall bum round 
about him, and the earth shall tremble under him, and all guilty 
eyes mourning and wailing because of him. Then you shall 
know what it is to despise him, and wish, O that I had loved 
him. Rev. i. 7. You that say you love him, yet by an impeni- 
tent heart pierce him, you shall wail, even so, Amen. Men do 
not see an end of these things, nor the glory of the Lord another 
day. Hence creatures are loved, and the Lord of glory is 
lothed. A great prince may not be so highly esteemed until he 
appears in his state. Prisoners would give any money (much 
more love) for the judge's favor. 

3. He only is the procurer and author of all the good that 
ever thou didst suck out here, though thou hast neither known 
him, nor been thankful to him. For look, as it was with angels, 
so it should have been with man ; the wrath of God should have 
been poured out upon him, and on all the world, and creatures 
should have been tormentors of him, but that the Lord Jesus 
begged and bought the world. And hence (1 Tim. iv. 10) 
called " Saviour of all, but chiefly of the elect." Micah iv. 4, 
** In his days, men shall sit under vines and fig trees." So that 
if ever any creature ever did thee good, it was Jesus that put 
that sweetness in it, out of his fullness, and set it a work, sent it 
to thee, gave it thee to do^thee good. Thou shouldst never 
have had wink of sleep, never restrained from one sin, but lived 
in blaspheming Grod, never have heard of a gospel but for Christ. 
And will you not love him ? O ungrateful world ! unnatural 
generation of men ! Why dost thou love any creature ? It is 
for the p^^txiLitjmd good in it. If there be so much in it, 
what is tfiere in Christ that gave it, that dropped it into it ? Never 
love him if there be any thing good that is not by him. Ps. cxvi. 
1, "The Lord hath heard my j^rayor; I will call on him as long 
as I live." Much more when the Lord hath delivered, and thou 
didst never seek to him. 



4^ THE PAItABLE OF 

4. He is the everltiating wonderment of BWntfi in hearen. Tlie 
(jueen of Shebn heanl of Solommi, wliicb made her eome to see 
him ; but she before imagined but that which now she saw nitli 
her own eyea, nnd that mpt her out of herself. Here we hear 
of the Lord Jesus, of his beauly and glory, and thia draws sainls 
to liim ; and, when come, tliey see thnt which they never saw 
before, especially when in heaven. Then fall down in everlast* 
ing admiralJon at this mystery, for the blessedness of saints ia lo 
see Christ in his glory. John xvii. 21. Now, this lies in an in- 
finite good i this can not be seen in a finite time. Hence saints 
shall be pierring their eyes deeper and deeper into this mystery, 
and shall ever see more and mora, but never see all ; and this is 
their joy and glory in heaven. Is it so? AVbat think you, is 
Christ worthy of your love, or not ? Look upon oil the glory of 
the field of this world, you may see an end of all perfection, but 
never here. 

5, He is ihe delights and bosom love of God himself. FroT. 
viii. 30. Hence John, when he came to set Christ out, (John 
iii. 35,) "The Father loveth the Son." Now is it so; surely 
though you see not, Uiste not this good, yet there it is j now, tell 
me if this person do not chaUenge love, would you not be glad 
to have him ? Tou will say. Can lie look upon such a wretch, 
embraoe such a leper as I? No, surely, he will never do it. 



me-J 



Section II. 
Consider he makes love lo thee. Not one soul that hears 
this day but the Lord Jesus is a suitor unio, thni now ye wonlilij 
be espoused lo liim ; " He cnmc unto his own, and they 
him not." Whatever the secret purpose of Christ is, I regard 
not. In this evangelical dispensation of grace, he makes love to 
all. John i. 12. It is clear. Matt. sxii. 2, 3. If there be a 
gospel in the world, there is this love of Christ yearning toward 
all, especially all that have this ^spel of peace sent to them. 
Luke ii. 10. " It is tidings of great joy lo all people," 
is tidings of great sorrow to all people. l<uko ii. 14. j 
from heaven preached this good will towards men. For 
challenge of love from men should be ^nded on his actual love 
to some, having died ibr some, tlic-n tlie offer would be fiarticular. 
Bui it is grounded, 1. On his own worth and glory, and hence 
he cballcngeth love. 2. On tliis, for aught 1 know, he has loved 
me. So that thou art not so vile but the Lord Jesus' heart 
s upon thee for love. Bu 

Now it is real lo' 



1 



THE TEN YIROINS. 45 

2. Frequent love. 3. Constant 4. Pure love he makes to 

thee. 

1. It is real love. When the gospel and ministers seek for 
love, the Lord is real in his desires, there is no collusion or dis- 
sembling, (2 Cor. v. 20,) in Christ's stead, '^ He that receiveth 
jou receiveth me ; ^ thou thinkest the Lord cares not for thee^ 
Dor doth not desire thee, though he doth others ; but, — 

1. Either the Lord would have thee lothe him or love him. 
What think you ? 

2. If the Lord did not make love to thee, he would not be 
really angry for rejecting of this love ; but the Lord is really 
angry for rejecting it, and wroth with nothing so much as that. 
P5.iL 12. Here he swears in his wrath, (Ps. xcv. 11,) when 
he opens his bosom for thee to rest in, and thou wilt not. 

3. Look but upon the dealings of God with thee. 1. Hast 
thou not oft thought some in heU better than thee ? Why, the 
ruin of millions of men is to win love £rom thee. Jer. iii. 8, 9, 
10. 2. Hath not the Lord sent many a mercy to thee, not one 
but was to win thee? Ps. Ixxxi. 10, 11, 12. 3. Hath not the 
Lord withheld many from thee, as here in this wilderness ? Jer. 
iiL 3, 4. 4. Hath not the Lord sent many sorrows, terrors, fears, 
cares, wearisome businesses, that thou hast wished an end of 
life ? This is love. Hos. ii. 6. 5. Hath not the Lord moved 
thy heart many a time toward him by persuasions, arguments 
which have a power to move the heart? This is love, (Hos. xi. 
4,) ** cords of a man." 6. Hath not the Lord oft melted thy 
heart for mercies, as David, when he might have killed Saul ? 
Truly, you may feel his love which is much toward you ; that 
which keeps off thy heart from love is, the Lord intends it not 
to me, he is not plain with me. But he sends to thee his plain 
gospel, which thou art to attend unto ; and he takes fittest sea- 
sons to speak to thee now in the time of thy health. And does 
he not oft visit thy heart when thou art alone ? 

2. It is fervent, vehement, earnest love. Sometimes a suitor 
is real, but he is not earnest. Now, thus the Lord is. 1. The 
Lord longs for this. Deut. v. 29. 2. Pleads for this, (Jer. iL 
5,) **What iniquity," etc. 3. Thinks long for this time, (Jer. 
xiii. 27,) " Jerusalem will not be made clean ; when shall it once 
be ? "• 4. Mourns when he hath not this, (Ezek. vi. 9,) ** Broken 
with their whorish heart." 5. Content to give away any thing 
for it, all the love of Christ is founded on this. 6. If thou com- 
est not presently, he is content to wait that he may be gracious. 

3. It is constant and continual ; there is not a moment, thou 
doet not 60 oft breathe, as thou mayst see and taste love. Is. 



46 THE PAUABLE OF 

xxvii. 3, Ikv. 2. 1. After all ihy whorish departing from God, 
th»C if man should do mi, no man would own, yiiC he »ai(li, " Ke- 
lumlome;" thou secsl never a creature l)ut tbou liiiat loved 
more than Christ ; yet return. 2. When God threatens most 
terrihiy, and eela his futy on record, yet then there he minda 
nothing but love. Jer, xxxvi. 2, 3. 3. When none else will 
own and pity thee, thou art so vile, yet (Ezek. svi. 2, 3) the 
Lord Baith, " Live, then is a time of love," 4. Nay, when thou 
hast cast away thyself as a forlorn creature, yet (Hos. xiv. 3) 
" In thee the fatherless find mercy." 6. When he hath thee in 
his arms ready to give thee up, yet then, " How shall I give 
thee up, O Ephraim ? " Hoa. xi. 8, I tell thee, if one sparkle 
of his eternal blasting displeasure should fall upon thee, it would 
be BO intolerable that it would sink thee ; his love is as strong as 
death ; no water can quench it. 0, it is not so with man, or 
great men. Once repulsed is enough; why should the Lord do 
BO here? Many thinlc time is past. It is not so. It is the 
temptation of them that have time, not of them that want it. 
Take heed this make thee not despise him. ' i* ^4 

4. It is a pure love. Others make loye^fqr their own ^nda, 
but the Lord hath no need of thee, or^of thy love. He couT" 
rwae up of stones children of praise ; he could have gone t 
others ; he could have, and con fetch, his glory out of thy ruii 
He was blessed before all worlds : and by all thy sins thou dost 
but (brow stone-s against the wind, or snowballs against the sua 
Why dotli he do it? Q, iti s lliy g ood. He pities thee, as once: 
Jerusalem, to look upon ihy destruction and desolation. As it tt, 
with the elect, they have wrath before their eyes, and hence pen 
suade others; so the Ixird Jesus. ' 



Section HI. 

Consider it ia nothmg else but love the Lord looks for, or carets 
for. Love bo^aiw-iiothiag but-kwe, (Prov. viii. 17,) and this 
ia tlie 'enJ ^Tall election, lo be holy before him in love ; and/ 
mark it, if it be a stayed lovelLat constrains thee to him. you' 
ran not wrong him. As if you come and persuade one to murder 
hifl child, he can not; so if persuaded to despise, O, bowels of 
heartbreaking love. 2 Cor. v. And surely it is admirable love. 
What if it were thy goods, thy Isaac to be sacrificed, thy body 
to be burned, it was nothing j bdt he desires only love, only thy 
'heart, which hoa forged so much villany against him. Let hini 
never be called upon, or professed, if not worthy of this. AftW 
all, is this all? Ves, no portion he cares for ; and when he h 
this, he has all. Wonder at this, angels I 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 47 



Section IV. 



Consider what he will do for thee, how he will love thee, if 
thoa wilt thus love him. 

1. He will set thee next himself in honor, (Ps. xlv. 9 ;) that 
as the Lord Jesus is next to God, sits at his right hand, so here, 
Thich is an honor that the angels have not, who are nowhere 
called Christ's spouse ; hence never had such a union, hence 
sever shall partaike of that honor of saints. 

2. lie will enrich thee. As it is with man and wife, all that 
be has is hers ; so himself and all his glory, his Grod, his Father, 
his kingdom is thine. Prov. viii. 21, they that love me inherit 
something ; others nothing ; no, nothing indeed, only shows of 
good ; and they find it so when they awake, nothing their own, 
nothing long; that let thy outward man, yea, thy inward, be 
never so poor, thou shalt by him be heir of aU. 

3. He will counsel thee. Hence David (Ps. Ixxiii.) made 
choice of God: "Thou wilt guide me by thy counsel." No 
greater curse than to be left to the guidance of a man's own 
counsel ; but here there shall not be any strait, but the Lord will 
show thee a way out of i^ either by his prudence or providence. 
There shall not be any secret of Chris4 that thou desirest to 
know, but, as Christ told them, " You are my friends," so you 
are my spouse ; hence all his secrets shall be opened to thee ; 
there shall not be one act of thy life but ordered by infinite pru- 
dence, and wisdom, and love. Sometimes we are befooled in our 
own counsels, and left to them to teach us to depend on the Lord 
the more ; yet thereby shall come out such good that it shall bo 
among us as with Joseph's brethren. 

4. lie will dwell with thee as a man must dwell with his wife, 
(.John xiv. 23 ;) that the great Mediator, that passes by kings 
and princes, and will not look on them, should come and dwell 
with tliee. This is better than to have the presence of kings, the 
guard of angels, better than heaven itself, that he should dwell 
where i» nothing worthy to entertain him, only something to grieve 
him. Now this is, — 

1. A constant assistance of the Spirit; that, let the soul go 
where he will, — be brought to never so low an ebb, — yet Christ 
will not out, but some stirrings, sighings, lookings, pantings after 
Cbri:$t ; when heart and strength fail, yet God, etc. ; wlien ready 
to give all for lost, then consider, as Ps. Ixxiii. 2. If he does 
dcjMurt, he will not be long, but return again ; and those that 
know his afiection know it so to be. Is. liv. " For a little mo- 
ment," etc. So the Lord may depart ; ami, when his presence 



I 



■ terycs 

^H covena 
^^^ nnderlJ 



48 THE TARADLE OF 

is a Utile more esteemed, come again wilfa everlasting mercie8> 
As a man may know many weaknesses by his wife, yet elie haT- 
ing Dot bestowed her heart on any other, he will return ; bo if 
thou canst eay yet I am ibe Lord's, lie wiU return. 

5. He will rejoice in thee and over Uiee, (Zeph. iii. 17,) as a 
bridegroom docs over the bridu. Not because of any beauty ia. 
Ihee, for there is none, but because given in marriage of T 
Father, and for his own sake. This day thou sbalt no seiner 
thy heart on Christ but be falls in love with thee, and will tnk* 
the« with joy ; thou tbinkest he will be angry if thou closest wiih 
him and love him ; no, it will bo the joy of heaven, of Jestu 
Christ himself. 

6. He will exceedingly comfort thee ; and look as tt is with 
tender husbands, then they comfort most when most sorr 
tide them; for who could endure his wife should be always 
drooping ? So even iheu when nothing doth or can comfort 
thee, the Lord will. Is. liv. 6. For the Lord doth not always 
comfort ; but when in need, us wiih the patriareiis, then God ap- 
peared, when they were at worst ; and these are abundant com- 
forls. 2 Cor. i. 3, 4, 5, You shall not need to gcmmblo for it, 
AS many do, whose hearts do not love Christ in truth as yet. 

7. He will put up all wrongs, and bear exceedingly with thee. 
Many ihink, ovon when God bath sealed lore to them, if any 
little sin be committed, then they are cast off; no, if under ihu 
bw, so indeed, but when espoused to him, it is not weakuossea 
nor willfulness can make the Lord cast thee away ; but he will 
heal the one, and afflict thee (yet not cast thee off) for the otheri 
(Ps. butsix. 33.) "My loving-kindness will I never lake away." 
Yea, he will forgive both; (Luke vii. 47,) "Much forgiven be- 
cause she loved much," Nay, thy wrongs shall be an occasion 
ta make him love thee more; (Rom. v.) " Where sin abounds, 
grace abounds." 

8. He will never part with thee. Hos. ii. 19. Once love him, 
and he will never lose thee. 

1. No sin shall port thee and him; for Christ, when he c 
into marriag e covena nt, docs not suspend his love on our grtK 
or holiness, — then he might leave quickly, — but on his ow 
grace to wash away our lllthineas. Kjih. v, 2S, 26- If a htd 
band marries a woman only fur so long as she is in health, thfse 
when sickness comes he mny depart; hut « contra, if U 
away her sicknesses, then they can not hinder i nothing but ndut 
tery can part. Now, that they can not do, for nothing breaks ti' 
covenant is broken i and ihe covenant here is everlastinn 
nnderlaken for by the Lord that it con never be broken. 



THE TEN YIRGINS. 49 

i No miseriea can, (^m. viii. 35, 36, 37 ;) ^ Can tribula- 
tion?" It makes man leaye us; but this is peculiar to Christ 
—he will not leave. 

S. Death can not It must part man and wife, though loved 
never so dearly before, but here not ; but then he will come him- 
self and fetch thee, (John xiv. 1, 2, 3,) take thy soul to the bride 
chamber, there to be with him forever and ever ; and he will 
keep the dust of thy blessed body, and not lose one dust of it, 
and at the last day raise it ; and then, when others shall cry out, 
yonder is he whom I have grieved, then shalt thou lift up thy 
bend ; yonder comes my husband, to comfort me, to crown me, 
that I may dwell with him. It shall be the blessed day to thee. 
And when judgment is done, thou shalt go with thy beloved from 
the air up to heaven with a shout, and live in his love and dear- 
est embracing of thee ; and this he will do for thee, so poor and 
vile in thine own eyes. Now, will you have him, and that now, 
or no? 

Section V. 

Object 1. If the Lord be so desirous of me, why doth he not 
OTercome me? 

Ans. If the Lord doth it, it is by these cords of love ; and if 
not, the brand of a reprobate is upon thee. 

Ohfect. 2. But I do love him already. 

Ans. Is it with such a love as makes you unable to resist him, 
to wrong him ? As the apostle said, " We can not speak against 
the truth, but for it ; ** for if not, it is nought. There is a nat- 
ural love to Christ, as to one that doth Uiee goo d, and for thine 
own ends ; and spiritual, for hhnselTpwhereby the Lord only is 
exalted. Hast thou this ? 

Obftet. 3. But I do not hate Christ 

Am, If any man do not love him with a positive love, let him 
be anathema. 

(Jbject. 4. I can not love him. 

Ans, 1. What canst thou love else ? 2. Thou canst not love 
him so well as thou shouldst ; therefore close with him, and lovo 
will follow. 3. Get the Lord to overcome thy heart. Jer. iii. 19. 

Quest. How shall I do it ? 

Apu. 1. Set him before thee. "Who will commit lewdness 
while her husband looks on ? " Ps. xvi. 8. 

2. See what content thou givest Christ by love. Smallest 
duties coming from love are accepted. What makes thee \vTong 
him to please thyself? Let a tiling cross thcc, yet it contents 
Christ Jesus. 

VOL. n. 5 




50 THE rillABLE OF 

3, Get him, and wait by fniih on him to overcome ihy hes 
and the work is done then. Now, will you do this or not? 
not, Bay, then, you have had a fair otTur, and tell the devils so, ' 
when thou goest down lo hell, as it may be thou moyst ere long. 
Men tAlk of terrible sermons, but theee sink deepest. Tell me, 
dost thou love the Lord oniy? Wilt thou keep lusts or Chri«t 
alone ? If so. then look to it> In this country, a woman killed 
her child, and she said when she did it, her cliild smiled upon 
her. Wilt ihou kick Christ's love now when he smiles upon 
thee ? Afterward she repentpd, hut it was too laie. Women, 
when they have a mind to some other, murder their husbands j 
hut if known, burned they must be. But wilt thou ha%e bim 
and love him alone ? O, it' persuaded to ihif, then happy for- 
ever I Let this day be the beginning of eternal glory to tby 
soul, and the God of peuee be with ihec. 



CIJAPTER YJI. 



[ 



smiWKIH THAT A MAN HATH NO POWCll IN HIMSELF TO DOifl 
ANY sriKITUAL WOKK, IJLT THAT HE MUST BEC'EIVE AUbf 
FROM C II HIST. 

t/ie 4. Hence we see a necesfiity, if ever we look to have ' 
communion with Christ, to do all spiritual work, all we do ((/jw- 
hgice) from the mighty power of Christ, from the life and spirit 
of Christ. To bring forth no spiritual act but from Christ, and 
for Christ, (I shall put both in one, and the latter into the first ; 
for none act truly from him but it ia for him ;) for you know if J 
a woman bring forth children to any other but her own ' 
that woman hath lost her chastity ; ho when men shall bring 
forth the i'ruits of obedience to any other, from any other 1 
from Christ, they lose iheir virginity, their chastity, withontfl 
which no communion with Christ ; for I have ever made tw< 
parla or degrees of Christian cliastity, as it is in outwu 
chastity. 

1. The soul seta its chief affections on Christ alone ; that loc 
as it is with a woman, though »he can not do much, nor deaen 
his love, yet her heart is with him ; herself is hb:, (Cant. vi. \ 
" I am my beloved's." 

2. The soul brings forth fruits of love only unto Christ ; 
from Clirist and for Christ, as, in marriage, tlio worn _ 
forth fruit of her womb to her hueband ; and this is set Ao% 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 51 

plamlj. Rom. vii. 4. The first we have handled. Now, a 
^tk of thid. And that I may press this, which is of much use 
to jou, give me leave to express myself in these conclusions. 

Section I. 

(hnduston 1. That all men living nakedly, considered in 
themselves, have lost all power to do any thing that is good. 
Rom. ill. 12, " None that doeth good." 1. His light is quite 
extinct and his eyes quite out ; hence said to ^' sit in darkness 
and the shadow of death." Matt. iv. 16. Now, a shadow is a 
p rivation of som e light ; this of all lig ht ; hence called darkness 
itseHI Xafce tlie blindest Indian, he is a witness of this truth, 
and a right picture of a soul fallen from God. Hence, because 
he can not see, he can not j o. 1 Cor. ii. 14. 2. AH that life he 
had to act well is lost too. Eph. ii. 1, "He is dead in tres- 
passes and sins ; " he can not breathe, nor speak, nor think, nor 
do any thing that is good ; I say, nakedly considered in himself. 
And hence look upon a man quite forsaken of Grod in hell ; there 
you may see, as in a lively looking-glass, what every man living 
is when the Lord leaves him ; he can blaspheme, he can not love 
him ; he can contenm God, he can not esteem him ; he can wish 
there were no Grod to punish him ; he can not submit unto God, 
though he leaves the most heavy load upon him ; and you see 
not yourselves, until you see yourselves here, and see yourselves 
thus. 

Section U. 

ConSustan 2. That unto some men especially, nay, unto all 
men almost, though vile, yet more or less the Lord gives a power 
to act, and live, and move, and to do many spiritual duties, or 
good duties from themselves. For as there is a breadth in the/ 
ways of grace, that every Christian hath not the like measure 
of grace, so there is a breadth or latitude in the ways of sin. 
Every sinner breaks not forth into the like measure of sin, but 
some are far better than others ; as the three grounds that were 
bad, yet one better than another. Now, how comes this about ? 
Why, the Lord gives that power to act (as all the knowledge of 
a God) by the light of nature, (fals ely so called ;) this is the work 
of God. Rom. i. 19^^ Hence all terrors, and comforts, and du- 
ties of conscience ar'e all from Grod ; so the historical faith of the 
go<pel, which many have, and so to confess and profess no sal- 
viUion but by Christ, together with a readiness to die in defence 
of this truth and religion, and joy from this, and reformation of 



5i THE TARABLE OF 

life Upon tliifl ; none of Ihese are natural to ibis Boil of n maa'tf 
Bou], but all are plnnted ihcre by God, (1 Cur. xii. 2, 3 ;) luid n 
tliat man can act according to Ibc law, be strict in Sabbaths, f 
quent in fastings and prajera, etc., it m fnua God. (Rom. x. ^^fM 
And why doth the Lord work this? It is cl ae no livi ng in tl^^ 
world among men, and because Christ is tlie poUltcum ctta Mfcfl 
and hath bought all Men in the world to be UisBervants; bebce 
gives them gifts which he turns for tlie good of his people ; but 
jet thiB is the nature of all tliese abilities that a man acts from 
the Btrength and power of them, not from Christ, Micah iv. 5. 
Other nations " will walk in the name," etc. ; and the reason is, — 

1. Because every man is under the guidance either of ibe 
first or second coveoaDt, and power of either. Now, as lh« 
power of the second covenant is to draw a man out of himself 
to another, and so to moke him act frvm another, so the power 
of the first is to drive a man into himself by terrors, and fcirs, 
and hopes, and rewards, and so lo enable him to ait from hira- 
eelf ; hence it is impossible but they must act ever from them- 
Belves. And, — 

2. Because, though many good gifla and moral virtues may 
be said to be supernatural ; i. e., above the power of nature to 

. work, yet never above the improvement of nature ; for let God 
work never bo many good things in man, nature ; i. e., an ill 
stomach, when diseased, is strongest; there nature turns all into 
the humor, and so a man dies at last ; bo the power of sin in 
nature being more powerful than any grace whidi by common 
work is given it, ever turns that grace into ilself, and leads it 
into captivity, bondage, and serriee of itsell"; ho that there is 
never a grace but it is made to serve Bome lust, as in fchu, in 
Jodas, etc ; and God complains. Is. xliii, 34. So this, I say, is 
the case of thousands unregenemte, who con do many good things 
but from themselves, which God hath wrought to; and henM 
many a child of God hath been long hindered from conversion, 
and others not converted at all, because they have thought wicked 
men, whom God minds to damn, are Biich as have no good, nor 
do no good, or if they do, they have it not from God ; but it is 
not 80 wilh me, for I have and do many good things, which 1 
acknowledge come from God, and I thank God I am not as other 
men. Kow, mark, it is true, nakedly considered, no good could 
come from unregenemte men, but yet the Lord gives power to 
many to do ; so the Lord liaa done to' thee, and thou liast been 
thankful for it. And this b common ; many account themselves 
great sinners, but yet they can believe. Many say they can do 
Utile; but their desire and will at worso is to do. Tell theta 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 53 

these are not right, unless they come from the Lord ; they will 
saj, the Lord doth all, and they acknowledge it, and so I believe, 
aod it is true ; but it is not such a work of the Lord as is pecu- 
liar to the elect, because when the Lord hath wrought these you 
act only from them, and hence never feel a want of these, for 
the Lord never yet wrought any grace in his people, but after 
ihej have had it, and tasted of it, he hath more or less deserted 
them, and so hath made them feel a want of it, and made them 
fetch it again, with sighs, and groans, and tears. Now, it hath 
never been so with thee. 

Section in. 

Conclusion 3. That it is most pleasing to man and agreeable 
to his nature to act only from himself. As it was with the 
prodigal, he desired his stock in his oWn hands, and while any 
thing lasted, he would never come home ; and hence those, 
John vi. 28. Wliat shall we do to work the works of Grod? 
And when Christ spake of faith, they were stumbled there, 
insomuch that divers did forsake him. 

1. Because man's acting from himself is best able to attain 
his own ends, to which, you know, a man is gently and necessa - 
ril y earn ed ; for no man out of Christ, but his own ends draw him. 
Now, Christ crosseth a man's own ends, and to live on him is to live 
on him that will confound them of their own ends, or else no life 
there- Hence they liv e from them selves. As it is with a crafts- 
man or artificer, propounding tlie gain or credit they may get i 
by being excellent in their trade, may, by their own study and 
frequency of acts, grow dextrous and very skillful at last, and 
hence delight in it ; so here, profession and practice of religion 
may be a man's trade which he may drive for his own ends and 
gain, and hence may desire to be excellent, and (by endeavor) 
be excellent, and profit exceedingly in many excellent endow- 
ments. Hence he acts and works for himself. Kom. i. 14. 

2. Because a man naturally knows not how to fetch it from 
Christ from heaven. Rom. x. 3. Hence it is with them as with 
a child cast off by the father and put to some hard master ; be- 
cause they have no father to maintain them, they must live as 
they are and do as well as they can. A man comes to pray, 
knows not how to fetch strength from Christ, and he must pray, 
and hence prays as well as he can. 

3. Because it is so hard a thing to live upon another. It is 
easy and sweet to a spiritual heart, but most difficult to any 
carnal heart. John vi. Christ tells them they must eat his flesh ; 

6» 



THE PARABLE OP 



S4 

they Bay, "Who can then be saved ?" And many departed. 
Men had rather niiiki: holu£ an<l kccgi water in ihcir house than 
hnve it far to fetch, and when ihey come to feteli it to bestow 
Buch fitrength in drawing of it. 

4. Because every man thinks he loves and cares for himself 
beat, and sees no God nor Christ caring for or loving of him 
more than himself. Hence a man plots for himself, and hves for 
himself, and all from himself. As when Joseph's brethren saw 
their brother, then they came down and lived upon him. Before, 
they came to him, indeed, but witli their money, to live of them- 
selves. And thus it was with the young man — " Sell all and 
have riches in heaven." No, He loved himself, and cared for 
himself better than bo; hence would not commit and give away 
all to Christ. 

5. Because whatever a man does from himself, either it is 
good, or he thinks it so, or hopes, if not, God will accept it. 
Some evil in it, perhaps, but he hath his allowances, which will 
make it go ; some good desires or faith in Christ, and hence 
hopes ; if not, thinka God will accept of what comca from him- 
self. As, (Prov.xjj. 2,) "AUamiiD'sways areright in hiaowo 
eyes." And truly natuj;e_iffiil Satan have ever been imitators 
and apes of God, to fdr^e and make^grace like true grace ; hence 
deceived. This, being pleasing to men, is the prauticc of most 
men ; yea, of all men out of Christ And this is one of the 
great part of the inward, secret, subtile, spiritual whoredom of 
the Boul. /Thus men may sorrow, when yet there is little true 
sofrow, and so in other cases. 



Section IV. 

Conclusion 4. That all theae works, though good in themsclvei,,- 1 
yet are moat vile before the Lord. Aa Chriat speaks of thv'i 
Pharisees, it is abominalion in the sight of God, wliich is glorir I 
ous before man. Luke xvi. lo. 1 

1. Because hereby the Boul deprives Christ of the ejidjjlhiaJ 
coming; for all men having lost the slock and power to " 
Lord hence will trust no man with it again. Hence pu 
a Burer and better hand, that thither poor, blind, dead creature 
might fly for life ; and when Ihey are there, hve there 
on tlieir honey. John vi. 27, xvii. 23. He mifht nei 
looked after yon, and will you despise him now ? What fol^ 
and unkindness is this, that when your pits arc dry, and bottl^ 
empty, and soulfl mberahle here, you will not (I do not say sipj 
when water runs hy your door, but not live ! 



1 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 55 

2. Because whatever co mes from jelf^Jt^JaLfiYfir ^"t* r^^- A 
man can do nothing from himseit, but lus last end is self. As it 
is with waterworks, they rise no higher than the spring. Gen. 
XL 4. " This Babel I have built" Dan. iv. 30. And a man 
that has but common grace ; look as by virtue of that grace or 
gift of God he may act for Grod, because it came from Grod ; so 
nature and sin being more powerful than that grace, hence he 
never so acts for Grod, but in the last place acts for itself, as Jehu. 
And so a man makes hipiself his own god. 

3. Because whatever a man does from himself, he will grow 
proud of it Rom. iv., "Not of works, lest any man should 
boast" Hence Joab sent to David to take the city, that he 
might have the crown. This robs Christ of the glory. 

4. Because/whatever work is not done by virtue of the Lord 
Jesus, is a dead work, which a living Grod, and a living Christ, 

^ and a living Spirit loathe. Heb. ix. 14, "Sprinkle your con- 
sciences from dead works." Deadly works are sins ; dead works 
are good works done, but not from the principle of the life of 
faith, but life of nature. Now, as conscience is the principle of 
the l ife ok naiur e, so Christ is the priticlple^F a Clinstlan life., 
CoL Tli. 1 ; John v. 10-12. For it i8'~nbt sanctification tbat-TS 
the principle of life, but the life itself that flows from it as from 
the union of soul and body. The soul is not the life, but the 
principle of it ; hence, as soon as it out, the body is dead ; so, 
etc- And do you not find it thus, when as you do many duties, 
how tedious, wearisome are they ? Yet must be done ; this is a 
dead work. What comfort, what peace is there when you have 
done them, because not from life ? 

5. Because what comes from self comes from all sin ; it is 
dipped, and dyed, and tainted, and poisoned with all sin, in a 
manner. " Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? " 

6. Because when a man will act from himself, and not suffer 
Christ to act for him, he will not have Christ to reign over him ; 

Jkt pulls down the kingdom of God that should be within him. 
For when a man professeth Christ is King of his church, he is 
now a King in name. When a man feels an impossibility to 
rule himself, and hence desireth and chooseth Christ to rule, 
now Christ is a King by choice. When the soul, after this 
choice, depends on Christ for what he chose him for, and the 
Lord works, now Christ is a King indeed. Now, if you will not 
have the Ix)rd to reign over you, you will be found enemies to 
the Lord's kingdom. 



56 THE TAKAltl-E OF 

Skctiov V. 

Conclusion 5. Iliinco h will follow, the soul is U> act \vliollj' 
and only from ibe LfOrd Jesus Chriat; and whatever fruits of 
love it bIiows to Clirist, to bring them forth from ChrisL Whid 
doth not only concern them that never yet knew Christ, and yet 
pride up themselves in what they have and do, but those thnt be 
in Christ in a special manner. For (John iv. 2) " Every branch 
in me that brings not forth fruit." It is not meant of one, indeed, 
in Christ, for he shall bring forth fruit; but every branch — i. e., 
by outward profession, so that it brings not forth fruit, but ap- 
pears fair, and deceives man — God "will cast away. And without 
me, even ye (disciples) can do noljiing. 

Qanl, I. How is the fioul to act from Cliriat only, when it 
hath life, cspeciully the elect? 

QutsL 2. By what meaas may this be done, to get and keep 
this chastity ? 

Qutit. 1. Uow is the soul to act from Christ alone when there 
is aiutct ideation within ? 

Ans. 1, If the soul feel no power to act from grace received, 
as saints somotimes do, cither after God's deserting them, or 
their forsaking God long, or after some hardenuig sin. then, it is 
dear, the soul, in this case, is (though not in a way of careleaa- 
ness) to depend upon the Lord Jesus, that he would quicken and 
help. As David, after his gross fall, " Lord, create in me a 
clean heart;" and Is. Ixiii. 17, "Why host thou hai'dened our 
hearts from thy fear ? O, return I " In this case, the soul is 
not to bring the soid to God, but God to the soul. As many a 
Christian can not prize nor love the Lord nor his ways, he is not 
to say, I will bring my soul and offer it him ; but look to the 
Lord thai he would raise my dead affections again. As the cen- 
turion of his servant, " Speak the word," eiv. Christ marveled 
at his fiiith. Men think, when they feel nothing;, that they must 
and can work it out, and hence comes one of these tlirec things. 

1. Either the sou! can not love Christ when it sees such laws 
it can not submit to. And hence, a Christian once said to m^ 
" If the least thing was left for me to do of myself, I could not 
love Christ ;>but now, that when brought low and can do noth- 
ing, he brings all the help we need. This makes the spouse go 
to the bosom of her husband. I's. cxvi. 6, 7. Or else, — 

2. It can not do it ; for corruption in a saint is too hard for his 
grace ; •' I am but a child, and tliy people many." 1 Kings i" "" 
Hence he must be strong m the Lord. Or, — 

3. If it do, it never haa any peace in what it does, 



1 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 57 

dnties never so well done. Whereas otherwise, the poorest duty 
done from Christ, (witness Hob. xi. 4, 5,) as a child begot of the 
father, he will own, but other children not. If any poor tired 
heart that hears me this day, thou hast been making thy brick, 
and promises and tows will not help ; now away to the Lord ; if 
ever help now it is when most helpless. 

2. If you can do any thing savingly good, the soul is bound 
DOW (by the power of faith) to stir up itself to act, though not 
to trust to it alone ; for sometimes the soul hath the regenerate 
part uppermost, and the prevailing Spirit of God, (Ps. xxi. 3,) 
which comes to him, and gives it power to act before the soul 
comes to it. Now, a man i^ boun 4 tp ^ t^ because it is from 
Christ now. Hence Timothy was to stir up the gift. 2 Tim. 
L 6. Hence complained of them Is. Ixiv. 8, " None stirs up 
himself to take hold on the Lord." A man must stir up hi^^ 
self to believe, as well as other graces ; hence ^^ the kingdom of I 
heaven is taken with violence," and though corruption is stronger I 
than fjjtuxj yet grace, assisted with the Spirit, is stronger than I 
it, which is never quite out of the soul, but it is in the soi^LJ 
1 John iv. 4, " Stronger is he that is in you." And it is said 
professedly, "He purgeth himself, and keepeth himself: the 
evil one toucheth him not." 1 John v. 18. But mark, trust not 
barely to this ; but when you do this, withal remember. Lord, 
I can not hold out in this unless thou dost help me. But know, 
(Is. xxvi.) " The Lord is the rock of my strength." And " K 
you, by the Spirit, mortify," etc. Rom. viii. 13. Therefore, 
ever hold up sails, but look for a wind. And if a man be not 
to do this, then when any sinful temptation comes, if a man do 
not find the Spirit and strength ready at hand to help, if he be 
not to stir up himself against it^ he is to suffer himself to be 
carried down by it. Hence a man may neglect all duties a long 
time, if he do not find the Spirit assisting, if so be a man must 
not stir himself up, and so (will some say) a man may. May ! 
^\rhat shall I say to such a sluggish soul, but sleep on ? But 
know it, tho Lord will awaken thee, when you shall say, O that 
I had improved the talent I had ! And if you do find Christ 
in such a condition, know it, they be but the last visits of Christ 
before he departs. You can do more than you do, and the Lord 
will have you do it. 

Object. But I can not do it for good ends without Clirist. 
An$. Yet do the things as far as you can, else if you owe an- 
other a debt, and will not pay, because not for a goo<l end, that 
excuse will not serve. So you owe the Lord your lives, your 
tpiritSy your abilities ; lay them out for the Lord, though evil be 




in them ; be humbled for thnt. Is this good rcquiLiI, to Bay yoa 
find jouT hearts dead in prayer, and God must do all, and there 
leave it ? 

3. You are to expect and look for power from the Lord Jenia 
in the use qfjoieans, all known means. For faith fetches nil 
from Chnst ; hence'we must go thither vrbcre Christ is to be 
found, and he dwells in his house, in his ordinitncea ; therefore 
there you must depend upon him. As it is with a merchant, he 
wades nut over the sen for pearls, but gels into his eliop, and 
ihgre he sits still ; so here, (Matt, xiii.,) "The kingdom of heav- 
en is like a merchant man." Hence you that know you can do 
nothing, being under a spirit of conviction, and hence do nothing, 
under a spirit of sloth and neglect of means, hy virtue of aspirit 
of presumption, and say, Christ must do all ; 1 say, you take not 
the right course for the Lord to help you in. The Lord will 

I nev er be a slave to thy slothful thou ehalt be like a shrub, never 
^ lo'see good when it comes, and shalt die in horror with this — O, 
I might have done more. Hence you are worse than the other, 
that think if a man fasts, prays, watches against his distempers, 
mourns for want of Christ and grace, and follows God hard here, 
he is a legal Christian. Why, these are bnt his own works, and 
this is not living on Christ. I confess bare using them, or trust- 
ing to them, is not, but he that lives not on Christ in use of means 
(these and all other means) to find Christ, or enjoy more of 
Christ, shaU never have him. Neither do I know what turning 
God's grace into wantonness is, if this be not ; and under a lib- 
erty to be a servant of corruption. I know not whether it bfl 
, thus with any, but if t did, I would pity them. . J 

4. If the soul can not every moment live on Christ, — i. e.,for t 
every particular act have a distinct act of failh j for this can not ' 
be, — yet every fit season that it can, it ought to look up to the 
Xiord for life and fresh strength. Pray, as it is every fit seaaon. 
And, as he brings forth fruit, so he goes for fruit in season. Pa. 

L 3. And when the soul dues this, Ihe Spirit of the Lord h 
when the act is ceased. 

Now, the fit seasons are, — 

1. At beginning of any action, as prayer, hearing, readini 
Alt the time a man is in his journey, or in his work, he is carri( 
on by llie act of faith at first setting out. The reach of faitli j 
ktng, and continues uU prayers ; all the duty tlironghoi 
of failli is short. Now, Ihe Lord looks to his pwple accordina^ 
to the first. 

2. When our act begins to die, as Moses lifted up his 
and, when they were heavy, Aaron and llur supported thenq 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 59 

3. When a man feels himself strong, now apt to be self-con- 
fident ; now, Lord, for an humble heart I And thus you are to 
live on Christ, which, if done, would make a Christian's life 
glorious, and give infinite content to the heart of Christ But 
here is the misery — either the hearts are full and need not, or 
slothful and care not for living so. That truly I do not wonder 
to hear and see so many withering trees, as though blasted by 
wrath, because you fetch not all out of this stock ; and Christ is 
such a stranger, because you are so seldom with him, to act and 
bring forth fruit to him. 

Section VI. 

Consider of the means to act from Christ Jesus ; and, indeed, 
herein lies the skill and life of a Christian ; and this is the com- 
plaint of many a soul : Christ is full, and he is not for himself, but 
for those that want, and I come to him when I want it, and yet 
I find no help ; and hence many are brought to think either it is 
in vain to come to Christ, or else I have no faith in Christ. I 
will therefore premise these three things : — 

1. That a false, double, treacherous, disloyal heart to Christ 
can not expect any thing it comes for unto Christ. As it is with 
a woman, that though others do not, yet her husband knows she 
is fallen in league with some other man, he will be strange to 
her, and will not do any thing for her ; John ii. tdt, " He knew 
what was in man ;" as it is in grafts ; James i. 7, 8, Let not a 
double-minded man think to receive any thing at the hands of 
the Lord. For that is the nature of man under the power of 
any lust ; it makes all serve it, even Christ himself, which he will 
never do. " I am weary of your new moons," saith the Lord ; 
and you fast and pray, and have no answer, for you fast for de- 
bate ; and therefore I take a man considered as broken off from 
the power of lusts, not one that feels himself under the power of 
it ; for such a one may be delivered from it, such a soul as can 
say. Much ado have I to feel my sin, and to be willing to part 
with it, but now I am ; here is the soul I speak of. 

2. That the Lord, in the dispensation of grace to his people, 
is wholly free to give it when he will ; for a man that works for 
his wages must in justice have his wages when his work is done, 
but he that begs for his living must be content to stay. We live 
by faith and free gift, not by y yorks and dese rts, and hence must 
wait and stay. Micah vii. 7. Hence let any man think sensibly 
to receive what he goes for to the Lord Jesus presently, as many 
feel a want of grace, and think the Lord hath promised to help ; 



60 THE TAItALLE OF 

and now how wouUI it mak<; for liia honor lo givG, but fmil it no^ I 
and Lcuce grow fuul or discouraged, and think it is in vaia to ' 
■eek ? No, no ; Christ's hour is not yet come, when you think 
it is J John ii., "My hour is not yet come ;" and hence many 
get nothing because they lie out of the way of ttie covenant, vit^ 
to think, 0, the Lord owes me nothing, and I deserve the con- 
trary. 

3. That no man is to look to receive aU that which lie comes 
^ to the Lord for, but only bo much as is fit lor him. A man may 

feci much straitneaa, and he would have many enlargements ; he 
flnda much dcjidnees, ftnd lie would have deep, overflowing affec- 
tions, and he comes to the Lord for it, and the Lord givea some ; 
doth be not ? Do you not find it ? Can you aay you seek the 
Lord, and attend on the Lord in vain with these hypocritea ? 
Matt. iii. 14. True, but yet methinks more would be better 
How do you know that ? I think so, that it would be more foi 
his honor. You think so i then it seems you have one eye more 
than Cbridi, and that he is very careless and foolish in raiding 
his own honor. 0, abhor those thoughts 1 be gives you such a 
coat na is fit for you ; such a sail as fits your boat ; sucb shoes as 
fit your feet ; Ps. sxi. 5, " Honor and majesty hast thou fitted 
for him :" therefore do not look to receive any more than is fit 
for you, and know it, that is best for you. The physician pre- 
scribes thut which ia fit, not that which ia most desired of the 
patients. If bo will not accept of thid, he will not look afler 
them. 1 Cor. jii. 7, 8. 

4. Think not to got any thing from the Lord Jesus with ease; 
I meoQ tathe_^s])l;-pail. It hath been an old coniplnini, I go to 
Christ, and fish all night, and can catch nothing; and why? here 
is the cause : tliey can not get it easily, and therefore they el ~ 
not get it at all ; yea, there it is, Heb. xi. 6. This is one of tl 
two main liandles of faith, " He ia rewarder of all thedi that i 
igently seek him," not negligently ; and hcnco at their first a 
version how doth Christ's fruita overflow, and his Jordan t 
above ita banks 1 and what a deal does a Christian gain, yet i 
atierward ; so in time of great trouble, O, ii is because yon M 
him diligently I Therefore, in prescribing means, do not aay H 
is hard, and so depart as those did on the ^'cry sn 
John vi. CO. 



THB TEK TIBOmS. 61 

Section VII. 

7%e Means are these : —^ 

Mums 1. Labor for a comprehending knowledge what is the 
lore of Christ to thee : there is a double knowledge of Christ's 
bre. 

1. That he loves me ; and this very apprehension fetches in 
warmth and life into the heart : ^ In th j favor is life." 

2. What that love is, and that in all the dimensions of it ; and, 
beloved, this is that which fills a man, (£ph. iii. 18, 19,) that as . 
it is wiUi women when the fullness of the husband's love is seen, 
it knits the heart invincibly to him, and makes her do any thing 
for him ; so here. And as we say of trees, if the tree begins to 
wither and die, the only way is, not to cast water on the branches, 
to pray for water and dews from heaven on them, but water 
the root Lo|reJsthe next root of all g rac e ; love Christ, and 
you wiU never bel^teiry of doliig'for Onrist ; love him, and he 
will love you. Prov. viii. 17. Now, what kindles love so much 
as this comprehending knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and his 
love, this will make a man a burning beacon of love, make a 
man melt into love, which is as strong as death ; much water 
can not quench it 2 Cor. v. 14, ^' Love of Christ constrains." 
GaL V. 6, "Faith works by love." Faith is our feet where- 
by we come to Christ, love is our hand whereby we work for 
Oiri8t;/now, let any chirurgeon's servant come to a chirurgeon 
with a broken arm, and tell him he can do no work for him, 
therefore desire him to give strength to do it. Come, saith he, 
let me heal your arm first No, by no means ; let me first do 
your work, that so yon may heal, and I may feel my arm to be 
whole. It can never be. So it is many a Christian's course. 
Lord, let me do thy work ; and hence he cries. Lord, give me 
strength, and then falls to do it, and can not without pain, because 
his love is broken. Many say, I will go to Christ, and act for 
Christ, and then I will think the Lord loves me ; but never find 
it : first, see and comprehend the love of the Lord. And truly, 
this is the reason why no heart, no strength to act for Grod, unless it 
be in a wearisome manner ; and why ? O, love is out ! and why is 
that out ? why, it is not comprehended by the eye of faith, it is de- 
spised by some, other things are sweet to them, or it is forgotten by 
others. Men remember not what once they were, and what the 
Lord has done ; it is seen a little, and hence a little life and 
strength, but it is comprehended by few. O, sinful times I O, un- 
kind worid ! never was my heart so dead, saith one ; never so 

VOL. II. 6 



\ 




Blrailefled and shut up, sftith another ; never eo feeble i 
lies, sai ill another ; why, 70Q see, and ta^ilc, and dip of this loTC 
but you feed not licuruly, abundantly, on iL Never di " 
think so little of this love ; for though Christ will convey ricli gra 
to kia people, yet it thsU be by love. Christiana will tx 
Christ, and when ibcy receive aiid feel the good they coc 
they will think of Cliriat's love, and that he loves them: n 
coma unto the Lord Jesus ; being oncti come, know be w 
cast thee away, (John vi. 37 ;) then think of this love 
here, flret feed here, and you may act, and then lie Lord i 
cotivcy elrengih and power, and enable you hereunto. 1 
though when a man trusts lo bis love, as Peter without failh, It 
man will fall because he trusta to an ana of flesb ; yet, w ' 
faJtlLegjtJoy » loKf , the work is very great. Aa a father has 1 
chilli who must keep at home with him, but he has i 
steward to lay out that estate for him that he means 
Lim; but when im able steward, now he gives his son ricbl}'^] 
So here. 

Quest. How sliall I comprehend it? 

Ant. First, the apostle prays for it. Secondly, see what it i« 
by his description, and meditate on iL 

1. The breadth, i. e., the same love wherewith the Lord com- 
prehends all saints, as Abraham, etc. : thou art as dear to tlie 
Lord as ho or any in heoven s nay, it may be, did cost more : 
not a cross, not a mercy, but it is common (for subslance) unlo 
all sainl& 

2. The length, from eternity to eternity, nothing can part, 
nothing shall part ; all other things are but summer swallowg, 
that build with us for a time. 

3. The depth, that the Lord should look upon tiee when in 
thy pesl-bouse, when no eye pitied thee, when as low as the 
grave, nay, aa low as hell, nay, lower ; for they in hell would 
come out, tliou wouldst not. Never think lo see what infinite 
love is, till thou seesl infinite wrath. 

4. The highl, to be aa happy angels, and more so; nay, to Ml 
all one witli Christ, and in Christ, and loved with the same lotifl 
Christ ia. John svii. 23, 26. ~ 

5. When thou seest it thus, yet it is the love of Christ that 
passeth^^nowledgiiL As children can not tell how parcTits love 
them, will you do thus ? It ia with many Christians as it is with 
many trees ; the tree is good, and the suit ia good, and rain, dews, 
sun, husbandman good, yet it begins lo die ; Ihen now nothing ia 
wonting, but only to l>e set a little deeper, that it may take more 
root of the soiL And so here,fthere ia nothing wanting in many 



THE TEX VIRGINS. 63 

aCbristiaQ but to be set a little deeper, and to take more rooting 
in the Lord's love. Faith roots itself in Grod's love, and now 
prospers by love. Tte eye is I5ut little, yet can comprehend a 
ffligfaty world quickly ; man's mind is but little, yet can com- 
prehend, though not the infiniteness, yet an infinite. If the^g 
be this light of glory, see by it all your poor sad hearts that con- 
ceive nothing but terror and holiness in Grod ; if you see it not, 
kno w it here is your work now ; for the first work is to get JJEUth, 
!jhe^ t o get love < theS> to act from ^ taitn by loy el Now, the Lord 
Iiath wrought thelSrat, and.ihou &R busy a 3oing the third work, 
not remembering the second. 

Means 2. Content not thyself with feeling a want of supply, 
but labor to feel a need of supply from the Lord Jesus ; for 
many a Christian feels a want of grace from Christ, brokenness, 
etc, sees he has nothing, and is sometime by fits troubled for the 
want of it ; but he can be well content, though he have no sup- 
ply, having somewhat else to ease and content him ; he feels no 
need of supply, so as he can not be without it, that his spirit fails 
unless the Lord Jesus in mercy give it, and therefore must have it, 
there is a necessity of it. Hence he never finds supply, and won- 
ders at it why it is so. And here it is, here is his wound, and 
so brings up an ill report of the Lord, saying, he is loth to give ; 
and of the ordinances of the Lord, it is in vain to seek ; and truly 
so it is to seek so. For let thy condition be never so miserable, ii* 
thou feelest a need of supply, the Lord will make bare his arm, and 
worit wonders ; bring heaven out of hell, joy out of sorrow, and 
light out of the thickest darkness, and floods out of dry ground, (Is. 
xliv. 17, 18 ;) when the ground is dry and parched, no moisture 
Ifffl ; now the Lord pours out water on this soul. Is. xliv. 3 ; Heb. 
iv. ulL Many come to the Lord for grace, and find it not Me- 
thinks I hear the Lord speaking thus to his people : I love you 
dearly, and I am content to give you any thing you need ; but 
you do not need my grace, my Spirit, my presence ; i. e., you feel 
not a need of it, for if you had it now, you would not prize it 
much, nor keep it long. My precious grace must not be spilt. 
Many know their wants and distempers, and know there is no 
help in themselves, and see all fullness in Christ, and hence come 
to him, but find none, because they can be content though the 
Lord deny : no, nor never shall, unless you feel the woe of your 
wants, that your spirit fails if the Lord send not in supply. Is. 
Ivii. 16, "I will not contend, lest the Spirit fail." Hence 
there God promiseth to dwell, to send and create peace and com- 
fort ; for what is the reason that Christians at first beginnings 
seek peace and mercy, and have abundantly then ? Why, truly. 




I WBB long time before I had anything; but when my spirit Iiegao 
to foil, and t gave all for gouc, and t^ould oul no more, now th« 
Lord helped and pilietl me; but where ore those comforts and 
that presence of the Lord now ? Truly, now you think the worst 
is past, and would be glnd of llie life of Christ, and grace from 
Christ ; but if not, you have a little, your state is safe, and so 
can lie without putting yourself to a necessity of iL Is it not 
thus ? la not this your very wound ? If it be, for the Lord's sake, 
then, get it healed, and do as people in Christ's time ; those that 
were well, and had not desperate diseases, commonly came not to 
him ; but when the diseaae wai" desperate, you know the fame of 
Christ being spread abroad, then tbey brought their sick and 
laid them before his merciful eyes, then they looked for the lay- 
ing on of his hand, or a word of his mouth, and all were healed. 
So do you : you have heard of the fame of Christ, and seen others 
humbled, others pardoned ; lay thy aick soul — but look that it 
be sick — before his eyes, and so look for one word of his mouth, 
as the woman of Canaan ; he may deny for a time, yet she must 
have it, and the Lord will say, " Be it unto thee according to tby 
fwth ; " not according to thy dcBerta : thou wilt have it ; I must 
give it ; thou diest without it ; behold, I live to revive thee, 
and therefore to give it. You come to prayer, and word, and 
want many things, but find them not O, come, therefore, Lord I 
I must have, I can not do without supply. Not but that a Chris- 
tian must wait, and bo content humbly, but not carelessly. 
Therefore think within thyself. — 

1. What is there that I need but this, the presence of God, 
the life of God, etc. ? Is it not enough in heaven, where there ia 
no wealth nor comforts else ? and is it not sufficient now ? 

2. May I have it on Ibis condition, (I must have it, I am ro- 
Bolved not to go witliout it,) Rev. xiii. 17. If you will come, 
take it. Are the terms so sweet 'i 

3. Do wicked men thirst more and more ai^er their lusts, and 
is Christ, and his grace, and bis presence no better, that I havi^ 
enough of them quickly ? God forbid there should be such I 
heart 

4. Doth the least sin bo exceedingly go to the heart of u 
God, and shall I suffer it not only to act here, and tempt hef 
but remain alive here? 

5. Is not the Lord, after all love shown me, worthy of infiniM 
(not a little) honor from me ? and doth he deserve all, and miii 
I not, shall I not give it him before I die ? It musl, it shall be a 
Now, when here you feel a need, know it that you are at tT 
rery door of relief. I conceive this is the great door at n' ' 



THE TEN yiROINS. 65 

Chrisl enters into the soul. The root of faith — i. e., the autho^ 
objeet, and foundation of faith — is out of a man's self; the door ' 
of fiuth which opens to all treasures is in a man's self. This 
door is not an j good in us, for then we should have somewhat to 
boast of; nor sin in us, for that shuts out Grod from us ; nor 
knowledse of wan t, for that the devils have ; but sense of want, 
whidi when the sidnts have, now the door is opened for the 
Lord Jesus in all his fullness to come in. — * 

Now, ** if you know these things, blessed are jou if jou do 
them." 

Section VUL 

Uke 5. To all the churches of the Lord Jesus here planted in : 
these western parts of the world, to maintain your church chas- 
tity and virginity, you have a name of it abroad, pure, chaste, 
virgin churdies, not polluted with the mixtures of men's inven- 
tions, not defiled with the company of evil men ; pure ordinances, 
pure people, pure churches, which is the cause of the scoffs and 
enmity of some, but of the desire and joy of others. / O, if there, 
bow happy I, and how blessed they ! ^ake heed you do not 
defile yourselves again. jOpen whoredom is too gross, too shame- 
ful, to yield to man's inventions, to open the door for all comers 
into the church ; but take heed of secret whoredoms and depart- 
ing* from Christ ; for think of this speech when you see me 
dead, that of all the churches in the world, the Lord Jesus car- 
ries a most jealous eye over these, for whom he has done such 
great things ; and I know it, he takes exceeding ill your secret 
wantonness and whoredoms of heart: the Lord has kept you 
hitherto; look you maintain it, for you may be soon deflowered 
again. Few churches retain their purity long ; aged, gray-haired 
purity is seldom seen. I will tell you of the several tempta- 
tions (some at least) that may prevail to the defilement of you. 

First. Spiritual defilement is forsaking of the husband, a total 
secret forsaking of Christ ; for here is the temptation to it, viz., 
God's withdrawing himself in his ordinances from his ordinances. 
For three sorts of temptations make men fall back. 

1. By persecution ; and there many fall (though some stand 
oat) as in the stony land. 

2. By peace ; and here many fall like the thorny ground ; 
like sailors that in a storm at sea, every man is ready, and will 
be pulling his rope ; but when a calm, then go to their cabins, 
and there fall asleep, and here many fall in this place, and others 
ttand it out. 

3. By the Lord's withdrawing from them, as those, Mai. iii. 

6* 



w 



HE PARABLE OF 



I 




14; and here the great ones fall. Many come to enjoy ordi- 
nances, and iierseculion vexed iliem not ; tlie world is base, it 
troubles them not; und tiiey tliiiik to find mucb, but do not, bttt 
the Lord withdraws, and lliey con get no good ; hereupon their 
false liearts diacorer themselves, ibey draw back from God, and 
lie still ; whereas the saints cry the more into themselves, and 
find out ibe cause of it, luid then the Lord helps tliem. Ii, 
Ixiii. 17. 0, take heed of this! 

1. Shall I forsiikB the Loi-d, that has dona these great thingi 
for my soul ? 

2. Shall I now do it after I am 80 near heaven ? 

3. Shall I forsake him when he departs from me but for ft 
lime, it mny be, when he bos followed me when I departed long 
from htm ? 

4. Is it not bell to die without him? And shall it not be death 
lo live without him ? 

5. Does he depart witlioul a cause? He has no cause lo fol- 
low me ; I have all reason to follow him. The Lord grant you 

Secondly. Secret defilement is by neglect of private com- 
munion with him ; this is whorish in a wife. Here is stronger 
temptation to neglect prival* prayer and meditation, partly bj 
want of room, partly by multitudes of businesses, and work, and 
cares hereabout, that being weary in the day, sleepy at night, 
busy in the morning, prayer, meditation, daily examination an 
sent away as I'aul from Felix ; we will speak with these at some 
more convenient season ; and hence straitness of heart toward 
Christ, and no means lo do good. beloved, have you such a 
husband as Christ in heaven, that loves thy looks, thy compnoy, 
thy sighs, thy speeches, and will you neglect bim thus? Wbatl 
no love? 2. Is he not broken with this whorish heart? 3. la 
that speech worth any thing with you, "We sbiU! ever be witk 
the Lord " ? Doth it comfort you to think of being ever with 
him, nnd now neglect him ? Where are your hearts ? 

TTtirdly. Secret defilement i^ by bringing other lovers into the 
same bed, the same heart with him ; and here the temptation to 
this is strong; for most men have lost and sunk in their estates, 
and it is hard to live lower than we did, and this is a grief, and 
here grief for loss has a vctit by greediness and pursuit aSwt 
more. In other places, men had a very comfortable estate ; 
hence rejoiced in what they had, and did not greedily desire 
more ; but now want makes men hungry and greedy ; and 
when a man has thought and looked about him, and seen 
he may gain by his hibor of many acres, by his goats and c 



\ 






THS TXM yiB0IN8« 67 

in 10 many years *- now he casts himself into the world, and 
also will not forsake Christ utterly, but bring both into the same 
heart Christ shall have some love, some desire, but the world 
as much, and so the heart is divided ; and hence some set high 
prices on their com, commodities, cattle ; others look for lai^ 
wages, etc^ and jet Christ too. Hence men cry out of the 
world because it hinders them from Christ, and yet bring it into 
and hug it in their hearts, because they must have it in the bed 
with Christ It was the speech of one, that he never heard 
of any saint in Scripture given to covetousness ; some to one sin, ^ 
■Qme to another, but none to that I have heard of Lot ; but 
€rod fired him out of his estate at last, and that is all I would say 
to this. 

Fourthly. Secret defilement is by decaying in love to those 
whom Christ loves, and those are his saints, and temptation is 
strong in this place to this : 1. Because we have multitudes of 
them; even gold itself being so common as to pave our streets 
is despised. 2. Because there wants a common enemy to drive 
them together. Take several men that never knew one another ; 
jret in time of war they will love abundantly, and then encourage 
one another, and can with joy lie together ; so it is here. Hence 
arise your petty duels and jars in churches, surmisings, cen- 
snrings, etc ; and the reason is this : there is little love to saints, 
and for want of this, men shall not know whether you be Christ's 
disciples or no./ Be thy brethren saints or not? Bear they 
the image of Christ or no? If they do not, why not convince 
them, a^nonish them ? And if they will not ba_better, away 
with them. If they be, O bear, O love, O tender them, as thou 
idokest tbe Lord Jesus should tender thee. And, therefore, let 
the image of Christ appear, and then see it, and then love, and 
then no more breaches will follow. If not, the Lord can and 
wiU soon send wolves to make sheep run more together. 

Fifthly. Letting a new generation of harlots into Christ's 
bosom* I mean not greatly caring for posterity, that they may 
know and serve this God, for afler this generation is past, our 
children are to follow, and it is very rare that they prove right, 
yet it may be so. Hearken, therefore, you parents; if God 
brooght you over for this end, and if they never knew God, 
what a sad thing it would be I or if they be brought forth to 
pull down the temple of God ! O, therefore, 1. Be careful of a 
pioos education of them in schools, in private, and take some 
course for that end before others come over; this will draw 
them. 2. O, make many prayers for them. 8. Set faith awork 
in God's promise; as he said he would not abate the Lord 



Is THE PARABLK OF 

(though he gave it him in ninety-nine) of llmt one. Leave in 
record what llie Lord has done for you, ihnt ihe Loi-d may be 
with them, and that all Ihesc i-liurclics may be the glory of 
Christ, and then you shall enter into the bride chamber of (be 
Lamb at last. 



CHAPTER Vm. 

A CBHlSTJAirS DUTT OF BEINO COKSTASTLY AND CONTINnALLy 
READY TO MEET CHBIST, AND TO ENJUY COMHUHION WITH 
UIM, 



^M to put thi 

^H tade froi 



2. » Tooi ikeir Lamps." 

Much duAl is raised and mueh dit^pute is made, espcdally by 
Popish inlflrpretere, what th« lampa, what the oil. whnt the Tca- 
Bela shontd bo. The general conceit of most of tliem is, that by 
oil ta meant good works, and by lamps faith, answerable to tli^ 
own conceit, that not faith but good works chiefly save; whereas, 
if we t»nsider the thing rather e contra, that by lighted lamp* 
are meant good works or elernal shining profession, necord- 
ing to that of Christ, (Malt, v.,) " Let your light so shine be- 
fore men," etc. ; and that by oil should be roennt fiiith, because 
it is inward, and Js the nourishment of works and outwanl ]iro- 
fession. And in this sense some of our divines do take this 
Scripture, and the Rhemitits likewit^e, who underetind by lamps 
lighted, good works ; by oil, a good intention. To whieh it is 
answered, (by Cnrtwright, that burning and shining light of our 
times,) that rather by lamps lighted is to be understood "watch- 
ful minde, always lifted up in nllcnding for the coming of Christ," 
according as it is verse 13. And I doubt not but this is one 
thing aimed at, that they " took their lamps ;" i. e., were watch- 
ful for Christ's coming. But when I weigh other circumstances, 
methinks there is somewhaJ. else more plainly and principally 
intended, of which I scarce read any divine, bat he gives a hint 
of — viz., that by Ughted lamps and taking of Ihem is meant 
nothing else but the readiness of the chnrches to meet and to 
have fellowsliip with the Lord Jesus. And my reasons are 

Because tlie Lord Jesus, to leoeh his people watehfulness, and 
to put them to a narrow soaruh of themselves, borrows a simili' 
tade from the custom of those times wherein their marriagee 



THE TBM VIROIX8. 69 

wnv celebrated in the night ; and hence the virgins, (the onl^r 

cydren of the bride chamber, and some think their number 

oerer exceeded ten,) being to walk out in the night, took their 

Itmpe; and when thej had kindled their lamps, (usnallj the 

het thing that is done,) now they are ready to go oat ; and this 

is that which Christ aims at. 

2. Luke xiL 35, ^ Let jour loins be girt and lamps burning.'' 
It is CTident that thereby is meant nothing else but readiness' to 
meet the Lord whenever he comes ; for when loins are girt, then 
one is fit for travel ; but seeing it is in the night, hence, lamps 
must be burning too. 

Z. Because it is said plainly, (verse 10,) when their lamps 
were kindled again, " They that were ready went in." I know 
the word is called a lamp for our feet, (Ps. cxix. ;) and so by 
lamps may be meant minds enlightened and kindled b^ the word. 
The eminent profession and excellences of the church is like a 
lamp, (Is. Ixii. 1,) and more particularly may be here in- 
cluded and aimed at ; but, in this verse, lamps are spoken of in 
general, including light, oil, vessels ; and hence I give this gen- 
eral interpretation here, intending particulars, if need be, after- 
ward ; so that now shall only raise this point. 

Section IL 

IhcL That all those that are espoused unto Chnst ought to 
be in a constant and continual readiness to meet Christ, and to 
have immediate communion with Christ. 

A woman may be espoused to another, and yet she may be 
sometimes not ready to meet him ; he r foul apparel ia .(MDb So.. 
here, therefore^it is not enough to be espoused unto Christ, but, 
being espoused, now you ought to be in a continual readiness to 
clasp the Lord in your arms, and to lay your heads in his bosom 
in heaven. This is commanded by Christ. Matt. xxiv. 44. 
This was the mighty power of God's grace in Paul, when others' 
were weeping to think of his bonds — " Why do you break my 
heart ? I am ready not only to be bound, but to die for Christ ; *' 
and so, doubtless, to be with Christ ; much more ready to meet 
Christ whenever he shall come — ready to welcome death — 
much more ready to welcome Christ. Acts xxi. 13. This also 
is the end of John's ministry. Luke i. 17. To make ready a 
people prepared for the Lord ; to meet with Christ on earth. 
Now he is gone, our work is to prepare jt people to mee t the 
Lord in heaven. Hence this is put in as the difference between 
vessels of wrath and vessels of glory. The one are fitted for 




? thoM 



THE P Alt ABLE OF 

deatniction, (he others are fitted, prepared, or miule ready fo^^^ 
glory ; and the glory of a Cliristian is chiefly lo enjoy fellow* 
ahip imnmdiatL'ly witli Jesus Christ. There is many a bduI dea 
unto Christ, and espoused to him, and has his heart affected ti 
think of the good time that is coming, when we shall ever Bi 
with the Lord ; but ask. Are you ready yet for to go to hiq 
though it be through lires, waters, thorns, sorrows, death iteolff 
Who can eay yes ? But (say men's hearts) shut the Lord 014 
a little longer, let not the door stand open yet ; yet this mast be* 
And, therefore, for explication's sake, let me, 1. Show you wbeqi 
the soul ii) in readiness for the Lord Jesus. 2. The reasons 
why there must be a continual readiness. 

Section m. 

Quest. Wlien is the soul in readiness to enjoy Clirist ? 

An*. As there are four things which m^e a Christ 
ready, so this readiness consists in four things [contrary. 

]. That which makes a Ctiristiau unready for him ai 
strong fears and jealousies, and damping doubts of the love of 
Christ to liim. The soul happily has made choice of him, is 
content with him, melts into wonderment and love to think that 
he should love him. What, me ? And has Clirist writ him on 
Ilia heart and on the palms of his hand? ? " But Israel saith. 
My God hath forsaken me, my God hath forgotten me." Ib. 
xUx. 14. Is it possible ? Is it credible ? One that has been 
so vile, one that still has such a heart, for him to set his heart 
on me ? Surely no. Hence the soul is afraid to die, and de- 
sires too much to live still ; and the more he thinks of that time, 
and blessedness of following the Lamb wherever he goes, the 
more he fears and sees lliis may possibly never be my portion. 
There may be some falseness in my heart toward him that I 
never yet saw ; some secret knot that was never yet unloosed, 
and hence not yet ready. Hence many a Christian saith, If I 
had a little more asauraucc, let him come when he will. Thus, 
some think, it was witli Hezekiah, who, though he nnlkcd befora 
God with a " perfect heart," yet bitterly complained that he was 
cut off. la. xsx>-iii. per toliim. So ihereiore, then, the soul i| 
ready and prepared for him, when be has some comfortable 
auronce of the love of Christ toward him, that it can say, If 
livo, he loves me ; though he kills me by death, yet I know 
he loves me ; nay, then, he loves me most when lie ]i 
to my sins, and lo my sorrows too. And ihereiore 
as one ready to receive a prince, Now let him come lo iiie,_ 





THB TEN VIRGINS. 71 

send for me when he will. Why so ? " Who can separate me 
fnxn the love of Christ?" Rom. viii. 35. That look tis it is 
with a soldier that is to go to war, where many bullets and 
arrows are like to faU about him, and him while he has no armor 
on : call him to the captain, and he will say he is not ready yet ; 
but when he has his armor on of proof, and such armor that he 
knows, let him receive never so many wounds, yet he shall 
ffscape with his life, and triumph with his captain afl^rward. 
Now, give him but his watchword, he is ready ; though never so 
weak, yet I am sure I shall escape with my life, nay, not so 
much as hurt So a Christian wanting his assurance wants his 
armor; he is weak, and powers of darkness will assault him, 
and he is slain by them now he is unready; but if assured, 
though weak and feeble, he is now at Christ's watchword ; I 
know I shall live ; I may fall, but I shall rise again ; this puts 
courage and spirit into a Christian. Dan. iii. 17, 18 ; Heb. xi. 
3.1. Others were tormented, (and so ready,) " not accepting de- 
liverance." Why so ? To " obtain a better resurrection," which 
they are said to see by the eye of faith. And this was by poor, 
weak women. Therefore labor for this, else not prepared. The 
Lord would have his people look death and dangers in the face, 
and triumph in sorrows, and not faint-hearted, (which can not be 
done without this,) that the world may see that there is more tlum 
men in them. 2 Cor. iv. 16-18, and v. 1. Who would be with- 
(lut this? Yet may we not complain, as Christ of his disci- 
plff j«, *• O foolish and slow of heart to believe all that is written," 
s*i many promises yet not assured, so many experiences yet not 
establu«hcd, and therefore not yet prepared and ready for the 
cfiming of the Lord ? A man that has a fair estate and house 
hf'fallen liim, so long as he is in suit for it, dares not dwell in it, 
but makes a shift where he is ; but then he is ready when quiet 
{Misjcssion is given him. So get the Lord to pass sentence for 
assurance of your everlasting habitation, then are you ready to 
dwell therein. 

2. Then a man is unprepared for the Lord Jesus his coming, 
while he wants affections suitable to the majesty, and according 
to the worth and love of the Lord Jesus. Su[)[)Ose a woman 
knows her husband's love ; yet if she have lost her love to him, 
or if she love him, it is only as she loves another man, not ac- 
cording to the wortli of her hiisbaod's person, or the grontncss 
of his love, is she tit now to ap[>ear before him, when no heart to 
receive him ? So, although you question not Christ's love to you, 
and thank God you doubt little of it, yet where is your heart ? 
your love to him ? Have you not lost your love, your first love, 



78 THE PARABLE OK 

OF second love ? If fou have love, is it not divided to other 
things, a8_wtfejibUd,iytnd9, hopea^-Qt-prousion for them, and 
too much care hereupon tor tbtit ? Or if yoii do love him, it is 
with a eamal love ; he is no more than a lust hath had, and itmaj 
be not so much ; it is witKa cold love ; now you are unfit for him ; 
hence the Lord. (Luke xxi. 34,) " Take heed your hearts be not 
overcharged." 1 PeL iv. 7. Now, therefore, then, the soul is pre- 
pared fo meet Christ, when, if the soul has lost its afiectiona, it re- 
covers them out of the hands of all creatures that stole them away 
from Christ; and hence David prays, "0, spure, tliat I may re- 
cover my strength :" and when it breaks out with such love to 
Christ as is fiuing for him, (2 Tim. iv. 8,) (here is the righleooa 
Judge ready lo give the crown, when Christ's appearing is loved; 
L e., they are so taken with him, as that they love the looks of 
him, it would rejoice my heart to see, which shall make others 
tremble to behold him. 0, it must be a dear love, a spring (rf 
running love without measure, for this is the difference between 
affections of saints and hypocrites to Christ — the one arises like 
a morning dew, which is soon licked up by the sun, (IIos. vi. 4-,) 
the heat of affections after other things Ucks it up I But the 
love of sninta to Christ is like a spring which rises to everlasting 
life ; a spring is but little, but yet the farther it goes, the wider 
it is, till at last swallowed up in the sea, and there is no measure 
of water : so saints have but a little love, but the longer they 
live, the more enlarged for Christ, and there is no measure, but 
all is too little ; they never can, never do love enough ; so that 
look, as it is said in another case, (Fs. cii. 13, 14,) " It is time 
for thee to build up Jerusalem," i. e., to return to thy people in 
thy ordinances, for " they love the stones ;" so then it is time 
for Christ lo come, and then the St and set time is come for a 
people to meet with Christ out of ordinances, when the set time 
is come when they love ordinances, and love Christ much more. 
When a man Is gone beyond sen, and all his friends and estate 
are at home, they long for him, and he ia lefl among enemies : 
why comes he not to them ? why send they not for him ? Why, 
they know he is sickly, and can not live on the diet of the coun- 
try ; hence he is unfit to come ; but when once that is come to 
pass, that he can live only on it, then he is ready whenever they 
send. So when men can live with, and be content alone with 
Christ and his love, now they are fiL With what face can a 
man appear before Christ when he requires nothing but love, and 
he baa not that E. 

3. Then a man is nnreaJy for Christ while he neglects tJic 
work of Christ; for suppose a man has some inward love to 



THE TEN VIHGlKS. 78 

Christ, jet oeglects and has no heart to do the work of Christ; 
he is as jet no more fit to meet Christ than a steward who has 
had mach betrusted him, to improve for his lord's use, and he 
has let ail seasons go wherein he might have traded for him, and 
gained Mnnewhat to him. How can he appear before him whgp 
no fair aocoant is to be seen ? So/the I^ord has betrusted thee I 
with manj talents, times, strength,' means, etc., and jou are not ^ 
lords, bn| ste wards of all these. Now, do jou not let manj fair 
seaaoos and wmds blow bj ? You have (if espoused to Christ) 
everj man some work. Now, how can jou stand before Christ 
if that be neglected ? O, thus it is with manj Christians ; hence 
those md alarms of conscience, and shaking of Grod*s Spirit, after 
manj loose dajs dipped in some good duties. What doat thou I 
that others do not that never shall see Gkxi's face in heaven ? , \ 

Now, therefore, then the soul is readj for the Lord, when it 
is dailj at it, finishing God's work: hence, (John xvii. 5,) '^I 
have finished m j work ; now glorif j me." Christ has given us 
our lives' work, daj's work, everj hour's work ; for Christ has 
ever emplojment : now, though a soul maj live long, and can 
not finish its life's work, jet if it finish its daj's work, of 
hour's work, it maj have comfort then if the Lord should come. 
That, k)ok, as it is with a mariner when he has his freight ; now 
let the wind come to drive him out of the haven, he is readj to 
depart: so here, (2 Pet, i. 8-11,) "If je do these things and 
abound, an open entrance shall be ministered unto jou ; " i. e., 
when a Christian is ever acting for Christ, and adding one 
grace to another in his course, then he is so readj that an open 
entrance is made for him : therefore look after this. It is withj 
most professors, commonlj, as it is with a woman that loves her * 
husband, and begins to dress herself, but so much business to do, 
that she doth it but bj starts ; hence, call her never so late, she 
will saj she is not jet readj, she has so much to do she can not : 
so it is here. Or as it is in a house where all things are in a 
lumber, and manj things wrapped up and put into holes ; so long" 
as ail things be in a lumber, there is no readiness. So manj a 
soul has a heart fit to receive Christ, but all things are in a 
lumber, in a confusion, out of place and order, and hence 
not jet readj to entertain Christ ; but when this work is done, 
then readj. O, betimes, do this work ; set things to right in 
jour souls. 

4. Then a man is unreadj, when, having done his work, he 
grows pufied up with it ; for let all the three former be wrought 
in the soul, if now the soul be puffed up, thinks highlj of itself, 
attribates any thing to itself; as he said in another case, " Thej 

VOL. II. 7 




THE PABABLE OF 

loo taaaj for the Lord ; " so he is too big for the Lord. And 
we ahall find, it is pretty easy lo be mean in our own 
nyM, after we have been indeed careleaa and vile before the 
Lord; but when the Lord has mightily assisl«d, enlaj'ged, as- 
Bured, enabled, comforted, quickened, now to be as nothing, this 
is difficult. Hence Enos on hia death bed had thia temptation 
of meriting. When llezektah was siek, he was cast down ; but 
when well, and God gave him great treaeures, his heart wu 
lifted up ; now he was mifit. Now, therefore, when a Christtam J 
is ready to give all to free grace, and to adore that, now is hs I 
ready for tlie Lord. Ph. cviii. 1, " My heart is prepared, I will 
eing and give praise." Giod's last end is to bring the soul to thfi 
praise of the riches of hb grace, not only to enjoy God as Adam. 
Now, the great reason why Chriat comes not to his people pres- 
ently after they are espoused to him, it is to make them ready to 
Utain that end. Hence he leaves sin, temptations, sorrows, de^ 
eertioDS, on purpose that they may at conclusion look back and 
see, if ever saved, pardoned, it is grace. Now, therefore, when 
the soul is brought to do this, when he has this rent in his hand, 
now the Lord is ready to receive him and it too, and he is pro- 
pared for the Lord. He that baa not his rent ready, himself is 
not as yet at all ready to meet with and see bis landlord. So 
that you tbiuk you boast not, O, the Lord sees you do, or hare 
not hearts so enlarged toward grace as you should, it is certain 
you are yet unready iheu ; but when empty, and poor, and cast 
down, and makest an iii6nite matter of a small sin, and setteat a 
high price on a liitle love, much more on infinite, now you are 
prepared ; hence David falls a prmeing when near to death, and 
the Lord near to come to him. 



I 



Section IV. 

Reaton 1. The law of respect and love retjuires thia of v 
"When Peter would express his love unto Christ, (Luke xxii. 33,)^ 
he professes he was " not only ready to go to prison, but to die I 
with him." Christ lias poor respect and love, if men will not ai 
much aa he always ready to receive him. It certiunly arguec 
careless heart that ahghts Chriat, that ia not ever prepared 1 
receive CtiriaL 

2, Because the time of Chriat's coming is then when 
look for him. Verse 13. Hence a Christian ought to be ew 
ready to receive him. Many of eminent parts, when the chure 
had most need of them, then are cut down. Alany at 1 
conversion, before they or others almost could lell what to n 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 75 

Off them, the Lord hath cropped them in the bud. Men find 
their hearts unfit and unready ; they think hereupon that here- 
after they shall get their hearts into better order and tune when 
these businesses are over, but yet will live at liberty a little while. 
Why, then, it is most likely is the Lord's time of coming, even 
now, when they think least of it. Luke xii. 40. 

3. Because the Lord has set apart every one that is espoused 
to the Lord Jesus, only for the fruition of Christ, and use of 
Christ. 1 Cor. iii. ult.y " You are Christ's, and Christ is Grod's." 
A woman that is not chosen, nor set apart for the fellowship oT 
a prince, she may go how sKe will, and do what she will, any 
base drudgery work ; but she that is chosen to be next unto him, 
and only to behold and love him, she is not to plead she has so 
much business to do, and so many friends to speak with, that she 
can not make herself ready ; she is set apart for a better person, 
and for more noble employment. So here, men of the world, 
not loved of Grod, nor chosen and set apart for him, may do what 
they will ; but when the Lord has chosen and set you apart of 
purpose for this end. Ephes. i. 4, " Chosen to be holy before 
him in love ; " i. e., to stand ever in his presence before him, 
with a spirit of dearest love unto him. Hence the Lord has 
taken the care of all things else, (1 Pet. v. 7,) that we might 
mind and do this thing ; if in danger, he will deliver ; if in want, 
he will provide ; if weak, he will strengthen ; only now be ready 
for the Lord. Ps. xlv. 10, " Forget thy country and thy father's 
house, so shall the Lord desire thy beauty." You are not now 
free to love and follow whom you please ; the Lord has bound 
you to himself by love, and you have bound yourself by promise 
to the Lord again. Therefore now a Christian, after once es- 
(loused to Christ, is better than all the world, being the bride of 
the Lamb ; and he has a betted and greater good for to enjoy ; 
therefore he should scorn and abhor to match himself to, or to 
tlu any thing for any other creature, and there methinks should 
sit as one upon a watchtower, looking out, and telling the clock 
now day is near, waiting only for Christ O, let it be so ! If 
in heaven you shall have only Christ, O, prepare for him much 
more now ! As a woman that is matched to a rich man, all the 
servants attend on her, and follow her, she is wholly and only 
for her husband ; so it should be here. 

4. Because he has prepared and made all things else ready 
for the soul, it is hard if he has prepared a place in heaven, and 
grace in heaveh, not to prepare a heart, and make it ready for 
him. John xiv. 1-3. His kingdom was ready long ago, and his 
Father ready to accept and entertain thee, and his heart loves 




Use 1. Hence sec the great unkindoeiie of many a $oul immfr 
diately after his espousing U> Jesus Christ, who, having once 
giveu himself to Christ, tind received comfort thereby, presentlj 
grows more careless than before he was matched unto the Loid 
Jesus, who should now stand in a holy watchfulness and readi* 
nes8 to receive Ciirist, as it is in Ps. Ixxsv. S, " Let them not 
turn agwn to folly," because they are apt so to do. Many say 
when in some distress, and at^er long w^tiug. If the Lord would 
pity once, then happy I ; I would give away any thing, all I 
have, unto hira^' Welljthe Lord pities the soul when in its low 
estate, and then it blesses G>od ; but, like the Israelites, soon forgets 
his works, his love, and, after great peace from God, comes great- 
est carelessness. ) Can this stand with grace and Christ ? Very 
hardly ; but yet it may, for there are two things that make for it. 

1. Because at first conversion there is much seeking of Christ 
for healing the hoir^r and smart of sin, as well as for the curing 
of the wound and scar of sin ; hence, when espoused, and horrcHF 
being past, that wheel being broken, a man draws more heavit^, 
now, and neglects seeking ; now the knife is out of his heart, tHt- 
cries not so earnestly. 

2. Because when espoused and much affected, commonly » 
man trusts to his afiections when he has a fullness of them ; 
hence the Lord lets Salan prevail. Luke xxii. 81, 32, " Satan 
hath desired to winnow tlice as wheat ; " and ■■ I (saith Peter) am 
ready to die with thee;" but you see he fell, and then, when the 
Lord looked upon him, he " went out and wept bitterly," How 
shamefully hast thou fallen I Should any love him more than yon, 
if ever he pity ? Well, for his name's sake, he has done it. 
But how oft hast thou broken covenant I Uow forgetful of the 
Lord's kindness 1 The Lord looks upon thee this day ; why 
hast thou BO soon forgot me and forsaken me ? Have I not 
taken thee from the dunghill, uay, from bell ? And whereas I 
had so many thousands to act my love on, I rhose thee ; and 
whereas thou couldst not love me when I offered myself, thou 
couldst not return me love again ; I gave it therefore to thee, 
yea. and have given myself to thee forever. Hast thou thus for- 
gotten me, when as I take little wrongs from tlico more heav"" 
than great ones from oihers? U that this might make you 
out and mourn bitterly ! So if ever you have tasted that 
HS Peter did, Christ's looks will humble you. 



i 



1 



THB TEN VIRGINS. 77 

U^e 2. Hence see the reason why some godly people die so 
uncomfortably, and with such distress of spirit ; why, they have 
not lived in an expectation of Christ, and hence they cry out 
themselves, not knowing whither they go, insomuch as some have 
not been comforted by siU former experiences, and by all present 
consolations of ministers. O, no ; it is now too late to speak ; 
they thank them for their love, but God has otherwise thought 
of them ; yet if any hope be given them, it is ever picked out 
&om some word, and they cry, O, I thirst for a little mercy, and 
then die ! and what is the reason of it ? What need I speak ? 
Themselves will tell you, and have done it — O, I have lived thus 
and thus before you, but my heart in secret has gone afler the 
world, etc. ; I have neglected the Lord secretly, I have seldom 
thought of or prepared for death, and I had thought to have been 
better, but the Lord has met with me. I know violence of dis- 
ease may do it sometime, but I speak how it is many times ; 
whereas otherwise an open entrance should be made. 2 Pet. i. 
8~11. And as it has been with some, so take warning lest it be 
so with you ; you may be saved alive, yet to suffer wreck on the 
shore is^-nncomfortable ; and know it, if your conscience be 
awake, it can not but be so. Therefore do not conclude they 
were damned without Christ, but they were not made ready for 
Christ ; and it may be your time draws nigh, and what have 
you to say ? Now a world for half an hour, will a dying, dis- 
tressed man say. 

U$e 3. Is of a fourfold exhortation, to all those especially that 
the Lord has espoused to himself. 



CHAPTER IX. 
a fourfold exhortation to believers. 

Section L \ 

Exhort. 1. To quicken up all those doubting, drooping, yet 
sincere hearts that much question the love of Christ to them, 
now to use all diligence to make the'r calling, and election, and 
the love of Christ sure to them ; not but that it is sure on Christ's 
part ; but make it sure on your part too, else how can you be in 
a readiness to meet the Lord Jesus ? While the strong man 
keeps the palace, the goods be in peace ; but when Christ hath 
once driven Satan out of his throne, then nothing sometimes but 

7» 



I 



78 TUB PARABLE OF 

war, but doubts and fears. Salon told God to his face, Job 
served him for Douglit. much more the i;oul iti^elf ; and Home 
divines think the very first ingredient of Solan's poison, and 
the first assault on CLrist himself, (Matt iv.,) was hj seek- 
ing lo make him doubt of kia SoDship. "If thou be the Sod 
of Goil," eic. And bis wiloa are here very great, that henco 
very few living Christians have any Bellied comfortable evi- 
dence of God's eternal love to them in his Son. and hence 
many sad events follow. How can any bless the Lord for that 
love which he knows nol of? Many times it is with a man's 
doubts drooping from his mind, as it is with bis continual drop- 
, ping on bis lungs, there is a daily consuming of what once 
was, that many a Christian doubis away his life, his heart, his 
strength, and when all is wasted, glad now lo return to that 
where he should at first have begun. And hence, in one word, 
he is made every day unready for Christ 0, therefore, quiet 
Bot yourselves in that estate, as I fear too many do, (at least for 
a time;) it is one of the most dangerous estates that can be, ta 
be troubled with weak tenrs, and yet rest io uncertain hopes. 
But bring it to a conclusion. Is the Lord Jesus mine or no? 
And if he be yours, and his love yours, see it, that you may 
trample on the neck of death, and triumph over hell and tlia 
grave, and long to be with the Lord, and love the appearing <rf 
the Lord, and go away with joy unspeakable and full of glory 
out of this world, as to your wedding ; and if there be any bopa 
of getting it, who would be without it ? Some of you, it may 
be, have a long time been careless in seekuig for it, hence want 
it ; some of you have been traders with the Lord long, and yet 
doubt ; some of you have not clear evidence, but content youi^ 
selves without being thankful to the Lord for what he hnth done 
for you, hence still doubt- Otliers have gray hairs on your 
heads, or at least are near your graves, the battle is near, your 
annor is not on, you are not yet raody, and so still doubt. I re- 
member what Christ said of Mary's box — " She prepared that 
for liis burial." It may bo that these truths may be prepared 
for your approaching dcpai'turc ; and therefore light your hunpa 
at this 6re luid hght of the Lord's love to you, and see that in- 
deed he loves thee. 

Object But why do you persuade to this, till the Spirit ( 
and speaks it 't How can I see it? 

An*. 1. It is true the Spirit only can do it ; but yet the 
Spirit that seals the elect, the same Spirit commands the elect 
jMt to sit idle and dream of the Spirit, hut to use all diligence to 
make it sure ; and you shall never have it (unless you lay hold 
on a fancy for it) on llioso itnii-i. 



' in- H 



THE TEN VIBOmS. 79 

2. Though there is an immediate witness of the Spirit of the 
loTe of Christ, yet it doth most usually and firstly witness by 
mey^. And hence I shall give you means, looking only to the 
spirit of Christ to set them on. Evangelical precepts have a 
power ; for gospel ministration of the Spirit consists not only of 
stories and promises, but commands, and the elect feel them. 
Hence carnal men under the law, yet pretending gospel, will 
profess the law is preached when to any evangelical duty, be- 
cause they feel not the power of the gospel, being not yet under 
it. And the means I shall mention are only general, to establish 
the hearts of some. 

Jfetau 1. Make a sad inquiry first of this, whether the Lord 
hath loved thee for his own everlasting name's sake or no ; for if 
the Lord hath loved thee for this cause, then thy great objection 
will be answered, and that deep valley will be filled. How can 
the Lord love me that am thus vile before Grod, and fallen from 
God ? Why, if the Lord, for his own sake, hath loved thee, 
then, as do good in thee moved him to love thee, so no sin which 
he did know was and would be in thee can quench that love ; 
and if he hath manifested his love to be grounded on this, though 
but once, that same night when thou changest is not changed, but 
is still as dear to him, and ever before him to move him to love 
thee stilL Rom. xi. 2. The apostle answers a cavil, " Will God 
cast away his people?" No, saith he; none that he foreknew. 
And who are these ? Verse 5, " A remnant according to grace as 
with us ; " i. e., Grod hath, for his grace's sake, chosen and called, 
without respect of any thing else. Hence that is to be under- 
stood, 1 Sam. xii. 21, 22. For there ai*e two sorts of people in 
the church : 1. Servants ; 2. Sons. John N-iii. 35. Hence Ithere 
is a double love the Lord manifests to men. I 

1. Some he lovesas^^serv^ts, that as we hire some men 
to do our work, Shd givetfieinmeat and wages, and then turn 
them out of doors, or let them go ; so God hath work to be 
done for his sons and saints, and (for many reasons) hires wick- 
ed men to it, either by giving them reward in this life, or hopes \ 
of reward hereafter, and when the work is done, and use made 
of their gifts, graces, spirits, then turns them out of doors. 
But,— \ 

2. Some he loves as sons, even the most foolish and weak j 
in the world sometimes. Hence not for any service they can do, : 
but for his own sake he will give them an inheritance, and love 1 
them as sons, because he will ; these abide ever in the Lord's^ 
love. Hagar and Ishmael cast out, Sarah and Isaac stay in the 
family. 



80 THE PARABLE OF 

Quetl. IIow almll T knuvr tbat ? 

Aru. 1. If ilie Lord loves thee for his name's sake, it will draw 
thee to tliat fellowship vrilh itself, that whatever thou wantest 
tfaou wilt seek for it hence, by presenting that name of (rod, that 
for his own sake he would supply. I know the Lord loves for 
Christ'^ sake ; but why should Christ help for his name'E sake ? 
For thua manj hypocrites think, when they see God's anger 
Kfrainst them for tbeir sin, they seek to remove sin, and when 
that is done, think God is nt peace, and now all is well. They 
see the Lord is delighted with the obedience of his people ; hence 
fall to that work, and now think the Lord is pleased witli them. 
But if ever the Lord loves any man, he will lirst slop his mouth, 
whether Jew or Gentile, (Rom. iii. Vi,) and make him, on bia 
knees, know there is no reason for it, nay, all reason against it. 
Now, has not the Lonl brought thee to this ? And hence, hav- 
ing nothing to quench God's anger but Christ, hast held up him 
before God ; and having nothing to move Christ, haat held up 
his name before him, and here hast rested thy wearied heart look- 
ing to him, if any grace lie begun in thee, that he would jierfeot 
it ! if none, that he would begin it i if unfit and unworthy, to 
prepare thee for it, only for his own good pleasure. This is one 
evidence of it. As it is in. some seals, you can hanlly perceivs 
in the seal what is engraven there, but set it on wax, you m^ 
see it evidently. So here, hardly can you see the Lord's lovfl 
for bis own sake ; if thou cleavest with dearest affection to this 
love for its own sake, there thou art safe. Prov. xviii. 10, "Ths 
name of the Lord is a strong tower," etc.; and this is not aaXj 
Bt first conversion, but ever after all duties, all enlargementa. 
Ezek. ivi, tdt. And this does evidence love. 

1. Because, if thou hadst the righteousness of angels, thoB 
wouldat think it a good evidence ; hut this of Christ is a thou* 
sand times dearer. 

2. This is a setting of God against himsiclf, i. a., to answer 
himself) and hence saints, in all their straits and sorrows, hiUiW 
hod recourse. I speak not now of temporal blessings, but o^ 
everlasting love, and all the fruits of it, that hf re it luings. NoWy. 
I say, you are built in a rock higher than all jiowers of <larkncas) 
now a key is put into thy hand to unlock all God's ti-easurej( 
now thou art in the very lap of love, wrapped up in it, wlien tier* 
thy heart rests ; and therefore, if this lie thus, see it. and wonder: 
Lis name has moved him to love me. 

3. You shall find this, if the Lord for his name's sake loves tlie^ 
there is not any carriage or passage of providence of him to thee.^ 
hut he gets himself a name first or lant by it ; for if this be God'g 



THE TEN VIROIKS. 81 

end, ererj passage of providence is but a means to this end. 
Henoe he will attain this end by every act of his providence to- 
ward thee.' Hence jou shall find that those very sins that dis- 
hoiMM' his nan^e, he will even by them (and if by them, by all 
things else) get himself a name ; he will b& so fiu- from casti ng^ 
thee oat of fajs love, that he will do thee good by them. / Those 
very ains that God damns others for, he will make to humble 
thee, enoiply thee. Pharisees persecuted Christ, and lost all for it ; 
Paul was so^ and it humbled him all his life — ^' Not worthy to be 
called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God ; " and 
h made him lay up all his wealth in mercy — *^ I was received to 
mercy." 1 Tim. i./Mary sins much, and Grod forgives much, and 
Fhe loves modi ; others sinned much, and God hardened much. 
Judas betrays Christ and repents, and hangs himself, and fiies 
from him ; Pet6r denies him and weeps, and hence he is the first 
that preaches him. J And this is certain, in the best hypocri te. ( 
sins left in him either never make him better, but blind and 
harden him, and he has his distinctions of infirmity, etc., that he 
slights them day by day, till all his days are run out ; or if any 
good, it is no more than Judas or Cain, some legal terrors, or 
other light flashes of comfort ; but to be more humble indeed, 
etc, this he finds not. Now, is it not so with thee ? Doth not 
thy weakness strengthen thee, with Paul ? Doth not thy blind- 
ness make thee cry for light ? And those cries have been heard ; 
oot of darimess Uod has brought light. Thou hast felt venom 
and risings of heart against Christ ; and do they not make thee 
loathe thyself more, that thou thinkest never any so beholding to 
grace ? Do not thy falls into sin make thee more weary of it, 
lU^hfhl against it, long to be rid of it ? And so sin abounds, 
bat grace abounds. Why should this be so ? For his name's sake, 
because he will love thee ; hence it is so great and unmatchable, 
that he will make thy poison thy food, thy death thy life, thy 
damnation salvation, thy very greatest enemies thy greatest 
friends. And hence Mr. Fox said he thanked God for his sins 
more than his good works. I have marveled at God's dealings 
with his people ; they depart, and stay long, and care not for re- 
turning again ; in that time a mighty power teaches, humbles, 
brings back, when they never thought of it O, the reason is, 
God will have his name. Now, if thus, your assurance will be 
strong and constant; but, if you build thus, I have done this, etc., 
I have that, your assurance will not stand ; therefore look and 
see if it be not thus with you. 

Jfeam 2. Take heed you do not build your assurance from a 
mingled covenant of works and grace, for this is the frame of 



divers when they lie under tlie first covenant only of doing, they 
will not take this as any evidence, as they htive no renson so to 
do. Rom. ix. 31, Nor, when a roan lies under tlie second cov^ 
enant of believing barely, and if it be a dead faitb, they have oo- 
evidence or reason so to do. Hence they mingle the covenaali^ 
and think thus. If I caji believe in Christ, and perform universal 
obedience to all the commands of God, I shall be safe ; hence 
eet upon the observance of both, and finding they can never ia< 
them, especially the latter, hence are ever troubled, and nevei^ 
have any settled peace. Hence those Galatians Paul writer 
perverting and mingUng, the covenants, were troubled. Gal. i 
and v. 12. Not (beloved) but that whoever Ijelieves and per-' 
forms universal obedience evangelically to the whole law, he caiii 
not but do well ; and he that does it not, but Uvea in any oae> 
Bin, let bim evidence his faith if he can. But I speak when fti 
man submits to it, «»£ forma fadnris, if I can do it, and became' 
I can not do it. hence doubt. Hence gather your evidence of 
God's lovo primarily and chiefly from your subjection to t" 
eeoond covenant. Gal. vL 16, "Peace on them that wallc i 
cording to this rule ; " for Adam's righteousness that did tie bin) 
to God, it brake ; hence no life, nor evidence from that ; bob 
faith is an everlasting, invincible grace, upheld by the mighbf i 
power of God, and hence here will be everlasting evidence ai ' 
1 Pet. i. 8, " Whom though we see not, yet behaving n 
irrejoice." Olg'feC. Is a Christian then free from the law? An$ii 
U Yes, he is free from iLSa_ft goyenant ; hence, though it be broken 
Wbj bim, he isjint cast out of covenant or favor ; but he is not free 
' Bin it as aWk)from which if he swerves, he is to call himself, 
it GoS^love, mto question. Why ? Because it has pleased ths 
lather in another covenant to olfer life, give life, and hence only 
to evidence life. Whatever the law requires I have ; at that _, 
instant I did believe I performed it in a Saviour by faith; 
that I myself may do every tittle of it, I come into a Saviour f<tf 
it by failh ; so tliat when Satan objects yoa have no Christ, n 
love of a Christ, because no fuitb, and no faith because you c 
not do this or that, answer, I can not do it, indeed I never 
dertook it to liave life or love thus j but I have done it i: 
other, and I can do nil things by Christ, if he will help me, v 
der whose grace I lie, and hence will be so far from doublin^l 
tliat I will rejoice in mine infirmities, that I tun a fit subject SirM 
the power and grace of Ciirist to show itself upon. Thus r 
to the second covenant ever, if ever you would get any settled 
peace. And from neglect of this (lows a world of unpeaceabls' 
neas in many a spirit, ever complaining, and why ? I 



THE TEN VIKGIXS. 83 

do tbis or that, never peace now ; but can not you lie under the 

lord that he would help ? Keep here, and keep jour peace here. 
OifecL But many a Christian that retires hither hath no peace ; 

aod so have I done, jet find none. 

Aiu. It 18 then upon a double ground which you are to avoid ; 
either, 1. Because you have faith, but you imprison your faith, 
joQ pot out the eyes and shackle the feet of faith ; for faith will 
conquer and triumph over all sins and fears of the world, if at 
h*berty, (1 John v. 4 ;) like a master in a ship, if he can not 
save the ship one way, let him have liberty, he will by another. 
If it be objected, you have departed from Christ, what have you 
to do with him ? FU return, saith faith, to my first husband. 
Object, But he is angry with you. Ans, If he be angry for my 
departure from him, I will not provoke him more by staying 
here ; who knows but he may repent ? Object. But you can not 
go to him with all your heart. Ans. True ; yet Til look to him 
to draw me. Object. But you feel nothing. Ans. Yet I will 
wait. Object. But you will wait in vain. Ans. Still I will look 
he would keep me from that. Now, stop at any of these, trouble 
comes ; suffer it to shift, it will find rest. As it is with the an- 
chor, let it down but little, the ship drives ; but let it down at 
full length, it will ride in storms ; then it is wrestling of faith 
that gets the blessing, where opposition makes the soul take 
faster hold, as it was with Jacob. The woman of Canaan got 
it thus. 

Or, 2. It is because they look for another kind of faith, and 
hence own not, as the Jews the Messiah ; they made account to 
have received him in state, and he came low ; so men look for a 
superlative faith, but want it. But thus the soul espoused to 
Christ, so long as marriage covenant lasts, she may conclude of* 
love. 

Means 8. Do not fear the love of Christ is not toward you, 
because he hides his face, and departs sometimes from you ; 
husbands remain so when they depart, and leave the house for 
many a day ; and it is simple to say he is not my husband now. 
So here the Lord loves his people, yet departs, (Is. liv. 1-7 ;) 
and truly it is very hard when inward blows, and sad desertions, 
and outward miseries, and no Christ found, though sought for. 
But how shall I then know and discern his love ? Ans. Many 
things might be said this way, only one thing observe, whether 
thy love remains still to him for himself; for it is a rule that 
most commonly a Christian's purest and dearest love appears in 
Christ's absence from him. As it is with friends, while with us 
we lore them ; but when gone, wc feel that love more quick than 



r 



i ov 



K appi 

I 

K he I 



before. Jeruaalcm lies in the du»t, and son the very dust is 
beloTed, (Ps. cii. 13. 14 ;) and if it be so, it is certiiin we lore 
him because he loved u.s, and we eontinue to love him because 
he continues to love us ; now look, then, if thy love do not ap- 
pear, 1. Id mourning for his absence ; 2. In longing for his 
presence ; 3. In bleaaing him for a little that is left of himself, 
aa seeing eavL want of him ; and is not this for himself, to have 
his company again, that though God givea thee all other things, 
yot when thou eomest to consider the Lord is gime, this strikes 
near, as when Christ departed away ? John xvi. 6, G. But be- 
cause love may be benumbed and be dead, therefore try it n time 
of parting, and put tliy heart thus to it ; if he be none of tMne, 
then take thy fill in thy sin, and forsake him. No, beloved, here 
you shall see the heart will yield and melt, (John xiii. 3-6, etc ;) 
and it will say, Lord, let mo never sin more against thee, though 
never saved by thee. And take it for a rule, do not think the 
Lord has left off liis love to you when you depart from him, and 
he from you ; but, lying in your ' departures, O, that ie sad ! but, 
r«tuni again, it comforts the Lord's heart, especially when it is 
for himself, not for peace and salvation, bnt, though he never 
Hayes me, O. yet I will look after liim. 

I Means 4./Look to the tender-hearledncss of ibe Lord Jesns j 
for (belovcQ) all the doubts of Christians arise chiefly from this 
head, from a hard opinion of Christ, which Satan suggests, as at 
first, (Gen. iii. 5,) that so they miglit lake in his wares. God's 
people do not know the tender-heartedness of the Lord Jesus ; 

\ Sat an presents him only in wrath. When any threats are 

^oken, all these are mine, sailh the soul, etc. And now, if any 
woman lives with a man that is of a hoggish, cliurlisli disposition, 
s!io will be ever doubling of his love. Men do not know it, I 
say, and hence, when any misery or trouble comes, ihey grow 
jealous of him, which the Lord lakes exceeding ill. Dcut. i. 27. 
Qwest. How shall I know that tender-heartedness of Christ ? 
Ahs. By his carriiige towards men when he was here on earth, 
for now he is in heaven in glory, and we know not what his dis- 

I position is ; therefore his life on earth was the living looking- 
glass of his heart forever. In four things. 

1. Never any came to him that he cast away, whatever their 
sorrows or sins were, but healed them every one, if they came 
lo him wiili their miseries ; for in healing their miseries he did 
but show his readiness lo heAl them of ihi'Ir sin ; hence Matthew 
applies that, (Walt. viii. 17.) " He bare our infirmities." 

leu came to him for by ends, not for himself chiefijn 
he rebukes them for il, and shows he was more ready to ^f|3 
himself than bread to them. John vi. 27. J 



THE TEN YIBOINS. 85 

3. Those that were lost, and sick, and miserable, and came not 
to him, he went up and down to seek and save them, the '^ lost 
sheep." Luke xix. 10. 

4. Those that would none of his love, he pitied and had com- 
passion on their misery and sin, as on them that were sheep 
without a shepherd ; he mourned for the hardness of their hearts. 
He wept over Jerusalem. Now look upon Christ the same still. 
Thou oomest to him in secret to take away all iniquity, to give 
thee himself: tell me, dost thou think the Lord, if here, would 
reject thee ever ? 2. But I dare not receive him. Ans» Thou 
wilt take bread from him daily, and he is more willing to give 
himseUl 3. Thou canst not come to him, nor find him, but only 
sometimes, nor see him. Well, but then he will seek thee out. 
4. O, but I oflt reject ! Yet he pities thee still. O, think of this 
oompassion of Christ, and make him as if present ! It is a 
special means to establish the heart in believing. 

Means 5. Learn to know, when you are bound, not to give 
way to your fear of Grod's love, for sometimes it is the case of 
many a precious soul, that he has clear evidence of God's love 
to him ; and what is there against it ? Nothing but a fear, what 
if I shall be deceived when all is done ? And hence the heart 
sinks exceedingly. As some women that have special love, if 
once they take a jealousy of their husband, it is never removed. 
So here. 

Quest, How shall I know this ? 

Afis. First If those fears thou hast drive thee farther from 
Christ, it is clear you are then to cast them off. Those fears 
that cause sin are sinful ; but to be driven from Christ is sinful. 
Lake v. 9, 1 0, ** Lord, depart from me ; I am sinful." " Fear 
not," saith Christ, (1 Sam. xii. 20 ;) they were ready to cast off 
alL ** Fear not," saith he. Think of this, what it is you get by 
nursing up those fears ; they hinder your joy in and your love 
to Christ ; your blessing of Christ ; cause a dead, discouraging 
heart. Nay, though they drive you to Christ one way, if they 
drive you from Christ another way, by questioning his care, con- 
cluding against his truth, never doubt they are vile. Matt viii. 
26, ** Why did ye fear, O ye of little faith ? " So far, there- 
fore, as fear drives us to Christ, it is good, otherwise to be cut off. 

2. If the Lord has drawn tliy heart to come to Christ, and 
when undone, every way secretly persuaded thy heart that thou 
shalt have help if thou come, and by coming hast received heal- 
ing virtues of thy lusts and vile affections from the Lord Jesus, 
fear not now ; it is a sin to fear I shall not have help ; as (Mark 
T. 33) the woman with the bloody issue, she was afraid she had 
TOL. n. 8 



I 

L 



86 Tu 

presumed, lience came Ircmbling ; but the Lord told her, " No«rJ 
fear not ; be it unto tliee according to thy faith i " only thy if 
is but begun to beul. What say you ? Have you never come t%il 
him, never received any healtng from him? That is hard. S* 
it is 80, that I would not be in my lunt again for a world. 

Meant G. If none of these prevail, but the Lord follows ti 
with fears on fears, as wave on wave, then see if there be i 
some guile of spirit in thee ; i. e., some sin you have, ( 
give way to, if you had osaurance of God's love. It was tliq;J 
speech of one to me, next to the donation of Christ no mercy 
like this, to deny ossurnnco long ; and why ? for, if the Lora 
had nut, I should have given way to a loose heart and life ; but, 
etc. : BO if the Lord should deal so with Ihee, it may be thou 
woutdst lie in thy sina, if thou hadat peace (here ; and it may be 
you have had it, but sinned, and not confessed, not lamented, not 
opposed. Thus it was with David. Ps, ixiii. 1-4. Hence 
when he confessed, the Lord forgave in his couecience hts sin. 
Men will withdraw their love from their wives if it make them 
wanton, and deal sharply with them. So one that never restored 
oould never get peace ; some ever complaining, never settled, 
because they have their truces with sin, and would have peace 
^with Christ, and it can not be. And/this is a rule I have long 
Ifaeld, in them that have clear light of the gospel, long denial of 
lassurance is like fire to bum out some sin, and then the Lord 
Iwill B]>eak peace. Judg. x. IG. And therefore take this counsel, 
and God will trll thee thy sin, if thou art desirous that he should 
Snd it out, but get this mercy from him. Zacli. xiii. 'i. 

Means 7. Bring thy heart to a strait, either to reject or M- 
ceive him to be thine ; he is offered to be King and Saviour, 
and lord and hnsbajid ; now thou shalt have his heart, his hand, 
his Spirit, his FatJicr, his kingdom, bis ordinances, his angels, 
himself, if you receive him ; or else, if not, you shall lose hiro ; 
and then woe to thee, when any mercy, any misery, any ordi- 
nance befalls thee ; for all shall suck thy blood, consume thee, 
and fit thee for eternal ruin ; and then I wbh, O that I had taken 
him I but then too late ; therefore rewive him or reject him. 
0, I can not ; that's another matter. However, we propound 
these evangeUcal commands thut may come with power, and 
therefore know, that if they do not now, they shall arise ogiuo 

Section II. 

Exhort 2. This is not all that which makes you ready for 

Christ, imleEs your love is set and fixed on him ; and therefore 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 87 

look that it be ready. I doubt not but that there is glowing in 
jour hearts some love to the Lord ; it can not be that all should 
be quenched, that all his kindness should be forgotten, but re- 
membered many times with some affliction ; but know it, if it be 
so, joar lamp is not jet in jour hand, nor your souls readj to 
meet the Lord. For look as it is with a mighty prince, that shall 
set his heart on some poor servant, and he requires no portion 
bat to love him the more, and she can not bring her heart to love 
him more than other mean fellows, is she fit or read j to be matched 
miU> him ? So here. Hence, (Matt x. 37,) '^ He that loves fa- 
ther or mother," etc ; then jou are readj when jour love is fit 
for such a husband ; and therefore, though jou feel some love 
mider the ashes (when jou stir up jour hearts) to the Lord Je- 
sus, jet if it be not a fit love beseeming his excellencj and the 
gk>rj of his person, when jou can draw out buckets of love, and 
pour it upon other things, but scarce fetch out a drop for 
Christ, and jet jou hope that will serve the turn ; I tell jou no, 
JOU are jet unfit and unreadj for him. Look as it was with 
their offering the testimonies of love and thankfulness, (Mai. i. 
14;) so it is here. And therefore m j exhortation shall be as is 
said in that psalm, (Ps. Ixxxvi. 7, 8,) " Give unto the Lord the 
honor due unto his name/* So give to the Lord the love that is 
due unto him, that love that is fit for him. 

QuesL What is that love the Lord would have, which is fit for 
him ? 

Ans. 1. Beloved, I hope if jou think not jour blood too dear 
for Christ, JOU will not think anj love too much for Christ. Yet 
because I would not have jou aim at uncertain mark and shoot 
at a venture, I shall single out that love which I hope jour own 
consciences can not but say is fit. And, — 

1. I had thought to have sought for this from you, viz.: 
Give the Lord Jesus but that love, no more love than thou hast 
(riven to thy lusts, the Lord will be contented with it, (Rom. vi. 
19,) ** As ye have jielded," etc.; so now. But that it may be 
JOU may think this love too base for him, yet give him but this, 
and the Lord would be contented with it, and accept of it ; and 
those that shall not, it shall be their torment in hell to think of 
thi^ word. O that I had given the Lord Jesus that love I gave 
to my base lusts ! I had had him and been in heaven with him. 
But I wholly press a second. 

2. Do but love him as he lovcth th ee j i. e., you can not an- 
swer the greatness of his love, but do it for your measure. If 
JOU can not pay him in }>ounds, yet pay him in pence, and this 
Li tit for him. For, 1. lie is worthy of love ; there is beauty in 



him why thou shouldst desire him ; there i 



2. Tliy love shull hftve i 






rii«i»Hien si 
mtheeTg. 



in thea.4 
, (2 Tim. ir. 8 ;) he neT«« 



Helov 



i thee first with hlB 1 



o me, that b» 1 



can huvc recompense li 

own love ;'now that a unrcaiionitble not to reflect his beamB,a 

return him his own again in similitude, if not in parity. 

Qtteit. Wherein appears the love of the Lord l( 
I may see how I manifest the like love (o him ? 

Am. He lialh ioved thee more than himself, more than Ml ] 
own honor — for "he made himself of no reputation," (Philip. I 
ii. 7 ;} more than his own comforts — he Icfl the bosom of a Fa- 
ther, and bore the wrath of a Father for thee ; more than his 
own life — he saw thy neck upon the block, and God's ax up to 
give the bloody and fatal stroke, and he came in tby room, and 
loveil thy life more than his own, lost his own before one hair of 
thy head should perish, though he knew thee a traitor to God 
and an enemy to bimfeir. Rom. v. 10 ; Rev. i. 5, d. If this be 
not thus, woe to the living, woe to the dying. What art thou 
but a sad spectacle, hung up in thy chains in this world, for 
angels in heaven to see and tremble at, and for devils, eins, and 
eternal sorrows, like fowls of heaven, to prey upon ? Now, 
is it not tit that thou shouldst love him more than ihyaelf ; his 
I honor more than thine own ; nay, more than thy Ufe ? Rev. iiL 
11. I have known them whom the Lord hath revealed this love 
to, that have thought it too little to do, and hence have wished 
they had been bom in tbosB times that they might have laid 
down their lives for him. Wlierc is now this love ? ^Qo^^jia^ 
s elHoye sw allow mmll ? l^ord, what setf-seeking, self-serving, 
Belf^inding, self-honoring, self-pleasing, and" iHe^ Lord himaelf 
and iSTSVffiUrgo^asif^BJfe were no Christ, or in him no love I 

2. Hq hath loved thee when he might have passed by thee, 
and loved others that might have won the Lord towards them (I 
speak after the manner of men) rather than thee ; men of greats 
er place, srcaler giAs and parts, greater pomp in the world ; but 
(Rom. ix.) Jacob shall be loved, Esau hated. He hath passed 
by kings with their crowns, and now set his heart on thee, a babe, 
when wise ones knew him not ; foolish, when prudent ones see 
him not; weak, when strong and mighty receive hun not. Yea, 
as the apostle speaketh, (I Cor. i. 28,) " 13asc thing^and ihioglP' 
which are not" God hath made thee nothing in tliine own eyeiifl 
Behold his love, and now do the like for him. It may be boi^9 
time thy carnal eye sees more glory in the creature than in Chria^fl 
more in the honor of man than in the honor of a Clirist. e 
and hence mightst set tliy hoart on them rather than o 
because strongly lempl«d so lu do, and it may, al'ter gome 



THE TEN VraOINS. 89 

be saved at last, yet pass bj them, and set thy heart only on him. 
Wc judge of a friend by the times of trial, and of a Christian II w 
by a time of temptation. Now, a Balaam, a witch, may not dare, ]l K 
in time of temptation, to fall into it. O, get one strain higher, 
and go one step farther than a witch ; though I might let my 
heart loose after the world, I will not love it ; the love of the Lord 
deserves it, the love of the Lord constrains me to give my love 
to him, and not to the world, though I might hide it and have 
pardon for it. 

3. He loves thee although thou wrongest him, (Is. xliii. 22- 
26 ;) when he is so wronged that he is ready to give thee up ; 
yet, (Hos. xL 8, 9,) " He is Grod, and not man." Nay, which is 
much more wonderful, where sin, there grace abounds. Hence 
David makes this an argument, (Ps. xxv. 11,) " Forgive because 
it is great." And hence Moses, (Deut xxxiii. 9,) " Because it 
is a stiffnecked people." O, therefore, love him, though he smites 
thee, though he forsakes thee, wherein he may seem, but indeed 
doth no wrong to thee, but love thee ; chastisement is part of tlie^ 
portion of sons, not of bastards. Heb. xii. 6, 8. Buy do as that 
woman when she came to the stake, gave away her clothes, some 
to one, some to another — " Now, farewell, friends and world, 
welcome love, Christ." So, if the Lord comes to take away all 
from thee, the child of thy body, the husband of thy youth, the ; 
wife of thy bosom, the comforts of thy life, provisions from thy • 
family, bread from thy mouth, bid farewell to them, give them 
into the Lord's hands, and now say, welcome Christ. It is usq^^ 
for Christians at first conversion and espousing, the Lord loves 
them dearly, and tenders them, shows nothing but love to them, 
and then their love is fresh ; afterward come hard frosts, and 
winter storms, and cold blasts of displeased afflictions ; now the 
soul apprehending anger, and nothing else, it grows discouraged, 
so dies. When, if it could stay and wait, it should see all from 
love, and doing it the greatest good. O, remember this ; he doth 
afflict me ; he doth depart from me, he doth fear me with hell, 
yet I will love him never a whit the less. Though the Lord 
buries all the blessings he gives me, yet my love shall live, and 
if it do fall, it shall arise. 

4. He loved thee when in thy low estate, (Ps. cxxxvi. 23 ;) 
even when as no eye pitied thee, (Ezek. xvi. ;) nay, when thou 
wert vilest, at the hight of thy sin, under deepest depths of 
misery and straitest captivity, after friends had almost ceased 
to counsel, word and spirit could do no good, after conscience 
had warned thee. O, love him when he is in his lowest estate, 
when his enemies persecute him and his seeming friends forsake 

8* 



90 TUB PARABLE OF 

I him. Before you came to this land, you thought Christ imd pi 
llBCCUtion, ClirisI anil ihe meanest tondition. nay, Christ and deai 
Iwould be sweeL Tlic Lord, it may be, doLh or will try yoo^ 
jllovc ; and here you find Christ and losses in eslate, Christ and 
llcrosses in your family, Christ and many fears and toils aod 
Ucares. Do you love him now as well as ever you did for hD 
Ikhis ? / O, never was my heart worse. 1 doubt not but a dis- 
'oerning Christian may see how all the world is ^iiainBt Christ; 
nay, many traitors in his own family, who love the bag more 
than Christ ; many foolish virgins, who love their sleep And 
sloth more than Christ ; nay, the hearts and sjiirils of his own 
friends declining, that there is not that life of Christ, that pres- 
ence and savor and power of Christ in hearts, in prayers, m 
livQE, and no complaints of tliia. Now is the fittest lime of love, 
when no eye sees, when no heart loves him or cures for him. 
Ps. cxix. 126, 127, "Therefore I love thy commands ; " when 
he is shut out of every heart, when none to receive him, if any 
love it will appear now. 

5. He doth love thee constantly every moment. John xiii. 1, 3. 
He halJi thee every moment in his bosom, every moment thou 
art sinning and lie is pardoning. Sin and Satan, and hell and 
wrath, are every moment waiting to hurt iliee, and he is every 
moment vratching over thee, redeeming of thee. Every moment 
Bin and justice cry against thee ; and yet ho is continually 
"making inicrcession for thee." la. xxvi. 2, 3. Every moment 
he is blessing when thou art sinning. O, the unknown love of 
the Lord Jesus. O, these fits of love are not fit for him. A. 
man every moment wanning him, but still is cold, it is a sad sign 
that dealh is near. You can love him sometimes in a sermoiii 
but soon afler cold again; or in a sacrament, and presently 
heart-dead again : or afler answer to prayers mid some speciM 
deliverances, and then the heart ie unaftecled again, and a Itltle 
pang of love roust content Christ. If he ccascih one momeat 
to love thee, and to manifest it to thee, then cease to love him; 
if he ceascth not to love thee dearly, never t« leave thee, 0| 
then ever love him. 

Object. Dut we have such distractions and cares. 
AtU. Men in love will follow (heir work, and women will do 
the housewifery of the house, and yet love is at no time to seek 
to their husbands : and shall the Lord have less ? 

G. He loves ihee with an unmeaBiirable love. Rom. v. 20^ 
"^Vhere sin there gra** lialh alwunded." Hence (K|ih, ii. S, " 
"love" and "great love." Verse 7, " Eicceeding riches of" 
grace." For there is in Christ, — 



\ 



] 



THE TEN YIROINS. 91 

1. A ggaledjcnre. One man loves another exceedingly, as 
Jonalhan did David. Now, he hath the perfection of all human 
or angelical love toward his people put in him. 

2. Uncreated love, infinite love of a God, and hence it is un- 1 
measurable. He thinks nothing he doeth too much, nothing he | 
gives too dear. Hence, when world is slain, Satan cast out, 
when he is oat, sin must out ; when some sins are removed, the 
rest must ; when they are out, then death must ; when death, 
then helL And when there is no life, no grace, he works it ; 
it decays, he restores it ; it can not act, he quickens it ; it can 
Dot. doth not grow, he waters it. He hath given thee the earth, 
and the days of peace and patience ; these are too little. He 
calls thee, and when thou canst not come, draws thee, and gives 
thee pardon, that is tog little. He gives earth to thee, that is 
too little, (for they are made co-heirs ;) he gives promise to thee, 
that is too little ; he gives himself and Spirit, and can he do 
more ? Yes ; we can not drink in all that goodness and love ; 
hence he gives eternity to thee, and he shall more and more I 
enlighten l^ee ; not only let thy soul live to hless him, but thy | 
poor body, and every dust of it, to be raised up to glory with / 
him. What the Lord promised to Abraham, " In blessing I will 
bless," that portion is thine. O, now love him without measure. 

** O, how I love thy law ! " How did David love it ? I can not 
tell ; but if he loved the word of Christ, then much more the 
person of Christ,- the presence of Christ, everlasting fellowship 
with Christ O, take heed of giving Christ, and measuring out 
onto Christ his portion, his allowance, that when the Lord comes 
to you for more love, (as he doth daily,) you give him that answer 
which many do in their practice — you have let him have as 
much as you can ; so that you can not spare any more from your- 
selves, from a base world, from wife and child and creature, from 
a slothful course ; you hope the Lord will accept of that little 
he hath. I confess that a little water in a spring is better than 
much that comes by land floods ; but be sure it be a spring, else 
not accepted. Beloved, time was you lived without Christ, did 
nothing for him ; now you do, and what thou dost this year, 
didst last year, and no more. Will you thus stint the Lord ? 
Either do more, give more, or mourn you can not. O, one life, 
one heart is too little for him. It hath put me to sad fears of 
many men's estates to see this frame, a world of sin without 
measure every day. Where is the Christian that loves the 
Lord every day ? How can any tlien say much is forgiven, when 
they do not love much ? 

7. He loves thee now in glory, there hath prepared a place for 



9S ■ THE PARABLE OF 

thee, (Jolin xiv. 1-3,) where he longs for thee. John TviL 1 
24. You know Phunioh's butler, when exulted to his plttc«, for- 
got poor Jaseph. One would ihink now the Lord Jeaus i 
glory, and hath God, and angels, and hia kingdom, to «>nt(nit J 
him, he shall never look after euch a worm, such a poor helplei 
creature as thee. But, as the High Priest carried .the name 
on hia breast and precious stones, so the Lord Jesus hath ihj 
name writ upon his very heart. O. now love him when he 
ejallB thee to glory, lo give the kingdom of heaven on earlli 
fwith peace and quietness. When Germany lies in blood, and 
I eastern churches slain by the dragon, devoured by ihe Turk, 
when England's lights and lamps are going out, no people have 
such peace, sucli glory, in bo small a time. Beloved, now where 
is love? The churches of Christ never lost their love so maiA 
as when tliey had their peace, and have been sixteen hundred 
years o-learning, by afllictions and persecutions, how to enjoy 
their peace, and to have their lovo smell aa sweet as when beaten 
most, and yet have not, but, liko the globe without the cross in 
the emblem, rolhng and running farther and farther from God, 
t'w t ruce quits. 0, unreasoaable, lo lovo him least whom be 
TWlflers most. Does not prayer grow cold for the name of' 
Christ ? Then love grows cold. Does not plenty of means make 
thy soul slight means ? When you went many miles to hear, and 
had eutarce bread at home, O, you thought, if once you had ench 
liberties ; but when they are made yours, now what fruit ? Doet 
not fail in affections to saints ? O, lovo dies 1 Clii'ist deals not 
BO with lliee, and who knows but iji rocks and mountains of the 
wilderness thou mnyst lament those evils which peace breed* 
now?, 

S. He loves thee so as when any evil touches thee, lie has m. 

feeling of i(, and ia grieved at it, (Judges x. 16; Is. Isiii. 9 ;) 

nay, ho then comforts thee most, boih in them and by tbeia* 

John xiv. 27, " Not a^ the world gives pc-ace, so I give it tft 

^K you." O, then, grieve thou for those evils that betide him|: 

^L the wrongs that others oifer him, but especially the unkindneat- 

^H thy own eoul shows him. Hark v. 3, He "mourned for tlM'; 

^H Ikordoess of their heart." Eph. iv. 2d, 30. " Let no corrupt 

^H communication proceed out of your mouth." and " grieve not 

^^B the Holy GhosL" Heb. iii. 10, " Forty years long was 1 grieved 

^H because they erred." I confess you will wrong him, but will 

^H you, must you be impenitent too? Did his enemies grieve him 

^H on earth, aud shall Ills friends grieve him in lieaveo, and tW. 

^H sorrows, no secret tears ? Is there no good nature ? But wb 

^H is (here no spirit of mourning? It maybe many n day 



I 



i 



him 
1 M. 4 



THE TEN VIRGINS 93 

week bast tboa grieved him, and not a sign to any purpose 
to ease thee of thj sin, but what has eased thee in thj sin. O, 
now comfort bis heart again after thou hast most grieved him ; 
comfort his spirit that is dying, sighing in thee ; as he comforts 
thee by tby troubles, comfort him by making a right use of all 
thy sins to be more humble, -more vile, to love him the more, 
and love thyself the less, as the prodigal son. Luke xv. 18, 
20, 24. 

9. He loves thee so, that though he departs, he will not, does 
not stay long from thee, though you may think it long. Is. liv. 7. 
Hence it is wonder to see when heart gone, love lost^ life lost, 
yet suddenly thou art brought down on thy knees. O, it is the 
Lord that does it ! Thou wast in sorrow of heart, he did not 
stay kmg, but came and comforted thee ; thou wast in thy sins, 
it was not long but he delivered thee ; thou wast in want of 
knowledge of him, it has not been long but that he has re- 
vealed the Lord to thee; thou hast been in afflictions and 
troubles, it has not been long but he has heard thee ; so give 
him the like love. I know you will fall from him in love, 
in delight, in care; but do not stay long from him. Some- 
times the baits of the world will draw thee from him when 
thou hast thy ease and peace ; O, think it was better with me 
once than now I when fears drive thee from him, yet return. 
1 Sam. xiL 21, 22. O, here is that which hardens hearts, breaks 
your peace, and grieves, the Lord, so as he is forced to send many 
sad afflictions, b^^use you lie in your falls. O, be not long, nor 
far from him. He returns to thee when thou art most unkind 
to him ; return when he is ever kind. He returns to thee though 
he has no need of thee ; thou hast of him. ^' He will not leave 
thee." O, leave not him ! 

10. He has from before all worlds loved thee, when no reason 
for it. Jer. xxxi. 1-3. Thou hast neglected to love him long, 
all thy youth, nay, it may be all thy life ; O, you beloved of the 
Lord, begin to do it now, when there is all reason for it, when 
heaven caidls for it, earth calls for it, ordinances plead for it. Spirit 
saith come, and calls for it too. It may be thy life is not long. 
What, not yet? 

Quett, But how shall I come to do this, thus to love the 
Lord? 

Afu. The Lord only can plant, can water this grace; yet 
because the Lord does it by means, I will give you some 
now. 

I. Labor to find out the true sweetness, and to taste the bit- 
terness Off the deceitful sweetness of all creatures ; for this is a 




rule in reason, a tnim's affe«liona, like etreama, must run some 
way ; and it ie a rule in theology, slop ibe affections from run- 
ning to Ihe craalure. and in a sincere heart it will run unto 
\Chri8t, (Hob, ii, 6, 7,) if it be from all creatures. Now, then, 
the affection is turned from the creature, when it finds the bit- 
terness of the deceiving sweetness of it; and, secondly, finds 
out t)ie real sweetness of it; for make it as a rule, when a 
man's heart can not Io\'e Christ, (unless it be when it ia be- 
numbed,) it is because he has somewhat else to joy his heart ; 
row, let the creature yield you no more joy, and Chrisl has your 
love ; indeed, you may and must joy in the real sweetness of it, 
and this will increase, and not diminish your love. 

Queit. Wliat b the real sweetness of the creature ? 

A?u. rhrigt'a Incp.. O, see this ! if Christ should not love 
thee, would not thy life be death, thy salvation from many dan- 
gers be damnation, thy friends miserable comforters, thy joys 
Borrows? What good would any thing do lliee if thou hadst 
these thoughts — all these I have, but wrath with them? What 
comfort can a man take in his feast, if news were then brought 
that aAer it is done, you must go to the stake to be burnt ? You 
that joy in your pastimes, one frown of Clirist would blast all. 
O, see this ! Psatm Ixiii. " Thy loving kindness is heller than 
life; in thy favor is life." Now, joy for llus, and ihis will knit 
your heart nearer to him. For Jesus' sake, ponder this point. 

Now, 2, Taste the bitterness of the sweetness remaining now 
it is distilled ; and Satan shows a threefold sweetness, before, in, 
and afler the enjoying of it. 

Now, 1. Before, remember how Ihey have drawn away and 
held thy heart from God, done thee more hurt than all afflic- 
tions ; many a sweet smile haJst (hou had from God, but for 
them. 

2. In the enjoying of it, it is sweet; but when it ia sweet lo 
thee, it is then most hitter to Ihe heart of God ; when thy joy 
is kindled, the Lord's sorrow is stirred up and provoked, 

3. After; 1. It will draw ihy heart from God; and, 2. It 
will be hitter io thy belly at last. Whatever sweetness draws 
thee from the love of Christ, O, it will be bitter. Rom. vi. 21. 
Chew npon this, and see if any thing here be worthy of your 
joy, and if not, then return to your first husband. 

II. Taste the all-sufficiency of the love of Christ, A woman 

that is not content with her husband's love, she will not love him 

. ns it is fit. Ho when other lbinf;s make love to us, and the lord's 

j love ia not enough, (CanL i. 4.) " More than wine." Hence 

•* the upriglit love thee." Do but sit down juid think what tha 



THE TEN yiBOINS. 95 

is : if once be loves thee, whatever he can he will do for thee ; 
he will order all thy Hfe, not one thing shall hurt thee ; every 
thing in providence shall work for thy glory, sins, sorrows, etc., 
so as thou shalt say his denials are better than his gifts, his blows 
better than smiles, his withdrawings better than his presence, these 
evils better than joys, and when once he loves me, he will never 
leave me ; that come life, come death, I am safe. O, taste this ! 
III. See the Lord Jesus now as he is, and in truth this were 
enough to make any profane heart love him, much more a saint 
espoused to him ; but the Lord has hid himself from their ejes. 
Shall he be so, is he so from yours ? 1 Pet i. 8, " When seeing 
not with bodily eyes, but with faith ye love him." 1 John iii. 
1-3, " We shall see him as he is." Why, suppose the day of I 
doom was come, Christ in the clouds and all creatures before him; 
all angels ministering to him, in all the glory of his Father ; Of 
then, the love of Christ ; O, one smile, one word of Christ would 
be precious ! Lord, that men should be in a dream ! See 
Christ a little higher set in his throne, a place more glorious, 
though less seen, in all the glory of his Father, all mighty angels 
ministering to him, all the world put into his hand, doing what 
he will, and all he will ; why will you not love him now ? Is tlie. 
gor^pel a fable ? Say so if it be, then love him not if you can. 
When Simeon and the wise men saw him, though but in his 
abasement, they honored him ; much more now if they see him in 
glory. It is a question whether the beams of the sun are fire. 
Some demonstrate it thus : Take a glass and gather together the 
beams, it burns. Therefore so, if you would see so as to be af- 
fected, gather together the beams of his glory and love ; thus 
you see the means to get fit love ; and if it be lost, O, now get it 
again, lest the Lord strain for it, else you are not fit ; and if it 
be not any love that sufiUces, much less no love, as in many of 
you ; but consider, (1 Cor. xvi. 22,) " He that loves not Christ, 
let him be accursed." O that this might be won from you ! O, 
little love goes out to Christ ; who sees it not ? Ordinances of 
Christ, men are weary of them ; the truths of Christ, despise 
them ; the servants of Christ, they quarrel with them. Kow, 
recover your love ; the Lord help you so to do. 

Section III. 

JSxkart. 3. To do the work of Christ, to be daily at it, and 
finishing of it ; for look as it was with the head, it is so with all 
the members that are to remain a while in this life, they have 
tome work to do for. the Lord ; some common, some special work ; 



» 



96 TDK l-AUABLE OF 

and whOD tliat is done, now they are ready to return home agtuih 
Hence, (John xvii. 4, 5,) " I Iiuve fiiii^lied the work ; " and noiy 
he elands at the door and knocks, niid is ready for enlranoe. 

*• Now, glorify mc with ihyeelf," and you shall tiiid a faithfdl 
heart wilt neither be willing oor ready lo go till ihis is done. 

Qiwt. What in this work I am to do ? 

Aiu. I have answered thia elsewhere at large, yet these lw» 
tilings I wonld say : — 

I. That a man's chief work lies not in facile duties; for 
though grace and Christ's Spirit make duties easy, his yoke easy, 
yet there is a contrary spirit that will make them hard and diffl* 
cult at firsl. 

~ 2. Lest I should leave you unsatisfied altogether, we shall fiod 
a Christian life is carried with a double motion : 1. In seeking 
of God in his ordinances ; 2. Or in walkini; with God out of 
his ordinances ; these are joined together. Gen. vi. 8, 9, Noah 
fotmd grace, hence sought it, though not in the eyes of the world ; 
and hence Noah walked with God- Hence we see Christ was 
some time in the mount alone, some time abroad, going up and 
down doing goofl. Moses in the mount and in the camp too. 
Now, look as before a man is justified, his chief work, then, is to 
seek God in his onliuances for ft.£rincijilei so a sonl now e»- 
poused to Christ is to walk wTili Christ. Now, walking implies 
constant following of another, or u continual work ; so Christ has 
work for you every moment. Hence, in every company, time, 
place, temptation, inquire thus : Am I not like lo lose toy time, 
my heart, Christ's honor? What work hss Christ for me to du? 
Hold here, for here lies your work. Look as an ambitious man 
asks, How serves this for my honor ? and Satan, how he may 
t dishonor Christ ; so do you ask, bow yoii may honor him. 
Bom. vi. 19, "As you have given yourselves instruments of 
iniquity," etc. And now because we live in times and places 
wherein men have so much work of their own lo do, that Christ 
is neglected, wherein very few walk with God. Hence men, 
taking men's examples for patterns and copies of their course, 
content themselves to do as others do. And this being a close 
act, tuainly consisting in what is unseen, and because men are 
apt to put ofl' Christ with desires, and serve Saian indeed, and 
because apt to resolve all religion into some two or three duties 
or graces, and because men's hearts are catching at comforts and 
promises ; but commands tedious and burdensome — 1 shall press 
this upon these motives ; only here let me premise when I prCM 
you to this, it b not to a covenant of works, as though you 
act yourselves, but we look to Christ's blood and Spirit to 



'^ 



THE TEN YIBGINS. 97 

tliiiigs. I speak to ihem under grace, who have the Spirit with- 
oat and faith within to act and carry them here. But, — 

Motive 1. Whose work will you do ? You can not cease to do 
Christ's work, but you must do your own work, (I speak not for 
idleness ;) L e., you must serve your lust. Now, consider what 
good did thyself ever do thee ? nay, Satan never such as thy own 
self. And will you fall down to such an image ? Shall thy 
lusts have content more and rather than Christ ? 

2. Consider the Lord will take care and charge of thee, to do 
thy mork, to bring about thy ends for thee, do but thou do his. 
Martha was cumbered about many things, hence forsook the bet- 
ter part ; so men neglect, forget Christ's work, because of so 
many distractions of ^eir own. What will become of my hun- 
dred talents ? What will become of my wife, child ? Now, do 
yon take care of the Lord's work, take that for your charge, 
and the Lord will take charge of you. The best, readiest, and 
only way to have your own ends is to seek the Lord's and forget 
your own. As in Solomon, his great work and care was to rule 
a state well, and the Lord gave all the rest. Set thy face to the 
sun, and these shadows will follow you. The servant takes 
charge of his master's work, and he need not trouble himself for 
meat and drink, and e contra, 

Firtt. There shall not any evil hurt thee, whereas else thy 
good things shalL Is. xxvii. 3. 

Secondly, All creatures in heaven and earth shall serve that 
man that serves his Gk>d, (Hos. ii. 21, 23;) whereas else they 
groan under thee. 

Thirdly, Angels shall come out of heaven to guard thee. 

Fourthly, Nay, the Lord Jesus himself shall stand at the top 
of the ladder, that when every thing else shall leave thee, he 
shall then bring the best wine at last ; he will be a portion to 
thee. Ps. xvi. ; Phil. iii. 8. 

3. Consider that the more difficult any duty is, the more sweet- 
ness shall you receive if you break through it ; men plead diffi- 
culty, I plead gain. Hence he that overcomes shall eat of the 
hidden manna. Hence never any so comforted, honored, as 
Christ ; because never any went tlirough so hot a work for the 
Father as Christ. Phil. ii. You plead the difficulty of a Chris- 
tian life, and taste not the sweetness of that life. If you can do 
no more than what is easy and pleaseth self, the Lord will never 
let you taste the sweetness of pleasing him. Have you not 
sometimes found your hearts dead to prayer ? Yet you fell to 
it, and then would not but have took the season for a world. 

4. Consider, let the duty be to nature impossible, yet the- Lord 

VOL. II. 9 



I 



is at hand to help, even when no stren^h. la. xl. 29. Ntij 
(Heb. xi. 34,) " Out of weakness were inadi; strong," 
bud no Clirist, no Spirit, no promises to assure you of hi _ _ 
might then cease tiding, and say. It is impossible I should ever 
overcome such evils, attain to that measure ; but when promises 
to assure, and Christ and Spirit at hand, now to plead impossi- 
bility is to reproach the Lord ; to think he will Get his people to 
make brick and ^ve them no siraw ; nay, lo war against God, 
and to make the Lord war against you. Num. xiv. You know 
how they cried out of impossibihties, and how the Lord's anger 
rose when they were ready to euter Canaan. So when men are^ 
ready to enter upon possession of Christ and promises, then im- 
possibilities appear. Consider, therefore, what the Lord did tor 
David, Gideon, Samson, who went out in the name and Spirit 
of the Lord, and were helped. If you were under the law, you 
might plead this ; but under grace, it is horrible (o moke this 
excuse. 

5. C-onsider, if the Lord do not help, (aa he will be free.) yet 
he will accept thy will ; I know he will not accept the wishes 
of servants, yet tie will accept llie will of sons ; neither will he 
accept Ihe will of sons in a work they might hare strength from 
him tu do, and go not to him for it ; but in that case he will, as 
2 Cor. xii. 9 ; u e., it is enough, I accept thee ; and this is very 
sweet, that for his own sake he should be pleased as well with 
the will as with the work ; for this is that which troubles, I 
would have help, the Lord gives none. Why, the Lord accepts 
of It as if thou didst it, as in David's building a temple. For a 
ChriBtian'a work is done two ways. 

Firal. Sometimes by feeling, when we feel help. 

SeconrBg. Sometimes by fajlh, by going to another for it ; and 
this the Lord accepts most mercifully, for this is his victory over 
all sin, even his faith. When we see a duty hard, and do not 
go to the Lord for lielp, then wo are overcome properly ; for 
out of the abundance of the heart the person acts for ChrisL 

6. Consider, the Lord will honor thee, (though the work dolh 
not.) John xii. 26, " Him will my Father honor," both in this 

, life (Bom. ii. 29) and in that to come. Now, as it is in acting 
parts, it is no. matter what fellow-actors think, God is the great 
spectator,. 'God Itrill esteem of thee, and conscience (thall witness 
as much when no eye sees, or when men see and judge amiss, 
yet the Lord approves ; and at the gruat day, before men, an- 
gels, and all the world, (I Cor. iv. 5.) "Then shall every man 
have praise of God;" and hence {Matt, xxv.) Christ's judg- 
ment is made according to the works of his people ; ber^use tfaea 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 99 

they shall not be compared with themselves and their sins, but! \ 

with the wicked ; and hence to set out their glory, he reckons 1 jV'^i 
up all they have done. All men, in all their acts, seek to avoid . / *-^ 
shame and attain honor. Now, if you did know a way for all I ^ ;0 
men in the world to honor you, would you not attend it ? Wliat '^J J 
are their dreams to Grod's honor ? Hence not one act but is now ^ 
chronicled, (Mai. iii. 16 ;) and afterward rewarded. 1 Cor. xv. ^ 

58. O, then, give content to the Lord. \ic^-, 

7. Consider the peace you shall have by this means, both '^ , ' 
while you live and when you die. What is the cause of so '" ' ^v 
many dolefhl clamors of conscience but a loose, careless heart ? O' 
The Lord is neglected ; that when one pleads faith, it will be 
replied, the true faith is the " faith of the Son of Grod." Now, 

is the faith of Grod a careless faith, a secure, worldly, impeni- 
tent, dead faith ? You may sit down and rise again, and say, 
Tme, yet I will believe ; so you may, but it will be with such 
a trembling spirit as you will find no peace. Neither do I 
know how any can keep his peace otherwise, for there are chil- 
dren but still-bom ; if bom a living son, thou wilt live to God, 
necessarily I must do it But by this means, O, there is un- 
speakable peace. Matt. xi. 29, 30. Hence Paul, "I have 'fin- 
i<thed my work," etc John xiv. 21-24. You live without God, 
and walk without Grod, and pray without Grod ; but there is a day 
approaching that you shall appear before the Lord Jesus. You 
fthall wish then — O that I had lived so and so ! O, do that now. 

8. Consider the Lord will have it done ; it must be done. 
Hence Paul said, " Necessity lies upon me, and woe to me," etc. 
The Lord should be forsworn if he should not bring you to it. 
Luke i. 73-75, "According to the oath," etc. Beloved, you 
think lazy desires will serve. No, it must be done. You say, 
I can not ; it must be better with you. And hence look for a 
ro«U and that the Lord will bring you into great affliction till all 
i^i removed, and so purge you ; and if otie affliction will not do 
it, then worse shall come ; he loves you better than so. And 
remember you have had warning this day ; you came hither for 
the lord's work, and now your own jostles it out. Look that 
(rr*t\ will take away the kingdom from you, or set oppressors 
civer you, or send some stings among you ; and then say, O, I 
may thank my walking unworthy of God and gospel for this. 

H. Consider, else you will make the blood of Christ shed of no 
effVct. 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. Now, wicked men need not fear this, 
no blood shed for them. Will you do so ? Grod forbid. The 
Jf wj? have killed him ; will you drag him up and down the streets, 
trample on his blood, and put him to open shame ? 



I 



I 



100 1 

10. Consider your lime ie but short, and yoa have done bat 
little work, nnd it is not long but that yotir crown shall be pat 
upon your bead. It is Doted of Enocli (Gen. v.) thai he walked,- 
with God three hundred years, (and tliat having sons and daugb^ 
ters, having family contentmentd and encumbrances,) andhelive^l' 
the Bhorlest time. I am sure angels are content to come onl of'; 
heaven to do the work of God. What! not do it here? Pad-^ 
thought himself born too soon, because for a time he lived with-- 
out Christ. O, but now make trial, and you will find it the 
sweetest life, that you will say, Why have I neglected this w- 
long ? And if thou dost not find seven times more peace theraa- 
than in the world, never set foot here. 

Qveit. How shall I thus do the work of Christ? 

Arts. I. " Without Christ you can do nothing." John xt. 5. 
The sun runs still, because it is light of itself; so when the Lord 
ia in you, you will do so. Uence go not out to any duly in your 
own strength ; for then you will either not do it, or not hold ont 
in it. No man can hold out at his work that feeds not abun- 
dantly on his meat; so here. And here note but these two 

1. Do not only in onlinances do thus, but out of ordinances ; 
then, as in iwrticular times of trial, (for the Lord will not give 
you in an ordinance ne much grace as shall serve you out of 
it,) litl up your hearts to Christ, and say, as Christ, " Falhor, 
the hour is come ; now glorify thy name." John xii. 28. So, 
Lord, here is work to do, but a dead heart is upon roe ; Lord, 
glori^ tliy name. I have seldom seen but the Lord either 
helped then, or at some other time when thou didst come, and 
then the Lord puis thee in remembrance that it is out of respect 
to that. 

2. Thus coming and feeding on the Lord Jesus, believe that: ^ 
he will help, and that shall be so ; some have never got streng^ 1 
a^inst sin till then, Imt this has conquered difficulties. Rmo. 
viii. 37. 38, "Jn all these things we overcome; for I am per- 

1 euaded," etc So you coming helpless to Christ, all his strength 
is yours by covenant. Be persuaded he can not go from bis 

I word ; but we must use other means sonctiiied by Christ, fcir 
Christ worketh by means. And, therefore, — " 

11. Find out where the cause of all your negligence and slot 
lies in not doing the Lord's work : nay, of your doing Satatf 
work. It may be you wilt say you can not. I know there ■ 
that in saints in parts ; but tliis is not the main, therefore I n 
Icll you thus: — 

1. Before conversion, the main wound of men is their^ 



THE TEN YIRGINS. 101 

Video meUora probogue^ detertara sequor. Hence, (John viii. t 

4i) - His lusts ye wiU do." Hence, (Matt xxiii. 37,) " You v 

woold not" They say, hence, we have a will ; I say, no. And \ 

hence we answer that great objection for possibilities to keep all ) 

laws by nniyersal grace, which it is unjust to punish for not doing ! 

that a man can not do. We answer, there is a double impotency, ' 

a in^rmitaU or ex maUgnitaie, when men will no t Prov. xi. r 

12, l'3. ' 

2. Hence it follows after conversion, though the will is changed, 
so that a man would, but can not do many things, ex infirmitcUe ; 
jet the great cause why he can not do more is from the remnant 
of malignity not yet removed. A man will sleep ; he loves it, 
and secretly loathes the ways of the Lord. Hence the church 
(Is. xliii. 17) complains of this. A man shall find his heart 
wiUs the end exceedingly, but when he comes to will the means, 
there his heart is weary of them, and loathes them ; a man will 
be careless, and this being not seen, is not fought against. Sin 
i.4 vilified, and hence the enemy to all good remains still. It is 
an old rule, tantum pouumus, quantum volumus. Get Christ to 
help here. 

3. Make this your last end, to live unto Christ and to do his 
work. Hence Paul did not account his life dear. This is your 
last end ; for the end of being bom by faith, nay, of being re- 
deemed by blood, it is to live unto Christ. Tit. ii. 11. When 
yoQ cry for faith, and peace, and assurance, that is not your end ; [/ 
for he that does so is a very hypocrite, and has a false heart; 
but it is to live to Christ Hence Paul (Phil. iii. 0, 10, 12, 13) 
sought to be found in him, but further to know him, etc. The 
Father is glorified in our bringing forth much fruit Hence 
make it your last end, and then your happiness will lie in acting 
thus, and that is a man's happiness he is carried to with most 
infinite delight For press people to do Christ's work, their 
hearts are dead ; tell them the Lord Jesus shall have a name by 
what they do for him, yet dead, because that is not their last end. 
But come to this, now*it will do ; a man can not bear a cross, 
yet. let him consider the Lord shall gain though I do not ; so 
fur faith, so for any other duty. Men think it good, but not 
their greatest good. Hence see Christ better than thyself, and 
his honor better than thy glory forever. Hence the Lord de- 
nies OS help, because we ask it for our lusts, not for himself. 
James iv. 3. 

4. Keep those glorious apprehensions of the Ix)rd and his 
ways which you have sometimes in an ordinance. You ai*e 
sometimes near the Lord, and you then see a beauty in Christ, 

9* 



lOS THE rAKABLE OF 

in his ways, tind (lien thinke^t. Slinll I ever nrong him moi 
Then shall jou come and lose your liglil, and so you ever 1 
your atrengih and life. Hence Ejili. v. 1 1. It ia as wiih a n 
Uiat cats, but he lostth and sjiendeth his spirits ; he can do no 
more work, but. faints away. See 2 I'el. ii. 9. Stephen can 
be cont«nt to have stones about his ears, when he can say, " I 
Eee Jesits." And hence, when those glorious appreheDMons come 
into your minds, stwrap them there ; for aet up other images of 
other things, your minds and yoiir hearts will bow down every 
moment to them. Does not Christ's Spirit do all? Yes; but 
by this medium. 2 Cor. iii. IS, "As by the Spirit of the Lord." 



v.jU.J' ;^*^"«K^A' 



i 



Section IV. 

Use 4. After you have done your work be ever liumble, and 
be ready to give the Lord the honor of his grace, llial ever he 
gave any thing to yon, tbat ever he did wiy thing by you ; for 
the Inst end of all the elect, it is to admire and honor the richea 
of God's grace. £ph. i. 5, 6. Hence the fall was permitted ; 
1 Devcr should grace have he^u seen, if gin and misery had oat 
' come in. Now, if this be our last end in glory, then the heart 
' is ready to hare immediate fellowship with Christ there, when 
it is ready to act for its last end. Hence it is frequent, in the 
Psalms, when David was in any strait, wanted any mercy, nay, 
the presence of the Lord here, tliis ia the last end he pursues, 
the \asl word he speaks before tbe Lord, ** My soul shall blcsa 
thee," as Fs. Ixiii. 3, 4 ; and hence, when oil his enemies were 
BuMucd, and he ready to lay all in tbe dust, he gives the Lord 
alL 2 Sam. xxii. per totum, and sxiii. 5. Beloved, this is Heav- 
en's work. 0, learn this song before you go there, which none 
can learn hut the redeemed and scaled of the Lord. Rev. xiv. 
S i John i. 14. It is writ of Christ, he was " full of grace and 
truth." Do you ever think to meet with him that get not yonr 
hearts full of the sense of it? i 

Before I come, therefore, to press this, I shall premise theW <a 
two things: — 4 

First. That the Lord, in all his dealings with bis people, seek* ^ 
lastly to bring about the glory of his grace. He regards nothing 
men do, if at last they deny him this ; he reiipects not wliat bhu 
and evils men have, if at last he gels this, for this is his last end. 
Hence all he iloih lo his people, for his people, by his people, ' 
is for this. And hence, — 

1. He leaves them a long time in their graves and 
they live like ottier men, which is strangtt. Ilmt be that 



rio'^fl 



... c. rv" A 



-■^•$^^c^r:>-^ 



THE TEN VIBOINS. ^f^' C: 



;!^ c>' ^ 103 



them 80 long should leave them so long to be as bad as any ; yet 
this he doth, because it makes for the praise of his grace; 
(Eph. iL 4, 7, 8,) '^ Dead in sin, that in ages to come," etc. And 
this doth so confound Grod's people that they wish not only heav- 
en, bat earth, and ages to come may record this love. 

2. Hence out of men fallen he picks out usually the poorest 
and vOest, the younger brother less loved out of a family, leaves 
elder, (Rom. ix. 11;) and " the foolish and weak things, and 
things that are not, that no flesh might glory but in the Liord," 
(1 Cor. L 26, 31 ;) and this is strange that the Lord should 
choose thus, but this he doth to blur the glory of all the world. 

3. Hence the Lord saves by faith, and justifies by faith, and 
seals by faith, (Eph. i. 13,) and sanctifies by faith, and glorifies 
by faith. 1 Pet. i. 3. So that all a Christian's life is a beg- 
gar's life, and it is strange the Lord should choose the basest, 
poorest grace to save by ; and the end is the glory of his grace. 
Rom. iv. 16. It is of faith that it might be of grace. 

4. The Lord leaves many wants in his people, under which 
they sit sighing, and that sometime very long, refuseth to hear 
their prayers, that they may repair to the throne of grace, and 
so, in conclusion, bless grace. Heb. iv. 16. 

5. Hence the Lord takes away sometimes those feelings, those 
enlargements they had, and baits them with most vexing sins 
and pricking distempers, (2 Cor. xii. 7, 9 ;) and it is to advance 
grace. 

6. Hence the Lord is sometimes angry with his people, andl 
hides his face from them, that if ever he returns in love, his) 
grace may be the sweeter and last the longer. Is. liv. 7. Nay, ! 
hence sometimes strips them so of all that they have had, or can 
do, that if you ask, What have you now to say for yourselves ? 
Nothing but grace ; their mouths are stopped. Hence, (Ps. vi.,) 
" Lord, save me for thy mercies' sake ;" (Ps. li. 11,) "Accord- 
ing to the multitude of thy mercies," etc. 

7. Hence the Lord speaks peace to his people, that they may 
say, I was so vile, and yet loved. O grace ! O love ! Ezek. xvi. 
63. When they see nothing but shame, and shame covers 
them, and are afraid to appear before God, it is for this end. I 
will name no more. Do you not observe it ? Sometimes you i 
shall find the Lord so strangely carrying matters as if he did not 
love nor care for his people, against the hair and grain of their 
desires, and when all comes to winding up, it is to advance grace. 
All a man's good days and bad davs, all God's frowns and smiles, 
all the Lord's food and physic, fltfjrod cares for, works, plota 
for, it is to do his people no more^rart than this, to advance his 



V f 



104 

-^ grace in them and by ibem. All his hewing and liammeringa 
of jou, nay, his knocking you to piei«s, and new nteltitii; and 
new casting of you, it 13 that yoii may be vesstla of his glorioits 
flgrace, tliat you may be able to Hve in tbe air of God's grace, to 
I euck in and breathe out grace ; and let all the power of hell seek 
1 to b lur it, yet grace shall conquer. Who would not \>e under 
grace ? 0, poor creature ! Satan h tempting, sin vexing, yet 
grace must reign. 

Steoniily. This I say, that God's own people do, by stranga 
ways and courses, deny the Lord, and deprive the Lord of ihs 

I glory of his rich grace ; for that being the diamond ia God^ 
crown, and the beloved attribute which God intends to advance, 
all the policy of hell is ngaJTret this. Tliis is the reason why 
Satan's enmity is so bitter against faith, as in Peter ; and oIh- 
serve, however there may be many temptations, bis end is to 
crush faith. The reason is, as it is with an enemy, if the be- 
sieged has water brought to the city by pipes, he cuts ofT them 
and stops them ; so faith f^cbing all from grace and returning 
all to grace, hence faith is opposed most, and hence the iinre- 
generate part will take Satan's part, and doth strangely rob tfas 
Lord of the glory of this, though I confess the Lord will have it 
for oil that tJiey seek to scatter it. Is. xliii. 21, 23. It is 
strange to see how few plot for the pmise of grace. Hence how 
many are straitened ; nay, do cross Christ in this. As, — 

1. If the Lord gives them not what grace they would, then 
they slight what little he bestows ; and if he gives them much, 
then they solace themselves in it, and grow pufied up sod proud. 
It is the temper of God's own people to set up such a measure 
of God's grace and Spirit which they would have, and therein 
they do well. Paul (Phil. iii. U) looked lo (he resarreetion of 
, the dead ; but if the Lord denies them that, (as he will make 
his people live from band to moutli,) they slight what they have, 
either as if all were but hypocrisy, or because it is little, not so 
much as they would have, and herein they do ill ; for hero the 
■ Lord loseth the glory of some grace, for it is gi'oee tltnt you have 
the least desires after ; nay, that you do but know what it is and 
Bee the want of it, and yet ever complaining and never rejoicing; 

tfor every degree of grace in Boinls is virtually saving, thon^ 
formally common. But suppose the Lord fills the bottle full, and 
gives as much peace, alTections. enlargcnients of heart as it has 
almost required, (for there are spring tides and overflowing timet 
of God's Spirit,) now they are ready lo swell and be puffed 
above measure, as Paul ; ^H'or. xii. 7,) " Lest I should be 
"' fo". 




isjfilUov* 






THE TEN VIRGINS. 105 

they desire an excellency in themselves ; hence, when they find 
none of their own, they are apt to deck and set out themselves 
with what the Lord has done, and so to joy in this, and now to 
think themselves better than others of God's saints, whereas they 
should be more vile and advance grace the more. Eph. iii. 8, 
'• To me, the least of saints." And hence the Lord, after greatest 
deliverances and mercies, sends great sorrows, as to them in the 
wilderness. Hence the Lord takes away afflictions, and they 
die, that grace might be the more advanced. 

2. If the sins of their hearts are common, and can not be re- 
moved, and so seem little, then they pass them by, and never 
take notice of them, God will pardon them, and hence the Lord 
has sad dmes of reckoning (with a rod in his hand) with his 
own people. £zek. vi. 9. That those loose times are heavy 
times, this is for my neglect, etc. ; but hereby grace loseth glory ; 
for bow can they see how deeply they are indebted to the Lord, 
if they see not their debt ? On the other side, if their sins be 
very violent, and their distempers so strong that they think none 
like me, now their hearts sink and die away and grow discouraged, 
and all the use they make is this, I think it will never be better 
with me ; and can there be life for me so dead, deliverance, 
redemption for me in such bondage, love for one that can not 
but loathe myself? and if otliers did know me they would do so 
too. Qm the Lord love me now ? Yes, beloved, that he can 
and will. Is. Ixiii. 16, *^ Though Abraham know us not, yet,'* 
etc. But here is your sin, when you should make this use of 
all, to feel the more need of grace to pity, and say, the more 
precious shall grace be to me forever. Your hearts now sink. The 
Lonl brings his people into very low condition, to humble them 
and to show them more of his grace. Ps. Ixxviii. 19, " Can 
God prepare a table ? " They spake therein against God. So 
it is here ; for herein the Lord's grace is seen, to love them when 
lepers. 

3. Grace that has been shown for times past, they forget it. 
2 Pet. i. 9. And what is this but destroying God's grace ? For 
why is grace so precious at first conversion, that heaven and 
earth are too little to hold praises enough for it ? And afterward, 
the Lord has little love ; O, you forget what once you were, 
and what the Lord has done. Hence 1 Tim. i. 13, 14. I was so 
and so, etc.; but now have received abundant grace. You 
have had many meetings with God, many answers from God, 
many consolations and times of refreshing and reviving, and 
the^e forgotten and buried, the life of them after a year or two 
expired. And what is this but eclipsing God's grace ? On the 



( 



106 THE rARADLE OF 

Other side, as for gnwe for time to come, they fear i' 
when worms anJ no men in their own ej'es. Hence, soirh C 
"Fear not. wonii Jacob." Is. xVu 14. There U a certiun 
Timog spirit, (ns one once told me.) that until that was pulled 
out, DO honor can the Lord get. Before you come to word or 
prayer, thou wilt fear thon shall never get any good ; and when 
the Lord gives any, tbou wilt fear thou shalt never hold out ; 
and what promise soever is made, thou wilt fear thou shalt never 
find it. And what doea this but eclipse grace? We should go 
with boldnesa to the throne of graee ; nay, henee, let the Lord 
send never so much mercy for the jiresent, a fear will cut off' i 
all, that all this will rise up in judgment against me. ■ 

4. When they ore most 6t to honor God's grace by failh, ninfl 
they will not believe, not then above any other time ; for then •< < 
man is most fit to honor grae* when he feels most need of it; 
and when hath he most need, but when he feels most emptiness ? 
Why, now, above any other time, a nian will not come in, but 
will have somewhat in himself first, and then he will, when hia 
heart is so and so sweetly settled, etc. Hence (Luke liv.) poor, 
and blind, and lame, and halt, compelled to come in. One would 
think there needed not that ; but now when fittest, now they will 
not. For let any man observe what would endear his heart so 
much to grace as this — to think if it be the I^ord's mind to save 
a poor, dead, damned creature, then happy I ! This is wonder- 
ful; this hath quickened dead love, and dead faith, and a dead 
heart. And, on the other side, if the Loi'd delay, if it comes 

(not at (heir own time, then they distrust it Grace, alaa I I feel 
myself never a whit belter. For there be two things in faith. 
First. A coming to Christ, which is our work ; i. e., Giod'a 

Secondly. Receiving what I come for from Christ, which ia 
the Lord's work. Now, the first gives evidence he shall have it. 
John vi. 35, 37. Hence the Lord will have them rejoice in 
what Christ hath, as " my grace is suflicient ; " but if it comes 
not presently, then they cast ofi' faith, and so cast away grace, I 
feci DO good ; hence John iv. 48, etc. I know there is a seem- 
ing coming to Christ, to have the grace of Christ and sin loo, 
and this you may well cast off; and a coming for his grace and 
Spirit only, and you despise grace and distrust the Lord if you 
cast off this, or you seek to put the Lord out of his working by 
a covenant of grace, (where he takes his time as he pleasi 
and give a flat he to all promises of grace, and refuse to he o 
tented with Christ's grace, that thou mighlst have the i 
attributed lo thyself, and the Lord the less. 



L ^ 



THE TEN VIKGINS. 107 

5. Either they think not of the exceeding greatness of the 
Lord*s love and free grace to them ; and hence Paul bows to 
Heaven for this. £ph. iii. 16, 17. And hence it comes to pass, 
that look as it is with sweet things, swallow them down in the 
lump, you never taste the sweetness to purpose, nor never com- 
mend them ; so it is when men swallow down God's love and 
chew not upon it, whereas if they did but think of it, O, how 
sweet would it be ! Fs. Ixiii. 5, 6. Lord, how many days and 
weeks are spent thus ! It is apparent you have the profession 
of a Christian life ; but do you taste the sweetness of a Christian 
course ? No. Why, if you did think, you would ; but you are 
weary at night, sleepy in the morning, busy in the day, dead on 
the Sabbath. Hence think not, hence give not Grod the glory 
of grace ; or if they do think of it, and the greatness of it, thdn 
they can not think so great things should be given unto them or 
done for them ; that God should love me as his Son, make me 
an heir of all he has with him, redeem me that have despised 
his blood. It is too good news to be true. Hence the disciples 
believed not for joy. Luke xxiv. 41. Hence, when delivered 
out of Babel, we were in a dream. This robs the Lord of grace ; 
for the greater the love is, and the more you take, the more love 
shall the Lord have ; it can not be otherwise, if you come to say 
thie; is mine. 

6. Either they will pore only on their sins and distempers 
and miseries, and never look unto Christ, the brazen serpent, and 
exarch for a righteousness of their own, and can not find it, and 
hence pore still. As when men have wounds, they only think 
on them, that when awakened out of sleep, they complain in their 
beds, like the Israelites (Exod. vi. 9) that would not hear Moses 
because of anguish. As the impotent man answered Christ; 
John V. 5-7, " Wilt be made whole ? " he turns his eyes upon 
his misery, ** I have none else to help me at the time ; " here 
L< but this means, and when I come myself, others step in before 
me, etc. Now, so do men, and never look beyond means, the 
Lord can, the Lord will, and so eye not him. Or, on the other 
liide, if they get healing of their wounds, then they eye Christ 
only. Eph. ii. 6. They were exalted in heavenly places, yet 
remember, as verses 11, 12. For let any Christian see he is 
poor and miserable, but he is not much affected with it, nor 
afflicted with it ; and so eye Christ, and trust to Christ, and ease 
himself here, and say. We must look only to Christ, either you will 
hear of his fall, (yea, and himself shall find a decay,) or he will 
grow very proud, unfit to give all to Christ. Is there grace here? 

7. Either if the Lord gives him any thing himself and mercy, 



b 



he will now aild eomctliuig of his own to Chriat, and pull the 
■veil of the law over the face of the glory of Cbrisl, (Gal- L 0,) 
or else do notliing at all for him, unlesn it be when the good fit 
takes him, under a jirelenae that Christ must do all, as here the 
five wise virgins that fell asleep i and thua jou Bce how grace k 
opposed bj the children of grace. Now, therefore, my exhotlft- 
tion ie, to take heed of this, and be ever ready to attribute all to 
the Lord, as they cried when the second temple was building 
from beginning to end, (Zech. iv. C, 7 ;) so that thou WHst spared 
BO long, that called by means tliat the Lord should by faith ac- 
cept, that he should speak peace ; this is grace, that tliough Ttle, 
yet he will save me. It is grace, that though I can do nolhiog, 
yet he will help me, and aflerwards crown me. 0, tliia is won- 
derful grace I And, — 

First. Do not only give the Lord the glory of grace to redeem 
you from misery ; for this you may do, and be full ready to give 
il,yot peiisb at luat,aa the Israelites that sang God's praises did; 
but that he will save thee from greater ; i. c, from sin. And, — 
SeeoniUy. Not only wlien you feel nothing, but when you feel 
most; 0,to honor grace I And, — 

7%iV>%. Not to do it coldly, but with a heart inflamed with n 
I sense of il, that I live, I have, I do, I am what I am. O, it is 
I grace ! So that now, if the Lord shall come and ask you. What 
will you Bay, if I will deliver you from all misery, subdue all 
sins, pass by all wrong, hear all prayers, do all good to thee, do 
mueh good by Uiee, love thee every moment, give a kingdom 
when thy work is done to thee, and myself, better than all ? Say, 
Lord, I can never recompeuse this ; I shall be, 1 hope, the more 
vile in my own eyes forever, and give all to grace. O, sing that 
Bong, or get that song by heart now; for (Rev. vii. 10} there 
is a BODg, " Salvation to the Lamb," which none else could sing. 
This is our work, and a great work indeed. 

Qttetl. now sliall I do this? 
I Am. 1. Get a new light from the Lord to show you clearly 
Ithe infinite, endless, unknown evil of tlie least sui. Paul was a 
proud Pharisee until ho saw sin, and Jer. iii. 24, 25. For if eia 
be seen, one smile, one day, nay, a moment's breathing time in 
this world will be matter of amazement to thee after all thou 
haut and haat done ; much more when thou seest so many sins, 
and that in every thing. Entreat the Loni to do this. We 
walk up and down the world, and say wo sin and grieve the 
Lord ; but, 0, it is not known 1 hajipy art thou if the Lord has 
discovered it; then thou wilt say. Why doth the Lord do any 
thing for me ? Could not he pick out stones, nay, toads, that 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 109 

never sinned against him, rather than me to enjoy him ? Especial- 
ly is sin vile in thee, so near God, and so near heaven too. 
Angels were hurled down for one sin. 

2. Set a high price upon a little grace ; a man will be exceed- 
ing humbly thankful for the giving a little of that which he high- 
ly esteems, much more for giving much of what we value. The 
poor woman of Canaan (Matt, xv.) was glad of crums. How 
thankful do you think she was for loaves ? That made her 
ready to receive all ; ^^ Be it as thou wilt ; *' so it shall be with 
you ; for if you prize a little, O, when all shall be given, this 
will swaUow you up into grace. And it is certain, there is never 
a mercy but it is great, if you consider him that gives it, who 
receives it, him that bought it. But the most of Grod's grace in 
us appears to be but small ; hence we prize it not, and hence 
never ready to give all to the Lord again. 

3. Learn to put a difference between your double being ; for 
every Christian has a double being : 1. In himself; 2. He has a 
subsistence in Christ Now, look upon yourselves as in your- 
iK'lves, you will ever complain there, ever dead, and neyer have 
your hearts ready to bless the Lord. If you only look on your- 
tsf'lves in Christ, you will be proud, and never give the Lord 
honor. I say, therefore, put a difference between these two ; for 
men appropriating to themselves what is Christ's, they rob Christ 
of his glory. Hence Paul so humble. 1 Cor. xv. 10, IL j For 
if you look upon yourself, I am dead, guilty, damned, weak, heni 
will be shame ; if any life, or grace, this is Christ's. As a man 
on a mount is the same man, no taller, only the mountain makes ; 
him so ; so think of thyself. Or as a mud wall, the sun shines 
on it, but in itself it is a mud wall still ; all the warmth is from 
the sun. 

4. Learn to love grace ; what we love we will seek the good 
of more than our own, and commend it. 

First. It is the only first mover of all our good : thou shouldst 
nf'ver have had a drachm of peace or mercy. Why hast it? 
The Lord will have it so, grace pleads it may be so ; this is the 
only petitioner at court against the cry of sin, against the cry of 
justice. 

Secondly, It is the only support under the heaviest evils/ some- 
times God frowns, and hell smokes, and Satan tempts, and sin 
rageth, and it may be no feeling of grace, no retison to show 
thf re shall ever be any ; now, what have you done ? AVhat will 
you do? Fly for refuge to the promise of grace. Hel). vi. 18. 
It is such a friend as holds up the head when sinking, when dy-^ 
ing holds that, when all fails, and against which the gates of hell 
VOL. 11. 10 



I 

I 
I 



110 THE PARABLE OP 

can not prevail. To him that laya bold on grace, this is wwi- 
derfuL Faui was a man taken with grace ; lience he every 
where comiuends it. " I was received to mercy," elc. I Tim. i. 
IS, U. 

5. See how the Lord loves that thou shouldst honor it, for the 
greatest honor grace has is by fuitli ; licntx they are put for one, 
(Bom. iv. 10,) and the great cause why failh stirs not, is be- 
cause he sees not how the Lord shall Lare by it the praise of 
his rich grace, nor how the Lord loves it should do so. For if a 
man did see how by faith h« shall honor grace, and how the Lord 
is pleased with it, it would draw the heart U> be assured, and 
to bless grace; for when the soul feels itself at worst, why 
doth it not believe? I shall presume. True, if you have ihi 
only in your eye, to save yourself; hut if the Spirit presents 
the glory of grace, and this draws your will that you will gloriiy 
grace, then you wiU say it is no presumption so to do. and so to 
believe ; for the Lord loves his grace, and all means for the 
glory of grace. Hence he will use faith for that end, to lionot 
?S grace. O, therefore, see how the Lord loves to have ihee honor 
it I This gives God's heart full rest ; tliis is that which he de- 
sires most, because it is his end. This is that which all the bnei- 
neas of the world is for. 0. see how be loves it ! and then you 
will love to act thus. Now, set upon this last work ; look over 
all your life, and like bees gather honey from every flower, and 
then come loadcn home ; so do you. and look over all the Lord's 
love, turu over all the leaves of It. The Lord has called tat:. 
Why ? It is because Christ has redeemed. And why that ? 
Because the Father has chosen. And why me? To glgrify 
his grace. And why me ratber than anotlier '/ N o reaso n. biU 
*■ he would. This I doubt not will be the work of tIcaven,~T am , 
glorified because called, because redeemed, because elected, for g 
none other reason why, and here astonished. You have na|,l 
I Christian hearts in you, that will now have no care to do tUB" 
1 work there before you are turned off ihe stage. You, poor 
doubting spirits, tliat see so much vileness, and can not bo per- 
suaded, be not discouraged. Wait for the Lord, and say. If he 
shall save, I shall forever love him the more. Now, hold here, 
and be ready to do so, and it is certain thou art a vessel of glory, 
ready to sing the song of the Lamb, and shalt follow him whrav 
ever he goes. 



J 



( 



THE TEX VmGINS. Ill 



CHAPTER X. 

COKCERKIKG THE SOUL'S IMMEDIATE CLOSING WITH THE PEBSON 
OF CHSIST, AS THE PKOPEB OBJECT OF SAYING FAITH. 

Section I. 

8. " Went forth to meet the Bridegroom^ 

Here needs the explication of three things : — 

I. Who is the bridegroom? 

Am, The conclusion of this parable is the explication of this, 
m^ the Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to 
the several conditions or dispositions the church is in, appears to 
his church under several relations and titles. The church is 
oppressed by her enemies ; he appears now to her as her prince 
and king. The church wants wisdom, light, and life ; he appears 
now unto her as a head. The church has been seeking of his 
love, and jrielding herself to the obedience of him as her Lord ; 
at last he appears more fullj to her as a husband, or as a bride- 
groom with whom she is to have her nearest and everlasting fel- 
lowship and communion, and so here. And when Christ comes 
to show most special love, and to have most special fellowship 
with his people, he thus styles himself. Is. liv. 5, 6. So John 
ill. 29. Andy when the church has tasted that love, she calls 
him so. 

IL What is it to meet the bridegroom ? 

Ans, To enjoy fellowship and familiarity with him. 

IIL What is it (to go forth) to meet the bridegroom ? 

Aiu, There are but three ways of going forth to meet with 
Christ in Scripture. 

1. When soul and body, at the last day, meet the Lord in the 
clouds of the air. 1 Thess. iv. 17. Thus the whole church, the 
bride, shall appear in glory to meet the bridegroom. 

2. When the soul only goes out of the body by the ministry 
of angels, to meet the Lord in heaven, as Paul, that knew not 
whether in or out of the body. 2 Cor. xii. 3. "We know it 
here shall go out of the body." As Christ is said when he went 
to heaven, " I go to my Father, and your Father." So it goes 
forth then to Christ, (Eccles. xii. 7,) and neither of these can 
be meant here ; for, — 

Firtt, This shows the state of the Jewish church long before 
Christ's coming, at least among, many of them. 

Secondly. Because the shutting out (verse 10) is by and at 
death ; hence letting in is so too. Now this was before. 



I 



lis TDE PARABLE OF 

^. "WTien tlie soul goes out of ilself by faith. Hence (Joi 

vi. 35) it is called coniing to Christ ; aud tLis not any physioi 

natural depiirting of l!ie soul out of the body, but ethical, a uyas 
jnatBraliJilJhe operations of the soul out of itseU!^ And look, 
as the whole sonl by unbelief departs from God in Cliriijt, so the 
whole soul by faith comes again to God b}' Cliriet. The mind 
ieea, alfecli<ma make after him, will fastens on him, and there 
depends. This is the first work of faith, or the first faith, the 
coming (as in all motions there are two extremes) of the soul 
frcm a nothingness, emptiness in itself, to an allness and fullness 
in Christ. And as it is in other motions, if there was a vaeiivm, 
there would be moliit in inttanti ; so if there was an emptiness 
seen in the world, and all the works of it, and in all fears that 
all mountains were cast down, failh then would suddenly come 
by the Spirit to the Lord Jesus, aud this coming to Christ is not 
meant here. For, — 
1 First. Tlieae virgins were espoused to Christ by faith already. 

Seeond/f/. At the first coming to Christ it goes to the Lord for 
life in him, and from Uim; but here, having life already, they go 
forlli to live with him. There the soul goes out to meet liim in 
the gospel, in the promise ; here the virgins go forth to meet 
him in glory. There the soul goes to be justified by him ; here 
the virgins go to be glorified with him ; and therefore it is meant 
of a second going out of the soul by some E)>ecial acts of faith, 
after that it does believe, and after it is ready for him. j And for 
I explication, — 

QufM. 1 . From whence doth the soul go ? 

Ans. It is cliiefly going out of this world by trampling lliis 
moon under her feet, by forgetting this her fallier's house, by a 
holy contempt of it, and a holy d^-ing to it. and all the glory of 
it>r For it is a thousand to one if Salan does not entangle here ; 
if Xot bo not taken with Sodom, though burnt out there. And 
if this going out is to ei^oy the Lord in another world chiefly, 
then going out is from the opposite term, from this world. 
Hence Paul singles out this mercy. Gal. i. 4. Christ gave him- 
aelf to deliver us from this present evil world. O, say men, it 
is a good world, and good being here. It is an evil world. It 
is so when death comes, but for present it is besL No, it is i^i 
" present evil world." "^ 

Qiceat. 2. By what acts of faith dolh it go forth ? 

Ans. There be two aflcctions of the soul tliat chicfiy look to^ 
good absent, yet loving that good, go forth to meet it ; those w 
hope and desire : like the blind man and llic lame, lioth togeth 
can make a shift to go. Hopi', like the eye, gi>e8 out and k 



\ 



THE TEN YIBGINS. 118 

desire, like the feet, runs out and longs. The going forth there- 
fore to meet Christ is, 1. By a real expectation of him ; 2. By 
t longing desire to be with him. Hope goes on the top of the! 
world, and cries, O, I see him ; desire stands bj, and longs for 
him ; O, come, Lord. A careless, blind world looks not for him, 
tlie bride doth. Rev. xxii. 17, 20, ^^O, come. Lord Jesus, come 
qoicklj : " by love and joy we embrace and entertain the bride- 
groom ; by hope and desire we go forth to meet the bridegroom. 
Hence many diings are to be observed, and yet not all I might. 

Section n. 

Doei. L That the object to which 4aith chiefly looks, and 
closeth with, is the person of the L oi:d>< Jesus. 

It is the bridegroom himself tGat the virgins chiefly have to 
do withal ; they are espoused to him as in marriage ; there is a 
giving of themselves one unto another ; they make themselves 
ready for him, they go out to meet him. It is him they love, it 
is him they want, it is him they look for, it is him they close 
withal. Whorish lovers look not after him, but his ; his peace 
to comfort them when in horror and fear, his mercy to save them 
from eternal flames ; but virgins look to him ; they look to (His) 
indeed, but it is himself chiefly they care for. John i. 12, To 
** so many as received him he gave power to be sons.*' John 
vi. 27, When the people followed him, but it was for loaves ; 
*' Labor not for bread that perisheth, but," etc. ; " for him hath 
the Father sealed." Matt xiii^ 44, The man did not buy the 
treasure, but bought the field. It is him faith seeks for. Jer. 
1. 4, *'They shall seek the Lord weeping." It is him faith 
chooses, and is contented with. " Whom have I in heaven but 
thee ? " Ps. Ixxiii. 25. It is him faith glories in. Is. xlv. 25, 
^ In him shall all the seed of Israel glory." 

Section IIL 

Reason 1. It is chiefly and firstly the person of Christ that 
the Father gives unto the soul. Is. ix. 6. Hence faith lays hold 
on him. It is not seemly to keep a portion from any> much less 
orphans' portion. Faith empties a man so as it makes him the 
poorest orphan in the world ; now the father can not, will not 
keep back his portion, but gives it him. Wicked men have their 
portion in this world, (Ps. xvii. 14;) and they think the Lord 
loves them because he blesses them. They have many moral 
excellences g^ven them, which makes them honored and lovely 

10* 



114 THE PAKAni.E OF 

in Ihe eyes of men. and thcj fmve bonor . anil ihat i 
wsrd ; tliey liJiTc bread, but not (he~sIaB' of bread j tLej htn 
ordinances, but not the Lord in ibem. Tli<> Lord gives ih«i 
snswer to many prnyers, but never gives ihem hiiuself, nor bis 
Son ; this is higtiest love. But it ia bis Son himself he gives to 
orphan, fatlierlesa, helpless crealureB ; for Ihe Lord is ibcir por- 
tion. Lam. ill. 24. Tbe ■* portion of Jueub." Jer. x. 16. Hence 
it b him that faith receives, and pitches upon ; go tlutt Ibe Lord 
may denjr them many outward, many inward blessings ; yet they 
have himself that is better than all ; )>ctter, as he said, than 
J " ten SODS." Children may be prodigals for u lime, bul when 
I in want they will then sue for their portion. Sainte, for a time, 
I may misspend all times, talents, urdluanc'es the Lord gives ; bnt 
f the Lord will bring them to want, and then they will sue for 
[ their portion, and Ihe Lord will give, and they will receive thai. 
Jtetuon 2. Because there is no satisfying of the Father with- 
out him : bring Bcnjainin with you, or never look to see my 
face. The conscience of a man can never be pacified until God 
is satisfied for all wrongs. Now, the Lord Jesus has satiEfied; 
nay, perfected forever them that are sanctified, " by once offer- 
ing up of hinoself to God." Heb. x. )4. Now, the soal nevu 
colnes to have settled peace in bis own conscience (though peaat 
was purchased before) but by offering up of the Lord Jesus by 
feith, even Christ hirai^lf. The soul wants him, the Father 
shows a ram in the bush, gives Christ ; and that the eoul gives 
him for satisfaction, and offers him to God agiun. As the priests 
in the old law, when tbo sacrifice was slain, then it was ofTered. 
God offers the soul a crucified Son, faith takes hira and offers 
him, " Ijord, behold thy Son." Rom. iii. 2ii. And licuce comes 
propitiation and peace, peace to see that God is satisfied. Now, 
if by faith we come to have tlie peace of the Father's satisftto* 
lion with us, then it must needs pitch upon the person of the 
Son first. Hence many never have peace, because it is not a 
Son himself they look for, but somewhat from him. They a 
blind, and dead, and bard, and these things they would bavf 
helped, but close not with Christ himself. 

Reaton 3. Because the soul can neither actually receive n 
eipect to receive any thing from Christ, unless it has first pitched * 
npon the person of Christ. A man may hope he shiill, and pre- 
sume and think he shall, and it may be, receive somewhat oat 
of the common courtesy Christ shows to them that look toward 
him, bnt never shall receive wiy saving good thing till tiow. JoIiB 'fl 

ii 53, " Unless ye eat the flesh of the Son of God, and dri 
his blood, ye have no life." Look, as it ia in our eating, u if fl 



e nor^ 




THE TEN YIRGINS. 115 

man should seek to get nourishment out of meat or drink, not 
bj feeding on itself ; so it is here. Some said this was a hard 
8ajiDg, and so it is to a carnal heart. Rom. viii. 32. And hence 
observey when the Lord promises any great thing to his people, 
(Is. TiL 14,) he ever brings in the Lord Jesus, that if he shall 
be given, then all things also. 

Reaton 4. Because true faith ever closes with Christ by love 
to Christ, as false faith closes with him out of self-love. Cant. i. 
2, 3, " The virgins love thee." That is love, indeed, which is 
set up on the person. The Lord never puts his pearl nor sets it 
in a swinish faith that contemns the Son. No ; it is a precious 
iiuth that loves the Lord. Hence it carries the soul to the 
beloved. 

Section IV. 

Ute 1. Hence see the reason why the Lord keeps his people 
hungry and empty, and cuts them short of many spiritual bless- 
ings. It is that they might close with and be contented with 
the person of the Son. There are three things some of Grod's 
people seek for, and find not, if the Lord mtends good to them. 

1. They desire the comforts, and conveniences, and peace of 
thb world. * O, rest is sweet ! and the Lord will give them none 
of these, or keep them at short commons with these. And 
why ? That they might lay up their peace and find all in him- 
self. Gren. XV. 1, 2. Abraham, after the slaughter of the kings, 
was in fear that he might make the Lord his shield. Hos. ii. 6, 
7, ^ She shall seek her lovers, but shall not overtake them." 

2. They seek for some good to themselves, in themselves, from 
themselves. I would fain believe, and can not ; I would fain do, 
says a man ; but, alas ! he grows worse and worse. The com- 
mandment comes, you will do ; there is your task, do it ; yet 
they languish and die, and why so? Jer. iii. 22. That they 
might look for help and righteousness in another, ^^ In the Lord 
our God is the salvation of Israel," not from the mountains the 
strongest helps and means ; in the Lord it is alone. 

3. They seek for grace, and strength, and peace from the Lord 
Jesus very importunately, and many times very impatiently, and 
so sinfully, too, and the Lord denies them. It has been better 
with them than now, therefore they wonder the Lord should be 
so full and they so empty, and think sometimes to seek no more, 
and the Lord denies a dole at this door too, that they might con- 
tent themselves, and lay up their joys in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
2 Cor. xii. 9, *' My grace is sufficient." It is strange that 
Christ, 0O able, so ready to help, yet denies. I confess it is 




I 



eotnelime some lust and Bliimbling-block the Lord Jesuasees; 
O, Imt against thai thej seek ; and truly here is the catise, that 
Laving DO good from him, they might place all tlieir faappineH 
and felicity in him. Look, as it was with Jaeob, a great foffline 
comes, and all the sacks ar« spent, and they are used roughly, 
though not hardly nor n-roDgfully. and all waa lo bring them to 
the sight and embracings of Joseph ; all the time of famine waa 
for this. So the famine of Bpirit is to last long, and the Lord 
denies supply, !□ bring ihe son] to see, embrace, and rejoic-e in 

. , the Lord Jesus. The most flourishing trees in God's house shall 
have their winter season, and cast their coat, that they might 
preserve themselves in their root. This is the great wonnd of 
many a believing soul for a lime, lo rest more contented with 
what he receives from the Lord, ihan to quiet himself and hii 
heart with what is in the Lord. Man would have lost his h^ 
pincss in his own hand, and this the Lord will not suffer lus 
people to lie iu long, (Gen. xxvi. i ;) and the best and surest 
course that can be taken is to cut them short of all. For faith 
is au unconquerable grace, tliat whatever it loses out of its ovn 
hand, it will find it and enjoy it in another. And, therefore, see 
God's end, and meet the Lord in this end of bis. See all in the 
Lonl, and see in your blessedness therein all your vantii, lay it 
up there, that if you will boast, here you may do it all the day 

. long. For this is God's greatest plot, lo pull all men down, that 
his 8on may be set up ; lo wither all the grass and beauty of all 
the flowers of the field, thai the glory of the Lord might be re- 

j vealed. J I mast here give you a taste, for it does me good to 
think, and it will do you more good to enjoy the sweetnew of 
this truth. There are four things you desire, all which are 
chiefly laid up in Christ, lo that end that you might, in all wanta, 
quiet your hearts with unspeakable peace there. 

1. The free grace and love of the Father: this is that, I 
hope, which you prize most, pray for most, fear the loss of moat, 
would rejoice in the having of most, without which thy life is 
death, and blessings cursings, and death the beginning of helL 
Would you see this love better than life to thee ? 0, I can not 
see it, or but very little of iU It is true, look upon yourselves, 
you can see but little ; many fears, many tears, many he.art- 
Borrows, many temptations, many desertions, many vexing eaos, 
many denials to your prayers ; but O, look up to that ointment 
which is poured upon thb blessed head, that love is shed abun- 
danily upon the Son from before alt worlds, and look wliat love, 
what grace the Father shows to him ; that love is thine, ihat lo*e 
ill him is shown to thee. 2 Tim. i. 'J, 10. Here, stand amazed, 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 117 

all ye people of the Lord ! you have heard the Lord loves you, 
and sometime believe it ; but being under water, can not conceive 
of it, nor see how he loves you, how dearly, how abundantly I 
O, look now upon the love of God the Father in the Son ; as 
he loves him, so he loves thee, a worm, a devil, notwithstandiri 
all thy want, aU thy sins, all thy miseries. John xvii. 23, 26. 

2. Life. O, death is terrible, and a dead heart is woful ; it is 
the great plague that lies upon men without Christ, that are 
strangera to the life of Grod. £ph. iv. 18. Is thy heart ever so 
joyed as when it is most enlarged for Grod, and hath most delight 
and liberty in the ways of Grod ? Alas I thy life is but a linger- 
ing 8i<^ess, a poor life to that which thou hast in Christ ! O, 
look up there. Col. iii. 3. You think, when your hearts are 
affected, and warmed, and quickened in prayer, by word, or divine 
thoughts, etc, O, if it might be ever so ; how happy ! O, but 
it dies presently, and thou knowest not how. Look up to the 
Lord Jesus ; he is alive when thou art dead, and his life is thine, 
and it is ever thine in him, even eternal life. 1 John v. 10-12, 
** This is the record, that he hath given us eternal life." Alas ! 
I find none. O, it is in his Son, in whom thou livest a better 
life, than men, than kings, than angels. And I doubt not but the 
Lord suffers temptations to rob you of your life, that you might 
find it when it is lost, here, and rejoice that when you have none, 
yet here it is. Blessed be God, he will keep our lives as the 
life of Jacob was knit up, and bound up, in the life of the child ; 
nay, that life is ours. 

3. Conquest and victory over all enemies. It may be you 
say oflen, the Lord hath commanded mc to seek for help ; and he 
will help, he hath promised so to do ; but I find my distempers 
^till raging, Satan still buffeting and winnowing, and vexing and 
foiling, and as I feel many, so I fear more sorrows before I die, 
and then death and delusion, that at last I may be deceived. 
Nay, the agonies of hell many times assault me, and then I am 
pat to a loss, that is it possible I should escape ? Why, beloved, 
the Lord Jesus conquered death, and sin, and hell, and the grave, 
and Satan, with all the strength of darkness and delusion, and 
hath spoiled them. Col. ii. 14, 15. And now he is in heaven in 
his kingdom, triumphing over them, that they can not hurt him. 
Ay ; but what is that to me ? Why, this very victory is thine. 
Hence we are said to be dead with him, (Rom. vi. 8,) and risen 
with him, (Col. iii. 1 ;) nay, to sit in " heavenly places," as it 
were triumphing in him, in glory with him, (Eph. ii. G ;) nay, 
(Heb. X. 14,) " He hath by one offering perfected his people for- 
ever that are sanctified." It is true you may rejoice in that you 



118 THE 1-ARABI.E OF 

Hhall conquer ; but O, remember this, it is done already in thy 
hetid and in tlij liusband. 

4. Immuijibilily iind cerlointy of standing in a happy estate ; 
for this is that which sads the heart, I shall fall at lost. Ho~« 
is it possible but I should be bo ? No, beloved, look upon the 
Lord Jesua, in him thou art ; if he can fall, if he can die, if he 
can be cast from the Father's face, then thou majfat. Believe 
" that I live, you shall live also." John xiv. 19. Adam, indeed, 
was chosen to be hea<l of mankind, and as when he stood per- 
fect^ wc stood ; so (though mulably) he falling, we fall. So we 
are chosen in Christ, and as he stands unchangeably, bo we stand ; 
and as he was tempted every way, yet did not, could not fall, no 
more canst thou. So that, O that the Lord would give yon 
hearts to learn this lesson, when there is nothing but want in 
thee. Do not shift so much for a little from the Lord, bnt see 
God's end and reach it. O, rejoice, glory in, and bless the Lord. 
This was Paul's life, and the life of the churches first planted. 
O, bless the Lord for all spiritual blessings in Christ 1 This will 
be joy in sorrow, life in death ; this ia golden faith, this will 
answer all fears. When Satan saitb, Thou hast not this or that, 
nor canst not do this nor that, and to hell, therefore, thou must 
go; reply again. It ia true, I have little, I am dead, but Christ 
lives forever ; I may fall in myself, I never can fall in him ; that 
which he hath is mine. 

Object. It is true they may do this that know the Lord Jesus 
is theirs, but, alas 1 1 know not that. 

Am. If you do not, you must wait then until llie Lord make 
himself known unto you ; but tell me, will you do this, if you 
did thus know it ? It may be some of you have not done so, 
unless by force sometimes, and you will find it one of the tough-' 
est works of faith that is. What is a poor man better for 
other's wealth, and a sick man for another's health, and a na 
man when others are clothed? Yet, ' beloved, by virtue of tbtfl 
power of faith, and our union to the Lord Jesus, a mai 
better. A woman that is matched to a prince may have 
penny in her purse, and yet she rejoiceth in that her liusbanAj 
[hath it, I It is the secret nature of faith to make a man all one' 
with Cbristt in Christ, in that manner that I can not find such 
a union in the world ; and hence his health, his clothes, his 
grace, his life, may be matter of us much joy as if a man had 
all this in himself. And because many a soul halh Christ, but 
feeling such emptiness in himself as that he can not think so, awl' 
il may be would do so if he saw whether he might do 
I shall therefore cKpresa my thoughts to them thus, in these 
ticulare : — 



i 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 119 

1. That aU that fiiUness that is in the Lord Jesus, it is not for 
himself, but for them that want it. John xvii. 19. lie might 
have been blessed in his Father's bosom without thee. Why 
)»hould he therefore live, and do, and suffer, and rise, and glorify 
his blessed nature, but for them that wanted this ? He is filled 
with wisdom, life, strength, because men are blind, dead, weak. 

2. But you will say all the world want it, and yet few in the 
world shall ever have any share there ; therefore all them in the 
world that hunger after all that good that is in him, they may ' 
now, in the absence of it, content themselves with it, that there 
it is in him for them ; for the Lord fills the hungry, and so hun- 
gry as it is not something or other that they pick out, but all 
Christ, and all of that that is in Christ. Now is the season to 
eat ; if bread and hunger meet, now satisfy yourself. 2 Cor. 
xii. 9, Paul prayed, and the Lord denied ; yet now the Lord 
bids him feed on his grace. So that, when thy heart asks, What 
hast thou to do with him when so vile ? answer, Yet the Lord 
hath all, and I want him, and hunger after him. Take heed of 
despising his grace ! If thou hast no hunger, the Lord be mer- 
ciful to thee ! 

3. If you have so contented yourselves with him, as now you 
place all your felicity in him, to this end, to receive life from him 
a^ a man satisfies himself with bread that he may have life. F 
as I would not damp the faith of the elect, no more would 
patronize the sloth of the wicked. Many a man, it may be, may 
say, I have nothing in myself, and all is in Christ, and comfort 
himself there, and so fall asleep ; hands off, and touch not this 
ark. lest the Lord slay thee. A Christ of clouts would serve 
your turn as welL Run not to this temple to make it a den of^ 
your thievish heart ; no, do you so content, or will you so con- 
tent yourselves with him, as to account yourselves hapi)y here, 
iliat all the world is dung in respect of this ; and this you do to 
jsurk and receive more from Christ, and so to be like him. Now, 
hold here, and live here, and rejoice here forever. Phil. iii. 9- 
1 1 ; Is. xii. 2, 3. First. " The Lord is my song and salvation ;" 
therefore we will draw hence. If the Lord gives nothing, yet I 
have it in him ; if he gives any thing, the honor shall be given 
to him. O, take this course ; 1. Lest you lose Christ and all too ; 

2. Lest the I^rd ever keep you short in a complaining condition ; 

3. That you may be every day and moment in heaven, and win 
tlie crown from every hypocrite who knows not what this life in 
Christ means ; 4. That the Lord may be your glory, for he is 
not only the glory of Grod, but of his people Israel too ; 5. That 
yoa may love yourselves tlie less, and the Lord the more. 



im, 

b^orl 

III 




Section V. 
Vie 2, HeD<* sec a necessily of Bceing and knowing Chrisl, 
before A man can believe, or if €vcr the sou! believe ; for if faith 
closes with the person of ihe Lord Jesus, the snme faith mPBt 
first see that person. K it lakes the bridegroom himself, it must 
see and know him first. Did you ever see any espoused together 
tlmt did not first see and know each other? The eve must first 
1 see. My meaning is, there must precede this act of the under- 
. Blanding, to s ey C hrist, before a iHan^can'dose with Christ by 
' Ill s will. For I aim not at lliis whether it go es before in time , 
but in order of mature it does precede, and absolutely necessary 
it is. flencc, (.lohn vi740.y"" Hethat seeth and believeth in the 
Son hath eternal life." This is so necessary to failh, that faith 
itself puts on this name. Is. liii. 1 1, ■' By his knowledge." Luke 
xix. 4I1 "O thai thou hadst known!" Is. xlvi. 21, " Look unto 
[me and be saved," And hence unbelief in Scripture is expressed 
Iby being blinded, (Bom. xi. 7, 8 ;) for thougli Christ be absent 
from us oiTearth, yet that is the excellency of faith, it makes 
things absent prciienl, and sees unseen things; (Heb. xi. 1 ; John 
viii. 56,) "Abraham saw my day;" and that is the wonderment 
of saints ; there is light in Goshen when all Egypt is dark, when 
others are blinded they see. Is. Ix. 1, 2. 

Qaeil. "Wliat is this knowledge or seeing of the Lord ? 
Ati$. I make this question, partly because this is the first chief 
evangelical work, as it appears to us ; nay, indeed, it is in a man- 
ner all ; hence, (Jifatt. xi. 27,) '' 1 thank thee thou host hid these 
things," elc. If this be right, failh is right, etc. ; and if this be 
not, a man's faith is but a fancy, and a man's sanciificaUon and 
reformation, hopes, desires, ore but the works of death and dark- 
ness, if this sun be not risen ; and pjtrtly, also, because all the 
policy and power of Satan is to blind the eye here, for then he 
knows men will stumble at every elep, 2 Cor. iv. 4. He will 
help to believe, and joy in believing, and reformation af^er that 
joy, that a man might content himself with tliis joy and faith, and 
kfok not aflcr the sight of Christ. And if I was to leave the 
world, I should leave this to be thought of; as Christ told the 
woman of Samaria, " Ye worship whom ye know not," so men 
believe in whom they know not, and pray to one whom Ihey 
, know not, and depend on whom they see not, and hence do not 
-. 1 wonder at an adulterous generation rising up, that deny all evi- 
■ dencing of a uuin's justification from his sanclificntion, and tliat it: 
is bul a fading thing, because they never felt what it meant, 
eauee they never knew what the Lord Jesus meant, and th( 



1 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 121 

fore listen to it. I say therefore, first, what this knowledge is 
not, for every man has some knowledge. ^ 

i. There is a knowledge of the Lord Jesus by report ; the 
fame of a man may come where himself is not seen ; so of 
Christ, there may be a fame spread of him, and of some excel- 
lences in him, where he is not savingly known, and this is not 
seeing of Christ ; for a man may live and die a damned crea- 
ture with this knowledge. The Samaritans had some knorwledge 
by report of the Messiah. John iv. 25, ^ When he is come he 
will tell us all things ; " so many among us hear that Christ is 
come, and risen, and glorified, and the Saviour of the world and 
of sinners, etc. But how come they to know this ? By way of 
tradition g^^j "*por^ nnly. I confess this knowledge may be a 
means m the electtobring them to saving knowledge, as in the 
queen of Sheba that heard Solomon's fame, and the disciples. 
John i., " Come and see." But reprobates are not drawn by it, 
as Herod (Luke xxiii. 8) " heard many things of Christ," but 
never saw him till he came to judge him. So here, because they 
can live well witliout Christ, hence rest content with the bare 
report. Whereas they that had diseases heard of his fame, and 
cume to see Jesus. 

2, There is a knowledge of Christ from his work s^ as we 
know what trade and what artificers many men be, because these 
are external things, yet know not the man ; so there is a knowl- 
edjre of Christ by his works, that by him the worlds were madi'. 
(Ileb. i.) and all creatures governed, and a man may see him in 
hi:4 trading with others and himself; all comes from him, that a 
man may say the Lord has done all this, and that for me, and 
yet strangers to Christ. And if men be ignorant of him here, 
he may do such wonderful things before their eyes, that they 
can not but wonder and say. This is the Lord's work, and yet 
know him not. I^Iatt. xi. 20. He upbnaidcd the cities where 
UKjejt of his mighty works were done, but t hey sa w-liim not. 
John XV. 24, " If I have not done," etc. The Lord may work 
t(trangc temporal deliverances, that you may know all power is 
in Christ's hand to save and pardon, (Matt. viii. 27,) so ns to 
niar\*el and not envy, " What manner of man is this that winds 
and seas obey him ? " It is true, the saints do know the Lonl, 
but they are not idle spectators and receivers of him ; but O 
that I might have that Christ himself! They do him no good, 
^ve him no content without him ; as he said, ** What jrivest 
thou me if I go childless?" John ix. Christ had opened the 
blind man's eyes, and yet he cries, ** Lonl, who is he?" (verse 
3G-^^;) whereas others see the works of Christ, and vanish; 
VOL. II. 11 



" 18! 



Jf 




or if afiected, an evil spirit comes on ihem, as on Saul wheii he 
saw David's love. 

3. There is a literal k nowl edge of the Lor d Jesus by tlie bare 
leller onl^ pf t he wordTanJ it is wrought in this manner. A 
man doth not only take up the knowledge of Christ by report 
nor from bis works, but he hears, reads, ia w ell t'aleehised con- 
cernin g Chr igt and aJLhls o rffcSlCS nicneBta. iliat there is mui^ i 
light lot in ; lience his mind, liaving those literal rclationa. gue9%-' 
cth at them, and conceives of tht'm ; and beeauee the mind ij 
carnal, it apprehends them in a carnal manner, (though it thin 
it sees Christ truly.) Hence a man having a form of this knowfiH 
1 edge in his head, he may be able to express much, and moke »l 
large confession of his faith, discourse of points of controverqr T 
in marters that concern Christ, and justification by Christ, etCj ' 
and instruct others, and yet having no more, know not, all ihia I 
while, what the Lord Jesue is. 

Mnt. Because as he was a carnal Jew that had but the form 
of knowledge in the law, (Rom. ii. 20,) so be i-i hut a carnal 
Christian tliot has but a fonn of knowledge in the gospel. The 
Jews were exceedingly versed in Scripture, and boasted they 
heard God, and saw God ; Christ tells them they never heard 
his voice, nor saw his face, (John v. 30 ;) i. e., ihey only saw it 
lite raj l.Yij pot savingly. 

iSfconrf/f/. This is but a carnal knowledge, which letter and 
fancy beget. 1 Cor. ii. 14, "lie con not know them, because 
they are spiritually discerned." 

Thirdly. It is a dead knowledge, or will be dead and unsavory ; 
and hence many that know much of Christ feed on their lusta 
and dunghill delights, because their knowledge feeds Llicm not, 
fills them not. as fancies do not feed. 

Fmirthly. It is a false knowledge ; for give a blind man a de- 
scription of the sun, or a tasteless man of honey, he may set up 
a false image and deceive himself; and so doth this. Many set 
up a false image of Christ, and trust to that. Or, as in descrip- 
tion of another country, wlien he sees it, then he sees he woa 
deceived. So samts see they were deceived, and saw not Christ, 
nor sin, nor God, and so shall men in hell see ; hence, (Is. vi. 9.) 
"In seeing they see not." How came that to pass? They did 
see^bnt saw not really, I 

ledge na hinilers from saving ksowUl 
9, " I came that ibcy tliat see migl ' 
;, learned Corinthians must beeom 
foolishness, and the light that \s in thee is darkness. This I 
stands in your light ; and yet this is the knowledge that U 



Fifthly. It is such a 
edge of Clirisl. John L 
be made blind." The » 







THE TEN VIRGINS. 123 

sands content themselves withal, and hence catch hold on Christ, 
and think they have him, when, in truth, it is but the image and 
fancy of him. 

Quest, What, then, is this knowledge or seeing of Christ ? 

Aru. There is a seeing of Christ after amanbelifiKea, which 
is Ch rist in his love, etc. ; but I speak of tEaTEretlight of him 
that precedes the second act of faith, and it is an intuitive or 
sight of him as he is in his glory. Christ reveals his won- 
iil glory to thp. s^nl rftj^jlyj i^ <^- ffr. A man hears sin to be^ 
e greatest evil, and sometimes conceives by argument how, but N 
sees not the thing sin, though he sees the word sin. So a man that \ 
never traveled into foreign parts may hear, and read, and speak I 
of countries ; or, as herbalists read of the nature of plants and 
trees, yet never saw the things, nay, trample upon them when 
they see them ; so it is one thing to read of the sim in a book, 
or to know it by revelation, another thing to know it by sight. 
This is therefore the saving knowledge of Christ, to see the! 
Lord in his glory as he is ; not perfectly, for that is in heavenj 
Hence we shall there see him, and be like^unto him, but im- 
. perfectly, and in part ; (2 Cor. iii. 18,) " Changed here into the 
Fame image." And this appears from these four grounds : — 

1. That knowledge the saints have of Christ, it is not by bare 
word ^nlyi b"*^ ^^*^ by the Spirit. The word relates Christ, but 
the Sp irit ia the interpret er of the word. The interpreter of 
heaven must interpret the language of heaven. Now, the Spirit 
ever shows us things as they are, even though they be deep 
things and mysteries, it makes them plain ; (1 Cor. ii. 9, 10,) 
^ As the sun when it ariseth it scatters all darkness, so when 
this day-star ariseth." Not that these things are revealed with- 
out the word ; for, (2 Cor. ii. 14, and 2 Cor. iv. 4,) lest the light 
of the gospel should shine. It is by the word that the Spirit 
does enlighten. 

2. Because the sight of the knowledge of Christ, it is as the 
knowledge of a thing in a glass. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. Now, though 
you see not the man face to face, yet if you see him in a glass, 
there you see him as he is. Qiiod videtur in speculo, non est 
imago, as some think. A man may know another by relation or 
by some picture, but in a glass that is more full. The Jews they 
naw Christ, but it was under vails, and types, and pictures of 
him ; this was obscure. Under the gospel the vail is pulled off, 
and with oi>en face we see as in a "glass the glory of the Lord." 
In heaven, the glass is taken away, and then we see as we are. 
seen. * ' 

3. Becaase that estate of the saints is translated into a state 



I 



I 

I 



124 TilE PARABLE OF 

of glory. Ilencc, when justified, then glorified. Hence, ns that 
sunctificaLion that is in the will is the beginning of the life of 
glory, ao that liglit God puts into their mind ig tho beginning of 
the light of glory, [lence, as in heaven, tlie soul sees Christ 
by tlie full light of glory perfeetly, face to face, so in tliis life 
the soul sees Christ really aa he is, yet, as in a glass, imperfectly. 
Hence we are said lo " see in part." 

4. In regard of that abundiuit goodness and love of Christ 
his people. Love can not lock up secrets. Joseph hid himsi' 
from his brethren for a time, but hia boweU melt ; he must t 
them that he is Joseph. Christ may do so ; but his love even 
constrains him afterward to let them see who he is, Joha 
xiv. 21. I confess its admirable love to reveal Christ in the 
word and letter of the gospel ; to hear of him is happiness, Bad 
if the Lord saves you, you will think so too. But this is com* 
mon to wicked men ; there is a manifestation of himself as he 
is unto hb people. And now he is in glory, hence reveals him- 
self in his inconceivable glory, that now a man eyes the Lord, 
iuid such things he never thought of before, which eye never 
saw. I Cor. iL 9. 

Quest. How doth the soul see him as he is ? 

Am. I, in this case, rather desire to learn than teach, even 
from the meanest ; yet what is obvious I shall suggest in thi* 
weighty business. 

Tbii seeing of him appears in three particulars. 

1. True saving knowledge and sight of Christ consbt in the 
sight of the glory of his person, especially now '' caught up to 
heaven, and sitting at the right hand of God, in all the glory of the 
Father." Look, as at the judgment day ihe Lord shtUl break out 
of heaven in such glory as shall amaze all the world, and all eyea 
shall see him, that he shall not only be admired in himself, hot in 
all his saints, by all that are round about him. Just so doth the soul 
see bira now, (though not by the eye of sense, yet by the eye of 
faith ;) though not coiue to judge the world, yet now ruling of the 
world ; though not in the clouds, yet in heaven ; though his hiim&n- 
ity only in heaven, yet his Godhead beams filling heaven and 
earth ; though not yet coming in the Father's glory, yet sitting 
clothed with (he Father's glory. For if a man looks on ereaturea, 
he sees God's footsteps of power; if on angels and saints, Gofs 
image of holiness ; if on Christ, there God himself. 2 Cor. rv, 
I 4r-7. It is true, then, Christ's glory shall be seen by the wicke^ 
I but thitt.a_lgLfleii9e)notbyfaithj that is only in their minds, bid 
there is no shining into the henri, lo the kindling of an infinite 
esteem of him. And tliis the god of this world hides frrau 



I 



I 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 125 

people. Christ, the Lord of another world, in spite of Satan, re- 
Teals to his people. Before a man sees Christy there is nothing 
more base than Christ, even to the elect, and then the ways and 
work of Christ. Jer. ii. 11, "Have any heathen changed their 
pods ? These change their glory for that which doth not profit." 
Now, the Lord will be, must be esteemed of his people ; hence 
wiU and does reveal- this glory of his to his saints, whereas here 
others are blind. 

2. In the beholding of the Lord as he comes and appears in 
the glory of his covenant ; for when the Lord reveals himself 
so as to cause the soul to believe, and thereby to make it one of 
his people, he never makes any people, but by entering into 
covenant with them. Hence he ever appears in his covenant 
first. Is. xlix. ult. Look, ns when the Lord made him a people 
at Mount Sinai, Moses came down from God, appears with tables 
in his hands, etc. So when Christ comes to make any his 
people, he comes as mediator of a better testament. Ileb. vii. 
22, ** On Mount Sion." Heb. xii. 22, 24. Now, look, as it was! 
with the Israelites, (2 Cor. iii.,) they had the covenant of Christ, 
and Christ revealed ; but as Moses' face was covered, so theirs 
was, and Christ there was- tailed over with the law, even the 
moral law, written in stone. Hence there was a vail on their 
hearts too ; they could not see Christ, the end of the law, but 
only the vail, viz., the law ; and hence looked for life by that, 
and hence were hardened against Christ. Rom. ix. 31, 32. So it, 
i* the misery and blindness of many people at tliis day ; they see '. 
the Lord Jesus, but with his vail on. For people being not able 
to see and prize the glory of Christ immediately, the Lord ap- 
pears with the law first, requiring this and that, and they 
endeavor to do it ; and hence, if they can not, they comfort them- 
selves with this, The Lord accepts my endeavors, not seeing the 
hypocrisy of them, or else they are never at peace, or very sel- 
dom. And why ? Because they see not to the end of that which 
is abolished ; never saw the end, the Lord Jesus Chnst. Now, 
therefore, when the Ijord reveals himself, the Lord makes him- 
self known without the vail ; so tliat when conscience cries, you 
must do whatever is commanded or die ; the Lord Jesus now 
comes and appears, and saith. Therefore see what need thou hast 
of me, who have fuliilled all righteousness, and done all. Re- 
ceive me that have done it, and thou shalt live. O, but may I 
now live as I list ? Am I now free from the law ? No ; it is to 
be thy rule and life in heaven ; but " I will write my laws in thy 
heart, and cause thee to walk in my ways." Ilt-nce the soul 
sees all done for him : 1. In Christ ; 2. All that he is to do for 

11* 



H ISS 




Christ, lie sees it not in meAii^, nor in liimaclf, but in the 1 
Lord's proDiiso ; and liere fuith Imngd and has peace. For two | 
things trouble : — 

Firtt. I have broke the first covenant of the law ; Christ af- J 
pear^ not as one that exac(8 tlic debt, but as one that comes la \ 
enrich him when poor. 

Secondls/. I can not walk after it as a rule ; Christ appears in ' 
tliis covenant, and proraisetti to cause him to do it ; and hence, 
ailer all departinga from the Lord, he will not depart farther hy 
unbelief, but sees tlie end of the law, which is Christ, tLat in 
him they may perform the covenant, and by him be strengthened 
to walk with him aa after a rule. For tlie covenant of grace is 
not, Christ will be righteousness to thee if tbou wilt walk aft«r 
the law as a rule, imt Christ will do both ; and this the aoul sees 
in its glory, else it is no sight. Hence (2 Cur. iii.) g(»pel ti 
called " the ministration of glory," which no cartml heart can see ; 
for the rail is taken away when it turns to iLe Lord, and sees 
him. The sainta only with open face behold this. It is true, 
for a time they may make of Christ a Moses ; ns Peier, (Luke v. 
8,) " Lord, depart from me ; I am a sinful mau." And the Lord 
may deal roughly with them to humble them, as Joseph did to 
his brethren, but it will not ever hold ; and the Lord appearing 
thus to them that have been stung by the Liw and that killing 
letter, now the Lord appears in inolfable beauty and glory. To 
others there is nothing in it ; they may see this, yet not believe^ 
3. In seeing the Lord in the glory of his grace, or fitness for 
him, and this is the main. For look, as it is in marriage, there 
ia a respect to beauty and feature, and that draws. Now, a 
woman sometimes appears to one so, that though her portion ho 
great, etc, yet he can not like ; another can, because God has a 
hand in it, and what fits tlie fancy, that is beauty; there is A 4 
eaitableness every way. So Christ is presented with a rich pop- 1 
tion to many, and yet they can not like, can not see a beau^ I 
because ihey can not see a fitness and suitableness to them anl 1 
for them. Auother man can ; because he sees fitness and suit*- | 
bleneas in the Lord Jesus for him, in respect of his misery a 
sin, and his gracious disposition. Jolin i. 14, "But we saw hial 
glory — full of grace and truth." Ps. xlv. 2, " Thou art fairv m 
Uian the children of men, full of grace arc thy lips ; " wliieh ia J 
BO beautiful in the Lord's eyes, that the Fatlicr hence ei 
the Son, for all the grace he shows to Ins elect. Now, i 
I makes Christ appear fil ? Ant. The knowledge of a man's aeliM 
j and sense of vileness. Hence, (Luke vii. 29,30,) "The PharisM*! 
despised the counsel of God against themselves, when publtouil 




THE TEN YIRGINS. 127 

justified Gvod,'' etc. And it is a rule, that the saving knowledge / 
of Christ is dependent upon the sensible knowledge of a man's ' 
self. Let a Christian in Christ lie in his sins, and comfort him- 
self in remission of them without repentance, he may talk of 
Christ, but no beautj will appear in Christ. So it is at first ; the 
soul feels sin, and that God is holy, and will hate him ; then the 
Lord shows Christ came to call such. Yea ; but I have no good, 
and can not help myself. Christ appears fit to seek out such. 
O, but I can not see, nor believe, nor be affected ; Christ appears 
one fit to do all, full of wisdom to perform the second covenant 
O, but I want all things ; Christ appears all-sufficient. O, but I 
shall fall ; Christ appears constant in his love. O, but he is far 
to seek ; Christ appears present. O, but I shall sin ; Christ ap- 
pears merciful to bear with and heal infirmities. O, but I shall 
believe too soon ; he is fit to prepare and dispose. O, but aU 
the world will be against me ; Christ, therefore, appears fit tc 
rule all for me. O, but death and grave may hurt me ; Christ 
appears fit, who has conquered all, and this is ever in the saints. 
Now, lest you should think you have this when you have not, and 
know it not, see the evidences hereof. 

1. If ever the Lord has thus revealed himself to thee, he has 
brought this light out of darkness, and made thee sensible of it. 
2 Cor. iv. 5, 6. O, you that have been a little troubled, and 
then hear of Christ, and then depend on him, and wait for com- 
fort from him, and now you are well. You never yet saw him. 
Nay, if truly enlightened, you will go mourning to your graves 
for your ignorance of him, (Prov. xxx. 2 ;) and seldom is your 
darkness seen and felt, but there is some beam let in. 

2. It damps the glory of all the world, that a man lays do wp.^ 
all at Christ's feet, as the wise men. Matt. ii. 'As glowworm 
stars go out when the light of the sun ariseth, so all the comforts 
and all the miseries of the world are nothing now ; (Act^ vii.) I 
see Jesus. A 

3. It makes a man very vile in his own eyes. Is. vi. 5. Nay, 
his excellency vile as Isaiah his tongue, and wonders that the Lord 
should look upon him^ a worm, who is so glorious. " What am 
I that the mother of my Lord should come to me ? " etc. lie 
pees Christ fit, and then sees his glory, and then saitli, " Wliat, 
me. Lord ? " me to stxmd before thee ? Lord, depart ; I am a 
sinful man ! 

4. It necessitates the heart to believe, not with assurance, but 
with a clinging to him. IIyix)crites have knowledge of Christ, 
but it never heats the heart ; this, as fire, necessarily heats, and 
that which is put to it is heated, so here ; for the sight of the 



r 



128 



TKE PABABLE OF 



last end doth nemssitale n-ben it is seen, (in. It. 4, 5 ;) " They 
ehall run lo thee, because God haa glorified thee." Rom. i. 16, 
17, itia the power of God, for there is righleoosness revealed. 
That though the Lord bids depurt, yet he con not be gone, nay, 
when he concludes, yet (as Jonah ii. 4) so he ean see to a tem- 
ple through tlie belly of a whale. Many say, Slay I believe ? 
or I can not prize him I I tell you, when the Lord appears as 
he is, you can not resist that light, but you must cling to him. 

a. Where this is, a reian rests uot here, but sees more and more 
of him. John i. 49, 50, a man sees now his glory, but after be 
shall see his love, and after that he shall know his mind, (I Cor. 
ii. 9 ; Epli. i. 9,) " the mystery of his will." And then his con- 
stnnt presence, and all his walkings with him and toward him, so 
as to be familiar with him, that in time of old age he shall be an 
acquaintance of Christ's ; (2 Cor. iii. 1 8,) " from glory lo glory ; " 
whereas a hypocrite's light goes out, or grows not. Hence 
many ancient slanders take all their comfort from the first work, 
and droop when in old age. I know the saint's light is ob- 
scured, and the Lord hides his face, but tiien they are troubled, 
and it shall break out, " with healing in his wings." Nay, ill 
their lifetime ihey may think they know him not, bccauBe tbey 
have not those meaaureB. O, therefore, see a necessity of it. 

1. You that are vile, and ignorant of Christ, no faith yet, no 
Christ yet. And what then ? Thy sins are upon ihee now, and 
woe to tliec, tor " the wrath to come." 0, poor creature ! Ihon 
doBt not see, nor canst not see ; if thou didst, thou wouldst not 
crucify the Lord of glory. 

2. You that be professors of the church, O, deceive not your- 
selves ! If the Lord has enlightened you, O, bless himl If 
Christ were here, he would bless you. Matt. xiii. 16. Nay, whrat 
he was here, he did it; he doth it in heaven. "I thank thee, 
Father," etc. Matt. xi. 25; Luke x. 21. But if not, all is ntt- 
eound that ever you had. O, therefore, look you be not deceived 
here,and therefore wait upon the Lord to manifest himself! Who 
knows but the Lord may help? Nay, when you arc feeling of tlw^ 
infinite need of it, and of your own woful blindness, it b bcgoib.j 

Section VI. 

UtB 3. See the happiness of saints (all you stnnders by) a 

of all believers. Tou think wliat are they? Wliat have lh<^ 

that I Lave not? What get they hy seeking, by mournuigB 

They have the Lord himself; nut kingdoms, nor heaven, i ' 

. guard of angels, not pardon, nor comfort or grace only. 



THE TEN VIBGINS. 129 

which IS greater, and than which there can be no greater, the 
Lord of glory himself. Is there any thing that is good there ? 
It is theirs. I doubt not but angels stand amazed at this. What 
hast thou ? Thou hast peace, and ease, and duties, and friends, 
but no Christ ; then poor and cursed thou art. 

Section VII. 

U$e 4. Hence learn to judge of your faith, whether it be of 
the right make or no ; whether it be such a faith as will never 
fail you, but shall in deepest miseries, in sorest ironies, and 
most furious temptations, nay, in greatest sins and desertions^ 
be indeed a friend unto you. Is it such a faith as pitches on, 
and closeth with, the person of Christ himself, and him alone ? 
So that all the delights in creatures quiet thee not, unless thou 
canst find him through them; nay, no ordinances cheer thee, 
unless thou canst see him in them ; nay, heaven itself will not 
content thee, but him in heaven, (Ps. Ixxiii. 25 ;) and hence it 
is him thou seekest, him thou seest ; it is him thou approvest 
thyself unto, and servest So that it is this Rock of Ages thou 
trustest to. Is. xxvi. 3, 4. It is his strength thou art strong by, 
it i-s his life thou livest by, it is the Lord himself that thy faith 
fathoms. This is right, (1 Pet. ii. 7 ;) for now what good can 
the Father deny thee, when he has given a Son to thee? What 
hurt can Satan do thee by all his shakings, when thou hast the 
Son himself, this comer stone, this horn of salvation, to support 
thee ? What hurt can the law do thee, when thou hast righteous- 
ness in a Son ? What hurt can delusion do thee, when thou hast 
wisdom, ever plotting for thy good, in such a glorious head as the 
Son ? What hurt can death do thee, or sin do thee, when thy 
life is in the Son ? " O, lead me to the Rock," saith David, " that 
is higher than I ! " O, here is a Rock higher than death, than 
grave, than sin, than Satan ! Who can hurt thee now ? But, 
O beloved, how many fall short of " entering into this rest," and 
closing with this person ! And there are four sorts of them that 
spin the finest thread of deceit to themselves, that think they be- 
lieve, when yet they have not the Son. 

1. Those that do not close with himself, but only come to him 
for some righteousness out of himself, (for I shall not speak of 
them that forsake all, and follow Christ, for the bag and for the 
loaves,) for it is with all men living naturally as it is with men 
that have been rich shopkeepers, but now they arc broke, and 
cast into great want : steal they will not, dig they can not, beg 
they know not how, turn apprentice to another they must not ; 



I 



180 TIIK hARABLE OF 

they have not been used to that life ; hence tliej resolve to set 
up ili^ir trade again, though tliej sell but pins, find poinU, and 
email wares; and because tlioy can not set up for ibemselves, 
they go unto merchants to help them, and run into their bo<^ 
on tru9(, and desire day and patienee, and ihey will pay them 
all again. Now, it is not ihe man that they respect, but to make 
up their markclB out of him. But, alns ! they can not pay their 
deblB, and hence to prison they go. So it ia here : God set up 
Adam with a stock in his own hand ; now he is broken, and cstit 
into great want, and fears the arrest of Gl>d'a displeasure. Now, 
sin men dare not, dig and help themseives they can not, and to 
heg and live upon the Lord and his alms they know not bow-; 
indeed, they will not; they are not used to this life ; hence seek 
to eet up their trade again, though in never go small duties ; and 
because they can not help themselves, hence they go to Christ ; 
not as to a husband, for himself, but as to a merchant, (o set them 
up again. And truly Christ, for many ends, and to show his 
freeness to his own, gives many talents to such, which thej re- 
ceiving, hope to please the Lord by : when I can get the Lord 
to give me some more knowledge, brokenness, affections, en- 
largements, abilities to do, then I hope I sliall please him ; but 
either they spend all, and fall sway to nothing, before lliey die, 
or else death comes and carries them captive to the judgment 
eeat of God; and there they see they are run but iJie deeper in 
debt, and not able to pay. Thus it is with Papists, who profesa 
that none of their own works save, bat his works in us, and his | 
blood meriting, that these shall save. Hence they t: 
what they do, but to what tlie Lord does, against which veixl 
faith the apostle disputes. Rom. iv. 5. Thus it was with tb» 1 
Jews; divcra despised Christ, and sought a righteousnesa of] 
their own ; others cried. Lord, Lord, Lord, there be these i 
that wring my conscience ; ease me of them ; here be these do- | 
ties I must ilo, else never saved, and my heart is dead. O, a 
feet me, and help me to do them ; there be such works I am tA | 
perform, and have no strength to pray, to prophesy ; Lord, i 
me! Matt- vii. 21, 22, "Depart, I know you not;" nevei 
cepled of yon ; you thought these things would please me i 
closed not with me. O, now depart from me, from my felloWTl 
■hip, my bosom, my presence ! For this is ever their frame ; thi 
tliink to pacify God hy what they do, and though ihey tliink 1 
justice can not, yet Iliey hope there is such indulgence in 1 
mercy that he will accept. Thus it was, (Is. Iviii. i,) for ihia I 
their temper; they are not wounded with the want of Ch " 
himself^ hut with some jarrings against the law, for which t 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 131 

fear thej mast die. Hence, not seeing into the spiritual nature 
of the law, thej are wounded, not slain, by the law ; they hope 
they shall live, if they can leave such sins, perform such duties, 
feel such abilities. Now, having made trial at home, they go to 
Christ, and seek him with delight for to work this or that, and then 
they are well. Now, if they do not receive at present, then they 
hope by seeking to find in time. If he doth not help them, then 
they shall be welL Hence they ever live in some sin, and know 
it not, as these did, and as the young man. 'pSjaiU xix. And thus 
it is, as it is with two princes ; one is in trouble by inroaders ; 
he sends for aid to another, but doth not cast down his crown, 
and put himself in subjection to the other. So men will be 
kings, and hence send for aid against the inroads of some sin 
that stings conscience, but put not themselves under the Lord 
Jesus. Bring those mine enemies hither. Luke xix. 27. In one 
word, as the wound is, so is my closing with Christ. If one be 
in outward trouble, now to Christ he goes to deliver ; if pressed 
with inward trouble for some sins, now to Christ to remove them, 
and so to pacify conscience ; if with want of Christ himself, now 
he goes for himself. 

2. Those that close with promises without Christ himself, and 
divide between them too, that strip Christ of these his swad- 
dliiig-clouts, make their gain of these, and let himself go. I 
confess all a Christian's wealth is laid up in promises, not in 
words and syllables, for they are dead things, but Christ in them, 
and Grod*s faithfulness in them. 2 Sam. xxiii. 4, 5. This is all 
my salvation, for all fuUness is in Christ ; he is rich, but what 
am I the better ? Nay, the more miserable, for all emptiness is 
in me ; therefore in the promise lies my peace. And this is a 
Christian's support in all troubles, and hence he casts anchor 
here ; but here b his frame, he lays not hold on them without 
Christ, but by them goes to Christ, and there rests. John vi. 4G, 
** He that has heard of the Father cometh unto me." Give 
children milk in the dish, they cry still ; they must have it from 
the mother, and there suck ; so 2 Pet. i. 2, 3. Now, there are 
others, that finding some work in themselves without Christ, and 
thinking that it is saving, and so a good sign, hence are mis- 
taken, and close with it without Christ ; and now they think it is 
well. I doubt not but the Jews that be devout comforted them- 
selves with that promise, ** He that confesseth," etc., (Prov. xxviii. 
13,) not understanding of it ; Matt, iii., " Say not within your- 
selves, We have Abraham to our father ; " that promise kept them 
off from Christ. Matt xxii. Some came not to the feast, some 
came, but without a wedding garment. It is with these men as 



I 




132 THK l-AUABLK (IF 

it is willi men that come to buj wines ; they loste them, and con- 
tent iliemaelves wilh a taste ; another burs llie thing ; a aaint doth 
£0. Another laslfs tlie sweet, and after t'olU to the unpardonable 
pin. Heb.vi. Or, as it is with amantbat goescomon thegrouod, 
ho buys the field ; another he gleans soniewlmt, and contents 
himself with that. There is, in one word, a double error: — 

Fir*l. When a man shall close with Christ without promises, 
and henee seek to be seated without a promise. Hence, say 
lome, you must not gather any evidence from any qualificotioa 
you feel in yourself. 

Seeondlg. When men shall snatch and nibble at promises aii4 
misapply them, not closing with Christ in them and by them. Z 
have confessed my Bin, and repented, and run away with thb 
without Christ. 0, time will come, the Lord will say, Ilow cameat 
thou in hither ? What hast thou to do to lake my promises into 
thy mouth, la arm thyself against Christ, by promises to maka ft 
spoil of Christ's grants, and let him be crucihed ? When Saul 
rent off Samuel's garment, he said, " The Lord shall rend," et& 
1 Sam. XV. 27, 28. The letter kills ; all promises without Chriet 
slay, because they keep the furnishing soul fi-om bread itself. 

3. Those that close not with promises only, but with Christ 
himself, hut it is only with tlie image and fauey of him, which, 
they think, is himself. In true faith, the Father reveala the Son 
as he is, or the Son reveab himself as he is, and faith hence 
closes with him us he is. John vi. 40. But some there be that 
hear of him, hence think wliat he is. Hence a carnal mind 
imagines of him as it imagines of a king in a far country, and 
fails down to his Image, and trusts to it, and depends on it, and 
joys in it, until a man comes to be converted or die, and then he 
sees the deceit. Or if he did see him, yet he can see no beauty 
in bira to desire him. There is many a man in this case thi4> 
trusts to, and joys in Clirist, whom, if he did know, he wouN|| 
loalho. John came preaching the gospel to show them Cbriatf 
they all came to him. and rejoiced in his light, but it was but foF 
a season ; for when he came to show them " there he is," (John 
i. 29,) not one man stirs when he shows them Christ, and verse 
3a, "only two;" and chap. iii. 32, "No man received his tes- 
timony." This is, beloved, the great sin and cause of all the 
rest, if they had known they would not have crucified the Lord 
Christ is not seen, hence not thought of, heme not 
esteemed, hence men boast not in him. Nay, it is the great 
plague, un<ier means, that in seemg ihcy see not. ■' Lord, how 
long?" You say, Clirist is never so clearly true, but thou itt' 
seeing nmyst not see ; and if it be seen thiu, then look for 



i 



THE TEN VIBGIKS. 133 

Is. vi. 9-12. We nay, Christians want not light, but life and 
affections. O, beg for light that will bring affections, else all af- 
fections will dry up, if not fed with this spring. John v. 37. 
What people had such means as they ? yet they had not eyes 
to see. 

4. Those that do not close with the bare fancy of Christ, but 
with himself; but it is not for himself and for his holiness, but 
only for his peace, and consolations, and joys. Like a sick wo- 
man that comes to the physician, not to marry her, but to heal 
her, cure her, and so comfort her. Or, if she doth come to marry 
him, it is only to satisfy her lust, or to save her from trouble, etc. 
In a word, they receive Christ, that he may give contentment to 
them, and not that hereby they may also give contentment unto 
him. They close with Christ to make them happy, not to make 
th<>ip holy ^ but they thus closing with him, think they have him, 
and hence rejoice exceedingly, and hence have a love to him, and 
hence have some kind of communion with him, and hence think 
they are espoused to him, and more familiar with him than others, 
and hence verily look with these " five foolish virgins," to em- 
brace the bridegroom. That look as a saint, from a 'false appre- 
hension of Christ, to be none of his, may be very sad, lose his 
joy, nay, his very love, in the act of it, nay, his communion and 
boldness to go to him, nay, his expectation of him ; so from a 
false conceit that Christ is mine, e contra. Thus a man is griev- 
ously troubled with the sight of Grod*s anger and with horror, and 
oseth all means ; at last he sees only Christ can do it, and hence 
seeks for and prizeth his love, (for his own ease ;) for as horror 
may be his greatest evil, so love to ease him may be his grejitest 
good. At last he is fully persuaded. How ? By any work or 
word ? No ; but God has persuaded, and it is now sealed, hence 
joy. But now there is matter of more trouble, holiness and close 
walking with Christ ; this is troublesome. He cares not for 
Christ to help him here, but deviseth how to keep Christ and 
joy without holiness. Hence let a world of sin lie upon them, 
they be not troubled with that ; they look up to Christ. Or, if 
they see and be troubled at it, they take it as a burden, not as 
the greatest burden. Hence, say men, you must not judjje of 
your estate by any thing or qualification you feel in yourself, for 
these may fail your eyesight in misty limes ; but we must follow 
it then, and not rest till we see and find it ; for ** without holi- 
ness no man shall see God." Hence also, let there be never so 
many falls, yet, say they, never call your state into question ; 
hence they profess, we can not move till we be moved, and if I do 
not, it is not my fault. Hence, if ministers do preach any things 

YOL. II. 12 



1 a 

3V- I 

md 
■\f*a I 



» 



1S4 1 

■whiPh are not about the person of Cbrist, or the excellency of M 

Ckristi&n in Christ, or the cmptiuess of the creature to preparavf 

for Christ, (which are, indeed, of great use.) noA press to Bay 

work or service of Christ, ihey are legal preachers, and bring^ 

people under a covenant of vrorka. Whereas, if we preach du- 

ri ties, and leave ihem as signs, before being in Chrisl, tiiey are so ; 

■ but here to preach any duty of the law ia part of the BWeet will 

I of Ch rist. Tell ua (say they) what we should do. What can a 

man do? " He can do all things through Christ." True, but 

Christ must come to act it. Yea, but he has a faith to fetch ib ■ 

1 John i. 6. Itlany said they had communion with him. 1 Johk J 
ii. 3, 4. It seems, they said " they had no sin ; " as now somel 
say, God sees no sin in justified people, God looks to the new^ 
creature only ; it is not I, but sin. If the Spirit help not, it u 
not my fault. Not many days since it did lie upon the spirit of 
one, who seeing Christ has undertaken all, closed with him, re- 
joiced in him, not for this end, not from the beauty they saw in 
holiness, nor bitlemcss of sinfulness, but because they would be 
eased of ihe work. I have known them that have lived in some 
sin, and promised the Lord shall be blessed if he save them in 
their sin, and conceiting he would have loved him; thus these, 
lu R word, the soul of man desires rest and peace, seeks for it in 

' creatures, seeks to satisfy iLielf there ; there it can not ; hence 
seeks for it (as many dying men do) in Christ, not in the grace, 
but in the joy of Christ ; nut in Christ's holy presence, but in bis 
comforting presence ; seeking the utmost perfection of a Christian 
in the seat of the Spirit, not in the mighty actings of the Spirit 
for God. Hence he ia deluded, and fancies he has Christ, and 
hence joy. Sin in the great evil ; hence the end of Christ's i 
tng is to take it away. Hence, if a man close with Christ to n^ 
move horror, not sin, and so lias not closed with him for his hoi 
ncss, you never closed with Christ for the end of his coming, t 
for his, but only fur your own ends ; and so it is not him, but Iv 

2 Cor. ii. 15. The gospel is "asavor to them that pBrish," ■ . 
of death to death. O, consider of these things if it he not thai 
1 John V. 11, 12. Ha»t thou the Son for thy portion? dS 
thou see his glory full of grace to accept and sanctify thee, thoM 
hast life. If not the Son, but only something from him, O, death, 
and not life ! The bonds of death, not life, are upon thee, which 
no creature can unloose, unless the Lord come to thy gmv&^ida 
and unloose thee. '^ 



A 



TH£ TEN YmOINS. 135 

9 

Section VIIL 

Utib, Of Exhort, To close with the person of the Lord Je- 
siu. Yoa will think this is not a right course thus to do. We 
Cfto not do it Ajm. Yet the gospel has commands and entreaties 
wherewith Christ's Spirit goes to the elect, and if you could see 
Christ in the ministry of man, you should feel it, and hence we 
look it should be so. And, besides, saints that have faith and 
power are quickened by the voice of the Son of Grod. Con- 
sider, therefore, — . ^v 

I. All men are fallen into a bottomless gulf of misery and 
sin, though once righteous. Hence Grod*s truth having said, 
^ He that sins shall die." Hence justice comes out to do execu- 
tioD, and when the neck of all men thus lies on the block, yet 
mercy pities, and saith, O, spare, save ! Satisfy me, saith jus- 
tice, then I wilL Hence mercy sends forth a Son, when no men 
nor angels could help ; and he takes flesh, takes all their sin, 
fulfills all righteousness, bears their sorrows, and by ^' one offer- 
ing perfects forever them that are sanctified ; " and, having done 
this, is now at the right hand of Grod in the glory of his Father, 
all creatures subject to him, all excellencies being met together 
in him. So that now he is the delight of Grod, the joy of heaven ;>/ 
so that whatsoever thou canst want, or losest, if thou hadst him, 
thou shalt find it in him ; and also whatever he can do for thee, 
in his time thou shalt receive it from him. Deut. xxxiii. 26, 21), 
^ WTio is like the Grod of Jeshurun ? " 

2. Now, there is a universal offer to all people where the 
gospel comes. Enemies are entreated to be reconciled ; for 
though he has not died for all, yet now being King, such is his 
excellency, that he is worthy of all. Hence commands all to 
receive him ; and if this be a condemning sin to reject him, it is 
then a ooomiand lies upon you to receive him, and the founda- 
tion of this offer is your wants and miseries. You are dead, O, 
come to him, therefore, for life; weak, guilty, blind, O, there^ 
fore, oome to him for pardon, peace, and life. Not fullness, 
nothing bat emptiness is the ground of this offer. Jcr. iii. 22. 

3. Hence there is nothing on Cod's part, nor yet on your part, 
that can keep you from him. No sins, no wants, unless it be 
your wilL Matt xxiii. 37. Therefore, now, whoever will shall 
have him, let him take him. Rev. xxii. 17. There be two at'ts 
of the will, election and resolution ; I must have him, which, if 
you will, nothing that ever thou didst or canst do can please the 
Father so much; so that he will, 1. Adopt thee to be his son. 
John L 12. As tf contra, 2. Thou shalt enrich thyself with a 




greater bleseing than it' heaven and earlh and all glonr was pnti 
Lhy hand, a& th<! Lord biinself is better than all ; and henoe I 
M thine, ever thiDc ; none shall pull tliee out of his hand. 
2 Pet. i. o. And it shall rejoice the heart of Christ himself ii 
heaven, when, as hia bride, thou givest to him th; good witL 
Is. Ixii. 5. And if you do not kiss the Son, he wiU be ungiy. 
Fa. ii. And God knows whether now the last word, the last 
nfier, ib to be made to thee. 
' Ob/rct. 2. But I find such sins in me, that, till thej* are gone^ ! 

Am. Then you will first remove sin, and after receive ChriaL J 
First be your own saviours, and then make him luiother; yoa 
fihuU never do il. O, I'lose with bim to take sin away ; because 
Mck, therefore receive bim. 

Object. 2, But I have no will ; my heart is endeared U 
Alii. Tlierefore resign up thyself to him to give thee a will, 
(put it into his hand, as bad as it ia ; this is spouse-like,) and to 
take away that will to sin, so thou shalt have him ; " I am my 
beloved's, he is mine." For the Father looks to the law, aiid 
saith, Sinner, if thou believe, thou shalt be saved. Now, lie 
under the Spirit, and you are where you should be ; resist here, 
you resist the Holy Ghost. O, but sin is dear. Consider, 1. 
What good did it ever do thee ? 3. Has Christ shed bis blood) 
or 110 ? If not, 0, the wrath of God is to come. If he hae, 0, 
wilt Iliou offer ibis wrong to his blood, thai a lust shall be dearer 
than it ; thy bloody knives dearer thnn the life, and death, and 
mercy of a Son? O, therefore, if any soul has any lust dear, I 
beseeeh you, by all the bitter sorrows of Christ, not to reject s 
jgreat salvation. 
f Object. 3. But must I receive Christ with my own strengUi?'^ 
; .M9. No, you con not, nor ought not; but if the Lord puWl 
strength iu thee, put it forth. Many followed Christ for l0BTe%'1 
hut none that ever came to bim for himself that ever ha p * 
away. Ps. Ixxxi. 11-ia, "I showed much love, but they wM 
none of me. O tbat they had hearkened ! " At this i 
God may give thee a heart. 

Object. 4. But I shall never get mj sins removed that I ^mL^ 
which, I think, can not stand with grace. j 

AuM. God's promise and reason is cross to thy fears. If ^ 
sou, all things afeo, tliough many years hence. Rom. viii. 8 
If not by receiving, is it by rejecting that thou shall attmn ll 
end ? It U true, ibou baat fallen oil' by thy siu from Christ, & _ 
cause iby fulls have made tliee full off by unbelief from hiHl 
and made ibee say. Either I do nol believe, or the Lord inta 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 137 

no good to me. You have had no strength, because not satisfied 
with meat. 
Object, 5. But I may presame. 

An$, Is it presumption to honor Christ, and to have him hon- 
ored in thee ? No. Dost thou think, if the Lord shall, after all 
tiij sins, and in the midst of all thy miseries, give thee Christ, 
siudl he not be honored by this ? Yes ; who can ever have such 
cause to love him as I ? Shall not thy receiving of him by faith 
honor him? Yes. Rom. iv. 20. Canst thou dishonor him so 
much as by rejecting him ? When he has laid down his life, 
showed his love, offers himself; now to reject him, it is to offer 
greatest contempt to him and his love that can be. Hence can 
Toa honor him so much as by this ? Do never so much without 
him, he is unsatisfied ; do this, he is well pleased. Nay, af\er 
all thy sins, yet he saith, ^* Return to me." Nay, nothing else is 
such a means to honor him, by doing for him. If so, grant thou 
art vile, unworthy, poor, yet for the honor of the Lord Jesus do 
it, who is but little honored in the world, and stand out no longer. 
Thus receive him, and then know it, you are sons, and rejoice in 
it, and do it now, while the Spirit is upon thee, and remember 
now not to change. Jer. ii. 11. As women, O, I would not 
change. See how happy are thy joys. But, Lord, who has 
believed our report? 

Quest, How may the soul come to close with the person of 
the Lord Jesus ? 

Ans. 1. Before any man close, i. e., see and say he doth close 
with the Lord as his own, he must feel a want of the Lord and 
his presence, not only of his comforting, but of his holy pres- 
ence ; for some people there be that never felt a wMit of Christ 
at all ; they are great and grievous sinners, but they trust to 
Christ, and though he kill them, yet they will trust to him ; 
others are in misery, and they feel a want of redemption, and 
hence close with Christ for that. Ps. Ixxvii. 35. Others are in 
horror, and know not what to do, and they feel a want of the 
comfortd of Christ, and hence close with Christ for that ; and if 
they find it, they depart from Christ by looseness of life, if not 
by despair of heart, as Saul. 1 Sam. xxviii., " God answers me 
not by Urim," etc. Others feel a want of some righteousness 
from Christ, the having of which sup|K)rts and sustains them 
without Christ, till with the prodigal, when all is spent, then 
they think of bread at home, and the want of whicli makes them 
to have less esteem of, and desire after, Christ, but they are full 
of objections against the thoughts of closing with him, but hence 
they cloee with Christ for that. Others there are that feel a want 

12» 



138 



o? 



I 



of ihe Lord himself, and hence close with him for himself; i 
that let a man have all hleasings in llie worM, the purity of o 
dinaDces, never so many elapscri, and droppings of divine light) f 
and life and comfort in these ordinances, tliat he wonders the 
Lord should be so good to hira. yet he ehall find (if right) hit 
80ul sefimlj unquiet and unsatialied till he has the Lord him- 
self/As the savor of meat makes a man that wanta it cry th« 
more aller ii, long the more for it, so the savor and sweet of all 
creatures, nil ordinances, all duties, do not slay, but stir up the 
Boul lo seek Christ wlien he is himself. Jer, 1. i, " They shall 
seek the Lord weeping." Hence first they felt a want of him. 
''The fiiU lioul loathes the honeycomb." Let the Lord be never 
BO Bweet, let him do them uever ao much good, the more good 
he doth ihera, the less they regard him. Jer. ii. 6, " They eud 
not, Where is the Lord ? " Therefore that soul that truly clo»- 
eth with Ihe Lord must first feel a want of the Lord, and say 
these ordinances are not bread, these creatures are not bread, all 
these parts, gifts, duties are not bread ; bran, not bread. All tld* 
savor, this sweetness, it is not bread. Ilcnce I perish for want of 
bread. I have creatures, ordinances, affections, comforts, dutiee, 
but, O, no Christ. Like the prodigal. Luke xv. 1 7. O, therelbre, 
do not only see, but feel, the want of the Lord Jesus, you that never 
had him yet ; nay, you thai have hira, you can not have more of 
him, but by feeling more the want of him. O, it was a marvelotu 
expression of Moses, when the Lord began to be weary of their 
company, (Exod. xsxiii. 15,) "If thou goest not with us, carry us 
not up hence ; " i. e., let us ralher die than live without thee. Merj, 
when Christ was crucified, the carcass of the Lord was gone, she 
sat there weeping; O, much more for the Lord himself. It is 
observed by some for the saddest spectacle, to see a desert town. 
O, what is it to see a desert heart, where no Christ inhabits ? (^ 
a city, and no inhabitants ? And henco it is Rome's curse to be 
made " a habitation of devils ; " so here. What is hell but this, to 
see not Abraham, but to t^cc Christ afar off, and thyself shut out? 
It may be it is no sorrow now, but it will be. It is a sad thins 
to see a man " rise up early, go to bed late, eat the bread <a 
carefulness," and yet gain nothing. Phil. i. 21, This is very 
end. Christ is our gain ; all the creatures you liavc, meana yoHu 
use, duties you do, comforts you receive, they are not gain ; 
the more (rod docs for lliee, the more thou losest, if do G 
because now thou art full by this means. O, therefore, get'j 
heart sensible of the want of the Lord. Think there is a Chr"'" 
whose glory is the amazement of heaven, but, O, I see him n 
Happy forever arc they that have him ; but, O, I have him ] 




^^^^^^p THE TEN VlRGINa. 139 

Tonr tinngrr bellies can not want bread ; if they do, they are 
never quiet till llicy liave il. Is the Iiord no better? Lord, 
gnitit this contempt be not revenged with Bpiritual plagues I 
Some of Tou know Dot your want,olhefs feel it not, you can live 
without liim : irorse thaii Saul, he went to Urim, and lamented 
in greftt distress, " He answers me not '. " O, you feel no distress, 
bemuse of tbiii, I hove him not! Nay, worse than Dives, that 
begged, O, a drop of " wali?r to cool my tongiie " ! Wliy cry not 
TOU, O, the Lord Christ to comfort my heart ! Why is not all 
(his fullness longed for ? O, therefore, let nothing else comfort, 
and let nolbiog discourage, hat make this use of all, O, I want 
bim. 

2. To the right closing with his person, this is also required, 
lo taste the bitlemess of sin, as the greatest evil j else a man '. 
will never close with ChrisI, for his holiness in him, and from 
bim as the greatest good. For we told you tliat that is the right 
cloaiDg with Christ for himself, when it is for his holiness. For 
ask A wborish heart what beauty he sees in the person of Christ, 
he wiU, after he has looked over his kingdom, his righteousness, 
all hia works, see a beauty in them, because they do serve hia 
tarn lo eomfort him only. Ask a virgin, he will see his happi- 
ness in all ; but that which makes the Lord amiable, is his holi- 
ness, which is in him, to make hina holy loo ) as in marriage, it 
is personaJ beauty draws the heart. And hence I have thought 
il reason, that he loves bretliren, for a little grace will love Ohnat 
much more. Hence, if a man feuls not the want of Christ, the 
bitterness of sin, as bis greatest evil, he will never see nor 
admire Clirist's. beauty, mucii less close with it. Hence, (Joha 
rvi. 9.) " coavincetb the world of sin, because they believe not 
in me," i. e-, of that ckielly. " 0, these wrongs done against the 
Lord I " Why not of wrath and hoU ? O, sin is the evil, and 
then it appears exceeding evil, when not against God simply, but 
B^nst a Son. "Saul, why pera«cutcst thou me?" Acts ix. 
Why? Did he not give in lusts and self-confldence ? Tes, but 
in all these he saw he persecuted Christ. And after saddest 
March. I have feared the want of this is the great cause of all a 
man's closing omiM with Christ. I would but ask, Where was 
Jadss's wound ? Was it resting in a Pharisaical righteousness 
without Clirist? Without Christ; no, for lie forsook all and fol- 
lowed Cbrisl. Was it want of profession of him. preaching for 
him ? No. Was it for want of communion with him ? No : one 
sin he lived in, he had bis bag. And hence, when many went 
from him, he stuck lo him. Jolm vi. Judas still cleaves to him ; 
yi« even then Christ calls him a devil, which, if ever he had 



^m atnr oil. 

K will rec 

^H thta gooi 



140 THE PARABLt OF 

tasted the bitterness of, lie would not hnve lived in, nor died 
desperatelj, some tlunk unpardonably, without Christ, and so 
sin more against him. Let any man living sliow me how he am 
close with Clirist, mid yet love one sin. I will be his bondman, 
that can say, I close. with Christ as my husband, and yet I love 
my whore too. Let any man living close with Christ, and keep 
his sin, or hide hb sin, or let it he hid, his closing with Cbrltt 
will hm^en him in liis bio, and so he shall die without Christ in 
his sins, as it is writ. Eiod. xxi. 2-1. As it was with Joab, who 
fled to the horns of the altar, so it is with many men; they 
sin, and confess, and sin under all laws. Why ? They fly to 
Christ, and this emboldens them, Iiardens them. Why? Becsose 
they never tasted the Wtterness of sin. I know a man's sin may 
be crucified before it is mortified, as it may be buried ailer it is 
dead. O, therefore, I beseech you, look to this, you fail not 
here. Many of you arc troubled ; O, take heed of being com- 
forted until you get the Lord to do this for you, or unless yoo 
depend upon the Lord for this in his time. Some apply comfort 
when they see no good. I dare not to myself or others. 0, 
therefore, imagine thou didst hear the Lord speaking, Why dost 
thou persecute me ? Why is a man so grieved at any thing that 
crosEes himself? Because a man loves liimself, because be 
thinks his good lies there most. O, see thy good more in Christ 
than in thyself. Acts ix. 4. O mc! me in whom all good is! 
O, to persecute him I Two men here, and one is in horror and 
the other not- O, it is because God sets it on. So here. 

S. Make the Lord Jesus present with you, and see Mm really 
before you, and see him willing to give himself unto you, even 
to thee in particular. Those that give themselves in marriage 
separate lliemselves from all company, and get alone together, 
and give themselves one unto another; so sever thyself from all 
the world, and set the Lord really before thee, as David, (Ps, 
xvi. 8.) and so close one with another. For two thin^ keep 
from Christ. Either, — 

FiriU They care not for him, and the cause is, they e 
him not present, only have a notion and report of him. 

Seconalt/. They dare not close with him, because they fear % 
is not wilUng to close with them, with others, not witli me. Sitm 
that all the Scriptures they read, all (he promises they hear, anfl 
very sweet, hut tliey look on them as spoken to others "" 
(Acts ii. 39,) " For the promise is made lo you, and to thM 
afar oil'." Be thou never so far olf, if thou receivest him, 1" 
e thee. Luke ii. 14. "Good will to men." O, « 
this good will in the Lord to have thee receive him, though tl 



I 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 141 

hagt no money, nay, because dead and vile, nay, because not seiv- 
«iMe. Rev. iii. 17, 18. O, wonderful ! Because senseless of mis- 
ery, therefore close with him. 1. Is it not his command it should 
be so ? 2. Is it not a sin to reject him ? Will he not be angry 
with thee to reject him ? 3. Are not his conditions easy, so as 
he has andertaJcen to do all that which thou sayest thou canst 
not? Why wilt not? 1. O, if I were a child, a son in covenant, 
I would ; but, because otherwise, hence I dare not. Ans. John 
L 12. Receive him; he will make thee a son. 2. O, but my 
wants are many. Ans, Receive him ; he will make thee rich. 
Is. Iv. 1-3. O, but I find my heart endeared to creatures. 
Ans. 1 John v. 4, " This is the victory that overcometh the 
world, even your faith." 4. O, but I shall fall back. Ans. No. 
Jer. iii. 22, ^ Return, and he will heal thy backsliding." 5. O, 
but I shall never be able to do any thing. Ans. Tes ; close with 
him, and thou shalt 6. O, but I am very vile before the Lord 
after all I do. Ans. Tet (£ph. v. 25-27) he will make thee 
amiable ; only receive him, set thy heart on him alone. Now, 
do you think he bears a good will toward you ? Can you deny 
it ? Shall not this overcome thee, that the Lord of glory should 
fall in love with thee, and bear good will to thee, a leper, and 
that canst do nothing for him, and yet for all this ? O, this will 
draw thee ! Ps. xxxvi. 6, 7, " O, how great is thy loving kind- 
ness ! " This makes a heart of steel to yield. Jer. xxxi. 1-3. 
(J. this will cut you in hell ; O, hard hearts that despised such . 
grace. 

4. If the serious thoughts of this do not draw thee, at least 
not so fully, look up to the Lord to reveal himself unto thee, to be 
thine. For, as no man can take Christ until Grod gives him, so no 
man can say he is his, until tlie Lord shows him that he is his. 
And as the creature can not resist, but take when the Ix)rd 
pivcH, M) it can not but see the Lord when he reveals himself 
a< indeed he is. And look to see him to be yours by some 
promise ; for there is a seeing Christ, mine is gresit fulgor with- 
out the light of a promise, and spirit in it. Is Christ yours ? 
Yes, I see it. How ? by any word or promise ? No, this is a 
delusion. The other is by promise, and that opened in the^f^s- 
pel. Eph. i. 13, 14. He saith not in whom, after ye were sealed, 
you beUeved, but e contra. And how believed ? By hearing the 
gospel. Hence saints return to this. Ps. li. 8. " Let me hear 
the voice." 1 Pet. ii. l-.*3. And this is that which has knit the 
hearts of saints to Christ forever, '* O, thou hast the words of 
life." For there is a voice of love to the saints engraven in allj 
mercies, in all afflictions, in all God*s leadings of them, though* 



I 



149 TUE PARABLE OF 

it be in a wilderness ; but, beloved, only the Word csui tell tae 
the meaning of tliese words of love. So there ia love of Clirifl 
revealed according to a promise, not liy it, and love spoken in 
mercies, but tlie Word inhirpreta them and clears them to be no 
delusions ; I mean the Spirit there. Tliis is judged to be a good 
answer to Papists, Who shall be judge of controversies ? We 
''^swer, that which shall be Judge at the last day must be judge 
now ; but so, Bom. ii. 1 6 ; John Jtii. 48. So whether does God'i 
Spirit seal, or the devil delude ? It is a great controversy if 
you have not a word to see God's love by, but tliink you luive 
a way to eee it without ; thid Word shall judge you. 0. look, 
therefore, for the Lord by a word to do it, and say, " Speak, 
Ixjrd 1 " and if by word, look not for it without a work on your own 
hearu Some Christians have rested with a work wittiout Christ, 
which is abominable ; but after a. man is in Christ, not to Jndga 
by the work, is Urst not to judge from a word. For though 
there is a word which nuiy give a man dependence on Christ, 
without feeling any work, nay, when he feels none, as absolute 
promises, yet no word giving assurance, but that which is made 
to some work ; " He that believetli, or ia poor in spirit" etc., till 
that work is seen, has no aseuranco from tliat promise. Tell 
him God has promised to pour "clean water." Ezek. xxivi. 
Yes, for some, not for me. Secondly. It is not to judge by the 
Spirit, for the apostle makes the earnest of the Spirit to be tlie 
seal ; DOW earnest is part of the money bargained for, the be- 
ginning of Leaven, of the light and life of it. lie that sees not 
the Lord ia his by that, sees no God his at all. O, therefore, do 
not look for a Spirit without a word to reveal, nor a word to 
reveal without seeing and feeling of some work first. I thank 
the Lord I do but pity those that think otherwise. If a sheep 
of Christ, 0, wander noL Object. But I have wait«d long for 
this. Aiu. True ; therefore more ncied to wait still ; it may be 
now it is not fur off. Object. O, but it may be he will not, if I 
knew that I could be quiet. Ana. Down, proud heart. O, take 
heed of that pride ; art not worthy never to hear a voice from 
Grod ? Be silent, then, and humble, and now hear what the 
Lord will say ; he apeais in a still voice. Ps, Ixxatv. 8. Do as 
thej in that psalm did : thou hast done thus and thus ; O, hear 
us, turn Ds, and then lie still and listen. O, do thus, ebe yoo 
make God a liar if the word comes, (1 John v. 10, 11,) and 
when thou hast him, O, change him not. 

Firtt. 'What dost want, and where wilt go to find, is but theraiB 
any creatures, and all the excellencies of ihem, are there, t 
time of trouble he will be instead of all, and also bless a 



s but tlierat^ 
liere, and V^^ 
•.S6 alL ^1 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 143 

Secondly. Dost want grace to honor a Grod ? it is in him the 

/bllness of it Dost want God and his love ? thou hast him, and 

oow aO his love, his care, his wisdom is thine. O, wonder at th j 

Jo( and portion, and saj. Lord, I have enough. Thus much of the 

/ir4 doctrine. 



CHAPTER XI. 

SliOWIKG THAT TRUE BEUEVERS DO WITH HOPE EXPECT THE 

SECOND COMINO OF CHRIST. 

Section I. 

Now, thej go forth bj JBbpe and Desire of him and his 
coming. 

Observ. 2. That the church and people of God, after they are 
tiulj espoused to Christ, and made in any measure ready for 
Christ, they now are no \pnrft gf i\^\^ wnrlH^ but look out of it, 
and verily expect the second coming, anS" glorious appearing of 
Christ. 

It is true, they look for his coming and company at the last 
period of their hfe, but this they look upon but as their welcome 
in the way, until the last trumpet shall blow, and that they shall 
meet the Lord in the clouds coming in the air, (1 Thess. iv. 18,) 
which is the last and chief time of coming they look out for. 
Tlie five wise virgins did here verily look for him ; the five 
foolish seemingly did so too. That look as it was before the first 
c-oming of Christ, all their thoughts and searchings of heart 
were after the day, and time, and glory of it 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. 
And the nearer his coming was, the more ardently was he ex- 
pected. Hence such flocking to John's ministry. Hence Simeon 
waited long for the ** consolation of Israel." So the espoused 
an<i beloved of the Lord look out for his coming now. He has 
left them as orphans in this world. He has divers of his elect 
yet to bring home, and enemies to put under his feet, and then 
they know he will come, and this day they look for ; as Christ 
expects it Heb. x. 13. By the same Spirit they look for it. 

This is that which Christ so oft presses on his disciples, fore- 
seeing the slumbers of the world, to be ever watching for his 
f^econd coming, and hence these alone are accounted blessed. 
Luke xii. 37, 38. That let Christ come at any watch, O, blessed ! 
The duration of the world from the first to the second coming 
\a but as it were a night divided into several watches ; the saints 
are the watchmen of 'the world, who, you know, look for daylight ;j 



I 



144 TBE PARA.BLE OF 

tbougb it be long, it is but a night ; it will be morning. Alf 
the rest are like bird* at their chaff. And lience he 
them the rei»on of the luieertainty of his coming, makes thi»^ 
the end of it. The; are evangelical commands wilh whicb 
I there goes a power. Look through all the primitiTe chnrch in 
I the g olden age, they hod all this stamp. 1 Cor. i. 7, " Waiting." 
iThess. i. 10,"To wait for Christ from heaven." Nay, Heb.ii. 
28, He professeth those only may know the fruit of hia fire! J 
coming, diot " now look for him." | 



Section U. 
Reason 1. Because they really foresee and see such a day. 
3 Pet. iii. 3, 4, '' In the last days shall come scofiers, saying, 
Where is the promise of his coming? All things are as ihey 
were ; " and henee live in their lusts, die in their own dun^ . and 
never look for it But these foresee it really, and hence look 
for iL Men that live on land, and love the emoke of their own 
chimneys, never look out to other coasts and countries, or to a 
strange land ; but seamen that are bound for a voyage, and have 
a pilot with them that has seen the coast, that is it they look for ; 
80 men that live in this world, and are well hbre, look not after 
Chmt nor hia coming ; but they have a pilot, a Spirit to show 
them, this day, this coast, and are bound for anollier world ; ihcy 
look out for this, they sec it two ways. 

1. By tlie eye of faith in the promise, (2 Pet. iii. 13 ;) and 
this makes the soul see it when all things seem to be against it, 
and hence expects it ; for that is the difference between faith and 
hope. Faith doses with Christ, and all the glory of Christ, in 
tiie promises, as present i hope hence steps forth, and lays hold 
upon the performance itself, as absent. Fuith entertains tha 
promise as a faithful messenger, and sees that this message 
true i hope runs out of doors, and leaves it with faith, and Tool 
for the Lord himself. Heb. xi. 1. 
1 2. By the light of glory in the thing itself; for saints do not 
' only see things in letters anjLsyl Iablca_ a nd "pr ds, but see things 
v as they are in themselves. The wicltea see ' Ihe word, sin, and 
Christ, and heaven, (and in seeing see not,) but not the things 
themselves. Now, the glorious coming of Christ being a thing 
to come, yet to be done, liow do they see it but by rejwrt ? Yes ; 
they have the Spirit of glory, whidi Spirit " shows them things 
to come, (John xvi, 13,) which eye liaih not seen." Thai loot 
as their head Christ sees this day as it shall be, and his apg 
hensions are not false, but as he conceives of this day 



)ia 

^ 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 145 

be ; 60 the saints, bj the same Spirit, see it before it comes, and 
are not mistaken about it, though it be very darkly, jet some- 
times, when the Spirit of God is not overclouded, thej see 
Bore evidentlj. For this is the great plague of the wicked, 
they see nothing as it is, and in hell thej see how they have 
been deceived. So this is the happiness of saints, that though 
thej see things darklj, jet they see things truly, the Spirit cre- 
ating glorious impressions on the mind of thmgs as thej are. 
Thej know things that the e je sees not as thej are. That look, 
as Abraham (John viiL 56) '^ saw Christ's daj and was gladT^ 
though afar c^, so the saints, bj the same Spirit. Now, whj 
did Noah make his ark, and look for a flood ? Because he saw 
it reallj. Did not others ? No ; it is said '' thej knew not." 
Matt xxiv. 38, 39. Never knew << till the flood came." The 
Lord made it not known. Noah did, the other did not. Hence 
the saints can not but look for it. 

£ea$oH 2. Because thej see nothing else in this w<Hrld wor^^ 
looking after ; no, not for the present For if a man sees the day 
of the Lord, jet has some prej in his eje, in this world, and his 
game before him, he will follow his hunting to catch his venison, . 
though he comes too late for the blessing. But the Lord makes 
his people to see nothing in the world worth the hawking ojj 
catching. 

1. Thej see the glorj of another daj, another world, and this 
puts out the glorj of this, and hence makes them look for that ; 
and hence, when Christ would comfort his disciples, he promises 
nothing here, but tells them, ^ In mj Father^s house are manj 
mansions. I go to prepare a place, and I will come to jou 
again." John ziv. 1-3. And hence thej, seeing this to be 
enough, look for this. 

2. Thej see an end of all these things, of all the glorj of 
them, and that these summer swallows will take their wings, and 
flj awaj in greatest extremities. Hence thej look to eternal 
things, the Lord and his coming. 2 Cor. iv. 18, ^^ We look not 
at temporal things." 

3. Thej find the Lord crossing them of what thej lo<^ for in 
this world, sometimes of outward comforts, and sometimes of the 
performance of spiritual promises. And when God thus ^' hedg- 
eth their waj with thorns," then thej '^ think of their first hus- 
band." Look as it was with Abraham. Heb. xL 13. You know 
strangers, when their waj is uncomfortable, ever and anon look 
for their home. Abraliam was heir of the world, jet he sojourns 
as a stranger in it, in tents, '* because he looks for a cit j." Verse 
10. So here, saints are the heirs of all creatures, jet the Lord 

VOL. n. 13 



14t THE PAKABLE OP 

makes them slmngere here, and bence Ihey look for aomething the. 
The thiogs God haa promised Ui his people are very great, bul 
not accomplished. Why ? Because full accomplish nienl is left 
till the last day, that hope may wait, and that we may live by 
faith. God has promised to " lake away all tears." O, wel- 
come that day ! This world can not do it, and the Lord here 
will not. 1 Cor. iv. 19, " If our hope were ouly here, we were 
most miserable ." 

Season 3, Because they see and are sensible of their deliTer- 
ance from wrath to eome. There has been much wrath in 
the world seen, but yet the great wratb is to come. What 
that is they sec ; what their escape from it is they see. Henca 
iLey look for Christ, when he shall appear like the rising giin, and 
like a bridegroom from his chamber to comfort them. 1 Tbess. 

1i. 10. For tlie devils look for this day, and natural men; bul 
Beeing wrath, wish themselves under rocks and mountains, and 
Beck to smother it ; but saints, seeing themselves delivered, hence 
calmly look for it. The sense of this love mokes them say, 0, 
when will lie come, that I may " see him wilh these eyes " I 
They fear not (for why should they ?) the terror of this day. 

Jiecuon i. Because the Lord has given unlo them the fir^t 
fruits of glory, and of that day of glory ; hence lliey look and 
wait for it. You know the first fruits were part of the whole 
vintage ; hence they gave thanks for all, because tliey then 
looked for aU. Eiod. xxiii. Rom. viii. 23, " We, having the first 
GraiU of the Spirit, wait for the adoption." Look aa it is with 
the wicked, that have rejected Christ and counted his blood a 
common thing, and done despite to God's Spirit, there remains 
DOlhing " but a fearful looking for of vengeance ; " so here 
B contra. Rom. v. 1-5," Being justified by faith," now, 1. " Peace 
with God ; " 2. Access by Christ to God ; 3. Standing in thatj 
grace; 4. Shedding of love, hence not only hope, but "glorjU 
in hope of the glory of God." There is none espoused li'B 
Christ but taste this love, feel the warmth of his fellowship, fM ' 
the abundance of his love, but it is but in a little measure, in the 
first fruits ; hence they look for and expect the rest at hia com- 
ing. They are sometimes full of fears — What if shut out at 
last? But when they feel the first fruila of glory at that day, 
now they verily look for his coming. Christ died, we know ; but 
it was not possible for him to he held long, and hence rose again, 
and then looked for glory, and then was taken up to glory. So 
here ; the saints lie dead in the grave of sins and fears ; but it tl 
not possible for them ever lo he held here; hence, 
" risen with Christ," they look upon " things above," and ■ 



THE TEN VraGINS. 147 

waiting for glory, and at last are taken to glory with himself. 

Look as Jacob (Gen. xlix. 18) said, " My soul waiteth for thy 

salvation ; " when the stakes and pins of this fleshly tabernacle 

are loosing. So the Lord is loosing him from the excellency of 

this world ; though he minds other things, yet he recalls himself 

— " My soul waiteth for thy salvation, O Lord." 

Section III. 

Ui€ 1. Hence let all flesh take notice that there is such a 
time and day and coming of the Lord Jesus. This was the 
apo6tle*8 argument to prove a resurrection, " Christ is risen ; ^ 
and to prove this, and so a resurrection from the dead at Christ's 
coming, " else your faith is vain ; " i. e., expectation of him vain. 
1 Cor. XV. 14, 17. Men think it easy to believe a resurrection 
and a second coming of Christ for that end; but a hoverly 
slight work is quickly done, and a hoverly faith is quickly 
wrought. But when a man comes to look considerably, is thei _ 
such a day indeed ? Is there now in the third heavens that will 
fire this whole worlds and gather his saints to his glory ? Now, 
it is very hard. It is usual with Satan to pierce with extremi- 
ties, that when they do begin, indeed, to close with Christ, and 
receive comfort from him, to smite them with thoughts. Is there 
a Christ, and is there such a time of coming ? Now, of all the 
arguments to convince and persuade, methinks there is none like 
this, viz. : That there be a generation of men in the world that 
verily look for this day and see it, and have the first fruits and 
beginnings of it already in their souls. A number of people 
that once never minded it ; heard of it, but looked not for iUj 
now to see it ; flesh and blood could not, Satan would not reveaf 
it ; hence God, that can not lie, has shown it unto them, so as 
they are in a manner eye-witnesses of it ; men will believe eye- 
witnesses of any thing, especially if many. Such are^the es- 
poused of the Lord in all ages. ** The things which we have 
heard and seen we speak." 

Object. But may they not be deceived, and conceit that which 
is not? 

Ant. True ; but divine revelation of any truth, that can not 
deceive ; for thb is no fancy of the head, nor delusion of Satan. 
Now, this is a secret the Spirit makes known. 

1 . In that it fills the mind and feeds the heart with it, that it 
carries unto Grod with wonderment of blessing him that ever he 
saw this. Fancies can not feed, especially in greatest agonies. 
Now, they choose misery on this ground, rather than present 
peace here. Ueb. xi. 35, ^ Not accepting deliverance." 



Im the parable op 

2. In timt it works efTects cro!^ to nature ; cay, to all a man's 
lusts in tbem. Noah foresaw a flood nigh, but he might be de- 
ceived. No ; it 13 sniil " he feared," kept close to God, and it 
came ; so here. 

8, This light whereby Ihey see is not only sweet and glorious, 
and cross to heart and lusts, but il is sudden, as with Paul, when 
going to persecute ; "suddenly there fell a great light," and so 
he saw Christ. So when a man goes on in his sin, and sudden- 
ly the Lord reveals this, and that by a word, (else it is a deceit,) 
which all angels could not do before, so as to see it, and th^ 
none can reveal it as he sees it, especially to bring this light oat 
of darkness, this must be miraculous power, and no dream. 
But what do I speak of seeing ? They feel the beginnings of 
it in the first fruits of it. 

For two great things shall be at that day. 
1 Fir»t. Then all the elect shall liave their fill of love. 
I Secondly. Triumph in Christ when in the clouds with 1 
j Have they not the first here ? Rom. v. 5. The feeling of 
which love can not be a fancy, for it can not conceive of it noC, 
hold it This is an infinite love, and that in the midst of th^- 
fence of sin and death. That many times they are even fain tQ> 
flay, Lord, hold. 2. Triumph, Rom. v. 3. And that in afflio- 
tioQS, which Diake them by experience so to feel God in part, 
that they triumph for time to come. It is true, at times, they 
look down the tower, and so tremble ; but while they look up 
hero, then they triumph, having access to the grace wherein 
they stand ; so, then, look for it, there shall be such a day aud 
Buch a coming of Christ. Rev. i. 7. The Father has exalted 
the Son to inelfable gtoij. But, Lord, who sees him as these, 
in his glory, or to come forth out of liis glory ? It is but table- 
talk. But, '' Behold, he comes, and every eye shall see him." 
The Lord pities you, and holds out bowels of love and faith; 
0, recede me I 0, cast away those bloody knives that have 
pierced me ; and sends his Spirit, like his hand, to draw yoa. 
But, 0, do you not kick his bowels, do you not pierce his hands 
and feet daily? And when you liave done, no tears. But he 
comes, and you that pierce him shall see him, etc. Consider rf 
it, therefore, you that doubt of this, you that think not of tlii%. ] 
and hence live and lie in your lusts, and despise him. — • ■■' 
he comes I 

Section IV. 

Utt 2. Hence behold the happiness of all them that be . 
poufled to the Lord Jesus, in tliat their hopes are laid up 




■hH 



THB TEN YIRGINS. 149 

•nollier world, at the day of the coining of the Lord Jesus. 
1 Cor. XV. 19, " K we had hope only in this life, we were of all 
men most miserable." Because none so foolish or so sensible of 
misery as they ; but our hopes stretch to another life, to the 
secood coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Suppose a man had 
all the crowns of the world cast at his feet, but at last to be 
dragged before the judgment seat of Christ, and there to stand 
quakkig, what should he be the better ? What though saints 
have all the miseries in this world ; but, at last, " with these 
eyes they shall see the Lord,'* and stand triumphing before him, 
aiid have a real sight and certain expectation of this. What 
people in the world so great as these ! 

Quest What do they wait and expect for ? 

Ans. Great things, which may astonish the whole creation. 

1. They look for him " to change their vile bodies," thai this 
their husband^ at the marriage day, should take away these rags, 
*^ and make them like unto his glorious body," brighter than the 
sun ; so that burn them, cut them to pieces, they see Christ loves 
both, and hence holds sword and soul in one hand, and scabbard 
in another, etc. 

2. They expect he should take away all their sins, and make 
them like unto himself ; engrave on their souls perfectly his own 
image, that their enemies they feel now, they look they " shall 
never see them more." 1 John iii. 2. And as no evil like it, no 
mercy like this ; and no evil to saints like this, that yet they 
should grieve the heart of such a husband. 

3. They look that he should take away all sorrows and tears 
from them ; for this the Lord promiseth, and begins to execute 
now, but it shall be perfected then. Is. xxv. 8, 9. And hence 
called "the times of refreshing." Acts iii. 19, 20. It is true, 
the spouse and church is now sorrowful to the very heart many 
times, but there is a time coming that they shall never sorrow 
more. 

4. They look that he should take away all shame from them. 
For no people in the world is laden with more calumnies and 
reproaches by the wicked and by hypocrites, and hard speeches 
from the godly, and they doubt whether they be sons or no. 
Now, then the whole world shall see they arc sons, and shall 
stand amazed at them, and shall not doubt of it, nor themselves ; 
for the Lord shall proclaim it, and they shall hear. These are my 
jewels. And this they look for. 1 John iii. 1, 2. 

5. They look for recompense to all their " labor of love " to 
him and his. Hence, (1 Cor. xv. 58,) " Knowing your labor is 

13 • 



I 



150 THE FAKABLF. OF 

not in vtdn in tbe Lord." Hence the apostle ofl defers men for 
that recompense till now. '' Tlie Lord show mprcy lo the house 
Onesiphonia in that day." 2 Tim. i. 18. So that some hi^reties 
have thought souls sleep till then. They may pray, aud no 
answer ; seek to do good, and do none. 0, hut the Lord will 
reeoTQpeiije them abundanllj. 

G. They look then to " be ever willi the Lord." 1 Thess. iv. 17. 
Never to be parted from him, never to live without him ; naj, 
never to jro nwny from under his wing, out of hie bleeding bosom 
of lore and endless and unspeakable compikosionB any more. 
And being with him to see his glory, and never »ce the depth 
of it, and to have the Lord to serve them, (Luke xii. 37, 38,) 
and giving whatever they call for, and all this when thousand 
thousands shall at this time be <'rying for a drop of water, and 
am not get it. Now, all this they look for, and more too. Which 
is, 1. Certain. For ''hope makelli not ashamed." 2. Wtiicb 
fills their hearta with glory, and unspeakable glory, too ; for it 
mokes it so clear and certain that they have it all already ; for 
though absent, hope makes it oa present. Rom. viii. 24. He 
doth not say we ehall be, but " we are saved by hope." Futh 
takes hold on the beginning, hope on the end. O, the heavy 
wrath of God upon a world of poor, blind, ignorant men, tluit 
have no hope, no hope of Christ, no hope of glory, unless ft 
flattering dead hope. What a sad thing is it to think of a onm- 
ber of men that are buried in the world, and never to awaken 
until they see Christ in the clouds of heaven, 
TCnged on tticm 1 O, methinks I see them falling down befoi* 
tho judgment seat, and crying out, O that we had kuown of 
day I O, alas 1 that I liad hope 1 but not such a hope, hut 
now deceived. 0, it is otherwifc with saints ; they shall 
what they hoped for, and infinitely more. What hurt can 
do them ? Let all the world come against them, tlieir hueband 
will come, und will kick tlicm under his feet. Let them load 
thorn with rcproauhes, fill their hearts with sorrows and their 
eyes with tears, their Lord's coming will comlorl them. 
Satan tempt, and a Father hide his face, behold, tlie Lord 
eth, that shall deliver and redeem them. O, see their blessed' 
nees, and let it draw you to make up the match with Christ, that 
never did it yet. He has been wooing of you, longing for you, 
wid you wooing of him again. Lord, lake me. What hinders 
you, then, from striking the match and concluding it ? To give 
thyself this day to him, and take him only, rejoice ii ' ' 
when nothing thou dost can be ao pleasing to him. 



foi* J 

ndum 

si 

i 



in him onl^H 
Andn^H 



THE TEN VIBGIKS. 151 

joa may look and believe what one day jou shall to jour com- 
Ibrt feeL And account yourselves most wretched creatures un- 
til the Lord be pleased to espouse jou to hunself. 

Section V. 

Uke 3. Of Examp, Or hence learn what to judge of those 
that never look for the coming and company of the Lord Jesus. 
It is with them as it was with the Israelites ; when Moses was 
gone into the mount, and staid there long, the people made 
their calf, and went to their feasting and rejoicing. So the Lord 
Jesus being gone for the Spirit of life, and to prepare a place 
of glory, it being now long since, they make idols of their jew- 
els, and of their own excellencies, and of whatsoever is glorious in 
their eyes in this world. Or, as Christ compares the secure 
world, " As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be ; *' or as in 
the days of Lot, when they never knew nor looked for it, though 
told of it, so it is with them. Do you think these are espoused 
to Christ, or made ready for Christ, whose glorious appearing is 
never, or seldom, or the least thing in their thoughts, and are 
hr from seeing and setting it before their eyes ? 

Now, because if you ask men, Do you look for such a time to 
see the world consumed, and the Lord revealed, and your glory 
with him ? every one will say, Yes, because indeed they have 
a dead hope. I shall, therefore, give discoveries of it. 

Sign 1. Those whose hearts prize (though their heads do not) 
and whose eyes are dazzled with the withering glory of this 
world. When men lie under (not for a fit, for Christ's disciples 
wondered at the beauty of the temple) a great mistake of all 
things here, and put that good in them which is not, and that 
worth upon them which they ought not For he on whose eyes 
the Son of glory has risen, and looks for the glory which shall 
be revealed, looks upon a dunghill world as strangers do upon 
their inn, and as travelers do on their tents, make a shift to rub 
it out for a time ; but, O, home ! O, " that glory that shall be 
revealed." Heb. xi. 13. They were strangers, because " they 
looked for a city." Nay, they look upon these things as Grod 
and Christ judge of them, (for they have Christ's mind, 1 Cor. 
ii. 15.) which stand for ciphers in the Lord's book. Nay, they 
look upon the very miseries of this world, for Christ, greater 
treasures than the happiness of it, and hence choose it, and ac- 
count their scars their crown, their shame their glory, tlieir 
losses their gain, their sorrows their joys ; as Heb. xi. 25, 2G. 
Moses chose to suffer, and esteemed Christ's reproach his glory. 




I 



LGod' ia I 
dcpendf 



Anil why ? " He had an eye lo the recompense of reward," 
and saw the God invmible. And, (2 Cor. iv. 17,) "It works an 
exceeding weiglil of glory." Look as it is with a man that is 
bom to great liopes of a crown and kingdom, and therefore 
brought up not in (he country, but in the court ; let a poor man 
offer him his thatched house-, and promise him. if tie wilt come 
and live with him, and serve liim in liis patched clothes, what 
will he say ? No ; begone to your friends ; 1 am a greater man 
than you can make me. So here ; a man that is bom and be- 
gotten to n lively hope of a crown now, by the resurrection of 
Christ, and brought up under the wings and care of Clirist, to 
the hopes of a better world. Ofi'er never eo much, promise 
never so fair, I am greater than all tlie world cim make me. I 
must not have if I love Christ, and I can not have if he loves 
me, both ; and hence looks lo honor then, and peace and glory 
then. C^l. iii> 1—3. It is clear, then, thou lookest upon the things 
of the world as great things. O, to have such honor ; such 
estate ; so many cows and goats j bo much ground paled in ; 
many plows ; lands, and oxen fit to labor ; so much gain to 
come in every year ; and such parts and gifts and duties to 
me a name, to live before the best men, and to be good signs 
comfort me) of the favor of God. This is a goodly thing 
very hopes heat and warm the heart. 

1. If you do not feel pangs in parting with a friend, — a b 
blessing so dear, — you are not dead yet to it, nor rben to a livc^- 
hope of better things. 

i. lie that does not prize the evila of the world more than 
the good in it, his eyes arc dazzled with it. If the life of the 
world be not death to thee, the comfort of the world sorrow to 
thee, O, they draw thy heart from God j hence colled " lying 
vanities." Look as it is with a king or master Ihat gives talents 
to use, they cast them by, and fish for themselves j they look 
not for the coming of their masters. So the Lord gives you his 
ordinances, and word to use for tiim, and you scramble for your- 
selves, to enrich, and honor, and comfort yourselves ; you 1( 
not for the Lord. Factors that go far for wealth, they will : 
bring home Ftone and rubbish, which tliey know will not go 
their own country j hence other things that are of more price he 
spends his time for ; so here. What do you do, you that cat the 
bread of carefulness, sell your commodities dear, and set your 
buyers on tenter hooks ? I look ro be rich. You that can speak 
well, and have parts, and profess fmrly ; but go into your closetOf 
God ia neglected in your hearts, your constant union to "' 
dependence on Christ, approving yourselves to Christ, 



: SO 

i 

tWa 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 153 

miuntaiiied. I would fain be honored. You are come far from 
your own country. Why did you depart thence ? To be free 
from trouble. And now here, what stay you for ? 0, for ease. 
Will these coins go, and be taken at the last day ? No, you lookj 
not for that. 

Sign 2. They that say they look for Christ, but do not re- 
joice abundantly in hope of this time. Sometimes the hopes of 
Gvod's people begin to die, and then comfortless ; but, when their 
hopes are up and stirring, and not wounded by some sin, or sleep- 
ing, there is a double joy that now they have. / 

1. This alone comforts them and fills them. John xiv. 1-3. 
So that they wonder at God, though they have never so little 
here, to have these blessings now, and everlasting glory, endless 
compassions and mercy at that day. John xvi. 22. 

2. This joy is glorious joy, highest comfort. Rom. v. 3, " We 
glory in hope of the glory of God." Disgraced, but then honored ; 
hated of men, but then loved of Christ ; poor, but then enriched ; 
miserable, but then blessed ; empty, but then filled ; fatherless, 
friendless, but then glorified. O, I tell you, miseries thus consid- 
ered are sweet ! Can it be otherwise ? Now you say you hope 
and look for this dav. Where is your comfort of it ? Where is 
your glory in it? Acts i. 11, 12, compared with Luke xxiv. 52. 
So thou wilt be in the temple, nay, in the fields, rejoicing and bless- 
ing the Lord, that ever he should intend to set thee at his right 
hsnd at that great day of his coming. No man but has something 
to joy his heart It is " com and wine and oil," and not " the 
light of God's countenance," at this day. It is a sign they never 
look for. Do the world rejoice in their hopes, and not saints ? 

Si^ 3. They that content themselves with any measure of 
holiness and grace, they look not for Christ's coming and com- 
pany. For saints that do look for him, though they have not 
that holiness and grace they would have, yet they rest not satis- 
fied with any measure. 1 John iii. 3, ^^ He that hath this hope 
purifieth himself, as he is pure." Christ finds us not lovely, but 
makes us lovely, by putting on his own garments, imprinting his 
own image. Hence saints content not themselves with any 
dressings, till made glorious, and so fit for fellowship with that 
spouse. And when the soul sees this love to be a son, and then 
to be proclaimed heir, O, this makes them set Clirist himself as 
the pattern to walk by. Now, therefore, — 

1. When men shall think this way is bad, and another way 
of some saints is good, and take a copy of his course from them, 
and now is well, this only is to be pure as man is pure. 

2. When a man leaves not till he gets such a measure of faith 



I 



154 Tni; PARABLE OF 

tuid gmce, and non nlien he has got this, contents himself with 
this as a goud sign he shall be saved, he looks not for ChmU 
Or,— 

3. When men are heaTily laden vith sin, then close willi 
Christ, and then are coniforteil, sealed, and have joy that fills 
them, and now tlie work is done, and they are past grace, and 
post repentance and dailj cleansing, now they study not what to 
do for Christ, that neither family nor church where they live are 
the better for them, 

4. When men shall not content themselves with any measure, 
but wish they liad more, if grace would grow while ihcy tell 
clocks and sit idle, and bo God must do all ; but do not purge 
ihemselyes, and make work of it, (indeed saints purge not them- 
selves of Ihemseh-es, for dirty hands will never wash a foul 
face,) but by a daily dependence on, and importunity of faith, 
sigh aAer the Lord to do it ; verily, if not thus, you look not 
for Christ. 2 Pet. iii. 11, 12, 14. For if you did, you would 
say antl think, If to be like him be my glory,. O, then, that I 
might have it now. Sons that are bom to their hopes in tho 
court will go in the court fashion ; beggars that are bom and 
brought up under hedges content themselves with their n^ ; so 
here. Lord, where is this Spirit ? especially even among us. 
There is scarce any but either would be honest, and then hopea 
God accepts of his will, or will be so, and then it is ao much as 
will credit or comfort him. I^ord, where is the man that mouma 
for this ? How far short he falls of Christ, of Christ's prayers, 
Christ's speeches, Christ's meekness, but only patches up his 
comforts with some ends of gold and silver, and shreds of hon- 
esty! He hath heard others teach and preach, and gets some 
shreds of knowledge ; thence he sees what others are, and dt^ 
and gets somewhat to be like them : have we not cried out. Men 
are too good to be better in our own hnd ? And unless a few 
under affliction or temptgtion. who is ? I pray God such a race 
co^e not over hither, wiere God looks you should gel a higher 
pilch i put olf your wilderness shoes, get those sins removed that 

' provoked God there ; or else, besides the misery of a heaii 
brand u|>on thee, thou dost not look for Christ, and therefore art 

leither not espoused, or asleep ; and shalt, if not by the word, by 

Ithe terror of God be dreadfully awakened. 0, Neie England f 
JVew England.' that art now making a conquest of the world,. 

' and seekest for the spoil of it to onrith thyself, to recover thy 

losses, aiid iheretbre makeet a truce with thy distempers for ■' 

time, and dost not purge thyself us Christ is pure, 1 dsje not yefc 

\ tail thee what Christ Jesus tios lo say unto Ihee! Therefora 



( 



THE TEN VIRGUCS. 155 

think of this that do not, he shall come in a time when thou 
lookest not for him, and hast not so much grace as tlie five foolish 
Tirgins had. This b the frame of men and professors ; what ar§j 
they? Thej were troubled, humiliation is past; they have 
locked for salvation by Christ, that is past ; they have been 
comforted, that is past. What holiness? They will pray in 
families, keep company with saints, get into Christ, receive sac- 
raments, that is past. What lack they yet ? Many wants ; 
but God accepts their desires for what they want, and that is 
their circle of honesty now, and there rest. Is it not thus ? Is 
this to purge like Christ ? K any have more, O, wonder at the 
Lord for it. But if not, O, thy doom. 

Section VI. 

U$e 4. O, you espoused and beloved of the Lord, look for his 
coming, look for his company : the world looks not for him, be- 
cause they care not ; " Will you also depart ? " Has he called 
thee as a virgin forsaken, and not comforted, as a wife of youth, 
and given himself to thee, and given thee a heart to give content 
to him, and thyself to him in lieu of his love, life and all, if it 
mitrht do him any good ? O, are you bom to so great hopes, 
and are they not worth the looking after ? God forbid. Do this, 
therefore, especially in these five cases. ** 

1. In case of strangeness felt between thy soul and Christ^ 
It may be thou thinkest, O, he that has saved, preserved me, 
called me when I never looked after him, redeemed me when a 
captive, every moment pardons me, a daily friend unto me, that 
hail given me ordinances, given me the comfort of them. But, 
O, yet to be a stranger to him, this cuts. O, look now for this 
time. 1 Thess. iv. 17, 18. When thou shalt see that bleeding 
heart, that has loved thee above all princes and angels, that body 
in the glory of the Father, and be as familiar with him as thou 
art known. O, look for this, for it shall be so. 

2. In case God's promises are not made good to thee. For at 
thiit instant a man believes, he gives Christ and all things, all 
grace, all consolation, all glory ; but it is in the promise, because 
he would have them live by faith a while here, as by sense in 
heaven ; and being wrapped up in the promise, they feel it not, 
only plead with God. llast not said. Lord, thou wilt sulxlue 
iniquities, purge me as gold is tried? Why then do I go child- 
less graceless ? No more grace, no more Spirit, no better hcurt 
for thee ? O, now the heart calls in question God's promise or 
sinks. O, nowy remember this day, for the perfect restitution 



lite T 

of all (Lings, perfect nc-complishnient of all promises, is reservrf 
for this time. Is. xxv. 9. Tlioit pruyeet for mao^ fbiiigs, but 
they come not; Christ reserves iLe payment till tliis day. What 
a comfort is this ! What a sweet speech was it of Joshua, (Josh, 
xxiii. 14.) "One thing haili not failed," when he had conquei«d 
the land. So then, when the conquest is made, to see all the 
promises made good to ihee. 
ff- 3. In caae of God's absence or withdrawing, or when thou 
n fectest but little of his presence here in his providences or in 
I hi s ordinances, private, public, and that in New England, too. 
tIiou host found one half hour's time with the Lord, alone, 
. sweeter and better than a thousand worlds. 0, but tbts holds 
not. Thou maystfit may be, wait on the Lord iu his ordinances, 
and go awny with a sad heart ; O, I can not see him, and canst 
not find out the cause why so heavy and vile, and so loatbeet 
thyself. 0, now think of this day. 1 Cor. xv. 28. Then God 
shall be " all in all i " then thou shalt have thy lilt of love, and 
fill of God. 

4. In case of sorrow for the uproar of the world ag^nst God 
and Christ, and the wrongs done to Christ and his people ; to 
see Christ crucified, and crying, Spare my life ; and saying, " If 
you sedk me, let these little ones depart;" yet they are abased, 
and every one against Christ, aa this day the world is coming to 
the last tit of madness against the Lord of glory, O, now, re- 
member and look for this day. 1 Cor. xv. 2i>, " He must reign." 
Lord, what a comfort will it be to see Christ king then 1 Men 
come to sec him king here ; but, O, what will it be when he shall 
come himself, to see all secrets open, and the Lord glorified, in 
himself and people, of all creatures I Look for this, to see the 
great and last plot of God brought to perfection. O, think, that 
is our day, tbut is our victory ! 

5. When you come to die, and think of leaving thy carcass 
to rot in the dust a long time, O, think and look u])on this day. 
« They that hear shall live." Why do I die ? John v. 28, 29, 
" They sliall then come out of their graves," etc. Thus look 
tor Ibis. 

Motive 1. All creatures look for this in a manner. Rom. viii. 
S2, 23. Nay, Chri&t and saints in heaven look for this day,^^ 
Heb. X. 13, " From thence expecting till his enemies," etc. Naj^P 
devib look for it, but tremble. Only a secnre world, lockeo^ 
asleep to their eternal woe, look not for il 

2. This will help you to ride all storms, bear all knocks chee 
fully. Our hope is "our helmet, our ho[>e is our anchor. Ileb. i 
19; Epb. vi. 17. You will meet with them here, it may t 
before you die. 




THE TSN YIBOINB. 157 

3. The Lord has called joa oat of this world ; he might have 
left jou in it, and given you jour hope, your portion here, and 
then woe to thee ; but he has called thee to this hope, that if 
princes of the world knew, they would lay down, nay, cast their 
crowns at thy feet for it, and say, O that I were in that man's 
case ! Eph. i. 18, ^ Hope of his oedling." 

4. Hope and expectation of all other things shall fail ; if God 
loTes thee, he will make you know what it is to forsake your 
portion. If not, they shall fail you when you die ; this shall not ; 
h ** niakes not ashamed." 

5. Methinks this is the glory of a Christian, that he turns his 
back upon the worlds and lives and waits for the comiug of the Lord. 

6. O, this will give Christ's heart full content, when he shall 
oome. Luke xii. 37, ** He will make thee sit down to eat, and 
serve thee." The Lord Jesus himself shall only then pour out 
to thee, and give thee whatever thou callest for ; honor thee, as 
it were, above himself. When thou art at rest in heaven, he 
will be at work for thee. 

7. If not, he may ^ oome in an hour thou lookest not for him." 
Christ may say to thee. From henceforth sleep on. 

Quest. What means are there to make me look for him ? 

Ans. 1. Get some promise that thou mayst believe the Lord 
b thine, else thou wilt never look for him ; or if you do, you 
will be deceived, for " hope is of things not seen." Nay, com- 
monly, when the Lord brings any man to his hopes, having given 
him a promise and faith to believe it, the Lord, in the midway, 
seems to cross his promise. When the Lord promises life, glory, 
peace, honor, joy, fullness, heaven, they shall then, and never so 
much before, feel darkness, shame, trouble, sorrow, hell. For 
the Lord tries them by this, and ^ tribulation breeds experience, 
and experience hope." Hence you must first get a promise of 
Christ and glory before you can hope for it, or expect glory, and 
then yoa may. Heb. vi. 18. For the promise will support hope 
when heart, and strength, and all shall fail. Nay, it will expect 
contraries out of contraries ; (Gren. xxii. 5,) " I will come agiiin 
to you; " compare with Heb. xi. 18, 19. So that soul that has 
a promise may say, when he considers God's power, and what 
glory he gives to God by believing it, God has said he will com- 
fort me ; he will cleanse me ; he will give me glory. I will 
have all these out of my sorrow, my sin, my hell. 

Take heed, therefore, of two extremes. 

Fir$t, Of hoping without a promise ; for that is but faith scared 
out of its wits, when it comes to be examined ; 1 hope so, and I 
have had joy and persuasion of it 
VOL. u. 14 




I 



Seeondlji. Of not expecting wben God gives a promise. Can 
you live one day witliouL it? It may be you have no feeling 
yet. But Is. xxv, 8-10. Dost thou w:ut for the Lord, (i. e, 
from a sense of emptiness, for all fullness Uiou shall find in part 
here, and fully then.) and say, " Lo, this our God, we have 
w«ted for him " ? When a man's anchor is strong, and in good 
ground, he will look for safety when in the harbor. O, thou af- 
flicted and tossed with tempests, the Lord has brought tbee at 
hut to Christ, after many drivings to and fro, and it daspe about 
him according to a promise ; if God cliaugelh, then thy cximfort 
may nut be. If revelations come, I know they may deceive ; 
but a promise can not. 

2jFear the terror of the Lord at this day. fear parting fiom 
lim. I speak not of doubting, but the holy fear of saints ; for 
Ithat is the nature of fear, it makes a man eye the thing feared,/ 
as Jacob, when Esau was meeting of liim. Noah fears, and 
looks to safety in and by an ark. Heb. li. 7. Lot's eliildren took 
not his counsel ; they feared not, but " he seemed as one that 
mocked to them." Paul (2 Cor. v. 10, H) "knew the terror of 
the LonI," hence looked for him, sought to approve himself unto 
him. Men that fear not parting with Christ will never lock nor 
core for him. And let it be a strong fear, eUc it will never 
>, carry you above your cares and eurfcitings of the world. 

Qu*mU How shall I fear thus? 

Am. Unless the Lord put it into your heart, none can i for 

11 the security of the world is not sleepy, but deadly. Men at« 

I bound up as strong as with chains of death ; thai, till thoy feel 

I the misei:y, they can not fear it jtrongly. O, look up to the XiorA 

o unchain those chains of death. 

2. Know the happiness of them that shall ever be with Christ, 
what is the sweetness of Christ's love, and worth of it. Imagine 
the last day come, and all the dea'l rmsed, Christ with flaming 
&rt>, all the wicked on the led hand, and then sent away with, 
" Depart, ye cursed ; " all the saints on the right hand, and then, 
O come I and when all is despatched, then to go up to heaven ; 
and when gone, there lo be forever rejoicing, triumphing in the 
presence of God Almighty ; and now what it will be lo be far 
off from Christ, weeping, never to be pitied more ! 0, he (hat 
was so full of pity, no heart then to pity, no hand (o help] I 
can hut only paint this fire. O (hat the Lord would help yoa 
here, that so you might look out for him ! Sailors sleep in cahns, 
Bud so, it may he, have many here in this place of rest. Othen I 
of you lake heed, I will tell you your bar. It may be n 
tales are brought low and eimk; when you see that, n 



rest. Othen ■ 
be most omH 
hat, nowyot^l 



THE TEN YIRGIN8. 159 

^ther look back, or look for Lot's accommodations, and such an 
estate as is lost, it maj be jou will spy some hope of it, and 
then follow the game, and never look out till jou die. The Lord 
keep joa from it I You, then, will not look up for Christ's com- 
ing at the last day, or in his ordinances here. If thou dost so, 
bad it not been better thou hadst been buried in the sea, or left 
in 80TTOW on the shore ? 0, take heed, therefore ; look for the 
coining and company of Christ, and let this be enough ; and be- 
cause joa can not look for him in the clouds now, O, look and 
wait for him in his ordinances ; and consider if espoused ones 
look for his coming then, and for perfect knowledge of him and 
commonion with him, then think. Lord, what a heart have I, 
that look not for him here ! But^ Lord, '^ who will believe our 
report?" 

Thos they went out by hope and expectation of his coming. 
Now, the second thing follows — they went forth with longing 
desires after his coming. 



CHAPTER Xn. 

that beueyers do long and desire for the appearance 

and second coming of christ. 

Section L 

Doctrine 3. That all those that are espoused to Christ, and 
beloved of Christ, they ought not only to look but to long for 
the coming of, and their everlasting communion with, the Lord 
Jesus Christ ; for the consummation of their marriage with him, 
thaty though he be gone, our hearts may be with him before 
oar souls be,^orbejOTe our soul s and bodi es be ; that though we 
may die and Ee^own in the dust, our desires may live and lie 
in heaven, and cry, ^ Come, Lord." Now, do not tliink this 
point true, and so far good, if we could reach it, but this is a 
high pitch ; for you must long for it. God forbid a Christian 
espoused to Christ should plead that work too much which hypo- 
crites, " the five foolish virgins," in their kind, attained to. See 
precedents for this in all ages : Abraham, and those of his time, 
who was "father of the faithful; " (Heb. xi. 15, 10,) " A better 
country," where they might have fellowship with the Lord, and 
•* hence God is not ashamed," etc. As if the Lord were ashamed 
of all them to be his people that profess themselves so, but de- 
sire not this. In Christ's time, Simeon, (Luke ii. 29, with xxv.,) 



160 1 

where "he wwted for the consolation of Israel," etc., to enjoj 
more of him. la the apoatlea' time, it is also that which Ihej 
all felt, (2 Cor. v. 2,) '■ In this we groan earnestly," etc. But 
you will say, It may be this was bei^use of miseries, and want 
of ordinances, etc. Therefore see, in the la^t age of the church, 
when the new Jerusalem was built, and wben peace, and wboi 
Christ's face was seen in his house, yet then the " Spirit and 
the bride say, Come." Hev. xxii. 17. They are the last breath- 
ings of John and the Spirit in him : " Lord Jesus, com? quickly." 
But (Cant viii. 14) the church there entreats her beloved to 
" fly away to the mounlains of spices," that ehe might enjoy him 
out of this world. 



» 



Section II. 

Reatoa 1, Because they are bound to love Christ and hia ap- 
pearing ; to love his looks when he shall appear to the world. 
2 Tim. iv. 8. The crown of glory comes as it were by suc- 
cession, not only to me, but to '' all them that love his appearing." 
Now, can there be any love of him and his appearing, and not 
BO much as any desire after htm and after it ? Certainly there 
18 no love ; or, if there be any, it lies languishing. For answerar 
ble to our love to anjilhiug ia-outdesire ; wliat we love only, we 
.deaire only ; what we love not at alitor but little, we desire not 
at all. or but little ; so here. Now, therefore, to question — may 
a Christian desire it ? is to question whether a Christian ought 
to love the Lord Jesus or no. We are bound not to love earth, 
hence bound to love Christ and his fellowship in heaven. " Let 
him be anathema " that doili not so. 

Reaion 2. Because the Lord Jesus longs fo r them, (John xviL 
24,) throughout whieh chaptef he prays as if in heaven already. 
" Hence I am no more in this world, and where I am, let them 
be alfio." lie was on earth, hut looks on himself aa in heaven. 
That as it was with the high priest, he carries the names of the 
twelve tribes on his heart, " beset with precious stones," very 
dear to him, " into the holy of holies ; " so ChrisL Not tliat he 
sees any beauty in tfaem of their own why he shouldjffijre them, 
but because he freely loves lliem, and dearly To ves them, as being 
given him of the Fallier, and as having cost him dear; and 
hence, if he loves them, he longs for them. Now, if he longs 
not for them, ought they not much more to long for him? Ps. 
xzvii. 8, " Thou saidst, Seek my lace ; thy face. Lord, will I 
seek." 

1. He longs for thee now in glory, when one would think his 



THE TEN YTR6IKS. 161 

tliooghts and heart should be swallowed up .with it ; and shall not 
we long for him here in the valley of myrtle trees, in misery, on 
the doDghill ? 

2. He longs for thee when thou hast nothing to make him de- 
suie thee ; he has all that thy heart can desire, being the very 
bosom delight of Grod himself. Rev. xxii. penult. He did but 
say he would come, and John desires, O, come ! But doth he 
loog for thee ? Now, not to long for him ! If this love be not 
worth longing for, truly it is worth nothing. 

Beaton 3. Because this is our last and ultimate end, that we 
are made for, chosen for, bought for, called for, sealed for, that at 
last we might be with the Lord, and be made perfect in one. 
2 Cor. T. 5, " He that has made us for this is God," etc. For 
the whole Trinity, enjoying infinite sweet fellowship with him- 
self, hence desire it might be communicated ; in Christ it is so, 
and now the last end is attained. Now, if this be our last end, 
ought wg not ta rtPfiifP '^ ^ Then, we ought not to desire to be 
blessed, nor to desire the Lord may be glorified. Nay, you know 
that whatever we make our last end, it will swallow up all our 
desires after any other thing. This is the center, and rest, and 
journey's end of our tired, weary spirits. And the truth is, 
when we make it our last end, we can not but desire it. 

Section UL 

Object, But ought not a man to desire to live here in this 
world as David and Hezekiah did ? May not one sin in this 
desire ? 

Aju. It is true, " precious in the sight of the Lord is the death 
of his saints,** not only in regard that they are as precious 
to him when they come to die, as while they live, as gold when 
it is melting is as precious to the goldsmith as when whole, and 
it may be more too, because it is then made better ; but also be- 
cause he will not lightly cast away their lives. He that bottles 
their tears, and will not let them be lost, will not easily let go 
their lives ; and if God will not, they ought not upon every 
slight occasion to desire their death, and loss of their lives, to be 
with the Lord. 

Now, there are two cases God's own people may desire to re- 
move hence, where, though there be some fire I confess, yet 
there is more smoke than fire, more sin than grace. 

1. In case tliey meet with much unkindness from, and many 
sorrows in, the world, and behold the sins of it. Thus it was 
with Elias, (1 Kings xix. 4,) who, when Jezebel threatened bis 

14« 



162 THE PARABLE OP 

life, fled, and would needs set sail presently, and be gone ; 80 
it is with God's people, when they see enemies withont, the nni* 
versal rot of profession, that they think they are almost left 
alone ; when God hath begun to do good by them, as by Elgah, 
but they think their best days are past, there is all they shall do^ 
and God himself, it may be, meeting them with some crosses in 
this world. Now, presently they grow weary of their lives, and 
desire to die, which is nothing else but a pang of discontent ; 
truly, Grod will not suffer it, nor you ought not to desire it, to die 
away in such a snuff. No ; the Lord has work for them to do, 
and a journey to go. This desire is nought, and it is but a weed, 
and to be pulled up, that grows out of such a root as a discon- 
tented heart for crosses. I confess, Grod uses sorrows as means 
to smoke us out of our hive, and we may use them for that end, 
but not only or chiefly them, nor from a pang or moody fit of 
discontent. 

2. In case they desire death and not life, before they be ripe 
for death. Husbandmen desire their com in, but it is folly to 
desire it in before it be ripe, and then they may. I confess it is 
the commendation of some trees, if not only good, but if ripe 
betimes ; and it is the honor of a Christian to be ripe for dearth 
betimes, yet still before he is ripe he is not to desire it 

Quest. Now, when is this ? 

Ans. 1. While the Lord hides his face, and denies full assur- 
ance of his love, in this case, as a Christian can not, so he ought 
not, (if it were the Lord's will,) desire to be gone as yet ; and 
this is one reason why David and Ilezekiah desired life, not 
death as yet. God had broken their bones, and his arrows were 
yet in their hearts. Now, a man is to desire he may stay a 
little while longer, that he may " sing the song of the Lamb,** 
and tell the world " what the Lord hath done for him," and that 
he may not set in a cloud and die in horror. Mariners long to 
be on shore ; but before they come there, they would not ven- 
ture in a mist, but see land first ; so should we desire to see the 
Lord in the land of the living. Nay, though the Lord gives his 
people a promise, which stays their hearts, and is a twig to keep 
them from sinking ; nay, when he^gives them some joy, yet still 
God has promised to reveal more of himself and his Christ in 
the promise, seeing him but darkly now. Now, they ought not 
to desire, but wait, as in Simeon's case — " Now, let thy servant 
depart in peace," having long " waited for the consolation of Is- 
rael." Children that will be up before it is day must be 
whipped ; a rod is most fit for them ; stay till it is day. 

2. Wliile their work remains unfinished, and the Lord has got 



THB TEN TIROnCS. 163 

Bttle or no glory from them, though they may have clear evi- 
dence of the Lord's love. Christ himself desired it not till now. 
Jolm xrii. 5. If thou couldst scale heaven before thy work was 
dooe^ the Lord would send thee down from thence again, as he 
M the soul of Lazarus ; and, truly, to do the work of Christ 
one moment here is better than to have a thousand years' felicity 
io heaven, nakedly considered in itself, inasmuch as the honor of 
Christ is a thousand times better than our own good. It may 
be there is much work within doors, many odd distempers to be 
cashiered, spiritual decays, etc It may be there is work with- 
out ; Christ has many enemies in the world, many prayers are 
yet to be spent against them, much good to do for his church, 
many tears to be shed for them ; for praying trade is past in 
heaven. It may be some friends yet to be converted, thou hast 
been a scandal to them ; it may be as yet few have been, or cati 
say they be, the warmer or better for thee ; that work is yet to 
be done. It may be Grod has some secrets to reveal by thee 
before thou diest ; stay, therefore, a while, while your work is 
done. It is true, thou hast but one talent, but little thou hast or 
canst do ; yet Grod looks you should improve it whilst he is gone. 
A man that will needs to bed at noonday, before night comes, 
what deserves he but a cudgel ? So he that will die before his 
night comes, and while it is light to see and work by. When, 
therefore, you apprehend your work even done ; then as not 
only Christ, but Paul ; not only Paul, but God's watchful ser- 
vants, have secret warnings of death. And as mariners, when 
they see no land, yet, by their soundings, can tell they are near 
land or sands, then you may desire it ; for then you are ripe, 
but it is sin to do it otherwise. And, verily, happy is that man 
that accounts not his life dear, but only the finishing of his course 
with joy. To conclude all, we are to desire our fellowship with 
Clirist, as a man desires his last end, which desire doth not ex- 
clude, but include, desire af\er all the means first, before the end. 
Now, many things are to be done by Gro<l upon us, and by us 
for the Lord again, before we appear before Christ, which we 
may desire, firstly, for this our last end. 

Section IV. 

^^i=::l. Hence we see the vileness of the great, yet hidden 
secret sin of the whole world, which may be in part also in 
God's dearest saints, viz., in their hungry lusting^ and dropj^y 
desires after the sweet of the things of this world— You shall 
have a man that amends his life, reforms his course, forsakes his 



I 



I 



I 



164 Ti 

own righteouBness, no man's tooguc can tell him, bis omi toli''^ 
science can not bear witness against him, that he live-s in anj usr I 
lavrful course ; and I bulicve it is so, and m&j be and will be M> 
Shall I tell jou, tlierefore, what hurts them ? They are inordi- 
I nate lustings ^er lawful Ihinga in themselves, and these thej 
I serv e. Tit. iii. S. / Partly ihcy grieve him, if they do not satia- 
ij and serve thAn ; partly, because they pay them with pleas- 
ures and delights, if they do. Hence, " serving luete i 
pleasures," too, these, like tops of mountains, are seen ; n 
when floods of wickedness begin to abate, these will continm I 
while the life lasts. 1 

I intend not to show you at large, but according to my tex^ 1 
the vilenesg of tlicm. 1 

1. They eat out all desire after the Lord Jesus and his fel- | 
lowghip, that he can not long for the Lord Jesus. For a 
can lay out no more than he has ; now, when his desires are 
lavished and let out to other things, how can he lay out any on 
Christ ? And thus the Lord of glory comes to bear most h^- 
rible contempt, that he is not worth desiring in such a roan's 
books. Thus it was with them, (Luke xiv. 18,) "Every oas 
refused." Why ? Because of their oxen, and wives, and farm 
— lawful things ; but they lusted too much al'ter these. When • 
harlot seeks to satisfy her lusts, she cnrea not how far her hnft> f 
band be off, never desires his coming home ; so here. Many m 
one complains he can not desire the Lord Jesus, which, I coik- 1 
fess, is in mercy to some. But where is the cause of it ? 0^ 
they are running in another channel, and spent on other things. 
What a heavy curse is this 1 Some never think of death once 
in a moon, much less long for Christ ; desire not his fellowship 
here, much less tliere. And why 7 Because of their lusts that 
eat out alL 

2. Suppose tliey do not thus, but your heart is divided, so tl 
you long for these things now, and preserve your longing fi 
him against you come to die ; yet these will make you loee bk I 
sweet fellowship. For a man's alTcctions are precious tiling^ ■ 
and it is a pity any else should have tlicm ; they arc all litllk-J 
enough for Christ, and Christ is worth desiring and longing fori f 
and he stands upon it, and will make them know that have I ' 
that all is too little fur him, and they shall give him all b 
he ^ve himself to their comfort. Hence deny him these 
never think to have himself and his fellowship. Fs. IxxitL SSj 
26, " It is good for me to draw nigh." How ? By dcsirifi|^ 
not earth nor heaven, but him. Hence he soiili, " Thou dcBtrayii 
esl all them that go a whoring from tliee." Verse 27. 





TtlE TEN VlKUtNS. 165 

8. Snppofle thou shouldst have liim at last s yet he will never 
leMre thee, never take any dcliglit in tliee, until liiiit you come 
■'to get Tour afiections unloosed here. Ps. slv. Id, 11, Dost ihou 
not find a. BtnuigenesB between Christ and thy soul? Uoth he 
not hide his face ? Doth he not eoon depart from thee, though 
he appears sometiiaes to thee 7 Doth he not let thee lie like a 
broom behind the door, and doth lillle by thee either within or 
viihout ? And is not tbix a sad and heavy thing? Why,6ayest 
ihou, doth the Lord deal thus with me? 0, thy heart is yet 
»fter thy father'a houBC ; if thou didst forget it, then he would 
'■ take pleasure in thy beauty." "Wliat pleasure can earth give 
thee, when then the Lord takes no pleasure in tbee ? 

Objfct. But may not a man destre these things ? If we may, 
how far? 

Ans. 1. A man may lawfully desire Uiem, provided hisi 
desirea are not swallowed up in. them, but run through lliem 
to Christ himself. For it ia not lust, properly to desire a 
r any pleasure in it; but to desire it for itself, and 

"g sake ; for now a man makes a god of it. Thua ' 

it was with the Israelilea; (Eiodus ivii.,) " Give us water tlml 
we may drink ; " so, give me sle«p tliat I may rest ; give me 
clothes that I may be warm ; give me an estate tliat I may be 
rich, etc. Now, when a heart desires them, but his desires end 
not there, but run through them to Christ, that he flings down all 
comforts, and say eth. What is this to fellowship with ChnstI 
Thns far a man may desire and rejoice in them, and it is a sin 
to do otherwise. Nehem. ix. 35. A man may be content to 
have a spring ran through his ground to the sea, to be swallowed 
up there ; but to swell and rise, and overflow hia ground and 
bouse, that is not safe ; be may be drowned so. So men come to 
f jw drowned in their lusts that let them swell within doors. , i 
. n. A man may desire them if he_ doth not spend more desire 
a them than they be worth. A man may desire them for a 
1 end, as he thinks, but then he lays out too much upon them. 
Lman may spend too much in tua inn, when he takes it up only 
ft B way to his home. 

, 1. They are perishing things; therefore let them have perish- 
^ desires. "The world passeth away." They are passengers 
by na, that stay to rest with ua for a time j let them have pas- 
sengers' welcome. 

2. They are not necessary things ; let them have, tlierefore, in- 
difierent desires. 1 must have Christ, and his Spirit, elc^ not 
ibeae things; they are to be sought not in the first, but in the 
eecond place. Therefore say, first Christ; now let me have 



1«6 T 

Christ. Men Bay now these things, then Christ. I My, now tha 
Lord Jesus, whether ever you hare thum or no. 

in. Now, iill sui>erfluity of evil desires is to be crucified. 
Gol. V. 24, " They that are in Christ have crucified," etc Chrial ' 
wa3 not a. dead, but first a crucified Christ berore ; eo no stunt 
liviug hut he hath some superfluous desires ; but though the^ 
live, they do crucify them ; bo ought you. There are two thin^ 
in crucifying. 

1. There is extreme pain upon the cross. 

2. A looking for death. So, then, lusts are crucified, — 

1. When you taste the bitterness of your lusts by patting 
them on Christ's cross. the wrongs they have done to tba 
Son of God I And do iJiis with violence ; say, you shall to ihs 

I cross. He that looks lo Christ with a frolic heart to kill Ut 
lusts, shall never find him. 

2. Now, looking and longing for their death, by holding theu 
there. Unless the blood of Christ slay these, I will never ban 
any death for them ; for all the reason in the world will nevar 
kill a lust, no more than all the reason will persuade the stomadl 
not to hunger. The belly hath no ears. 

j Thu3.'you are to moderate your desires after these things; 
which I speak of, — 

Fint. Because it is a wilderness sin, (Pa. exvi, 14, 15,) whicji, 
it may be, you feel, brings leanness on your soul. And, — 

Secoiidty. Because it is the sin of prosperity and peace which 
God bath given us, which will grow up and choke the word, that 
all ordinances and truths will in time he sapless, favorleeC 

Thirdly. Because I have had strong fears lately of 
espeded trials among us, and I should be glad if it might not ba^. 

.if the freedom from them might make us better ; else, I say, ' 

Ithem come.) But, — 

^"^oHTthlij. Because it is a rare thing among 
burning lamps as look and long for Christ's coming, which w1 
I consider, though there he other causes, yet one great 
this : O, the heart is gone away by violent lusls after 
things here, O, therefore, take heed of them ; and 
consider, — 

1. You shall have Christ and his fellowship, if, indeed, 
long for himi (John iv. 10,) that is his love. You are no 
desirous but he is a thousand times more. Thou mayst d( 
these things, and, if God loves thee, miss of them. God 
make thee poor when Ihou wouldst he rich, base when thou 
be honored, and when you would have honey, he will give 



THE TEN VIBOINS. 167 

ttiogs ; and caase jou have to thank the Lord, too, that he will 
tiot giFe jou your portion here. 

2. If thoa hast them, and dost desire them, and God gives 
them, and thoa lettest Christ go, thou hadst better a thousand 
times be without them. Ps. Izxviii. 31, *< The meat was in 
their mouths, and the wrath of God came upon them." If the 
Lord gives thee Christ, happy forever ; if these things, when 
thou dost so desire them, O, woe forever. 

3. The fellowship of the Lord Jesus thou shalt never lose. 
Death shall not part thee from that ; nothing shall rob thee of 
that; but look after and long for these things, they will perish 
and die away. *' All flesh is grass ; the word of the Lord," and 
the Lord himself much more, ^* endureth forever." 

4. Why dost thou desire these things ? For some sweet in them. 
Why is not all that in the presence of the Lord Jesus, and en- 
joying him ? ^ It pleaseth the Father that in him should all full- 
ness dwell," so that thou shalt drink as out of a pure fountain all 
that is there. If there be any sweetness here, he gave it ; it is 
much more eminently in himself; (Exodus xxiv. 11,) "They 
saw the God of Israel, and eat and drank." Had they meat up 
with them ? O, no ; but the sight of him was meat and drink, 
and all unto them. As, therefore, you desire Christ's fellowship, 

0, long no more after these things here ! ^ 

Use 2. Hence, see death is not to be feared, but desired of all 
saints. It was an odd speech of a heathen, " It is ill to desire 
death, and worse to fear it ; " he meant, not because of any good 
in it, but because we must die. But death brings us into eter- 
nal feUowship with the Lord Jesus. It does saints more good 
than all ordinances, all afflictions, (wherein we complain we can 
get no good,) than all means. It brings us into his feUowship, 

1. Quickly ; as Christ was caught up, so the soul by Christ to 
himself. 2. Immediately ; for the next thing we shall see is 
Christ himself, our husband himself; and then see the kingdom, 
and then wonder at the Lord. 3. Everlastingly — never to 
part more. 0, fear it not, therefore ; Christ has sweetened it 
to you. 

Section V. ' 

Use 3. Hence see a clear foundation and groundwork of long- 
ing for fellowship with the Lord Jesus in his ordinances here. 
This is that I shall exhort to. For, — 

1. You can not, shall not, must not now go to him in heaven, 
nor enjoy fellowship with him, nor meet him in the clouds, tliough 
joa do long for that day ; but in hb ordinances you may meet 




Tne TAKABLL OF 

with liim now. And Iruly those whom we love and long for, if 
we can not go to their house or find them at Lome, we are glad' 
to meet with them abroad. As with those who eland before' 
princeB, if we can not be with them on the throne, or at court, w 
will desire to be with them in the couutrj, nay, on the dungbi&- 
O, the spirit of David! (Ps. sucvii. 4,) "One thing have I ' 
Bired, and that I will seek for," though I never have it. Wbsfe 
is that, David ? Is it to wear the crown in Jenisalem ? Is itt» 
have all thine enemies lick the dust of thy feet? Is it to hav6 
thy name spread, and thine honor great tlirough all the kingb'' 
dom« of the world ? No ; but " that I may dwell in the conrtt 
of the Lord's house all the days of my life," and that Eeeing X 
con not, shall not die presently, and so go to see his glory ia 
heaven, therefore, that I may see his beanty here, enjoy him 
here, and that not for some years, but all the days of my lif^ 

2. Ought you not to long to taste and pass tlirough the so^ 
rows of death, that you may be with him ? And are Christ 
ordinances more hitler than death, that yon ore loth to brealc 
through the dilficulty of them, that in them you may enjoy himf 
The truth is, so it is with mnny a man, that such is the strength 
of his hidden contempt of Christ, and his love to hb sloth, wt 
he had rather die than pray, and be damned etemitlly than t 
follow the Lord in an ordinance till he has found him gnicioiiEly> 
How come God's own people to lament this, if there were 
notlhU? 

3. I remember a sweet speech of one with God, " That M 
Christian ought to prepare for a sacrament as he would preparA 
to die ; for," saith he, " there is but this difference : when we dtt 
we go to Christ ; in a sacrament Christ comes to us." What m 
said of a sacrament, 1 say of every ordinance ; in every ord$ 
nance Christ comes to us ; when wo die we go lo him. Now; 
onght you to long, when you are absent, lo l>e with him, and wiB 

care for him, nor long to see him, and enjoy him, wh( 
he comes to you '' and so be wome (ban poor naked India 
Christ comes not to them, no dews full down on their Gilbc 
no manna at their tent doors, and hence ihcy live wilhont h 
and desire him not ; and when he comes to you. do yoa see i 
beauty in him now why you should desire him ? Will yoa t&ol 
requite him for his love, foolish children and unwise? 

4. Truly, beloved, yon can have but Utile evidence you M 
desire the Lord Jesus's company in lieaven at the last day, ihaj 
long not vehemently after him in his ortlinances now. " ToB 
have followed me in the regeneration," siuth ChHsi, (MatL xn£ 
28,) therefore " you shall sit with me upon thrones." If Chrisni 



^Ibo^ 
it hiiq 



THE TEN VIB6INS. 169 

presence here, a little of himself be bnrdeDsome, what will it be 
in heaven, then ? " Depart from me," saith Christ ; " I was in 
prison and jou visited me not." Shall you depart for not visit- 
ing an imprisoned, persecuted, sick, sorrowful Christ, in midst 
of miseries ; and shall not jou depart for not visiting a comfort- 
ing Christ, a teaching Christ, an entreating, embracing Christ, 
in the midst of his ordinances ? If the Lord tries you with 
water, with a little of himself here, and you care not for him, 
long not after him, and hence let all leak out again, how shall 
the Lord trust jou with wine ? with full fruition of himself in 
heaven? 

5. O beloved, have you ever found him in the ordinances ? 
If not, O, the heavy wrath of the Lord Jesus upon thee ! If you 
iuive ; if ever he has comforted thee when sad and sorrowful ; if 
erer quickened thee when death and darkness did lie upon thee ; 
if ever he did deliver thee when distressed, O, then take heed 
of despising him in his ordinances now, but long for him again, 
^ That I may see thee as I have seen thee." Ps. Ixiii. 2. Let 
(hem that never found him deal so with him. Peter, when he 
saw Christ's glory on the mount, " Lord," saith he, " it is good 
for us to be here." Has the Lord ever transfigured himself be- 
fore thee, so as he has appeared in another manner to thee in 
his ordinances than ever thou sawest before ? Then say, seeing. 
Lord, I can not come to heaven to thee, it is good being in the 
mount, in thy ordinances with thee ; it is good being here. 1 Pet. 
iL 2—4. I know, brethren, you have many employments in the^ 
world, and are called away to them, and can not ever be with the 
Lord ; yet let your longings be there ; nay, though cast out of 
Grod^s sight, yet look to the temple ; this will give you peace. 

^ This, if I may have leave to speak plainly, is the great sin, 
one of them, of New £ngland. Men come over hither for ordi- 
nances, and when they have them, neglect them ; or if it be too 
horrible to live in a gross neglect of them, yet who maintains his 
fellowship with Christ, or longing after the fellowship of Christ 
in them y And, therefore, I shall stay a while on this point. Moii^ 
that are sick of consumptions have sometimes a mighty stomach 
after meat ; and, when it is brought them, they are weary of the 
very smell of it, and then say, Truly I had thought I could have 
eaten so much ; so men loathe ordinances, nay, the cooks that 
dress, and the dish that brings, and the ministry of Christ Jesus 
that provides the meat, because consuming and pining away in 
their iniquities. I know many use ordinances ; but are they not 
indifferent whether they find him therein or no ? Now, — 
1. When men had enough by them to live comfortably upon, 

TOL. If. 15 



170 



; PABASLE OF 



I 



I 
1 

L 



then Grod and his ordinances were desired by them ; but 

men's removing begetting wiint, want of the creature, j 
with I'ear and distrust of God's providence to provide for 
and theirs, either sink their hearts, that ordinances are not sweet, 
no more than Moses' message to a people in anguish, or meat 
to a wounded man ; or else makes them hungry after the crea* 
ture, aDd hence Uviahing out their desires, that they have 
after the Lord himself. 
,1 \ ^r When men are pereecoted by enemies, driven into 
I 'or to toWna six miles off, to find a sacrament or hear a 

theo the gospel of peace, and tiiem that brought the glad tidingt 
of peac«, their feet were beauiiful ; and then men thought, if 
one Sabbath here so sweet, where ordioanees are much corrupt- 
ed, if some of them be so comfortable in the midst of enemies, 
O, how sweet to enjoy them all among saints, among fiiends ! 
And so I know they be to some, and, I hope, to more than I 
know) but New England's peace and plenty of means breeds 

' strange security ; and hence prayer is neglected here. There 
are no enemies to hunt you to heaven, nor chmna to make you 
cry; hence the gospel and Christ in it is slighted. Why? Ilere 
are no sour lierbs to make the lamb sweet. And if I get no 
good this Sabbath, this sermon, this sacrament, this prayer, 
hope I shall some other time, when my heart is belter and my 

, business is over ; not considering that the days of trouble 
be near, or God's final farewell may be quickly taken. 

• ~4. It was a sad speech uf a brother lately, which has oft 
fected me, that "a man may pray out, hear out all the grace of 
his heart." Meaning tliis, when God begins lo work upon a 
man's heart at first, then prayer and word is sweet ; stay a whil^ 
they hear out their hearing, and pray out their praying ; n, 
as in praying they pray not, and in hearing they hear not. 
. Would to Grod there were not a generation of those men among 
US, tlial, having been so oft sermon-trod and prayer-beaten, that 
now their hearts are hardened, and being used to ordinances, 
and being so long ridden under Uiem, I wish they were not tired 
and jaded under them before they come half way home, thilit 
they had rather lie and die in the highway than get up, 
with mighty groans and invincible wrestlings of heart, seek 
and so find the Lord in them. 

4. There is no place in all iJie world where there is such 
pectation to find iho Lord as here: and hence men 
Lord for our rising s'lin when it "is setting every where el 
Here, therefore, they come and find it not ; hence not 
ing the great and last teiuplatioa of lliis place, whereby 



Imyj 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 171 

tries his friends before he will trust them with more of himself, 
viz., deep and frequent desertions ; they give in, and therefore . 
care not for, nor desire after, those plasters which they feel heal 
them not, nor that food which they find nourisheth them not. 
It is strange to see what a faith some men have that can close^ 
with Christ as their end, and comfort themselves there. It is 
not means, (say they,) but Christ ; not duties, but Christ ; and 
bj this faith can comfort and quiet themselves in the neglect and 
contempt of Christ in means — as infallible a brand of God's 
eternal reprobation of such a soul as any I know. So that this 
is New England's sin. Is not prayer neglected, wanting place 
and heart ? If not in family, is it not in secret ? yet doth it not 
die? Didst thou ever find thy spirit so straitened? Where \ 
are the mighty groans ? What is become of meditation ? Dost 
thou not let ^bbaths, sermons pass over, which shall be 
preached over again at the last day, and find no Christ, no 
Spirit in them; and thus lie famishing, and yet not cry for 
bread ? If it be not so, I am glad ; Grod, angels, saints, and all 
the world shall call you blessed. If it be so, I dare be bold to 
prophesy ruin to this place and people, and that you or your 
posterity shall, either in woods, or in the land, or in the hands . 
of your enemies in this place, lament with tears the contempt of | 
means/ and you, even disciples of Christ, *^ shall desire to see j 
one of the days of the Son of man, and shall not see them. 
Jer. viiL 13, 14, "Let us go into strongholds," etc. I know 
there are many that do meet the Lord ; but are you not apt to 
fall asleep again ? O, therefore, let me entreat you, if the Lord 
has espoused you to himself, if you have any longings afler him 
in heaven, seeing those desires can not be fulfilled presently, O, 
long to meet him here, and so long to meet him as that you may 
indeed meet with him, and with more and more of him. 

Section VI. 

Qttest, What is it to meet Christ, and to have fellowship with 
him in his ordinances ? 

Am. I have been oft asked this, and for the sake of them 
that be weak, I shall give you a taste of it. 

1. Therefore, look as it is with a man that receives any com- 
mon mercy from God, from Christ, if he sees not the Lord Jesus 
really giving it, he enjoys it, but not Christ in it, though he get 
some good out of the thing. So let a man receive more knowl- 
edge of truths, and more truth be discovered, more promises 
revealed, more affections and life dropped into the heart, whicli 




may do a man some good ; yet if lie sees them as Eeparated 
from Christ, if he sees Dot the truth o« it is in Jesus, il' he aeea 
not promises spoken from heaven by Jesus, if he looks not oo 
all commands as part of tbe secret of Jeeue, if he receive affec- 
tions, and by them behold not the Lord Jesus, be dolh not at 
that time enjoy the Lord Jesus. For he now, indeed, enjoys 
his g ifts ; but by these he doth not enjoy him. Ami, therefore, 
fthen^a man may be said lo hare fellowship wiib Christ in ao 
'ordinance, when by all the light and lii^ and comfort there, he 
comes to sec him, and sees them aU in him, and seeing a Iran- 
\ scen dent glory in him, sees and beholds a hidden glory in them. 
'I'Eis commaad is a secret of Jesus, this promise the sweM voice 
of Jesus, these consolations the comforts of Jesus, these measen- 

fere the ministers of Jesus, these ordinances the kingdom of 
esus. And, therefore, look throughout all the Scriptures, yon 
shall see our fellowship with Christ, both in heaven and here; 
it is expressed by " seeing of the Lord." John xvii. 24 ; Pi. 
Ixiii. 2, and xvii. 4. I have oft said to my friends, the great 
sin of Christians is to see scriptures, ordinances, trnlhs, «im- 
mands, blows, kindnesses, aa not flowing from and abiding in 
the Lord Jesus, to see them separate from Christ, and not Christ 
and them together ; and hence promises comfort not, because 
you receive tliem not as spoken by Jesua. Conmiands awe not, 
because not as the voice of Jesus ; every truth is not dear, be- 
cause you see it not as the Bridegroom's voice. Parents that 
have Had rude children have tunieil them out of doors i they 
themselves have sent them clothes and money out of pity, but 
themselves have not been seen, that they might seek for a fa- 
ther's house at last. So when God is angry with some of his jieo- 
pte, he doth send to them in hie providences and ordinances, be- 
cause he pities them, but himself is not seen. Why ? That at 
last they might come home, and seek lo see his face again, and 
say, What good does all this do me, if I see no God ? I con- 
^^ fess, he that receives gifls from another ought to be tliankful ; 

^L but a heart that loves and longs atler the Lord will say. Here i[|. 

^M blessing, means, truth, warmth ; but, Lonl, when wilt thou a 

■ thyself? O, labor for this. 

^H 2. When a man feels the power of the Ixird Jesus i 

^H ordinances. This is the second part of David's desire, (Fs. 

^M Ixiii. 2, 3.) " That I may see," not only Iby glory, but " thy 

^H power ; " for there is never a child of God but feels a strong 

^H parly within him against Christ, so that ho can not i^cek Christ, 

^H cleave to Christ, live to Christ. Now, you will find in some 

^H ordinances your hearts shaken and troubled for sin, and name 



I 



Lnkfiil; 
ilereiiij 

IICOOHM 



THE TEN YIRGINS. 173 

desires and ooDSoladona stirred up, and hopes never to be as you 
have been. But, beloved, all dies and falls down again. Now, 
I confess there is somewhat of Christ in all this ; but yet con- 
tent not yourselves with this, because you want a power, or until 
70a find a mighty power of Christ, by little and little, subduing 
8in; for when Christ comes into the heart, indeed, he comes 
with his power. Ps. xxiv. 7, 8, " The Lord of host^, mighty in 
hattk." " His flesh is meat indeed." Col. i. 29. Christ's power, 
works in a man mightily. If you enjoy never such comfort, but 
find not a power in pulling down thy lusts, there is no Christ. 
If a man be sick, and he eats his meat, and great care be had 
to tend him, but the disease is stronger than the strength of na- 
tare and food, ask him, Do you eat ? Yes, but it doth me no 
good ; so here. Such comfort, such a Christ doth you no good, 
onless you feel a power. O, long to meet Christ and enjoy 
Christ thus. 
Quest, How shall I do this ? 

Ans. 1. Mourn bitterly for the Lord's absence, as for one of 
the greatest evils that can befall thee. For Christ's presence will 
never be sweet to him that can live without him ; and can you 
look for him then? John xvi. 22, "You have now sorrow 
which,** he said, " filled their hearts, but I will see you again," 
visit you, come down to you by my Spirit again, and you shall 
rejoice, and none shall take it away. And, therefore, it is noted, 
the first that had comfort was Mary, when she sat at the sepul- 
cher weeping. John xx. 11, etc And, therefore, do but observe 
your own hearts, when your hearts have been soaked in grief, 
for want of or for the absence of Christ ; O, I have lived with- 
out him, and prayed without him, and heard without him, and 
spoke without him, him that hath pitied mc, spared mo, over- 
come me, laid down his life, sent his Spirit to me — that then 
yoo shall more or less see the Lord, and feel the power and 
presence of the Lord. O, beloved, shall not heaven be sweet to 
you without him ? and shall earth be sweeter than heaven, that 
you can live here without him ? Beloved, whatever you account 
of it now, in hell the sting of all sorrows shall be this — O, Christ 
hides his face ! One frown shall be more bitter than death, than 
a thousand deaths ; and shall it be so in hell ? and shall not many 
frowns many days be more bitter than death ? Shall it be so to 
devils, and not to saints ? Shall the hiding of Christ's face from 
enemies be heavy, and shall not his friends take it to heart ? If 
you do not, then think not to meet him, but that word and 
prayer shall be dead drink to thee ; but if you do, I tell thee, if 
he manifests himself to any, he will reveal himself to thee. 

15* 



I ■ 

r 



174 THE PARABLE OF 

2. Prize and love his presence, liis face, the lifting np of ibe 
light of his countenaDce. Princes will not come; or if they do, 
not Gtaj 1 or if they perceive their company is a burden, and 
nnt esteemed ; no more will the Lord Jcsue. Thoy that are 

I fallen in love together will find out each other, though it he at 
Iniidnight; prize Christ'a company, and you will not complain 
for want of time, and say you can not ; but you will find him 
I out in word, in prayers, though others be fast asleep. M!att. siti. 
|44j When the man "sells all," now he "buys the Held," has it, 
^Ha enjoys it. You would have the Lord's compimy; I believe 
you ; but what will you give for it ? I will tell you. It may 
be you will give him ihc hearing for it, and give him a few good 
wishes, and a few good words, and a little leisure. But will yon 
turn the whole world behind your back, and whatever you have 
out of doors, that he may come in? That now it is not honor, nor 
wealth, nor life, nor ease, nor heaven, but him, and that not only 
in heaven, but in his swoddling-clouts, his ordinances here ; be- 
lieve it, solvation is at your doors. Zaecheus, being a low man 
of stature, gets out of the crowd, stands in the way, and Uie 
Lord bids him come down. Do thus when you eome to any 
ordinance ; I IcU you, it is better than a host of angels com- 
passing thee about with praises. O that you hail the life of ex- 
perience ! Ilitst thou not found him better than friends, than 
means, than thyself? O that you would believe experience I 

3. Make it not your task, but your trade, to look for him, that 
you may enjoy him here. >Iake this your business. Men make 
it not their main business to seek out Christ, but only some woi^ 
they must despatch by the by. Tbey make it not their trade, 
but their talk, which must be done. Esau would have the bless- 
ing, but it is his hunting thai he delights in. You shall have a 
man that is a close worldling come and hear and joy therein ; 
but his trade, his heart is after that. Ezek. xixiii. 31. Look 
but on a Christian at his first conversion ; wliat great gains gels 
he then ? O, it is his trade to tbllow the Lord ; afterward he is 
idle, and then feels little. Abilt. xiii. 46. Like a merchant, he 
ventures all, and then finds. Now, you sliatl find him. Heb. xi. 
6. " He is the rewarder," not of thcra that " seek him " slug- 
gishly, but " diligently." What do you elae seek for ? " Why 
spend your money for that which is not bread?" Or if there 
be aught else that is necessary, let ihy care be for him, and his 
care shall be for thee. 

4. Look before thou comest to an ordinance, if there be n 
lust, no stumbling-block of initjuity that thou harboresi i 
heart, or sufferest to remain in the sight of God. la. lix. 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 175 

I We known in experience, and seen it in Scripture, of God's 

people and others have taken on that Grod hides his face, etc 

And this has been found to be the cause, either some sin not 

jet sabdaed or mortified, or some sin that they have not gone 

for pardon of to the blood of Christ, and so unpardoned. When 

both these have been removed, the Lord has appeared. Exod. 

xxi?. 10. After the covenant made by blood, ^' they saw the 

God of Israel." Ezek. xiv. 3, " Should I be inquired of by 

them that set the stumbling-block of their iniquities ? ** etc Come, 

therefore, to an ordinance, that the Lord would take away thy 

no; do not come to it that you may be comforted in your sin, 

to that, though there be sin in your heart, yet the Lord will not 

cast that in thy dish, when thou comest to him to take it away. 

It may be you know none. ^ You know not what spirit you are 

of.'' Get the Lord to discover it thee. 

5. O, be thankful, and cleave the closer to Christ for a little. 
For that is the infinite mercy and love of Christ to his people, 
he lets them see their end, the hight of grace and glory the 
Lord will bring them to ; but makes them feel the want of it, 
and taste but a little but the first fruits. Now, there is Satan's 
policy to make them slight what they have, because they have 
not what they would have. Hence, Christ estranges himself 
greatly. • Do you thus despise my love ? O, therefore, cleave 
close to him for that little, and then see, (John i. 50,) '^ Thou shalt 
see greater things than these, — the Son of God, and angels as- 
cending and descending on him." Think that I feel or have the 
sense of any want of grace, and peace, and mercy, and Christ ; 
O, it is mercy. That I have the star, O, this is mercy, this 
brought them to Christ himself afterward. O, unthankfulness 
stops God's heart. Grod will never cease pouring out on thee 
that art pouring out praises on him ; for else man's kindness 
should exceed the Lord's. 

Thus you see the means ; now use them, and long for the Lord 
Jesus in them, and so long as that you may meet him ; and do 
it presently, else you may seek and not find him, and ^* die in 
your sins." John viii. 21. A sad and heavy speech./ Has God] 
gjed y ou out of all people in the world if} fir\jfty 1^"»t and will 



you now torsake him, and be eaten up with your lots, and buried 
in the bellies of your beasts, or sit grieving that your estates are 
sunk ? It may be hypocrites will forsake the Lord Jesus, but 
** wiD you also depart ? " Others care not for him, others long 
not after him, others give him no meeting ; will you depart ? 
*• Lord, to whom shall we go ? " O, and long for more of him ; 
^ forget what is behind," and hear and pray as if thou never 



I 



ere 18 a plot ai 
ay lofitlie you. 



^L troubit 
^H pmycT 



176 TUE PARAULG OF 

didst so before, as if but now lo begin. Ther e i 

make ytm loathe ordiiiauLvs, Ilint so God mny lontlie you. Men 
that are sick and like to die can eat no cammon wliolesoine meat, 
but are now nourished by conserves, and alkermes, and spiriti 
of gold ; BO when wholesome truths of God are despised, men 
are deadly sick, when any new-fangled device shall feed their 
fancy. The Lord keep you fi-om it. O, do you love and long 
for the Lord in them the more, for his Spirit, his love, his traib, 
his Christ, liis company, his graue, his consolations? mid ihea, 
when death comes, you shall not need to fear it, but make it wel- 
come ; and, when conscience shall ask, Do you liiink lo be with 
the Lord ? O, it sliall be in thy bosom, Lord, thee have I 
longed for, tliee have I sought for, wept for here, because I could 
not come h> thee presently in heaven. Now, Lord, let me come 
to tlicc, and so go triumphing to glory. 

Section VIL 

n»e 7, Hence we see no Christian ought to content himself 
with any measure of knowledge or fellowship with the Lord 
Jesus here. For if full, perfect and immediate fellowship with 
him in heaven, and at the last day, ought to be the mark be 
aims at, and journey's end of all his desires, then he is not to 
ait down in the midway, but to brcallie and aspire aAer e(JU 
more and more of liim. Thus Paul, though fully sealed widi 
the Spirit, yet he makes this his mark. Phil. iii. 14-16; 1 Pet. 
f. 10-13. The apostle tells tliem, the prophet looked after " the 
grace given in" their times; "thereforo prd up your loins, and 
hope perfectly for grace to be given you at the revelation of 
Christ Jesus." Men lliat have preferment in their eye, and are 
to come on by degrees lo it, never conleut themselves with any 
(though they will not slight what they have) until they come lo 
their highest. You are bom lo great hopes ; slight not wlmt you 
have, but look after more. 2 Pet. iii. 18. 

Hence three sorts arc to be greatly blamed. For as it is with 
sinful lusts, so it is with spiritual ; ttiey are endless, infinite, and 
insatiable ; if they want, they are not sadslied ; if they havo, 
they are whet on in their appetites after more. 0, let it be'Go 

f"^. Some there be that are so far from thirsting after more of 
I him, that ihey have forsaken his fellowsliip, and lie still, content it 
should be BO. Time was horror was upon Iheir consciences, 
trouble in their minds, and heat of affection lasled, that their 
prayers were many, their loars abundant ; ihey could not take 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 177 

their rest in the night, but pray they must ; they could not hear 
of a sermon but through wet and dry to it ; and it may be the 
I^rd ''drew them with the cords of a man," and laid meat be- 
fore them, and sweetened their labors with great hopes to them ; 
hot the Father not having drawn them with an invincible power, 
and knit them by an indissoluble union to Christ, they are now I 
fiJlenoff from Christ. John vi. 66. /And if you observe it, hej " 
loob not after them, speaks not one word to them, because con- 
tent to be without him. Would to Grod this were not the tem- 
pers of saints that know it was better with you once than now, 
Md God " hedgeth your way with thorns," and gives you no 
fest. But, O, the grievous wrecks of professors. One can see 
some boards and planks at low water, but that is alL Jer. ii. 13, 
H. The Lord will fetch you home if he loves you, by weeping 
cross. ...^ 

2. Some there are that fall not to forsake the Lord, but like 
the door on the hinge, and wheel on the pin, hang and turn 
about where they did. This Grod*s own people are very apt to 
do, and hence the apostle wisheth them to take heed of it, from 
a dreadful argument. Heb. vi. 4-7. 

First, Because the Lord at first conversion draws his people 
sweetly, drives them gently ; being weak and young infants, as 
yet keeps them in his arms, that they may find a greater good 
in him than in the world ; but afterward he suffers Satan to 
tempt, himself deserts them, leads through a wilderness of sins 
and miseries, that they may know what is in their own hearts. 
Hence, now, if they will have mercy, they must fetch it, fight 
for it, and overcome. Now, hence sloth is apt to prevail for a 
time, as with the disciples. 

Secondly, Because, before they have Christ, they feel a total 
want, afterward but a partial, and hence apt to be full and self- 
confident in what they have, their stomachs are staid by some 
bits, and hence the Lord is fain to withdraw the feeling of all 
that which they had before, that they, feeling how soon that 
vanishes, might hunger after more ; as the disciples could have 
been content with Christ's being upon earth with them, then 
saith he, "The Spirit will not come;" hence away he goes, that 
they might have more of him in the Spirit But this is too com- 
mon with many hypocrites. 

1. When men serve their turn of Christ. There is never a 
hypocrite living but closeth with Christ for his own ends ; for 
he can not work beyond his principle. Now, when men have 
0erved their own turns out of another man, away they go, a nd 
keep that which they have. } A hypocrite closeth with Christ^ 



1^ lie 



I 







'&s a man with a rich shop ; lie will not be at cost to buy all 
shop, but so niucb a:3 senea bis turn. / Commonly, men ir " 
■ffiek for so much of Chrisl as will ease them, and hence _ 
and hence seek for so much of Christ as will credit them, 
hence their desires after Christ are soon satisfied. Appelitwt\ 
jinit eat injimlm. *' 

2. No hypocrite, though he closcih with Christ, and for k' 
time grow up in knowledge of and communion with Christ, but 
he hath at (bat time hidden lusts, and thorns that oTcr^T'ow his 
growings, and choke all at last; and in conclusion mediates a 
let^e between Christ and big lusts, and seeks to reconcile them 
together. Christ saith. Out with every lust, and let more of mj"' 
self come. No, saJth sin, let me slay here ; remember what easej 
what honor I hring you ; I can not leave you. Now, a man mod* 
eratea ; I will keep my lust, because I love it ; but I will keep 
it as my burden, that I may have Christ with it. Christ callt' 
to seek for more of him ; lust saith. No ; the work is hard, aii^ 
duties are difficult. And it is, it may be, to no purpose to seek f. 
you have other irons in the Gre, many worldly businesses. NoM^ 
here men moderate ; do not say thou wilt seek no more afle^, 
him, nor, indeed, use means diligently for more of him ; be sunij 
only you give him some desires to be better, and this will scrwr 
the turn. The X«rd Jesus wooes many a soul whom he never 
matches himself unto ; one comes and wins the heart afterward, 
and makes the match ; so hero. The lusts of a man's heart 
grow sweeter than Christ and his ordinances, and hence there is 
no heart to seek after more of Christ when the match ia once, 
made with the world, and affections won. 2 Tim. iv. 

3. Some seek for more of Christ, hut it is of an idol CI 
not as manifesting himself in and by a word. For look as any 
act of obedience is an actof will-worship and imagery, that we 
have not a particular demand for, or is not directly deducted 
from rule in the word ^o that act of faith is an act of will-wor- 
ship, which sees and chooses Christ as his own, when he has not 
a particular promise for it ; it is an imagination of Christ, 
Christ ; and you have more of your own imagination, not n 
of the Lord Jesus. 1 Pel. i. 25. Slonks had sublime contempl 
tions of God. Luther calls them such as looked upon a Dt 
C/iristibia absotiilus, not beholding the beams of his love 
glory in the word. O, therefore, labor for more of 
Christ as ibe word holds forth. And look as in heaven, 

First. They arc nil one wiih him in fellowship, the Fall 
in him, and he in them, and they in liim, and so raaile 




THB TEN VIUGINS. 179 

SeconUff. They have his fellowship only. So do you long for 

more of his fellowship, so as to be made more one with him and 

lum with you, so as he may be your strength and life and peace, 

and for his fellowship only ; otherwise you may go without him 

at last; (Luke ziii. 26, 27,) << Have we not eat and drank in thy 

presence?" etc The JewsTbefore Christ's coming had Christ's 

presence then, but a greater measure of it is given to the church 

since his resurrection and glorification ; for it was reserved to 

hoDor Christ in his first coming. But how many are there that 

see not the Lord Jesus so as they did under vails ? Either get 

inore, or say Christ is not risen. John xiv. 1 6. Christ promises 

to send his disciples another Comforter. Who was that ? The 

Spirit £^ truth, whom the world could not receive, because it 

ineir him not. Why, had the disciples no Spirit now ? Yes ; he 

was in them, but not that full measure with which they were not 

as jet sealed ; yet they knew they had him, and that Christ was 

theirs too. So hast thou the Spirit of the Lord Jesus ? O, beg 

for more of it, not for miraculous giHs, for that is in vain ; but 

more of the special powerful presence and fullness of it ; for it 

is that the world can not receive. I have oil feared that it is 

the great sin of this last age to comfort and settle Christians in 

their weak beginnings, as though there were no more of 

God's Spirit to be poured down in times of the gospel. But 

consider, — 

First, What came you into this wilderness to see ? Reecfsj 
shaken with the wind ? No ; for more of the Lord Jesus ; and I 
will you now forget the end for which you come ? It may be you J 
never found less ; no, but Grod is emptying of you, that you might 
seek for more. Herod a long time desired to see Jesus, and then 
despised him. 

Secondly. You have here more means to have fellowship with 
the Lord, and will you content yourself with what you have had ? 
If you do, what can you look for, but that the Lord should take 
away ordinances, if they do you no more good, and ease you of 
the burden of the Lord of hosts, or send sore and heavy trials ? 
It is that I have oft thought of, why are the wicked exalted and 
saints debased? The worst are not bad enough to receive 
their plagues, nor the best good enough to partake of blessings. 
You have had some means to do you some good ; here you have 
more, that you may receive more good, more life, more of Christ 
Jesus ; if not, then look for fire to purge you if you be gold, or 
flames to devour you if you be but rottenness and stubble. But is 
this thus ? The Jews did long for Christ, and when he came they 
crucified him : they loved the prophets ; they shall have prophets 



f 



180 



: FABABLE or 



I 



and their blood too, to A\ay them. You love the roi^ssengerB of 
Christ, etc. ; they have them, Lord, but despise ihetn ; thej havt 
them, but condemn them; they hiive Ihem, and though they will not 
cast them out of their places, yet Ihcy willso weary tbeir spirits, and 
grieve thy Spirit ui them, that Ihey will make them glad to bury 
themselves and leave their places. You shall have prophets and 
tlieir hlood, too, aud their tears and sorrows, loo. But why do I 
complain ? Let me perauade. O, labor for more ol' Christ in 
his Gervants, in his ordinances, iu his providences, in bis saints, 
until, at last, thy denires break thy vessel, and carry thee up to 
behold the Lord in heaven. If there were never saving work 
of grace wrought, but thou hast only rested in duties without 
Clxrist, now sell thyself out of all for him. If there be any that 
the Lord has settled there on his promise, which never can be 
shaken, hold your steadfas.tness, but yet still grow in grace, and in 
the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. 

Section Vni. 

I Utflh-Of^S eA w t . O, long to be with the Lord Jesus ! Be' 
fore a man has Christ, now his desires should be to have him ; 
when he has Clirisi, now his longing should be to be with liim. 
Do ihus in this place, especially in this age. I liave oft tliougU 
one great end of Glod's bringing his own people into this plaM 
b to learn them to die and be wilh Christ. Men have heard of 
Christ, and passed through the waves of death, and stood manT 
a week within six inches of death to see Christ here. WeU^ 
when yon come here, Clod visits you with troubles, temptatioii^: 
losses, desertions, fears for future times. Here it may be yoO 
' see (as some see) an " end of all perfection," church buildierm; 
church ordinances, church professors, etc. ; or, if they find Uis 

I Lord, it is soon gone ; why, oU b that you miglit long to he at 

[home. 

Motive 1. The Lord when he called Ahrahnm out of his own 
country to his friends, he followed the Lord he knew not whithen' 
You live now out of your father's house and from all j 
friends that long to see you ; nay, arc lefl among enemies, 
you know whither you are to go — "to God, the Judge of all. 
to an innumerable company of augcls, and to the spirits of just 
men made perfect" 

MoHve 2, Look but upon tlie men of this world ; they long 
for things here, thougli but temporal, though they have no Chriab 
0, long for this, though thou hast no world. 

MoUoa 3. ^Vhen Chrisl would needs go to Jerusalem, 



G no^/nnfl^_ 
alem, (JtJi^B 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 181 

xL 16,) saith Thomas, ^ Let us go and die with him," and shall 
Bot we go to live with him ? 

Motive 4. Did Moses forsake Egypt's honors, treasures, and 
embraced the reproach of Christ, as far better? O, if Grod 
ihoold set thee up in a throne, O, depart from it to enjoj the 
glorj of Christ himself in glory. 

Motive 5. Grant death be dreadful, yet when soldiers see their 
captain upon the walls, among the enemies, they will press hard 
afier to follow, though they die in the breach. To part with 
sb is bitter, or to part with Christ ; but to part with the body - 
for a time, and cast off the clothes, this will be found to be ex- 
ceeding sweet. 

Motive 6. Friends that send to us, and provide for us in a 
desert place, we long to see them. Now, who has clothed thee, 
comforted, pardoned, revived, found thee, kept thee, that nothing 
^h hurt thee ; nay, that thy sins have humbled thee, and done 
thee good ? O, it is Christ Wilt thou not say, Who and where 
k be that doth all this ? 

Motive 7. O, consider how glad the Lord Jesus will be of 
tbee, though the world and thou art weary of thyself. Zeph. iii. 
17. Luke X. 21, " I thank thee, O Father." So will the Lord 
BtLj then. 

Afecms 1. Labor for assurance that Christ is thine, else you 
will fear death and hell that follows it ; and such an assurance 
as does not only chase away vexation and auguish of spirit, but 
fears, at least, in the power of them ; for there is many a Chris- 
tian can find the proposition true in the world, '' He tfiat comes 
to Christ he will not cast away." The Spirit clears Grod's work 
and his own experience, and saith, "Thou comest imto Christ" 
Now, when he comes to make the conclusion, though he dares 
not sin against clear light and evidence of the Spirit, and con- 
clude, " Yet I shall be cast away," yet he dares not, nor can 
not, for a time, conclude fully. Why ? Because of some fears. 
What if I should be mistaken, and when I die all prove nought? \ 
And while this fear lasts, you will not long (till needs must) to^ 
be with Christ ; for while you fear or suspect Christ as an ene- 
my, you will not heartily love him, nor long to be with him ; 
therefore get these fears removed. 
Quett. How may this be ? 

Ans. (Rom. viii. 15, 16,) By the Spirit of adoption only ; for 
though I do not exclude the work of sanctified reason from the 
witness of the Spirit, yet this I say, that all the men in the 
world, nor all the wisdom and reason of man, can never chase 
away all fears, scatter all mists, till the Spirit itself saith, Peace, 
VOL. u. 16 




I 



I 



^Ilnd be still, and puts its hand anil seal to tlie evidence if till the 
Spirit, not by an audible, but powerful voice, shows ind per- 
Biiades. Acta xii. 13-16. They had been praying for Peler; 
Peter knocks ; the damsel saitb, Feter is there. Now, see their 
unbelief after such a mighty spirit of prayer: "It is his angel," 
Bay they,and could not be persuaded till he came in and showed 
himself. So the soul is praying; a man's own spirit goes out, 
and sees there is more unbelief and fear ; say, No ; it is a de- 
lusion. Well, the Spirit still knocks, and the soul opens, and 
then he comes in, and the soul is astonished. And, that yoa 
may have it, — 

1. See there be no guilt upon thy conscience, no reserratioi^ J 
love, liking to some lust Hcb. x. 22. For these feare are cot 
monly the fruit of guilt which ia not washed aivay, but ■' by tl 
blood of sprinkhng." 

2. Pray for the Spirit, (Pa. Uxxv. 4-9,) say they; 1. "Torn 
us from sin. 2. Turn from thy wrath ; when the Father is 
angry, then no good word. 3. The end, " That our hearts may 
rejoice in thee. 4. Show ua mercy." 5. Then they come to . 
listen after it ; for many tinaes a friend speaks not, because Iw ■ 
has us not alone. j 

3. Mourn heavily for want of it, (Ps. li. 8,) and so look fbc ' 

Mearu 2. Labor to partake of Ihe fellowship of Christ's res- 
urrection, else no desires con be raised up. Col. iii. 1, 2. 

Qaeit. What ia that? 

Atu. Look, as we then have fellowship with Christ, and with 
the church in miseries, when we, from the serious apprehension 
of their sorrows, condole and suffer with them, so with Christ in 
glory, when, from serious deep apprehensions of hie gloiy,ve 
reign with him, we are risen "with him ; for let a man be aasured 
Christ is not his, if he knowa not what the worth and glory of 
his fellowship is, a man will then never long to be wilh him. 0, 
therefore, labor to comprehend this glory of the Lord Jesiu, 
and that by the Spirit of revcktion. Eph. i. 17, 18. The word 
reveals the glory of saints, that there is a kingdom, that thoy 
shall be " perfect in one," that they shall have that glory the 
Father has given to Ciirist. John xvii. 22. O, get the Spirit to 
show thee the thing what this is, else something in the world 
will make you look hack. There are false spies, that vilify 
God's kingdom to his saints. O, say it is a good God, and coun- 
try, and Christ, and mercy, aud love i " let me go up and p 
it" O, get the Lord to give thee but one glimpse of this. 

Thus much of the first verse. 



poeseai 



THE TEN YIROIKS. 183 



CHAPTER Xm. 

raOWDTG THAT THERE ARE HYPOCRITES IN THE BEST AND 

FUREST CHURCHES. 

' er. 2. And Jive of them were wise, and Jive were foolUh, 

Section I. 

From this second verse to the fifth there is set down the dif- 
ference appearing between the virgins, wherein the Lord, the 
wareher of hearts, makes an open discovery of the particular 
estates of these virgins, for all the best churches especially to 
take notice of, to the second coming of the Lord Jesus. This 
difference is set down, — 

1. Generally, in this second verse. 

2. Particularly, in the third and fourth verses. 
L Grenerally, in this verse. 

1. That some of them were sincere and wise-hearted, to the 
number of five. 

2. Others of them were foolish and false-hearted, to the num- 
ber of five more. So that the sum is this : one half of them 
were indeed virgins, another half were in appearance virgins ; 
the one part were virgins in the sight of God, who saith they 
are wise ; the other were so in the judgment of man, and hence 
called foolish ones. In this general description, therefore, of 
them, we may note, — 

FirsL Their description from the number of each sort, viz., 

Secondly, From their different qualities or qualifications — holy 
wisdom or prudence in the one, sinful folly in the other. He 
docs not say fiy^ were holy and five profane ; five were friends 
to the bridegroom, 1^\ii were persecutors of him ; but "five were 
wLee and fiv^ were foolish." Why the virgins are described by 
the number of ten, I spake before ; either because it was a per- 
fect number, and so signifies the estate of all virgin churches, 
or because it was the custom not to exceed the number of ten, to 
honor them at their marriage. Now, why five of them were wise, 
and ^\e foolish, as though the one half of them only were sin- 
cere, the other false, this seems to carry the face of truth ; but I 
am fearful to rack and torment parables, wherein I chiefly look 
unto the scope, and that is this, that not one or two, but a great 
part of them were sincere, and a great part of them false. And 



184 THE PARABLE OF 

hence the observatioiis out of these words are these, omittiog 
all the rest 

Ohserv. 1. That when the churches of Clirist Jesus profre 
virgin churches, and are most pure, jet even then there wiU be 
Bome secret hypocrites thaf shall mingle themselves with thenu 
Or there will be a number of hypocrites mingling themselves 
with the purest churches. 

Ohserv. 2. That when the churches are virgin churches, the 
hypocrites in those times will be evangclicaL Or the secret 
hypocrites of pure churches are evangelicaL 

Ohserv. 3. That there are certain special, saving qualifications 
of heart, whereby arises a great internal difference between sin* 
cere-hearted virgins and the closest hypocrite. 

Ohserv. 4. That the spring, or one main principle of evangel- 
ical sincerity or hypocrisy, lies in the understandii^ or nund 
of man. 

Section n. 

Ohserv. 1. That there is and will be a mixture of dose hypo- 
crites with the wise-hearted virgins in the purest churches. 

This I might manifest out of several scriptures, from several 
times. Look but upon Josias's time, when there was as great a 
reformation as under any king before him, (2 Kings xxiii. 25 ;) 
yet Jer. iii. 10, and iv. 3, 4. Look on the aposUe's time, and 
what apostasy afterward. The apostle complained of it, " Every 
one seek their own." Phil. ii. 21. " JVIany walk," etc, (PhiL 
iii. 18, 19,) whom he could not think on "without tears." The 
mystery of iniquity began to work even then. Christ manifests 
this by divers parables; (Matt. xxii. 14,) " Many are called," 
and so called as to come in, and so sit^ and not to be known tiU 
the Lord looks on them. And here the wise-hearted could not 
discern and keep out, but opened the door for the five foolish. 
Look as it is said, (Job i. 6,) ^^ There was a day the sons of God 
presented themselves before the Lord, and Satan came in also ; " 
so here. I shall not, do not speak of every particular church, 
but of the state of the churches in general. For it is possible 
there may be a Philadelphia, " a new Jerusalem which comes 
down from heaven," a "golden foundation," and for a time "no 
hay nor stubble built upon it." But this is rare, and not osoal 
nor general. 

Section IIL 

Reason 1. From Satan, the ancient enemy of the purity of 
the church ; he being an unclean creature himself, if he could be 



THE TEN YIROINS. 185 

• 

would make heaven itself unclean ; but that is beyond his reach ; 
hence he seeks to make heaven on earth unclean ; hence he will 
get into paradise, and if he can not come in. the shape of a man, 
yet in that of a serpent to beguile and pollute innocency there. 
He will follow Christ intd the wilderness, and tempt him there, 
and hence will seek to get into churches, to pollute them. And 
if he can not pollute the church by unclean ordinances, he will 
then seek to defile it by unclean persons. Matt xiii. 25. The 
Ures be in Judea like the wheat, yet indeed annoy the wheat. 
And how come they here ? They are sown there, i. e., hid for a 
time, and mingled, and die there, too. Who does this ? Why, 
the enemy did it, so that Satan will do it. If there be a devil in 
the church, he will sow his tares. 
Ohject,^ But we see him not 

Am. No; it is therefore said " he went away ; " his care is over ; 

now they are sown. Look as it is the Jesuits' policy, at this day, 

the end of their order is to raise up the collapsed ruins of Home, 

wid to bring all Christendom — and if it be possible all the world 

^to the hellish bondage and blind obedience of the see of 

Rome. Hence some kingdoms, because they can not conquer 

them by power, they seek to do it by craft ; hence they seek to 

ky their leaven and make their party within, from whom they 

may liave intelligence, and hence they shall do well enough with 

them. So Satan, seeking the ruin of the church, seeks to make 

his party within the church, for one of these three ends chiefly. 

1- Either that he may divide the church, tliat when any error 

sliall be hatched, he may have his party to maintain it, and his 

faction to plead for it. Or, — 

2. That he may corrupt it, if he can not divide it, that the 
tares may suck out the heart, and life, and power of godliness in 
the hearts of the elect ; for you know it is not the brier, but the 
ivy, that sucks out the life and sap of the tree ; and it is not pro- 
fane, pricking persecutors, but seeming friends to the church, that 
8uck out the heart and life of it It was not Jeroboam's great- 
ness, but the old prophet's gravity and seeming piety that sucked 
out the spirit and sap of the young prophet. 1 Kings xiii. That 
so by this little leaven he may defile the whole lump, and so 
provoke wrath against them all. 

3. If he can not do either, yet that he may blur and stain the 
glory of the church ; for the greatest glory in the world is to see 
a temple built, not of stones, or gold, or pearl, but of living 
precious saints, holy to the I^rd only and his Son, and the sight 
of which in heaven shall be one part of the glory in heaven. 
Hence Satan vrill do what he can to blur it ; that though the 

IG* 



186 THE PARABLE OF 

greatest glory God has shines in his church, jct that he may 
blur it : and hence Jude saith, " Some that crept in unawares 
were spots in their feasts ; " and, (2 Pet, ii. 2,) " By reaaon of 
whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." 

Reason 2. From the officers chiefly of a church, who, when 
they should be full of eyes, as they are described, (Rev. iv.,) and 
these eyes should be ever watching, they are then sleeping. 
Matt. xiii. 25. For it is not the having, so much as the acting 
of grace that helps men to read and understand the book of the 
Scriptures, and the book of men's hearts and lives. 2 Pet. i. 9. 
Hence in affliction and temptation we know the Lord, and his 
mind, and our own hearts, and the world best. When Jonathan 
eats the honey, " his eyes are open." Now, sometimes the 
watchmen are not acting, or watching, but sleeping^ and hence 
those are taken for wheat, that indeed are but tares. The book 
has a fair superscription or frontispiece, and they so sleepy they 
do not read it through, and so cither see no fault at all, or, tf 
any, they be but errata in the printing, and weaknesses to be 
borne with ; or if they do, yet the man is commended, and has a 
name to live, when, indeed, he is dead, and so this serves the 
turn ; and though he comes in, yet they shall do well enough 
with him, though, indeed, they herem have but a wolf by the 
ears. 

Reason 3. In regard of hypocrites themselves, who must be 
like themselves, ever to act for their own ends ; for they ever 
have an evil eye ; now it makes for their ends, to join them- 
selves to the purest churches of the L#ord Jesus. 

1. Sometimes it makes for their honor. Hence you know the 
church of Sardis lost her power of life, for tliat is a burden ; 
yet kept their iiame to live, for that is an honor. For if men 
live out of church fellowship, that is a great shame, and now 
they have little love from saints ; indeed, the wicked may honor 
them, but what is that to the honor of the wliole church ? Who 
would think Saul should have cared for Samuel, that dealt so 
plainly and sharply with him? Yet, "O, honor me before this 
people ; " that is the business. There are many excellent gifts 
Christ i)ours down upon his church. '* Simon believes also," 
(Acts viii.,) and would give any money for those gifts, that he 
might be wondered at as he was before. A man seeing other 
gifts, and the love they liave thereby, even a Simon may desire 
such gifts, and a mighty power of grace to animate those gifls, 
and would give any money for this, that he may be wondered at. 
Some refined, polished spirits scorn honor of base men ; and 
hence fish for it elsewhere. 




TBE TE!J V1KOIN9. 187 

r 9. Their ^in. It la strange that Judos follows Christ for the 

;, tlmt was so poor ; yet he did, until he saw, after tliree j'eara 

F woitiDg, eo UtUe came in. So it is strange that men 

wuld seek to join poor churehes for that; yet tliey do and will, 

so long as they bare any lots to give, or purses lo lend, or hearts 

to take care and provide for those that are joined lo tliem. You 

shall have many poor Christian men ; but be kind and boimtifut 

» 4a them, you may lead them into any errors, catch them at your 

' uuure with a silver hook, until Lhey see their gain grows httlo, 

i respect less, and then lhey fall off. 
I( 3. Their comfort for union lo the church of God, 1. Covers 
r sin and hides it from the eyes of the world. Thieves walk 
loul suspicion in true men's companies, and thus they make 
1 " boase of prayer a don of thieves ; " and this is some com- 
1. For hypocrites, they can carry it cleverly that none see ; 
though God see, it is no matter. It wilt not be thought that a 
member of a church dares do such a wickedness, yet so it is 
sometimes. 2, Comforts their conscience in their sin ; men lore 
tlicir lusts ; but what, no respect to ordmances of Christ ? yes, 
and so conscience is quiet, and sin lives loo. Jer. vii. 3. Be- 
cause there is much comfort in God's ordinances, and in attend- 
ing on God there, not only verbal, but the visible gospel is sweet, 
the sacraments; hence they join themselves as in John's minis- 
try. '■ You rejoiced for a season," not only in Chrisl, but in com- 
munion of saints, especially in dangerous times, that a man fears 
the judgments of God will come in those places wherever they 
iive wiihont them. And now thej are quiet when got into the 

« of the Leviles, from the pursuer of blood, 
k Meaaon 4> In regard of the saints themselves. 
\ FirA, There is seen many times a divine majesty and excel- 
a theut, which has a drawing virtue with it, that many, out 
t respect to that, close with them, as Gen. xxvi. 27, 2S. God 
to see Israel's glory in his tents, and he can not 
■■, (if he might have all the world,) but must bless them. 
\ SecQiuUy. There is much charily which thinks no evil, that 
~" re they see evib, lliey cover them, where there is but litllo 
1 appearing, they hope there is more tlian they see ; the 
ing*s daughter" being ''all glorious withiu." 
Y l%irdlg. There is a spirit of humility in them, lo think that 
' n appear far better than themselves, until God di 
I, especially in that they arc yet unsettled. 
anrutly. A spirit of desire to have all as near the Lord 
V can, and though there be evils in them, yet they hope Ihal 
I tnake them better. 



nk that M 

Lord as H 

}pe IhnI H 



188 THE PARABLE OF 

Reason 5. From the Lord himself; who has, — 

First. Reserved this exact separation as one part of his own 
glory at his second coming. Then he shall separate sheep and 
goats. 

Secondly. Because some are verj serviceable to his chnrch, 
and so to Christ, as caput poUticvniy both in regard of outward 
means of subsistence, and also with edifying gifts ; hence into 
his family he will let them come, being servants, and like carriers 
that carry another's money and wealth to him, and then turns 
them out of doors. 

Thirdly. Because of a certain real, yet not thorough work of 
the Lord, whereby he draws them to some fellowship with the 
church, the members, and some kind of fellowship with his Son ; 
yet it not being a thorough, effectual, Almighty drawing, they 
prove unsound. John vi. G5. 

Fourthly. That the Lord might manifest the exceeding great- 
ness of his wrath in some ; for Grod's last end in all the wicked 
is to show the greatness of it, (Rom. ix. 21, 22,) yet in some 
more than others ; and hence raises them up in the church to 
great eminency of profession, and parts, and honor, that all the 
saints also may admire God's grace to themselves the more, that 
when ** two in the field, one shall be taken, another left," that 
they should sit in the same seats, and yet some called, others 
left ; and of them that are called to leave many, and love me, 
and that men of great parts, and I a poor simple one to choose 
such a base thing, to confound the wise, the mighty. But as it 
is said of Pharaoh, What meant all the miracles ? all the hum- 
blings of heart? and yet he would not let them go ; " For this 
cause have I raised thee up." Exod. ix. 16. "Of all that thou 
ha'it given me," (saith Christ,) ** not one is lost, but the son of 
I>erdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled." So here. 

Section IV. 

\ 'Use-X, This serves to clear us in this country from a foul as- 
persion that is cast out of the mouths of pulpits upon us, tliat we 
hold the churches of Christ to have no hyix)crites in them. We 
answ(T, that though if hypocrites could be openly and ecclesi- 
astically discern(!d, they should not be received in, nor kept in, 
because matter fit to ruin a church is not fit to make a church ; 
yet we say then^ will be tares an<l wheat, there will be chaff and 

I corn, there will be wise and fixjlish virgins, there will be good 

1 and bad mingled together in the churches until tlie world's end. 

*~"^— 6^e 2. Of Advice. To the watchmen of the churches ; nay, 



THE TEN TIROINS. 189 

to afi that profess themselves to be their brethren's keepers, to 
all that are wise-hearted virgins, not to lavish, your charity too 
hr; it is a precious grace, and you have little enough for them 
that are sincere ; but to bear a jealous heart, and to labor for a 
quick, discerning eye to find out them that will mingle them- 
eelves among you. This was the commendation and honor of 
tlie Ephesians. Bev. ii. 2. I confess it is a sinful extreme to 
cry down all the virgins as foolish when there be " iiYe wise." 
Satan will seek to break the bond of brotherly love by sowing 
Mse reports and horrible suspicions ; and it is a hard thing for 
a Paul, after the Lord has rapt him up to the third heaven in 
rereladons, not to be puffed up, and in seeing himself at a dis- 
tance from other men, not to despise and condemn them that 
have not risen so high as he. A false heart, when he sees more 
than others, as he thinks, now thinks highly of himself, as some 
great reformer of churches and the world, especially if a man of 
shallow head ; and hence censures and condemns all that do not 
inagQify him, and reverence his judgments and the dust of 
^^ feet And yet it is another sinful extreme to swallow down 
^U flies that be in the cup, and to think too charitably of every 
one that does profess. Children that have no children them- 
^Itcs will make children of clouts, and then love them ; and 
l^ce many a soul lies bleeding to death, because they have such 
^Qder friends as will not search them. And I doubt not but 
'^y in hell may say, O that I should live among such and 
^h, and they never deal faithfully with me ! 
Object If a man walk fairly, should I censure him ? 
Ans, No ; but yet maintain a holy jealousy over them, as 
i^aul did over the Gralatians. This stands with love, as it was 
with Job, chap. i. 5. As it is with chirurgeons, it is love to cut 
to the quick. Love them because they appear to be Christ's, 
and are so to thee, and this shall have a reward ; but yet be 
jealous in love, because there be that hid which was never yet 
seen. 

1. It may be thou mayst save a soul, and they will love thee; 
or else thou sh ^t clear j yatige by being a witness against 
them. 

2. It is the chief work for Christ here, there being no pro- 
fane ones among us, to overthrow the kingdom of hypocrisy, as 
well as of civility and profaneness. 

3. You will save the Lord a purging and cleansing time ; for, 
when Christ purges not with the Holy Ghost in his saints and 
ordinances, he will with fire. Here I might give rules for dis- 
cerning men's spirits ; as, — 



190 THE TABABLE OF 

First, Mark their speech ; for ^ by thy words thou shalt be 
justified ; '' and many times one word will give a light to see 
all, as in Simon Magus ; as with men in a labyrinth found out 
by one thread. 

Secondly. Mark them that you see not grappling with sin and 
temptation ; for if we see them without that they are not yet 
tried, therefore observe them here ; here is their tnal when time 
of temptation comes. 

Thirdly. Get thyself to stand at a distance from sinfiil men, 
from all the world. " We know we are of Grod." 1 John v. 19. 
As men that are in the water look only to themselves, but stand- 
ing safe on shore, they see others drowning. I speak this be- 
cause I fear the churches are so busy about their own things, 
that their watch is not kept ; if they see no gross nn, then aU 
is well. 
I Use 3. Hence /be not offended if you see great cedars fall, 
stars fall from heaven, great professors die and decay. 1. Do 
not think they be all such. 2. Do not think the elect shall fall. 
Truly some are such, that when they fall, one would think a man 
truly sanctified might fall away, as the Arminians think. / 1 John 
ii. 19, "Thoy were not of us." I speak this because tne Lord 
is shaking, and I look for great apostasies towards ; for God is 
trying all liis friends through all the Christian world. In Ger- 
many, what profession was there ! Who would have thought of 
it ? The Lord, who delights to manifest that openly which was 
hid secretly, sends a sword, and they fall ; others in other places 
receive the word with joy, the Lord sends persecution, and fear- 
ing men more than the filth of sin and anger of Christ, they 
fall. Others stand it out there, and suffer, and venture hither, 
and, Issachar-like, see rest is good, and crouch under their bur- 
dens, and so they fall. Others have had sweetness in ordi- 
nances ; the Lord departs, and so they fall. Others have corrupt 
hearts, and received the truth in the form, not in love, and stood 
in defence of the truth, not in love of the truth ; the Lord lets 
error loose, and they fall. Well, never be offended at this ; I 
am not, because I never knew man fall but he loved some lust, 
and was never broken from sin ; and although this is not seen 
when they do fall, it offends not me. 

Use 4. O, therefore, search your own hearts. When Christ 
said to the disciples, " One shall betray me," " Lord, is it I ? ** 
say they ; so, when not one, but many. Lord, is it I ? O, many 
a Christian lies f:ist asleep, never comes to a thorough search, a 
strict watch. Do but consider this ; 1. That in churches, nay, 
purest churches, many may lie hid, not discerned. 2. Thou 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 191 

^jii be one. 3. If thoa beest, that of all men living none 

M so deeply sink in helL 4. That all ordinances shall tend 

to this end, and all thy joys, all thy afflictions ; and therefore, 

0, search, before the Lord search, and say, Lord, as no man's 

panishments and (blagues can be like mine, nor sins, if I perish, 

so i£ pardoned, loved, never any shall have such cause to bless 

tliee. And, therefore, take not up with weak and groundless 

Iiopes, but love that hand that smites and wounds thee ; for this 

discovery is to awaken thee. But you have so much business 

you will not, can not, etc Consider what a fearful thing it is to 

be hung up as for a gazing-stock to saints, so an everlasting 

terror to the daomed themselves. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

COKTAININQ A DISCOVERY OP GOSPEL HYPOCRITES. 

Section I. 

Ob$erv. 2. That the most hidden hypocrites of the purest 
cliurches under the gospel are evangelical, or gospel hypocrites. 

For these that were foolish were not such as in appearance 
rested in the law, or in a covenant of works, but they hiid escaped 
those entanglements, and now were virgins that plead their in- 
terest in, and their communion, and fellowship, and love-knot 
with Christ ; they had now their lamps ready, and made much 
preparation for him, and they did wait for him, and verily looked 
to have eternal fellowship with him their beloved, insomuch thai 
they took their flight so high towards heaven and Christ, thai 
they passed for a time the discerning of the wise ; for you must 
know, that where the gospel comes, there are two sorts of ene- 
mies against it. 

1 . C^n ; and those are your justiciaries, that, seeking to estab- 
lish their own righteousness, and being puffed up with it, can. 
with pretended good consciences in doing God service, oppose 
the righteousness of God. 

2. Secret and subtle enemies, yet seeming friends ; and these 
are your carnal gospelers, that cry down all their own righteous 

y^ess, and cry up Christ, and see nothing in themselves, as there 

^f^is good cause so to think, and look for all from Christ ; and yet 

these, when the Lord comes to search, are found false ; and these 

are the worms that grow in this wood, in tliis building, in th(^se 

chorcheB. Thus it was in Christ's time, the church of the Jews 



102 THE PARABLE OF 

had left their gross idolatries ; yet this was their stombling-ston^ 
thej sought to establish their own righteousness, and hence h^ 
came to his own, and his own received him not, and hence were 
cut off for this their unbelief; but others (diners sorts of them) 
did receive him, believed in him. John ii. 23. Many took hold 
on Christ, and he took no hold on them, wondered at him, and 
entertained him when others did reject him, as Capernaum did, 
yet under his woe. And these are the spots of evangelical 
purity, wens in the bodies of the best constituted churches. 
Look but upon Christ's own family. John vi. 69, 70. The dis- 
ciples professed when others departed, ^ Lord, to whom should 
we go ? Thou hast words of life ; " yet saith he, " I have chosen 
you indeed to be for me, but one is a devil ; " viz., Judas the dea- 
con stood not on his own righteousness, but was for Christ, and 
followed him ; and yet in this evangelical angel without is a devil 
within, because he still harbored his lusts within. This the apos- 
tle Paul foresaw. Acts xx. 29, 30. Some wolves without should 
come, and also some cankers within should fret, that should draw 
many disciples after them, (in a church bought by Christ's own 
blood,) " speaking perverse things," pretending to draw disciples 
after Christ, but it is indeed aAer themselves ; and Paul laments 
this — " Many walk," i. e., profess Christ and his cross, " yet 
enemies to it" Phil. iii. 19. This Christ foretells. Luke xiii. 25, 
26. Many seek, many knock, and at last cry, " Lord, Lord, 
open," and in their lifetime they pleaded communion with Christ ; 

ryrn, " Depart, ye workers of iniquity." Jude 4, certain men are 
crept in, turning grace into lasciviousness ; for this is the very 
form of an evangelical hypocrite — in denying his own righteous- 
ness, to establish his sin, it is advancing Christ to advance his 
lust. The epistles of James and John are antidotes against this 
kind of poison, and I look on them as lamps hung up to discover 
these men, not but that these men are indeed under a covenant 
of works ; for there be but two sorts of men, and two ends of 
all men, hence but two covenants ; hence those tliat are not 
indeed under grace are under the law, and under the curse ; but 
because the most subtle hypocrites appear or seem to be under 

i grace, and their external operations are chiefly evangelical, hence 

A I call them evangelical hyi)ocrites. 

Section IL 

Reason 1. In regard of the power of the word and gospel of 
life and spirit in such churches ; for the gospel where it comes, 
as it advanceth the glorious and everlasting righteousness of 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 193 

Cbrist, 90 it knocks under foot all man's, as a means subservient 

to that end, and it coming with power and light, it would be toa 

gross for hTpocrites to maintain life by works ; hence Christ is 

that which thej look unto ; for Christ when he preached, not 

ooJj many " believed because of his miracles," but " when they 

heard his word," (John viii. 30 ; Matt xiii.,) in the parable of the 

Bower, the word came with much power, that they received it 

with joy, and did believe, but fell by their lusts. And look as 

it is with the sun, there comes light and heat with it, so there 

comes,— 

1. Truth to the mind, and conquers the judgments of hypo- 
crites, that there is no life, good, righteousness, but in Christ, nor 
salvation but by Christ. 

2. There comes some goodness of the gospel to the heart, that 
men hearing and seeing salvation wrapped up there, O, that is 
sweet and good ! and hence their affections and hearts are in some 
measure conquered by the power of the over-dazzling truth ; 
and hence hypocrites, being thus conquered, partly being of this 
opinion, partly tasting some good of it, desire it out of self-love, 
expect it out of self-delusion, and profess themselves virgins out 
of these principles. 

Jieafon 2. In regard of the power of evangelical examples in 
the five wise virgins ; for look as it is with living men when the 
sun shines upon their heads, they cast their shadows that follow 
them ; so when the Lord Jesus shines .upon the souls of his own 
people, almost every honest, sincere-hearted man will cast his 
shadow that will be like him ; hence hypocrites in those churches 
which are commonly rather led by example than by rule, will be 
very like them, and imitate them ; if they should not, what com- 
munion could they have with them, or what love could they re- 
ceive from them? For there is a mighty power in eminent 
examples to overbear hypocrites, that if they will turn them- 
selves into any form, they must into theirs, as in Joash ; for there 
are two things in the carriage of the saints. 

1. There is a condemning ^)ower in it; hence men fear to live 
unlike them. 

2. There is a winning virtue in it, an attractive virtue ; hence 
men endeavor to be and live like them, to be of the same mind, 
the same heart with them ; and hence others take them, and 
they take themselves, to be sincere, and hence they are evan- 
gelical gospel hypocrites that lie hid in these churches ; hence, 
(Zech. viii. 23,) " Alany shall take hold of a Jew's skirt, (I doubt 
not but some false ones,) We have heard God is with you." 

VOL. II. 17 



w^' 



194 THE PARABLE OF 

And OS Christ when lifted up and risen, so saints draw hjrpocrite» 
to them. 

Reason 3. Because the gospel brings the greatest and sweetest' 
consolations with it. Hence a man, under the terror of the law 
and sense of curse for his sin, will make his last refuge hither^ 
and hide himself under the wing of the gosi>cl, not so much oat 
of love to Christ or gospel, but because they serve his turn, and 
give him ease. Like men scorched with heat, and almost readj 
to die, the shadow of a tree is now very comfortable, and there- 
fore there they sit ; so these. Or, as men with scalded aims^ 
they put them into water, which gives them ease, no cure ; but 
because it gives them ease, there they keep them ; so here. Men 
have been scalded with wrath ; O, now gospel is very sweet, and so 
are eased by it, never cured by it. Therefore, here you shall 
find them disclaim all works, and cry up grace only ; where the 
purest churches are, there are usually great awakenings, there 
God is very near men, and made most manifest to men's oon* 
sciences, and there are most foul plagues, contempt of the Spirit 
of grace, and hence most dreadful torments of conscience, and 
fearful lookings for of judgment. Now, hence it comes to pass, 
when Christ is offered, and general notice given to men's minds, 
that yet there is hope and mercy for great sinners ; this fills them 
with joy and peace, as John's hearers, (John v. 35,) and hence 
they believe as the stony ground that had some ploughing, and 
hence received the word with joy, and believed. Ps. Ixvi. 3. It 
is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ, Antichrist tormented 
the consciences of men. liev. ix. Men have no peace within nor 
without. Luther is raised up, and preachcth the doctrine of free 
grace, which a world of men looking to their ease reject ; others 
in truth receive it ; for some time before his death he cries to 
God that he may not live to see the ruins that were coming on 
Germany for their contempt. The law is the ministry of death ; 
the gosptjl propounds great privileges, with much more sweetness 
to siiniers, and hence hither men fly. 

Reason 4. Because the gospel yields the fairest colors for a 
man's sloth, and strongest props for that. Hence you shall see 
them walking in this garden ; for the last sin God conquers in a 
man is his sloth. When the swine have no swill to eat, yet you 
shall find them in the mire of sloth ; this " slays the foolish." 
Hence the best hypocrite will plead the gospel, it is troublesome 
to the flesh to bear a daily sense of the sins and wants of the soul. 
Hence you shall, Capernaum, receive Christ, and wonder at his 
doctrine ; and yet Christ upbraids them, ^^ they repented not." 



THE TEN VIROIN8. 195 

Hatt xi. 20. tt 18 troublesome, nay, impossible, for a man to 
break his chains and get his soul loosed from his lusts, and free 
for the Lord. The gospel shows all fullness in Christ, and that 
Ik must do all ; a slothful, false heart, therefore, closeth with 
Christ as the end, but neglects him in the means. Why ? Christ 
most do all, say they, and hence, if Christ do drop upon their 
bearts, well and good ; if not, it is Christ's fault ; he is a hard 
laaster that gathers where he did not sow, and hence wrapped it 
up. A man's false heart is weary of the yoke of Christ, and 
bence would fain be eased of it. Now, the gospel promiseth lib- 
erty from the bondage and curse of the law, and a slothful heart 
can find out reasons to free himself from the rule of it, as part 
of Christian liberty, " this is our liberty in Christ Jesus." 2 Pet. 
ii. 19. And they rejoice exceedingly that the law is dead, as 
they did (Rev. xL 10) for the death of witnesses, because they 
tormented them. I say again, they rejoice not because the Lord 
makes them like himself^ and because of his image restored by 
the gospel, and because they feel the power of it, but because 
they are free from the power of it. It is an old deceit, yet sub- 
tle to rejoice, and love, and bless Christ, because he will pardon 
sin, though I lie and live in them. Or, if they do not free them- 
selves from it, the gospel shows the law within closing with the 
law without, to be an evidence the Lord will not impute it, and 
that it b not they, but sin in them. Hence a slothful heart will 
continue in his sloth, and to ease himself of trouble, for sin and 
obedience too, say, it is not he, but sin. And heilbe Arminius 
makes a strange interpretation of Rom. vii. Because he saw Ger- 
man professors plead that for themselves, the Israelites entered 
not into Canaan, unbelief caused it. And why did that shut 
them out? O, there were walled towns and difficulties, and this 
was the last shock, and hence they fell off; so it is in hypocrites 
DOW. The safest place to lie asleep is in Christ's lap. 

ReoMon 5. From the mighty cunning of Satan, the strength 
of whose kingdom is made and continued by peace. Luke xi. 41. 
Hence, ** He will turn himself into an angel of light," and suffer 
men to go to Christ and the gospel, to avoid the search, that they 
may be Christ's in appearance, and his indeed. 2 Cor. iv. 4. He 
bas a mighty power over men to blind them ; for there be three 
things which trouble men usually, and make them question their 
estates, and the gospel quiets and absolves them from all. 

1. Conscience, that cries dolefully sometimes, These sins shall 
have these woes. Yes, unless I believe ; but I believe, and trust 
to Christ, and flee to Clod's mercy. ^^^^ 

2. Ministry, that cries and searcheth into the deepest windings! 




196 THE PABABLE OP 

■ 

of men's hearts, that men can not but see that Christ has 
of flaming fire to see through them. Now, hence men avoid 
stroke and power of all ministry ; thus it is with me, thus it 
be with me ; but I believe and trust to Christ. And hence jsm 

I bear back like brazen walls all blows. 

^^. God's judgment seat. What though men see you not, je^ 
God seeth. Why, they have sinned, they confess, but Christ ha» 
suffered ; they have sinned, but they trust, etc, (Micah iiL 11,)> 
''Is not the Lord among us?" libok as it was with Joab^ ''he 
runs to the horns of the altar," yet there he perisheth, there he 
would die, there was the last refuge from search and death ; so 
here. 

Section m. 

Use 1. Hence do not think your estates good^ because 
look only for justification by Clmst, and look only to God's 
grace, and count of grace in Christ. It is a common ernnr for 
men to think, being they be of this opinion, only to look for grace 
in Christ ; to think that, therefore, their estates are false, and they 
are justified by Christ Why, there may be such a power rf 
word and spirit to conquer their judgments, as those Papists that 
have been pleading against it have been overcome by it. Thoa 
mayst receive the notions of it in thy head, but the power of it 
never into thy heart. 

Object, 1. &ut my heart has been affected with this to see 
when my sins deserve death ; yet there is mercy for the vilest 
in Christ. 

Am. Thou mayst taste and joy, and yet fall off at last. 

Object. 2. But I have fellowsliip with the Lord Jesus* 

An$. Thou mayst eat and drink in his presence, and yet be 
bid, ** Depart ; I know you not, a worker of iniquity." 

Object. 3. But I have " escaped the pollution of the world,** 
(2 Pet X. 20,) and that through this knowledge of Christ| his 
love has much moved me to part with my sins. 

Ans. It may be so, and it may wash thee from all external 
pollutions, and yet thy swinish nature remain still hidden from 
thee, but seen of an all-seeing God. 

Object. 4. But I look for Christ, and wait for him, and desire 
him, and all that are wise think well of me. 

Arts, You may do all this, and yet you may be found foolish, 
for all this. Evangelical work, which is accompanied with sal- 
vation in some, it may be hypocritical in thee ; and therefore take 
heed you do not take shows for substance. For, look, as in the 
gospel God's utmost perfection of wisdom and love appears, so 



-a ai 



THE TEN VIBGINS. 197 

die most hidden and admirable delusions of Satan are evangeli- 
oL There his power is employed to undermine, and so to keep 
lu3 head. O that we could but imagine and set before our eyes 
the amazing condition of such a man, whose plagues shall be 
made wonderful, that has been troubled with sin a long time, at 
h»t looks to Christ, and there rests, and so hears all sermons, 
and there still sleeps, and considers often that his ways are evil, 
hot never suspects his faith to be evil ; then he comes to die, and 
theD looks for Christ ; at last the wick or snuff dies, and sun 
sets, and darkness approaches, and then suddenly slips into hell, 
where he sees Christ and saints afar off. And what has deceived 
them ? O, their faith has deceived them, to see Christ shaking 
them off as dust. O, they wish, O that I had known or feared 
this before ! And will you not fear now ? As for you, profane 
ones, that can scoff, and drink, and break Sabbaths, and live idly, 
your judgment is writ upon your foreheads ; but, O, take heed, 
you that have escaped these pollutions, lest you deceive your- 
helves here. To show you that deceit particularly, it is not my 
time yet, but go along, and think sadly of it ; I may look for 
justification by Christ, and wait for Christ, and yet perish. O, 
let me be sure I get such a faith as will not deceive me here. 
Should not a man, you will say, trust Christ ? Yes, when you 
can in truth ; but thy trust may be but presumption. _^ 

Use 2. Take not up, therefore, every opinion and doctrine, from 
men or angel, that bears a fair show of advancing Christ ; for 
they may be but the fruits of evangelical hypocrisy and deceit, 
that, being deceived themselves, may deceive others too./ Matt.^ 
vii. 15, " Beware of them that come in sheep's clothing, ' in the 
innocency, purity, and meekness of Christ and his people, ** but 
inwardly are wolves, proud, cruel, censorious, speaking evil of 
what they know not ; by their fruits you shall know them." Do] 
not think, beloved, that Satan will not seek to send delusions 
among us ; and do you think these delusions will come out of 
the Popish puck, whose inventions smell above ground here ? 
No ; he must come, and will come, with more evangelical fine- 
spun de\'ice9. It is a rule ob8er\'ed among Jesuits at this day,\ 
if they would conquer religion by subtlety, never oppose reli- 
gion with a cross religion, but set it against itself; so oppose the 
gospel by the gospel ; and look, as churches pleading for works 
ha<i new invented devised works, so when faith is preached, men 
will have their new inventions of faith. I speak not this against 
the doctrine of faith where it is preached, but am glad of it ; 
nor that I would have men content themselves with every form 
of faith ; for I Injlieve that most men's faith needs confirming <»r 

17 • 



198 THE PARABLE 09 

« 

trying, but I speak to prevent danger on that hand. For it 

that which Christ did foretell, (Matt xxiv. 24,) '^ Many false 

Christs should arise," i. e., such as should misapply Christy that 

had a spirit for Christ, which was a spirit against Christ, and 

would " deceive, if it were possible, the very elect ; " for oom* 

ing with Christ's Spirit, they dare not oppose them, kst they op* 

/l^ose the Spirit of Christ. The only remedy is to hold to Christ's 

I word, and not to depart one hair's breadth from it, (Rev. iii. 10,) 

lan d to a word well understood, and then dispute no more. Satan 

comes to Eve, and bids her eat ; no, God forbid ; yet eat to be 

like gods ; he dazzled her with that which was not ; now she 

fell. Take the truth from what the word saith, and depart not 

from it. 

Use 3. Here see the dreadful estate of all them that be found 
false-hearted in the purest churches, and that in these three re- 
spects : — 

First. That they should so horribly forsake and blaspheme 
the name of Grod, to make the glorious gospel of God* and all 
the sweet doctrines of grace a cover for their hypocrisy and sin, 
as indeed it is ; for were it not for this, they might be found out 
in their sins, but now they are beyond the discovery of all men 
or means. 

Secondly, That they should be so lamentably forsaken of (5od, 
as to be left, — 

1. To the most subtle and spiritual hypocrisy in the world, 
which, being most cross to God, shall receive most fierce and 
searching wrath ; for, as divines say of Christ, he was forsaken 
in soul, because man had sinned with his soul ; so God's wrath 
will search deep in their hearts, whose hearts have guilefully 
departed from the Lord. 

2. That he should lead them so far, and yet in the main for- 
sake them, O, this is heavy wrath, for a man to be led in the 
daylight of the gospel, almost to the end of his journey, and at 
last the sun sots, and he left to wilder. 

Thirdly. In regard of the cries of the very gospel itself 
against them. O that the precious gospel of God, coming with 
so much peace, love, grace, mercy, should win them to be hypo- 
crites, but never to be friends ! Beloved, as there is vengeance 
of the law, and of the temple, so there is vengeance of the gos- 
pel when the soul shall be drawn before the tribunal of Christ, 
and shall stand there quaking, all sins set in order before you, 
and your mouth shall be stopped. What say you tlien for your 
life ? O, grace and mercy. Lord ; O, now shall the gospel come 
forth and say. All this I did, I spake, I strove, I comforted, I 



tHB TEN VIRGINS. 199 

terrified, and yet he hath opposed the Lord, and me he hath 
ttade a cover for all these cyils ; and therefore, Lord, let him 
Be?er be comforted more. John iii. 19. O, Christ hath heavy 
tilings against these times, that take light of the gospel to see to 
commit their sin by. And, therefore, lament your present es- 
tates, you that know yourselves nought, never yet drawn to 
Christ, never yet humbled at the feet of Christ, and look up to 
the Lord, whatever misery he inflicts, not to suffer thee to be de- 
ceived here ; not only to have such a faith as may catch hold on 
Christ, but he on thee, and come unto the light to manifest the 
hidden enmity there. Never was yet man deceived but he that 
was willing to be deceived, that would not use the means, and 
March. 

Section IV. 

Use 4^ All you, therefore, that live under the light of the 
gospel, consider if it doth not nearly concern you to search and 
try yourselves, whether you, or some of you, may not be evan- 
gelical hypocrites. The time is coming that you shall stand 
before the tribunal of Grod, wherein the hidden things of dark- 
ness shall be brought forth to light, and it will be too late to 
know yourselves then. O, therefore, search now. No man's 
mii*ery will be so great as this, if your heart be found false. I 
shall speak in a manner but generally now. 

Sign 1. Those that do believe and yet fail in respect of the 
efficient cause of faith, it never had the right maker, never came 
out of the right shop nor mint ; it was never a faith of God*s 
making, but a faith of your own making ; so that it is a base, 
bastard faith, that though it be born in the house, it sliall never 
possess the inheritance, because it was never begotten of the 
right father ; the Lord never wrought it, but themselves ; for 
mxmy a man b convinced, by the law and spirit of bondage, th{\t 
he must die, and that he is a most grievous sinner, and that, 
when he has done all, he is unprofitable ; but yet he trusts to 
Christ's and God*s mercy, and so believes ; he finds no great 
difficulty in this, nor no great need of the almighty jK)wer of 
the Lord to work this, and all men living shall never make him 
think but that he does heartily and truly believe ; but ask him, 
Have you no doubt of your estate, and of Christ's not taking 
hold of you when you take hold of him ? Yes, but seeing he 
has been troubled about his est«ate, and repented of his sin, (in 
his fioLshion,) and reformed himself and family, and loves the 
best things, he believes without question, and so misapplies 
promises to himself, never feeling a need of the revelation and 



I 



200 THE PARABLE OF 

donation of Jesus to him by the Father ; and thus the Lord fimlii^ 
this man a Christ, and tliis man finds the Lord a faith, and th^ 
Lord Jesus redeems this man by price, and this man redeems 
himself by power, and so the Father shall have some glory for* 
providing a Saviour ; Christ shall have some glory for paymg 9l. 
price, and the Spirit of Christ, which only can draw to Christ, 
shall lose his glory ; and so this man may take it to himself. 
And is this good, think you ? Col. ii. 12, '^ Risen with Christ 
through faith of the operation of God." 1 Pet. i. 3, "The 
same power that raised Christ from the dead must raise you to 
a lively hope.'* Matt xxii. 1-3, '^ One man came from his 
hedges and highways to the feast of the promise and ordinances 
of the gospel, till the Lord saw him without Christ." But, John 
vi. Gl, (>5, " Unless the Father reveals Christ's face," the Father 
l)ersuades thee of Christ's love, " you can never come to Christ ;" 
men know not thy hypocrisy, thou dost not, but Jesus doth, and 
what good will thy faith do thee then ? /it was a sweet speech 
of Christ, " Thy faith has saved thee." O, heavy when it shall 
be said, Thy faith has damned thee ; that which I thought to be 
the way of life is the way of death : truly, so it will if you do 
not fetch it out of heaven. 

Sign 2. Those that do believe, but they fail in the object, i. e., 
they close with Christ, but they know not who he is ; that as the 
woman of Samaria, that had some lookings to the Messiah, she 
did worship whom she knew not ; so men believe in one whom 
they know not, only have heard the fame of. For there are two 
things in the gospel — 1. The outward words and letters ; 2. The 
tilings contained in those words. Hence tKere is a double knowl- 
edge oFClirist. 

1. A fantasy knowledge, as a man, that hears of any thing 
absent, presently fancies the thing in his head. 

2. There is an jntuitiv e kno wledge, whereby the soul doth 
not only see words and fancies, but beholds the things them- 
selves. Hence it comes to pass that many a man, hearing the 
same, and receiving the fancy of Christ, believes in him, but 
not seeing him as he is, therein he believes in one whom he 
knows not ; and hence the Lord Jesus may l>e a hid thing to 
many a man, and the gospel a sealed book, though he lives and 
remains in the very light of the sun, and that all his days. 
Hence Clirist laments Jerusalem — " O that thou hadst known, 
but now hid, hid ;" and yet Christ preached. Yes, (Dent. xxix. 
4,) " You have heard and seen, and yet the Lord ha5 not given 
a heart to see to this day : " so it is with many a soul ; you have 
heard witli your ears the great things of the kingdom of God, 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 201 

7^ the Lord has not given you eyes to see ; you have seen de- 
liverances on sea, yet the Ix)rd has not given you hearts to un- 
<Ierstand ; and if so, all your faith is nought, and profession and 
Section vile, and estates miserable. 2 Cor. iii. 18, *'A11 we 
^'ith open face," etc 
O&ject. But many see it not so. 

Am, I confess some may see more darkly, and be mourning 

Qoder it ; yet he that doth not in part, he to whom it is hid, 

(2 Cor. iv. 3, 4,) is one of them that be lost, whose ^^ eyes Satan 

Us blinded.'' John vL 45, ^' He that has heard and learned of the 

Father." Many hear^ but never learn of the Father, hence 

oerer come truly unto Christ : it is in this case as it is with a 

traitor ; be comes to the king for his life, and prays for his son's 

sake ; the king sends for him, and saith. Here is one that begs 

for your sake ; do you know him ? For my sake ! I wonder 

on what acquaintance ; he is a stranger to me, and therefore I 

regard him not. So here. 

4#yn 3. Those that have some kind of sight of the object, and 
see Christ, but there is a wound in the subject, because their 
faith arises and springs out of an ill soil, it is in such a party 
that never was yet thoroughly rent from his sin, and here is the 
great wound of the most cunning hypocrites living ; for there 
are two things in him- — 

1 . A carnal heart, which can not be satisfied with a spiritual 
good with Christ ; hence he must have his lust. 

2. A convinced conscience, which can not be quieted without 
Christ and mercy ; hence men close with Christ, and • their lusts 
too. Look as' it was with the stony ground and thorny soil, 
they believed, but had a stone at bottom ; " but roots of bitter- 
ness," etc. These men can sometimes plead acquaintance with 
Christ, (Luke xiiL 26, 27,) yet " workers of iniquity." 2 Pet 
ii. 19, 20. Some had escaped the pollution of the world, (that 
you may do,) but a swinish nature lasts, that they never felt, or 
grew not in the feeling of it, and loosening from it ; as with 
apricot trees rooted in the earth, but leaning on the wall, so they 
on Christ O, consider of this : let a man be cast down as low 
as hell by sorrow, and lie under your chains, quaking in appre- 
hension of terror to come ; let a nian then be raised up to heaven 
in joy, not able to live ; let a man reform and shine like an 
earthly angel, yet if not rent from lust, that either you did never 
see it, or if so, you have not followed the Lord to remove it, but 
proud, dogged, worldly, sluggish still, false in your dealings, 
cunning in your tradings, devils in your families, images in your 
churches ; you are objects of pity now, and shall be of terror at 



±0± THE PARABLE OP 

the great day ; for where sin remains in power, it will hrii^ M 
faith, and Christ, and jot into bondage and service of itself^, 

Si^n 4. Those that believe, yet fail of saving faith in 
of the very act of believing and closing with Christ, viz,, the;^ 
clo^e with Christ, but it is without a high esteem of him or lor* 
to him ; they have some, but right grace consists in a kind 
summity or excellency, else it is not right. 1 Pet. iL 5. Tc^ 
you that believe he is precious, and hence it comes to pass, — 

1. That some never come to find or enjoy Christ, becaose th«y 
will not come off to the price of him, to sell themselves out oT 
all fur liim, 

2. Some sell him away again in time of temptation, like Esoa 
that sold his birthright, and never make any thing of it ; because 
the bond is not strong enough, down they fall from him. 

3. Hence comes dll a man*s uneven carriage. 

4. Hence comes sometimes the unpardonable sin. Heb. x. 29. 
Many a man lays claim to Christ, and his blood, and right- 
eousness, that never knew the worth of it ; and this is Christ's 
complaint, methinks, in heaven, (and of saints on earth,) ^ He 
comes unto his own, and his own esteem him not;** his own love 
him not, his own receive him not ; him that is the glory of 
heaven, the beauty of the Father, the delight of saints, the won- 
derment of angels ; he, I say, is not esteemed by many a man 
that in his judgment esteems him, and in his heart does despise 
him. There are two parts of this esteem. 1. To esteem him 
only. John v. 44. 2. Him ever and alway ; (Ps. Ixxiii. 26,) 
" Thou art my portion forever." Many say they esteem Christ, 
but to be ever loving him, ever looking on him, this is not their 
frame. O, think of this ; fail here of your valuing of him, and 
you fail every where. 

Sigyi 5. Those that believe, but they fail in their end ; and 
these may, for a while, in a hot fit, prize water, prize Christ and 
mercy above all things in the world, but their end is naught t 
so that men here may ask, and never have, because of their 
lusts. As a man that lies on his death bed, or in a sea storm in 
fear of ht»ll, he may now prize and take hold on Christ to save 
him. A man lies upon the bed of horror of heart, he may prize 
Christ to comfort him, and getting a conceit of it, be rapt up 
almost in an ecstasy of joy, that a man would think he was 
senUnl with the Spirit of Christ, and yet his end being naught, 
Christ only to comfort him, misseth of Christ in conclusion ; for 
when a man believes indeed, he receives Christ for the end the 
Father sent him, viz., to be King and Sovereign of the whole 
man, as well as Saviour; (Ps. xxiv. 7,) " Oiwn your gates, that 



THE TEN VIBOINS. 203 

tbe King of glory/' etc ; (Rom. viii. 38,) " I am persuaded 
iK)thiog shall separate us from the love of Christ Jesus our 
I«rd;" our Lord as well as Jesus. Indeed, (John vi. 15,) 
80Qie did receive Christ to be King, but it was that he might be 
their cook ; he provided loaves for them ; so here. Ps. Ixvi. 2, 
^i *^ Because of thy power, thine enemies shall flatteringly sub- 
iQit.** It is but flattery, not faith ; look to it, therefore. 

Siffn 6. Those that believe, but fail in regard of the use of 
tbe gospel and of the Lord Jesus ; and these we read of, (Jude 3,) 
^^ of some men that did turn " grace into wantonness ; " for 
therein appears the exceeding evil of a man's heart, that not 
only the law, but also the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus 
works in him all manner of unrighteousness ; and it is too com- 
mon for men at the first work of conversion, O, then to cry for 
grace and Christ, and afterward grow licentious, live and lie in 
Uie breach of the law, and take their warrant for their course 
from the gospeL I shall not name all the ways that men do so, 
but I will only speak that which conscience and compassion 
move me to ; not to begin, but, if passible, to still division ; and 
what I shall speak shall be by way of prevention. 

1. Take heed of making graces in a Christian the weaknesses 
of a Christian ; for this is to make darkness light and grace wan- 
tonness indeed ; is it not ? Take heed, then, of thinking or say- 
ing counterfeit or false sanctification consists in feeling something 
in a man's self, as love to delight in the Lord and his ways. 
True sanctification in seeing nothing, no love, no delight. Why, 
the apo6tle Paul knew ^* that in him (i. e., in his flesh) dwelt no 
good thing ; " but he calls it flesh there, and groans under it, yet 
he felt a law within closing with the law without, and blessed the 
Lord for it, and that was himself. Do you think the Holy Ghost 
comes on a man as on Balaam, by immediate acting, and then 
leaves him, and then he has nothing ? Yes, beloved, know you 
not Christ is in you (2 Cor. xiii. 5) as well as out of you ; in 
you, comforting, dwelling, sanctifying, preparing the heart for 
himself? Indeed, to be puffed up with grace, or rest in it, is a 
Bin ; yet that grace is not tliat sin. 

2. Take heed of making weaknesses graces or duties ; as, — 
I'irsL To make poverty of spirit the sight of nothing in a 

man's self. Why, he that is poor has heaven for his, and so 
Christ and promises, and has faith his, at least some seeds. 
Now, to see nothing now is to see an untruth, and to tell a flat 
lie to God, and men, and Scripture, too. Indeed, a man that is 
poor doth usually see nothing ; but that is his weakness, not any 
grace. 



204 THE PARABLE OF 

Secondly. To say there is no difference between graces 
hypocrites and saints. Why so ? Because I can not see tsk^^^ 
Is this your weakness or your wisdom, you can see none ? Ai^ ^ 
will you make your weakness your religion ? 

Thirdly. That a man must not evidence his justification by }xM^ 
sanctification ; I speak of that which accompanies salvatiois-'* 
Why so ? Because then there will be comfort to-day and wr^ 
row to-morrow. Grant it ; but then consider, 1. That is either 
a man's weakness and ignorance that he doth not see it ; or, 2. 
His wickedness and carelessness that has stained that work. 
And will you make this a duty, a grace ? O, but many have 
been deceived here. Grant it ; and will you make your wretched 
baseness of heart the foundation of this conceit ? 

Fourthly. That a man must see no saving work nor take com- 
fort from any promise until he is sealed. No. Why so ? Be- 
cause many tall Christians have deceived themselves sOy and 
deluded themselves there, and been kept off from Christ, and 
truly I believe it in part. But what of that? Shall men's 
weakness be my religion or work ? No, beloved ; for a man 
believes before he is sealed. Eph. i. 15. And hence Christ is 
his ; and now for him to deny Christ to be his own is to make 
Christ a liar, (1 John v. 10, 12, 13;) not that I would have 
Christians content themselves here (it is a sign you never knew 
what Christ mean^if you do so) till he shall send a more full 
gale of his Spiritc 
1 — '3. If you do account them weaknesses, yet Aake heed your 
\ closing with Christ do not cause you to make k light matter of 
sin ; either not to take notice of sins at all, only look to Christ, 
(it is not I, but sin, as being the act of the outward man ; one 
calls tliis to unknow a man's self,) or not to be deeply sensible 
of them, and so use Christ as your shoe-clout to wipe them off. 
I O, this is dangerous ! The spirit of joy never quenched the 
\^ spirit of sorrow. Capernaum entertained Christ, and yet per- 
ished. O, slie repented not What, must we repent after we 
be in Christ? Yes, (Jer. xxx. 19,) "After I was turned I re- 
pented." It argues a bold conscience, when men, as they look 
to no good themselves, so to no sin in themselves, but wholly to 
Christ. 

4. Take heed of those doctrines which in show lift up grace, 
but indeed pull it down, or any part of it ; as, — 

First. To think that the letter of the whole Scripture holds 
out no more than a covenant of works, a most prodigious speech, 
' though colored with advancing a spiritual covenant of grace, and 
no word but Christ 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 205 

&c(nidfy. Under a show of advancing Grod's grace in doing 
4 to saj the ordinances are not means, but only occasions of 
conversion. 

Thirdly, Under a show of giving all to grace, to abolish that 
I^ truth, as to say we are not justified by faith, which, though 
it be trae, not really ; i. e., not simply by faith in itself, consid- 
ered as a work, yet to say, [not relatively, as the Lord is appre- 
hended by it,] it is false. If we cast off the power of the truth, 
J^t let us not cast off the form of it ; keep the form of whole- 
<»oine words as well as truths. 

Fourthly, Take heed of maintaining that a man until scaled 

li not persuaded to believe, under a show of letting the Spirit of 

grace do alL And, brethren, doth not the Spirit of grace 

accompany the word of grace ? Are not evangelical commands 

part of that word ? Is there not a power going along with 

ihem ? What is this but to take from God's book ? And he 

tiiat so doth, God will blot him out of the book of life. Rev. 

xxii. 19. 

Fifthly, That a Christian is to gather no assurance from par- 
ticular conditional promises, under color of receiving all from 
Clirist and grace. True, them that have nothing to do with 
them ought not ; but for those that have to do with them as 
their inheritance not to apply and make use of them for their 
comfort, it is to trample under foot Christ's blood, that has pur- 
cliased them for that end, and it is to raze out in our practice 
the greatest part almost of the covenant of grace. 

Sixthly, That the law ought not to be our rule of life, under a 
show of being freed from it by Christ, as though Christ came to 
set hell gates open for men to do what they please. Shall I say 
any more ? I am weary with speaking ; I desire rather to go 
a<ide and mourn, and to think there is somewhat amiss why the 
Lord lets these out. You that are sincere, search and keep 
close with Christ, and fetch more life from him, and though 
accounted under a covenant of works with men, yet rejoice ; 
you know it is better with you in his sight And you that are 
weak, beware and take heed and do not consider what I, but the 
Holy Ghost, has cleared this day ; and as for all them that do 
turn grace into lasciviousness, not intentionally, but practically ; 
not in all things, but some things ; consider this scripture, (Jude 
4.) men ^ordained to this condemnation." They thrive and 
have no hurt, and they joy. O, but they have condemnation 
enough upon them. Do but consider, (verse 12, 13,) " twice 
dead ; " dead in Adam, then quickened by Christ with common 
gifU and graces, then die and turn grace into wantonness, for 

VOL. II. 18 



206 THE PARABLE OF 

whom is reserved the very blackness of darkness forever. Th^/ 
bring in painted profaneness. 

Use 3. O, take heed, then, lest you fall short of Christ bj 
unl)elicf. Ileb. iv. 1. Christ must do alL O, but take hee4 
use means, and then put the work into his hands to make faidi 
right. Ileb. xii. 1, 2, <^ Looking to Jesus the author and fiD* 
isher." Suppose Christ was here on earth, and thou shouldst 
beg it, would he deny thee ? O, no ; beg hard, therefore, now. 



CHAPTER XV. 

showing tuat there is a vast difference betwixt a sin- 
cere christian and the closest hypocrite. 

Section L 

Doct, 3. That there is a vast and great internal difference 
between those that are sincere indeed and the closest hypocrites ; 
or there are certain qualifications within, and operations of Grod 
upon the souls of the faithful, which make a very great differ- 
ence between them and the closest hypocrites. 

For the Lord Jesus here sees the difference, and shows the 
difference, though but generally, I confess, in this verse : " Some 
we re wise, others were foolish." Wisdom and folly are different 
rqualities, and though these keep their residence chiefly in the 
' mind, yet the Lord never did infuse any true wisdom into the 
mind but there was a great change of the heart, nor never was 
. any man left unto his own folly but it did not only argue an evil 
I heart, but did ever arise from thence. Eph. iv. 18. So that 
Christ not only sees, but discovers to the churches, a vast differ- 
ence for them to tiike notice of. I confess the difference was 
not only in regard of open profaneness, or common conversation 
in living like men of the world, yet a difference here there is. 
For the opening of this point, I shall open these particulars : — 

1. That the Lord does make this inward difference. 

2. That it is so great that the faithful do see it 

3. That it is so great that others can not receive it when it is 
offered. 

4. That it is so great that they can not understand it. 

5. The reasons why the Lord makes this internal difference. 
1. That the Lord does make it. Only some scriptures now, 

(Eph. V. 8,) " You were darkness, now are light ; " (Eph. ii. 1,) 
"You were dead, now are alive." It is true, there is a life 



THE TEN VIRGINS, 207 

hypocrites have whioh puis mucli ilifFerence between them and 
othurs ; but if that does, what does the life of Christ in a man 
smJDg from the death of every sin? Acts xsvi. IS. The 
Lord turns not only from " darkness to hght, Imt from the 
power of Salan to God," together with which arises remission 
of sins. What is this, then, but a greater change than from hell 
to heaven? Is it not worse than hell to be under liis, not only 
lemptatioDB, hut power 'f And is it not better to be with God 
and be in heaven? 

S. It is so great that the faithful do see it. I confess at fir<:t 
work it is like a confused chaos ; they know not what to make 
of it, but aA«rwards they can and do. 1 John v. 18, 19. We 
know we are " bom of God, free from the dominion of sin," of 
which he speaks, and that the whole world lies in wickedness. 
Before a man is born again, he neee no difference between him 
and other men ; hut now he doth ; and hence it is frequent in 
Scripture for saints to eipreaa their esperience of their double 
estate, (Tit. iii, 2, 3 ;) and they are commanded to try themselves, 
and may not only see Christ out of them, but Clirist in tliem, 
except they be reprobates, (2 Cor. xiii. 5 ;) and hence command 
to give thanks for this, (Col. i. 1'2, 13,) which commands, being 
evangelical, have a power to all the elect 

3. It is 60 great that others can not receive it when it is offered ; 
they are so for from having it in them, or counterfeiting, or 
making this inward work, that they can not receive it, no, not 
when the Spirit itself comes to work it; (John xiv. 17,) "The 
Spirit of truth, which the world can not receive." It doth re- 
«circ prophetical gifts and common graces ; but there ia a higher 
and more divine work which they can not receive ; (Gom. viii. 7,) 
^- It is not subject, nor can be subject, to the law of God," where 
Che holine^ of God appears. 

4. It is so great tliat they can not understand it what it is 
^spiritually, only in fancy ; (1 Cor. ii. 1 4,) " Neither can he know 
«hem." And hence men lie grophig all tlieir life for grace, and 

~; and have not, because they know not the thing tboy would 

Mre; (John iv. 10,) "If thou knewest, thou wouldstask.and he 

Buld give-" A beaat can not conceive what a life a man leads. 

'. Now follow the reasons why the Lord doth make this in< 

d difference, or showing that there is difference. 



Beaton 1. In regard to the infinite love of the Father, which 
lie bears to the meanest believer above the must glorious hypo- 



SOS THE l-AKABLK OP 

crite that over lived. It is an ererlosling love, and it is like thit 
lovo lie beare toward his own Son. John xvii. 16. Now, if ths 
Lord's love be not common to both, neilher is the work or fhiill 
of his love common in both, but a great difference there must be ; 
for aa it is with men, so it is with the Lord. There ore three 
expressions oflove. 1. Their looks. 2. Their promises of love. 
3. Their works of love. So the Lord doth, — 

1. Create in his people glorious apprehe-nsions of his blessed 
face appearing in the glass of the gospel. Rev. xxiL 4. 

3. The Lord mokes many promises of love unto hts people, 
which go to the very heart to cheer them. Hos. ii. 14. 

3. The Lord confines not his love to looks and words, thongh 
it is wonderful to have the least of them ; but you may read hifl 
love in bis wo rks pf_lave. Now, those works peculiar to them 
are, 6rst and chiefly, the donation of Christ, for a man in redemp- 
tion to a man in vocation ; and then the pecuhar fruits of thia 
love, expressed in peculiar operations upon the soul and in the 
sonl, which God's truth in the new covenant promises, and God's 
faitlifulness executetb, (Jer. xsxi. 33, and sxxii. 40 ;) to take 
away the " stony heart," to write " laws in the heart." to " pat 
fear into (he heart." These are the peculiar effects of this new 
covenant, and they are operations in a man, which only the elect 
feel and wonder at grace for; (Eph. ii. 4, 6,) "According to hie 
great love hath he quickened ua ti^ether with him." TTiere is 
a kind of resurrection of a man's soul when it is broa^t home 
to ChrisL Look as the bodies of the saints shall be different at 
the last day ; so when God raisoth their souls from the dead 
here, there is a difference now. 

Jieatoa 2. In regard of the death and blood of the Lord JesuB, 
which was abed not otdy that he might be a God unto them, but 
that they might be a " peculiar people " unto him, (Tit. ii. 14,) 
" He gave himself for his people," not only to justify his people, 
but also to cleanse his church. Epb. v. 26, 27. For this has 

I been God's great plot, first, to perfect his people in their head ; 
and then, lest there should be a golden head, and feet and hands 
of iron and ciny, and because the church is not found lovely, 
therefore the Lord makes it lovely by Utile and Uttle here, until 
it "appear witliout spot or wrinkle" at the last day. Do yoii 
.think, brethren, that Clirist's blood was shed to work no 
hia [leople than in hj-pocrilea? Was it only shed to lake awi 
guilt of sin from God's sight, and then let a man wallow in 
rails of his own heart? Jt is true, lliere is a work of $anctific»- 
Ition which hyjKjcrites have, which Christ's blood purchases, for I 
jhclieve all common mercy and patience comes by Christ's blood. 






THE TEN VIRGINS. 209 



^ 80 an oommon gifU and graces ; but yet, beloved, there is a 

vast difference ; their wills were never changed, though their 

minds were much enlightened ; hence they sinned willfully. The_ 

Lord never was dear to them ; hence secret despite grew up, 

thai at last they committed the unpardonable sin. Hos. x. 26, 29. 

Reason 3. Because those graces or qualifications, together 

with the operations of them which are in the faithful, are the 

same with Christ's ; the same in kind and nature; (John i. 16,) 

" From his fullness we have received grace for grace." Hence 

we are said to ^ bear his image ; " and because it is but little at 

first, hence "from glory to glory." 2 Cor. iii. 18. Now, the 

Lord Jesus had not only the Spirit which he had without measure, 

but also he had many divine qualities, habits, or graces, which 

it is blasphemy to think that they were hypocritical or common, 

which the faithful receive from his fullness, and wherein they 

are made, in their measure, like unto him. So the saints have 

not only the Spirit, but also those peculiar operations of it 

wrought in them by the Spirit, whereby they come to be made 

like unto the Lord Jesus. Hence, as there was an infinite dis- 

tsmce between the Lord Jesus and the best hypocrite, so the 

likeness that they have of the Lord Jesus makes a difference 

DOW. And look, as there is a difference between a plant and a 

beast, a beast and a man, so there is a glorious life which saints 

have begun here in this life, which none have but themselves. 

1 Pet. V. 10. They have the " first fruits," the which is meat 

and drink, which no man knows of that lies in hypocrisy and 

sins. 

Beason 4. If there should be no difference, then these evils 
would follow : 1. This lays a foundation of contempt of grace, 
and of the beauty of holiness in the hearts and lives of God's 
people ; for look, as it is in the work of the Son in redemption, 
if Christ should liave died as much for Judas as for Feter, and 
suspended the act of faith to apply this on the free will of either, 
then Judas had as much cause to thank Christ for his kindness 
as Peter ; and Peter had no more cause of blessing Christ for 
his love in redeeming him than Judos ; and what cold praises 
will he then give him ! So if the Spirit of Christ shouM sanc- 
tify or call a saint no more than a hypocrite, then the one has 
no more cause to be thankful for the work of the Spirit tlian the 
other ; ami when a man comes to look upon the work of the 
Spirit, and the graces of it, there is cold water ca^it upon those ; 
this is no more than what a hypocrite has. Christ has not only 
redeemed by price, but also by power, from tlie power of Sjitan, 
sin, darkness, delusion ; and not to be thankful for this is not to 

18* 



I 



£10 THE PARABLE OP 

be lliankful for the redemption of Chriat. Thou shall nev« 
liiLve it lli^n that dost despise tbc Spirit of grace, wherebj the 
art but commonly eanctified. 

2. Bemuse this abolishes the u^e of all conilitional promisM 
made in tlie worO ; for you know they are made to some quali- 
fication or work of the Spirit in a man, some to mourniag, pov- 
erty, faith, hunger, lostncss, etc. ; now, if there should be no 
difference between seeming works in hypocrites and these, theo, 
1. The Irulh of the promises is deslroyed ; for the Lord sailh, 
" They that hunger shall be satisfied." I will nuswer. Hypocrites 
may hunger, and yet not he »atisHed. 2. The use of these 
promises should he lost ; for why should a man then east liis sodI 
upon God's faithfulness in die promise, when it is but commou 
lore to him and hypocrites ? If it he replied, the one has Christ, 
the other not, I answer, it is eery true ; but then I nsk, who ii 
he a Christ to? It must needs be (o a particular people de- 
scribed in the word by their peculiar qualities, flowing; from their 
forms and subjects by which they are known ; and now con- 
sider, (Rev. xxii. 19,) "Is God a God of the dead, and not of j 
the living only?" ■ 

3. Because this makes the moat holy men that ever lived deed*'* B 
ersofthemselvea and others; only look upon John, Christ's belove^ J 
disciple and bosom companion ; he had received the anoinling 
to know him that is true, "and he knew he knew him." 1 
John ii. 3. But how did he know that ? He might he deceived, 
(as it is strange to see what a melancholy fancy will do, and the 
eficcta of it ; aa honest men are reputed to have weak brainy 
and never saw the depths of the secrets of God.) What is his 
last proof? " Because we know his commandments," i. e,, we 
bnve them writ in our bearia, and keep them, though we can not 
fulfill them, it mokes us every way more holy. Christ doth not 
keep them only, but we through his grace keep them ; thus he 
proves it by a work in him. Now, thus I reply : If all works in 
the aoula of sainla be common to hypocrites, then John went f 
upon false grounds, deceived himself and all that heard him, w 
all the churches that ever were to this day. 

Section III. 

U»e\. Of Confat. To the Papists, who, in their vi 
seek to shame the churches of Christ, saying, that tliey d 
" inherent rigliteousness or graces," making a man just by ti 
righteousneas of Christ ; and in the mean while to remain '" 
curca-is or ghost, or a painted sepulehei*, full of rottenness w 




TOE TEN VIROINS, 211 

Threeoffourof these arcbers ihat have shot these arrows I have 

Md with, whereby tbey wound tlie heart of profession, and keep 

tbc people in a professed enmily and opposition a^nst the ways 

uf tiod's graec. Now, we do not only deny this, but we profess 

ilua Ibe Lord doth not only, out of the rjuhes of his grace, accept 

iM in Christ, but out of the same love sends down the Spirit of 

puce, nol only lo muke us civ il and moraL o r hypocritical, but 

■hit die Lord works I hereby" such a change as is not to be found 

in ihe most refined hypocrite's breatliing. And we profess, 

ibuugh our Justification doth oot consist in this, yet whoever batli 

Dot this is not justified (whatever he may ima^ne) iu the sight 

of God. And tlie Lord grant the diurches of the Lord Jesus 

may never open tlie mouilis of thoi'e blasphemers of his name, 

in denying all righteousness in ourselves at all ; deny it to justify, 

deny it not altogether. 

tie 2. Of Confut. Of an old Arminian error ; for they hold 
xaA maintain an " inherent righteousness," but that there is no 
differpnce between the graces of believers and bypocxites, only 
in lUeir continuance, and tliat is by chance, too, and doubtful, 
rii., if they hold on, and for this purpose cite many scriptures, 
ihrve paseuges espectally, that of Ezek. sviii. 34, " K the righl- 
«cui man forsake," etc, which is spoken of rotten Fharisaieal 
hypocrile?* falling far short of what the siiints have ; and the 
parable of the seed, " They all sprang up ;" where it is manifest 
the tm\ was naught, out of which lliey ibat fell away did grow ; 
and, (ileli. x, 29,) " Blood wherewiib they were sanctified," 
whirh U meant of such as had some inward enlightening, and 
buiing and external profession really not in appearance only in 
them, yet not any saving and effectual work j but, Ibus by mak- 
ing grace common, they make it vile ; and under a color of mak- 
ing all men watchful, they destroy all faith iu Giod's faithfulness 
and promise, especially until a man come (o die. Divines have 
miany strong arguments against them, and show, however there 
may tie decays, and relapses, and winter seasons of the saints, yet 
ever tliere remains in them the " seed of Gk>d." 1 John iii. 9 ; 
John iv. H. n.^^c-.-^' 

The main ground of Ibis their conceit is double. 
1. False observation, in beholding many fall off that were u 
ftars, but snuffs, glorious professors fur a time ; and lest tbe^ 
rhunUl be mad without reason herein, they search the Scriptures, 
wmI in four thousand years find but four or five that fall away ; 
Ikvid. Solumon. llymcneus, Alexander, and Demas, none of 
"Ich, tf examined, will serve llieir turn. ^. 

, A great mistake of the work of grace, together with their^ 



212 THE PARABLE OF 

own experience, for they, conceiving grace to be but a meas 
thing, and not understajiding it, because they never felt it in 
themselves, hence make no ditiference between one man and 
another, and hence maintain apostivsy from grace. I hope I 
need not stir you up to abhor this conceit, considering what has 

[begn said./ I grant, indeed, a man may fall away from graoe> 
considering grace without Cln-ist to keep it. But yet it is in it- 
self such a living fountain, as in itself does not perish, though ii 
may ; and in respect of Christ, it can not. 

Object. Did not Adam fall from all his grace ? 
Atis, Yes, because he had neither the covenant of grace, nor 
the Spirit of grace, nor power of grace to support and keep him ; 
but it is Grod's covenant now to write his law, to put his fear in 
the heart, never to depart, and to give the Spirit of Christ, who 
is now risen from the dead. "Because I live, you shall live 
also," (John xiv. 19,) and "power to keep us." 1 Pet. i. 5. So 
that though it is Christ that keeps a man from falling, yet the 
truth is, he that does fall from grace, as though it was a common 
fading thing, or does fall from Christ, he never had Christ at all ; 
(John iv. 1 4,) " The water that I shall give shall be a spring 
of living water," not of dead graces, yet quickened by the Spirit, 
and helped continually. And it is kept till life of glory comes, 
where it is swallowed up in the ocean of {Kirfection. 

Use 3. Hence we see the difference between the graces of 
hypocrites and saints does not only lie in the efficient cause, viz., 
the Spirit of Christ barely considered in itself, for then there 
should be no difference at all ; for there are not two Spirits, and 
the same Spirit that works in the faithful, the same Spirit is in 
the unfaithful to work many strange works in them. 1 Cor. xii. 
3, 4. Neither does supernatural power of the Spirit distinguish, 
(I mean that which is above the strength of nature, not that 
which is above the use of nature ; for nature crooks all God's 
works to itself,) for the gifts of prophecy and common joy are 
above the strength of mere nature, but the difference lies in the 

. work it.self. As it is in creation, the least spear of grass has the 
same power to make it that made heaven and angels ; is there 
no difference then ? Yes, it lies in the very work or effect of 
that power. And as it is in a cedar and a fly, there is more 
excellency in the former, in some respects, but the latter has 
another life, which the other has not ; so the meanest believer is 
better than the most glorious hypocrite. /And look as it was 

I With Saul, when he was anointed king, there was a new spirit 

» came upon him, the spirit of a ^ing, which common subjects had 
not; so when God nuikes us kings and priests unto Christ, there 



THE TEN YIROINS. 218 

comes another spirit upon us, which common men have not. I know 
there is the Spirit itself in the saints, as it is not in other men. 
Bat how is it there ? I know it is there by faith, but not only b^ 
this, butby certain peculiar effects which are not in other men 
Aa iris with" the soul, it is in the body, hence works a life whic 
is not in any brute creature ; so it is here. And hence it is sai 
"The world can not receive it.*yjohn xiv. 17. Mai. iii. 2, 8, 
** Who is able to bear his coming r because he comes to purif 
etc /TTet still the Spirit, barely considered in itself, puts no dif- 
ference, unless it be in respect of the work itself. O, therefore, 
look to it, do not say, I have now the Spirit and Christ But what 
does Christ work there ? John xv. 1, 2. There are but two 
sorts of branches there, fruitless and fi*uitful ; the difference is 
in the very fruits of them, etc. 

Use 4. O, then terror to them that content themselves with 
oomdion works, and so think their estates good. You have been 
terrified, confessed, and repented ; Judas did so. You have re- 
formed many things, and take delight to draw nigh to Grod in 
ordinances; those hypocrites did so. Isaiah. You have had 
great ravishments, and seen the glory of heaven, of saints; 
Balaam did so. You have beheld and seen the Lord Jesus, as 
if present on earth ; many saw him, heard him, and were lifted 
up to heaven by him, and shall see him at last in glory indeed. 
O, but my desires are good ; many shall seek and not enter. O, 
therefore, consider of your estate, and tremble, and set before 
thee all the mercy the Lord embraceth his people with ; and say, 
O, that mercy for me ; and follow him till he lias done it. 

Section IV. 

Use 5. Hence it may appear that the true believer may know 
the blessedness of his estate, by the peculiamess of a work 
within him. For if, indeed, there should be no difference be- 
tween those graces that be in hypocrites and in saints, if no dif- 
ference between love, and faith, and desire in one, and that which 
is in another, then none could know the ble:*sednes8 of their 
estates by any work ; but seeing that the Lonl has made a vast 
and a known difference, so that God knows it, and themselves 
know it, as has been proved, and nil the worid might know it, 
but that they want eyes to see men's hearts, and they sliall know 
it at the last day to their eternal anfruish, ** when the hidden things 
of darkness " and the " secrets of all hearts shall be opened ; " 
then it must needs follow, from Ihe knowledge of such a work, a 
man may conclude his blessed and safe estate. By work I mean 




214 THE PARABLE OF 

no Popish goo<l work, nor consider a work without a pecoliar 
word of promise made thereunto. If we should ask a woman 
married to another husband, how she knows such a one is her 
husband, she would manifest it by those peculiar acts, or works, 
or manifestations of a husband to her. She has known he has 
forsaken great offers, and come to her. Her heart was most 
opposite, was at last overcome to forsake all ; then thej entered 
into a peculiar bond of covenant, so that thej can not part ; and 
though they do depart, yet they stay not long ; so here. If yoa 
■should have asked the Israelites how they did know they shmdd 
be saved from the destroying angel, — Why, the Lord has prom- 
ised to save us. You that do what ? That ^^ sprinkle the door 
posts with the blood." So the destroying angel of Grod's pres- 
ence shall destroy millions of people, and that in the night time, 
when they least suspect it. Notwithstanding ail deliverances, 
miracles, plagues, and repentances, shall you be preserved? 
Yes ; the Lord has promised it and revealed it. To whom ? 
To them that have their door posts sprinkled Mrith Christ's blood, 
apprehended by the work of faith. Rom. iii. 24, 25 ; Heb. x. 22. 
If one should have asked the Lord Jesus himself whom he 
loveth, he would (John x.) answer, " his sheep," for, " for them 
he lays down his life," be they feeble or strong. If one should 
ask, further, who are his sheep, he would describe them by 
several properties, as he has done, John x. Such as " know 
me," as " hear me " only, as " follow me." So, if you ask a 
believer tliat question. How do you know you are loved ? it is 
good to answer with Christ, I am his sheep, for whom he has 
laid down his life, when I was lost and went astray. But how 
do you know tliat ? Is he now to answer like Christ ; by these 
properties wrought in me, or no ? If you say, No ; because all 
these a hypocrite may have; then the Lord Jesus has done 
very weakly in describing his own sheep by such properties to 
be his, which discover them no more than so. It is true, a 
hyiKJcrite has something like all these, but not these indeed. If 
you say, Yes ; then a man may know his blessed estate by these. 
The promises; (Prov. viii. 17,) "I love Wiem that love me." 
But how do you know you love the Lord ? There is the ques- 
tion. If Satan and blind carnal reason ask this question, you 
will be filled with accusations, and never satisfy them ; for he 
that accused Job to God*s face will much more to their own 
faces accuse saints of hypocrisy. If unchantable men, that 
never had the love of Christ abiding in their hearts, you will 
never satisfy them. But if the Lord ask the question in his word, 
hold there ; and the work is so clear that, though there has been 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 215 

mach decay, yet, after recovery, the soul dares eye the Son, and 
say, ** Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love 
thee." John xxL 17. Hence hy this work you may come to 
know your safe estates _ 

1. A man may know his hlessed estate in respect of time past, I 
by a work, i. e., with a word or promise made to it, and the Spirit I 
revealing of it, viz., the everlasting thoughts and election of God I 
toward him. Bom. viii. 28, " Them that love God, who are J 
called according to his purpose," notwithstanding all their mise- 
ries and sins ; yet love him, and so " called according to his pur- 
pose," for so Uie apostle raises up his thoughts. I know the 
world is full of want of love, and think it easy so to do ; and 
like the devil, are very kind to the Lord, as they think, while the 
Lord pleases them ; who yet, when the time of patience is out, 
shall be eternal blasphemers of him. But there is such love 
whereby saints may raise up their hearts thus to see God's love ; 
(1 Thess. L 4, 5,) " Knowing your election of God." How so ? 
Imn\ediately. Some divines think angels see it not so, and that 
it is p^^^uliar to God so to do, but mediately ; for our word came 
in power and in much assurance, to ma^ you enlarged for God, 
to turn yon from idob unto God ; and to wait for Christ in heav- 
en, seeing him here but as in a glass. And by the same Spirit 
Paul saw it ; by the same Spirit they might much more see it ; 
and so the elect may see it And if experience may be added 
to the truth, how many of Grod's people daily, knowing their 
work of vocation and glory, ascend from these lower stairs of the 
Lord's ladder to the highest of election, and there are swallowed 
up with eternal wonderment, filling their hearts with that joy and 
peace, that the weak tabernacle of fiesh and blood can not bear 
the weight of that glory long ; that by works see the promise, 
and by the promise of love behold eternal thoughts of love ; and 
hence promises are said to be given to saints, " before the world 
began." Because promises to them that thirst, mourn, believe, 
etc, are not bare words, but eternal counsels, in which you see 
God's purpose. > 

2. In respect of time present, by it we know our present unioiH 
to the Lord Jesus ; (1 John ii. 4,) " He that saith I know him, l 
and keeps not his commandments, is a liar."^ Yes, that Ls true"^ 
negatively ; but may a man, ought a man to see or know his ■ 
union positively by this ? Ans. verse 5, Many said they did 
know and love the Lord ; but he that keeps his word, (), they 
are sweet ! It is heaven to cleave to him in every command, it 
is death to depart from any command. " Hereby we know that i 
we are iu him." If it were possible to ask of angels how they ^ 



216 THE PARABLE OF 

know they are not devilsy thej would answer. The Lord's wiO if 
ours ; so here, how do jou know jou have not the nature of 
devils, and so, in state of devils, bound there till the judgment 
of the great day ? Because God has changed our vile natures, 
id made our wills like unto his glorious will, etc. So for for- 
iveness ; (Luke viL 47,) ^ Much is forgiven her," etc 
3. In respect of the state of glory for time to come. We 
^may know our blessed estate by a work ; (1 Cor. ii. 9,) ** Eye 
not seen what the Lord has prepared for them that love him ; ** 
(Ps. xxxL 19,) ^ O, how great is thy goodness laid up for them 
that fear thee I" (2 Cor. v. 3,) "If clothed with ChrLrt," wh^e 
Christ ; (verse 5, 6,) " He has fitted us for this, and given the 
earnest of the Spirit," which (Rom. viii. 23) " are first fruits 
of glory, therefore we are confident." 

Object But, if you look to yourselves, you will have peaee 
to-day and sorrow to-morrow. 

Nay, we are always confident ; and yet Paul did not now go 
on in a covenant of works. Now, whether a man first comes to 
know his estate by a work, word, and spirit, so that there are 
three things to evidence our happy estate, or whether two things 
only, viz., a general word and spirit, I intend not to dispute, be- 
cause it makes nothing against the truth in hand. Only this I 
say ; it is very dangerous to " limit the Holy One of Israel," 
especially in his freedom of working, to breathe light and life, 
and divine consolation, when, and by what means and promise, 
and in what measure he will. Christ, when he was here on 
earth, would say sometimes, " Thy sins are forgiven," (Matt ix. 
2 ;) sometimes, " Be it unto thee as thou believest," (Matt ix. 
28, 29 ;) nay, " Be it unto thee as thou wilt" Matt xv. 27. If 
in these inferior things, much more in greater. Christ is now 
gone, and we have no immediate speech with him, but in his 
word, and he is free to speak to his people according as he 
pleases, and when they need. And, therefore, let me entreat 
you, bretliren, to be wary in your speeches in dashing all prom- 
ises in pieces. What Christian heart can see God's truth man- 
gled, without being angry, and mouniing for the hardness of 
men's hearts ? The Lonl has spoken peace to some men's hearts 
thus, he that is lost shall be found ; ** He that believes in me 
shall never hunger, and he that comes to me shall never 
thirst;" and seeing this, they conclude (the Lord's Spirit help- 
ing them, for sometimes they can not do it) peace. For the 
major is the word, the minor experience, and the conclusion the 
Lord's Spirit's work (luickening your spirits to it Now, say 
some, how do you know this ? Thus you may be nustaken, for 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 217 

Bumj have been deceived thus. Grant that, and shall a child 
not take bread when it is given him, though dogs snatch at it ? 
What should one do then ? Bring their work to the light, to the 
trial of the word, which jou know does but two things. 

1. Shows what Grod is. And, — 

2. What man is, and so discovers and describes all hypocrisy 
of men, and all grace of men ; now, if it will not bear the trial 
of the word, convince them they have gone on in a covenant of 
works indeed. But if it will, hold there, take heed then of false 
witness against the truth of God ; so that do not condenm the 
work of Christ in any man, where it is of the right stamp, and 
has Christ's image upon it, and so pluck men from their claim to 
Christ's love revealed in his promise. But learn to difference it 
once, and then I am persuaded the sad differences that begin to 
appear would soon be ended among all them that love the truth 
in Christ Jesus ; (2 Pet i. 4,) " Whereby are given to us, that 
have precious faith, exceeding great and precious promises." 
The Lord gives little to his people. O, but he gives them rich 
promises ; bonds and bills, and writings to show for rich grace, 
and riches of glory, and riches of peace. O, but these promises 
hypocrites may have ; they may be lost, and hunger and thirst, 
and beUeve. What as those do that have their interest in these 
promises ? Why they are called " precious promises " ? Pre- 
cious promises are not common things. Precious promises are 
not the portion of a base world. Precious things God never 
gives to dogs ; and, believe me, you may come to know the price 
of them in the times of your horror on death bed, that account 
them common now. O, but many rest on promises without 
Clirist. That is all one ; the faithful by them come to partake 
of the divine nature of Christ, of his Spirit, of divine consola- 
tions, peace, grace ; and this is not building on a work, or resting 
on a bare promise, when it carries you to Christ and the ever- 
Lkiting embraces of him. It is no matter what promise gives 
peace, so long as it lands us in Christ. And, therefore, a man 
may know his blessed estate by a work ; only let me put in three 
cautions. 

1. Take heed you do not in your judgment, or in your prac- \ 
tice, go about to move the Lord to love you by your works, 
though it be of his making];. For all works are fruits, no causes 
of the Lord's love ; for this is Popery, indeed, and it is hypoc- 
risy. /Ih. Iviii. 3, 4, " Why have wo fastod, and prayed, nnd_ 
delighted to draw near unto God ? " etc. But look upon the work 
and promise, and be the more vile in thine own eyes, that the 
Lord should promise, or do any thing for thee. So that when 
▼OL. n. 19 



I 



I 



yoo fed any sBving work, go not to God with espectation of 
tuiy good in the name of that work, but in ihe name of that free 
grace and faJthfulnes: of God, which baa moved him to make 
BUch precions prombea to such as tho^ are that have it. '' Hast 

\ th ou Dot ^d, Solomon aliaJl reij:^?" 1 Kings i. 13. So here. 
I 2. Take heed you do not sit down contented with the work, 
I and quiet youreelves with that, never looking to behold his face 
I that gave ii, that wrought it. The " poor blind man " (John ix.) 
/"had a mighty cure upon him, and some seed of faith ; the Lord 

/ wrought the work, but hid himself, lie wondered at the great 

' change, was affected with his love ; at last the Lord Jesus conies 
himself, " Doat thou believe ? saiih he. Lord, who ia he ? I am 
he. Then he worshiped him." Verses 35-37. So it ia with 
the Lord in bis way of working grace. O, therefore, long la 
see him here in his ghtss, and in glory, in his face folly. Tmlf 
there is no work of Christ that is right, hot it carries the soul 14u. 
long for more of it, and to be with him that has done it. Maitf.^ 
Christians, when they have the work, mn away with it as a gow 
sign, and look to the promise ; O, but long not, look not f 
behold the Lord. " Do ye thus requite the Lord, ye foo 
ieh people and unwise?" Were it not enough that your «■ 
make ? but will you make works and promises also a partilic 
wall between the Lord and your soola? I profesa the Lord wi 
fire such work about your ears, and dry up all your pits, th: 
you may long for to drink out of the well uf life it^lf. And 
IB a black mark of unbelief that shall keep thee from rest. Ueb^ 
iv. 3, 10, 11. 0, but when yon long to see him ; ■'O, whes 
shall I appear before God ? " Pe. Ixiii. 2-4. Then the Lord wift 
I fill thee. As leaden rings with a pearl, so promises and Chrigt 

V put together (not divided) are exceeding precious. 
y" 3. Do not look to see the work or promise yours, nor receirt 
Wiy consolation from either, unless the Lord appeju- in boA. 
John 1. 16, " They shall bear my voice ; " for so most men bring 
home human, not divine consolation from a work. But, O, fetck 
it from heaven : as in Peter's redemption. Acta 
BOn, and others tell you, and yet you are full uf fears and doubtflt; 
and thou crieal. Lord, persuade me. Lord, persuade me 
hold you here, now you are where you ought lo be. I 
thiuk Christ is filled willi grace and life for you, and nc 
consolation for you too ? Only use means, and so look 



I 



Sectios V. 



O, therefore, content not yourselvea with any hopes yoi 
' is right, until you find this difference ; for the Lord spealti 



3 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 219 

peaw only lo his people, and his people are differenced from all 
oiliprs. Hence hovr can you say peace is youra, till this be 
dcaT«(t up unio jou ? 
Ri I shall speak to two sorts of people. 

U^, 1. Those that content Ihemselvea with any thing that may 
^^H^ and quiet conscience, any slight work, any poor desires, any 
l^fcdge faith, any moral performances, any gronndleaa conjectures 
iriH serve their turn. And, being full, they can hear all ser- 
mons, no winJ will shake ihem, no searching, threatening Inilha 
concern them ; they are all so good, that they think the Lord 
means not them. Well, I say no more to you bul tliis : Know it, 
that the time is coming ibat the Lord Jesus will try you, and 
examine you to the very bran ; and will descry all thy paint, 
snd open all iby lusts and thoughts ; and thy nakedness, and 
shame, and confusion shall be seen of all the world. 

2. Those tliat content themseh-es with the revelation of the 
Ixtrd's love, without the eight of any work, or not looking to it. ■ 
I desire the Lord to reveal hbnself abundantly more and more, 
lo all that have the Lord savingly revealed unto them. For 
tliis is the misery, Christ is a hidden thing, and so ia his love. 
Yet consider, — 

I. God reveals not his love to any hypocrite, but to his peo- 
ple that have a work far beyond them. 

^ 2. That ibe testimony of the Spirit does not make a man a 
Christian, but only evidenceth it. As it is the nature of a wit- 
ness, not to make a thing to be true, but lo clear and evidence 
it. And. therefore, whether the Spirit in the first or second 
place dears God's love, I dispuie not, because it is doubtful ; 
yet be sure you find out the difference, viz.. some work in you, 
that no hypocrite under heaven has. Else what peace can you 
have? 

1. Hereby you come to prevent the strongest delusion that 
Satan lius lo keep men in bondage to himself, viz., to give men 
great peace, and sometimes great ravishment, while they are in 
their gins, that so he may harden Ihem there still. Luke xi. 21. 
Now, by taking this course, and going to Christ to untie the 
knots of Satan, you do now undermine the main plot of Satan, 
you break bis bead, having recourse to Christ to do this. His 
poKcy is, let your heart alone, let Christ alone with that. But 
now yon may be sure all your consolaiion is of the right make. 

2. Otherwise you quench the Spirit, and resist the testimony 
of the Spirit, at least one great part of it. For the Spirit when 
it does came to witness God's love, it answers all the doubts and 
objections of the soul that it had before. Now, the great doubtm 



220 TEE PARABLE OF 

f Sod's people is not only, Am I eleL-lei am I justified and 
^plcil ? but, Am I called, am I s»iictifio<I, are not my desires, 
fitith, my love counterfeit, which I may hare, and yet go lo 
? Now, the Spirit, when it comes, eleore flJl doubts, not fully, 
gradually J tor it is the most clearing witness, and, therefore, 
hn siv. 18i-20,) " At that day you shall know that 1 am in 
, and you in me, ami I in the Father." / The Spirit does not 
/ Bay, Christ is out of you in heaven, preparing and intet^ 

ceding J but in you, sanctifying, preparing thee for glory, that 
^art a vessel of glory ; /" and you in me," by faith, by lore, de- 
^tte, etc. Now, when a man shall say, I look to no work, but 
only for the Spirit to reveal the Lord's love ; in seeming lo de- 
sire the Spirit, he doth resist the Spirit of Goil. 

3. Otherwise you shall be deprived of all that abundant con- 
eolation which the word holds out before you. For suppose yon 
aay, I look not to the work of God in me, to receive any conso- 
lation from that, or any promise made to that ; I look only to tbe 
revelation of the Spirit 

Am. 1. There is never a promise but the Comforter b in it, 
aad they are given for that end, to give strong consolation ; now, 
if you look to no work, nor no conditional promise, nor to find 
the condition in you, (wliicb yet Christ must and doth work,) 
Lord, what abundance of sweet peace do you lose 1 Rev. vii. 
17, The Lamb leads them to the "living fountain of waters, 
and God wipes away all tears," And, for aught I know, yon 
shall die for thirst that refuse lo do it. " O, slow of heart to 
believe all that the Scriptures have writ" — all that God has 
spoken. Ought you not thus lo be comforted ? 

But, 2. If you look to a Spirit without a work, whilst you do 
seek consolation from the Spirit, you can not avoid tbe condem- 
nation of the word. You saj, tbe Spirit bas spoken peace to 
you. But do you love Christ ? I look not to that, but to the 
Spirit. Why. the word sairh, " He that loves not him, let him 
be anathema." So, is the league between your sins and yotu , 
souls broken ? Ant. I look not to that. AVhy, John saith, " H« J 
that commitletb sin is of the devil." 1 John iii. 8, 9. Are JM^I 
new creatures ? I look not to that. Why, the word siuth, " Ui»* ^ 
less you be bom again, you can not enter into the kingdom of ' 
God." And the Lord knows, but on your deatb beds, thus Satan 
may assault you, and then will the Lord say. Nay. look to your- 
self. The word shall be Belshaxzar's terror. Consider P». 
xxxii. 1, 2. 

4. Look to it, else you shall be deprived of further manif«« 
tation and communion with the Lord Jesus. The Lord r 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 221 

not all of himself at once ; the day dawns before the sun riseth, 
and there is a further manifestation of the Lord in this life to 
his people, not for, but when they, indeed, maintain such works 
before him ; (John xiv. 21,) " I will manifest myself unto him/* 
How ? O, saith Christ, *' Til come and sup with him." / Never! 
think the Lord will dishonor himself so far as to come into a \ 
filthy heart. Sin does and will grieve God's Spirit, that he will I 
only accuse, not speak peace to you, till all is mended. J 

5. Else you may fall everlastingly away, as those, (Heb. x. 
29,) They had " received the knowledge of the truth and were 
sanctified," but their wills and hearts never changed. O, take 
heed there be left "only a fearful looking for of vengeance." 
You stand on the brim of destruction every moment that do it 
not. For it is plain hypocrisy not to bring works to the light ; 
it is not ceasing to go on in a covenant of work. John iii. 
20. And if the Lord does love you, and you will not take the 
counsel of the word, the fire of the Lord shall try you. And 
when that comes, and conscience shall ask, Wherefore comes all 
this great evil upon me ? when your miseries shall be great, O, 
it shall be said. This was because I loved not the Lord, I forsook 
the Lord, etc. O, therefore, look to the Lord now to cleanse 
vou ! Zech. xiii. 9. 

Object, It is true there is a difference ; but is it possible to 
know it, seeing that a false heart may go so far ? especially to 
know it in itself? 

Ans, It is true, it is difficult for men, ministers, or angels to 
reveal it ; yet it is easy for the Lord Jesus to reveal it, and this 
ho does do. This light discovers hidden things as they are ; his 
*• Spirit leads unto all truth." And this is a peculiar privilege 
anil honor as for God to know ; so they, partaking of the divine 
nature, for them to know their own hearts. Jer. xvii. 9. And 
although it be an easy thing for hypocrites, that never knew 
what grace meant, to be mistaken, yet after the Lord has made 
it known to the elect, it is no easy matter to deceive them. As 
it is with apothecaries, that know when they meet with counter- 
ff it drugs ; or jewellers, that know the difference between Bris- 
tol stones and pearls. As the blind man saith, " Whereas I was 
blind, now I see ; " so I was dead, now behold I live. " Old 
things are passed away, all things are become new." 1 Pet ii. 9. 
They an? " called out of darkness into marvelous light." If 
they could not know a difference, why would the Lord command 
them to add one grace to another, and " grow in grace" ? May 
they not well reply, Alas I Lord, I know not trash from treasure ? 
I know-nothing thou hast commanded me to do, but hypocrites 

19* 



} 



I 



ii2 THE PARAnLE OF 

may have nnd do. I esy, lliercfore, the work nuty be stca 
in ilself, and that by a. tliri^cfolil tight. 

I. The light of the Word, which h a divine rev-clotion of W 
CODcemiDg God and man, and of inan, not only as fallen in 
Adam, (which discovers all his sins, their nature, their end, etc^) 
bnt as risen again and recovered in Christ ; the birth, being, 
breeding of the new creature. It discovers all hj-poeriay o{ the 
heart, so that they BbnU bo forced to say, The Lord has found me 
ont ; and saints shall say. The Lord has done me good. Aa if the 
question be. Whom doth the Lord Jesus love ? You need not go 
to heaven for it ; " the vrord is nigh thee." Those that love 
Christ : who are those ? " Those that keep hia commandments," 
etc. So that the word is a light to discover truth from (aUe- 
hood, the work of grace from the work of hypocrisy ; and by 
this light saints may and do know what the work is. And it 
argues dreadful unbelief and hypocrisy not to do thus, John iii. 
19-21. And this all the saints are commanded to do. 2 Pet. i. 
19. " We (sealed with the Spirit) have a sure word of prophe- 
cy," etc " Which is a light iu a dark plaw," both to reveal 
God'tt heart and our hearts unto us ; hence '' it makes us wise 
to salvation." 

II. The tight of the Spirit going with tho word reveals the 
work, without which tlie work can not be seen no more than a 
book written in the fairest hand or print con lie seen without 
light to see it by. And hence God's people can not preaentlr 
rrad what the Lord has written, etc 1 John iii. 'ii. That lad 
88 it is with Scripture, Papists say tbey are olwcure, and how dtn 
we know them ? We answer, there are divine characters of. 
majesty and glory stamped upon llicm, whereby we, by the saori)' 
Spirit that writ them, see them, and are persuaded of them ; vf 
here. Or as it is in the work of creation; how can any soft 
God in it ? We say, in the very workmanship appears hifti 
power and eternity, wisdom, goodness, etc. Now, Blthoug^> 
atheists can not see these, yet others do and can. So in did 
wortunanship of the elect it is so. It is tho glass of God's pe- 
culiar mercy and love. Now, ihey that never had it know H> 
not, but the saints do, by the Spirit especially. Thus far W6i 
grant the Spirit's testimony, that it must reveal it. 

III. The light of experience and sense. For saints have aa.' 
experimental knowledge of the work of grace, by virtue rf 
which they come to know it as certainly — as we dispuM 
against the Papists — as by feeling heat, we know Are is holi 
by tasting honey, we know it ia sweet. Now. this is diversely 
apparent to experience. 



THE TEN VIliGIXa. 223 

1. By mcditatioD of the work, in comparing it with the rule ; 
fnrnodead creature can perform one spiritual living act of life; 
I DO. Bot a good thouglit, though they may think of good things. 
XoH, ihe Lord has given to his people a most exact rule of life ; 
linct, by meditation, they may aee how far it agrees or disagreea 
•itb ^o rule, and judge of a living act by it ; and eo of the God 
wd Lord of life to be there. Heuce, " try yourselves ; know 
/ou Dot that Christ is in you ? " etc. And hence I never knew 
' Jtt n thinking Christian deceived, and hence I fear all that make 
not this their trade, will be to seek, and so to begin again. 0, 
the Lord teachelh his people hidden mysteries by this. 

2. By the operation and working of it ; for grace may be in 
ike heart, and yet lying asleep, and raked up under the ashes, 
aol seen, not felt ; bat in the operation of it, it may, which is pe- 
culiar as the form is. For how do we know we love or delight 

, fa any creature ? By the operation of love and delight. How 
' £d Christ manifest to the Pharisees that they were " of their 
Father the devil " ? Why, "his lusts they would do." So how 
tma any tell he knows the Lord, or loves the Lord, or l)clicvea 
in the Lord ? The operation discovers it. James ii. 22. And 
hence, (Gal. v. 6.) "faith which works l>y love." And though 
hygtorriies act like them, yet there is a peculiar virtue in the 
coc that is not in the other. 

3. By their temptations and trials. Dcul. viii. 2, "The I^rd 
' liAs led thee forty years to prove Ihce, and show lliee what was 

in thy hoarL" Kom. v. 4,5, "Tribulation breeds experience, and 
thai hope," or expectation of thot which $luJl never make us 
•ebarand. I will name no more. But look as ne said to them 
Ihat cri«d out against prayer without a book, we answer. Has a 
■lan dwelt in his own heart so many yenrs. and not known his 
WitA. 10 make hira pray ? nor the Lord's work of mercy to 
Bske him bless ; so here. 

(MjteU 2. Bat if a man looks to his work, lliis will interrupt 
mfc bis peace. 

m^. It may and doth break and interrupt a false peace; 
My, yet they trust in the Lord's mercy, 0, it is a pru- 
^^^- * peace. 

i. Neglect of this yields most iinpeaeeablcness. even in them 
* >I are sincere. You have peae*, and ibon lu'ciik out into pride 
ision again; then question all. The Spirit will sigh, not 
I that bosom. Ps. xxxi. 1-3; Jndg. xvi. 20. Neither 
.^'Oui you avoid the condemnaiion of the word, though you main- 
'iain oonMilntion from the Spirit, nor susjiicion of hypocriity. 
1 , 5. This is the way to peace. 2 Pel. i. 7-9 ; Malt. xi. 29, SO. 



I 

I 



224 THE PARABLE OF 

Christ's " yoke is easy," Hnd yields penee in lifi 
loo. Rev. xiv. 13, " Tbeir works follow them." 
eoiues double pence and reel. 

1. From Lorror. 

2. From fin, which is wonderful great. 
Oljvct. 3. But I look lo Christ, I look to no work. If I bars J 

him 1 have all. 

An». True. First look lo have him, to be comprcliended f 
him, that so you niny comprehend him. But because you loo 
for all in him, will you look for nothing from him ? Will you hs) 
Cliriel sit in hcnven, and not look that he subdue your luels I 
tlie work of his grace, and so away in your hearifi ? 
deapise his kingdom then. Do you seek for pardon in the blod 
of Chrbt, and never look for the virtue and end of that blood tc 
■wash you and make you without epol ? etc You despise hia 
prieathood and blood then. Do you look for Christ lo do work 
for you, and you not to do Christ's work and bring forth fruit to 
him ? You despise bis honor then. John xv. 8. If I were to 
discover a bypoerile or a false hearl, I would say, It is he that 
Bhall set up Christ, but loalhe his work. To have Oirist is 
sweet, OS Capernaum ; to follow Christ is heavy. John xiv. 
21, 23. 

Object. 4. But if I have Ibe witness of the Spirit, what need- 
I have any other difference ? 1 

f Ant. The witness of the Spirit makes not the fir^t ditToreneA-' 
f For, first, a man is a believer and in CbrisI, and justified, called, 
BRDctified, before the Spirit does witnees it-; else the Spirit 
should witness to an untruth and a lie. For unbelievers are 
under wrath. 

2, If the Spirit does not witness this peculiar work to be in 
you, and clear it to you, tell mc how you can escape the anguish 
of conscience and the terrors of hell in your hearts, nuless con- 
ncience be seared and blinded. When/the Lord shall «et eon- 
I Euicncc lo ask and say, I choose none but whom I call, I call 
I none but wliom I justify, I justify none but whom I saticlify, ami 
Ithal not with a common, but a peculiar work. Is it so with yon ? 
nf it be dark or doubtful, can you but think all your joys have 
been dreams and your witness delusions? Therefore look u " 
this. 

Object. 5. But if I should do ibis, I should look ti 
cleanness in myself, whereas I am to see nothing but ungodlinei 
Goata arc clean creatures. 

Atu. 1. When you stand before Chrisl's judgment scat to i 
ceive pardon, you are here to look upon all aH unclean and yot 
selves ungodly. 



THK T£N VIKG1N3. 225 

3. When yaa come to look ujion ^our aonctifivation, you are 
Is see it as it is, mixed with sin anil coiTuptioD, and so canse of 
1)eing aliased as low as boll for vrhal is done ; jet that cleanncas 
and truth there is you must see too. Rom. vii. He felt "a law 
waniag gainst the law of his mind ; " yet ho felt another law, 
tiK), which he made an evidence of his being in Christ. Rom. 
riii. 1. Giving all the glory of it to Christ, "Not 1, hut Clirist." 
And yet Paul was no goaL It is one thing to see grace in 
myself, another tiling to look upon it oa mine, to cleai' me 
withal. You are to see the Lord's work, anil not appropriate it 
to yoarself. And this, let me say, if there be no more than 
Qngoilliness in thee, and thou seest no more, itiou shalt never 
see God in heaven. Heb. xii. 14. Nor didst never see him yet. 
1 John iii. G, 8. 0, therefore, look to a work ! 

1. If you do not, you have no peace. For the Lord's pake 
do it before fire try you, or you stand scorching before the Iri- 
bnoa] of God. 

i. The sweet of it will be great ; as there is nothing more 
latter than Christ's departing with his holy presence, so nothing 
BO sweet as Christ's cleaving to thee in his holy presence. And 
truly sin was never bitter to that soul to which the work of the 
Lonl Jesus was not sweet, though it is accounted by some al- 
most Popery to speak so. To this all promises are made ; 
(I Tim. iv. 8.) " Godliness hath them," It is true, they are 
made to Christ; i. e., to Christ mystical 1 Cor. xii. 12. Yet 
to the head as the foundation and conveyer of all to the elect. 
Eph. i. 23 ; 2 Pet. i. 3, 4. K you despise work, yon despise 
promises, and so despise Christ ; and the Lord knows what use 
you may have of them before you die. 

H SECTION VI. 

B {%# 7. 0/ Exhort. To the people of Grod, m whom the 
I Kurd luu made this great change, and made a difference between 
yoQ Mid all the world. Take heed of denying your work, and 
ihb real apparent expression of the Lord's love. How many 
doobtiag. dnioping spirits are there, that though others may see, 
and thnugh theinselvca have felt, the sensible expression of the 
Lonl's love, yet oh come to this conclusion, or fear that the Lord 
did never yet good unto me! And dispute against it, and think 
that this a hypocrite may have. Is. xlix. 14. There are two 



-mtTs wherebv grace is despised. 
1. B 



■H i. By making common grace special. 

^B 9^ By making special grace common. The elect a 



J 



22S THE rAIEABLE OF 

do BO before they are colled, as Paul thought hU innocent god- 
liness gain; they ore apt to do the latter when once in Clirist. 
All this we may have, and yet to hell. O. lake heed of despi*- 
ing this kindness which the Lord Jeans has not shown to ihtt 
greatest potentates of the world. 

Object. Yea, if I did but know it; but I am put to such fean 
and doubts about it that I know not what to make on it. 

1. Do not think that thou ajrt under the power of thy eiq, 
when thou art at war with thy e\a, and it with thee. For tbft 
Lord many times clears up bis love lo the soul, and it is belter 
than life to him; but, then, winds arise and storms come, and'' 
sin and Satan assault, and now he cries out, be perisbes, and 
that he was never redeemed by Christ, nor never saw Christ 
love. Should his soul be thus insuared, thus assaulted, and no? 
strength against it, and, therefore, being under the power of i^^ 
hence he nerer had pardon. They can not overcome their c«w 
ruptions, though they strive against them ; hence think they nrtf 
under the power of them, and then say, Whore is Christ's Spiritf 
etc. Aat. Wlicn Rebekah had twins, »o Ihat she was troubledi^ 
she went lo the Lord, who told her, " The elder shall serve th* 
younger." So there is flesh and spirit in saints, and these twtt 
are contrary, so that you can not do the things you would ; aiiA 
sometimes can not will, yet aoroetbing opposelh this. WelL, 
know it, that the elder and stronger ahftll serve the younger ; a 
shall bo, Lord. A man that is at war wilh another has receJTetb 
power against hira, but victory is not gotten presently : so it itf 
here ; judgment shall come to victory. Though thou art bruised^ 
and canst not raise up thyself, now, there is no fear of break-^ 
ing ; if God will not do tliat, none shall do it, and, therefore^ 
thou shalt get victory. Only know, for the present thou ha^ 
power. Thou goest to all ordinances, and when no help therat 
raisest the [lOwer of heaven„ Lord, awake j "Awake, O' 
arm of the liord." Is. H. 9.y^ 

2. Do not think that the being of grace is lost, when it is hidf-, 
by the cessation of it for a time from acts. For it b hard Hr 
know whether grace be there, when acts are not seen nor fcltf 
now, sometimes it is so ; ihe heart is careless and negligent^ 
ceaaeth from acting, quencheth the flame of the Spirit. Ilenot 
come fears — Was there ever grace here ? The sluggard's garden 
is full of neltles, and he sailb. Was there ever good seed sowi 
here ? Am. Consider, it is in ihls case, and it is in sia 
Though the act of sin ceoseih, yet (here is a henl of heart s^ 
toward it; and a Okrnal heart will rcturu to his old bias tuij 
bent again. So though the act of grace ccaseih, yet there is w 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 227 

iooer man, a gracious bent and frame put upon the will ; that 

though for a time it ceaseth acting, yet it will return to its old 

bent again, to its own nature, which is called '* the seed of God," 

(1 John ilL 9,) from which a man can never fall. For in sleep 

there is cessation from acts, yet the frame remains still. In the 

old law, if any unclean thing fell on a pitcher, it was accounted 

unclean ; but if in a spring, not, because it would work it out 

again ; so here. There is a spring of grace, which may be 

muddied and stopped up, yet it will work itself clear again. Ands^. 

this Grod's people shadl find, there is something in them that 

springs up to everlasting life all their days. 

3. Do not judge only of the truth and measure of grace by 
what thou hast in thy hand of feeling, but by what thou )ia8t in 
thy hand of faith in the promise. Grod has ever delighted to 
keep his people short of what they would have, and to give them 
but little, insomuch that they often question the truth of grace, 
feeling so little measure of it. Yet they look to the riches of 
God's grace, to the freeness and riches of the Lord's promise, 
and hang there, and plead that, and suck that breast. Ans. O, 
now consider thou art empty, but remember the I^rd Jesus is 
full, and the promise is free and full. O, the riches of it, to give 
abundantly, and to work truth to thee! Hence it is there in the 
promise, and thy faith hangs on the promise for it. Why, it is 
thine by faith then. The nature of faith is to carry the soul 
empty to a promise and the Lord's grace, and Christ there, so 
that it knows not whither else to go for bread but here. Now, 
faith doing thus, it makes the promise and all of it thine. 2 Pet. 
i. 1, 4. Abraham had his child first in the promise, when he 
felt a dry body, and saw a barren womb. And, know it, it is 
infinite mercy to be kept up in the promise, and thou givest the 
Lord infinite glory by embracing of it now, and thou mayst 
triumph here. " Hast not said, Lord, that Solomon shall reign," 
and sin shall not ? It shall not. O, rejoice, O heavens and 
earth, at this, for the Lord has visited me. God took from Paul 
hi:< revelations, and sent distempers, that grace might be mani- 
fested in the promise. 

4. Do not think that the Lord's heart is not toward th ee, 
while he hides his face from thee. For there may be fro^^Tisl 
in a father's face, and yet love in his heart ; the Lord purposely I 
hides himself from his people sometimes, especially when they i 
b€*gin to grow weary of him, or proud ; but yet his heart is I 
toward them still. Now, they think not so ; when in utter dark- 1 
ness, then they think there is no love. The woman of Cana an J 
besought Christ oil, yet he heard not, yet his heart was toward 



her. How did that appenr? Her heart and faith was «ti&-4 
toward him. she would not leave him though she shoald havt M 
but cnims. Is. xlv. 15, and viii. 17. And the Lord doih pur- I 
posel;f hide hb face in love, that his people's hearts mt 
toward him. Hosea v. 15, and vi. 7. 

5. Do not judge of the Lord's love and heart toward j 
these sad times bj present feelings, but bj the issue of tlicm. 
For Buch is the Lord's carriage toward hia people sometimes, 
that God seems wholly to cross them, and appears in all their 
ways with a drawn sword against them. He doth not only 
leave them to their enemies, as he did Samson, but to their sins, 
aod to Satan to buffet them, that there is nothing but clouds of 
wrath, and no star appearing. Now, look to the issue, and 
"mark the upright man: his end is peaee;" and consider this, 
Christ's kingdom is liiJ, and he brings contraries out of C0Dtr»- 
ries, ho makes darkness light, hell heaven, guilt pardon,*weak' 
ness strength, and colls things that are not as though they were. 
Then, think within thyself, I will conclude nothing agiunst myself, 
but stay and wait what the issue will be, which is ever glori- 
ous, .lames i. 2-4; 1 Pet. i. 5-7. Consider, has not the Lord 
done thee much good already? O, consider what is then be- 
hind. 

6. Never enter iiUo dispute with Satan, or thine own self, 
about thy estate, but taking and making Scripture and word to 
be the judge of the controversy. Fears corae in you shall never 
have mercy, never have power. Who told you so ? Doth the 
word say that? The Lord itever gave himself to me, I fear it! 
Doth the word say so ? Never waa any as I. Doth the word 
say so? or, doth not the word say so? God delights to pick 
out the vilest, to send the physician to them that be sick. I can 
not see nor conceive any mercy. Doth the word say so? Are 
not the Lonl's thoughts above thine? I have not that peace that 
others have, therefore the Lord intends none toward me- Doth 
the word say so? O, but others, if they knew me, would loathe 
me. Doth the word say ho? When, as it saith, "Doubtless, 
theu, thou art our father." Is. Ixiii. IG. And bring l>erore this 
judge both sides, not only what sin can say or may do against 
thee, but what the word of the Lord Jesus can pay for thee; 
(Jer. xxjci. 18, 20,) Ephraim cries out of stubbornness, "O, but 
is not Ephraim ray only son?" Hear Ephraim lamenting too. 
And hear nothing against a word. Look on Paul wn * 
against Clirisi, and yet the law of Christ in him also. 
ixiv. 25. 

7. In times of greatest and smallest fears, remember t 



THE TEN YIB0IN8. 229 

humble and vile in thine own eyes, worthy never to be beloved. 

And let the Lord have his will of thee, and this will give you 

peace. God denies mercy to that man that will be lord of it. 

To be sure, evidence mercy then he will not ; and when he doth 

inaoifest it, it is then when poorest and vilest, and heart is meek 

4iid humble. Is. Ivii. 15, 16; Matt. xi. 29. O, the Lord opens 

^is heart and love, when once his will is dear. The Lord casts 

by his rod, and frowns now, and creates peace. Thus you may 

CK)me to see the work of the Lord's grace in you. 

The ministers, to take heed of making precious things com- 
^^son, by giving in false signs and evidences of love, but look up 
^ the Jjord for a special Spirit here. 

To God's poor people and thankfulness. O, that he *' hath 

^^adled thee from darkness into marvelous light, into the kingdom 

^if his dear Son ! " O, that when so many come near to mercy, 

^nd £;ill short of it, yet me to be let in ! Caleb and Joshua to be 

let into Canaan, when they rest so near, and all perish. Bless 

^he Lord for all afflictions, fears, temptations, enemies, evils, 

lidingB of his face ; h^^by he has but tried thee and purged 

«way thy dross ; and be comforted against all reproaches of 

hypocrisy and apostasy, and a proud world that cast filth in the 

face of holiness. " Now, we are sons of God, it appears not 

what we shall be, but we shall be like him in glory," in grace, 

in honor, in his kingdom ; ^' for we shall see him as he is." And 

as for you that live, and lie, and bed it with your ease, lusts, 

loathe, and G^ sends you means, but the bellows are burnt, the 

lead is melted, and your dross not consumed ; ^^ reprobate silver 

shall men call you, and Grod shall destroy all your confidence." 

But you that are the Lord's, O that you would see what the 

Lord has done ! He has put heaven into thy soul, and his work, 

which is more glorious than the creation of heaven and earth. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

SHOWING THAT THE HYPOCRISY OF THE HEART PROCEEDS FROM 
A WA>'T OF SAVIKU ILLUMINATION IN THE UNDERSTANDING. 

Section I. 

The spring or the great cause and original of evangelical / 
truth and hypocrisy is the mind_ of man. 

For here there was an apparent dilJerence l>etween virgins in 
their practice and in their wills, as has been shown ; yet the 
VOL. n. 20 



230 THE PARABLE OF 

Lord expresses it in general thus, that some of them were wise, 
(which is one part of the perfection of the understanding.) and 
some of them were foolish, (which is the great defect of light in 
the mind or understanding,) because the truth of the cme, and 
the falsehood of the other, manifested what their hearts were, 
in their heads and minds ; and the truth in the one, and hypoc- 
risy in the other, did arise and was maintained by wisdom in 
some of their minds, and by folly in the mind of some others. 
Folly, or want of divine light, made the one unready for Christ; 
wisdom, or having of divine light, made the other prepBured for 
him ; not that it doth exclude the evil or change of the will and 
affections, but because they manifest themselves, and are main- 
tained in the mind. Hence I say, one great reason or original 
of both lies in the mind. Matt. vi. 22, 23, " If thy eye be sin- 
gle, thy whole body is light," etc. The eye or mind of a man 
sits like a coachman, and guides the headstrong affections; if 
now this b<J blind, there will be falls and deviations in crooked 
ways ; (John iii. 19, 20,) " Light is come." Now, what is the 
condemnation ? " I^Ien love darkness," i. e., will be blind, and 
having sore minds and hearts, will not look up to the sun. They 
see not, nor receive not the truth in love, and hence condemned, 
and e contra. Hence (Deut. xxix. 1-4) Moses sets down the 
causes of all their evils, " The Lord has not given you eyes to 
see to this day." They did see and hear by natural and acquired 
knowledge, but not by a divine, created, infused knowledge, all 
that God had wrought and done for them. Hence, when the 
Lord intends to seal down the Je\V8 under unbelief, (Is. vi. 10,) 
the Lord then said, " Shut their eyes lest they see, and so be 
converted." The heart makes the eyes blind, and the mind makes 
the heart fat. A man that is at enmity with God, the Lord sets 
him against himself. Hence men are left of God to their own 
lusts. Luke xix. 42, 44, " O tliat thou hadst known ! and they 
knew not the day of visitation." Hence, (Deut, xxxii. 29,) *'0 
that this j)eople had been wise to consider their latter end!" 
You know it is, in the Proverbs of Solomon, the frequent title 
of those that arc sincere, and false-hearted, the one is called wise, 
and the other foolish ; insomuch, that some divines liave made 
a necessity of a change and turning about of the will, when 
there is fullness and clearness of light in the mind. Else they 
say a man might be sapient and yet impious too, which can not 
be. But I dispute not about that ; there be many brute crea- 
tures that imitate the knowledge of man, yet there is no mind 
of man or reasonable soul in them ; so hypocrites may have 
excellent abilities of reason, and yet fall short of that new mind, 




that the saints have. It 
I of glory never did yet 



Ibe eye and director of the whole 
u ever dark night with tbem, lb< 
ari&e upon theio. 

Section II. 

Because all divine light of glory is ever powerful, through 
Christ, to change the heart. Heaee, if hypocrilea had it, their 
hearts would be sincere, which ia not so, and henee they ever 
wikot it, whatever light else they have ; and hence those that 
have it must be sincere ; (John viii. 32,) " You shall know the 
Truth, and it shall nukke you free," i. e., from your bondage of 
fears and sins ; henee David prays for light, (Pe, cxix. 33, 34J, 
and then he shall he set at liberty. As iron is drawn to the loud- 
Mone by a secret, hidden virtue, ao there is a secret virtue of di- 
vine light that draws the most iron heart ; nay, changes 
(John ivii. 17,)' '■ Sanctify them through thy truth," etc ] 
ihis is tlie difference between Gktd and man's leaching; and, 
henc«, when the gospel comes in power, il comes in demonstra- 
tion ; whereby the heart is mightily overpowered, that 
but fall down before God, whose voice and truth it hears. And] 
hence the young man saw some worth in Christ, but not enougT 
and hence he forsook Christ. Truth is not stones, but bread to 
them that see it indeed. 

2. Becsnse/the mind is the first inlet of all sin and grace, and] 
hence all hypocrisy springs from thence. Hence, when Satan] 
laid his tnun to htow up all the world by sin, he drat enters into 
dispute and parley with Eve, and, as the npoatle speaks, deceived ■, 
her; (1 Tim. ii. 14,) "The woman was first deceived." And 
henoe, when Satan came with his last and strongest temptation, 
to draw away the heart of Christ to him, be attempted it by u 
sadden presenting to his mind the glory of all the world, tioping 
thereby to get in. Nay, in the unpardonable sin there is turnina 
cmciltu. to call evil good, and good evil. And hence the Phari- 
sees that did commit it were called blind ; and when sin is entered, 
it fitrenglhens itself by the mind; (Heb. iii. 13,) "Lest any of 
you be hardened through the deceiifulnessof sin," As it is with 
cities, they might easily be taken, but for the fortfi that are built 
nlioat them, and the soldiers that are tu them ; so men set up 
their hearts and minda above and against the Lord Jesus. Tlie 
power of sin lies in the j>ower of darkness, as the power of a 
weak state in the wisdom of its counsel. And hence, when the 
Spirit comes, all tlie work of it is espresaed by conviction of sin, 
righteousness, and judgment : because, convince one effectualty, 
aixl ytiu convert him. And hence, when the Lord comes with 



J 



8S3 THE PARABLE OP 

life, he comes in by light ; (Eph. r. 14,) " Christ shall give diM 
lighl." And hence, when the gospel comes lo lake airny all 
dark neea and sin, it is sud, Salan'a chief policy lies in tluB, to 
blind men's eyes, (2 Cor. iv. 4,) either by obscuring the lighl, 
or by kindling a false light in their minds, that they shall think 
they see when their darkness remains ; not but that there ia filth 
enough in the will, but Satan knows that Christ shines into the 
heart by the mind ; and hence he blindf men, and then be knows 
he shiLll damn men. Beloved, if men had the Spirit, it would 
lead them into all truth : now, this the world can not receive, 
because (John xiv. 17) " it knows him not" This is that which 
0[>ens and shuts U> all life and ain ; not that bare light can changa 
the will, but the Lord doth it by the [wwer of his truth and li) " ' 
And as it is with water coming through some mines, there i 
healing virtue in it j so light coming firom everlasting lore, 
heals men of their evils. 



sive, 
bicb 



«thJ 

3, bid 



Section IIL 

Uke 1. Ilenco see the danger of two sorts of men especially. 

1. Of those that fly from the light, which is done sundry ways. 
I will mention only one that h used by a false heart. A man it 
troubled in mind concerning his estate, fijars death and hell, and 
80 few shall be saved, how can I be one ? etc How comes he to 
fear? The Lord has, by hia Spirit in the word, discovered and 
found out his sin ; the thief is taken, and apprehended, and con- 
demned i he hears still, but yet can find no peace. Why ? " 
cause he lives in those sins that he is convinced of. Hence 
word raiseth damps and heart qualms, that he lias no peace, 
is ever pulled from his own bottom and hypocrisy, and the t 
discovers more sins, and has no peace. The word will not giva 
nor offer Christ and a base lu^ together, nor will not suffer any 
to have them both in peacc^Hereupon tlie soul, flndiog no rest 
nor peace, (which the faUe heart seeks for chieify,) flies from the 
light, especially if it has found out a shorter cut to its pence, by 
any device or golden delusions of men. And now they will 
hear no more, and the publishers of God's truth are tyran- 
nical tormentors of the consciences of them that be weak, faliQ ^ 
prophets that lead them out of the way of peace- And b 
of this, they think they were led out of ihe way of t 
cause out of the way of peace. Or, if they do come, i 
eit with disdcun and contempt of men, (alas! they speak a 
ing to their light,) and of all the truths of God, which shall a 
day be preached over again in flames of fire, to their etem 





bmtQT. Rev. vi. 2, it ie saitl, " Cbrist rides on a white borne, 
coiKjueriiig and to conquer." Men liuve unraly tiearta, anil strong 
hearts, and tbey will not die, not yield presently. And lience, 
when oue 3in is ca«t awny, another steps inio Uie room of il ; and 
when that is gone, another supplies the place of it, and commonly 
the strongest sin and temptation ia the last. Now, hence Christ 
goes on, rides on in the chariot of the word, conquering and to 
conquer still. Those tliat do j'ield^ he saves ; (lioi<e that will not, 
he slays. Now, these poor ereatuwa have had C'lirist's arrows 
in them, and are wounded for some sin, but the Lord discovers 
more stili ; hence, at last, they fly away with (he arrows in their 
hearta for ease. O, poor creatures, know it, the Lord Jesus will 
find you out You will not be coni|ucred by him, you shall never 
be saved by bim. You have light, you shall have delusions, 
endless, unknown hypocrisy and ilarkness 'to be your portion. 
There is never a pkin heort, but he accounts that wound nnd 
trouble greatest mercy, and blesseth the Lord that he will not 
give him his sine and peace with tbem loo. 

% Those that fly not from the light of the truth, but give it 
the hearing, but yet let it slip; either not minding it then, or not 
jionderiiig it afterward ; that before tbey come thirst not ibr 
more light, look not up for it, nor are mourning when the Lord 
hides it Irom their eyes. Some there bo that be such all-suffi- 
cient men, so good they need be no better, so wise that they need 
no more; some insufficient, indeed, to know, and hence eier 
learning, hearing, but never coming to the knowlcdj^e of the 
truth. If light breaks not in, they con lie in darkness still, and 
not mourn, ond think no more of it than a tale that is told, or 
news that is brought. O, look to your standing; for you are in 
the high road to hypocrisy, and it ia impossible you should he 
kept from it that lie so ; (John xii. 35,) " Walk while 3'ou have 
the light, lest darkness come upon you." Satan knew if light 
dime in Christ would come in. And, therefore, know il, all that 
time thoj hast heard and heard, but not with divine light, hast 
got only somewhat to prate on now, lo be of another opinion now 
irom what ihon wnst. 0, now, Satan has heen let loose, by the 
dreadful vengeance of Almighty God, to blind thee, that so thon 
mightst die in thy hypocrisy and ein. O, poor captives, mourn 
under (his, and hehold your danger for time to come. 

Ute 2. Hence see the reason why many that have had mighly 
strong affections at first conversion afterward become dry, and 
^wither, 1 ' ' ' ' " ' ■ ■ • 



r hy- 
o all the world hy open profancncss, 
t to the discerning eye of living Christians, by a fonnal. 



nifes^ if n 



234 THE PARABLE OP 

barren, unsavory, unfruitful heart and course, because tbey never 

(had liglit to conviction as yet. ^You shall have some ignonnt 
creatures, awakened by some thundering ministry, weep and 
mourn for sin, and after vanish into smoke, being never oon- 
vinccd of sin.^ Land floods of sorrow, without a spring of lig^ 
are dried up, and make the heart more fruitful in sin afterward. 
Many go under fears of wrath, and never get peace, because 
never convinced of wrath. Many are affected with Christ, and 
with joy of the gospel, as the stony ground ; but they, wanting 
depth of earth, of conviction, die away again ; and hence all 
the world can never stop a Christian in his shining profession, 
no more than they can the sun in his course, as Paul, (2 Cor. 
V. 11,) "We, knowing the terror of the Lord, persuade men." 
And hence Moses (Heb. xi. 27) feared no frowns of Pharaoh, 
cared for no honors from Pharaoh ; he saw the God that was 
invincible, and lience Christ prays for his disciples to be kept 
from evil. "The world has not known me, but these have 
known me." John xvii. When men are condemned to die, they 
take on, because now tliey see death ; but here, in time of health, 
they see it not. If men wrong a child, their heart smites them 
and grieves ; but the Lord is abased, dishonored, and men are 
not affected, because they want light, and see it not. If men be 
to match with a prince, or stand before him, it is counted blessed- 
ness ; but before Christ it is a burden, because men know it not. 
It is strange to see some people carried with mighty affection 
against sin and hell, and after Christ. And what is hell you 
fear ? A dreadful place. What is Christ ? They scarce know 
so much as devils do ; but that is all. O, trust them not. Many 
have, and these will all, away to some lust, or opinion, or pride, 
or worhl, and the reason is, they never had light enough. John 
V. 35. " John was a burning and shining light, and they did joy 
in him for a season ; " yet, as glorious as it was, they saw not 
CJifist by it, especially not with divine light. It is rare to see 

rChristians full both of light and affection. And, therefore, con- 
sider of this, many a man has b«*en well brought up, and is of 
a sweet, loving nature, mild, and gentle, and haimless, likes and 
loves the best things, and his meaning, and mind, and heart is 
good, and has moi*e in heart than in show, and so hopes all shall 
go well with him. I say there may lie greatest hypocrisy under 
greatest affections, especially if tliey want light. You shall be 
hardened in your hypocrisy by them. I never liked violent af- 
fections and pangs, but only such ju? were dropped in by light ; 
because those come from an external ])rincii)le, and last not, but 

I these do. Men are not affrighted by the light of the sun, though 

\ clear er than the lightning. 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 



235 



(As S. Hence lake heed of contenting joursolves with evi 

I Uini of knowle)ige. Do not worship every image in your own ] 

' heads, especially you that tkll short of truth, or the knowledge 

' of it; for when you have some, lliere may be yet that wanting 

irhich may make you sincere. There are many men of great 

wledge.'abte to leaeh themselves and others too, and yet their 

fi«art8 ore unsound. (low comeH this to pn«s? la it because 

tliey have so much light ? No, but Iiecause they want much ; 

I and therefore content not yourselves with every knowledge- 

I There is some knowledge which men have by the light of natiiro | 

I (which leaves them without excuse) from the book of creation, I 

some by power of education, some by the light of the law, f 

whereby men may know their sin and evib; some by the letter 

of the gospel, and so men may know much and speak well, and 

eo " in seeing see not ; " some by the Spirit, and may see much, 

BO B3 to prophesy in Christ's name, and yet be bid depart. Mutt. 

Tii, Now, there is a light of glory, whereby the elect see things 

in another manner ; to tell you flow, they can not ; it is the be- 

^ ginning of light in heaven, and the same Spirit that Ulla Christ 

1 filling their minds, that Ihey know by this anointing all things, 

[ which if ever yon have, you must become ttabes and fools in your 

I own eyes. God will never write his law in your minds till all, 

' t]ie scribblings of it are blotted out. Account all your knawl- | 

, edge loss for tlie gaining of this. / It is sod to eee many a man 1 

I pleasing himself in his own dreaming delusions, yet the jSttOF^ 

ire in seeing sees not, wbich is God's heavy euree upon 
I men under greatest means, and which lays all waste and deso- 
late ; (Is. vi.) •■ How long ? until all be waste." Ver. 1 1. 

Cte i. Hence see the right may of living a life of truth, of 
'being an Israelite in whom is no guile." Keep light in your 
[ minds, and you will keeji truth alive in your hearts and lives. 
I Atony a sincere heart may have hypocrisy and much unsound- 
I ness in him, though he be no hypocrite. But how comes it so 
L to be? And whence so little truth? and hence so many feurs 
land doubts atwut their estates conthiually? O, men lose that 

florioos light tliat sometimes they have. For when you have it 
I an ordinance, 0, how sweet is the Lord and all his ways to 
■ jrou 1 Afterward you have lost your hearts, truly it is because 
fou have lost your light. 
Two ways hypocrisy vents itself, which God's people oppose. 
I. In secret withdrawing of the heart to sin. O, now get 
ighl; Ibr sin never draws away, but by appearance of some 
■pMMl at least, pro hie H nunc. James i. 14, Now put oS' the 
■eovcring, keep the mind from being deceived, you will keep the 
1 bcart from being hardened, deadened, and withdrawn from God. 



236 THE PARABLE OF 

ft 

2. In performing duties, but not for Christ as their utmost end; 
now, the heart is bent this way, yet it fails, because light is gone, 
to see and behold the glory and blessedness of this. Men that 
have honor or gain in their eye are carried violently after it. 
Men tliat are bound for a voyage will go through, their eye leads 
them. Stephen speaks till the stones were about his ears. " I 
see Jesus," saith he, " at the right hand of God." 2 Cor. 
XV. 58, " Be abundant in the Lord's work, knowing that your 
lal>or is not in vain." Hence David (Ps. cxix.) begs for knowl- 
edge of this and that, and then he will do it. O, therefore, keep 
it in your minds as precious ; (Prov. ii. 10,) ** If knowledge be 
pleasant," etc. And pray to God to keep it ifor you. Light is in 
the sun, and not ceased to tliis day ; so if the Lord would put in 
this light, and be the perpetual fountain thereof to you, it would 
abide, etc " Thy word I have liid in my heart," etc Ps. cxix. 

Section IV. 

Hence learn the cure of hypocrisy, viz. : remove the cause, 
which is folly, and if you would be sincere, O, prize and beg for 
more light, and love it, and you shall then, after you have digged 
for it, find it. Would it not be sad to be led blindfold like them 
till they were in the midst of Samaria, so till in the midst pf 
heir? Would it not be sad to be like Sodomites, groping for the 
door, especially you that are come over to this country for more 
of the knowledge of Christ ? O, then, beloved, take heed you 
bury not your minds in the earth, lose not your thoughts in the 
dung. And you must stand one day before God, when the book 
of the secrets of your hearts shall be opened, when if found too 
light, then would it not be a doleful parting to lose the Lord Je- 
sus after such light and affections, for want of a little more light ? 
O, look to yourselves now. 

Means 1. Stick close to the guidance of the Scriptures, and 

love them. Moses saith, ** Then other nations shall say, What 

people so wise ? " Deut. iv. G. And these make " the men of 

God (2 Tim. iii. 15) full of God's Spirit, wise unto salvation;" 

and for neglect of this, the Lord gave, and does give men up to 

strong delusions, that they believe lies, viz., *' because they loved 

not the truth." Never a truth but is unsealed by blood, and 

revealed to be the infinite wisdom of the Father, and love to poor 

lost men, where God opens all his heart ; if men will despise 

I these, it is a pity but they should be blinded. Do not seotf at 

I those that know the Lord here ; they are Scripture-learned men ; 

I if not, never Spirit-leanied. Take this for your counselor, in all 



THE TEN TIRGINS. 237 

r joar doubts and fears it will teach jou. A man gets an opinion, 
or falls in love with a sinful corruption ; both deceive him. Why 
so ? Is there no word against it ? O, yes, but they will not hear 
it, hot make God and Scriptur^ bow down to them ; they will not 
be led by it O, entreat the Lord to keep thee from that 

Meant 2. Be abundant in meditation daily. Ps. cxix. 99. It 
18 a hundred to one else^if not miserably deluded. And as the 
Spirit oonvinceth first of sin, righteousness, and judgment, so 
let your thoughts be. This makes a man see far and see much. 

Jfeans 3. Practice what you know, and taste the sweetness of 
it there. Ps. cxix. 100. Aiid then the heart will grow savingly 
full of divine light Nothing makes men foolish but this. *' O, 
taste and see." O, if men knew the sweet of this way of truth, 
they would ever walk in it, and bring others to submit to it 
^ Shall I hide from Abraham that which he will teach his fam- 
ily ? " Gen. xviii. 17, 19. 

Meam 4. Cast up your eyes to Christ glorified, being full of 
the Spirit for thee, and beg of him, as if he were with thee, to 
send it down. As Solomon asked this. See John vii. 39. 

Use 6. O, learn to be exceeding thankful for any saving light 
the Lord has kindled in you, if ever it has been powerful to dis- 
cover and remove the hidden hypocrisy of thy heart, that now 
the Lord has made thee plain and serious for him, that it is death 
not to live, heaven for to live unto him. O, then bless the Lord 
for that means that did it for thee ; thou mightst have perished 
in thy own delusions and dreams. Time was when thgu wast 
deceived ; now the Lord has made thy eyes brighter than the 
sun, to see such things as are hid from great ones in the world. 
O, though it be but a little, yet if real and saving light, bless 
him. A man that has been in midst of sands, and withoutl 
% pilot, afterward looks back, and saith, There I might have! 
spUt O, this is wonderful to him ! O, Christ did thus ! " l] 
thank thee thou hast hid," etc. Matt xi. 25. The Lord has hia 
them from heads and hearts of many wise and prudent, and ever 
they shall be hid, and, e contra, revealed them to thee, a babe, a 
weak one, a poor ignorant one ; (Matt xvi. 17,) " Flesh and 
blood has not revealed it," so as to build here on this righteous- 
ness, to bring all light and life from Christ, and cleave alone to 
him. O, remember you are called " out of darkness into mar- 
velous light to show forth his virtues." What canst thou desire 
more than eternal life ? And this is it 1 John v. 20 ; John 
xviL30. 



J 



238 THE PARABLE OP 



CHAPTER XVn. 

THAT HTrOCRITES DISCOVER THEMSELVES IX AN INEFFECTUAL 

USE OF THE MEANS OF GRACE 

Secondly. Uie difference between the wise and foolish Vtr^m i$ 
set down more particularly^ ver. 8, 4. 

Section L 

This particular difference is declared by the different practice 
of the foolish and wise virgins each from other. 

1. That the foolish, though thej had so much wisdom, like 
the wise, as to take lamps, yet so much folly was bound up in 
their heart, as that "" they took no oil in their vessels for their 
lamps." 

2. That the wise did not only light their lamps, but they did 
also fill their vessels with oil, that either their lamp might never 
go out, or, if it did, it might be soon kindled again. More 
plainly : the foolish contented themselves with the name and 
blaze of outward profession, kindled from some inward, yet 
lighter and more superficial strokes of Grod's Spirit, neglecting 
the work within. But the wise did not only carry their lamps 
of outward profession, but they filled their vessels, and got an 
inward principle of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus to maintain their 
profesajon before men, and their uprightness before the Lord. 
So that, mcthinks, here is a double difference ; the first is im- 
plied, the second plainly expressed. 

1. That which is implied is this, that the foolish made choice 
of a good end, viz., to meet Christ ; but it was with an inef- 
fectual use of means to that end ; their lamps were to light and 
lead them to Christ These lights might blaze for a time, but 
they would consume without oil. They neglect that ; the wise 
wer^ better instructed than so. 

?. The foolish glory in an outward profession, as also in some 
superficial affection, without an inward principle of the gracious 
presence of the eternal anointing and Spirit in them ; but the 
wise have it, and are carried to glory by it And more, at this 
time, of the lamps and vessels I shall not speak. 

Doct. 1. Tliat the closest hypocrites of virgin churches dis- 
cover themselves (at least before the Lord) in an effectual, use 
of those means that do conduce toward their desired and ex- 
pected end. 

The bridegroom is here looked for ; the presence of Jesus is 




TnE TEN VIRGINS. 



longed for ; he comes in the night ; Ihey must meet him in the 
nighL Now, means they use, latnps they take, and so much oil 
08 kindles their iompH ; but oil they take not in their vessels, 
' e oDly meaas to preserve their lamps from going out, tliat so 
liej may meet the Lord, and not be shut out from the Lord, as 
t last these careless virgins were. Search the churches for the 
resent, search the records of past ages ; many have desired 
__iid looked for the Lord, and yet have lost the Lord, their end. 
hlVliy so ? They never had hearia effectually to use and improve 
flns to that end, either outward or inward. Look upon 
[t of the church ; they perish because they have no rem- 
sdy, they have no lamps to light, they have no bread lo eat, no 
■eans to help. But why du those within the church perish ? 
■ it because there is no remedy ? No ; but because they do not 
e the remedy. Is it because they want means ? No ; but be- 
. uise they do not effectually improve means. Here they fall 
Kvhort, herein they discover themselves. Look but upon this 
Bjtext parable of the talents, verse 25. One of thent was cast 
1;i)ff and cast out. Why ? Because he had no talent 'f No ; but 
' ecause he had no mind nor list to use his talent ; he did not 
ikc liis gain out of it to attain his end. All ordinances of 
>d, and all that time we have under them, are talents. Now, 
IKberein do hypocrites fail ? There is a secret gain of ordinances 
Filiiich hypocrites regard not, and hence the best hypocrite lives 
Tb debt, and dies a Ijcggar. For, (Prov. ivi. 17,) " Wherefore 
it there a price in the hand of a fool, but no heart to use it ? " 
_^ecions liberties, ordinances that many have desired to see end 
Ikare not seen them. Why does the Lord belrust him with such 
e them not i' 0, he has them ; but here is his wound, he 
yu no heart to use them. Look throughout all the word, why 
iMte many set a great price on Christ and yet have lost him ? 
!, like liiggling chapmen, Ihey have had a desire to the 
K^Ommodity ; but they have been loth to be at the cost to use the 
Beaos for it. The gospel brings Christ and immortality to light, 
nd this serpent is lilted up, ihia lamb slain before men's eyes, 
d this bread put to men's lips and mouths. Why are not all 
d of him, blessed in him ? The Lord saith, '^ Come, and 
) Spirit saith come, and the bride saith come." Why, the 
r n«son is, men will not use the means for him. Is. Iv. 2-4. Men 
J ifill lay out their money, tliougli it be for " that which is not 
I tread." Jer. ii. 5-8, " I brought them through pits into a pleas- 
land, lo eat the goodness thereof." And, doubtless, he 
Llbn<OUglit not a herd of swiue into Cana.tn, only to etijoy the 
1. outward blessings and swill of Canaan, but lo enjoy the good of 




THE TARABtE OF 



hie lemple, orduumc«s. etc. But n-bere was their wound ? 
" Neiiher priests uor people stud. Where is ihe Lord ? " i. e., 
where w the Lord in these ways, tliai we can comt .xt last to 
tLe full enjoyment of him bj these ? This they neglected. 
Methinks it is with the be«t hypocrites as it was with diven 
merchiuita ; they prize and desire the gain of merchandise, bat 
to be at Ihe trouble to prepare the ship, to put themselves opoa 
hazards and dangers of the ship, to go and fetch the treasure 
that they prize, this they will never do. So many priie and 
desire earnestly the treasures of heaven ; here U their end, bat 
to be at the trouble of a heaven voyage, to bring this treasure 
to "pass through the valley of Beco," tears, temptations, the 
powers of darkness, the breaches, oppositions, and contvadictioiu 
of a sinful, unbelieving heart, good and evil report, to pass from 
one depth and wave lo another, this the best hypocrite fails in, 
and hence loses all at last. And this I conc«ive to be one of 
the great differences between the strong desires and esteems of 
hypocrites and saints. 

Section IT. 

Reaion 1. In regard of God ; because this neglect is one irf 
ihe great means by which he does execute hie eternal rejection 
of men, and hence here Ihey ever do fail. For, first, the Lord 
has chosen some to life — the end. 

2. lie chooselb certain means to lend to this end. 

3. lie purposeth to carry all his elect by these means to that 
end; thcjnselves can not, hence the Lonl doth. And hence 
arieeth the great peace and support of the saints, when they 
look upon the everlasting mountains of hinderanees and imposu- 
bililics in their way, Ihe Lord lias undertaken to carry theiik 
through them. John xvii. Id. That, when heart and stren) 
fails, he will be heart and strength, and guide by bis counsel s 
bring to his glory. And hence, as all the elect are to be certain^ 
carried through all means to their end, and this is proper to them, 
so hence the best hypocrite, being never appointed cerlwnly lo 
come to this end, ever fails in the use of means ; there he is and 
shall be forsaken of God, and forsake God. Hence John vi. 
When many used the means, and followed Christ for n time, that 
they might have life, at lost they forsook Christ and means to 
have him. Why? Ver. 6,5. Because "none can come to rae, 
except it were given him of the Father." Hence, look, as cer- 
tainly as the degree of re))ro)>ation shall Rtand, he having not 
appointed them, to tlio end ; so he never carries them tlirough all 
meaua to ihat end, and, therefore, here they do ever fail. As it la 






^^^^^r TUli TEN VJRG1K3. 2jl 

in a family, those that the lord of the family intends to girehis 
esttite unto, he keeps a eirict eye upon them, keepd them UDder 
the government of the family ; tm for others, let them go where 
Ihey will, and do what they will. So here all that Bhull enjoy 
God are put under tlie kingdom of the Son. Hence he is said 
to be given up. To others he will say, You love liherty; take 

Refiion 2. Because the Lord and fellowship with him is never, 
indeed, their laat and utmost end, or their only end ; but they 
have some other end of their own, and henee they are never 
c&rritid strongly through all means to that end. For this is the 
nature of a man's last and utmost «nd, it carries a roan wilhont 
any stop toward it, and that with delight. As a man that has 
bonor, and preferment, and great hopes in his eye, that is reach- 
ing to the lop of his aspiring thoughts, he will ride, and run, and 
flatter, and sin, etc. A man that hsA riches in his eye. he will 
rise early, and go to bed late, eat the bread of carefulness, and 
he never has enough. A man that is sick, and has health in his 
eye, takes his physic, observes his se.isons, wastes hia estate, for 
this is big end. Hence (l hypocrite, never making Christ bis lust 
end, bat being ever " a double-minded man," (James i.,) and 
having liis own ends, and lusts, and self to attend u^mn, hence 
the bias draws him from following Christ effectually ; but he 
iniul follow his own ends, and hence ever neglects tlie means 
that lead him thereunto. Matt. vi. 24. Look, as it is with men 
that have two trades or two shops ; one is as much as ever they 
tan follow or tend i tliey are forced at last to jmt off oue, and 
they must neglect the one ; so here. 

3. In regard of that spirit of eloth and slumber which tlie 
Lord ever leaves the best hypocrite unto, wliich is the dearest 
lu--t and lust enemy that the Lord destroys in all his, but never 
destroys in these. Which so mightily oppresseth all their senses, 
that they can not use effectually all means to accomplish their 
end^ And hence a man desires the end, but has it not Prov. 
xiii. 4. The Lord proposeth the most glorious end to his peo- 
)ilr^, but it is through many diUieulties that we must eome to iU 
Now, there being the spirit of sloth within and these difficulties 
without, a hypocrite sits down and rests under llie shadow of 
Uiis growing, spreading sin, and saith it is hard ; and because he 
cau not do so, he hopes it is but an inlirmity, and God will ac- 
cept of Ills desires, and here perishetb. Matt. vii. 1 4, " Fur stiait 
h the gate that leads unto life, hence few there be lliat find it." 
Look, 03 it was with the Israelites, Canaan they were bound for ; 
ihey come at last to it; but when their spies had told them of 
VOL, n. 21 



^P S42 



■: rAKABLE OF 



the difficulties, they sank, only Caleb and Joshua of that migfaly 
host that had upright hearts here. Heavy things must desceaj, 
though cast up ; for their place i^ downward. Light things, caM 
them downward, yet they must up again ; for (heir place is up- 
ward. So it is here. Sluggish hearie may be lift up by meatu, 
but they can not hold it ; their place is downward, here is their 
rest. So saiuts, e contra, like fire, will consume all difficnlties; 
. their rest is upward. J 

Section 111. I 

L'se 1. Ilencc we sec one ground of many complaints that nrs ' 
in the mouths of many professors of the ways of God, that never 
find the sweet which is the end of their Christian course ; that 
are ever complaining of wants, but never feel supplies; ever 
teaming, never triumphing over iheir sins ; ever wishing that 
they had the Lonl, but never possessing the Lord. And hence 
have minds full of tears, and mouths full of complaints, and 
hence, finding no sweet in their course, could be content, but for 
shame, to throw by tlieir profession. Why, where is the 
of this? Is lienven so burren and beggarly, that there are 
jewels to be bad there ? Are the fields of God's ordinancis 
empty, that there is no treasure to be found there ? 0, yea 
there it is, but Christians are idle ; there is the treasure, but Ibey 
cau not beg, much less dig for iL Prov. ii. 3-C. If there be a 
treasure in the ground, and a man can find nothing, and eo is 
ever complaining, the fault is in the man, be does not dig long 
enough, nor deep enough ; so it is here. There is never an or- 
dinance, but the Lord is in it ; " he never siud to the house of 
Jacob seek bis face in vain." Men pray, mid if a few sighs will 
bring in relief, well and good ; if not, tJiey cast that shovel by, 
dig 1 can not ; they spend some time in laying sin to heart, but 
if I can not presently feel the bitlemess of it, I can not help it, 
dig I can nuL A man may bo content to hear the word, and lo 
listen after it ; but to stir up tbe soul to lay hold on the Lord, 
that their sleep forbids. I'rov. xiii. 4, "The soul of the diU- 
gent shall be made fal." Why do you famish under means ? ia 
it because the Lord is unwilling or unable lo relieve ? No; 
(John vi. 27,) " You labor for the brea<l that perishes." Labor 
not for it, but for the other, and the Son of man will give it you ; 
for he is sealed for that very end. You complain your hearta 
are always out of frame. Tell me, do you keep them with all 
diligence? Prov. iv. 23. With all your guard about? You 
complain you never get assurance. Do you use all diligence to 
make it sure ? You complain you seek, and find not. Do you 



lor 



THE TEN VIRGINS, 243 

mk him ^gently ? Heb. xi. 6. 0, this is the cause. " The 
' \ai bas giren you Ihe spirit of slumber." 0, lay not the fault 
n the Lord, but ou thine own careless faeart, and lament over it, 
■d tay, Tlue has been the cause of all my complaints anil woe. 
kl reuember what the Lord, by Jeremy, speak?, " Go into t)ie 
i^tolda; for tlie Lord has poured upon us the spirit of deep 
K and given us the waters of gall lo drink." I confess the' 
"n choicest Bervanls have their complaints, their sighs and 
IS unutterable ; ihey have their fears, temptations, and tears ; 
■ Ab more abundantly ? Yet, beloved, methinka it is with them 
rV it is with passengers and travelers toward their home, that 
ftey see it twenty miles off aometime, when they be on the top 
if" a hilL After they have gone a little farther, they come into 
a lallcy. and then they complain they have lost the sight of it, and 
ran not see it again scarce till they be upon it ; yei they sit not 
liuWB in their valley, hut are going toward it. / " They go from 
I xreo^h to strength," though they come tired thither; as PST 
liuiT. 7, 8. "They pass from strength to strength, till they 
fwue 10 see God in Sion." Tbey rest not in their complaints, 
^m get on ; and Ihe alar before tbem, tlie means that lead them 
'" rluU end, make them (aa Malt. ii. 10) " rejoice with exceeding I 
^TMU joy," 1 confess they may for a time give way to their 
'IuiIl, and 6it in their valleys, and turu day into night, and sleep 
"•n almost the season of means ; yet you aball ever find this, if 
urdiaary means awaken them not, terrible flashings and light- 
uiogs of wrath do; aod in their afflictions, and terrors, and 
Mounds of conscience, (Hos. v. 15.) " They shall seek the Lord 
tariy." Ponder, therefore, of this cause, and in a time of sor- 
niw they sliall complain for something, viz., their sloth. This 
may be tht greatest sin of some, they live in no sin but ccm- 
' -*-=— ; thy complaints may be fruits of sloth in not using means. 



I (Ids nwr be thy great s 
" ■. Hen. ■ ■ ■ 



Vm "i. Hence learn, it is not having of means in this place, 
r coning bither for means, that will do you any good, or evi- 
dence your safe and good estate, but an effectual use and im- 
pruveneut of them ; not only the use of outward, but inward 

"■■■^B too. Men that have never so great a slock may die bog- 

I, by not improving it. Deut. ixii. 8, 4. ~~1 

^1. Many, seeing and beholding that sun which is set with them I ' 

here in these western parts, — partly out of fenr of 

I, partly by friends' pereiiasion and company, partly ta 

J God in ordinances, — have taken iheir flight hither. 

bill, S. Being come, wisli, that our eyes liud never seen it! 

Aljr through plenty of means, despise and loathe tbem ; partlfjr 



THE PARABLE OF 



3 no liearts >i^l 



I throiigU multitude of coveting or veiJng c 
||or time to use them. 

I And yet, 3. Are comforted in this that they have thcrnu though 
I they see no God in them, taste little sweetness, receive litite 
I power from them, and ho|ie to go to heaven at next remove, that 
have come so far for these, etc. I would to God it were to. 
I Bui, O, consider, — 

I 1. If you improve them not, thy coming hither is but the dis- 
I oovery of thy hypocrisy to meo and angeU ; for this is the stage 
f whereiu tlie most fine-apun bypocrby and real sincerity shall act 
' its part 

2. Nay, thou art so far from being blessed in having them 

. thus, that God's fiercest plagues shall here approach thy dwell- 

g. The ark among the Philistines made the Lord pla^e the 

^listine^. 

, Nay, this shall hiy all desolate one day. They cried, " The 

temple of the Lord." Jer. vii. " Go to Shiloh." So I say, go 

to the Palatinate, go to Germany, France, go to the places 

whence you came, and " see what the Lord hAs done." 

4. This shall be, as to saints, greatest joy, when they ehail 
look back, and see all the difficulties they have passed over, that 
here ruid there hearts aiid help failed, and there I lingered ; but 
the Lord was merciful, and pulled me out And they shall won- 
der at that faitltfuhiess and grace. So here, this will bo terror 
and anguish, that I came &o far, and had means, and took soma 
pains, and was almost persuaded one time, almost confuted aft* 
other, almost conquered and had yielded up all at another] 
but, 0| my lump foil down to the dust again, and my soul ' 
aook the pursuing of the Lord ogiuD ; and this shall be the _ 
tioa of hypocrites. Tou may neglect and wrap up your (alej 
but the Lord has a. time to call you lo an account what gain j 
make. Look, therefore, to it, it may lie some of you have n< 
to improve means ; you despise them in one place, and httho^ 
you come for them, and poor hearts, eyes dim, hearts bard, 
sciences asleep, ears dea^ breath gone, life lost, God depai 
and nothing left but a dead carcass. It may be some are sincerV 
and the work of Crod's Spirit is set back, your lamps are out, 
your watchful minds, and tender hearts, and earnest pursuit after 
the Lord is gone. 0, then, consider what little cause you have 
to boast in means. Men that have no part in ships look for no 
gain ; but if you have any part in the blessing of ordinances, rest 
not without it. 

lite 3. Hence see what need you Imve of a mighty and un~ 
resistible power of the Lord's grace and Spirit, to carry you lo 



I 



n end in your Christian coarse, if erer yon corae to life. For 
il liTpocrisy discovers itself in an ineffV.'ctual use of means, then 
!m will find all the powers of darknt^ss resisting and seeking to 
<arpri»e yoa here. That as it id with thieves, you shall not see 
oor find Uiem lying in the city, it is in vain there to offer any 
tiolenee, but in the wayj so Satan can not step unto the gates 
nf heaven, to keep you from thence, and hence all his power and 
|Mh'cr lies in the way of means, to keep you from thence. And 
Jience look upon the best man, how many Linderancea lo prayer 
smneliines ; though he has tasted the sweet of it, he had rather 
die than pray. How soon are the thoughts turned from God ! 
"Vhen we come to draw nigh to God, how unable to wake one 
tiour ! That if it were not the invincible strength of a Giod that 
did support them (1 Pet. t. 5) they could never go on. Tell me, 
jou poor crealnrca, that never were effectually carried to your 
«ud by meang, do you not oft find checks for eln, desires agniii^-t 
it, Christ and mercy weeping at your knees, melting over you, 
wad your hearts almost persuaded? Do you not find a want of 
Christ, and grace, and Spirit, and promises, and you hope it will 
Ik belter? Du you not find some niovings toward the Lord, 
but yet withal do you not find a dead, slothful heart, slays you 
i^ain? The veriest reprobate in the world may have as good 
ma BMurance of heaven as thou ; there may be in hell that once 
■ppesred better than thee. And who can mend this ? long, long 
It bta been thus. O, then feel a need of the Lord's irresistible 
power. Thou indeed hast an end ; but say, Lord, thou must 
cHTy me like a lost sheep on thy shoulders to that end ! "Seek 
the Lord and his strength, seek his face evermore ;" in all means, 
■t ail times, but seek his strength then ; (Col. i. 20.) " I labor 
tlios, Klriving according to his working, which works in mo 
miglujly ; " and so I strive. O, see need of this. Many of you 
ttmke work with yuur own hearts, and strive, and endeavor, and 
jet can not stir. O, look then for this mighty working, and feel 
ft need of it 

Section IV. 
Vie 4. Of Trial. Hence judge what your stales are tins day 
before the LonL I know and believe tliat you prize, pray for, 
lung fur the end. and if ever the Lord saves and pardons you, 
jcn thall have cause to bless him. You may do as has been 
•aid, but never find a heart given you by the invincible wrcs- 
tli&gi of a God to use and improve all means to that end ; and 
tlius yonr practice in the habitual neglect of means is n clciir 
wai tnanif^ witness, like the day, against you, that you do not 




i 



I 



S4f Tni^ rAT!\GLE or 

desire sincerely the end (as 70U tliink) in having so little respect 
to tlie means lliat eonilui-e lliereunlo. Did jou ever see that 
man that did indeed desire life, but he icould use alt meao^, wUb, 
aad friends ; nay, cut off his limbs to preserve il ? But, boi 
ever, put that name upon it, say you do deaire and prize the 
yet if the Lord leaves you, or you forsake the Lord in a negled] 
of means that lead thereto, and that elfcelually ; nhat you mtf^ 
he, aud what the Lord mfty do, I know not, liui to this day your 
estate is no better Ihan a painted salvation and pictured hypoc- 
risy before the Lord. That stone at which the closest bypocritea 
have stumbled, that rock on which the beat hypocrite has been 
broken, tliou art fallen upon tliat enemy of sloth which has car- 
ried king;s (men that have worn the crown of profession in the 
world) miserable captives (notwithstanding their lamentable cries, 
Lord, save us !) to hell ; the same enemy has already bound theo 
up in chains, and what will become of thee, it is only known in 
his breast, that by the voice of his trump con awaken the dead, 
fand break the bonds of sloth and death itself. But yoit will say, 
there are no virgins among us that neglect to take their oil, that 
BO far forget themselves as to neglect the means, that are conn 
so many thousand miles for means ; there is not a day but some 
line is drawn, not a sermon. Sabbath, but some good got, or else 
they think themselves half undone, not a prayer bat one step 
nearer to glory ; the day is not long enough, and therefore the 
nights are spent in wrestlings with the angel ; nay, in prevailing 
with God for tliemselvos and churches, and blessing on both ; 
Sabbaths are the daybreaks of heaven, the fellowship of saints 
better than to stand before kings ; the fellowship of Christ in 
heaven so sweet, that in seeking of him men forget themselves, 
nay, to eat their bread; tliat if the T^rd should have let out the 
vineyanl of ordinances lo any busbandmen in the norld, who 
could or would have taken more pains lo dig it. to dress il, than 
f we do? Beloved, those enlargements that are in any afler the 
• Lord, the Lord cherish and increase ihera ; but I fear we may 
tgo live times about the tree before we see such laden boughs. I 
am much mistaken if the best may not be discovered here ; the 
fairest flowers in the fiehl must wither, they can not last, and the 
best affections that are but temporary, that have acted men 
mightily for a lime in the use of means, must perish in the neg- 
lect of means at last. I shall not, therefore, meddle with prcK 
fane or carnal gospelers, so much ns witli close deceivers of their 



n souls ; and look, t 



n all B 



the SI 



s by the lappings, so you may k 






negWis means by his shifts. Kor, if you ■ liserve, 1 



sluggard t 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 247 

many shifls and colors for it as this./ Saul, when he had not J 
gone through-stitch with the Lord's work in slaying the Amal- 
ekites, what ado had Samuel to convince him ! He tells a lie, 
lajs the blame on the people, propounds the good end and affeo- 
tioo he had. So here, thus it is with many, as, viz., — 

I. Those that live in a secret neglect of means, and yet hope 
to oome to their end, because of their desires. We shall find 
the Scripture gives us two sorts of desires. 1. Of the righteous. 
t Of the sluggard. 1. " The desires of the righteous," (Prov. x. 
2i) ** shall be granted," being breathings of God's eternal Spirit, 
not a sigh or groan unanswered. 2. Of the sluggard ; (Prov. 
xxi. 15,) ^^ The desire of the slothful kills him, for his hands 
refuse to labor ; " the desires of the righteous are ever spurs to 
quicken them up in the use of means mightily ; the desires of 
the sluggard bridle him up, they bind his hands, and fetter his 
feet, that he can not but neglect means. Some desires there be 
that arise from the need of a good, and here will not only be 
desires, but all means used, as in point of famine ; some only 
from want of a good, and here a man usually contents himself 
With bare desires, never has a heart to use the means mightily 
for that end. Many a one is convinced his state is miserable, 
and fears it, and Baalam-like sees the blessedness of the people 
of Crod, and knows he wants pardon, and life, and peace, and 
promises, and Christ, and desires it : O that I might die their 
death ! O that I might live and drink that water, that I might 
thirst no more ! O that my sins were pardoned ! O that my 
heart was humbled ! But what if the Lord grant them no peace 
nor pardon? Do they make earnest inquiry after the Lord 
Christ, with restless pursuits and groans because they need it ? is 
it worth that ? O, no ; but yet they hope Grod will be so merci- 
ful as to accept their desires ; and so they rest, and live and die 
in that rest. O, poor creatures, your desires kill you ; as a man 
L> undone with slothful servants that can not earn their own, much 
le.*s get their master's bread. And many in hell say, I had 
thought my desires would have carried me to glory, but now I 
see they have been slothful, and here I must perish and famish 
forever. Had I known of this, I would rather have wept out 
my eyes, and filled the world with my sorrowful complaints. My 
meditations of the Lord should have been at midnight. I would 
have deceived my eyes of sleep at night, and deprived myself 
of bread at day, and lost my limbs, had I but known that by 
contenting myself with these desires, I should have lost my life. 
Here many Christians are falsely bottomed ; they are troubled 
about their estate ; come to some or other and profess their 



r 



I 



I 



S4B T 

desires are after Chriet and grace, etc, and ihen «>mforted (as in 
sinking fila a man snati^lieth at any ting or twig) with tliem 
desires, before tbey Lave foLloweil the Lord in the use of all 
means to get tbe thing they desire. And here is the Brat l>e- 
ginning of the Lord's forsaking of Ihem, and theira of tlie Lord, 
and he is left alone only with his de^res, that if any duty be 
neglected, desires comfort him ; if grace resisted, desires quiet 
him ; if sin keeping him captive, desires fill him. Luke xiii. 24. 
And so like a bird that lies in the nest, but ils wings never 
grow, there it perisheih. I know saints may comfort themselTes 
with desires before the things be given, because promised, but 
you shall see an endless reach in them in the uae of all means. 
Fhil. iii. 13. Others think their negleel of means to be but an 
infirmity, and tliat iheir desires will serve, and hence abuse that 
Scripture, Rom. vii. 

2. They that neglect the means, and yet hope to come to their 
end, because of worldly clogs and incurobmn<:es here ; for this 
is the YCry spirit of many a man. If God keeps (he bouse 
from being burnt, and family from b^ng sick, it may be family 
prayer is neglected ; if not that, yet secret is omitted ; if not 
that, yet meditation ; a man can get no head, nor heart, nor lime 
for it. If any good is got, it is lost again. Sabbiiths spent and 
[no'good gained. A man knows bis soul lies wusie and common 
I without any fence or watch, and that he would not let his fields 
as he doth his heart, overgrown with cares, and lusts, and vain 
thougliL Now, many a man, though be doth dislike this, yet 
lives in tliis. Why ? Is this your home ? Are these tilings your 
portion? No; but yet thinks ho may with a safe conscieiicc 
continue thus, and God forgive him too. Why, the family is 
great, children increase upoti me, (and they are so busy and 
long a dressing on the Lord's day, that scrroon b out before they 
come.) and we are not called to book it all day as ministers can, 
and worldly employments are so many, and the best are entao- 
Igled here; and they think lliis is an excuse. Luke xiv. 18, 19</, 
T^ay, many a one, convinced of this, yet lives in this against tl 
light of conviction, hoping ttiut one day the stream of world] 
occasions will be run by. I confess, as the I^ord has givE 
his ordinances to seek him in, so he baa appointed our calling| 
to walk with him iu. Adam in paradise must not be idle, bat 
look to the garden ; and in ibis land those that will be good hiiftfl 
bands for God (lest they discredit theu- profession by bringi 
themselves to a piei'e of bread) must be good husbands for theni^S 
selves. liut here is tliat which stings, when to worldly employ* 
menta men are serrants, not lords Uf them. When n 



ribM 



TUE TEN VIRGINS. 249 

Bake their occasions bow down to them, and serve them, that 
tbej maj serve and seek a god ; but they bow down their knees, 
aaj, basely, their backs, under the feet of any mean employ- 
ment that must be followed with neglect of God. Do not say, 
WIk) is not entangled here ? I tell you, if Christ's prayer can 
jwevail, some are not ; (John xvii. 15,) '^ I pray not that thou 
tooldst take them out of the world, but keep them from the 
eviL" If blood can prevail, it does. Gal. i. 4. O, look to this ; 
it may be some of you do not only neglect the Lord, all dies 
ftgain ; O, it is the world ; know your estates by this. 

d. Those that depart from God in the neglect of means, be- 
cause they find no good, and do not feel themselves a whit the 
better for them ; they neglect this trade, because they find it a 
painless trade ; for thus God executes his eternal rejection upon 
tuany a souL As it is with Saul, it was one of the last vials 
Crod poured out upon him ; (1 Sam. xxviii. 5, 6, 15,) saith he, '* I 
^m sore distressed, and the Lord answers me not by Urim nor 
"Thummim, and therefore am I come to thee ; " let a devil com- 
fort me if God will not. So many a soul, having conmiitted 
some sin that lies glowing on the conscience, is sore troubled, 
and first it goes to the Lord, and the Lord answers not, there is 
silence in heaven, and all means, but the noise of fears within ; 
now, at last, the soul does not forsake the Lord for Satan plainly, 
but what means can comfort them that they seek for, and in 
time a man is weary of waiting at Grod's gates, and hence a form 
of duties, and prayers, and custom of devotion is kept to quiet the 
cooscience ; but they are not restless for the gain of them, for 
the Lord in them ; they think that it is in vain, to no profit, as 
those in I^IaL iii. 14, to walk mournfully. Jonah was cast out 
of God's sight, yet through " the belly of a whale he would look 
toward the temple." So it is with the people of God ; though 
they sometimes conclude thus, and think not to seek any more, 
yet their hearts have tasted the good, their faith believes there 
is that hid in the Lord in his temple that it never saw yet ; hence 
they look still. What made the man (Matt, xxv.) hide his 
talent in the earth ? I thought thou wast a hard master, and 
lookedst for so much gtun, and I could not get it, and hence he hid 
his talent. Hence men keep the means without use of the means, 
and some that have for a time been used to do so keep it as their 
custom, without making any such work of it as to gain the end 
of the means. 

4. Those that do neglect the Lord in means by an effectual 
pursuit of them, because of some sips and taste of some good in 
them ; and so methinks it is in this case as it is in some countries. 




SM Tij 

where, if a man comes lo t)i«^ir houses in ihe afternoon, and 
have a mind to part, yet loth to part without sliowing 
nesd, and the other without tasting of it, Ihej lay their 
napkin, and ftiiding that refreshing there Ihey are conten 
their supper. So it ia here ; a man comes weary to the Lord's 
bouse, U) his ordinances; the Lord will not let him go without 
some expression of kindness, nor they depart willingly from the 
Lord without it, and hence the Lord gives them light out of dark- 
ness, joy out of sorrow, peace out of trouble, a taste of his sweet- 
ness after tastes of sin's bitterness, and then they take iheir 
leave, as they. Heb. vi. 2-5. And here the Lord leaves many 
a poor creature, (Deut. xxis.. 2—4 ;) they did see something and 
taste something, and there they rested. O, but the Lord giTe4 
them not eyes to see, etc. For no hyj>oerite living ia fully 
emptied of his lusts, hut has somewliat to fill him ; but some 
emptiness he may have, hence may have some desires after the 
Lord, and hence it is not the fullness of God only that satisfies 
him, but some tastes of Giod's kindness, and small things do and 
must fill him. His lusts fill him in part, and something of God ia 
wanting, and that some little matter doth make up. Hence, 
when thifl is done, means is neglected feartully, a man's heart is 
hardened and ignorant, a little light and sorrow stays him, as the 
Btony ground, though there he a stone at bottom ; a mau is full of 
doubts, and a little hope which frees blm from fears quiets him, 
hence he never conquers imbellef. A mim has lived a loost 
course, a little resolution of heart stays him, though the 
will depart again, as those, Deut. v. 27, 29. The Lord has bi 
little of their hearts, and the Lord shows them but little of hi 
And hence this is usual to see a false heart most diligent 
ing the Lord when he has been worst, and most careless when 
is best Hence many at first conversion sought the Lord t 
nestly, afterward affections and endeavors die, that now they 
as good OS the word can make them 1 Hence the Lord, when li 
mercy he deals with men, keeps them long fasting, till the 
of extremity comes, and then he pours waters on the thirs^ 
Hence better for those never to have known. 2 Pet.ii. 21. Ani 
a hypocrite's lost end is to satisfy himself, hence he has enoug^^ 
a saint's is to satisfy Christ, hence he never has enough. 

5. Those that do neglect the Lord under this color of receivii^ 
Christ ; Ihey can do nothing themselves, and Christ must do att 
(Uid hence neglect the Lord secretly, and sometimes <juarrel wid 
the ministry privately, when pressed to a duty or to betiei 
Alas I what can a man do, when all the ministers in the woi 
have preached their hearts out ? At lost they must hiing us 



THE TEN VIKGINB. 

Christ. What elae should the apaatJe mean, (Rom. iv. 5,) "Not 
lo him that workcth, but believeth. is faith accounted for right- 
eousness. I musl not live, I must let Christ live," etc. ? And 
hence, say they, the cause of perishing is not men's willn, but 
God's. He elects not ; he gives no heart. Such hypocrites the 
Lord prophesies of; (Matt. vii. 21,) "Many that say to me, 
Lord, Lord ; " i> e., that advance the Lord Jesue, and live in 
ncjtlect of all duties, and bring the Lord of glory, not from his 
throne in heaven tOv^ll, but, which is worse, debase him from 
his glory to sin, to In ml i iifiii iif mi, njjil protector of it Be-~| 
loved, I know no surer sign of a vesseTthat-^God intends to I 
break in pieces than (his, to live in this neglect) 2 Tim. ii. 20. | 
Nay. it is an evidence there is no hope, no living hope; (1 Jotm 
iii. 3,) " He that has this hope purgelh himself as. Christ is 
pure." Many, it seems, boasted of hope in Christ ; so do 
saints, but he gives this note, he purgetli himself, he will not 
sluggishly put all on Christ. It is true, it is the mighty working 
of Christ that must conquer thy lusts ; but must this put you to 
neglect striving? (Col. i. 29,) " I strive according to the work- 
ing." And, for my part, though I will not dispute the point at 
large, I believe there ia a constant assistance of the mighty 
power of the Lord Jesus in the souls of all the saints. 1 Pet. i. 5. 
And hence, (1 John vi.,) " Greater is he that is in you than in 
the world." The siunts as they receive the Lord Jesua to rule 
(hem, that he alone may be Lord and King, not only in heaven, 
but in their hearts: so a false heart receives Christ, lastly, for 
lo ease him. Sometime for to ease liim of the burden of con- 
Bcionco ; sometime to ease him of the Lord's word, the burden 
of his will ; and hence some at last have complained, though 
liordly convinced of il, that they could be contented the Lord 
Ehould act tliem; but their end wa^ tliat thereby they might be 
rid of their burden, and so eased by him. I have heard a ques- 
tion should be asked, What is the ditlerence between the work- 
ing of God's Spirit and the saints? And that the answer was, 
1. The one was by graces, the other imracdiateiy. 2. The 
Spirit is when a man labors leasL Quite cross to the stream 
of truth. Take heed how you understand these points aright ; 
the depth of the most hellish villanyin the world lies under 
them. Woe to thee that canst paint such a Christ in thy head, 
and receive such a Christ into thy heart, as must be a pander lo 
your sloih ; the Lord wiL revenge this wrong done lo hiji glory 
with greater sorrows than ever ajiy felt. To make Christ not 
only meal and drink lo feed, but clothes lo cover your sloth. 
Why, what can we do? what can we do? Why, as the first 





4 



I 




THE PARABLE C 



Adam conveys not only guilt, but power, bo the seeond 
both righteousness and strength ; as Christ b now triumphing 
by his eternal Spirit, and his lil'e is heavenly, so if you be in 
Christ, there is a Spirit of Christ, whereby a never-dying life h 
begot, that can and does conquer ; though it be but a spark, 
Christ mainlaining it, it shall come to viilory. You are Cor- 
saken of Christ, if you want this ; or else take beed this color 
make you not forsake him. 

6. Those that neglect the means, and yet look for the end 
hope of future time, and so neglect the present season. Thus 
is with many a one i the day of life and health, and day of or& 
nances, continues, and bence the sluggard cries, (Prov. xxiv. 33,) 
" Tet a little more slumber," I will have but a little while longer, 
etc Hence, when conscience checks, ministers warn, the Ixird 
wooes, the Spirit cries ; a man puts off all with this, I hope it will 
be better ; and hence it falls out with them as with those, (Mail, 
xxiv.,) " The Lord comes in a time they look not for him," and 
of this many on their death bed^ have cried out Think of this 
ye convicted persona, that know it is miserable with you, before 
God sloj) your breath; you have nothing to plend for your neg- 
lect, but hope of time. Know it, God's present seasons are 
golden, one moment worth eternity, and now is the time ; if yon 
neglect his season, he will not regard yours. God is never found 
in your time, but in his time. O, lay these things to heart, es- 
pecially you that are grown weary of means, that fiuut in your 
way. Gid is not yet weary of continuing means ; art thou weary 
of gaining by means ? O, consider [his, you that have had many 
bogies, desires, parposes, but all blasted, your time and meant 
neglected. Think on this, you that have liad marvelous affec- 
tions, but your spirits are gone ; nothing can make you mend 
your pace, not all ministry and word, but you are clogged with 
means. Remember that, (Is. Ixv. 8-14,) " For my people that 
have sought me," etc. 

Section V. 

lTie5. To all those that do effectually seek the Lord in the 
use of means. And for discovery (hereof, consider, — 

1. If ever the Lord gave you a heart effectually to seek hia •} 
in means, you will find mighty 0|)poBttions, temptations _ _ 
up one after another, etc., from within, from without, and the^ 
positions will make you seek him the more. Hence (Uom 
11, 12) he bids us "pnt off the works of darkness, and put on 
the armor of light." When a nun desires and lies in bis sloth, 
he meets with little opposition or trouble of his own heart ; bat 



THE TEN VlltGlKS. 253 

I it is otherwise, therefore put on omior. And I say, the 
•Dul is made hereby (o seek the Lord ihe more, as the blind man. 
Huk X. 48. "- Redeem the time, becAUse the days are evil." 
Ai it is with mariners ; tbey will not only use fdr, but side, and 
tfaooet coDtrary winds to come neur the shore ihey arc bound 
ibr; \el the Lord give any gr&ce, O, more of that mercy, as 
Uoces. Deut. iii, 24. Let the Lord deny, yet the soul cries the 
ttofe; let agonies come, Christ pmys the more ; let the will op- 

Si, be will yield himself to the Lord to cross his own will, and 
J hnnself; peace makes him love, and aiBiclion makes him 
MK the Lord earlj. Hence, because thou art troubled at the 
fwUng of & slothful heart, that will mnke you seek for more 

i- Tou will seek him with your whole heart, so that it is the 

Lord only that ihe heart is bound for. Pa. exix. 2 ; Phil. iii. 12. 

The feeling of the Lord's power and eternal life, and that not 

'^j while means last, but when in want of and banished from 

"Wins ! as David forgela his crown and kingdom, and sailh, (Ph. 

Inii. 4,) " One thing I bare desired." Hence Hezekiah had 

tpnimise of life and going to God's house when recovered ; it 

m not life he minded so much as this, " What is the sign tliat 

I ihMll go to the bouse of the Lord ? " Hence saints, though 

ihey Delect sometimes, yet as a ^hip driven hack by neglecting 

I «umU, or as a tradesman, he is altogether tor his g^n, yet proves - 

I in ill husband sometimes, but when be has felt his losses he falls 

I lo Uis trade again. So here, like merchants seeking pearls, etc 

f JUatL xiii. 4a. Let this comfort you though you find nothing, 

ycl Miints are a generation of seekers, linding time is not come, 

jKt certainly yon shall come to your end at last. Tou have no 

lappings for the sores of your sloth, but opening them before the 

' Lcinl : the Lord will heal and help in time. 

Obftel. But I feel no good, hence I am afraid I seek not aright. 
Atu. Gal. yi. 9, "You shall reap in due time," and Heb. xi, 
13. All things were cross to Ihe promise, yet Abraham holds 
on still. 

Ob/tct. But I find my spirit faint, and grow listless and weary. 
Amt. When heart and strength fail, yet God does not. God 
will desert, that you may know where your strength, and heart, 
' toi help liet. 

0^'«cf. Bat it is so great, I know no diiference between mine 
uul others' neglect. 

jitu. That is sad ; yet, as it is ui all sins, falls into them do but 

nndenaine them the more. Peter denies Christ, ad well as slcep«i 

yet he i» thefir«L that preocheth him. When a man's meat is so 

VOL. II. 22 



i 



I 



»4 

far from doing good aa that it does him hurt, he is dying : bo U 
Bin is dying, that alotb is dying, when food given to it does \ 
it. David ia ready to give up all, yet saitb, "It b good for ni 
to draw near to God," and there the heart will repose itself agtun. 1 

Section VI. 

Uie G. 0/ Exhort. 0, be not slothful, then ; neglect n 
but use all means ; get oil in your vessels, that you may get joat 
desired end. Mariners that are bound for a voyage, when »et 
out, will not be at rest till they are landed where they would be. 
It was one of the church's aorrowful complaints, (Is, Ixiv. 7,) 
" None that atirs up himself," etc. 

Objeei. But I find many hiadcrancea without me, many sins 
within me ; I have sometime neither strength (nay, which is 
worse) nor yet heart to seek the Lord, though my wants are 
many, though my days decline. How shall Z do? 

Am. 1. Find out that which clogs thy heart from seeking ef- 
fectually, and causes that neglect, and that makes the Lord n^- - 
lect thee in thy ineffectual seeking ; else thou mayst seek aa^. 
never find, and that is some lust, something that eases the hearts! 
which is not Grod. When the soul has not bread, it will, witk 
the prodigal, then resolve for home. Meo could not live ai 
do, so many days without God, unless they did feed ou som' 
else beside the Lord. Heuco it is usual for men in means to niv 
means for a good, and out of means to resist that good, b,!, 
Iviii. 1, 2 ; Zaeh. vii. 6. Men that would have their Icrad drawi 
must first take their wild horses out of it ; so do with these luetb. 
If, therefore, not for your own, yet for the Lord's sake, who d 
will not be accounted worth the seeking, find out whatever cooj 
I tenta you. Necessity has n o hotidavB ; 0, you muat have h ' 

2. Use mums, but trust not to tliein^ nor to any strengt' 



ceivad to carry you along in this work ; you will else negle<4 
and r'l from the Lord, and the Lord from you. It is said at: 
Ata, (2 Chron. xvi. 12, 13,) "Asa was diseased in hia feet in h 
old f ^3, yet he sought not to the Lord, but physicians." So it 
with many a diseased Christian ; they seek not lo the Lord ' 
cure their feet, but means, or themselves ; hence thoy decay at 
die. You have the stream of all templalioos against yon i it 
not your own oars, but the Lord's wind, that must cany yi 
against it Look, therefore, to an almighty power in means 
help you, plead God's covenant lo put his fear into your he 
that you may not depart from him, aud he will not forsake _ 
1 Cor. XV. 10, " Paul received not grace in vain, but Inl 




THE TEN vinoma. 255 

"Wdimdy ; yet not I, bat grace." There is little fear of drown- 
^ so long as ne keep head above water, so long as we cleave to 
Ibe Lord Jesus. 

3. Love the presence of the Lord and his company. If there 
be any love between you, you will then find time, and nothing 
■ball keep you from him : (Jer.ii. 1-3.) " I rememher the love of 
thine espousals, when thou followedat me in a wilderness through 
pits and deserts." Remember he has been in heaven, praying 
for thee when ihou hast been provoking of him ; he has been 
bleising thee, when thou host been abusing him ; it may be he 
has let out his heart blood, to make room for thee in his heart; 
it may be he intends, throughout all eternity, lo express hia dear- 
est love to thee; and is he not worth your love? Love hitn, 
and you will be with him ; love will be stronger than death ; it 
will break all these bonds. 

4. Set before you the greatness of the good you are to nse aD 
tueans to gain. Why do men hunt after flesh pots ? The world 
is esteemed great ; it is near ua ; and so for honor. Now, Christ 
and eternity are far off, and henee ihey seem little, and hence to 
seek them is not made a business of greatest weight and imp<w- 
Vaux. 2 Cor. iv. 16, 18. " We faint not while we look to thinga 
that are eternal" Acts xxiv. 15, 16. There is not the vilest 
reprobate, but when he shall see the glory that shall be revealed, 
he shall Rtamp, and tear his hair, and say, O if I hcd known 
this ! I hope I should never have dreamed out my lime so as I 
have done. We look on the picture of goodness in the volume 
of the creatures, which satisfles noL 0, never cease looking up- 
ward till you see what you seek for in the greatness of it. Sap- 
pose a man should »leep all bis lifetime, and be in a dream, and 
in it have all the delights and glory of the world presented to 
him ; at last the ground opens its mouth and swallows him np, 
and then he is awakened ; Lord, how will he cry ! Truly. Christ, 
and grace, and fellowship with God are not thought of, sou^t 
for, are small things with men ; but the world is great, and this 
is your delight ; truly. It is but your dream. What will your 
■Olds be when death opens its mouth ? Wliat a sad thing is it to 
H« men spin cobwebs that must be swept down I 

MativM. L To those that never sought the Lord effectually to 
this day, nor to neglect him now. Those that are like children 
bom before their time, that have hod some sorrow after the Lord, 
but eomfbrted before it was deep enough ; have some desires, but 
«aaed with other things before they were satisfied with Christ him- 
•etf i that have run for a while, but are grown weary before they 
came half way home, and so sit down in the way ; like clocks 



SS6 THE PARABLE or 

set Blow in the first hour of llie day, run alow all die day afie- •"- 
So these set back, and ihink they are set right, too, run slow mJ' 
their life after. That as he said of a covetous man. he had » 
BtroDg desire for heaven, if any would bear his eliarges thither ; 
BO these. And to you I speak not that never soaght, but lh»( 
have been seeking; yet effectually to use all means, this yon 
never did. 

1. Consider how far men have gone, what means they have 
used, yet have never found to this day. Luke xiii. 24. Strive, 
saith Christ. This I speak, beeause men think they may oeglect 
their seasons of earnest pursuit afier grace, men may sit still, 
and put all esfe from themselves to God, and live in their sloth. 
O, DO ; eonsider so many snares, so many by-paths, so many de- 
ceits wilLin, ao many sins and lusts to subdue, all time and meang 
is little enough ; take heed of spending prodigally, and ihink 
Christ's grace will bear you out. O. look upon the cries of a 
deatli bed, to see some men that have been like famishing mm 
that have wanted bread, and then have cried, Bread, bread ! but 
could not eat it 0, soith Paul, "I beat down my body, lest in 
preaching to others myself beeome a castaway." 

2. Consider how others have broken down the greatest diffi- 
culties, and are now in glory j as, (Rev. xii. U.) "They loved 
not their lives to the death." They have not only spent thwr 
time, lost their name, their comforts, but their blood, that have 
passed through waters, fire.<>, bonds, imprisonments, and with 
Paul have not "accounted their lives dear, that they might finish 
their work." David was full of God ; one would think some- j 
times he had enough, yet when be awakes he is with God M 
midnight, " his thoughts and reins instruct him ; the law wa 
his meditation day and night." You shall see him in the tempi 
blessing God, on the throne advancing the Lord, on the dui^ 
lull, in banishment longing after him, when he sat amonp 
prinees meditating; and was there here too much cost^ Mi^A 
any of this ointment have been spared ? Consider, Christ hini^ 
self^ (Ileb. xii. 1-3) cast off sloth, " looking unto Jesus, wh(% 
for the joy, despised the shame, endured the cross," and that 
not for himself, it may be for thee, that thou migbtsi not, now 
be is at tbe right hand of God; so are the saints in heaven, aoi 
now rejoicing that ever they sought him, that they spent so mad^ 

9. Consider, there is a lime of neglect of Christ, which, what 
past, you shall never find him agtun ; (John vii. 3, 4,) " Ye sh^ li 
seek me, but never find mo." You have had many diamond 
days and seasons, and God gives you a space to repent, and 



THE TSM VIBGIKS. 257 

^^ '^Mj Spirit shall not always strive ; " it may be some are 

hit iritlun that space, that the Lord is at the last cast with yon. 
L Consider, whatever your condition be, shake off your sloth, 

aod set upon the means, the Lord will be found ; do it in good 
earnest ; Uiis will be good news to yon that think he will never; 
bat be thy heart like steel, and hard, the Lord will break it ; 
(Heb. xL 6,) ^He will be found of them that seek him dili- 
gently.^ And the greater things thou seekest for, the more like 
to get them; as one of the fathers thinks, that to pray with 
repetitions, is to pray for small things. " Open thy mouth wide, 
I will fill it ; " and it may be presently, in a moment, when thou 
thinkest least of it, it may be at that time when thou findest most 
unwillingness and difficulty to seek ; seek, then, and the Lord 
win be found. O, this damps many a man in the use of means, 
he thinks the Lord will never help, and hence is tormented with 
this thought, and sits down and rests. If you would keep a 
laborer from work, or a traveler firom walking, put thorns in 
their feet ; now, the work is neglected, there is pricking stuff, he 
can not follow on his business now ; so it is here. Prov. xv. 19. 
Take heed, therefore, of sitting down with such thoughts as 
these ; it is strange thou shouldst be killed for every cut, and 
because wounded for sin to fall off from the Lord by unbelief too. 

IL Motives to you that have followed the Lord, but now have 
b^;un to neglect him ; for what cause I know not ; but I am 
sure the Lord has given you none ; yet a spirit of slumber and 
sloth is upon you, ^t you are not the men you were. It may 
be some for want of place, want of time, many occasions, many 
sorrows and temptations in this wilderness ; and hence no means 
sweet, no bed easy, your bones are broken. It may be a little 
time of neglect has emboldened you to a custom ; it may be loose 
examples, the spirits of others flat, and thine does so too, whom 
God sent into church fellowship to quicken them. It may be an 
ill husband is a hinderance ; a bad wife, as Job's wife ; or what- 
ever it is, O that Gk)d would speak this day to you I 

1. Consider thou art nearer to thy salvation than when thou 
didst first believe ; and then you thought no time, no pains, too 
much, but all too little. Rom. xiiL 11, 12. Biariners, near the 
shore, look out for rocks. Lord, that I may not split now. Truly, 
as it was with Christ, the longer he did live, the more sorrows, 
so with you. Grod has carried you near salvation ; O, now being 
nearer, there are worse rocks ; look about you now. Satan's 
last temptations are strongest. O, give not in now. It may be 
not many days nor weeks hence thou shalt come to thy journey's 
end. Awaken, then, out of sleep. 

22» 




356 THE TARABLE OF 

2. Consider how gind the Lord is of thy company ; he h.is bi 
so. and will be so again ; ihou canc^t nol rome in loo late. (IS 
iii.21,) aa poor and vile as ihou art; (Prov. viii.,) ■■ His dcligh* ■ 
is with the sons of men." IViliiess mercies, witness afflictions : 
O, then seek him ; witness desertions, then seek him ; irilnew 
bis sneet enierlainment of tliee, many a time when he h&s given 
thee meat tliat the world knows not of ; witness so many hinder- 
ances which Salaa lays in, who knows how eross il is to Christ; 
(Jer. ii. 1-3,) "I remember the love of thine esponsala, when 
thou didst follow me : " especially when with most difficulty, 
when little strength within, when little Lope witliout ; yet I will 
not give over. He never foi^ets this. The Lord lias never 
such sad days us when thou tumesi thy bock on him, and thou 
never so good qp when thou seeke^t him. 

3. Considei thy gmns; there shall not the least endeavor, 
desire, pursuit after the Lord, not the least word, prayer, though^ , 
time spent, but an abundant recompense is in Christ's hands ; (( . 
Cor. XV. 58,) ''Ever abounding, knowing lliat it shall not b>| 

Iin Tain." A man that rows against the stream, a little negleOt 
of rowing carries him down again. But, O, " be ever aboundii^ 
in the Lord's work, for your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 

4. Consider, if after admonition sg^n and agun, yet ystt. 
nourish sloth, there is some heavy stroke near thee. Believe i^ 
he will not alway bear willt thy neglect As nothing makeiE 
him more joyful than your company, so nothing cuts him moot 
than your neglect ; but though he save you from eternal miset;^ 
yet sometimes your greatest comfort is lost by this means. Iilatt 
xjcvi. 38, 40, 44, 45. First he stirs them up once and agai 
then leaves them, and comes again, and soilh nothing; but tJ 
third time, " Sleep on ; the Son of man is betrayed." So yoi 
comfort, and Christ and his presence are betrayed. Some hai 
bad iheir husbands, wives, children, estates gone, bwt, which i 
worst of all, the I^ord betrayed, the comfort of their hearts g 
and hence horrors and fears surjirise them. 

HI. Motives to us especially in this country. 

^ ]. God has put the price and wealth of tlie world, better thi 

I all gold and sili-er, into our hands, who ore most untbankfli 

I most unworthy; and will you come so far for means, and lun 

1 neg lect them? Will you thus neglect the Lord? Like meni 

consumptions, they long for any tliing, and when it comes, thi 

can not touch it. If it were night, you might fall to sleep ; bi 

the day npproacheth. Shall God jilant his vineyard, but yt 

never come to eat the fruit of il ? 

2, Your temptations are greftt«r here to neglect the Lm 




E TEN VIHGDia. 



Others are tried with the scorching bu 
there. God tries us with the shadow, s 
of ordinances ; others are iu storms, we i 
ealesi and art full," Siuth Mosea, (Deut. ■ 
not the Lord.' 



there is no sleeping 
ts us under the vines 
calms. " When thou 
ii. 10, 11,) O, "forget 
und now you are hun- 



\ 



gty aAcr the »ame again. Satan, when Christ was hungry, 
^ults him. It is a thousand to one if he makes 70U not tair 
offers, and overcomes. Things that cost us much, we prize, and - 
keep, and improve, if of any use. When we go twenty miles tot 
a sacrament, O, then it is precious ; while under the bondage of ] 
oppressors, O, liberty of conscience and ordinances are precious. I 
But when at liberty, we have liberty to have them, henee la^ i 
liberty lo neglect liiem. *■ 

3. Our enemies will be upon us. Who sees not (that observes 
the Lord's dealing) that some sorrows are toward, unless the 
Lord awaken, some sudden blasting blow ? If any wind be stir- 
ring, men on the top of mounlAine will feel it. The Lord has set 
hid mountain alwve all others, and it is folly to think to flee from 
the cross, unless we flee from Chrial, It is part of the portion 
he doth owe ua here, if he loves «a. Yet seek the Lord, neglect 
no seasons to gain him, and you shall be hiil. Zeph. ii. 2. Nay, 
when worst tiraea come, (2 Chron. xv. 3—5,) when there is no 
peace, they that seek him shall find him. 

I fear there is, at this day, as deep mischief plotting against 

New England ea ever the sun saw. Enemies will first deal 

Eubtly before cruelly, but subtlj that they may deal cruelly. I t 

Wlien Pharaoh deals wisely, he means to kill. Yet ihe Lord 

shall be witii us, as of late has he not been in the midst of us 

for a refuge ? Whatever any think, I believe never did the 

Liord atur up such prayers, faith, etc., amongst us. _ 

I. 0, therefore, seek the Lord still in private. If you find 

10 good, find out the sin. Is not meditation neglected 7 com- 

aunioii of saints not improved ? Do not say, We can do nothing, 

i ■ tad why are we pressed to it ? If you can not, yet it is your 

I duty, and you must be pressed ; and perish you shall if you 

^ jKek not ; or if you be culled, there is some Spirit of the Lord 

I in you that is mighty. 

it i. Being come hither for public helps, and means, and all 
■ ordinances, O, do not betray your liberties; but lose your 
^' blood before yon lose them, and the Lord in them. Bear tlie 
k still on your shoulders, that the Lord may dwell with you. 

Hence.— 

, 1. If you would have the walla of magistmcy be broken don'n, 



SGO TBE PAAABLE OF 

(the means to preserve the churdi and means among yoa.) S^ 
they make laws, deride them; if they execute laws, appe^i-' 
from them, 

2, Would you have confusion, the mother of discord, amoa^ 
' the people? let every man once, one day in the year, turn 
I magistrate, and outface authority, and profess it is liis liberty- 
Would you have rapines, thefts, injustice abound ? let no man 
know his own, by removing the landmark, and deHtroying prop- 
erties. 

8. Would you have God's ordinances in the purity of them 
removed? keep out the load of superstition, but yet, for peace 
sake, sufier a few seeds to be sown among you, 
. 4. Would you have all the mesBengers of the gospel at first 
1 re,tiled, at last massacred ?^profess they are no better than ecriba 
/ and Pharisees, persecuting Egyptians, enemies to the Lord 
I Jesus, and the more devout the woi^e ; as those that stirred np 
I storms in Germany said, Christ had four great enemies — the 
\ pope, Anabaptists, Martin Luther, but especially John Calvin. 
1" B. Would you ruin the gospel ? set not Popery against it, bvt J 
I gospel against gospel, promises against promises, Christ agaiiuAH 
Christ, Spirit against Spirit, grace agiunst grace, and then he i^| 
twice beaten that falls by his own weapons. fl 

6. Would you have oppressors set over you, to remove or^S 
nances, to increase your burdens ? maintain this principle tho^fl 
that they will not assault us first by craft and subUety, bufr^ 
openly and violently. 

7. Would you have this state in time to degenerate into 
tyranny ? take no care, then, for making laws. When they are 
made, would you have all authority turned to a mere vanity ? be 
gentle, and open the door to all comers that may cut our throats 
in time ; and, if being come, they do ofTend, threaten them and 
fine them, but use no sword against them. You fathers of the 
country, be not offended ( this I speak not to disparage any ; the 
practice speaks otherwise ; 1 only forewarn ; I hope the Lord 
has prepared better days and mercies for us ; I am sure he will, 

1 if what means we have we preserve, and what we preserve, we, 
^ through grace, shall improve. 



THB TEN VIRGINS. 261 



CHAPTER XVni. 

TBAT THE HEABTS AND SOULS OF BELIEVERS ABE HADE AS 
VESSELS ONLY FOR THE RECEPTION OF CHRIST, HIS SPIRIT, 
ASD THE GRACES THEREOF. 

Section I. 

2. The inward principle, wherein lies the second difference 
which is plainly expressed. 

We are now to inquire further concerning these vessels and 
the oil in them. Vessels were the place only of receiving and 
preserving the oil for the continual burning and shining of the 
kunps ; so that, though in some scriptures, by lamp is under- 
stood both the vessel and the lamp by a figure, yet in dbtinct 
phrase of speech, that is properly the lamp which bums and 
gives light, and that which contains the oil to nourish, this is the 
vessel ; so that the vessels were not separate things from the 
lamp, as though the lamp was in one hand, and a vessel in an- 
other ; Uiis was neither the custom nor comeliness of that age to 
cumber themselves thus ; but the lamp (as it is in ours) was that 
part which was kindled and lighted, the vessel that which kept 
the oil to serve this end ; and hence the folly of five of them 
appeared, that they would carry burning lamps with empty ves- 
sels, just as if a man should draw the wick through the oil that 
it may bum for a time, and provide no oil in the vessel to main- 
tain die lamp ; however, all comes to one (if they be separate) 
in respect of that that I aim at. 

Thus, literally, we see what the lamp, vessel, and oil is ; n6w, 
what/ is spiritually meant thereby ? ..-^ 

ly For the oil ; what is that ? I intend not here to show the 
fbna and various apprehensions of Popish writers, who under- 
stand by oil, alms, good works, a good intention, etc. But by 
oil is meant the Spirit of Christ and the graces of it, peculiar 
to all the elect J and thus, in Scripture phrase, (1 John ii. 27,^ 
the Spirit is called ^'the anointing;'* and the graces of the 
Spirit, (Cant. i. 3,) " the smell of Christ's ointments." Har- 
lots love him for the gifls he sends, but virgins for the grace he 
has. That oil which ran fir^t on Aaron's head, and runs down 
to his skirts, is here meant. Now, as Christ himself had not the 
Si>irit without graces, nor these without the Spirit, but both, so 
both these being in him as in the fountain, they are in us as in 
the vessels. 

2. Christ being the fountain of all grace, and having the 



I 



THE PARABLE C 



to enKK. he ' 



Spirit whlioiit measure, an<], therefore, has enoogli to epKre, he 
can not be meant bj these vessels which had but their meason, 
and such a measure as that Ibey had none to spare for the other. 
Therefore, by Teasels are meant principally the precious sonb 
of the faithfnl, into which this golden oil was pul ; and, there- 
fore, (2 Cor. IT. 7,) " We haTC thb treasure in earthen Tessels;" 
and, (Rom. ix. 33,) "They are vessels of glory, prepared nnlo 
glory," and so frequently ; so that herein the foolish fall short, 
for the foolish boasicd of Christ out of them, but where was the 
Spirit and virtue of Christ in them? And this is conceived to 
be the reason why the main difference is not made, by the want 
of the external principle, viz., Christ, but by want of the inter- 
na] principle and work ; this they had not. 1. They had U) 
much oil, i. e., lighter strokes of die Spirit, as kindled a profes* 
sion, but they had not enough. 2. Tbey hod so much oil and 
light as continued their profession for a while, bnt it continued 
not long. 

Here, therefore, observe these four things. 

Obierv. 1. That the precious souls of the faithful are vesseli 
made only, or chiefly, to receive and preserve the presence of 
the Spirit and the grace of ChrisL 

Obierv, 2. That within these vessels there u an inward prin- 
ciple of grace and life. 

Ohterv. 3. There is a certain measure, degree, plenitude, or 
fullness of the Spirit of grace in the heart of the faithful, which 
the unsound, though most glorious professors of the gospel, fall 
short of. 

Obierv. 4. That the graces of the saints, wherewith their 
hearts by the Spirit arc filled, are constant, and of an everlasting 
and eternal nature. 

»The«e three last answer three questions. If any ask the dil^ 
ference between the virgins, the foolish want, and the wise han^fl 
an inward principle of the Spirit of life. If it be said, hyp9> | 
crites have an inward work, yet this inward principle is such m 
fullness of Spirit which they ever fall short of, and this will make 
them known for the present. If, again, it be said, that maoy 
flourish gloriously for a time, yet it is of an everlasting nature, 
and this will manifest them one from another in i' 
The first point, therefore, I will only touch on 




Skctiox II. 



i 



Doet. I. That the precious souls and hearts of all the faithful 
ftre veaseb made chiefly and only to receive and preserve the 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 263 

S|»rit and grace of Christy or ihe gracious presence of the 
Spirit of Ckrist. That, as it is with the souls of the wicked, 
thej are made onlj to hold Satan, sin, and wrath, and so fitted 
for destmcdon, so the souls of the saints are made and fitted 
oolj to receive and nourish the Spirit, grace, and love of Christ. 
That, as it is with princes, the best rooms are reserved only for 
them ; their attendEmts may come in and out to serve them, but 
it is their room, their lodging. So here, the hearts of the faith- 
ful, and the best rooms, best affections of it, are only to enter- 
tain the Lord and his graces and Spirit ; yet other things may 
come in and out as attendants to him, to serve him, but the 
rooms themselves are only for his proper use. 2 Tim. ii. 20, 21. 
The church is Grod's house. Now, there are many vessels, 
(many souls ;) some baser, of wood and earth, some of honor. 
What are these ? Am. *' If a man purge himself from these ; " 
for no man is bom with a next disposition to receive grace, as a 
vessel full of puddle water that must be first cast out Now, 
when this is done, he is a vessel meet for his Master's use, pre- 
pared, etc The best vessels abide in the house, not for their 
own or servants' use, but for the master's use only. And though 
the Spirit may withdraw for some time, and they be unable to 
do any good work, yet they are prepared for the Spirit, and so 
for eveiy good work ; and here is all the use of the vessel of 
honor. Hypocrites are vessels of pomp, and state, and orna- 
ment O, the brave church of Sardis ! the profound judgments, 
deep heads, eminent Christians ; but not vesseb of honor, be- 
cause not vesseb of use, only for their Master, only to receive 
the eternal anointing of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. If you 
would know the certainty of this more fully, 1. Gro and ask 
th^rnselves, Is it so or not ? l£ they be of age, and know them- 
selves, they will say, I am the Lord's only ; (Is. xliv. 4, 5,) 
**" When they spring up as willows by the watercourses ; one 
shall say, I am the Lord's." As an eminent light said, when 
dying, O Lord, I will be thine. Ask the world whose they are, 
and to what use and purpose they serve. They will answer, 
they are none of ours; and, therefore, (John xv. 19,) ^^the 
worid hates them." Ask the Lord himself; he will profess, 
though many wants and weaknesses in them, — nay, though 
sometimes they are weary and neglect him, fall and soil them- 
aelves, — yet, (Is. xliii. 21,) "This people have I formed for 
myself." Vessels formed and fitted of God only for his glory. 
Season 1. Because all the creatures in the world are theirs 
and servants to them, and, therefore, they are for the Lord only. 
1 Cor. iiL 21-23. If the more we took care for and set our 



Sfi4 THE FAIIABLE OP 

hearts upon ihe creature, if the more we were conversuit w-ff'* 
it, the more we should have and the better we should live. <?'' 
if they should not serve us, unless we did firei bow down oit 
knees lo wonhip ihem, and our Ijacks to bear them ; then, se*- 
ing the world lives by catcliing, we might tfaen disrobe and dii>- 
throne our souls, and care more for these thingB and leas for tlie 
Lord ; love these things more and the Lord leas ; but the Lord 
Jesus haviug taken all care for his people, and bearing more 
love to them, and having more care of them than themselres. 
and, therefore, having given all creatures in heaven, eea, and 
dry land to serve them, tliey ought to be and are only for hira. 
Hos. ii. 21, 23. When a man is the seed of Giod, and bom for 
him, now all creatures serve him; hence 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18. 
It is a prevailing motive with all the saints, we have a living 
God that gives us all things ; all creatures being dead, and not 
able of themselves to help us, therefore, tniet not on these things, 
but him only ; be not high-minded in these things, but magnify 
him only. We know how angry God was with BelshazEsr for 
profaning [he vessels of the Lonl's house in making them quaflf- 
ing-bow[g, and turning them to common use. When a man is 
brought to that misery that he has none, nor knows of none to 
be a friend lo take care or thought for him, none that loves him, 
then he shifts for himself, and becomes a servant But tfa 
that luiow, as women, lliat they have rich husbands to live 
they take care (1 Cor. vii. 34) how to please them; so hi 
Whut is the reason that men are mad foi- this world ? Beca 
they, poor creatures, have no friend, know no friend ; but 
have him and know him. John xvii. 2. The sainls are given 
Christ, Christ to them, and all the world put into Christ' 
for us, (for the creatures are not given to lis immediately to « 
own dispose, and hence we have not much of this world,) to wh 
eud? That so he might give eternal hfe begun here. This 
the only gill, and lost, and best, and worthy of himself, and ti 

Reason 2. In regard of that blessed liberty all the faithful s 
brought into ; for what is a Christian liberty ? Is it to ser 
men ? No. 1 Cor. vii. 23. Therefore, serve not yourselvi 
Is it, then, to serve your own lust ? No. Rom. vi. 22, " Yt 
are made free from sin and servants unto God." Is it, then, 
serve any creature out of yourselves? No. Gal. iv. I. T! 
world is yours already, (1 Cor. iii. 21, 22,) given to you, itoag 
for you ; spend not, therefore, one groat more to purchase it, b 
keep those atteetious and hearts for the Lord, mueh less imprit 
not and imbondnge not yourselves for it, A Christian' 





vbich God crawns tiim wilU above all [be princes of the world, 
to be only ibr the Lord, wbicTi liberty all creatures groan lo 
in. Rom. viii. 21, 22. To be for <5od and a lust, for Christ 
and this world, it is a shameful bondage, and most lamentable, 
and you are not at liberty yet, if not only for the Lord. When 
the children of kings and peers, of princeH, shall be made to 
ae at the cull of their grooma and kitchen boys, if ever they 
stood before the face of princes, they will count this a heavy 
thralldom and bondage ; bo, if ever yon stood before the God of 
the whole earth, you will account it a heavy bondage t« have 
a heart sometime for and sometime not for the Lord. Is not 
this liberty ? No ; but to have a heart only determined to the 
Iiord ; as it is in angels, and in the man Clirist Jesus. Verily, 
look as the Lord leaves his people for a time to their liberty in 
, 80 that then- hearts are determined only lo sin, that they are 
fit only to receive the suggcatioDs and pleasures of it, but At to 
snch the Lord's Spirit ; so the Lord Jesus making himself and 
_ tee more aweet than their lusts, their hearts are determined 
only for him, their vessels are only for bis oil. Rom. vi. 19. 
The liberty of will that Armininns plead for is nothing hat tGe" 
bypocriay of a false heart, whose heart being touched partly with 
God and partly with the creature, hence is always falling from 
one lo llie other. James i., " Double-minded men." But the 
s^ta are determined unio one, and then made perfect in one. 

Reruott 3. Id regard of the fullness and all-sufficiency of the 
Spirit of grace, which their hearts are made fit vessels to receive, 
and do receive; they finding enough there, God rescrveii thero, 
and they reserve themselves, only for the receiving of ibis ; (John 
vL 680 " Will you depart ? Lord, to whom shall we go ? Thou 
hast Uie words of life ; " and so the Spirit of life, that have 
quickened our hearts when dead, that do put fresh life to us 
vhen dying, that comfort our hearts when sorrowing. Here is 
the life, glory, the life of Christ, the Ufe of God. Other things 
do but dead our hearts, thou hast wonis of life : (John iv. 14,) 
" The water that I shall give," 1. Be that which shall quench all 
bis thirst lo other things ; so that, though a man wants them, yet 
his stomach is gone, which the damned shall find otherwise. 
S> A well of water in him, ever near him ; men have their ac- 
commodations far oS', but this is in him. Your hearts within are 
troubled, perplexed, and behold this is in you. 3. Springing up, 
continually increasing ; for to have a good thing, and not to be 
BatisUed in our desires with it, what is it but a misery P Hence 
ft springs up unto everlasting life, which is the fourth, viz., 
The continuance of it ; this will be here till my mortality is swal- 
»0L. XL 23 



p 



i 



t 



lowed up of life. Like a leaking ship, that (akes in water b^ 
little and little, till at last it is awalloweii up in the sea. 

Section III. 
Uie 1. Hence we may see the reason why the Lord doth not 
abundantly reveal and communicate himself to the Boula of many 
men. What is the matter? Is it because they find no want of 
his Spirit, and life, and grace, and peace, and glory ? Yes, they 
do, and hence express their wants lo men, and complun of'their 
wants to God. Is it for this that Christ has not wherewithal 7 
Yes, ho has receiyed the Spirit without measure, (John iii. 34,) 
and fountains alway run, though men seldom drink. What, then, 
is it because they bring not Ifaeir hearts, hold not their vessels, 
nnder the Lord's horn of oil f Yes, that they doj but their 
vessels are naught ; they are not only for him ; they feel their 
1 want of grace and Christ, but not only or chiefly of this. Spe- 
I cial grace shall never be poured into a common vessel, a common 
1 heart, that lies in common for God, and lust, and world, too. 
The honor, peace, life, gain, cf a God are sweet and precious. 
"' Lord, ever give me that water to drink." But you have fiva 
husbands, and seek not thb only. Hence, if the Lord denies 
you, you can be content, because you have something else to fill 
r vessels ; if the Lord gives, you undervalue it, and grow 
'se ; and the very rising of that common grace you have is 
the beginning of your apostasy and setting off from God. And 
hence no wonder why you pray, but never have, (James i. 6, 7 ;) 
want and crave, but never find ; your vessel ie naught, 
I though the Lord is good. It is a black mark that thou art in 
I bondage lo the creature, and didst never know what the liberty, 
n the glorious liberty of a son means. And it is a most 
I grievous bondage to be half unloosed, and jet lo be in bonds. 
And I assure you, if you knew the gift of God, if ever you 
tasted how sweet the Lord is, this is the only thing your souls 
will cry for ; that when you come to ask, and the liord saith. 
What would you have ? O, ihe Spirit of life ! 0, the anoinling 
of my blessed head ! And what else ? It only. This is it my 
vessel is made to hold. I am not made for my lust, nor sins, nor 
world. I would I had a bigger vessel, a larger heart to receive 
thy grace only. I confess, a gracious heart may, for a time, ba 
carried too violently after other things, and yet seek the Lord, 
too, as Solomon. Eccles. ii. But after it knows Christ better, it 
is more reserved now for him, as Gen. xsxix. 3-6. Joseph's 
muter for a time kept things in his own hand ; bat when he . 



eph-.^ 
3aa«H 



I Jhjtwd was with Josepli, and that he was prosperona and 
I VM^ then he made him overseer, and he knew not. it is said, 
1 «U)ke had, save onl^ the bread that lie did eat So it is in our 
fatftlu As the poor woman that knew the Mcse^iuh, she leaves 
Iwr vessel, her water-pol, with him, and now would have all the 
oiv to come and see, and believe in him, and depend on him only, 
tnut to him only, etc. Dost, therefore, seek, and find not ? 
Ha^t been long waiting, and feelest not ? And thou wonderest 
at il ! Others comforted and I not I Search if this be not the 
cause ; it may be thy heart is not set only for this, but on thy 
back, belly, loU, ease, what shall I eat, drink, etc. As some 
women, because God does not feed so liberally their sweet tooth, 
their Lickerish longings, build them ceiled houses, measure their 
present condition according to their sinful humor ; nothing con 
please them, neither husband, servants, ministers, nor God's or- 
dinances. Is this a vessel for the Lord and his grace only ? 
Tou must, you will have a longer coat than yon can well wear ; 
liotd here. Never think to have one prayer answered. If this 
night thy day of misery should come, cry thou mayst, but no 
God to hear thee or help thee. 0, a little oil, now a Utile grace, 
now a little mercy. Lord, now. 0, no ; you have no vessel to 
bold it. But, O, bless the Lord, you know it. Others, it 
may be, are not so full of these sores of impatiency ; but you 
pray for God and grace, and have it noL Why so? These 
are not the things that you are only set for. Why? Because 
joa ore content without them. I am not, you will eay ; but you 
are, for you do not lament daily after the Lord for these things 
ooly. That which only satisfies, that thy heart is not at rest till 
it find. I hope I may have help fur all this. No, saith James, 
think not so. 0, therefore, bless the Lord 1 You know what 
' hurts you ; saints have hurts tlius i but they purge themselves, 
Mxl hence are blessed vessels still. When Moses was begging 
for larael, " Mine angel," saith God, " shall go with you ; " I will 
Bot. No; thou only, "else let us die here." Exod. xxxiii. 
Tbi< prayer wins the field and wears the garland. The evils of 
Ibe chardies are tnany, an hour of temptation is coming on ; scan- ' 
dab are like to be great ; the subtleties of enemies many. Now, 
we pray, and yet lliese have come, and we fear they will come. 
O beloved, go to the I^rd, and plead with him only for this ; 
j and when thou canst procure nothing for thyself, yet let it fare 
I well with Sion; and tliis only I must have, (Ps. txvii. 4,) "One 
I thing I have de:^!re<l." You shall have it then, else not.^' 

iJu 3. See the great sin of those that lose their life, ]freserTe 
01 Uie Spirit when he comes to them in ordinances. You are 



i 



TesBela only made for the LorJ, and will you lose tliat which I 
drojw in ? There are no olhera can receive him, (John xiv. 
and when he comes to you, do you tliua requite him? etc. 



I 



CHAPTER XIX. 



Section I. 



1 



Docl. 2. That within these vessels is an inward prinriple of 
life and grace. Or, the burning, ehining profession of aH the 
faithful, it proceedeth from an inward principle of the Spirit of 
grace, by the means of which their lamp bums snd their profes- 
sion ehineit. 

For this I understand by oil in the vessel, the Spirit of Jesus, 
not out of ua, but received in us ; not coming only upon us, for 
80 ho may on foolish virgins by Balaamitbh ravishiuents, and 
hypocritical pangs, and land-flood affections ; but abiding in ui, 
and that not as it doth in hypocrites, but oa it is in Christ Jesus, 
without measure, both Spirit and graces, so it abides in us in 
jBieasurc ; in bim as the fountain, in us as the vessels, irom 
fwhoae fullness we receive the same. So that/by oil is not meant 
I the external principle of all life, the Lord Jesus having Spirit 
and grace enough, but keeping our hearts empty of it. But the 
Lord Jesus in us, who is not in us but by hu Spirit, even tli^'j 
. Spirit of life, from whence all our actions spring, and frooK^ J 
\ wh ich oil our lamp burns. / This, therefore, I say, the professio 
ot the faithful springs not from outward motives or principles at 
motion, as (he actions of hypocrites, sometimes sudden praiw 
sometimes gain, sometimes fears, sometimes fleslily hopes, i 
times sudden conceit and fancy, Komelimes irruption and rus 
of the Spirit upon them, but there is a spring within, there is i 
life within, tliere is oil in the vessel to fill the lamp, and so heno 
it burns ; (Eph. H. 1,) " Ton hath he quickened who were dead li 
sins ; " i. e,, you were held aa fast under the power of your s 
as a dead man is under the bonds of death ; but now, in I 
room of that death, there is the Spirit of life and the life of ll 
rBpirit. Now, life is an inward principle of motion of any thin 
un its own place; as the sun, and trees, and grass, and < 
You may l^e a alone, or a millstone, or wheel, and move i 
they have no life, because this is not from an inward principtad 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 

■6 liypocrites may be acted and moved by ihe great power of ■' . 
the Spirit in an ordinance, yet not living, but dead still. J ohn I ' 
iv. li; the water — which is the Spirit — "is a spring of living 
water in him." Cistema may have water in them, but no spring 
that is running winter and summer. 1 John iii. 9. This ia called 
the seed remaining in him, which is that new creation, new 
birth, which the verse itself eipounds, so that he can not sin ; 
it is against hia nature, now he can not be a sin-maker. Balaam 
could not curse the people of God, and many can not do as otiicrs 
do. Wliy ? is it because they are bom of God ? No ; but from 
Borne other respects, and hence (Matt. xiii. 31) the stony ground 
fell away, because they had not the root within. This is called 
the inner man, Ihe good treasure of the heart, opposite to the 
evil treasure of the heart of a wicked man. Now, as an evil 
man acts not only from Satan, llie evil spirit, but the inward 
power of lust, fio the soiiils. Matt. icii. 35. And here I intend 
not to show what this inward principle is particularly, for that I 
reserve to the two last points ; yet, lest any should stumble, let 
me speak to two sorts. 

I. Know some of you, that there are not only external actings 
of the Spirit from whence we act, but a new nature in the 
s»nl8. 

3. Let others know, 1. That as before the Lord calls wc arc 
dead, so after we are alive this inward principle k not perfect 
here. Hence actions sometimes eease, and when tiey do not, 
yet are corrupted, as lata prtndpia act, but never err in their act ; 
[ hence have need of pardon from, and acceptance in, the Lord 
~. Tliat this is not in us as in Adam, who did not need 
e borrow life of another, but it stands in daily need of the Lord 
esuB ; and hence this inward principle acta, but it is by faith, 

e operations ef which are the wagons to victual the camp con- 
bnally, especially in time of need, and which is part of this in- 

ird principle ; and hence, (1 Pet. i. 5,) " Ton are kept by 
r and faith ; " i. e., your souls, graces, lives, are kept by the 
Ipirit, but through faith in us, " to salvation." 

t me, thepetbi^, prove these three things to you for ^eaiag*! 
■ft point : — \ 

1. That the Spirit of the Lord Jesus is in the souls of the 
■ 'ihfuL I 

S. That there is a principle of created graces, or the life of 
' e Spirit in them. 1 

S- That, from this principle of the Spirit dispensing himself 
J hia grace«i our lamp bums, our acts of profession spring nod] 

* e forth. 



270 THE PASABLB OP 

/Vrvf. That the Spirit of Jesus is in the souls of the faithful ^ 
O John ii. 27.) ^ The anoiDting teacheth 700 all things." Baam^ 
viii. 11, ^ The Spirit that raised np Jesos Christ from the deac/ 
dwells in us" The manner of his heing in ns I intend not to 
meddle with, unless I saw more caose. I do heliere the iw^wftfi^r 
of his abiding in us, and his nearness to all the saints, when seen 
of us, maj astonish our own spirits, and shall one day confimnd 
all the worid ; only know, as the martyr said, ^ He is come, he 
is come." The spirit of the world and Satan is cast out, (1 Cor. 
ii. 1 2.) and in room of them enters the Spirit of God. 

Secondly, That the Spirit so is in the faithful, as that there is 
a principle of created graces in them, or an inward principle of 
life and grace. Not that these alone make this inward principle, 
but the Spirit in us working of them, working by them. And 
truly it is a sad thing if the proving of such a principle shall be 
an attributing too much to grace in us. 

1. Therefore, to deny this is to deny Christ to be our sanctifi- 
cation ; for beside the passive obedience of Christ, we are justi- 
fied by his active obedience also ; i. e., his inward conformity to 
the law and his external obedience to the law. So that graces 
as they are in Christ become our justification, and hence he is 
said to be " our righteousness." No man can stand before God 
but by perfect holiness, but by doing whatever the law requires, 
and continuing so to do ; this is not in us, this is in Christ ; this, 
as it is in Christ, is properly our righteousness or justification. 
Now, what is our sanctification ? If not graces in Christ, then 
graces received from Christ Jesus, which is this inward princi- 
ple I now speak of; and, therefore, to deny this is no less 
than to deny Christ is our sanctification ; but Paul saith, " The 
Lord sanctify you in soul, and body, and spirit." 1 Thess. v. 23. 
And if it were so, a man may have a heart unsanctified and 
Christ too. 

2. If there should not be those graces, then a Christian was 
not lH)und to add one grace to another, but then the apostle's pre- 
C('])t should be broken ; (2 Pet. i. 7, 8,) and so a Christian could 
not grow in grace, for gnices are perfect in Christ; and the 
Spirit does not grow in gnico, and the immediate operations of 
the Spirit increasing in us are not properly graces, no more than 
the act of seeing is the eye, no more than giving goods to be 
burned is lovo. 

i^. TluMi we an* not to pray for graces, if there be no such 
thing to be found in the heart of saints ; but (Ps. Ii. 10,) David 
prays, ** Cn»ate in me a clt»an heart : *' now, if it l>e a thing cre- 
atetl in me, it is not the Spirit only in me, for that can not be 




JBltB 

Vtar I 

■ Ueaa 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 271 

led. I doubt not but Dnvid hod a clean heart, but be fell in 
: and, therefore, look as there needs a creating power to 
e, 80 there is a creating power to restore us again to what 
B^ lost. 

4. Then the saints haye none of tlieir sins mottified ; for it is 
m with the eje, being made lo see, if sight goes out, darkness 

8 in, and if that be subdued, sight is renewed. So the soul 
being made only for God, and to bear bis image, blot out that 
darkness and sin comes in ; cast out sin, the I^ord and his image 
and graces tome in. If, therefoi^, tbere be no graces in the 
saints then no sin mortified ; irulj, if so, then the end of Christ's 
coming and dying is quite abolished, 1 John iii. 8, anil Rom. 
Ti. 2, 3. 

5, Then the IiOrd should be false in his covenant, and break 
oath and be forsworn ; for, (Jer. xxxi. 32,) "I will write my law 
in their hearts." Luke i. 73, 74. So that if you will not believe 
man, yet believe God ; and if jou will not believe his word, yet 
his oath. 0, but many good CbrLstians ftnd no sueh thing. But 
is it BO, as they find it indeed? Either, then, they are no Chria- 
"ians, or ebe the Lord is forsworn. 

Thirdly. That by the inward principle of Spirit and graces, 
or lamp bums and shines, our actions issue. The Spirit ena- 
bles a man to know, and hence the net flows, be doth know the 
Lord. The Spirit enables inwardly for lo love the Lord, and 
hence it doth love him. That, as Chi-ist saith, ■' A good tree 
brings forth good Iruit," from an inward sap received from the 
I soot, and by abiding on the root; so here. 

1. Those that are renewed to Adam's im^e in their measure, 
kftve, according to that measure, power lo act ; or in those graces 
is power to act, for he had power so lo do. Every ereii- 
n the world had a law of nature to carry them to (heir end, » 
o were carried to iL But Adam had a law of divinity, 
(tereby he, being a cause by counsel, was enabled by God to 
pAury himself toward his end. Now, we ore renewed to that 
image in parti {Eph. iv. 24;) I know there is difference be- 
tween Adam's power to act. which had no faith, and ours, that 
has. And do not tliink that this doih advance natore and the 
power of man no more than the ezceiition of the promise of the 
covenant of grace doth destroy grace and advance nature. For 
the writing again the law in our hearts is that which this cove- 
jjant promiseth ; nay, this doth honor the riche* of gr.ice, that a 
^_-man being under the power of sin, and can not get deliv 
^^Ute Lord should now give a bumble, conquering spirit ; 
^^K precious heart but will be tliankful for it. 



87S THE PAHASLE OF 



I 



I 



! grawB in us are receiTed from the Lord Jems 
his fullncsa. John i. 16. Now, the graces in Christ are not dead, 
but living ; arc not weak, but powerful; the Spirit of grace is 
now triumphiDg in him, it is so in us only ; it is in him in the 
highest degree,' in us in a lower. And therein cousists our like- 
ness to Christ. 2 Cor. iii. 18. And to deny this is to deface the 
image of the Lord Jesus. Without Christ a Christian can do 
nolbingi but how doth Christ do all by the Spirit without graces? 
(I speak not of conversion where it is without graces as cftuses.) 
No, truly ; as he acts, so we act in pari. Unless any will say. 
We have not received grace for grace, or are in no measure like 
the image of Christ. 

S. If the first Adam has conveyed to all his members a power 
of corruption, then the second Adam also a power of godliness 
contrary to that; (2 Tim, iii. 5 ;) yet in measure still, so as the 
apostle sailh, *' We can do nothing against the truth, but far the 

■ truth." 2 Cor. xiii. 8. 

Queit, But what measure of power is it ? 
Ans. I know no man that can, from any ground, limit the 
measure of it. For it may be in some men in greater power, in 
some men in lees ; in the name man, at one lime, in a greater 
measure, at another time less. If one ask of trees, what meas- 
ure of fruit ihey can bring forth, we can not tell, because some- 
time more, eometime less ; and the same tree more one year 
than another, and more at one time of the year than another; 
for they have their winter season. Only this, whereas before 
conversion he is stark dead to act, now he is alive, and is not 
dead. And if a man should, after conversion, be but in the 
next disposition to receive grace, then how could one Christian 
be more grown and stronger in grace in his inner man than an- 

. other? I know not any to question this, only I speak it to cut • 
off their carnal hopes, tbat think Christ ia theirs, when they hara I 
nothing, can do nothing, and elightly say, lie must do all ; I can d 
not. I tell you the saints can; they can not but love the Lord, J 
and choose the Lord, etc. J 

r~ ObjeH. I. But must not a Christian deny himself, and alws^fl 
go to Christ for power to do, and so be humble and empty ? 

Ann. 1. You must,because this is the means to " 
hut this does not argue you have no power at all. 
pray for his " daily bread," much more for " daily grace ; ' 
does this argue a man has no bread in his house ? No ; this i 
tlie means to have it continued and blessed. Easily can the Lo 
. take away bread, or the slaif of bread. Graces eslinguish t 
\ faith, but help iU 




THE TE.V VIRGINS. 273 



2. A Christian can do no dutj perfectlj, hence must repair to 
Christ lo help him to do every duty Letter ; hence, though he 
must use that power he has, and do what be can, yet he must not 
coDlent himself with what lie has, but seek for more ; and what 
a sweet life is Ihb I ^Vhat honor would here come in ? God 
lets in B new light into my mind, now I may and must see his 
truth; I saw it yesterday, but I may and must go to Christ to 
do it better ; I must not quench the spirit of prayer, but carry 
the key with me, and next day pra,y better. And thus the soul 
is thankful for what it has, and emptying itself notwithstanding 
that, and daily, then, receiving from Christ. And I believe 
many Christians fail here. Aa in the body meat feeds and 
etrengthens life, so I cnn not live without Christ. 

Object. 2. But does not this make a mnn trust to graces ? 

Aru. To act from thciu is not to trust t(] them, no more than 
for a diligent hand to trust to his diligence when he acts dili- 
gently that so he may be rich, 

Objecl. 3. But does not this dishonor grace to do all by the 
power of it ? 

Aiu, Then the saints in heaven that are made perfectly like 
Christ, and that love the Lord perfectly, should not honor grace 
by this means, when as this is it that makes them honor it most 
of alL As David, Lord, what am I, and my people, that we 
ihould offer willingly ? so here. 



Section II. 
Vie 1. See, hence, what cause of thankfulness to all the peo- 
ple of God that the Lord should make their souls the vessels 
(which he might easily and justly have dashed in pieces) to re- 
ceive and presen-c this eternal anointing. I do believe there is 
no man that knows the bitterness of sin, the plague of his own 
heart, but when he sees Christ is his, yet it makes him mourn 
ihat there should be so little suitableness between the Lord and 
him, so little likeness between his life and Christ's; what though 
the Lord love me, and yet my heart weary of him ? what though 
the Lord bless me, and my heart abuse him ? and hence Uiis 
makes it thankful. Rom. vii. 24, 25. This is so far fi-om dis- 
honoring grace, as that the apostle makes this the matter of ad- 
miration of God's grace ; (Eph. iL 3, A,) " God, who is rich in 
mercy, when dead in sins, has quickened us." Not only quick- 

Ked our bead, (tor hence is cause of eternal praise,) but us ; 
d hence he has us set up " in heavenly places in him." This 



I 



274 the: parable op 

that the Lord aliould help when lUl creatures left us is 
ful ; but that it should bu with such a life, even the life of Chi 
Jesus himstif ; for the same Spirit that raised him from the 
dwells ia us. 1 Pet. v. I. This is merc^, indeed ; that he should 
not only die for us, and live in heaven for us, but that he ehoald 
love'so dearly as to come and live in us ; that, when our «iu 
hod slain him, he should not only come and dwell in our houses, 
nor only lay hia bead in our bosom, but live in our hearts, when 
he finds euch poor welcome and ill entertainment at our handfc 
I tell you this is wonderful, to make his habitation in us, tha^ 
before we go to hve with him, he should live in us; let them 
that never knew what this meant refutte to be thankful, but if 
you find it so, forget not this love ; (John xiv. 17,) *' I will send 
the Spirit, whom the world can not receive, because it knows hin 
not." The Lord sends the Spirit in common graces, and the 
world does receive that also in prophetical and miracnlous gift% , 
and it does receive that ; but this Spirit which God pours on the 
thirsty, this Spirit with r^hich God fills the empty, they can not 
receive this. that you should have it, when as Ihey know 
it notl 

1. Hence, therefore, take heed of not owning the Spirit is 
this his presence. Do you thus requite the Lord, O unthankfnl 
world ; not so much as to own the presence of such a friend^ 
neither in yourselves, nor yet in others? How like the world ia 
it to think that there is no such thing ! 

2. Take heed, therefore, of not esteeming highly of it. If 
ever God broke ihy heart, thou wilt esteem this life, fhb princi- 
ple, as the greatest piece of love ; and say. Lord, I shall account 
this as the greatest part of love in the world ; (Fs. cxix. 68,) 
" Thou art good ; O, teach me thy statutes." Now, to undervaltra 
this, and to account it common, and hence as no sign of love, it 
is a part of unthonkfulness. 

3. Take heed of imprisoning the Spirit of grace, common tmtlb 
Bom. i. IS. It were fearful to imprison and silence that, miuA 
more this. It was the complaint of the church in those dny^ 
"None stirs up himself." Is. Ixiv. 7. What strength the Lord.' 
gives, let me nse ; what I want, the Lord has enough to help 
withal ; put it to exercise, or else afBiction will. 

4. Take heed of weakening and enfeebling this principle ; Hie 
church of Sardis' thuigs were ready to die in it ; you should 
strengthen this inner man, not weaken it, either by not feeding 
it with Christ, or wounding it with known sin ogainxt CbrisL 
Therefore, let all the churclies know this, and take heed that 

- do not refuse to own this : where else will you make the diffe 



I 






THE TEN VniGINS. 



275 



«ce between men, that either choruhes may discern them, or 
JOB maj (liacem them, and so have peace yourselves P 

Hence see the reawD of that inward hypocrisy that is in 
nicD** hearts, to that the best profession of many a man is but a 
^i.'heme, an image, a very craA, a very artiAeial form ; all the 
4uuca are lair wilhout, but sapless, lifelesa within ; here is the 
rraAon, they have no inward principle of life, or if they do go 
to Christ, they have no such principle within them to carry them 
to him, »o as to receive life from him ; and hence confess sin i 
WTllioat sorrow or sbame, petition without Iliirsting, live wilhout 
love, do wilhout life, because there is no spring, but a dry heart 
within ; and hence they roust do duty, but they must make dead 
work of it, and hence all is but an appearance, and al Iwst but a 
would be. This Is, in a great measure, in saints, when the 
spirit wiibin is quenched, but it is in full age and strength in 
hypocritical hearts ; (Jer, iv, 14,) when the profession of Judah 
waa great, and the prophets hod scarce any thing to say agfunst 
them for outside, " O Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wicked- 
neas ; " there thy woe lies, it enters ts the very heart ; so 
Christ, " How can he that is evil bring forth good fruit ? " And 
this is that which may make men mourn : if I forsake all pro- 
feuioD, I shame myself before men ; if not, I must blaspheme 
the Lord's name, and play the hypocrite before the Lord. Uatt. 
xiL 33-35.^ 

Section IU. 

Cm 3. To take heed of denying the grace of God, or this 
inward principle, in whole or in part; for this inward principle 
being the life of Christ In us, to deny this is to deny Christ, and 
to take away his life ; and such the Lord will deny before his 
angels another day : when lliey shall say, '' Have we not eat 
and dnmk in tliy presence ? " he shall answer, " I never knew 
Tou." I shall, therefore, direct my speech to four sorts, 

FirtLiTo those that deny created graces in the saints peculiwj 
In them only. It is said there are none such in the country ; if I 
there are not, it may be there have been, and it may be will be; 
and, therefore, I wiU speak ; for I believe it is H delusion d^sged I 
and hatched out of the steam of the lowest sink of hoU ;j apd, [ 
therefore, that all may take heed of the evil of it, I wiUf firoT* 
abow the evil of it, then the causes that do beget iL 

]. The evils of this delusion are these : — 

I. It settles and fastens a man under the power of nil his sm, 
and yet with a quiet conscience, and yet to keep his Clirist, toor 
ll tnuwxnds my capad^ from whatever I have read, or have 




Itfaflrffl 



Ueard, or have felt, or can imagine, liow the power of ^in ean be 
t&kcn away, but where the Spirit iDfu^elh the conlrar^- graces 
Kii eiuply bouse, anept and gamiahcd with common gifts, i 
but a lilting house for Satao to return into ; say, therefort^ ■ 
man may have no such graces, and j'et have Christ, and tlu 
in Christ, you slake this man down under his sin, and make t] 
membi^r of Salan a member of Christ Jesus ; and, upon thb 
ground, all churches in th(! land may be forced in conscience to 
take in all profane niemberB, if they plead Christ, and their 
allness in him. 

2. This blurs all the glory of a Christian, or at least tlw 
greatest part of it ; for what is the glory of a saint ? It is t* 
like Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, to bear his image befUM 
God and men. As to see a man with a swine's face would to 
the sbnme of a man, to see a Christian wiiU Satan's image il 
the shame of a Christian ; but to be like our head, this is ottt 
glory, though it be in sufferings, (2 Cor. iii. 18,) heavenly, hum- 
ble, compassionate, holy, as he was ; and hence, when God hi 
a mind to make churches or Christians base in the eyes of tl 
world, he will withdraw here ; and when he intends to draw ll 
world after him, he will glorify it with his glory. Is. Ix. 6, 7. 

3, It cuts off a Christian irom alt hope of glory : how maMF 
be there that scramble and catch nt Christ, and every one Etu1% 
He is mine ; the proud man saith. He is mine, and hopes noW 
verily to be saved, hut that hope is in vain ; lliey have Christ ODt 
of them, but where is Christ in them ? The life of Christ, oaA 
the Spirit of Christ ? (Col. i. 27,) " Christ in you, the hope at. 
glory." 

i. Give me but one place in all the book of God, i 
blessedness is bestowed upon or conveyed unio anv. or proJ 
but to such as have these graces ; " Blessed if 
Lord, and greatly delightelh," etc. Ps. cxii, 
no sucli thing, let any man expect it il' be ca 

U. The causes. 

1. A magnifying Christ, and making him our eanctificatkd^ 

when as you heard the last day, this is to deny bira to be oat 

t~8hnclification. He becomes our righteousness by imputation of J 

Ibis holiness, and our sanctifi cation by infusing of il. Nay, hence 

^"man deprives himself of all gooil in the Lord Jesus, when a 

man denies all grace in himself, and then Hies for sanctuary unto 

Jesus Christ ; (1 John i. G, 7,) " If we say we have fellowship 

with him, and walk in darkness, we lie," etc-. And hence U_ 

seems they denied men to have sin, (ver. 8,) boasting of fellt 

ship with Christ. Ver. 6. 



If there I 




THE TEN VIIIGISS. 2l i 

?- Because there are (say men) only immediate at-linga of 

^'i Spirit. If this be bo, then there is seeing Jti a Christian 

"iiliaui an eye, and hcariog nitliout an ear, aixl knowing Christ 

*iilioui an UDiierstADding, and loving without love, and living 

villunt life, and feeding and eating without a mouth ; and then, 

■hoi these actings are over, a Christian is like another man ; 

'here is no lavr remains written on hia heart, and so Christ 

itiould enter into his saints, like Satan into the serpent, who only 

icu [he serpent, and when that is dotic, he remains a aerpeiiL 

a^in. Know it, the Lord Jesus his greatest work is not only tol 

chiiDge the acts, but to change the heart ; not only to pat newi 

actions, but a new nature into men. J 

S. Because men know not the Spirit, never felt the presence. 

Bur power, nor comfort of it themseWea ; and hence men do as 

Mtme coiiniries, because tliemselves are black, they paint the 

deril white; (John liv. 17,) " The world can not receive, be- 

tause it knows him not." Give me any Christian living that 

ever found the sweetness of it, but his longings were to have 

more of that grace, to " forgot things behind, and reach to things 

before, even to the resurrection of the dead," whom 1 beheve 

Done will say want all habiid of grace. I look upon the opinion 

■s coming with a curse from God. A man bath been a dry pro- 

le«Mr long, conscience s^tli, there is no grace in the heart, and 

licnce b troubled ; true, saith he, there is none in saints, it ia in 

Christ, and there he cateheth and deceives himself. 

Sectnuiljf. Those that do acknowledge tliem, but any power or 
kctivity in them they deny ; they say there is oil, indeed, in the 
TeMel, but it helps not, it is no means to make the lamp to bum 
or shine ; there is the life of Christ, but it is a dead life ; they 
oJl them the graces of Christ, but they are but fruitless graces. 
I confess it, if you consider them without ihe Spirit of Christ, 
they ftre no true graces, much less active or living ones ; but 
oooiuder them thus : they have a power, as take the least grain 
of corn, there is a growing power in it, and fructifying too in it, 
by dying first, though it actually doth not fructify presently, and 
though there must be rain, and sun must shine aim, and a provi- 
Anoe accompanying of it ; so it is in tlie graces of saints. And 
fcenoe it is called a "Jaw of the mind;" there is a power of a 
hw, OS of sin ; and hence, as Christ grew in wisdom and stature, 
•o all the members of Christ arc like unto him. 
I. The evil of this. 

1. ITiii abates of the excellency of grace, as from a jewel lo 
take away the operative virtue of it. For it is not like Christ's 
Mw, which b strong through God, not weak i which is living, 
vot. U. 24 



L 



I 



I 



278 1 

not dead. This ia not like the glorious graces of saints trininjA- 
ing. This makea the graces of saints of less excellency tliiu 
common graces ; comnioD grace will make a mac ride over mmj 
B sin, and run exceeding fast, though he fall at Inst. A tata 
that hath been angry, it will make him very quiet and still; md 
is there no more power in this ? 

2. This will make a man content himself with a bare form, 
willi a false coQ&dence, if this be true. For take a man that 
hatli been long seeking to get Btrength ag^nst a vile heart, aod 
he finds none i there is no power of heavenlincss, he is earthy; 
no meekness, he is proud : I would say to him, Do you ever 
think to get any power of meekness, love, faith, etc ? You shall 
never do it, never have it here ; all your strength is immediately 
from Clirist ; look for it there ; in conscience a man must cease 
, tliere. And it is certain all our strength is in and from the 
' Lord ; but it is dispensed mediately ; (Eph. iji. 16,) Paul prAy> 
" he may be strengthened with might in the inner man." Or, 
thug, a man may not pray for strength of grace, which Paul 
refused not. 

8. Then the saints, if they be asked whether they believe <w 
can love the Lord Jesus, l:ieir answer must be, No, I have no 
power to love nor believe ; and then Peter did ill to answer bo^ 
" Lord, thou knowest thut I love thee." Then, Paul to eajfi 
" We can do nothing but for the truth." Then, that marlyiv. 
that to them that said, " The Lord strengthen you ;" Yes, saith> 
he, the Lord doth. I know, if the Lord witlidraw hie Spirit, KQ 
are gone, as Adam ; but is there not the immutable assistance of 
it? Is there not the promise, " I will never leave thee," tbon^ 
sometimes weaker, sometimes stronger ? 

4. This will make a Christian hide and not improve his ta]^ I 
entfl i he has grace, but no power to put it forth. Then, suppose 
God gives power to see truth one day, I must not see it with 
this eye the next ; but look up to Christ, and say, 1 can not see 
at all. 

IL Causes of tliia. 

1. In opposing the outward principle of life, or first prindplqijl 
and this second, I must live on Christ ; hence I must not, I havtn 
no power to act myself, in any measure, because all my strengtan 
is in him. When, if this were true, a man might argue, bccaurtfl 
all grace is originally in Christ, hence no grace in me, becaiia 
all glory is in Christ originally ; heniio no glory slinll be c 
veyed to me. No, this scripture reconciles these : " Because ] 
live, therefore you aliall live also." John xiv. 19. 
Christ is strong, Lence he will make us strong in the 



THE TEN VlHGItJS. 279 

and not in ibe spirit only ; because Clirist is glorious, hence we 
BTC predestinated " to be made like unto Iiim." Because all sup 
lift! in ihe root, to say. therefore, tliere is no sap or power in the 
bnioch to fructify, this is false. 

i. The hj-pocritical activity of false professors, who, having 
BO ipring to feed their nells, no Christ, nor bucket to draw from 
bim, hence are their own men, and set up for themselves, till 
ttiey turn bankrupts. And, now, because a Pharisee is so active 
u to go through sea and land to make a proselyte, therefore 
Pkul has DO activity of grace of Christ in him to go from land 
l« sea to moke Christians. 

3. Sloth. A man sets upon a duty ; and, now, because he can 
but do it easily nor quickly, he can not do it at all. A man 
would have grace aetiTe without means ; and God will not help 
ID that way ; aad hence many Christians can not cleave to 
Christ by love or desire ; no, so long as they pore upon their 
Mtate, no encoumgement, but turn the mind, and consider well 
of the love and glory of Christ, then with Paul, (2 Cor. v. 14,) 
" Christ's love constraiueth." 

4. Judging that to be the power of grace at all limes, which 
is St sometimes ; & man has given special occasion for the Lord 
to leave liim, as the camp in Joshua's time, (Josh, vii.,) and he 
thinks there is no more power at any time in any man. For 
then a man sees all the world can nut help, when if Achan were 
removed, the Spirit of the Lord would return again. 

', That hereby a man may have his sins without trouble ; for 
aa bas been troubled, and can not get power, now he hears 
there b no such power to be expected, he looks to Christ, and if 
power come, well, if not, saith he, it is not my fault. 

Thirdty. Those that deny the evidence of it, the evil of which 
apprehension I conceive to be no less than taking away that 
Yhkli is the chief, if not only difference between hypocrites and 
Mints in virgin churches ; for so it is made here. A man saith, 
I have Christ, and so have not ihey. I a^k. Where is the Spirit ? 
Ton have the deed, where is the seal? You have the testator, 
vliere i> the executor, (he spirit in you ? Tes, I have it ; it has 
witnessed Christ b mine. 

Ant. It has witnessed, but what has it wrought ? Where ia 
Ibe power of his death killing thy lusts ? Where ia the life of 
the Spirit of Jesus in you ? Wliere is the oil in your vessel ? 
Truly, I look for the bridegroom, but I regard not that, neither 
■re others to regard it in way of evidence. Then, I say, the 
eliief eridence is destroyed in the churches. I have known many 
that had assuraocee, yet never saw them prove right, till it 



L 



J 



I 



a though it waa buildiag on works ? In s 



■eral t 



1 they are 



n the truth, and to fall 
jen there bo tliat fall 
1 and from him i and, 



I 



r l./An aptneaa in men's hearts b 
from one extreme to another. Manj n 
ehort of Christ, and the grace of God in 
from their loose, profane life, fall to duties, and imitate God's 
people ; and then, when they have got credit with good people, 
they judge well of them. And having made their peaee hereby 
with conscience, and not with God, the Judge, never look after 
the saving knowledge of, and fellowship with, and life from, the 

E'^ "Td Jesus. Now, because men rest on this, these duties are no 
dence ; hence none are at all. j The Corinthiana first mourned 
for the incestuous person ; and, when cast out, wanted pity 
toward him. Calvin preached agtunst holidays, hence intrenched 
u]X)n the Lord's day. Some of the separation see many churches 
where they have become corrupt, hence make them all no churches. 
A man is apt to think. Because I have rested on myself, and 
found those signs which now are not sound, hence others do go 
loo. And I believe divers books have occasioned it, which give 
signs that will not hold without a fuller explication of them. 

2. The apostasy of eminent professors, who have been deceived 
in their evidencing thus. And truly it would make one think 
the honesty of the world is but a fashion, and no evidence of any 
good estate ; hence men say you have joy, so had the atony 
ground ; you arc blameless and strict, so was Paul a Pharisee i 
and Satan hereby shakes many a soul. Hence the apostle cornea 
in, (Heb. vi. 9,} and speaks of better things, and things that 
accompany salvation, and these should you follow. Hymeneus 
and Philelus fell both. 2 Tim. ii. 18-21 . Tet purge yourselves, 
and you shall be vessels of honor for the Master's use. 

3. Corrupt experience. It may be a man walks so loosely, 
without feor, or life, or love, that the Loi-d leaves him, and be 
can see no clear thorough work ; sometimes has pangs and then 
hopes ; sometime dead, then doubts. Hence; being vexed bere, 
and finding no peace, if he find it any other way than this, there 
he rests. As it is observed with men, clothes bide their shame: 
but when dead, their face is also covered, all their glory being i 
then gone. Ho some glory of God appears here ; but when J 
Cliristions are dend, they cover this ; I will look no more to iVl 
all the glory of it is now gone, and here lies a deceit to lovej 
Christ for freeing mo from this w;iy of evidencing. 

4. A heart that never fell die bitterness and bondage of s 



I 



THE TEN 

" the greatest evil. Take s man full of fears of wratli ; 0, now 
I *»orw]ce is Lis chiefest good, and he will account it so; but if 
tnr God did load the bouI witU sin, e contra, you will account 
of delirerance from this highly ; nay, a promise he will do, it ia 
fnet; but Ut be feeling those sinews of sin cmck, 0, it ia the 
joy of heaven that now fills that heart l/Tbe greatest evil m\ 
God's eyes is sin ; the greatest good we have is redemption from 
it by a mighty hand, i Now, not so much as to account of tliisj 
fcighly, this is hard. Thus I have left these things to be thought 
of; I can not avoid it, it lies in my text ; and the rather, because 
of that scripture abused, " If any say, Lo, here is Christ, or 
there, beUeve it not," L e., by signs ; or, in a wilderness, i. e., 
ia a sorrowful estate ; or, in the privy chambers in frames of 
heart, believe it not neither. Take heed you do not wrest scrip- 
tures thus. It is said, " Esau hated Jacob for the blessing." 
Gen. xxvii. 41. This Spirit of grace is the blessing which 
siunts acconnt as the evidence of the dearest love; to separate 
from churches, from messengers of God, for this will yield you 
sorrow enough one day. I tell you, you shall not be found 
" lighters against men, but against God," and the Spirit of his 
grace, and the life of him who lives in heaven for us. Take 
heed you forget not oil in your vessels. 

Fourthly. Those that acknowledge in their judgments all these 
things, but deny it in their lives ; regard not the having this 
principle of life, and have peace in tins, from a double ground. 

1. By a fruitless faith, which hangs on Christ; but never 
receives nor brings in this principle, aa those, John ii. 24, 35 ; 
and hence, though they receive none, yet they hang on him. 
And BO their faith, like a bucket without a bottom, draws up 
nothing. 

2. A form of godliness before men. If a man should neither 
speak well, nor pray, etc, lie would have no love, no respect, 
no receiving into church ; but he can not do it with life, and 
hence a form contents him, and there rests. So that now, if 
conscience troubles, and says. Those duties arc done with no life 
of Ctuist and Spirit, he answers, Yet i go to Christ. If this be 
bU. why do you not cast off your form? 0, then, I should have 
no love from men I O, this life of Christ is not prized, till, with 
those virgins, they feel tLe want of it, and it is too late, know this 
will be your woe at lost. Look upon thy dead soul ; all the glory 
is gone ; and wait upon the word, that the Lord may make thee 
live. Could you know this well of water and ask, he would give 
it yon. O, beg for it, then, aa for your life. Only seek it in 
Christ, and so from Christ. 

24 • 



ff 

I 



Sectios IV, 

j ^« 4. Of Tn«i. We live in a country whidi hnth goodly 
■ trappings, rich hangings, glorious profesiion, burning lamps: and. 
hence many think themselves rich, when, indeed, poor ; tnnnj'i'.j 
look to meet the bridegroom, when, indeed, thej shall be shAi 
out from the fellowship of the bridcgnxim. How shall I know ' 
tbat? That all my sorrows, prayers, reformation, profession, ts 
but a paint, an appearance, a fashion, a church crail, which will 
stand me in no stead when the Lord shall appear, who shall 
judge the secrets of all hearts, by the word you hear this day; 
try it, therefore, by this rule, does it come from a principle of 
I life or no ? Your lamii bunts, but look what is in your Te^el 
V that feeds this flame, f Thai, as our div-ines speak, how the dis- 
ciples could do greater works than Clirist, and others wrought 
miracles besides Clu-ist; how, then, do they prove that he 
Christ ? It is answered, in all his miraculous works we are to 
consider not only qiiid ffcit, i. e., what he did, but qua nrtaU 
feeit, from what power he did. The apostles and others did 
miracles, but it was altena virtute ; Christ did them, bat it wag 
propria virtute. So many an unsound heart, he may do greats 
worits than saints, and his tump bum brighter. Thcrctbre, in 
this case, we are not to look so mucli to what is done, as from 
what power and principle it is done ; for therein the best hypocrite 
ever, fails. We shall ever observe in some beasts there am 
vmbra rattonis, yet there is no rational soul, nor any wise man 
will believe that their acts proceed from such a principle ; SO' 
there are shadows of the power of gi'ace in a carnal heart, and- 
yet no judicious Christian will say they come from an inwarj, 
soul or principle of Ufe. Consider, therefore, wiiether (here 
this principle or no ; you see there is profession, you have • 
name to live in the judgment of all the church, but search your 
hearts, and see from what principle it proceeds ; for, if this bs^ 
nranting, all is nothing, j As he tbat had beer given him, wheaj 
milk and wine and sugar were put into it to mend it, said, tha 
wine is good, and the milk is good, but the beer is bad ; so pro* 
I fess ion, affection is good, but the heart, Uie man, is bad;/{Jert 
iL 22,} " Though thou wash thee with nitre, tliy sin is raarkei- 
before the Lonl." And tlial the trial may be full and lair, 
shall show negiitively the several sorts of men that act 

inward principle, yet carry it out as though the bitt^imi 
" aaill was past, and the bridegroom theirs. 
I When a man's principlL' is nothing but the |K>wer of created' 



of (koilk w 
I lAWhei 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 283 

nature expressing itself, and setting the best face forward, in the 
gilded rottenness of some moral performances, wherein a man 
saith he does what he can ; for there is this principle in most of 
men, a desire to be saved ; nature saith so ; and according to the 
intention of this desire, so according men will do more or less ; 
and hereupon soothe up themselves, when they see thej can not i 
do as others do, or as the Lord commands, I do as well as I can. J 
Naj, when condemned bj the word which mepts them, I do as 
weU as I can, I believe, I repent, I pray, I njmember the word, 
I do as well as I can ; and so they hope God accepts of that ; 
and diOQgh I believe no man but may be hired to do more than 
be does, yet nature may do much. Hence/ 1 heard an Armini^H 
ODce say, If faith will not work it, then set reason a-work, and) 
we know how men have been kings and lords over their own 
passions by improving reason, and from some experience of the 
power of nature men have come to write large volumes in de- 
fence of it ; and it is known the Arminians, though they ascribe 
somewhat to grace, and in words all to grace, yet, indeed, they 
lay the main stress of the work upon a man's own will, and the i 
royalty and sovereignty of that liberty. But to leave them, and] 
to come to ourselves, is it not a common thing for men to make 
lies their refuge, and to say, I was in a woful condition once, 
and never looked after God ; but now I bless the Lord it is oth- 
erwise with me ? How ? Now I believe, repent, etc. And so 
I confess all I do is full of weaknesses, yet I do what I can ; 
«nd thus they are like to men that have old garments new 
dressed, they have made them as good as they can ; and like the 
yonng man, (Luke xviii. 21,) ^^All these things have I done 
from my youth ; yet one thing was wanting, which was to for- 
sake all, and so himself, that the disciples said. Who then can 
be saved ? with man it is impossible, but with Grod all things are 
possible." 

You say you do as much as you can ; I say do so, but it is 
im[K)6sible for man from any strength of man, and you have no 
more yet ; (John i. 13,) " Bom again, not of the will of man, 
but of Grod." There is in some men a birth, like to the new 
birth, which is of the will and power of man ; but, O, this is not 
this inward principle which the almighty power of Grod creates ; 
and therefore know it, if you get no^other oil in your lamps, you 
shall never meet the bridegroom. / 

2. When a man's principle is the power of holy example, 
whereby many a one is drawn to do more than otherwise he 
would. Many men think for a while as that man spake ; men 
talk of being worth thousands, I would fain see the men, minis- 





ters preach and others Rpenk well, we must do thU and that. (wP 
I would liiiD see th<; men thnt do it. flow, it somctimeii fidlt 
out that the Lord Eets before men's eyes some patlcrn Chri^ 
tiuna ; hereupon tliey think thus : Here are two eontnuy wajSi ^ 
they can not both lead to heaven, their way is better tium mine, 
and doubtless leads to life ; mine doth not, titerefore let me live 
like them. And henee there shall not be any feat hut they will 
be at it, not a sermon near but they will go wet and dry to be»r 
.it, nor any duty in family but they will imitate it. and hence read 
and learn, that they may be like them. No Christians in the 
couniiy hated but they will love them, nor ceremonies cast off 
but they will abhor thera ; and hence they reflect upon their pat- 
terns, and tliink their estate safe, because they ore as good as a 
Christian's outside. And hence/ like some dead cattle, there is 
I notliing good but their skin, so there is nothing good in these but 
I their imitating outside. / Thus it was with Joash while Jehojada 
lived. 2 Chron. xxiv. nence he fell like ivy with the oak, when 
God cut him down. Thus it was with these five foolish virgins ; 
a man may follow good examples, but not rest in hare imitation 
of them. And hence a blessed man ie described (Ps. i.) nega- 
tively, from not imitating the wicked, not from imitating the 
good ; because good men may be in many things ill examples, 
and it ever proves bo in these men that have no more than 
thia principle ; hence, if they be loose in their tongues, or on 
the Sabbath, their plea is, they arc like imto them. And hence 
come all your acquired excellencies; a man is an inulating 
creature, led by example, and a carnal man, out of the heart 
of hypocrisy in himself, will imitate tlie divine nature which is 
in another ; and hence men not only fake up sucii practices, 
but such opinions only, because such and such are of that mind. 
And men change practices and opinions as examples do change ; 
in Joshua's time, great reformation ; ho no sooner died, hut all 
fell off again ; then they were for purity of ordinances and God's 
worship, now they serve Baalim. 0, consider, here in an out- 
ward, but no inward principle. 

3, Those whose principle is nothing hut external applause and 
praise of men, and this will carry a man beyond aU the best 
examples ; nay, sometime to be singular and a man alone ; a 
Pharisee's trumpet shall be heanl to tlie town's end, while sim- 
pUcity walks through the town unseen. Hence a man will some- 
times covertly commend himself, and myself ever comes in, and 
tells you a long story of conversion, and a hundred lo one if 
some lie or other slip not out with it. Why, the secret meaning 
ii, I pray admire me ; hence complain of wants and weaknesses ; 



TiiE TEN Tinciss. 283 

pw, think what a brokcn-bcarled Christian I am ; and hence, 
tfronifon«d, ihey complain, if not, they will comfort themselves; 
Ii'DccmaDy lil't upej-esand hands, and fetch deep sighs in pniyer, 
niiDember and note eemions, look now what a gift I have i hence, 
if jwi come to llieir companj, they will have so many good worda 
u may make you'lhink well of them, and then the market ia al- 
most doue with them ; hence men forsake their friends, and tram- 
ple Dnder foot the scorns of the world, they have credit elst> 
rtere. To maintain their interest in the love of godly men 
ihey will suflcr much ; hence men in the ministry pray for grace 
to beastify and perfect their parts, that so they may preach, and 
convert, and have credit ; hence men meditate new light, and 
profess deep things that few know, that men may worship tlie 
rising san; hence the Lord ia neglecled secretly, yet honored 
openly, because there is no wind in their chambers to blow their 
■ails, and, therefore, there tliey stand still ; heove many men keep 
their profession when they lose their affection, they have by the 
one a name to live, and Uiat is enough, though their hearts be 
dead ; and hence so long as you love or commend them, so long 
they love 3rou, but if not. they will forsake you ; tbey were warm 
only by another's fire, and hence, having no principle of life 
within, soon grow dead. This is the water that turns a Phari- 
see's mill, and the Lord pnsselh a heavy doom, " You have your 
reward." I have wondered that the opinion of men, nay, dream 
of men's thoughts, should act men ; only it is a curse of God, 
that, when men despise his honor, the greatest good, they shall 
be fed with the basest good.^ 

4. Those whose principle is nothing else but their own gain 
of outward blessings. Many there be that make not their honor 
so much as their bellies their gods, and they rule them, (Phil. iii. 
19 -.JP hence the shopkeeper will give good words when he sells his 
KoauBodity, he should lose much of his custom else ; and hence 
tbe minister preacheth conscionably that bis gain may come in. 
1 Thesft. ii. 4, 5, Hence people would be as good as the best, they 
can not get a lot in all tbe country else. Hence a man is some- 
time content to forsake all for Christ, that he may make a booty 
of Christ, as Judas did. Hence, when Christ feeds them with 
Imtcs, then the people will make him a kmg, (John vi.,) though 
afterward they cry. Crucify him. So men deal with Christ as the 
aoUiers did that caught )iim, tliat they might strip him of hia 
gannentA. And hence/many men, if they see sorrowi 
Miending them, if they attend on Christ, forsake t 
upon our own hind ; many, so long as they could enjoy C 
Ctir weather, cry out of ceremonies, and profaning o' 



S88 THE TARABLB OF 

Ifjet this not being to be liad, creep to ihem, and read the book 
jlbr profaning thureof. Many shadows have been seen since our 
Bun bath rjaea liere, and this way they looked ; but viewing other 
men's wants, and fearing iheir own losses, and conceiving th^ 
may meet with Masaab in tliia wilderness, refuse to follow. And ' 
; lest this should seem to be the cause, cry out, we are separatisl^ 
or strongly possess themselves against all relations ; there is 
living at all here^ 

Lookbut at home ; howraanydoves (that prove but ravens, 

live on the prey) come hither to our windows, and have followed' 

Christ to this world's end ; when he fed them with loaves, they 

, made him tlteir king ; but now he hath token away what once 

( they desired, because there is better bread to be labored for j now 

they forsake him, and live on the spoil. This is no inward prin- 

ii cipte. And hence,/when men's expenses for Christ exceed their 

I receipts from Christ, they cease spending, and fall in the bigb- 

? way to begging at the door of the world. 

6. Thoao whose principle is nothing else but the strength of 
natural conscience, which will set men a-doing, when they have 
neither praise from men nor gain from Christ for their labor. 
For the Lord deals with some men as the Komana did with 
some of their prisoners ; they would chain a prisoner and his 
keeper together, and let them go up and down ; so God chains 
many a poor prisoner of hell and his conscience together, and 
lets them go together. And hence many a man keeps peace vnth 
his conscience, and can not give it the shp for all the world heaped 
up with gold, as Balaam said. 

Now, there are two things in a nataral coiucience. Bom.' 
ii. 15. 

1. To accuse ; hence a man dares not omit prayer, dares nol 
commit a ain he has a mind to ; conscience would then roar. 
Hence many keep constantly set duties in private, and tremble 
at small sins ; not because they take any delight in the one, or 
are wewy of the other, but because they are ever under the eye 
of this judge. 

2. To excuse, and to give much sweetness when a man foLr- 
Iowa the dictates thereof; hence a man, though carnal, will die 
for his religion, and that with some cheerfulness, because con- 
science cheers within, and sings hira asleep in tronble. And 
hence a man will cry out of all the glorious hypocrisies of men, 
because to walk according to conscience is sweeter to him. And 
hence a man comforts himself. It is my conscience ; (Mark xit^ 
33,) to love God " is better than burnt-offerings." Hence 
man will profit exceedingly in what he holds, (GaL 1. 14,) 



I 





THE TKX TIRfilSS. 



csme kaIoiu for it for conscience ; and ynt this ia but a prin- 
ciple of nature, not an inward princi|)lc of life, wliose property 
is to aeelt the subversion of corrupt nature, aa natural conscience 
Bcelu the gamieliing of it and the actions thereof. 

6. Those vhose principle is the fear of death and hell ; raised 
not BO much by the power of conscience aa by the power of the 
Word. And hence come complaints n1x)ut a man's estate ; that 
• man can have no rest by all duties that he has done, or doth. 
Hence following of the means, running to the best ministry, 
mooming and lamenting and confessing sin ; (]tlatt. iii. 7,) "O 
geoeralioa of vipers," etc And hence prizing of favor and 
comfort. Ps. Ixsviii. 34, 85. Hence many do take this for their 
oonTersion, and say, I heard such a minister at such a time, and 
iheii I cried out I was damned, and thought 1 saw the devil ; 
yea, and to hell you may for all this, if no other principle. In- 
deed, there is this fear in the elect, but drives them to the ark, 
as Noah ; but those, when their fear is over, they fall to fight 
against the Lord. 

7. Those whose principle is nothing else but the immediate 
sclings of the Spirit of God upon tliem. For sometime the 
Spirit of God comes upon men as light shines on the mud wall, 
yet dwells not there aa in the sun. And hence many apeak, 
pray, prophesy admirably, as Balaam. Num. xiiv. 3, 4. Many 
men, like carters, bring others' goods that are not possessors of 
them. Now, these are, 1. External enlargements. And hence * 
num doth many thinga which be bos no inward power to per- 
form ; the Spirit ia there assisting ; hence be can not do so at 
another time, but it is the Spirit only aseisting. And hence a 
man may have abundance of knowledge, and he not affected 
with it; he may Lire and pray with applause of men, others 
wisti they were Uke him. yet live without love, and speal; without 
feeliag, and do without life ; hence men leave themselves bere. 
S. lateraal pangs. The Spirit of God begets some inward grief, 
eapecially when outward evils press, Ihcn inward Hashes and de- 
■ircs, but they are soon done. There ia no spring, no principle 
within. What the difference b between saints' uneveimess and 
lUi isconctancy you shall hear hereuiler; yet these ice wrce- 
ifingB of spirit not yet conquering, and hence it pwse;;ae3 not 
the tool. 

8. When men's principle is nothing eUe but common gifla, 
which are inward, and abiding long in the soul. That a man 
DOW tbiakB ho has grace, and sure signs of the Lord's love, and 
bcra is fiMtened. ^Vhen there be two tilings wherein it appears 
llMn is 00 mward principle : 1. Thene giila. ever puii up, and 



make a man somelhing in his own eyes.as the Corintliian knowl- 
edge did. And manj u private man tUiaka liimseLl' lit to be a 
minister, nuany u minister better llian all the parish besides ; 
when F»ul wua the least of all the saintji. And hence commonly 
they degenerate to pride and farm. 2. Theae keep men stran- 
gers to Christ and the life of failh ; they have these afiections, 
yet, ignorant of Clirisl, take these as signs of hid love, and live 
witliout him. And this is, indeed^ ttie inner principle which all 
the wicked in the world want ; there is in true grace an infinite 
drcle. A man by thirsting receives, and receiving, thirsts for 
more. But hence the Spirit is not poured out abundantly on 
churches, because men shut it out by shutting in and contenting 
themselves with their common graces and gifts. Matt. yii. 29, 
Ezomiiie if it be thus. If so, — ' 

1. You con not come to the Lord ; (John v. 44,) " How can 
ye believe ? " 

2. Nor lo receive any thing from the Lord if you do, (Jamw 
iv. 3,) " when you ask u> spend it on your lust," when tiiat car- 
ries you. 

3. This pulls down the kingdom of the Lord Jesus when other 
things rule us, and not himself alone. 

I 4. Satan will have this against you, as against Job, " You 

serve not the Lord for nought," To what purpose are your new 
moons, church reformations, if it be thus ? Now, because it hath 
been replied to what was formerly said, that Christ was the ves- 
sel, not our souls, I shall, therefore, confirm the lattex to bo the 
truth by these reasons : — 

1. Mystical places of Scripture are lo be interpreted by plain. 
Now, though Christ may he the antitype of these vessels of the 
temple, yet he is not plainly sud to be a vessel; but souls aro 
caUed so. Rom. ix. 23 ; 2 Cor. iv. 7 ; AcU ix. 15. " Paul U » 
chosen vesseL" 1 Theas. iv. 4, " We are to possess our vessels 
in holiness." 2 Tim. ii. 20, " Vessels of honor." 

2. The Spirit is not in Christ as in a vessel, but as in a foon- 
tiun ; hence, (John iii. 34,) " Christ hath received the Spirit 
without measure." 

3. The foolish virgins had vessels, because it is said, " They 
look their lamps, but no oit with them." Their folly was not in 
not providing vessels. Hence the foolish virgins did not afler- 
ward beg their vessels, but their oil. 

I X The wisdom of the wise did appear in that they did pro- 
Ivide oil for their vessels. If, therefore, tlie vessel be Christ, 
I therein lies the wisdom of the wise, that ihey got the Spirit to 
I put into Christ, and the folly of the foolish, they got not (he 



THE TEN TIROIKS. 289 

Spirit to pat into him. Or the one got Christ Jesus full of the i 
Spirit, the other, Christ J^sus void of it When whoever hath I 
Christ must have in him the fullness of the Spirit also. _ J 

5. The other interpretation crosseth the main scope of this 
pait of the parahle, which is to show the difference between the 
virgins. All professed Christ, went to meet the bridegroom ; 
but here was the difference, they never looked for to get the 
Spirit in them. And this is most suitable to men raised out of 
the dregs of Popery, where works being abolished, Christ is 
owned, and therein do well, but herein fail. 

Thus you have heard the use of trial negatively. What this 
inward principle is afSrmatively you have generally heard, and 
shall more particularly in the other two doctrines. Only this I 
shall add, it consists of two parts : — 

1. Our life in Christ by faith. 

2. Christ's life in us by his Spirit Faith empties the soul, 
and looks upon it as dead, and sees its life laid up in Christ ; 
and hence forsakes itself, and embraces the Lord of glory. SeC' 
ondly. The Spirit comes and possesscth a forsaken, empty house, 
and there lives and dwells. Both these the apostle mentions. 
€ral. ii. 20 ; Eph. iii. 17 ; John xv. 4. As two married together, 
their souls live not where they are, but in each other. The one 
cares not how to please herself, but her husband ; and e contra. 
So that lest any weak soul should be discouraged, that thinks 
there is no principle of life, because such a blind, empty, dead 
heart, wandering from God, etc. Nay, when the Lord quickens 
it, O, it is lost again. Nay, when quickened, O, then, when-i 
comes to, it is so feeble ! I tell you it must be so. This makes 
you lay up your life in him ; this death is your life. And lest 
any false heart should be here deceived that saith he has Christ, 
" If you have not the Spirit of Christ, you are none of his." 
The saints have this sometime, their temple is filled with glory ; 
and for their general course they are admirers of the Lord Je- 
sus, and account his life to be life, and all their life beside to be 
continual death. There is not any grace but they say, O that I 
had it! 

Section V. 

U$e 5. Of Exhort. To every man, as ever you look to be with 
Christ Jesus another day, get this oil in your vessels. The Lord 
doth, in this parable, set l)efore your eyes the estate of the purest 
virgin churches and professors in the world, and it is his infinite 
love to tell us beforehand, before the time be past, to tell us that 
many of these shall be shut out from the presence of the Lord 
VOL. II. 25 





I 



896 TB 

JeguB, whom tliemselve^ and others ihitik sliall not; and yet tUa 
love would be but litl.le, unless the Lord hod made known tlie 
cause or defect in not getting oil to their ressel. O, consider, 
therefore, here you are like to fail ; you that liave lain|>8 betorq 
the cry and bridegroom comes, acknowledge Cliriai's love, and be 
overcome by it to get oil in your vesaela. When Kahab knew 
that the Lord would destroy all Jericho, now b1)g lays about her 
to preserve her life. What b the means ? To lie the scarlM 
thread at the window. 0, she would be sure to get and keep 
that there. You know the Lord Jesus will come and discover 
the unsound profession, and destroy the glory of the world and 
churches, too. It may be ye have had sore fears, What if be 
should cut me off, and cast me out, aa possibly he may! And I 
may as well as eminent profeHsore. I tell you none ever per- 
ished but because of this. How just had Rahab's judgment 
been if she had refused lo get her scarlet tliread there, and yours 
if now ye get not your oil in your veaael ? How many are there 
that have lived fairly and died quietly, and, when they are dead, 
and knock, the door is shut, tliat then wring their hands ; O, 
had I but known of this I I would have spent my care, and 
etrength, and t£ars, and thoughts, how to have filled my vessel ; 
bat I knew it not. This time will shortly come; and if you 
know it now, and do not set upon it, what a cut will this be I 
As, therefore, the apostle exhorts, ([Ieb.iv.1,) " Having a prom- 
ise of entering into rest, fear lest you fall short of it." I say so 
much more here, knowing how only you shall enter into Christ's 
rest, fear lest you fall short of this ; I hope I shall not, I thank 
Grod my course is blameless, spotless ; I have forsaken the sins 
of places and pollutions of ordinances ; so these were virgins 
also. O, but my lamp burns as bright as any man's, I know ; so 
did the foolish virgins'. 0, but they all think well of me ; so 
were these thought of, till the Lord swd, " I know you not." 0, 
but I look to Christ, to meet with him, and salvation from him ; 
BO did these, and yet were shut out from Christ. If the Lord 
should have said, it was because they bad not wealth enough, nor 
world enough, every man would not have been wanting he«, 
but would have striven to have got enough of that, though it were 
not to be had ; but there is enough in Christ to enrich yon, who 
haa the Spirit without measure to do it. The Spirit may breathe 

T JUkimi 1. Labor to feel and nioum under thy whole corrupt- 
I principles that have acted thee hitherto j for many men are sen — 
\ Bible sometimes of some particular acta and jarrings of their" 
^hearts and life with the rule, and then they seek forgiveness of^ 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 291 

^^^1 grace against them, and then they hope all is well ; then 
*^ey do many things and hear John gladly, and in plainness and 
^^tegrity of their hearts think that all is well. But still they fall 
^lort of a principle of life, because they never felt a whole cor- 
5*upt principle, and how in every thing it crosseth Grod, not only 
^n the corrupt, but most glorious actions. For aU men naturaUy 
'lum from being open to secret enemies, and from being secret to ) 
1)6 subtle enemies, and to undermine the Lord in all they do.J 
^ow, many see it, but not the evil of it, nor mourn under it. 
Hence, the Lord never sends another Spirit, because they have 
not the spirit of heaviness for want of it. But when a man sees 
that in every thing he is carried and acted by a principle of bit- 
terness against the Lord, and lives without the Spirit of the 
Lord to act him, the Lord is not far from that soul when he 
feels this, and mourns before the Lord because of this, and the 
want of that. 1 Kings viii. 38. So Christ said, '^ Because I 
said, I go away, sorrow has fiUed your hearts." John xvi. 6, 7. 
This is the very reason why saints have the Comforter, his ab- 
sence fills their hearts with sorrow ; because when he is gone, 
O, the straitness, vileness of a corrupt heart ! You say it may 
be. If this be not a right principle, what is ? Ans. To under- 
mine all false works. O, therefore, feel this plague ! If ever 
(iod works this grace, feel you must the want of it, "and if you 
do mourn, then you are under it. And, O, mourn, 1. By con- 
sidering the evil of it ; you can mourn after a dead father, and 
phall you not over a dead heart ? 2. To think there should be so 
much Spirit in Christ, and not a drop for me. Is he so angry 
with me ? See, therefore, I pray you, that you are led by ill 
principles, or false principles. I pray, but self-love sets me 
a-work ; I profess, but praise of men acts me ; I observe duties in 
secret, but natural conscience only carries me. No surer sign 
©f ruin than for the Lord to hide these things from you ; nor of 
love than when he shows this, and gives you not only sense of some 
one act, but a spirit of heaviness under this. This empties the 
vessel, and so makes us vessels of honor. Do not, therefore, set 
thyself so much to do, as to see where thy evil principle is in all 
thou dost. 

Means 2. Repair now to the fountain of life, for a principle 
of life from him, and fetch it from him. 

Qmst What is that, and how shall I fetch it from him ? 

Ans. 1. It is not a man's own striving; a man may imitate 
nature, but can not make nature. All the world can not make 
one poor fly. And as it is artis celare artem, so when he hath 
clone he may deceive himself and others, but nothing else. 



r 




I9S 

" Born not of the will of man," A man is in great d 
coDBcience for ein fast, fiiar of death for time to come, una dow 
he comes just aa fur as ti deril ; then prays, Lord, save me. and 
now comes as far as nature can carry him, and, thcr^fore^ is eased, 
and now he halh Satan's black seal upon him, and self-flattery 
hath carried him on. The fotmtain of hfe is nol here. 

2. It is not the law ; it convineetli one, and be complains ; it 
condemns another, and he cries out ; ii irritates another, and he 
falls to do what lie can ; but the law can not give life. GaL 
ill. 21. 

3. It is not bore ordinances, which are of themselves bat 
husks, and shells, and empty pipes. Witness the cries of many 
a man Sabbath afYer Sabbath, no life, and that for a long time ; 
nay, he grows worse. 

i. It is not God, simply considered, lie is, indeed, the foun- 
tain of life, but sin has sealed that fountain ; hence many a one 
goes to him, and departs from him with frowns. 

5. Where is life, then? In Christ. I know he is Lord 
and Prince of life. Yet consider, aa God man, no life is in him 
for you, as to be communicated to you. Where then? It is in 
the blood and death of the Lord of life. You are ready to un- 
dervalue this life. O, consider what it must cost the Son of God, 
and where it must lie ; (Hob. ii. 14,) " If bulls' and goats' blood 
washed the flesh, much more this blood," etc. Many a man feeb 
a blind, dead heart, and all duties dead ; and hence uses many 
persuasions to himself, yet they continue so still, because he never 
looks to this blood. There ia this excellency in Clirist's blood, 
not only to cleanse from guilt and power of sin, bnt from dead 
works, and none else can. Now, therefore, repair hither for it ; 
know what your lives will and must cost. 

Now, how shall this bo done ? J 

Ant. 1. Prize this blood, and satisfy thy soul with it, choose 
it, and rest in it, in the Lord himself a.s sufficient ; (John vi. .'>3,} 
" Except yo eat and drink," etc : many account it a commoB^ 
thing ; you receive it not then, but trample it nnder yonr feet| 
many esteem of it, but they feel not themselves with it, nor quieC 
their hearts with life there first ) and hence it falls out thus. 

2. Keep this rule. Content not thyself with that measuM 
which tliou hast from Chrint. but he thankful for it, and fallii ' 
short, call ever for more ; but satiate thyself with ihal which 
in Christ. 

If thou canst not do this, if it is beyond thy strength, thi 
consider Christ has words of life. John vi. 0, beg for that, ai 
for those words, " Hear what the Lord will say." 1'6. li. 8. Yi 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 293 

can not see nor come to Christ ; then, " Hear and your souls 
Bhall live." Who knows what the Lord may do ? It is not pos- 
sible for man to do it, but the Lord Jesus may and can. 

O, then, you that have this principle, let all your actions issue 
and spring from hence. As Paul exhorted Timothy, " Stir up 
that gift that is in thee." '* Up, Deborah, up. Awake, harp and 
lute," saith David. / Do not say, I can do nothing, and so the] 
Lord must do all ; do not say, I have a dead heart, and can d< 
nothing, but stir it up. It was the Lord's complaint ; (Is. Ixiv.l 
7,) " None took hold of the Lord, nor stirred up himself" to that! 
end. It may be some of you have some strength. O, put it' 
forth. ( I know all sU'ength is from Clirist, but there is a perma-i 
nent strength in you/ You are not dead to act ; you wrong the 
Lord and his grace if you think so. As it is a heavy sin to shutj 
up and imprison natural truth, (Rom. i. 18,) so much more the 
power of grace. Others have lost it ; O, recover it. And hence 
Paul prays for this earnestly ; (Eph. iii. 15,) " The Lord strengBP 
en you with might in the inner man." And, therefore, put this 
forth to act, and be sure you act only from the Spirit of grace. 

Quest. How shall I do this ? 

Ans, 1. Set the Lord Jesus in all his glory before you. There 
is that excellency of the knowledge of Christ's person, that it 
makes us be and live like him, and according to the propinquity 
of our souls and eyes to Christ, so we are like him. As it is 
with the sun, when it is gone from the earth, there are not so 
much as leaves on the trees, yet when it returns, the trees bring 
forth fruit Or as it is in heaven, (1 John iii. 2,) so in this life, 
when we see him in a glass. 1 Cor. iii. 18. That look as it is 
with an ambitious man, when he is in the presence of men he 
will manifest all his excellency ; nothing shall be done to gain 
discredit. So if the Lord and his life be your excellency, when 
you see Christ you will approve yourselves to him. See him, 
therefore, beholding and accepting ; and that grace you would 
put forth, see it in him ; it is strange to see what a stream of 
spirit comes sometimes this way. 

2. Keep the remembrance of the exceeding greatness of his 
love fresh in your minds, in that " he has quickened you," (Eph. 
ii. 4, 5 ;) and that this life was by his death. All the flowers of 
the field cast their savor but for a time, and then away with them ; 
but Christ's love and Christ's death do usually always breathe a 
savor of life to a sincere heart that never knew what the sting 
of death meant. 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. Christ loves Christians, be- 
oause he dies that we should live. But how ? Because we thus 
judged. God has made man a n agent by counsel. Now, some 

2tn 



I 

I 



S94 TnE rARABLF. or 



Christiana go to the Lord to help them, hut scl not pmjer c 
faith a-work, and hence have no water of life. Some do, bi 
use not other means to set the understanding (ihe mind of faithlM 
on work, to quicken it up to act, and bo would have life hrougfaJ 
in, but Dol by ihe right door ; an emptj vcseel will not be foF 
of this noter till now that the mouth of the understanding it'M 
open. Now, many things are to be considered to act erery graoQi ' 
as God's command and promise, eto. But this is that which in 
the general quickens ; O, Christ's love, which construns tlie soul 
to live to him. According as a man thus receives from Chris^ 
BO he returns to him. As it is observed, one sign that when a 
people visit not their minister they receive no good ; so here. 
That is a sign of a decaying Christian, for usually they that get 
good by Christ, can not, by their good will, stay away from 
Christ So, then, the soul will return in all fruitful obedience to 
the Lord, when he receives the sweet of the love of the Lord. 
The Lord dolh me good, mothinks, and hence he foUone the 
Lord. Satan hence prevails with the heart, because of its exter- 
nal objects, and a party within ; so here Christ prcvaib, because 
there is a party within, when external objects are propounded. 
Let a man have life ; if he have no food he will never live. If 
bread he before him, and he feed not on it, and that abundantly, 
he will never have strength ; so this love of Clu'ist in ns is life 
in us, and food for us. 

3, Famish the contrary principle, tlio strength whereof is hy 
Bucking in the sweet, and receiving in carnal content from the 
creature ; (Rom. xiii. 14,} " Put on the Lord Jesus," his Spirit, 
his righteousness, his life, his graces ; *' make no provision for the 
flesh." Many Christians look up to Christ in all means, but can 
do nothing, because they have some dehght either in lawful or 
unlawful things, that lie bctwcon them and Christ. Hence that 
grows strong, the other feeble. 

4. Die to all self-confidence in gr.ice received, or sclf-contont- 
ment with any measure of it ; for thereby you stop the Spirit; 
for we of ourselves can not think a good thought. Therefore, 
be strong in Christ, and hence, Epb. vi. 10-12. A man is apt 
to fall to a double extreme, to he strong in the Lord without 

tutting on graces ; and to trust to them without being strong in 
H him. Com must die before it lives ; so must you ; and rest not 
n content with the measure reeeired, but look for more, and henco 
I be,tlmnkful, and say, It is not I, but Christ ; yet look for more. 
y"T>. If no means come lo give strength, consider sadly if ynti 
I have not broken covenant with God, as in Samson's cjise. God 
-was in covenant with him, but he had broken it on his part ; 




THE TEN VIBQINS. 295 

hence his strength was gone. I know no place that breeds men 
of larger covenants than this place, by sea and land, personal, 
and especially church covenants. Now, thy strength is gone« 
Doet thou not live in breach of covenant ? Not only it is broken, 
hut you live in it. You covenant to cleave to the Lord, or if 
you depart, to return soon again, but you lie in your falls. Nay, 
your covenant and returning heals your horror only, not your 
sin. You covenant to love brethren dearly, but a little ofience 
one gives, or hopes of a bigger lot, will tempt thy heart to leave 
them to their own shifls. You covenant to submit to officers in 
the Lord, but some take liberty to speak what they will, and 
others do what they list To watch over your brethren, to put 
life in them, but you grow a stranger, and it may be see them not I 
once in a quarter, unless at church, j But can it be said they are J 
any better for thee ? O, your sins are double, and hence your 
plagues of heart are worse now, more hard to be wrought upon, 
and hence sin and Satan lead you. Ps. Ixxviii. 57, 60, 61. O, 
consider this sin, the strength of God is taken as captain of the 
camp, that when you cry. Lord, help m^ there it is. But, alas ! 
it is gone from you, and it is in Satan's hand, not only your 
strength, but God's strength, and the soul is taken captive. O, 
therefore, mourn for this, lest you mourn at last. 



CHAPTER XX. 

snoweth that there is such a fullness or measure of 
grace in the heart of believers, which the most re- 
fined hypocrites never arise unto. 

Section L 

Doct. 3. That there is a certain plenitude, fullness, or full 
measure of the Spirit of grace in the hearts of the faithful, 
which the most glorious, yet unsound professors of virgin cliurclios 
want^ and have not in their vessels, but fall short of. 

Just as these foolish virgins, they had their lam|>8, a burning 
and shining profession. And had they no more ? Yes, surely ; 
for their lamp how could it burn but by means of some oil? 
They had their wick touched and dipped in oil, some lif^hter 
strokes and superficial impressions of the S|)irit I'hey had not 
their vessels filled with oil ; they had not this degree and full 
measure of the Spirit. This they fell short of, and he rein 
appeared the difference, j There are certain inward touche8,\ 



(i, 



296 THE PARABLE OP 

an inward lighter dye of GoiVs Spirit, which serves (o be^et 
tt eroiDent proratsion before men, but never to make 
lul Bineere, indeed, befure the eyes of God. That toot, 
ne naturalists make three or four kinds of life, differing 
only OS higher or lower degrees of lite, though not of the same 
4ife; aa plnnte have a Tegetalive life only lo grow, but no 
sensitive to see ; becnnse tieir forms are more drowned in their 
' matXer; sensitive in beasts, yet not rational; rational in men, 
but not angelical, etc. So here, a greater degree of the Spirit's 
working makes a di&erence in kind between Christian and 
Christian. It is the Spirit that mokes a man live ; it is the same 
Si'irii, by a greater stroke, makes a man live the life of God. 
Kpli. iv, 18. Yet/tliere are two kinds of lives, a« far different 
as sensitive and vegetative ; and though the rational has both, 
yet it b neither of both. So, though a saint Uvea the life of 
reason and morality, yet there is another life he has, which doth 
differ from these, of a high degree, and of another kind. I do 
not say, therefore, that a sincere soul only has a greater degree 
of the same grace, but that he is diatinguished by a greater de- 
■ gree of gncce and working of the Spirit of grace from an 
[ unsou nd heart. Aa n man may love another, but not with a 
/conjugal love, here is now a degree of love, but not of the same 
/ lov^ for it is not a whit conjugal ; it might, then, bo sinful in 
I some men ; so it is here. A man tliat has filled his stomach with 
meat may have Eomc desire after it, but not a hungry deure, not 
in that degree ; hence not hungry ut aU. So " the slug^rd 
desires and has not ; " a carnal heart desires, and another desires 
I the Lord Jeeua i a carnal sluggish heart desires and has not, but 
\ another hungers and is tilled ; he has not any degree of the 
name hunger. It is, thapcfaia, granted there are desires, and 
joys, and light, and growth in false hearts, but there is not that 
fullness of joy, that fullness of light, that fullness of the Spirit I 
which is in the faithful, and here they ever fall short. Yet I 

1. There is not a perfect measure; nor the fullness that j 
shall be when our souls shall be gathered lu them that are mads I 
perfect. 1 

2. Nor yet that there is that fullness the saints aim al ; for it I 
is the resurrection Ihey aim at. Phil. iii. 12-U. | 

3. Nor yet a glutting fullness, that men have manna enougli,1 
and say, the main work is wrought, and that is enough in 

I a fullness as satisHes their appetite fron> longing lor mo 
V which satisfies and quiets their conscience in regard of the np> 
riglktness of their souls before the Lord, 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 297 

Section n. 

But, for the more full and clear explication of this point, I ! 
shall show jou these three things : — ^ 

1. That hypocrites maj have some inward touches of God's 
Spirit. 

2. That the very reason of their falseness is, because thej 
have no more than such touches or strokes. 

3. That there is a fullness the saints come to which others 
want. 

To be showed, 1. Positivelj; 2. Negatively. 
I. That hypocrites may have not only outward shows, but 
some inward lighter strokes of Grod's Spirit ; as, — 

1. Of the Spirit restraining and confining, nay, benumbing of 
corruption, as Paul was blameless; nay, he had no mind nor will 
to many sins ; nay, did not think he had any living contempt 
and enmity of God in his heart. Hence (Rom. vii. 9) it is said, 
" When the command came, sin revived." Was it not living be- 
fore ? Yes ; but it was asleep, it was benumbed, like cold snakes, 
but not killed. 

2. Of the Spirit preventing and exciting unto many, nay, to 
any duty of the law in general, and that sometime by fears of 
misery and terrors of the law, (Deut. v. 23 ;) and sometime by 
love and mercy morally affecting the heart ; (Exod. xix. 4-6,) 
** You have heard what the Lord hath done. Will you now enter 
into covenant ? " Yes ; yet what is said of them ? (Psalm 
Ixxviii. 37,) " They were false in Grod's covenant" 

3. There may be some operative and quickening grace of the 
gospel ; (Heb. vi. 4,) " They were enlightened," etc. 

4. There may be some edifying and cooperating gifts of law 
and gospel, whereby a man may not only be useful and helpful 
to some, but to the church of Grod, as those that did prophesy in 
Christ's name. And these may be so inward, that they think 
themselves clean and sincere ; as Abimclcch. 

XL That the reason of their unsoundness is, because they 
have no more than lighter strokes of God's Spirit. 

As I might show in all these, Paul is blameless, yet far 
enough from having sin mortified by Christ, and hence profess- 
eth, ** We did serve divers lusts." Tit. iii. 3. The Israelites 
cry out, they " will do what Grod will have them." Yet, " O 
that there were such a heart!" Deut. v. 29. They in Ileb. 
vi. "were enlightened and tasted," yet fell. He, therefore, 
a^lds, " We are persuaded (vor. 9) better things of you." They 
did " prophesy in Christ's name," (Matt. 7,) yet " depart from 



I 



I 
I 



S98 T 

' me, ye workers of iniquity." But see il, more particularly, 
Mark xM, 'iH. Salth the scribe to him, " To love the L<ord is 
belter than all buml-ofieringa." Some Jens did rest there, but 
Degtect«d the innard work; bufthis man, the inward work was 
prized in hia judgmeut ; he had both profession and some auc- 
tion. And was he now enleretl into the kingdom of God ? No. 
Here was hia wound ; he fell short of it some degrees. Hence 
it is said, '* Thou art not far from the kingdom of Giod." So the 
Israelites, why did not they enter ? Was not the land good ? O, 
yea ! That report the worst of the apiea brought. But their . 
hearts were not taken with the goodness of it, as Caleb's and 
Joshua's were. And hence they were shut out. Num. xiii. 27, 
and KIT. 7, 8, 24. So it is here. So an unsound heart may bo 
enlightened, as it is there, Heb. vi. 4, 5. But there is a mar- 
velous light which they never have; they have not such a de- 
gree. 1 Pet. ii. 9. And heuce, (Deut. mix, Z-4,) "The Lord 
has not given you eyes to see to this day." Did the Lord give 
them no eyes to see, no hearts to be affected with what they did 
see ? Why came they, then, out of Egypt ? Why did they 
eing when they saw Pharaoh drowned ? Why. they had not 
such eyes and ench hearts as Moses had, not unto that day. 

So for turning to the Lord. Do not many unsound hearts 
turn over a now leaf ? Do they not, not only outwardly, hut 
inwanlly too ? Where is the flaw, then ? In the degree ; (Jer. 
iii. 10,) " Judah has not turned with her whole heart, but treaoh- 
erouflly." So there may he some growth and life in fabe, nn- 
Fiound hearts, that may after away ; but where is the wound ? 
Look in the parable of the seed ; some grew not at all ; some 
did grow, but not having depth of earth, fell again. Others fell 
not in persecution, but there were the roots of thorns that choked 
the seed. The good ground's seed came to ripeness and fullness 
of fruit, though some in a greater degree than olhers ; yet nono 
Bt all (no ripe fruit) in the rest. Hence the Lord is said to 
" weigh the heart." Prov. xvi. 2, Men Ihink they are humbledj 
and do believe, but God finds them too light, as " Belshazzsr'| 
was weighed and found too light" And ihuB it will be » 
the last day, when Christ Jesus shall appear, that all the ntoatl 
glorious profession of many a man is, therefore, rejected, I 
found too light. 

in. That there is a fiiUness which the saints have, and whi 
olhers fall short of, which I shall show, — 

1, Positively and alIinnatiT«ly from what has been said, (Pro 
xii. 26.) " The righteous is more eicellent ; " (John xiv. ! " 
" Whom (he world can not receive, because it knows him i 



i TEN 1 



200 ■ 

aerate man knows, I 
I, he doth not only I 
It he dwells there, 1 
I death is " to ou r- I 



There ia that Spirit in sainta whicli no unregcnerate n 

hence desires not. Because he dwells in you, 1 

send wmo gifts, or work somewhat there, but 

he tills the heart. Hence the end of Cliriet's death ii 

chase to himself a peculiar people," (TiL ii. 14.) of s 

epirit, such a holiness that only ttemaelves know. So it is that y* 

which all the prophets press to, to a higher pitch ; and hence ^ 

that tliarge of Joshua, srii. 5. And it is a pecuhar fruit of 

election, (Eph. i. 4,) 1. To be holy ; 2. Before him ; 3. In j 

2. Negatively. If there should not be such a distinguishing V 
fullness, — 

1, Then the whole ministry of Christ is in vain, and so de- \ 
stroye4 ; for what is the end of that, that God roiseth up any i^ 
ministers in the church, hut this, (Acta xxvi. 18.) "to turn men 
from darkness to light ?" If tliiS light was only that in Heb. vi. 
4, then the end of the ministry was to work hypocrisy. "And 
from the power of Satan to God ; " there the Lord leaves Ihem 
not, "hut that they may receive remission of sins," etc. 

'2. If there should not be tliis fullness, most of the promises 
should be destroyed, and God'a faithfiilness fail, and the saints X 
Ite deceived. For promises are made to them that mourn, to 
them that hunger, to them tliat believe, etc. Now. many hypo- 
crites mourn and desire, and the stony ground believed. Then 
it seems the promise is not true. Yes ; and, therefore, there 
must he another kind of mourning, another and higher degree 
of the Spirit of faith, etc. ; i. e., sot of the same faith, but of 
another kind of faith. 

3. If not, then all Christians endeavor after a higher measure 
of grace should be destroyed. For if any man only has Christ 
in his eye, that he may have him, I say that is sweet ; but I eay, 
you shiJI never have him, unless you receive him. 0, but many 
receive him, as John ii. 23 ; yet Christ " committed not himself 
to them, for he saw what they were." Now, therefore, if you 
regard not the measure, i. e., such a kind of receiving of him, 
you will never seek for it, pray for it, nor learn to know it. 
And hence it b said, (Prov. xv. 24,) " The way of life is above 
to the righteous." If it were not above, of that height, he would 
never come over difficulties to it. 

4. If not, there is no true hope that any man can have ; but 
it ia utterly destroyed j (1 John iii. 3,) " lie that has this hope 
purgeth himself." I am as gooil as aufh a one. Bui, as Christ 
is pure, that is his copy and his pattern. 

5. The very people of God are destroyed from having a being 




PARA^BLB OF 



in the world, if this measure makes not the difference. If it be l 
rep lied, Tiie Lord JeauB makes the difference, — it is verj- truef^ 
I ^ those that are in covenant, tliey liaro God to be their God ; that 
I' makes one difference ; but if there he not some peculiar wort:- 
manship of the Spirit in them, then, though lliey luive God ifaeir 
God, yet the second oart of the covenant is destroyed ; i. e^ 
they ere not the Lord's peculiar people tliat have more than 
common wash-work. For we are not oniy the Lord's people b^ 
choice and purchase, but by new creation alfio. la. Iziv. 7—9. 



H \ choice a 



Section ITT. 



I 



r'^ "ff ' H"""" —J. »W the sight of no grace is no part of i 
Christian's grace and holiness. The tire fuulish virgins were 
not shut out beeausc they did not see lliey had no oi], but b9* 
cause, wlien they did see it, (as the Lord will make you see H 
first or last,) they did not get such a measure and quantity of 
it as mi^ht till then* vessel. You may go down lo hell with com- 

. plaints, I have nothing, unless the eternal Spirit work somcthtif 

(at last in you. 

^''^ l/it 2. Hence take heed of quenching and limiting the Spirit 
of God, when it is working upon and breathing in your hearts at 
any time, in any means. Because you may then fall short of 
this measure of it, and so be shut out at last. Look aa it 
with the Israelites, it is said of them, that '■' they could not drivS' 
out the Canaanites ; " i. e., they would not, by reason of ihdl?. 
Moth, imd hence they wore pricks, nay, snares to them. So ' ' 
Lord begins to work slrangety upon some men, but they 
presently humble enough, and have comfort enough, and grac0 
enough, and can not be better, and hence God makes their sintl 
snares and thorns to their sorrow and ruin afterward. Na.fi 
beloved, many a one will quench (he Spirit. O, take heed of it I 
Thus,— 

1. The Spirit not only convinccth, hut bumbles his heart, a 
shakes his spirit with fears of sin. Now, what should he d 
He should welcome it, and say, O blessed Spirit, dost thou I 
gin to cast me down to the dust for my sin, before I am cast 
hell for my sin ? What wilt thou have me lo do ? 0, humble' '■' 
me more! Give me not only an act of heaviness, but a spirit (^ 
hoaviness. As she said of aRliciion, " I pray God this plaster 
may never cease cleaving, till healed." Now, what do manj 
men ? Why, either game it, or work it, or sleep it away. 7" 
young man will not so soon lose all his mirth. Ibe man I 




THE TEN VIRGINS, 301 , 

W Iboagbt biB estate good bo long will not believe it is so witb 
Um now. Or, aa Solomon speaks of God's band, he grows 
■weary of his chastisement, and so tasis it off. and catchetii hold 
OD Christ and comfort, and there stays before the Spirit baa 
dooe iUy' 

i. It thej dare not shake it off thus till the Spirit eaaeth, . 
then thej satisfy themselves with some hopes the Lord gives, 
ud come taste of his sweetness, before they are satisfied with it, 
M those did, Heb. vi. i, 5. And bence, (Pa. xc. 14,) " O, satisfy 
u early witb iby mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our 
dtys." So satisfied as to Uve uimii it. But tbey do not Uve ujion 
11. As if you should ask a man, Could you be content to be made 
Ung Bad come from beggary ? Yes ; but be is letl there, it is not 
•Oiond hence livesa beggar still. Men can not live without their 
liuts. Yet, saitb Christ, "My flesh is meat indeed and drink 
indeed ; " 1. e., this gives real consolation, satisfaction indeed. 
And here many a Christian sinks, and goes up and down short 
of saving good. 
3. Hence many walk in some desires which the Spirit has 
, IHlli|lil . but to break through all difficulties, and foUow the 
.IcnCbdeed, and come to that ihey know tliey must, indeed, tfaia 
t*8Mf wiD not do ; but depart from Christ sorrowful, and hope the 
liorawill accept of them ; and hence the Lord complains (Mai. i. 
8) of this generation that had desires in their flocks, but larae 
ones : " Will thy king accept this ? " And so all their work is 
overly and superficial by stinting the Spirit. Thus far you shall 
go, bot no farlber. beloved, this is the frame of a sincere 
bcnrt, the Lord empties him, but he is never content that the 
work ia done ; but as his want made him beg before, so hia taste 
makes liim long more now, as Moses, to see more of the Lord's 
glory. As Paul, (PhiL iii. 12, 13,) O, therefore, when the Spirit 
ooroes, entreat it to go on and finiiih. And hence David begs, 
(Ps. cxix. 132.) "O the mercy that thou uscst to show to them 
that love thy name ! " Wliy so ? O, David saw mercy to oth- 
ers, that seta God a-work to do somewhat for tbem, work some- 
vbat in them ; but it is not such mei-cy. 0, beg for that mercy 
that humbled others, quickened olhcrs, that are now in glory ; 
that, or no mercy, Lord. . -, 

Que»t, How shall I know whether the work is overly ? I 

Amt. 1. If sudden and violent, it is usually overly. A picture | 
long ft drawing is oiaci ; anoiher soon done is lightly done. A 
nun has leopard spots, which in our garments can not be washed 
out enaily. God's thorough work is seeking and searching. 
VOL. u. 26 



i 




p 

I 



Henee, violent, sudden sorrows and joya, and reformation, wliieh 

in the stony ground (iroved uusonnd. Mult. siij. 5. 

God has thy time of trying lliee. Matt xiii. The seed 

was sown. Wtich now b good ground. Where is thrir fruit 

to be seen and ripeness of gntce ? Look upon j>ersecution, it 

that dotli not drive thee from Christ. If that doth not, see 

if the world doth nol. wbicli by b certain deceit and cozenage 

Ut befool you. I am persuaded, as Calvin is. lliat all the sev- 

leral trials of men are to show them known to themselves and 

'the world, that they be but counterfeits, and to make saints 

lown to themselves the better. As 8au], he has a tempia^oit 

ily of a command, when he had notliiug to cause him to stoop 

but it, yet he fell there. So it is with many others that Goil 

doth much for ; he tries them ; (liom. v. 5.) " Tribulation works 

trial, and that hope." Prov. xvi. 3. If you would know wheilier 

it will hold weight, the trial will tell you. Look you there, and 

in special, if it drives to prayer, fear not. 



I 



CHAPTER XXI. 



WHEKEIN IS GIVEN A UORE LARliE ASD Fl' 

THAT FDLLNEaS OF GKACE THAT IS IN BELIEVERB, AS TO 
TIIE SEVERAL l-AUTS THEREOF, AKU HOW TUE MOST GLOHlOtJS 
HirOCRITES COME SHORT IN ALU 

Section I. 
Uir 3. Make, therefore, a narrow seareh whether you have 
this fullness of tbe Spirit or do. 
Qiiett. What is this fullness? 

Am. When the .Spirit comes in the room of those thing! 
which a man is full of now. For fullness or tilling implies emp- 
tiness and the removal of that. 

I Now, there are six things every man is full of: — 
* 1. Sin; 2. Dsu-kness ; 3. Unbelief; 4. Satan; 5. Self; 
6. World. 

So there is answerably in every saint, — 

1. A fullness of humiliation for sin. 

2. A fullness of illumination and revelation in the room rf 
darkness. 

S. A fullness of faith, in the room of unbelief. 

4. A fullness of the Spirit itself, in the room of Satan. 



THE TKN VIKOINS. 



last I 



5, A fuIIneE£ of sanetifi cation in acting for God as their last 
t:nd, m the room of dcU'-se eking. 

6. A fullnf^K of glory tmil consoliition, instead of the 

I. Fullness of humiliation under sin. opposite U> fullnesii of 



For every hypocriticnl heart has commonlj some httmiliation 
»nil ca-iling down, which is the first principle of all his profes- 
Dan, and hence con tell rou of hie miserable estate that once \m 
lived in, and for wtiich be was trouliled, but it was never deep 
enoagh. For aa there was before his terrifying, a full power, a 
fullness of the dominion of sin, his humiliation for sin never 
reached, never came to that fullnesa or measure, so as to deliver 
the Boul from that. For I do not account that true humiliation 
nhereby a man'; heart is rent, troubled, and tormented with sin, 
bat whereby it is rent from sin ; not from the being, but from 
the power ; not from the bondage of some, but yet from the 
power of alL For if rending with sin should be humiliation, 
then the devils should be more humbled than any. Then also 
a man may have loo much of humiliation, and of God's Spirit. 
If tending frotu the being of all sin should be humilislion, then 
no man living should be sincerely humbled ; unless wc dream of 
an estfite of perfection before it comes, and of the day of tri- 
umph in the time of warfare. If rending from the bondage of 
mme sins should be humiliation, then a man might he truly 
linmtiled for sin, and yet under the power of iL And, therefore, 
look aa in everyone the Lord humbler, there was once a fullness 
of the reign and power of sin in the full strength of it ; so that 
full measure of humiUation which the Lord works in his, it ever 
oomcs to that hight, as to break that power down, Ehud-like, it 
not utily wounds the tiesh, but leaves the dagger in the heart of 
tliis tyrant ; (2 Cor. x. 5.) " The weapons of our warfare are 
mighty to cast down every tiling that exalts itself." 

If I should leave this point thus, I should but leave you as 
doabtinl as you came, and so in the dark; therefore, tor the l>ct^ 
Ur clearing of this point, let me explain five things to you, the 
rap« of wbkh Ls to show you what I mean by sin and tlie power 
of it, aud that hnrailiation that removes it. 

I. That hesidce the outward acts of sin, and inward lusts and 
Vinralhings of sin, and the spiritual plagues with which God 
itrikcs men for sin, as blindness, hardness of heart, there is in 
»v>-nr man living another sin, commonly called the sin of nature, 
{u in the serpents, besides the spitting of [xtison, their nature is 
piriMinous,) which sin is generally believed and eonfesiiMt. hut fi<lt 
I'y few. This is called in Scripture by the name of fiesh i (•lolm 



^^ heai 



iii. 3,) " The law of llie members, the oM man ; " for, as in men, 
there are actions, breathings, and the niiui himself; so here; 
whirh sin of nature is the deonlinalion of tlio whole man, or a 
coiTupt bent anil set of the whole man ag^nst Goil ; and it eic- 
presseth itself in two particulars: 1, In a constant departing from 
God in every action, civil and moral; like a man aet oat of bis 
way, every step he goes is out ; or like a clock out of frame, 
every stroke ia false ; (Ps. Iviii. 3,) " The wicked go astray from 
the very womb." 2. In fierce, invindblo resisting and contra- 
dieting of God, when he has overtaken the soul to draw it borne, 
and turn it back. Rom. viii. 7. Wc account it a doleful thing 
for Christ to bid the soul depart at the last day ; that woe is passed 
ui>on all the sons of men by this sin now, only with tUis difference : 

1. They arc forced to depart then, men willingly depart now, 
and hasten away in every thing from G^ as fa^t as they can. 

2. They depart inlo fire, these to broken cUlems of creatures. 
I do, 3. liolieve they would not renst the Lord, if he shonld 
come to save them from separation then from him ; this makes 

itnre resist him now. 

il - T hftt^thia sin of nature is most properly only tbc reigning 
The text ia evident for it; (Rom. vi. 12.) " Let not sin 
reign, to obey it in the lusts thereof." There is, 1. Obedience, 
., the outward acta ; 3. Lusts, the inward breathings ; 3. Sin 
itself, where those lusts are sealed. - It has been a question what 
reigning master-sin is, and many discoveries have been 
mode of particular sins, as that which risetb and awakoneth firsts 
in the nioming with us, that which rides and labors a man upon, 
the Sabbath day. when the Lord or sin must ride in triumph i 
yet that is the misery of a carnal heart, that when he gives hi» 
beasts rest, yet such is sin's tyranny, he being sin's beast, thai hv 
flhall then have no rest. Now, if their meaning bo, that s 
particular sin may be a reigning sin, or a man's personal reigr 
ing sin, then it is true, Judas loves his bag best, and Acbitophel 
and Hamon their honor best, and Ucrod his whore most. 6u< 
they mean a man's natural reigning sin, the reigning sin then -^ 
any particular sin so much as this. For no sin is ubl^^ 
over any man, but by commission and power from thi9» - 
weeds can never grow tall, but by virtue of their so&J 
where they grow. Matt. iv. 19. All the boughs flonrish byviir-^- 
tue of the root whence they grow. And benee we shall see, l^^=l 
Satan sow bis seeds of pride, or lust, or passion in a man whoe^-* 
nature is changed, it ia impossible they should come to any pe::^*^ 
fection there, but they will die away within a lime, because tt^^™" 
heart of the soul is gone, and power of ain removed ; and henc^^^i 




THE TEN VmOINS. • 305 

also, it comes to pass, that a man's master-sin may be changed ; 
those sins that are his master-sins in his youth are not in his old 
age ; those that are not at one time, in one place, are not in an- 
other. Now, there could never be such change in governors and 
viceroys, unless there were some great king, that sets up one, and 
pulls down another, satis pro imperio ; this is, therefore, the 
reigning sin, which has taken possession of every part, which has 
its hand in every act, which pulls down one sin and sets up an- 
other under it, which gives strength to every sin that has an^ 
which fights it out till the last ; this is, I say, the reigning sin ; 
hence think not that then the reigning sin is down, when your 
personal sins are destroyed, though it be with a most sudden and 
fearful destruction. ^ 

III. That when the Spirit of God humbles the soul indeed, 
he strikes the head, and wounds the heart of this sin ; he doth 
not only cut off some limbs of it, not only bind it, but slay it of 
its life and power. That, as it is with some men, they may have 
many pains, gripes, diseases, yet live and recover again, but the 
pangs are not so strong as to separate soul and body, for then the 
man is gone. So a carnal heart he may be troubled, and have 
many gripes of conscience, and apply the promise, ** Come to me, 
you that be weary," and so he may find rest, and as he recovers 
his peace, his sin recovers its strength ; but when the pangs are 
so strong as separate body and soul, sin of nature which has lived 
there ; now the man dies ; now the soul falls down indeed. Now, 
this effectual humiliation carries the soul unto Christ ; and hence, 
(Acts XX vi. 18,) "Turned from the power of Satan to God;" 
(Col. i. 13,) " He has delivered us from the power of darkness." 
And hence, (Gal. v. 24,) " They that be in Christ have crucifiqi^ 
the flesh, as well as the affections and lusts." For^f the Lord 
should only humble a man for the sins of a wicked life, and some 
wants in the heart, the Lord should only bruise Satan*s heel, but 
never strike his head! the Lonl should slay the Amalekites, 
but spare Agag. It is true, the Lord usually, at first conversion^ 
sets one sin ujwn the soul that brings to mind many other, and 
the Lord humbles for them, and here the soul is apt to rest as 
many do ; but when the Lord comes, indeed, to work, he cuts thus . 

deep as I now s])eak. 1 Cor. xv. It is said, " The Lord must A/> 
rei^ till all his enemies are put under his feet." Look, there- y^ 
fore/as this sin is the greatest enemy Christ hath, so if he reigns^V 
in Weaven, he will be sure, above all other sins, to strike the head 
of this, and disthrone this / and we shall find that there may be^ 
deep terrors upon the false-hearted virgins, but they only assault 
the soul ; so on saints, but Christ then strikes at the sin, and 

2G» 



I 



I 



806 1 

eaves the souL Is. Ivii. 16, 17. And, this I aAA, there may be 
a grenl power of Christ put forth to humble the soul, but men'i 
hearu resist this ; and even Phariioh was humbled, but it is nerer 
saving, unlesa it strike ibe very power and throne of sin, and so 
this Bin ; and now the soul is humbled indeed. 

IV. That no unregenemte man ever had such a measure of 
humiliatiou as ascended to and ended in this, though he maj 
have all that humiliation which is precedent unto this ; as, — 

1. The Lord may arm first some few and then many of the 
sins of their lives upon them, so as they may feel the most in- 
tolerable burden of them; not only lo stand convinced they are 
most grievous sinners, but to shed many (ears, nay, to bo sore 
troubled and distressed; 0, the heavy ivrath that lies upon my 
soul! Tbus Saul. 1 Sam. xxviii. 15. And hence many make 
heavy complainU ; O, the Lord hears me not. *' Send for Ho- 
ses," saith Pharaoh, " My sin is greater than I can bear," saith 
Gain. Nay, not only so, but they may feel more terrors than 
many of the saints, as the damned now; for the Lord lays this 
burden upon his people's boeke in measure, but the Lord empties 
out the whole sadc upon theiu, and the ground of this h but the 
sting of sin, or the gnawiugs of parliculur siiia in the conscience, 
not the burden of tlie sin of nature as yeL 

2. You will say. These fell from God, never looked lo Christ, 
nor left their sin ; but I have done so. I have seen the mercy 
of Gkid in the gospel, the Lord Jesus has been revealed there; 
aod I iiavo seen sin; "I must part with my sin if ever I have 
him, and so I have. And this yon may have, you may see an 
excellency in Christ, and be so aiTected with hope of his mercy, 
and melt at the Ihoughls of his love, aa to cnst off all outward 
evils that thou hast, or the world lives in. 2 Pet. ii. 20. So that 
tliou mayst escape these by coming to him lo remove them, and 
by seeing that else thou shalt have none of him ; and hence 
haled thou mayst be of the world. The reason is, Christ has 
only washed thy skin, hut never changed thy nature as ye 
that you may thank God my conscience is clear. 

3. You may have not only outward acts, bul, for a time 
ward luBls quenched, that a man has no mind nor heart to 
sinful way, nor to the dearest sins he has lived in, whilst horror 
lies upon him. As in Judas, when God did heat his conscience, 
his lust, after his bag was gone, he had more mind to a halter, 
and hence throws away his pieces of silver, and innocent blootL 
lies heavy. O, the mercy of a Christ that I have slighted! "" 
thought he might have his money, and Christ ei^capcd wil 
life, and his sin pardoned afterward. And hence it js 



a»:^ 




THE TEN YIROINS. 807 

(Matt, xxvii. 3,) " When he saw lie was condemned, he repent- 
ed," and, as a man not worthy to live in his own thoughts, " he 
goes and hangs himself." It is with the soul as with water, all 
the cold may be gone, but the native principle of cold remain 
still. You may remove the burning of lusts, not the blackness 
of nature, from a carnal heart, and the ground holds, nature is 
not changed. This I say, 'an unregenerate man may have, bu 
yet never find this change of nature, where the power of sin 
lies ; change of conscience from security to terror, change of life 
from profaneness, and civility, and fashions of the world, to es- 
cape pollutions thereof; change of lusts, nay, quenching them for 
a time ; but the nature is never changed in the best hypocrite 
that ever was./ As, (2 Pet ii. 19, 20,) "They were washed," 
but never from their swinish nature, and here they ever faTT; 
(Prov.xxx. 12,) "There is a generation clean in their own eyes, 
yet not washed from their own filthiness." 2 Tim. ii. 18-21. 
Alexander fell, and Hymeneus fell ; they talked of the glorious 
estate of saints, and that here was all the resurrection that is to 
be expected ; and it seems it was such a fall of such persons that 
many stumbled, and said, How shall we know we are the Lord's ? 
doubtless we may fall. No, " The foundation remains sure, and 
the Lord knows who are his." They were none of his all that 
time. "And let all that profess Christ depart from iniquity; 
for he that purgeth himself shall be a vessel of honor." And, 
therefore, read through all the Scripture constantly, never any 
hypocrites but they had this brand ; (Matt. vi. 23,) " You workers 
of iniquity." Herod and Judas had their haunts, etc. And (Rom. 
i. and ii.) the apostle shows that all were under sin. He may 
in every thing else be humbled, for all the humiliation besides 
this strengthens sin in its kingdom, and binds a man faster under 
the dominion of it. And hence such men are more hard to be 
convinced than men that were never cast down at all. 
But this he never finds ; for, if he should, then, — 

1. A graceless heart might partake of the greatest benefit of 
the covenant of grace and love of Gwl. For, (Rom. xi. 2(5,) 
"This is my covenant, to take away their sin." For to subdue 
sin is greater love than to conquer devils, death, and hell. Is. 
xi. (>. It is tuniing lions into lambs. 

2. Then an unregenerate man may partake of the last end of 
all the sufl^erings and sorrows of Christ, which is " to save his 
])eople from their sin." And hence, (Jolm i. 21),) " Behold the 
I^mb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world." 1 
John ii. 5, 7, " Christ came to destroy the works of the devil." 
This, therefore, he ever falls short of. He that hath found this 
easy, and accounts this work common, never had it yet. 




H nol, [ie 
^B ing the 
■^ dra«-in 



808 THE TARA^BLE OF 



Quett. How may a Christinn know when the Lord 
cli»nged liis uatiirc, and taken (lotrn llie power of liis Bin ? 

Ahs. It might ^ulGcc to evidence this Bgainst all gainsareriy, 
that thus it k, aud so to know it by the Spirit's witness, whidM 
ebows us the tilings freely given of God, who, to save lirn 
Lord a trying another day, tries us now, and mokea knows theM] 
bidden works. Especially seeing some divines think, ihnt as tba> 
first Adam conveyed this sin of nature, I not knowing, so th*' 
second Adam doth also remove this by an immediate stroke, I 
conceive it is so also, but not only by it. And, therefore, vjnr 
two evidences now. 

1. Wherever this is done, tlint soul doth not only see this sia(: i 
for BO an unregenerate Paul did ; (Horn. vii. 9,) where " sin i*> 
vived," etc. And the word is a " divider of joints and marrow." 
Nor do they only feel tliis as an evil, and ao be muck troubled 
with it i but when the Lord makes the dejected soul feel it as its 
greatest evil, so long as it remains in its being, (as it will^ 
worse than death, than hell, than all afflictions, and miseries. It 
is not a particular sin, but this tliat he feels thus. You will aay 
this is a high pitch. I say, consider if any man was ever hum- 
bled under sin, but he that felt sin as it is. Fur, if I feel it not 
as it is, I am deceived. Now, it is the greatest evil ; to deport 
from a living Giod is ivor«c than for a soul and body, aud aS 
creatures to depart from me. To make God miserable is worse ] 
than for all creatures ever to be made so ; and sin in its lendenc/ j 
doth so, being a cross to his will Is. i. 24! Hence he that feels 
it indeed, feels it so ; the beginning of which is a sorrow aod i 
mourning after God, that it might be so ; (Is. Ixiii. 17,) " Whf i 
hast thou hardened our hearts from thy fear? " But thus it i^ ? 
indeed. Rom. vii. '2i. And when it is thus, it will hold thus till 
<teath, while the cause remains ; nay, (be more life and love, the 
more tender it grows; setting aaide some careless fiia. And 
hence its greatest joy is to think of the time it shall be forever 
holy. And hence accounts no such mercy as to be set at lib- 
erty to live to God indeed. A graceless heart sees and fears it, 
and cries out of himself for it ; but stay a while, and he loselh 
his tenderness, either because he can not part witli it, or because 
of Christ, be looks now to him, or because he hatb now some 
sprinkling of the Spirit, nature is eased thereby, and he is 
quieted ; and hence never any carnal heart, but some rootof bit- 
terness did grow up at last in this soiL Hence ordioaaces profit 
not, because feeling is lo'<t. But the soul thus feeling it, bt^old^ m 
^ the holiness of God and love of Christ, and its uonslaat witlb'^ 
drawings, resistings, O. it cuts deep I 




I 



THE TEN VIKGIKS. 809 

i. Then the nature is changed, when the conscience being still 
ind quiet, and the soul assured of the Lord's love, jet notliing 
gives ibe heart quiet till it id conti^ous to GchI in Christ to en- 
jo; him, in his holiness, and in the love and delight of his nliole. 
will. For this is a certain rule, if the nature be not changed, if I 
conscience be but once quieted with the sense of God's ]Dve,and| 
■Seeted with it, and has not God indeed, nor his work, to quiet it, I 
it will fall to lusting after creatures and live upon them, and feed i 
the heart there. /For, ns it is impossible for a man to live, or to] 
be without provision, so the world being provision for the flean, 
meat, drinh, sleep, and these lawful things, there it doUi and wiU 
He quiet without God. But now, where the nature is changed, 
and there is another nature, there is something else provided for 
it to live on, and that is the Lord and his will. As Christ said, 
"It is my meat and drink to do his will;" (and Rom. vii. 22,) 
"I delight in the law of God in the inner man," There was 
somewhat that loathed it, but there was somewhat else delighted 
in it, and there lies its lite ; and though the heart would rest and 
give over sometimes, yet it is a law of the mind that the soul 
has. he con have, no rest. Kom. viii. 5. And. therefore, take a 
child of God, let him have meat, drink, sleep, blessing in his 
e^ling, preach, pray, and have honor, yet he will constantly come 
home to the Lord mourning. What 1 dolh all this do me good ? 
When I rise u[i, lie down, eat, drink, and pray, and do all with- 
out him 1 An untuned heart all this while. The world stands 
between him and the Lonl all this while, but this doth not. 
Uany a sincere heart has heavy complainta and many doubts, 
because it is not thus ; this rather is on evidence of peace, than 
God*s WOT against it. It is an old rule, he that can live in 
heaven, shall ; and there is nothing but a God to suck in, and 
breWhe out, and live unto. Is this Hiy element now ? 

O, consider and examine yourselves here, you poor saints, that 
Tou may be comforted. Others of you, if now you do not, the 
Xiord JeauH will another day, and bring these secret things of 
darkness to light. If thou findest this was never yet done,know 
ft, all thy tears, and fenrs, and prayers have been in vain ; and 
Ontler the power of sin and Satan thou still art, through the fierce 
wrath of God against thee. And there I leave thee till the Lord 
flod thee oat^ 

Section II. 

11/ A fullness of illuminaiion in the room of darkness. 
let it be llrsi nut^ thai I 8[icak not here of revelAiions 
«Tent«. When virgin churches stiall fall a dreaming. 



I 

I 



■ss. BuT] 
of future I ^ 
g, it is aj 



310 TtIF, PARABLE OF 

sign tbey fall n gleeping. Nor of revclolion of new doctrines, 
nor yet of the love of Christ and assurani^e thereof; hut of the 
]ierson of Chriat, a work common to all tlic elect, and not pecu- 
liar to some ; for Chriet ja&y not appear in his promise of love 
for a time to a sincere heart, yet this ia then wrought. I shall, 
TEerefore, express my thoughts herein in four conclusions. 

CimcL I. That all unregenerate men are under the power of 
aarkoesa, of ignorance ; (Eph. v. 8,) " You were darkness " in 
the abstract. Eph. iv. 15. So that " they can not understand 
the things of the Spirit of God." 1 Cor. ii. H. Especially the 
Lord Jesua ; for the knowledge of him is above nature, not only 
Mrmpted, b ut jure na ture. Nay, thongli the Lord ^vea the 
ist means of reve^ng himself, yet they can not 
5,) " Light shined in darkness, and it comprehended 
not," no more than he whose viaive faculty is lost, when 
the sun shines round about him. Nay, that hght which is in 
them is darkness. Matt. vi. 23. And then, how great is that 
darkness I For many men might have known Christ, but tliat 
they thought they did know him before, and so are delivered up 
in these chains of darkness to the prince of darkness ; but are 
like wilderness shrubs, shall never see when good comes. JVIin- 
isters (as Christ did) may mourn over them, hut can never help 
them until the Lord pull off their scales. For they plense them- 
sclvea in darkness, and love it more than light, and are r 
Paul, praying and mourning under the scales that are upoa . | 
their eye^, t 

Concl. 2. That there is a state of light to which Gcod ealle bia J 
people only ; or, rather, tliat there is a spirit of light, illumina' I 
tion or revelation, let into the mind, which is peculiar to the be- I 
loved of Christ. 1 Pet. ii. 9. As of other things, so especially 1 
of the Lord Jesus. 2 Cor. iv. 4-6. And it is so glorious a wore I 
that Christ himself admires the Father, and stands in a rHvisb* 1 
ment at it. Matt. xi. 25. To babes, incapable of all others of ' 
knowledge ; yet to them doth the Lord reveal some things that 
the wisest in tlie world never knew. I do believe, tbit the 
greatest scholar that ever lived never had one such thought or 
apprehension of the Lord, and the things of the Lord, as the 
B^nts have. And hence Christ professeth, 0, " blessed are your 
eyes that they see ; " and themselves bless him, and fall a won- 
dering many times ; " Lord, why dost ihou manifest thyself to 
us, and not to the world ? " And, therefore, it is an injury to 
the grace of God, to make precious things common, and all the 
work of the Spirit on the understanding to be common to repro- 
bates, and to say, the difference lies only in the work of the 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 811 

Spirit upon the will ; (John vl. 45,) ^ He that has heard and 
learned of the Father comes to me." If the learning of the 
Father be common to a reprobate, then either they may come to 
Christ, which is there denied, or Christ's promise is false, for 
then a carnal heart may bear and learn of the Father, and never 
come to Christ. 

ConcL 3. That, notwithstanding it is thus with them, yet fool- 
ish virgins may have some light in their lamps, some sight and 
knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is said, we live in days of light, 
and so indeed we do ; but as the Lord said to them that had 
seen his miracles, " yet the Lord had not given them eyes to see 
to this day ; " they were enlightened, yet fell. Heb. vi. 4. I 
shall therefore speak not of the revelation of all the word, but 
of Christ the end of it, and the knowledge of whom compre- 
hends all the rest. 

1. There is a knowledge of Christ in many a man which is 
begot by common fame, and human private instruction, which 
men, hearing from credible men, conceive of and believe ; as 
that Christ is the Saviour of the world, is come, is dead, is risen, 
is at God's right hand, that in him God's justice and mercy are 
reconciled, tliat there is mercy with him for the greatest of all 
sinners, etc And, according as men are more or less instructed, 
so do men conceive and believe. But now this knowledge is but 
tnulitional, and begot by common fame and human report, like 
Herod's, tliat heard many things of Christ, and yet indeed de- 
spised him. The Lord, I know, doth make use of this to cause 
the soul to come to further sight of him, as in the Queen of 
Sheba ; but it is far enough off from giving any saving knowledge 
of the Lord Jesus ; and hence, (John i. 4(3,) when they had been 
with Christ, they do not wish them to rest in the report, but 
come and see ; so you hear of these things, but come and see 
these things. You have learned them from man, come unto the 
Lord that he may teach them ; and hence we shall see many 
of the people of Grod that have been put to a question of all 
things that ever they learned, and learned them over again ; as, 
whether there be a Christ or no, etc. And they never saw these 
things indeed, until the Lord taught them a second time ; hence, 
therefore, those that have been thus trained up, and have been 
troubled and comforted by some conceived promises of Christ, but 
never saw any more of his person than what you have learned 
before, '* your eyes are closed up to this day." 

2. If any man shoul d^ see and jauhold Christ really, immedi- 
ately, this is not the savmi^. tnow ledge of him. I know the 
•aintd do know Christ as if immediately present ; tliey arc not 



r 

I 



31*2 TUE I'AKABLE OF 

etnmgers Ity their distance ; if others have seen liira more it 
diatoly. I will not dispute it ; bul if they have seea llie Lord Je- 
BUi as inunediatelj ta if here on earth, yet Cnperoaiini g: 
so ; any, »ome of them were disciples for a time, and followed 
bim, (John vi..) and yet the Lord wm hid from their eyes ; nay, 
all the world ahali see him in his glory, which shall amaie ihem ; 
and yet this is far short of the saving knowledge of liim, wliicli 
the Lord dolb communicate to the elect, tio that though yoa 
sec the Lord so really aa that you become familiar witji him, 
yet, (Luke xiii. 26,) ■* Lord, have we not eaten and drunk? "etc 
And eo perish. 

S. A man may see the Lord in his wonderful works, and glo- 
rious kingdom and goTemment, and yet not know him Bavingly ; 
wondrous deliverances, prescrraiions of himsell', and of God's 
pcojile, dreadful destruction of enemies, such as they can not but 
soy, " This is the finger of the Lord," and yet know noL Deut, 
zxix. 1-4. And hence (John xv. 24) men think snch things 
are done, and shall I ever be vile again ? yet they become as bad 
as ever. 

4. He may see the Lord Jesus yet more clearly by the letter 
of the Scripture, which, though it brings to the saving knowledge 
of Christ, yet to see the Lord Jesus no otherwise than by the 
strength of fancy and understanding, from thence is no saving 
knowledge of Jesus Christ ; and hence (Uom. xvi. 2t!) the mys- 
tery of the gosi>el was tud from the Jews, but now it is revealed 
to all nations ; literally to all where it comes, savingly to some 
few. For, between the saving knowledge of Christ in the gos- 
pel, and palpable ignorancQ of him in the gospel, there is his 
middle knowledge, which is literal, whereby a man doth see ; 
" yet in seeing, sees not," (Is. vi. 9,) whiiji is the state of a 
church which has been long trained up under good means ; and 
hence we shall see many men of great learning have been able 
to write volumes of the mystery of Christ, and yet in " seeing 



jejcer 



"^ There may be in a false heart a strange knowledge of Christ 

I without Scriptures, which may ravish a man's deluded bean 

,stnu)gely, which is usually the first temptation of the virgin 

.churches, that are of much knowledge and little love. 2 Cor. 

IKJ. 2— 4J Wherein Satan doth not seek to pull away men to for- 

/^BflKe the gospel, but from the simplicity of the gospel, " Repent, 

(mul believe, and be saved ; " for, sajlh ho, '' Satan is translormed 

1 into an angel of light;" and henc^wo have heard that some 

•have heard voices; some have seen the very blooil of Christ 

dropping on them, and his wounds in his aide ; some have gccd 




a ^reat light shining in the cliamber ; some wonderfallj afiected 
with ibeir dreams ; some, in great difitresa, have had inward wit- 
ness, " Thy sins are forgiven ;" and hence sueh lilierty and joy 
that they are ready lo leap up and dowD the chamber. O, aduU | 
lerous generation I (This is natural and usual with men, thjjyj 
would earnestly see Jesus, and have him present to give them 
peace ; and hcnue Papists have his image ; and hence Christ ^ves 
ibc sacrament to show himself as familiarly as can be. Hence 
Thomas would not believe, " unless he might put his finger in hia 
side," and the Lord tendered him, yet pronounced "them blessed 
thai have not seen, and yet beheved." John xx. 29. So I say, 
e contra. Woe lo them that hare no other manifested Christ hut 
Bucb a one. Litlle do you think what wrong you do to Christ ; 
for you do as much na in you lies lo eclipse all liis glory at the 
last day, as the wicked by tlieir sina eclipse his glory at this day ; 
(2 Tbess. i. 10.) " He ehaU be admired in all that believe." 
Why ? Because your testimony was believed ; that faith which 
doselh will], and sees Christ in a testimony, is that whereby Jq- 
sus shall be admired at the world's end. 

Ootift. i. Tbat the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is this, 
wht^reby the soul, being sensible of his ignorance of Jesus, be- 
holds such a glory of Christ's person, as that he esteems liim in 
all his glory, as his present, greatest, and only good. I will lake 
thi« ia pieces. 

1. I say that soul which has truly and savingly seen the Lord 
Jeaua has been made sensible of his ignorance of him ; I see 
him not, 1 have heard of him and read of him, and token hia 
name into my mouth and professed him ; and I believe others 
see him, and bleasod arc their eyes ; but I see him not : (John ix. 
26, 37, Sit,) "For judgment am I come into this world." Aud 
look, as all the increase of the knowledge of Christ come« in by 
llus door, so the beginning of it ; and, therefore, those tliat liave 
bem cast down and beard of Christ n tiiaviour, but never felt their 
ignorance of him before they have apprehended him, their light 
b darkness, and their knowledge full of delusion and idolatrous. 

3. It beholds a glory in Chnst's person ; for before tbe L>ord 
revettls his Son to any, look, what be was to tbe Jews be ia to 
everyman; (la.liii. 2,8.) '-Heisrcjectedanddespisedof men ;" 
nothing so mean aa Christ, every vanity preferred above bim, 
and men can do no other, because they see not his glory and 
beauty ; (1 Cor. ii. 8.) "If ihey had known," etc. Therefore 
ihc l^nl reveab bis hidden glory to lhem,suthas never entered 
into their bcjtns before, or into the minds of other men, which 
though olhera muy talk of, yet they can not see it iu that manner 
TOL. II. 27 



314 THE PARABLt OF 

ns they do. It is called, therefore, marvelous light which he 
doth revcflt trfaen the eouI hath been viewing its own shame and 
fillb, when all the griiss aoA gloiy is withered, (Is. x1. 6,) then 
the glory of Christ is revealed ; one every way 80 fit and suila- 
ble to them, accordiDg to all their wants and woes, by some eer- 
mon or other, which, when the soul doth see, it usually fills the 
head, and heart, and eyea with tears. O, that I have despised 
hira BO glorious! Acta ii. 36, 37 ; 2 Cor. iv. 5, G. If the soul 
should not feel its ignorance of him, it would never esloem the 
sight of him ; but now it doth thus, and now that glory is re- 
vealed 1 (John i. 1 4,) " "We beheld his glory as the glory of the 
only begotten Son." In every truth there is a glory which men 
see not, and this is called in Scripture " the finding of the pearl." 
Matt. xiii. 45. 

III. He BO beholds him in his glory, as that he now esteems 
of Lim in all his glory. For a Balaam may see the glory of 
the tents of Israel and the star of Jacob, hut they esteem not of 
him in all his glory. The daumed in boll see a glory in Christ, 
else lliey would never grieve for the lose of him ; but it is only 
in regard of something in Christ delivering saints from sorrows 
Uiey feel. Nay, many reprobates, under a lively ministry, shall 
Bce some glory in Christ and in saints, to think them the happy 
men, yet not esteem of him in all his glory ; but it is otherwise 
here. The Lord ariseth as the sun upon the earth, which makes 
all things that have any glory to appear therein, and it puts a 
glory on every thing that was hid before. So Christ puts a glory 
on every thing of himself; so that, — 

1. The soul sees a glory in the graee of Christ. John i. 14, 
For the glory of Christ's person is not seen wiihoat these excel- 
lencica ; (Luke i. 46.) " My soul magnifies the Lord." 

2. A glory io the holiness of Christ. Is. vi. 8. Especially 
to consider, It is in him to make me holy. 2 Cor. iii. 18. 

3. A glory in his covenant and promises. Ps. btv. 1, 2. 
that all those promises might be made good to me! This is all . 
my desire. 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. . 

4. A glory in the government, and commands, and will of I 
ChrisL O, if once I could in every thing g^ve o 
heart! Ps.zix. 10. That the soul luul rather lose all thancrosal 
his will in a small thing, seeing a glory in the least truth, in cost* | 
ing off a ceremony, etc. Zach. vi. 13. 

5. A glory in all the ordinances of Christ. " O, how a 
are thy tabernacles, God ! " O, the fellowship of sainis ! 
the peace on .Sabbaths ! 

6. A glory in all his carriage. Let him blese me i 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 315 

outward estate, though but a little. This is the allowance that 
Christ in glory provides for me. Let him threaten me, " Grood 
is the word of the Lord." Let him desert me, his anger is love. 
0, that is glorious. Let him take all from me, reproach me, 
"Moses esteems Christ's reproach greater riches than Egypt," 
which is our estate here. It sees a glory in all Christ's ways, 
and quiets itself here ; "It is the Lord," as Eli said. Thus 
saints see and esteem of Christ in all his glory, and we shall find 
a false heart even fall short here, a sincere heart never ; but 
commonly it is so taken up with it, that if you ask. Suppose you 
should have all grace, holiness, promises of Christ, etc., would 
not this be mercy ? Yes ; enough. I should, then, boast in him, 
and bless him forever. And hence Christ is called (Luke ii. 33) 
" The glory of Israel," because they so esteem him. And, (Is. 
XX viii. 5,) " In that day the Lord shall be a diadem of glory." 
Others may, in horror, prize Christ above the world; but it is 
only to ease them. 
IV. I add, he esteems him thus, — 

1. As his present good ; so that if the Lord doth withdraw or 
deny himself, now unto him nothing in this world can for the 
present quiet him. Jer. 1. 4, 5. Hence those in their judgments 
acknowledge Christ the greatest good, and when they are dying, 
and see he will so at the last day, yet now for the present a lit- 
tle more liberty in sin, sloth, lust, honor, gain, lots, large accom- 
modations are better. You never saw him. O, vile world, the 
Lord will one day condemn thee out of thine own mouth ; thy 
own will was more dear to thee than his, this world's ease better 
than his peace, etc. When you lie on your death beds, you es- 
teem him then. Why? Because he serves your turn then. 
Hence, before you did not. 

2. As the greatest good. Deut xxxiii. 26 ; Jer. x. 7. Hence 
those that see some good in Christ, and desire him, and offer fair 
for him, but prize him not as the greatest good. And hence with 
the young man, though content to part with somewhat, not with 
all, they will cast their rags down at Christ's feet, and entreat 
him to take away their sins, but will not cast their crowns down, 
the dearest things they have ; and hence the thorny-ground pro- 
fessors ever fall away. The good things of this world, wliirh 
they forsook in time of persecution, were dearer than Christ, 
and hence they fall away. It is a dishonor to a king to be val- 
ued as other men are. Zach. xi. 12, 13. 

3. As the only good ; (Is. xxiv. 23,) " The sun shall be con- 
founded," etc. And though other things may steal into their 
hearts for a time, yet they recover themselves ; this is the one 



I 



816 



THE PABiBLE OF 



i. 4) that ihey beg in this life. And hence do 



I 



thing (Pa. i 
fail short. 

1. Thoao that esteem Chriat as men do merchandise; they 
would fain have it, but are loth to bring it. Men maj esteem 
Christ, ae they think, the only good ; hut herein their falseness 
appears, that they neglect means to it, becuuse they have some 
good else to quiet ibcm. And here is condemned all lazy pro- 
fession. 

2. Those llittt would have Christ, and esteem him highly, and 
use means for lum diligently, but they must have Christ, and 
world, and lust, and ease likewise. Christ to quiet their con- 
adences. and tlie world their hearts ; Christ to rest on when 
their duties fail them, and the world to rest iu when the consola- 
tions of Christ are denied unto them. " The land is good ; go 
up and possess it." 

Object. 1. But do the saints come to this pilch? 

Ant. 2 Cor. iv. S, •• If our gospel be hid, it is bid to them that 
be lost." Who are those from whom Christ is hid? When is 
he hid ? When his glory is hid. I know saints may feci a want 
of, and mourn for it ; but it will appear, if they are the Lord's, 
at some time. Nay, this they wUl find, some and much con- 
tempt remaining which tbey oppose ; yet this b here, and al 
parting limes it is seen. 

Object. 2. But saints can not know tliis. 

Am. Tes, (as well as tlicy can know their contempt.) by 

I means of God's Spirit i he that is carried from one contrary to 
anoilier shall know it. 
Object. 3. But hypocrites may attain to this. 
Am. I. Then the gospel may he revealed to a hypocrite, and 
lo them that arc lost. 
2. Then they may believe ; for to them only the Lord is 
precious. I Pet. ii. 7. Then a thing is precious, when we value 
it according to the worth of it. Now the Lord is the greatest 
and only good, and then when we esteem him so; this is Uio 
work of believers only. 
3. Then Christ may be a carnal man's treasure. For that is 
our treasure which we esteem most. 
4. Then a carnal heart may honor Christ with c 
highest degrees of honor, which consists in this high estcemyd 
(Luke i. 4i;,) "My soul magnifies the Lord." 
5. Observe we, ihat never any lost Christ bnt because thepi 
undervalued him. Forsake all. and take the pearl. That tt.fl 
shall lie upon you one day ; O, if Christ had had thai t 
which lust and world hath hnd, 1 bad had him now 1 Exainim^J 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 317 

if it be thus, if you thus see and prize the Lord Jesus. O, be 
thankful that ever the Lord sen't that messenger to reveal Christ ! 
If not, O, go and mourn ! Paul did so three days, (Acts ix.) when 
"he saw nothing." O, Christ hath been long hid from thee. 
0, few have this ; but lay about for it, for else that in Matt, 
xxiij. 39 shall be your portion. 

Section III. 

III. Fullness of faith, in the room of unbelief. 

For it is not unknown how strongly this sin keeps every man's 
palace, and that not Moses, but the Lord Jesus, is the stumbling- 
stone even of the Jews, the peculiar people of Grod. Wlien men 
are at their last cast, that the Lord intends to wait to pity no 
more, at last the Son comes, and an unbelieving heart casts the * 
balance and refuseth him. After that the Lord hath tried me^j 
by miraculous preservations, deliverances from Pharaohs, pro- 
vision as Massah, then Canaan comes to be entered, and men 
can not enter because of unbelief. This sin stands in open view, 
and keepft the breach, when all other sins in appearance are 
beaten out of the field. Now, there is a Spirit of faith, which 
comes in the room of this unbelief, dispossesseth the soul of the 
ppwer of it ; for there may be some lighter strokes of the Spirit, 
which are lighter skirmishes with it, but yet it wins field again ; 
as in the stony ground, that believed, but unbelief got head again 
in time of persecution and temptation, and then they fell away. 

Quest. 1. What is this faith, or that fullness or full measure 
of it? 

Ans. I shall not speak here of historical or miraculous 
faith ; the first of which is in the devils, the second in some men 
only, that may perish afterward. Nor yet of that faith which 
we call of assurance, we shall not come yet to that. But of 
that which we call justifying faith, and that which doth first 
unite to Christ, and justify. Now, this faith is the coming of the 
soul to Christ This is the general. For Adam had his life in 
himself, but now it is lost in us, but laid up in Christ. Col. iii. 3. 
Now, hence they that would have this life, must go out of them- 
selves to the Lord for it. Now, the motion of the soul between 
these two extremes of emptiness and death here, to life and full- 
ness there, what is it but faith ? Which Adam had not, nor 
c ould^ Jia ye in^thaL-C state ; and, therefore, none of the sons of 
Adam naturally can share in it. 

And tliat this is faith it appears — 

L From John vi. 35. " I am the bread of life : he that comes 

27* 




I 
I 



to me shall never hunger ; and he that believes in roe shall never 
thirst." 

2. Because unbelief is the departing of the bouI from the God 
of life. Heb. iii. 12. Not from a holy law, but from a living 
God. 

3. Failh is the proper effect of vocation ; or rather the chief 
part thereof. Now, look, as ineffectual vocation is when the 
Lord calb>, but the soul never comes, so effectual vocation is 
whereby the Lord calls, and the soul answers, and so comes. 
So that to sit still and see nothing, and do nothing, is not faith, 
but slolh. No, Christ can not be in that soul that is jet in him- 
self. Therefore faith is not a passive posBibility of the soul to 
receive Chnst, though that may prepare for him, but the going 
oat of a man's self unto Christ. 

[~ Quett. 2. But may not a man come to Christ, that never shall 
liave mercy from Christ? 
Am. Yes, there may be many lighter strokes, as in temporary 
believers. ) The world is at tliia day full of faiih ; every man 
[hinks and saith he believes, though his futh be weak. It is 
men's buckler against all means, they know these sins, but as 
long as they believe all is well. And it is their comfort in all 
their troubles, tliough the Jjord kills, yet ihey will believe. And 
I say, some men have departed indeed from the Lord ; the gos- 
pel bath been preached, and they have made out of themselves 
[I to Christ, but missed of him. There is a bramble faith rhat 
'] catcheth and scratcheth Christ, kisselh and betrays him. That 
coming to Christ therefore which none else have the full meas- 
ure of, it appears in these particulars. 

It is that work of the Spirit whereby a sinner, sensible of his 
extreme nakedness, emptiness, and want*, being called of God, 
his whole soul comes out of himself to Christ, for himself. I 
speak not of assurance, for if that were failh, all reprobates 
then were bound to believe an untruth, viz., that God the Father 
loves, and Christ hath died for them. 

1. It is a work of Goil's Spirit, and hence it is called t 
Spirit of faith, not only because wrought by it, but because t 
Spirit is in an admirable manner fastened to it, and clasped fel 
the soul, and the soul to Christ by it. 

2. The subject in which it ia wrought ; a sinner sensible of hi _ 
extreme wanis ; for faith springs out of the destruction of oac| 
own exi'cllency, and ruins ofit ; like Christ, that did t 

A root out of a ilry ground ; forulic Lord's great plot is to advanctfl 

llChri«t and his rich graced Now,look, as it is o1>scured by bring<M 

tng Any thing uf our own to it, so it is advanced by fetching ■" 



319 

from it ; ihh can never be till tlie soul is sensible of his naketl' 
ne.sa, emptiness, and wanis ; let Christ be never so sweet, a full 
tool will loathe him ; and I say extreme want. The prodigal 
never comes home till he dies fur hunger; for such is the sense- 
li^^sncM of men, and dislike of Christ, that extremilieB only 
drive them hither, ns Judges v. 6. When the Midianites came, 
tbc_v ran like beasts to their den, and until bread moa taken from 
them, they cry not unto the Lord, but then thej do ; so men 
huve neither hearty or, if so, no heads to come to Christ till now ; 
and usually the Lord makes this the ground of the soul's firat 
motion towards Christ. I die here, and because of my wants I 
therefore come. Pardon sin, because great. Ps. xxv. 11. Be 
merciful, because it is a sliff-necked people, Exod. xuciv, 9. 
That so when the Lord pardons, the soul may have nothing to 
boast of but misery, and now it is hard to believe. But tlug is 
not all. 

3. It must be called of God ; for else the soul, though never 
so sensible of misery, could not, would not, dur^^t not come ; but 
it wonid either sink under its burden, or plead against all means ; 
it shall presume, as Judas that hai^ no look of Christ (as Peter 
hail) hangs himself; and hence, (Jer. iii. 23.) " Come unto me ; 
their heart answered. We come." For this is usually the objec- 
tion of the soul when it sees the riches of mercy, What have I 
to do with it, that am so vile, and have fallen so ot^ and rejected 
the Lord, and am like to do so F I shall sin the more by thia 
means. No, the command of the gospel comes, O, come, nol- 
n-ithstanding all this, nay. because of this, for I will heal you of 
them. Now, this call hath two things in it. 1. It is particular ; 
for general invitations to believe and come in are made partic- 
ular to the elect, who else would not come in ; and hence, (Is. 
xliii. 1,) '■ I have called thee by name." For we shall find that the 
hearts of men, when they see a promise, can not think it con- 
cerns lliem ; all that hunger shall be satisfied, but shall I ? And 
hrnce eh<>w them it is as particular as the law, they can not think 
it in to them ; and hence tbey say sometime the word alt b not 
put in. Now, that is the mighty power of unbelief, a word 
spoknn to all is regarded by none till the Lord make it particular ; 
and bencv (Is. ii.) Christ is said to judge the nations: now, when 
judges ride their circuits, they do not make laws, but only apply 
laws. One man is brought liefore them to be condemned ; he 
Itajtct heller, but he is so; now he trembles. Another to be 
acquitted ; he fear*, being falsely accused ; he is freed, and now 
he rrjnicclh. 2. It is a living call, or powerful call. John v. 25, 
And bentw a man may live nnder tlie calls of ' 



I 



3S0 



and nevpr come, hecauae it is not made living from the lytrd of 
lii'R ; mid iiuMue not irresistible. 

4. Upon this call thp whole soul poroes out of ilself lo Cliristj 
for if a man could climb tLc clouds, and utilwk llie doors of 
heaven, and come EUoS'like in his body to Christ, he might miss 
of Christ, as well as those that came and followed Christ, for s 
time, with tlieir bodies while he lived on the earth. A man may 
come to Christ with linlf his eouI or heart ; there may be some 
hope and some desires, some love and some cleaving to him, and 
choice of him really, inwardly, and yet not savingly, because the 
whole sonl is not here come, but half of it, James i. 7, 8. Now, 
the whole soul then comes, wben all the affection!) and wilt take 
their flight lo the Lord, and fasten there. Wben all the affec- 
tions are gathered from all other things and changed, and so they 
come to, and embrace the Lord ; so that hope waits only here, 
"When will the Lord pity me? Desires that were set on a thousand 
things before, all long after him, love only tasteth him ; tlie Lord 
letting in some sight of the freencsa of merey, hope looks oat 
hither ; the Lord showing the want, and the way to it, desire 
breaks down stone walls and all means, and the difficulty of them, 
to hare him. The Lord letting the soul taste the sweetness of 
Jesus and lib grace, the soul joys, and love embraceili, and the 
will fosters; a carnal heart -desires, loves, joys, in other things, 
and the Lord also, and so hath a false heart. But the whole 
heart comes hither, and when it is here, thinks one heart too 
little; nay, one life, one soul J and when any part of the affecliona 
are lefl any where else, then the soul mourns, hates that bondage, 
is ashamed of it, etc So tliat the stream of the whole sonl rung 
now hither. Ps. cxix. 2 ; Jer. iii. 10 ; Ps. slv. 10. So it is with 
the soul, ns with them when they were to come out of Kgypli 
they would not leave child nor hoof behind, lest there shonM be 
any occasion of return ; as it is with the soul departed from the 
body, it only minds the Lord it hath taken leave of all, so by 
faith tlie whole soul leaves all and comes to the Lord ; otherwise 
the soul is not come lo Christ, but reacheih aAer Christ : like 
men that wnded after the ark, but perbhcd in the waters. Their 
arms are not long enough, their desires and love are not long 
enoug h, lo reach Christ ; the bent and stream of the soul U 
I set and runs here.\ It is with the soul aa it is with I 
Irivers, l>oth run with all their strength to the eea, but I 
great river is bigger, and runs faster, yet the other's stream i 
wholly carried thither. Ho some men may be more full of faitf 
than others, yel both ran to the sea, and as rivers, they run k 
their circles, this way and that way, and a 




TEH ViRGINS. 

Up, yet end there. So the aouls of all saints nm to this and the 1 
other erealnre, yet they end in ihe Lord at lasL | As Peter ajji/ 
John, that ran to the sepukher, though one outran the other, yet 
they came both lo the Lord at last ; when both of them had, for 
a time, forsook him, though all the world draw the aoul back, it 
can not live without the Lord ; nay, though Uio Lord beat away 
the soul fi-om him, yet it follows after him. 

5. It is to the Lord for himself; for (John vi.) some came to 
Christ for loaves, and could have been glad if Christ had been 
king for it, but did not care for himself i and hence (ver. 27) 
be points and turns them to himself: aotae came to him for 
higher cads, therefore were bis disciples, that is, for life from 
him. But " hia flesh and blood, or else yo« die," it woe a hard 
saying; they could not understand nor see what that meant, and 
hence forsook him ; but when they come and receive him himself, 
now life is, indeed, theirs. 

So that it is Christ's person thai this faith first pitcbeth on, as 
it is in marriage, and those that come for this were never sent 
away. Now, the soul is truly come to him for himself, 1. 'When 
himself gives rest to the soul in the want of all things. Heb. 
iv. 3, If friends, protection, strength, hfe, glory, be wanting, 
yet having him, in him I have all these ; when all is sold away, 
not the treasure only, but the field contents him; for it looks on 
this as better than heaven, than glory ; it comforts the soul that 
the Lord liimself should he muie. 2. The soul that taketb him, 
it is not only to make boost of biin, as Capernaum bad him, nor 
to oovor sloth, and sin, and delusion hy him. I have Chrbt, and 
I have no more to care for, etc., but to live on him ; (John vi. 
57,) " He that eateth me shall live by me." Phil, iii, 9, 10. 
A man takes not Christ as medicine to ease liim, nor as stately 
hangings to adorn him, but as bread to receive life from bim. 
For many receive Christ, rest they do upon him, and rest, they 
say, in him, but they do not suck any good from bim ; nay, 
before they had any Cbrist or assurance of him they were 
better thou now. You have nothing lo do with the Lord Jesus, 
you are out of your place. As in Jotbam's parable, the uUvc 
and vine would not be pulled out of their places, to be set on 
the tops of oilier trees, as kings, lest they lose their fatness and 
Bweetiiess ; bo, since you have closed with Christ, you have lost 
your fatness and sweetness that once you had, you are now out 
of your place ; go to your horrors and sorrows again, till the Lord 
so give himself lo you as that you may receive life from him. 

Qvexl. 3. But must all come thus to Cbrist with their whole 
soul? will not part of the price serve? 




Atu. No, the whole soul mnst come, and can not but come. 

1. In regsrd of the jciilousy of God; who is like n jealous 
haaband, con be»r with mauy wcnknesses, but will have the wliole 
heart ; and thej that do not shall be deslrored for spiritual 
whoredom. Fa. Ixxiii. 27. lie ahould dishonor Christ else, to 
Bell bim so cheap. 

2. In regard of the exccllenej of Christ ; the Lord draws the 
eoul by the revelation of him. Rom. i. 16, 17 ; Is. Iv. 3, 4. Now, 
look as men in this world, when ihej see a seeming good, tliejr 
whole soul is overpowered to be drawn after it. So here, wlien 
Btich an object is seen, especially Ilie soul having been at his 
sepulcher weeping, as iron never stirs till the loadstone comes, 
and then it makes to that only, not to things toufhed with it ; for 
as "we love him because be loved ns first," so Christ loving the 
boqI with all bis heart, and his whole heart set upon him, the 
whole soul is, e eoitlra, set on Christ. 

3. In regard else a man can receive nothing from tLe Lord. 
Jer. xxix. 12, 13. As it is with conduit pipes, let.them be laid, 
but not reach the conduit head, no water can come to that family, 
BO here; and this is the reason why men lire and pray, and re- 
ceive nothing, their hearts reach not hither. Men's hearts reach 
but half way to Christ Tell me else, did you ever not receive ? 

4. Because else it is, indeed, no coming to him, but a leaning 
on him or toward him. So as it is with trees, if not cut off quil^ 
or nol pulled up quite by the roots, they cad not be set in an- 
other orchard; if the tree be left with never so little twigs in 
the ground, so here ; nay. the Lord accounts this worse than if 
a mnu had not come at all. Jer. iii. 10. The Lord abhors a 
double heart, that, Judas-like, forsakes nil for the Lord, hut then 
loves tbc Lord and the bag too. You are not the Lord's, As 
it was with that man that quarreled about the tree, it leaned 
over the pales, but the root l)eing found to be there, his it was; 
80, though he lean on Christ, he is none of his. 

QtMst. 4. But do all saints come to this measure ? 
Am. Ponder these grounds else. 

Object. But are not our hearts partly carnal, and so close with 
the creature ? 

Ant. True : but yet, — 

1. So far as it is carnal, it is lamented heavily ; so that t 
grow not there, but are dying, withering daily. .Ter. xxxi. 18, 1^. 
"When a man's affections grow out of the world, and tliere h 
fear nor sorrow, in this respect now, no Christ is there. 

2. The bent and bias of the soul carries the whole soul hitber^.l 
For I would not judge of this so much by sudden pangs, as by^i 




THE TEN VIUGINS. 328 

an inward bent ; for the whole soul, in affectionate expressions 
and actions, may be carried unto Christ, but being without this 
bent and change of atfections, it is unsound, as in Gideon, they 
would on a hurry make him kihg ; he would not ; he knew it was 
a sudden pang which would die. And the reason is, the true 
turn of the whole soul is not by turning old affections upon an- 
other object, but changing them first by this bent, and so turning 
them. For a carnal heart may have the first, as the same eye 
may see the sun and a dunghill, and the eye not changed ; so 
here. Now, when the whole soul is set here, it is never at rest 
till here. 

Quest. 5. But may not hypocrites come to this ? 

Ans, 1. Then they may be blessed. Ps. cxix. 2. 

2. Then they shall never be cast off from Christ John vi. 87, 

3. Then they may partake of that which the Lord only looks 
for. For why is the Lord angry ? The heart is gone from him. 
Why is the ministry ordained, but to win the whole heart to him ? 
John iii. 19-21. O, therefore, consider whether it hath been 
thus with you or no. If not, woe to you I O, be very careful 
here. It is a thousand to one if some part of your heart be not 
iixcd elsewhere. J£ Christ were at judgment, and should say, 
'' Come, ye blessed,*' how glad would ye be I O, he saith now, 
Come, and take myself. 

Section IV. 

IV. Fullness of the Spirit itself in the room of Satan. 

I sliall not speak here either concerning that fullness of the 
Spirit in extraordinary gifts, spoken of frequently in the Acts, 
nor yet of that fullness of the Spirit which some Christians, that 
the Lord sets apart to do and suffer more for him, shall receive 
more than others. For (John xiv. 17) the disciples had the 
S[>irit, and yet Christ promises to send them the Spirit And 
»St#*phcn was a man " fdll of faith and the Holy Ghost." Acts 
vi. 8. And Barnabas (Acts xi. 14) " was a good man, full of 
faith and the Holy Ghost." But I shall speak of that Spirit 
which is in every believer, without which we are not Christ's. 
Kom. viii. 9. And this is that Spirit which is opposite to the 
evil spirit, the prince of darkness, which possesseth with craft 
and power all the souls of the sons of men, who doth not only 
encamp alx)ut men, (I Pet. v. 7, 8,) nor only " work within 
them," (Eph. i. 2, 3,) but he inhabiteth and dwelleth in men. 
He doth not only take men captives, (2 Tim. ii. 2G,) but he dwells 
in and possesseth the souls of his captives. Luke xL 21. And 



i poslenty 



H . int'allj 

K Fort 

■ from 



^i THE rAKABI.K OF 

thoagli he dolh liepart for a time, yel (ver. 26) " tLey retma 1 
and dwell there." Now, in the room of this, comes God'a Spirit, | 
who (ver. 22) is !<aid to be stron(;er than S&Iao, which can not J 
be meaol but of Christ's Spirit. Tliat as it is with a man whow | 
heart IB turned from the Lord, he is not left onlj to be carried | 
by the power of his sin, but by the power of Satan also. So 

(when the whole eoul is turned unto him, the Lord leaves not the 
ioul to be carried along by the power of his own grace or faith, 
but the Spirit itself fills and acts that soul. And as the soni was 
carried by the mighty power of Satan before, it is now carried 
by the almighty power of the Spirit itselfj hence' (1 Pel. i. 5) 
" kept by the mighty power of God througu faith ; " and hence 
(Acta xxvi. 18) "turned from the power of Satan," not to 
duties, hut to God himself, i e., the Spirit of God, and so to close 
with him. 

Qitetl. What is this Spirit which the saints have ? 
Ant. I sliall express myself in those three conclusions ; — 
ConeU 1. That if Adam had stood, he and all bis 
should have had that power, and presenco, and c< 
aiice of the Spirit of God, a« that they should never have fallen, 
nor have been able to full m respect of the assistance of th« 
Spirit. He should have been green all the year long, bis blossom 
should not have been blasted, his fruit should nexer have withered. 
And the ground is the rule of justice ; for if he falling, all his 
posterity are forsaken of God, and under tlic reign of sin. and 
death, and Satan, [torn. v. 18, 21. Then he standing, all his 
posterity should hare had the everlasting presence of God, and 
should bare been under the reign of the Spirit of grace and life. 
Thus also the covenant ran, " do and live." 

Cimcl. 2. That the Lord Jesus, the second Adam, standing 
and rising in the room of all his people, heuce he doth convey 
and propagate, to all his posterity, the immutable and constant 
assislanee and presence of his Spirit, whereby heing once be- 
, gotten of him, and called to biro, they never afterward depart 
from him. And though weak in themselves, yet afsisled by tl 
Spirit, do not, can not depart wickedly again. The Lord Jea*] 
having stood, they can not fall, because by virtue of his Etandiq 
they have this presence of the Holy Ghost; (John xiv, 10,) "B 
cau se I Uve, you shall live also." John vi. 57, " As the liviL, 
L Father sent me, and I live by him," etc. / Christ, standing nei 
I to the Father, lives by him ; we, standing next to Christ, live M 
infallibly by hira. AJid, I say, the ground is Christ's standine- 
For though there be many reasons why tbe saints can never fw 
from Christ, as the Spirit of grace, covenant of grace, intercessioB 



TklB TEN Vlltums. 



325 



rf Christ, yet the main ground is Chriat's standing, wlthouti 
Ihe least faU from ihe foiajling ol" llie first covenant, which wo| 
having, ihe first moment of believing, kept in Christ, hence the 
Spirit le ^ven, and the coveniint of grace, of strength. ). 
hence, Rmd. v. 21, and ver. 17, 18. And hence the " ' 
uid to dwell in believers. Rom. viii. II. And we are the tem- 
ples of the Spirit, whether he dwell in ^thcrn in his person per- 
sonally, the well is here deep, hut he dwells in them so as ba 
never ceaaeth assisting of them, so that they can not depart from 
the Lord offsun ; hence, (Is. lix. 21,) " My Spirit ahail not de- 
|>ari from ^7 seed." John liv.. it is called " the Spirit that 
»bides forever." It binds the soul to the Lord, a«d keeps TIj 
so forever; never suffers that love-knot to be untied again.' 
When ihe soul is weak, the Spirit helps him ; when careless of 
itwlf, the Spirit keeps him ; though the soul offers to run from 
the Lord, yd this Spirit follows him ; though he grieves the 
Spirit, yet this Spirit still keeps hie own house, will not depart 
from him ; and so not suffer the soul to depart from the Lord. 
And this is the reason why the saints never fall from the Lord, 
though [hej have weak grace, poor beginnings, many sins, and 
Adam stood not, though with [he perfect image of God upon 
him, because he hod not this Spirit yet given ; though he had ; 
the Spirit of God, yet not ihis Spirit, which some call the Spirit 
uf adoption, given to him, because he hod not fulfilled the first 
covenant, which we in Christ have, which is not only the ground | 
of our never falling, but of assurance we shall never fall. For, 
..(Wbal brefUu a man's peace after faith? Apparition of 

• ootwcience. What makes that terrible ? The law. Now, 
n I see in Christ I have kept all tlungs in the law. not only 
accusations of the taw and sin are stilled, but al^ 
B ariseth s holy boldness, and confidence, and joy, even bc- 
I the face of an angry God. Eph. ilL 1 2. And as soul and 
bdr arc ever knit, so here, eie. 

■ Oonel. 3. This Spirit thus assisting, no unregenerate man ever 
speak not now of keepiog the soul from falling from 
•, but from Christ. 
. Because the spirit of Salan fills them, he is the strong man 
1 keeps the palace, under whose kingdom and power they are ; 
uid therefore this Spirii, which destrop the kingdom of Salan, 
in not in them. 

2. Because this was a prerogative that Adam had not, though 
lie had great gifts and glory otherwise ; so this ia not the gift 
r^wWh is given unto ihem. 

^~\ i. Because this ariselh, and therefore is given because Christ 
TOL. II. 28 



FoJ 





826 THE FABABLE Ot' 

Btood, and therefore those lie never stood for, rose for, snfibrol^ 
for. never Lave it. 

4. Therefore we shall aee in experienw, take the best pro- 1 
feSBora living, thougli they may come, as tliey and others judged, 
to the Lord, and follow the liird, yet they will in time depart, 
Bometimea outwardly; (John vi. 64,) "There be some of you 
that believe not," See them, ver. 66. And why did they de- 
part ? " It was not given them of the Father." The Spirit 
never was given effectually to draw them, nor yet to keep them. 

If not outwardly, at least inwardly ; and hence hypocrites, 
though they have marvelous affections uulo Clirist, and so liave 
spoken of ^im and commended him, and seemed to be carried 
above all creatures and duties toward Mm, yet himself, and hb 
mercy, and his blood, becomes a common thing to them, and bis 
knowledge and promises common ; and hence they slight and 
loathe him, and mourn not for il, and so are so far from being 
kept close unto Christ, as that they are nearer the unpardonable 
am than him. But all they have is like Jonah's gourd, which 
suddenly riseth, hut there is a worm at the root that pulls it down 
Kgain ; and so their love dies to ministers that Chnst sent, and 
to his truth and ordinances. 

Quett. But if ihe Spirit doth thus, who then shall be saved ? 
for who is there that departs not ? 

Jm. When I say the Spirit doth so assist the faithful as that 
they never depart, the meaning is not as though the soul should 
now never faU into any more sin or unbelief ; for what do the 
saints more complain of than their backslidingx ? Is. Ixiii. 17; 
Hcb. xiL 1. Saints' hearts are no sooner raised up, but their 
weights grow heavy and press them down ; no sooner do tliey 
walk in Uie way, but they begin to fall off; hut when I say so, 
I say titrco things. 1. Their whole heart never departs. 2. 
They do not depart forever. 3. Though they do depart from 
the Lord, yet the Spirit doth not depart from them ; as it. is in 
common reason, the same tiling may go either in a strmght or 
crooked line to ihe same point ; as a river may run in a straight I 
or crooked line to the sea. So the siunts, their springs (the* 
hearts) being set a-running ailcr the Loi'd, though they do n 
follow him ui a straight line, so as never to depart to the rig' 
or left haiid, yet they are so kept by the Spirit that they a 
continually making after him, cleaving to him ; though v ' 
many crooked windings of their hearts, this way and that i 
from the Lord. And, therefore, as it is in a wheel, it stanc 
bent for such an end, yet runs at one side, hut is turned by tl 
skill of him that guides it into the way again, and so let it r 



Tnt; TKN VIRGINS. 



ilie mat) is with it ; eo il ia here. And because aomething is 
lite ihis ill Ujpocrites, I shall eiidenvor to cut the thread. 

I Their wiiule hearts never do nor can depart from the Lord ; 
nil their eins and departing^ are agniast their new nature which 
Hie Lord hallt given them. It ia against the grain, which, as it 
aggravates their Din, so it shoiva tlie difference between their situ 
and the sin» of other men ; thcj may be drawn aside, but it ia 
against their wills, or if so, j-ct against the bent of their hearts, 
which is set toward the Lord, and Zion-ward ; they may be car- 
ried captive against their wills, as Faul complained he was, and 
nude his moan to heaven of it; or if with their wills, yet it ia 
against the active bent of their wills, whicli inclines them another 
way; (1 John iii. 9,) "They can not sin, because the seed 
remains in them;" so that they can not sin with their whole 
hearts, tior depart from Christ with their whole hearts; as it is 
with a woman, though her husband hath her whole heart, yet 
there is much wellness and sin mixed with this love ; so that 
whatever unkindness she shows, it is not with her whole heart, 
bat against it, and hence she is not cast off; so much more irntSm. 
Or as it is with the unregencratc man possessed by Satan, though} 
he may forsake many sinful courses, take upmany duties, despieel 
(he world, yet it is not with his whole heart ; and hence be ia I 
pulled back like a bird by the teg, Satan having an end of hiaj 
iienrt, and he that is unholy and tmclctui will be so still. So, a] 
eontra. OS it is with a stone ; cist it up, it is against the bent of 
it, because the nature of it ia 10 rest in the centre, and hence it 
comes down again. It is not by internal bent, but by external 
ris or force ; to sin and Saian being cast out, though they work 
in the soul, yet tliey arc external agents, (it ia not I, bat sin,) 
and hence it is against the bent. The whole soul, therefore, 
never departs from the Lord Jesus, but the Spirit keeps it there. 
As it is in the boily of a man, he grovrs sick, and inclines townnl 
n diuolation or consumption, and operations are hindered, and 
little delight in any thing, yet the soul and body are not yet 
parted wholly hereupon, for even then they are kept close. So, 
though the heart may dejArl, and incline towards consumption and 
death, and little can the soul do but lie still and grieve, yet the 
union between the .Spirit and soul, once made, is never broken. 
For, as the whole eoul departed and made disunion, so the whole 
Foul returning mokes the union. And hence, if ever after the 
whole soul should depart, the union shonid be broken, nnd hence 
lo^ on a Christian when he is himself, he can not stir nor de- 
part ; partly by a spirit of tear. Jer. sxxii. 4i>. Like a man in 
n kliip. he inn not cost hinist'lf tntn the sea ; it mokes him trcm- 



8S8 THE PAHADLK OF 

ble to think, What if I ^Loulil fall in ! and hence ke^ps dose in 
the ship, whalever atonns comv, whatever calms come, for he 
sees death before him. U, the loss of Christ and hiu fellowship 
hereafW, nay, here, is dreadful lo him ; partly by a spirit of 
love, it constrains us, that when the heart someliiues cares not 
for Christ, yet the spirit of love springs up : Shall I now leave 
him that pitied me, that hrought me a pardon when my neck 
was on the block ? etc. 

n. When he dolh depart by reason of some evil in hia heart, 
yet it is not ever, but he mu«t return sooner or later to him agtuo, 
it was best with him then. For look as it is with Satan, how doth 
he carry the heart from God 'i You shall see it in Judaa. John 
xiii. He stands at the door, and knocks by a sinful thought 
liked of verse 2. Then he enters the house by causing the will 
to resolve of it. He doih not carry men like those herds of 
awine, against their wills, but prevails with the will to resolve 
thus. Verse 27. Hereupon, Satan, having a commission, carries 
him out, nnd he must needs go whom the devil drives ; so it is 
here ; the Spirit, in recalling the soul, will have him come back. 
1. Puts in secret, sweet, living thoughu again, and makes the 
Boul consider and remember from whom it is fallen, or who is 
the Lord. 2. Then caugeth the will lo resolve of a rettim, and 
tiien he must go whom the Spirit draws ; (Ps. Isiii. 6,) ■' David 
remembers the Lord on his bed," though now driven from all 
ordinances ; hence, (verse 7,) " Under thy shadow I will rt 
joice ; " hence, (verse 8,) " My soul foUoweih hard after thee, or 
cleaves lo thee." But David was weak and feeble ; how cama 
he lo do this? Verse 8, " Thy hand upholdeth me." Look, as 
it was with Samson, when his locks were cut, he was like other 
men, and was made to grind ; but they grew again, and then he 
was like himself again. So when the affections and hearts to 
Christ are cut, they are like otlier men for a time ; but they are 
continually coming and growing again, and then they are like 
themselves again. And I say they must return ; for when the 
Spirit carries a man indeed, there ia a necessity put upon him; 
(Acts iv. 20,) " We can not but speak llie things we have heard ;" 
and, (2 Cor. xiii. 8,) " Wo can do nothing against, but for the 
truth." For here we shall see the broad difference between a 
convicted liypocrile that knows all is amiss with him and the 
saints ; be sees his falls from the Lord, and is afraid in his con- 
science of misery if he doth not return, and desires and endeav- 
ors for to do it I hut what if it be hard, and il seem impossiUa'J 
to be better ? Now he t'iiUs down, and thinks this is an infirmiQ 
which God will pardon, and so Salan conquers him ; I say aj 




Dot temptation, but Satnn conquers him ; for then a man is con* 
(]uered vliea fnilh is conquered. 1 John t. 4. Then faitb ia 
eunquercd when returning to Christ with the whole heart is con- 
quered ; the whole heart retums not until a man's will resolvea 
bj being pressed with a necessity of a return, and staging there. 
Kow, therefore, tlie Spirit of G!od puts the soul upon a nccessi^ 
of returning to the Lord, that when the heart smth, It can not 
be that ever your heart aliould bo belter, or the Lord help ; It 
most be, saith the soul again, and it is so, I am not able to bear 
this evil, for mercy must help, and Spirit must draw, and hence 
the soul must come. Pa. slii. 7, 8. The soul thinks mercy can 
and is willing, but will it ? Why, the Lord commands it, when 
one wHYC (vUls in for another, mercy must step in, and hence my 
prayer la to thec> Now. this necessity of returning to the Lord 
appears chiefly in breaking down all oppositions against its re- 
tam, which are four. 

1. Sometime snares of the world and other things beside. 
The Lord easeth them, the Lord sends no crosses, gives them 
their heart's desire, under which vines ihey rest ; yet if the Lord 
takes not all from them, he puts such a cloycdnesa in them, that 
the fioal can not biit return to the Lord again ; it can not live on 
such coarse bread, things that satisfy not; it had better once. 
Eccies. ii. 3, 4, II. 

2. Feare and discouragements of spirit ; for when delivered 
from anares. tlien fears come, and discouragements, either by rea- 
son of outward losses, or the Lord's anger ; so that the soul fears 
it never liad, never shall have any mercy, that hath thus abused 
it ; and it hath thought God himself to say so, and his bebavior 
in not hearing and liclping in to long a time, to witness so ; yet 
it will return, though tlie Lord never save it, it will not sin. 
Jonah yet looks again to the temple, when he could not come to 
it. yet be would look to it. The aoul will turn np ita eyes and 
mourn. O, that 1 have so abused tho Lord and mercy, that love 
itself should be angry and frown ! Pb. Uxi-ii. The Psalmist 
'refused to be eomlbrted." Verse 2. Nay, (verse 3,) though 
" he remtmh«re<l God," and ul! his love past, yet troubled, this 
brought a greater trouble, yet, (verse 10,) "I will remember 
the years of the right hand of llic Most High." Saul did not 
thus. 

3. Thoughts of impossibility and unlikelihood to get peace or 
pardon, or victory over sin now. For some time the saints think, 
the Lord loves me, and yet let these evils lie here, but I can get 

^^JV help now, espeuially if after many prayers. I know help 
^In^iut nil sins ihey can not get, and hence are humbled, but 
■ 2K* 




f 

I 



I 



I 



against them sins tliat help can be got, wberein llie Lord hnth . 
done it I'or others, and which make, the Lord eatrango himself, 
it raii3t he lind, (for this lumptation U» a saint is a hypocriie's 
overthrow.) Ps. XTiii. 21-23. If earth can not help, can not 
heaven ? What, not the Spirit, word, bIoo<1, mercy of a tender- 
hearted Redeemer ? What tfaongh not now ; jct I will not give 

4. When (Sod's providence seems to cross his promise, yet they 
will cleare to him or return to him. For many timea saints have 
ttieir estates in the bonds of God's promises, and hence they wiut 
for accomplishment of lUem ; bat [he Lord carries it qnite cross 
to bis promise to their seeming. He promiseth lo make alive, to 
comfort, lo sanctify, to be with me ; and he kills, sads, lets out 
Bin, never such a heart, and forsakes me. 0, now faith shakes, 
yet they will not away. Heb. id. 15, 16. The Lord calb them 
to forsake their country i Abraiiom is a stranger there, and that 
among cutthroat Conaanites, and dwelb in lahemacles, and four 
hundred years after his posterity being nfBicted should have it; 
yet he would not return, though they might, God Lad said here, 
" I will bless thee," so here. The munnuring Israelites fell short 
of this. 

IIL Wlienever the soul doili depart, yet Ihe Spirit of God ia 
ever in it, and with it. Ps. txxiii. 2. The Psalmist " almost fell." 
Why did he not? " Thou art ever with me; thy hand." (ver. 
23) " hath upheld me." So that as the Spirit keeps Ihe soul lo 
Christ, so it keeps Christ in the soul at all times. And hence 
saints in the closure of all their dealings with God, and he with 
them ; they have seen his love, working good in all. that now the 
sold can say, Lo, " the Lord waa here, and I knew it not." Is. 
xxT. 9, 10. That the soul ndmires sometimes, and hence, after 
all, sees the Lord more clearly, and fully, and sweetly, till at last 
it sees him in glory. Thus you see ihe Spirit that follows saints 
is with them, which the woi'ld wants. 0, admire at the Lord, if 
this Spirit be given, that heaven is come down inio thy hell I 
That no miseries, no sins can part, hut it is ever putting thee in 
thy way again. Hence, when, — 

1. They are ready quite to fall off, and give themselves for 
gone, ready to be made away by lemplation, or lo make away 
themselves, the Lord is with them then. Ps. xciv. IS, At the 
lime of parting, love appears. 

2. Hence, when they are sometime so far gone, as that thej 
mind not tlieir return, or believe not, as in the wilderness, but ' 
are well enough without the Lord, ihe Lord, before they think I 



THE TEN VlRGiSS. 831 

or dewre, prevents tliem ; (Ps. sjtiii. C,) " Mercy and truth fol- 
low me." 

3. Hence, wLen they think the Lord is provokeil that he can 
Dol save, then he ia in the midst of his people ; (Jer. xix. 11,) 
" Why art thou aa a man astonished that can not save ? " 

4. Hence, at ilie end of life, all the ways of God have been 
peace, and all our ways, though evil, turned for good ; as in Jo- 
nas his departing 1 and by miseries we are yet humbled ; some- 
thing the Lord is doing now for elemily : (Micah vii. 8,) " Though 
X eit in darkness, tlie Lord will be a light unto me." 

5. Hence, when the heart and strength fail, und faith is fail- 
Mig, and the heart feels nothing but pain, yet the Lord then keeps, 
Bod this is comfort. Fs, Isiii. 26. 

Consider, therefore, your estate, that, — 

1. Do depart with your whole heart from the Lord. Hath 
not the Lord boned thy heart toward himself, by mercies, by 
Mows ? Bui when sorrows liave been passed, and mercies grown 
common, and truth common, thou hast started baclf like a broken 
bow which was bent backward, when stretched forward. And 
bow when God calls to any duty, especially when thy will and 
ends are crossed, that is a burden, and thou art drawn to that as 
• fish to the dry land. It is like a fever fit to thee, and never 
moumest for this. But when any matter of gain and world is 
prevented, all thoughts, time, strength is loo little ihcre, that you 
nnell of the field; or if there be any life or joy, yet *' the lean 
Hoe eat up the fat kine." Nay, mournest thou not under that 
Cursed bent, which carries thee from the Lord. Know il, thou 
art forsaken of the Lord. 

2. Thou that in times past hadst many nifections, but now sor- 
vow is gone, and seeking of the Lord gone ; and being fallen, 
west it not. but thinkest it is with tliec as with other Christians, 
haal only the old work past, and some new pangs now and then. 
"Why b it thus? Jer. viii. 4, 5. Will you fall and not arise? 
Will you let the Lord turn from you and not return ? Doth the 
*sCork know when winter is near, and not you your season " ? 
O, look to it I What, are you fallen with a perpetual bockslid- 
-Ing? Why will you not return, but go away with a pcr]>ctual 
backdiding? Know Satan hath hold of this soul. 

S. You people of God, wonder you at ihia grace. Let your 
experience prove tL Is it not so, that a habitation of devils 
should bo a house of the Spirit of God, not (o sojourn, but dwell 
there, and though abused, vexed, yet it will not depart? 







1y:"^i^ 



THS PARABLE OF 



Sectios V. 



\ 
\ 



'. SnnctillcaLion, in the room of self-seeking. 
This work of the Spirit hath hod many scratches, and passed 
uniler direra censures, that if that qQestion ebould be asked of 
it, which ODce Cbrbt made coQcemiog himself, " Whom s&j men 
that I am?" we shall find five devenil apprebensione of it. 

1. Some have made it eommon. and that this treasure may be 
digged out of dunghillfl. that the Lord casts these pearb to swine, 
that a canial heart may have nil these gifts and graces which the 
righteous liave, and Adam had, and perish at iost. And henc« 
no evidence from it at all. 

2. Some have not made it thus common, but proper to the 
elect, and that none are justified but they arc sanetified. and 
« contra. But it hath been, and they think it is so disguised 
with the mixture of sin and temptation, and can not he known 
or very hardly. If so, tliat though the Lord Jesus " come into 
his own," and dwell not only in their houses, but in their hearts, 
yet they know liim not. 

3. Some say it may be known, but not as dwelling in our 
hearts, but as inherent in Christ, making the inherent grace of 
Christ in Christ himself to be our sanctifi cation, which the apos- 
tle makes to be our righteousness. And so as the Papists abol- 
ish Christ's righteousness for justification, by making it to consbt 
only in infusion of grace in us, these abolish Christ to be our 
SAnctiflcation, by nuiking all our sanctification to consist in inhe- 
■ion in Christ out of us. 

4. Some say there is a sanctification in us ; but wherein doth 
it consist? Not in any habitual holiness, or graces in os, but in 
the immediate actings of Christ in us ; and so the Lord makes 
his music without any strings, and reveals things to us without 
eyes, and makes us live without any power of lite. And so af- 
ter justification they put a Christian in such an eslalA of sancti- 
flcation as that he is a mere patient, in next disposition 
if he be moved. Like a weathercock which hath no power i 
all to move, but as the wind blows il, good or bud. 

fi. Home grant that there is a sanctification proper to the foitta 
ful, jind in the faithful an habitual holiness, and consisting i 
most hlr^Kstd, inward, total change. But when they come 
the a[>|ili''iitii)ii of this to themselves, they think that i£ they ha* 
Momo ruformiition, with some inward afibction, they think evei 
overly cbutige is sanctification, and this must be a good eviden 
to them. And so, like some herbolisla that treat of the eovi 
oxoollennoi of sevcmi herha, but when tlmy come to ( 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 333 

them in the garden, they take their coimterfeits in the room of 
them. The cause of which variety of apprehensions is the 
f^ness of it, (and, therefore, it is unknown,) and the corrupt 
experience of men. 

I shall, therefore, lay level these things, by showing you what 
that measure of sanctification is which is in us, and which is pe- 
culiar to the elect, and which also may be known by them which 
have it ; and, therefore, shall not speak of sanctification at large, 
^hich is the change of the iidw^ man by the death of Christ, 
Hereby he is separated from sin, and sin mortified in him ; and 
ty the life of Chiist, whereby he is dedicated unto Christ, and 
lives his life. But I shall treat of it now so far forth, especially 
^ this change may be known by it ; and therefore I oppose it 
U) self-seeking. 

Quest. But why do you oppose sanctification to self-seeking ? 
Ans. 1. Because this sanctification I now speak of, it is so far 
lorth as it may be seen ; now it is seen here chiefly, because it 
inay be said here it is. But hypocrites have a change. Where- 
in may it be known to be different from theirs? TVliy, the 
change of the heart chiefly appears in the change of the ut- 
most end. 

2. Because/Eis the pollution of the whole man, and all his ac- 






tions, civil, moral, and religious, consist chiefly and appear in 
this self-seeking, or making ourselves our utmost end. This 
makes the most glorious actions vile, and stains them all. So 
the sanctification of a man consists chiefly and appears in mak- 
ing the Lord our utmost end of all we do. So that though the, 
actions be never so mean and poor, yet this puts a glory an3 
luster on them, and is the crown of them, even of the " giving 
of a cup of cold water." Matt. vi. 22. " If thy eye be single." 
Look, therefore, as before the Lord justifies the soul, every man 
living seeks himself as his last end and good ; and out of this cap- 
tivity no power can redeem them. Dan. iv. 30 ; Gen. xi. 4. So 
after it the Lord sanctifies the soul with such a measure of his 
grace as makes the Lord his utmost end. And this no other 
have. 

Let me, therefore, show you what this sanctification is more 
fully, and with all the chief ingredients in it, that so it may be 
the better known. 

It is the renovation of the whole man, appearing in the change 
of a man's utmost end. But more particularly, — 

It is that work of the Spirit in the soul, whereby the soul 
heholding the glory of Christ, and feeling his love, hereujion 
<^U)scth with the whole will of Christ, and seeketh to please him, 
^ his happiness and utmost end. 



I 



3S4 THE PA.BAJILE OP 

For look as in self-Beeking iliere are four tilings. 

1. A man beLolds himsell' and some good in himself. 

2. Loves himself abundanllj. 

3. Pleaseth liis own wilL 

4. Doth this as his utmost and last end. So here, in this di 
Bcription of Ranetification, which I oppose chiefly U> self-cormp*] 
lion, are four things, -^ j 

1. The soul beholds the Lord in all his glory, seeing of him^l 

§ resent with him in all his glory, and set before him. Ps. svi. 8>^ 
'or this is one necessary ingredient \f> his snnctification and seek- 
ing the Lord as his utmost end. For why dolh a man seek him- 
self? He sees some glory and good in himself, none in the 
LordX And huace we say of some men, whose pride spoils tlieir 
parlfi, they know themselves too well; and hence sfunla, when 
they see their own vileness, and see the Lord they are so far 
from seeking as that they loathe themselves. Therefore, when 
the Lord reveals himself to the soul in glory, this makes them 
seek hint, and not themselves ; (1 Cor. i. 30,) " Christ is made 
fcjKJj^om, righteou8ness,"'etc, "that all might glory in him." /For 
I this is the glory of Christ, and the first principle of seeking the 
I Lord, the soul sees his good laid up in the Lord more than 
in himself; nay, wholly in the Lord, not at all in himself. 
His wisdom is in bim ; he can not but wilder till utterly lost 
without him. His righteousness is in him ; he could never havo 
one sin pardoned by angels' holiness without him. His sanctifi- 
cntion is in him ; he could not have the least thought nor desire, 
but the Lord must work it in him. His redemption is in him; 
there could not be freedom one hour from unknown evils but by 
thim. Hence, seeing him such a one, he seeks him. / Aa why 
do men seek men, especially if great? Why do men desire W 
stand before princes, and please them, so that they will not g\at 
ly otTer them [he least distaste ? Because they see them befoi 
them, beholding of Ihem, apt to be angry, if displeased! as 
their greatness awes them. So here. Why is not the Lord Ji 
BUS pleased? He is not seen in his glory, nor made really pi~ 
ent; and hence Hev. v. 12, 13. When they saw him "on 
throne, they cast down their crowns and gave him gloty." 

2. The sou! also feeb His love, and so abundantly loven 

[again. For how come men to seek themselves in every thing 
tliey can not bnt do it ? It is because they love themselves, 
that Bhunilanily. necessarily, as fire burns ; so though they bi 
. so liot in this love, tlint at last they consume tliemselves. 
how do any, can any seek the Lord? We know the apost 
■Kith, (1 Cot. Kiii. 5,) "Ijove seeks not her own." Whea 









THE TEN VIRGINS. SSo 

, out this fire of our self-love, wlicn the sensa of 
e hatb kindled that love to the Lord tigain, us tliut 
loves Christ, now it will seek the things of Clirist, 
n ihiogs. And as there is abundiuicc of self-love, 
that men are eaten up with it, so there must be mueh love, 
which must be abundantly shed in the heart, bo as to eat up that, 
arising from the sense of the Lord's love, and that abundantly. 
For man J a man conies to have some good will, and atlection, and 
We to the Lord, but yet never comes to seek tbe Lord as his 
bi<t end. aiid live to him. Why ? Because lie hatb not tasted 
abtuiduntlj of the Lord's mercy, grace, and love. Pb. Ixxxvi. 
12, 13. And hence tbe incomparnble spirit of Paul, "I seek 
yours, but you." Wherein ? In being " willing to spend," 
save yourself, Paul. Nay, " and to be spent." With much 
Nay, " most gladly." Though you love me not, because 
I love you. So here, though Christ should not love it, yet he is 
worthy ; he batfa done enough, and now the soul will not only 
do, but rejoice ; nay, in sufferings ; because his love is nut 
diwpped, but shed in our hearts. And hence it is a never-failing 
rule, little love or assurance of it, little seeking the Lord ; much 
wnnncc, much seeking bim. 

3- Hereupon the sou! closeth with the whole will of Christ, and 
plcaaelb it. because it plenseth him. It is with every man us it 
*» with Samson ; he would needs have a wife of the Philietines. 
^Tiy so ? Judg. xiv. 3. Because " she pleaseth me." So, why 
"ill men seek themselves, save themselves, love themselves, and 
lilftwe their own wills ? Because it plenseth them. I^ook, 
■'welbre, as the soul when he loved himself did seek to pleura 
""')' his own will in every thing, and it is good, because it 
P'^Hi me ; so the soul, whose heart is now endeared to Christ, 
'™igh he can not perfectly do it, (that is in heaven,) yet he 
^'^ to give the whole will of Christ content, because it pleas- 
f* Chrisi. And this is that God hath sworn his iieople «hall 
^•e, (Luke i. 71, 75,) " And that Cbrbt hath delivered us from 
■^ «ir enemies," (for the great reason why men cleave not to 
~* Lord, and please, which we account friends, which are the 
f^ffi enemies, Satan and world,) " to serve him without fear ;" 
•■Nin love and "in holiness and righteousness ;" i. e., his whole 
J^-all our days." And hence, (Eph. v. 8, 9.) "They were 
"fwiCM, but now are light;" by faith, now there is sanctity; 
**Ik U children of light," Wherein consists that ? " Proving 
J'wi is ace«ptablc to God." Hence, (Eph. vi. G,) they should 
yPj^M Christ, doing the will of God from the heart." And 
"" *» 80 Doceesary, that (Gal. i. 10) the apostle saith, " If I please 





I 



i. e., their wills, " I lun not Christ's." And this is " walk- 
ing n-nrihv of ihe Lord, pka^ing him in ail tilings ;" luid [hi? is 
fruit, the ^Dd of the tree and leaves abo, snd differencing a tree 
from all other, thai be beautiful, bnt barreo. CoL i. 10. 

Qofst. Bni why do jou moke this to consist in pleasing the 
whulo win of Christ, and not of God the Creator P 

Ant. 1. Because our sanctification now can not please God as 
n Creator, though it may please him that is the Creator in Christ, 
because only perfect holiness can please him. 

2. Becaate Christ hath pleased the Father by the holiness of 

himself; nonr. this being done, and therefore God having put all 

things into his hands, having done that for us, we are to ^vc 

content to him. And herein^our sanctification is differing from 

*the image Adam had, who, in closing with the will of God, 

Jllookcd upon liim as a Creator; ours respects a Redeemer, who ' 

Mhath bought us lo himself, and hence we are to respect him i(^ 

QiieiL But why doth the soul close with (he whole will txU 
Christ, i. e., so far as it is made known ? fl 

Atu. First. Because the holiness of Christ here chiefly discorfl 
ers itself, and against this a camal heart will discover ilseUH 
For Capemojles may boost in and give entertainment to tlwl 
person of Christ, but when they come lo repent (which was one 
part of liiB will) that they did not, Uiat they would not ; " Woo 
therefore to thee CBpemaura." As many will close with Christ 
for pardou of sin, and lay their sarks on hun ; but you mi 
burden yourselves with them, or the Lord will never ense 
of them. O, no ; and hence they have light sorrow for 
many will embrace the comforts of ChrisI, and love of Chrii ^ 
and this joys them ; yet the will of Christ, that is wearisome fS' 
them. Rom. viii. 8. They will pick and choose. 

Secondly. Because this discovers a deep ditch of ijeceit in the 
heart , many take up some duties ; and wliy do ihey do them ? 
"Because they ple,ase the Lord, and the Lord commands, aad for 
his sake, when indeed it is to please themselves ; for 
things they care not whether they please the Lord or n 

Thirdly. Because this closing with his whole will only gives! 
the Lord content ; as it is not the strings, or striking ujwn ontfj 
string, that makes the music, but striking on them all accordii " 
to rule ; so here. And hence, when they sacrificed and obsei 
new moons; (Is. i. 14,) "Who hath required these things 
your hands ?" Hence, when the people begin lo put the 
off wiih meim performances, any common stuff, the Lord 
slate upon him, and saith he is a king, (Mal> i. 14 ; and 9, 
" I have DO pleasure in you." 



iinsi 

m 




Fourthly. Becanse this only will give pence ; and, therefore, 
let any man begin to pick and choose, and his heart die to ihe 
lord's will ; if, Jonah tike, he will fly from any way of the 
Lord's, and continue tliere, he shall have storms ; and hence, 
(1 John ii. S-5,) " Hereby we know bim," etc. 

4. He closelU with the whole will of the Lord as his happi- 
ness and utmost end ; as a man made himself his Insl end before, 
and desired God and Christ only to keep his sores from aching, 
for so I look upon all men made up of wants ; if the body ache 
with cold, stomach with hunger, head for want of sleep, con- 
science for un, all happiness lies in easing hereof, and here lies 
llieir bliss. So now the soul makes the life of the Lord its hap- 
piness to live unio htm. Gal. ii. 10. He makes it his meat and 
drink to do the Lord's will ; for Jehu Bought the Lord, but his 
last end was himself; as, (John xvi. 2,) " A man may kill, and 
think he doth Gk>d good service ; " but that is not his last end ; 
a carnal heart may cross bis own will, but not his own utmost 
end, as Judos ; a man may seek the Lord with delight, and fol- 
low the ordinances, and fast, and pray, but himself is his end 
gtill. Zoch. \-ii. 5, 6. Is. Iviii. 4, 5, As a man that goes to a city, 
he will do your business, but he wonld not go unless he had his 
ovm ends to bring about there. But those that are tniiy sancli- 
li^ make the Lord their last end and happiness. It is not only 
good to do the Lord's will, (for thus men may seek Ihe Lord,) as 
ibioking it good so to do, but as tlieir blessedness, else it is not 
their last end, and so not Mugbt as their last end ; and st% it is 
witb the soul. As a river runs ta tlic sea, many springs run 
into it, and it carries them down all into it, so there are miuiy 
occasion-!, hinderances, businesses, yet it carries them all down 
with it, even the more violently the more it is hindered; (I's. 
cxix. 120, 127.) " Therefore love I them above gold." And this 
eiprce*eth itself in three things : — 

1. In admiring the glory of the Lord, and his will and ways, 
and accounting them happy men, and blessed, that thus r&n and 
do live. For some time the soul is decayed and fallen from this, 
or sick and weak; now it accounts them happy that have health 
and strength to walk abroad. Vs. i. 1, 'J. 

2. In being never at rest in his muid until now that he comes 
to this : for therein n man's making any thing his last end ap- 
pears t as he made bis goods his last end. Luke xii. 19. Now, 
therefore, my soul, be at rest ; for there is no seeing ibe Lord, 

p-ba t (df-secking hindera ; now, thoiii;h it be thus, yet do I make 
lelf my last end ? then my mind woulil be at rest j but if 
ifled, it is not at rest till now ; and hence Paul, when he liad 
29 





I 



I 



run thU rrux, now you «ec him leaniog upon bis piHow. 3 Tim. 
iv. 6, 7. And hence saints are lulh to die und be blessed in 
heaven, because they have done so little work as yet ; htile do 
tlie saints for the Lord many times, yet their hearts are upright ; 
for what mourn they for eo much as this, when they have looked 
upon it? O ibat the Lord hath been a loser by them ! 

3. It carries the soul through all difficulties with power ajid 
delight. Prov. s, 29, " The way of the Lord is strength to the 
righteous, and joy." Rora. vii. 22, '* I do delight in the luw ot' 
God in the inner iniui." Otlier nations walk "in the name of 
tlieir gods, we in ours." Mirah iv. 5. As when wealth or honor 
ia a man's utmost end, witli what violence are men carried to it ! 
and bence a man thinks he hath never such good days as then, 
when he can do much for the Lord i and hence when any duty 
ie to be done, when fearful to do it, or loth to perform it, when 
the heart is dead, yot beholding it with a spiritual eye, that this 
gives Jehovah honor. O, this carries the soul hraullong even 
into miseries ; " Not my will, but thine be done." This eoseth 
the heart even in the belly of hell, und in times of the deepest 
desertion v' 

To this sanctification all the saints do come, erery one in their 
measure ; and if ever the soul tasted tho Lord's love, or ever 
WHS humbled with the bitterness of sin, the first voice and main 
care is, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Nay, though 
no assurance, and it can not joy in the Lord's love, yet it will in 
the Lord's will ; and heuee when it hath full assurance, yet find- 
ing such a vile heart, if God should give it heaven with such a 
heart it would* be death: and hence when he thinks of going to 
hell, yet there (saifh he) let me bless thee. 
V~ This sanctification all unsound hearts do want; much reforma- 
tion, much afiection, many duties; but tlieir end is not changed, 
though their lives be, and hearts seem to be-^ 

1. Decause they con not love the Lord, because the Lord doth 
never shed his love into their hearts. 

2. This was the life of Christ, (John viii. 20,) of which Ufe 
they that are dead in sin never hare one act, though they may 
think they have. 

3. This is the end of our election, which, therefore, an unsound 
heart may oa soon attain to, ns to elect, or to be elected of God, 
(Eph. i. 4,) " holy in love." 

This may easily be known : 1. Can not a man know when he 
JtJiappy ? 2, Can not Peter tell Christ that he loves him ? 
Rl. Can not a man tell whether he be a hypocrite or no ? For he 
that can not prove his ulmust end is changed must confess him- 




Belf a hypocrite, yet lu'a heart was nei'er changed, whatever as- i 
suriuice or peace he hatli bad. A thing ia never good till it I 
Bcrvea its end it was made tor. ^J 

0. therefore, look that yon content not yourselves with rofor- 
roatioD, but come to this ; else, I. You lose all your obedience, 
the Lord regards it not, the Lord will take all from you ; as ves- 
sels that are made to hold wine, and they can not, lay them by, 
"The Lord baih no pleasure in you." Mai. i, 8-10. 2. If you 
do, the Lord will accept your poorest aod meanest services. 
Consider — 

1. Christ cast by his robes, being privy to bis own ivorth, to 
become obedient. Phil. ii. 6, 8. 

2. His infinite wisdom is in every command, though thy carnal 
reMoo like it not. 

I S. His infinite love for tby good, though thou thinkcst it is for 

rrhurt. 
4. His glory, tboagh thou gettest no good at all by it^ 



Section VL 



VL Fallness of the Spirit of glory in the room of the world. 
" Whom the I^ord doth jaalify, those he doth glorify," (Rom. 
TJii. 30.) i. e., with the glory of another world, which, though it 
be bid for a time from others, and sometimes from themselves, 
yet they do partake of it now, and it shall be revealed upon 
tbem another day. 1 Pet. v. 1. Now, though hypocrites may 
taste of tlie word, nay, of the powers of the world to come, yet 
they fall short of this measure of glory. And I say, this fills 
Ihem in the room of this world. 

Qu«^. How are men full of the world, and what is the Spirit 
_f ^ry? 

" Ant. I shall show this in three conclusions : — 
■ Cmrl. 1. That the full rest and peace of the soul is to ho 
nly in the presence of God Almighty, in Ibis Being of 
Ilie j>erfectiona are in himself, and bence he keeps a 
irpelnat Sabbath of rest io himself; in this rest only the soul 
~Qd rest. Heb. iv. 6, 10 ; Ps. xvi. 11. He is the 
mey's end of all a man's labors, and life, and (ravels. Ilenee 
hn xvii. 13) wheo Christ's work was ended, now I come not 
p hmven so much as to thee. And hence when Solomon had 
I out himself in his travels through all the things of this 
trid. to find rest, he returns emjity and crying home, and now, 
n heauma up his glory, (Eccles. i. J, 2,) ho styles himself, — 
. A man gathered In the church, to I>p aa near God as he can. 



340 Till: FARABLE Of 

2. " The Son of DftTJd," to whom the promises were made. 

AjhI tlien, 3. " King^ of Jerusalem," the liwt and least. He 
is lliHt house anil home of hid people, whether Ii) fleeting or 
settled coiidition, from one generation lo another. Ps. xc. 1^ So 
that the prujihet, finding this to be most true, I say, tiiaads aston- 
ished at men ; and because men hud deaf ears here, and their 
bellies could not liear, he cries to the lieaveas to be ntitonished at 
this. Jer. ii. 12, 13. This wine the Lord puts under his lock 
and key ; it is not to be found in earth, in cUirch liberties, you 
may soon see this temple, not one stone left on another, nor in 
heaven tiimplj, nor in fellowship of angeb ; only it is in the 
Lord, drawing nigh to the soul in these, and drawing the soul, 
al last, near to himself by these. 

Concl. 2. That all reprobates, boing esD^nged from God, and 
God from them, are also strangers to this rest, this life of God, 
this life of glory, (Eph. it. 18,) and, therefore, seek for it and 
euck it out of the papa of the creature, and that which is not 
Gwl. And thus their hearts are full of the world i (Ps. xvu. 
1 4,) " Dust they eat, and upon their bellies they go ; " shift for 
it where they will, they shall never find it in him ; and if they 
do find it any where else in this world, let them fiU thenuelvea 
to the fuU, for they have their portion, they have their reward. 
And hence they do (all unregenerate men living) find their rest 
in something out of God ; rest lo their conscienecs in duties, 
and something of God ; rest to their hearts in some creatures, 
either unlawful or lawful. Matt. xxiv. 38. And there is never 
a carnal heart, but give him his imaginary content here, and he 
would desire to live here as an exile from God, and to be with- 
out him, if there were no hell, no plagues, etc. For here is their 
treasure, not above; here are thy good things; and this is the 
very reason why a man lives without God, nay, when he stands 
convinced of it, nay, when troubled with thoughts of this, and 
no duties can eaae him, because something out of God ia his bot- 
tom lo stund upon, and his rest and ]>cuce ; it may be meat, drink, i 
heidlh. sleep, occasional delights, and a quiet life. That as it ifl J 
with seamen, they can endure winds and wcnthcr, and rent sail% I 
and lorn masts, because they live upon that trade, another wifll 
not ; so it is here. Though many troubles of miud, yet they p' 
that oar,, it is their hving. 

Concl. S, That all those whom the Lord intends good i 
those he calls in time out of this world into his eternal gtory ol 
rest and peace, out of ibis world into another. And as thdrf 
hearts were filled with another world before, so their hearts a 
filled with the glory of thLit other worhl now. John xvii. 14, 16h 




THE TE!f Vini~.IS 



341 



And this rest find peace in God is the glory of the 
That look ns it is with reprobalL-s, what is iheir last and 
great woe ? 2 Thesg. xix. " It is separj^tioii from ilic Lord ; " 
BO this is the great glorj of the saioCs, to enter into him, ns Mo- 
ses did into the cloud, and so to rest in him. " I go lo mj Giod 
and your God." Hence the awnta are said to " set! away all for 
iOiure" for this pearl, for the Lord ; and so the Lord is 
I of all, ond belter to them tlian all they had before. 
can live royally upon him, having but one thing to look to, 
■Dd having all thiDgs ia this one thing ; and more royally than 
" e princes of tlie world can upon their lusis and earthly treaA- 
es. This is the rest and peace the saints have ; (Heb. iv. 3,) 
■* They that believe do enter into rest." God calls them out of 
ttie world by aorae bitterness of it, or by some cloying and sur- 
feiling, and making their hearta weary of the sweetness thereof, 
and then they enter intu glory. The Lord sees nothing can fill 
their hearts nor stop their cries but him, and now this sea of 
glory breaks in u))on them, and fiUa their hearts ; and this the 
jonl doth two ways, according as there are two things in that 

il that fills the heart -v- 

' 1. Proportion- \.***^-iAxj^ tA V*^ 
2. Propriety. - ■Vw^*^».a,«-Ij.o(j " 

So there are two rays of eternal ^lory chiefly, whereby the 
d gives full rest and peace, and so glory to his people. 
. He rereals the good they are to enjoy in another world, in 
k full proportion, viz., " what is the riches of the inheritance 
" ■ saints." Eph. i. 17, 18. For no good satisfies till it ia 
in its greatness, though yet there bo degrees of this. For 
Jl see mnny Chrbtians have assurance, where is the joy 
Not affected with it, becanse he knows not what it is at 
it time. At another time his heart ia above all the world, be- 
luc he sees what ia that glory the saints have, and that be hath 
f it swallows him up and confounds him. Why me, Lonl ! 
d tliis is the reason why the saints doubt, whom the Lord hath 
med from their lusts and all things here. What so vile, and 
I that mine ? And this is the reason why, when doubting, so 
it there is nothing in this world that doth quiet them, nothing 
n God that doth case them, yet their hearts are sweetly eased. 
Aeir desires are after him, and their delights in iiis company ; 
"~ er go to hell thus than in my sins ; and the thoughts of ihe 
d are sweet, because he liitth and doth secretly till their hearts. 
tnething they have or do see in him. Is. xxvi. 8. And hence 
m the reason of the sorrows of them, wUcn their hearts are wont, 
29* 



S42 TU£ PARABLE OV 

now thongh they liave the world, yet are nol al rest, because 
ibey have and do see something of this. 

2. lie repeals bj the spirit and light of glorj that this good b 
theirs, iheir propriety. The first gives rest to ihe soul, viz., the 
spirit of vigioR incompletely. This spirit of faiih, wherehj the 
Boul knows all this good is mine, this gives it completely. Now, 
the new JerusBlem is corae down from heaven, and God is 
among men. 1 Pet. 1. 8. For if a Christian sees the greatness 
of this glory, but not as his, the soul will never cleave to the Lord 
indeed, nor find full rest ; and hence, when the riches of God's 
grace is revealed, and the fea£t set before them, they do not eat, 
because they fear they were not bidden. Now, both these give 
full peace and rest to the soal, when the soul hath the Lord Je- 
hovah in his arms, and hence he cares not now when death comes. 
0, it shall be a welcome day to them. And hence ibey wish 
they might bIo no more, or cease to be. And hence they wish 
they could set even the whole world a-wondering. Was it ever 
heard since the world began of such a pattern of raercy ? It is 
true, tlie Lord, indeed, keeps his servants for a time under much 
darkness and donbta i but it is certain, even in the meanest saints, 
this light is sown fur them, and "Joy for the upright in heart," 
and some work there is for the Lord to do for them, and theji he 
keeps a Snbbalh of rest in ihcra^ 

Quett But have not many hypocrites their joys, their peace, 
their glory ? 

Aiu. Yes : they have some tastes and likeness to this, but 
Wftnt this indeed j and the difference appears in tliree particulars. 

11. The peace, and joy, and assurance of that glory which eye 
never saw m the saints, it ia from tlie witness of the Spirit of 
glory; not only because that God ia their God, but because they 
are his people. It ia, I say, from the witness of God in his word. 
not from themselves, nor from man only that they approve me, 
nor from dreams and diabolical breathings, but from Ihe Spirit 
of God, he brings tidings of it, and from such a Spirit (that yon 
may know it) tiiat not only shows you God is your God, and bo 
you rejoice because of this, for thus it is with many a carnal 
heart, and be hath peace, being in horror, from this, the Lord 
loves me ; but he makes you to rejoice because you are the Lord*! .* 
people, because he hath changed your heart, now the peace HT 
found, and joy is right; and here I would try the peace of ai^ j 
man : Go<l hath witnessed pardon to thee, but hath he shown 1 
thee thou art his? If so, be thankful. .'But here is the doub^l 
fur it may be the change is not right. And hence those two a: 



THE TEN YIRGINS. 348 

ever joined together. Zach. xiii. 9 ; John xiv. 20-22. Horror 
lies heavy, hence love is sweet ; sin lies heavy, hence this wit- 
ness, they are changed, they are subdued, and shall be so, this is 
sweet also. 

2. The rest and peace the saints have, it is not only from Grod, l| 
but in him. It is with the soul as with a malefactor imprisoned M 
and condemned ; the jailer comes and tells him that he hath his 
]>ardon here brought him from the king ; how shall it be proved 
whether it be a device of his own brain or no ? Why, if it bo 
of the jailer's own devising, he will never lead him before the 
king, but from him he shall be carried. But if the messenger 
carry him before the king, and sets him down before him, and 
as it was with Joseph, his prison garments are put off, and he 
stands before the king, and glories in his presence, now it is right. 
So many have peace, and Satan sets them at liberty, but carries 
them from God. But when there is a witness of peace from 
him, and then you stand before him, now it is from heaven. 
Ps. xxxvi. 7, 8. There is peace from him and peace in him ; 
(Ps. xxxvii. 4,) " Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give 
thee the desires of thy heart." Wlien it is thus, all you desire 

is granted. 

3. The peace the saints have, both from Grod and in God, fills 
them with everlasting content and peace. Rom. xv. 13. Is. xi. 9, 
" Filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the 
sea." The earth is the rest of the waters, and the waters fill all 
its empty place. So it is here ; the soul is the rest of the Lord, 
(Is. xi. 10,) and he fills their empty hearts. A malefactor may 
dream he is before the king, when he hath his fetters on his legs ; 
but his dream feeds him not, but when he awakes, he is hungry. 
And so it is with many a carnal heart that is a dream for a time, 
but he meets not with eternal satisfaction. Ps. Ixv. 4, and Ps. 
xc. 1 4. And hence men, after they have had their peace, grow 
more bold to sin, and more impenitent in sin, and more worldly 
than ever before, because they have not everlasting joy; aj,,^ 
thosey (Is. XXXV. 10,) " Everlasting joy shall be upon theirl 
head, (whcrea** a carnal heart hath soon enough of Grod,) not 
everlasting, without intermission of joy, for they must have their 
nights and tears, as well as their day and joys ; but everlasting 
without decay of joy ; that though they have their tears, yet God 
wifKfS them away ; there is nothing else ; th nr joy, their peace, | 
and so their hearts are forever satisfied heVe. / As Christ, wh en | 
he knew it was " finished, now he gave i ^^ the ghost," so when 
the soul finds he is come, now it dies to 1 ae world, and makes its 




I 

l 



844 IHK PARABLE OF 

perpetual abode in him. Others will have their carrion, and 
tlieir stolen waters, how clean gocver they wipe their mouths. 

Object. I. But have not the saints many sorrows, reproaches, 
persecutions F 

Ant. Rom. viii, 18, " They are not worthy the glory to be 
revealed." 2 Cor. iv. 17, " They work a weight of glory," and 
in these they glory. 0, " the Lord's love is shed in their 
hearts." Rora, v. 3, 5. 

Object. 2. But have they not many losses, and wants, and 
etTHils? and then where is their joy? 

Anx. A carnal heart be murmurs indeed, and sinks and dies 
away ; but it is not so here. Hab. iii. 17, 18. A saint takes it 
out in him, in the Lord, it makes all the world loo narrow for 
him. Others are burnt and consumed in the fire, but so \& not 
he that hath the .Son of God with him. 

Object. 3. But he hath many sins and teinptations. ■ 

Ant. 1 Pet. i. 5—7, "You greatly rejoice in the salvation re- 
aerved for you, though now your faith have a precious trial by 
manifold temptations." 

Object. 4, But are not the hearts of the saints taken off from 
the Lord, and taken up with other things? 

Atu. No, never as carnal men's are ; (Tit. ii. 1 2.) " For God's 
grace, that hath appeared to them, teachcth them to deny worldly 
lusts," as we deny children their asking. They may greedily 
carry the soul by tits from the Lord, but he denies them their till 
in any creature, and calls them all to " come up hither." lie 
denies them, as we do beggars, entrance, and if tliey do enter, 
he denies them lodging; they shall not have good looks from him. 
Every vile heart hatli either a proud, or worldly, or covetous 
heart, and these lusts being urgent and entreating long, he can 
not deny them the best room he has. O, it is the woe of men I 
tlioy con not but do thus. 

But thus you see this world ia cast out, and glory comes in to 
all saints. 0, this world is the cause of all sin. 

1. Why do men neglect duties in secret? 

2. Sleep at meetings? 

3. Though BO fair abroad, yet passionate at home, mid storms 

4. Whence are wars and wranglings about rales and lots? 
O, this world. 

"i. Whence apostasy ? It is not with you as in former limes, 
■se now than in peraeculion ; and sermon-proof now 'f O, this i 
world. IMience is hardness of heart? O, something of the I 



THE TEN vmoiKS. 345 

world casetb yon. And whrnce is it ihat men willi rich slockB 
are goodly tilings, and wondered at; and holiness, and walking 
with God, and tliiuga of lieaven are nothiug? 0, this evil world. 
" O, adulterers und nduUercsses," know you not that you hale 
the Lord, and the Lord you ? It is the cause of all thy sin ; 
but see withal it is the cause of all ihy sorrow, heaven and the 
glory of that would enter, but for it, but that it can not. because 
thou art full of it. 0, poor creatures, take your farewell quickly 
of it, or the Lord will meet with you for it. Cry to the Lord I 
O, call me to come up unto thyself. 

Thus you see the fullness of the Spirit which the saints have ; 
and, therefore, that conceit, that saints have nothing whereby to 
duoen them, let it forever perish and rot. 



Sectio.v VII. 
Pw 4. Of Exhort. Take heed you fall not short of the 
gnce of God, of the promise and Spirit of grace. Ileb. xit. 15. 
O, gel oil in your vessels 1 When there is much counterfeit gold 
abroad, every man will have bis scales, and not only look and 
mh, but he will weigh every piece be takes. Was there ever 
more counterfeits abroad, or such similitudes of the truth ? 
Insomuch as some, in their opinions, tliink it impossible ; others, 
in their practices, find it hard and very difficult to distinguish 
the one from the other. 0, but there is a vast distance and dif- 
ference) ! As ever you look for mercy, get this oil in your vessel j 
w ever you look for peace, know that you have it in your ves- 
seL I am persuaded that there is never a soul that follows the 
Lord tremblingly and tenderly, but when he hears of this, sends 
np his sighs. Good Lord, let me not fail here ; better never have 
bad thy name in my forehead, nor affection in my heart, than to 
want oil in my vessel. And I am persuaded he trembles to think, 
What if I should perish at the last ? And yet how many never 
have strong fears of failing here, tliat have roost cause so to do I 
This parable is directed to virgin churches at the last period of 
the decrepit world ; wherein, mcthioks, the Lord Jesus speaks 
unto his people ; there is much profession, affection ; but, O, take 
heed you perish not for want of oil in your vessel. Let all your 
care be to get that, and fear to want timl, wherein the Lord doth 
■nswer lliat fear, and question, and thought of hia people. O. 
what if I should perish at last ! Get oil in your vessel, then ; 
and if the Lord Jesus had been of that mind that there are no 
inherent graces in the saints, or so dim ihey can not be ki 
ur. if known, you are not to respect them us any signs, but to 








I 



846 TIIK PARADLlf OF 

look for n witness of grace upon you, or out of you, without 
respecting or looking upon grace in you, he would never have 
recorded this parable, which, to wiae virgins, is to prevent those 
conceits. O, tlicrcfore, how many fall short here, and regard 
not this ! 

1. Some fall short here, by trusting to and omnifying of Christ 
and grace, regarding not_any grace wilhin ; ihey separate those 
things from one another wiiich God 1iath joined, and which a 
gracious heart joins one to another. They respect not sanclifi- 
CAtion, futh, or vocation ; tliey look to Christ, and can they honor 
Christ enough? Hence profess, they that regard those things 
hav# trusted to their frames of heart, and they scoff at them that 
look to be justified Ity faith. It is such a delusion as is likely 
" to deceive, if possible, the very elect" Look as it was wiiK 
the laroelilca. 1 Sam. iv. They were overthrown in tlie battle 
of the Philistines ; but what is the cause ? " O, send for the 
ark, where the strength and presence of God was." But what 
good did the ark do them with unhumbled hearts, that looked to 
that, and trusted to that, but mind not themselves? and hence, 
when Samuel bids them " turn from their idols, and serve the 

. JLiord only," now they do it ; so here. 

2. Some only look to the outside, like those that built the 
tombs and painted the sepulchers of the prophets. And hence, 
if they be inwardly lealous for exieraal order, eeremony, ordi- 
nances, carriage in garments, speeches, etc., tliey think the bit- 
terness of death is past, when, Agag-like, they are clad with such 
soft raiment ; and hence, if there be transgression here, it is sad. 
But what if they walk with unbroken hearts ? O, they respect 
not this. And so, their care being taken up in trimming and 

Ijnakiug the vessel bright, they neglect to get oil within. 

3. Some fall short here by thinking this thought, that that 
grace which is inward is also sincere and unfeigned ; and hence 
do not judge themselves profane or evil, because of their profes- 
eion, nor yet hypocrites, because they do not make only an out- 
ward show, wlien as the deepest hypocrisy lies under much in- 
ward affection many times. And hence they toke every such 
work upon trust, without weighing it ; if double gilt, and there 
is nu show of copper, put it up, never inquiring where the bounds 
of truth and hypocrisy part. And hence, if ihey have inward 
comfort, though by a dream, they take iL If upon their sick 
beds, after trouble, they have had peace, ihey take it on trust; 
if they have any promise of rest and peace, or feel some desire^. J 
love to ordinanciu;, and God's people, they take hold on promiseit^ 
and trust themselves without trying, without weighing. Sut.' '~~ 
work is superficial. 





4. .Some feel a want of these things, and content themselves 
with desires, and so never come to be indeed what they desire to 
be. It is true, sainta feel wanla and desire supply ; but, I. They 
are never satisfied till it is so indeed. " My flesli is meat in- 
deed." 2, They are humble and vile in their own eyes till the 
Lord lielp ; but these, like Solomon's slug^rd, "desire, and 
have not." Whereas, in things of lesser worth, they will not do 
BO : ihey will not only desire, but, indeed, till the ground : if one 
neglecta to till, though tbey answer, I desire, and Gro<l aucepis 
thai, every one will say he is deceived; their hunger is their 
food ; they build the sluggard's nest of desire, and there sit O, 
therefore, take heed you fall not sliort here. Take heed your 
prayers and desires prove not lazy and unfaithful messengers 
which you send to your frieuds to come and help you, aud they 
go half way, and no farther, and never bring ibem lo you indeed. 
O, therefore, get your oil in your vessels ; do not only fear the 
LorA, " fear him greatly." 1 Sam. xii. 18. Do not only cleave 
to the X«rd, but with the whole heart, and cleave (o him only ; 
beg this of the Lord. Look as poor people, when they come to 
ridi men that have full heaps, do say. Let mo have full measure ; 
niy family is poor, and charge great ; so here. 

Mulire 1. Consider, if once you get ihis, it will never die, it 
bhall inereaae exceedingly. It is a ireosure you can not part 
withal, ihat you shall never grow poor witli ; but, (Luko viii. 
1:4,) " From bim that hath not shall be taken away that which 
he scemelh to have." O, many a one saiih, I fear I shall fall at 
last, and I find my heart so soon cooled. 0, get this, nothing 
tihall quench it again. If you say, I can not keep it, I say, It 
shall keep you. I'rov. ii. 10, 11. Not when you have Christ, 
and Spirit, and grace in your head, nor in your conscience to 
give you peace, but in your heart ; and when nothing is sweet 
but that, nothing lies between your heart and that, it shall now 
preservt! and keep, thee, it shall follow thee, lill thee, seal thee, 
live with thee, go to heaven with thee, etc Mark this, yon fee- 
ble ones. 

Matift 2. O, consider what a sad thing it will be lo thy heart 
to mi«a of this and lose the Lord at last. The servants in Isaac's 
family did^ot mourn so much as F.sau when tlie blessing was 
gone. Why? They never had ho|ie of it, never were near it. 
Ho was so bng in the field that the blessing was gone before he 
came, and he sold it away for a trifle. So they that never come 
80 near the Lord and his ble^ing never will have eucIi sorrow 

EriftUy lo think, I sold it away for a trifle. O, thought Esau, 
I bad come a little sooner I etc. When Saul went to Gilgal 



848 TIIK fARABLE OF 

lo Bacrifice, (1 Sam. xiii. 10.) "He staiil seven days, and then 
Hicrificed before the Lord;" liiit then his doom was passed by 
God. And it is said, presenlij Samuel came. O, if he had 
staid a little longer! So you will one day think, I souglil and 
wailed, but forsook the Lord. 0, had I waited one day more. I 
Imd been well. This is the reason why the liypotfite's portion 
is heaviest in hell. 

Motive 8, You will say, It will be heavy hereafter, bat not 
now. Yes, now too, if you do consider the Lord Jesns is so full, 
and thou not to have one drop of that which is saving, even 
when you come for it. It was a heavy token of the Lord's an* 
ger, (1 Sara. xiv. 17,) "When the Lord answered not all that 
day," (when yet he did not speak bitter things against them.) 
because he did use lo do il. It notes the anger of the Lord 
Jesus ; as n man that bath abundance of bread, and yet gives 
not any, this argues he ia very angry, if he continue so ; and if 
BO, how canst thou sleep under it? 

MoHve 4. Consider, else the Lord will try you. God hath 
his trying times, and they were never sent but to discover who 
were dross, who were gold, and the main end of all God's trials 
is to discover this truth that I now am pressing upon yon. Some 
have a thorough work, and now the trial discovers the truth, as 
iD Abraham. Hcb. xi. 17. Some have superficial work, aud 
they fall in trial, as Saul, and it dolh discover it was but nn 
overly work ; for this is the question God makes, la it thorough 
or no ? Ay, saitb a carnal heart ; yes, saitli a gracious heart. 
Hence il is strange lo see what men will do when a trial comes. 
A man maintains a lust ; he will not show it, nor defend it ; he 
w^ tarn to be of some opinion or other, and the corroption of 
nnsmind shall sliow the corruption of his heart. / A man loathes 
I the people of God, but he saith he loves them. Now, tliis shall 
be a sign — time shall come that some of them shall be matter 
of offence to him, and shall not honor him, it shall try him. A 
man loathes ordinances ; he saith he doth not, but comes to the 
world's end lo enjoy them. He shall have plenty of them, and 
some sad losses with them, and then you shall see he surfeits of 
them, never quickened by them, to show the work was but over- 
ly. A man's heart is above God ; he sailh he is content to bo 
at the Lord's disposal ; let him do any thing with him, this com- 
forts him. He shall have a cross wife, or something that doth not 
please him, and now his heart quarrels, and thus he shall be tried, 
to show it was but overly work. Men despise ihe liberties the 
Lord gives them ; they say they pri/e Ihem. A general gov- 
ernor shall come with pretenses of religion and protection, and 




yoa bIuU see this chaff will take old birds now. 0, tbereforeJ 
try yourselx-es here, and be snre you fall not short here. """^ 
Qiittt. What means are there to be UHed ? 
An*. I. Look that you make your vessels clear. It hath been ■ 
HUd of old, and I believe it ia a truth fltill, that the Lord « 
■M^Tersend bb Spirit lo dwell in an unclean heart. Doves build 
not their babitations on dunghills. God's Spirit mu.'it c< 
efBuient to t«ke it away, but not as an inhabitant to dwell in an 
UQclenn heart ; (2 Tim. ii. 19-31,) " He that purgeth himself," 
{he doth not say, God must do all i but he, under God, searebeth 
anil purgeth,) he eball "be a vessel of honor;" if from the»e 
thtDga, especially from those sins which apostates are conquered 
with, of which he there spc-vka. For there be many si 
may be purged from, and not be a vessel of honor. But what 
«re the sins the apostates perish by ? Mark them, find them out ; 
one by pride, another by sloth, another by the world, etc. " He 
shall be a vessel of honor." Men see and confess, but make not 
work of it, indeed ; IJie old heart ia not better, you consume and 
kngnisb still ; (1 Cor. jz. 26, 27,) >' I beat not the air ; " i. e., I 
bty deadly blows upon my enemy, and " I beat down my bo dy, 
le8t," etc./ Overly search of sin hath made overly decay of sm, 
and hence overly grace and affection. As a. man bath not light, 
nor love, nor esteem enough, because he never felt his wound lo 
the bottom. / O, account it an inestimable mercy when it is thus. 
O, therefore, remember the rule of the prophet, (Jer. iv, 3, i,7"^ 
" Sow not among thorns," etc. Manj men's profession springs 
np. but withers, never comes to perfection ; this ground ia not 
plowed, or if so, not thoroughly plowed, but thorns left to choke 
iL Well, saith the Lord, look to yourselves, lest " my wrath 
break out like fire." Why is the Lord dreadful here? O, be- 
cnnse men arc careless here. I look to Christ, and my desires 
are good ; on^ 1 pray in secret, and I am much changed, etc. 

2. Look that your vessel be never kept empty ; when a maa 

balb tio grace, and sees bow others can pray and mourn, and bow 

far short he falls of tliem, it is easy now to be empty, as Saul 

when he was no king ; but when the Lord bath given some light 

1 affection, and some comfort, and some refommtion, now a 

1 grows full here. Saints do for God, and carnal hearts do 

leihing likevrise ; but a little tills them, and quit^ts them, and 

^•0 damns tbem. And hence men, at the fir?t work upon them, are 

y diligent in the use of means ; but afier that they be brought 

leglect prayer, sleep out sermons, and lo be careless, sapless, 

KSfetos, who ia llie better for them? Because I say that now 

Klbey have got sumeihmg, the main work is wrought, they call not 

VOL. II. 3U 




I 



I 



thiit into questioD, and so, when God comes lo reckou, thpj are 
found too light. O, therefore, keep the vessel empty, never con- 
tent thyself with any meusure. Hath the Lord colleil thee? 
Yes, I think so, and bcUcve sometimes ao, but I nm afraid I may 
at laat be ibund without oil in my vessel ) be then every daj. aa 
if thou wert now to be^. And this I say, true grace, as it 
comtbrts, so it never tills, but puts an edge on (he appetite ; tnore 
of that grace. Lord! Thus Paul. Phil. iii. 13, 14. Thus Da- 
vid, " Out of my poverty I have given," etc. 1 Chron. xxix. 3, 
17. 18. 

It is 8 sure way never to be deceived in lighter strokes of tlie 
Spirit to be thankful for any, but to be content with no measure 
of it ; and this cuts the thread of difference between a superficial, 
lighter stroke of the Spirit, and that which is sound. 

3. Look (hat your vessel be not broken, nor cracked, that when 
.-the Lord jiours in, it runs out again. Heb. it. 1,2; Prov. iv. 12, 

13. O, here is the wound of many a man, he hath many affec- 
tions in word, in ordinances, and they take hold on him to con- 
vince, to affect him ; but lie takes not fast hold on them, he keeps 
tliem not as hia life, with thankfulness for any little, and with 
watchfulness. And hence a man is where he was, dry and bar- 

(rirn. /it is true, tlie Lord will not give that out of an ordinance 
widcli he doth in an ordinance. But it is one thing to have it 
tost out of thy hands and the Lord's hands likewise, another thing 
only lo lose it out of thy hand. It is one thing for the Lord to 
withdraw it, another thing for thee to spend it away by the pre- 
vailing power of a lust, viz., either the world without, or contempt 

I of grace within/ you esteem it not as your life, and hence seek 
not to keep it, you will lose the oil in yonr vessels. And I am 
confident this ia one reason why a man lives long under means, 
Hnd never profils, the Lord gees if he should pour any thing into 
the heart, it would be lost. lie takes fast hold of world or self, 
and keeps that, and hence all runs out again. 

4. Look that you be at the cost to get this oil in yonr vessel. 
These virgins, when the door was shut and too late, would, but 
the time was pasL For we shall find the reason why men's 
works are alight, their buildings, their garments ; why, they will 
not be at the cost ; so men's works of grace are slight, becana* j 
they will not bo at the coat. They find a want of grace, i 
prixe it, and would fain have it, but it shall cost them little ; t 
will not he at (he cost of their time. Sometime tliey seek t! 
Lord in an ordinunce ; but what if he comes not ? They depi 
from him. Sometimes in pangs and fits, when the Spirit comi 
they seek ; but to be ever seeking, ever carrying sense of sin,fl 




THB TEN VIRGINS. 351 

is too much time and trouble ; they will not be at the cost. Some 
affections and hearts thej spend, but not their whole hearts. 
Hence Christ exhorts, O, " strive, because many seek, and are 
never able.*' Look, therefore, as it was with Jonathan, Saul 
(1 Sam. xiv. 45) said '^ he should die ; " no, the people said, 
*^ not so, for he hath wrought with God this day." Not that a 
man can get grace by his own strength, but, (Col. i. 29,) '< I strive 
according to his mighty working." Only let me add this : be at 
cost first to get the Lord Jesus himself ; as, (Matt. xiii. 33,) '* He 
sold all and bought the field;" and when he had the field, now 
he had the treasure. O, think no time too much, no lusts too 
dear, no affections too much for him, (and then you have all 
things with him, and shall receive life from him,) and not for a 
death, but for a living, risen Christ Christ bestowed gifts on 
Judas, on Saul; but whom he bestowed himself upon, those 
never wanted any thing. Ps. xxiii. 1. But /here I might taf? 
up a dreadful complaint. O, that men content themselves with 
colors and tinctures of truth and Spirit, etc. Some naturalists 
observe that brass would be gold, it tends to it, had it but more 
heat of the sun to concoct it, and to bring it to perfection ; so it 
is with the lighter strokes of common grace. «. 



CHAPTER XXn. 

that true sayinq grace in the hearts of beueyers 

can never fail. 

Section L 

Ob$erv. 4. That those graces of the Spirit wherewith those I 
heavenly vessels or souls of the faithful are filled, are constant, ! 
and of an eternal nature. 

For thus the wise virgins, their vessels were not only filled, 
but the oil was constantly preserved in them, and continu(;d in 
their vessels, until they met the bridegroom. It is true their 
lamp went out ; outward acts of the Spirit of grace, expressed 
in the profession of the saints, may be extinct for a time, yet the 
oil did remain in the vessel still, which was not so with those 
which were foolish : not only their lamps were out, but their oil 
was spent ; so tlmt^ere is a third difference between " the fool- ( 
ish and the wise virgins." That Spirit of grace in the one is of I 
a dying, withering nature ; in the other, of an eternal and ever- I 
lasting nature. There is an eternal excellency st^unped upon \ 




THE TARABLE OP 



K 352 

^V' them ; (John \v. 14,) " The water that I shall give him shall be 

^f ID him," no pools, but a perpetual living spring ; (Ueb. vi. 9.) 

^* " Some that were enlightened and tasted, fell away, but we ara 

persuaded better thiogs of you." The saints have better things, 

which do not cause, but accompimj salvation. The Lord is so 

far from suffering it to die, a^ that he will add to it ; (Luke viii. 

118,) " To him that hath shall be given." Though it be like 
musianl seed, yet it shall grow ; there is a growing virine ia it. 
But as the Lord speaks of his people ; (Is. Ixr. 8,) " As new 
wine is in the cluster, and one saitb, Destroy it not, for a blessing 
is in it, so it shall he here." Nay, though it b€ not so much bb 
seen, yet the Lord then can see it, and doth then keep it, and 
will preserve iL Is. xl. 29-31. Nay, though oppraed and re- 
sisted by temptation, yet (1 Pet. i. 6, 7) it is not consumed, 
but_ tried, that it may be to glory another day, notwithstanding 
I raimifold temptations. It is one of the greatest miracles in the 
I world to preserve it, aa a spark of fire in a sea of water. Nay, 
though it Beema to a man's feeling to be quite quenched and 
put out, that a man finds no more than a reprobate, yet the seed 
tof God remains, and it will break out again. There is Ufe at 
^the h eart and sap at the root, yet the Lord will bring tltem again. 
wTTen the Lord of glory was crucified, and all the disciples fled, 
not one sp.okc for him, none durst confeas him, yet the Lord re- 
turns to them, and they again to him. 



^^" 



Qiiesf. How C' 



Section H. 
. to be thus immortal and of a 



eternal 



Ant. 1. It is not only in regard of the power of grace re- 
ceived, though it were perfect ; for then Adam had not fallen] 

2. Nor in the freedom of a man from temptation ; for ihi 
the angels had not fallen. 

3. Nor yet in the power of a man's own watchfulness 
care to keep it : for, " if the Lord keep not the city, ttie wal 
men wake but in vain." 

4. Nor yet in the power of any means ; o* many think, if 
der a powerful ministry, then they are out of danger. It is i 
in Paul, nor Ajiollosj but in the Lord. Men may rejoice 
John's ministry, and be affected with it, but it is only for ft. 
season. But, — 

L In regard of the eternal election and purpose of 
I Their constancy in the state of grace depends upon 



i 





THE TEH VIRGINS. 

Ubilitf of hie counsel ; (MatL xxiv. 24,) " They Bhall deceive, if 
poMible, the elect;" but it ia not possible, they being elect. 
"Wise men may have their hrains crazed, and, Nebuchadnezzar- ] 
like, the use of reason gone, but the principle of reason con- 1 
tinues, and the use of it in time returns again ; and so it is in | 
repird of damning deluaions ; (2 Tim. ii. 19J " Hyraeneus and I 
Fhiletus fell i " hence do not the elect fall ?/ No, for that foun- 
dttiion remains sure. 1. The certainty of their continuance in 
grace is built upoo a foundation. 2. Not every weak one, but a 
firm foundation. 3. Not a foundation of roan's laying, but God's. 
A. Not a wavering und tottering, hut standing foundation, and 
that sealed nith the knowledge of God. " The Lord knows wHo" 
■re hia," i. e., thongh some men fall, that one can not tell by out- 
ward exprcflsions and profession who ore the Lard's, yet ■' the 
Iiord knows who are hie," and they arc scaled by bis love and 
knowledge. And it seems this is the prime cause of the con^. 
linuance of angels, (1 Tim. t. 21 ;) and election being free, fo~ 
his own sake, not for their sokes, the Lord foresaw all their good 
and evil ; hence thej are not cut off. 

H. In regard of the faithfulness, and promise, and coven ant 

of God's grace./ Adam had that covenant. If he did do, £e~ 

ahould live ; but he had no absolute promise he should do, or 

nmiinue to do ; but the faithful have ; and hence they stand, not 

K|^ the strenglli of grace, hut by the strength of the covenant 

I of grace. And hence that which to reason is incredible, to na- 

■tare impossible, is brought about by faith ; not by virtue of any 

V'^wer of a promise. God hath swd it, and faiih believes i^ 

'"nd hence Ahraliam's dead body begets ; und Sarah's barrCn 

romb brings forth Isaac. Hence, through all the word, when the 

Dstle persuades himself of their continuance, he ever puts in 

id's faiihfuhiew, (1 Cor. i. 8, 9 i 1 Thess. v. 24 ; 2 Thesa. ui. 

1 1) hence, (Jer, xxxii. 40,) " I will not turn away from them." 

hu. True, if they do not from the Lord. No, but " they shall 

I wtt turn away from me." 0^'ect. But we see many do fall. 

Atu. But if he doth, he shall not be broken, but taken up again. 

P». xxxvii. 24. Yea, f»r a time the Lord may do thus. But 

will this continue, having sinned against such mercy, and my sin 

being now greater? Now, the Lonl will deporL Ant. (1 Cor. 

i. 8,) " Yea, he will confirm you to the end." Yes, it may he he 

will, lu he hath done, while I am out of temptation ; but I may 

meet with it before I die. 

Ahm. (I Cor, X. 13,) ■■ lie will not suffer you to be tempted 
Vive measure," etc Yea, if I was such n one ns Ahralium or 
Ikvid, that hail such Iieoris, and did the Lord to much honor. 




I 

I 



! of DaricL" This 



3o4 THE PARABLE OF 



Nay, but (Is. Iv. 3,) "even the sure t 
is the faithl'olnesa of God. 

III. In ruganl of the constant abode of the Spirit of llie 
Lord ia the hearts of the Biuots, whereby they are kept ; (John 
X. 28,) " None can pluck his sheep out of the Father's hand." 
Look, Bs the first Adam sinning conveys the power of sin, and 
Satan, and death, which reigna vvith uneonqnerable power over 
all the sons of men, so Christ rising conveys that grace and 
coDstant presence of the Spirit which reigns to eternal life, and 
carries the soul through all difficulties; (DeuL xxsiii. 27.) "The 
eternal God is thy refuge." Let what evils can come, there is a 
refuge ; yea, so long as I can stand. But what if I fall ? " Un- 

' dcmcath arc the everlasting arms." Let a saiot fall never so 
low, yet God's everliisiing arms are still lower ; wherever he 
falls, he falls at last into the Lord's arms ; for else it was im- 

' possible for any aoul to continue ; (Is. xlri. 3, 4,) " From the 
womb to the hoary head I will carry you." Saints, when they 
arc little, think ihey shall full at lost, and when slrengtliened, 
fear, if they live till old age, their hearts and spirits will die ; yet 
they do not. But how coraes this about ? "I will carry you." 
And hence it is impossible they should ever die or perish, no 
more than the Lord Jesus. John xiv. 19. So that, if God's pur- 
pose is Arm, his promise sure, his Spirit able, the Spirit of life 
and grace in tJie hearts of the faithful shall be kept even to 
eternity. 

Section III. 
Ute. Let that opinion, that the graces of sMnta are fading and 
mortal, rot and die, and be had in everlasting detestation of them 
that know the Lord. 

Oigeet. But we see how many fail off and fall back, and I 
have found it by experience so. 

Am. The seed that ia cast into the earth, first dies, and then 
lives and grows ; so no sooner doth tlie Lord fill his saints, 
there is much self-confidence in it, and resting in it ; hence 
dies, yet it lives and grows again. And hence the Lord ki 
his people poor, and sensible of their own weakness as long 
they live ; but if it quite dies and withers, they were never uw 
Lord's, nor never had one drachm of grace. 1 John ii, 19. If 
it be taken away, he did but seem to have it. All fleshly exoel- 
leneies in men, as common gifts be, do wither; (Is. 3d, 6. 7^ 
"All flesh is gncs." But plants in God's orchanl never Unt' 
tlieir greenness, though plants and flowers in llie field ID^| 
(Pb. i. 8,) " Whose leaf shall not wilher." 



then 
,bn*J 




! TEN VIBIilNS. 



Oijeel. Bat Ibis may make men secure, ray the Arminians. 
Ant. 1. Nolhiiig puis more life in tlie saints. It would sink 









a wlien the Lord told Joshuj 



* Wherever thou aetteat ihy fool, thou shalt prosper, not a 
«hle tu Eland against thee ; " this puts life into bim. 

'2, Though they can not fall quite away, yet tbey may fall so 
as lo lose the sweetness of grace, and presence of God. If a 
man ehould eat too much, and ever be sick, though not die after 
it ; or if one should fall and break bis bonea, though be doth 
not lo«e bis life ; is this any bap for any to rejoice ? 

3. Though they can not wholly drive away nor beat out the 
breath of the Spirit, yet Ihey may " grieve the Spirit by which 
they ore sealed." Epb. iv. 30. Which is more sad to a holy 
heart than all evils in the world beside. But, therefore, let this 
conceit die and perish, which is raised up by Satan to disgrace 
the imuge of God and Spirit of grace in Ibo hearts of the faith- 
ful ; for who will make men seek after perishing things, under a 
color of making men seek for the Spirit ? It ia to resist and 
quench the Spirit of God in them. 



Section IV. 
tie 2. It may comfort the hearts of the faithful exceedingly 
against feare of apostasy, when tbey see great cedars fall : How 
shall I stand ? And when they hear of some temptation that 
may be hereafter, then they fear. And when they feel the evil 
of their own hearts, (which the Lord lets them leel lo humble 
them that they may grow lower, and so stand the faster,) they 
My, I shall fall, and when they have found the Lord's presence, 
0, if now I shoald relapse af\er this boallb I 

Quest. IIow shall I know whether I shall stand or no ? 
Aru, It is not discernible by perseverance, but by somewhat 
begun, though very difBcolt to be seen. As, — 

). Observe Giod's several and various dispensations of him- 
^ RBlf and liis grace toward thee, whether they issue from bis ever- 
K luting love or no ; for if so, then he will everlaatingly keep that 
ihich he hath given tbee. 
Quett. How shall I know that P 

Am. Look as that issues from eternal wrath, that separates 
» soul from God, or therein it is ejipressud, so tliat is the ex- 
KynssioD of eternal love which draws thee to God in Jesua 
VO>ri*t. Observe, therefore, the Lord's carriage, doth it draw 
ltt<H^ at last to bim, nearer lo bim ; and so the more be dispeng* 
(jRli irf" himself, ihe neiirer ihou arl brought lo him; hero is 



856 THE I'AKAHLK OV 

tlie expression of eternal love, and the Lord will keep tliee s 
(John vi. 37,) " All that are given me slinll come to me." Let 
the Lord give his Sjtirii, thDUgh but little, tbej- grow thankful. 
O, he ia come, who, I thought, would never have returned 
ngnin. Let him deny it. Ibis keeps them humble. Let the 
Lord dispense himself in an ordinance, I licy love him; and "one 
day here better than a tltotisand ebewhere." Let him not do 
BO, they feel the more need of him. Let the Lord free them 
from temptations, and give ibem conquest, faith now rejoiceth. 
Let Ihem fall into many temptations, their faith grows the more 
purified than ever. Let the Lord give them outward blessings, 
they grow more vile in their own eyes, " less than the least," 
with Jacob. Let the Lord deny them, (llab. iii. 18,) they 
rejoice in the Lord. They get gobd (ind are more endeared to 
the Lord, by every carriage of the Lord's ; at least in the issue 
it is 80. As it b with wieked men, tliey may for a fit be affected 
and return to the Lord, but in the issue they forget the Lord, so 
it is here contrariwise. There is not any unregenerate man, 
but something or other consumes him. The wicked ever aro 

I like chaff driven from God. Gold that is of an everlasting 
nature, keep it, beat it, burn it, you can not consume, but only 
purify it i it is not so with chaff. Let the Lord give him Instea 
of grace and joy, it estrangeth his soul from Chnst, it doth not 
bring him near to Christ. 

2. Observe whetlier ihou dost grow out of, and live upon, an 
everlasting covenant or no ; (Rom, xi. 1.) " God halh not cast 
o^his people, wliom be foreknew." Who are those ? " Children 
of the promise," (Rom. ix. 7, H,) (hat are bom iind bred of the 
promise, or whole covenant of grace. God hath treasured up aU 
I grace in Christ, laid it up in that storehouse; Chriet hath 
dropped it in his promises. Now, when the soal is rooted 
covenant, now it shall never die nor perish. As it is with 
trees, set them in the grounil, theywiU grow, if they have 
and rain, but die at last : take anothetvand set it in a stock, 
that it ubidcs there, and fetcheth all it^ life from thence by 
cleaving to it ; now it will grow and become^ flourishing branch. 
Now, when the soul grows out of the covetiant, for t^e whoU 
benefit of it, and is fully satisfied with IL 2N8am. xxiii. i, 5. 
As take a soul that feels a want of all the bene^ of thi) « 
nant, pardon, pe^ce, life, that the spirit is ready oftto fail, 
hath no assurance it shall have any part of that wbiCB ia 
children's portion ; and looks upon his own unwonhine«9, ni 
to have any from the Lord, yet it looks up to the free mei 
and grace that made it to some, to make it good to me, and 



bath 
intb^^H 

ck, B» fl 




TUE TEN VIRGINS. 357 

please the promise, and so lays itself llicre, anJ there reals, and 
there Iciuks, and here sucks, and takes root, and the root spreads 
to every part of ibe covenant. The Lord hath now rooted the 
soul in this corenant, and it halh rec.'ived life from hence ; this 
is cyerlasting, you shall continue. And when the soul especially 
is like a bough blown by the wind, yet it stands fast still. If meli 
hare been in horrors, oud then fell to reformation, and there 
rested, it will not last. If men have had some workings and 
actings of the Sjiirit upon them, and then say, Giod must do all, 
but they grow not into the covenant, they will die ; but here, 
though God keeps thee short and naked, and thou only pleadest 
the covenant, thou shalt stand. If you plead for pardon, and 
some good, not the whole good of the covenant, you shall die 
alao. If you grow upon souio distemper, and the whole heart 
grow not upon thi , you will die also. Look as it is with a man 
that builds, he wi I make an end if the foundation be laid, but if 
not, pull it down, ^o here. 

3. If the power of grace received and acted by the Spirit 
hath risen to the nature of fruils, and not leaves only. John xv. 2. 
And that is, when the soul receives that grace, as that in every 
thing its scope is to live to God, to give his heart content. For 
fruit b the end of the tree's growth, and leaves and fruit are not 
for the tree, hut for the content of the owner of it. If so, the 
Lord hath undertaken to purge thee, though ihere be much eelf- 
seeking in thee, and he hath undertaken, though little at present, 
to make thee bear more fruit. Many a man hath much aficction 
and gmce, but when he halh it, what is it but leaves to adorn and 
beautify himself? But he lives not to the Lord : another man 
will live to the Lonl in what he does ; the Lord is so dear, and 
hiinaelf so vile, as that he doth thus. 

4. If you pmy for it in Christ's name. Object. Many pray. 
. But when Christ and you pray together, you will speed i 

ad then Christ prays when his Spirit cries at the throne of 

nercy, then himself ia at the throne of justice. And his Spirit 

■ , !. Not for an until person, that hatli some slight change, 

lor his saints, whose hearts are endeared to him and his 

whole will. 2. Not for an evil or private end, hut the Lord's. 

. Not coldly, but with groans unutterable. Is it thus with Iliec? 

', then how canst thou fall? Dost thou fear Satan? (Matt. 

. IK,) he shall not prevail against thee, but thou shalt give 

e last blow and wound. Dost ihou fear Uic world, the deceita 

*tt it ? (Matt. xiiv. 24,) « if possible the elect." Dost thou fear 

the evil or good things of it 't (John xvii. 13.) " Though in the 

world, yol Christ prays you may be delivered from the evil of 




I 



TaK PARABLE 



it" Dost thou fear thy sin, that will separate? Am. (Rom. 
tL 2,) "How can we that are dead live nny longer therein ? " 
It, is a strong, but a wounded, but ft dj-ing enemy. Dost ihoa 
• fear the Lord, tliou hast walked so unworthy of him ? " Ho 
wiH not break the bruised reed till judgment come to riclory," 
though little, though wenk. 0, therefore, be comforted against 
this in these times, which ore apostalicnl, declining, evil days, 
and bless the I^rd. 

Section V. 
Vie 3. Hence we learn what verdict to pass and give in con- 
cerning those men that decay and fall off from the Lord. They 
never had oil in their vessel, never had a drachm of grace in 
their heart. Thus, (I John ii, 19,) "If ihey had been of us, 
they would doubtless have continued with us." It seems they 
were such men which were so eminent and excellent, as that 
there were no brands nor marks upon them to ^ve notice to the 
churches that they were marked out for apostasy, but were only 
discovered to be unsound by their apostasy ; and this was argu- 
ment good enough. Hence Christ, when some of the Jews 
began to believe in him with a temporary faith, (John viii. 31,) 
" If my word continue in you, ye are my disciples ;" as if he 
should say, Your faith is a fancy, if it continue not. Look, there- 
fore, as the prophet said, (Zach. i. 5,) "Your prophets, where 
are they ? Yonr fathers, where are tbey ? " So say I to you ; 
your tears, your tenderness, your groanings, your heart-breaking 
prayers, etcT where are they ? Is it with them as with ships 
that are sunk and wrecked, some of the ribs remain, which gives 
you to see and say, there was a fair ship, but it is sunk ? (1 Tim. 
). 19,) "Make sEiipwreck of conscience," and so lose their faith 
nCIgo. Some men for a time seem to keep a whole conscience, 
'wind and water tide ; they con pass through many storms, yet 
at last it breaks, and when that is l<»t, their faith is lost also. 
> Tbeir faith before God, and conscience before man, both of theory 

Now, there are two sorts of apostates : 1. Open in n 
whose falls are like the falls of a mighty tree ; it falls with noisi 
and breaks down all the underwood ; so their falls make a noiM 
in all the country where ihey hved, and by their falls s 
sadded, others offended and damned. 2. Secret, when i 
are apostates in heart, (Prov. xiv. 14,) which have chosen » 
sinful ways. Jer. lii. When it is with men ns it was witH^ SiUll, 
there is no commendation of him but this, that he was higher by 
the head and shoulders than any of Israel. So it is with th«se; 




I 



'Sa outward profession higher than others, but their oil ia 
«pent. 

Ofgeet. But do not many of the siuntfi fall openly and secrelly ? 

Ant. True, tliey may and do full exceeding greatly. But as 
Hoses prophesying of the apoataay of Israel after his deuth, 
(Deut xxzii. 29,) jet it is said, it is not " the corruption, nor 
apot of bis children." Deut. xxxii. 5. There is a great differ* 
«Dce between a hypocrite's apostasy from bis grace, and saints* 
from theirs. It is one thing to fall from branch and root too, 
another thing only for the branches to be broken off and the root 
not pulled up. Jude 12. There are some apostasies that ai^e 
there was never a drachm of grace in that soul. Saints fall 
down, but do not fall away ; and of such apostasies as ai^e 
want of grace, take the following discoveries : — 

1. When a man's rising is the cause of his fall, (or eeals a 
man up in hb fall,) or at le«st the cause, through his corruptiqn^ 
«z. yr. .* Time was a man lived a. loose, careless, carnal life ; by 
the ministry of some word, or reading of some book, or speak- 
ing with some friend, he comes to be convinced of his misery 
and woful condition, and sees no good nor grace in himself, he 
baib been even hitherto deceived ; at lust he comes to get some 
light, some taste, some sorrows, some heart to use the means, 
some comfort, and mercy, and hope of life ; and when it is thus 
with him, now he falls, ho grows full and falls, and this rising is 
the cause of his fall, his light is darkness and death to him, and 
grows to a form of knowledge ; his rising makes him fall to for- 
mality, and then to profaneness, and so his tasting satisfies him, 
his sorrows empty his heart of sorrow for sin, and his sorrows 
for his falls harden his heart in his fails, and all the means of 
recovering him harden him ; Ihat now if men never hod had 
means, even Sodom, they woold have relented before now. 
This is a sad token of falling away, and having had only lighter 
woHc, it being a pbin evidence that, at their best, they were 
filled with their lusts, because a little light and affection salislied . 
them, which is now turned by the power of their lust to bnrdoo 1 
them. I». vi. 'J. This is given as one sure sign of a people fof- [ 
saken of God, when " in seeing they see not, and they bearing 
bear not." Irook as it is in diseases, if the physic and meat 
torn U> be poison, then there is no hope of recovery, a man is 
rick to death now. The saints' little measure makes them forget 
what ia behuid ; (Prow iv. 18,) Ho shines "brighter and 
brighltf till perfe<rt day." So let him fall, he con not be 
quiet there ; but when he remembers from whom he is fallen, if 
OQOe be lasted the Lord, this will fetch bim again, and make 



I 

I 

I 



■ tliin 

In 



him restleas till lie return. But if it be «) as now it is witli 
these, then [lie case is woful, when there is such a plague on 
men and tbej know it not. 

Wheo a man saiih to himself, as the glutton said to his soul, 
"Take thy rest, for thou host goods laid up for many years ; " 
80 thou hast repentance, and grace, and peace enough for many 
years, and hence the soul lakes its rest, grows sluggish and neg- 
ligent; 0, if you die in this case, this night thy soul shall be 
taken away to hell. 

2. If when men fall from the Lord, and tliey rise up only in 

ordinances, but fall down constantly out of ordinances without 

tl feeling. A carnal heart falls, but lie thinks himself is not, there- 

Hfore, without all grace, because in an ordinance bis heart some- 

(Itimea is affected ; so they were, E^ek. xxxiii. 31. The prophet's 

/ ministry waa sweet to them, " but their hearts went after their 

/ Govetouaness," their hogs, their houses, their lusts, their lotaj 

and they joy in the prophet, but nerer mourn for that. A. 

precious heart also faUs out of ordinances, but he feels his falls. 

\ Though he falls from the benefit of his rising, yet not from the 

\| feeling of hb fall. But to another man, the fiwecl he finds in 

llordinances is but music to his meat; (Matt. vii. 26, 27,) "He 

that heoreth my words and doth them not, that man's house is 

built upon sand, which falls," and the cause of great fiilla is this. 

Look as it is with corn ground, if rain falls upon tliat, though it 

be long before any ripe fruit comes, yet it makes it at last come 

to some ripeness. But if it falls on other ground, seed is sown 

there, but it brings forth briers ; though it drinks in rain, it is 

nigh to cursing. Heb. vi. 7, 8. Look aa it was with Saul, " God 

had forsaken him," (1 Sam. xtI. 14, 23,) and a spirit of Satan 

came upon him ; yet when David played with his harp, it stilled 

the spirit in him, and afieeted him much ; it did not cast out the 

spirit, tor when he had done playing, the evil spirit came again 

upon him." So it is at this day : a man is forsaken of the Spirit 

of Grod, and haunted with an evil spirit of pride, world, passion, 

lust, libertinism; a man prays, hears, and is made much better; 

it is stilled, not cast out ; for after this a man returns to his old 

spirit again, and iu time he can not be quieted with preacliing 

nor praying, no more than he could with harping. 

S. When a man is bo fallen as that he returns not in 

son of rising. Look aa it is with trees in the wint , 

leaves, (heir blossoms, their fruit, their beauty is gone. Is it thai 
dry and barren, and quite withered and cursed? One would 
tliink so for the present, but it is not so, because the season of 
fruit and leaves is not now ; if in spring and summer it should 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 361 

be SO, then you might well suspect it. Thus, (Jer. viil. 5, 7, 8,) 
yet they said they were wise, and they had law and ordinances 
among them. True, yet they did not know their season, hence 
fell with an everlasting backsliding. Hence, (Psalm i. 3-5,) 
** They are like the tree planted by the river's side, which bears 
in season." 

Quett, What and when is this season ? 

Ans, I can not tell you the season of every man, but I will 
show you the usual seasons of many men. 

1. When Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, draws ex- 
ceeding near unto the soul, and that to the reviving of others, 
(Is. Iv. 6,) but thy heart never a whit the better, nor yet much 
troubled it is so bad. When Peter falls, a look recovers him ; 
when Ephesus falls from her first love, to "remember from 
whence she is fallen " is enough to restore her to her love again. 
When the disciples fell after Christ's death, yet when he arose 
and Opened the Scripture, their hearts burned within them. But 
thou hast had Jesus Christ opening the riches of his grace from 
heaven, and thou hast heard a voice, but not seen the sight, the 
glory of the Lord in this thy day; and this thou hast done 
though the sun hath come to his full height sometime. This is 
thy season ; gospel, and Christy and promises are grown common 
to you, etc. As it was with the possessed man, (Matt. xvii. 15,) 
** The devil takes him oft, and casts him into the water and fire ; " 
but if, when he comes to Christ, he has no help, the Lord be 
merciful to him then. So you have been possessed and fallen, 
but when the Lord Jesus comes he casts them out ; but if the 
Lord speaks, enlightens, and cometh, saying. Remember me whom 
thou hast abused, my wet look, my watery eyes, and my sorrow- 
ful heart which thou hast broken ; here is all my love, and this 
prevails not, but thou neither risest nor desirest the Lord to 
raise thee. This is sad I In the day of jubilee, be a servant 
then forever, if your ohl master still pleascth you ; especially 
when all means are u^ed ; when the last of a course of physic 
is taken, and is ineffectual. 

2. When the Lord is ready to depart from the soul. Some- 
times saints do not melt at love ; but the Lord departs, now this 
recovers them. As a man that hath a friend, though they grow 
weary of their company, and they begin to carry away divers 
things, yet when they come to take tlieir leave indeed, now they 
recover, and they can not j)art now. Like Joseph and his 
brethren, they can neither of them part. Nicodemus and Joseph 
can tiot contain, but cleave to Christ, when most forsaken. David, 
when God " hides his face, is troubled." Ps. xxx. 7. It b with 

VOL. II. 31 



S62 THE I'ARABLE C 

BainCfl Ew with sick folk ; when their sickness and sores come to 
their height, now thej break aod recover, llosca v. 13. But if 
God's departing from thee makes thee more vile, it makes tbee 
apostatiee from him ; it is certain thou hadst never life then. 
This is a Saul's brand. 1 Sam. xxviti. He forsakes the Lord 
and goes to a, witch. Never saw you yet a gracious heart, but 
the Lord made extremity fetch him in. And no surer sign of 
an ungracious heart, than to have this blast him and drive him 
from the Lord. Mai. iii. 14. A man hath God's ordinances, he 
finds no profit, no God, no Christ, hia affection is lost, and now 
he forsakes the Lord. 0, wheu C'liri;4t is a rock of offence, woe, 
woe to that souL Now, thou hast neither summer nor winter 
fruiL O, look lo thy fall here. 

S. When men so fall from the Lord, as that their whole hearts 
make choice of, and are espoused to some lust, wedded to some 
■ distemper. 'For though the saints may fall, vet never to an other 
I layer j for they can not faU into any sin _that breaks j aw««anl lie- 
Itween them and the L ord. Hosea ii^l9. / When men make 



f*^iyThIiig in the world to take content in more than 
the Lord, or tugellier wiiix tlie Lord, and hence defend it as law- 
ful, and are fully free in it, there was never grace there. For 
if any thing doth give the saints content, it is not their choice, 
but refusing ; but you are wedded to your lusL David could 
Bay, " I have chosen ihy testimonies ; 0, forsake me not utterly." 
Others choose somewhat else, not thee ; (Ps. cxxv. 5,) " Those 
thftt walk in crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth." 
This is given as a black mark of men that are broken off from 
the Lordi (Rom. xi. 0,) " Let their table become asnare." When 
it may be no unlawful thing, but lawful is that which banes them. 
2 Fet. ii. 22. Sheep may fall into the mire, but if tUey he and 
wallow in it, it is a swine ; and all their excellencies are but 
pearU in a swine's snouL 

QiKit. But when doth a man make choice of it? 

Am. 1. When a man's heart is set upon a \wt, and God blesa- 
eth and prospers him iu it. When God fills the " backslider in 
heart full of his own ways." His heart ia worldly, and he thrives 
in it ; his heart is ambitious, and he bath his honor. This the 
Lord gives not to bis people, but some rod or other upon theit 
backs; (Hosea iv. 17,) " Let him alone." 

2. When a man lies long in his fall Saints lie not 
limit no lime, but when day after day a man lives in it ; ( 
xL 10,) " Let theu- backs be bowed down alway." 0, v ' 
man's heart and back is bowed down olway, saints ore 
Christ's core. 



i 




S63 

3. Wten the cause of a man's withering is a withering root. 
Trees in winter caet iheir leaves as withered trees, but olhers' 
root is hurt. If the branchea do wither, jet if the root remain, 
it will recover again. So the eaints east their leaf, and their 
branches wither in desertions and temptations, but they preserve 
themselves at the root. But why do others wither? It is be- 
cause their faith withers. Hcb. x. 39, and iii. 12, 14. Many a 
man withers because of his faith. He feels many wants. Whj 
lives he so ? Why dies he in beggary ? Wliy, see Micah iii. 
11, When a man is twice dead and pulled up by the roots, 
" so that the root perishctb, for him is reserved the blackness of 
darkness forever." That Ihe meous and way of enriching saints 
is a way of beggary, to these it is very fatal. There is some 
fat^e faith in saints, but it is not wholly such. 

O, consider these things. No grace! what, no grace? I say 
then, no life, no God, no Spirit, no Christ, no glory. O, mourn 
here. !>ee it now, that you may be humbled, and so saved. Klse 
yoQ will fall worse and worse still. Jer. iii. 5, 6. 

Section VI. 

Vt« 4. Hence see how far they fall abort of saving grace, that 
serve the Lord by fits and starts, and whose hearts fallow after 
the Lord, and make much of the Lord only in good moods. Dy- 
ing pangs are not eternal graces ; withering grace is flourishing 
and prosperous wickedness. If the spirit of grace in the saints 
be of an eternal, constant nature, that is not the spirit of grace 
which accompanies salvation which is alive to-day but dead to- 
morrow, which a man is quite full of to-day but quite empty of 
to-morrow. Hence the prophet cries out, (Hosca vi. 4, 5,) "O 
Ephraim. what shall I do?" What more means can I use for 
thy gooil ? Why, do we not get good by means ? Yes ; but 
" thy goodness is like the morning dew," soon licked up by the 
sun ; " and like a cloud which passeth away," which promiseth 
mucli. but is scattered again. 

The Lord knows not what to do with such men ; yet how many , 
be of such, that, like Jonah's gonrd. spring up for a time, and 
then die the nest day, and they comfort tliemselvca under the 
shadow thereof. That, take them in their mood, they are aa 
good as you can wish, more than men ; but out of it they arQ i 
brute beasts, not men. Whatever is in a godly man, the likcneat 
and similitude of it is for a time in a hypocrite. Would you bavs 
MUiKsi prayer for a blessiug? look upon Esnu ; he " seeks for it i 
with tears," and mouma for it for a time. Would you hare fol- 




9 



THE PAUABLE OF 



lowing the means, and thnt the most [lowerful and eearching, Had 
joy in it also ? See John v. 35, " What went they out inlo the 
wilderness to aee ? a pro]>liet," a burning and thining light, and 
rejoiced therein for a season. Would you have hazarding life 
for Paul and ministry of the gospel ? Alexander did thus for k 
time. Would you haTe people enter into covenant wili God? 
Look upon the Israelites; (D«ut. xxjx. with xxxi. IG,) "I know 
that after thy death this people will go a-whoring." Would yoa 
have thankfulness ? Pa. cvi. 1 3, " They wmg hia praise, tliey 
BOOH forgot the Lord." And these affections are for a time 
Btronger than the saiuta, like land floods ; and because they be 
violent and strong, they last not long ; but, however, it argues a 
wretched, false heart. Pa. Isxviii. 37, '' Tlreir hearts were not 
right," bceauae " not steadfast in bis covenant." 

Obf'fcl. But what man is there but changetk ? What body so 
healthful, that is found always in the same temper ? Do not the 
BatDts Und their hearts soon eold, their joy soon quenched, their 
affections soon spent ? This, therefore, will discourage them. 

Am. I answer, in two ways : — 

FiriL They sometimes deny the constancy of grace, where 
constantly it is, (for (lie spirit of grace in us is like life, for it ia 
eternal Itfe i it is ever acting or remaining in the soul ;) and this 
they do by reason of many mistakes. As, — 

1. They think the grace of God in them perisheth, when the 
act ceaseth. Whereas a man may be weary of actions of life, 
where life rcmaineth, as in aiek men. A man may have a rich 
treasure always with him, yet not always spend it. There ia a 
gracious frame of heart which the Lord regards chiefly, which is 
before tlio act, and hence may be without iL The wheel doth 
not run that it may be round, but it if made round that it may 
run. Hence, when the act of running ceiu^eth, the frame, where- 
by it is fit to run again, remainctb, and this b " the seed of God." 
1 John iii. 9. 

2. Many tliink the act of grace ceaselh, when it doth not act 
always upon the same object ; as some think, because they haw 
not the sense of God's love always, all grace is lost, when it mi 
be there is sense of corruption at that time ; sometime God giv 

I victory over temptation, it riscth again. Now the soul thinks the 
very act of grace ceaseth, when yet is now warring against tbe 
temptation ; sometime the spirit of grace may lead a man to 
prayer and sadness, sometime to a man's calling and cheerfulness. 
The act of grace is small, its dominion large. 

3. They think they are not constant, when they are not so 
all times as they ore at some limes. As a man thinks he 



act ^ 
n^H 
ifaa ■ 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 865 

inconstant at prayer, because he is not all day upon his knees; 
not heaveuly-miudecl, because be ia not all day long minding 
heavenly things. Whereas the epiril should be ready so to do 
and be at all times, and in every worldly occasion to be sowing 
and reaping some spiritoal good ; yet it is not a seasonal way to 
be upon the mount Sometimes Moaea must not come down to 
the camp. Grod requires every fit season forhb special worship, 
not every particle of time. 

4. Many think the power of grace is ceased and taken away 
when some special enlargemonls are ; as n Christian shall liiul 
at some times; having special- work to do, special miseries to go 
tlirougb, he hath spectid enlargemeats of the spirit of joy, cour- 
age, boldness with God, love, and zeal. These lasting not, he 
thinks all is gone now. But look as it was with Jonathan. 1 
Sam. xiv. 8. Then " be alone and his armor-bearer wont against 
a host," yet (1 Sam. svii. 11) against Goliah not a word. Paul 
to his death was a faithful and able minister of the gospel, though 
BOmelimes his motilh stopped, and his heart straitened. The ship 
may be going to the harbor, though sometime greater, sometime 
leuer winds. 

Secondly. But yet I confess there Is much changeableness in 

the saints, and unevenness in their course, and their spirits are 

apt to grow weary and faint, otherwise they had no need to be 

exhorted not to be weary, and when they are lifted up, they soon 

sink down. Ileb. xii. I. And henc« question. Was there ever 

grace in this heart? But yet there is much difference between 

■ e inconstancy of the one and of the other, in three things:-;^ 

I. A hypocrite's aflections, when they cease, they are raised 

gun by some exiomal principles and motives ; but the faithful, 

■Then they have loat what they Ikad. they recover it agiun by a 

an inward principle, wliich is an evidence tliere was 

t being of grace all this while. Empty a pond, it will never 

I Bgun till the clouds above it pour down rain. Empty a 

pring, though it sees no clouds in tlie heavens, yet it runs of 

letf, and will fill itself again. So when a hypocrite is left drr 

id empty, if some clouds of displeasure, fears of death and hcIlT^ * 

me, be is filled ; but a cliild of God, when no fear of death or 

t, yet many times something within begins to work, as in Da- 

! {Pi. xxxix. 3,) " While musing, the tire kindled ; " the sense 

r sin, to lie out from God. to quench his Spirit, the heauty of 

t, the command of God, the honor of the Lord Jesus recov- 

. Heb. viii. 10 ; DeuL v. 29. They spake as largely aa 

toy could desire ; yet their hearts were naught, because this ' 

! from no inward principle, but only from external fear. 

3I« 



I 



860 THE i'AUAUi.E OF 

"Wlen tlie priests' feet touch Jordan, the waters Blood on 
heaps;" but "when ihcy are pussed through, the; overtlow all 
the banks " again, acrtinling to their nature. So when the wurd 
ia preached jKiwerfulSy, and the gospel with authority, and the 
priesle' feet touch men's conaciences, and they cometo moke 
way for the ark, for the Lord, men in fits fall down before the 
Loi-d against their natures ; and for a Sabbath day men are as 
full of good purposes and hearts as may be, yet perish al last. 
Johaviii.SU, 31. " Many believed when ihey beard his word;" 
hat then are you my "disciples if you continue." All hypo- 
crites* pangs come from external principles ; and beni;c luke 
them away, their affections die. Sometimes the novelty of a 
thing affects a man ; tlie sight of shore is beautiful ; at last when 
manna proves daily bread, it is loathed. At first nunisttirs' feet 
are beautiful ; they would pull out tbeir right eyes for Paul, yet 
alterward cast him oS'. A Pharaoh, in thunder and fear of 
death, cries, " Take away the plague." A man in aSticlion 
promiaetb much ; when it is past, his care to find out his sin, bis 
seeking to be purged from his sin, ceaseth. Jonsh is good while 
Jehojnida lives. A man is good in quickening company, but 
" when iniquity abomids, his love wazeth cold ; " whereas, when 
these f^l, a holy heart grows better. That which makes the 
one to fall makes the other to fear, and bo to stand. A conceit 
carries a man on ; but when his conceit is gone, he falls. Look 
as it ia with dead men, tliey may have heat and color, but it is 
from the fire ; a living man may bo cold, and UU beauty gone, 
yet he comee to be hot again, not from external heat, but i 
nal life within : he con get himself heal, as we say ; so it is herft.l 
Or OS it ia with the clock and the sun, the one moves by art, tb4|l 
other by nature. ■ 

2. Suppose there be some inward spirit to raise affections, y8| 1 
these graces arise in them without tbo destruction of the con- I 
trary corruption; and m are like to Uoses' burning bu^T 
" tiie bush burning, but yet not burnt." And thus it was wiWi| 
Balaam: " Suddenly the Spirit of God came upon hira, and I 
saw the beauty of Jacob's tents, and blessed them" above a 
people in the world, yet his covetous, innliciona heart a 
them was not consumed. We never read of raiaam's moi 
for want of lie sight of their glory, and of Im e to their per* 
and posterity ; but the graces of the saints I'o arise from 1 
dying of the contrary lust or corruption, y<?i ihe being of it r 
m full power, though not in llie exerfi:;e tliereof, hecaut 
1 such a subject where cori-uption ie dying, not livingfl 
iailing, not reigning. Christ dies, and so lives in hia peopled 




THE TEN VIRGINS. 867 

where Christ is indeed, there we are first buried with Christ 
before we are raised by him. Paul could do great things for 
Christ, jet sometimes is weak, because his strength arose from 
the sense of his own insufficiency to think a good thought. The 
saints see great things, but it is in such a way as that they ^^ that 
see not might see." John ix. 39. Paul is sometimes set at lib- 
erty from pricking temptations, yet he hath them sometimes that 
he may feel them, and so be raised again. Hence many people 
suddenly find they love the people of Grod, and love the Lord, 
but never felt the contrary sin ; suspect it is but a pang, as Ca- 
pernaum was much afiected, yet repented not. 

3. The continuance of the risings of a saint are life to him ; 
they are his life ; his coolings, and declinings, and decayings, 
death. But e contra to a hypocrite, the continuance of his af- 
fections in ordinances are deaths and burdens to him, the loss of 
them his liberty and life, wherein he allows himself. 

As, for example, take a hypocrite to prayer, he is affected for 
a time ; but let him be long at it, he is like a fish in a fever fit 
out of the water. MaL i. 13. So for sanctifying the Sabbath, 
and being very strict, but stay long here it is death, it is burden- 
some to him ; and hence we shall see his decays are his life, and 
that which makes him walk loosely is, sometimes he repents and 
believes, and hath his canonical, set hours of prayer, and he thinks 
this is enough, and pleaseth himself with this. Who is constant ? 
But now take a child of God, when his heart is enlarged for the 
Lord, that is heaven ; it is his food, and now he is in health, as 
Paul said, (1 Thess. iii. 7, 8,) " Now we live, if you continue 
steadfast." So for others, so also with himself, (Prov. iv. 22 ;) 
and if it might be ever thus, then happy, and the thought of this 
sweetens heaven ; but take away these, it is his death ; and 
hence he groans to God for the removal of it. Pi». cxix. 1, 5. 
What good doth Christ, mercies, ordinances, heaven, do me with 
such a heart ? Be not discouraged, you people of the Lord, nor 
encouraged, you that are good only in your moods, as the wind 
turns you ; whatever love you have, it is whorish, and whorish 
tears, if you follow tlie Lord, and yet have your haunts ; what- 
ever service you do, it is odious to God, to work all day for an- 
other master, and twice a day come to the Lord for bread. Do 
you think the Lord likes this, to taste of his' grace, and make a 
meal of your lusts ? 

Section VII. 

Use 5. Of Exhortation. First, to them tliat are fallen to be- 
gin again, if God would but give you ears to hear, who (like 




» 



strange eggs) being put into the same nest where lionest men 
have lived, there you have been hatched up, and when yoii were 
young, there you kept your nest, and lived by crying and opeoing 
your mouth wide after the Lord, and the food of his word. But 
now your wings are grovm. you have got some affections, some 
knowledge, some hope of merey, and are hardened thereby ta 
(ly from God. Can that man be good whom God's grace makes 
worse P and that fiics from God's ordinances, and people, and 
private prayer ? Consider what tliou hast done. 

1. You bring an ill report and name upon God ; (Jer. ii. 5,) 
" What iniquity have you found in me ?" If a eountry be well 
reported of, it is no matter if some others bring an ill name on 
iL Wise men will not believe them. But for the searchers of 
Canaan to bring an ill report of Canaan, tliis is sad. 

2. Thou liast lost all thy prayers, all thy profession ; nay, bet- 
ter never lo have " known tliese ways," (2 Pet ii. 21,) than to 
forsake the Lord. 

3. No men's misery is so great; (Jude 13, Ii,) "the blackness 
of darkness is for such." Search yourselves, you may secretly 
depart, when you are turning lo the Lord, aa a suiiil round about 
the wheel, the wheel moves it, but it moves a contrary motion 
of its own from the wheel. Therefore be^n again. O, but will 
the Lord receive me ? Wlio knows but he may ? and " heal 
your backslid! ngs." Hos. xiv. Because fallen, return : I know 
not how. Am. Take words. But the Lord may not regard us. 
" You shall grow like the lily, anil be as iirm as Lebanon." 

Exhortaiion 2. " Let them that stand take heed lest they 
fall," and you discover your hypocrisy lo all the world, or be lik» | 
the hypoeriles, whose beauty soon fades. And bare let m 
mend three things lo you. 

1. Tlike heed (hat there be not found in your hearts "a ro(ik| 
of bitterness to grow up and choke you." Heb. xii. 
your house be left empty, and yet one living lust left in it, seven ^ 
devils will enter again, " and your lat[«r end will be worse than 
your beginning." You do not know what hearts you have. 

" Am I a dog," saith Hazael, ever to fall so ? Let there be a 
lust after any creature, you will find the spirit of prayer die ; then 
to think them too long in the word, then lo forsake the assem- 
bliM of saints, then when your lust is met with to oppose men, 
ministers, etc. One reigning lust will bring all into captivity to 
itaelf ; it will stay some, and moke others serviceable to defend 
itself. Ps. cvi. U, 15. 

2. Take heed of taking on you the profe^on of a Christil 
courae without finding the rest, peace, joy. sweetness of such jj 




Tn£ TEN YIROIN8. 869*. 

course. Pro v. ii. 10, 11. There is a satisfying pleasantness in 
promises, commands, ordinances, you will never hold out else ; 
for wherever the heart finds rest, there it will abide, and for 
want of that it dies. As in creatures, if it had rest there, the 
soul would not be unquiet ; if in Grod, it would never go to the 
creature. Some sweetness you may find, but look to find full 
rest ; as men do find some sweetness in creatures, and so in or- 
dinances ; yet being used to them, they grow weary of them, 
because they find no Grod there, " no fullness of rest," (Heb. iv. 
11, 12 ;) and go through all the world you shall never have it; ' 
get all the terrors of devils upon you, you will never stand by 
that ; consider, therefore, as it is in sin, there is the act, and 
tliere is the pleasure, so in every ordinance and duty there is 
botli. All apostasy is from thb, ordinances are too burdensome 
unto men to be held unto. 

3. Take heed you neglect not private prayer; build your 
houses fit for that purpose, though you sell some of your clothes ; 
you will for your swine to lie in, and will you not to meet God 
in ? One hour's meeting the Lord in private will quit your cost. 
And pray for this ; do it lest you do it in the woods, and deserts, 
and dens of the earth. So much strangeness from Grod, so 
much apostasy ; pray that you may hold out in this hour of 
temptation, that you may, with David, not '^ be ftHrsaken, when 
gray-headed." 

Thus you see now the particular difference between wise and 
foolish virgins, and what is the ground of the acceptance of the 
one, and not of the other. What then will be said ? Can it 
be, That there are no graces in saints ; or, That there is no dif- 
ference between the one and the other ? 



PART SECOND. 




CHAPTER I. 

OF CAKNAL SECUKITI IS VIBGDU CHUBCHIS. 
HiTT. Ill, 5. — Whilst tlie hridsgnmn uirlnl, Ilia)' (11 iluDbored ud ■lupt. 

Is this pfirablo were noted two tilings : — 

Firtt, Tiie cliurcli's preparalion to meet Christ, from ver. 1 
to 5. 

Secotidlt/. The bridegroom's coming out to meet them, from 
ver. 5 to 12. 

In this second part, which now we are to open, three tlungs 
are to be attended unto : — 

1 ■ The delay of Christ's coming, or the long-suffering of Christ 
before he come. Ver. 5. 

2. The preparation he makes for his coming, a Uttle before it^jl 
from ver. 6 to 10, by an awakening cry, which makes all the v' 
gins look about Ihem. 

3. The coming itself; where those that were ready were with 1 
joy let in ; and those that were unready were with shame shot.l 

I. 7^1! ilelaif of C7irist'» coming. Whence note first, What i 
happened in the interim of his delay, and that is, carnal security, 
expressed and set out from the lowest and highest degree of iL 
1. They " slumbered ; " i. e., fell a nodding or winking, as the 
word most properly siguifies. 2. They " slept i " i. e-, now they 
were buried in their sleep, overcome by it. 

Second/^. Upon whom these sleeps and lumbers fell ; 
that is, " They all slumbered and slept ; " i. e., though for a 
they were both awake, yet good and bad, wise and foolish, i 
into tliis senseless and stupid, dull and dead, sluggish and sleep] 
condition. 

Obterv. I. That in the inat days carnal security cither ij 
will be the universal sin of virgin churches. 

Obttrv. n. That carnal security falls by degrees upon I 
hearts of men. 




THE lEN VIUGISS. 371 ■ 

Ohterv. III. That (he spirit of slotli and sccurily is the last 
ein that befults the people of God. 

Olierv. IV. That Clirisl's tairjing from the churches is the 
general occasion of all security in the cburchea \ or the not com- * 
ing of the bridegroom when tbc saints expect him, is the general 
cause of that security which doth befall them. 



Section II. 

Ohterv. L That in tlie lost days carnal security either is or 
will be the universal sign of virgin churches. When the churches 
are purged from the gross pollutions of the world, and antichria- 
lian fornicatjona and Ijondage, then either there is or will be gen- 
eral security. For these virgins, when they first made profession 
of their virginity by their burning lamps, were for a time all 
awakened, but at last they all slumbered aod slept. This is tho 
teuiper of the body of the churches. 

Malt. xsiv. 3t(, >' As it was in the days of Noah, so sliall it be 
in the days of the coming of ihe Son of man." 

Luke xviii. 8, " When the Son of man cometh, shall he find 
fiLJlh in the earth ?" i. c., an awakening faith. 

Hence the Lord forewarns his people of this; (Deut. vi. 12,) 
■^ When thou comest to such a land, beware lest thou forget the 
Lord thy God." 

Quftl. But what is this their general secuiiiy? 

^n.1. Look as it is in our ordinary sleep, so it is in this general 
security : there are these six things in it : — 

1. A man forgets his business, his work he was about ; so in a 
carnal security, men forget the Lord, his works, and his will ; 
that which we most think of while we are awake, we least think 
of indeed when we are asleep. Take a man awakened indeed ; 
O, tlien the worst remember the Lord and his covenant. Fs. 
Ixxviii. 47. But when asleep, ihc Lord and his ernuid is least 
thought of, and hence security is expressed by " forgetting God." 
Fs. L 21. And hence Jerusalem's security was in this, " tliey 
rvmerabcred not their latter end." 

2. A man in sleep fears no evil until it be upon him, awaken- 
ing gf him ; so this is another ingredient into carnal security, 
though sin lies upon them, they fear not till evil comes ; as Jo- 
seph's brethren, though warning is given them, they fear not [ 
like them in tlie days of Noah and Lot. And hence, (Job xxi. 
9,) '■ Their hoaxes are free from fear ; " the misery for the same 
»ia u lighted njion another; yet the secure soul fears not, as in 
Belshaciar. Dan. v. 22. 



I 
I 



872 THE I-AKAULI£ OF 

3. In sleep nil the senses arc bound up, the outward senses 
eapecinliyi the eye watcbeth not, the ears hear not, the tongue 
tastes not, the' body A^ela not ; so this is an ingredient in carnal 
security, it btnda up all the senses as it did the prophet Jonah's 
in the siorm ; when misery was upon him, he heard not, he eaw 
not, felt not ; so when misery, outward or spiritual, is upon a 
man, he that had qmek setwes before, his eye sees not, watchelh 
not i Christians neglect their watchfulness for their friends, the 
Lord and hia Spirit, and coming; nor watch against their enemies 
that daily besiege them ; the ear hears not the voice of the min- 
istry, the voice of providences, the voice of the Spirit within ; 
the soul smells not, tastes not the sweet of any promise, any or- 
dinance, no, nor of the grace of the Lord himself; hence it eom* 
mends them not ; nay, the soul feela nothing, no evil, no good the 
Lord doth him ; that look as the Lord there said, (Is. xxix. 9, 
10) The Lord hath poured upon you a spirit of sleep, and 
hatli cto4cd your eyis ' so that the Lord closcth up all the 
senses tliat a man ts now stupid, when he is fallen asleep in 
security 

i In sleep there is a cessation from speaking and motion ; 
there a man keeps silence and lies still i so in carnal security, 
the spirit of praj er is siluiL Is. btiv. 7 ; Ps. sxsii. 1-3. David 
cal ls it a keeping of silence. " Up ! why sleepest ihou ? Seek 

[to thy God," say the marinera: indeed^men may talk in their 
sleep i so men may pray in their deep security, yet not thor- 
oughly awakened; and there is a lying still, no progress ; so in ■ 
carnal security the soul stands at a stay, goes not backwnr^v 
grows not worse, but goes not forward ; such a one is compared I 

1 to t he door on the hinge. V 

5. Id sleep, the senses being stupefied, and motion ceased, MM 
man falls a dreaming; some dreams he forgets, some he remenin 
bers, and in his sleep fully and Brmly believes them ; so ii^ 
carnal security, now a man's mind dreams of that which is notj 
and of that which never shall be ; a man's mind is grown vaiatfB 
aud full of fancies and dreams ; those things which nevMM 
entered into God's tJioughtti, something a man dreams of tb0M 
Lord that this is hia will and mind, which is not ; of the woiUdfl 
that is a goodly thing; of things to come which shall never b^fl 

6. In deep sleep, though a man be awakened, yet he presenl^B 
is overcome by hia sleep ; so that is another ingredient into spl^| 
iuial slumber ; sleepiness is predominant over hb watchfulneM^| 
and thus it was with (he disciples in llie garden, they slept ; tlk^l 
Lord came once and twice, and awakens them, yet Ihey slev^| 
till temptation surprised them ; scarce any Christlaa eo aeca^l 




TEX VIRGISa. 




in ihe cbambcrs of Christ, l>ut he hath some kni>ck3 of con- 
science, Bome cries of ihe ministry, some woundings from the 
Lord, and they do awake him, but yet he falls to sleep a, 



Section IIL 

We aliall now show the reasons why virgin churches in Iho 
last days are or will bo overcome by security. 

Jietuon'i. Because that in virgin churches there lire the strong- 
est provocations to this sin, which are chiefly three. 

1. Best and places of peace, and freedom from hard bondage : 
Jacob may sleep with his stone nnder hb head, but much more 
easily under his own vine and fig trees. A man may be secure 
in the times of trouble, but much more in times of pcAce, when 
we have our beds made soft for ua, and easy pillows. Friends 
can boldly desire us to rest, where there is lodging for us : the 
world thrusts us out of lodging ; while the prick ia at the brenat 
the nightingale awakes and sings, but when that is taken away 
it sleeps in the day. In times of persecution Paul is preaching 
till midnight, and the Lord is remembered in the songs, and 
eigfas, and prayers of the night season ; but in limes of peace, 
peace, like Jael's milk and butter, stupefies all the senses, tliough 
destruction be near; hence, (Dcut. vi. 12,) "Then forget not 
the Lord," Do you think that Noah in the ark, when the waters 
swelled above the mountains, waa secure ? No ; but when the 
waters censed, and he had Itis vineyard planted, now he sleeps 
in his druukenness, because he knew not the stn^ngtb of wine. 
In tlie virgin churcli, where this sleep is, we suppose this free- 
dom from eviL 

2. Because there men ore most free from inward pain ; for 
where there is much grief and pain, there is no rest, tliough all 
the house Hbout he atill ; but when the house is still, and the 
body well, now it is hard but there may be rest ; while the 
Christian doth live under antichristian pollution, his conscience 
bath no rest, and hence it is awake there. Here {saith the soul) 
I want the ordinances of God ! that I had Ihem I Here I see 
Clin and wickedness abounding, that my child is like to be jtoi- 
(Oned therewith ; here are such and such superstitions that my 
conscience can not bear: hence conscience is kept waking. But 

' in vir^n churches, where the house is swept of those, now con- 
science is quiet and at rest : now I liave got a Lcvite into my 
house. Ood is now blessing me, etc Now conscience hath laid 
down its burden, it falls down to sleep i now they cry, "Th« 
temple of ihe Lord," otc> 



S. Because in each churches there b most aptitude tn men to 
Bpiritual fullness, viz., plenty of the lueiinfi ; there is all the or- 
diiiancea ; in this raounlaiu (Is. zxy. I) God's feast it moile, 
And fullness of spiritual gifts and graces, because they have now 
escaped the pollutions of the world, conquered the enmity of the 
world ; now Lave come to a good measure of grace, and con- 
quered tlie way of their enemies, got the better of them; hence, 
UB the Israelites made peace with the Cnnaanites, not when they 
were too strong, but loo weak for tbcm, so now the soul eomes 
^to be at rest, to lay down its warfare, and to yield to a truce, to 
' n league to his lusts and distempers for a time. When men arc 

I kept short of food, now tliey awake ; so when the word of the 
Lord and his ordinances be rare and precious, and hard to liiid, 
now a Christian can trudge after them ; but when men are full, 
^now they desire rest j so it is here. 

4. Because in virgin churches, there men are most apt to bo 
overtaken with weariness ; a man that never walked on in a 
holy way may at first setting out delight in Christ ; but after 
he hath done walking in it, now he is apt to faint, especially if 
he sows much, and reaps for the present but little. And hcnee, 
(Gal. vi. 1),) " You shall reap in due season, if you faint not : " 
now, in virgin churches, these virgins are such persons as have 
begun to make a profession, and have made a fiur progress ; O 
'low difficult now is it not to be weary ! It is strange to see 
vhat short spirits after the Lord, what large after the creatures, 
*c have. 

Beaton 2. Because they are the more easily overcome by this 
lin'thun by any other. 

1. Because it is a sin which a man least foresees or fears : the 
apostle saith, " They tliat arc drunk, and that sleep, sleep in the 
night;" and yet here men sleep in the open light: why so? 
Men see it not, men know it not ; sleep steals u)ion a man : it 
is lawful to sleep ; carnal security arises chiefly from the use of 
lawful things, on which a man's heart and thoughts are spent ; 
they ate, drank, gave in marriHge, they couid see no hurt 
therein. When a roan is had before councils, now a man fears 

I to siu, he knows lie shall be tempted unto sin ; hut when the 
Lord brmgs the shoulder from under such bufdens, now to fear 
our tables, our bedi>, our wives, our children, our callings, our 
professions, and the snares of tliese, O, it is exceeding hard 1 
2. Because security is so sweet a sin ; 0, sleep is sweet ; meat 
is sweet, but men may be soon full of that; but when sleep 
GOmOB, many hours are little enough to entertain that ; some sins 
are sweet for a time, as a short meal and away ; but sloth ia a 
\ 



I 



TUK TES vinoiNs- 375 

sweeter sin than any else besides. Let a Christian ask his heart, 
when he am take no iM>Qlent in pots, or loose company, or quetuia, 
and can find none in the Lord, yet lliis will give him ense, viz., 
his sloth i when he is weary of tlie world, and of walking wilh 
Chnst also, yet sloth is his delight : and henee he cries, " A lilile 
more slumber aod sleep, until destruction cornea as an armed 
nmn." Prov. vi. 9, 10. When a man delights not in his wife, 
children, riches, honors, yet is he sometimes contentedly swal- 
lowed up with his Bleep and rest. • 

3. Because Satan doth make his slrongcst forces ready alway 
to bring a man first unto this sin, because this makes way for the 
entrance of all sin and misery ; no people so happy as the Israel- 
ites, while ifaej were awakened and np with God ; no misery 
could hurt them, (Jer. ii. 1-3 ;) but when they forgot him, all 
mteery came in: "while the strong man keeps the palace, his 
goods be at peace ; " it is his care to keep men^ secure and still. 



Section IV. 

Uie I. Let us therefore now examine whether this sin be not 
our sin in this country, if it bo not begun among us : if we be 
not sleeping, yet are we not slumbering ? if we are not virgin 
churches, why have we the name of it ? if we be virgin churches, 
then make search if this be not our sin / we liave all our be3s- 
anil lodgings provided, the Lortl hath made them easy to us ; we 
never looked for such days in New England ; the Lord hnth 
freed us from the pain and anguish of our consciences ; we liare 
ordinances to ihe full, sermons too long, and lectures too many, 
And private meetings too frequent ; a large profession many have 
made ; but are you not yet weary ? if weary, not sleepy, not slum- 
bering ? it may be on you before you are aware, and you not 
know it : and when so it is, it may be so sweet that you may be 
loth 10 see it, tliat so you may forsake it. Let me knock again :' 
ia it not so? Let me come to every man's bedside, onO ask' 
your consciences. ~~ 

1. Have you not forgot your God, and forgot your work also ? 
iho business for whjcli_joii made tliia fg-cat iinflprtjilfin g-- TH. evi. 
12. When they w^resaveaTroin the sea, they soon forgot t^ 
Lord i hath not tiie Lord, by a strctched-out arm, brought tlioe 
and ihine through ieaa and dangers, and delivered you wonder- 
folly? are not all his kindne^es forgotten? all your promises I 
I forgotten ? When the I^rd had brought the Lsraelites out QU 
tfietr captivity, and some hopeful beginnings were, they came for 
|ke temple ; tlie dust "/an precious, but God's house did lie wiule. 
L i 




Hag. L 5, 6, " Consider your ways ;" no man prosperetl scarce 
in Ilia estate ; God did blow upon ilifir corn because they for- 
gftt iLeir end. What viae your end of coming hither ? The or- 
d inanc ga ot- God^theprea ence of . fiodj ^and Q, one dia JSerc ig 
better than a thou saSiTElse where ; hath it been go ? So, but as 
it is vor. 9, " Every man turns to his own house : " every man 
for himaeir, to their own house, lot, accommodation, provision for 
children ; and in tJie mean while the Lord's house lies wnsle, 
you buiM not up that : tlie souls of thy brethren in church fellow- 
ship, yea, of thy family, are not built up i the Lord's bouse is 
despised now, and it is like the schools of the prophets, and 
much more. 0, thought we, if we had such privileges, how 
II would we improve them 1 But when we have them, have we the 
11 same thoughts ? Do we not forget them, like men that come lo a 
y place for gold, and find it not witliout digging, they fall ro load 
1 their ship with wood or coal, that which it will bear? 

2. Have we not shaken off all fear almost of sin and misery ? 
" Go U) the ant, thou sluggard ; she fears and provides against a 
winter." Do not men think that we have fled too far for the 
cross to find us, or as if the temple of the Lord was such a den 
as no foxes or wolves could follow us into ? especially when there 
are causes of fear, when war is proclaimed, and the causea 
iknown ; and yet they arc not, feared :^ow many men have the 
'[handwriting of death in their cone<nenc«s against themT\ This 
they coiil'ess is nought, they have lived careless, sluggiHR, and 
Lave had some sense of it, yet no awakening fear of the terror 
of the Lord : when a prince is nigh us, now to commit a liiile 
lewdness is great wickedness ; where is the man that trembles 
at t he nearness of God to us ? when a brcauh is made, then fear 
\ enemies. Divisions and breaches go before falls of churclies ; 
' where is that spirit of Jehosaphat that feared and proclaimed a 
fast ? When God hath begun to smite, what cause is there lo 
fear'! we have been hurt, and yet not laid it to heart ; the lion 
roars, shall not the people fear ? I believe we should not h&re 
hud those Petjuot furies upon us, but God saw we began to sleep : 
where is the man that, with Paul, knows the terror of tlie Lord, 
^,and hence persuades men ? When the enemy is ever about us, 
■e is always cause of fear, and yet we fear but now and then, j 
. Are not our senses bound up ? Look upon men in their 1 
' fields and couversings, bujings and sellings ; where is llio daily^T 
weekly watchfulness over our thoughts and tongues ? Look t< ' 
men's closets ; do men there call themselves to account 't c: 
find leisure or need of it ? are not men's eyes closed up, that tl 
glory of God in the Scripture is a sealed thing ? mea b»ve ey«| 



377 f 



THE TEN VIRGrSS. 

but see not -^ are not men's ears sealed up 
can sleep Ihem out ; muu's vuic;e is heard, but not the voice uf 
the Son of God : O, how many niRn are there that become (|uite 
■ermon-proof nowadays !/ Are not men blockish, dull, Kense- 
less. heavy under all means ? Ihey taste not, smell not ; nlieren^ 
elsewhere, O, how lively and spiritual are they ! J 

4. Is not the spirit of prayer, that lamp, going out in the 
cliurch of God ? The blessedness of all flourishing planialious in 
the world began by means of that, and shall not contiMie but as 
it continues ; and if ever cause to seek for prosperity of planta- 
tions, these have need. If God should take away this peneraliorTl 
of magistracy and ministry, what would this despised country | 
do ? and what would become of your children ? Then no schools 
for them, when no gospel is left nmong them ; then every man's \ 
sword shall be against his brother, and God spreading the place \ 
with (larkncss, which through his presence is made light : whut ' 
lillle hope of a happy generation after us, whou many among j 
tiB scarce know how to leach their children manners ? How a pt j 
arc we, like to those Asian churches, to fall into those very sins 
which overwhelmed them, and ruined ihcm ! how many fall olT, 
and in time break forth, that it would make men sick to hear of 
their pranks ! what place more open to temjilation of persecu- 
tion and worldly delusions? Go up and down the plantations, 
whe^ is the man that lays things to heart? who hath the con- 
dition of the country written ujton his he-art, and pi-cseniing it 
before the Lord, rather than his own good ? 0, men are silent 
because asleep ! How do sins run through men as water through 
% mill, and men regard il not 1 What mean?, what deliverances 
have we had ! but 0, what little thankfulness ! S. Do we make 
progress ? nay, is not our shadow gone back ? "I sleep, but my 
beart waketh ;" it should be so, but it is not so indeed. ^^ 

6. Have we not fallen a-drea piing he re? what mconeth eke I 
the delusion of men's brmnsr what a swarm of strange opin- ■ 
ions, which (like Dies) have gone to the sores of men's heads and 
hearts, and these are believed also ; and more dreams men havo 
thnt are never spoken ; every man hath some drunken conceit 
that rocks him asleep: dreams are quite contrary to the trulh. ' 
■ffhal mcaneth the^e, if men are not sleeping? First, drunken 
dreams of the world. Secondly, golden dreams of grace ; that 
thes« things advance grace which indeed destroy grace ; that 
there is no grace in the stunts, no grace in Christ, no human na- 
ture, no promise to evidence grace, no liiw to l>e a rule to thoiii.. 



I till , o....-., 
that have received grace: who would think that ever any should I 
■0 fall by a simple woman ? But if this be not general, yet l ook / 



I 

I 
1 




I 

I 



THE PAHABLE OF 



bow do men begin to dream concerning tJie world ? Scarce a 
man but Sa<\i w»nl, or is well ; if he wants, 0. then, if I bad 
such R lot ubout me, such an estate, how well then were I ! and 
e contra, they that have it, and now they take their rest. " Take 
heed " (saiih the Lord) " your hearts be not overcome with 
cares ; " so I eay to you. 

G. Doth nut the Lord oflen awaken us, yet we fall to sleep 
again? the Lord awakened us by the Pequot hornet, yet what 

' is there made of ii ? dulh not the Lord often meet ns in an 
nance, but he is foon lost and gone again? J Is there a man 
hath not bod his cross since he came hither, as loss in caiile 
and estate, a dear husband, child, wife dead? a sore and sharp 
Bickness, ete., he bath been exercised with, etc, but do you not 

Utcep atill ? ' If it be not thus, it will come ; fear it fur time to 
co&ie ; but if it be thus, llicn I Bay no more, but know it, you 
ari.^ in your enemy's hands ; and in such an enemy's hand, that 
if you mourn not under it, will open the door either to the en- 
trance of some cross sin and temptation, or for some heavy and 
sudden wrath. It is sullicieut for me this day to show you where 
your hurt lielli. 



Section 
Uie 2, Hence see the reason why 



worseJn^Xirgm 
id why it is sogFHeSlly; be- 
make them all alumber and 



c hurcheg than in polluted plac 
cSiuse here are more temptations U 
sleep ; here their beds are made sul\, here the storms are past, 
here they are under the shadow, and out of the sun, and security 
opens the door for an enemy : no wonder if the city be taken, 
though never so strong, if it grow once secui-e ; no wonder if 
the world be entered, and men are growu more worldly ; and if 
Satan be entered, and men grow more passionate than before i 
no wonder a man's work be neglected, it' he be asleep, ordinaoces 
mora slighted than ever before : never shall you seo security (M 
upon a man atone, but it brings its train with it ; when the hua- 
bandmeu sleep, tares will be sown, and when the disciples sleep, 
temptations will enter; this is that which the Lord testifies of 
bis people. Jer. ii. 2—4. I remember what thou ditlst in times 
of straits, in a land not sown ; every one that touched you did 
not ott'cnd ; but in the seventh and eighth verses, when brought I 
to a plentiful country, they did not so much as say, Where is the J 
Lord that lialli done this for uh ? But yet the Lonl ijuedlion* H 
his people for this, " WTiat iniquity have you found in 
which question you v:\n not answer without grief here, u 
funion another day. You that are the Lord's oDcn tiAve 1 




THE TEN VIEOIN3. 



379 



this complaint, (fur tliis may be your condition as well as Noah 
and Lot's.) but now see the cause of it ; how hard U> awake one 
hour! how hard to walk with God one day! short awakenings 
yon hare, but long sleeps, (this may be your condition for a 
time,) but you can not continue so forever, if you are the Lord's. 
But if you do continue so, especially without bemoaning this 
unto the Lord, it is u question whether ever there was that oil 
in your vessel which otliers have, when not only a man's acts 
grow worse, but the very spirit of a man degenerates ; wheo 
not only the leaves of the vine fall, but the vine itself grows de- 
generate, and hence eontinueth so ; this is a fore evidence of a 
woful stale; (Jer. ii. 20, 21.) "When the yoke was upon thy 
neck, thou saidst iLou wuuldst not Imas^ess ; but the Lord 
hath broken thy bands, and now thou art heeome a strange 
vine ; " remember it ivill be a heavy indictment against thee to 
be good ia Meshech, but base in. Zion ; to be then worst when 
the Lord is best, 

Use 3. Hence see one reason why the Lord pursueth many a 
soul with inward terrors and outward sorrows. Those that are 
fast asleep, because soft speeches can not awaken them, hence 
we lay our hands upon them, and someiimcs knock thcra, be- 
cause ihis is the way to awaken lliem, and ehen tliey hear ; so 
the word and Spirit speak I 
rock them asleep, ralhcr than awakcr 
layeth his iron hands uixin a m 
now, when afBiction is u|iou yoi 
the winds and water were ready to tear the ship in pieces, now 
ihey inquire. Why were tliey scnl ? " And the lot fell upon Jo- 
tuth," who was tlien sleeping ; it is easy to awaken out of nat- 
ural sleep, but very hard out of gmrilimljejurity : all the ter- 
rors of God on Jonali within and wilBouTare little enough ; but 
at last he could hear, and run on his errand. Fs. ixx. G, 7. 
Why did God hide his face from Dand ? " be said in pros|ierity 
be should not be moved ; " this was the reason of it i ibe l^ord 
aeea you have need of it ; seldom shall one see an awakening 
Christian without inward temptations and terrors, or outward 
Borrows ; O, consider then if the Lord do tneet with thee s con- 
, aider thy ovm security thou host been in, or art apt to fidl into, 
k tHiis is the sin you must iniiuire after and find out ; and do not 
Kaccount it hard, ihough long, though billcr : for never greater 
■aiitery than for ihe Lonl to cay, Sleep on {/it is one of lK5^ 
Hmtviest judgments fur the Lord to let a man go on in a »ei 

andition without blows ^ mark, therefore, unio the end of t __ 
Inwa, to be thoroughly hwakened by them ; for soniellmes when 



; but such soft, still winds 

1 them; hence tlie Lord 

I, and knocks by blows ; and 

1 hear; when i 



880 THE PARA.BLE OF 

Ihe Lord senda them, a miin (if they be not very bitter, if ho 
bath any real) lays them not to heart ; (Is. xlii. 25.) ■■ Fire bum 
about him ; " and in ibis country I know not u'hut curse befalls 
men ; peace makes men secure, and sorrow mftkes men discoo* 
tenteil, and sunk, and discouraged, which may be for a 6t in a 
Baint ; but to continue 30, this is thai Aliab : O, when as thoa 
feelest t}ie blow, look now that thou dost awaken, and be thank- 
ful for it, that you meet with that you did never reckon upon, 
riz^ to be frighted out of security thereby. 



I 
I 



Section VI. 
Uta 4. Of Exhortation. To watch over one another, by "ex- 
horting one another while it in called to-day." llcb. iiLlS. Let 
both the watchmen and members of the churches do this ; for 
this is one means appointed by the Lord to preserve the soul 
from slecpingi (I Thcss. v. 1, 5, 6,) " Exhorting one another;" 
as it is iu cities, when the watch ia apt to sleep, they have their 
companies that arc passing up and down the walls tlie greater 
rfmrt of the night, and bo they are kept walking jf mn& we shall 
I find that as it is in a town where men are all tisleep, one boll- 
man, one walking Chrialinn will keep life, and spirit, and the 
power of goiHiness in many ; and when he sleeps, all are fast, 
Clothing in the world brings security sooner upon men than 
sleepy company: otUcers of the churches watch not over mem- 
bers, nor they one over another, exhorting and crying one unto 
[anot her to their work/ while it is called to-day: 0, then, let ev- 
ery man get up, and Vail to this work of mutual exhorting: go 
and visit one another, go and speak often to one another; aiid 
if Ihou be a child of the light, see that thou endure not thy fel- 
low-servants to sleep in the open day in one duty or another. 
Know, if God stirs thee, thou wilt awaken others ; (2 Cor. t. 
10,) " We, knowing the terrors of (he Lord, persuade men," 

2. Consider, thy labor can not be in vain here ; the best-met- 
tled horse needs sjmra ; others are asleep. 

You Trill say, If I knew such a sin I would speak, but I dare. 

Ans. It is the case of all the virgins, they have need of ttti 
(Jude 23,) " Some save with fear, pulling them out of the tire." 
Matt. iii. 

8. Consider this is one part of your warfare, lo keep yunff^ 
watch, whereby you may be made conquerors ; you complai 
have many sins and temptations arising and prevailing; never do 
they usually premL but when you arc secure : fiwt the watch ia 



! 



THE TEN VIRGINS. 381 

taken, and then the city is suddenly taken: now look as Paul, 
(2 Tim. ir. 6, 7,) " He halli finished his course, and fought hia 
fight, and now expects the crown ; " how can you end jour diiya 
in peace, that can not in some measure find and feel this? The 
church is the city of the living God ; tliis is taken, and every 
man in it, unless you be watchful and -' esJiort one another daily, 
while it is called to-day." And that I may not speak in llie 

4. Their sin will be yours. — - 

Ptrtt. Labor to know the slate of thy brethren whom thou / 
art to exhort ; what tlicir sleepy neglects be, and sins are ; it may ] 
be ibou hast known one hath been very humble, tender, affecfea \ 
under ordinances, made many fair shows and promiaea of grow- 
ing, and thriving, and sensibly complaining of his own vileness, 
and now he is in a silent sleep ; dost thou know this, and wilt 
not speak a word to awaken turn, for whom Christ shed his 
blood, who it may be will do ihcc as good a turn, and make many 
a prayer for thee ? " Barnabas, when he saw the grace of God, 
exhorted them with full purpose of heart to cleave unto him i " 
much more should you when you sec grace dying. 2 Thess. iii. 
11. Paul heard that iwme were idle ; them he exhorts to work : 
what good might one do? , 

Seeoridlif. If you do not know, inquire, with a spirit of much i 
love, how it is with them ; as David of his brethren, when therji. 
were gone into the fields, (1 Sam. xvii. 16 :) Do you not decline, ' 
do you not stand still ? how have you found your heart since last 
sermon. Sabbath, fast, affliction ? have you got any ground against 
that sin you complained of lost year ? etc Suppose you can not 
do this lo all, yet why not lo some ? Suppose you have no other 
place than when you meet them in the fields, do it there ; (Jude 
20,) " Build up yourselves," etc Now, here a man must know 
the bight, how high they are built already ; how can tliey lay 
their stones else ? It is one of the heavy curses of God upon 
the idle shepherd, " He shall not visit the hidden, nor seek the 1 
young." Zach. xi. 16. y 

TUirdiy, If thou knowest nothing from tliem, then relate tliyl 
own condition ; this is a most lovely {irovocalion and exborlatiou 1 
unto another frame ; for one great cause tlutt hardcneth men in I 
their security is because they see no such living Christianity in I 
the world /but when they do, "Now (Zach. viiL) many shall) 
take bold of the skirt of a Jew, for they shall say God is witnN 
you." Agrippa was almost persuaded and awakened when be 1 
heard Paul rtdale his conversion ; although there hn many im- 
pufitors in the world that do so, tell me. Are all tilings in peace 




TtlK PARABLE OP 

wilh jou?. The devil is in roa. ih^n. Wliat. hast tlioa no 
temptalions ? Yet manv. Dok tbou nol observe bow ther pre- 
vail? Yes. Dust thou never gel strength a|rain« them? Yes. 
Han thou no good tlaj-s afler them? Yes, much peace, and lifr, 
anil presence of God. Hath the Lord given these talents to 
thee to be hid in a napkin, this treasure to keep and not to 
spend ? Who knows bnt that the speaking of these may awoken 
otliers? These teroplalions and tbis condition is mine; these 
s 1 find he makes a great matter of them — Lord, what will 
l)ec(>me of me, that am hardened uitder Ihem? this peac« they 
find, mj soul is a stranger to it ; conscience will work thns : 
women should speak thus to women, and men to men : others 

, were provoked, bj the example of the Corinthians, to help oth- 

^ crs ; so there is a pi^voking power here. 

r~ Fourthly- If this prevail not, speak often to them of the sina 
lof others ; in condemning others you condemn thcnyi and this 

infill make them look about them ; view the fields, and show them 

I the tares that are grown up by security ; and laying down these 
sins, you strike at the root of theirs : it may be, you can not tell 
certainly. Acts iL 40. The Lord made this one means to awaken 
Birlahazzar. Dan. v. 22. God turned thy father into a beast, 
etc., to live in the woods, yet thou humblest not tbjaelf. etc 

^\ How many professors doth God deal so withal ? 
Y^/V/M/y. Killer into covenant and brotlierly promise to exhort 
one another, as David and Jonathan ; if any hurl be toward Da- 
/^>\, Jonathan will speak of it. 1 Sam. xx. Some may in church 
' fellowship be more nearly knit than others, to caU one anotlier to 
account, to tell one another their fears, to know of one another 
their progress. Canst thou not give an account to man? how 
wilt thou give an account to God of it? I am persuaded many 
I ft BUin liea smothered to death by means of this. Canst thou not 
f BBt to the light of a candle P 0, then, how canst thou appear 
I Eefgre the light of the sun ? 
^ Sixlilj/. Provoke one another to frequency in ordinances, 
(Heb. X. 23, 24,) and therein consider one another: dost tfaon. J 
sec tliT brother in doubts or complaints ? call him to pray with J 
thee ^dost tliou sec things go ill in churches, and men bite tli« J 
TTil? call to fasting and prayer, three or four together 
when he saw the ship sinking, then he exhorted them. 
][xvii. 22, Especiully when you see danger near men's he 
ready to be lost in the world. In these limes suppose only t 
or three, or four, sliould go and pray one half hour together 
tell one another their wants, now help here ; in on 
been so, one living Christian helps others dying. 




TUE TEN V1BGIS3. 383 

AVliHt, nrt tiiou alive Co God and fainilj, where thou const do 
but litlle comtnon good, anJ art dcaJ to tliy brother ? it is mode 
a sad sign of a mau forsaken of God, if when he thinks he shall 
Bleep hia laai, and be dajnned himself, yet he would have others, 
damned also. Tell me, would you have all New England lie in 
Becurityas well as yourselves? No! Do you not desire it whea 
you use not the means that prevent it ; and that is, mutual ex- 
hortation ? O, therefore, do it ( ministers may preach, ami every 
man sleep still, unless some awake and rouse up the resMas some 
when others are in bed and fast asleep) that lie a-c&eaniing: 
Some there be, that though doomsday were to-morrow, they 
would sleep. 0, let me persuade some one or two lo fall to iiia 
work, lest your security prove your undoing ; speak oH one lo 
another, forsake not your assembling, visit one another, pray one 
for another, warning one another, that you may awake with tlio 
liord one hour. 

Section VII. 

Vtt 5, Let every man not only exhort his brother, but fear 
this himself: you have a race to run, many enemies to conquer! 
sleep not lest you fall short, sleep not lest you be tJiken captive : 
lest in esliorting others yourselves prove reprobates: I will not 
tell you what I fear, but (Luke xxi.) take heed lest your hearts 
be overcome ; be not drunk with porae delight, be not filled with_ 
vain cares; hence prevent it, as Noah " moved with fear madu 

Firtt, Set a high pric« upon those awakenings and revivings 
of heart that God sometimes giveth you ; I am sure you Hiid 
these sometimes. A man that hath nothing lo lose will sloep 
with his doors open in the night ; when a man hath a treasure, 
be will be watchful to keep it ; all security comes from an under- 
valtung of the Spirit of grace, an<l its presence among us ; (Prov. 
iv. 13.) keep her, for it is Iby life ; and when it is lost, what are 
you but dead ? 

Stcondig. Consider thy continual danger ; if enemies bo at the 
gates, all the town is watching ; one would not think the depth 
of security that b in a careless heart. Fs. xxx. 6. "I s^d I 
should never be moved ; " he had good days and a thankful heart ; 
then God did hide his face. A man would think Samson should 
xwake when the Philistines are upon him ; but here deviU be 
npoa thee. 1 Pet. v. 10, If all be well now, yet remember evil 
day4 1 would you know when ? even when mi.'n say, Pi^ace. 

T/dreUg. Know the work you have lo do, and make it your 
ouin buuness : when men have weighty business of tho world 



1 

I 




in hand, they can not sleep in their be<Ia ; ani] 8a the wicked 
(Prov. iv. 16,) "They sleep not wilLout iloing misehief;" « 
BO it is their main work. 

Fourtitly. Call thyself to acMunt daily; let not thy soul loi_ 
go on without reflecting, What do I do? Hiirts and hawks kept] 
from sleep lose their wildness, but they must be constantly tended 
and kept watching; so consider the Recount you must give to 
God. 2 Cor. V. 9, with U. Ilence (Hag. i. 5) sins were upon 
them, and they repented not ; diaeries, and those were not re- 
moved i because they considered not their ways, especially before 
tlie great tribunal of God, I am persuaded the reason why men 
walk in their sleep, and go dreaming op and down the world, ia 
this ; they consider not, nor reflecting upon themselvea to any 
pur]X)se; what do I? whither go I? no sermons awaken, you 
consider not of them. 



CHAPTER 11. 

CAOKAL BECURITT COMES BY DEGBEEli. 

Section I. 

That carnal security falls upon the hearts of all men by de- 
grees ; for all the virgins hero first slumbered before they slept, 
they first fall a-winking and no