THE Godly Mans Picture, Drawn with a Scripture-Pensil.

OR Some Characteristical Notes of a Man that shall go to Heaven.

By THOMAS WATSON, Mini­ster of the GOSPEL.

But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is Godly for himself, Psalm 4. 3.

[...] Cl [...]m. Alex.

LONDON, Printed for Thomas Parkhurst at the three Crowns, over against the great Condu [...]t, at the lower end of Cheap-side, 1666.

To the Reader.

Christian Reader,

THe Soul being so precious, and Salvation so glorious, it is the highest point of Prudence, to make preparations for another world: That there is an Inheritance in Light, [...] beyond all dispute, and that there must be an Idoneity and meetness for it, [...] in Sacred Writ most strenuouslyColos [...] 1. 12. as­ [...]rted. If any shall ask, who shall [...]scend into the hill of the Lord? The [...]nswer is, He that hath clean hands, [...] a pure Psal. 2. 4. heart. To describe such [...] person, is the work of this ensuing [...]reatise: Here you have the godly [...]ans Effigies, and see him pourtrayed [...] his full Lineaments: What a rare [...]ing is godliness! 'tis not airy and [Page] flatulent, but solid, and such as will take up the heart and spirits: Godli­ness consists in an exact harmony, be­tween holy Principles and Practises: [...] that all into whose hands this Book shall providentially come, may be [...] enamoured with Piety, as to fall [...] the hearty imbracing of it: So sublim [...] is Godliness, that it cannot be del [...] ­neated in its perfect radiancy and lu­stre, though an Angel should take [...] Pensil: Godliness is ourVera est [...] cam He­brai ele­ [...]anter ap­pellant [...] (i. e.) es­se [...]tiam. [...] 3. [...]1 wisdom [...] Job 28. 28. The fear of the Lord, th [...] is wisdome. Policy without Piety, profound madness: Godliness is a Sp [...] ­ritual Queen, which whosoever Ma [...] ­ries, is sure of a large Dowry with [...] 1 Tim. 4. 8. Godliness hath the pr [...] ­mise of the life that now is, and that which is to come. Godliness giv [...] Isai. 32. 17. assurance, yea holy triumph in Go [...] and how sweet isOmni melle dul­cior, omni luce clari­or. Aug. that? It was [...] [Page] Latimers Speech, when sometimes I sit alone, and have a setled assurance of the state of my Soul, and know that God is my God, I can laugh at all troubles, and nothing can daunt me: Godliness puts a man in heaven before his time. Christian, aspire after Piety, it is a lawful Ambition: Look upon the Saints Characters here, and never leave till thou hast gotten them in­stamped upon thy own Soul. This is the grand business that should swallow up your time and thoughts: Other Speculations, and Quaint Notions, are nothing to the Soul: They are like Wafers which have fine works printed upon them, and are curiously damasked to the eye, but are thin, and yield lit­tle nourishment. But I will not stay you longer in the Porch; should I have inlarged upon any one Character of the Godly Man, it would have required a [Page] Volume, but designing to go over many, I have contracted my Sails, and given you only a brief Summary of things: If this Piece (how indigested soever) may conduce to the good of Souls, I have my Option; which that the God of Grace will effectually accomplish, shall be the Prayer of him who is

Thine in all Chri­stian affection, Thomas Watson.

THE Character of a Godly Man, drawn with a SCRIPTURE-PENSIL.

PSAL. 32. 6.‘For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee.’

CHAP. I.
Containing the Preface or Introduction.

HOly David in the front of this Psalm, shews us, wherein true happiness consists; not in beau­ty, honour, riches, (the Worlds Trinity) but in the forgiveness of sin. Vers. 1. Blessed is he whose transgres­sion is forgiven. The Hebrew word to for­give [...]signifies to carry out of sight; which [Page 2] well agrees with that, Ierem. 50. 20. In those dayes (saith the Lord) the sins of Judah shall be sought for, and they shall not be found. This is an incomprehensible blessing, and such as layes a foundation for all other mer­cies. I shall but glance at it, and lay down these five Assertions about it.

1 1. Forgiveness of sin is an act of Gods Free Grace. The Greek word to forgive [...].deciphers the Original of pardon; it ari­seth not from any thing inherent in us, but is the pure result of Free Grace. Isa. 43. 25. I, even I am he, that blotteth out thy transgres­sions for mine own sake. When a Creditor forgives a Debtor, he doth it freely. Pardon of sin is a fine thread spun out of the bowels of Free Grace. Paul cries out, I obtained mer­cy, 1 Tim. 1. 13. [...], I was be-mercied: he who is pardoned, is all bestrewed with mercy. When the Lord pardons a sinner, he doth not pay a Debt, but give a Le­gacy.

2 2. God in forgiving sin, remits the guilt and penalty. Guilt cries for justice; no sooner had Adam eaten the Apple, but he saw the flaming sword, and heard the Curse; but in remission God doth indulge the sin­ner; he seems to say thus to him, Though thou art fallen into the hands of my Justice, [Page 3] and deservest to die, yet I will absolve thee, and whatever is charged upon thee, shall be discharged.

3. Forgiveness of sin is through the blood 3 of Christ. Free grace is the impulsive cause, ChristsChristus se in cruce Deo oblatus est sacrifi­cium [...], sic nostra pians peccata. Maresius de ver. rel. lib. 3. blood is the meritorious. Heb. 9. 22: Without shedding of blood is no remission. Justice would be revenged either on the sin­ner or the surety. Every pardon is the price of blood.

4. Before sin is forgiven, it must be re­pented of. Therefore repentance and remis­sion are linked together. Luk. 24. 47. That 4 repentance and remission of sins should be prea­ched in his Name Da Do­min [...] poeni­tentiam, & postea in­dulgenti­am. Ful­gentius.. Not that repentance doth in a Popish sense merit forgiveness; Christs blood must wash our Tears: but re­pentance is a qualification, though not a cause. He who is humbled for sin will the more va­lue pardoning mercy. When there is nothing in the soul but clouds of sorrow, and now God brings a pardon, which is a setting up a Rainbow in the Cloud, to tell the sinner, that the flood of wrath shall not overflow him; O what joy is there at the sight of this Rainbow! The soul that before was steeped in tears, now melts in love to God. Luk. 7. 38. 47.

5. God having forgiven sin, he will call it 5 [Page 4] no more into remembrance, Ier. 31. 34. the Lord will make anPeccata semel re­missa nun­quam re­deunt. act of Indempnity, he will not upbraid us with former unkindnes­ses, or sue us with a cancelled Bond. Micah 7. 19. he will cast our sins into the depth of the sea. Sin shall not be cast in as Cork which riseth up again; but as Lead which sinks to the bottom. How should we all labour for this Covenant-blessing!

1 1. How sad is it to want it! It must needs be ill with the Malefactor who wants his par­don: all the Curses of God stand in full force against the unpardoned sinner; his ve­ry blessings are cursed. Mal. 2. 2. Caesar wondred at one of his Souldiers, that was so merry when he was in debt. Can the sinner be merry who is heir to all Gods Curses, and knows not how soon he may take up his Lodgings among the damned?

2 2. How sweet is it to have it! 1. The par­doned soul is out of the gun-shot of Hell. Peccatum sic pessun­datum est ut non pos­sit nos damnare. Luther. Rom. 8. 33. Satan may accuse, but Christ will show a discharge. 2. The pardoned soul may goe to God with boldness in prayer. Guilt clips the wings of prayer, that it can­not flye to the Throne of Grace; but for­giveness breeds confidence: He who hath his pardon, may look his Prince in the face with comfort.

[Page 5] This great mercy of pardon David had obtained, as appears, vers. 5. Thou forgavest me. And because he had found God a God of pardons, [...]. Neh. 9. 17. therefore he encourageth others to seek God, in the words of the Text, For this cause shall every one that is godly pray unto thee.

CHAP. II.
Opening the Nature of Godliness. Every one that is godly.

IT will first be enquired, What Godliness is? 1. Inqui­ry

I answer in general,Answ. Godliness is the sacred impression, and workmanship of God in a man, whereby of carnal he is made spiritual. When Godliness is wrought in a person, he doth not receive a new soul, but he hath another spirit, Numb. 14. 24. The faculties are not new, but the qualities; the Strings are the same, but the Tune is mended. Con­cerning Godliness, I shall lay down these se­ven Maxims or Positions.

1. Godliness is a Real thing, it is not 1 [...], but [...]; Godliness is not the [Page 6] feaverish conceit of a sick brain; a Christian is no Enthusiast, one whose Religion is made up all of Fancy; Godliness hath Truth for its foundation; it is called the way of Truth, [...]. Psal. 119. 30. godliness is a ray and beam that shines from God: if God be true, then godliness is true.

2 2. Godliness is an intrinsecal thing: it lies chiefly in the heart. Rom. 2. 29. Circumcision is that of the heart. The dew lies on the leaf, the sap is hid in the root. The Moralists Reli­gion is all in the leaf, it consists only in Exter­nals [...].but godliness is an holy sap which is radicated in the soul. [...]. Psal. 51. 6. in the hid­den part, thou shalt make me to know wisdom. The Chalde expounds it, In the close place of the heart.

3 3, Godliness is a supernatural thing: by nature we inherit nothing but evil. Rom. 7. 5. When we were in the flesh, the motions of sin did work in our members: we did suck in sin, as naturally as our Mothers milk; but godli­ness is the wisdom from above, Jam. 3. 17. it is breathed in from heaven. God must light up the Lamp of Grace in the heart: Weeds grow of themselves, flowers are planted. Godliness is a Coelestial Plant, that comes from the New Hierusalem: Therefore it is called a fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5. 22. A man [Page 7] hath no more power to change himself than to create himself.

4. Godliness is an extensive thing; it is 4 a sacred leaven that spreads it self into the whole soul. 1 Thess. 5. 23. The God of peace sanctifie you wholly. There is light in the un­derstanding, order in the affections, pliable­ness in the will, exemplariness in the life. We do not call a Blackamore white because he hath white teeth: he is not godly who is good only in some part. Grace is called the new man, Col. 3. 10. not a new eye, or tongue, but a new man: he who is godly is good all over; though he be regenerate but in part, yet it is in every part.

5. Godliness is an intense thing; it doth 5 not lye in a dead formality and indifferency, but is vigorous and flaming, Rom. 12. 11. Fervent in spirit. Quali­tates sunt in subjecto intensive. We call water hot, when it is so in the third or fourth degree. He is godly whose devotion is inflamed, and his heart boyls over in holy affections.

6. Godliness is a glorious thing: As the 6 Jewel to the Ring, so is Piety to the Soul bespangling it in Gods eyes. Reason makes us Men, Godliness makes us earthly Angels; by it we partake of the divine nature, 2 Pet. 1. 4. Godliness is neer a kin to Glory, 2 Pet. 1. 3. Glory and Vertue. Godliness is glory [Page 8] in the [...]eed, and glory is godliness in the flower.

7 7. Godliness is a permanent thing. Ari­stotle saith, denominations are given from the habit. We do not call him sanguine that blusheth, but who is of a ruddy complexi­on 1 Sam. 17. 42.A blush of godliness is not enough to denominate a Christian, but godliness must be the temper and complexion of the soul. Godliness is a fixed thing: There is a great deal of difference between a Stake in the Hedge, and a Tree in the Garden; a stake rots and moulders, but a tree having life in it, abides and flourisheth. When godliness hath taken root in the soul, it abides to eter­nity. 1 Ioh. 3. 9. his seed remaineth in him▪ Godliness being engraven in the heart by the Holy Ghost, as with the point of a Dia­mond, can never be raced out.

CHAP. III.
A Reproof to such as are but Preten­ders to Godliness.Use of Reproof.

Use. HEre is a sharp Reprehension to such as are Alchimy Christians, who do only make a show ofNon fa­ciunt justi­tiam sed fing [...]nt. Melancth. godliness: like Michal [Page 9] who put an Image in the bed, and so deceived Sauls Messengers, 1 Sam. 19. 16. these our Saviour calls whited Mar: 23. Sepulchres. They do not Virtutem colere, but colorare. In ancient times a third part of the Inhabitants of this Island were called Picts, which signifies painted; 'tis to be feared they still retain their old name: How many are painted only with the Vermilion of a Profession, whose seeming lustre dazles the eyes of beholders, but within there is nothing but putrefactionMatth. 23. 27.. Hypocrites are like the Swan, which hath white feathers, but a black skin; or like the Lilly, which hath a fair colour, but a bad sent. Rev. 1. 3. Thou hast a name to live, but thou art Quis pe­jor an pro­fitens im­pietatem; an menti­ens sancti­tatem. Bern. dead. These the Apostle Iude com­pares to clouds without water, vers. 12. they pretend to be full of the Spirit, but they are empty clouds; their goodness is but a Reli­gious Cheat.

Quest. But why do persons content them­selves with a show of godliness?

Answ. This helps to keep up their fame. 1 Sam. 15. 30. Honour me before the people. Men are ambitious of credit, and would gain repute in the world, therefore they will dress themselves in the garb and mode of Religion, that others may write them down for Saints. But alas, what is one the better [Page 10] to have others commend him, and his Con­science condemn him? What good will it do a man when he is in Hell, that others think he is gone to Heaven? O beware of this; Counterfeit piety is doubleSimulata sanctitas duplex ini­quitas. iniquity.

1 1. To have only a show of godliness is a God-enraging sin: he who is a pretender to Saint-ship, but his heart tells him he hath nothing but the [...]. Name; he carries Christ in his Bible, but not in his Heart; some po­litick design spurs him on in the wayes of God, he makes Religion a Lacquey to his carnal Interest: What is this but to abuse God to his face, and to serve the Devil in Christs Livery? Hypocrisie makes the fury rise up in Gods face; therefore he calls such persons the generation of his wrath, Isa. 10. 6. God will send them to Hell to do penance for their hypocrisie.

2 2 To make only a show of godliness, is [...], self-delusion. Ajax in his phren­sie took Sheep forArietem occidit cre­dens se Vlyssem interemisse. men; but it is a worse mistake to take a show of grace for grace. This is for one to put a cheat upon himself. Iam. 1. 22. Deceiving your own souls: He who hath counterfeit Gold instead of true, wrongs himself most. The hypocrite de­ceives others while he lives, but deceives himself when he dies.

[Page 11] 3 To have only a name, and make a show 3 [...] godliness, is odious to God and man. The [...]ypocrite is born under a sad Planet, he is ab­ [...]orred of all. Wicked men hate him because [...] makes a show, and God hate him be­ [...]ause he doth but make a show: The wicked [...]ate him because he hath so much as a mask [...] godliness, and God hates him because he [...]ath no more, Act. 26. 28. Thou hast almost [...]erswaded me to be a [...] Christian. The wicked [...]ate the hypocrite, because he is almost a Christian, and God hates him because he is [...] almost.

4 To be only Comets, and make a show of 4 [...]iety is a vain thing. Hypocrites los [...] ▪ all [...]hey have done. Their dissembling tears [...]rop beside Gods bottle, their Prayers and [...]asts prove abortive. Zack. 7. 5. When yee [...]asted and mourned, did ye at all fast unto me, [...]ven to me? as God will not recompence a [...]othful, so neither a treacherous servant. All [...]he hypocrites reward is in this life, Matth. [...]. 5. They have their reward. A poor reward, [...]he empty breath of men. The hypocrite may make his Acquittance, and write, Recei­ved in ful payment. Augustus Caesar had great triumphs granted him, but the Senate would not suffer him to be Consul, or sit in the Se­nate-house. Hypocrites may have the praise [Page 12] of men, but though these triumphs be gran­ted them, they shall never have the privi­ledge to sit in the Senate-house of Heaven. What acceptance can he look for from God, whose heart tels him he is no better than a Mountebank in Divinity?

5 5 To have only a pretence of godliness, will yeeld no comfort at death. Will painted gold enrich a man? Will painted wine re­fresh him that is thirsty? will the paint of godliness stand thee in any stead? what were the foolish Virgins better for their blazing lamps, when they wanted oyle? what is the lamp of Profession, without the oyl of Grace? he who hath only a painted holiness, shal have a painted happiness.

6 6 Thou who hast nothing but a specious pretext and mask of Piety, exposest thy self to Satans scorn. Thou shalt bee brought forth at the last day as Sampson, to make the devilJudg. 16. 25. sport. He wil say, what is become of all thy Vows, Tears, Confessions? Is all thy Religion come to this? Didst thou so often defy the devil, and art thou now come to dwel with me? couldst thou meet with no weapon to kill thee, but what was made of Gospel-mettle? couldst thou suck poy­son no where but out of Ordinances? couldst thou finde no way to hell, but by seeming [Page 13] godly? what a vexation will this be, to have the devil thus reproach a man! 'Tis sad to be insulted over in this life; Cleopatra Queen of Egypt, when shee saw shee was reserved by the Enemy for a triumph, that shee might a­voyd the infamy, put Aspes to her breasts, and dyed. What then wil it be to have the devil triumph over a man at the last day?

Let us therefore take heed of this kinde of pageantry, or devout stage-play. That which may make us the more to fear our hearts, is, when we see tall Cedars in the Church worm-eaten with hypocrisy. Balaam a Prophet, Iehu a King, Iudas an Apostle, all of them stand to this day upon record for hypocrites.

'Tis true, there are the seeds of this sin, in theVivit adhuc [...] quamdiù aliquae fi­brae ma­nent, sed agrè, & admodum languidè. best; but as it was with the Leprosy under the Law, all that had risings, or spots in the skin of the flesh, were not reputed un­clean; and put out of theLevit. 13. 6. Camp: so all that have the risings of hypocrisy in them, are not to be judged hypocrites, for these may be the spots of Gods Deut. 32 5. children. But that which de­nominates an hypocrite, is, when hypocrisy is predominant, and is like a spreading humour in the body.

Quest. When is a man under the regency and power of hypocrisy?

[Page 14] Answ. There are two signes of its predo­minancy. 1 A squint eye, when one serves God for sinister ends. 2 A right eye, when there is some sin dear to a man, which he can­not part with. These two are as shrewd signes of an hypocrite, as any I know.

Oh let us take Davids candle and lant­horn, and search for this leven, and burn it be­fore the Lord.

Christian, if thou mournest for hypocri­sy, yet findest this sin so potent, that thou canst not get the mastery of it, go to Christ, beg of him that he would exercise his King­ly Office in thy soul; that he would subdue this sin, and put it under the yoke. Beg of Christ to exercise his spiritual Chirurge­ry upon thee; desire him to lance thy heart, and cut out the rotten, and that he would apply the medicine of his blood to heal thee of thy hypocrisy. Often make that pray­er of David, Psalm 119. 80. Let my heart be found in thy statutes. Lord, let mee be any thing rather than an hypocrite. Two hearts will exclude from one heaven.

CHAP. IV.
Shewing the Characters of a godly man.

2. IT will be enquired in the next place,2 Inqui­ry. Who is the godly man?

For the full answer whereunto, I shall lay down several specifical signs and characters of a godly man.

SECT. I.

1 The first fundamental sign is,1 Cha­racter. a godly man is a man of [...]. Arist. Knowledge. Prov. 14. 18. The prudent are crowned with knowledge. The Saints are called wise Virgins, Mat. 25. 4. A natural man may have some discursive know­ledge of God, but he knoweth nothing as he ought to know, 1 Cor. 8. 2. He knows not God savingly: he may have the eye of Rea­son open, but he discerns not the things of God after a spiritualNihil agit ultra suam spe­ciem. manner. Waters can­not goe beyond their Spring-head: Vapors cannot rise higher than the Sun draws them. [...] natural man cannot act above his sphere; [...] no more able to judge aright of sacred things, than a blind man is to judge of co­lours. 1 He sees not the evil of his heart; [Page 16] if a face be never so black and deformed, yet it is not seen under a Vail: the heart of a sin­ner i [...] so black, that nothing but Hell can pattern it, yet the vail of ignorance hides it. 2 He sees not the beauties of a Saviour. Christ is a Pearl, but an hid Pearl.

But a godly man is [...], taught of God. 1 Ioh. 2. 27. The anointing teacheth you all Spiritus sanctus ve­luti oleo mentes fi­delium per­fundit & irrigat. Estius. things; that is, all things essential to salvation. A godly man hath the good know­ledge of the Lord, 2 Chron. 30. 22. he hath sound wisdom, Prov. 3. 21. he knows God in Christ: to know God out of Christ, is to know him an enemy; but to know him in Christ is sweet and delicious. A gracious soul hath the savour of knowledge, 2 Cor. 2. 14. There is a great difference between one that hath read of a Countrey, or viewed it in the Map, and another who hath lived in the Countrey, and tasted the Fruits and Spices of it. The knowledge wherewith a godly man is adorned, hath these eight rare Ingredients in it.

1 1 It is a grounded Knowledge, Col. 1. 27. If ye continue in the Faith grounded. It is not a believing as the Church believes, but [...] Knowledge rests upon a double basis [...] Word and Spirit; the one is a [...] other a witness: saving Knowledge is not [Page 17] pendulous or doubtful, but hath a certainty in it, Iohn 6. 69. We believe, and are sure thou art that Christ, 2 Cor. 5, 6. [...] being always confident Si caelum ruat, si orbis illa­batur prae­cept, ego in Deum ere­ctus ero; Angelus licèt de caelo aliud mihi per­suadere enitatur, dicam ei Anathema Anton. Marinar. a godly man holds no more then he will dye for: The Martyrs were so confirmed in the knowledge of the Truth, that they would seal it with their bloud.

2. It is an appretiative knowledge. The Lapidary is said to know a Jewel, who hath skill to value it: He knows God, who e­steems him above the glory of heaven,Psal. 73. 25. and the comforts of the earth. To compare o­ther things with God, is to debase Deity; 2 as if you should compare the shining of a Gloworm with the Sun.

3. The knowledge of a godly man is 3 quickning, Psalm 119. 93. I will never forget thy Precepts, for with them thou hast quickned me. Knowledge in a natural mans head, is like a Torch in a dead mans hand: True knowledge animates. A godly man is like Iohn Baptist, a burning and a shining Lamp: He doth not only shine by illumination, but burn by affection.Claritas in intelle­ctu, parit ardorem in affectu. The Spouses know­ledge made her sick of love, Cant. 2. 5. Per­ [...]ulsa sum, [...]. I am wounded with love. I am like a Deer that is struck with a Dart, my Soul lies a bleeding, and nothing can cure me, but a sight of him whom my Soul loves.

[Page 18] 4 4. Divine Knowledge is appropriating, Ioh 19. 25. I know that my Redeemer liveth. A Medicine is best when it is applyed; this applicative Knowledge is joyful. Christ is called a Surety, Hebr. 7. 22. O what joy when I am drowned in debt, to know that Christ is my Surety! Christ is called an Advocate, 1 Ioh. 2. 1. The Greek word for Advocate [...], signifies a Comforter, O what comfort is it when I have a bad Cause, to know Christ is my Advocate, who never lost any Cause he pleaded.

Quest. But how shall I know that I make a right application of Christ? an Hypocrite may think he applyes when he doth not. Balaam, though a Sorcerer, yet said, My God, Numb. 22. 18.

Answ. 1. He who rightly applyes Christ, puts these two together, Iesus and Lord, Phil. 3. 8. Christ Iesus my Lord: Many take Christ as a Iesus, but refuse him as a Lord. Do you joyn Prince and Saviour? Act. 5. 31. Would you as well be ruled by Christs Laws, as saved by his Bloud? Christ is a Priest upon his Throne, Zac. 6. 13. He will ne­ver be a Priest to intercede, unless your hear be the Throne where he sways his Scepter▪ A true applying of Christ is, when we so take him for an Husband, that we give up [Page 19] our selves to him as a Lord.

2. He who rightly applyes Christ, fetch­eth virtue from him: The Woman in the Gospel having touched Christ, felt virtue coming from him, and her fountain of bloud was dried up, Mar. 5. 29. This is to apply Christ, when we feel a sin mortifying vir­tue flow from him. Naturalists tell us, there is an Antipathy between the Diamond and the Loadstone, insomuch that if a piece of iron be laid by the Diamond, the Diamond will not suffer it to be drawn away by the Loadstone: So that knowledge which is ap­plicatory, hath an antipathy against sin, and will not suffer the heart to be drawn away by it.

5. The knowledge of a godly man is 5 transforming, 2 Cor. 3. 8. We all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same Image. As a Painter, looking upon a face, draws a face like it in the Picture: So looking upon Christ in the glass of the Gospel, we are changed into his similitude. We may look upon o­ther objects that are glorious, yet not be made glorious by them: A deformed face may look upon beauty, and yet not be made beautiful: a wounded man may look upon a Chyrurgion, and yet not be healed; but [Page 20] this is the Excellency of Divine Knowledge, it gives us such a sight of Christ, as makes us partake of his Nature; as Moses when he had seen Gods back-parts, his face shined; some of the Rays and Beams of Gods glory fell upon him.

6 6. The knowledge of a godly man is self-emptying; carnal knowledge makes the head giddy with pride, 1 Cor. 8. 2. True knowledge brings a man out of love with himself, the more he knows, the more he blusheth at his own ignorance. David a bright Star in Gods Church, yet he thought himself rather a Cloud than a Star, Psalm 73. 22.

7 7. The knowledge of a godly man is growing, Col. 1. 10. Encreasing in the know­ledge of God. Tandem fit surcu­lus arbor. True knowledge is like the light of the morning, which encreaseth in the Horizon till it comes to the full Meridi­an: So sweet is Spiritual Knowledge, that the more a Saint knows, the more thirsty he is of knowledge; 'tis called the Riches of Knowledge, 1 Cor. 1. 5. the more riches a man hath, the more still he desires; though S. Paul knew Christ, yet he would know him more, Phil. 3. 10. that I may know him, and the power of his Resurrection.

8 8. The knowledge of a godly man is pra­ctick, [Page 21] Iohn 10. 4. The Sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Though God requires knowledge more than burnt-offering, Hos. 6. 6, yet it is a knowledge accompanied with obe­dience: True knowledge doth not only mend a Christians sight, but mends his pace: 'Tis a reproach to a Christian to live in a con­tradiction to his knowledge; to know he should be strict and holy, yet to live loosly: Not to obey, is all one as not to know, 1 Sam. 2. 12. The Sons of Eli knew not the Lord: they could not but know, for they taught others the knowledge of the Lord; yet they are said not to know, because they did not obey: when Knowledge and Practise, like Castor and Pollux, appear together, then they presage much happiness.

Use 1.Vse of Tryal. Let us try our selves by this Cha­racter.

1. Are they godly, who are still in the Re­gion of darkness? 1 Bran. Pro. 19. 2. That the Soul be without knowledge, it is not good; ignorant persons cannot give God a reasonable service, Rom. 12. 1. 'Tis sad, that after the Sun of Righteousness hath shined so long in our Hemisphere, yet that persons should be un­der the power of ignorance: Perhaps in the things of the world they are knowing e­nough, none shall out reach them, but in the [Page 22] things of God they have no knowledge. Nahash would make a Covenant with Israel, that he might put out their right eyes, 1 Sam. 11. 1. The Devil hath left men their left eye, knowledge in secular matters, but he hath put out their right eye, they understand not the Mystery of Godliness; it may be said of them as of the Jews, To this day the vail is upon their heart, 2 Cor. 3. 15. Many Christians are no better than baptized Hea­thens. What a shame is it to be without knowledge! 1 Cor. 15. 34. Some have not the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame. Men think it a shame to be ignorant in their Trade, but no shame to be ignorant of God; there's no going to Heaven blind­fold, Isa. 27. 11. It is a people of no understand­ing, therefore he that made them, will not have mercy on them.

Surely ignorance in these daies is affected; 'tis one thing nescire, another thing nolle scire, 'tis one thing not to know, another thing not to be willing to know, Iohn 3. 19. They loved darkness rather than light. 'Tis the Owle loves the dark: Sinners are like the Athlan­tes, a people in Aethiopia, which curse the Sun. Wicked men shut their eyes wilfully, Mat. 13. 15. and God shuts them judicial­ly, Isa. 6. 10.

[Page 23] 2. Are they godly,2 Bran. who though they have knowledge, yet they know not as they ought to know; they know not God experimental­ly: How many knowing persons are igno­rant? they have Illumination, but not San­ctification; their knowledge hath not a pow­erful influence upon them to make them better. If you set up an hundred Torches in a garden, they will not make the flowers grow, but the Sun is influential: Many are so far from being better for their knowledge, that they are worse, Isa. 47. 10. Thy know­ledge hath perverted thee; the knowledge of most makes them more cunning in sin; these have little cause to glory in their knowledge. Absalom might boast of the hair of his head, but that hanged him; so these may boast of the knowledge of their head, but it will de­stroy them.

3. Are they godly,3 Bran. who though they have some glimmering of knowledge, yet no fiducial applying of Christ: Many of the Old World knew there was an Ark, but were drowned, because they did not get into the Ark; Knowledge, which is not apply­ing, will but light a man to hell; it were better to live an Indian, than to die an Infi­del under the Gospel: Christ not believed in, is terrible. Moses Rod, when it was in his [Page 24] hand, did a great deal of good, it wrought Miracles, but when it was out of his hand, it became a Serpent: So Christ, when laid hold on by the hand of Faith, is full of com­fort, but not laid hold on, will prove a Ser­pent to sting.

Use 2.Use 2. of Exhort. As we would evidence our selves godly, let us labour for this good knowledge of the Lord: What pains will men take for the atchievement of Natural Knowledge! I have read of one Benchorat, who spent forty years in finding out the motion of the Eighth Sphere; what pains then should we take in finding out the knowledge of God in Christ? There must be digging and search­ing for it, as one would search for a vein of silver, Pro. 2. 3. If thou seekest her as silver. ‘—Et pluteum coedit,Pers. & dimorsos sapit ungues.’

This is the best knowledge,Motive it doth as far 1 surpass all other, as the Diamond doth the Christal; no Jewel we wear doth so adorn us as this, Pro. 3. 15. She is more precious than Rubies. Iob 28. 12, 13. Man knows not the price thereof, the depth saith it is not in me, it cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious Onyx, or the Saphire. The dark Chaos was a fit Embleme of an ignorant [Page 25] Soul, Gen. 1. 2. but when God lights up the Lamp of Knowledge in the mind, what a new Creation is there? How doth the Soul sparkle as the Sun in its glory?

This knowledge is comfortable;Motive we may say of the Knowledge of Nature, as Solo­mon, 2 Eccles. 1. 18. He that encreaseth know­ledge, encreaseth sorrow. The knowledge of Arts and Sciences is gathering of straw, but the knowledge of God in Christ is gathering of Pearl. This Knowledge ushers in Salvati­on, 1 Tim. 2. 4.

Quest. But how shall we get this Saving Knowledge?

Answ. Not by the power of Nature: Some speak of Reason well improved how far it will go; but alas the plumb-line of Reason is too short to fathom the deep things of God: A man can no more by the power of Reason reach the Saving Knowledge of God, than a Pigmy can reach the Pyra­mides: The Light of Nature will no more help us to see Christ, than the light of a Can­dle will help us to understand, 1 Cor. 2. 14. The natural man receives not the things of God, neither can he know them. What shall we do then to know God in a Soul-saving manner? I answer, let us implore the help of Gods Spirit, Paul never saw himself blind till a [Page 26] light shined from heaven, Act. 9. 3. God must anoint our eyes ere we can see: What need­ed Christ have bid Laodicea to come to him for eye-salve, if she could see before, Revel. 3. 18. Oh! let us beg the Spirit, which is a Spirit of Revelation, Eph. 1. 17. Saving Knowledge is not by speculation, but by in­spiration, Iob 32. 8, The inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding.

Narrat Cassianus Lib. 3. Constit. Mon, Cap. 33. de Theodoro quodam, qui notitia Scripturarum praeclare emicuit, quam ei non tam studium lectionis contulerat, quàm Spiritus Sancti Gratia; siquidèm vix ipsius Graecae Linguae perpauca verba vel intelligere po­terat, vel proloqui, quae Sancti Patris Oratio (inquit Acosta) non eò pertinere putanda est, ut studium humanum floccipendamus, sed ut hoc nobis eluoeat, Divini Spiritus dono interdùm fieri, ut homo plura de Sacris Scripturis Saluifi­cè intelligat vel nuda lectione, quam magna vallatus copia commentariorum alioqui assequi possit.

We may have excellent notions in Divini­ty, but the Holy Ghost must inable us to know them after a spiritual manner: A man may see the Figures upon a Dial, but he can­not tell how the day goes unless the Sun shine. We may read many Truths in the Bi­ble, but we cannot know them savingly till [Page 27] Gods Spirit doth shine upon us, 1 Cor. 2. 10. The Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God. The Scripture discovers Christ to us, but the Spirit reveals Christ in us, Gal. 1. 16. The Spirit makes known that which all the world cannot do, namely, the sense of Gods love.

Use 3.Vse 3. You who have this saluifical sanctifying knowledge flourishing in you, bless God for it; this is the Heavenly Anointing: the most excellent objects cannot be seen in the dark, but when the light appears, then every flower shines in its Native beauty. So while men are in the midnight of a natu­ral estate, the Beauty of Holiness is hid from them; but when the light of the Spirit comes in a saving manner, then those truths they slighted before, appear in that glori­ous lustre, as transports them with wonder and love.

Bless God, (ye Saints,) that he hath ta­ken off your Spiritual Cataract, and hath given you to discern those things, which by Natures Spectacles you could never see. How thankful was Christ to his Father for this! Mat. 11. 25. I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. How should you [Page 28] admire Free-grace, that God hath not on­ly brought the light to you, but given you eyes to see it! that he hath inabled you to know the truth as it is in Iesus, Ephes. 4. 21. That he hath opened, not only the eye of your understanding, but the eye of your Conscience: This is a mercy you can never be enough thankful for, that God hath so enlightned you, that you should not sleep the sleep of death.

SECT. II.

2. The godly man is a man acted by Faith;2 Cha­racter. Fides est Sanctissi­ma huma­ni pectoris gemma.as gold is the most precious among the me­tals, so is Faith among the Graces. Faith cuts us off from the wild Olive of Nature, and inoculates us into Christ: Faith is the vital artery of the Soul, Hab. 2. 4. The just shall live by his Faith. Such as are destitute of Faith, though they breathe, yet they want life; Faith is the quickner of the Graces; not a Grace stirs, till Faith sets it awork; Faith is to the soul, as the animal spirits are to the body, they excite lively operations in the body; Faith excites Repentance; it is like the fire to the Still which makes it drop. When I believe Gods love to me this makes me weep that I should sin against so good [Page 29] a God: Faith is the Mother of Hope; first we believe the Promise, then we hope for it: Faith is the Oyl which feeds the Lamp of Hope; Faith and Hope are two Turtle-graces, take away one, and the other lan­guisheth. If the sinews be cut, the body is lame; if this sinew of Faith be cut, Hope is lame; Faith is the ground of Patience: He who believes God is his God, and all Providences work for his good, doth pati­ently yield up himself to the Will of God; thus Faith is a living Principle.

And the life of a Saint is nothing else but a life of Faith; his prayer is the breathing of Faith, Iam. 5. 15. His obedience is the re­sult of Faith, Rom. 16. 26. A godly man by Faith lives in Christ, as the beam lives in the Sun, Gal. 2. 20. I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me. A Christian by the pow­er of Faith sees above Reason,2 Cor. 4. 18. trades a­bove the Moon; by Faith his heart is finely quieted;Psal. 112. 7. he trusts himself, and all his af­fairs with God: As in a time of War, men get into a Garrison, and trust themselves and their treasure there: So the Name of the Lord is a strong Tower, Pro. 18. 10. and a Be­liever trusts all that ever he is worth in this Garrison. 2 Tim. 1. 12. I know whom I have believed, and I am perswaded he is able to keep [Page 30] that which I have committed unto him, against that day. God trusted Paul with his Gospel, and Paul trusted God with his Soul.

Faith is a Catholicon, or remedy against all troubles; it is a godly mans sheat-anchor that he casts out into the Sea of Gods mer­cy, and is kept from sinking in despair. ‘—Si modo firma fides, nulla ruina nocet.’

Use. Let us try our selves by this Chara­cter: Alas, how far are they from being godly, that are destitute of Faith! such as are altogether drowned in Sense. Most men are spiritually purblind, they can see but just before them; [...]. 2 Pet. 1. 9. I have read of a people of India who are born with one eye; such are they who are born with the eye of Reason, but want the eye of Faith; who because they do not see God with bodily eyes, they do not believe a God; they may as well not believe they have Souls, because being Spirits they cannot be seen.

O where is he who lives in Excelsis, who is gotten into the upper Region, and sees [...] things not seen, Heb. 11. 27. [...]. Chrysost. Did men live by Faith, would they use sinful po­licy for a livelihood? Were there Faith, would there be so much fraud? Did Faith [Page 31] live, would men like dead fish swim down the stream? In this Age there is scarce so much Faith to be found among men, as there is among the Devils, for they believe and tremble. Jam. 2. 19. It was a grave and serious speech of Mr. Greenham, that he feared not Papisme, but Atheisme would be Englands ruine. But I shall not expatiate, having been more large upon this Head in another dis­course. See the Christians Charter in Quarto, pag. 103.

SECT. III.

3. A godly man is fired with love to God,3 Cha­racter. Psalm 116. 1. Faith and Love are the two Poles on which all Religion turns. A true Saint is carried in that Chariot, the midst whereof is paved with love, Cant. 3. 10. As Faith doth quicken, so love doth sweeten every duty: The Sun mellows the fruit, so love mellows the services of Religion, and makes them come off with a better relish: A godly man is sick of love, Ioh. 21. 16. Lord, thou knowest I love thee. Though dear Saviour I did deny thee, yet it was for want of strength, not for want of love: God is the Fountain and Quintessence of goodness, his beauty and sweetness lay con­straints of love upon a gracious heart: God [Page 32] is the Saints portion, Psalm 119. 57. And what more loved then a portion? I would hate my own Soul (saith Austin) if I found it not loving [...] A godly man loves God, therefore delight to be in his presence; he loves God, therefore takes comfort in no­thing without him, Cant. 3. 3. Saw ye him whom my Soul loveth?

—Lilia nigra videntur,
Pallentes (que) rosae, nec dulce rubens hyacinthus,
Nullos nèc myrtus, nec laurus spirat odores.

The pious Soul loves God, therefore thirsts after him; the more he hath of God, the more still he desires; a sip of the Wine of the Spirit, provokes the appetite after more: The Soul loves God, therefore re­joyceth to think of his appearing, 2 Tim. 4. 8. He loves him, therefore longs to be with him: Christ was in Pauls heart, and Paul would be in Christs bosome, Phil. 1. 23. When the Soul is once like God, it would fain be with God: A gracious heart cries out, O that I had wings, that I might flie a­way, and be with my Love Christ. The Bird desires to be out of the Cage, though it be hung with Pearl.

Such is the love a gracious Soulbears to [Page 33] God, that many waters cannot quench it; he loves a frowning God.

Herb. Poem.
Though I am out of sign, and clean for­got,
Let me not love thee, if I love thee not.

A godly man loves God, though he be reduced to straits: A Mother and her Childe of nine years old, being ready to perish with hunger, the Childe looking upon its Mother said, Mother, do you think God will starve us? No Childe, said the Mother, he will not: The Childe replied, But if he do, we must love him, and serve him.

Use. Let us try our godliness by this Touch-stone; Do we love God? Is he our Treasure andAmor ponit a­mantem extrase▪ Aquinas. Center? Can we with Da­vid call God our Ioy, yea our exceeding Ioy? Psal. 43. 4. Do we delight in draw­ing nigh to him, and come before him with singing? Psal. 100. 2. Do we love him for his Beauty more than his Iewels? Do we love him, when he seems not to love us?

If this be sign of a godly man, how few will be found in the number? Where is the man whose heart is dilated in love to God? Many court him, but few love [Page 34] him:Plurima fier [...] [...] sunt, quae speciem habent bo­nam, sed non ex ra­dice amo­ris profi­ciscuntur; habent & spinae flo­res; sit intùs dile­ctio, non potest ex ista radice nisi bo­num ex­istere. Aug. in Epist. Ioh. Tom. 9. People are for the most part eaten up with self-love; they love their ease, their worldly profit, their lusts, but they have not a drop of love to God: Did they love God, would they be so willing to be rid of him? Iob 21. 14. They say to the Al­mighty depart from us. Did they love God, would they tear his Name by their Oaths? Doth he love his Father who shoots him to the heart? Though they worship God, they do not love him; they are like the Souldiers that bowed the knee to Christ, and mocked him, Mat. 27. 29. He whose heart is a grave, in which the love of God is buried, deserves to have that Curse written upon his Tomb­stone, 1 Cor. 16. ult. Let him be Anathema Maranatha. A Soul void of Divine Love, is a temper that best suits with damned spirits. But I shall wave this, and pass to the See Di­vine Cor­dial, page 123. next.

SECT. IV.

4. A godly man is like God,4 Cha­racter. he hath the same judgement with God; he thinks of things as God doth; he hath a God-like dis­position; he partakes of the Divine Nature, 2 Pet. 1. 4. A godly man doth bear Gods Name and Image; godliness is God-likeness. [Page 35] 'Tis one thing to profess God, another thing to resemble him.

A godly man is like God inSumma religio est, imitari quem colis. Lactant. Holiness: Ho­liness is the most orient Pearl of the King of Heavens Crown, Exod. 15. 11. Glorious in Holiness. Gods power makes him Mighty, his mercy makes him lovely, but his holi­ness makes him glorious: The Holiness of God is the intrinsick purity of his Nature, and his abhorrency of sin: A godly man bears some kind of Analogy with God in this: He hath the Holy Oil of Consecrati­on upon him, Psal. 106. 16. Aaron the Saint of the [...] Deo conse­cratus & à rebus immundis sejunctus. River. Lord. Holiness is the Badge and Live­ry of Christs people, Isa. 63. 18. The people of thy [...] Holiness: The godly are as well an Holy as a Royal Priesthood, 1 Pet. 2. 9. Nor have they only a Frontispiece of holiness, like the Egyptian Temples, which were fair without; but they are like Solomons Temple, which had gold within; they have written upon their heart Holiness to the Lord: The holiness of the Saints consists in their confor­mity to Gods Will, which is the rule and pa­tern of all Holiness.

Holiness is a mans glory: Aaron put on garments for glory and beauty, Exod. 28. 2. So when a person is invested with the embroider­ed garment of Holiness, it is for glory and beauty.

[Page 36] The goodness of a Christian lies in his Ho­liness, as the goodness of the Air lies in the clearness of it; the worth of gold in the pureness.

Quest. Wherein do the godly discover their holiness?

Answ. 1. In hating the garment spot­ted by the flesh, Iude 3. The godly do set themselves against evil, both in pur­pose and practise; they are fearful of that which looks like sin, 1 Thes. 5. 22. The appearance of evil may prejudice a weak Christian: If it doth not defile a mans own Conscience, it may offend his Brothers Con­science; and to sin against him, is to sin a­gainst Christ, 1 Cor. 8. 12. A godly man will not go as far as he may, least he go fur­ther than he should; he will not swallow down all that others (bribed with prefer­ment) may plead for: 'Tis easie to put a golden colour upon a rotten stuff.

2. The godly discover their holiness in be­ing Advocates for Holiness, Psal. 119. 46. I will speak of thy Testimonies before Kings, and will not be ashamed. When Piety is calum­niated in the world, the Saints will stand up in the defence of it; they will wipe off the dust of a reproach from the face of Religion: Holiness defends the godly, and they will de­fend [Page 37] Holiness; it defends them from danger, and they will defend it from disgrace.

Use 1.Use 1. How can those be reputed godly, who are unlike God? they have nothing of God in them, not one shread of holiness: They call themselves Christians, but blot out the word holiness; you may as well call it day at midnight.

So impudent are some, that they boast they are none of the holy ones: Is it not the Spirit of Holiness which marks the sheep of Christ from the goats, Eph. 1. 13. Ye were sealed (or marked) with the Holy Spirit: And is it a matter for men to boast of, that they have none of the Spirits ear-mark upon them? Doth not the Apostle say, that without holi­ness no man shall see the Lord, Heb. 12. 14. Such as bless themselves in their unholiness, had best go ring the Bells for joy that they shall never see God.

Others there are that hate holiness: sin and holiness never meet but they fight: ho­liness dischargeth its fire of zeal against sin, and sin spits its venom of malice at holiness: Many pretend to love Christ as a Saviour, but hate him as he is the Holy One, Act. 3. 14.

Use 2.Use 2. of Exhort. Let us labour to be like God in holi­ness.

[Page 38] 1 1. This is Gods great design he drives on in the world;Motive 'tis the end of the Word preached: the silver drops of the Sanctuary are to water the seed of grace, and make a crop of holiness spring up: What use is there of the Promises but to bribe us to holiness? What are all Gods Providential Dispensati­ons, but to excite holiness? As the Lord makes use of all the seasons of the year, frost and heat, to bring on the harvest; so all pro­sperous and adverse providences, are for the promoting the work of holiness in the soul. What is the end of the mission of the spirit, but to make the heart holy? When the ayr is unwholesome by reason of foggy vapours, the wind is a fan to winnow and purifie the ayr: so the blowing of Gods Spirit upon the heart, is to purifie it, and make it holy.

2 2. Holiness is that alone which God is de­lighted with:Motive [...]. Aristot. Tamerlain being presented with a pot of gold, asked whether the gold had his Fathers stamp upon it: But when he saw it had the Roman stamp, he rejected it. Holiness is Gods stamp and impress; if he doth not see this stamp upon us, he will not own us.

3 3. Holiness fits us for communion with God:Motive communion with God is a paradox to the men of the world; every one that hangs [Page 39] about the Court, doth not speak with the King: We may approach to God in duties, and as it were hang about the Court of Hea­ven, yet not have communion with God: That which keeps up the intercourse with God is holiness; the holy heart enjoys much of Gods presence; he feels heart-warming and heart-comforting virtue in an Ordinance: Where God sees his Likeness, there he gives his love.

SECT. V.

5. A godly man is very exact and curi­ous about the Worship of God;5 Cha­racter. the Greek word for [...] godly, signifies a right Worship­per of God: A godly man doth reverence Divine Institutions, and is more for the Pu­rity of Worship than the Pomp: Mixture in sacred things, is like a dash in the wine, which though it gives it a colour, yet doth but a­dulterate it: The Lord would have Moses make the Tabernacle according to the pattern in the [...]. Mount, Exod. 25. 40. If Moses had left out any thing in the pattern, or added a­ny thing to it, it would have been very pro­voking: The Lord hath always given testi­monies of his displeasure against such as have corrupted his Worship: Nadab and Abihu [Page 40] offered strange fire, (other than God had san­ctified on the Altar) and fire went out from the Lord, and devoured them, Levit. 10. 1. What­soever is not of Gods own appointment in his Worship, that he looks upon as strange fire; and no wonder he is so highly incensed at it; for as if God were not wise enough to appoint the manner how he will be served: Men will go to prescribe him, and as if the rules for his Worship were defective, they will attempt to mend the Copy, and super­add theirQui Deum ad humani cerebri id aeam, & ingenii te­nuitatem admetiun­tur, necesse est, ut in sua arro­gantia confusi ja­ceant. Ri­vet. inventions.

A godly man dares not vary from the Pat­tern which God hath shewn him in the Scrip­ture; and probably this might not be the least reason, why David was called a man af­ter Gods own heart, because he kept the springs of Gods Worship pure, and in mat­ters sacred, did not super induce any thing of his own devising.

Use. By this Character we may try our selves,Vse. whether we are godly: Are we ten­der about the things of God? Do we ob­serve that mode of worship, which hath the stamp of Divine Authority upon it? 'Tis of dangerous consequence to make a medley in Religion.

1. Those who will add to one part of Gods Worship, will be as ready to take away [Page 41] from another, Mar. 7. 8. Laying aside the Commandment of God, ye hold the Traditions of men. They who will bring in a Traditi­on, will in time lay aside a Command; This the Papists are highly guilty of; they bring in Altars and Crucifixes, and lay aside the second Commandment: They bring in Oyl and Cream in Baptism, and leave out the Cup in the Lords Supper; they bring in praying for the dead, and lay aside reading the Scriptures intelligibly to the living: They who will introduce that into Gods Worship which he hath not commanded, will be as ready to blot out that which he hath commanded.

2. Those who are for outward commix­tures in Gods Worship, are usually regardless of the Vitals of Religion; living by Faith, leading a strict mortified life, these things are less minded bySi modo exteriorum rituum pompis luxuriare poterint, sperant se Deo glau­coma ob­duxisse. Rivet. them: Wasps have their Combs, but no honey in them; the Re­ligion of many may be likened to those ears which run all into straw.

3. Superstition and Prophaness kiss each Qui cu­rios simu­lant, & bacchana­lia vivuntother: Hath it not been known that those who have kneeled at a Pillar, have reeled a­gainst a Post.

4. Such as are devoted to Superstition, are seldome or never converted, Mat. 21. 31. Publicans and Harlots go into the Kingdome of [Page 42] God before you: It was spoken to the Chief Priests, who were high Formalists; and the reason why such persons are seldom wrought upon savingly, is, because they have a secret antipathy against the power of godliness: the Snake is of a fine colour, but it hath a sting; so outwardly men may look zealous and de­vout, but retain a sting of hatred in their hearts against goodness. Hence it is, that they who have been most hot for superstiti­on, have been most hot for persecution. The Church of Rome wears white linnen, (an Embleme of Innocency) but the Spirit of God paints her out in Scarlet, Rev. 17. 4. Whence is this? not only because she puts on a scarlet Robe, but because her body is of a scarlet die, having imbrued her hands in the bloud of the Saints, Rev. 17. 6.

Let us then, as we would demonstrate our selves godly, keep close to the rule of Wor­ship, and in the things of Iehovah, go no further than we can say, it is written.

SECT. VI.

6 A godly man is a servant of God,6 Cha­racter. and not a servant of men. This Character hath two distinct branches, I shall speak of both in order.

[Page 43] 1. A godly man is a servant of God, 1 Bran. Ezra 5. 11. We are the servants of the God of Heaven. Col. 4. 12. Epaphras a servant of Christ.

Quest. In what sense is a godly man a ser­vant of God?

Answ. In seven respects.

1. A servant leaves all other, and confines himself to one Master: so a godly man [...]eaves the service of sin, and betakes himself [...]o the service of God, Rom. 6. 22. Sin is a ty­rannizing thing; a sinner is a slave, when he [...]ins with most [...] freedome: The wages which sin gives, may deter us from its service, Rom. [...]. 23. The wages of sin is death. Here is [...]amnable pay! A godly man Lists himself [...] Gods Family, and is one of his menial ser­ [...]ants, Psalm 116. 16. O Lord, truly I am thy servant, I am thy servant. David useth an in­ [...]emination; as if he had said, Lord, I have [...]aken earnest, none else can lay claim to me; [...]y ear is bored to thy service.

2. A servant is not sui juris, at his own 2 [...]ispose, but at the dispose of his Master: A servant must not do what he please, but [...]e at the will of his Lord. Thus a godly [...]an is Gods servant, he is wholly at Gods [...]ispose, he hath no will of his own. Thy will [...] done on earth. Some will say to the god­ly, [Page 44] why cannot you do as others? Why will not you drink, and swear, and prophane the Sabbath as others do? The godly are Gods servants, they must not do what they will, but be under the rules of the Family; they must do nothing but what they can show their Masters hand for.

3 3. A servant is bound, there are Cove­nants and Indentures sealed between him and his Master. Thus there are Indentures drawn in Baptisme; and in Conversion, the Indentures are renewed and sealed; we do there bind our selves to God to be his sworn servants, Psal. 119. 106. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous Iudgements. A godly man hath tyed him­self to the Lord byPsalm 56. 12. Vow, and he makes conscience of his vow; he had rather die by Persecution, than live by Perjury.

4 4. A servant doth not only wear his Ma­sters Livery, but do his work: Thus a godly man works for God; S. Paul did spend, and was spent for Christ, 2 Cor. 12. 15. He out­wrought all the other Apostles, 1 Cor. 15. 10. A godly man is active for God to his last breath, Psalm 119. 112. only, The dead rest from their labours.

5 5. A servant follows his Master; thus a godly man is a servant of God, while others [Page 45] wonder after the Revel. 13. 3. beast, he follows after the Revel. 14. 4. Lamb. He will tread in the steps of Christ: If a Master leap over hedge and ditch, the servant will follow him: A godly man will follow Christ through afflictions, Luk. 9. 23. If any man will come after me, let him take up his Cross daily, and follow me. Peter would fol­low Christ upon the water: A godly man will follow Christ though it be death every step; he will keep his goodness, when others are bad; as all the water in the salt Sea cannot make the Fish salt, but still they retain their freshness; so all the wickedness in the world cannot make a godly man wicked, but still he retains his piety; he will follow Christ in the worst times.

6. A servant is satisfied with his Masters 6 allowance; he doth not say, I will have such provisions made ready, if he hath short com­mons he doth not find fault; he knows he is a servant, and is at his Masters carving: In this sense a godly man is Gods servant; he is willing to be at Gods allowance; if he hath but some leavings he doth not grumble. Paul knew he was a servant, therefore whe­ther more or less fell to his share, he was in­different, Phil. 4. When Christians mur­mure at their condition, they forget that they are servants, and must be at the allow­ance [Page 46] of their Heavenly Master: Thou that hast the least bit from God, wilt die in his debt.

7 7. A servant will stand up for the honor of his Master; he cannot hear his Master re­proached, but will vindicate his credit. Thus every godly man will stand up for the honor of his Master Christ, Psal. 119. 139. My zeal hath consumed me. A servant of God appears for his truths: They who can hear Gods Name reproached, and his ways spoken a­gainst, yet be silent, God will be ashamed of such servants, and discard them before men and Angels.

Use. Vse. Let us declare our selves godly, by being servants of the most high God.

1 Consider 1.Motive God is the best [...]. Euripides. Master, he is punctual in all his promises, 1 Kin. 8. 23. There is no God like thee in Heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest Covenant with thy servants. Ver. 56. There hath not failed one word of all his good promise. God is of a most sweet gracious disposition; he hath this pro­perty, he is slow toPsal. 103 9. anger, and ready toPsal. 86. 5. for­give: In our wants he doth relieve us, in our weakness he doth pitty us; he reveals his se­crets to his Pro. 3. 32. servants, Psal. 25. 14. He wait on his servants: Was there ever such a Ma­ster? Luke 12. 37. Blessed are those servants [Page 47] whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watch­ing; verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. When we are sick he makes our bed, Psal. 41. 3. Thou wilt make all their bed in their sickness. He holds our head when we are fainting: Other Ma­sters may forget their servants, and cast them off when they are old, but God will not, Isa. 44. 21. Thou art my servant, O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. 'Tis a slander to say, God is an hard Master.

2. Gods service is the best service:Motive There are six priviledges in Gods service.2

1. Freedome. Though the Saints are bound to Gods service, yet they serve him freely: Gods Spirit, which is called a free Psa. 51. 12. spirit, makes them free and chearful in obedience: The Spirit carries them upon the wings of delight; it makes duty a priviledge; it doth not force, but draw; it inlargeth the heart in love, and fills it with joy; Gods service is perfect freedome.

2. Honour. David the King professeth him­self one of Gods Pensioners, Psal. 143. 12. I am thy Servire est regnare. servant. St. Paul, when he would blaze his Coat of Arms, and set forth his best Heraldry, he doth not call himself Paul, [...]n Hebrew of the Hebrews, or Paul of the [Page 48] Tribe of Benjamin, but Paul a servant of Christ, Rom. 1. 1. Theodosius thought it a greater dignity to be Gods servant, than to be anNihil regio splendore indignum, si ad hanc ingenuam [...] invitentur. Rivet. Emperour. Christ himself, who is equal with his Father, yet is not ashamed of the Title Servant, Isa. 53. 11. Every servant of God is a Son, every subject a Prince: 'Tis more honor to serve God, than to have Kings serve us: The Angels in Heaven are servitors to the Saints onNon est onerans sed ornans Dei servi­tus. earth.

3. Safety. God takes care of his servants; he gives them a protection, Isa. 41. 9, 10. Thou art my servant, fear not, I am with thee. God hides his servants, Psa. 27. 5. In the se­cret of his Tabernacle In ab­dito tento rii [...] sui. shall be hide me; that is, he shall keep me safe, as in the most holy place of the Sanctuary, where none but the Priests might enter. ChristsMal 4. 2. Wings are both for healing, and for hiding; for curing, and securing us: The Devil and his Instru­ments would soon devoure the servants of God, if he did not set an invisible guard a­bout them, and cover them with the golden feathers of hisPsal. 91. 4. Protection, Acts 18. 10. I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee. Gods watchful eye is ever upon his people, and the Enemies shall not do the mischief they intend, they shall not be de­stroyers, but Physitians.

[Page 49] 4. Gain. Atheists say, It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept his Ordinances? Mal. 3. 14. besides the vails which God gives in this life (sweet peace of Conscience) he reserves his best Wine till last; he gives a glorious Kingdome to his [...]. Ori­gen Cont. Cels.servants, Heb. 12. 28. The servants of God may for a while be kept under, and a bused, but they shall have preferment at last, Iohn 12. 26. Where I am, there shall my ser­vants be.

5. Assistance. Other Masters cut out work for their servants, but do not help them in their work; but our Master in heaven doth not only give us work, but strength, Psalm 138. 3. Thou strengthenedst me with strength in my Soul. God bids us serve him, and he will inable us to serve him, Ezek. 36. 27. I will cause you to walk in my Statutes. The Lord doth not only fit work for us, but fit us for our work; with his Command he gives Da Do­mine quod jubes, & ju [...]e quod vis. Austin.power.

6. Supplies. A Master will not let his ser­vants want; Gods servants shall be provided for, Psal. 37. 3. Verily thou shalt be fed. Doth God give us a Christ, and will he deny us a crust? Gen. 48. 15. The God who hath fed me all my daies: If God doth not give us what we crave, he will give us what we need: [Page 50] the wicked are fed, who are dogs, Phil. 3. 2. If a man feeds his dog, sure he will feed his servant: Oh then who would not be in love with Gods service.

3 3. We are ingaged to serve God;Motive we are pretio empti, bought with a price, 1 Cor. 6. 20. 'Tis a Metaphor taken from such as do ran­som Captives out of prison, by paying a sum of money for them, they are to be at the service of them that ransomed them: So when the Devil had taken us prisoners, Christ ransomed us with a price, not of mo­ney, but bloud; therefore we are to be only at his service: If any can lay a better claim to us than Christ, we may serve them; but Christ having the best right to us, we are to cleave to him, and enroll our selves for ever in his service.

2. I pass to the second Branch of this Cha­racter:2 Bran. A godly man is not the servant of men, 1 Cor. 7. 23. Be ye not the servants of men.

Quest. But is there no service we owe to men?

Answ. There is a three-fold serving of men.

1 1. There is a Civil service we owe to men; as the inferiour to the superiour▪ The servant is a Living Tool, as Aristo­tle [...]. [Page 51] saith, Eph. 6. 5. Servants obey your Ma­sters.

2. There is a Religious service [...]we owe to men, when we are serviceable to their souls, 2 Cor. 4. 5. Your servants for Iesus sake.

3. There is a sinfull serving of men; this consists in three things.

1. When we prefer mens Injunctions be­fore Gods Institutions; God commands one thing, man commands another; God saith, sanctifie the Sabbath; man saith, prophane it: When mens Edicts have more force up­on us than Gods Precepts, this is to be the servants of men.

2. When we do voluntarily prostitute our selves to the impure lusts of men;Ne adu­lentur, & impiis aeli­orum cupi­ditatibus se addi­cant, ve­tat Aposto­lus. Calv. in 1 Cor. cap. 7. we let them [...] lord it over our Conscien­ces: when we are ductill and frameable to any thing, either Arminian or Atheist, either for the Gospel or the Alchoran, when we will be what others will have us; just of Issa­chars temper, Gen. 49. 14. Issachar is a strong Ass, couching down between two burdens. This is not humility, but sordidness, and it is a ser­ving of men.

3. When we are Advocates in a bad Cause, pleading for any impious, unjustifia­ble actings; when we baptize sin with the Name of Religion, and with our Oratory [Page 52] wash the Devils face; this is to be the ser­vants of men; in these cases a godly person will not so unman himself, as to serve men; he saith as Paul, Gal. 1. 10. If I pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ: And as Peter, Act. 5. 23. We ought to obey God rather than men.

Use. Vse. How many leagues distant are they from godliness, who do [...], who either for fear of punishment, or hope of preferment, comply with the sinful com­mands of men, who will put their Consci­ence into any yoak, and sail with any wind that blows profit: These are the servants of men; they have abjured their Baptismal Vow, and renounced the Lord that bought them.

He who is such aOmnium scenarum homo. E­rasm. Proteus, who can change into any form, and bow as low as hell to please men, I would say two things to him.

1. Thou that hast learned all thy postures, who canst cringe, and tack about, how wilt thou look Christ in the face another day? When thou shalt say upon thy death bed, Lord look upon thy servant, Christ shall disclaim thee, and say, [...] servant? No, thou didst renounce my service, thou wert a ser­vant of men, depart from me, I know you not. [Page 53] What a cooling card will this be at that day?

2. What doth a man get by sinfully insla­ving himself? he gets a blot in his name, a curse in his estate, an hell in his Conscience, nay, even those that he basely stoops to, will scorn and despise him. How did the High-Priests kick off Iudas, Mat. 27. 4. Look thou to that.

That we may not be the servants of men, let us abandonEsther 8. 17. fear, and advance faith: Faith is a world-conquering grace, 1 Ioh. 5. 4. It overcomes the worlds musick and for­nace; it steels a Christian with Divine cou­rage, and makes him stand immoveable, as a Rock in the midst of the Sea.

SECT. VII.

7. A godly man is a Christ-prizer.7 Cha­racter. To il­lustrate this, I shall show;

1. That Jesus Christ is in himself preci­ous.

2. That a godly man esteems him preci­ous.

1. That Jesus Christ is in himself preci­ous, 1 Pet. 2. 6. Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious. Christ is compa­red to things most [...]recious.

1. To a bundle of myrrhe, Cant. 1. 13. Myrrhe 1 [Page 54] is veryPlin. precious, it was one of the chief spi­ces, whereof the holy anointing Oyl was made, Exod 30. 25.

1. Myrrhe is of a perfuming Nature; so Christ perfumes our persons and services, that they are a sweet odour to God: whence is it the Church, that heavenly Bride, is so perfumed withCant. 3. 6. grace, but because Christ, that Myrrhe-tree, hath dropped upon her.

2. Myrrhe is of an exhilarating nature; the smell of it doth comfort and refresh the spirits: So Christ doth comfort the souls of his people, when they are fainting under their sins and sufferings.

2. Christ is compared to a Pearl, Mat. 13. 46. When he had found one Pearl of great price. Christ, this Pearl was little in regard of his humility, but of infinite value. Jesus Christ is a Pearl that God wears in hisJohn 1. 18. bosome; a Pearl, whose lustre drowns the worldsGal. 6. 1 [...]. glo­ry; a Pearl that enricheth the soul, the An­gelical part of1. Cor. 1. 5. man; a Pearl that enligh­tens Rev. 21. 23.heaven; a pearl so precious, that it makes us precious toEph. 1. 6. God; a Pearl that is cordial andLuke 2. 25. restorative; a Pearl more worth thanCol. 1. 16, 17. heaven. The preciousness of Christ is seen three wayes.

1. He is precious in his [...]erson; he is the pi­cture of his Fathers glory, [...]. Origen. Cont Cels. Heb. 1. 3.

[Page 55] 2. Christ is precious in his Offices; which are several Rays of the Sun of Righteous­ness.

1. Christs Prophetical Office is precious, Deut. 18. 15. He is the great Oracle of Hea­ven; he hath a preciousness above all the Prophets which went before him; he teach­eth not only the ear, but the heart: He who hath the Key of David in his hand, opened the heart of Lydia, Act. 16. 14.

2. Christs Priestly Office is precious: This is the solid basis of our comfort, Heb. 9. 26. Now once hath he appeared to put away sin, by the sacrifice of Hic est in cujus typo immo­labatur agnus, qui non solum suo san­guine nos redemit, sed & la­nis over [...]it. Hierom. himself. By virtue of this Sacrifice, the soul may go to God with bold­ness; Lord give me heaven, Christ hath pur­chased it for me; he hung upon the Cross, that I might sit upon thePer has [...]mas late­r [...] Christi licet [...] sugere me [...] de Petra. [...]ern. Throne. Christs Bloud and Incense, are the two hinges on which our Salvation turns.

3. Christs Regal Office is precious, Rev. 19. 16. He hath on his Vesture, and on his Thigh, a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Christ hath a preheminence above all other Kings for Majesty; he hath the highest Throne, the richest Crown, the largest Dominions, and the longest possession, Heb. 1. 8. Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever. Though Christ hath many Assessors, [Page 56] Ephes. 2. 6. yet no Successors. Christ sets up his Scepter where no other King doth; he rules the will and affections; his power binds the Conscience: The Angels take the oath of Allegiance to him, Heb. 1. 6. Christs King­ship is seen in two Royal Acts.

1. In ruling his people.

2. In over-ruling his Enemies.

1. In ruling his people. He rules with Cle­mency; his Regal Rod hath honey at the end of it: Christ displays the Ensign of Mercy, which makes so many Volunteers run to his Standard, Psal. 110. 3. Holiness without Mercy, and Justice without Mercy, were dreadful; but Mercy encourageth poor sin­ners to trust in him.

2. In over-ruling his Enemies. He pulls down their pride, befools their policy, re­strains their malice, Psalm 76. 10. The re­mainder of wrath thou shalt restrain: Or as it is in the Hebrew,Accinges. Arias Mont. [...] thou shalt girdle up. That stone cut out of the Moutains without hands, which smote the Image, Dan. 2. 34. was an Embleme (saith Austin) of Christs Mo­narchical power, conquering and triumphing over his Enemies.

3. Christ is precious in his benefits; by Christ all dangers are removed, through Christ all mercies are conveyed; in his bloud [Page 57] flows Justification, Act. 3. 9. Purgation, Heb. 9. 14. Fructification, Ioh. 1. 16. Pacificati­on, Rom. 5. 1. Adoption, Gal. 4. 5. Perseve­rance, Heb. 12. 2. Glorification, Heb. 9. 12. This will be matter of sublimest joy to Eter­nity. We read, that those who had passed over the Sea of Glass, stood with their Harps, and did sing the Song of Moses and the Lamb, Revel. 15. 2. So when the Saints of God have passed over the glassie Sea of this world, they shall sing Hallelujahs to the Lamb, who hath redeemed them from sin and hell, and hath translated them into that glorious Paradise, where they shall see God for ever and ever.

2. The second thing to be illustrated is, that every godly man doth set an high value and estimate upon Christ, 1 Pet. 2. 7. Unto you therefore who believe, he is precious: In the Greek it is, [...] an honour: Believers have an honourable esteem of Christ; the Psal­mist speaks like one captivated with Christs amazing beauty, Psalm 73. 25. There is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. He did not say he had nothing; he had many com­forts on earth, but he desired none but God; as if a wife should say, there's no ones compa­ny she prizeth like her husbands: How did David prize Christ, Psa. 45. 2. Thou art fairer [Page 58] than the children of men: The Spouse in the Canticles looked upon Christ as the Coriphoeus, the most incomparable one, Cant. 5. 10. The chief among ten [...]. thousand. Christ out-vies all others, Cant. 2. 3. As the appletree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. Christ doth infinitely more excel all the beauties and glories of this visible world, than the appletree doth surpass the trees of the wild Forrest: So did Paul prize Christ, that he made him his chief study, 1 Cor. 2. 2. I determined to know nothing among you save Iesus Christ; [...]; I judged not any thing else of worth: St. Paul did best know Christ, 1 Cor. 9. 1. Have I not seen Iesus our Lord? He saw him with his bodily eyes in a Vision, when he was wrap'd up into the third heaven, 2 Cor. 12. 2. and he saw him with the eye of his faith, in the blessed Supper, there­fore he did best know him; and behold, how he did slight, and vili-prize other things, in comparison of Christ, Phil. 3. 8. I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the know­ledge of Christ Iesus my Lord. Gain he e­steemed loss, and gold dung for Christ. In­deed, a godly person cannot chuse but set an high valuation upon Christ, he sees a fulness of worth in him.

1. A fulness in regard of variety, Col. 2. 3. [Page 59] In whom are hid all [...]. Theophi­lact. treasures. No Country hath all commodities of its own growth; but Christ hath all kind of fulness; fulness of Merit, of Spirit, of Love; he hath a trea­sure adequate to all our wants.

2. A fulness in regard of degree: Christ hath not only a few drops, or rays, but is more full of goodness than the Sun is of light; he hath the fulness of the Godhead, Col. 2. 9.

3. A fulness in regard of duration: The fulness in the creature, like the brooks of A­rabia, is soon dried up; but Christs fulness is [...].inexhaustible, 'tis a fulness over-flowing and ever-flowing.

And this fulness is for [...]. Believers: Christ is Communis Thesaurus (as Luther saith) a com­mon Treasury or Magazine for the Saints, Ioh. 1. 16. Of his fulness have we all recei­ved; Set a glass under a Still, and it receives water out of the Still drop by drop: So those who are united to Christ, have the dews and drops of his grace distilling uponCommu­nio funda­tur in uni­one. them: Well then, may Christ be admired of all them that believe.

Use 1.Vse 1. Is a godly man an high prizer of Christ, then what is to be thought of them who do not put a value upon Christ, are they godly or no? There are four sorts of per­sons who do not prize Christ.

[Page 60] 1. The Iews. They believe not in Christ, 2 Cor. 3. 15. Unto this day the vail is upon their heart: They expect their saeculum futurum, a Messiah yet to come, as their own Talmud re­ports: they blaspheme Christ, they slight righteousness imputed: They despise the Virgin Mary, calling her in derision Marah, which signifieth bitterness: They vilifie the Evange­lium vo­cant aven­gelaion.Gospel; they deny the Christian Sab­bath; they have the Christians in abomina­tion; they hold it not lawful for a Jew to take physick of a Christian. Schecardus re­lates of one Bendema a Jew, that being stung with a Serpent, a Christian came to heal him, but he refused his help, and chose rather to die, than to be healed by a Christian: So do the Iews hate Christ, and all that wear his Li­very.

2. The Socinians, who acknowledge only Christs Humanity: this is to make him be­low the Angels; for the Humane Nature simply considered, is inferiour to the Ange­lical, Psa. 8. 5.

3. Proud Professors; who do not lay the whole stress of their Salvation upon Christ, but would mingle their dross with his gold, their duties with his Merits; this is to steal a Jewel from Christs Crown, and implicitly to deny him to be a perfect Saviour.

[Page 61] 4. Airy Speculatists; who prefer the study of the Arts and Sciences before Christ; not but that the knowledge of these is commen­dable: Moses was skill'd in all the knowledge of the Egyptians, Acts 7. 22. Humane Learn­ing is of good use to prepare for the study of better things; as a courser dye prepares the cloath for a richer and a deeper dye: but the fault is, when the study of Christ is neglect­ed: The knowledge of Christ ought to have the preheminence: It was not sure without a Mystery, that God suffered all Solomons writings about birds and plants to be lost; but what he wrote about spiritual wisdome, hath been miraculously preserved; as if God would teach us, that to know Christ (the truePro. [...]. 12. Wisdom) is the Crowning Knowledg: One leaf of this Tree of Life, will give us more comfort on a death-bed, than the whole Idea and plat-form of Humane Science: What is it to know all the motions of the Orbs; and influences of the Stars, and in the mean time to be ignorant of Christ, the bright Morning Star? Rev. 22. 16. What is it to understand the nature of Minerals, or precious stones, and not to know Christ the true Corner-stone? Isa. 28. 16. 'Tis an un­dervaluing, yea despising of Christ, when with the load-stone we draw iron, and straw [Page 62] to us, but neglect him who hath tryed gold to bestow upon us, Rev. 3. 18.

Use 2.Vse 2. of Tryal. Is it the sign of a godly person to be a Christ-prizer? then let us try our god­liness by this: Do we set an high estimation upon Christ?

Quest. How shall we know that?

Answ. 1. If we are prizers of Christ, then we prefer him in our judgements before o­ther things: We value Christ above honor and riches; the Pearl of Price lies neerest our heart: He who prizeth Christ, esteems the gleanings of Christ better than the worlds Vintage: He counts the worst things of Christ better than the best things of the world, Heb. 11. 26. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches, than the treasures in E­gypt. And is it thus with us? Is the price of worldly things fallen? Gregory Nazian­zene did solemnly bless God, that he had a­ny thing to lose for ChristsNaz. sake But a­las, how few Nazianzenes are to be found: You shall hear some say, they have honoura­ble thoughts of Christ, but they prize their Land and Estate above him. The young man in the Gospel preferred his bags of gold before Christ: Iudas valued thirty pieces of silver above him: May it not be feared, if an hour of tryal come, there are many would [Page 63] rather renounce their Baptisme, and throw off Christs Livery, than hazard the loss of their earthly possessions for him.

2. If we are prizers of Christ, we cannot live without him; things which we value, we know not how to be without: A man may live without musick, but not without food. A Childe of God can want health and friends, but he cannot want Christ: In the absence of Christ he saith as Iob, I went mourning without the Sun, Iob 30. 28. I have the star-light of creature-comforts, but I want the Sun of Righteousness. Give me Children (said Rachel) or I die, Gen. 30. 1. So saith the Soul, Lord give me Christ, or I die; one drop of the Water of Life to quench my thirst: Let us try by this, do they prize Christ, who can make a shift well enough to be without him? Give a childe a rattle, and it will not mind gold: If men have but worldly accommodations, corn and wine, they can be well enough content without Christ: Christ is a Spiritual Rock, 1 Cor. 10. 4. Let men have but oyl in the cruse, they care not for honey out of this Rock: If their Tra­ding be gone, they complain, but if God takes away the Gospel, which is the Ark wherein Christ the Manna is hid, they are quiet and tame enough: Do these prize Christ, who [Page 64] can sit down content without him?

3. If we are prizers of Christ, then we shall not grutch at any pains to get [...]. Plut. him. He who prizeth gold, will dig for it in the Mine, Psa. 63. 8. My Soul followeth hard after God. Plutarch reports of the Gauls, an antient people in France, after they had tasted the sweet wine of the Italian Grape, they en­quired after the country, and never rested till they had arrived at it. He in whose eye Christ is precious, never rests till he hath gotten Christ, Cant. 3. 1, 2, 4. I sought him whom my soul loveth, I held him, and would no [...] let him go.

Try by this! Many say they have Christ in high Veneration, but they are not industrious in the use of means to obtain him. If Christ would drop as a ripe fig into their mouth, they could be content to have him, but they will not put themselves to too much trouble to get him: Doth he prize his health, who will not put himself upon physick or exercise?

4. If we are prizers of Christ, then we take much complacency in Christ: What joy doth a man take in that which he counts his treasure? He who prizeth Christ, makes him the Head of his joy: He can delight in Christ, when other delights are gone, Hab. 3. [Page 65] 17. Though the fig-tree doth not flourish, yet I will rejoyce in the Lord. Though a flower in a mans garden die, yet he can delight in his money and Jewels: He who esteems Christ, can solace himself in Christ, when there is an Autumn upon all other comforts.

5. If we are prizers of Christ, then we will part with our dearest lusts for him. Paul saith of the Galathians, they did so esteem him, that they were ready to have pulled out their own eyes, and have given him, Gal. 4, 15. He who esteems Christ, will pull out that lust, which is his right eye. A wise man will throw away a poyson for a cordial: He who sets an high value upon Christ, will part with his pride, unjust gain, sinfulIsaiah 30. 22. fashions: He will set his feet upon the neck of his sins.

Try by this! How can they be said to prize Christ, who will not leave a vanity for him? Not a spot in the face, not an oath, not an intemperate cup: What a scorn and contempt do they put upon the Lord Jesus, who prefer a damning lust, before a saving Christ.

6. If we are prizers of Christ, we shall think we cannot have him at too dear a rate. We may buy gold too dear, but we cannot purchase Christ too dear: Though we part with our bloud for him, it is no dear bargain: [Page 66] The Apostles rejoyced that they were graced so much, as to be disgraced for Christ, Act. 5. 41. They esteemed their fetters more pre­cious than bracelets of gold: Let not him say he prizeth Christ, who refuseth to bear his Cross, Mat. 13. 21. When persecution ari­seth because of the Word, by and by he is offend­ed.

7. If we are prizers of Christ, we will be willing to help others to a part in him; that which we esteem excellent, we are desirous our friend should have a share in: If a man hath found a Spring of water, he will call o­thers that they may drink, and satisfie their thirst. Do we commend Christ to others? Do we take them by the hand, and lead them to Christ? This shows how few prize Christ, because they strive no more that their Relati­ons should have a part in him: They get land and riches for their posterity, but have no care to leave them the Pearl of Price for their portion.

8. If we are prizers of Christ, then we prize him in health as well as in sickness; when we are inlarged, as well as when we are straitned: A friend is prized at all times▪ the Rose of Sharon is always sweet: He who values his Saviour aright, hath as precious thoughts of him in a day of prosperity, as in [Page 67] a day of adversity: The wicked make use of Christ, only when they are in straits; as the Elders of Gilead went to Ieptha when they were in distress, Iudg. 11. 7. Themistocies complained of the Athenians, that they ran to him but as to a Tree, to shelter them in a storm: Sinners desire Christ only for a shel­ter: The Hebrews never chose their Judges, but when they were in some imminentGodw. Iew. Antiq. dangers: Godless persons never look after Christ, but at death, when they are in danger of hell.

Use 3. As we would evidence to the world that we have the impress of godliness on us,Use 3. of Exhort. let us be prizers of Jesus Christ; he is Elect, Precious; Christ is the wonder of beauty: Pliny saith of the Mulberry Tree, there is nothing in it, but what is medicinable and use­ful, the fruit, leaves, bark: So there is no­thing in Christ, but what is precious; his Name is precious, his Virtues precious, his bloud precious. ‘—Et precium mundi sanguiser at Domini—’

Oh then let us have endearing thoughts of Christ; let him be accounted our chief trea­sure and delight: This is the reason why millions perish, because they do not prize [Page 68] Christ: Christ is the door by which men are to enter into heaven, Iohn 10. 9. If they do not know this door, or are so proud that they will not stoop to go in at i [...], how can they be saved? That we may have Christ-admiring thoughts: Let us consider,

1. We cannot prize Christ at too high a rate; we may prize other things above their worth; that is our sin, we commonly over­rate the creature; we think there is more in it than there is; therefore God withers our gourd, because we over-prize it: But we cannot raise our esteem high enough of Christ, he is beyond all value: There is no Ruby or Diamond but the Jeweller can set a just price upon it, he can say it is worth so much, and no more; but Christs worth can never be fully known: No Seraphim can set a due value on him; his are unsearchable riches, Eph. 3. 8. Christ is more precious than the Soul, than the Angels, thanSi tanti vitreum? quanti ve­rum Mar­garitum? Tertull. Hea­ven.

2. Jesus Christ hath highly prized us; he took our flesh upon him, Heb. 2. 16. He made his Soul an offering for us, Isa. 53. 10: How precious was our Salvation to Christ? Shall not we prize and adore him, who hath put such a value upon us?

3. Not to prize Christ is high impru­dence; [Page 69] Christ is our Guide to Glory; 'tis folly for a man to slight his Guide; he is our Physitian, Mal. 4. 2. 'Tis folly to despise our Physitian.

What, to set light by Christ for things of no value? Mat. 23. 17. Ye fools and blind. How is a fool tryed, but by showing him an Apple, and a piece of Gold, if he chuse the Apple before the Gold, he is judged to be a fool, and his Estate is begged: How many such Ideots are there, who prefer Husks be­fore Manna, the gaudy empty things of this life, before the Prince of Glory, Will not Sa­tan beg them at last for fools?

4. Such as slight Christ now, and say, There is no beauty in him that he should be Isa 53. 2. de­sired: There is a day shortly coming, when Christ will as much slight them; he will set as light by them, as they do by him; he will say, I know you not, Luk. 13. 27. What a slighting word will that be, when men shall cry, Lord Jesus save us, and he shall say, I was offered to you, but you would none of [...]sa. 81. 11. me; you scorned me, and now I will set light by you, and your Salvation; Depart from me, I know you not. This is all that sinners get by rejecting the Lord of Life: Christ will slight them at the day of Judgement, who have s [...]ighted him in the day of Grace.

SECT. VIII.

8. A godly man is an Evangelical weeper.8 Cha­racter. David did sometimes sing with his Harp, and sometimes the Organ of his eye did weep, Psal. 6. 6. I water my couch with tears. Christ calls his Spouse his Dove, Cant. 2. 14. The Dove is a weeping creature: Grace dissolves and liquifies and Soul, causing a spiritual thaw: The sorrow of the heart runs out at the eye, Psa. 31. 9.

The Rabbins report, that the same night Israel departed out of Egypt towards Canaan, all the Idols of Egypt were broken down by Lightning and Earthquake: So at that very time men go forth out of their natural con­dition towards heaven, all the Idols of sin in the heart must be broken down by Repen­tance: A melting heart is the chief branch of the Covenant of Grace, Ezek. 36. 26. and the product of the Spirit, Zac. 12. 10. I will powre upon the House of David the Spirit of Grace, and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him.

Quest. But why is a godly man a weeper? Is not sin pardoned, which is the ground of Ioy? Hath ot he had a transforming work upon his heart, why then doth he weep?

[Page 71] Answ. A godly man finds matter enough of weeping.

1. He weeps for the in-being of sin, the Law in his members, Rom. 7. 23. The ebul­litions, and first risings ofMotus primo pri­mi. Aquin. sin; his Nature is a poysoned Fountain: A regenerate per­son grieves that he carries that about him which is enmity to God; his heart is like the wide Sea, wherein there are creeping things Psa. 104. 25. innumerable; vain sinful thoughts: A Childe of God laments hidden wickedness; he hath more evil in him than he knowsPlangen­dae tenebrae Aug. of: There are those Meanders in his heart which he can­not trace; a terra incognita, an unknown world of sin, Psalm 19. 12. Who can understand his errors?

2. A godly man weeps for the adherency of Corruption; if he could get rid of sin, there were some comfort, but he cannot shake off thisFomes iste & stirps [...]ec­cati, etiam in renato­rum [...] medullis tenacissimè i [...]h [...]ret. Viper. Sin cleaves to him as the Leprosie to the wall, Lev. 14. 39. Though a Childe of God forsakes his sin, yet sin will not forsake him, Dan. 7. 12. Concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their Dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a sea­son. So though the Dominion of sin is ta­ken away, yet the life of it is prolonged for a season; and while sin lives it molests: The Persians were daily Enemies to the R [...]mans, [Page 72] and would be invading upon their frontiers▪ So sin wars against the Soul, 1 Pet. 2. 11. And no cessation of arms till death; will not this cause tears?

3. A Childe of God weeps that he is sometimes overcome by the prevalency of Corruption, Rom. 7. 19. The evil I would not, that do I. Paul was like a man carried down the stream: How oft is a Saint over­powred with pride and passion! When Da­vid had sinned, he steeped his Soul in the brinish tears of Repentance: It cannot but grieve a regenerate person to think he should be so foolish, as after he hath felt the smart of sin, yet to put this fire in his bosom again.

4. A godly heart grieves that he can be no more holy; it troubles him that he shoots so short of the Rule and Standard which God hath set: I should, faith he, love the Lord with all my heart: But how defective is my love? how far short do I come of what I should be, nay, of what I might have been: What can I see in my life, but either blanks or blots?

5. A godly man weeps sometimes, out of the sense of Gods love: Gold is the finest and most solid of all the metals, yet is soon­est melted with the fire: Gracious hearts, which are golden hearts, are the soonest melt­ed [Page 73] into tears by the fire of Gods love. I once knew an holy man, who walking in his gar­den, and shedding plenty of tears, a friend coming to him accidentally, asked him, why he wept? He brake forth into this patheti­cal expression, O the love of Christ, the love of Christ, Thus have we seen the Cloud melted into water by the Sun-beams.

6. A godly person weeps, because the sins he commits are in some sense worse than the sins of other men; the sin of a justified per­son is very odious.

1. Because he acts contrary to his own principles; he doth not only sin against the Rule, but against his Principles, against his knowledge, vows, prayers, hopes, experien­ces: He knows how dear sin will cost him, yet he adventures upon the forbidden fruit.

2. The sin of a Justified person is odious, because it is a sin of unkindness, 2 King. 11. 9. Peters denying of Christ was a sin against love; Christ had enrolled him among the Apostles, he had taken him up into the Mount of Transfiguration, and showed him the glory of Heaven in a Vision; yet after all this signal Mercy, that he should deny Christ, it was high ingratitude. This made him go out and weep bitterly, Mat. 26. 75. He baptized himself, as it were, in his [Page 74] own [...]. Chrysost. de poen, tears: The sins of the godly go neer­est to Gods Heart: Others sins anger God, these grieve him: The sins of the wicked pierce Christ sides, the sins of the godly wound his heart; the unkindness of a Spouse goes neerest the heart of her Husband.

3. The sin of a Justified person is odious, because it reflects more dishonor upon God, 2 Sam. 12. 14. By this deed, thou hast given oc­casion to the Enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. The sins of Gods people put black spots in the face of Religion. Thus we see what cause there is, why a Childe of God should weep even after Conversion. ‘—Quis talia fando, temperet à lachrymis?’

Now this sorrow of a godly man for sin, is not a despairing sorrow; he doth not mourn without hope. Psal. 65. 3. Iniquities prevail against me: There is the Holy Soul weep­ing; as for our transgressions thou shalt purge them away: There is Faith triumphing.

Divine sorrow is excellent: There is as much difference between the sorrow of a godly man and a wicked, as between the water of a Spring which is clear and sweet, and the water of the Sea which is salt and brackish. A godly mans sorrow hath these three qualifications,

[Page 75] 1. It is internal; it is a sorrow of Soul; hypocrites disfigure their faces, Mat. 6. 16. godly sorrow goes deep, it is a pricking at the heart, Acts 2. 37. True sorrow is a spiritual Martyrdome therefore called Soul-affliction, Lev. 23. 29.

2. Godly sorrow is ingenuous; it is more for the evil that is in sin, than the evil which follows after; it is more for the spot than the sting: Hypocrites weep for sin only as it brings affliction. I have read of a Fountain that never sends out streams, but the Even­ing before a Famine: Hypocrites never send forth the streams of their tears, but when Gods Judgements are approaching.

3. Godly sorrow is influential; it makes the heart better, Eccles. 7. 3. By the sadness of the countenance, the heart is made better. Di­vine tears do not only wet, but wash, they purge out the love of sin.

Use 1.Use 1. How far are they from being god­ly; who scarce ever shed a tear for sin: If they lose a neer Relation, they weep, but though they are in danger of losing God and their Souls, they weep not. How few know what it is to be in an Agony for sin, or what a broken heart means; their eyes are not like the Fish-pools of Heshbon, full of water, Cant. 7. 4. but rather like the Mountains of [Page 76] Gilboa, which had no dew upon them, 2 Sam. 1. 21. It was a greater plague for Pharaoh to have his heart turned into stone, than to have his Rivers turned into bloud.

Others, if they do sometimes shed a tear, yet they are never the better, they go on in wickedness, and do not drown their sins in their tears.

Use 2.Use 2. Let us labour for this Divine Cha­racter, be weepers. This is a repentance not to be repented of, 2 Cor. 7. 10. 'Tis reported of Mr. Bradford Martyr, that he was of a melting spirit, he seldome sate down to his meat, but some tears trickled down his cheeks. There are two Lavors to wash away sin, Bloud and [...]. Just. in Collat. cum Triph. Tears: The Bloud of Christ washeth away the guilt of sin, tears wash a­way the filth; repenting tears are precious, God puts them in his bottle, Psal. 56. 8. They are beautifying; a tear in the eye doth more adorn, than a Ring on the finger: Oyl makes the face shine, Psal. 104. 15. Tears make the heart shine; tears are comforting; a sinners mirth turns to melancholy, a Saints mourn­ing turns to musick: Repentance may be compared to Myrrhe, which though it be bit­ter to the taste, it is comforting to the spirits: Repentance may be bitter to the fleshy part, but it is most refreshing to the spiritual. Wax [Page 77] that melts is fit for the Seal; a melting Soul is fit to take the stamp of all heavenly bles­sings: Let us give Christ the water of our tears, and he will give us the Wine of his Bloud.

SECT. IX.

9. A godly man is a lover of the Word,9 Cha­racter. Psal. 119. 97. O how love I thy Law.

1. A godly man loves the Word written. Chrysostom compares the Scripture to a gar­den set with knots and [...]. Chrys. Psa. 48. flowers: A godly man delights to walk in this garden, and sweetly solace himself; he loves every branch and parcel of the Word.

1. He loves the counselling part of the Word, as it is a Directory and Rule of life: The Word is the Mercurial Statue which points us to our duty; it contains in it creden­dae and fac [...]enda, things to be believed and pra­ctised: A godly man loves the Aphorismes of the Word.

2. A godly man loves the Minatory part of the Word: The Scripture, like the Garden of Eden, as it hath a Tree of Life in it, so it hath a Flaming Sword at the Gates of it; this is the threatning of the Word; it flash­eth fire in the face of every person that goes [Page 78] on obstinately in wickedness, Psal. 68. 21. God shall wound the hairy scalp of such an one, as goes on still in his trespasses. The Word gives no indulgence to evil; it will not let a man halt between God and Sin: The true Mother would not let the Childe be divi­ded, and God will not have the heart divi­ded: The Word thunders out threatnings against the very appearance of evil; it is like that flying Roll full of curses, Zac. 5. 1.

A godly man loves the menaces of the Word, he knows there is love in every threatning: God would not have us perish, therefore doth mercifully threaten us, that he may scare us from sin: Gods threatnings are as the Sea-mark, which shows the Rocks in the Sea, and threatneth death to such as come neer; the threatning is a curbing bit to check us, that we may not run in a full careir to hell; there is mercy in every threatning.

3. A godly man loves the consolatory part of the [...]. Chry­ [...]ost. Word, the Promises; he goes feeding upon these, as Sampson went on his way eating the honey-comb, Iudg. 14. 8. The Promises; are [...], all marrow and sweetness; they are our Bezar-stone when we are fainting; they are the conduits of the Water of Life, Psal. 94. 19. In the mul­titude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts [Page 79] delight my Soul. The Promises were Davids Harp to drive away sad thoughts; they were the breast which milked out Divine Conso­lation to him.

A godly man shows his love to the Word written:

1. By diligent reading of it: The Noble Bereans did search the Scriptures daily, Act. 17. 11. Apollos was mighty in the Scrip­tures, Act. 18. 24. The Word is our Mag­na Charta for heaven, we should be daily reading over this Charter: The Word is in­dex sui & obliqui, it shows what is truth; and what is error; it is the field where the Pearl of Price is hid: How should we dig for this Pearl! A godly mans heart is the Library to hold the Word of God, it dwells richly in him, Col. 3. 16. It is reported of Me­lancthon, that when he was young, he carried the Bible always about him, and did greedily read inBiblia e­tiam ado­lescens semper se­cum cir­cumtu [...]it, avide (que) le­git in tem­plo & ali­bi. Melch. Adam in vit. Me­lancth. it. The Word hath a double work, to teach us, and to judge us: They that will not be taught by the Word, shall be judged by the Word: Oh let us make the Scripture familiar to us! What if it should be as in the [...]imes of Dioclesian, who commanded by Pro­clamation the Bible to beEuseb. lib. 8. c. 3. burned; or as in Queen Maries daies, wherein it was death to have a Bible in English; by diligent conver­sing [Page 80] with Scripture, we may carry a Bible in our head.

2. A godly man shows his love to the Word, by frequent meditating in it, Psalm 119. 97. It is my meditation all the day. A pious Soul meditates of the Verity and San­ctity of the Word; he hath not only a few transient thoughts, but lays his mind a steep­ing in the Scripture; by meditation he suck [...] from this sweet flower, and concocts holy truths in his mind.

3. He shows his love to the Word by delight­ing in it, it is his recreation, Ier. 15. 16. Thy word [...] were found, and I did eat them, and thy Word wa [...] unto me the Ioy and rejoycing of my heart. Ne­ver did a man take such delight in a dish that he loved, as the Prophet did in the Word: And indeed, how can a Saint chuse but take great complacency in the Word, because all that ever he hopes to be worth is contained in it: Doth not a son take pleasure in reading over his Fathers Will and Testament, where he makes a conveyance of his Estate to him?

4. He shows his love to the Word, by hiding it, Psal. 119. 11. Thy Word have I hid in my heart: As one hides a treasure that it should not be stoln away: The Word is the Jewel, the heart is the Cabinet where it must be locked up: Many hide the Word in their [Page 81] memory, but not in their heart. And why would David inclose the Word in his heart? That I might be kept from sinning against thee. As one would carry an Antidote about him, when he comes neer an infected place; so a godly man carries the Word in his heart as a spiritual antidote to preserve him from the infection ofVerbum Dei alexi­pharma­cum. sin: Why have so many been poysoned with error, others with moral vice, but because they have not hid the Word as an holy antidote in their heart.

5. He shows his love to the Word by de­sending it: A wise man will not let his Land be taken from him, but will defend his Ti­tle. David looked upon the Word as his Land of Inheritance, Psal. 119. 111. Thy Te­stimonies have I taken as an Heritage for ever. And do you think he would let his Inheri­tance be wrested out of hisPotius ruat cae­lum quam pereat una mica veri­tatis. Lu­ther. hands? A god­ly man will not only dispute for the Word, but die for it, Rev. 6. 9. I saw under the Altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God.

6. He shows his love to the Word by pre­ferring it above things most precious. 1. A­bove food, Iob 23. 12. I have [...]esteemed the words of his mouth, above my necessary food. [...] Above riches, Psal. 119. 72. The Law of thy mouth is better unto me, then thousands of [Page 82] gold and [...] vocat. Zenoph.silver. 3. Above worldly honor. Memorable is the story of King Edward the Sixth, who upon the day of his Coronati­on, when they presented before him three Swords, signifying to him that he was Mo­narch of three Kingdomes, the King said, there is yet one Sword wanting; being ask­ed, what that was? he answered, the Holy Bible, which is the sword of the Spirit, and is to be preferred before these Ensigns ofWolfius lect memo­rabil. Cen­tur. 16. Royalty.

7. He shows his love to the Word by talking of it, Psal. 119. 172. My tongue shall speak of thy Word. As a covetous man is talking of his rich purchase, so a godly man is speaking of the Word: what a treasure it is, how full of beauty and suavity; they whose mouths the Devil hath gagg'd, who never speak of Gods Word, it is a sign they ne­ver reaped any good by it.

8. He shows his love to the Word by con­forming to it; the Word is his Sun-Dial, by which he sets his life, the balance in which he weighs his actions; he copies out the Word in his daily walk, 2 Tim. 4. 7. I have kept the Faith. St. Paul kept the Doctrine of Faith, and lived the life of Faith.

Quest, Why is a godly man a lover of the Word?

[Page 83] Answ. 1. Because of the excellency of the Word.

1. The word written is our pillar of fire to guide [...]. Clem. A [...] ­lexandrin. us: It shows us what Rocks we are to avoid; it is the card by which we sail to the new Hierusalem.

2. The word is a Spiritual Optick Glass, through which we may see our own hearts: The Glass of Nature which the Heathen had, discovered spots in their Conversation, but this Glass discovers spots in the Imagina­tion; that Glass discovered the spots of their unrighteousness, this discovers the spots of our righteousness, Rom. 7. 9. When the Com­mandment came, sin revived, and I died: when the word came as a Glass, all my opinion of self-righteousness died.

3. The word of God is a Soveraign com­fort in distress; while we follow this Cloud, the Rock follows us, Psal. 119. 50. This is my comfort in my affliction, for thy word hath quick­ned me. Christ is the Fountain of Living water, the word is the Golden Pipe through which it runs: what can revive at the hour of death, but the Word of Phil. 2. 16. Life.

2. A godly man loves the word, because of the efficacy it hath had upon him, this day-star hath risen in his [...]. Chry­sost. heart, and usher'd [...]n the Sun of Righteousness.

[Page 84] 2. A godly man loves the Word Preached; which is a Commentary upon the word writ­ten: The Scriptures are the Soveraign oyls and balsoms, the preaching of the word is the powring of them out: The Scriptures are the precious spices, the preaching of the word is the beating of these spices, which causeth a wonderful fragrancy and delight. The word preached is the Rod of Gods strength, Psal. 110. 2. and the breath of his lips, Isa. 11. 4. What was once said of the City Thebes, that it was built by the sound of Amphius his Harp, is much more true of Soul-Conversion, it is built by the sound of the Gospel Harp; therefore the preaching of the Word is called, the power of God to Salvation, 1 Cor. 1. 24. By this, Christ is said, (now) to speak to us from Heaven, Heb. 12. 5. This Ministery of the word is to be preferred before the Ministry of Angels.

A godly man loves the word preached, partly from the good he hath found by it; he hath felt the dew fall with this Manna; and partly because of Gods Institution, the Lord hath appointed this Ordinance to save him; the Kings Image makes the Coyn go currant; the stamp of Divine Authority up­on the word preached, makes it an Engine conducible to mens Salvation.

Use. Vse. Let us try by this Character, whe­ther we are godly: Are we lovers of the word?

1. Do we love the word written? What sums of money did the Martyrs give for a few leaves of the Bible? Do we make the word our familiar? As Moses had often the Rod of God in his hand, so should we have the Book of God in our hand: when we want direction, do we consult with this sacred Ora­cle? when we find corruptions strong, do we make use of this Sword of the Spirit to hew them down? when we are disconsolate, do we go to this Aqua vitae bottle for comfort? then we are lovers of the word! But alas, how can they say they love the Scriptures, who are seldome conversant in them? their eyes begin to be sore when they look upon a Bible: The two Testaments are hung by, like rusty Armour, which is seldome or ne­ver made use of: The Lord wrote the Law with his own finger, but though God took pains to write, men will not take pains to read; they had rather look upon a pair of Cards, then upon a Bible.

2. Do we love the word preached? Do we prize it in our judgements? Do we re­ceive it into our hearts? Do we fear the loss of the word preached, more than the loss of [Page 86] peace and trading? Is it the removal of the Ark that troubles us?

Again, do we attend the Word with Re­verential Devotion? when the Judge is gi­ving his Charge upon the Bench all attend, when the word is preached, the great God is giving us his Charge, do we listen to it as to a matter of life and death? this is a good sign we love the word.

Again, do we love the Sanctity of the word? Psal. 119. 140. The word preached is to beat down sin, and advance holiness: Do we love it for its spirituality and purity? Many love the word preached only for its eloquence and notion; they come to a Ser­mon as to a Musick-lecture, Ezek. 33. 31. or as to a garden to pick flowers, but not to have their lusts subdued, or their hearts bet­tered: These are like a foolish woman which paints her face▪ but neglects her health.

Again, do we love the convictions of the word? Do we love the word when it comes home to our Conscience, and shoots its ar­rows of reproof at our sins? 'Tis the Mini­sters duty sometimes to reprove: He that can give smooth words in the Pulpit, but knows not how to reprove, is like a sword with a fine hilt, without an edge, Titus 2. 15. Rebuke them sharply: Dip the nail in oyl, re­prove [Page 87] in love, but strike the nail home. Now Christian, when the word toucheth upon thy sin, and saith, Thou art the man, dost thou love the reproof? Canst thou bless God that the sword of the Spirit hath divided between thee and thy lusts? This is indeed a sign of grace, and shows thou art a lover of the word.

A corrupt heart loves the comforts of the word, but not the reproofs, Amos 5. 10. They hate him that rebuketh in the gate. ‘—Igne micant oculi—’ Like venomous creatures, that upon the least touch spit poyson, Act. 7. 54. When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and gnashed upon him with their teeth. When Stephen touched them to the quick, they were mad, and could not endureQuales quaeso illi sunt, qui verbi redargutiones accipere nolunt, sed contra, obstinati murmurant, & Ministros verbi Caelestis ob id odio prosequuntur? Nimirum non sunt vasa contrita, sed serrea ac lapidea; & ô utinam malleo legis, hae petrae se con­cuti Paterentur, sed quia quotidie in duricie sua pergunt, & diabo [...]o se re­gendos in solidum tradunt, idem Dei malleus tandem in inferni barathru [...] eos percussione horrenda deturbabit. Glassii ex eg. p. 4. in Johan. it.

Quest. How shall we know that we love the reproofs of the word?

Ans. 1. When we desire to sit under an [Page 88] heart-searching Ministry; who cares for Physick that will not work? A godly man chuseth not to sit under such a Ministry as will not work upon his Conscience.

2. When we pray that the word may meet with our sins; if there be any traiter­ous lust got into our heart, we would have it found out, and Execution done upon it; we would not have sin covered, but cured: we can open our breast to the bullet of the word, and say, Lord smite this sin.

3. When we are thankful for a reproof, Psa. 141. 5. Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness, and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oyl which shall not break mySermo vulnerans dolorem affert sed salutarem. Molleru [...]. head.

David was glad of a reproof. Suppose a man were in the mouth of a Lyon, and ano­ther should shoot the Lyon and save the man, would not he be thankful? So, when we are in the mouth of sin, as of a Lyon, and the Minister by a reproof shoots this sin to death, shall not we be thankful? A gracious soul re­joyceth when the sharp Lance of the word hath let out his Imposthume; he wears a re­proof as a Jewel on his ear, Pro. 30. 12. As an ear-ring of gold, so is a reprover on an obe­dient ear. To conclude, 'tis convincing [...]reach [...]ng must do the soul good; a nipping reproof prepares for comfort, as a nipping [Page 89] frost prepares for the sweet flowers of spring.

SECT. X.

10. A godly man hath the Spirit of God residing in him,10 Cha­racter. 2 Tim. 1. 14. The Holy Ghost which dwelleth in Gal. 4. 6. us. The Schoolmen move the question, whether a man receive the Ho­ly Ghost himself or no? Montanus held that the godly have so Gods Spirit in them, that they partake of his Essence, and are become one person with himself; but this amounts to no less than blasphemy; then it would follow, that every Saint were to be worship­ped.

I conceive the spirit is in the godly per mo­dum influxus, they have the presence, and re­ceive the sacred influences of it: When the Sun comes into a room, not the body of the Sun is there, but the beams that sparkle from it: Indeed, some Divines have thought, that the godly have more than the influx of the spirit, though to say how it is more, is ineffable, and is fitter for some Seraphique Pen to describe than mine. The Spirit of God discovers its self in a gracious soul two wayes.

1. By its motions: These are some of that sweet perfume the spirit breaths upon the [Page 90] heart, whereby it is raised into a kind of An­gelical frame.

Quest. 1. But how may we know the motions of the Spirit from a delusion?

Answ. The motions of the Spirit are al­ways consonant to the word; the word is the Chariot wherein the Spirit of GodVerbum est vehicu­lum spiri­tus. rides; which way the tyde of the word runs, that way the wind of the spirit blows.

Quest. 2. How may the motions of the Spi­rit in the godly, be distinguished from the im­pulses of a Natural Conscience?

Answ. 1. A Natural Conscience may pro­voke sometimes to the same thing that the spirit doth, but not from the same principle. Natural Conscience is a spu [...] to duty, but it puts a man upon doing duties for fear of hell; as the Gally tugs at the Oar for fear of being beaten: whereas the spirit moves a Childe of God from a more Noble Principle; it makes him serve God out of choice, and esteem duty his priviledge.

2. The impulses of a Natural Conscience, put men only upon more facil duties of Re­ligion, wherein the heart is less exercised; as perfunctory reading, or praying; but the motions of the spirit in the godly go fur­ther, causing them to set upon the most irksome duties, as self-reflection, self-hum­bling; [Page 91] yea perillous duties, as confessing Christs Name in times of danger: Divine motions are in the heart like new wine which will have vent: When Gods Spirit posses­seth a man, it carries him full-sail through all difficulties.

2. The Spirit discovers it self in the god­ly by itsSpiritus Dei opu­lens virtu­tibus su­am (que) [...] impertiens Ambros. de Spir. virtues. These are various.

1. Gods Spirit hath a teaching virtue, the spirit teacheth convincingly▪ [...]. Ioh. 16. 8. It doth so teach, as it doth perswade.

2. Gods Spirit hath a sanctifyingOmne a­gens pro­ducit sibi simile. virtue, the heart naturally is polluted, but when the spirit comes into it, it works sin out, and grace in: The Spirit of God was represent­ed by the Dove▪ Embleme of Purity; the spirit makes the heart a Temple for pureness, and a Paradise for pleasantness: The holy Oyl of Exod. 30. [...]5. Consecration, was nothing else but a prefiguring of the [...] ▪ Chry. spirit: The spirit san­ctifies a mans fancy, causing it to mint holy meditations; it sanctifies his will, byassing it to good: so that now it shall be as delightful to serve God, as before it was to sin a­gainst him: sweet powders perfume lin­nen; so Gods Spirit in a man, perfumes him with holiness, and makes his heart a Map of Heaven.

3. Gods Spirit hath a vivifying virtue [Page 92] 2 Cor. 3. 6. The Spirit giveth [...]. life: As th [...] blowing in an Organ makes it sound, so th [...] breathing of the spirit causeth life and mo [...] ­on: When the Prophet Elijah stretche [...] himself upon the dead Childe it revived 1 Kin. 17. 22. so Gods Spirit stretching self upon the soul infuseth life into it.

As our life, so our liveliness is from th [...] spirits operation, Ezek. 3. 14. The Spirit lift­ed me up. When the heart is bowed dow [...] and is listless to duty, the Spirit of God lift it up, it puts a sharp edge upon the affection [...] it makes love ardent, hope lively; the spir [...] takes off the weights of the soul, and gives wings, Cant. 6. 12. Or ever I was aware, [...] Soul made me like the Chariots of Ammin [...]i▪ The wheels of the soul were before pulle [...] off, and it did drive on heavily, but whe [...] the spirit of the Almighty possesseth a ma [...] now he runs swiftly in the ways of God, an [...] his soul is as the Chariots of Amminadib.

4. Gods Spirit hath a Jurisdictive virtue it rules and governs; Gods Spirit sits paramount in theSpiritus Dei habi­tat in no­bis quia regit, & gubernat. Paraeus. soul, it gives check to th [...] violence of corruption, it will not suffer man to be vain and loose as others: The Sp [...] ­rit of God will not be put out of office, exerciseth its authority over the heart, bringing every thought to the obedience of Chri [...] 2 Cor. 10. 5.

[Page 93] 5. The spirit hath a mollifying virtue; therefore it is compared toAct. 2. 3. fire, which sof­tens the wax: The spirit turns flint into flesh, Ezek. 36. 26. I will give you an heart of flesh. How shall this be effected? Ver. 27. I will put my spirit within you. While the heart is hard, it lies like a log, and is not wrought upon either with judgements or mercies, but when Gods Spirit comes in, it makes a mans heart as tender as his eye, and now it is made yielding to Divine Impressions.

6. The spirit of God hath a corrobora­ting Spirit [...] praeeunte nullus fit obex.virtue, it infuseth strength and assi­stance for work, it is [...], a spi­rit of Power, 2 Tim. 1. 7. Gods spirit carries a man above himself, Eph. 3. 16. Strengthen­ed with might by his spirit in the inner man: The spirit confirms faith, animates courage, it lifts at one end of the Cross, and makes it lighter to be [...] born: The spirit gives not only a sufficiency of strength, but a redun­dancy.

Quest. How shall we know whether we act in the strength of Gods Spirit, or in the strength of our own abilities?

Answ. 1. When we do humbly cast our selves upon God for assistance; as David go­ing out against Goliah, did cast himself upon God for help, 1 Sam. 17. 45. I come to thee [Page 94] in the Name of the Lord. 2. When our du­ties are divinely qualified, we do them with pure aims. 3. When we have found God going along with us, we give him the glory of all, 1 Cor. 15. 10. This doth clearly e­vince, that the duty was carried on by the strength of Gods Spirit, more than by any innate abilities of our own.

7. Gods Spirit hath a comfortingSpiritus super mel dulcis, qui vel ipsam mortem suavem reddit. Bern. virtue; disconsolacy may arise in a graciousPsa. 43. heart; as the Heaven, though it be a bright lucid bo­dy, yet hath interposition of Clouds; this sadness is caused usually through the malice of Satan, who if he cannot destroy us, he will disturb us, but Gods Spirit within us doth sweetly chear and revive; he is called [...], the Comforter, Ioh. 14. 16. These comforts are real and infallible: Hence it is called the Seal of the Spirit, Eph. 1. 13. When a Deed is sealed, it is firm and unquestiona­ble: so when a Christian hath the seal of the spirit, his comforts are confirmed; every godly man hath these revivings of the spirit in some degree, he hath the seminals and ini­tials of joy, though the flower be not fully ripe and blown.

Quest. How doth the Spirit give comfort?

Answ. 1. By showing us that we are in a state of Grace: A Christian cannot always [Page 95] see his riches; the work of Grace may be written in the heart like short-hand, which a Christian cannot read; the spirit gives him a Key to open these dark Characters, and spell out his Adoption, whereupon he hath joy and peace, 1 Cor. 2. 12. We have received the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God.

2. The spirit comforts, by giving us some ravishing apprehensions of Gods love, Rom. 5. 5. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Gods love is a box of precious oyntment, and it is only the spi­rit can break open this box, and fill us with the sweet perfume of it.

3. The spirit comforts, by carrying us to the Bloud of Christ; as when a man is wea­ry and ready to faint, carry him to the water, and he is refreshed: so when we are fainting under the burden of sin, the spirit carries us to the Fountain of Christs Bloud, Zac. 12. 1. In that day there shall be a Fountain opened, &c. The spirit inables us to drink the waters of Justification which run out of Christs sides: The spirit applyes whatever Christ hath purchased, it shows us that our sins are done away in Christ, and though we are spotted in our selves, we are undefiled in our head.

4. The spirit comforts, by inabling Con­science [Page 96] to comfort; the Childe must be taught before it can speak: The spirit opens the mouth of Conscience, and helps it to speak, and witness to a man that his estate is good, whereupon he begins to receive com­fort, Rom. 9. 2. My Conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost. Conscience draws up a Certificate for a man, then the Holy Ghost comes and sets his hand to the Certi­ficate.

5. The spirit conveys the Oyl of Joy through two Golden Pipes.

1. The Ordinances.

2. The Promises.

1. The Ordinances: As Christ in prayer had his countenance changed, Luk 9. 29. There was a glorious lustre upon his face; so often in the use of Holy Ordinances, the godly have such raptures of joy, and soul-transfi­gurations, that they have been carried above the world, and despised all things below.

2. The Promises: The Promises are com­fortable: 1. For their sureness, Rom. 4. 16. God in the Promises hath laid his truth to [...]. Chrysost. pawn. 2. For their suitableness, being calcu­lated for every Christians condition. The Promises are like a Physick-garden, there is no disease but some herb may be found there to cure it; but the Promises of themselves [Page 97] cannot comfort, only the spirit inables us to suck these Honey-combs: The Promises are like a Limbeck full of herbs, but this Lim­beck will not drop, unless the fire be put un­der: So when the spirit of God (which is compared to fire) is put to the Limbeck of the Promises, then they distil Consolation into the soul. Thus we see how the spirit is in the godly by its virtues.

Object. But is this the sign of a godly man to be filled with the Spirit? Are not the wicked said to partake of the Holy Ghost? Heb. 6. 4.

Answ. Wicked men may partake of the spirits working, but not of its in-dwelling; they may have Gods spirit move upon them, the godly have it enter into them, Ezek. 3. 24.

Object. But the unregenerate taste of the Heavenly Gift? Heb. 6.

Answ. It is with them as Cooks, who may have a smack and taste of the meat they Mr. Per­kins.dress, but they are not nourished by it: Tasting there, is opposed to eating: The god­ly have not only a drop or taste of the spi­rit, but it is in them as river of living water, Iohn 7. 38.

Use 1.Vse 1. It brands them for ungodly, who have none of Gods spirit,1 Bran. Rom. 8. 9. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of [Page 98] his: And if he be none of Christs, then whose is he? to what Regiment doth he be­long? 'Tis the misery of a sinner he hath none of Gods spirit: Me thinks 'tis very of­fensive to hear men say, Take not thy holy spi­rit from us, who never had Gods spirit: will they say they have Gods spirit in them, who are drunkards and swearers? Have they Gods spirit who are malicious and unclean? It were blasphemy to say these have the spirit: Will the blessed spirit leave his Caelestial Pa­lace, to come and live in a prison? A sinners heart is a Gaol, both for darkness and noy­somness, and will Gods free spirit Psal. 51. 52. be con­fined to a prison? A sinners heart is the Em­bleme of Hell, what should Gods spirit do there? Wicked hearts are not a Temple, but an Hog [...]sty, where the unclean spirit makes his abode, Ephes. 2. 2. The Prince of the power of the Ayr, the spirit that now worketh in the children of [...] Th [...]ophi­lact. disobedience. We would be loath to live in an house haunted with evi [...] spirits; a sinners heart is haunted, Ioh. 13▪ 27. After the sop Satan entred. Satan venter upon the godly, but enters into the wicked when the Devils went into the herd of swine they ran violently down a steep place into th [...] Sea, Mat. 8. 32. Whence is it men run so greedily to the Commission of sin, but be­cause [Page 99] the Devil hath entred into theseDiabolus ab [...] impios propellit, donec in ae­ternum ig­nem ruant Praecipites. Glassius. Swine.

2. This cuts them off from being godly, who not only want the spirit, but deride it: Like those Iews, Acts 2. 13. These men are full of new wine: And indeed so the Apostles were, they were full of the wine of the spi­rit: How is Gods spirit scoffed at by the sons of Belial? These (say they) are men of the Spirit. O wretches, to make those tongues which should be Organs of Gods praise, in­struments to blaspheme: Have you none to throw your squibs at but the spirit? Deri­ding of the spirit comes very neer to the de­spighting of it: How can men be sanctified but by the spirit? therefore to reproach that, is to make merry with their own dam­nation.

Use 2.Use 3. Exhort. As you would be listed in the num­ber of the godly, labour for the blessed in­dwelling of the spirit; pray with Melan­cthon, Lord inflame my soul with thy holy Domine accende a­nimam meam spi­ritu tu [...] [...]. spi­rit; and with the Spouse, Awake O North­wind, aad come thou South, blow upon my garden, Cant. 4. 16. As a Mariner would desire a wind to carry him to Sea, so beg the pro­sperous gales of the spirit; and the Promise may add wings to prayer, Luke 11. 13. If ye being evil know how to give good gifts unto your [Page 100] children, how much more shall your heavenly Fa­ther give the Spirit to them that ask him? Gods spirit is a rich Jewel, go to him for it, Lord give me thy spirit, where is the Jewel thou didst promise me? When shall my soul be as Gideons Fleece, wet with the dew of hea­ven?

Consider how needful the spirit is, Motive without it we can do nothing acceptably to God.

1 VVe cannot pray without it; 'tis a spi­rit of Supplication, Zac. 12. 10. It both helps the invention, and the affection, Rom. 8. 26. The spirit helps us with sighs and Suspiria haec & ge­mitus, à caelesti co­lumba di­dicerunt sancti. Aug. groans.

2. We cannot resist temptation without it, Act. 1. 8. Ye shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: He who hath the tyde of corrupt nature, and the wind of temp­tation, must needs be carried down the stream of sin, if the contrary wind of the spirit doth not blow.

3. VVe cannot be fruitful without the spirit. ‘—Aureus imber sitientia caelo [...]orda rigans.—’

VVhy is the spirit compared to dew and Si fluvi­us riparum editis su­perfusus exu [...]dat, quanto magis spi­ritus su­perveniens animam, [...]ffusiore quadam [...] ubertate laetificat. Ambr. de Spir.rain, but to show us how unable we are to bring forth a Crop of Grace, unless the dew of God fall upon us?

[Page 101] 4. VVithout the spirit no Ordinance is ef­fectual to us; Ordinances are the Conduit-Pipes of Grace, but the spirit is the Spring: Some content themselves that they have a Levite to their Priest, but never look any further; as if a Merchant should content himself that his ship hath good tackling, and is well manned, though it never have a gale of wind: The Ship of Ordinances will not car­ry us to heaven, though an Angel were the Pylot, unless the wind of Gods Spirit blow: The Spirit is the Soul of the Word, without which it is but a dead letter: Ministers may prescribe Physick, but it is Gods spirit must make it work: Our hearts are like Davids body, when it grew old, they covered him with cloathes, but he gat no heat, 1 King. 1. 1. So though the Minister of God ply us with prayers and counsels as with hot cloathes, yet we are cold and chill till Gods spirit comes, and then we say as the Disciples, Luke 24. 32. Did not our hearts burn within us? Oh there­fore, what need have we of the spirit?

3. You who have the blessed spirit ma­nifested by its energy and vital operations:Vse 3. 1. Acknowledge Gods distinguishing love; the spirit is an ear-mark of Election, 1 Iohn 3. 4. Christ gave the bag to Iudas, but not his spirit: The spirit is a Love-token; [Page 102] where God gives his spirit for a pawn, he gives himself for a portion: The spirit is an Epitomizing blessing, it is put for all good things, Mat. 7. 11. What were you with­out the spirit, but as so many carkasses? Without this Christ would not profit you; the Bloud of God is not enough without the Breath of God: Oh then, be thankful for the spirit; this Loadstone will never leave draw­ing you, till it hath drawn you up to heaven.

2. If you have this spirit do not grieve it, Eph. 4. 30. Shall we grieve our Comforter?

Quest. How do we grieve the Spirit?

Answ. 1. When we unkindly repel the motions of it: The spirit sometimes whis­pers in our ears, and calls to us as God did to Iacob, Gen. 35. 1. Arise, go to Bethel. So saith the spirit, Arise, go to prayer, retire thy self to meet thy God: Now when we stifle these motions, and entertain temptati­ons to vanity, this is a grieving of the spirit; if we check the motions of the spirit, we shall lose the comforts of the spirit.

2. We grieve the spirit, when we deny the work of the spirit in our hearts; if one gives another a token, and he should deny it, and say he never received it, this were to a­buse the love of his friend: So Christian, when God hath given thee his spirit, witnes­sed [Page 103] by those meltings of heart, and passionate breathings after heaven, yet thou deniest that thou ever hadst any renewing work of the spirit in thee; this is high ingratitude, and is a grieving the good spirit; renounce the sinful works of the flesh, but do not deny the gracious work of the spirit.

SECT. XI.

11. The godly man is an humble man;11 Cha­racter. he is like the Sun in the Zenith, which when it is at the highest shows lowest:1 Di­stinction. St. Austin calls Humility the Mother of the Graces; but ere I show you who is the humble man, I shall lay down three distinctions.

1. I distinguish between being humbled and humble; a man may be humbled, and notQuanti humilian­tur & hu­miles non sunt. Bern. humble;2 Di­stinction. a sinner may be humbled by affli­ction, his condition is low, but not his dis­position; a godly man is not only humbled, but humble, his heart is as low as his condi­tion.

2. I distinguish between outward humility and inward; there's a great deal of difference between an humble carriage, and an humble Plurimi humilita­tem vultu menti entes superbia autem in­tus adeò tument, ut nulla vesi­ca adeò sic inflata ventoquam cor eorum fastu.spirit; a person may carry it humbly:

1. Towards others, yet be proud; who more humble than Absalom in his outward [Page 104] behaviour? 2 Sam. 15. 5. When any man came neer to do him obeysance, Absalom took him by the hand and kissed him. But though he had an humble carriage, he aspired after the Crown, ver. 10. As soon as ye hear the sound of the Trumpet, ye shall say Absalom reigneth in Hebron. Here was Pride dressed in Humilities Mantle.

2. A person may behave himself humbly towards God, yet be proud, 1 King. 21. 27. Ahab put on sackcloth, and fasted, and went softly, but his heart was notNobilior humilita­tis pars, animo in­clusa la­tet, at (que) o­culorum aciem ef­fugit. 3 Di­stinction. humble: A man may bow his head like a bull-rush, yet lift up the Ensigns of Pride in his heart.

3. I distinguish between Humility and Po­licy; many make a shew of Humility to work their ownPlurimi humilitatis umbram sectantur. Hierom. ends: The Papists seem to be the most humble mortified Saints, but it is ra­ther subtilty than humility; for by this means they get the Revenues of the earth into their possession; all this may be, and yet no godliness.

Quest. How may a Christian know that he is humble, and consequently godly?

Answ. 1. An humble soul is emptied of all swelling thoughts of himself: Bernard calls Humility a Self-annihilation, Iob 22. 29. Thou wilt save the humble. In the Hebrew it is, Him that is of low [...] eyes. An humble man [Page 105] hath lower thoughts of himself than others can have ofHumili­tas est [...] suae agni­tio. him: David, though a King, yet looked upon himself as a worm, Psal. 22. 6. I am a worm, and no man. Bradford a Mar­tyr, yet subscribes himself a sinner, Iob 10. 15. If I am righteous, I will not lift up my head: Like the Violet, a sweet flower, but hangs down the head.

2. An humble soul thinks better of others than of himself, Phil. 2. 3. Let each esteem o­thers better than Humili­tas est con­temptus propriae excellen­tiae. Bern. de gard. humil. themselves. An humble man values others at an higher rate than himself; and the reason is, because he can better see his own heart than he can anothers; he sees his own corruption, and thinks sure it is not so with others, their Graces are not so weak as his, their corruptions are not so strong; sure (thinks he) they have better hearts than I: An humble Christian studies his own in­firmities, and anothers exellencies, and that makes him put an higher value upon others than himself, Pro. 30. 2. Surely I am more bruitish than any man. And Paul, though he were the chief of the Apostles, yet he calls himself the least of Saints, Eph. 3. 8.

3. An humble soul hath a low esteem of his duties; Pride is apt to breed in our holy things, as the worm breeds in the sweetest fruit, and forth comes from the most gene­rous [Page 106] wine: An humble person doth not only deny his sins, but his duties; when he hath prayed and wept, alas, saith he, how little have I done, God might damn me for all this; he saith as good Nehemiah, Chap. 13. 22. Remember me O my God concerning this, and spare me. Remember Lord how I have pou­red out my soul, but spare me, and pardon me; he sees that his best duties weigh many grains too light, therefore he desires Christs Merits may be put into the Scales: The humble Saint blusheth when he looks upon his Copy, he sees he cannot write even, nor without blotting; this humbles him to think that his best duties run dregs; he drops poy­son upon his sacrifice: Oh, saith he, I dare not say I have prayed or wept, those which I write down for duties, God might write down for sins.

4. An humble man is ever preferring Bills of Indictment against himself; he complains not of his condition, but his heart: O this e­vil heart of unbelief! Lord (saith Hooper) I am hell, but thou art heaven. An hypocrite is ever telling how good he is; an humble soul is ever saying how bad he is: Paul that high­flown Saint, who was caught up into the third heaven, how doth this bird of Para­dise bemoan himself for his corruptions, [Page 107] Rom. 7. 24. O wretched man that I am, &c. Holy Bradford subscribes himself, the hard­hearted sinner: The more knowledge an humble Christian hath, the more he com­plains of ignorance; the more Faith, the more he bewails hisQuanto quis plus proficit, eò minus se reputet profecisse. Bern, de mod. O­rand. unbelief.

5. An humble man will justifie God in an afflicted condition, Nehem. 9. 33. Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us. If men oppress and calumniate, the humble soul ac­knowledgeth Gods righteousness in the midst of severity, 2 Sam. 24. 17. Lo, I have sinned: Lord, my pride, my barrenness, my Sermon­surfeiting hath been the procuring cause of all these judgements; when Clouds are round about God, yet righteousness is the habitation of his Throne, Psa. 97. 2.

6. An humble soul is a Christ-Magnifier, Phil. 1. 20. he gives the glory of all his acti­ons to Christ, and Free-grace: King Canutus took the Crown off his own head, and set it upon a Crucifix; so an humble Saint takes the Crown of honour from his own head, and sets it upon Christs; and the reason is, from that [...] he bears to Christ; Love can part with [...] to the object loved: Isa­ack loved [...] and he gave away his Jew­els toGen. 24. 53. [...] humble Saint loves Christ intirely, therefore can part with any thing to [Page 108] him: he gives away the honour and praise of all he doth to Christ, let Christ wear those Jewels.

7. An humble soul is willing to take a re­proof for sin; a wicked man is too high to stoop to a reproof: The Prophet Micaiah used to tell King Ahab of his sin, and saith he, I hate him, 1 Kin. 22. 8. Reproof to a proud man, is like powring water on lime, which grows the more hot; a gracious soul loves him that reproves, Pro. 9. 8. Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. The humble­spirited Christian can bear the reproach of an Enemy, and the reproof of a friend.

8. An humble man is willing to have his name and parts eclipsed, so Gods glory may be more encreased; he is content to be out­shined by others in gifts and esteem, so that the Crown of Christ may shine the brighter: This is the humble mans Motto, Let me de­crease, let Christ encrease: 'Tis his desire that Christ should be exalted, and if this be effect­ed, let who will be the instrument, he rejoy­ceth, Phil. 1. 15. Some preach Christ of envy; They preached to get away some of Pauls hearers; Well, saith he, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoyce, ver▪ 8. An humble Christian is content to be laid aside, if God hath any other tools to work with which may bring him more glory.

[Page 109] 9. An humble Saint likes that condition which God sees best for him; a proud man murmures he hath no more, an humble man wonders he hath so much, Gen. 32. 10. I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies: when the heart lies low, it can stoop to a low con­dition. A Christian looking upon his sins, wonders it is no worse with him, he doth not say his mercies are small, but his sins are great; he knows the worst piece God carves him, is better than he deserves, therefore takes it thankfully upon his knees.

10. An humble Christian will stoop to the meanest person, and the lowest office, he will visit the poorest member of Christ: La­zarus his sores are more precious to him than Dives purple; he doth not say, Stand by, come not neer to me, for I am holier than thou; but, condiscends to men of low estate, Rom. 12. 16.

Use 1. Is Humility the inseparable Cha­racter of a godly man,Use 1. of Tryal. let us try our hearts by this Touch-stone: Are we humble? a­las, where doth their godliness appear, who are swelled with pride, and ready toCristas erigit, & jovem se putat. burst? But though men are proud, they will not confess it: This Bastard of Pride is born, but none are willing to father it; therefore let me ask a few questions, and let Conscience answer.

[Page 110] 1 Are not they proud who are given to glorying? 1 Cor. 5. 6. Your glorying is not good. 1 VVho glory in their riches; their hearts swell with their estates. St. Bernard cals Pride the rich mans couzen. Ezek. 28. 5. Thy heart is lifted up because of thy riches. 2 VVho glory in their apparel. Many dress themselves in such fashions, as they make the devil fall in love with them; Black-spots, gaudy at­tire, naked breasts, what are these, but the flags and banners which Pride doth display? 3 VVho glory in their beauty. The body is but dust and blood kneaded together: Solomon saith, Beauty is vain, Prov. 31. 30. Yet so vain are some, as to be proud of vanity. 4 VVho glory in their gifts. These trappings and or­naments do not set them off in Gods eyes; an Angel is a knowing creature, but take away humility from an Angel, and he is a devil.

2 Are not they proud who are highly o­pinionated of their own excellencies? who beholding themselves in philautiae speculo, in the multiplying glass of self-love, appear in their own eyes better than they are: Simon Magus gave out, that himself was [...], some great one, Act. 8. 9. Alexander would needs be son to Iupiter, and of the Race of the gods. Sapor King of Persia stiles himself Brother of the Sun and Moon. [Page 111] Projicit ampullas, & sesqui pedaliaHorat. verba.’

I have read of a Pope, who trod upon the neck of Frederick the Emperour, and as a Cloak for his pride, cited that Text, Psa. 91. 13. Thou shalt tread upon the Lyon, and the Dragon shalt thou trample under feet: No such Idol as Self; the proud man bows down to this Idol.

3. Are not they proud who despise others? Luke 18. 9. The Pharisees trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised Alto superci­lio alios intuentes, & quum loquuntur dictatores agunt. others. The people of the Chineses say, that Europe hath one eye, and they have two, and all the world else is blind: A proud man looks up­on others with such an eye of scorn, as Goliah did upon David, 1 Sam. 17. 42. When the Philistim looked about, and saw David, he dis­dained him. They who stand upon the Pina­cle of Pride, look upon other men no big­ger than Crows.

4. Are not they proud who are the Trum­pets of their ownProprio laus sordet in ore. praise? Acts 5. 36. Be­fore these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be some body. A proud man is the Herald of his own good deeds, he blazeth his own fame, and therein is his vice, to paint his own virtue.

[Page 112] 5. Are not they proud who take the glory due to God, to themselves, Dan. 4. 30. Is not this great Babylon I have built? So saith the proud man, are not these the Prayers I have made? Are not these the works of Charity I have done? When Herod had made an Ora­tion, and the people cryed him up for a God, Act. 12. 22. he was well content to have that honor done to him: Pride is the greatest sa­criledge, it robs God of his glory.

6. Are not they proud who are never pleased with their condition? they speak hardly of God, taxing his care and wisdom, as if he had not dealt well with them. A proud man God himself cannot please, but like Momus, he is ever finding fault, and fly­ing in the face of heaven.

Oh let us search if there be none of this leven of pride in us: Man is Naturally a proud piece of flesh; this sin runs in a bloud; our first Parents fell by their Pride, they did aspire after a Deity; there are the seeds of this in the best, but the godly do not allow themselves in it; they labour to kill this weed by mortification. But certainly where this sin is regnant and prevailing, it cannot stand with grace; you may as well call him a prudent man who wants discretion, as a god­ly man who wants humility.

[Page 113] Use 2. Labour for this character;Vse 2. Exhort. be hum­ble. 'Tis an Apostolical Exhortation, 1 Pet. 5. 5. Be cloathed with humility. Put it on as an embroydered [...], idem valet quod [...]. Helychius. robe: better want any thing than humility; better want parts than humility, nay better want the comforts of the Spirit, than want humility. Micah 6. 8. What doth the Lord require of thee, but to walk humbly with thy Excelsa est Patria humilis est Via. God?

1. The more worth any man hath, the more humble he is. Feathers fly up, but Gold descends.Motive The golden Saint descends 1 in humility. Some of the Ancients have compared Humility to the Celidonian stone, which is little for substance, but of rare virtue.

2. God loves an humble soul. 'Tis not our high birth, but our low hearts God de­lights in. An humble spirit is Gods prospect. Isa. 66. 2. To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit; an hum­ble heart is Gods Palace, Isa. 57. 15. I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of an humble spirit. Great Personages be­sides their houses of state, have lesser houses which upon occasion they retreat to. Besides Gods house of state in Heaven, he hath the humble soul for his retiring-house, where he takes up his rest, and doth solace himself. [Page 114] Let Italy boast that it is for pleasure the Garden of the world; an humble heart glories in this, that it is the Presence-cham­ber of the Great King.

3. The Times we live in are humbling: The Lord seems to say to us now, as he did to Israel, Exod. 33. 5. Put off thy Ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do to thee. My displeasure is breaking forth, I have eclipsed the light of the Sanctuary, I have stained the waters with blood, I have shot the arrow of Pestilence, therefore lay down your Pride, put off your Ornaments. Woe to them that lift themselves up, when God is casting them down. When should a people be humble if not under the rod? 1 Pet. 5. 6. Humble your selves under the mighty hand of God. When God afflicts his people, and cuts them short in their priviledges, 'tis time then to sow sackcloath on their skin, and defile their horn (or honour) in the dust, Job 16. 15.

4. What an horrid sin Pride is! St. Chry­sostom calls it the mother of Hell. Pride is a complicated evil: as Aristotle saith, Justice comprehends all virtue in it; so Pride com­prehends all vice. 'Tis a spiritual drunken­ness; it flies up as Wine into the brain, and intoxicates it. It is [...]. idolatry; a proud ma [...] is a self-worshipper, 'Tis revenge; Hama [...] [Page 115] plots Mordicaies death, because he would not bow the knee.

How odious is this sin to 1 Pet. 5. 5. God! Prov. 16. 5. Every one that is proud in heart, is an abomination to the Lord.

5. The mischief of pride. It is the break­neck ofQuem non gula [...] superavit▪ Cyprian. souls. Zeph. 2. 9, 10. Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, &c. this shall they have for their pride. The Doves (saith Pliny) take a pride in their feathers, and in their flying high, at last they fly so high that they are a prey to the Hawk. Men fly so high in pride, that at last they are a prey to the De­vil the Prince of the Superbiat homo, & tanquam Icariis pen­nis [...]e ipsum elevet, de­primitur tamen in profundum ruinae ba­rathrum. Rivet. aire.

6. Humility raiseth ones esteem in the eyes of others: All give respect to the humble, Prov. 15. 33. Before honour is [...]. Chrysost. humility.

Quest. What means may we use to be hum­ble.

Answ. 1. Let us set before us the golden pattern of Christ. He commenced Doctor [...]n humility. Phil. 2. 7. But made himself of [...]o reputation, and was made in the likeness of flesh. O what abasement was it for the Son of God to take our Flesh! nay, that Christ [...]hould take our Nature when it was in dis­grace, being stained with sin, this was the wonder of humility. Look upon an humble Saviour, and let the plumes of Pride fall.

[Page 116] 2 Study Gods Immensity and Purity: a sight of glory humbles. Elijah wrap'd his face in a Mantle when Gods glory passed before him, 1 King. 19. 13. The Stars va­nish when the Sun appears.

3 Let us study our selves. First, our dark side: by looking our faces in the glass of the Word we see our [...]. Chrysost. spots: what a world of sin swarms in us! We may say as Bernard, Lord I am nothing but peccatum aut sterilitas, either sinfulness or barrenness.

Secondly, Our light side. Is there any good in us? 1 How disproportionable is it to the means of Grace we have enjoyed! There is still something lacking in [...]. our Faith, 1 Thess. 3. 10. O Christian be not proud of what thou hast, but be humble for what thou wantest.

2 The Grace we have is not of our ow [...] growth: We are beholding to Christ an [...] free Grace for it: as he said of that Ax [...] which fell in the water, 2 King. 6. 5. Al [...] master, for it was borrowed. So I may say [...] all the good and excellency in us, it is bo [...] ­rowed. Were it not folly to be proud of Ring that isNe micam habes quam non Dei charismate accepisti; num sani hominis est de eo glori­ari quod non est suum sed alienum? lent? 1 Cor. 4. 7. For [...] maketh thee to differ from another? and wh [...] hast thou, that thou didst not receive? Th [...] Moon hath no cause to be proud of [...] [Page 117] light, when she borrows it from the Sun.

3. How far short do we come of others; perhaps other Christians are Gyants in Grace; they are in Christ not only before us, but above In quan­tis sis mi­nor cogita, non in quantis sis major. Aug. in Mat. us. We are but as the foot in Christs Body, they are as the eye.

4. Our beauty is spotted: The Church is said to be fair as the Moon, Cant. 6. 10. which when it shines brightest hath a dark spot in it; Faith is mixed with infidelity; a Christian hath that in his very grace may humble him.

5. If we would be humble, let us contem­plate our mortality: Shall dust exalt itCum sis humili­mus, cur [...] non humi­limus? self? The thoughts of the grave should bu­ry our pride: They say when there is a Tym­pany in the body, the hand of a dead man stroaking that part, cures the Tympany: The serious meditation of death, is enough to cure the Tympany of Pride.

SECT. XII.

12. A godly man is a praying man:12 Cha­racter. This is in the Text, Every one that is godly shall pray unto thee. As soon as Grace is powred in; prayer is powred out, Psa. 109. 4. But I give my self to prayer; in the Hebrew it is, [...] but I prayer: Prayer and I are all [Page 118] one; Prayer is the Souls traffique with hea­ven; God comes down to us by his Spirit, and we go up to him by prayer. Caligula placed his Effigies in the Capitol, whispering in Iupiters ear; prayer whispers in Gods ear. A godly man cannot live without prayer: A man cannot live unless he takes his breath; not can the Soul, unless it breathes forth its desires to God: As soon as the Babe of Grace is born it cryes; no sooner was Paul converted, but, behold he prayeth, Act. 9. 11. No doubt he prayed before being a Pharisee, but it was either superficially, or superstiti­ously; but when the work of Grace had passed upon his soul, behold, now, he prays: A godly man is every day upon the Mount of Prayer; he begins the day with prayer, be­fore he opens his shop, he opens his heart to Oratio [...]st clavis diei.God. We use to burn sweet perfumes in our houses; a godly mans house is domus aro­matum, an house of perfume, he ayrs it with the incense of prayer; he ingageth in no bu­siness without seeking God: Scipio never en­tred into the Senate House, but first he as­cended the Capitol, where he did hisPrius in Capitolium quàm Se­ratum. Plutarch. devoti­on: A godly man consults with God in eve­ry thing, he asks his leave, and his blessing: The Grecians asked counsel at their Oracles; so doth a godly man enquire at the Divine O­racle, [Page 119] Gen. 24. 12. 1 Sam. 23. 3, 4. A true Saint continually shoots up his heart to hea­ven by sacred ejaculations.

Quest. Is Prayer a sign of a godly man, may not an hypocrite pray eloquently, and with seem­ing devotion?

Answ. He may, Isa. 58. 2. they seek me daily; but an hypocrite doth not pray [...], in the spirit, Eph. 6. 18. A man may have the gift of prayer, and not have the spirit of prayer.

Quest. How shall we know that we have the Spirit of Prayer?

Answ. When the prayer which we make is spiritual.

Quest. What is it to make a Spiritual Pray­er?

Answ. 1. When we pray with knowledge; under the Law, Aaron was to light the Lamps, when he burned the Incense upon the Altar, Exod. 30. 7. Incense did typifie prayer, and the lighting of the Lamps did typifie know­ledge; when the Incense of prayer burns, the Lamp of knowledge must be lighted, 1 Cor. 14. 15. I will pray with the understand­ing. We must know the Majesty and Holi­ness of God, that we may be deeply affect­ed with reverence when we come before him; we must put up such Petitions as are exactly [Page 120] adequate and agreeable to Gods will. Eccles. 5. 2. Be not rash with thy mouth, to utter any thing before God: The Lord would not have the blind offered to him, Mal. 1. 8. How can we pray with affection, when we do not pray with judgement? The Papists pray in an un­known tongue; Christ may reply to them as he did to the Mother of Zebedees Children, Mat. 20. 22. Ye ask ye know not what. He that prays he knows not how, shall be heard he knows not when.

2. A spiritual prayer is, when the heart and spirit pray; there are not only words but [...]. Chrys. desires: 'Tis excellent when a man can say, Lord, my heart prays, 1 Sam. 1. 13. Hannah prayed in her heart: The sound of a Trum­pet comes from within; and the excellent Musick of Prayer comes from within the [...]. Chrys heart; if the heart doth not go along in du­ty, it is speaking, not praying.

3. A spiritual Prayer is a fervent [...]. Act. 12. 5. Pray­er, Iam. 5. 16. An effectual fervent prayer prevails much. The heart, like the Primum Mobile, should carry the affections in a most zealous and rapid manner; fervency is the wing of Prayer, by which it ascends to hea­ven; Prayer is expressed by sighs and groans, Rom. 8. 26. It is not so much the gifts of the spirit, as the groans of the spirit God likes: [Page 121] Prayer is called a wrestling, Gen. 32. 24. and a powring out of the Soul, 1 Sam. 1. 15. Pray­er is compared to Incense, Psa. 141. 2. In­cense without fire makes no sweet smell; Prayer without fervency, is like Incense with­out fire: Christ prayed with strong cryes and tears, Heb. 5. 7. crying PrayerClamor iste pene­trat nubes, ac pertin­git us (que) ad aures Dei. Luther. prevails: When the heart is inflamed in Prayer, a Chri­stian is carried as it were in a Fiery Chariot up to heaven.

4. A Spiritual Prayer is such as comes from a broken heart, Psa. 51. 17. The Sacri­fices of God are a broken spirit. The Incense was to be beaten, to typifie the breaking of the heart in Prayer: 'Tis not the voluble tongue, but the melting heart God accepts: Oh saith a Christian, I cannot pray as others; as Moses said to the Lord, I am not eloquent: But canst thou weep and sigh? Doth thy soul melt out at thy eyes? God accepts broken expressions, when they come from broken hearts. I have read of a Plant that bears no fruit, but it weeps forth a kind of Gum which is very costly: So, though thou dost not flourish with those gifts and expres­sions as others, yet if thou canst weep forth tears from a contrite heart, these are exceed­ing precious to God, and he will put them in his bottle▪ Iacob wept in prayer, and had power ever the Angel, Hos. 12. 4.

[Page 122] 5. A spiritual Prayer is a believing Pray­er, Mat. 21. 22. Whatever ye shall ask in pray­er believing, ye shall receive: The reason why so many Prayers suffer shipwrack, is because they split against the Rock of unbelief; Praying without Faith, is shooting without Qui ti­mide rogat docet nega­re. Seneca.bullets: When Faith takes Prayer by the hand, then we draw neer to God; we should come to God in Prayer; as the Leper, Mat. 8. 2. Lord if thou wilt, thou canst healInvoco te Domine quanquam languida & imbe­cilla fide, tamen fide. Caspar. Cruciger. me: 'Tis a disparagement to Deity, to have such a whisper in the heart, that Gods ear is heavy, and cannot Isa. 59. 1. hear: What is said of the peo­ple of Israel, may be applyed to Prayer, It could not enter in, because of Heb. 3. 19. unbelief.

6. A Spiritual Prayer is an holy Prayer, 1 Tim. 2. 8. Wherefore lift up pure hands: Prayer must be offered upon the Altar of a pure heart; sin lived in, makes the heart hard, and Gods ear deaf; sin stops the mouth of Prayer, it doth as the Thief to the Tra­veller, puts a Gagg in his mouth, that he cannot speak; sin poysons and infects pray­er: A wicked mans prayer is sick of the Plague, and will God come neer him? The Loadstone loseth its virtue, when it is be­spread with Garlick: so doth prayer, when it is polluted with sin, Psa 66. 18. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

[Page 123] 'Tis foolish to pray against sin, and then to sin against prayer; a spiritual prayer, like the spirits of Wine, must be refined, and ta­ken off the Lees and dregs of sin, Mal. 3. 3. That they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness: If the heart be holy, this Al­tar will sanctifie the gift.

7. A spiritual prayer is an humble prayer, Psa. 10. 17. Lord thou hast heard the desire of the humble. Prayer is the asking of an Alms, which requires humility, Luke 18. 13. The Publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a Quanto cum tre­more, quantâ humilita­te, accede­re debet à Palude sua repens ranuncula vilis Bern. de mod. O­randi. sin­ner. Gods incomprehensible glory may e­ven amaze us, and strike an holy consterna­tion into us when we approach nigh to him, Ezra 9. 6. O my God I blush to lift up my face to thee: 'Tis comely to see a poor nothing lye prostrate at the feet of its Maker, Gen. 18. 27. Behold, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes. The lower the heart descends, the higher the prayer ascends.

8. A spiritual prayer is when we pray in the name of Christ: To pray in the name of Christ, is not only to name Christ in prayer, but to pray in the hope and confidence of Christs mediation: as a Childe claims his [Page 124] Estate in the right of his Father who purcha­sed it, so we come for mercy in Christs Name, who hath purchased it for us in his bloud; unless we pray thus, we do not pray at all, nay, we rather provoke God; as it was with Uzziah, when he would offer In­cense without a Priest, God was angry, and struck him with Leprosie, 2 Chron. 26. 16. So when we do not come in Christs Name in prayer, we offer up Incense without a Priest, and what can we expect but to meet with wrath?

9. A spiritual prayer is when we pray out of love to prayer; A wicked man may pray, but he doth not love prayer, Iob 27. 10. Will he delight himself in the Almighty? A godly man is carried upon the wings of delight; he is never so well as when he is praying; he is not forced with fear, but fired with love, Isa. 56. 7. I will make them joyful in my house of prayer.

10. A spiritual prayer is, when we have spiritual ends in prayer: There is a vast diffe­rence between a spiritual prayer, and a carnal desire; the ends of an Hypocrite are secular and carnal; he looks asquint in prayer; it is not the sense of his spiritual wants that moves him, but rather lust, Iam. 4. 3. Ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. The sin­ner [Page 125] prays more for food than Grace; this God doth not interpret praying, but howling, Hosea 7. 14. They howled upon their beds, they as­semble for corn and wine. ‘—Da modo lucra mihi.—Ovid.

Prayers which want a good aim, want a good answer: A godly man hath spiritual ends in prayer; he sends out his prayer, as a Merchant sends out his Ship, that he may have large returns of spiritual blessings; his design in prayer is, that his heart may be more holy, and that he may have more com­munion with God: A godly man drives the Trade of prayer, that he may encrease the stock of Grace.

11. A spiritual prayer is accompanied with the use of means; there must be [...] as well as [...]: When Hezekiah was sick, he did not only pray for recovery, but he laid a lump of figs to the boyl, Isa. 38. 21. Thus it is in case of the soul, when we pray against sin, and avoid temptations; when we pray for Grace, and improve opportunities, this is the laying a fig to the boil, which wil make us recover: To pray for holiness, and neglect the means, is like winding up the Clock, and pulling off the weights.

[Page 126] 12. A spiritual prayer is that which leaves a spiritual frame behind upon the heart; a Christian is better after prayer, he hath gotten more strength over sin, as a man by exercise gets strength: The heart after prayer keeps a tincture of holiness, as the Vessel savours and relisheth of the Wine that is put into it. Moses having been with God on the Mount, his face shined; so having been on the Mount of prayer, our Graces shine, and our lives shine: This is the sign of a godly man, he prays in the spirit: This is the right kind of praying; the gift of pray­er is ordinary, like Culinary fire; but spiri­tual prayer is more rare and excellent, like Elementary fire which comes from heaven.

Use 1. Is a godly man of a praying spirit?Vse. 1. then this excludes them from being godly,

1. Who pray not at all: Their houses are unhallowed houses; 'tis made the note of a Reprobate, he calls not upon God, Psal. 14. 4. Doth that indigent creature think to have an Alms who never asks it? Do they think to have mercy from God who never seek it? Truly then God should befriend them more than he did his own Son; he offered up pray­ers and supplications with strong cryes, Heb. 5. 7. None of Gods Children are tongue tyed, Gal. 4. 6. Because ye are sons, God hath sent [Page 127] forth the spirit of his son into your hearts crying Abba Father. Creatures by the instinct of Nature cry to God, Psal. 147. 9. The young Ravens which cry: Psal. 104. 21. The Lyons seek their meat from God: Not to cry to God, is worse than bruitish.

2. Others pray, but it is seldome; like that prophane Atheist Heylin speaks of, who told God he was no common begger, he never troubled him before, and if he would hear him now, he would never trouble him again.

3. Others pray, but not in the Holy Ghost, Iude 20. They are rather Parrots, than weep­ing Doves; their hearts do not melt in pray­er; they exercise their invention more then their affection.

Use 2.Use 2. As you would evidence the New-birth,Exhort. cry Abba Father; be men of prayer; pray at least twice a day: In the Temple there was the Morning and Evening Sacri­fice: Daniel prayed three times a day; nay, so did he love prayer, that he would not neg­lect prayer to save his life, Dan. 6. 10. Luther spent three hours every day in prayer.

Object. But what needs prayer, when God hath made so many promises of blessings?

Answ. Prayer is the condition annexed to the Promise: Promises turn upon the hinge of prayer, Ezek. 36. 37. I will yet for this be [Page 128] enquired of by the house of Israel. A King promiseth a pardon, but it must be sued out. David had a promise that God would build him an house, but he sues out the promise by prayer, 2 Sam. 7. 25. Christ himself had all the promises made sure to him, yet he pray­ed, and spent whole nights in prayer.

Therefore if you would be counted god­ly, be given toDeus nunquam frustra quaeritur, imò ne tunc cum inve­niri non potest. Bernard. Prayer: Prayer sanctifies your mercies, 1 Tim. 4. 5. prayer weeds out sin, and waters Grace.

That I may encourage Christians, and hold up their heads in prayer, as Aaron and Hur held up Moses hands, let me propound these few considerations.

1. Prayer is a seed sown in Gods ears; o­ther seed sown in the ground may be picked up by the Birds, but this seed (especially if watred with tears) is too precious to be lost.

2. Consider the power of prayer: The Apostle having set down the whole Armour of a Christian, brings in prayer as the chief part, Eph. 6. 18. Without this (saith Zanchy) all the rest are littleReliqua arma Pa­rum pro­sunt. Zanch. worth: By prayer Moses divided the Red Sea; Ioshua stop'd the course of the Sun, and made it stand still, Iosh. 10. 13. Nay, prayer made the Sun of Righteousness stand still, Luke 18. 40. [Page 129] And Iesus stood still. Prayer is the in-let to all blessings, spiritual and temporal. When Aurelius Antonius went against the Ger­mans, he had in his Army a Regiment of Christians, who upon their earnest prayer, obtained Rain for the refreshment of his Ar­my; and because of the power of their prayers, he called them the Thundering Regi­ment. Prayer hath a power in it to destroy the insolent Enemies of the Church. We read, the two Witnesses have a flame at their lips; fire proceeds out of their mouths which devoures their Enemies, Rev. 11. 5. This fire is certainly to be interpreted of their [...]. Macar. Hom. pray­ers: David prayed, Lord turn the counsel of Achitophel into foolishness, 2 Sam. 15. 31. This prayer made Achitophel hang himself. Moses prayer against Amalek did more than Ioshua's Sword: Prayer hath a kind of Om­nipotency in it, it hath raised the dead, over­come Angels, cast out Devils; it hath influ­ence upon GodExod. 32. 10. himself: Iacobs prayer held God▪ Gen. 32. 26. I will not let thee go till thou bless Precibus suis velut vinculis ligatum tenuit De­um. me. Prayer finds God free, but leaves him bound.

3, Jesus Christ prays over our prayers a­gain; he takes the dross out, and presents nothing but pure gold to his Father. Christ mingles his sweet odours with the prayers of [Page 130] the Saints, Rev. 5. 8. Think of the dignity of his person, he is God; and the sweetness of his Relation, he is a Son: Oh then what en­couragement is here for us to pray! Our prayers are put in the hand of a Mediator; though as they come from us they are weak and imperfect, yet as they come from Christ, they are mighty and powerful.

4. The sweet promises which God hath made to prayer, Isa. 30. 19. He will be very gra­cious unto thee at the voice of thy cry, Ier. 29. 13, 14. Then shall ye go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you; and ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And Isaiah 65. 24. Before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. These promises keep the head of prayer above water; God is bound with his own promises, as Sampson was bound with his own hair.

Let us then double our files, and with our Saviour, pray yet more earnestly, Luke 22. 44. Let us be importunate Suitors, and resolve with S. Bernard, that we will not come away from God withoutNun­quam à te Domine abs (que) te recedam. Bern. God: prayer is a Pe­tarr, which will make heaven gates fly open.

Quest. How shall we do to pray aright?

Answ. Implore the Spirit of God, Iude 20. Praying in the Holy Ghost. The Holy [Page 131] Ghost both Indights prayer, and inflames it: God understands no other language but that of his spirit; pray for the Holy Ghost, that you may pray in the Holy Ghost.

SECT. XIII.

13. A godly man is a sincere man,13 Cha­racter. Iohn 1. 47. Behold an Israelite indeed, in whose spirit there is no guile. The word for sincere, [...] signifies sine plicis, without pleats and folds: A godly man is plain-hearted, having no sub­til subterfuges; Religion is the Livery a godly man wears, and this Livery is lined with Sincerity.

Quest. Wherein doth the godly mans Since­rity appear?

Answ. 1. The godly man is that which he seems to be; he is a Iew inwardly, Rom. 2. 29. Grace runs through his heart, as silver through the veins of the earth: The hypo­crite is not what he seems.

—Fronte positus,
Astutam vapido servans sub pectore vulpem.

A picture is like a man, but it wants breath: The Hypocrite is an Effigies, a picture, he doth not breathe forth Sanctity; he is but [Page 132] like an Angel on a Sign-post: A godly man answers to his profession, as the Transcript to the Original.

2. The godly man labours to approve himself to God in every thing, 2 Cor. 5. 9. We labour that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 'Tis better to have God approve, than the world applaud: They that did run in the Olympick Race, laboured to have his approbation, who was the Judge and Umpire of the Race: There is a time shortly coming, when a smile from Gods face will be infinitely better than all the applauses of men: How sweet will that word be, Euge bone serve, Well done thou good and faithful servant, Mat. 25. 21. A godly man is ambi­tious of Gods Letters-Testimonial; the hy­pocrite desires to carry it fair with men: Saul was for the vogue of the people, 1 Sam. 15. 30. A godly man approves his heart to God, who is both the Spectator and the Judge.

3. The godly man is ingenuous in laying open of his sins, Psa. 32. 5. 1 confessed my sin to thee, and my iniquity have I not hid. The hypocrite doth vail and smother his sin; he doth not abscindere peccatum, but abscondere; like a Patient that hath some loathsome dis­ease in his body, he will rather die than con­fess his disease: But a godly mans sincerity [Page 133] is seen in this, he will confess and shame him­self for sin, 2 Sam. 24. 17. Lo I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: Nay, a Childe of God will confess sin in particular; an unsound Christian will confess sin by wholesale, he will acknowledge he is a sinner in general; where­as David doth as it were point with his finger to the sore, Psal. 51. 4. I have done this evil: He doth not say, I have done evil, but this evil; he points at his bloud-guiltiness.

4. The godly man hath blessed designs in all he doth; he propounds this end in e­very Ordinance, that he may have more ac­quaintance with God, and bring more glo­ry to God; as the herb Heliotropium turns about according to the motion of the Sun; so a godly mans actions do all move towards the glory of God: It is an axiom in Phylo­sophy, The means are in order to the Media sunt appe­tenda propter fi­nem. end. A godly mans praying and worshipping is, that he may honor God; though he shoots short, yet he takes a right aim; the hypocrite minds nothing but self-interest, the sails of his Mill move not, but when the wind of pre­ferment blows; he never dives into the wa­ters of the Sanctuary, but to fetch up a piece of gold at the bottom.

5. The godly man abhors dissimulation towards men, his heart goes along with [Page 134] hisHomo sine fuco. Erasm. tongue, he cannot flatter andPsa. 28. 3. hate, commend and censure, Rom. 12. 9. Let love be without dissimulation. Dissembled love is worse than hatred; counterfeiting of friend­ship is no better than a Psa. 78. 36. lye, for there is a pretence of that which is not: Many are like Ioab, 2 Sam. 20. 9. He took Amasa by the beard to kiss him, and smote him with his sword in the fifth rib, and he Mel in ore, fel in corde. died. ‘—Impia sub dulci melle venena latent.—’

There is a River in Spain, where the fish seem to be of a golden colour, but take them out of the water, and they are like o­ther fish: All is not gold that glisters; there are some pretend much kindness, but they are like great veins which have little bloud; if you lean upon them, they are as a Leg out of joynt: For my part I much question his truth towards God, that will flatter and lie to his friend, Pro. 10. 18. He that hideth hatred with lying lips is a fool. By all that hath been said, we may try whether we have this note of a godly man, to be sincere.

Sincerity (as I conceive) is not properly [...] grace, but rather the ingredient into every grace: Sincerity is that which doth qualifie grace, and without which grace is not true, [Page 135] Eph. 6. ult. Grace be with them, which love our Lord Iesus Christ in sincerity: Sincerity qua­lifies our love; sincerity is to grace, as the bloud and spirits are to the body; there can be no life without the bloud, so no grace without sincerity.

Use. As we would be reputed godly,Use of Exhort. let us labour for this Character of sincerity.

1. Sincerity renders us lovely in Gods eyes;Motive God saith of the sincere soul as of 1 Sion, Psal. 132. 14. This is my rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have desired it: A sin­cere heart is Gods Paradise ofTali cor­de unicè delectatur Deus, id veluti dul­cisonum quoddam spirituale nabl [...]um, harmoniae suae suavi­tate, modu­lorum (que) oblectami­ne, aures ejus mi­rum in modum mul­cet. delight: Noah found grace in Gods eyes: Why, what did God see in Noah? he was girt with the girdle of sincerity, Gen. 6. 9. Noah was per­fect in his Generation. Truth resembles God, and when God sees a sincere heart, he sees his own Image, and he cannot chuse but fall in love with it, Pro. 11. 20. He that is upright in his way, is Gods delight.

2. Sincerity makes our services find accep­tance with God; the Church of Philadelphia had but a little [...]. strength; her grace was weak, her services slender, yet of all the Churches Christ wrote to, he found the least fault with her: What was the reason? because she was most sincere, Rev. 3. 8. Thou hast kept fast my word, and hast not denied my [Page 136] Name. Though we cannot pay God all we owe, yet a little in currant Coyn is accept­ed; God takes sincerity for full payment: A little gold, though rusty, is better than Al­chimy be it never so bright; a little sinceri­ty, though rusted over with many infirmities, is of more value with God, than all the glo­rious flourishes of hypocrites.

3. Sincerity is our safety; false hearts that will step out of Gods way, and use car­nal policy, when they think to be most safe, they are least secure; he that walketh pure­ly, walketh surely, Pro. 10. 9. A sincere Christian will do nothing but what the word warrants, and that is safe, as to the Consci­ence: Nay, oftentimes such as are upright in their way, the Lord takes care of their outward safety, Psal. 4. I laid me down and slept. David was now beleaguer'd with E­nemies, yet God did so incamp about him by his Providence, that he could sleep securely as in a Garrison: Ver. 5. The Lord sustained me: The only way to be safe, is to be sin­cere.

4. Sincerity is Gospel perfection, Iob 1. 8. Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect, and an upright man. Though a Christian be full of infirmities, and like a Childe that is put [Page 137] out to Nurse, weak and feeble, yet God looks upon him, as if he were compleatly righteous: Every true Saint hath the Thummim of perfection upon his breast-plate.

5. Sincerity is that which the Devil strikes most at: Satans spite was not so much at Iobs Estate, as his integrity; he would have wrested the Shield of Sincerity from him, but Iob held that fast, Iob 27. 6. A Thief doth not fight for an empty purse, but for money: The devil would have robbed Iob of the Jewel of a good Conscience, and then he had been poor Iob indeed: Satan doth not oppose Profession, but Sincerity: Let men go to Church, and make glorious pretences of holiness, Satan doth not op­pose this; this doth him no hurt, nor them no good; but if men will be sincerely pious, then Satan musters up all his forces against them: Now that which the Devil doth most assault, we must labour most to maintain: Sincerity is our Fort-Royal, where our chief treasure lies; this Fort is most shot at, there­fore let us be more careful to preserve it: While a man keeps his Castle, his Castle will keep him: While we keep Sincerity, Since­rity will keep us.

6. Sincerity is the beauty of a Christian, [Page 138] wherein lies the beauty of a Diamond, but in this, that it is a true Diamond? If it be counterfeit, it is worth nothing: So wherein lies the beauty of a Christian, but in this, that he hath truth in the inward Psa. 51. 6 parts: Sin­cerity is a Christians Ensign of glory; 'tis both his Breast-plate to defend him, and his Crown to adorn him.

7. The vileness of hypocrisie: The Lord would have no leven offered up in Sacrifice; leven did typifie hypocrisie, Luke 12. 1. The hypocrite doth the devil double service, un­der the Vizor of Piety, he can sin more, and be less [...]. Euseb. suspected, Mat. 23. 14. W [...] unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye devoure Widows houses, and for a pretence, make long prayers: Who would think they were guilty of Extortion, that would pray so many hours together? Who would suspect him of false weights, that hath the Bible so often in his hand? Who would think he would slander, that seems to fear an oath? Hypo­crites are the worst sort of sinners, they re­flect infinite dishonor upon Religion; hypo­crisie for the most part ends in scandal, and that brings an evil report upon the ways of God; one man breaking, makes such as are honest suspected; one scandalous hypocrite, makes the world suspect that all Professors [Page 139] are so; the hypocrite was born to do Religi­on a spite, and to bring it into an odium.

The hypocrite is a lyer, he worships God with his knee, and his lusts with his heart; like those 2 Kin. 17. 33. They feared the Lord, and served their own gods.

The hypocrite is an impudent sinner, he knows his heart is false, yet he goes on: Iu­das knew himself to be an hypocrite; he asks, Master is it I? Christ replies, Thou hast said it? Yet so shameless was he as to persist in his falseness, and betray Christ: All the plagues and curses written in the Book of God, are the hypocrites portion, Hell is his place of Randezvous, Mat. 24. 51. Hy­pocrites are the chief guests the Devil ex­pects, and he will make them as welcome, as fire and brimstone can make them.

8. If the heart be sincere, God will wink at many failings, Numb. 23. 21. He hath not seen iniquity in Iacob. Gods love doth not make him blind, he can see infirmities, but how? not with an eye of revenge, but pitty, as a Physitian sees a disease in his Patient to heal him: God doth not see iniquity in Ia­cob, so as to destroy him, but to heal him, Isa. 57. 18. He went on frowardly, I have seen his ways, and I will heal him: How much pride, vanity, passion, doth the Lord pass by in his [Page 140] sincere ones! He sees the integrity, and par­dons the infirmity: How much did God o­verlook in Asa! the high-places were not re­moved: Yet it is said, 2 Chron. 15. 17. The heart of Asa was perfect all his days. We e­steem of a picture, though it be not drawn at the full length: So though the graces of Gods people are not drawn at their full length, nay, have many scars and spots, yet having something of God in sincerity, they shall find mercy; God loves the sincere, and 'tis the nature of love to cover Pro. 12. 10. infirmity.

9. Nothing but sincerity will give us comfort in an houre of trouble: King Heze­kiah thought he had been dying, yet this re­vived him, that Conscience drew up a Certi­ficate for him, Isa. 38. 2. Remember O Lord, how I have walked before thee in truth, &c. Sincerity was the best flower of his Crown: What a golden Shield will this be against Satan, when he shall roar upon us by his temptations, and set our sins before us on our Death-bed, then we shall answer, 'Tis true Satan, these have been our miscarriages, but we have bewailed them; if we have sin­ned, it was against the bent and purpose of our heart; this will stop the Devils mouth, and put him to a retreat; therefore labour for this Jewel of Sincerity, 1 Ioh. 3. 24. If [Page 141] our heart condemn us not, then we have confi­dence towards God: If we are cleared at the Petty Sessions in our own Conscience, then we may be confident, we shall be acquitted at the Great Assizes at the day of Judgement.

SECT. XIV.

14. A godly man is an heavenly man; 14 Cha­racter.Heaven is in him, before he is in Heaven; the Greek word for Saint, [...], signifies a man taken off from the earth: a person may live in one place, yet belong to another; he may live in Spain, yet be a free Denizon of Eng­land; Pomponius dwelt at Athens, yet was a Citizen of Rome: So a godly man is a while in thePatria loci. world, but he belongs to the Hierusa­lem Patria juris.above; that is the place to which he aspires; every day is Ascension day with a Believer: The Saints are called Stars, for their sublimeness; they are gotten above in­to the upper Region, Pro. 15. 24. The way of life is above to the wise: A godly man is Hea­venly six ways.

  • 1. In his Election.
  • 2. In his Disposition.
  • 3. In his Communication.
  • 4. In his Operation.
  • 5. In his Expectation.
  • 6. In his Conversation.

[Page 142] 1. A godly man is heavenly in his Electi­on; he chuseth heavenly objects: David did chuse to be a Residentiary in Gods house, Psa. 84. 10. A godly person chuseth Christ and grace, before the most illustrious things under the Sun: That a man is that his choice is; and this chusing of God is best seen in a critical houre: When Christ and the World come in competition, and we part with the world to keep Christ and a good Conscience, a sign we have chosen the better Luke 10. 42. part.

2. A godly man is heavenly in his Disposi­tion; he sets his affections on things above, Col. 3. 2. He sends his heart to heaven be­fore he comes there; he looks upon the world, but as a beautiful prison, and he can­not be much in love with his Fetters, though they are made of gold: An holy person contemplates glory and Eternity; his de­fires have gotten wings, and are fled to hea­ven: Grace is in the heart like fire, which makes it sparkle upwards in Divine brea­things and ejaculations.

3. A godly man is heavenly in his Communi­cation, his words are powdred with salt to season others, Col. 4. 6. As soon as Christ was risen from the grave, he was speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdome of God, Act. 1. 3. No sooner is a man risen out of [Page 143] the grave of Unregeneracy, but he is speaking of heaven, Eccles. 10. 12. The words of a wise mans mouth are gracious: He speaks so heavenly, as if he had been already in hea­ven; the love he bears to God, will not suf­fer him to be silent; the Spouse being sick of love, her tongue was as the pen of a ready writer, Cant. 5. 10. My beloved is white and ruddy, his head is of fine gold, &c. If Wine be in the house, the Bush will be hung forth, and where there is a principle of godliness in the heart, it will vent it self at the lips; the Bush will be hung forth.

How can they be termed godly, 1. Who are possessed with a dumb devil? They never have any good discourse; they are fluent and discoursive enough in secular things; they can speak of their wares and drugs, they can tell what a good crop they have, but in mat­ters of Religion they are as if their tongue did cleave to the roof of their mouth: There are many persons, if you come into their company, you cannot tell what to make of them, whether they are Turks or A­theists, for they never speak a word of Christ.

2. Whose tongues are set on fire of Hell: Their lips do not drop honey but poyson, to the defiling of others. Plutarch saith, speech [Page 144] ought to be like gold, which is then of most value, when it hath least dross in it: O the unclean malicious words that some persons utter! What an unsavoury stench comes from these dunghils; those lips had need have Davids Psa. 39. 1 Bridle, that gallop so fast in sin: Can the body be healthful when the tongue is black? Can the heart be holy when the devil is in the lips? A godly man speaks the language of Canaan, Mal. 3. 16. They that feared the Lord, spake often one to another.

4. A godly man is heavenly in his Opera­tion. The motions of the Planets are Caele­stial: A godly man is sublime and sacred in his motions, he works out salvation, he puts forth all his strength, as they did in the O­lympicks, that he may obtain the Garland made of the Flowers of Paradise; he prays, fasts, watcheth, he offers violence to heaven, he is divinely acted, he carries on Gods Inte­rest in the world, he doth Angels work, he is in his Operations Seraphical.

5. A godly man is heavenly in his Expe­ctation; his hopes are above thePsa. 39. 7 world, Tit. 1. 2. In hope of eternal life: A godly man casts Anchor within the Viget spei immo­bilis vir­tus. Cypr. vail; he hopes to have his fetters of sin filed off; he hopes for such things as eye hath not seen; he hopes for a Kingdome when he dies; a Kingdome [Page 145] promised by the Father, purchased by the Son, assured by the Holy Ghost; as an Heir lives in hope when such a great Estate shall befall him, so a Childe of God, who is a Co-heir with Christ, hopes for glory: This hope comforts him in all varieties of conditi­on, Rom. 5. 2. We rejoyce in the hope of the glo­ry of God.

1. This hope comforts a godly man in af­fliction; hope doth lighten and sweeten the most severe Dispensations: A Childe of God can laugh with tears in his eyes; the time is shortly coming, when the Cross shall be taken off his shoulders, and a Crown set upon his head: A Saint at present is misera­ble, with a thousand troubles, in an instant, cloathed with Robes of Immortality, and advanced above Seraphims.

2. This hope comforts a godly man in death, Pro. 14. 32. The righteous hath hope in his death: If one should ask a dying Saint, when all his earthly comforts were gone, what he had left? he would say, the Helmet of Hope. I have read of a Martyr Woman, who when the Persecutor commanded that her breasts should be cut off, she said, Tyrant do thy worst, I have two breasts which thou canst not touch, the one of Faith, the other of Hope. A soul that hath this blessed [Page 146] hope, is above the desire of life, or the fear of death: Would one be troubled to ex­change a sorry Lease for an Inheritance that will be for him and his Heirs? Who would care to part with life, which is a Lease will soon be run out, to be possessed of a glorious Inheritance in light?

6. A godly man is heavenly in his Conver­sation; he casts such a lustre of Holiness, as adorns his Profession; he lives as if he had seen the Lord with bodily eyes; what zeal, sanctity, humility, shines forth in his life: A godly person doth emulate not only the An­gels, but imitate Christ himself, 1 Iohn 2. 6. The Macedonians celebrate the Birth-day of Alexander, on which day they wear his pi­cture about their necks, set with Pearl and rich Jewels; so a godly man carries the live­ly picture of Christ about him, in the hea­venliness of his deportment, Phil. 3. 20. Our conversation is in heaven.

Use 1. They must needs be cast over the Bar for ungodly,Vse 1. who are eaten up with the world; godly and earthly is a contradiction, Phil. 3. 18, 19. For many walk, of whom I now tell you even weeping, that they are the E­nemies of the Cross of Christ, whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things. We read the earth swallowed up Korah alive, Numb. 16. 32. [Page 147] This Judgement is on many, the earth swal­lows up their time, and thoughts, and dis­course, they are buried twice; their hearts are buried in the earth before their bodies: How sad is it that the soul, that Princely thing, which is made for Communion with God and Angels, should be put to the Mill to grinde, and made Mancipium terrae, a slave to the earth? How is the soul become like the Prodigal, chusing rather to converse with swine, and feed upon husks, than to aspire af­ter Communion with the blessed Deity? Thus doth Satan befool men, and keep them from heaven, by making them seek an hea­ven here.

Use 2.Vse 2. As we would evidence our selves to be born of God, let us be of a sublime heavenly temper:Exhort. We shall never go to heaven when we die, unless we are in heaven whilest we live: That we may be more No­ble, and raised in our affections, let us serious­ly weigh these four considerations.

1. God himself sounds a retreat to us, to call us off the world, 1 Iohn 2. 15. Love not the world: We may use it as a posie of flow­ers to smell to, but it must not lie as a bundle of myrrhe betwixt our breasts, Rom. 12. 2. Be ye not conformed to this world; do not hunt after the honors and profits of it, and as [Page 148] Gods Precepts, so his Providences, are to beat us off the world: Why doth he send War and Pestilence? What means the heat of this great anger? Surely dying times are to make men die to the world.

2. Consider how much below a Christian it is to be earthly-minded: We laugh some­times at Children when we see them busying themselves about toys, blowing bubbles in the ayr out of a shell, kissing their Babies, &c. when in the mean time we do the same; at death what will all the world be which we so hug and kiss, but as a Baby of Clouts, it will yield us no more comfort then; and to be taken up with these things, how far is it be­low an heaven-born soul! nay, for such as profess to be enobled with a principle of Pie­ty, and to have their hopes above, for them to have their hearts below, how do they [...] disparage their Heavenly Call­ing, and spot their silver wings of Grace, by beliming them with earth?

3. Consider what a poor contemptible thing the world is, it is not worth setting the affections on, it cannot fill the heart; if Sa­tan should take a Christian up to the Mount of Temptation, and show him all the King­domes and glory of the world, what could he show him but a phancy, an apparition? [Page 149] Nothing here can be proportionable to the immense soul of man, Iob 20. 22. In the ful­ness of his sufficiency he shall be in streights: Here is want in plenty; the creature will no more fill the soul, than a drop will fill the bucket; and that little sweet we suck from the creature, is intermixed with some bitter­ness, like that Cup which the Jews gave Christ, Mar. 15. 23. They gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrhe. And this imper­fect sweet will not last long, 1 Iohn 2. 17. The world passeth away. The creature doth but salute us, and is presently upon the [...]. socr ad Demon. wing▪ The world rings Changes, it is never con­stant but in its disappointments; how quick­ly may we remove our lodgings, and make our pillow in the dust? The world is but a great Inne, where we are to stay a night or two, and be gone; what madness is it so to set our heart upon our Inne, as to forget our home?

4. Consider what a glorious place heaven is: We read of an Angel coming down from heaven, who did tread with his right foot on the Sea, and with his left foot on the earth, Revel. 10. 2. Had we but once been in heaven, and viewed the superlative glory of it, how might we in an holy scorn trample with one foot upon the earth, and with the other foot [Page 150] upon the Sea: Heaven is called a better Country, Heb. 11. 16. But now they desire a better Country, that is an heavenly: Heaven is said to be a better Country, in opposition to the Country where we now sojourn: What should we mind but that betterSistitur appetitus in via sa­tiatur in Patria. Coun­try.

Quest. In what sense is heaven a better Country?

Answ. 1. In that Country above there are better delights; there is the Tree of Life, the Rivers of Pleasure; there is amazing beauty, unsearchable riches; there are the delights of Angels; there is the Flower of Joy fully blown; there is more than we can ask or Eph. 3. 20. think; there is glory in its full dimensions, and beyond all hyperbole.

2. In that Country there is a better dwel­ling house: 1. It is an house not made with hands, 2 Cor. 5. 1. To denote the excellency of it: There was never any house but was made with hands; but the house above sur­passeth the art of man or Angel, none be­sides God could lay a stone in that building. 2. It is eternal in the heavens; it is not a so­journing house, but a Mansion-house, it is an house will never be out of repair, Wisdome hath built this house, and hewn out her seven Pro. 8. 1. Pillars, which can never moulder.

[Page 151] 3. In that Country there are better pro­visions, in our Fathers house is bread enough: Heaven was typified by Canaan, which did flow with milk and honey: There is the Roy­al Feast, the spiced Wine, there is Angels food, there are those rare viands and dain­ties served in, as exceed not only our expres­sions, but our faith.

4. In that Country is better Society: There is God blessed for ever: How infinitely sweet and ravishing will a smile of his face be? the Kings presence makes the Court: There are the glorious Cherubims; in this terrestrial Country where we now live, we are among Wolves and Serpents; in that Country above, we shall be among Angels: There are the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb. 12. 23. Here the people of God are clouded with infirmities, we see them with spots in their faces, they are full of pride, passion, censoriousness; in that Hierusalem a­bove, we shall see them in their Royal attire, deck'd with unparallell'd beauty, not having the least tincture or shadow of sin upon them.

5. In that Country there is a better ayr to breathe in: We go into the Country for ayr; the best ayr is only to be had in that better Country, 1. It is a more temperate ayr, [Page 152] the Climate is calm and moderate, we shall neither freeze with the cold, nor faint with the heat; 2. It is a brighter ayr, there is a bet­ter light shines there: The Sun of Righteous­ness enlightens that Horison with his glorious beams, Rev. 21. 23. The Lamb is the light thereof. 3. It is a purer ayr: The Fens, which are full of black vapours, we count a bad ayr, and unwholesome to live in: This world is a place of Bogs and Fens, where the noxious vapours of sin arise, which make it pestilential and unwholesome to live in, but in that Country above, there are none of these vapours, but a sweet perfume of holi­ness; there is the smell of the Orange-tree, and the Pomgranate; there is the Myrrhe and Cassia coming from Christ, which send forth a most odoriferous smell.

6. In that Country there is a better soil; the Land or Soil is better

1. For its altitude; the earth lying low, is of a baser pedigree; the Element, which is neerest heaven, is purer and more excel­lent, as the fire; that Country above is the High Country, Psal. 24. 3. it is seated far a­bove all the visible Orbs.

2. It is a better Land for its fertilness, it bear a richer Crop: The richest Harvest on earth is the golden Harvest, but the Coun­try [Page 153] above yields Nobier Commodities, there are Pearls Caelestial, there is the Spiritual Vine, there is the honey-comb of Gods love dropping, there is the Water of Life, the hidden Manna; there is fruit that doth not rot, flowers that never fade; there is a Crop which cannot be quite reaped, it will be ever reaping time in heaven, and all this the Land yields, without the labour of ploughing and sowing.

3. It is a better Land for its inoffensiveness: There are no bryars there; the World is a Wilderness where are wicked men, and the best of them is a bryar, Mica 7. 4. They will be tearing the people of God in their spiri­tual Liberties; but in the Country above there is not one bryar to be seen, all the bryars are burned.

4. It is a better Land for the rareness of the prospect; all that a man sees there is his own: I account that the best prospect, where a man can see furthest on his own ground.

7. In that Country is better union; all the Inhabitants are knit together in love: The poysonful weed of malice doth not grow there; there is harmony without division, and charity without envy: In that Country above, as in Solomons Temple, no noyse of Hammer is heard.

[Page 154] 8. In that Country is better imployment; while we are here we are complaining of our wants, weeping over our sins, but there we shall be praising God: How will the Birds of Paradise chirp when they are in that Cae­lestial Country? There the Morning Stars will sing together, and all the Saints of God shout for joy.

O what should we aspire after, but this Country above? Such as have their eyes opened, will see that it doth infinitely excel: An ignorant man looks upon a Star, and it appears to him as a little silver spot; but the Astronomer who hath his Instrument to judge of the dimension of a Star, knows it to be many degrees bigger than the earth: So a natural man hears of the heavenly Country, that it is very glorious, but it is at a great distance; and because he hath not a spirit of discerning, the world looks bigger in his eye; but such as are Spiritual Artists, who have the Instrument of Faith to judge of Heaven, will say, it is far the better Country, and thither will they hasten with the Sails of desire.

SECT. XV.

15. A godly man is a zealous man; grace turns a Saint into a Seraphim,Char. 15. it makes him burn in holy zeal; zeal is a mixed affection, a compound of love and anger, it carries forth our love to God, and anger against sin in the most intense manner: Zeal is the flame of the affections; a godly man hath a double baptism, of water and fire, he is baptized with a spirit of zeal, hee is zealous for Gods ho­nour, truth, worship, Psal. 119. 139. my zeal hath consumed me; it was a crown set on Phi­neas his head, hee was zealous for his God. Numb. 25. 13. Moses being touched with a coal from Gods altar, in his zeal hee breaks the Tables, Exod. 32. 19. our blessed Savi­our in his zeal, whips the buyers and sellers out of the Temple, Ioh. 2. 17. the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.

But there is a Praeternatural heat, something looking like zeal, which is not, a Comet looks like a Star: I shall therefore show some dif­ferences between a true and a false zeal.

1 A false zeal is a blinde zeal, Rom. 10. 2. They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge; this is not the fire of the spirit, but wild-fire. The Athenians were very de­vout [Page 156] and zealous, but they knew not for what, Acts 17. 23. I found an Altar with this Inscription, [...], To the unknown God, Thus the Papists are zealous in their way, but they have taken away the key of know­ledge.

2 A false zeal is a self-seeking zeal; Iehu cries, come see my zeal for the Lord, 2 King. 10. 16. but it was not zeal, but ambition, he was fishing for a Crown. Demetrius pleads for the Goddess Diana, but it was not her Temple, but her Silver shrines he was zea­lous for: Such zealots Ignatius complains of in his time, that they made a Trade of Christ and Religion, thereby to enrich [...]. Ignat themselves. 'Tis probable many in King Henry the eights time were forward to pull down the Abbies, not out of any zeal against Popery, but that they might build their own houses upon the ruines of those Abbies; like Eagles which fly aloft, but their eyes are down upon their prey: If blind zeal be punished seven fold, hypocritical zeal shall bee punished seventy and seven fold.

3 A false praeposterous zeal, is a misguided zeal; it runs out most in things which are not commanded, It is the sign of an hypo­crite to be zealous for traditions, and careless of institutions. The Pharisees were more [Page 157] zealous about washing of their cups than their hearts.

4 A false zeal is fired with passion. Iames and Iohn, when they would call for fire from heaven, were rebuked by our Saviour, Luk. 9. 54. Yee know not what spirit yee are off, it was not zeal, but choller; many have espou­sed the cause of Religion, rather out of facti­on and humour, than out of zeal to the truth.

But the zeal of a godly man, is a true and holy zeal, which evidenceth it self in the ef­fects of it.

1 True zeal cannot bear an injury done to God, zeal makes the blood rise, when Gods honour is impeached, Rev. 2. 2. I know thy works and thy labour and patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil; hee who zealously affects his friend, cannot hear him spoken against, and be silent.

2 True zeal will encounter with the great­est difficulties; when the world holds out a Gorgons head of danger to discourage us, zeal casts out fear; it is quickned byMarcet sine adver­sario vir­tus. Sen. de provid. oppo­sition. Zeal doth not say there is a Lyon in the way; zeal will charge through an Army of dangers, it will march in the face of death. Let news be brought to Paul, that he was way­laid, in every City bonds and imprisonment did [Page 158] abide him, this sets a keener edge upon his zeal, Acts 21. 13. I am ready not only to bee bound, but to dye for the name of the Lord Ie­sus: as sharp frosts do by an antiparistasis make the fire burn hotter, so sharp oppositi­ons do but inflame zeal the more.

3 True zeal as it hath knowledge to go before it, so it hath sanctity to follow after it: Wisdome leads the van of zeal, and ho­liness brings up the rear: an hypocrite seems to be zealous, but he is vitious: the godly man is white and ruddy, white in purity, as well as ruddy in zeal; Christs zeal was hot­ter than the fire, and his holiness purer than the sun.

4 Zeal that is genuine loves truth when it is despised, and opposed, Psal. 119. 126. They have made void thy law, therefore I love thy commandements above gold: the more o­thers deride holiness, the more we love it; what is Religion the worse for others disgra­cing it? doth a Diamond sparkle the less, be­cause a blinde man disparageth it? the more outragious the wicked are against the truth, the more couragious the godly are for it: When Mical scoffed at Davids religious dancing before the Ark, if (saith he) this be to be vile, I will yet be more vile, 2 Sam. 6. 22.

[Page 159] 5 True zeal causeth fervency in duty, Rom. 12. 11. fervent in [...]. spirit: Zeal makes us hear with reverence, pray with affection, love with ardency. God kindled Moses his sacrifice from heaven, Lev. 9. 24. There came a fire out from before the Lord, and con­sumed upon the Altar the burnt offering: when we are zealous in devotion, and our heart waxeth hot within us, here is a fire from heaven kindling our sacrifice: how odious is it for a man to be all fire when he is sinning, and all y [...]e when he is praying: A pious heart, like water seething hot, boils over in holy affections.

6. True zeal is never out of breath; though it be violent, 'tis perpetual; no wa­ters can quench the flame of zeal, it is tor­rid in the frigid zone: The heat of zeal is like the natural heat coming from the heart, which lasts as long as life: That zeal which is not constant, was never true.

Use 1.Use 1. How opposite are they to godli­ness who cry down zeal,1 Bran. and count it a Reli­gious phrensie? They are for the light of knowledge, but not for the heat of zeal. When Basil was earnest in preaching against the Arrian Heresie, it was interpreted folly and dotage. Religion is a matter requires zeal; the Kingdom of heaven will not be taken but by violence, Mat. 12. 11.

[Page 160] Object. But why so much fervour in Religi­on? what becomes then of Prudence?

Answ. Though Prudence be to direct zeal, yet not to destroy it; because sight is requi­site, must the body therefore have no heat? If Prudence be the eye in Religion, zeal is the heart.

Quest. But where is moderation?

Answ. Though moderation in things of indifferency be commendable, and doubtless it would much tend to the setling the peace of the Church; yet in the main Articles of Faith, wherein Gods glory and our Salvati­on lie at stake, here moderation is nothing else but sinful neutrality: It was Calvins ad­vice to Melancthon, that he should not so af­fect the name of moderate, that at length he lost all his zeal.

Object. But the Apostle presseth modera­tion, Phil. 4. 5. Let your moderation be known to all?

Answ. The Apostle speaks there of mo­derating our passion; the Greek word for [...] moderation, signifies candour, and meek­ness, opposite to rashBeza. anger; and so the word is rendred in another place [...] Patient, 1 Tim. 3. 3. By moderation then, is meant meekness of spirit; and that is clear by the subsequent words, The Lord is at hand: As [Page 161] if the Apostle had said, avenge not your selves, for the Lord is at hand, he is ready to avenge your personal wrongs, but this doth not at all hinder, but that in matters of Religion a Christian should be zealous.

2 What strangers are they to godliness,2 Bran. who have no zeal for the glory of God? they can see his ordinances despised, his worship adulterated, yet their spirits are not at all stirred in them. How many are of a dull, lukewarm temper, zealous for their own secular interest, but have no zeal for the things of heaven; hot in their own cause, but cool in Gods. The Lord doth most abominate lukewarm professours, I had almost said, hee is sick of them, Rev. 3. 15. I would thou wert cold or hot, (any thing but lukewarm) but because thou art neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth: A lukewarm Christian is but dough-baked, just like Ephraim, Hos. 7. 8. Ephraim is a cake not turned: To keep up a form of Religion without zeal, is to be like those bodies the Angels assumed, which mooved, but had no life in them. I would ask these Tepid neutral professors this question, If Religion be not a good cause, why did they undertake it at first? if it be, why do they go so faint­ly about it? why have they no more holy [Page 162] ardours of soul? these persons would fain go to heaven in a soft bed, but are loath to bee carried thither in a fiery Chariot of zeal. Re­member, God will be zealous against them, who are not zealous; he provides the fire of hell, for those that want the fire of zeal.

Use 2.Use 2. Exhort. As you would be found in the cata­logue of the godly, labour for zeal; as good bee of no religion, as not to be zealous in re­ligion. Beware of carnal policy; This is one of those three things which Luther feared would bee the death ofMelch. Adam in vit. Luth. Religion. Some men have been too wise to bee saved. Their discretion hath quenched their zeal; beware of stoth, which is an enemy to zeal, be zealous and repent Rev. 3. 19. Christians, what do you re­serve your zeal for? is it for your gold that pe­risheth? or for your lusts that will make you perish? can you bestow your zeal better, than upon God? how zealous have men been in a false religion? Isa. 46. 6. They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the ballance. The Iews did spare no cost in their idolatrous worship, nay, Ier. 32. 35. They cause their Sons and Daughters to pass thorow the fire to Mo­lech. They were so zealous in their idol-wor­ship, that they would sacrifice their Sons and Daughters to their false Gods; how far did the purblinde Heathens go in their false [Page 163] zeal? [...] the Tribunes of Rome complain­ed they wanted gold in their Treasur [...]es, to offer to Apollo, the Roman Matrons pluck­ed off their chains of gold, and rings, and bracelets, and gave them to the Priests to of­fer upLivy. sacrifice: were these so zealous in their sinful worship, and will not you bee zealous in the worship of the true God? can you loose any thing by your zeal? shall it not bee super-abundantly recompenced? what is heaven worth? what is a sight of God worth? was not Jesus Christ zealous for you? he sweat drops of blood, hee con­flicted with his Fathers wrath; how zealous was hee for your redemption, and have you no zeal for him? is there any thing you your selves hate more than dulness and slothful­ness in your servants? you are weary of such servants; do you dislike a dull temper in o­thers, and not in your selves? what are all your duties without zeal, but non entia, meer fancies and nullities.

Do you know what a glorious thing zeal is? it is the lustre that sparkles from grace, it is the flame ofIgnis quidam flagrantis­simi amo­ris. Aug. love; it resembles the Holy Ghost, Act. 2. 2. There appeared cloven tongues like fire, which sat upon them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Tongues of fire, were an Emblem to represent that fire of [Page 164] zeal which the spirit powred upon them.

Zeal makes all our religious performances prevalent with God: When the iron is red hot, it enters best; and when our services are red hot with zeal, they soonest pierce heaven.

SECT. XVI.

16. A godly man is a patient man,16 Cha­racter. Iam. 5. 11. Ye have heard of the patience of Iob. Patience is a star which shines in a dark night: There is a twofold patience.

  • 1. Patience in waiting.
  • 2. Patience in bearing.

1. Patience in waiting: A godly man, if he hath not his desire presently, he will wait till the mercy be ripe, Psa. 130. 6. My soul waiteth for the Lord. Good reason God should have the Timing of our mercies, Isa. 60. 22. I the Lord will hasten it in his time. Delive­rance may tarry beyond our time, but it will not tarry beyond Gods time.

Why should not we wait patiently upon God. 1. We are servants; it becomes ser­vants to be in a waiting posture. 2. We wait upon every thing else; we wait upon the fire till it burns; we wait upon the seed till it grows, Iam. 5. 7. Why cannot we wait up­on [Page 165] God? 3. God hath waited uponIsa. 30. 18. us: Did not he wait for our repentance? How often did he come year after year before he found fruit? Did God wait upon us, and cannot we wait upon him? A godly man is content to stay Gods leisure, though the Visi­on tarry, he will wait forHab. 2. 3▪ it.

2. Patience in bearing: This patience is twofold. 1. Either in regard of man; when we bear injuries without revenging. Or 2. In regard of God; when we bear his hand with­out repining: A good man will not only do Gods will, but bear his will, Mica. 7. 9. I will bear the indignation of the Lord. This pa­tient bearing of Gods will is not

1. A Stoical Apathy: Patience is not in­sensibleness under Gods hand; we ought to be sensible.

2. It is not patience upon force; to bear a thing because we cannot help it; which (as Erasmus saith) is rather necessity than patience. But, patience is a cheerful submission of our will to God, Act. 21. 4. The will of the Lord be done. A godly man doth acquiesce in what God doth, as being not only good, but best for him: The great quarrel between God and us is, whose will shall stand: Now the Rege­nerate will, falls in with the will of God: [...]here are four things opposite to this patient [...]ame of soul.

[Page 166] 1. Disquiet of spirit: When the soul is discomposed, and pulled off the hinges, inso­much that it is unfit for holy duties; when the strings of a Lute are snarled, the Lute is not fit to make Musick; so when a Chri­stians spirit is perplexed and disturbed, he cannot make melody in his heart to the Lord.

2. Discontent; which is a sullen dogged humour: When a man is not angry at his sins, but at his condition, this is different from patience: Discontent is the daughter of pride.

3. Prejudice, which is a dislike of God and his ways, and a falling off from Religion: Sinners have hard thoughts of God, and if he doth but touch them in a tender part, they will presently be gone from him, and throw off his Livery.

4. Self-vindication, when instead of be­ing humbled under Gods hand, a man justi­fies himself, as if he had not deserved what he suffers: A proud sinner stands upon his own defence, and is ready to accuse God of unrighteousness, which is as if we should tax the Sun with darkness; this is far from pati­ence: A godly man subscribes to Gods wis­dome, and submits to his will; he saith not only good is the Word of the Lord, Isa. 3 [...]8. but good is the Rod of the Lord.

[Page 167] Use. Vse. As we would demonstrate our selves godly, let us be eminent in this grace of pati­ence, Eccles. 7. 8. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit: There are some Gra­ces which we shall have no need of in hea­ven; we shall have no need of Faith when we have full Vision, nor patience when we have perfect joy; but in a dark sorrowful night, there is need of these stars toHeb. 10. 36. shine: Let us show our patience in bearing Gods will; patience in bearing Gods will is two-fold.

1. When God removes any comfort from us.

2. When God imposeth any evil upon us.

1. We must be patient when God removes any comfort from us: Doth God take away any of our Relations? Ezek. 24. 16. I will take away the desire of thine eyes with a stroak; yet it is our duty patiently to acquiesce in the Will of God: The loss of a dear Relation, is like the pulling away a Limb from the Quae ar­den er di­ligimus habita graviter suspirae­mus ablae­ [...]ae.body. ‘—Homo toties moritur, quoties amittit suos.—’

But grace will make our hearts calm and sedate, and work us to an holy patience under such a severe dispensation. I shall lay down [Page 168] eight considerations, which may be as spiritu­al Physick to kill the worm of impatience under the loss of Relations.

1. The Lord never takes away any com­fort from his people, but he gives them that which is better: The Disciples parted with Christs corporal presence, and he sent them the Holy Ghost: God eclipseth one joy, and augments another, he doth but make an ex­change, he takes away a Flower, and gives a Diamond.

2. Godly friends dying are in a better condition, they are taken away from the evil to come, Isa. 57. 1. They are out of the storm, and are gotten to the Haven, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, Rev. 14. 13. The godly have a portion promised them upon their marriage with Christ, but the portion is not paid till the day of their death: The Saints at death are preferred to Communion with God, they have that they so long hoped for, and prayed for; why then should we be impatient at our friends preferment?

3. Thou that art a Saint, hast a friend in heaven which thou canst not lose: The Jews have a saying at theirSit con­solatio tua in caelis. Funerals, Let thy con­solation be in heaven. Art thou a close Mour­ner, look up to heaven, and fetch comfort thence, thy best kindred are above, Psa 27. 10, [Page 169] When my Father and Mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up: God will be with thee in the hour of death, Psa. 23. 4. Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me. Other friends thou canst not keep, God is a friend thou canst not lose; he will be thy Guide in life, thy Hope in death, thy Reward after death.

4 Perhaps God is correcting thee for a fault, and it so, it becomes thee to bee pati­ent; it may bee thy friend had more of thy love than God, and therefore God did take away such a relation, that the stream of thy love may run bak to him again. A gracious woman having been deprived, first of her Children, then of her Husband, Lord (saith she) thou hast a plot upon me, thou intend­est to have all my love; God doth not like it, to have any Creature set upon the throne of our affections, hee will take away that com­fort, and then he shall lye nearest our heart. If an Husband bestow a jewel upon his Wife, and she doth so fall in love with that jewel, as to forget her Husband, hee will take away the jewel, that her love may re­turn to him again; a dear relation is this jewel, if we begin to idolize it, God will take away the jewell, that our love may return to him [...]gain.

[Page 170] 5 A Godly Relation is parted with, but not lost, that is lost, which wee are out of hope ever of seeing again; religious friends are but gone a littleNon sunt amissi sed pr [...]misse Cypr. before. A time will shortly come, when there shall bee a meet­ing without parting, 1 Thes. 5. 10. How glad is one friend to see another, that hath been long absent? Oh what glorious accla­mations shall there bee, when old relations shall meet together in heaven, and be in each others embraces? when a great prince lands at the shore, the guns go off, in token of joy; when godly friends shall be all landed at the heavenly shore, and shall congratulate one a­nothers felicity, what stupendious joy will there be? what musick in the quire of An­gels? how will heaven ring of their praises? and that which is the crown of all, they who were here joyned in the flesh, shall bee joyn­ed nearer than ever in the mystical body, and shall lye together in Christs1 Thes. 4. 17. bosome, that bed of perfume.

6 Wee have deserved worse at Gods hands; hath hee taken away a childe, a wife, a parent? hee might have taken away his spirit; hath he deprived us of a relation? he might have deprived us of salvation; doth he put wormwood in the cup? we have deser­ved poyson, Ezra. 9. 13. Thou hast punish [...]d [Page 171] us less than our iniquities deserve; wee have a sea of sin, and but a drop of suffering.

7 The patient soul doth most sweetly en­joy it self; an impatient man is like a trou­bled sea, that cannot rest; he tortures him­self upon the wrack of his own griefs and passions, whereas patience calms the heart, as Christ did the sea, when it was rough, and now there is a sabbath in the heart, yea, an heaven, Luk. 21. 19. In your patience pos­sess yee your souls: By faith a man possesseth God, and by patience hee possesseth him­self.

8 How patient have many of the Saints been, when the Lord hath broken the very staff of their comfort, in berea [...]ing them of Relations; The Lord took away Iobs chil­dren, and he was so far from murmuring, that he falls a blessing, Iob 1. 21. The Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. God fore-told the death of Elies sons, 1 Sam. 2. 34. In one day they shall dye both of them; but how patiently did he take this sad news, 1 Sam. 3. 18. It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good: See the difference between Eli and Pharoah, Pharoah saith, who is the Exod 5. 2. Lord? Eli saith, it is the Lord: When God struck two of Aarons sons dead, Lev. 10. [...] Aaron held his peace; patience opens the [Page 172] ear, but shuts the mouth, it opens the ear to hear the Rod, but shuts the mouth that it hath not a word to say against God, Be­hold here the patterns of patienc [...]; and shall not wee write after their fair Copies? these are heart-quieting considerations, when God sets a deaths-head upon our comforts, and removes dear relations from us.

2 We must be patient, when God inflicts any evil upon us, Rom. 12. 12. Patient in Tribula­tion.

1 The Lord sometimes laies heavy afflicti­on upon his people, Psal. 38. 2. Thy hand lies sore upon me. The Hebrew word for [...] afflict­ed, signifies to bee melted; God seems to melt his people in a furnace.

2 God doth sometimes lay divers afflicti­ons on the Saints, Iob 19. 17. Hee multi­plieth my wounds: as wee have divers waies of sinning, so the Lord hath divers waies of af­flicting; some hee melts away their estates, others hee chains to a sick bed, others hee confines to a Prison; God hath various ar­rows in his quiver, which he shoots.

3 Sometimes God lets the affliction lye long, Psal. 74. 9. There is no more any Prophet, neither is there among us any that knoweth how long: As it is with diseases, there are some Chronical, that linger and hang about the bo­dy [Page 173] several years together, so it is with affli­ctions, the Lord is pleased to exercise many of his precious ones with Chronical afflictions, such as lye upon them a long time; now in all these cases, it becomes the Saints, patiently to rest in the will of God; the Greek word for [...]. patient, is a metaphor, alludes to one who stands invincibly under a burden. This is the right notion of patience, when we bear affliction invincibly without fainting, or fret­ting.

The trial of a Pilot is seen in a storm; so is the tryal of a Christian seen in affliction; hee hath the right art of navigation, who when the boistrous winds blow from heaven, doth steer the ship of his soul wisely, and not dash upon the [...]rock of impatience; a Christian should alwaies keep a decorum, not behav­ing himself unseemly, or disguising himself with intemperate passion, when the hand of God lies upon him. Patience adorns suffer­ing; affliction in Scripture is compared to a net, Psa. 66. 11. Thou broughtest us into the net. Such as have escaped the Devils net, yet the Lord suffers them to bee taken in the net of affliction, but they must not be as a wild Bull in a net, Isa. 51. 20. to kick and fling against their maker, but lye patiently till God break the net, and makes away for their escape. [Page 174] I shall propound four cogent Arguments, to excite patience under those evils which God inflicts on us.

1 Afflictions are [...],1 Argu. for our benefit. Heb. 12. 9. Hee for our profit, wee pray that God would take such a course with us as may do our souls Good, when God is afflicting us, hee is hearing our pray­ers, he doth it▪ for our Domine hic ure, hic seca ut in aeternum parcas. Aug. profit: not that affli­ctions in themselves do profit us, but as Gods Spirit works with them▪ For as the waters of Bethesda could not give health of themselves, unless the Angel descended and stirred the water, Iohn 5. 4. So the waters of affliction are not in themselves healing till Gods Spirit co-operates and sanctifies them to us: Afflictions are many waysQuod mundus noxium es­se putat, exitum u­tilem pa­rit. Calv. pro­fitable.

1. They make men sober and wise: Phy­sitians appoint distracted persons to be bound in Chains, and to be dieted, and have hard fare to bring them to the use of reason: Ma­ny run stark mad in prosperity, they neither know God nor themselves; the Lord there­fore binds them with cords of affliction, that he may bring them to their right [...]. Chrysost. under­standings, Iob 36. 8. If they be held in cords of affliction, then he shews them their transgres­sion, he openeth also their ear to discipline.

[Page 175] 2 Afflictions are a friend to grace.

1 They beget grace; Beza acknowledged God laid the foundation of his Conversion in a violent sickness at Paris.

2 They augment grace, the people of God are beholding to their troubles, they had never had so much grace, if they had not met with such sore trials; now, the waters run, and the spices flow forth. The Saints thrive by affliction, as the Lacedemonians grew rich by war; God makes grace flourish most in the fall of the leaf.

3 Afflictions quicken our pace in the way to heaven; it is with us, as with children sent on an errand, if they meet with Apples or Flowers by the way, they linger and make no great haste home, but if any thing fright them, then they run with all the speed they can to their fathers house; so in prosperity, we are gathering the Apples and Flowers, and do not much minde heaven, but if trou­bles begin to arise, and the times grow fright­ful, then we make more haste to heaven, and with David; run the way of Gods commande­ments. Psa. 119. 32.2 Argu.

2 God intermixeth mercy with affliction, hee steeps his-sword of justice in the oyl of Vindictae gladium misericor­diae oleo­semper ex­acuit.mercy, there was no night so dark, but Is­rael had a Pillar of fire in it; there is no con­dition [Page 176] so dismal, but we may see a Pillar of fire to give light, if the body be in pain, con­science is in peace, there is mercy; affliction is for the prevention of sin, there is mercy: In the Ark there was a rod and a pot of Man­na, the Emblem of a Christians condition, mercy interlined with Psa. 101. 1. judgement, here is the rod and Manna.

3 Patience evidenceth much of God in the heart;3 Argu­ment. patience is one of Gods titles; Rom. 15. 5. The God of patience; thou that hast thy heart cast into this blessed mould, it is a sign God hath imparted much of his own nature to thee, thou shinest with some of his beams.

Impatience evidenceth much unsoundness of heart; as it is in the body, if the body bee of that temper, that every little scratch of a pin makes the flesh to rancle, you will say, sure this mans flesh is very unsound; so for e­very petty cross to flye out in impatience, and quarrel with providence, it is the sign of a distempered Christian; if there be any grace in such an heart, they must have good eyes that can see it; but he who is of a patient spi­rit, is a graduate in Religion, and doth much participate of the divine nature.

4 The end of affliction is glorious;4 Argu­ment. the Iews were captive in Babylon, but what was [Page 177] the end? they departed out of Babylon with vessels of silver, with gold and precious things, Ezra. 1. 6. So, what is the end of af­fliction, it ends in endless glory, Acts 14. 22. 2 Cor. 4. 17. how may this rock our impati­ent hearts quiet: who would not willingly travel through a little dirty way, and ploughed lands, at the end whereof is a fair Meadow, and in that Meadow, a golden Mine?

Quest. How shall I get my heart tuned into a patient frame?

Answ. 1 Get faith; all our impatience pro­ceeds from unbelief; faith is the breeder of patience, when a storm of passion begins to a­rise, faith saith to the heart, as Christ to the Sea, peace, be still, and there is presently a calm.

Quest. How doth faith work patience?

Answ. Faith argues the soul into patience; faith is like that Town-Clark in Ephesus, who allayed the contention of the multitude, and argued them soberly into peace, Act. 19. 35, 36. So when impatience begins to clamour and make an hubbub in the soul; faith ap­peaseth the tumult, and argues the soul in­to holy patience: Saith faith, Why art thou disquieted O my Soul? art thou afflicted? is it not thy Father hath done it? he is carving and pollishing thee, and making thee fit for [Page 178] glory, he smites that hee may save; what is thy tryal, is it sickness? God shakes the Tree of thy body, that some fruit may fall, even the peaceable fruit of righteousness, Heb. 12. 11. Art thou driven from thy habitati­on? God hath prepared for thee a City, Heb. 11. 16. Dost thou suffer reproach for Christs sake? a spirit of God and glory rest up­on thee, 1 Pet. 4. 14. Thus faith argues and disputes the soul into patience.

2 Pray to God for patience, patience is a flower of Gods planting; pray that it may grow in your heart, and send forth its sweet perfume: Prayer is an holy charm, to charm down the evil spirit; prayer composeth the heart, and puts it in Tune, when impati­ence hath broken the strings, and put all into a confusion: Oh go to God, prayer delights Gods ear, it melts his heart, it opens his hand; God cannot deny a praying soul; seek to him with importunity, and either he will remove the affliction, or which is better, he will remove thy impatience.

SECT. XVII.

17 A Godly man is a thankful man; praise and thanksgiving,17 Cha­racter. is the work of heaven, and he begins that work here, which he shall bee [Page 179] alwaies doing in heaven. The Iews have a saying, the world subsists by three things; the Law, the worship of God, andSuper tribus con­sistit mu [...] ­dus, super lege, & cultu sa­cro, & re­tributione. Aloys. no­var. thank­fulness; as if where thankfulness were want­ing, one of the Pillars of the world were taken away, and it were ready to fall. The Hebrew word for praise, comes from a radix, that signifies to shoot [...] ja­culatus est. Hiph. [...] confiteri, gratias a­gere. Bux­torf. up; the Godly man sends up his praises, as a volly of shot towards heaven. David who was mo­delled after Gods heart, how melodiously did he warble out Gods praises? therefore was called the sweet singer of Israel, 1 Sam. 23. 1. Take a Christian at the worst, yet hee is thankful: The Prophet Ionah, who was homo [...], a man of a waspish spirit; the sea did not so work with the tempest,Jon. 1. 13. as Ionahs heart wrought with passion; yet, through this cloud you might see grace ap­pear; he had a thankful heart, Ionah 2. 9. I will Sacrifice to thee with the voice of thanks­giving, I will pay that which I have vowed. For the clearer illustrating of this, I shall lay down these four particulars.

1 Praise and thanksgiving is a Saint-like work; we finde in Scripture, the godly are still called upon to praise God, Psa. 135. 20. Ye that fear the Lord, bless the Lord. Psa. 149. 5. Let the Saints bee joyful in glory, let the [Page 180] high praises of God be in their mouth; praise is a work proper to a Saint.

1 None but the godly can praise God a­right; as all have not skill to play on the Lute, so every one cannot sound forth the harmoni­ous praises of God; wicked men are bound to praise God, but they are not fit to praise him; none but a living Christian can tune Gods praise; wicked men are dead in sin, how can they lift up Gods praises, that are dead? Isa. 38. 19. The grave cannot praise thee: A wicked man stains and eclipseth Gods praise, if a foul hand work in Damask, or flowred Sat­tin, it will slur the beauty of it; God will say to the sinner, what hast thou to do, to take my name into thy mouth? Psa. 50. 16.

2 Praise is not comely for any, but the godly, Psa. 33. 1. Praise is comely for the righteous: A prophane man stuck with Gods praises, is like a dunghill stuck with flowers; praise in the mouth of a sinner, is like an O­racle in the mouth of a fool; how uncomely is it for him to praise God, whose whole life is a dishonouring of God? it is as unde­cent for a wicked man to praise God, as it is for an Usurer to talk of living by faith, or for the Devil to quote Scripture; the godly on­ly are fit to be queristers in Gods praises, 'tis called the Garment of praise, Isaiah 61. 3. [Page 181] this garment sits handsome only on a Saints back.

2 Thanksgiving is a more noble part of Gods worship; our wants may send us to prayer, but it argues an heart highly ingenu­ous to bless God; the Raven cries, the Lark sings; in petition we act like men, in thanks­giving we act like Angels.

3 Thanksgiving is a God-exalting work, Psa. 50. 23. Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me, though nothing can adde the least cubit to Gods essential glory, yet praise exalts him in the eyes of others; praise is a setting forth of Gods honour, a lifting up of his name, a displaying the trophy of his goodness, a proclaiming his excellency, a spreading his renown, a breaking open the box of oynt­ment, whereby the sweet savour and per­fume of Gods name is sent abroad into the world.

4 Praise is a more distinguishing work; by this a Christian excels all the infernall spi­rits; dost thou talk of God? so can the De­vil, hee brought Scripture to Christ; dost thou profess religion? so can the Devil, he transforms himself into an Angel of light; dost thou fast? he never eats; dost thou beleeve? the Devils have a faith of assent, they believe and tremble, Iam. 2. 19. but, as [Page 182] Moses wrought such a miracle, as none of the Magicians could do the like; so here is a work Christians may be doing, which none of the Devils can do, and that is the work of thanksgiving; they blaspheme, but do not bless; Satan hath his fiery darts, but not his harp and viol.

Use 1 See here the true genius and com­plexion of a godly man,Vse 1. hee is much in dox­ologies and praises.1 Bran. 'Tis a saying of Lactan­tius, hee cannot bee a good man, who is un­thankful toLactan. instit. c. 3. his God: A godly man is a God-exalter; the Saints are Temples of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 3. 16. where should Gods praises bee sounded, but in his Temples? a good heart is never weary of praising God, Psa. 34. 1. His praise shall continually bee in my mouth. Some will be thankful while the me­mory of the mercy is fresh, but afterwards leavePlures sunt apud quos non diutius in animo sunt donata quam in usu. Sen. de benef. off; The Carthaginians used at first; to send the tenth of their yearly revenue to Hercules, but by degrees they grew weary, and left offDiodor. Siculus. sending. David as long as hee drew his breath, would chirp forth Gods praise, Psa. 146. 2. I will sing praises to my God, while I have any being: David would not now and then give God a fit of Musick, and then the instrument must be hung up, but he would continually be celebrating Gods praise.

[Page 183] A godly man will express his thankfulness in every duty, hee mingles thanksgiving with prayer, Phil. 4. 6. In every thing by prayer, with thanksgiving, let your requests bee made known to God. Thanksgiving is the more di­vine part of prayer; in our petitions wee ex­press our own necessities, in our thanksgivings we declare Gods excellencies. Then pray­er goes up as incense, when it is perfumed with thanksgiving.

And as a godly man expresseth thankfulness in every duty, so in every condition; hee will be thankful in [...], Chry­sost. ad An­tioch. [...]om. 1. [...]om. 17. adversity, as well as prospe­rity, 1 Thes. 5. 18. In every thing giving thanks: A gracious soul is thankful and re­joyceth, that hee is drawn nearer to God, though it be by the cords of affliction; when it goes well with him, hee praiseth Gods mercy; when it goes ill with him, he magni­fies Gods justice; when God hath a rod in his hand, a godly man will have a Psalm in his mouth. The Devils smiting of Iob, was like the striking upon a musical instrument, he sounded forth praise, The Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord, Iob 1. 21. Gods spiritual plants, when they are cut and do bleed, drop thankfulness, the Saints Tears cannot drown their praises.

2 If this be the sign of a godly man,2 Bran. then [Page 184] the number of the godly will appear to bee very small. Few are in the work of praise, sinners cut God short of his thank-offering, Luk. 17. 17 where are the [...], Theodor. nine? Often Leap­ers healed, there was but one returned to give praise; the most of the world are Se­pulchres, to bury Gods praise; you shall hear some swearing and cursing, but few that bless God: Praise is the yearly rent that men sit at, but most are behinde hand with their rent. God gave King Hezekiah a famous deliverance, but Hezekiah rendred not again, according to the benefit done unto him, 2 Chron. 32. 25. that But, was a blot in his Scutchi­on; some instead of being thankful to God, render evil for good, they are the worse for mercy, Deut. 32. 6. Do yee thus requite the Lord, foolish people and unwise? This is like the Toad, that converts the most wholsome hearb to poyson; where shall wee finde a grateful Christian? Wee read of the Saints, Rev. 5. 8. Having harps in their hand; the Em­blem of praise; many have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouths, but few that have harps in their hand who are blessing and praising the name of God.

Use 2 Let us put our selves upon a scruti­ny, and examine by this Character whether we are godly,Vse 2. Trial. are wee thankful for mercy? [Page 185] 'tis an hard thing to bee thankful.

Quest. How may wee know whether wee are rightly thankful?

Answ. 1 When wee are careful to register Gods mercy, 1 Chron. 16. 4. David appoint­ed certain of the Levites, to record and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel. Physitians say, the memory is the first thing thatMemori [...] primo se­nescit. de­cayes; 'tis true in spirituals, Psal. 106. 13. They soon forgat his works: A godly man en­ters down his mercies, as a Physician his re­ceipts into a book, that they may not bee lost. Mercies are Jewels that should be locked up; A childe of God keeps two books alwaies by him, one to write his sins in, that he may be humble, the other to write his mercies in, that he may be thankful.

2 Then wee are rightly thankful, when our hearts are the chief instrument in the mu­sick of praise, Psa. 111. 1. I will praise the Lord with my whole [...] heart. David would not only put his Viol in tune, but his heart; if the heart doth not joyn with the tongue, there can bee no consort; where the heart is wanting, the Parrot is as good a Querister, as the Christian.

3 Then we are rightly thankful, when the favours which we receive, endear our love to God the more. Davids miraculous pre­servation [Page 186] from death, drew forth his love to God, Psa. 116. 1. I love the Lord, it is one thing to love our mercies, another thing to love the Lord; many love their deliverance, but not their deliverer; God is to bee loved more than his mercies.

4 Then we are rightly thankful, when in giving our praise to God, wee take all wor­thiness from our selves, Gen. 32. 10. I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, thou hast shewed unto thy servant; as if Iacob had said, Lord the worst bit thou carvest me, is better than I deserve. 2 Sam. 9. 7. Mephi­bosheth bowed himself, and said, what is thy Servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? So a thankful Christian, when he takes a survey of his blessings, and sees how much he enjoyes, that others bet­ter than he want, Lord saith he, what am I, a dead dog, that free-grace should look upon me, and that thou shouldst crown mee with such loving kindness?

5 Then we are rightly thankful, when we put Gods mercies out of Use; wee turn our injoyments into improvements; the Lord gives us health, and wee spend and are spent for Christ, 2 Cor. 12. 15. hee gives us an e­state, and wee honour the Lord with our sub­stance, Prov. 3. 9. he gives us children, and [Page 187] wee dedicate them to God, and edugate them for God; wee do not bury our Talents, but trade them, this is to put out our mer­cies to Use: a gracious heart is like a peece of good ground, that having received the seed of mercy, thrusts forth a crop of obedi­ence.

6 Then wee are rightly thankful, when we can have our hearts more enlarged for spi­ritual mercies, than for temporal: Eph. 1. 3. Blessed be God, who hath blessed us with all spi­ritual blessings: A godly man blesseth God more for a fruitful heart, than a full crop; hee is more thankful for Christ, than for a King­dome: Socrates was wont to say, hee loved the Kings smile more than his gold: a pious heart is more thankful for a smile of Gods face, than hee would bee for the gold of the Indies.

7 Then wee are rightly thankful, when mercy is a whe [...] to duty, it causeth a spirit of activity for God; Mercy is not as the Sun to the fire, to dull it, but as oyl to the wheele, to make it run faster. David wisely argues from mercy to duty, Psal. 116. 8, 9. Thou hast delivered my Soul from death, I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. It was a saying of Bernard, Lord I have two Mites, a soul and a body, and I give them both toDu [...]s h [...] ­beo min [...] ­tias domi­ne, &c. Bern. thee.

[Page 188] 8 Then wee are rightly thankful, when we excite others to this Angelical work of praise: David would not only bless God himself, but calls upon others to do so, Praise ye the Lord, Psalm. 111. 1. That is the sweetest musick, which is in consort; when many Saints joyn together in consort, then they make heaven ring of their praises; as one drunkard will bee calling upon another, so in an holy sense, one Christian must bee stirring up another to the work of thankful­ness.

9 Then we are rightly thankful, when we do not only speak Gods praise, but live his praise: It is called gratiarum actio, then wee give thanks, when wee live thanks; such as are mirrours of mercy, should be patterns of piety, Obad. 17. Upon Mount Sion, shall be de­liverance, and there shall be holiness: To give God orall praise, and dishonour him in our lives, is to commit a barbarism in religion, and is to be like those Iews who bowed the knee to Christ, and then did spit upon him, Mark 15. 19.

10 Then wee are rightly thankful, when wee do propagate Gods praises to posterity, we tell our children what God hath done for us, in such a want hee supplyed us, in such a sickness he raised us, in such a temptation he [Page 189] succoured us: Psa. 44. 1. O God our Fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their daies, in the time of old. By transmitting our expe­riences to our Children, Gods name is eter­nized, and his mercies will bring forth a plentiful crop of praise when wee are gone. He man puts the question, Psal. 88. 10. Shall the dead praise thee? Yes, in this sense, when we are dead, we praise God, because having left the Chronicle of Gods mercies with our Children, we put them upon thankfulness, and so make Gods praises live, when we are dead.

—dumque aurea voluet astra polus,
Memori semper celebrabunt cantu.—

Use 3 Let us evidence our godliness by gratefulness, Vse 3. Exhor. Psa. 29. 2. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name.

1 It is a good thing to be thankful, Psal, 147. 1.Motive It is good to sing praises to our God. 1 'Tis ill when the tongue (that Organ of praise) is out of tune, and doth jar, by mur­muring and discontent; but it is a good thing to be thankful: it is good, because this is all the creature can do to lift up Gods name; and it is good, because it tends to the mak­ing us good: the more thankful we are, the [Page 190] more holy; while wee pay this tribute of praise, our stock of grace increseth: in other debts, the more we pay, the less wee have, but the more wee pay this debt of thankful­ness, the more grace wee have.

2 Thankfulness is the quit-rent wee owe to God, Psa. 148. 11, 13. King of the earth, and all people, let them praise the name of the Lord: Praise is the tribute or custome, to bee paid into the King of heavens Exchequor: Surely while God renews our Lease, we must renew our rent.

3 The great cause we have to be thankful, 'tis a principle grafted in nature, to be thank­ful forBenefici­um Postulat officium. benefits: The Heathens praised Iu­piter for their victories.

What full clusters of mercies hang upon us? when we go to enumerate Gods mercies, we must (with David) confess our selves to bee nonplussed, Psal. 40. 5. Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, they cannot be reckoned up in Order. And as Gods mercies are past numbring, so they are past measuring: David takes the longest measuring line hee could get, hee measures from earth to the clouds, nay, above the clouds, yet this measure would not reach the heighth of Gods mercies, Psal. 108. 4. Thy mercy is great above the heavens. O how [Page 191] hath God enriched us with his silver show­ers? a whole constellation of mercies, hath shined in our Hemisphere.

1 What Temporal favours have wee [...], Chrys.received; every day wee see a new tide of mercy coming in; the wings of mercy have covered us, the breast of mercy hath fed us, Gen. 48. 15. The God which hath fed mee all my life long to this day. What snares laid for us have been broken? what fears blown over? the Lord hath made our bed, when he hath made others grave; he hath taken such care of us, as if he had none else to take care for; never was the cloud of providence so black, but we might see a Rainbow of Love in the cloud? we have been made to swim in a sea of mercy, and doth not all this call for thank­fulness?

2 That which may put a string more into the instrument of our praise, and make it sound louder, is to consider what spiritual blessings God hath conferred upon us: he hath given us of the upper-springs, [...] he hath opened the Wardrobe of Heaven, and fetched us out a better garment than any of the Angels wear; he hath given us the best robe, and put upon us the Ring of faith, whereby wee are married to him: These are mercies of the first magnitude, which deserve to have an [Page 192] Asterist put upon them, and God keeps the best Wine till last, here hee gives us mercies but by retail, the greatest things are laid up; here are some Hony drops, and fore-tastes of Gods love, the Rivers of pleasure are reserved for Paradise; well may we take the harp and viol, and triumph in Gods praise; who can tread upon these hot coals of Gods love, and his heart not burn in thankfulness?

4 Thankfulness is the best policy, there is nothing lost by it; to bee thankful for one mercy, is the way to have more, 'tis like powring water into aAscensus gratiarum descensus gratiae. Pump, which fetch­eth out more; Musicians love to sound their trumpets, where there is the best Eccho, and God loves to bestow his mercies, where there is the best Eccho of [...]. thankfulness.

5 Thankfulness is a frame of heart God delights in; if repentance bee the joy of hea­ven, praise is the [...]. musick. Bernard calls thankfulness the sweet Balm that drops from a Christian.

Four Sacrifices God is much pleased with, the sacrifice of Christs blood, the sacrifice of a broken heart, the sacrifice of Alms, and the sacrifice of thanksgiving: Praise and Thanksgiving (saith Mr. Greenham) is the most excellent part of Gods worship, for this shall continue in the heavenly quire, [Page 193] when all other exercises of Religion shall cease.

6 What an horrid thing ingratitude is, it gives a dye and tincture to every other sin, and makes it Crimson; ingratitude is the spi­rits of baseness, Obad. v. 7. They that eat thy bread, have laid a Wound under thee: Ingra­titude is worse than bruitish, Isa. 1. 3. 'Tis reported of Iulius Caesar, that he would ne­ver forgive an ungrateful person; though God be a sin-pardoning God, he scarce knows not how to pardon for this, Ier. 5. 7. How shall I pardon thee for this, thy children have forsaken me, when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery. Draco (whose Laws were written in blood) published and edict, that if any man had received a benefit from ano­ther, and it could bee proved against him, that hee had not been grateful for it, hee should be put to death; an unthankful per­son is a monster in nature, a Pardox in Chri­stianity; he is the scorn of heaven, and the plague of earth; an ungrateful man, never doth well but in one thing, that is when hee dies.

7 The not being thankful, is the cause of all the Judgements which have lain upon us; our unthankfulness for health, hath been the cause of so much Mortality; our Gospel-un­thankful [Page 194] thankfulness, and Sermon-surfeiting, hath been the reason why God hath put so many Lights under a Bushel; as Bradford said, my unthankfulness was the death of King Ed­ward the sixth: Who will bestow cost on a peece of ground, that brings forth nothing but briars? unthankfulness stops the golden Vial of Gods bounty, that it will not drop.

Quest. How shall we do to be thankful?

Answ. 1. If you would be thankful, get an heart deeply humbled in the sense of your own vileness; a broken heart is the best pipe to sound forth Gods praise; hee who studies his sins, wonders that he hath any thing, and that God should shine upon such a dunghill, 1 Tim. 1. 13. Who was before a Blasphemer, and a Persecuter, but I obtained mercy: How thank­ful was he? how did he Trumpet forth free­grace? A proud man will never bee thank­ful, he looks upon all his mercies, to bee ei­ther of his own procuring or deserving; if he hath an Estate, this he hath gotten by his wit and industry, not considering that Scrip­ture, Deut. 8. 18. Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that gives thee power to get Riches. Pride stops the Current of grati­tude: O Christian! think of thy unworthi­ness, see thy self, the least of Saints, and the chief of Sinners, and then thou wilt be thank­ful.

[Page 195] 2 Labour for sound evidences of Gods love to you; read Gods love in the impress of holiness upon your hearts; Gods love powred in, will make the Vessels of Mercy run over with thankfulness, Rev. 1. 5, 6. Unto him that loved us, be glory and dominion for ever. The deepest Springs yeeld the sweetest water: hearts deeply sensible of Gods love, yeeld the sweetest praises.

SECT. XVIII.

18 A godly man is a lover of the Saints;Char. 18. the best way to discern grace in ones self, is to love grace in others, 1 Ioh. 3. 14. Wee know we have passed from death to life, because we love the Brethren: What is religion but religation? a knitting together of hearts; Faith knits us to God, and love knits us one to another: There is a two-fold love to o­thers.

1 A civil love; a godly man hath a love of civility to all, Gen. 23. 7. Abraham stood up and bewed to the children of Heth: Though they were extraneous, and not within the pale of the Covenant, yet Abraham was af­fable to them: grace doth sweeten and re­fine nature, 1 Pet. 3. 8. be [...]. courteous: wee are to have a love of civility to all.

[Page 196] 1 As they are ex eodem luto, of the same lump and mould with our selves, and are a peece of Gods curiousResert laertius de Aristotele, quum ipsi probo da­retur, quod flagitioso homini o­pem tulis­set, eum re­spondisse, [...]. needle-work.

2 Because our sweet deportment towards them, may bee a means to win upon them, and make them in love with the waies of God; a morose ruggid carriage, often alie­nates the hearts of others, and hardens them the more against holiness, whereas a loving behaviour is very obliging, and may bee as a load-stone to draw them to religion.

2 There is a pious and an holy love, and this a godly man doth bear chiefly to them, who are of the houshold of Quem­admodum ignis ea intensius caleficit quae adsita quam quae dissita sunt: [...]ta chari­tatis ignis ferventius fidei dome­sticos dili­get, quam [...] qui sunt a fide extranei. faith; the other was a love of courtesie, this of complacency: Our love to the Saints (saith Austin) should bee more than to our natural relations, because the bond of the spirit is nearer thanQuia major est fraternitas spiritus quam san­guinis. Aug. Tom. 0. that of blood. This love to the Saints, which evi­denceth a man godly, must have seven ingre­dients in it.

1 Love to the Saints must bee sincere, 1 Ioh. 3. 18. Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth: The hony that drops from the comb is pure, so must love be pure without deceit: Many are like Naphtali, Gen. 49. 21. he giveth goodly words: Pretended love is like a painted fire, which hath no heat in it. Some hide malice under a [Page 197] false veil of love; I have read of Antoninus the Emperour, where he made a shew of Friend­ship, there he intended the most mischief.

2 Love to the Saints must be spiritual, we must love them because they are Saints; not out of self-respects, because they are affable, or have been kinde toOllaris amor, qui tamdiù fervet quā diù olla fervida est. us, [...]. Hesh. but we must love them under a spiritual no­tion, because of the good that is in them; we are to reverence their holiness, else it is a carnal love.

3 Love to the Saints must be extensive, we must love all that bear GodsA quate­nus ad om­ne valet consequen­tia. image.

1 Though they have many infirmities; a Christian in this life, is like a good face full of Freckles; thou that canst not love ano­ther because of his imperfections, didst never yet see thy own face in the glass; thy brothers infirmities may make thee pity him, his graces must make thee love him.

2 Wee must love the Saints, though in some things they do not coalesce and agree with us: another Christian may differ from me in less matters, either because hee hath more light than I, or because hee hath lesse light; if he differs from me, because he hath more light, then I have no reason to censure him; if because hee hath less light, than I ought to bear with him, as the weaker Ves­sel, [Page 198] in things of an indifferent nature, there ought to be Christian connivance.

3 We must love the Saints, though their graces out-vye and surpass ours; we ought to bless God for the eminency of anothers grace, because hereby religion is honoured; Pride is not quite slain in a believer; Saints themselves are apt to grudge and repine at each others excellencies; is it not strange, that the same person, should hate one man for his sin, and envy another for his vertue? Christians had need look to their hearts; then is love right and genuine, when we can rejoyce in the graces of others, though they seem to eclipse ours.

4 Love to the Saints must be appretiating, we must esteem their persons above others, Psa. 15. 4. He honours them that fear the Lord: we are to look upon the wicked as lumber, but upon the Saints as jewels, these must bee had in high veneration.

5 Love to the Saints must bee Social, wee should delight in their company, Psal. 119. 63. I am a companion of all them that fear thee. 'Tis a kind of hell to be in the com­pany of the wicked, where we cannot choose but hear Gods name dishonoured: It was a capital crime, to have carried the Image of Tiberius, engraven upon a Ring or Coyn in­to any fordid place; They who have the I­mage [Page 199] of God engraven upon them, should not go into any sinful fordid company. Never but two that I read of, who were living, did desire to keep company with the dead, and they were possessed with theMat. 8. 28. Devil: what comfort can a living Christian have, to con­verse with the dead? Iude 2. but the so­ciety of Saints is eligible; this is not to walk among the Tombs, but among beds of spices. Be­leevers are Christs garden, their graces are the flowers, their savory discourse is the fragrant smell of these flowers.

6 Love to the Saints must be demonstra­tive; we should be ready to do all offices of love to them; vindicate their names, contri­bute to their necessities, and like the good Samaritan, pour Oyl and Wine into their wounds, Haec erat aqua lim­pida ex fonte cha­ritat is in miserum profluens, Solitarius erat, Sa­maritanu [...] accedit e­um, & vi­sitat; vul­ner atus e­rat, haec si­ne naus [...]ae vin [...] ex­purgat, o­leo lenit; semi-mor­tuus erat, hic suo ju­mento ip­sum vehit; peregrinus erat, hic in hospitium invehit; pauper e­rat, hic pe­cuniam pro illo erogat. Glass ex­eg. p. 4. in luc. Luk. 0. 34. 35. Love cannot be concealed, but is active in its sphere, and will lay out it self for the good of others.

7 Love to the Saints must be constant, 1 Iohn 4. 16. He that dwelleth in love: Our love must not only lodge for a night, but we must dwell in love, Heb. 13. 1. Let Brother­ly love [...]. continue: as love must bee sincere without hypocrisie, so constant without de­ficiency; love must be like the pulse, alwaies beating; not like those Galathians, who at one time were ready to pull out their eyes for [Page 200] Paul, Gal. 4. 15. and afterwards were ready to pluck out his eyes; love should not ex­pire but with our life: and surely if our love to the Saints, be thus divinely qualified, we may hopefully conclude that we are enrolled among the godly, Ioh. 13. 35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

That which induceth a godly man to love the Saints, is, because he is nearly related to them, there ought to be love among relati­ons, there is a spiritual consanguinity among beleevers, they have all one head, therefore should all have one heart, they are stones of the same building, 1 Pet. 2. 5. and shall not these stones bee cemented together with Quando quidem la­pides vivi sumus, nos coadunari in unu [...] templum, ac mutua charitate congluti­nari neces­se est. Cal­vin. Vse 1.Love?

Use 1. Is this the distinguishing Mark of a godly man, to be a lover of the Saints, then how sad is it to see this grace of love in an eclipse? this Character of godliness, is al­most blotted out among Christians England was once a fair garden, where the flower of love did grow, but sure now this flower is either plucked or withered; where is that a­mity and unity as should be amongQuam ardent u­bique odia regnat dis­cordia, ger­mana illa [...] non secus ac si in tenebrosum aliquem carcerem esset inclusa, aut in ex­ilium pulsa, nusquam fere inter Christianos conspicitur. Chri­stians? I appeal to you, would there bee [Page 201] that censuring and despising, that reproach­ing and undermining one another if there were love? instead of bitter Tears, there are bitter spirits; a sign iniquity abounds, because the love of many waxeth cold; there is that distance among some professours, as if they had not received the same spirit, or as if they did not hope for the same heaven: In the Primitive times, there was so much love among the godly, as set the heathens a wondring, and now there is so little, as may set Christians a blushing.

Use 2Use 2. As we would be written down for Saints in Gods Kalender,Exhort. let us love the 1 Pet. 2. 17. Brotherhood: they who shall one day live to­gether, should love together; what is it makes a disciple butCharitati nihil [...], est virtu­tum regina Christia­norum vexillum, discipulo­rum [...], perfectio­nis vincu­lum. love? Iohn 13. 35. The Devil hath knowledge, but that which makes him a Devil is, that hee wants love. To perswade Christians to love, consider,

1 The Saints have that in them, which may make us love them; they are the curi­ous embroidery and workmanship of the Ho­ly ghost, Eph. 2. 10. they have those rare lineaments of grace, as none but a pensil from heaven could draw; their eyes sparkle forth beauty, Cant. 4 9. their breasts are like clu­sters of grapes, Cant 7. 7. This makes Christ himself delight in his spouse: The King is [Page 202] held in the galleries. The Church is the daughter of a Prince, Cant. 7. 1. she is waited on by Angels, Heb: 1. ult. she hath a Pallace of glory reserved for her, Ioh. 14. 2. and may not all this draw forth our love?

2 Consider how evil it is for the Saints not to love.

1 It is Unnatural, the Saints are Christs Lambs, Ioh. 21. 15. for a dog to worry a Lamb is usual, but for one Lamb to worry a­nother, is unnatural: The Saints are brethren, 1 Pet. 3. 8. how barbarous is it for brethren not to love?

2 Not to love is a foolish thing; have not Gods people enemies enough, that they should flye in the faces one of another? the wicked confederate against the godly, Psal. 83. 3. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people: though there may fall out a pri­vate grudge betwixt such as are wicked, yet they will all agree and unite against the Saints: if two Gray-hounds are snarling at a bone, yet, put up an Hare between them, and they will leave the bone, and follow af­ter the Hare; so if wicked men have private differences amongst themselves, yet if the godly be near them, they will leave snar­ling at one another, and will pursue after the godly; now, when Gods people have so ma­ny [Page 203] enemies abroad, who watch for their halt­ing, and are glad when they can do them a mischief; shall the Saints fall out, and divide into parties among themselves?

3 Not to love is very unseasonable; Gods people are in a common calamity, they suf­fer in one cause, and for them to disagree, is altogether unseasonable; why doth the Lord bring his people together in affliction, but to bring them together in affection? Mettals will unite in a furnace, if ever Chri­stians unite, it should bee in the furnace of affliction. Chrysostome compares affliction to a shepherds Dog, which makes all the sheep run together: Gods Rod hath this loud voice in it, Love one another; how unworthy is it when Christians are suffering together, to be then striving together.

4 Not to love is very Sinful.

1 For Saints not to love, is to live in a contradiction to Scripture; the Apostle is continually beating upon this string of love, as if it made the sweetest musick in Religion, Rom. 13. 8. Col. 3. 14. 1 Pet. 1. 22. 1 Ioh. 3. 11. 1 Iohn 4. 21. This Commandement we have from him, that hee who loveth God, love his Brother also: not to love, is to walk Anti­podes to the word; can he be a good Physi­cian, who goes against the rules of Physick? [Page 204] can he be a good Christian, who goes a­gainst the rules of Religion?

2 Want of love among Christians, doth much silence the spirit of prayer: hot passi­ons, make cold prayers; where animosities and contentions prevail, instead of praying one for another, Christians will be ready to pray one against another; like the Dis­ciples, who prayed for fire from heaven upon the Samaritans, Luke. 9. 54. and will God, think you, hear such prayers as come from a wrathful heart: will hee eat of our leavened bread? will hee accept of those duties, which are sowered with bitterness of spirit? shall that prayer ever go up as in­cense, which is offered with the strange fire of our sinful passions?

3 These heart-burnings, hinder the pro­gress of piety in our own souls; the flower of grace, will not grow in a wrathful heart; the body may as well thrive while it hath the Plague, as a soul can, that is infected with malice: while Christians are debating, grace is abating; as the spleen grows, health de­caies, and as hatred increaseth, holiness de­clines.

5 Not to love is very fatal; the differen­ces among Gods people, portendOmne divisibilé est corrup­tibile. ruine: all mischiefs come in at this gap of division, [Page 205] Mat. 12. 25. Animosities among Saints, may make God leave his Temple, Ezek. 10. 4. The glory of the Lord, went up from the Cherub, and stood upon the threshold: Doth not God seem to stand upon the threshold of his house, as if he were taking his wings to [...]lye? and wo to us, if God depart from Hos. 9. 12 us: If the Master leave the ship, it is near sink­ [...]ng indeed: if God leave a land, it must needs [...]ink in ruine.

Quest. How shall wee attain this excellent grace of love?

Answ. 1 Beware of the Devils Foot­ [...]osts, I mean such as run on his errand, and make it their work to blow the coals of con­tention among Christians, and render one party odious to another.

2 Keep up friendly meetings; Christians should not be shy one of another, as if they had the Plague.

3 Let us plead that promise, Ier. 32. 39. I will give them one heart, and one way: Let us pray that there may bee no strife among Christians, but who shall love most; let us [...]ray that God will divide Babylon, and unite [...]ion.

Use 3 Is this a mark of a godly man,Vse 3. to [...]ove▪ the Saints? then they must stand in­lighted for ungodly, who hate the Saints; the [Page 206] wicked have an implacable malice against GodsImpii sanctorum statuas co­ronant, eo­rumque virtutes o­dio habent. people, and how can antipathies be reconciled? To hate Saint-ship, is a brand of a reprobate: they that maligne the godly, are the curse of the creation; if all the scal­ding drops in Gods Vial, will make them mi­serable, they shall bee so: Never did any [...] who were the haters and persecuters of Saints, thrive upon that Trade: What be­came of Iulian, Dioclesian, Maximinus, Vale­rian, Cardinal Crescentius, and others, some of them, their bowels came out, others choked with their own blood, that they might be set up as standing monuments of Gods ven­geance, Psa. 34. 21. They that hate the righte­ous shall be desolate.

SECT. XIX.

19 A godly man doth not indulge himself in any sin.19 Cha­racter. Though sin lives in him, yet he doth not live in sin. Every man that hath wine in him, is not in wine. A godly man may step into sin through infirmity, but hee [...] not keep the road, Psal. 139. 24. See if there bee any way of wickedness in mee.

Quest. What is it to indulge sin?

Answ. 1 To give the breast to it, and feed it; as a fond Parent humours his childe, and [Page 207] lets him have what he will, so to indulge sin, is to humour sin.

2 To indulge sin, is to commit it with de­light, 1 Thess. 2. 12. They have pleasure in un­righteousness.

In this sense a godly man doth not indulge sin; though sin be in him, hee is troubled at it, and would fain get rid of it; there is as much difference between sin in the wicked, and the godly, as between poyson being in a Serpent, and in a Man; Poyson in a Serpent, is in its natural place, and is delightful: But poyson in a mans body is offensive, and hee useth Antidotes to expel it. So sin in a wick­ed man is delightful, being in its natural place, but sin in a childe of God is burdensome, and he useth all means to expell it. This pares off from the sin; the will is against it. A godly man enters his protest against sin, Rom. 7. 15. What I do, I allow not. A childe of God while he commits sin, hates the sin heSuae ipsi­us [...] odio habet. com­mits; Rom. 7. in particular, there are four sorts of sins which a godly man will not allow himself in.

1 Secret sins, Some are more modest than to commit gross sin, that would be a stain to their reputation, but they will sit brooding upon sin in a corner, 1 Sam. 23. 9. Saul secret­ [...]y practised mischief. All will not sin in a Bel­cony, [Page 208] but perhaps they will sin behind the cur­tain. Rachel did not carry her fathers Ima­ges as a Sumpter-cloath, to be exposed to publick view, but she put them under her, and sate upon them, Gen. 31. 34. many carry their sins secretly, as a candle in a dark lant­ [...]orn.

But a godly man dares not sin secretly: 1 he knows that God sees in secret, Psal. 44. 21. as God cannot be deceived by our subtilty, so he cannot be excluded by our secresy.

2 A godly man knows that secret sins are in some sense worse than others: they disco­ver more guile and Atheism; The Curtain-sinner makes himself beleeve God doth not see, Ezek. 8. 12. Son of man, hast thou seen what the Antients of the house of Israel have done in the dark; for they say, the Lord seeth us not. They that have bad eyes, think the Sun is dim; how doth this provoke God, that mens Atheisme should give the lye to his Omnisciency, Psal. 94. 9. He that formed the eye, shall he not [...], Cyril. see?

3 A godly man knows that secret sins shal not escape Gods Justice; a Judge on the Bench can punish no offence but what is prov­ed by Witness; he cannot punish the Trea­son of the heart: but the sins of the heart are as visible to God, as if they were written [Page 209] upon the fore-head. As God will reward se­cret duties, so he will revenge secret sins.

2 A godly man will not allow himself in gainful sins. Gain is the golden bait, with which Satan fisheth for souls. ‘—dulcis odor lucri—’

This was the last temptation hee used to Christ, Mat. 4. 9. All this will I give thee. But Christ saw the hook under the bait. Many who have escaped gross sins, yet are caught in a golden Net: To gain the world, they will use indirect courses. A godly man dares not travel for riches thorow the Devils high-way. Those are sad gains, that make a man lose peace of conscience, and heaven at last. He who getteth an estate by inju­stice, stuffs his pillow with thorns, and his head will lye very uneasie when he comes to dye.

3 A godly man will not allow himself in a beloved sin; there is usually one sin that is thePeccatum in delitiis. Aug. favorite, the sin which the heart is most fond of: A beloved Sin lies in a mans bosome, as the Disciple, whom Iesus loved, leaned on his bosome, Ioh. 13. 23. A god­ly man will not indulge a darling sin, Psa. 18. 23. I have kept my self from mine iniquity. [Page 210] The Sin of my constitution, to which the byas of my heart doth more naturally incline, 1 Kings 22. 31. Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the King: a godly man fights with this King-sin. The Oracle of A­pollo answered the people of Cyrrha, that if they would live in peace among themselves, they must make continual war with those strangers, which were upon their confines. If wee would have peace in our souls, wee must maintain a war against our complexion-sin, and never leave till it be [...], Thucid. subdued.

Quest. How shall we know the beloved sin?

Answ. 1 That sin which a man doth not love to have reproved, is the darling Sin. Herod could not endure to have his incest spoken against; if the Prophet medles with that sin, it shall cost him his head: men can be content to have other sins declaimed a­gainst, but if the Minister put his finger up­on the sore, and toucheth this sin, their hearts begin to burn in malice against him; a shrewd sign, that is the Herodias.

2 That sin the thoughts run most upon, is the darling sin; which way the thoughts go, the heart goes; he that is in love with a person, cannot keep his thoughts off the ob­ject; examine what sin runs most in your minde, what sin is first in your thoughts, [Page 211] and salutes you in the morning, that is the praedominant [...].

3 That sin which hath most power over us, and doth most easily lead us captive, that is the beloved of the soul; there [...]re some sins a man can make better resi­stance against; if they come for entertain­ment, he can more easily put them off; but there is one sin, if that comes to be a suitor, hee cannot deny it, but is overcome by it, this is the bosome sin. The young man in the Gospel, had given a repulse to many sins, but there was one sin foiled him, that was covetousness: Christians, mark what sins you are soonest led captive by, that is the Harlot in your bosome. 'Tis a sad thing that a man should bee so bewitched by lust, that if it ask to part with, not only half the Kingdome, Esth. 7. 2. but the whole Kingdome of hea­ven, hee must part with it, to gratifie that lust.

4 That sin which men use arguments to defend, is the beloved sin; he that hath a jew­ [...]l in his bosome, will defend it as his life; so when there is any sin in the bosome, men will defend it; the sin we are advocates and disputants for, is the complexion-sin; if the sin be passion, and we plead for it, Io [...]. 4. 9. I do well to be angry: if the sin be covetousness, [Page 212] and we vindicate it, and perhaps wrest Scrip­ture to justifie it, that is the sin which lies neerest the heart.

5. That sin which doth most trouble us, and flies most in our face in an hour of sick­ness and distress, that is the Dalilah-sin: When Iosephs Brethren were distressed, their sin came to remembrance, in selling their Brother, Gen. 42. 21. We are verily guilty con­cerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of our brother when he be sought us, and we would not hear, therefore is this distress come upon us. So, when a man is upon his Sick-bed, and Conscience shall say, thou hast been guilty of such a sin, thou didst go on in it, and roul it as honey under thy tongue, Conscience reads a sad Lecture, sure that was the belo­ved sin.

6. That sin which a man doth most hardly let go his hold of, is the endeared sin: Iacob could of all his sons most hardly part with Benjamin, Gen. 42. 36. Joseph is not, and Si­meon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: So saith the sinner, this and that sin I have parted with, but must Benjamin go, must I part with this delightful sin, that goes to the heart▪ As it is with a Castle that hath seve­ral Forts about it, the first and second Fort are taken, but when it comes to the Castle▪ [Page 213] the Governour will rather fight and die than yield that: So a man may suffer some of his sins to be demolished, but when it comes to one sin, that is the taking of the Castle, he will never yield to part with that; surely, that is the Master-sin.

The complexion-sin is a God-provoking sin. The wise men of Troy counselled Priame to send back Helena to the Grecians, not suf­fering himself to be any longer abused by the Charms of her beauty, because the keeping her within the City, would lay the foundation of a fatal war: So should we put away our Dalilah-sin, least it incense the God of heaven, and make him commence a war against us.

The complexion-sin is of all other most dangerous: As Sampsons strength lay in his hair, so the strength of sin lies in this belo­ved sin: This is like an humour striking to the heart, which brings death. A godly man will lay the Axe of Repentance to this sin, and hew it down; he sets this sin, as Uriah, in the fore-front of the battel, that it may be slain: He will sacrifice this Isaack, he will pluck out this right eye, that he may see the better to go to heaven.

4. A godly man will not allow himself in those which the world counts lesser sins: [Page 214] There is no such thing as little sin, yet some may be deemed less comparatively; but a good man will not indulge himself in these.

As [...] Sins of Omission. Some think it no great matter to omit Family, or Closet-prayer; they can go several moneths and God never hear of them: A godly man will as soon live without food, as without pray­er: He knows every creature of God is san­ctified by prayer, 1 Tim. 4. 5. The Bird may sh [...]me many Christians, it never takes a drop, but the eye is lift up towards heaven.

2. A godly man da [...]es not allow himself in vain frothy discourse, much less in that which looks like an oath: If God will reckon for idle words, will he not much more for idle oaths?

3. A godly man dares not allow himself in rash censuring: Some think this a small matter,Use of Exhort. they will not swear, but they will slander: this is very evil; thou woundest a man in that which is dearest to him: He who is godly turns all his censures upon himself, he judgeth himself for his own sins, but is very chary, and tender of the good name of another.

Use. As you would be numbred among the Genealogies of the Saints, do not indulge your selves in anyQuam absurdum est postula re à Deo omnium peccatorum veniam, & [...]olle re­promittere omnium peccatorum fugam? sin; consider the mischief that one sin lived in will do.

[Page 215] 1. One sin gives Satan as much advan­tage against thee as more: The Fowler can hold the Bird by one wing: Satan held Iu­das fast by one sin.

2. One sin lived in argues the heart is not sound; he who hides one Rebel in his house is a Traytor to the Crown; that person who indulgeth one sin, is a trayterous hypo­crite.

3. One sin will make way for more; as a little Thief can open the door to more: Sin is linked and chainedOmne peccatum est connex­um. Aquin. together; one sin will draw on more: Davids adultery made way for murder: One sin never goes alone; if there be but one Nest-egg, the Devil can brood upon it.

4. One sin is as well a breach of Gods Law as more, Iam. 2. 10. He that shall offend in one point, is guilty of all. If the King make a Law against Felony, Treason, Mur­der, if a man be guilty but of one of these, he is as well a Transgressor of the Law, as if he were guilty of all.

5. One sin lived in keeps out Christ from entring; one stone in the Pipe keeps out the water; one sin indulg'd obstructs the soul, and keeps the streams of Christs Bloud from running into it.

6. One sin lived in will spoil all thy good [Page 216] duties: A drop of poyson will spoil a glass of Wine: Abimeleck, a Bastard, destroyed threescore and ten of his Brethren, Iudg. 9. 5. One Bastard-sin will destroy threescore and ten prayers: One dead fly will corrupt the box of oyntment.

7. One sin lived in will be a Canker-worm to eat out the peace of Conscience, it takes away the Manna out of the Ark, and leaves only a Rod. ‘—Eheu quis intus scorpio?Sen. Trag. —’

One sin is a Pyrate to rob a Christian of his comfort; one jarring string brings all the Musick out of tune; one sin countenanced, will spoil the Musick of Conscience.

8. One sin allowed will damn as well as more; one disease is enough to kill: If a Fence be made never so strong, leave open but one gap, the wilde Beast may enter, and tread down the corn: If there be but one sin allowed in the soul, you set open a gap for the Devil to enter. 'Tis a simile of Chrysostom, a Souldier that hath his Head-piece on and Breast-plate, if in but one place he wants Ar­mour, the bullet may enter there, and he may as well be shot, as if he had no Armour on: So if thou favourest but one sin, thou [Page 217] leavest a part of thy soul unarmed, and the Bullet of Gods Wrath may enter there and [...]hoot thee. One sin may shut thee out of heaven; and as Hierom Quid refert an uno, an pluribus? Hier. faith, What diffe­rence is there in being shut out for more sins, or for one? Therefore take heed of cherish­ [...]ng one sin: One Milstone will sink a man in­to the Sea as well as an hundred.

9. One sin harboured in the soul will un­fit for suffering: How soon may an hour of Tryal come; he who hath an hurt in his shoulder, cannot carry an heavy burden, and he who hath any guilt in his Conscience, can­not carry the Cross of Christ: Will he deny his life for Christ, that cannot deny his lust for Christ? One sin in the soul unmortified, will bring forth the bitter fruit of Aposta­sie.

Would you then show your selves godly, give a Bill of Divorce to every sin, kill the Goliah-sin, Rom. 6. 12. Let not sin reign: In the Original it is [...], let not sin King it over you: Grace and Sin may be to­gether, but Grace and the love of Sin can­not. Therefore parley with sin no longer, but with the Spear of Mortification, let out the heart-bloud of every sin.

SECT. XX.

20. A godly man is good in his Relati­ons: 20 Cha­racter.To be good in general is not enough, but we must show forth Piety in our Relati­ons.

1. He is godly who is good as a Magi­strate: The Magistrate is Gods Representa­tive; a godly Magistrate holds the ballance of Justice, and gives to every one hisIus su­um cui (que) tribuit. right, Deut. 16. 19. Thou shalt not respect per­sons, neither take a gift, for a gift doth blind the eyes. A Magistrate must judge the Cause, not the person: He who suffers himself to be corrupted with bribes, is not a Iudge, but a Party: A Magistrate must do that which is [...], according to Law, Act. 23. 3. And that he may do Justice, he must examine the Cause: T [...]e Archer that will shoot right, must first see the mark.

2. He is godly who is good as a Minister. A Minister must be

1. Painful, 2 Tim. 4. 1, 2. Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season. The Minister must not be idle; sloath is as inex­cusable in a Minister, as sleep in a Centinel: Iohn Baptist was a voice crying, Mat. 3. 3. A dumb Minister is of no more use than a dead [Page 219] Physitian: A man of God must work in the LordsOportet Episcopum concionan­tem mori. B. Jewell. Vineyard: It was Austins wish, that Christ might find him at his coming, ei­ther praying or preaching.

2. A Minister must be knowing, Mal. 2. 7. The Priests lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the Law at his mouth. It was said in the honour of Nazianzene, that he was [...], an Ocean of Divinity. The Prophets of old were called Seers, 1 Sam. 9. 9. 'Tis absurd to have our Seers blind: Christ said to Peter, Feed my sheep, Ioh. 21. 16. But how sad is it when the Shep­herds need to be fed? Ignorance in a Mini­ster, is like blindness in an Oculist. Under the Law, he who had the plague in his head was unclean, Levit. 13. 44.

3. A Minister must preach plain, suiting his matter and stile to the capacity of his Au­ditory, 1 Cor. 14. 19. Some Ministers, like Eagles, love to soar aloft in abstruse Metaphy­fical notions; thinking they are most admi­red, when they are least understood; they who preach in the Clouds, instead of hitting their peoples Conscience, shoot over their heads.

4 A Minister must be zealous in reproov­ing sin, Tit. 1. 13. Rebuke them sharply. E­piphanius saith of Eliah, he sucked fire out of [Page 220] his Mother breasts; a man of God must suck the fire of zeal, out of the breasts of Scrip­ture. Zeal in a Minister, is as proper as fire on the Altar; some are afraid to reprove; like the Sword-fish, which hath a sword in his head, but is without an heart; so they carry the sword of the spirit about them, but have no heart to draw it out in a reproof a­gainst sin;Eze. 13. 18 how many have sown pillows under their people, making them sleep so securely, that they have never waked, till they have been in hell.

5 A Minister must bee holy in heart and life.

1 In heart. How sad is it for a Minister, to preach that to others, which he never felt in his own soul; to exhort others to holiness, and himself a stranger to it: O that it were not thus too often! how many blow the Lords Trumpet with a foul breath.

2 In Life. The Priests under the Law, before they served at the Altar, washed in the Lavor; such as serve in the Lords house, must first bee washed from gross sin, in the Lavor of repentance: The life of a Minister should be a walking Bible. Basil said of Na­zianzene, he did thunder in his doctrine, and lighten in his conversation: A Minister must imitate Iohn Baptist, who was not only a [Page 221] voice crying, Isa▪ [...]. 3. but a light shining, Ioh. 5. 35. they disgrace this excellent cal­ling, who live in a contradiction to what they preach; they turn their codices into calices, Pet. Bles­sens. ep. 7.their books into cups, and though they are Angels by office, yet are Devils in their lives, Ier. 23. 15.

3. Hee is godly, who is good as an Hus­band, he fills up that relation with love, Eph. 5. 25. Husbands love your Wives: The Vine twisting its branches about the Elm, and em­bracing it, may be an emblem of that intire love, which should be in the conjugal rela­tion; a married condition would be sad, if it hath cares to imbitter it, and not love to sweeten it: Love is the best diamond in the marriage Ring: Isaac loved Rebeckah, Gen. 24. 57. Unkindnesses in this near relation, are very unhappy. Wee read in Heathen Au­thors, that Clitemnestra the wife of Aga­memnon, to revenge an injury received from her Husband, first rent the Vail of her chasti­ty, and afterwards consented to his death: The Husband should shew his love to his Wife, by covering infirmities, by avoiding occasions of strife, by sweet endearing ex­pressions, by pious counsel, by love-tokens, by incouraging what he sees amiable and ver­tuous in her, by mutual prayer, by associat­ing [Page 222] with her, unless detained by urgency of business: The Pilot that goes from his ship, and quite leaves it to the merciless waves, declares that he doth not esteem it, or reck­on any treasure to be in it.

The Apostle gives a good reason, why there should be mutual love between Hus­band and Wife, 1 Pet. 3. 7. That your pray­ers bee not hindred: where passions prevail, there prayer is either intermitted, or inter­rupted.

4 He is godly who is good, as a Father.

1 A Father must drop holy instructions into his Children, Eph. 6 4. Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord: Thus did Abraham, Gen. 18. 19. I know A­braham, that hee will command his children, and his houshold, and they shall keep the way of the Lord. Children are young plants, which must be watered with good education, that they may with Obadiah, fear the Lord from their youth up, 1 Kings 18. 12. Plato saith, in vain doth he expect an harvest, who hath been negligent in sowing; nor can a parent look to reap any good from a childe, where he hath not sown the seed of wholesome in­struction; and though notwithstanding all counsel and admonition, the childe should dye in sin, yet it is a comfort to a godly Pa­rent, [Page 223] to think that before his childe dyed, he gave it spiritual physick.

2. A parent must pray for his Children: Monica the Mother of Austin, prayed for his Conversion, and one said, It was impossi­ble a Son of so many Prayers and Tears should miscarry: The soul of thy Childe is in a snare, and wilt not thou pray that it may bee recovered out of the snare of the Devil, 2 Tim. 2. 26. many Parents are careful to lay up portions for their children, but they do not lay up prayers for them.

3 A Parent must give his children disci­pline, Prov. 23. 13. Withhold not correction from the childe, for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not dye: The rod beats out the dust and moth of sin; a childe indulg'd and humoured in wickedness, will prove a bur­den instead of a blessing: David cockered Adonijah, 1 King. 1. 6. His Father had not displeased him at any time, saying, why hast thou done so? and hee afterwards was a grief of heart to his Father, and would have put him besides his throne; correction is a hedge of thorns, to stop Children in their full Car­ [...]eir to hell.

5 He is godly who is good, as a Master; a godly man promotes religion in his family; he sets up piety in his house, as well as in his [Page 224] heart, Psalm 101. 2. I will walk within my house with a perfect heart, Ioshua 24. 15. I, and my houshold will serve the Lord. I find it written in the honor of Cranmer, his Family was Palaestra Pietatis, a Nursery of Piety: A godly mans house is a little Church, Col. 4. 15. The Church which is in his house.

1. A good man makes known the Oracles of God to them, who are under his roof; he reads the Word, perfumes his house with prayer: It is recorded of the Iews, that they had sacrifices in their Family, as well as in the Tabernacle, Exod. 12. 3.

2. A godly man provides necessaries; he relives his servants in health and Sickness; he is not like that Amalakite, who shook off his servant when he was sick, 1 Sam. 30. 13. But rather like the good Centurion, who sought to Christ for the healing of his sick servant, Mat. 8. 5.

3. A godly man sets his servants a good example, he is sober and heavenly in his de­portment, his virtuous life is a fair glass for the servants in the family to dress themselves by.

6. He is godly who is good in the Relati­on of a Childe, He honours his parents. Philo the Jew, placed the fifth Commandment in [Page 225] the first Table; as if Children had not per­formed their whole devotion to God, till they had given honour to their Parents. This honouring of Parents consists in two things.

1. In reverencing their persons; which re­verence is shown both by humility of speech and gesture: The contrary to this is, when a Childe doth behave himself unseemly and proudly. Among the Lacedemonians, if a Childe had carried himself imperiously to­wards his parent, it was published by Au­thority, that it was lawful for the Father to appoint whom he would to be his Heir, and to dis-inherit that Childe.

2. Honoring of Parents lies in obeying their Commands, Eph. 6. 1. Children obey your Parents in the Lord. Duty is the Inte­rest money which children pay their Parents, for the Principal they have had from [...]. Isocr. them. Christ hath set all Children a pattern of obe­dience to their Parents, Luke 2. 51. He was subject unto them. The Rechabites were emi­nent for this, Ierem. 35. 5. 1 set before the Rechabites pots full of wine, and said to them drink ye wine, but they said we will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab our Fa­ther commanded us saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever. Solon among the many Laws he made, one asked [Page 226] him, Why he made no Law against disobedi­ent Children; he answered, because he thought none would be so wicked. God hath punished Children, who have refused to pay the tribute of obedience. Absalom, a disobedient son, was hanged in an Oak be­twixt Heaven and Earth, as being worthy of neither. Manlius, an old man, being redu­ced to much poverty, and having a rich son, he entreated him only for an alms, but could not obtain it; the son disowned him as his Father, and gave him reproachful language; the poor old man let tears fall (as witnesses of his grief) and went away; God to re­venge this disobedience of the son, soon af­ter struck him withBeards Theat. phrensie; he in whose heart godliness lives, makes as well Consci­ence of the fifth Commandment as the first.

6. He is godly who is good as a servant, Col. 3. 22. Eph. 6. 5. Servants be subject to them who are your Masters, according to the flesh, with fear and trembling. The goodness of servants lies

1. In [...]. Ig at. Ep. ad Tar­sens. diligence: Abrahams servant made haste to dispatch the business his Master in­trusted him with, Gen. 24. 33.

2. Chearfulness: Servants must be Free-willers: Thus the Centurions servants, Luke [Page 227] 7. 8. If I say to one go, he goes.

3. Faithfulness; which consists in two things: 1. In not defrauding, Titus 2. 10. Not purloyning. 2. In keeping counsel; it argues the badness of a stomack, when it cannot retain what is put into it; and the badness of a servant, when he cannot retain those se­crets which his Master hath committed to him.

4. Silentness, Titus 2. 9. Not answering [...] ­gain. 'Tis better to mend a fault, than to mince it; and that which may quicken a ser­vant in his work, is that encouraging Scrip­ture, Col. 3. 24, Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the Inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ. If Christ should bid you do a piece of work for him, would ye not do it? While you serve your Master, you serve the Lord Christ: If you ask what Salary you shall have, Ye shall receive the re­ward of the Inberitance.

Use 1. Is this the Grand Sign of a god­ly man,Vse 1. to be relatively holy [...] [...]hen the Lord be merciful to us,Inform. how few godly ones are to be found? Many put on the Coat of Profession, they will pray, and discourse of points of Religion, but what means the bleating of the sheep? They are not good in their Relations: How ill doth it sound when [Page 228] Christians are defective in Relative Piety: Can we call him godly who is a bad Magi­strate? He perverts equity, Psalm 58. 1. Do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? You weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. Can we call him godly, who is a bad Parent? He never teacheth his Childe the way to hea­ven: He is like the Ostrich, which is cruel to her young, Iob 39. 19. Can we call him god­ly who is a bad Master? Many Masters leave their Religion at Church, (as the Clerk doth his book) they have nothing of God at home, their houses are not Bethels, but Beth­avens; not little Temples, but little Hells. How many Masters at the last day must hold up their hand at the Bar, though they have fed their servants bellies, they have starved their souls: Can we call him godly, who is a bad Childe? He stops his ear to his Parents counsel; you may as well call him a good subject who is disloyal: Can we call him godly, who is a bad servant? He is slothful and wilful; he is more ready to spy a fault in another, than to mend it in himself. To call one godly, who is bad in his Relations, is a contradiction, it is to call evil good, Isa. 5. 20.

Use 2. As we desire to have God approve us,Vse 2. let us show forth godliness in our Relati­ons:Exhort. [Page 229] Not to be good in our relations, spoils all our other good things; Naaman was an honourable man, but hee was a Leaper, 2 King. 5. 1. That But, spoiled all; so such an one is a great hearer, but he neglects relative duties, this stains the beauty of all his other actions; as in Printing, though the Letter be never so well carved, yet if it be not set in the right place, it spoils the sense; so let a man have many things commendable in him, yet if he be not good in his right place, ma­king conscience how he walks in his relati­ons, he doth hurt to religion. There are many, to whom Christ will say at last, as to the young man, Luk. 18. 22. Unum deest, yet lackest thou one thing, thou hast miscarried in thy relative capacity; as therefore we ten­der our salvation, and the honour of religi­on, let us shine forth in that Orb of relation, where God hath fixed us.

SECT. XXI.

21 A godly man doth spiritual things in a spiritual manner,21 Cha­racter. Phil. 3. 3. Wee are the Cir­cumcision, which worship God in the spirit: Spi­rit-worship is Virgin-worship, 1 Pet. 2. 5. Ye are built up a spiritual house, an holy priest­hood, to offer up spiritual Templum dei est vir pius, & u­bicunque locorū fue­rit, altare in corde suo ponere potest. sacrifices; not on­ly [Page 230] spiritual for the matter, but the quality; a wicked man either lives in the total neglect of duty, or else dischargeth it in a dull care­less manner; in stead of using the world, as if he used it not, 1 Cor. 7. 30. hee serves God, as if hee served him not; a godly man spiritualizeth duty, hee is not only for the doing of holy things, but for the holy doing of things.

Quest. What is it to perform spiritual duties spiritually?

Answ. It consists in three things.

1. To do duties from a spiritual principle, viz. a renewed principle of grace: let a man have gifts to admiration, let him have the most melting ravishing expressions, let him speak like an Angel dropped out of heaven, yet his duties may not be spiritual, because he wants the grace of the spirit; whatever a moral unregenerate person doth, is but nature re­fined, though he may do duties better than a godly man, yet not so well; better as to the matter and elegancy, yet not so well, as wanting a renewed principle; a Crab-tree may bear as well as a Pippin, the fruit may be bigger and fairer to the eye, yet it is not so good fruit as the other, because it doth not come from so good a stock; so an unregene­rate person may perform as many duties as a childe of God, and these may seem to be [Page 231] more glorious to the outward view, but they are harsh and sower, because they do not come from the sweet and pleasant root of grace: a true Saint gives God that wine, which comes from the pure grape of the spirit.

2 To perform duties spiritually, is to do them with the utmost intention; a Christi­an is very serious, and labours to keep his thoughts close to the work in hand, 1 Cor. 7. 35. That ye may attend upon the Lord with­out distraction.

Quest. But may not a godly man have ro­ving thoughts in duty?

Answ. Yes, sad experience sets seal to it, the thoughts will bee dancing up and down in prayer; the Saints are called Stars, and ma­ny times in duty they are wandring stars. The heart is like Quick-silver, which will not fix. 'Tis hard to tye two good thoughts together; we cannot lock our hearts so close, but that distracting thoughts, like winde, will get in. Hierom Aut per [...] porticus de ambulo, [...]ut de faenore computo, &c. complains of himself, sometimes saith he, when I am about Gods service, I am walking in the galleries, or casting up of accounts.

But these wandring thoughts in the godly, are not allowed, Psa. 119. 113. I hate vain thoughts, they come as unwelcome guests, which are no sooner spied, but are turned out of doors.

[Page 232] Quest. Whence do these impertinent thoughts arise in the godly?

Answ. 1 From the pravity of nature, they are the mud which the hear casts up.

2. From Satan; the Devil if he cannot hinder us from duty, [...]hee will hinder us in duty; when we come before the Lord, he is at our right hand to resist us, Zac. 3. 1. As when one is going to write, another stands at his elbow and jogs him, that he cannot write even; Satan will set vain objects before the fancy, to cause a diversion: the Devil doth not oppose formality but fervency; if he sees we set our selves in good earnest to seek God, he will bee whispering things in our ears, that wee can scarce minde what wee are do­ing.

3 These impertinent thoughts arise from the world; these vermine are bred out of the earth, worldly business oft crouds into our duties, and while we are speaking to God, our hearts are talking with the world, Ezek. 33. 31. They sit before me as my people, but their heart goes after their covetousness. While we are hearing the word, or meditating, one world­ly business or other commonly knocks at the door, and we are taken off the duty, while we are in the duty. 'Tis with us as with A­braham, when he was going to worship; the [Page 233] fowles came down upon the sacrifice, Gen. 15. 11.

Quest. How may wee get rid of these wan­dring thoughts, that we may be more spiritual in duty?

Answ. 1 Eye Gods purity; hee is an holy God whom wee serve, and cannot endure when wee are worshipping him, that wee should converse with vanity: Will a King like it, that while his subject is speaking to him, hee should bee playing with a feather? will God endure light feathery hearts? how devout and reverend are the Angels, they co­ver their faces, and cry Holy, Holy.

2 Think of the Grand importance of the duties we are engaged in; as David said, con­cerning his building an house for God, 2 Chron. 29. 1. The work is great; when wee are hearing the word, the work is great; this is the word by which we shall be judged; when we are at prayer, the work is great, wee are pleading for the life of our souls, and is this a time to trifle?

3 Come with affection to duty; the na­ture of love, is to fix the minde upon the object; he who is in love, his thoughts are still upon the person he loves, and nothing can take them off. Hee that loves the world, his thoughts are ever intent upon it; [Page 234] were our hearts more fired with love, they would be more fixed in duty; and O! what cause have we to love duty? is not this the direct road to heaven? do we not meet with God here? can the spouse be better than in her Husbands company? where can the soul be better, than in drawing nigh to God?

4 Consider the mischief that these vain distracting thoughts do; they fly-blow our duties, they hinder fervency, they shew high irreverence, they tempt God to turn away his ear from us; how do we think God should minde our prayers, when we our selves scarce minde them?

3 To do duties spiritually, is to do them in faith, Heb. 11. 4. By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain. [...]. The holy oyle for the Tabernacle, had several spices put into it, Exod. 30. 34. Faith is the sweet spice, which must be put into duty: 'Tis a wrong to God, to doubt either of his Mercy or Truth; a Christian may venture his soul up­on the publick faith of heaven.

Use 1 How far are they out of the way of Godliness,Vse 1. who are unspiritual in their wor­ship? who do not duties from a renewed principle, and with the utmost intention of soul, but meerly to stop the mouth of con­science: many people look no farther than [Page 235] the bare doing of duties, but never mind how they are done. God doth not judge of our duties by the length, but by the love: when men put God off with the dreggish part of duty, may not he say as Isa. 58. 5. Is it such a Fast that I have chosen? Are these the duties I required? I called for the heart and spirit, and you bring nothing but the Carkass of Duty, should I receive comfort in this?

Use 2. Let us show our selves godly,Vse 2. by being more spiritual in duty;Exhort. 'tis not the quantum, but the quale; 'tis not how much we do, but how well. A Musitian is com­mended not for playing long, but for playing well: We must not only do what God ap­points, but as God appoints: O how many are unspiritual in spiritual things? they bring their services, but not their hearts; they give God the skin, not the fat of the offering: God is a Spirit, Ioh. 4. 24. And it is the spiri­tuality of duty he is best pleasedNobis cum Deo est negoti­um, cui ni­hilo minus cum carne dissidium quam igni cum aqua. with, 1 Pet. 2. 5. Spiritual Sacrifices acceptable to God: The spirits of the Wine are best; so is the spiritual part of duty, Eph. 5. 19. Ma­king melody in your hearts to the Lord: It is the heart makes theNon chordula musica sed cor. Musick; the spiritualizing of duty gives life to it; without this, it is dead praying, dead hearing, and dead [Page 236] things are not pleasing; a dead flower hath no beauty, a dead breast hath no sweetness.

Quest. How may we do to perform duties in a spiritual manner?

Answ. 1. Let the Soul be kept a Virgin; lust doth besot and dis-spirit a man; beware of any tincture of uncleanness, Iam. 1. 21. Wood that is full of sap will not easily burn; and an heart steeped in sin, is not fit to burn in holy devotion. Can he be spiritual in wor­ship, who feeds carnal lust? Hos. 4. 11. Whore­dome and wine, and new wine, take away the heart. Any sin lived in takes away the heart; such an one hath no heart to pray, or medi­tate: The more alive the heart is in sin, the more it dies to duty.

2. If we would be spiritual in duty, let us revolve these two things in our mind.

1. The profit which comes from a duty per­formed in a spiritual manner; it infeebles Cor­ruption, it encreaseth Grace, it defeats Satan, it strengthens our Communion with God, it breeds peace of Conscience, it procures An­swers of Mercy, and it leaves the heart al­ways in a better tune.

2. The danger of doing duties in an un­spiritual manner, they are as if they had not been done; for what the heart doth not do, is notQuie­quid cor non facit non fit. done: Duties slubbered over, turn [Page 237] Ordinances into Judgements: Therefore ma­ny, though they are often in duty, they go away worse from duty: If Physick be not well made, and the ingredients rightly tem­pered, it is as bad as poyson for the body: So if duties are not well performed, they leave the heart more hard and sinful than be­fore.

Duties unspiritual oft create Judgements temporal, 1 Chron. 15. 13. The Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order. Therefore God makes breaches in Families and Relations, because persons worship him not in that manner and due order which he requires.

3. If we would have our duties spiritual, we must get our hearts spiritual; an earthly heart cannot be spiritual in duty: Let us beg of God a spiritual pallat, to relish a sweetness in holy things; for want of spiri­tual hearts, we come to duty without de­light, and go away without profit: If a man would have the wheels of his Watch move regularly, he must mend the Spring. Chri­stian, if thou wouldst move more spiritually in duty, get the Spring of thy heart mended.

SECT. XXII.

22. A godly man is thorow-paced in Re­ligion, 22 Cha­racter.he obeys every Command of God, Act. 13. 22. I have found David a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. In the Greek [...] all my wills. A godly man labours to walk according to the full bredth and latitude of Gods Law. Every Command hath the same stamp of Divine Authority upon it, and he who is godly, will obey one Command as well as a­nother, Psal. 119. 6. Then shall I not be asha­med, when I have respect to all thy Command­ments. A godly man goes through all the Body of Religion, as the Sun through all the Signs of the Zodiack. He that is to play upon a ten-stringed Instrument, must strike upon every string, or he spoils all the Musick. The ten Commandments may be compared to a ten-stringed Instrument, we must obey every Commandment, strike up­on every string, or we can make no sweet Musick in Religion: True obedience is fil [...] ­al; it is fit the Childe should obey the Pa­rent in all just and sober commands: Gods Laws are like the Curtains of the Taberna­cle, which were looped together; they are [Page 239] like a Chain of Gold, where all the links are coupled: A conscientious man will not wil­lingly break one Link of this Chain; if one Command be violated, the whole Chain is broken, Iam. 2. 10. Whosoever shall keep the whole Law, yet offend in one point, is guilty of all. A voluntary breach of one of Gods Laws, involves a man in the guilt, and expo­seth him to the curse of the whole Law: True obedience is intire and uniform: A good heart, like the Needle, points that way which the Load-stone draws.

This is a grand difference between a Childe of God and an hypocrite; the hypocrite doth pick and chuse in Religion; some du­ties he will perform which are more facil, and do gratifie his pride or interest, but other duties he makes no reckoning of, Mat. 23. 23. Ye pay tithe of Mint and Annis, and have o­mitted the weightier matters of the Law, Iudg­ment, Mercy, and Faith. To sweat in some duties of Religion, and freeze in other, is the symptom of a distempered Christian. Iehu was zealous in destroying the Idolatry of Baal, but let the golden Calves of Jero­boam stand, 2 Kin. 10. 30. This shows men are not good in truth, when they are good by halves. If your servant should do some of your work you set him about, and leave the [Page 240] rest undone, how would you like that? The Lord saith, Walk before me, and be perfect, Gen. 17. 1. How are our hearts perfect with God, when we prevaricate with him? Some things we will do, and other things we leave undone; he is good, who is good univer­sally. ‘—Pater adsum, impera quid vis.Plautus.—’

There are ten duties God calls for, which a godly man will conscientiously perform; and indeed these Duties may serve as so ma­ny other Characters and Touch-stones to try our godliness by.

1 A godly man will be often calling his heart to account;1 Duty. he takes the candle of the word, and searcheth his inward parts, Psa. 77. 6. I commune with my own heart, and my spirit made diligent search: a gracious soul searcheth whether there be any duty omit­ted, any sin cherished; he examines his evi­dences for heaven; as hee will not take his gold upon trust, so neither his grace; he is a spiritual Merchant, hee casts up the estate of his soul, to see what he is worth; he sets his house in order; often reckonings keep God and conscience friends; a carnal person can­not abide this heart-work, he is ignorant how [Page 241] the affairs go in [...] soul; he is like a man, who is well acquainted in forraign parts, but a stranger in his own country. ‘—ut nemo insese tentat descendere, nemo?’

2 A godly man is much in closet-prayer, he keeps his hours for private devotion; Iacob when he was left alone, wrestled with God, Gen. 32. 24. So when a gracious heart is alone, it wrestles in prayer, and will not leave God till it hath a blessing; a devout Christian exerciseth eyes of faith, and knees of prayer.

Hypocrites, who have nothing of religion, besides the frontispiece, love to bee seen. Christ hath Characterized them, Mat. 6. 5. They love to pray in the corners of the streets, that they may be [...], plus valet qua [...], Beza. seen: The hypocrite is de­vout in the Temple; there all will gaze on him; but he is a stranger to secret communion with God; he is in the Church a Saint, but in his closet an Atheist; a good Christian holds secret intelligence with heaven: ‘—ille dolet verè, qui sine teste dolet.’

Private prayer keeps up the trade of godli­ness; when closet-holiness is laid aside, there [Page 242] is a stab given to the hear [...] of religion.

33 Duty. A godly man is diligent in hisNullus mihi per o­tium dies exit. Sen. ep. 8. calling; he takes care to provide for his family: the Church must not exclude the shop. 'Tis a speech of Mr. Perkins, though a man be en­dued with excellent gifts, and hear the word with reverence, and receive the sacrament, yet if he practise not the duties of his calling, all is but hypocrisie; religion did never grant a pattent for idleness, 2 Thess. 2. 11, 12. There are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all; them that are such, we com­mand and exhort by our Lord Iesus, that with quietness, they work, and eat their own bread: That bread eats most sweet, which is got with most sweat; a godly man had rather fast, than eat the bread of idleness. Vain pro­fessors talk of living by faith, but do not live in a calling; they are like the Lillies of the field, they toyl not, neither do they spin; an idle person is the Devils Tennis-ball; which he bandies up and down with temp­tation, and at last the Ball falls into the Haz­zard.

4 A godly man sets bounds to himself in things lawful;4 Duty. he abates in matters of recre­ation and diet, hee takes only so much for the recruits of nature, as may the better di­spose him for Gods service. Hierom lived [Page 243] abstemiously, his diet was a few dried Figs, and cold water. And Austin in his Confes­sions saith thus, Lord, thou hast taught me, to go to my meat as to a Lib. 10. confess. medicine: If the snaffle of reason, much more should the curbing-bit of grace check theMagnu [...] sum & [...] majora natus, [...] ut sim cor­poris mei mancipium Seneca. appetite; the life of a Sin­ner is bruitish; the glutton feeds without fear, Iude 2. and the drunkard drinks without [...] Claud reason: Too much oyle choaks the Lamp, whereas a lesser quantity makes it burn brigh­ter; a godly man holds the golden bridle of temperance, and will not suffer his Table to be a snare.

5 A godly man is careful about moral righteousness;5 Duty. he makes conscience of equity, as well as piety; the Scripture hath linked both together, Luk. 1. 75. That wee might serve him in righteousness and true holiness: Holiness, there, is the first Table, Righteous­ness, there, is the second Table: Though a man may be morally righteous, and not god­ly, yet no man can be godly, but hee must be morally righteous: This moral righe­ousness is seen in our dealings with men; a good man observes that golden maxim, Mat. 7. 12. Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. There is a three­fold injustice in matters of dealing.

1 Using of false weights, Hos. 12. 7. The [Page 244] ballances of deceit are in his hands: men by making their weights lighter, make their sin heavier, Amos 5. 8. They make the Ephah small: the Ephah was a measure they used in selling; they made the Ephah small, they gave but scant measure; a godly man, who takes the Bible in one hand, dares not use false weights in the other.

2 Imbasing a commodity, Amos 8. 6. They sell the refuse of the wheat: they would pick out the best grains of the wheat, and sell the worst at the same price as they did the best, Isa. 1. 22. Thy wine is mixed with water: they did adulterate their wine, yet make their customers beleeve it came from the pure grape.

3 Taking a great deal more than the com­modity is worth, Lev. 25. 14. If thou sell ought to thy neighbour, ye shall not oppress one another: a godly man deals exactly, but not exactingly, he will sell so as to help himself, but not damnifie another. His motto is, A conscience void of offence, towards God, and towards men, Act. 23. 16.

The Hypocrite separates these two, which God hath joyned together, Righteousness and Holiness, he pretends to be pure, but is not just: This brings religion into contempt, when men hang forth Christs colours, yet [Page 245] will use fraudulent circumvention, and un­der a mask of piety, neglect morality; a godly man makes conscience of the second Table, as well as the first.

6 A godly man will forgive them that have wronged him,6 Duty. revenge is sweet to na­ture. [...].Hom. II.

A gracious spirit passeth by affronts, for­gets injuries, and counts it a greater victory to conquer an enemy by patience, than by Haud quaquam offensas [...] ­bi illatas chaly [...]eo stilo mar­more in­sculpit, se [...] Dei [...] i­mitatur, qui injuri­as molli inscribit palimpse­sto, cui gratiae suae spongia al­ligata est, ut illas statim de­leat.power: This is truly heroical, To over­come evil with good. Though I would not trust an Enemy, yet I would endeavour to love him; though I would exclude him out of my Creed, yet not out of my prayer, Mat. 5. 4.

Quest. But doth every godly man arrive at this, to forgive, yea love his Enemies?

Answ. He doth it in a Gospel-sense; that is, 1. Quoad assensum, he subscribes to it in his judgement, as a thing which ought to be done, Rom. 7. 18. With my mind I serve the Law of God. 2. Quoad dolorem: A godly man mourns that he can love his Enemies no more, Rom. 7. 24. O wretched man that I am! [Page 246] O this base canker'd heart of mine, that have received so much mercy, and can show so lit­tle! I have had Talents forgiven me, yet I can hardly forgive Pence. 3. Quoad votum: A godly man prays that God will give him an heart to love his Enemies; Lord pluck this root of bitterness out of me, perfume my soul with love, make me a Dove without gall. 4. Quoad conatum: A godly man doth in the strength of Christ resolve and strive against all rancour, and virulency of spirit: This is in a Gospel-sense to love ourAmicos [...]iligere omnium est, inimi­co [...] autem s [...]lorum Christi ano­rum. Tert. ad Scapull. cap. 8. Ene­mies; a wicked man cannot do this, his ma­lice boils up to revenge.7. Duty.

7. A godly man lays to heart the mise­ries of the Church, Psal. 137. 1. We wept when we remembred Sion. I have read of cer­tain Trees, whose leaves if cut or touched, the other leaves begin to contract, and shrink up themselves, and for a space hang down their heads: Such a spiritual sympathy is there among Christians, when other parts of Gods Church suffer, they feel themselves as it were touched in their own persons. Am­brose reports, that when Theodosius was sick unto death, he was more troubled about the Church of God, than about his own sick­ness. When Aeneas would have saved An­chises his life, saith he, [Page 247] Absit ut excisa possim supervivere Troiâ.Virg. Far be it from me that I should desire to live when Troy is buried in its ruines; there are in Musick two Unisons, if you strike one, you shall perceive the other to stir, as if it were affected: When the Lord strikes o­thers, a godly heart is deeply affected, Isa. 16. 11. My bowels shall sound like an Harp. Though it be well with a Childe of God in his own particular, he dwells in an house of Cedar, yet he grieves to see it go ill with the publick. Queen Esther enjoyed the Kings favour, and all the delights of the Court, yet when a bloudy Warrant was signed for the death of the Jews, she mourns and fasts, and ventures her own life to save theirs.

8.8 Duty. A godly man is contented with his pre­sent Dives est qui ni nil concupiscit.condition; if provisions grow low, his heart is tempered to his condition: Many (saith Cato) blame me because I want, and I blame them because they cannot want: A godly man puts a candid interpretation upon Providence; when God brews him a bitter Cup, this (saith he) is my diet-drink; it is to purge me, and do my soul good, there­fore he is wellPhil. 4▪ 11. content.

[Page 248] 9. A godly man is fruitful in good works,9 Duty. Titus 2. 7. The Hebrew word for godly [...] signifies merciful; implying, that to be god­ly and charitable, are [...], one and the same. A good man feeds the hungry, cloathes the naked, he is ever merciful, [...] Cyrill. Psal. 37. 6. The more devout sort of the Jews, at this day, distribute the tenth part of their Estate to the poor; and they have a Proverb among them, give the tenth, and you will growDecima ut dives fias. rich. The hypocrite is all for Faith, nothing for Works; like the Lawrel that makes a flourish, but bears no fruit.

10. A godly man will suffer persecution;10 Duty. he will be married to Christ, though he set­tle no other Joynture upon him but the Cross; he suffers out ofHeb. 11. 35. choice, and with a spirit of gallantry. Argerius wrote a Let­ter to his friend, dated, From the pleasant Gar­den of the Leonine prison. The blessed Mar­tyrs, who put on the whole Armour of God, did by their courage blunt the edge of Per­secution. The Juniper Tree makes the cool­est shadow, and the hottest coal: So Perse­cution makes the coal of love hotter, and the shadow of death cooler.

Thus a godly man goes round the whole Circle of Religious Duties, and obeys God in what ever he commands. [Page 249] [...].Polyni­ces ap. Erip.

Object. But it is impossible for any one to walk according to the full bredth of Gods Law, and to follow God fully?

Answ. There is a two-fold obeying Gods Law; the first is perfect; when all is done that the Law requires, this we cannot arrive at in this life. Secondly, There is an incom­pleat obedience, which in Christ is accepted. This consists in four things.

1. An approving of all Gods Command­ments, Rom. 7. 12. The Commandment is just, and holy, and good; and ver. 16. I consent un­to the Law that it is good. There is both assent, and consent.

2. A sweet complacency in Gods Com­mands, Psal. 119. 47. I will delight my self in thy Commandments which I have loved.

3. A cordial desire to walk in all Gods Commands, Psal. 119. 5. O that my ways were directed to keep thy Statutes.

4. A real endeavour to tread in every path of the Command, Psal. 119. 59. I turn­ed my feet unto thy Testimonies. This God e­steems perfect obedience, and is pleased to take it in good part. Zacharias had his fail­ings, he did hesitate through unbelief, for [Page 250] which he was strucken dumb; yet it is said he did walk in all the Commandments of the Lord blameless, Luke 1. 6. Because he did cordially endeavour to obey God in all things. Evangelical obedience is true for the essence, though not perfect for the degree; and wherein it comes short, Christ puts his Me­rits into the Scales, and then there is full weight.

SECT. XXIII.

23. A godly man walks with God,23 Cha­racter. Gen. 6. 9. Noah walked with God. The Age in which Noah lived was very corrupt, ver. 5. The wickedness of man was great in the earth: But the iniquity of the times could not put Noah out of his walk; Noah walked with God. Noah is called a Preacher of Righteousness, 2 Pet. 2. 5.

Noah preached 1. By Doctrine; his preach­ing was (say some of the Rabbins) after this manner; Turn ye from your evil ways, that the waters of the Floud come not upon you, and cut off the whole seed of the Race ofR. Eli­ [...]z. c. 22. Adam.

2. Noah preached by his life; he preach­ed by his humility, patience, sanctity; Noah walked with God.

Quest. What is it to walk with God?

[Page 251] Answ. Walking with God imports five things.

1. A walking as under Gods eye: Noah did reverence a Deity: A godly man sets himself as in Gods presence, knowing his Judge looks [...] Iso [...]r. on, Psalm▪ 16. 8. I have set the Lord always before me, Here was Davids Op­ticks.

2. Walking with God implies the famili­arity and intimacy the soul hath with God: Friends walk together, and solace themselves one with another: The godly make known their requests to God, and he makes known his love to them. There is a sweet intercourse between God and his people, 1 Iohn 1. 3. Our [...], our Communion is with the Father, and his Son Iesus.

3. Walking with God, is a walking above the earth: A godly man is elevated above all sublunary objects; that person must as­cend very high, who walks with God: A Dwarf cannot walk among the Stars; nor can a dwarfish earthly soul walk with God.

4. Walking with God, denotes visible piety; walking is a visible posture; grace must be conspicuous to the beholders: He walks with God, who discovers something of God in his carriage; he shines forth in a Bi­ble-Conversation.

[Page 252] 5. Walking with God, imports a conti­nued progress in Grace; it is not only a step, but a walk; there is a going on towards per­fection: A godly man doth not sit down in the middle of his way, but goes on till he comes at theQuid prodest currere & ante cur­sus metam defecere? Bern. end of his Faith, 1 Pet. 1. 9. Though a good man may be extra semitam, yet not extra viam: He may through infir­mity step aside (as Peter did) but he recovers himself by repentance, and goes on in a pro­gress of holiness, Iob 17. 9. The righteous also shall hold on his way.

Use 1. See from hence,Vse 1. Inform. how improper it is to call them godly, who do not walk with God: They would have Noahs Crown, but they do not love Noahs walk: Most are found in the Devils black walk, Phil. 3. 18. Many walk, of whom I tell you weeping, that they are the Enemies of the Cross of [...]. Cyrill. Christ.

1. Some will commend walking with God, and say it is the rarest life in the world, but will not set one foot in the way; all that commend Wine do not come up to the price; many a Father commends virtue to his Childe, but doth not set him a pattern.

2. Others walk a few steps in the good old Jer. 6. 16. way, but they retreat back again: If the ways of God were not good, why did they enter into them? If they were good, why [Page 253] did they forsake them? 2 Pet. 2. 21. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy Commandment.

3. Others slander walking with God, that it is a melancholly walk, and such as are less zealous, are more prosperous; this God ac­counts blasphemy, 2 Pet. 2. 2. The way of truth shall be evil spoken of: In the Greek it is [...], it shall be blasphemed.

4. Others deride walking with God, as if it were a way of foolish preciseness: What, you will be of the Holy Tribe? You will be wiser thanPsal. 137. 3. others? There are some persons, if it were in their power, would jeer Holi­ness out of the world: The Chair of the Scornful stands at the Mouth ofPro. 19. 29. Hell.

5. Others instead of walking with God, walk [...] after the 2 Pet. [...]. 10. flesh.

  • 1. They walk by Fleshly Opinions.
  • 2. They walk after Fleshly Lusts.

1. They walk by Fleshly Opinions. There are six of these.

1. That it is best to do as the most do,1 Opin. to steer [...], after the course of the World; to be in the Mode, not to get a new heart, but to get into a new fashion.

2 That Reason is the highest Judge and Umpire in matters of Religion;2 Opin. we must be­leeve [Page 254] no farther, than we can see; for a man to become a fool that he may be wise, 1 Cor. 3. 18 Phil. 3. 9. to be sav­ed purely by the righteousness of another▪ to keep all,Mar. 10. 39 by loosing all; this the natural man will by no means put in his Creed.

3 That a little Religion will serve the turn;3 Opin. the life-less form may in policy be kept up, but zeal is Frenzy; the world thinks that religion to be best, which like leaf-gold, is spread very thin.

4 That way is not good,4 Opin. which is expo­sed to affliction, a stick, though it be straight, yet under water it seems crooked: So Religi­on, if it be under affliction, appears to a car­nal eye crooked.

5 That all a mans care should be for the present;5 Opin. as that prophane Cardinal said, he would leave his part in Paradise, to keep his Cardinalship in Paris.

6 That Sinning is better than Suffering;6 Opin. 'tis more discretion to keep the skin whole, than the Conscience pure: These are such Rules, as the Crooked Serpent hath found out, which whosoever walk by, shall not know Peace.

2 They walk after fleshly lusts, they do [...] turn Caterers for theAnima­lia ventris, Luther. flesh, Rom. 13. 14. such an one was the Emperour Heli­ogabalus, he so indulged the flesh, that he ne­ver [Page 255] sate but among sweet flowers, mixed with Amber and Musk; he attired himself with Purple, set with precious stones; he burned in his Lamps, instead of oyle, a costly Bal­some brought from Arabia, very odoriferous; he bathed himself in perfumed waters, he did [...], he put his body to no other use,Epictetus. but to be a strainer for meat and drink to run thorow.

Thus Sinners walk after the flesh, if a drunken or unclean lust call, they gratifie it; they brand all for cowards, who dare not sin after the same rate as they do. These in­stead of walking with God, walk contrary to him: Lust is the Compass they sail by, Sa­tan is their Pilot, and Hell the Port they are bound for.

Use 2 Let us try whether we have this Character of the godly,Vse 2. do we walk with God?Trial. That may be known,

1 By the way we walk in; it is a private retired way, wherein only some few holy ones walk: therefore it is called a Path-way, to distinguish it from the common road, Pro. 12. 28. In the path-way thereof is no death.

2 If we walk with God, then we walk in the fear of God, Gen. 5. 22. Enoch walked with God: The Chalde Version renders it, [Page 256] he walked in the fear of the Lord; the godly are fearful of that which may displease God, Gen. 39. 9. How then can I do this great wick­edness, and sin against God: this is not a base servile fear, but

1 A fear springing from affection, Hos. 3. 5. a childe fears to offend his father, out of the tender affection he bears to him: This made holy Anselm say, If Sin were on one side, and Hell on the other, I would rather leap into Hell, than willingly offend my God.

2 It is a fear joyned with affiance, Heb. 11. 7. By faith, Noah moved with fear: Faith and fear go hand in hand; when the soul looks upon Gods holiness, he fears; when he looks upon Gods promises, he beleeves: A godly man doth tremble, yet trust; fear pre­serves reverence, faith preserves chearful­ness; fear keeps the soul from lightness, faith keeps it from overmuch sadness: By this we may know whether we walk with God, if we walk in the fear of God, we are fearful of infringing his Laws, and forfeiting his love: It is a brand set upon sinners, Rom. 3. 18. They have not the fear of God before their eyes. The godly fear and offend not, Psa. 4. 4. the wicked offend and fear not, [Page 257] Ierem. 5. 23, 24. Loose and dissolute walk­ing will soon estrange God from us, and make him weary of our company, 2 Cor. 6. 4. What communion hath light with darkness?

Use 2. Let me perswade all who would be accounted godly,Use 2. to get into Noahs walk: Exhort. Though the truth of grace be in the heart, yet the beauty of it is seen in the walk.

1. Walking with God is very pleasing to God: He that walks with God, declares to the world what is the company he loves most; his fellowship is with the Father; he counts those the sweetest hours which are spent with God; this is very grateful and ac­ceptable to God, Gen. 5. 24. Enock walked with God. And see how kindly God took this at Enocks hands, Heb. 11. 4. He had this testimony, that he pleased God.

2. Close walking with God, will be a good means to intice and allure others to walk with him. The Apostle exhorts Wives to walk so, that the Husbands might be won by the Conversation of theEst pel­lax virtu­tis odor. Wives, 1 Pet. 3. 1. Iustin Martyr confessed he became a Christi­an, by beholding the holy and innocent lives of the PrimitiveEuseb. Saints.

3. Close walking with God, would put to silence the Adversaries of the Truth, 1 Pet. 2. 15. A loose carriage, puts a Sword [Page 258] into wicked mens hands to wound Religion: What a sad thing is it, when it shall be said of Professors, they are as proud, as coverous, as unjust as others: Will not this expose the ways of God to contempt? But holy and close walking, would stop the mouths of sin­ners, that they should not be able to speak a­gainst Gods people, without giving them­selves the lye. Satan came to Christ, and found nothing in him, Iohn 14. 30. What a confounding thing will it be to the wicked, when they shall have nothing to fasten as a crime upon the godly, but their holiness, Dan. 6. 5. We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, unless we find it against him con­cerning the Law of his God.

4. Walking with God is a pleasant walk: The ways of Wisdome are called Pleasant­ness, Pro. 3. 17. Is not the light pleasant? Psal. 89. 15. They shall walk (O Lord,) in the light of thy countenance. Walking with God, is like walking among Beds of [...] Arist [...]. l. 1. [...] Spices, which send forth a fragrant perfume. This is it which brings peace, Act. 9. 31. Walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the joys of the Holy Ghost. While we walk with God, what sweet Musick doth the Bird of Conscience make in our breast? Psal. 138. 5. They shall sing in the ways of the Lord.

[Page 259] 5. Walking with God is honourable; it is a credit for one of an inferiour rank to walk with a King: What greater dignity can be put upon a mortal man, than to converse with his Maker, and to take a turn with God every day.

6. Walking with God leads to rest, Heb. 4. 9. There remains a rest for the people of God. The Philosopher saith, Motion tends to Motus tendit ad quietem. rest. Indeed there is a motion which doth not tend to rest; they who walk with their sins shall ne­ver have rest, Re. 4. 8. They rest not day & night: But they that walk with God, shal sit down in the Kingdom of God, Luk. 13. 29. As a weary traveller when he comes home sits down and rests him, Rev. 3. 21. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my Throne. A Throne denotes Honor, & sitting, denotes rest.

7. Walking with God is the most safe walking: Walking in the ways of sin, is like walking upon the edge of a River: The sin­ner treads upon the banks of the bottomless Pit, and if Death gives him a jogg, he tum­bles in; but it is safe going in Gods way, Pro. 3. 23. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safe­ly: He walks safe, who walks with a Guard; he that walks with God, shall have Gods Spi­rit to guard him from sin, and Gods Angels to guard him from danger, Psal. 91. 11.

[Page 260] 8. Walking with God will make death sweet: It was Augustus his wish, that he might have an [...], a quiet easie death, without much pain. If any thing make our Pillow easie at death, it will be this, that we have walked with God in our Generation: Do we think walking with God can do us any hurt? Did we ever hear any cry out upon their Death-bed, that they have been too holy, that they have prayed too much, or walked with God too much? No, that which hath cut them to the heart, hath been this, that they have walked no more closely with God; they have wrung their hands, and torn their hair, to think that they have been so bewitched with the pleasures of the World: Close walking with God, will make our Enemy (Death) to be at peace with us. King Ahashuerus, when he could not sleep, called for the Book of Records, and read in it, Esther 6. 1. So when the violence of sick­ness causeth sleep to depart from our eyes, and we can call for Conscience (that Book of Records) and find written in it, such a day we humbled our souls by fasting, such a day our hearts melted in prayer; such a day we had sweet communion with God; what a re­viving will this be? How may we look death in the face with comfort, and say, Lord, now [Page 261] take us up to thee in Heaven, where we have so often been by affection, let us now be by fruition.

9 Walking with God; is the best way to know the minde of God; friends who walk together, impart their secrets one to another, Psa. 25. 14. The secrets of the Lord, is with them that fear him. Noah walked with God, and the Lord revealed a great secret to him, of destroying the Old World, and saving him in the Ark. Abraham walked with God, Gen. 24. 40. and God made him one of his Privy-council, Gen. 18. 17. Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? God doth sometimes sweetly unbosome himself to the soul in Prayer, and in the holy Supper, as Christ made himself known to the Disciples, in the breaking of bread, Luk. 24. 35

10 They who walk with God, shall ne­ver be wholly left of God; the Lord may retire himself for a time, to make his people cry after him the more, but he will not quite leave them, Isa. 54. 8. I hid my face for a moment, but with everlasting kindeness will I have mercy on thee. God will not cast off any of his old acquaintance, he will not part with one that hath born him company. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him, Gen. 5. 24. He took him up to [Page 262] heaven, as the Arabick renders it; Enoch was lodged in the bosome of divine Love.

Quest. How may we do to walk with God?

Answ. 1 Get out of the old road of sin; hee that would walk in a pleasant meadow, must turn out of the road. The way of sin is full of Travellers, there are so many travel­ling in this road, that hell, though it be of a great circumference, is fain to enlarge it self, and make room for them, Isa. 5. 14. This way of sin seems pleasant, but the end is damnable. I have (saith the Harlot) per­fumed my bed, with Mirrhe, Aloes, and Cinamon, Prov. 7. 17. See how with one sweet (the Cinamon) there were two bitters, Myrrhe, and Aloes: for that little sweet in sin at pre­sent, there will be a far greater proportion of bitterness afterwards: Therefore get out of these briars, you cannot walk with God and sin, 2 Cor. 6. 14. What fellowship hath righteous­ness with unrighteousness?

2 If you would walk with God, get ac­quaintance with him, Iob 22. 21. Acquaint now thy self with him. Know God in his at­tributes and promises; strangers do not walk together.

3 Get all differences removed, Amos 3. 3. Can two walk together except they are agreed? This agreement and reconciliation is made [Page 263] by faith, Rom. 3. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood. When once we are friends, then we shall be called up to the Mount as Moses, and have this dignity conferred on us, to bee the favourites of heaven, and to walk with God.

4 If you would walk with God, get a liking to the vvaies of God: They are ador­ned vvith beauty, Prov. 4. 18. svveetned vvith pleasure, Prov. 3. 17. fenced vvith truth, Rev. 15. 3. accompanied vvith Life, Acts 2. 28. lengthned with eternity, Hab. 3. 6. be enamoured with the way of Religion, and you will soon walk in it.

5 If you would walk with God, take hold of his arm; such as walk in their own strength, will soon grow weary and tire: Psal. 71. 16. I will go in the strength of the Lord God: We cannot walk with God, with­out God; let us press him with his promise, Isa. 36. 27. I will cause you to walk in my sta­tutes: If God take us by the hand, then we shall walk and not faint, Isa. 40. 31.

SECT. XXIV.

24 He who is godly,24 Cha­racter. labours to be an in­strument of making others godly; he is not [Page 264] content to go to heaven alone, but would bring others thither; Spiders work only for them­selves, but Bees work for others: A godly man is both a Diamond and a Load-stone; a Diamond for the sparkling lustre of grace, and a Load-stone for his attractiveness, he is ever drawing others to the embracing of Pi­ety: Living things have a propagating vir­tue; where Religion lives in the heart, there will be an endeavour to propagate the life of grace, in those we converse with, Philemon v. 10. My son Onesimus, whom I have begot­ten in my bonds. Though God be the foun­tain of grace, yet the Saints are pipes to transmit living streams to others. This thir­sty endeavour after the conversion of souls, proceeds,

1 From the nature of Godliness; it is like fire, which assimilates and turns every thing into its own nature; where there is the fire of grace in the heart, it will endeavour to in­flame others; grace is an holy leaven, which will be seasoning and leavening others with divine principles. Paul would fain have con­verted Agrippa; how did he court him with Rhetorick? Act. 26. 27. King Agrippa, be­leevest thou the Prophets? I know that thou be­leevest: his Zeal and Eloquence had almost captivated the King, ver. 28. Then Agrippa [Page 265] said unto Paul, almost thou perswadest me to be a Christian.

2 A godly man attempts the conversion of others, out of a spirit of compassion: Grace makes the heart tender; a godly man cannot chuse but pitty such as are in the gall of bitterness; he sees what a deadly cup is a brewing for the wicked; they must without repentance, be bound over to Gods wrath; the fire which rained on Sodome, was but a painted fire, in comparison of hell-fire; this is a fire with a vengeance, Iude 7. Suffering the Vengeance of eternal fire: now, a godly man seeing captive Sinners ready to be dam­ned, labours to convert them from the errour of their way, 2 Cor. 5. 11. Knowing the ter­rour of the Lord, we perswade men.

3 A godly man endeavours the good of others, out of an holy zeal he bears to Christs glory; the glory of Christ is dear to him, as his own salvation; therefore that this may be promoted, he labours Summo conatu, to bring in souls to Christ.

'Tis a glory to Christ, when multitudes are born to him; every star adds a lustre to the sky, every convert, is a member added to Christs body, and a jewel adorning his Crown. Though Christs glory cannot be encreased, as he is God, yet as he is Media­tour, [Page 266] it may; the more are saved, the more Christ is exalted; why else should the An­gels rejoyce at the Conversion of aLuke 15. 10. Sin­ner? but because now Christs glory shines the more.

Use 1. This excludes them from the num­ber of godly,Vse 1. who are spiritual Eunuchs, 1 Bran. they labour not to promote the Salvation of others. ‘Nascitur indignè per quem non nascitur alter.—’

Did men love Christ, they would endea­vour to draw as many as they could to him. He who loves his Captain, will perswade o­thers to come under his Banner; this unmasks the hypocrite. Though an hypocrite may make a show of Grace himself, yet he ne­ver minds the procuring Grace in others; he is [...] without bowels. I may al­lude to that, Zac. 11. 9. That which dies, let it die, and that which is cut off, let it be cut off. Let souls go to the Devil, he cares not.

2. How far are they from being godly,2 Bran. who instead of endeavouring Grace in o­thers, labour to destroy all hopeful begin­nings of Grace in them? Instead of drawing them to Christ, they draw them from Christ; their work is to poyson and mischief souls: [Page 267] This mischieving of souls is three ways.

1. By evil Edicts: So Jeroboam made Is­rael sin, 1 King. 17. 26. He forced them to Idolatry.

2. By evil Examples: Examples speak louder than Precepts; but principally the ex­amples of great ones are influential: Men placed on high, are like the Pillar of Cloud, when that went, Israel went: If great ones move irregularly, others will follow af­ter.

3. By evil Company; the breath of sin­ners isNemo errat sibi ipsi, sed dementi­am suam spargit in Proximos. Sen. Epist. infectious; they are like the Dra­gon which cast a floud out of his mouth, Revel. 12. 15. They cast a floud of oaths out of their mouth: Wicked tongues are set on fire of Hell, Iam. 3. 6. The sinner finds Match and Powder, and the Devil finds fire: The wicked are ever setting snares, and temptati­ons before others; as the Prophet speaks in another sense, Ier. 35. 5. I set pots full of wine, and cups, and said unto them drink. So the wicked set pots of Wine before others, and make them drink till Reason be stupified, and Lust inflamed: These are prodigiously wick­ed, who make men Proselites to the Devil: How sad will their doom be, who besides their own sins, have the bloud of others to answer for?

[Page 268] 3. If it be the sign of a godly man to pro­mote Grace in others,3 Bran. then much more ought he to promote it in his neer Relations. A godly man will be careful that his Children should know God; he would be sorry that any of his flesh should burn in hell; he la­bours to see Christ formed in them, who are himself in another Edition. Austin saith, That his Mother Monica travelled with greater care and pain for his Spiritual Birth, than for hisLib. 5. Confess. Natural.

The time of Childhood is the fittest time to be sowing seeds of Religion in our Chil­dren, Isa. 28. 9. Whom shall he make understand Doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, that are drawn from the breasts. The Wax, while it is soft and tender, will take a­ny impression: Children while they are young will fear a reproof, when they are old they will hate it,

1. It is pleasing to God that our Chil­dren should know him betimes: When you come into a garden, you love to pluck the young bud, and smell to it; God loves a Saint in the bud; of all the Trees the Lord made choice of in a Prophetical Vision, it was the Almond Tree, which blossomes one of the first of theJer. 1 11 Trees: Such an Almond Tree is an early Convert.

[Page 269] 2. By endeavouring to bring up our Chil­dren in the fear of the Lord, we shall pro­vide for Gods glory when we areCelebre honoris di­vini tro­phaeum, etiam mor­tui in al­tum fere­mus. dead. A godly man should not only honor God while he lives, but do something that may promote Gods glory when he is dead: Our Children being seasoned with gracious Prin­ciples, will stand up in our room, when we are gone, and will glorifie God in their gene­ration. A good piece of ground doth not only bear a fore-crop, but an after-crop; he that is godly, doth not only bear God a crop of obedience himself while he lives, but by principling his Childe with Religion, he bears God an after-crop when he is dead.

Use 2. Let all who have Gods Name na­med upon them,Use 2. Exhort. do what in them lies to ad­vance Piety in others: A Knife touched with a Loadstone will draw the Needle; he whose heart is divinely touched with the Loadstone of Gods Spirit, will endeavour to draw those who are neer him to Christ: The Heathen could say, We are not born for our selves Non no­bis solum nati. only. The more excellent any thing is, the more communicative; in the bo­dy every member is diffusive, the eye con­veys light, the head spirits, the liver bloud; a Christian must not move altogether within his own circle, but endeavour the welfare of [Page 270] Vir bo­nus magis aliis pro­dest quam sibi.others: To be diffusively good, makes us resemble God, whose sacred influence is uni­versal.

And surely it will be no grief of heart, when Conscience can witness for us, that we have brought glory to God in this manner, by labouring to fill heaven.

Not that this is any ways Meritorious,Caution. or hath any causal influence upon our Salvation. Christs bloud is the cause; but our promo­ting Gods glory in the Conversion of others, is a signal evidence of our Salvation: As the Rain-bow is not a cause why God will not drown the World, but it is a sign that he will not drown it; or as Rahabs Scarlet thread she hung out of theJosh. 2. [...]8. window, was not a cause why she was exempted from destruction, but it was a sign of her being exempted; so our building up others in the Faith, is not a cause why we are saved, but it is a Symbole of our Piety, and a presage of our felicity.

And thus I have shown the Marks and Characters of a godly man. If a person thus described be reputed a Phanatick, then Abra­ham, and Moses, and David, and Paul, were Phanaticks, which I think none will dare to affirm, but Atheists.

CHAP. V.
Containing two Conclusions.

COncerning the Characteristical signs, a­fore-mentioned, I shall lay down two Conclusions.

1 These Characters are a Christians box of evidences; 1 Conclus. for as an impenitent sinner hath the signs of reprobation upon him, whereby, as by so many spots and tokens, he may know he shall dye; so he who can shew these happy signs of a godly man, may see the Symp­tomes of Salvation in his Soul, and may know he is passed from death to life; he is as sure to go to heaven, as if he were in heaven already; such a person is undoubtedly a mem­ber of Christ, and if he should perish, then something of Christ might perish.

These blessed Characters, may comfort a Christian under all worldly dejections, and Diabolical suggestions; Satan tempts a Childe of God with this, that he is an hypocrite, and hath no title to the Land of promise; a Christian may pull out these evidences, and put the Devil to prove, that ever any wick­ed man or hypocrite, had such a fair Certi­ficate [Page 272] to shew for heaven: Satan may sooner prove himself a lyar, than the Saint an hy­pocrite.

2 He who hath one of these Characters in truth,2 Conclus. hath seminally all, he who hath one link of a Chain, hath the whole Chain.

Object. But may a Childe of God say, either I have not all these Characters, or they are so weakly wrought in me, that I cannot discern them?

Answ. To satisfie this scruple, you must diligently observe the distinctions the Scrip­ture gives of Christians; it casts them into several classes and orders; some are infantu­li, little children, who are but newly laid to the breast of the Gospel; others are adulti, Young men, who are grown up to more ma­turity of Grace; others are patres, Fathers, who are ready to take their degree of Glo­ry, 1 Iohn 2. 12. 13, 4. Now, you who are but in the first rank or classis, yet you may have the vitals of Godliness, as well as those who have arrived at an higher stature in Christ: the Scripture speaks of the Cedar, and the bruised Reed, the last of which is as true a Plant of the heavenly Paradise, as the other; so that the weakest ought not to be discouraged; all have not these characters of godliness written in Text-Letters, if they be [Page 273] but dimly stamped upon their souls, God can read the work of his spirit there. Though the seal be but weakly set upon the wax, it ratifies the will, and gives a real conveyance of an estate: [...] 1 Kings 14. 13. If there be found but some good thing towards the Lord (as it was said of Abi­jah) God will accept it.

CHAP. VI.
Containing the first Vse, Exhorting all to become Godly.

Use 1 FRom all that hath been said, I would draw three great Uses.Vse 1.

First, Such as are still in their natural e­state, who never yet did relish any sweetness in the things of God; let me beseech them in the bowels of Christ, that they would la­bour to get these Characters of the Godly, engraven upon their hearts; though godli­ness be the object of the worlds scorn and ha­ [...]ed (as in Tertullians daies, the name of a Christian was aIdeo tor­quemur confitentes, quia nomi­nis prali [...] est. Tertu [...] Apol. crime) yet be not asham­ed to espouse godliness; know, that perse­cuted godliness, is better than prosperous wickedness; what will all the world avail a [Page 274] man, without godliness? To be learned and ungodly, is like a Devil transformed into an Angel of light; to be beautiful and ungodly, is like a fair picture hung in an infected room; to be honourable in the world and ungodly, is like an Ape in purple, or like that Image, which had an head of gold upon feet of clay; 'tis godliness,Dan. 2. 33. that en-nobles and consecrates the heart, making God and Angels fall in love with it.

Labour for the reality of godliness, rest not in the common workings of Gods spirit;Col. 1. 6. think not that it is enough to be intelligent and discurive, a man may discourse of Reli­gion to the admiration of others, yet not feel the sweetness of those things in his own Soul: the Lute gives a melodious sound to others, but is not at all sensible of the sound it self; Iudas could make an elegant dis­course of Christ, but did not feel vertue from him.

Rest not in having your affections a little stirred; an hypocrite may have affections of sorrow, as Ahab; affections of desire, as Balaam, these are sleight and flashy, and do not amount to real godliness. Oh I labour to be as the Kings daughter, glorious within, Psa. 45. 13.

That I may perswade the sons of men to [Page 275] become godly, I shall lay down some forcible Motives and Arguments, and the Lord make them as nails fastened by his spirit.

1 Let men seriously weigh their misery,1 Motive while they remain in a state of ungodliness; which may make them hasten out of this So­dome: the misery of ungodly men appears in nine particulars.

1 They are in a state of death, Eph. 2. 1. dead in Manet hoc poris­ma, unionē anim e no­strae cum Christo, ve­ram esse & unicā ejus vitam, ac proinde ex­tra Christū nos esse pe­nitus mor­tuos, quia regnat in nobis pec­ca [...]ū mor­tis materia [...] Calvin. Trespasses: dead they must needs be, who are cut off from Christ, the principle of life; for as the body without the soul is dead, so is the soul without Christ. This spiritual death is visible in the effect, it bereaves men of their senses: sinners have no sense of God in them, Ephe. 4. 19. who being without feel­ing: all their moral endowments, are but strewing flowers upon a dead corpse; and what is hell, but a sepulchre to bury the dead in.

2 Their offerings are polluted; not only thePro. 21. 4. Ploughing, but the praying of the wick­ed is sin, Prov. 15. 8. The sacrifice of the wick­ed is an abomination to the Lord: If the water be foul in the well, it cannot be clean in the bucket; if the heart be full of sin, the duties cannot be pure: In what a strait is every un­godly person, if he doth not come to the Ordinance, he is a contemner of it, if he [Page 276] doth come, hee is a defiler of it.

3. Such as live and die ungodly, have no right to the Covenant of Grace, Eph. 2. 12. At that time ye were without Christ, [...], stran­gers from the Covenants of Promise. And to be without Covenant, is to be like one in the old World, without an Ark. The Covenant is the Gospel-Charter, which is enriched with many glorious priviledges, but who may plead the benefit of this Covenant? Surely only such whose hearts are in-laid with grace. Read the Charter, Ezek. 36. 26. A new heart will I give you, and I will put my spirit within you: Then it follows, ver. 28. I will be your God. A person dying in his ungodliness, hath no more to do with the New Covenant, than a Ploughman hath to do with the priviledges of a Corporation.

Gods Writing is always before his Seal, 2 Cor. 3. 3. Ye are declared to be the Epistle of Christ, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God, not in Tables of stone, but in fleshy Tables of the heart. Here is a gol­den Epistle, the writing is the work of Faith, the Table it is written in, is the heart, the fin­ger that writes it is the spirit: Now, after the Spirits writing, follows the Spirits sealing, Ephes. 1. 13. After ye believed ye were sealed with the Spirit; that is, ye were sealed up to [Page 277] an assurance of glory: What have ungodly men to do with the seal of the Covenant, who have not the writing?

4. The ungodly are spiritual fools; Psalm 75. 4. I said to the fools deal not foolishly, and to the wicked, lift not up the Nonne isti morio­nes qui dum ani­mam suam vulnerant rident? horn. If one had a Childe very beautiful, yet if he were a fool, the Parent would take little joy in him: The Scripture hath dressed the Sinner in a Fools Coat; and let me tell you, better be a fool void of Reason, than a fool void of Grace: This is the Devils fool, Pro. 14. 9. Is not he a fool who refuseth a rich portion? God of­fers Christ and Salvation, but the Sinner re­fuseth this portion, Psal. 81. 11. Israel would none of me. Is not he a fool who prefers an Annuity before an Inheritance? Is not he a fool who tends his mortal part, and neglects his Angelical part? As if one should paint the wall of his house, and let the Timber rot: Is not he a fool who will feed the Devil with his Soul? As that Emperour who fed his Lion withHelio­gab. Feasant: Is not he a fool who lays a snare for himself? Pro. 1. 18. Who consults his own shame, Hab. 2. 10. who loves death, Pro. 8. 36.

5. The ungodly are vile persons, Nahum. [...] 14. I will make thy grave, for thou art vile. [...] men base, it blots their name, it [Page 278] taints their bloud, Psal. 14. 3. They are alto­gether become filthy: In the Hebrew it is, rancidi facti sunt, they are become [...] stinking. Call wicked men never so bad, you cannot call them out of their name; they are swine, [...]. Cyrill▪ Mat. 7. 6. Vipers, Mat. 3. 7. Devils, Iohn 6. 70. The wicked are scoria & gluma, the dross and refuse, Psalm 119. 119. And heaven is too pure to have any dross mingle with it.

6. Their Temporal Mercies are continued in Judgement: The wicked may have health and estate, yea more than heart can wish, Psa. 73. 7. But their Table is a snare, Psa. 69. 2 [...]. Sinners have their mercies with Gods leave, but not with his love: The people of Israel had better been without their Quails, than to have had such sowre sawce. The ungodly are Usurpers, they want a spiritual Title to what they possess; their good things are like cloath taken up at the Drapers, which is not paid for; death will bring in a sad reckoning at last.

7. Their Temporal Judgements are not removed in Mercy: Pharaoh had ten Ar­rows shot at him (ten Plagues) and all those Plagues were removed, but his heart re­maini [...]g hard those Plagues were not re­moved in Mercy; it was not a preservation▪ [Page 279] but a reservation: God reserved him for a signal Monument of his Justice, when he was drowned in the depth of the Sea: God may reprieve mens persons when he doth not re­mit their sins: The wicked may have sparing Mercy, but not saving Mercy.

8. The ungodly while they live are expo­sed to the wrath of God, Ioh. 3. 36. He that believeth not, the wrath of God abideth on him. He who wants Grace, is like one who wants a pardon, he is every hour in fear of Execu­tion: How can a wicked man rejoyce? O­ver his head the Sword of Gods Justice hangs, and under him hell fire burns.

9. The ungodly at death must undergo Gods fury and indignation, Psal. 9. 17. The wicked shall be turned into hell. I have read of a Loadstone in Aethiopia, which hath two Vincen­tius.corners, with one it draws the iron to it, with the other it puts the iron from it: So God hath two hands, of Mercy and Justice, with the one he will draw the godly to hea­ven, with the other he will thrust the sinner to hell: And O how dreadful is that place! It is called a fiery [...] lake, Rev. 20. 15. A lake, to denote the plenty of Torments in hell; a fiery lake, to show the fierceness of them: Fire is the most torturing Element. Strabo in his Geography mentions a Lake in [Page 280] Galilee, of such a pestiferous nature, that it scaldeth off the skin of whatsoever is cast into it: But alas, that Lake is cool, compa­red with this fiery Lake, into which the dam­ned are thrown. To demonstrate this fire terrible, there are two most pernicious quali­ties in it. 1. It is Sulphureous, it is mixed with brimstone, Revel. 21. 8. which is unsa­voury and suffocating. 2. It is unextinguish­able; though the wicked shall be choaked in the flames, yet not consumed, Revel. 20. 10. And the Devil was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet Poenam inextin­guibilem & foeto­rem maxi­mum mi­natur Deus Muscul. are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Behold the deplorable condition of all ungodly ones, in the other world, they shall have a life that always dies, and a death that always lives: May not this affright men out of their sins, and make them become godly, unless they are resolved to try how hot hell fire is?

2 2. What rare persons the godly are,Motive Pro. 12. 26. The righteous is more excellent than his Neighbour. As the Flower of the Sun, as the Wine of Lebanon, as the sparkling upon Aa­rons Breast-plate, such is the Orient splendor of a person imbellished with godliness: The exce [...]lency of the persons of the godly, ap­pears in seven particulars.

[Page 281] 1. They are precious; therefore they are set apart for God, Psal. 4. 3. Know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for him­self: We set apart things that are precious; the godly are set apart as Gods peculiar trea­sure, Psa. 135. 4. As his garden of delight, Cant. 4. 12. As his Royal Diadem, Isa. 62. 3. The godly are the excellent of the earth, Psa. 16. 2. Comparable to fine gold, Lam. 4. 2. Double refined, Zach. 13. 9. They are the glory of the Creation, Isa. 46. 13. Origen compares the Saints to Saphires and [...]. Origen. Cont. Cel [...]. Chri­stal: God calls them Iewels, Mal. 3. 17. They are so:

1. For their value; Diamonds (saith Pli­ny) were not known a long time but among Princes, and were hung upon their Diadem: God doth so value his people, that he will give Kingdomes for their ransome, Isa. 43. 5. He laid his best Jewel to pawn for them, Ioh. 3. 6.

2. They are Jewels for their lustre: If one Pearl of grace doth shine so bright that it doth delight Christs heart, Cant. 4. 9. Thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes; that is, one of thy Graces: Then how illu­strious are all the Graces met in a Constella­tion?

2. The godly are honourable, Isa. 43. 4. [Page 282] Thou hast been [...]. Gloriosus fuisti. honourable: The godly are a Crown of glory in the hand of God, Isa. 62. 3. They are plants of Renown, Ezek. 16. 14. They are not only Vessels of Mercy, but Vessels of Honour, 2 Tim. 2. 21. Aristotle calls Honor, the chief good [...]. thing. The godly are neer a Kin to the blessed Trinity, they have the Tutelage and Guardianship of Angels; they have Gods Name written upon them, Revel. 3. 12. and the Holy Ghost dwel­ling in them, 2 Tim. 1. 14.

The godly are a sacred Priesthood; the Priesthood under the Law was honourable; the Kings Daughter was wife to Iehoiada the Priest, 2 Chron. 22. 11. It was a custome a­mong the Egyptians, to have their Kings cho­sen out of their Priests: The Saints are a Divine Priesthood to offer up spritiual sacrifi­ces, 1 Pet. 2. 9. They are [...], Co­heirs with Christ, Rom. 8. 17. They are Kings, Rev. 1. 6. Novarinus relates of an an­tient King who invited a Company of poor Christians, and made them a great Feast, and being asked why he showed so much respect to persons of such mean birth and Extract, he told them, these I must honour as the Children of the most high God, they will be Kings and Princes with me in another world. The godly are in some sense higher [Page 283] than the Angels, the Angels are Christs friends, these are his spouse; the Angels are called morning-stars, Iob 38. 7. but the Saints are clothed with the Sun of righteous­ness, Rev. 12. 1. all men saith [...], Chrys. Chrysostome, are ambitious of honour; behold then the honour of the godly! Prov. 7. 8. Wisdome is the principal thing, therefore get wisdome, ex­alt her, and she shall promote thee, she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her: The Trophies of the Saints renown, will be erect­ed in another world. ‘—Famaque post cineres major—’

3 The godly are beloved of God, Psal. 47. 4. The excellency of Iacob whom he loved: An holy heart, is the garden where God plants the flower of his love: Gods love to his people is an antient love, it bears date from eternity, Ephe. 1. 4. he loves them with a choice distinguishing love, they are the dearly beloved of his soul, Ier. 12. 7. The men of the world have bounty dropping from Gods fingers, but the godly have love dropping from Gods heart; he gives the one a golden cup; the other a golden kiss; he loves the godly, as he loves Christ, Iohn 17. 26. it is the same love for kinde, though not for [Page 284] degree: here the Saints do but pitissare, sip of Gods love, in heaven they shall drink of Rivers of pleasure, Psa. 36. 8. And this love of God is permanent; death may take away their life from them, but not Gods love from them, Ier. 31. 4. I have loved thee with a love of [...] perpetuity.

4 The godly are prudent persons, they have good

  • Insight
  • and
  • Foresight.

1 They have good insight, 1 Cor. 2. 10. He that is spiritual judgeth all things: the god­ly have insight into

  • Persons
  • and
  • Things.

1 They have insight into persons, they have the anointing of God, and by a spirit of discerning, they can see some difference be­tween the precious and the vile, Ier. 15. 19. Gods people are not censorious, but they are juditious; they can see a wanton heart, through a naked breast, and a spotted face; they can see a revengeful spirit, through a bitter tongue; they can guess at the Tree by the fruit, Mat. 12. 33. They can see the Plague-tokens of sin, appear in the wicked, [Page 285] which makes them remove from the tents of those sinners, Num. 16. 26.

2 The godly have insight into Things My­sterious.

1 They can see much of the mystery of their own hearts: Take the greatest Politi­cian, who understands the mysteries of state, yet he doth not understand the mystery of his own heart; you shall sometimes hear him swear, his heart is good; but a Childe of God sees much heart-corruption, 1 King. 8. 38. though some flowers of grace grow there, yet he sees how fast the weeds of sin grow, therefore is continually weeding his heart by repentance and mortification.

2 The godly can discern the mystery of the times, 1 Chron. 12. 32. The children of Issachar were men that had understanding of the times: The godly can see when an age runs dregs, when Gods name is dishonoured, his messengers despised, his Gospel ecclipsed; the people of God labour to keep their gar­ments pure, Rev. 16. 15. their care is, that the times may not be the worse for them, nor they the worse for the times.

3 The godly understand the mystery of living by faith, Heb. 10. 38. The just shall live by faith: they can trust God, where they cannot trace him; they can fetch comfort out [Page 286] of a promise, as Moses did water out of the rock: Hab. 3. 17. Though the Fig-tree doth not blossome, yet I will rejoyce in the Lord.

2 The godly have good foresight:

1 They foresee the evil of a Temptation, 2 Cor. 2. 11. We are not ignorant of his devices; The wicked swallow temptations like Pills, and when it is too late, feel these Pills gripe their Conscience; but the godly fore-see a Temptation and will not come near; they see a snake under the green grass, they know Satans kindness, is craftiness; hee doth as I [...]phtha's daughter, he brings forth the Tim­brel, and danceth before men with a temp­tation, and then brings them very low, Iudg. 11. 35.

2. The godly fore-see temporal dangers, Pro. 22. 3. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself. The people of God see when the Cloud of wrath is ready to drop upon a Nation, and they get into their Cham­bers, Isa. 26. 20. The Attributes and Pro­mises of God; and into the clifts of the Rock, the bleeding wounds of Christ, and hide themselves; well therefore may they be baptized with the name of Wise Vir­gins.

5. The godly are the bull-wark of a Na­tion, 2 Kin. 2. 12. O my Father, the Chariots [Page 287] of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. The god­ly are the Pillers to keep a City and Nation from falling; they stave off Judgement from a Land: It was said of old, so long as Hector lived, Troy could not be demolished: God could do nothing to Sodom till Lot was gone out of it, Genesis 19. 22. Golden Christians are Brazen Walls. The Lord would soon break up house in the world, were it not for the sakes of a few Re­ligious ones: Would God (think we) pre­serve the world only for Drunkards and Swearers? He would soon sink the Ship of Church and State, but that some of his E­lect are in it: Yet such is the indiscretion of men as to injure the Saints, and to count them burdens which are the chiefIsa. 1 [...]. 24. bles­sings.

6. The godly are of a brave Heroick spi­rit, Numb. 14. 24. My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit. An excellent spirit was found in Daniel, Cap. 5. 12. The godly hate that which is base and sordid, they will not inrich their purses by inslaving their Consci­ences; they are Noble and couragious in Gods Cause, Pro. 28. 1. The righteous are bold as a Lion. The Saints live suitably to their high birth, they breathe after Gods love, they aspire after glory, they set their feet [Page 288] where worldly men set their heart; they dis­play the Banner of the Gospel, lifting up Christs Name and interest in the world.

7. The godly are happy persons: King Balak sent to curse the people of God, but the Lord would not suffer it, Numb. 22. 12. God said unto Balaam, thou shalt not curse the people, for they are blessed: And Moses after­wards records it as a thing memorable, that that intended Curse of the King, God did convert into a blessing, Deut. 23. 5. The Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee. They must needs be happy who are always on the strongest side, Psa. 118. 6. The Lord is on my side: they are happy who have all con­ditions sanctified to them, Rom. 8. 28. Who are crowned with peace while they live, Psa. 119. 165. and with glory when they die, Psal. 73. 24. And may not this tempt all to be­come godly? Deut. 33. 29. Happy art thou, O Israel; a people saved by the Lord.

3.Motive To endeavour after godliness, is most 3 rational.

1. It is the highest act of Reason, for a man to become another man: If while he remains in Natures Soil, he is poysoned with sin, no more actually fit for communion with God, than a Toad is fit to be made an Angel, then it is very consonant to Reason, that he [Page 289] should endeavour after a change.

2. It is rational, because this change is for the better, Eph. 5. 8. Now are yee light in the Lord. Will not any man be wil­ling to exchange a dark prison for a Kings Palace? Will he not change away his brass for gold? Thou that becomest godly▪ chan­gest for the better; thou changest thy pride for humility, thy uncleanness for holiness; thou changest a lust that will damn thee for a Christ that will save thee: Were not men besotted, had not their fall beat off their head-piece, they would see it were the most rational thing in the world to become godly.

4. The excellency of godliness.4 Motive ‘Auro quid melius? jaspis, quid jaspide? virtus.’

The excellency of godliness appears se­veral ways.

1. Godliness is our spiritual beauty, Psa. 110. 3. The beauties of holiness: Godliness is to the soul as the light to the world, to illu­strate and adorn it: 'Tis not greatness sets us off in Gods eye, but goodness: What is the beauty of the Angels but their sanctity? Godliness is the curious imbroidery and workmanship of the Holy Ghost: A soul furnished with godliness, is damask'd with [Page 290] beauty, it is enamell'd with purity, this is the cloathing of wrought gold, which makes the King of heaven fall in love with us: were there not an excellency in holiness, the hy­pocrite would never go about to paint it: Godliness sheds a glory and lustre upon the Saints: What are the Graces, but the gol­den feathers in which Christs DovePsa▪ 68. 13. shines?

2. Godliness is our defence: Grace is call­ed the Armour of Light, Rom. 13. 12. It is light for beauty, and armour for defence. A Christian hath armour of Gods making, which cannot be shot thorow; he hath the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Hope, the Breast-plate of Righteousness; this is armour of proof, which defends against the assaults of temptation, and the terrour of [...]. Chrysost. hell.

3 Godliness breeds solid peace, Psa. 119. 165. Great peace have they that love thy Law. Godlines composeth the heart, making it se­date and calm, like the upper Region, where there are no winds and tempests. How can that heart be unquiet where the Prince of Peace dwells, Col. 1. 27. Christ in you. An holy heart may be compared to the doors of Solomons Temple, 1 Kin. 6. 32. which were made of Olive-tree, carved with open Flowers. [Page 291] There is the Olive of peace, and the open Flowers of joy in that heart: godlines doth not destroy a Christians mirth, but refine it; his Rose is without prickles, his wine without froth; he must needs be full of joy and peace, who is a favourite of heaven; he may truly sing a Requiem to his soul, and say, Soul take thy Luk. 12. 19. [...]ase. King Ptolomy asked one how he might be in rest when he dreamed? He replied, Let piety be the scope of all thy acti­ons: If one should ask me how he should be in rest when he is awake? I would return the like answer, Let his soul be in-laid with god­liness.

4. Godliness is the best Trade we can drive, it brings profit; wicked men say, It is vain to serve God, and what profit is it? Mal. 3. 14. To be sure there is no profit in sin, Pro. 10. 2. Treasures of wickedness profit no­thing. But, godliness is profitable, 1 Tim. 4. 8. It is like digging in a gold Mine, where there is gain as well as toil: godliness makes God himself over to us as a portion, Psa. 16. 5. The Lord is the portion of my Inheritance: If God be our portion, all our estate lies in Jewels; where God gives himself, he gives every thing else; he who hath the Mannor hath all the Royalties belonging to it: God is a portion that can neither be spent nor lost, [Page 292] Psa. 26. 73. Thus we see godliness is a thri­ving Trade.

And as godliness brings profit with it, so it is profitable [...] for all things, 1 Tim. 4. 8. What is so besides godliness? Food will not give a man wisdome, gold will not give him health, honor will not give him beauty; but godliness is useful for all things, it fenceth off all troubles, it supplies all wants, it makes soul and body compleatly happy.

5. Godliness is an enduring substance, it knows no fall of the leaf.

All worldly delights have a Deaths-Head set upon them; they are but shadows, and they are flying: Earthly comforts are like Pauls friends, who brought him to the Ship, and there left him, Acts 20. 38. So these will bring a man to his grave, and then take their farewell; but godliness is [...], a possession we cannot be robbed of, it runs parallel with Eternity; force cannot weaken it, age cannot wither it; it out-braves sufferings, it our-lives death, Pro. 10. [...]. Death may pluck the stalk of the body, but the Flower of grace is not hurt. [Page 293] —numquam stygias fertur ad umbras inclyta virtus.Seneca.

6 Godliness is so excellent, that the worst men would have it when they are going hence; though at present godliness be despised, and under a cloud, yet at death all would be godly: A Philosopher asking a young man, whether he would be rich Croesus, or virtuous Socrates? answered, he would live with Croe­sus, and dye with Socrates: So men would live with the wicked in pleasure, but dye with the godly, Numb. 23. 10. Let me dye the death of the righteous, and let my end bee like his: If then godliness be so desirable at death, why should we not pursue after it now? godliness is as needful now, and would bee more feasible.

5 There are but few godly; they are as 5 the gleanings after vintage;Motive most receive the Mark of the Beast, Rev. 13. 17. The Devil keeps open house for all comers, and hee is never without ghuests; this may prevail with us to be godly, if the number of the Saints be so small, how should we labour to be found among these pearls? Rom. 9. 27. but a remnant shall be saved: it is better going to Heaven with a few, than to Hell in the crowd.

[Page 294] 6 6 Consider how vain and contemptible other things are,Motive about which, persons void of godliness busie themselves; men are tak­en up about the [...] things of this life, and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? Eccles. 5. 16. can the winde fill? what is gold but dust? Amos 2. 8. which will sooner choak, than satisfie: pull off the mask of the most beautiful thing under the Sun, and look what is within, there is care and vexation; and the greatest care is yet be­hinde, and that is account: The things of the world, are but as a bubble in the water, or a Meteor in the air.

But godliness hath a real worth in it, if you speak of true honour, it is to be born of God; if of true valour, it is to fight the good fight of faith; if of true delight, it is to have joy in the Holy ghost. Oh then espouse godli­ness! here is reallity to be had; of other things, we may say as Zac. 10. 2. They com­fort in vain.

CHAP. VII.
Prescribing some helps to Godliness.

Quest. But what shall we do that we may be godly?

Answ. I shall briefly lay down some rules or helps to godliness.

1 Be diligent in the use of all means,1 Rule. that may promote godliness, Luke 13. 24. strive to enter in at the straight gate: what is purpose without pursuit? when you have made your estimate of godliness, prosecute those medi­ums which are most expedient for obtaining it.

2 If you would be godly,2 Rule. take heed of the world; 'tis hard for a clod of dust to be­come a star, 1 Ioh. 2. 15. love not the world: many would be godly, but the honours and profits of the world divert them; where the world fills both head and heart, there is no room for Christ; he whose minde is rooted in the earth, is likely enough to deride god­liness; when our Saviour was preaching a­gainst sin, the Pharisees, who were covetous, de­rided him, Luk. 16. 14. The world eats out the heart of godliness, as the lvy eats out [Page 296] the heart of the Oak; the world kills with her silver darts.

3 Inure your selves to holy thoughts;3 Rule. se­rious meditation, represents every thing in its native colour; it shews an evil in sin, and a lustre in grace. By holy thoughts, the head grows clearer, and the heart better, Psa. 119. 59. I thought on my waies, and turn­ed my feet unto thy testimonies: Did men step aside a little out of the noise and hurry of bu­siness, and spend but half an hour every day, in thinking upon their souls, and eternity, it would produce a wonderful alteration in them, and tend very much to a real and bles­sed conversion.

4 Watch your hearts;4 Rule. it was Christs watch-word to his Disciples, Mat. 24. 42. Watch therefore; the heart will praecipitate us to sin, before we are aware; a subtil heart, needs a watchful eye; watch your thoughts, your affections; the heart hath a thousand doors to run out at: O keep close sentinel in your souls! stand continually upon your Watch-tower, Hab. 2. 1. when you have pray­ed against sin, watch againstHaud mi­liti tutum cum in ca­stris ei ex­cuba [...]dum est, vel ad quadrantem hor ae a somno opprimi. tentation; most wickedness in the world, is committed [Page 297] for want of watchfulness; watchfulness main­tains godliness, it is the selvedge which keeps religion from ravelling out.

5 Make Conscience of spending your time,5 Rule. Eph. 5. 16. redeeming the time: Ma­ny persons fool away theirAut ali­ud agendo aut male agendo [...] Sen. time; some in idle visits, others in recreations and pleasures, which secretly bewitch the heart, and take it off from better things: What are our gol­den hours for but to mind our souls? Time mis-improved, is not time lived, but time lost. Time is a precious commodity; a peece of wax in it self, is not much worth, but as it is affixed to the label of a Will, and con­veyes an estate, so it is of great value: Thus time, simply in it self, is not so considerable, but as salvation is to be wrought out in it, and a conveyance of heaven depends upon the well improvement of it, so it is of infi­nite concernment.

6 Think of your short stay in the world,6 Rule. 1 Chron. 29. 15. Our daies on the Earth are as a shaddow, and there is none abiding. There is but a span between the Cradle and the Grave: Solomon saith, there is a time to bee born, and a time to dye, Eccles. 3. 2. but mentions no time of living, as if that were so short, it were not worth naming; and time, when it is once gone, cannot be recalled; the [Page 298] Scripture compares time to a flying Eagle, Io [...] 9. 6.—yet, herein time differs from the Ea­gle, the Eagle flies forward, and then back again, but time hath wings only to fly for­ward, it never returns back. ‘—fugit irrevocabile tempus—’

The serious thoughts of our short abode here, would be a great means to promote godliness; what if death should come before we are ready? what if our life should breathe out, before Gods spirit hath breathed in? he that considers how flitting and winged his life is, will hasten his repentance; when God is about to make a short work, he will not make a long work.

7 Possess your selves with this maxim,7 Rule. that godliness is the end of your Creation; God never sent men into the world, only to eat and drink▪ and put on fine cloathes, but that they might serve him in righteousness and holiness, Luk. 1. 75. God made the world only as an attiring room, to dress our souls in; he sent us hither upon the grand errand of godliness; should nothing but the body (the bruitish part) bee looked after, this were basely to degenerate, yea, to invert and frustrate the very end of our being.

[Page 299] 8. Be often among the godly;8 Rule. they are the salt of the earth, and will help to season [...]. Clem. A­lex. Paed. l. 3.you. Their counsels may direct their prayers may quicken: Such holy sparks may be thrown into your breasts, as may inkindle devotion in you: It is good to be among the Saints to learn the trade of godliness, Pro. 13. 20. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.

CHAP. VIII.
Exhorting such as have made a Pro­fession of Godliness, to persevere.

Use 2. MY next Use is to exhort those who wear the Mantle,Vse 2. and in the judgement of others are looked upon as godly, that they wouldNon ce­pisse sed perfecisse virtutis est persevere, Heb. 10. 23. Let us hold fast the profession of our Faith. This is a seasonable Exhortation in these times, when the Devils Factors are abroad, whose whole work is to unsettle people, and make them fall off from that former strict­ness in Religion which they have professed: 'Tis much to be lamented to see Christians

1. Wavering in Religion: How many do [Page 300] we see desultorii ingenii, unresolved and un­steady: Like Reuben, unstable as water, Gen. 49. 4. These the Apostle fitly compares to waves of the Sea, and wandring Stars, Iude 13. They are not fixed in the principles of god­liness. Beza writes of one Bolsechus, his Re­ligion changed like theReligio­nem Ephe­meram ha­buit. Moon: Such were the Ebionites, who kept the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian: Many Professors are like the River Euripus, ebbing and flowing in mat­ters of Religion; they are like reeds, bend­ing every way, either to the Mass or theHos cum hyaena me­ritò com­paraveris, de quâ Plinius lib. 7. cap. 2. Hyaena si­cut & ich­neumon, nunc mas est nunc faemina, it a quidem sui dissi­miles, nunc Deo servi­unt, nunc carni, ab uno ad ali­ud transfe­runtur, ti­pula levio­res. Alchoran: They are like the Planet Mercury, which doth vary, and is seldome constant in its motion: When men think of heaven, and the recompence of reward, then they will be godly; but when they think of Persecution, then they are like the Jews, who deserted Christ, and walked no more with him, Iohn 6. 66. Did mens faces alter as fast as their Opi­nions, we should not know them: to be thus vacillant and wavering in Religion, argues lightness: Feathers are blown any way, so are feathery Christians.

2. 'Tis to be lamented to see men fall from that godliness which once they seemed to have; they are turned to worldliness and wantonness, the very mantle of their Pro­fession is fallen off; and indeed if they were [Page 301] not fixed stars, it is no wonder to see them falling stars. This spiritual Epilepsie, or fall­ing-sickness, was never more rife; this is a dreadful sin, for men to fall from that godli­ness they-seemed once to have. Chrysostom saith, Apostates are worse than they who are openly flagitious, they bring an evil report upon godliness: The Apostate (saith Tertul­lian) seems to put God and Satan in the bal­lance, and having weighed both their services, prefers the Devils service, and proclaims him to be the best Master, in which respect the A­postate is said to put Christ to open shame, He. 6. 6

This will be bitter in the end, Heb. 10. 38. What a worm did Spira feel in his Consci­ence? How did Stephen Gardiner cry out in horror of mind upon his Death-bed, that he had denied his Master with Peter, but he had not repented with Peter.

That we may be [...] Ig [...]at. [...], stedfast in godliness, and persevere, let us do two things.

1. Let us take heed of those things which will make us by degrees fall off from our profession.

1. Let us beware of covetousness, 2 Tim. 3. 2. Men shall be covetous, ver. 5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power. One of Christs own Apostles was caught with a [Page 302] silver bait: Covetousness will make a man betray a good cause, and make shipwrack of a good Conscience. I have read of some in the time of the Emperour Valens, who de­nied the Christian Faith, to prevent the con­fiscation of their goods.

2. Beware of unbelief, Heb. 3. 12. Take heed least there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. No evil like an evil heart, no evil heart like an unbelieving heart; why so? It makes men depart from the blessed God; he that believes nor Gods mercy, will not dread his Justice; Infidelity is the Nurse of Aposta­sie; therefore unbelieving and unstable go to­gether, Psal. 78. 22. They believed not in God, ver. 41. They turned back and tempted God.

3. Take heed of cowardliness; he must needs be evil, who is afraid to be good, Pro. 29. 25. The fear of man bringeth a snare. They who fear danger more than sin, to a­void danger will commit sin. Origen out of a spirit of fear, offered Incense to the Idol. Aristotle saith, the reason why the Cameli­on turns into so many colours, is through ex­cessive fear: Fear will make men change their Religion, as often as the Camelion doth her colour. Christian, thou who hast made a profession of godliness so long, and others [Page 303] have noted thee for a Saint in their Kalendar, why dost thou fear, and begin to shrink back? The Cause is good which thou art imbarqued in; thou fightest against sin; thou hast a good Captain which marcheth before thee; Christ the Captain of thy Salvation, Heb. 2. 10. What is it thou fearest? Is it loss of liberty? What is liberty worth, when Conscience is in bonds? Better lose thy liberty and keep thy peace, than lose thy peace and keep thy liberty: Is it loss of Estate? Dost thou say as Amaziah, 2 Chron. 25. 9. What shall we do for the hundred Talents? I would answer with the Prophet, The Lord can give thee much more than this: He hath promised thee in this life an hundred-fold, and if that be not enough, he will give thee life everlasting, Mat. 19. 29.

2. If you would hold fast the profession of godliness, use all means for perseverance, 1. Labour for a real work of Grace in your soul; Grace is the best fortification, Heb. 13. 9. It is a good thing that the heart be esta­blished with grace.

Quest. What is this real work of Grace?

Answ. It consists in two things.

1. It lies in an heart-humbling work: The thorn of sin pricked Pauls Conscience, Rom. 7. 9. Sin revived, and I died. Though some [Page 304] are less humbled than others, as some bring forth Children with less pangs, yet all have pangs.

2 Grace lies in an heart-changing work, 1 Cor. 6. 11. But ye are washed, but ye are san­ctified; A man is so changed, as if another soul did live in the same body; if ever you would hold out in the waies of God, get this vital principle of grace; why do men change their religion, but because their hearts were never changed? they do not fall away from grace, but for want of grace.

2 If you would hold on in godliness, be deliberate and judicious, weigh things well in the ballance, Luke 14. 28. Which of you intending to build a Tower, sitteth not dow [...] first, and counteth the cost: Think with your selves, what it will cost you to be godly, you must expect the hatred of the world, Ioh. 15. 19. the wicked hate the godly for their piety▪ 'tis strange they should do so; do we hate a flower because it is sweet? the godly are hated for the perfume of their graces; is a Virgin hated for her beauty? the wicked hate the godly for the beauty of holiness, which shines in them; and secret hatred will break forth into open violence, 2 Tim. 3. 12. Christians must count the cost before they build; why are people so hasty in laying [Page 305] down Religion, but because they were so hasty in taking it up?

3 If you would hold fast your profession, get a clear distinct knowledge of God, know the love of the Father, the merit of the Son, the efficacy of the Holy Ghost: Such as know not God aright, will by degrees renounce their profession: The Samaritans sometimes sided with the Iews, when they were in favour, afterwards they disclaimed all kindred with the Iews, when they were persecuted byJosephus Antiochus; and no wonder they did shuffle so in their religion, if you consider what Christ saith of the Samaritans, Ioh. 4. 22. Ye worship ye know not what; they were inveloped with ignorance; blinde men are apt to fall, so are they who are blinded in their mindes.

4 If you would persist in godliness, enter upon it purely, out of choice, Psa. 119. 30. I have chosen the way of truth: espouse godli­ness for its own worth; he that would per­severe, must rather choose godliness with reproach, than sin with all its worldly pomp; he who takes up religion for fear, will lay it down again for fear; he who imbraceth godliness for gain, will desert it when the [...]ewels of preferment are pulled off; be not godly out of a wordly design, but a religious choice.

[Page 306] 5 If you would persevere in godliness, la­bour after integrity; this will be a golden pil­lar to support you; a tree that is hollow, must needs be blown down; the hypocrite sets up in the trade of religion, but he will soon break, Psa. 78. 37. Their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast: Iu­das was first a sly hypocrite, and then a Trai­tor; if a peece of copper be guilded, the guilding will wash off, nothing will hold out but sincerity, Psa. 25. 21. Let integrity preserve me: How many storms was Iob in? not on­ly Satan, but God himself set against him, Iob 7. 20. which was enough to have made him desist from being godly, yet Iob stood fast, because he stood upright, Iob 27. 6. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go, my heart shall not reproach me, so long as I live: those colours hold best, which are laid in oyle; if we would have our profession hold its colour, it must be laid in the oyl of sin­cerity.

6 If you would hold out in godliness, hold up the life and fervour of duty, Rom. 12. 1. 1. Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord: We put coals to the fire to keep it from going out, when Christians grow into a dull formality, they begin to be dis-spirited, and by degrees abate in their godliness; none so fit to make [Page 307] an Apostate, as a lukewarm professour.

7 If you would persevere in godliness, be much in the exercise of self-denial, Mat. 16. 24. let him deny himself, self-ease,Nemo d [...] displicet nisi qui si­bi placet. Bernard self-ends; whatever comes in competition with, or stands in opposition to Christs glory and in­terest, must be denied; Self is the great snare, self-love undermines the power of godliness. The young man in the Gospel, might have followed Christ, but that something of self Nemo lae­ditur nisi a se ipso.hindered, Mat. 19. 20, 22. Self-love, is self hatred, he will never get to heaven, that cannot get beyond himself.

8 If you would hold on in godliness, pre­serve an holy jealousie over your hearts, Rom. 11. 20. Be not high-minded, but fear: he that hath Gun powder in his house, fears lest it should catch fire; sin in the heart is like Gun-powder, it may make us fear, lest a sparkle of temptation falling upon us, should blow us up: There are two things may make us alwaies jealous of our hearts; the deceits of our hearts, and the lusts of our hearts: When Peter was afraid hee should sink, and cried to Christ, Lord save me, then Christ took him by the hand and helped him, Mat. 14. 31. but when Peter grew con­fident, and thought he could stand alone, then Christ suffered him to fall. Oh let us [Page 308] be suspitious of our selves, and in an holy sense, cloathe our selves with trembling, Eze. 26. 16.

9 If you would continue your progress in godliness, labour for assurance, 2 Pet. 1. 10. Give diligence to make your calling and e­lection sure: He who is sure God is his God, is like a Castle built upon a rock, all the powers of Hell cannot shake him: How can he be constant in religion, who is at a loss a­bout his spiritual estate, and knows not whe­ther he hath grace or no? it will be a diffi­cult matter for him to dye for Christ, who doth not know that Christ hath died for him; assurance establisheth a Christian in sha­king times; he is the likeliest to bear witness to the truth, who hath the spirit of God bearing witness to his heart, Rom. 8. 16. Oh give diligence! be much in prayer, read­ing, holy conference; these are the oyle, without which the lamp of assurance will not shine.

10 If you would hold out in godliness, lay hold of Gods strength; God is called the strength of Israel, 1 Sam. 15. 29. It is in his strength we stand, more than our own; the childe is safest in the Nurses hands; it is not our holding God, but his holding us, pre­serves us; a little pinnace tyed fast to a rock, [Page 309] is safe, so are we, when we are tyed to the rock of ages.

CHAP. IX.
Motives to persevere in Godliness.

THat I may excite Christians to perse­vere in the profession of Godliness, I shall propose these four considerations.

1 It is the glory and Crown of a Christi­an, to be gray-headed in godliness, Act. 21. 16. Mnason of Cyprus, an old Disciple: What an honour is it to see a Christians garments red with blood, yet his conscience pu [...]e white, and his graces green and flourishing?

2 How do sinners persevere in their sins, they are setled on their lees, Zeph. 1. 12. The judgements of God will not deter or remove them; they say to their sin, as Ruth to Na­omi, Ruth 1. 16. Where thou goest, I will go, the Lord do so to me, and more, if ought but death part thee and me; so nothing shall part between men and their sins; Oh! what a shame is it, that the wicked should be fixed in evil, and we unfixed in good? that they should be more constant in the Devils ser­vice [Page 310] than we are in Christs.

3 Our perseverance in godliness, may be a means to confirm others; Cyprians hearers followed him to the place of his suffering, and seeing his stedfastness in the faith, [...]iamur [...]ul cum [...]cto E­scopo, in [...]ss. Cypr. cryed out, Let us also dye with our holy Pastor, Phil. 4. 14. Many of the Brethren waxing confident by my Bonds, are much more bold to speak the Word. St. Paul's zeal and constancy, did ani­mate the beholders; his Prison-chain made converts in Neroes Court; and two of those Converts were afterwards Martyrs, as Hi­story relates.

4 Wee shall lose nothing by our perse­verance in Godliness: There are eight glori­ous Promises which God hath intailed upon the persevering Saints.

The first is Rev. 2. 10. Be thou constant to the death, and I will give thee a Crown ofTria amplectitur corona, [...]uae beatitudini apprime conve­ [...]iunt, nimirum tranquilitatem, [...]uia corona dat praemium post [...]ertamen; deinde plenit [...]dinem, quia corona habet perfectam fi­guram, utpote circularem; & de­nique sublimitatem, quando­quidem corona est summi honoris [...]signe. Brond. life. Chri­stian, thou mayest lose the breath of life, but not the Crown of life.

The second promise is Revel. 2. 7. To him that [...] ­vercometh will I give to eat of the tree of life. This Tree of life is the Lord Jesus. This tree infuseth [Page 311] life, and preventsLignum vitae ea virtute est praeditum, ut animi vires roboret, nec senium obrepere unquam pa­tiatur, Alchazar. death; in the day we eat of this tree, our eyes shall indeed be o­pened to see God.

The third promise is Rev. 2. 17. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden Manna,Vincere, est peccatum & mun­dum fide calcare & ve­ritatem nunquam deserere. Muscul. and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it. This Pro­mise consists of three branches.

1 I will give to eat of the hidden Manna, This is mysterious, it signifies the love of God; which is Manna, for its sweetness, and hidden for its rarity.

2 I will give him a white stone; Alb [...] la­p [...] not ar [...] dicitur qui probatur. that is ab­solution, it may be called a precious stone saith Hierom.

3 And in the stone a new name; That is, A­doption, he shall be reputed an Heir of Hea­ven, and no man can know it, saving he who hath the privy seal of the spirit to assure him of it.

The fourth promise is, Rev. 3. 5. he that overcometh the same shall bee cloathed in white raiment, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his Angels. The per­severing Saint shall bee cloathed in White; This is an Emblem of joy,Festos Al­batus cele­bret. Horat Eccles. 9. 8. He [Page 312] shall put off his mourning, and be cloathed in the white robe of glory; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life: God will blot a Believers sins out, but he will not blot his name out; the Book of Gods Decree hath no Errataes in it. But I will confess his Name; he who hath owned Christ on earth, and worn his colours, when it was death to wear them, Christ will not bee ashamed of him, but will confess his Name before his Father, and the holy Angels. Oh what a comfort and honor will it be to have a good look from Christ at the last day; nay, to have Christ own us, by Name, and say, these were they who stood up for my truth, and kept their garments pure, in a defiling age; These shall walk with mee in white, for they are worthy.

The fifth promise is, Rev. 3. 12. Him that overcometh will I make a Pillar in the Temple of my God, and he shall goe no more out, and I will write upon him the Name of my God, and the Name of the City of my God. Here are ma­ny excellent things couched in this Promise; I will make him a Pillar in the Temple of my God; The Hypocrite is calamus, a Reed sha­ken with the wind, but the conquering Saint shall be columna, a glorious Pillar; a Pillar for strength, and a Pillar in the Temple, for sanctity; and he shall go no more out; I under­stand [Page 313] this of a glorified state, Hee shall go no more out; that is, after he hath overcome, hee shall go no more out to the Wars; hee shall never have sin or temptation more to conflict with, no more noyse of Drum, or Cannon shall bee heard, but the Believer having won the field, hee shall now stay at home, and divide the spoil. And I will write upon him the Name of my God. That is, he shall bee openly acknowledged for my Childe; as the Son bears his Fathers Name. How honourable must that Saint bee who hath Gods own Name written upon him! And I will write upon him, the Name of the Ci­ty of my God. That is, he shall be enrolled as a Denison or Citizen of the Ierusalem a­bove, hee shall bee made free of the Ange­lical society.

The sixth promise is, Rev. 2. 26. He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: this may have a double mystery, either it may be understood of the Saints dwelling upon earth; they shall have power over the nations; their zeal and patience shall over-power the adversaries ofNecesse est ut Veritati cedat men­dacium, Piis impii. truth, Act. 6. 10. or prin­cipally, it may be understood of the Saints triumphing in heaven, they shall have power [...]ver the nations; they shall share with Christ [Page 314] in some of his power; they shall joyn with him in judging the world at the last day; 1 Cor. 6. 2. Know ye not, that the Saints shall judge the world?

The seventh promise is, Rev. 3. 21. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me upon my throne.

1 Here is first the Saints dignity, they shall sit upon the throne.

2 Their safety, they shall sit with Christ; Christ holds them fast, and none shall pluck them out of his throne; the Saints may be turned out of their houses, but they cannot be turned out of Christs throne; men may as well pluck a star out of the sky, as a Saint out of the throne.

The eighth promise is, Rev. 2. 28. I will give him the morning-starre: Though the Saints may be sullied with reproach in this life, they may be termed factious and disloy­al; St. Paul himself suffered trouble (in the opinion of some) as an evil doer, 2 Tim. 2. 9. yet God will bring forth the Saints righte­ousness, as the light, and they shall shine as the Morning-star, which is brighter then the rest,Rev. 22. 16 I will give him the morning-star.— This morning star is meant of Christ, as if Christ had said, I will give the persevering Saint, some of my beauty, I will put some [Page 315] of my splendid raies upon him, he shall have the next degree of glory to me, as the morn­ning Star is next the Sun.

O what soul-ravishing promises are here! who would not persevere in godliness? he that is not wrought upon by these promises, is either a stone or a bruite.

CHAP. X.
The third Vse referring to the Godly.

Use 3. LEt me in the next place direct my self to those,Vse 3. who have a real work of godliness upon their hearts, and I would speak to them by way of,

  • 1 Caution.
  • 2 Counsel.
  • 3 Comfort.

1 By way of Caution, that they do not blur these Characters of grace in their souls; though Gods children cannot quite deface their graces, yet they may disfigure them; too much carnal liberty, may weaken their evidences, and so dim their lustre, that they cannot bee read: These Characters of the godly are precious things, the gold and chri­stal cannot be compared with them. O keep [Page 316] them fair written in your hearts! and they will be so many living comforts in a dying hour; it will not affright a Christian, to have all the signs of death in his body, when he can see all the signs of grace in his soul, he will say as Simeon, Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.

2 By way of Counsel, you who are inrich­ed with the treasures of godliness, bless God for it: This flower doth not grow in natures garden; when you had listed your selves un­der the Devil, and taken pay on his side, fighting against your own happiness, that then God should come with converting grace, and put forth a [...], a loving and gentle violence, causing you to espouse his quarrel against Satan; when you had lain many years soaking in wickedness, as if you had been par-boild for Hell, that then God should lay you a steeping in Christs blood, and breathe holiness into your heart, O what cause have you to write your selves eternal debtors to free grace. Hee denies God to be the Authour of his Grace, who doth not give him the praise of it;Negat be­neficium, qui benefi­cium non honorat. Tertul. O acknowledge the love of God; admire distinguishing mer­cy, set the Crown of your praise upon the head of free grace. If wee are to bee thank­ful [Page 317] for the fruits of the earth, much more for [...]he fruits of the Spirit; it is well there is an eternity coming, when the Saints shall tri­umph in God, and make his praise glori­ous.

3 Let me speak to the godly by way of Comfort; you that have but the least dram of godliness in sincerity, let me give you two rich Consolations.

1 That Jesus Christ will not discourage the weakest Grace,1 Consola­tion. but will cherish and preserve it to Eternity: Grace which is but newly budded, shall by the beams of the Sun of Righteousness bee con­cocted and ripened into Glory: This I shall speak more fully to in the next.

CHAP. XI.
Showing, that the least degree of Godli­ness shall bee preserved.

Mat. 12. 20.‘A bruised Reed shall hee not break, and smoking flax shall hee not quench, till hee send forth Iudgement unto Victory.’

THis Text is spoken Prophetically of Christ;Isa. 42. 3. hee will not insult over the in­firmities of his people, hee will not crush Grace in the infancy; A bruised Reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall be not quench.— I begin with the first, the bruised Reed.

Quest. What is to bee understood here by a Reed?

Answ. It is not to bee taken litterally, but mystically, It is a Rational Reed; the Spiri­tual part of man; the Soul, which may well bee compared to a Reed, because it is sub­ject to imbecility, and shaking in this life, till it grow up unto a firm Cedar in Heaven.

Quest. What is meant by a bruised Reed?

Answ. It is a soul humbled and bruised in [Page 319] the sense of [...] animan contrit [...], interpret [...] ­tur. Erasm. sin, it weeps, but doth not de­spair, it is tossed upon the waves of fear, yet not without the Anchor of Hope.

Quest. What is meant by Christs not break­ing this [...]. reed?

Answ. The sense is, Christ will not discou­rage any mournful spirit, who is in the pangs of the New-birth: If the bruise of sin be felt, it shall not be mortal: A bruised reed shall he not break. In the words there is a Mi­ [...]o [...]s, he will not break, that is, he will bind up the bruised reed, he will comfort it.

The result of the whole is, to show Christs compassion to a poor dejected sinner, that smites upon his breast, and dares hardly lift up his eye for mercy, the bowels of the Lord Jesus yern towards him, this bruised reed he will not break.

In the Text there are two parts: 1. A Supposition, a soul penitentially bruised. 2. A Proposition, it shall not be broken.

Doct. The bruised soul shall not be bro­ken, Psal. 147. 3. He bindeth up their wounds: For this end Christ received both his Mission and Unction, that he might bind up the brui­sed soul, Isa. 61. 1. The Lord hath anointed me to bind up the broken-hearted▪ But why will not Christ break a bruised reed?

1. Out of the sweetness of his Nature,Reas. 1. [Page 320] Iam. 5. 11. the Lord is [...], very pitiful; he begets bowels in other creatures, therefore is called the Father of mercies, 2 Cor. 1. 3. and surely he himself is not without bowels; when a poor soul is afflicted in spi­rit, God will not exercise harshness towards it, lest he should be thought to put off his own tender disposition.

Hence it is, the Lord hath been ever most solicitous for his bruised ones; as the Mother is most careful of her Children, that are weak and sickly, Isa. 40. 11. He shall gather the Lambs with his arm, and carry them in hi [...] bosome: Such as have been spiritually bruised, who like Lambs, are weakly and tender, Christ will carry them in the arms of free-grace.

2 Jesus Christ will not break the bruised reed,Reas. 2. because a contrite heart is his sacrifice, Psa. 51. 17. A bruised spirit sends forth tears, which are as precious wine, Psa. 56. 8. A bruised soul is big with holy desires, yea, is sick of love; therefore if a bruised reed hath such virtue in it, Christ will not break it; no Spices when they are bruised, are so fragant to us, as a contrite spirit is to God.

3 The bruised reed shall not be broken,Reas. 3. because it doth so nearly resemble Christ [Page 321] Jesus Christ was once bruised on the cross▪ Isa. 53. 10. It pleased the Lord to bruise him, his hands and feet were bruised with the nails, his side was bruised with the Spear: A bruised reed, resembles a bruised Savi­our; nay, a bruised reed is a member of Christ, which though it be weak, Christ will not cut off, but cherish so much the more.

1. Will not Christ break the bruised reed?Use 1. this tacitly implies he will break unbruised reeds;Inform. such as were never touched with trou­ble of spirit,1 Bran. but live and die in impeniten­cy, these are hard reeds, or rather rocks: Christ will not break a bruised reed, but he will break an hard reed: Many know not what it is to be bruised reeds; they are brui­sed outwardly by affliction, but they are not bruised for sin; they never knew what the pangs of the New birth meant: You shall hear some thank God they were always qui­et, they never had any anxiety of spirit, these bless God for the greatest Curse: Such as are not bruised penitentially, shall be bro­ken judicially; they whose hearts would not break for sin, shall break with despair; in hell there is nothing to be seen but an he [...]p of stones, and an hammer; an heap of stones, that is hard hearts, and an hammer, that is [Page 312] Gods Power and Justice, breaking them in pieces.

2. Will not Christ break a bruised reed?2 Bran. See then the gracious disposition of Jesus Christ, he is full of clemency, and sympa­thy; though he may bruise the soul for sin, he will not break it: The Chyrurgion may lance the body and make it bleed, but he will bind up the wound; as Christ hath beams of Majesty, so bowels of mercy: Christ gives the Lyon in his Scutchion, and the Lamb; the Lyon, in respect of his fierce­ness to the wicked, Psal. 50. 22. And the Lamb, in respect of his mildness to his peo­ple; his name is Iesus, a Saviour, and his office is an healer, Mal. 4. 2. Christ made a plaister of his own bloud to heal a broken Cum de­bilitati no­strae ita se attemperat Christus, ejus [...] deo [...]cu­lari disca­mus. Musc.heart: Christ is the quintessence of love? One saith, if the sweetness of all flowers were in one flower, how sweet would that flower be? How full of Mercy is Christ, in whom all mercy meets? Christ hath a skil­ful hand, and a tender heart: He will not break a bruised reed.

Some are so full of Ostracisme and cruel­ty, as to add affliction to affliction, which is to lay more weight upon a dying man; but our Lord Jesus is a compassionate High Priest, Heb. 2. 17. He is touched with the feeling of [Page 313] our infirmity; every bruise of the soul goes to his heart; none refuse Christ, but such as do not know him. He is nothing but love incarnated: He himself was bruised, to heal them that are bruised.

3. See then what encouragement here is for Faith!3 Bran. Had Christ said, he would break the bruised reed, then indeed there were ground for despair; but when Christ saith, he will not break a bruised reed, this opens a door of hope for humble bruised souls: Can we say we have been bruised for sin, why do we not believe? Why do we go droop­ing under our fears and discouragements, as if there were no mercy for us? Christ saith, He will heal the broken in heart, Psal. 147. 3. No, saith Unbelief, he will not heal me: Christ saith, he will cure the bruised soul: No, saith Unbelief, he will kill it: Unbelief, as it makes our comforts void, so it goes a­bout to make the Word void; as if all Gods Promises were but forgeries, or like Blanks in a Lottery: Hath the Lord said, he will not break a bruised reed, can Truth lie? O what a sin is unbelief! Some think it dreadful to be among the number of drunkards, swear­ers, whoremongers, let me tell you, it is no less dreadful to be among the number ofRev. 21. 8. Unbe­lievers: Unbelief is worse than any other [Page 324] sin, because it brings God into suspition with the Creature, it robs him of the richest Jewel of his Crown, and that is his truth, 1 Ioh. 5. 10. He that believeth not; hath made God a lyar.

Oh then, let all humbled sinners go to Je­sus Christ: Christ was bruised with deserti­on to heal them who are bruised with sin: If you can show Christ your sores, and touch him by faith, you shall be healed of all your soul-bruises: Will not Christ break thee, then do not undo thy self by despair.

Use 2. Will not Jesus Christ break a brui­sed reed,Vse 2. then it reproves those who do (what in them lies) to break the bruised reed;Reproof. and they are such as go about to hinder the work of Conversion in others, when they see them wounded and troubled for sin, they dishear­ [...]en them, telling them, that Religion is a sowre melancholly thing, they had better re­turn to their former pleasures: when an Ar­row of Conviction is shot into their Consci­ence, these pull it out again, and will not suf­fer the work of Conviction to go forward. Thus when the soul is almost bruised, they hinder it from a thorow bruise: This is for men to be Devils to others: If to shed the bloud of another makes a man guilty, what is it to damn anothers soul?

[Page 325] Use 3. This Text is a spiritual hony-comb,Vse 3. dropping consolation into all bruised hearts;Consol. as in the body, when there is a Lipothimy, or fainting of the vital spirits, we apply cor­dials; so when sinners are bruised for their sins, I shall give them some cordial-water to revive them: This text is comfortable to a poor soul, who sits with Iob among the Ashes, and is dejected in the sense of its unworthiness: Ah! saith the soul, I am unworthy of mer­cy, what am I, that ever God should look upon me? those who have greater parts and Graces, perhaps may obtain a look from God, but alas! I am unworthy; doth thy unwor­thiness trouble thee? what more unworthy than a bruised reed? yet there is a promise made to that, a bruised reed he will not break▪ the promise is not made to the Fig-tree, or Olive, which are fertile plants, but to the Bruised reed: Though thou art despicable in thy own eyes, a poor shattered reed, yet thou mayest be glorious in the eyes of the Lord; let not thy unworthiness discourage thee; if thou seest thy self vile, and Christ pretious, this promise is thine, Christ will not break thee, but will binde up thy wounds.

Quest. But how shall I know that I am sa­vingly bruised?

[Page 326] Answ. Did God ever bring thee upon thy knees? hath thy proud heart been humbled? didst thou ever see thy self a sinner, and no­thing but a sinner? didst thou ever with a weeping eye,Zac. 12. 10. look upon Christ? and did those tears drop from the eye of faith?Mar. 9. 24. This is a Gospel-bruising: canst thou say, Lord, though I do not see thee, yet I love thee, though I am in the dark, yet I cast Anchor? this is to be a bruised reed.

Object. 1 But I fear I am not bruised e­nough?

Answ. 'Tis hard to prescribe a just mea­sure of humiliation; it is in the new birth, as in the natural, some bring forth with more pangs, some with fewer; but would you know when you are bruised enough? when your spirit is so troubled, that you are willing to let go those lusts, which did bring in the greatest income of pleasure and de­light; when sin is not only discarded, but disgusted, then you have been bruised e­nough; then the Physick is strong enough, when it hath purged out the disease, then the soul is bruised enough, when the love of sin is purged out.

Object. 2 But I fear I am not bruised as I should be, I finde my heart so hard?

Answ. 1 Wee must distinguish between [Page 327] hardness of heart, and an hard [...]heart; the best heart may have some hardness, but though there be some hardnesse in it, it is not an hard heart; denominations are from the bet­ter part; if we come into a field that hath Tares and Wheat in it, we do not call it a field of Tares, but a Wheat-field; so though there be hardnesse in the heart, as well as softnesse; yet God, who judgeth by that part which is more excellent, looks upon it as a soft heart.

2 There is a great difference between the hardnesse in the godly and the wicked; the one is natural, the other is only accidental; the hardnesse in a wicked man, is like the hardnesse of a stone, which is an innate con­tinued hardnesse; the hardnesse in a childe of God, is like the hardnesse of Ice, which is soon melted with the Sun-beams; perhaps God hath at present withdrawn his spirit, whereupon the heart is congeal'd as Ice, but let Gods spirit as the Sun, return and shine upon the heart, now it hath a gracious thaw upon it, and it melts in love.

3 Dost not thou grieve under thy hard­nesse? thou sighest for want of groans, thou weepest for want of tears; the hard reed cannot weep, if [...]hou wert not a bruised reed, all this moisture could not come from thee.

[Page 328] Object. 3 But I am a barren reed, I bring forth no fruit, therefore I fear I shall bee bro­ken.

Answ. Gracious hearts are apt to over­look the good that is in them, they can spye the worm in the leaf, but not the fruit. Why dost thou say thou art barren? if thou art a bruised reed, thou art not barren. The spiritu­al reed ingrafted into the true Vine is fruit­ful, there is so much sap in Christ, as makes all, who are inoculated into him, bear fruit Christ distils grace, as drops of dew, upon the soul, Hos. 14. 5, 6. I will be as the de [...] unto Israel, he shall grow as the Lilly, his branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the Olive-tree. That God, who made the dry rod blossome, will make the dry reed flou­rish.

So much for the first expression in the Text, I proceed to the second,

The smoaking Flax shall he not quench.

Quest. What is meant by smoak?

Answ. By smoak is meant corruption: Smoak is offensive to the eye, so sin offends the pure eye of God.

Quest. What is meant by smoaking flax?

Answ. It is meant Grace mingled with corruption; as with a little fire there may be much smoak, so with a little grace there may be much corruption▪

[Page 329] Quest. What is Christs not quenching the Smoaking Flax?

Answ. The meaning is, though there be but a spark of grace with much sin, Christ will not put out this spark.— In the words there is a figure, He will not [...] quench, that is, he will encrease: Nothing more easie than to quench Smoaking Flax, the least touch doth it, but Christ will not quench it; he will not blow the spark of Grace out, but will blow itEllychni­um prope extinctum, sufflavit, magis ut clarè arderet. Musculus. up; he will encrease it into a flame; he will make this Smoaking Flax a burning Taper.

Doct. That a little grace mixed with much corruption, shall not be quenched. For the illustrating of this, I shall show you

1. That often a little grace is mixed with much corruption.

2. That this little grace interlined with corruption, shall not be quenched.

3. The Reasons of the Proposition.

1. Often in the godly a little grace is min­gled with much corruption, Mark 9. 24. Lord I believe, there was some Faith; help my un­belief; there was corruption mixed with it: There are in the best Saints interweavings of sin and grace; a dark side with the light: much pride mixed with humility, much earthliness with heavenliness: Grace in the [Page 330] godly doth relish of an old Crabtree stock.

Nay, in many of the Regenerate there is more corruption than grace, so much smoak that you can scarce discern any fire, so much distrust, that you can hardly see any1 Sam. 27. 1. Faith, so much passion, that you can hardly see any meekness. Ionah a peevish Prophet, he quar­rels with God; nay, he justifies his passion, Ionah 4. 9. I do well to be angry to the death. Here was so much passion, that it was hard to see any grace. A Christian in this life, is like a glass that hath more froth than wine; or like a diseased body, that hath more humours than spirits: This may humble the best, to consider how much corruption is interlarded with their grace.

2. This little grace mixed with much cor­ruption shall not be quenched: The smoaking flax he will not quench: The Disciples Faith was at first but small, they forsook Christ and Mat. 26. 56. fled. Here was smoaking flax, but Chirst did not quench that little grace, but cherish and animate it; their Faith afterwards grew stronger, and they did openly confessActs 4. 29. 30. Christ. Here was the flax flaming.

3. The Reasons why Christ will not quench the smoaking flax.

1. Because this Scintilla, this little light which is in the smoaking flax is of divine pro­duction, [Page 331] it comes from the Father of Lights, and the Lord will not quench the work of [...] own grace: Every thing by the instinct of Nature will preserve itsOmne a­gens est ful conserva­tivum. own: The Hen that hatcheth her young, will preserve and cherish them, she will not destroy them as soon as they are hatched: God who hath put this tenderness into the Creature to pre­serve its young, will much more cherish the work of his own spirit in the heart: Will he light up the Lamp of Grace in the soul, and then put it out? This would be neither for his interest nor honor.

2. Christ will not quench the beginnings of grace, because a little grace is precious as well as more: A small Pearl is of value: Though the Pearl of Faith be little, yet if it be a true Pearl it shines gloriously in Gods eyes: A Goldsmith makes reckoning of the least filings of gold, and will not throw them away: The pupilla oculi, the apple of the eye, is but little, yet of great use, it can at once view an huge part of the heavens: A little Faith can justifie; a weak hand can tye the Nuptial Knot; a weak Faith can unite to Christ as well as a strong; a little grace makes us like God; a silver penny bears the Kings Image upon it as well as a larger piece of Coyn: The least dram of grace bears [Page 332] Gods Image on it, and will God destroy his own Image? When the Temples in Greece were demolished, Xerxes caused the Temple of Diana to be preserved for the beauty of its structure: When God shall destroy all the glory of the world, and set it on fire, yet he will not destroy the least grace because it bears a print of his own likeness upon it: That little spark in the smoaking flax is a ray and beam of Gods own glory.

3. Christ will not quench the smoaking flax, because this little light in the flax may grow bigger: Grace is resembled to a grain of Mustard-seed, of all seeds it is the least, but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a Tree, Mat. 13. 32. The greatest grace was once little; the Oak was once an Acorn; the most Renowned Faith in the world was once in its Spiritual Infancy; the greatest flame of zeal was once but smoaking flax: Grace, like the waters of the Sanctuary, riseth higher: If then the least Embryo and seed of holiness be of a ripen­ing and growing nature, the Lord will not suffer it to be abortive.

4. Christ will not quench the smoaking flax, because when he preserves a little light in a great deal of smoak, here the glory of his power shines forth: The trembling soul [Page 333] thinks it shall be swallowed up of sin, but God by preserving a little quantity of grace in the heart, nay, by making that spark pre­vail over corruption, as the fire from heaven licked up the water in the trench, 1 King. 18. 38. Now, God gets himself a glorious Name, and carries away the Trophies of Honor, 2 Cor. 12. 9. My strength is made perfect in weakness.

1. See the different dealings of God and men,Vse 1. men for a little smoak will quench a great deal of light;Inform. God for a great deal of smoak will not quench a little light:1 Bran. 'Tis the man­ner of the world, if they see a little failing in another, for that failing they will pass by and quench a great deal of worth: This is our nature, to aggravate a little fault, and di­minish a great deal of virtue; to see the in­firmities, and darken the excellencies of o­thers; as we take more notice of the twink­ling of a Star, than the shining of a Star: We censure others for their passion, but do not admire them for their piety. Thus for a lit­tle smoak that we see in others, we quench much light.

God doth not thus, for a great deal of smoak he will not quench a little light; he sees the sincerity, and over-looks many in­firmities, the least sparks of grace he che­risheth, [Page 334] and blows them gently with the breath of his spirit, till they break forth in­to a flame.

—2 If Christ will not quench the smoaking flax,2 Bran. then we must not quench the smoak­ing flax in our selves; if grace doth not in­crease into so great a flame as we see in others, therefore to conclude we have no fire of the spirit in us, this is to quench the smoaking flax, and to bear false witness against our selves; as we must not credit a false evidence, so neither must we deny a true; fire may be hid in the embers, so may grace be hid un­der many distempers of soul; some Christi­ans are so skilful at this, in accusing them­selves for want of grace, as if they had re­ceived a fee from Satan, to plead for him, a­gainst themselves.

This is a great mistake, to argue from the weakness of grace, to the nullity; it is one thing to be wanting in faith, and ano­ther thing to want faith; he whose eye-sight is dim, is wanting in his sight, but he doth not want sight; a little grace is grace, though it be smothered under much corruption.

3 If the least spark of grace shall not bee quenched, then this follows as a great truth, that there is no falling fromFides ju­stificans se­mel habita, non potest in totum a­mitti. grace; if the least dram of grace should perish, then the [Page 335] smoaking flax should be quenched; grace may be shaken by fears and doubtings, but not blown up by theGratia concutitur non excuti­tur. Aug. roots: I grant, seeming grace may be lost, this wilde-fire may be blown out, but not the fire of the Spirits kindling; Grace may be dormant in the soul, but not dead, as a man in an Appoplexy, doth not put forth vital operations: Grace may be eclipsed, not extinct, a Christian may lose his comfort, like a tree in Autumn, that hath shed its fruit, but still there is sap in the vine, and the seed of God remains, 1 Ioh. 3. 9. Grace is a flower of eternity.

This smoaking flax cannot be quenched by affliction, but like those trees, Pliny writes of, growing in the red Sea, which be­ing beaten upon by the waves, stand im­moovable, and though they are sometimes covered with water, flourish the more; grace is like a true orient Diamond, that sparkles, and cannot be broken.

I confesse it is matter of wonder, that grace should not be wholly annihilated, espe­cially if we consider two things.

1 The malice of Satan, he is a malignant spirit, and laies bars in our way to heaven; the Devil with the wind of temptation, la­bours to blow out the spark of grace in our hearts; if this will not do, he stirs up wick­ed [Page 336] men, and raiseth the Militia of Hell against us: what a wonder is it, that this bright Star of grace, should not be swept down with the tail of the Dragon?

2 It is an amazing thing, that grace should subsist, if we consider the world of corrupti­on in our hearts; sin makes the major part in a Christian; there is in the best heart more dregs than spirits. The heart swarms with sin; what a deal of pride and Atheism is in the soul? now is it not admirable, that this Lilly of grace, should be able to grow among so many thorns? it is as great a won­der, that a little grace, should be preserved in the midst of so much corruption, as to see a Taper burning in the Sea, and not extin­guished.

But though grace lives with so much dif­ficulty, as the infant that struggles for breath, yet being born of God it is immortal, grace conflicting with corruption, is like a Ship tossed and beaten with the waves, yet it weathers out the storm, and at last gets to the desired Haven. If grace should expire, how could this Text be verified, The smoak­ing flax he will not quench.

Quest. But whence is it, that grace, even the least degree of it, should not be quenched?

Answ. It is from the mighty operation of [Page 337] the Holy Ghost; the Spirit of God, who is origo originans, doth continually excite and quicken grace in the heart: He is every day at work in a believer; he powres in oyl, and keeps the Lamp of Grace burning: Grace is compared to a river of life, Ioh. 7. 38. The river of grace can never be dri [...]d up, for the Spirit of God is the Spring which feeds it.

Now that the smoaking flax cannot be quenched, is evident from the Covenant of Grace, Isa. 54. 10. The Mountains shall de­part, and the Hills be removed, but the Cove­nant of my peace shall not be removed, saith the Lord. If there be falling from grace, how is it an immoveable Covenant? If grace die, and the smoaking flax be quenched, wherein is our state in Christ better than it was in A­dam? The Covenant of Grace is called, A better Covenant, Heb. 7. 22. How is it a bet­ter Covenant than that which was made with Adam? Not only because it hath a better Surety, and contains better priviledges, but because it hath better conditions annexed to it, It is ordered in all things, and sure, 2 Sam. 23. 5.Status ante la [...] ­sum puri­or, in Christo certior. Such as are taken into the Cove­nant, shall be as stars fixed in their Orb, and shall never fall away: If grace might die, and be quenched, then it were not a better Co­venant.

[Page 338] Object. But we are bid not to quench the spi­rit, 1 Thes. 5. 19. which implies, that the grace of the Spirit may be lost, and the smoaking flax quenched.

Answ. We must distinguish between the common work of the spirit, and the sancti­fying work, the one may be quenched, but not the other: The common work of the spirit, is like a picture drawn upon the yce, which is soon defaced: The sanctifying work is like a Statute carved in gold, which en­dures: The gifts of the spirit may be quench­ed, but not the grace; there is the enlight­ning of the spirit, and the anointing; the enlightning of the spirit may fail, but the anointing of the spirit abides, 1 Ioh. 2. 27. The anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you. The hypocrites blaze goes out, the true believers spark lives and flou­risheth, th [...] one is the light of a Comet which wastes andMat, 25. 8. evaporates, the other is the light of a star which retains its lustre.

From all that hath been said, let a Saint of the Lord be perswaded to these two things,

  • 1. To believe his priviledge.
  • 2. To pursue his duty.

1. To believe his priviledge: This is the incomparable and unparallel'd happiness of a Saint, that his coal shall not be 2 Sam. 14▪ 7. quenched: [Page 339] That grace in his soul, which is minute at [...] languid, shall not give up the Ghost, but re­cover its strength, and encrease with the en­crease of God: The Lord will make the smoaking flax a burning lamp: It were very sad, that a Christian should be continually upon the Tropicks, one day a member of Christ, and the next day a limb of Satan; one day to have grace shine in his soul, and the next day his light put out in obscurity: This would spill a Christians comfort, and break asunder the golden Chain of Salvati­on; but be assured, O Christian, he who hath begun a good work, will ripen it into perfection: Christ will send forth judgement unto victory; he will make grace victorious over all opposite corruption: If grace should finally perish, what would become of the smoaking flax? And how would that title properly be given to Christ, Finisher of the Heb. 12. 2. Faith?

Object. No question this is an undoubted priviledge to such as are smoaking flax, and have the least beginnings of grace, but I fear I am not smoaking flax, I cannot see the light of grace in my self?

Answ. That I may comfort the smoaking flax, why dost thou thus dispute against thy self? What makes thee think thou hast no [Page 340] grace? I believe thou hast more than thou wouldst be willing to part with; thou valu­est grace above the gold of Ophir: How couldst thou see the worth and lustre of this Jewel, if Gods Spirit had not opened thy eyes? Thou wouldst fain believe, and mour­nest that thou canst not believe, are not these tears the Initials of Faith? Thou de­sirest Christ, and canst not be satisfied with­out him; this beating of the pulse eviden­ceth life: The iron could not move upward, if the Loadstone did not draw it; the heart could not ascend in holy breathings after God, if some heavenly Loadstone had not been drawing it. Christian, canst thou say sin is thy burden, Christ is thy delight? and as Peter once said, Lord, thou knowest I love thee: This is smoaking flax, and the Lord will not quench it; thy grace shall flourish into glory; God will sooner extinguish the light of the Sun, than extinguish the dawning light of his spirit in thy heart.

2. Let a Christian pursue his duty: There are two duties required of believers,

  • 1. Love.
  • 2. Labour.

1. Love. Will not the Lord quench the smoaking flax, but make it at last victorious over all opposition? how should the smoak­ing [Page 341] flax flame in love to God? Psal. 31. 23. love the Lord all ye his Saints: The Saints owe much to God, and when they have no­thing to pay, it is hard if they cannot love him: O ye Saints, it is God who carries on grace progressively in your souls: He is like a Father who gives his son a small stock of money to begin with, and when he hath tra­ded a little, he adds more to the stock: So God adds continually to your stock, he is e­very day dropping oyl into the lamp of your grace, and so keeps the lamp burning: This may inflame your love to God, who will not let the work of grace miscarry, but will bring it to perfection: The smoaking flax he will not quench: How should Gods people long for heaven, when it will be their constant work, to breathe forth love, and found forth praise?

2. The second duty required of Christi­ans is labour: Some may think if Christ will not quench the smoaking flax, but make it burn brighter to the Meridian of glory, then we need take no pains, but leave God to bring his own work about. Take heed of drawing so bad a Conclusion from such good premises: What I have spoken, is to encou­rage Faith, not to indulge sloath: Do not think God will do our work for us, and we sit still: As God will blow up the spark of [Page 342] grace by his spirit, so we must be blowing it up by holy endeavours: God will not bring us to heaven sleeping, but praying: The Lord told Paul, all in the Ship should come safe to shore, but it must be in the use of means, Act. 27. 21. Except ye abide in the Ship, ye cannot be saved. So the Saints shall certainly arrive at Salvation, they shall come to shore at last, but they must abide in the Ship, in the use of Ordinances, else they cannot be saved: Christ assures his Disciples, None shall pluck them out of his hand, Ioh. 10. 28. But yet he gives that counsel, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation, Mat, 26. 41. The seed of God shall not die, but we must water it with our tears; the smoaking flax shall not be quenched, but we must blow it up with the breath of our endeavour.

The second comfort to the godly,2 Conclu­sion. is that godliness advanceth them into a near and glorious union with Jesus Christ: But of this in the next.

CHAP. XII.
Shewing the Mystical union between Christ and the Saints.

CANT. 2. 16.‘My beloved is mine, and I am his.’

IN this Book of the Canticles, we see the love of Christ and his Church, running toward each other in a full torrent.

The Text contains three general Parts.

  • 1 A Symbol of affection, my beloved.
  • 2 A term of appropriation, is mine.
  • 3 An holy resignation, I am his.

Doct. That there is a conjugal union be­tween Christ and beleevers.

The Apostle having treated at large of marriage, he windes up the whole chapter thus, Eph. 5. 32. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church: what nearer than union? what sweeter? there is a twofold union with Christ,

1 A natural union; this all men have, Christ having taken their nature upon him, and not the Angels, Heb. 2. 16. but if there [Page 344] be no more, than this natural union, it will give little comfort; thousands are damned, though Christ be united to their nature.

2 There is a sacred union, whereby we are mystically united to Christ; the union with Christ is not personal; if Christs essence were transfused into the person of a beleever, then it would follow, that all which a beleev­er doth, should merit.

But the union between Christ and a Saint, is,

1 Faederal;Religio nostra non mis [...]et na­turas sed personas conf [...]derat my beloved is mine; God the Father gives the bride, God the Son receives the bride, God the Holy ghost tyes the knot in marriage; he knits our wills to Christ, and Christs love to us.

2 This union is vertual; Christ unites himself to his spouse, by his graces and influences, Iohn 1. 16. Of his fulness have we all received, and grace for grace: Christ makes himself one with the spouse, by conveying his Image, and stamping the impress of his own holiness upon her.

This union with Christ, may well be called mystical, it is hard to describe the manner of it; as it is hard to shew the manner how the soul is united to the body, so how Christ is united to the soul; but though this union be spiritual, it is real: Things in na­ture [Page 345] work often insensibly, yet really, Eccles. 11. 5. we do not see the hand move on the Dial, yet it moves; the Sun exhales and draws up the vapours of the earth insensibly, yet really; so the union between Christ and the soul, though it be imperceptible to the eye of reason, yet is real, 1 Cor. 6. 17.

Before this union with Christ, there must be a separation; the heart must be separated from all other lovers; as in marriage there is a leaving of Father and Mother, Psa. 45. 10. Forget also thine own people, and thy Fathers house; So there must be a leaving of our for­mer sins, a breaking off the old league with hell, before wee can bee united to Christ, Hos. 14. 8. Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with Idols? or as it is in the He­brew, with sorrows: [...] Those sins which be­fore were looked upon as lovers, now they are sorrows; there must be a divorce, before an union.

The end of our conjugal union with Christ is twofold.

1 Co-habitation; this is one end of marriage, to live together, Ephes. 3. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts; it is not enough to give Christ a few complemental visits in his ordinances, hypocrites may do so; but there must be a mutual associating; we must dwell [Page 346] upon the thoughts of Christ, 1 Iohn 3. 24. he that dwelleth in God; married persons should not live asunder.

2 Fructification, Rom. 7. 4. That ye should [...] married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God: the Spouse brings forth the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, Gal. 5. 22. Barrenness is a shame in Christs spouse.

This marriage-union with Christ, is the most noble and excellent union.

1 Christ unites himself to many; in other marriages there is but a person taken, but here millions are taken; alas, else poor souls might cry out, Christ hath married himself to such an ones person, but what is that to me? I am left out; no, Christ marries him­self to thousands; 'tis casta polygamia, an ho­ly and chaste polygamy; multitudes of per­sons doth not defile this marriage-bed; no poor sinner, but bringing an humble beleev­ing heart, may be married to Christ.

2 In this holy marriage, is a nearer con­junction, than can be in any other, in other marriages, two make one flesh, but Christ and the beleever make one spirit, 1 Cor. 6. 17. He that is joyned to the Lord, is one spirit: now as the soul is more excellent than the [Page 347] body, and admits of far greater joy; so this spiritual union, brings in more astonishing delights and ravishments, than any other marriage-relation is capable of; the joy that flows from the mystical union, is unspeaka­ble and full of glory, 1 Pet. 1. 8.

3 This union with Christ never ceaseth. ‘—Foelices ter & amplius,Horat. 1. Carm. 13. quos irrupta tenet co­pula—’

Other marriages are soon at an end, Death cuts asunder the marriage-knot, but this conjugal union is eternal: thou that art once Christs spouse, shalt never be a widdow more, [...] Hos. 2. 19. I will betroth thee unto me for ever: to speak properly, our marriage with Christ begins, where other marriages end, at death.

In this life is but the contract; the Iews had a time set between their espousals and marriage, sometimes a year, or more: in this life is but the affiancing and contract, pro­mises are made on both sides, and love pas­seth secretly between Christ and the soul; he gives some smiles of his face, and the soul sends up her sighs, and drops tears of love: But all this is but a praevious work, and something tending to the marriage, the [Page 348] glorious compleating and solemnizing of the Nuptials, is reserved for heaven; there is the marriage-supper of the Lamb, Rev. 19. 9. and the Bed of glory perfumed with love, where the souls of the elect shall be perpetu­ally solacing themselves, 1 Thes. 4. 17. then shall we ever be with the Lord; so that death doth but begin our marriage with Christ.

Use 1 If Christ be the head of the body Mystical,Vse 1. Ephes. 1. 22. then this Doctrine doth behead the Pope, that man of sin, who usurps this prerogative, to be Ecclesiae caput, the head of the Church, and so would defile Christs marriage-bed; what blasphemy is this? two heads is monstrous; Christ is head, as he is husband, there is no vice-hus­band, no deputy in his room: The Pope is the Beast in the Revelation, Ca. 13. 11 to make him head of the Church, what were this, but to set the head of a Beast, upon the body of a Man?

Use 2 Is there such a conjugal union,Vse 2. Tryal. let us try whether we are united to Christ.

1 Have we chosen Christ to set our love upon? and is this choice founded upon knowledge?

2 Have we consented to the match? 'tis not enough that Christ is willing to have us, but are we willing to have him? God doth [Page 349] not so force salvation upon us, as that wee shall have Christ whether wee will or no; we must consent to have him; many approve of Christ, but do not give their consent: and this consent must be,

1 Pure and genuine, we consent to have him for his own worth and excellency, Psa. 45. 2. Thou art fairer, than the Children of men.

2 It must be a present consent, 2 Cor. 6. 2. now is the accepted time; if we put Christ off with delayes and excuses, perhaps he will come no more, he will leave off wooing, his spirit shall no longer strive, and then poor fin­ner what wilt thou do? when Gods wooing ends, thy woes begin.

3 Have we taken Christ, faith is vincu­lum unionis, the bond of the union; Christ is joyned to us by his spirit, and we are joyn­ed to him by faith: Faith tyes the marriage-knot.

4 Have we given up our selves to Christ? thus the spouse in the Text, I am his; as if she had said, all I have is for the use and ser­vice of Christ; have we made a surrender? have wee given up our name and will to Christ? when the Devil solicites by a temp­tation, do we say, we are not our own, we are Christs, our tongues are his, wee must [Page 350] not defile them with oathes, our bodies ar [...] his temple, we must not pollute them with sin: if it be thus, it is a sign the Holy ghos [...] hath wrought this blessed union between Christ and us.

Use 3. Is there this Mystical Union? then from hence we may draw many Inferences.

1. See the dignity of all true believers▪ 1. Infer. they are joyned in Marriage with Christ, there is not only assimilation, but union, they are not only like Christ, but one with Christ; This honor have all the Saints: A King mar­rying a Beggar, by virtue of the union she is ennobled and made of the Bloud-Royal; [...] wicked men are united to the Prince of dark­ness, and he settles Hell upon them for their Jointure: So the godly are divinely united to Christ, who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Rev. 19. 16. By virtue of this Sacred Union, the Saints are dignified above the Angels, Christ is their Lord, but not their Husband.

2. See how happily all the Saints are mar­ried;2. Infer. they are united to Christ, who is the best Husband, Cant. 5. 10. The chief of ten thousand. Christ is a Husband that cannot be parallel'd,

  • 1. For tender care.
  • 2. For ardent affection.

[Page 351] 1. For tender care: The Spouse cannot be so tender of her own soul and credit, as Christ is tender of her, 1 Pet. 5. 7. He careth for you. Christ hath a debating with himself, a consulting and projecting how to carry on the work of our Salvation; he transacts all our affairs, he minds our business as his own; indeed he himself is concerned in it; he brings in fresh supplies to his Spouse; if she wanders out of the way, he guides her; if she stumble, he holds her by the hand, if she falls, he raiseth her; if she be dull, he quickens her by his spirit, if she be fro­ward, he draws her with cords of love; if she be sad, he comforts her with promises.

2. For ardent affection: No Husband like Christ for love: The Lord saith to the peo­ple, I have loved you; and they say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Mal. 1. 2. But we can­not say to Christ, wherein hast thou loved us? Christ hath given real Demonstrations of his love to his Spouse: He hath sent her his Word, which is a Love-letter; and he hath given her his Spirit, which is a Love-token: Christ loves more than any other Husband.

1. Christ puts upon his Bride a richer Robe, Isa. 61. 10. He hath cloathed me with the garments of Salvation, he hath covered me with the Robe of Righteousness. In this Robe [Page 352] God looks upon us as if we had not sinned: This is as truly ours to justifie, as it is Christs to bestow: this Robe doth not only cover, but adorn: Having on this Robe we are re­puted righteous, not only as Angels, but as Christ, 2 Cor. 5. 21. That we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2. Christ gives his Bride, not only his Golden Garments, but his Image: He loves her into his own likeness: An Husband may bear a dear affection to his Wife, but he can­not stamp his own Effigies upon her; if she be deformed, he may give her a Vail to hide it, but he cannot put his beauty upon her: But Christ imparts the beauty of holiness to his Spouse, Ezek. 16. 14. Thou wert comely through my comeliness. When Christ marries a soul, he makes it fair, Cant. 4. 7. Thou art all fair my Spouse. Christ never thinks he hath loved his Spouse enough, till he can see his own face in her.

3. Christ dischargeth those debts which no other Husband can: Our sins are the worst debts we owe, (if all the Angels should go to make a Purse, they could not pay one of these debts) but Christ frees us from these; he is both an Husband and a Surety; he saith to Justice, as Paul concerning Onesimus, If he ows thee any thing, put it upon my score, I will repay it, Philem. 19.

[Page 353] 4. Christ hath suffered more for his Spouse, than ever any Husband did for a Wife; he suffered poverty and ignominy: He who crowned the heavens with stars, was himself crowned with [...]. Chrysost. thorns: He was call­ed a companion of sinners, that we might be made companions of Angels; he was re­gardless of his life; he leaped into the Sea of his Fathers wrath to save his Spouse from drowning.

5. Christs love doth not end with his life. He loves his Spouse for ever, Hos. 2. 19. I will betroath thee unto me for ever. Well may the Apostle call it, a love that passeth knowledge, Eph. 3. 19.

3. See how rich believers are,3 Infer. they are matched into the Crown of Heaven, and by virtue of the Conjugal Union all Christs riches go to believers, Communion is found­ed in Union. Christ communicates his Gra­ces, Iohn 1. 16. As long as Christ hath it, believers shall not want; and he communi­cates his Priviledges, Justification, Glorifica­tion: He settles a Kingdome upon his Spouse for her Joynture, Heb. 12. 28. This is a Key to the Apostles Riddle, 2 Cor. 6. 10. As having nothing, yet possessing all. By virtue of the Marriage-Union, the Saints are in­terested in all Christs riches.

[Page 354] 4 See how fearful a Sin it is to abuse the Saints;4. Infer. it is an injury done to Christ, for be­leevers are mystically one with him, Act. 9. 4. Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me; when the body was wounded, the head being in heaven cryed out; in this sense men crucifie Christ afresh, Heb. 6. 6. because what is done to his members, is done to him; if Gi­deon was avenged upon those who slew his brethren, Iudg. 8. 21. will not Christ much more bee avenged upon those that wrong his Spouse? Will a King endure to have his Treasure rifled? his Crown thrown in the dust? his Queen beheaded? will Christ bear with the affronts and injuries done to his Bride? the Saints are the apple of Christs eye, Zac. 2. 8. and they that strike at his eye, let them answer it, Isa. 49. 26. I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh, and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine.

5 See the reason why the Saints do so re­joyce in the Word and Sacrament,5. Infer. because here they meet with their Husband Christ; the Wife desires to be in the presence of her Husband: The Ordinances are the chariot in which Christ rides, the lattice through which he looks forth and shews his smiling face; here Christ displaies the banner of love. Can. [Page 355] 2. 4. The Lords Supper is nothing else but a pledge and earnest of that eternal commu­nion the Saints shall have with Christ in hea­ven: Then he will take the Spouse into his bo­some; if Christ be so sweet in an Ordinance, when we have but short glances, and dark glimpses of him by saith, Oh then, how de­lightful and ravishing will his presence be in heaven, when we shall see him face to face, and be for ever in his loving embraces?

4 This mystical union affords much com­fort to beleevers,Vse 4. Consol. in several cases.

1 In case of the dis-respects and unkinde­nesses of the world, Psa. 55. 3. In wrath they hate mee: but though we live in an un­kinde world, wee have a kinde Husband, Ioh. 15. 9. As the father hath loved me, so have I loved you: What Angel can tell how God the Father loves Christ? yet the Fa­thers love to Christ, is made the copy and pattern of Christs love to his Spouse; this love of Christ, as far exceeds all created love, as the Sun out shines the light of a Torch; and is not this matter of comfort? what though the world hates me, yet Christ loves me.

2 It is comfort in case of weakness of grace; the beleever cannot lay hold upon Christ, but with a trembling hand; there [Page 356] is a spirit of infirmity upon him, but O weak Christian! here is strong consolation; there is a conjugal union, thou art the Spouse of Christ, and hee will bear with thee as the weaker vessel: will an Husband divorce his Wife, because she is weak and sickly? no he will be the more tender of her; Christ hates treachery, but he will pity infirmity; when the spouse is faint, and ready to be discourag­ed, Christ puts his left hand under her head Can. 2. 6. this is the spouses comfort, when she is weak, her Husband can infuse strength in­to her, Isaiah 49. 5. My God shall bee my strength.

3 It is comfort in case of death; when be­leevers dye, they go to their Husband; who would not bee willing to shoot the Gulf o [...] death, that they might meet with their Hus­band Christ? Phi. 1. 23. I desire [...] to loose Anchor, and be with Christ; what thoug [...] the way be dirty, seeing we are going to ou [...] friend; when a woman is contracted, she longs for the day of marriage; after th [...] Saints funeral, begins their marriage; the bo­dy is ergastulum animae, a Prison to the soul who would not desire to exchange a Priso [...] for a Marriage bed? How glad was Iosep [...] to go out of Prison to the Kings court God is wise, he lets us meet with changes an [...] [Page 357] troubles here, that he may we an us from the world, and make us long for death; when the soul is divorced from the body, it is married to Christ.

4 It is comfort in case of passing the sen­tence, at the day of Judgement: There is a marriage union, and O Christian, thy Hus­band shall be thy Judge; a Wife would not fear to bee cast at Bar, if her Husband sat Judge; what though the Devil bring in ma­ny indictments against thee? Christ will ex­punge thy sins in his blood; he will say, shall I condemn my spouse? O what a comfort is this? the Husband is Judge: Christ can­not pass the sentence against his spouse, but hee must pass it against himself, for Christ and beleevers are one.

5 It is comfort in case of the Saints suf­ferings; The Church of God is exposed in this life to many injuries, but she hath an Husband in heaven, that is mindeful of her, and will turn her waters into wine; now it is a time of mourning with the Spouse, because the Bride-groom is absent, Mat. 9. 15. But shortly she shall put off her mourning, Christ will wipe off the tears of blood from the cheeks of his Spouse, Isa. 25. 8. The Lord God will wipe off tears from off all faces.

Christ will comfort his spouse after the [Page 358] time wherein she hath been afflicted, he will solace her with his love, he will take away the cup of trembling, and give her the cup of consolation, and now she shall forget all her sorrows being called into the banqueting house of heaven, and having the banner of Christs love displayed over her.

5. Let me press several duties upon such as have this Marriage-Union with Christ.Vse 5.

1. Make use of this Relation;1 Duty. in two cases.

1. When the Law brings in its Indict­ments against you; here are, saith the Law, so many debts to be paid, and it demands sa­tisfaction; acknowledge the debt, but turn over all to your Husband Christ: 'Tis a Maxim in Law, that the suit must not go a­gainst the wife as long as the Husband isUxori lis no [...] inten­ditur. li­ving: Tell Satan when he accuseth thee, 'tis true the debt is mine, but go to my Husband Christ, he will discharge it: Would we take this course, we might ease our selves of much trouble; by Faith we turn over the debt to our Husband: Believers are not in a state of Widdow-hood, but Marriage: Satan will never go to Christ, he knows Justice is satisfi­ed, and the Debt-book cancell'd, but he comes to us for the debt that he may perplex us, we should send him to Christ, and then [Page 319] all Law-suits would cease: This is a belie­vers Triumph, when he is in himself guilty, in Christ he is worthy, when he is spotted in himself, he is pure in his head.

2. In case of desertion: Christ may (for ends best known to himself) step aside for a time; Cant. 5. 6. My beloved had withdrawn himself; say not therefore Christ is quite gone: 'Tis a fruit of jealousie in a Wife, when her Husband hath left her a while, to think he is quite gone from her: Upon every removal out of sight, for us to say (as Sion) The Lord hath forsaken me, Isa. 49. 14. This is jealousie, and it is a wrong done to the love of Christ, and the sweetness of this Marriage-Relation: Christ may forsake his Spouse in regard of comfort, but he will not forsake her in regard of union: An Hus­band may be a thousand miles distant from his Wife, but still he is an Husband: Christ may leave his Spouse, but still the Marriage Knot holds.

2. Love your Husband Christ,2 Duty. Cant. 2. 5. love him, though he be reproached and per­secuted: A Wife loves her Husband when in prison: To inflame your love towards Christ, consider, 1. Nothing else is fit for you to love: If Christ be your Husband, it is not [Page 360] fit to have other Lovers, that would make Christ grow jealous. 2. He is worthy of your love; he is of unparallel'd beauty, Cant. 5. 10. altogether lovely. 3. How pregnant is Christs love towards you? he loves you in your worst condition, he loves you in affli­ction: The Goldsmith loves his gold in the Furnace: he loves you notwithstanding your scars and blemishes: The Saints infirmities cannot wholly take off Christs love from them, Ier. 3. 1. Oh then how should the Spouse be endeared in her love to Christ! This will be the excellency of Heaven, our love will then be as the Sun in its full strength.

3. Rejoyce in your Husband Christ;3 Duty. hath Christ honoured you to take you into the Marriage-Relation, and make you one with himself? this calls for joy: By virtue of the Union, believers go sharers with Christ in his riches. It was a custome among the Romans, when the Wife was brought home, she recei­ved the Keys of her husbands house, intima­ting, that the treasure and custody of the house was now committed to her: When Christ shall bring his Bride home to those glorious Mansions which he is gone before to Prepare for her, Iohn 14. 2. He will deliver [Page 361] up the keys of his treasure to her, and she shall be as rich as heaven can make her; and shall not the Spouse rejoyce, and sing aloud upon her bed? Psal. 149. 5. Christians, let the times be never so sad, you may rejoyce in your spiritual Espousals, Hab. 3. 17. Let me tell you, it is a sin not to rejoyce; you di­sparage your Husband Christ. When a wife is always sighing and weeping, what will o­thers say, This woman hath a bad husband: Is this the fruit of Christs love to you, to reflect dishonor upon him? A melancholly spouse sads Christs heart: I deny not but a Christian should grieve for sins of daily in­cursion, but to be always weeping (as if he mourned without hope) is dishonourable to the Marriage-Relation, Phil. 4. 4. Rejoyce in the Lord always. Rejoycing doth credit your husband; Christ loves a chearful Bride; and indeed the very end of Gods making us sad, is to make us rejoyce; we sow in tears, that we may reap in joy: The excessive sadness and contristation of the godly, will make others afraid to imbrace Christ, they will begin to question whether there be that satisfactory joy in Religion as is pretended: Oh yee Saints of God forget not consolation, let others see that you repent not of your choice; 'tis [Page 362] joy that puts liveliness and activity into a Christian, Nehem. 8. 10. The ioy of the Lord is your strength. Then the soul is swift­est in duty, when it is carried upon the wings of joy.

4. Adorn this Marriage-Relation,4 Duty. that you may be a crown to your husband. 1. Wear a vail. We read of the spouses vail, Cant. 5. 7. This vail is humility. 2. Put on your Jewels. These are the graces, which for their lustre are compared to rows of Pearl, and chains of gold, Cant. 1. 10. These precious Jewels di­stinguish Christs Bride from strangers. 3. Car­ry your selves as becomes Christs Spouse.

  • 1. In chastity.
  • 2. In sanctity.

1. In chastity: Be chaste in your judgments, defile not your selves with error, error adul­terates the mind, 1 Tim. 6. 5. 'tis one of Sa­tans artifices, first to defile the judgement, then the conscience.

2. In sanctity: It is not for Christs Spouse to do as Harlots; a naked breast, a wanton tongue, doth not become a Saint; Christs Bride must shine forth in Gospel-purity, that she may make her husband fall in love with her. A woman being asked what Dowry she brought her husband, answered, she had no [Page 363] Dowry, but she promised to keep her self chaste: so though we can bring to Christ no Dowry, yet he looks we should keep our selves pure, not spotting the breasts of our Virginity by contagious and scandalous sins.

FINIS.

AN ALPHABETICAL TABLE.

A
  • AFflictions on the Saints various. 172
  • Afflictions may lye long. ibid.
  • Affliction compared to a Net. 173
  • Apostasie dangerous. 301
  • Arguments to patience in affliction. 174
  • Assurance to be endeavoured after 308
B
  • Benefits by Christ, precious. 56
  • Bruised reed, what. 318
  • When a soul is bruised enough. 326
  • Bruised Reed not barren. 328
C
  • [Page]Caution to the Godly. 315
  • Characters of a godly man. 15
  • Children to honour their Parents. 225
  • Christ of a merciful disposition. 322
  • Christ full of preciousness. 53
  • Christ prized by a Saint. 57
  • Comfort to the real Christian. 317
  • Company of the godly to be frequented. 299
  • Complexion-sin how known. 210
  • Contentment with our condition. 247
  • Covetousness to be avoided. 301
  • Counsel to the godly. 316
D
  • Danger in allowing one sin. 215
  • Decay of Charity to be bewailed. 200
  • Diligence in a mans calling. 242
  • Disobedient children punished. 226
  • Distinctions about humility. 103
  • Distractions in duties, whence they arise. 232
  • How they may be cured. 233
E
  • Earthly and godly, a contradiction. 146
  • [Page] Endeavours of a Christian to be quickned. 342
  • Examples of patience. 171
  • Examples speak louder than precepts. 267
  • Excellency of the Word written. 83
F
  • Faith excites all the graces. 28
  • Few know the mystery of Faith. 30
  • Faiths encouragement. 323
  • Falling from grace refuted. 334
  • Fathers to instruct and pray for children. 223
  • Forgiveness of sin. 2
  • How sad to want it. 4
  • How sweet to have it. ib.
G
  • Gainful sins make men loosers. 209
  • God the best Master. 46
  • Godliness what. 5
  • Seven maxims about godliness. 6
  • Godly man like God. 34
  • Godly man a lover of the Word. 77
  • Godly man exact about the worship of God. 39
  • Godly man instrumental for the good of others. 263
  • Godliness exhorted to. 273
  • Godly men prudent. 284
  • [Page] Godly men the Bulwark of a nation. 285
  • Helps to godliness. 295
  • Grace to be promoted in our relations. 268
  • One grace in truth, hath all linked with it. 272
H
  • Hardness of heart differenced from an hard heart 327
  • Haters of Saints put in Gods black Book. 206
  • Heart to be called toaccount. 240
  • Heart to be watched. 296
  • Heavenly mindedness the note of a Saint. 141
  • How many wayes a godly man is heavenly. 142
  • Heaven-aspiring motives. 147
  • How heaven is a better country. 150
  • Holiness Gods glory. 35
  • Holiness of Saints, wherein discovered. 36
  • Honouring of Parents, wherein it consists. 225
  • Humble Soul Characterized. 104
  • Humility exhorted to. 113
  • How to be attained. 115
  • Husbands must love their Wives. 221
  • Hypocrisie a vile sin. 138
  • Hypocrites, partial in matters of Religion. 239
I
  • [Page]Ignorance in Gospel-times inexcusable. 22
  • Indulging sin, what. 206
  • Ingratitude odious. 193
  • Injuries to be forgiven. 245
K
  • Divine Knowledge, how qualified. 16
  • To be sought after. 24
  • How obtained. 25
L
  • Life of a Saint a life of believing. 29
  • Love of God to his people. 283
  • Love to God. 31
  • Love to the Scriptures, how shown. 79
  • Love to the Word Preached. 84
  • Whether we are Lovers of the Word. 85
  • Love to the Saints, how qualified. 196
  • Motives to Love. 201
  • Love, how gotten and preserved. 205
  • Luke-warm temper abominable. 161
M
  • [Page]Magistrates must put on Iustice as a robe. 218
  • Masters to be good at home, as well as at Church. 224
  • Ministers must sweat in Gods Vineyard. 218
  • Ministers ought to be zealous. 219
  • Mischieving of Souls three waies. 267
  • Misery of a natural estate. 275
  • Moral Righteousness to be observed. 243
  • Mystical union sweet. 343
O
  • Obedience to God must be universal. 238
  • How a godly man obeys all Gods commands. 249
  • Object. Touching hardness of heart answered. 327
  • Object. Touching smoaking flax answered. 339
  • Offices of Christ, precious. 55
  • Opposites to patience. 166
P
  • Patience in waiting. 164
  • Patience in bearing. 165
  • Patience, what it is. ib.
  • Patience how attained. 177
  • [Page] Persecution for Christ. 248
  • Perseverance in the profession of godliness. 299
  • Means to perseverance. 301
  • Motives to perseverance. 309
  • Persons of the godly, precious. 280
  • Praise, a God-exalting work. 181
  • Prayer the badge of a godly man. 117
  • Prayer spiritual, what it is. 119
  • A perswasive to Prayer. 128
  • Pretenders to godliness. 8
  • Pride an horrid sin. 114
  • Persons who do not prize Christ. 60
  • Whether we are prizers of Christ. 62
  • A perswasive to all, to prize Christ. 67
  • Promises to persevering Christians. 310
  • Proud men unmasked. 110
R
  • Relative holiness. 218
  • Motives to be good in our relation. 228
  • Reproof to them who pray not at all. 126
  • Reproofs, when loved. 87
  • Religion to be entred upon, out of choice. 305
S
  • Secret sins. 207
  • Self-denial needful. 307
  • [Page] Servant of God described. 43
  • Service of God excellent. 47
  • Serving of men when sinful. 51
  • Servants how to carry themselves to their Ma­sters. 226
  • Sincere Christian deciphered. 131
  • Sincerity the ingredient into all the graces. 134
  • Sincerity a jewel of incomparable worth. 135
  • Sins of a justified person odious. 73
  • Smoking flax, what it signifies. 328
  • Why smoking flax shall not be quenched. 331
  • Spirit of God known by its motions. 89
  • Spirits motions, how distinguished from the im­pulse of a natural conscience. 90
  • Spirit known by its vertues. 91
  • How the spirit of God comforts. 94
  • Spirit deriders far from Godly. 99
  • Spirits in-dwelling to be laboured after. 100
  • Such as have the spirit, how they are to carry themselves. 101
  • Spiritualness in duty what. 230
  • How we may grow more spiritual in the ser­vice of God. 236
  • Superstitions persons seldome converted. 41
  • Support in the death of godly relations. 168
  • Sympathy with Sion. 246
T
  • Thankfulness a work proper for a Saint. 179
  • [Page] Thankfulness in adversity as well as prosperity. 183
  • How wee may know whether wee are rightly thankful. 185
  • Motives to thankfulness. 189
  • How to get a thankful heart. 194
  • Thanksgiving a more noble part of Gods wor­ship. 181
  • Time to be redeemed. 297
  • Tryal of our love to God. 33
V
  • Unbeleif a God-dishonouring sin. 323
  • Unworthiness ought not to discourage. 325
W
  • What it is to walk with God. 251
  • Walking after the flesh, what it imports. 253
  • How we may know whether we walk with God. 255
  • Walking with God excellent. 257
  • How we may come to walk with God. 262
  • Weeper for sin 70
  • Why weeping after conversion. 71
  • Weeping, how qualified. 75
  • Go often into the weeping hath. 76
  • Works of Mercy. 248
  • [Page] World an hindrance to godliness. 295
  • Worldly things contemptible. 148
  • Worship of God, better in purity than pomp. 39
Z
  • Zeal, the flame that ascends from an holy heart. 155
  • Zeal fictitious. 156
  • Zeal rightly tempered. 157
  • Zeal to be pursued after. 162
FINIS.

ERRATA.

Page 76. line 23. For sangui serat, read, sanguit erat. page 64. marg. for [...], read [...]. page 131. line 20. for fronte positus, read fronte politus. page 278. marg. for [...] read [...] page 342. marg. for 2 Conclusion, read, 2 Consolation.

These Books following are Printed for, and sold by Thomas Parkhurst, at the three Crowns at the lower end of Cheapside, over against the great Conduit.

A Divine Cordial; Or, the Transcendent Privi­ledge of those that love God, and are savingly Called; By Tho. Watson.

The Holy Eucharist, or, the Mystery of the Lords Supper, briefly explained; By Tho. Watson.

Paramythion, or a Word of Comfort for the Church of God; By Tho. Watson.

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