The Substance of Christian ReligionWilliam Ames (1576-1633) - One of the Greatest Theological Puritans and Writers
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“The first act of religion, therefore, concerns those things which are communicated to us from God. The other concerns those things which we yield to God.”
This is a raw text file of his work:
The substance of Christian religion, or, A plain and easie draught of the Christian catechisme in LII lectures on chosen texts of Scripture, for each Lords-day of the year, learnedly and perspicuously illustrated with doctrines, reasons, and uses
Ames, William, 1576-1633.
THE SVBSTANCE OF Christian Religion: OR, A plain and easie Draught of the Christian CATECHISME, IN LII. Lectures, on chosen Texts of Scripture, for each Lords-day of the Year, Learnedly and Perspicuously Illustrated with Doctrines, Reasons and Uses.
By that Reverend and Worthy Laborer in the Lord’s Vineyard, William Ames, Doctor in Divinity, and late Professor thereof, at Franeker in Friezeland.
LONDON, Printed by T. Mabb for Thomas Davies, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Signe of the Bible over against the little-north-doore of Paul, Church, 1659.
To the Reader.
Some years are now passed, since it pleased divine providence to put a period to the life of Dr. William Ames, in whose death very many did interest themselves, as no indifferent mourners. Not onely those, who either under the notion of Schollers or Friends were become his familiars; but universally all such, who had been sensible of injoying the fruits of his labours: And who were fervent lovers of sound literature, purity of heavenly Doctrine, and godlinesse in sincerity of heart. Knowing indeed, that in Ames, the garden of learning had lost one of its choisest flowers, the fortresse of truth, one of its stoutest defenders, Piety its most faithfull favourite, the School a most able and reverent Doctor, and studious youth their most diligent instructor. That we have
〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉, those, who have derived 〈◊〉〈◊〉 of learning from 〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉; und able witnesses. In further testimony are those his elabourate 〈◊〉 in opposition to the Idolatrous tyrany of Popery, and the spreading gangrene of Arminianisme, especially his *Coroni, whereby he obtained the Crown in the conflict. As also those things which he Dedicated to both Religion and Pty; his Marrow of Divinity his Cses of Conscience, Explication of the Psames, Peer, &c. And these his Catechistical Commentations, which indeed he designed for the private use of his Schollers upon whose intreaty he laid thn down: But things so eminently conducing to the publick, were not to be confined to the narrower limits of private profit. Amongst those divers wayes by which diverse doe handle Catechistical Doctrine, this Author thought fit above all to make use of this method: He takes out of the Word of God a Text most apposite, resolves and explaines it suinctly, then drawes out examples containing Doctrinal instructions, and lastly, applies them to their several uses. If this shall be disgusted
by some cer paat, I intreat him onl by little and little to remit that prejudicate opinion, which he can deduce from nothing but a slight perusal; and must upon a more setled introspection confess, that in this Piece Ames hath most prudently chose, and dexterously handled, the most plain and regular method, for the Preachers function, and Christian instruction. But if any should please themselves with any other method, they may with little pains and exceeding profit produce a compliance between it and our Amesian System. The truth of this is sufficiently attested, not onely by our own Country men, but also by the Dutch, French, and others, among whose Catechistical Treatises this was and is in no small esteem.
I need not have taken thus much pains to premise a Prefatory Epistle, when indeed I am not ignorant how that the least knowing among us, will conclude me but weak to suppose, that I might induce them to prize this Piece by a second motive, when the Title hath already presented them with the name of Ames: But least a total silence should bring this
Work at first sight to be questioned for spurious, I thought it not altogether unnecessary to usher it into the world with this short Preface.
THE SUBSTANCE OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
The first Lords day
Psalm 4. vers. 6, 7, 8.
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 7. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 8. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for, thou Lord, onely makest me dwell in safety.
The scope of this Psalm is, to teach us by the example of David how we ought to carry our selves, when we are compassed about with the greatest dangers. Now, two things are here performed
by David, which make up the two parts of this Psalm. First, He prayeth for the turning away of imminent danger, verse 1. Secondly, He setteth out the effect of this his prayer, in the strengthening of his minde, which he attained to by this means: and of that in the rest of the verses.
This confirmation is declared by a double reason, First, By an adhortation, which he useth towards his enemies, vers 2, 3, 4, 5. Secondly, By a profession of his confidence that he had in God, from the sixth verse to the end of the Psalm. In this profession of his confidence, the Royal Prophet sheweth, that he places his chief felicity in Gods favour towards him. And this profession is, first illustrated from a comparison with a very unlike and vanishing care of worldly men, that they have concerning their owne happinesse or felicity, verse 6. Secondly, From the effect of Gods favour; to wit, that it brings with its self wonderfull gladnesse to the mindes and consciences of those that have received it, verse 7. In which words the reason and cause is given of the former confession. And then this gladness is illustrated by a comparison of a less joy or gladness, which yet by the world is taken for a full joy; and that is, the joy that arises from the plenty and abundance of the goods of this life, verse 7. Lastly, this profession of the Prophet is illustrated from another effect, that it brings with it, to wit, security and safety from fear, and all cause of fear; the true cause whereof is placed in Gods protection, ver. 8.
That all these things may be the better understood, we must know and observe, for the explication of the words, that by many in this place, all are
understood because what is here attributed to many,〈◊〉 to all. Secondly, That by the word, 〈◊〉〈◊〉, is not heer understood properly an externall and vocall spech, but the inward affections, desire, and endeavour; because this saying is affirmed of such also as abstain from outward speech, and perhaps cannot speak. Thirdly, That by this exclamation [Who will shew us any good?] a vehement desire is imported. Fourthly, That by good, all and every thing is understood, which appeares delectable, whether it seem profitable, pleasant, or any other way desirable. Fifthly, That by lifting up of Gods countenance upon us, by a constant phrase of Scripture is understood, the communication and manifestation of Gods gratious presence and favour; for it is a metaphor or speech that seems to be borrowed from the Sun arising and spreading abroad the beams of his light, whereby he brings a certain lif and gladness to all creatures here below.
Doctrines from hence arising.
Doct. 1. Our chief felicity and happiness ought above all other things to be regarded and sought after, and that throughout our whole life.
This Doctrine is thus raised and gathered; In that David proposeth this, as his onely comfort which he regarded in the time of his affliction, and which he would regard all his life time. Now by the chief good that properly is to be understood, wherein our felicity consists; in which felicity, is contained an affluence or fulness of all desirable good things. And this chief good, as it is imperfectly here attained to, and possessed in this life, is properly
called our consolation, or comfort: It is called Comfort, because it is that, which as it were strengthens and comforts the minde, and makes it strong and firm against all oppressing pains, griefs and terrours, for consolation or comfort is properly a mitigation of pain and grief, or a remedy against sorrow and fear.
Reason 1. The first reason of this Doctrine, is; because in this chief good the end of our life doth consist; and the end in all things is chiefly to be looked on; because whosoever doth any thing not in order to a fixed end, he doth it but rashly, and without reason. So he also, who lives without having his eye still fixed upon his chief good, lives but rashly and at randome, and like unto a brute and unreasonable creature.
Reas. 2. Is, because from the regard we have to this end, all our actions are to be governed; whereof these onely can be called right, which, as it were in a right or streight line tend to this end; and all others are wrong, and like crooked lines, or bypathes turning out of the right, and streight way. He therefore that lives without regard to this chief and last end, doth just as he, that intending to shoot at a Butte, would not yet look at the mark, but let his Arrow loose at randome; or as he that would commit his Ship to the wind and waves, never looking to the load-starre, or having any care of the haven whereunto he would arrive.
Reas. 3. Because the chief good is of chief excellency and worth, and therefore also deserves to have the chief place in our thoughts, studies, and cares. Whoso therefore neglecting this, suffer themselves to be taken up with other things, are like unto
children, who misregarding commonly things of 〈◊〉 worth, busy themselves altogether with 〈◊〉
〈◊〉 The use of this Doctrine is for reproof, against such as seldome or never think of the end and mark whereunto their life should tend; and are not carefull about that perfection and chief good, whereunto they ought mainly to contend; and such mens lives are neither Christian nor rational, but rather brutish and bestial.
Doct. 2. Is this, That a mans chief good or happiness cannot be found in the goods of this life.
And this is gathered from verse 6. where this opinion of worldly men, that it may be found in such things, is rejected, as vain. The meaning of the Doctrine is, that a mans happiness consisteth not either in riches, or in honours, or in renown, or in power, or in any goods of the body; nor yet in pleasure, nor in any perfection of the minde, nor in any other the like created good.
Reas. 1. Because such goods do not make the man himself good, and therefore neither can they make him happy; but they are common to the worst of men, as well as to good men.
- Because such goods are oftentimes the instruments and means of sin and misery.
- Because there is none of them, which ought not to be referred to a further good: therefore in them cannot consist the last, chief, and perfectest good.
- Because none of them can perfect the soul and spirit of man.
- Because most of these goods are common to beasts with men; and yet beasts are not capable of happiness.
- Because oftentimes it is a mans vertue and perfection to neglect and contemne such goods; so that such are the best and perfectest men, that make least account of these outward and worldly goods.
Use. The use is of reproof against such, who esteem as much of these goods, seek after them as lawfully, keep them with as great care, when acquired, and are as loath to leave them, as if they placed their true and onely bliss and happiness in them.
Doct. 3. Is, That our true and chief good consists in our union and communion, that we have with God.
This is gathered from these words; Lift up the light of thy countenance upon us, O Lord. The meaning is, that God himself is our true chief good, as well effectively, as objectively; because he alone makes us happy, as the efficient; and makes us happy in himself, as the object; that is, by communicating himself unto us, according to that modell of the Covenant; I will be thy God: I will be thy rich reward: And that our communion with God, is our formall or inherent happiness, which is wont to be called the vision o seeing of God, and the beatificall vision. Now to see God, in Scripture-phrase, signifies not either the sight of the eyes, or the bare speculation and beholding with the understanding, but the full fruition and enjoyment of God, as farre as 〈◊〉 makes for our blessedness. And to this fruition and communion we attain by Jesus Christ our Lord; and therefore this consolation must be referred to Christ, as to its cause; and all that belongs to our happiness, must be acknowledged to come by him.
Reas. 1. Because there is nothing else that can bring
〈◊〉 & solid quiet & peace to our soules, or satisfie 〈◊〉〈◊〉 of the nature of man; for all other things 〈◊〉 well noted by Isa. 35. 2. to be things unsatisfa; where also on the contrary, the fat and 〈◊〉〈◊〉 of our soules, is said to consist in this 〈◊〉 communion. And this same in like manner is preached unto us in severall places of the Psalms, That 〈◊〉 the Lords House, that is, in the communion that we have with God, our soules are filled as it were with ft and marrow, Psal. 83 6. and 65. 5. And as any naturall body, out of its own place, hath never that kindly and naturall rest which it desireth: So also man standing without God, is as it were out of his own place, and so cannot rest with true and solid contentment. Also as nothing which is less can fill up the whole capacity of a vessell that is bigger; so nothing that is worldly can 〈◊〉 up the capacity of our soules, and that because our soules are of an higher and larger capacity, than 〈◊〉 whole world is.
Reas. 2. Because there is no other thing without or besides God, which for its self, is in the last place to be desired; For all things ought always to be referred to God, because he is the first efficient and last end of all things. Therefore as one going a journey, can never perform it, so long as he stayes at half the way; but ought to proceed to the end thereof: So they, that stick either at any creature, or at any worldly matter, which are but parts of the way, whereby we ought to be led unto God; can never arrive at the end and perfection of their life.
Reas. 3. Because there is no other independent good; for he that trusts in him, that depends on
another is not sure in his trust, because the other is uncertain, in that he depends upon anothers pleasure.
Reas. 4. There is no other good, that can be imparted to all, and every man together and at once, that are heires of happiness: For that which is wholly communicated to all, and every one at once and together, ought to be infinite.
Reas. 5. Lastly, There is nothing else, which either in it self is free from all mixture of imperfection, or can keep us free from all kinde of evill, or make us partakers of all sorts of good.
Use 1. Of Exhortation, to seek God and his face and favour above all things else whatsoever.
Use 2. Of Comfort for the faithfull, who have God for their God, in Christ; for they are partakers of that chief good, and so are truly blessed or happy, whatever otherwayes befall them in this world.
Doct 4. Is; That joy that the faithfull have from the commiion that they have with God, in its sweetnesse, surpasses all other humane delights and Joyes.
This is gathered from vers. 7. and from 1. Pet. 1. 8. from these places this Doctrine may be illustrated and cleared, as from the place cited, and such like.
Reas. 1. Because this joy is about the true and chief good; and other worldly joyes are either about false and counterfeit goods; or about such, as in comparison of the chief, are but light and of no great value. There is a great difference between these joyes as is between the phansie and affection of a childe, that is moved by the picture, or resemblance of meat or drink, or of some other delightfull
thing; and that affection that men feel in themselves arising from the use of convenient & 〈◊〉 meat & drink, after great thirst & hunger.
〈◊〉〈◊〉. Because the conjunction and presence 〈◊〉 this good, is ost intimate and inward to our 〈◊〉 for it doth not onely tickle the senses, whether external, or internal; but it also seizes upon and possesses the soul it self, and spirit of our mind. Hence it is also, that in Scripture, Ps. 103. not onely the soul, but all that is in a faithfull man, is said to 〈◊〉 in God. In this respect, there is as much difference between this spiritual joy, and that worldly gladness that arises from other things, as is between the small besprinkling of the earth, with the Morning or Evening dew, and the through weting of it with a plentifull and seasonable rain.
Reas. 3. Because all other worldly joyes are ding, temporary and but for a moment; and doe often end in mourning and sorrow: Whereas, that spiritual joy endureth to eternity, as doth the good, from whose possession it ariseth: In this regard also, there is as much difference between this spirituall joy and gladness, and that of this world, as is between the flame of straw, or of thorns burning under a Pot, and the light of the Sun it self.
Reas. 4. Because worldly joy is overcome and interrupted by the travails and afflictions of this life, and much more by terrours and anguishes of Conscience: but this spiritual joy doth so overcome all other afflictions and swallow them up that not onely it makes a man to rejoyce while he is in them, but also to rejoyce of them and for them, Act. 5. 41. Iam. 1. 2.
Use 1. Of Admonition, That we suffer not our
selves to be deceived by the pleasures and delights of this world, so that they may not in the least take us off from seeking of God; as the Apostle saith, That the afflictions of this world are not worthy that eternal weight of glory, which we expect in heaven: For indeed we ought to think of the pleasures of this world, as not worthy to be compared with that spiritual joy, whereunto we are called in Christ, and in our God through Christ. For such as are led away by the pleasures of this life, from seeking that solid joy in God, do as if they should rest in the smell of meat or drink, and should so think to feed themselves, neglecting the solid food it self, untill they perish for inger.
Use 2. Of refutation against that carnal imagination of the world, whereby many think that there is no joy nor gladness in the practice of godliness, and so they shun godliness, and the care of it, as that which is full of sadness and melancholy: But the Scriptures teach otherwayes, that the godly are called to this, that they may alwayes rejoyce, Phil. 4. 4. and that they alwayes are as it were, feasting with all gladness, according to that of Solomon, Prov. 15. 15. The proper cause of this errour is, ignorance & a depraved sense of their sins, 〈◊〉 in this like unto an herd of swine, who make it their greatest pleasure and delight, to wallow in the 〈◊〉.
Use 3. Of Consolation for the godly, in that 〈◊〉 their outward condition is, yet they have 〈◊〉 of more true joy, than can be either felt, or understood by worldly men.
Use 4. Of Exhortation, that striving with our utmost indeavour, we must labour more and more to
receive, and be sensible of this joy. Now the mean, which we ought chiefly to use for attaining and 〈◊〉 thereof, are these; 1. We must in good 〈◊〉 remove all hinderances of this joy; that is, that by repentance & a real amendment of life, we 〈◊〉 cleanse and disburthen our selves of our sins. 〈◊〉 We ought to have a true care, that we daily make more sure and constant to our selves our union and communion with God, by diligent examination and confirmation of our faith and hope. 3. That we 〈◊〉 much and often exercised in the religious meditation of Gods Promises, which promise all good things to such, as have God for their God. 4. Iduceth much to this purpose, if in our selves we exercise and excite this joy, in and by the daily praise of Gods name; that is, as well in private as publick thanksgiving, coming from the bottom of our heart, for all those blessings, with which God hath blessed us in Christ Jesus.
Doct. 5. That this joy and this comfort brings a certain holy security to the consciences of believers.
This is gathered from the last verse of the Psalm. And this is that security, wherein the Apostle oasts and glories, Rom. 8. If God be for 〈◊〉, who 〈◊〉 be against us, &c. For I am perswaded that nothing can separate me, &c. And David every where in the 〈◊〉; Why do I fear? God is my rock, &c. This security differs much from carnall security, wherein men of this world lye and sleep. 1. Because true and praisworthy security is grounded upon true faith, and not upon vain imagination. 2. Because it is bred in us by the Word and Promises, and by the preaching and knowledge of the word of God: It doth not proceed from traditions or mens dreams, and
customes in sin, as that doth. 3. Because this security relies alwayes upon Gods protection, as it is in the Text, Thou onely makest me, &c. it doth not rely on outward means, or on our own strength and wisdome. 4. Because this security is fed, cherished, and advanced by diligent use of calling upon Gods name, and of all other means that God hath prescribed and appointed us
Reas 1. Because Gods protection secureth believers from all evill, at least from the sting of it, by reason whereof it is onely truly evill; for God hath all things, both evill and good in his own power.
Reas 2. Because Gods presence brings all other good things with it, for God is so good in himself, that in himself virtually and eminently he contains all things, that can be called good.
Reas. 3. Because Gods goodness towards believers is unchangeable, so that there can be no danger of the changing of this happiness into misery.
Use, The use of this Doctrine, is for consolation to the faithfull, to wit, that from this ground they 〈◊〉 and ought to depend upon God; and lay aside all those anxieties, whereby they may be discouraged from adhering to God with joy and gladness.
The second Lords day
Rom. 7. vers. 7.
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? God forbid. Yea, I had not known sin but by the Law. For I had not, 〈◊〉 that concupiscence or lust was a sin, unless the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
THe Apostle, that he might stir up the faithfull to a new obedience, had proposed to them the difference of their condition that are under the Law, and of them that are under Grace; to wit, that such as are under the law of the flesh and sin, bring forth fruits unto death; but such as are under the grace of the Spirit, bring forth fruits in a new obedience unto life eternall. But because of this opposition between the Law and Grace, some might gather, that there was then a very great agreement between the Law and sin; therefore in this seventh verse, this objection is preoccupated by the Apostle. 1. Then the Objection is proposed; What shall we say? Is the Law sin? 2. It is rejected with a certain kinde of detestation; God forbid. 3. The case is plainly set down and resolved in these words; I had not known sin, &c. Where the singular effect and use of the Law is declared; to wit, that by forbidding and reproving, is begotten in man a sense and acknowledgement of sin, as of that which is contrary to its self; and therefore it cannot be the cause of sin.
The Explication. By the Law is understood in common
a way and rule of walking. Now this way and rule is imposed upon reasonable creatures by divine authority, and the greatest obligations that can be. And this is the Law, to wit, of God, which the Apostle heer understands; especially the moral Law. By sin here is not onely understood the transgression of Gods will, but also all those things that follow upon such a transgression, which in this Chapter is defined by the name of Death, and is called sometimes misery: Sin is either known confusedly and speculatively onely, or more exactly and practically. Now the accurate and practicall knowledge of sin is here understood, whereby it is efficaciously concluded in our consciences, that sin is a detestable thing, and by all means to be avoided.
Doct. 1. Men of their own nature are so blinded, that although they be altogether drowned in sin and death, yet of themselves they cannot know it.
This is gathered from these words;
I had not known sin.
Reas. 1. Because the very mind and conscience of man, which is his eye and light, is corrupted after a twofold manner. 1. Privitively, In that it is deprived of that light, whereby it might rightly judge of it self, and of such things as belong unto its spiritual life. a. Positively, In as much as it is possessed with a certain perverse disposition, whence it often calls evill good, and good evill: For as the eye being put quite out feeleth nothing, and as the eye infected with humours, and depraved by the indispositions of the organe, sees all things otherwise than they are presented; so is it with the eye of the soul.
Reas. 2. Because the whole man is possessed with a certain spiritual distemper, and as it were with a drunkennesse, and lethargick stupidity, whereby he is sensible of nothing rightly and spiritually.
Reas 3 Because we are so borne in sin, that in a manner it becomes natural to us, nor ever have had we experience of any other condition. As those that are borne with deformed and crooked limbs, and never saw aright and well proportioned disposition of all the members, do not know that their own limbs are deformed and ill proportioned, but esteem their distortion and disproportion to be the right proportion it self; even so is it in this case of sin, and corruption of nature.
Use 1. Of Admonition, that for this cause we might more and more humble our selves before God, seeing that we are so miserable, that of our selves we can never know our own misery.
Use 2. Is of Direction, to deny all our natural wisdome; that so we may flie to God, and seek wisdome from him, that we may know our selves and him aright.
Doctr. 2. The onely way to know sin aright, and the cause of our mysery is by the law of God.
It is gathered from these words,
For unlesse the law had said, &c.
Reas. 1. Because the law of God doth in some way enlinghten the eyes of our minde, Psal. 19.
Reas. 2. Because the law of God is the rule of our life, and is therefore the touchstone, not onely of the straightness, but also of all the obliquity and crookedness of it.
Reas. 3. Because the law of God is set before us, as a glasse, wherein we may clearly see our faces,
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and quality. Iames 1. 23. Now it performs this use of a glass to us, by a comparison made between the perfection which the Law requires of us, and the manifold defects and deformities that are found in our life.
Questions hence arising.
Quest. 1. Whether did not some wise men, at least among the Heathen, know sin without this Law of God?
I answer; 1. That they were not altogether without this law of God, because in part they had it written and ingraven in their hearts. But yet, 2. They knew not many sins, which by the Law might easily have been known. 3. They knew not sin under the first and most proper reason of it; to wit, as it was an offence against God; but onely as it was repugnant to reason in man himself. 4. They knew not those spiritual miseries which accompanie sin. 5. They did not know sin practically and efficaciously, so as to be by that knowledge driven to a spiritual humbling of themselves before God.
Quest. 2. In what manner doth this Law of God shew us our sin?
I answer; 1. It sheweth us our duty, or the will of God, that we should do. 2. It shews us our fault in transgressing of this will. 3. It shewes us our guilt, whereby for this guiltiness we are bound over unto punishment. 4. It shewes also the punishment it self: for the threatenings of the Law, wherein the punishments are contained and denounced, are parts of the Law, and belong unto its sanctification or ratification.
Use 1. Of Direction; that in passing judgement upon our lives, we follow not either our own fancies,
nor the tenets and opinions of the vulgar, but the law of God alone.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that we often make trial of our life according to that law; and that as well for time past, for our greater humiliation; as for the time to come, for our caution and better direction in every part of our conversation.
The Third Lords Day,
Rom. 5. vers. 12.
Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.
THe Apostles purpose in this place is to illustrate that Doctrine, which he had before taught concerning justification by Iesus Christ; for which end he makes a comparison of the likeness between this grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, and the sin of Adam, our first Father after the flesh. And the comparison runs upon the efficacy and effects of each of them: The Proposition of the Comparison is in . 12. and the Reddition to that is after explicated by way of Parenthesis. In the Proposition, Adam is set forth, as the cause of a twofold effect; to wit, of the bringing in of sin, and of the bringing in of Death. And the reason of the Connexion of these effects with that cause is given in the last words of this verse, to wit, from the conjunction that all had with Adam in that first sin; in these words, In whom all men, &c.
Doct. 1. Sin entered into the world, not by Gods creation, but by mans defection.
This is manifest in the Text, by man, not by God, &c.
Reas. 1. Because God made man upright and after his own image; that is, not onely free from all sin (which may in some sort also be said of all other Creatures) but also adorned him with all those endowments and faculties, whereby Gods nature might, as it were in a pourtrait be expressed and represented; and by help whereof in keeping of the law, he might have attained unto a certain sort of divine blessedness or felicity. For as there is no fault in a pourtrait, so it be well drawn or made by a perfect workman, unless the fault be in the Original, from whence the pourtait is taken: so also no fault could be in man created according to Gods Image, and that by God himself, unlesse some fault be attributed to God himself, whose Image man is.
Reas. 2. Is, because God did not onely prescribe a law unto man in the Creation, but also engraved it upon his heart; by which means it was, that man had in himself a most certain Testimony of his uprightness, in which and to which, he was created, and withall a most sufficient and ready means of living well and unblameably to God: For the law of God perfectly & purely written in the heart of man, is as it were a solemn Testimony registred in a Table or Book, that man was made fit and able to keep that Law. It is as it were the voice of God sent down from Heaven, whereby man was called and stirred up to observe that way of living, which is taught thereby.
Reas. 3. Because God added thereunto a pledge and Sacrament in the Tree of Life, whereby he would have that Covenant of the Law, written in the heart, more clearly confirmed also outwardly; to wit, that he would by the observation of his Law, first perpetuate mans life in this world unto the solemn justification of him, at his appointed time; and then advance him to a further and heavenly Felicity. And on the other side, he threatens Death unto him, in case he should depart from that Will and Law of God: all which had been done to no purpose, if man had been at first made by God himself, in any measure or manner sinfull and perverse.
Reas. 4. So far was God from being the cause of sin in the first creation of man, that by no means it can be conceived, how God at any time can be the cause of any sin; because, seeing sin is a defect, it can have no other cause, but a deficient one; and God, seeing he is perfection it self, can no ways, nor ever be deficient.
Use Of Direction; that in all our speeches and thoughts we may keep Gods glory untouched and unspotted, and confesse that all the good we have comes alwayes from him; but that all the evill that either we doe, or suffer, ariseth not from him, but from our selves.
Doct. 2. Through Adams first disobedience sin passed upon all his Posterity.
Nor did this happen onely by way of imitation as the Pelagians teach; but also by way of propagation or natural descent. This is proved by this Argument. If this had onely come to pass by imitation, then the Apostle might as properly have
said, that Adam with all his Posterity sinned in the Angels, who first fell from God; as to have said, that all men sinned in Adam; because they as much follow the example of the Angels, as of Adam. For it is expressely said, vers. 14. That death (and so also sin) reigned over them, that sinned not after the similitude of Adam: that is, by the imitation of Adam; therefore vers. 19. men are said to be made sinners by Adams disobedience it self.
The manner of this propagation is taken up and understood, 1. To stand in imputation, because that first transgression was held as the transgression of the whole nature of mankinde: For as in the receiving of the benefits and endowments that belonged to all mankinde, Adam bore the place and person of all men; so also it was but right and reason, that he should maintain their place, either in their conservation by obedience, or losse by disobedience, untill they were capable of standing to, or falling from their primitive condition in their own persons. Herein he was as it were the Surety of all mankinde, so that what he did in this businesse, was to be held valid by all, as done in their names. 2. The second degree of this Propagation stands in the derivation, or traduction of that corruption, which by our first transgression seised upon the person of Adam himself. This corruption is usually called the languishing of nature, the seed or tinder of sin, the law of our members, the law of the flesh, lust and sin that dwels in us; but most usually originall sin, because it cleaves unto us even from our first original, and is some way natural unto us, to wit, as in our nature corrupted; also it is the original of all other sins: for all actuall sins
flow from this as from their fountain.
This corruption first and principally consists in the privation of original righteousness, the absence whereof, so far as it is penall, is inflicted by God but as it is a privation, having the nature of a fault, to wit, the losse of that rectitude, or right constitution, which we should have kept and preserved entire, it depends upon that relation, that all men have to Adam, and to his first sin.
Now that such corruption naturally is found in all men, is not onely proved from Scriptures, but seems also to be confirmed by experience it self.
Reas. 1. For in all men there appears a manifest perversion of our wils, and inward appetite; as much as spirituall and truly good things are of no good relish to all animall and naturall men: but the contrary evils, which of their own nature have no good rellish, seem to them most sweet: Now as the perversion of the sensitive appetite doth denotate bodily sicknesse; so the perversion of the inmost & most spiritual appetite, doth point forth unto us sicknesse that is inward and in the spirit. The same also may be observed of the perversion of the judgement and understanding, from whence come so many and shamefull errours, whereby good is esteemed evill, and evill good.
Reas. 2. It is manifest that there is in all men a certain rebellion of the inferiour and animall faculties and appetites against the superiour and most spiritual faculties of the soul; which shews the ficknesse of the upper part, as not having strength enough to govern the lower; and again a disorder and confusion of the inferiour faculties, whereby they will not be subject to their Superiour. For as
as every infirmity, debility and perturbation in the body, so also in the soul, hath its cause of sicknesse, disease, or certain corruption from the depravation of other parts.
Reas. 3. There may be observed in all, a certain natural crouching of our selves to things that are below us; and a certain aversion and turning away from those, that are above us, and for which we were made; so that there are few amongst men, that live not more like beasts, stooping naturally to their belly-food, and bowing towards the ground, than according to the nature of man whose body was erected to look up to heaven and seek after God. Now as a crouching in the constitution and fashioning of the body, is a sign of a bodily: sicknesse; so also this soul crouching of the spirit doth manifestly declare some foul sickness of the spirit.
Reas. 4. There appears manifestly in all men, a certain insensibleness from nature it self, in discerning of things truly good, and truly evill; howbeit there is a far greater sweetness in true spiritual good things, than in corporall; and a far greater bitterness and sowreness in spiritual, than in carnall evils: Now this insensibleness and spiritual blockishnes is a manifest defect, and vice cleaving to us from our very original, even as the want of any outward sense is a great defect and fault of the body.
Reas. 5. Experience teatheth with how great difficulty and slowness men are stirred up to things that are truly good; therefore as it is the definition of a good habit, that makes a man ready and quick unto good works; so must it be an evill and corrupt
habit, whereby the contrary comes to passe; because slowly and with difficulty men set themselves to any good endeavours.
Reas. 6. It is well enough known to all, that man hath not the power to do so much good, as he knows should be done, and as he desires to doe: Wherefore when one hath not the power to move the members of his body, it is a manifest disease that hinders its motion; so where one hath not the power to move himself spiritually, it is a manifest spiritual disease; as when there is difficulty of corporal motion, and one moves his body with great pains, it discovers a great weaknesse of his body; even as this other doth a weaknesse of the spirit.
Use 1. For Humiliation, by reason of this misery.
- Of Exhortation, that we rest not, till we perceive that by the grace of God we are freed from this misery.
- For Direction, that in our Prayers before God; and in all parts of our care for amendment of our life, we may chiefly go about this, that not onely in our outward words and works, as being but the rivulets and branches of our sin, we be reformed; but that in the fountain and root of this sin dwelling in us, we may be cleansed and renewed.
The Fourth Lords Day.
Ephes. 5. 6.
Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
IN these words is contained an argument, whereby the Apostle labours to perswade all the faithfull, that they may keep themselves from those sinnes, whereof he had made mention a little before. The Argument is drawn from an adjunct, that follows upon sin, to wit, the wrath of God, of which sinnes are not onely the antecedents, but also meritory causes, certainly procuring it, as is intimated in these words; For these things: The connexion of this effect with its cause, is limited and confirmed.
- It is limited by a description of the subject, wherein Gods wrath doth alway pursue sin, in these words; upon the children of disobedience.
- It is confirmed by rejecting of all vain shifts, in these words; Let no man deceive you.
The Explication, by the wrath of God. 1. Is understood Gods vindicative justice. 2. His will to inflict punishment according to that justice. 3. The punishment it self, that is so inflicted. And in this place most properly the punishment is understood, which in other places is often called death, distress, severities, hot anger, and the like. This wrath of God, is said to come against, or upon men, because
as it were coming down from Heaven, it suddenly fals upon and overwhelms, and holds as intangled in a net the sinners; so that by no means they can escape it. In the same sense, that not unlike phrase is used, Rom. 1. 18. by the expression of the children of contumacie or stubbornness, upon whom this wrath comes, those sinners are understood, which can by no means be perswaded to leave their sins and seek God by true faith and repentance; where this is to be marked, that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 may be turned both children of incredulity, and children of disobedience; but it agrees better to this place, to be turned children of disobedience and of rebellion; because we read not this phrase, the children of saith, but of obedience, 1 Pet. 1. 14.
Doct. 1. Such mens condition is most desperate, because they are not onely sinners, but also stubborn in their sins.
Its gathered out of these words; Upon the children of disobedience or stubbornnesse: So they are named here, as men, whose condition is much to be abhorred, and whose example and company is most to be shunned, as appears from vers. 7. be not therefore partakers, &c.
Reas. 1. Because such men serve a most miserable servitude to a very base Master, that is, to sin: for sin exercises a spiritual Kingly power and dominion over them, because they do all that the lusts of sin commands them; and can by no means be perswaded to shake off that slavish yoke; and so much the lesse, as they perceive that slavery, by so much are they the more fully under its command, because by this means it comes to passe, that their very will it selfe, and the spirit of their minde is
possessed by this slavery and oppressed: For as a brute or a man that comes neer to a brute, serving some cruell Master, takes no thought for that his condition, because of his stupidity; neither cares nor wishes for a better; is a more full and perfect slave, than some free-born and free-minded man, who is by force constrained to serve one, but yet under such servitude and force, keeps a free minde even so it fares in this matter.
Reas. 2. Because such men are furthest off from repentance, and so from the kingdome of God, and from salvation: For repentance doth most consist in the turning of the heart from sin to God, by perswasion of the Word and holy Spirit: And to this temper the obstinacy and unperswasibleness of such men, is flat opposite; who are not onely not perswaded to turn to God, but are perswaded to the contrary; that such perswasion of converting is not to be embraced or regarded; for such are properly called the children of rebellion or disobedience. As therefore those diseases are most mortal, which admit of no cure, and are but the more exasperated, the more they are dealt with; even so also is it with such kinde of men.
Reas. 3. Because these men do most grievously encrease their guilt in this, that they withstand the means, that God hath sanctified for procuring their salvation: For while they will not suffer themselves to be perswaded to that conversion unto Faith and Repentance, they directly fight against God, and not onely so, but in this very thing, that he would, and is some way striving, as it were, to save them.
Use Of Admnition; That most of all we be carefull of this stubbornnesse or rebellion, which is not onely to be understood in common of that conumacy, whereby men refuse altogether to be converted; but also specially, and in every part of obedience: For if we perceive that God calls us to this or that special duty, tis then our part mainly to take care, that even in that, we present our hearts to God flexible and perswasible whereunto we are invited.
Doct. 2. Upon the children of disobedience, certainly and unevitably the horrible wrath of God comes. This is clear in the Text without any collection made from it.
That this wrath is horrible, and altogether intolerable, the Scripture every were testifies, as Heb. 10. 27. Apoc. 6. 16, 17. and elswhere. And the thing it self doth sufficiently shew it, if we consider Gods anger as to its intensness, extensness and duration; as to its intensnesse, it is called in Scripture a consuming fire, Heb. 12. 29. Now this fire of the wrath of God consumes not lightly, or light things onely as in the superficies, but as it is said, Deutro. 32. 22. Gods wrath set on fire will burn down to the grave, &c. Nahm 1. 6. Where there is a most likely & pithy description. By all which descriptions is signified, that the wrath of God doth throughly peirce not onely into the body, but into the soul and inward part of the spirit, for which reason in many places of Scripture, it is compared unto sharpe arrows peircing into the heart its self, and consuming the spirit and life. As to the extension; this wrath of God contains in it all sort of evils, whether corporal or spiritual; whether in
this life, or at the end of it, and in death, or at death. ither belong those catalogues or inventories of curses, that are found Deutr. 28. and Levit. 26. 3. As to the duration, it remaineth upon impeient sinners, Iohn 3. 36. not for some short space, but unto all eternity, and without end: For as that obligation, whereby we are bound to render God all obedienees without end; so consequently the transgression whereby sinners break that obligation, is in a manner infinite & without end: so also the punishment, which taketh away its measure from the nature of the transgression, will be without end & infinite, and that as wel in the privation of an infinite good, as in the endles duration of this privation or losse. Neither ought it to seem strange, that for a sin, which is committed in a short time, an endlesse punishment should be inflicted; because equity its elf requires this, that every one should be deprived of that good, of which by his own fault he hath turned from. But every inner hath turn’d himself away from an endless good, by a fault he can never come out of by himself, and make an end of; and therefore it is but reason, that he be endlesly deprived of that good. And moreover, because he hath disturbed that order that God set & appointed; it is but jutice if he never be freed from the punishment of this fault, untill he have repaired God his honor; which an unrepenting sinner can never do unto eternity.
It ought not therefore to move any, that sin, which is but momentary, should be punished eternally.
Reas. 1. The committing of it, is as it were a spiritual wounding; and yet a wounding, in what
ort time soever done, doth often leave behinde it a wound of long duration, and often endlesse and eternal death.
Reas. 2. The committing of sin, is as it were a spiritual fall, or sliding: and yet the fall in short time passed, may be such, that thereby for a very long time, or without end, the party may remain in the depth or pit, whereinto he fell.
Reas. 3. The committing of sin, is as it were a ying with bands or thongs; whose nature is, that it may quickly be done, and yet for ever keep the party bound, as long as the bands themselves remain unloosed, or unbroken.
Reas. 4. Tis as it were a bargain, in which the sinner for the enjoyment or use of some short pleasure, out of a madnesse sells himself into slavery.
Now from a bargain of buying and selling, though passed in a short time, the right is conveyed to the buyer for ever; and the alienation is eternal or endlesse in its own way.
Reason 1. It is as it were the putting out of a lamp; for a sinner once drowning himself in the ilth of sin, puts out as it were the whole light of his mind; and a lamp once put out, though it be done in a moment, yet by vertue of that putting out, remains of its self endlesly extinct and put out.
Use 1. Of Condemnation, against such as remain in their carnal security and please themselves in this condition, over which perpetually hangs the so horrible wrath and anger of God.
Use 2. Is of Admonition, that with all care above all things else we go about this, to shew this wrath of God, Matt. 3. 7. where also the way to shun it, is shewed to be by repentance, verse 8. And yet
this is not so to be taken, as if this shunning lay in our repentance, as it is our action, and as if that had some vircue of freeing from the wrath of God; for Christ alone is our enfranchizer from the wrath to come, 1 Thess. 1. 10. We therefore truly flee from the wrath of God, when we flie to this mercy in Christ Jesus by true faith in him, and repentance unfained.
Doct. 3. All such speeches as promise impunity of sin, and indempnity from the wrath of God, are but vain and seducing.
This is also cleare in the Text. Now that they are vain, hence it appeareth, because they are against his decree, and his will clearly revealed; and therefore can have no solid truth in them. And that they are seducing, is apparent enough also from the first author of such speeches. For the devill, when he would seduce our first Parents, promised them this impunity in these words; Ye shall not dye.
The Fifth Lords-day.
Rom. 8. 3.
For what the Law could not doe, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likenesse of sinfull flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
THe Apostle in this place expounds, why the faithfull may be freed from sin and death by Christ: The reason is given as it were from the cause moving God to this giving of Christ.
And this moving cause was the needinesse of our want, which appears in the defect of power in any other means to produce such an effect, as if the Apostle had said; because it was needfull for us, to be delivered from sin and death; and yet this could be effected by no other means, therefore God performed it by Christ. The strength and necessity of this consequence depends upon the will of God, which tacitly supposeth, that God would not have mankinde fall, utterly to perish, but to be restored again. The whole syllogism or reason is this. If by no other means faln men could be restored, but by Christ, then that way was to be taken, because God would that some way it should be done: but the first is true; and therefore also the latter. The assumption is proved, to wit, that man could be restored by no other means; by the most likely instance of the law, which once had been of great power, and of force sufficient to bring man to happinesse: For except Christ and the Gospel, never any thing was given of God to man, that was more perfect and divine than the Law. That therefore which the Apostle says here of the law, hath the force of such an argument as this: If by vertue of the Law man could not be restored, than by no other means could he be but by Christ; but the first is true, and therefore the latter also. The Apostle both proves and expounds the Assumption at once, from the reason or cause of this defect or weakness of the law, to restore man; that it is not properly inherent in the law it self, but in our flesh or corruption, whereby it is, that we cannot fulfill the law, that so it might save us; much lesse by the Law rise up again from Death to life.
Doct. 1. It is the will of God, that miserable men may be delivered from their misery, and restored to life eternal.
This is here presupposed by the Apostle, as granted, and is used by him as the ground of his reasoning.
Reas. 1. Is taken partly from Gods mercy, partly from his wisdome, partly from his power, and partly from the stability of his decrees: from his mercy God would relieve miserable men, therein to shew the glory of his grace and free mercy, as it is called Ephes. 1. 6. the riches of his mercy, his great love, and the supereminent riches or treasures of his grace and bounty, Ephes. 4. 7. for unlesse God had helped miserable men, that were all drown’d in sin and death, he had not accomplished above the half of his goodness and bounty towards mankind. For that bounty that was manifested in the creating of us, was neither fully compleated in its last perfection and end, because no man by it arrived to eternal happiness; neither was it in its self the greatest, the highest, the fullest goodness of God; because an higher, fuller, and more surpassing sort of goodness appeared in the preservation of the elect Angells; and that also is far greater, which is now revealed in the Gospell, and brings perfect salvation to mankind that is fallen. Now this was most sitting, that the goodness and mercy of God should as well be perfected towards men, as his justice. From his wisdome God knew the best way, whereby he could conveniently help miserable man, and therefore it was meet that his wisdome should be made manifest in its effect. And this is it, which the Apostle every where teacheth, that in this mystery of the Gospell there was a wisdome of
God, which was kept up, and hidden from all the Heathen; which therefore by way of excellencie, he calls that wisdome of God, into which the Angells themselves with desire and wonder are said to look, 1 Pet. 1. 12. For such was our misery, that not onely we could not rise out of it ourselves by our own power; but could not so much as think upon, or devise a way or means, whereby we might be delivered: But this was the proper work of the wisedome of God himself conjoyned with his own mercy. From his power also, he had the ability of helping and bringing to perfection therein, what he would. For so our redemption in Scripture is not onely usually adscribed to Gods grace and mercy, but also to his power. For the highest power and soveraignty was required to dissolve the works of the Devill, and the bonds of death and the grave, for raising of dead men to life again, for guiding and protecting them so, as they might be brought to life eternal, maugre all opposition of their enemy; and most of all for laying that groundstone of the whole, and uniting the second person of the Deity, his own Son, and the nature of man, into one Person. From the immutability also of his decree, it was in some sort necessary for God to procure their deliverance from death, whom from eternity he had chosen, and appointed unto life. Hence a twofold necessity of the restauration and liberation of mankind is rightly by some determined; on our part, the necessity of want; on Gods part, the necessity of his immutability.
Use, Of Exhortation, that with all admiration we behold and look into this good will of God, and with all thankfulness as well in our thoughts, as in
our speeches, all our life time we publish and praise it.
Doct. 2. The Law cannot deliver miserable men from their misery.
It is clear enough in the Text; and is grounded moreover on the following reasons;
Reas 1. Because the Law promiseth no good to miserable sinners, but onely to just persons, and such as keep it.
Reason 2. Because in it self, it hath no force of taking away sin, but onely of punishing it.
Reas 3. Because by no sinner can it be fulfilled, and that because of the weakness of the flesh, or the impotency of carnall and fallen mankind, as it is in the Text.
Reas. 4. Because though it might be fulfilled for time to come, yet by-past sins would take away all hope of receiving the reward of Life from the Law. Hence is it that the Law is called a killing ltter, and the minister of death and of condemnation.
Use, Of Reutation, against such as put their trust in their own workes, and look for salvation from their good intentions and endeavours: which is the errour of Papists, Remonstrants or Arminians, and Anabaptists, who cry up alwayes an honest life, and good works.
Doct. 3. No sinner can deliver himself from this misery.
This is thus gathered, because none go above the Law. For if the Law cannot for the weakness of our flesh, then neither can we our selves, for the same weakness of our flesh.
Reason 1. No debt can duly be blotted out by the debtor; till payed.
Reas. 2. Because, though any one never augmented his first debt, by sinning, yet should he in all this do no more, but pay what he owes, in so doing; and so could not by that means make satisfaction for his former transgression.
Reas. 3. Because, if man could not preserve himself, nor did not do it, in that integrity wherein he was created, it cannot reasonably be thought that now he can recover it again.
Reas. 4. If he could recover his first integrity, he would be as subject and easy to lose it again, as our first Father was at first.
Use, Of Direction, that we put no confidence in our selves, nor in our own strength, but denying our selves, we depend altogether on Gods grace and mercy in Jesus Christ.
Doct. 4. No meer creature in heaven, or in earth, can deliver miserable men from sin and death.
It followeth from the Text, because no such creature is above the Law.
Reason 1. Because no external thing, that is a meer creature, hath in it self that worth, that it can be a compensation for sin to Gods justice and truth, and so a price of redemption from death, Mat. 16. 26. Yea, not all the world. For that is it that i hinted, 1 Pet. 1. 18. where all corruptible things, amongst the best whereof are gold and silver and the like, are determined to be below the redeeming of man.
Reas. 2. Because whatsoever any meer creature, whether man or Angell, can do, ows all that for its self, and on its own behalf.
Reas. 3 Because if we were redeemed by a meer creature, for this very cause we should become the
servants of that meer creature, and that of justice and gratitude; as we are the servants of Christ our Redeemer, because our Redeemer, as is already taught. But this would be an unworthy thing, and would infer a kind of contradiction to it self: For seeing man before his fall was not the servant of any creature, but of God alone; if by redemption he should become the servant of any creature, he should not be redeemed and restored into that perfect liberty, from which he fell; and so though redeemed (as we suppose) yet he should not be properly redeemed, that is, by redemption made free.
Reas. 4. The evills that are to be removed from us, are greater than can be taken away by any meer creature; as the wrath of God infinite and eternal, the guilt of sin confirmed by the force of an eternal law; the command that sin and death hath over us. Of these that is true which we have, Luke 10. 21, 22.
Reas. 5. The good things to be imparted, and before that to be purchased, are of greater worth, than that they can be communicated to us from any meer creature; as namely a righteousness going beyond the righteousness of the Law; and the resurrection as well corporal as spiritual; the communication of the divine nature, life eternal, and a happiness that surmounts that of Adam in his innocency; that is, a Kingdome that cannot be shaken, Heb. 11. last verse.
Use. Of Instruction, that in the business of our salvation we turn away our eyes from all creatures, and lift them up above in manner aforesaid to the fountain of salvation.
The sixth Lords day
1 Tim. 3. 16.
And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angelis, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
IN these words is contained an argument, whereby the Apostle endeavours to stir up Timothy to procure diligence and care in the Church of God. It is drawn from the object, if we consider Timothy’s Ministry, which now ought to be busied about the greatest mysteries, and so to be exercised with greatest reverence, diligence, and care: Or from an adjunct, if the Church her self be considered, that was to be cared for by Timothy, whereof mention was made in the preceding verse; to wit, because a matter of all others, the greatest was concredited to this Church, to wit, the mystery of godliness; and so Timothy’s greatest diligence and care ought to be bestowed upon the Church. In these words then properly is expounded the nature of the Gospell, 1. From its Genius, or general notion, that it is a Mystery; 2. From its end, that it is a mystery of godliness. 3. From the degree of its worth and excellency; that it is a great, or noble mystery. 4. From the most certain and undoubted truth of all these, in complexion and communication; without controversy. And all these are demonstrated by induction
of the parts or members, that make up this mystery, as the whole. For seeing in every part there is something altogether singular and wonderfull, it follows necessarily that the whole mystery is altogether admirable, and to be stood amazed at. These parts are they which are contained in these words; God manifested in the flesh, &c.
Doct. 1. Our Lord Iesus Christ is true God and true man.
This is clear from the Text, God manifested in the flesh; and that he is true God, appears from the following reasons.
Reas. 1. From plain testimonies of this sort, whereby the name of God is simply and absolutely given unto Him in the same manner altogether as unto the Father; as in this place, and so Isa. 9. 6. Ioh. 1. 1. Rm. 9. 5. 1 Ioh. 5. 20.
Reas. 2. From the divine properties that are given unto him, as Eternity, Ioh 1. 1. 7 5. Omnipotency, Ioh. 3. 21. Phil. 4 14 and the like.
Reas 3. From the divine works whereof he is made Author; as of Creatio, Col. 1. 16. the Sustaining of all things, Heb.〈◊〉. 2. and of all sorts of miracles.
Reas. 4. From the divine authority that every where is given to him in Scriptures, as he gives authority to the Wrd and Sacraments, and other divine Ordinances.
Reas 5. From the divine Worship, Honour, and adoration that is due unto him, He. 1. 8. and in other places.
Reas. 6. From that efficacie which by his Ministers, through the power of the Holy Ghost, he puts forth in the Preaching of this his Doctrine, as it is evident in our Text in these words, justified in the
spirit, preached unto the Gentiles, and believed on in the world.
That he is true man, from hence is apparent enough, that he was made like unto us in all things except in sin, Heb. 4. 15. Why our Mediator ought to be true God.
Reason 1. Is that he might be able to sustain the weight of Gods wrath, and performe the other divine duties, that belong to the perfecting of our Redemption and Salvation.
Reas. 2. That the works of his Mediation, which on our behalf he was to perform, might have divine vertue and worth from his person.
Why he should be also man;
Reas. 1. Is that he might be fit to suffer and do all those things which were necessary for the Redemption of men, and were below the divine nature alone to do or suffer.
Reas. 2 Because without effusion of blood, or death, whereof the divine nature is not capable, there could be no remission nor redemption, Heb. 9. 22.
Reas. 3. That the whole mystery as well of our Redemption, as of the deity it self might be some way made familiar to us, so as to be seen with our eyes, heard with our ears, and handled with our hands, 1 Iohn 1. 1, 2.
Use 1. Of Instruction, That we may alwayes keep a right and pure belief about the divine and humane nature of Christ, both in our hearts, and in our mouths or confessions.
Use 2. Of Comfort to all such as are by true faith ingrafted into Christ; because in him they are advanced into a state more than humane, and are
made partakers of the divine nature, 2 Pet. 1. 4.
Use 3. Of Exhortation, That we may more and more exercise our selves in the religious contemplation, and study of this mystery; so will that love of God in Christ, which shines forth in this dispensation of God, confirm our hearts, that it will powerfully stir us up unto all care of thankfulness for glorifying the name of God and Christ.
Doct. 2. The nature of God and the nature of man were onjoyned in Christ into one person.
This is gathered from these words, was made manifest in the flesh, for thereby is signified the conjunction of the divine with the humane nature, so that God, because not conspicuous in his divine nature, was made manifest in his humane. This communication in respect of the divine nature, is rightly called an Assumption, Incarnation, Manifestation in the flesh, as in this place.
But in respect of both natures together, it is called an union personal, because these two natures are together united in the same person. In respect of the humane nature, it cannot be called an Assumption (actively understood, that is an assuming, but passively onely, that is a being assumed) nor a Defication, because the divine person existed from eternity, and took unto himself and adjoyned the humane nature (not the person) in time, because the humane nature assumed, did never exist apart, and by it self, and therefore never had in it self the formal reason of a person; and therefore also it cannot be said to have assumed the nature, or person divine, but onely to have been assumed by it; Seeing actions are of suppositions or persons, and not of the nature: But the divine person (not the
nature properly) is said to have assumed the humane nature, not the person. Therefore the humane nature cannot so properly and rightly be said to be deified, as either the divine nature or person is said to be incarnate, or made man; for that is equivalent to made flesh, which the Scripture often useth. We read then in this place, and its like that God was made manifest, or visible in the flesh, that is, in the nature of man (for flesh there) by a Synecdoche signifies the whole nature of man, as well the soul as the body, and to the like sense we read that the Word was made flesh, Iohn 1. 14. But we no where read that flesh was made God, or that the flesh or humane nature was made invisible in God; although these things may be said, but not so properly, nor so freely from danger and abuse. But here we must not think, that for the union of the divine nature with the humane, that therefore there was any real change properly produced or made in the divine nature, but relative and of reason, or notional onely; all the reall mutation being in the humane nature onely. For whatsoever is mutable is imperfect, but the divine nature is no wayes imperfect. Therefore though the divine nature in Christ be under another relation or habitude, than before the incarnation; yet that is for no real change in it self, but in the humane nature assumed: As the Sun is called illumnating from his action that he hath on the ayr, which was not before (let us suppose this) and yet the Sun is not thereby changed in it self, but the ayr onely is changed. In this conjunction, when the flesh or humane nature is said to have been assumed, is so to be understood, that not onely the essence of humane nature is assumed,
and all that necessarily follow the essence, but that also were assumed all the weaknesses, qualities, and common or universal defects (which follow not from nature, but from sin) that are in themselves siless, and as they are siles onely and penall; and these onely are excepted that have in them the nature of sin, or tend of themselves to sin.
Reas. 1. Because the mediatory actions of Christ ought to be both humane and divine, and all his actions are of the person, as of the principle which acteth; though they be of this or of that nature, as of the principle whereby, or by vertue of which they are extracted from the person Therefore the divine and humane nature ought joyntly to subsist in one and the same person.
Reas. 2. This union of the divine and humane nature ought to have been most intimate, and of all unions the highest, because the perfection of the person assuming, from which the union flowed, was absolutely the greatest, but the inwardest union with him that could be, was personal; Therefore also that union of men with God, that flows from, and depends upon this union, is of very great perfection, though not personal. Therefore next unto the unity of the three persons in one divine nature, there is no other union of more things, more in ward and perfect, than is this of two natures in one person, in Christ.
Reas. 3. The essential worth of the mediatory obedience and passion of Christ, which properly agreed to him, according to the humane nature, ought to have been also in some kinde divine; but that divinity of worth is derived from the person, or this union; as the esteem of all the actions and passions depends upon the person; and therefore
the humane nature ought to have subsisted, and been sustained in the nature or person divine.
Use 1. Of Instruction, for directing and establishing our Faith, about the person of Christ, that we may neither here imagine confusion of the natures, nor multiplication of the Persons in any sort; but the union onely of two natures into one and a single person, to wit, the second person of the Trinity, which is the primary principle of Christian Faith.
Use 2. Of Direction, that in seeking union and communion with God, wherein our whole happinesse doth consist, we wholly adheere to Christ above; because there alone we have the certain and manifest foundation of this union between God and men, so that in this very respect Christ may no lesse truly be called the way, than the truth, and the life; because as he hath the truest and highest union of man with God; so is he the way because of this union, whereby we may come to the beatifical union, which is our eternal life.
Doct. 3. This of the divine and humane nature in Christ, is a mysterie most divine.
It is called a mystery, 1. As it contains in it self that divine wisdome of highest and rarest price, or that treasure of wisdome, 1 Cor. 2. 6, 7. 2 Cor. 4. v. 7. 2. Because this wisdome is a thing hidden and remote, not onely from humane sense, but also from our understanding and comprehension. 1. Cor. 2. 7. 8, 9, 10. it is called a depth for this cause; so also Eph. 3. 8, 9. And it is called hidden or secret, 1. because it was not possible for the wit of man or Angels to have so much as thought upon, or devised such a means of Redemption and Salvation, much lesse to have gone through with it. 2. Because
it was not revealed to the Church her self for many ages, but under a certain vaile, and sparingly. 3. Because by our selves now in the light of greatest revelation, it is not understood but very imperfectly, and in the least part of it. 1 Cor. 13. 12. in part; a little but in comparison of the whole; as in a glasse, and like a riddle, do we know here, for the darkening and lessening of our knowledge by sin, which is signified by these phrases.
The Reason why this wisdome is not fuller comprehended, is not in the darknesse of Scripture, as some blasphemously will have it: but partly in the depth of the thing it self, and partly in the blindnesse of our minds; 2 Cor. 4, 4. unto the depth of the thing it self belongs this, that in Christs person highest power with lowest weaknes; greatest glory with greatest humility, highest justice with highest mercy, eternity with novelty of being, agree together, and abide in one subject.
Use Of Admonition, that we suffer not the nature of our Faith to be troubled in any sort with vain speculation of humane reason, whereby this mystery is wont to be opposed: For though it hath nothing in it contrary to reason; yet it contains many things above reason, and the capacity of the minde of man: otherwayes it would not be a great mystery, as here it is called, but the vulgar and common verity.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, that we may seek from God the spirit of wisdome and of revelation in the acknowledging of him, that the eyes of our minds being enlightned, we may perceive so much of this mystery as is needfull for us unto salvation, and glorifying of Gods name as it requires, Ephes. 1. vers. 17. 18.
Use 3. Is of special Admonition, to the Ministers of the Word chiefly, that with all reverence and religious faithfulnesse, they behave themselves in their charge, because they are called to this, to be Stewards of this great mystery, 1 Cor. 4. 1. where this reverence and fidelity are pointed out to them.
Doct. 4. All true godlinesse depends on the beliefe of this mystery, so that there is no true and solid or sound godliness without this beliefe: neither can this belief be true and solid unlesse it have also true godlinesse joyned with it.
This is gathered from that title; the mystery of godlinesse: because godliness both riseth up to this Faith, and floweth down from it. This most practical doctrine, is the generall use of all the rest that went before.
Reas. 1. Because in this mystery appears Gods greatest goodnesse, grace, mercy and love; which if they be rightly taken up, cannot but stir up our mindes unto care and zeale of honouring, loving and adhearing to God, and pleasing him in all things, wherein he hath shown us, that true godlinesse consists.
Reas. 2. In this mystery is contained both the merits and efficacy or power, by vertue whereof men are regenerated, that they may live acceptably to God and Christ; that is, godlily.
Reas. 3. Because in Christ we have the perfectest pattern of all godlinesse, and with all the perfectest doctrine, which is called the doctrine of godlinesse, or according to godlinesse.
Use The use of Reproof, against such as professe the faith of this great mystery, but in the mean
time most foully prophane it, and make it to be blasphemed through their impiety.
The seventh Lords day
Acts 16. vers. 31.
And they said, believe on the Lord Iesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thine house.
IN this Text is contain’d Paul and Silas their answer to the question proposed by the Jailor concerning the way how to be saved; wherein these two things are proposed: 1. An act absolutely necessary for attaining of salvation, to wit, that of Faith, believe, say they: and this act is declared by its proper object, our Lord Iesus Christ. 2. The effect, that is certainly to follow upon this act, is set down, and that is the salvation of him, that believeth.
Doct. 1. All are not saved by Christ, but such onely as are united or grafted into Christ by Faith.
It is gathered from this Text; in that one carefull how to be saved, is sent to Christ, to believe in him, and so to have union with him by this belief, that he may be saved.
Reas. 1. Because although there be sufficiency enough in Christ, and in abundance, to save all, and any man; yet this sufficiency is not reduced to efficiency or into act, unlesse a due application be 〈◊〉 as neither meat nourisheth, nor physick
cureth, nor cloth covereth, nor silver maketh rich, unlesse they be rightly applyed tothe party to be nourished, cured, clothed and made rich: so it is in this businesse.
Reas.. As the first Adam neither received, nor lost his righteousnesse, and life, but for such, as were some way, that is, vertually in him, and afterwards actually descended from him, or were in union of the same blood with him: so also the second Adam Christ restores not righteousnesse and life, but unto such as are in him, to wit, ingrafted by Faith, and adhear unto him by the union of one and the same spirit. Hence it is, that effectuall vocation, whereby this application of Christ, or this conjunction with him, is brought to passe, doth in order go before, not onely our glorification and salvation, but also justification and all sound consolation, that we have concerning salvation.
Use Of Admonition, that we may chiefly care for and go about this, that we may both be and remain in Christ, and live in him; because without this union with him, we cannot come to be saved. The signe or mark, whereby we know, that is ordinarily, or according to the order of means appointed, that this or that man is in Christ, is this, if drawing vertue from Christ, as a branch drawing spirituall ap from the stock, he hath care to bring forth fruits to him and in him, Iohn 15. verse〈◊〉, 4.
Doct. 2. Faith is the tye whereby we are first united to Christ, and ingrafted into him.
This Doctrine is couched in the Text, in the word believe: for there are three tyes of Union, whereof there is need in our conjunction with God,
and Christ; the Spirit, Faith and Love. The Spirit is that tye, whereby Christ layeth hold upon us, and tyeth us to himself. Faith, is that tye whereby we lay hold upon Christ, and apply him to our selves, and is alway the effect of the spirit in some measure. Love, is the band of perfection, whereby we wholly give over our selves to Christ, and consecrate our selves to his will, and is the effect of both the former: Amongst these, Faith is the first bond by which we lay hold on Christ. For though it follow the operation of the Spirit, as its effect, in that respect, it is called the gift of God, and the gift of the Spirit of God; yet it goes before both Love and Hope that are saving.
Reas. 1. Because the proper nature of Faith is, to be a spiritual hand, whereby we lay hold on, and receive that good, that is needfull to us for salvation, Iohn 1. 12. where to believe is meant to receive, that the true office and nature of Faith may be se forth.
Reas. 2. Because a Faith receiving Christ, doth also receive life in Christ, and Faith is the principle of our spiritual life, according to that of the Apostle, The just shall live by Faith.
- Because Christ is not proposed unto us to salvation, but in the promise of the Gospel; and the proper and immediate end and fruit of this proposal, is to make Faith, or to gain belief; and so the first receiving as well of the promise, as of the thing where about the promise is, is by Faith.
Use Of Direction, and that such, as upon another occasion the Apostle hath Eph. 6. 16. to wit, that above all things we be carefull to acquire, keep, and increase true Faith.
Doct. 3. The adequate object of Faith, as it justifies, is Iesus Christ, as offered in the Gospell for righteousness and life; or the mercie of God in and through Iesus Christ thus offered.
It is evident in the Text. The explication is, that although with our understanding we ought to assent to all things that are contain’d in the word of God; and especially to those that are contained in the promises of the Gospel; yet the power of justifying us doth proceed from no other object, but from Christ alone: And so Faith, though it look at other objects also, yet it justifies not, nor absolves from guilt of sin and death, but as it looks at Christ alone, as offered us to that end.
Reason 1. Because Christ alone is our Righteousness and Redemption; but our justification consists in the application of this Righteousnesse and Redemption; Therefore Faith in that respect justifies, as it lookes at Christ and applieth him.
Reas. 2. Because if all other things revealed in Scriptures, and to be believed by us, belonged to our justification, as objects of justifying faith; then not onely the belief of the creation would justify us, but also the belief of mans falling into sin, and of being dead therein: And so Faith about sin and death should as well justifie us, as Faith in Christ.
Reas. 3. Unless Christ be looked upon by Faith, Faith hath nothing in it, why it should more justifie us, than any other vertue, or grace and gift of God, as charity, temperance, and the like.
Use 1. Is of Refutation, against such as attribute justification to Faith, as it is an act and part of our obedience, as a condition required of God. For thus the strength and life of justifying Faith is destroyed,
and Christ is robbed of his glory, and the consciences of Christians of their solid comfort and tranquility of minde.
Use 2. Is of Direction, that we may alwayes set the the eye of our faith directly upon Christ, or on the grace and mercy of God in him, that so we may from him draw Righteousness and Salvation.
Doct. 4. Iustifying & saving faith consists not properly in any knowledge, but in certain, solid or sound affiance or trust.
Justifying Faith is an act and fruit of the experience of Faith; and not the first affiance and trust, that justifies. Our Doctrine is hence gathered, in that the object of Faith in this place, is no intellectual or logical truth, as such; but some good, as the object of the practical mind & of preelection, viz. the means of salvation, which is a single or incomplex terme (as Logicians call it) in these words; on the Lord Iesus Christ; where not any thing of or about Christ, but Christ himself is the object. Next, because Faith is said to be busied about this object, as about a prop or stay; so that the heart of a man otherwise destitute of all help, and about to run into despair, casts it self upon Christ, as a stay, that by him it may be sustained and upheld; which is intimated by this phrase, believe in our Lord Iesus Christ. By affiance, we understand not any assent or act of the understanding about logical truth, or affirmation, or negation; nor yet properly the confident expectation of the will, which is assigned to our hope, and confidence therein contained, or from thence arising; but that act of the will or heart, which properly is called eection or choyse: whereby we rely upon Christ, repose and rest on him, and adhere to him, as a fit and sufficient Mediator, by whom we
may be saved. By this affiance we are said every where in the Old Testament to be united or joyned to God, as Isa. 48. 2. & 50. 10. And by this affiance properly we come unto Christ, Ioh. 6. and are said to receive Christ, Ioh. 1. 12. which things cannot be affirmed of any complex knowledge, or assent of the understanding, whether general or special. It is true, that such a knowledge, on the behalf of such as belong to Christ, is a necessary antecedent, and the cause of this faith, and affiance that justifies; and so in that respect, it hath the title of this faith as well in Scriptures, as in commn discourse: But yet when Faith is considered precisely as it justifies and saves, then it is understood either as an act or as a disposition of the will or heart, which followes the foresaid knowledge, and for the begetting whereof that knowledge doth serve. From this affiance if it be lively and vigorous, and joyned with fitting knowledge, there followes a certain perswasion of remission of our sins; and therefore true Faith useth often to be described by this perswasion; especially when the controversy is with Papists, who oppose this perswasion, as a vain presumption. Yet this perswasion is not properly justifying faith, but an act of hope and experience (rather a fruit) in him, who already is justified. It is also such an act, that for some time may be wanting, where yet true justifying faith is, though insirm, as experience in the godly teacheth; and therefore it ought not to be proposed in the essence and definition of justifying Faith, least so the weak consciences of some believers should thence be heavily troubled, as if they had not tru faith, when they feel themselves to have no such certain perswasion of the remission of their
sins. It will appear then to any rightly weighing all things, that justifying Faith, as such, is properly, the affiance of the hear, not any complex knowledge, or judgement of the understanding.
Reason 1. Because nothing in the whole Gospell is promised to any that hath yet no affiance or trust in Christ; before this affiance therefore, nothing can be known, that hath the vertue to justify, until it be trusted on; and therefore no knowledge going before this faith of affiance, can justify.
Reas. 2. We cannot conceive any knowledge before this affiance, which is not found sometimes in such as are not justified: As for example, such as have a spirit of illumination and light, but not of regeneration; and therefore fall away afterwards from that glory, which inseparably followes justification, sinning against the Holy Ghost.
Reas. 3 Because in every part of Religion, and so in Faith also, these two things are distinguished; to wit, to know and to do. To know what is to be believed, and what all ought to believe; and to give assent to truthes that are to be believed, is not yet to do that which believing imports, and is the proper obedience of Faith it self, which is the root of all other obedience, and therefore joyntly to be understood under this, as both comes from Faith, Rom. 1. 5. And in very truth such is the formal reason of obedience in true Faith, that under this name and nature it ought to be referred unto the will properly, because it is the part of the will, and not of the understanding, to obey.
Reas. 4 Because by this act of the will, we have an inward union with God in Christ, even as amongst men there is a greater conjunction, by a
constant inclination, and affection of the will, than by the judgement of the intellect.
Reas. 5. Because the act of faith is such, that by it we cast our selves wholly upon Christ, or upon the mercy of God in Christ. But the act of the understanding properly and immediately doth not transfer the whole man, but the act of the will, which alone therefore properly is called the act of the whole man: Nor can it be heer answered that Faith is an aggregate thing. consisting partly of knowledge, and partly of affiance; because unto such aggregate things, single and distinct operations can not be attributed, as are attributed unto Faith. For example, the health of the whole body, hath no distinct operation, but is conceived as a single thing, extends it self alike to soundness of all, and of every part; and as holiness, as it is in this, or that virtue, hath no distinct and single operation. Moreover, no more reason can be given why knowledge & affiance should make up one aggregate thing, than knowledge and hope, or knowledge and love, or than knowledge and justice or temperance. Besides all this, however knowledge be aggregated with true Faith, yet because a great part of this knowledge which goes before affiance, is found also in the Devills themselves, neither yet can any knowledge be shewn that goes before affiance, which is not found in some unregenerate persons; no reason admits, that this knowledge should be an essential part of Faith, and of the spiritual life, because it is found in them that have no part of spiritual life.
Use. Is of Exhortation, against Papists, and others, who know nor acknowledge no other faith, but knowledge, and a certain material assent, which yet
may may consist with greatest diffidence, and most wretched desperation.
Use 2. Is of Direction, that we may enquire of the knowledge of the truth, which is necessary for us unto Faith, and to Salvation; and that we be wary that we rest not on any bare knowledge; but then think we have true Faith onely, when according to the knowledge of the truth, we rely upon Christ with our whole heart for salvation, to be obtayned by him alone.
Use 3. Is of Consolation, to those who with all their heart strive to rest upon Christ, and yet cannot for a time, or presently and certainly perswade themselves, That God is reconciled unto thm, for such have true Faith, though weak. For this certainty of perswasion, is the effect of a more strong and perfect Faith, whereunto also in their own time such believers shall be brought.
A Question is here propounded; By what means is such a Faith begotten, and promoted in our hearts?
Answer. This Faith is properly begotten in us by the Holy Ghost, through the Ministry and Preaching of the Gospell, because Faith is above nature, while we believe these things that surmount all reason, and are lifted up above our selves by Faith, as the Apostle saith, that Abraham hoped above hope, that is, beyond humane, natural, and ordinary hope; so also they that truly believe, believe beyond belief, or above belief. It is begotten in us by the Gospell, because in the promises of the Gospell Christ is offered and exhibited to us; and the efficacy or power of the Holy Ghost accompanieth the preaching of the holy Gospell. Now from these things it followeth, that such have not true Faith, who either
believe nothing above what is natural, or in a supernaturall way, or else have not their Faith from the Gospell and word of God.
Doct. 5. Such as truly believe in Christ, may and ought to be sure of their salvation.
This is gathered from the connexion between the antecedent and consequent, in the Text; believe and thou shalt be saved. For as particular men while they remain in their particular sins may be assured, that for that time they are subject to the curse of God; so may some believers be particularly assured, that they are partakers of eternal blessing and salvation. For as that other assurance of the curse, comes from the Law towards impenitent sinners, or breakers of it; so this other assurance of the blessing, comes to repenting and believing sinners, through the promises of the Gospell. The whole order therefore of this consolation, whereby we may be certain of salvation, is as followeth; in such a Syllogism (wherein both will and understanding have their parts) whereof the proposition stands in the assent of the understanding, and makes up a dogmatical Faith. The assumption is not principally in the compounding understanding, but in the single apprehension and will, so as to make it true and of force to infer the certainty in the conclusion; which the heart doth by this act of affiance, that being the property of justifying Faith, and thus existing in the heart. The conclusion is also principally & ultimately in the single apprehension and will, or in the heart, by the grace of hope; and both it, and the experimental reflexion joyn’d with it (which is in the understanding, and the other also, by this reflexion) are the effects of the
experimental knowledge and reflexion of our understanding, in the assumption upon the true existence of the single term in the heart or will, which bears the whole burthen of the assurance.
Use, Is of great Consolation to believers, whereof they are Sacrilegiously robbed by Papists and all such, who impugne this certainty of salvation.
The eighth Lords day.
Mat. 28. 19.
Go ye therefore, and teach all Nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
IN this verse is contained that principal command, which Christ left to his Apostles and Ministers; and it consists of two parts; whereof, in the first, the preaching of the Word; and in the other, the administration of the Sacraments is commanded. The chief scope of both parts is shewed in the last words; to wit, That men may be taught and confirmed in the true faith and obedience of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. From this place was the Creed taken and framed, which is called the Apostles Creed but as to the foundation of it in these words, not first taught by the Apostles, but to the Apostles by Christ himself, at that very time, when he spake those words: 2. By the Apostles at the command of Christ to all Christians, for a rule of Faith, and a badge, whereby Christians should be discovered as well fro Heathens, as from Jews and other Sects. Nor
was there any other or longer Creed than this, contained in the words of our Lord, in the times of the Apostles, and of the Church that next followed their times. But afterwards diverse Heresies laid a necessity upon the Church of adding diverse articles to this Creed, not that they should be new additions to the old Faith, but needfull explications of the same. Hence it is, that all things that are now contained in the Creed, are referred unto these three heads, which are set down in these words; viz. either unto the Father, or the Sonne, or the Holy Ghost.
Doct. 1. Though God be one in essence onely, yet is he three in persons; the Fathe, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Reas. 1. Because in this place Faith is presupposed, and prerequired, for baptising one of age, whereby he believeth in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and this same Faith, is as it were sealed by Baptism, as with a seal; and the open profession of this Faith is solemnised by this Badge, or Confession, and Creed, that our Lord himself taught, and gave in command. And these things were not done for once, or in a temporary way, but by an unchangeable Institution, and perpetual Covenant, they were delivered to the Church to be observed through all ages, as necessary foundations of salvation. The consequence of this argument hath certainty and confirmation from thence, in that divine Faith and spiritual neither ought, nor is any where used in Scripture to be directed to any creature, but to God alone.
Reas. 2. Because one and the self-same authority and power is attributed to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. For when the Word is preached and Baptism administred, not onely in the name of
the Father, but likewise also of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; It is manifestly shewed, that by the authority and power of this most holy Trinity, Baptisme with other the like sacred Institutions, were delivered to the Church; and that for the same authority they are by all men to be received and acknowledged, with religious subjection of soules and consciences thereto. The reason of this consequence is, because however supplication useth to be made in some parties name, without respect had to his authority, and power, and with respect onely to the grace of God, to whom we make our supplication, yet when an Institution is published as a Law, and proclaimed in the name of this, or that party, the authority and power of him in whose name this was done, is alwayes declared, and is used as a sanction or means to make inviolable the Institution.
Reas. 3. Because an operation truly divine, and an omnipotency is heer attributed to these three, while they are set out and acknowledged as the authors of all the spirituall good things, which are imparted to the faithfull, and in Baptism are signified and sealed. For in vain had mention been made of their name and authorities in that solemn promise, unless they had the power and faculties to perform and perfect the things promised.
Reas. 4. Because in this place we are taught to invocate the Father, the Son, & the holy Spirit, that by their grace and power Baptism may have its due effect, in the same manner almost, as the same is done in the Apostles salutation: The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And the reason of
the variety or little difference that is between the these formes, seems to be this; that in Baptisme, where authority and power are regarded, there the first place is given to the Father; but in the salutation aforesaid, where regard is had to the receiving consolation, whereunto none doth attain, unless he first come to Christ, & lay hold of his grace, that by him he may be reconciled to the Father, and made partaker of the Holy Ghost, there in the first place mention is made of the grace of Christ; and then afterwards of the love of God the Father. The strength of this whole argument hangs on this, that invocation of, or praying to, and the worship of God, belongs to none but to God alone.
Reas. 5. Divine honour and glory are not onely here given to the Father, but also to the Sonne, and to the Holy Ghost, in as much as all baptised in these names, are directly consecrated to these three, that they may alway live unto the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And hence are these Apostolick phrases, wherein the faithfull are said not onely barely to live to God, but also to live to Christ the Sonne, and to the Spirit of God. This reason is confirmed from hence, that neither it is lawfull wholly to consecrate ones self to any other, but to God, and this also is the Tenor of the New Covenant, that God be acknowledged for our good, and we be to him for ever his people. Hence also hangs the direction of our whole life, that we may alwayes have this proposed to our selves, to be serviceable to his glory in all things, whereunto we were consecrated from the beginning.
Use Of Instruction, that we may alwayes keep this rule of Christian Faith, safe, pure, and unviolated,
against all the gates of hell, as the chief principle and foundation of salvation, on which both our Baptism, and all things that in our Baptism are signified and sealed, do depend.
Doct. 2. The divine essence, and all its essential attributes, and all divine workes external, equally agree to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is gathered from the Text.
Reas. 1. Because the same name, the same honour, the same power and glory is attributed to the three.
Reas. 2. Our Faith is here in like manner directed towards all, as the same in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Reas. 3. All things that belong to the divine essence, are such, as can neither be multiplied, nor divided, nor admit of variety of degrees, for their immensity and perfection. If therefore at all they agree to the Son and Holy Ghost, as that they do is apparent from what hath been said; it must needs be that they agree to them idemtically, that is, in the greatest equality they are one and the same.
Use, Of Direction, That in exercises of our Faith, Hope, Charity, and in all parts and appurtenances of religious worship, and the practise of godliness, we lift up our mindes as much as can be, not onely to the name of God in common, but distinctly, to the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as equally in all our addresses to be honoured and celebrated.
Doct. 3. Between these three persons there is a certain distinction, as to the form and manner, or order of subsisting.
It is gathered from the Text; because they are
disposed or set in a copulative enunciation. For if there were no distinction between them, then would that copulative be impertinent; and it would have no more ground for it, than if one should say, in the name of the righteous God, and the mercifull God, and the omnipotent God, &c. Which are not to be taken in propriety and rigor of conjnction, but exegitically. They differ then from the essence, as essential, or substantial concretes do from their abstracts. They differ from themselves as relatives, and some wayes as unlike; this unlikeliness or dissimilitude, is in certain as it were, of their individuant and characteristical proprieties, which are not inherent qualities, but relative affections or properties. As to the point of order, the Father is the first, the Son the second, the Holy Ghost the third, not in order of time, or of nature properly so called, but in order of origination. Hence is it, that such works, wherein the beginnings of things are most apparent, are attributed to the Father by appropriation, as the creation. But those things wherein the second, and successive dispensations or procurations are most conspicuous, are attributed to the Son; as redemption: and such, wherein the perfection and last consummation are manifest, are attributed to the Holy Ghost, as our sanctification, and glorification.
Use, Of Direction, That as well in receiving such blessings as are bestowed on us by God, as in performing the duties of Religion and Obedience, we have regard to 〈◊〉 observe this distinction, as much as may be, to the glory of God, and our own consolation. For this is every way a divine meditation, whereby the hearts of the faithfull are singularly
affected, and lifted up, if they well ponder with themselves, that in the descent or coming down on us of Gods benefits, whereof we are made partakers, the beginning is taken from the Father, the progress is by the Son, & the accomplishment is through the Holy Spirit. And morever the ascent or sending up of our duties to God, which we ow to him; the beginning is taken from or through the Holy Spirit, the progress is made by the Son, and termination or resting is made by the Father. For thus through the Holy Spirit his teaching, and assisting or helping us, we begin to pray; that is, conceive and make our prayers here; and our prayers so conceived or made, ascend, and enter into Heaven by Jesus Christ; and lastly, they are ultimately heard and accepted by the Father.
The ninth Lords day.
Rev. 4. 11.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, that thou shouldst have glory, and honour, and power; because thou didst create all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created.
A Reason is given in these words, why all glory should be given to God; and it is taken from the effects. For that is more praise-worthy, that it be taken from the effects, because the power and virtue of the cause, whereunto the praise is due, exists and is properly seen in its effects. The effect of God is creation, which in this place is illustrated,
First, By his effects, which are declared by the universality conjoyned with them in these words; because thou didst create all things. Secondly, From his manner of creating; that God out of a wise purpose created all things; and for thy pleasure, &c. Thirdly, From the adjunct of duration or lasting, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created. For one thing is understood by the words, they are, and another by, thou createdst, &c. as might be evident from the tense, thou createdst in the preter-tense; they now are in the present-tense, by which the duration of things is evident.
Doct. 1. All things that now are in the world, were produced and made out of nothing by God.
Reas. 1. Scriptures evidenceth this truth.
Reas. 2. Partly also all nations testify it, because there is no Nation which believeth not, and tells us not something concerning its beginning.
Reas. 3. The world it self witnesseth this of it self, for as much as in all creatures almost there appeareth such imperfection in their power and mutability, whereunto they are subject, that of themselves they could not have their own act and first existence, but of necessity they must depend upon some pure and perfect act, and that is God.
Reas. 4. The world also witnesseth this same, for as much as in its parts a certain perfection appeareth, which is such, as that it cannot be the first, and yet it is such as must needs be from the first perfection. Such are these perfections that use to be observed in this sentence, whereby all things are said to be made in number, weight, and measure: Where, by measure is meant the perfection that each thing hath in it self; and number that which is referred to others,
as to defect or excess; and weight, that of motion and inclination that all have to their own ends and uses, as well particular to themselves, as common to others and the whole.
Reas. 5. Lastly, all right reason confirmes the same, because in all order of causes, and things existent, common reason brings us to one first cause, and to one first existence. Besides it implies a manifest contradiction, to conceive the world to have been eternal. For if the world was from eternity, then infinite dayes were before this day, and so these dayes are not yet ended, and consequently this day exists not, because it cannot exist but after the other dayes before it were ended, and gone. Also, if the world was from eternity, there was no one day of the world, before there was a thousand years of the same world, because in eternity no point or moment of time can be defined, before which there were not many thousand of years: But this is a manifest contradiction, that one year of the world that is made up of many dayes, should be together, at once with the first day; or that there is no day of any year before which there was not a thousand years; or lastly, that there were as many thousands of years already, as there were dayes in the world.
Use 1. Is of Instruction, that in this part of our faith, we study more and more solidity to ground and strengthen our selves, because this ground being well laid, our faith and affiance doth much more easily & freely make progress about all such things, as God hath revealed in his Word, that either he hath done, or will do about this world, or some parts of it, or other things that require the like might and power to that which was snewed in the creation of the world.
Use 2. Is of Admonition, That we suffer not our mindes to cleave to this world, or stick there, but that we lift them up higher, and adhere to him, that made the world. For it were a very great folly and perverseness, if after we know that all these things were made by God, we love the world better than God, and for the love of the world should forsake God.
Doct. 2. God of his wise purpose and good pleasure created all things, not out of any necessity.
It is gathered from these words; and for or by thy pleasure or will, &c. There be some Philosophers that have said, that all created things do come from God by way of emanation, as little rivulets come and flow from their Fountain. But that which doth proceed in this kinde, must be part of that River from whence it flows, which cannot properly be affirmed of things created, if we reflect on God the Creatour. Others are of opinion that the universe came from the Creatour, even as the forme or fashion of him that looketh into a glass passeth from him into the glass. Neither is this fitting to be affirmed, because the universe is in no other subject, as the shape is represented in a glass or mirrour. Others have said, that the universe went from God, as a shadow from its body. But this is altogether impertinent, because a shadow goes not out of its body, but followes it by a privation of light, and by reason of the interposition of the opacous or gross body between the light and that place. Others have said, that the universe went forth from the Creatour, like 〈◊〉 the footstep is made by the print of the foot of one that walkes. But God had nothing without himself, upon which by his walking he could imprint
such a footstep. All these had a good intention, though they spake not accurately and properly enough. For even as these comparisons are otherwise profitable to raise the minde of man in the contemplation of the eminency and majesty of God the Creatour: For they point out the eminency of the Creatour to be incomparably greater, than that of the whole universe it self; and the vanity, or at lest littleness of all things, even such as seem greatest in the world, if they be compared with Gods perfection. For they are in respect of God as little streams, or as little droppings are in respect of an ever and over-flowing Fountain, or of the whole Sea; or as a light resemblance of ones feature appearing in a glass, is in respect of the solid substance or party himself, and as dark and vanishing shadows in respect of a most firm body; Lastly, also as the footstep of a man imprinted on the sand, is in respect of the living man himself. These same comparisons shew also, that the world and all its parts, or all things in this universe, are certain tokens and way-markes, s it were leading us to the Creatour, as the streams leads to the fountain, the image in the glass shews the mans face, and the shadow respects the body; or brings one to find it out, as the footstep of the foot doth to the man. But the holy Scripture leaving these comparisons, is wont to make use of a truer and fitter one, when it sayes, that the world so came from the Creatour, as the workmanship from the workman, and every building from its builder, Heb. 11. 10. Now every workman doth what he doth of a determinate reason, purpose and will, in as much as he is a workman. And in this sense it is said both in our Text, and every where else i
Scripture, That God made all things by his word, of his determinate purpose of minde and will. Yet there is this difference between other Artists and God, that all other artificers bring to perfection their works by divers motions. For so soon as they have taken up a purpose with themseves to make some work, first, they move their own members; secondly, by their members they move other external instruments; thirdly, by these instruments they move the matter unto the form, or act, which they intend to imprint upon it. But God perfects his work with saying and willing. And this is it that the Scripture every where inculcates to us, Psal. 33. 6, 9, &c.
Reas. 1. Because there is nothing in the world, that hath a necessary connexion with the divine essence; and so nothing external comes from God by any necessity of his nature, but from his wisdome and free-will.
Reas. 2. Because this is the noblest and perfectest way of working, to work advisedly and with a freewill.
Reas. 3. In the beginning of the Creation there was nothing, that could have the place either of matter or of instrument; nor can we conceive in God any other power really distinct from his understanding and will. This therefore is of necessity to be granted and believed, that God created all things out of his own free wisdome and will alone.
Use 1. Is of Instruction, for by this foundation we may forearm our faith against the curious queries of some men, who are used to ask, or wonder why the world was not created before that time, in which it was indeed created; or why such a part of it was not in such and such a manner? The Scripture answers,
that God created all things by his own free choice, wisdome, and will; so that in this work, he was neither subject to any necessity, neither should any other reason be enquired for, beyond or above his free will.
Use 2. Is of Direction, that from this consolation, we establish our Faith about all things that he hath revealed in his Word, that he will do. For howbeit they may seem very improbable or impossible to our staggering reason, yet seeing God doth whatsoever he wills, and he made the whole world onely with saying and willing, it is not to be doubted of, but that he will most truly perform all such things as he hath said, that he will do.
Doct. 3. By the same efficiency whereby God created all things, he sustains also, and preserves all things in being.
From these words in the Text; and for thy pleasure, or by thy will they are. Heb. 1. 3. Acts 17. 28. In him we are or have our being. For as in the beginning, when God cherished the world of waters, or the waters, the spirit moved upon them, and so did sustain, conserve and cherish them; even so also perpetually the same spirit sustains, governs, and cherisheth all created things. Now God is said to sustain and conserve created things, not onely indirectly, as he removes and hinders from them causes that would corrupt or destroy them; but also directly, as he gives a conserving power for continuance of their existence. Neither doth he this alone by means, as he sustains an infant by its nurse; and a building by its pillars; but also immediately, in as much as being most inwardly present to all things, he furnisheth the means themselves with all their efficacy, when at his will they concur, and doth also many
things himself for their conservation, for the doing whereof there is found no virtue at all in any means. This sustaining of all things is rightly by some called maintenance, because thereby God olds as it were in his hand the creature, that it fall not back to that nothing from which it was at first brought by that same hand. For as if one with his hand lift up something from the ground, unless he hold it also, after it is lifted up in his hand, of its own accord, it will fall again to the ground: so also after that God by his omnipotent hand, lifted up the creature from nothing, with the same hand he upheld it also, otherwise it would fall back and return to nothing again.
Reas. 1. Because sustentation is a sort of continued creation. For creation brings it to pass, that a thing first is; and sustentation brings this about, that the same thing yet is: So that creation hath almost nothing in it beyond sustentation, but onely a newness of being, wherein it is terminated. The same omnipotencie therefore and power of God, is required unto sustentation of things, which was required at first to their creation.
Reas. 2. Because to be, or to exist, agreeth so imperfectly to the creature, that if it were removed or separated from the first being, whence the beginning of its being was, it would presently cease to be. For as in the enlightening of the aire, the light is so received by the aire, that so soon as ever the Sun is removed from it, whence this illumination dependeth, the air presently ceaseth to be illuminated; so is it in this busiess.
Reas. 3. Because God is so universally and inwardly the cause of the creature, that he is not
onely in place of an external efficient cause, but also of an internal, and doth no whit less communicae to things their being, than matter and form, which are other internal causes, and essential too, which being taken away, the essence and being of such things is taken away it self. Although therefore many effects consist or keep their being, when their efficient causes are remov’d or ceas’d, as a building remains after the death of its builder; yet without the presence and power of God the creature can no more consist and keep its being, than without its matter and form.
Use 1 Is of Direction, that we may strive to open the eyes of our mind, and may pray that by the grace of God they may be more and more opened, that we may see both God in our selves, and in every other thing in some manner. For that is it which the Apostle teacheth, Act. 17 27
Use 2. Is of Admonition, that for this cause we take heed to our selves, that we sin not against God, because we are held up, in and by the hand of God. If therefore witting and willing we offend God, it is even as if a child out of petulancie should hurt his Fathers face, while he is held by his Father in his arms, and in his bosom.
Doct. 4. All the glory that can be given by a creature to God, is due unto him y reason of his onely creating and ustaining of all things.
It is out of the Text; Thou art worthy, &c. Where this glory is expounded by three words, which designe one and the same thing, though in a diverse manner, because no one word can be found, which can sufficiently mark out the duty of a creature to God its Creator.
Ras. 1. The reason in general is, Because the greatest perfection of all divine power appears in the work of Creation, and such things as therefrom depend. Now by how much the more the power of the cause appears in the effect; by so much the more praise and glory is due to the efficient cause. The First, Gods goodness appears, for whose sake chiefly he is ever to be glorified; because what ever good is in the creature, all this is derived from Gods goodness; and it is nothing else as it were, but a certain slender scent, that is breathed from the infinite goodness of God, and flowes from it. This is some way pointed at in these words; God saw all that 〈◊〉 made, and they were very good.
Secondly, His greatest and infinit power appears in the Creation, in that by his word, and his command he made the whole world suddenly, and of nothing, or matter praeexistent.
Thirdly, His highest wisdome also appears, in that he made all things, not confusedly, that there should be and remain a Chaos; but in all perfection of order and proportion; so that to one who attentively considers things, so much wisdome appears, not onely in the fabrick of the whole, but in the disposition of the parts in one man, or in one flea, as all the wisest men in this world can never be able either to initate, or to explicate, or by all the diligence they can use, sound the bottom of it.
Use, Is of Exhortation, that with heart, ind, and work, we study alwayes to give this glory unto God, that he deserveth, and which justice requireth from us; to which we are perpetually called and stirred up by all creatures in heaven and in earth.
The tenth Lords day.
Rom. 11. 36.
For of him, and through him, and to him are all things.
THe Apostle brings an argument here to prove that which he had before put, viz. That God ows no man any thing. He proves it from the opposition thus; the cause ows nothing to its effect; but contrarily the effect ows all to the cause. Now God is as the cause, not as the effect, in respect of all things whatsoever, that either are, or are done in this world. But God as a cause comes under a threefold reason or notion; as 1. either of a procreating cause; 〈◊〉im are all things: or 2. of a conserving and directing cause; and through him or by him are all things: or 3. of a final cause, or for which; and to him, or for him are all things. In the first notion, creation is attributed to him; in the second sustenation and gubernation of all things; in which two, the providence of God doth properly consist: in the third notion, perfection and conservation of all things is attributed to God; in which the end and accomplishment of creation, sustentation, and gubernation is seen and consists.
Doct. 1. God 〈◊〉 a sure providence, whereby he takes care for al things and directs them to his own glory.
It is 〈◊〉 from the Text, in as much as all things by him, and for him are 〈◊〉〈◊〉 directed.
〈◊〉. 1. Because God is the 〈◊〉 of things from
reason and wisdome of the greatest excellency, 〈◊〉 from any necessity of his nature, nor yet from 〈◊〉 caualtie or coaction. And in such a cause, there is alway a regard had to the end, and an efficacions willing of it, together with an ordering of the means for attaining of that end accordingly.
Reas. 2. Because if God had onely made the creatures, and had no care of them afterwards, or did not direct and govern them, the work of creation had been but idle, vain, and as done in jest. For workmen use not to take pains to perfect a work, and then neglect it, unless from too much leisure, and sport, or pastime they do it; which agreeth not to God.
Reas. 3. Unless God directed and governed all things that he created, his work would be imperfect, as not bringing it to its destinate end. It would also be subordinate to the operation or influence of some other upon it, that is not the principal, as we see it is among men. For he that makes a Ship, and directs, and governs her not afterwards in her ailing; his work about her, it is but imperfect, and as it were vain, and his art and work is subordinated to the art of sailing, which doth the other and better sort of the work about that Ship.
Reas. 4. Common experience teacheth, that there is some present and powerfull wisdome every where, that is efficacious in its workings and intentions, whereby creatures are directed in their operations. For without it, the kinds of all things could not have been preserved, and propagated under the same forms and figures, parts and dispositions, through all generations. Without it also, creatures that want reason, could not be directed to tend to
some certain end unknown to themselves, and to possess certain places most convenient for them, and to seek the order and preservation of the universe or whole, rather than their own particular. Without this providence it cannot be understood, how some beastshave such instinct, & as it were some beams of a certain wisdome imparted unto them, as they have; as may be seen, in Ants, Bees, Spiders, Swallows, Storks, of which the Scripture it self speaks, and in many other beasts, which are rightly said to be borne, as it were with a Law, a Book and a Lanthorne; with a Law, which they follow and observe constantly in all their operations, in which Law a certain art and wisdome manifestly appears. With a Book, wherein they have that Law written down to them, because it is ever present with them, and indeed written or engraven on their soules. With a Lanthorne also, because at all times they so radily read therein, and perceive all such things, as agree to their condition.
Use 1. Of Information, that we may have a care solidly to establish our Faith in this behalf, because providence is amongst the first principles of Religion, whence the glory of God mainly depends, and our affiance, patience, reverence, humility, and all the rest, that belong to the real practice of religion.
Use 2. Of Direction, that we lean not to our own, or to other mens wisdome and providence, but to apply our selves alwayes to lay hold on the providence of God, that we may rely on it in all things.
Doct. 2. The providence of God includes in it self not onely the intention, but also the attainment of its end.
For all things are no less certainly for him, than they are either by him, or from him.
Reas. 1. Because divine providence is most perfect, and therefore alwayes attains what it intends properly. For that is the imperfection of mans providence, that it often attains not its end, but is hindered by some other causes.
Reas. 2. Because if God attained not his purposed end, then would he suffer some change in his blessedness and happiness of condition; because it is a more blessed thing to have all ones desires and purposes fulfilled, than to fall beside some of them.
Reas. 3. Because thence also would follow diminution of Gods eternal knowledge. For no wise man proposes that to himself to be attained, which from the beginning he knows, that he shall never attain.
Use 1. Is of Refutation, against such that turn divine providence into a humane providence.
Use 2. Of Consolation to all believers, to whom God hath promised, that he will provide and see for them, so as all things at last shall turn to their good and eternal happiness.
Doct. 2. This providence of God extends it self to all things. This is clear in the Text.
Reas. 1. It is as much extended to all in the world as a good and wise master of a family, hath a care (as much as in him lieth) of all things, that are done in his house.
Reas. 2. It is extended to every thing that was created of God. For in the same manner providence follows upon creation, as the Apostle teacheth that provision doth upon procreation, and seeing to children and others in the family, 1 Tim. 5. 8. For God in some sort is called the Father of all things that he created.
Reas. 3. He hath a care of all noble and great things, because the direction of such makes evidently for his glory.
Reas. 4. He cares also for the least and vilest things, as the haires of our head, and the like, Mat. 10. 29. Because his wisdome being infinite, these cannot escape it. As from the greatness of them, his being is not helped, so from the littleness of them, he is not hindered to care for them. Oftentimes also, from least things, very great things depend, and from vile or base things, a noble change followeth, either for the better or for the worse.
Reas 5 This providence is extended not onely to things that of necessity are, or must be, but to contingents also, or things voluntary; because contingents, they are mutable, and subject to many casualties, coming from the course of many causes, & do most of all require the government of a superior power, that they may be rightly ordered, left all should run into confusion. And voluntary things are of a most noble operation, and of a higher nature, than any natural things are, and therefore most of all do depend upon Gods care for them and over them. And these things are so cared for of God, that their nature is not thereby overthrown, but established and governed. For it is rightly said of divine providence, that though it attains to its end with strength, yet even in doing so, it disposeth all things sweetly; that is, according to the nature of all and each, that he himself put into them in the Creation, and yet conserves and governs by his providence. For there is nothing in Gods providence that brings a necessity upon any thing properly so called; but onely a certainty
which no wayes withstand the nature of contingency and liberty.
Reas. 6. This providence is extended not onely to things good, but also to evill; nor yet onely to evills of punishment, but also to evils of sin; because, though evill was not created of God, and in this respect is not properly and in it self the subject of divine providence; yet because it comes from the creature of God, and of its owne nature disorders the work of God, and is contrary to the order that God appointed, and therefore ought of necessity to be ordered and limited of God; otherwise the most noble work of God, if he had no care to the contrary, would run into great disorder: and because there is in sins the greatest confusion and disorder, therefore it is mot of all required here, that God exercise the power of his providence; in regard of whom onely evill hath some kinde of good in it; to wit, as far as it is ordered by him, and turned to good.
Use 1. Is of Exhortation, that we may alwayes have our affiance firm, and immovable, and fixed on God; because, If God be for us, who can be against us? seeing all things are directed and governed of God.
Use 2. Is of Admonition, that we depend upon no creature, but upon God alone; because all things are governed of God. And then that we learn to reverence and fear God in all things, seeing his providence, that is to be reverenced and feared, hath a hand in all things.
The eleventh Lords day.
Act. 4. 12.
Neither is there salvation in any other: For there is no other name under heaven given amongst men whereby we must be saved.
IN these words, is contained the reason of the answer, that Peter gave to the multitude being come together, to the question they made, about the good work done to the impotent man, verse 9. The question was, How he was healed, and delivered from his sickness? The answer was, that he was made whole by the name of Jesus Christ; that is, by that divine authority and power whereof Jesus Christ was the author. The reason of this answer and deed is taken from the nature and power of Jesus Christ, which is shown & declared in this verse, from its effect; to wit, that it brings salvation as well spiritual as corporal to men. And this effect is so affirmed of this cause; that is, of Christ, that it is denied of all others: So that there are two assertions contained in these words; whereof the first is, that Jesus Christ offereth salvation to men: The second, that no other can bring salvation. The reason of both assertions is given, because the name, that is the power and authority of saving, signified by the name Iesus, is given to him and to none else. For by name in this place, as it is referred to Christ, Christ himself is understood, as signified by that
name of Jesus or Saviour; as by the name of God, God himself is oft thus understood in Scripture; but withall the power and authority of Christ to save, is made known in more illustrious persons, titles, and solemn stiles, whereby is declared their quality, and what they import. For the signification of the name Iesus is here taught. Lastly, regard is had to our Faith which properly lookes at the name of Jesus Christ, and of God the Father, that is Christ and God the Father as they are proposed to us, and as it were named in the Gospell.
Doct. 1. Iesus Christ saveth us from all our sins.
This is it that is signified by the appellation of his name; and is proper to the name, containing in it self the whole summe of our Redemption, and its application: The end also of his incarnation, humiliation, and exaltation. Now Christ saves us by his satisfaction, merit, and efficacy. By satisfaction, because he removes the guilt of sin and wrath of God, that were the hinderances of our safety, and could not be removed by us. By his merit, because he procures to us the favour and right to all those blessings, that use to be communicated to the sonnes of God. By his efficacy, because by his Spirit he effects indeed, & works all in us that belongs to our salvation. In this sort therefore doth he save us from all our sins, as to the guilt, to the punishment, and to the andduration, to the defilement.
Reas. 1. Because he was given of God his Father for this end; that is, he was for that end eternally predestinated, from the beginning promised; in the fulness of time exhibited, for this end, I say (as himself professeth) that he might save sinners; in which speech the Apostle Paul glorieth much, as in a 〈◊〉 1 Tim.. 5.
Reas. 2. Because he was fit every way to produce this effect; that is, to procure this salvation; which followes most certainly, even from this, that he was for this end sent of God. For God sends none to performe any duty, whom he instructs not, and makes fit for the accomplishment of it Hither belongs also, all that before was said of the divine and humane nature of Christ; and what hereafter shall be said of the spirit resting upon him without measure, and the like.
Reas. 3. Because willingly and of his pleasure he gave himself to the performance of all these things, that were necessary for our salvation.
Use 1. Is of Direction, that we may yeeld up, and give over our selves wholly to Christ to be saved.
Use 2. That with all Admiration of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we may live to him; that is, as being saved by him, we may yeeld him all thankfulness, and strive to do him all honour and homage to his glory.
Doct. 2. Beside Iesus Christ, there is no Saviour.
This is expresly enough in the Text: Neither is there salvation in any other &c. There are no other Saviours neither in whole, nor in part, nor joint with him. There are no other causes of our salvation, neither subordinate, nor ministrating, properly so called. Not total.
Reas. 1. Because none is like, or equall to Christ, that could do the same that Christ did for our salvation. For he is the onely begotten Son of the Father, the onely Immnue, God with us, God-man in one person, the onely Medrator between God and man, 1 Tim. 2. 5.
Reas. 2. Because God gave and proposed none oother Saviour to us, as it is in the Text.
Reas. 3. Because if there were any other Saviour, then such exclusive assertions could have no place, as every where occur in Scripture. Whosoever believeth not in Christ, he shall dy: The wrath of God shall abide upon him: Without him we can do nothing, and the like. Nor yet Mediators in part.
Reas. 1. Because Christ perfectly saveth those that believe in him, so that they need not in any sort to seek salvation in any other, Heb. 7. 25.
Reas. 2. Because our salvation cannot be so divided into parts, that part from one, and part may be sought from another; for so it might come to pass, that one might be partly saved, and partly damned. Neither yet subordinate, and ministring causes. Because properly he saves us by himself, Heb. 1. 3. Now the Saviours that were typical; and the Ministers of the Word, who now also are said to save many, together with the Word and Sacraments, which save also; all these are onely said to save, because they are the adjuncts and instruments of this onely Saviour, serving him in the application of salvation before purchased by himself; not that they are causes together with him of his salvation, and have in themselves power and vertue of saving any, if we speak properly.
Use 1. Of Refutation, against Papists, who many wayes joyn other Saviours to Christ: as, 1. While they thrust Angells and blessed spirits upon us for Saviours, to be religiously invocated. 2. While they teach men to place their trust and hope in satisfactions of men, and pardons or indulgences of Roman Bishops. 3. While they will be saved by themselves
by merit of their own workes, and place in them some faith and confidence.
Use 2. Of Exbortation, that in every great and lesse part of our salvation we not onely fly to Christ, but depend also purely, onely, and wholly on him, saying with the Psalmist; Whom have I in heaven but thee, and I delight in none on earth beside thee. Psal. 73. 25.
Doct. 3. All that is made known to us in Scriptures concerning our Lord Iesus Christ, to be done, ought most of all to be done by us, as bringing salvation to our souls.
For in this sense it is said in the Text not simply that Iesus saves us, but that the name of Jesus Christ doth it; that is Jesus Christ, as he is proposed to us in Scriptures to be apprehended by Faith.
Reas. 1. Because such is the nature of our Faith, as it differs from sight, which we are to have in the life to come, that it is not carried simply and absolutely to Christ, but onely as he is proposed to us in Gods Promises.
Reas. 2. Because in the word of God nothing is taught of Christ, which doth not directly make for our Faith, and for advancing and confirming of oursalvation, Ioh. 20. 31.
Reas. 3. Because that charity and thankfulnesse that we owe to Christ, requires this, that we make high esteem of all things that belong to him; seeing otherwayes we are not worthy of him.
Use 1. Is of Reproof, against the slowness and sluggishness of our mindes, who can hear and read many things concerning Christ, without any affection, or lifting up of our hearts to him.
Use 2. Is of Direction, that we may get unto our selves that knowledge of the name of Christ, that may be sufficient to us in all our necessities; and
that we put this in practise and use it, when we are pressed either with our sins, or our inward corruptions, or the Devills tentations, or the worlds allurements, or with afflictions, or when we are in the midst or danger of death. For thus in the name of Christ we have a Magazine or rich Well, from which at all times, or any occasion we may draw, or take something of salvation, according to that of the Prophet, Isa. 12. 3. When ye have drawn waters with joy out of the Wells of this salvation; ye shall say, &c.
The twelfth Lords day.
Acts 2. 36.
Therefore let all the house of Israel Know assuredly, that God hath made that same Iesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
THis is one of the last parcells of that first Sermon, which the Apostle Peter made to the Jews after Christs resurrection. It contains the principal conclusion of the whole Sermon, as appears by the illative particle, Therefore; and the necessity of the consequence it self, certainly know, therefore, &c. The conclusion it self is, that Jesus is the Lord himself, and the Messias that was promised. The arguments from which it is deduced, are testimonies of preceding Prophets, and the present effusion of the holy Spirit, which could be the effect of none other, but of Christ the Lord or the Messias.
In the conclusion it self two things are explicated;
the function or charge of Christ; and the calling to that charge. The function is included in these titles, Lord and Christ; the calling is declared in this, that he is said to have been made Lord and Christ, and constituted so by God. We have three names here, that are attributes of our Saviour, Iesus, Christ, and Lord, which also elswhere use commonly to be joyned in Scripture; and between them this distinction may be observed. Iesus is his proper name; Christ is his name of authority; and Lord his name of power. Iesus points at the end which our Saviour had before him; Christ, the means and way how to come to that end; Lord, the perfect execution and attainment of that end: Between Christ and Lord there is no reall difference, nor yet so great a notional difference, as is between Christ and Iesus The Lordship or dominion, is as it were an adjunct following that function, which is designed by the titles of Christ Messias, or Anointed. But between Christ & Iesus this is the difference, that Iesus, as before hath been said, designes the end, and Christ the means and manner of attaining it. Iesus denotates Christs action on our behalf properly; and Christ, his perfection for it, and reception of that dignity from the Father.
Doct. 1. Our Saviour Iesus was ordained and constituted by the Father for the performing of all these things, that were necessary for our salvation.
It is hence gathered, that he is said to be made Lord and Christ; that is to say, that Messias, whom all the Prophets from the beginning of the world foretold and preach’d that he was to come, for procuring and perfecting the salvation of man; and whom all the faithfull with great desire looked for,
the onely author of their salvation. The things that were necessary for our salvation to be brought about, are contained in these three functions, which are intimated in the name Messias and Christ; to wit, of Prophet, Priest and King.
Our Saviour was the anointed Prophet.
Reas. 1. Because by outward Ministry he proclaimed and revealed the whole counsell of God about our salvation, Deut. 18. 8 Ioh. 15. 15. & 17. 8.
Reas. 2. Because inwardly he illuminates the mindes, and opens our hearts, that we may be taught of God.
Reas. 3. Because he told us all things to come, that are necessary to be known, and belong to his Church and Kingdome.
Our Saviour was also the anointed Priest.
Reas. 1. Because by offering up of himself he reconciled us to God.
Reas. 2. Because he yet effectually intercedes at the hands of the Father for us.
Reas. 3. Because he makes us and our imperfect works acceptable to God, by the vertue of his own oblation and intercession.
Our Saviour is also the anointed King.
Reas. 1. Because he overcame and gloriously triumphed over all the enemies of our soules and of our salvation.
Reas. 2 Because as Prince and head of his Church he governes the same, protects and conserves her by his efficacious power.
Reas. 3. Because he shall with the greatest glory perfect the government, protection and salvation of his Church, deservedly shall at last not onely be called and acknowledged King, but King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Use 1. Is of Information, that by true Faith and distinctly we may see that in Christ, which in all our necessities may supply our wants. If we would have our ignorance and blindness taken away, that we may fly to Christ, as our Prophet, to be taught of him; and to seek wisdome from him; who is himself the wisdome of God. If we be pressed with the guilt of our sins, and be accused by our own consciences, that we may fly to the blood and oblation of Christ our Priest, which he made of himself for us. If we would attain any thing from God, that we may use Christ, as our Intercessor. If lastly, our own weakness, and strength of our enemies discourage and terrify us, that we may look to Christ our King, by whose help all the faithfull shall become more than Conquerours.
Use 2. Is of Consolation, that we never give place to despair, because God hath provided for us so sufficient and able a Saviour.
Use 3. Is of Admonition, that by no means we separate such things, as God hath conjoyned in Christ. And they are separated by such, as either seek for knowledge onely, but care not to be cleansed from their sins, nor to be subjected themselves under the obedience of Christ, as King; or seek only remission of their sins, in the name of Christ, but neglect knowledge, and other means of this, and refuse flatly to bear Christs yoke, or to acknowledg his Scepter and Crown.
Doct. 2. Christ was called to perform all the duties of these offices.
It ariseth from these words; God made this man Lord and Christ. This calling contains in it, his election, preordination, mission or sending, and all
other things, that belongs to preparation, inauguration, confirmation, and consummation of this anointed one now sent. By vertue of election, and preordination, or predestination, Christ was Mediator from all eternity. By vertue of this purpose revealed, he exercised the office of Mediator, immediatly after the fall of Adam. By vertue of his mission or sending, in the fulness of time he was manifested; and after he had manifestly and openly exercised these functions upon earth, the time appointed for that end, he was taken up to the greatest glory and dignity, in which with great glory and majesty he yet exercises these functions that become so divine and exalted a Mediator. Whence also in the Text where Jesus is said to be made Lord and Christ, a singular respect seems to be carried to this exaltation of Christ, after and in which he came as to the consummate possession of this his dominion, in respect whereof he is called Lord and Christ.
Reas. 1. Because none could or ought to usurp or assume to himself this honour, but he that was called of God, Heb. 5. 4, 5, 6.
Reas. 2. Because the whole nature of Christs mediatory office stood in this, that he should do the will of the Father, Heb. 10. 7, 9.
Reas. 3. Because in Christ an example is set down of that procedure, which God observes in us to be brought into life and glory by him. For our life and glory have their first foundation in Gods electing of us, and begins at his effectual calling of us.
Use 1. Is of Information, for the establishing of our Faith; because we may certainly know, that God made Christ every way fit for accomplishing our salvation.
Use 2. Is of Consolation, against all terrours and tumults, whereby either our salvation or the Church of Christ is impugned; because we ought certainly to know, that Christ is made Lord, & hath all power of restraining his enemies at his own pleasure. If therefore nothing at present appear, from which we may be confirmed against such tentations; yet we ought to live by this Faith; according to that, The just shall live by Faith.
Doct. 3. All that by true Faith rely upon Christ, are made partakers according to their measure, of the dignity of Christ.
This is hence collected, that the Apostle so earnestly exhorts to this faith; especially if we compare this conclusion with the occasion of the question, as it is explicated, verses 17, 1. For they are some way partakers of the fruition and dignity Prophetical, as they have the Spirit of Christ; as ver. 17 18 is apparent, by which Spirit they are taught all things, 1 Ioh. 2. 27 So that in some sort they may discern all things, 1 Cor.. 15. Secondly, they are made partakers also of the function and Priestly dignity, as it is granted to them, to offer unto God Sacrifices and Oblations, while they offer themselves to God, Rom 12. 1. And while all that they can, & have, they dedicated & consecrated to God; & lastly, while they continually cause to ascend unto the presence of God the sacrifice of praise and thanksgigiving. Thirdly, they are made partakers of the Kingly dignity, 1 Pet. 2. 9. Apoc. 1. 6. As they have through the grace of God got the dominion over themselves, nor are servants any more of this world, but rather masters of it; and as lastly, they are heirs of heavenly glory, and receive the right and first fruits of it in this life.
Reas. 1. Because so great is the spiritual and mystical union, that beleevers have with their head, that they must of necessity some way or other participate of his dignity, as the members of the body partake of the dignity of the head, and as the Wife participates of the dignity of her Husband.
Reas. 2. Because all things that Christ doth as Mediator, he doth them for us, and to our good, in our name, and in a manner in our person; that is, representing, and standing in our stead.
Reas. 3. Bceause so great is the love of Christ towards his own, that he would have that is his, as far as can be, to be communicated to others.
Use 1. Is of Information, that we may umderstand the force & reason of this name, whereby we are called Christians. Now believers were rather call’d Christians, than Iesus, because as hath been said, Iesus properly denotats Christ’s action of aving us, but Christ the receiving of that offie; so that we are not made saviours of our selves so much, as fitted receivers of this salvation from him. For what he doth as our Iesus, this he doth not communicate to us, but only the fruit of it; but what he received as our Christ therefore he received it, that to us he might some way communicate it, and make us fit to receive it of him. Such therefore alone are truly Christians, that have spiritual and effectual communion with Christ, or with God in Christ.
Use 2. Is of Admoni ion, that we make not the divine name of Christian to be dishonoured and blasphemed by the filthiness of our life and manners.
The thirteenth Lords day.
Mat. 16. 16.
Thou art Christ the Son of the living God.
THis is Peter’s answer to the question propounded by Christ to the Apostles. The question was about their judgement and faith, as to the person of our Saviour. In the answer, there is contained the confession of the Disciples concerning Christ, and together with this, a description of Christ. In this description the person of our Saviour is described; 1. From his office, Thou art Christ. 2. From his essence, which is pointed out to us by his essential relation to that principle, from whence he came forth. This principle is God, who is illustrated by his attribute of life, the living God. The relation of our Saviour to God, is that of a Son to a Father; the Son of the living God. And he is also illustrated by a tacite comparison of that unlikeness, that is between this Son and others that use to get the same name also: And this comparison is illustrated to us in the particle prefixt to Sonne; the Sonne, or that Sonne.
Doct. 1. Iesus Christ is the coeternal or natural Son of God.
He is called the Son of God, because he proceeds from the Father, not by way of creation, but by way of generation. And generation is here used by similitude or proportion, that this emanation of the
Son from the Father, hath with that production, which a child hath from its parent; in the comparison of which similitude or analogy, as in all others that are attributed to God, the perfections onely of the denomination are to be understood to agree; and all the imperfections and defects are to be removed in our thoughts. Hence, that which is proper to corporal generation, that he who begets, doth it with some transmutation; and that the thing begotten, is something out of the begetter; these are not to be imagined in this divine mystery; nor that which is found in the spiritual generation, in, or by a creature; to wit, that the thing begotten is of another essence from that of the begetter, as in the production of the wrd of the mind in humane understanding. But the perfection that is in the generation of a body; to wit, that the begotten be in essence and nature like unto the begetter, is here to be con oyned with that perfection that is found in spiritual generation of creatures; to wit, that the begotten be in the begetter, by the most inward and inseparable way of being so; and so we come ighest to apprehend, that which can be conceived or apprehended of this divine generation of the Son by the Father. For Christ proceeding from God the Father, hath the same common nature and essence with him, and is his substantial image, Heb. 1. 3. Yet he remains still in the Father, and the Father in him, without total separation of either from other, as God understanding himself, is in God understood by himself; and God understood by himself, is in God understanding himself.
Use 1. Is of Consolation, towards all believers because
while they have communion with Christ, who is the Son, and heir of all the goods of the Father, they may thence see their felicity; to wit, that they are coheirs with Christ in the heirship of life and eternal glory, Rom. 8. 7.
Use 2. Is of Admonition, to all, that they hear the voice of Christ with all submission, according to that command sent down from heaven, This is my Son in whom I am well pleased, hear him.
Doct. 2. Christ is the Son of God in a farre more perfect, and a divine way, than any creature is.
This is from the particle The, or That Son. The reason is, because Christ is the Son of God by nature, not by adoption, or creation. Christ is called the natural Son of God, not because in his first or proper nature he is the Son of God; for so the good Angells may be called the natural Sons of God, if they be compared with men, who now after the fall, are not thus the natural Sons of God, but onely in their second nature and generation; that is, their regeneration and adoption: but Christ is the natural Son of God, because the Father begot him, not of free choice, or decree of wisdome and will going before, but of natural necessity, as light engenders light. Moreover Christ hath the same most single and singular nature with the Father; wherof there can be no resemblance found on earth, in any creature, but that which is unperfect. Therefore Christ is also called the onely Son of God, and the onely begotten. For though as to the general denomination, he hath many, whom he vouchsafes to call brothers; yet as to the special manner and foundation of this filiation of his, he hath no brothers at all, or like unto himself, nor can he have any.
Use 1. Is of Direction, of our Faith and thoughts bout Christ. For though we use the same words of Christ, and of our selves, in relation to God, for the overty and want of peculiar, and more proper expressions; because God is called the father of Christ, and our Father; and we together with Christ are called the sonnes of God; yet we ought alwayes to conceive all divine perfection in these titles and words, that are attributed to Christ; and in the same, as attributed unto us a far inferiour dignity, yet which is sufficient enough to our consolation.
Use 2. Is of Information, how we ought to seek all that belong to our adoption, and happiness, onely in Christ, and by him. For because Christ is that son of God, in whom is the principality, and all the excellency of divine filiation, or sonship; therefore in him, and by him, we alwayes ought to seek all our participation of this dignity, that we can have, or may crave.
Doct. 3. Christ is the supream Lord in the Church of God.
Though this be not expressed in our Text, yet because it is in order conjoyned with the antecedent words in the Apostles Creed (commonly so called) it will be conveniently in this place joyned to the preceding matter. It is thus gathered from our Text; Peter in the words set down had regard to the Messias, whom all the Prophets had preached, that he would be a King, a Lord, and a most glorious vindicator or restorer of his people And hither also the particle the or that looks in part. For such a Messias the Jews at that time did look for, as appears from Ioh.. 10. Thou art that son of God, thou art the King of Israel;
as also in the words of the High-priest, Mat. 26. 63 And Christ in his answer following, explaines the matter, how that his dominion is contained in these words.
Reas. 1. Because Christ is one and the self same God with the Father; and God is the Lord of all that he made, as well in the order of grace, as of nature; so also Christ is Lord of them all by right of creation; for by him all things were made, and by right of sustentation, because he sustains all that he made, with his mighty hand, Heb. 1. 3.
Reas. 2. Christ he is Mediator, is Lord of the Church by right of Redemption. For he that redeemed the whole, bought the whole man to himself; therefore he hath him in whole & in part in his power, and that by a debt of justice; whereunto also accrues another debt of thankfulness: Whence it comes to pass, that a redeemed one wholly yeilds and gives up himself to his Redeemer.
Reas. 3. As Christ is considered, as the party to whom we subject our selves, and oblige our truth and fidelity to him by a most holy Sacrament, oath or vow sealed solely with an outward badge or confession; so he is our Lord by right of contract or bargain, of Covenant, of our religious assurance or truth giving, & of our promise. And for these two last reasons, more peculiarly and specially he is every where in the New Testament called our Lord, even when he is together named with the Father and with the Holy Spirit, viz. because he alone is thus our Lord in our nature, he is onely our Lord, who thus onely redeemed us. Lastly, we in special manner chuse him to be our Lord, in our calling to Faith, by our answer of a good conscience, as Peter calls it; whence it is also,
that we are called Christians, or subjects of Christ, and his Kingdome and call upon his name, as his name is called upon us, and professed that he is our Lord.
Use 1. Is of Instruction, to establish our Faith, concerning the Godhead of Christ; because none either can or may be called our Lord absolutely, or God of the Church, except God alone. For,
First, God onely is the Lord of mans life, and of such things as belong to the goods of nature. For Magistrates and Commonwealths are onely by Gods institution keepers of the lives of their subjects under them, in order to the publick good of all: and every Citizen or Subject is but a tutor and keeper of his own life, and no absolute Lord, or maker of it.
Secondly, God onely may use, or apply to his use the whole man according to his own free arbitrement.
Thirdly, The things that belong to the goods of grace, are of a more noble rank, than those of nature. If therefore God alone be Lord of this natural life, than much more must it be granted, that he is onely Lord of grace and spiritual life.
Fourthly, He that dischargeth the part of Lord of the Church of God, ought of necessiity to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, because to him belongs to have the care over the Church, and all its members dispersed over all the earth, and under the whole compass of heaven, and to direct them in all their wayes, and defend them against all sorts of evills, and lastly, to heap upon them all sort of good to their happiness. Seeing then this is the solee title of Christ, that he is Lord in the
Church of God, it followes necessarily that he is also essentially and by nature God, and not by office onely.
Use 2. Is of Consolation, to all the faithfull, that they have him for their Lord, who gave himself to the death for them.
Use 3. Is of Admonition, that we subject our selves wholly to this Lord, and his will; and do him all honour in all and every part of our life and conversation.
The fourteenth Lords day.
Mat. 1. 20.
But while he thought on these things, behold the Angell of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.
THese words contain a reason given by the Angell of the Lord, why Ioseph should receive his wife Mary. And the reason is, from removing the cause, for which Ioseph might have been induced to put her away. Now the cause was, that she appeared to be with child by another than her own husband. This cause is removed, by putting another unblamable cause in its place; and this cause is determined by the Angell to be the Holy Ghost. The effect then is placed with its causes in this enunciation. The effect then is Jesus Christ, as to his humane
nature. The causes are two; to wit, the Holy Ghost, and the Virgin Mary. Mary is the efficient cause less principal, and supplier also of the material cause; but the Holy Ghost is the most principal and first cause, which brings the less principal efficient, and the material together into acting, for the production of this effect.
Doct. 1. Christ the Son of God took unto himself into the unity of his person, the nature of man truly such, together with the conditions of humane weakness.
This is taught in the Text. When it is said, In time a man born and begotten of a woman it is but the same expressed in these words of the Creed, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, &c. He might have assumed the nature of another creature, as of Angells; he might also have assumed mans nature in its greatest perfection, as Adam was made (who was never in propriety of speech) either conceived, or born an infant. But it was his pleasure to assume the nature of man truly such, and in this manner of sinless imperfections, and not of Angells.
Reas. 1. That he might do mans businesse and work; that is, make satisfaction for them, and save them.
Reas. 2. He would also take this our nature in its weak and low condition;
First, Because he would come down (as farre as could be without sin) into the same very place and condition, out of which he intended to lift us up higher.
Secondly, That by this means he might some way sanctify all the states and conditions of humane life, least any might imagine that any such low
estate separateth a man from communion with Christ.
Thirdly, That he might leave this to us in his own experience as a pledge of his knowledge and like sufferings and affections with us, from whence he might look upon our infirmities.
Use 1. Is of Information, for establishing our Faith on this behalf, that we give no place to phantastical imaginations of Hereticks, who impugne directly or indirectly, and fight against the humane nature of Christ; which sort of errours are some way countenanced by Papists, in their Doctrine of Transubstantiation; and by Ubiquitaries in theirs of Consubstantiation, in as much as they attribute omnipresence and other the like divine attributes to the humane nature, which is no way agreeable unto the same.
Use 2. Is of Exhortation, to extoll and solemnly to praise the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all admiration and thanksgiving, who not only vouchsafes to become man for us, but also in the nature of man disdained not to become an infant, to be conceived, and born after our manner; and to undergo other the like infirmities and humiliations for our sake; it is that the Apostle points at, Heb. 2. 16, 17.
Use 3. Is of Consolation, that we should make no difference between an infant newly conceived, or born, and a perfect man, or one of age; or between any other conditions of the nature and life of man, as to our interest in Christ, as if any sinless condition of nature could make us less regardable by him, 〈◊〉 exclude us from him. For Christ descended to the lowest and imperfectest sinless degree and condition
of the life of man; in that he was, 1. conceived; and 2. shut up in his mothers womb the ordinary time of other births; and 3. born.
Doct. 2. Christ assumed this humane nature from Mary, as from his Mother.
For though he is said in the Text to be begotten in her; yet elswhere he is said to be made after the flesh of the seed of a woman; and a woman is said to have conceived him, and to have born him as her son; hence also he is called the son of Mary, the son of David, the son of Abraham, and the like; whereby that phrase is expounded, and the truth of it confirmed.
Reas. 1. He should have been born of a woman, as of his mother, to the end that that first Evangelicall promise of the seed of the woman, that was to tread down the serpent’s head, might be fulfilled.
Reas. 2. It was according to right that he was born of Mary, that so it might be certain, how he descended of the Tribe of Iudah and of the Family of David, according to the promises, and prophesies that went before of him.
Use 1. Is of Refutation, against Anabaptists, and such like, who phantastically think that the humanity of Christ onely passed through Mary, and was not assumed from her nature. Of which imagination the first reason seems to have been, that some simple men could not conceive, how any could without sin be born of a woman after the fall. But the Anabaptists afterwards, though they took away this ground of their errour, of denying original sin, yet they adhered to this conclusion of meer wilfulness, without any reason.
Use 2. Is of Information, for directing our Faith about
Christs son-ship. For he is the Son of God and the son of man both, yet so, as he is not two sons, but in a certain way twice one son in one person. The first, from eternity; the next, in time; and consequently two wayes a son, as both by generation eternal, and by generation in time; yet but one son of God, and of man, because but one person, who according to his divine nature is the Son of God, and according to his humane nature is the son of man: So is every man twice a Son, in essence first to father and paternal generation, and then to mother and maternal generation.
Doct. 3. Christ was born of Mary, remaining still a virgin after he was born.
This is gathered from the scope of the words; the question being about this, whether Mary were a virgin or no; and the words of the Angell were to assure him, that she was.
Reas. 1. Is, that this might be a singular and miraculous signe to the whole house of Israel, and this is it that is pointed at, in Isa 1. 14.
Reas. 2. That the prophesies going before of this thing might be fulfilled.
Reas. 3. That Gods omnipotency in this so divine a mystery, and principal a work of God, might be evidently shewn. Now it was not difficult to the power of God, that a son should be born of a virgin. For seeing all second causes act by their vertue which they received from God, it is not to be doubted, but that God can produce all these effects, without this o that cause co-operating, which otherwayes use to exist by them. Yet not onely the power of God appeared in that work, but also his wisdome, to which it was most agreeable, that so
singular a substance of humane nature, should in as singular a manner be brought to pass, that differed from all others. For in three manners all men were made before, 1. Without the concurrence of either man or woman, as in the creation of Adom. 2. Without the concurrence of woman, as in the production of Eve. 3. By the concurrence of man and woman, as in all ordinary generation afterwards. And this onely is the proper and peculiar one of Christ, by and of a woman, without concurrence of a man.
Reas. 4. That it might easily appear how the contagion of sin might be removed from the humane nature of Christ.
Use, Is of Confirmation, for strengthening of our Faith about the person of Christ; to wit, that he was both the Messias of old promised, and the promised seed of the woman in that peculiar manner, as that promise seems to have intended; to wit, the son of man; that is, of a woman descending of Adam and other men in ordinary way, but made mother of a son not vulgarly or after the common manner, but miraculously and without the company of a man begotten, and born; so that from his first conception all things were in him supernatural; about which our mindes being busied, ought alwayes to be lifted up to supernatural contemplations, laying aside carnal and worldly thoughts.
Doct. 4. The Holy Ghost was the principal efficient cause of this generation.
It is from these words in the Text; is of the holy Ghost; the particle of denotes not any material cause, but the efficient; so that of the Holy Ghost, signifies as much, as if it had been said, by the power of the
Holy Ghost, and his operation. Now this is attributed to the Holy Spirit for these reasons.
Reas. 1. Because it was a miracle; and all miracles by appropriation are attributed to the Holy Spirit.
Reas. 2. Because the principal work here was of Sanctification, forasmuch as the lump of the humane nature, which was to be assumed by Christ, was in a singular manner sanctified and cleansed from all spot of sin, and all Sanctification peculiarly attributed to the Holy Spirit.
Reas 3. Because the Holy Spirit was without measure to rest on, & to dwell in Christ. It 〈◊〉 but reason therefore, that the Holy Spirit should prepare and make such a dwelling for himself, as he also prepares his dwelling in the sons of God by adoption.
Quest. It may be thn questioned, whether Christ may be called the Son of the Holy Ghost?
Ans It cannot be said; 1. Because it would bring some confusion of relations and proprieties personal in God, and in the persons. 2. Because the Holy Spirit neither produced a new person, when he made Christ to be begotten, or generated; neither produced the nature, which he produced, after his own nature, or of the same essence with his own.
Use 1. Is of Direction, in our Faith, and in all our thoughts, that we have of Christ; that we admit of all that is in him, to be spiritual, holy, and full of mystery; nor that we ever doubt of any part of this mystery; because all this, as it is above common order, so is it above the reach of common nature. Yet we may always receive and conceive this, that none of all these things are above the divine
power of the Holy Spirit; nor any thing impertinent or unfitting in that thing, which is wholly mannaged by the Holy Ghost.
Use 2. Is of Direction, in our practice, as to the certainty of our salvation; which depends upon this, if we be sure, that we are conformable to Christ in his nativity, life, death, and resurrection. And from thence is the beginning of this conformity to be taken, if we be spiritually regenerated by the Holy Spirit, as Christ was borne of Mary through the efficiencie and operation of the holy Ghost. And this is the self same thing, which the Apostle Peter admonisheth us to, that we study to make our vocation and election sure.
The fifteenth Lords day.
1 Pet. 3. 18.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sinners; the just for the unjust; that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.
AN argument is brought in these words, whereby all Christians may be perswaded, that undeserved afflictions are patiently to be born. The argument is taken from the greater to the less, in which also is contained the force and nature of a simily, or example, and also of some dissimilitude. For such Logical assertions are oft joyned together in the same thing, as they make to the same purpose. The argumeat is this; If Christ that was just,
hath suffered for sinnes, and for unjust men, then much more ought we to suffer afflictions imposed upon us; but the first is true, and therefore the latter also. Christ considered in himself is the greater, and his sufferings are the greater; and so the argument is from the greater. But considered as our head, and Saviour, he hath the place and nature of a simily or example to be imitated by us in tolerating afflictions, so it is an argument from a like, or from an example. Lastly, considered as just, suffering for the sinnes of others that are uniust, he is altogether unlike unto us; and so also some force and emphaticalness of this argument is from the unlikeness. They are ordered in this enunciation, in which as the assumption of the Syllogism, the cause is contained with the effect; to wit, Christ with his suffering. For though suffering of its own nature be an adjunct of the sufferer; yet as it’s voluntarily admitted and undertaken it is an effect. Yet these arguments are so ordered, that they have mixed with them the affection or property of the argument so called, from diversit. For Christ and his passions of their own nature are dissentaneous; When therefore it is said, Christ suffered, it is as if he had said, Though Christ were the Son of God, yet was he not fre from 〈◊〉. That this may be the better understood, it is to be known, that suffering in this place, and in such others, is attributed to Christ by the 〈◊〉 of Synecdoche of the more general for the special; and that it signifies the special suffering of a grievous evill: Then are these two very dissentaneous between themselves, that Christ should suffer a great evill: Now that he is said to have suffered for sinnes, and for the unjust; the particle for designes
the cause of his suffering, and that is threefold; a meritory or material, a formal cause and a final. The meritory cause, because Christ suffered for the things, which the sinnes of unjust men had deserved. The formal cause, because for our sinnes Christ was induced, as the form, as of divine imputation; as of that which by God was imputed; so of the suretiship undertaken by Christ, or that form which by Christ was undertaken, or accepted to be accounted his, when he underwent these sufferings. Lastly, also the final cause, because for this end set before him, or for this very purpose Christ suffered, that he might take away the sins of unjust men, and make unjust men to become just, and so might bring them to salvation.
Doct. 1. Christ the Lord suffered all these evills of punishment, which were due to us for our sins.
This is not so to be understood, as if in kind and particularly he had undergone all the evills, but in value onely, and generally; in the summe or upcast of all, and in that which was equivalent and equipollent to all; and so, he is said to have suffered all the evills of punishment.
Reas. 1. Because he suffered generally all sorts of evill; to wit, as well spiritual in the agony and horror of his mind, as corporal in his body; and the extreme, as well positive, as privative, both in a kind of loss, and in kind of sorrow or feeling.
Reas 2. Because he suffered from all, from whom any evill could be inflicted. He suffered from men, as well Jews, as Gentiles; as well his own domesticks, as forrainers; he suffered from the powers of darkness and Hell, which were the murtherers from the beginning, and the authors of all these evills,
which Christ suffered from them, and their instruments; lastly, he suffered from God himself, whose cup full of wrath he drunk out.
Reas. 3. Because he suffered in every part of himself, every way that he could suffer. For he suffered in his soul horrors and unspeakable sorrowes; he suffered in his body hunger, thirst, nakednesse, wounds, spitting, stripes, and buffetings, and whatsoever witty malice and cruelty could devise.
Use 1. Of Direction, that continually in meditating on the passion of Christ, we may look upon the singular and incomprehensible goodnesse, grace, love, mercy, justice and wisdome of God, by which he sent his eternal Son to suffer such things for us, and for our salvation; and together also the abundant grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was willing to it, and did suffer so many and so grievous things for us.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, that from the consideration of this suffering of our Lord and Saviour, we strive to stir up our selves powerfully, that we may daily have more faith and hope about grace and our salvation to be perfected by Christ; and that our hearts may be kindled with greater heat of love towards God and Christ, and with greater zeal of the glory of his name; lastly, that with more courage, constancy, and patience, we bear all the troubles of this life, for Christ’s sake, who suffer’d all things for us.
Doct. 2. Christ suffer’d all these things, neither out of any necessity of nature, neither by constraint, neither by casualty and chance, but of his own ree choice of wisdome and will.
This is gathered from the Text, in that it is put
amongst Christ’s praises, as an example of obedience, that he thus suffered. But there is no place for praise, nor obedience, in such things as one suffers out of necessity, or chance, without the free consent of the will.
Reas. 1. Because this was the will of the Father, whereunto he would conform his will in all things, so far forth as he laid this charge upon him.
Reas. 2. Because this was the very thing, for which Christ came into the world, according to the form of covenant made between the Father and the Son, Isa 53 10.
Reas. 3. Because in this consisted the most perfect obediences, which is the way to the most perfect glory, Phil 2. 9.
Object. Every evill of punishment is against the will of the sufferer; but what Christ suffered for us were very great evills of punishment; They were therefore suffered against his will.
Ans. That evills of punishment are said alwayes to be against the will of the sufferer;
First, Because they are against his natural inclination. For therefore punishment is onely evill, because it tends to the destroying of nature, and so is against inclination of nature, whereby every thing seeks the conservation of it self.
Secondly, The evill of punishment is against the will of the sufferer, conditionally; to wit, if by no other means the sufferer can attain to his wished end; but it is not alwayes against his will absolutely. The first had place in Christ, because these passions were against the inclinations of nature, since otherwise they had brought him no pain; and they were also against his conditional will, as appears by
these words; Father, if it be possible, let this cup pas from me: But they were not against his deliberate, determinate, and absolute will. The reason is, because he suffered all out of obedience to the Father, and of love to us, and our salvation.
Use. Of Instruction, how we may from this ground arme our mindes against those tentations, that use to come by occasion of Christ’s sufferings. For in this respect Christ was a stumbling stone unto the Jewes, and foolishness unto the Grecians. But if we will well weigh with our selves, that Christ suffered all these things not out of coaction, or any necessity, or any external violence, but from the obedience of love towards mankind, and that he might give us a most perfect pattern of obedience in his own person: We shall be so far from finding any stumbling block, or foolishness in these sufferings, that on the contrary, nothing could be found that was, or is more suitable to the Saviour of the world.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, that calling seriously to mind this grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, out of thankfulness and mutual love to him, we may be ready with all willingness and chearfulness of mind to undergo all sufferings, and afflictions for his sake.
Doct. 3. Christ’s sufferings were an expiatory Sacrifice for our sins.
This is it, which is said in the Text, That he suffered for sins, for the unjust that is, he had the virtue to take away the punishment from us, the guilt also and the spot, and to acquire to us the favour of God, and righteousness, and life eternal. It is the same that useth to be signified by satisfaction, by
merit, by redemption, by restitution, or restauration made by Christ.
Reas. 1. Because this was the covenant between the Father and the Son, that if he would undergo that obedience for us, then we should be freed from our disobedience, and death, and should live thorough him, Isa. 53. 10. For this suffering was the perfecting of all his obedience.
Reas. 2. Because Christ by his suffering made satisfaction to divine justice, and repayed God as much of his honour in our name, as he had suffered in it by our sins. Therefore Gods justice is now appeased; the grace of God hath had its free course, that it may derive all good upon us.
Reas. 3. Because that Christ now by virtue of his passion and consummate obedience, as it were of his own right that he acquired, makes intercession with the Father for us, that we may be, and live with him, Ioh. 17. 24.
Use 1. Of Consolation, to the faithfull against the guilt of their sin, and terrors of their conscience, that arise from sin. For in Christ, and his sufferings, we have a remedy against these wounds, that are otherwayes deadly.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that we would detest all sinnes, as things that brought our Saviour to death, and would wave brought a thousand deaths upon us, unless he had turned them away from us.
The sixteenth Lords day.
Joh. 10. 17, 18.
Therefore the Father loveth me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again: None taketh it from me; but I lay it down of my self. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This commandment received I from my Father.
CHrist in these words expounds what he had said before of the duty, effect, and signe of a good Shepherd; to wit, that he layes down his life for his sheep. This he had applied to himself, verse 15. where two things were propounded; 1. The Object, to which this laying down of the life is referred, or which be those sheep of Christ? 2. The manner of this laying down the life. This is explained in the 16, and these two following verses. The death of Christ, or laying down of his soul or life, is explicated from the efficient cause; which is Christ himself. I lay down my life. 2. From the manner of doing of it, that Christ is a cause voluntary, and doing it from a counsell and deliberation, not of coaction. None taketh it from me, but I lay it down. 3. From the adjunct of this efficiency; that he did it not of weakness, but from power. I have authority to lay it down. This is shewn from another effect that followes this; to wit, from his resuming it again, or his resurrection. I have authority to take it up again; as if he would say, he that so layes down his life,
that with power he takes it up again, he layes it not down out of coaction with weakness; but voluntarily of his own accord he doth it: But I so lay downmy life; ergo. Which is illustrated here from the impulsive cause; the Fathers commandment. This commandment I received of my Father. 4. From the end, and effect; to wit, the Fathers love and delight, or complacency in this. Therefore my Father loveth me, because &c.
Doct. 1. Christ so far humbled himself for us, that he underwent death it self for us.
I lay down my life, &c. Now he underwent a double death for us; a spiritual, and a corporal death. The spiritual is about Christ’s descent into Hell This consisted in the separation of God’s favour from the soul of Christ for a time, not really, but as to sense and feeling, and that influence, from which comfort useth to be felt; as also in impressions of divine wrath, which with horror did strike all the faculties of the soul; so that for the time the soul was at so low an ebbe and concussion of all its happiness, as any creature could be, that was without sin formally inherent in it self. The death of the body is that which consists in the separation of the soul from the body; the confirmation and continuance was in the burial of Christ. Now such was the separation of the soul from the body in Christs death, that the conjunction and union of both of them with the divine person, remained the same that it was before; as if one drawing a sword, held the scabberd in the one hand, and the sword in the other there would be there a separation between the scabberd and the sword; but of neither of them from the man, that so held them: So also
in this mystery, there is a separation of the soul from the body; but neither of them was separated from the divine nature, nor person, but the person still sustained both in the unity of it self, as one person with him. The reason is, because if there had been any such separation from the di: vine person, then the second person had ceased to be God-man, and so could not for that time have been our Priest or Mediator. Also a new incarnation or assumption had been made again, in the resurrection of Christ. It is most true therefore, which is in the mouthes of many Divines, and used proverbially almost; That what the Son of God assumed he never laid aside again.
Reas. 1. Because the perfection and consummation of humiliation is in undergoing death, Phil. 2 8. And this also was the first reason, why he did not onely undergo death, but the most vise, contemptible, and contumelious death; that is, the death of the Cross, as in that place is more especially set down.
Reas. 2. Because his charge of redeeming us required this; to wit, that he should pay that price to divine justice, which we did ow, and so be subject to the same punishment, that we were liable to. And this was also the reason, why he chose the death of the Cross, that he might shew, that he did not barely sustain death, but that cursed death that was due to us, and that in our place, or for us, Gal. 3. 12.
Reas. 3. That by the most convenient way he might procure the death of sin in us, by assimiliation, and making us conform to himself, Rom. 6. from verse 1. to the 8.
Use 1. Is of Information, for directing of our faith; o wit, that while we seek remission of our sins, and reconciliation, and salvation in God; we so have our faith in Christ, that we may be specially united to him in his sufferings, blood-shedding, and death, Rom. 3. 25.
Use 2. Is of Consolation, to all those as have such true faith; because they are out of all hazard of death or condemnation, according to that of the Apostle, Rom 8. 34.
Use 3. Is of Direction, 1. In the study of Sanctification, that with Christ we may dy to sin. 2. In the study of all obedience, love, and humility, according to the example of Christ, in whom all the perfections of these vertues we have marvelously shining to us in a most eminent and excellent way.
Doct. 2. Christ ordained his own death from certain wise deliberation and power, to dispose of it as he pleased.
I have power to lay down my lie. From which words it appears first, that the death of Christ was voluntary. For though it was violent also, as it came from external agents, and was against Christs internal natural inclinations; and in some sort natural also, as it was wrought by external causes naturally producing such an effect: Yet it was voluntary, not onely as to the willing disposition, and choice of it, whereby Christ set himself to suffer it; but also as he suspended his own power of hindering it, and averting death, and so gave way and power to the enemies inflicting it, in which respect also his death may be called miraculous, or wonderful; because he himself, who was dying, ordered his owne death, and willingly admitted the same: So that by doing he suffered, and by suffering he acted, and
had his owne action in it all, without which he could not have suffered by any creature whatsoever.
Reas. 1. Because it became him to dy so, that was God. For since the humane nature subsisted in the fme person with the divine, nothing could befall the humane nature either in doing, or suffering, but as the divine willed and ordained it.
Reas. 2. Because otherwise Christ in his death had not been together both Priest, Sacrifice, and Altar. For though it be the part of a Sacrifice to be passive, and to be offered up to the Father; yet it is the part of the Priest by being active about it, and ordering the whole, to offer up the Sacrifice.
Use 1. Is of Information, for arming our faith against tentations and scandals, which use to arise hence, in that Christ, in whom we believe, as our God, was subject to death. For Christ died not of weakness and coaction, but by certain resolution, and of his own proper will and power; so that the divine nature and power of Christ appeared not onely in his resurrection, but if the thing be rightly considered, had as great a hand, and was as evident in his death also.
Use 2. Is of Direction, for our preparation to undergo death, in whatsoever way God would have it come to pass. For from these two things that were in Christ, that he both willingly underwent death; and then also ordered it himself; the first of these lies upon us all, out of duty; that we be ready at such time, and such manner to dy, as God is pleased we should. The other, though it cannot be performed by us, because we have not the power of laying down our lives, and ordering our deaths;
yet by faith, and holy desire to our comfort, we ought to seek this of God, and look for it, that in Christ, who ordered his own death for us, he would order our death unto our salvation, and unto his own glory.
Doct. 3. Christ underwent this death by his Fathers command.
It is in the Text; This command I received of my Father. And this command was neither any of the law of nature, nor of the moral, ceremonial, or judicial; but it was a peculiar condition of the mediatory office, that was laid upon Christ by the Father, and of his own free consent. It was therefore a command to the Messias alone, as he was our Mediator.
Reas. 1. Because as by disobedience of the first Adam sin and death entered into the world; so by the obedience of the second Adam, righteousnesse and salvation shoud be brought us; and as the disobedience of Adam was the breach of the command given to him; so also the obedience of Christ, was to be in the keeping of that command that was given him with his office of mediatorship, or whereby the office it self was also imposed upon him.
Reas. 2. Because in Christ we were to have such an example of obedience, as was most perfect in keeping the commandments of God.
Use 1. Of Resutation against the superstition & presumption of popish Monks, who have devised a kind of perfection in obedience of councells, beside and beyond that, which stands in keeping of the commandments of God; when yet Christ himself, that hath given us the whole pourtraict and pattern of perfect obedience, confesses, that he went no further than to obey that, which the Father cōmanded him.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that we may set our selves to follow Christ in this point, that we may even unto death it self, cleave fast unto the commandements of God.
Doct. 4. God the Father loveth Christ for this obedience.
This is in the Text; Therefore the Father loveth me; that is, is delighted with this obedience, and so delighted, that he commends it to be looked upon by every Christian, and all such as are Christ’s.
Reas. 1. Because by Christ’s death, God was most glorified by Christ, Ioh. 12. 18. and 17. 4.
Reas. 2. Because by that death of Christ, the counsell of God was fulfilled, whereby he had from eternity appointed in himself to communicate his grace and glorious good will unto men, Ephes. 1. 5, 6, 7, 9.
Use 1. Of Resutation, against such as use to conclude from such phrases, whereby God is said to love men for this, and not for that; that such mens works were the first causes of Gods love. For Christ was the Son of God beloved of him from all eternity; and yet the Father is said to have loved him also for his obedience.
Use 2. Of Consolation, to all such as are in Christ by Faith. For as the Father loveth Christ, so will he also love them, that are in Christ.
Use 3. Of Exhortation, that with all chearfulness we stir up our selves to obey God; because God loveth such as obey him.
The seventeenth Lords day.
Joh. 10. 17, 18.
17, I lay down my life, that I may take it up again.
- None taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my self. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority or power to take it up again. This commandment received I of my Father.
SEeing the Text is the same, that it was before, the same analysis, that was there, may here also serve, and be made use of.
Doct. 5. Christ rose again from the dead.
For this is it, that is understood in the Text, by taking up his life again. For this taking up again, is a reunion of things that were separated before: And in this reunion of the soul and body, there was a change or motion from an inferior condition to a superior of that, which was before in a better also or superior to this, from which the change is now: And therefore it is properly called a reassumption, or taking again, and not barely a resurrection. The forme then from which this change was made, was from his state of humiliation; and the forme to which, was the state of exaltation and glory; the subject of this transmutation or motion was Christs humane nature, which had fallen unto the lowest and abjectest condition of his humiliation. Christ’s own body arose again from true death, and from the grave: And his soul also is said to have risen again,
as it was now restored and reunited unto the body, and so delivered from the state and dominion of death; or as delivered from the privation of its act in the body, wherein there was some diminution in its ralative perfection. There were two parts of this resurrection, revivification or a quickening again of the humane nature, by the renewed union of soul and body; and its going out of the grave, to make it manifest, that it was restored. This resurrection was confirmed moreover by Angells, by the Scriptures, by Christ himself, and by the assent and eye-witness, or experience of many witnesses, in divers apparitions reiterated from time to time during the space of forty dayes.
Reas. 1. Because it was unbeseeming and impossible that the Son of God, and author of life, could be long detained by the power of death, Acts 2. 24.
Reas. 2. That by this means Christ himself might be justified in the spirit, or according to the spirit of holiness, that is by the power of his God-head justified to be God as well as man in one person; justly and fully declared and proved to be God, by his raising of himself again from the dead, Rom. 1. 4. 1 Tim. 3. 16. and might shew that we were justified by him from our sins, for which he died, and rose also again to shew that he had overcome for us, and delivered us from them, Rom. 4. 25.
Reas. 3. That being now alive, he might powerfully apply to us, what before he had purchased by his death, Rom. 5 10.
Reas 4. That he hereby might be the cause, foundation, and sign of assurance, and earnest to us of our resurrection, as well spiritual, as bodily, Rom. & 1 Cor. 15. 12, 13, 14.
Use, Is of Information, for the direction of our faith, that believing in Christ unto justification and salvation, we may so lay hold on Christ’s death, that we still also look upon his resurrection, wherein his victory for us was shewn, and his power over death, and efficacy to work in us appeared, and which renders his death full of comfort to us, Rom. 5. 34. 1 Pet. 3 2.
Doct. 6. Christ’s resurrection came to pass by his own proper vertue and power.
It is clear in the Text; I take it up again; and I have power of taking it up again. For this is the difference between Christ’s resurrection, and that of others; that they rise again by the power of another, to wit, of Christ, as many, as are his: But Christ by his own power, as Lord of life and death, and therefore hath the disposing of both, as he sees good. Neither doth it make any thing against this truth, that it is often said, that God raised him again from the dead; and the Spirit of God. For the works of the Trinity from without are undivided, common to all the three Persons.
Reas. 1. Because what is thus attributed to God, is therefore also attributed to the Son together with the Father, and Holy Spirit, and is not taken from him, as is clear by our Text.
Reas. 2. When Christ is said to be raised by God, or the Spirit of God, then properly his humane nature is considered, as raised by Father, Son and Holy Spirit, though not alwayes all three expressed; but now one, now another: But when he is said to have raised himself, his divine nature and person is spoken of and considered, as raising his assumed humane nature, together with the Father, and the Spirit.
Reas. 3. Because by the Spirit and glory of God whereby Christ is said to be raised; no other vertue or power can be understood, than that of the divine nature, which was in Christ.
Use 1. Of Information to confirm our faith about the person of Christ. For he that by his own power rose from death, can not be a bare man onely; but must of necessity be acknowledged to have been God also. For the raising of a dead body, is no less divine a work, than the creation of a live body. He that raised himself from the dead, at the same time while he was dead in one of his natures, yet had life, and the fountain of life in his other nature; to wit, the divine, at his command, whereby he did so great a work, as to raise his other nature to life again. As Christ therefore by his death proved himself to be true man; so also in and by his resurrection, he proved himself to be the eternal and natural Son of God, and true God especially; not by office onelie, and that most manifestly.
Use 2. Of Consolation to all such as are in Christ. For they are in him, who hath vertue and power to raise them again from the dead, and to give them eternal life, Iohn 6. 39, 40
Doct. 7. Christ’s resurrection was for us, or to do us good.
This is hence gathered, because in the Text, the common end of laying down his life, and taking it up again for all, is mentioned. For, for such as he laid down his life, for such also he took it up again. Now the resurrection of Christ turnes to our good, in another way than his death doth. For his death hath the account of satisfying and deserving for us: But his resurrection not so, but it hath the
place and account of a samplar and efficient cause, and some way of an efficacious and powerfull applier and perfecter.
Reas. 1. Because Christ in his resurrection represented some way all the elect of God, and by a virtuall containing had them all in himself, and brought them all back from death.
Reas. 2. Because the same Spirit, that raised Christ again from the dead, by a certain sort of communicating the same resurrection, quickened as well the soules, as bodyes of the faithfull, that they may be made conforme to the likenesse of his resurrection, Rom 8. 11.
Reas. 3. Because that same Spirit quickens us by the power and vertue of the resurrection of Christ.
Reas. 4. Because the whole reparation of our nature will be after the image and pattern of the resurrection of Christ, Rom. 6. 5.
Use 1. Of Consolation, because in the resurrection of Christ, as brought to pass for us, or for our good, we have our victory over Death, Devill, Sin, and Hell, and all our Enemies, ready purchased and prepared for us. It is not therefore left to us to fight, that we may overcome, but onely in sincerity that we may mind this, to lay hold on the victory already acquired by Christ for us, and that in the same manner we may strive to keep it, prosecute it, and more and more put ourselves in perfect possession of it by faith in Christ.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that by no means we suffer sin to reigne in our mortal bodies, but that we may spiritually imitate such as arise from the dead.
The eighteenth Lords day.
Mark 16. 19.
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
HEre is explicated a singular act of Christ, after his resurrection: Where mark, 1. The motion, wherein the act is designed. And 2. The thing brought to pass by that motion. The motion is but the means: The thing done by the motion, was its end. The motion was as it were the way: and the thing done by it, the end of that way, and the rest and perfection, that was to be attained by it. This motion was Christ’s ascending into Heaven: The thing brought to pass by it, was Christ’s sitting down at the right hand of God. The motion then is described from the terme to which it was made, which was heaven; But the terme from which it was, is also understood, which was the earth. The thing done by this motion, is also explained by its adjuncts; to wit, Christ’s glory and power, and his quiet and setled possession of these; all which are metaphorically signified in these words; He sate down on the right hand of God. For the placing on God’s right hand, signifies a communication of divine glory and power; and sitting on his right hand, denotates the quiet and setled possession of this glory and power.
Doct. 1. Christ ceased to be upon earth by his bodly presence after the fortieth day after his resurrection.
This is clearly enough signified in the Text; by these words, He was received up into Heaven; that is, e ceased to be here upon earth. The time is here but generally intimated, Act. 1. 3. We say, by his bodily presence; because by his spiritual, and divine presence, by his Godhead and his Spirit, he is present with his own in a gracious manner, according to his promise, Even unto the end of the world, Mat. 28. 20. We call it also his bodily presence; rather than his real presence, because real presence is more properly opposite to an imaginary, or fained presence onely, than to a divine and spiritual.
Reas. 1. Because it because not Christ to abide longer upon earth, when now he had left off to be earthly, as he was in the state of his humility: Which leaving off to be earthly, we understand not of the substance of his body, but of the manner, quality, and suit or garb, as it were of his body, which now from earthly or infirme, was turned to be heavenly and glorious.
Reas. 2. Because his bodily presence had not been for our good, but rather to our hurt, for as much as the Spirit, the Comforter, his true Vicegerent here upon earth, could not be poured out, and given, before Christ did ascend into Heaven, Iob. 16. 7.
Reas. 3. Because Christ had now done the work, which he had to do upon earth, for glorifying his Father there; and therefore was now to return to that he had before the world was made, and manifest it by exaltation of his humane nature, as much as before he had hidden it, by laying it aside as it were, during the dayes of his weakness, or humility, Ioh. 17. 4.
Use, Is of Refutation, against Papists, Ubiquitaries, and other false Prophets, who designing some definite and determinate places upon earth, dare say, behold, here Christ is bodily, and behold, there Christ is bodily, according to that of Mat. 24. 23.
Doct. 2. Christ, when he left the earth, went up into the highest Heavens.
This is clear enough in the Text, compared with other Scriptures, where the Heaven of glory and of bliss is called the highest Heaven, and the third Heaven, which is all one.
Reas. 1. Because it is most fit, that his humane nature, which is now made immortal and glorious, should be seised and possessed of a place, that was convenient for it self, and its condition; and such was onely the highest, or third Heavens: the other two being subject to corruption, or to a change.
Reas. 2. As he opened that Heaven for us, which was shut upon us for our sins; so it was expedient, that by his own proper ascension and going thither, he should make this plain unto us.
Reas. 3. He ascended, that he might on our behalves also take possession of the Kingdome of Heaven, and might raise us to certain hope, that thorough him, we should come to the same place and condition.
Reas. 4. He ascended, that he might dispatch such other things, as yet remained to be done for us. Now such were his intercession, and mediation at the right hand of his Father, for us; his giving, and sending, and shedding abroad of his Spirit, to supply his room, and to be the comforter of his; lastly, the universal government of all things for our good; and the like.
Use 1. Of Refutation, against such as fain Christ’s humane nature so to be in Heaven, as that yet it is together and at the same time bodily upon earth. For that he might ascend to heaven, it is clearly said, that he was received up into Heaven; and therefore that he might ascend into Heaven, he left the earth. For if the consequence be good, where unto the good Angell dictates; He is arisen; therefore, he is not here; to wit, in the grave: Then no more doubt can be made of this consequence; he is ascended into Heanen; therefore is not here on earth.
Use 2. Of Direction in our Faith, and worshipping or adoration of Christ; to wit, that we think not now carnally and in an earthly manner of Christ, but worship him in spirit and in truth, as placed in highest glory, and divine power in the Heavens.
Use 3. Of Admonition, that we may remove our mindes and affections from things earthly, and set them upon things heavenly, and that are above, where Christ our treasure, sits at the right hand of the Father, that there, and with him our conversation may be, Mat. 6 21. Col. 3. 1. Phil. 3. 20.
Doct. 3. Christ in Heaven hath the possession of all highest glory that a created nature can be capable of.
This is hence gathered, in that he is said to be seated on the right hand of God; whereby is signified, that unto God himself he hath the next place in dignity, and so not onely above all men, and their blessed spirits, but above the glorious Angells themselves.
Reas. 1. Because Christ’s humane nature, of which we here peculiarly speak, came next up in dignity to God himself, by free grace, and personal union and communion with the God-head;
and therefore it was most meet also, that in preminence of glory and dignity, he should be next unto God himself.
Reas. 2. Because Christ is the head of all Saints and blessed ones, both men and Angells; from whom is derived all dignity & glory upon all such as are gathered together in one body under him, as the Angells also are. It was needfull therefore, that as he received the Spirit of grace without measure; that so also he should be adorned with glory and majesty above all other creatures.
Reas. 3. Because both the grace and glory of the Church, tends to the glory of Christ; as the glory of Christ tends to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 3. 22, 23.
Use, Is of Consolation, to all the faithfull in Christ; because not onely the glory of the head redounds to the glory of all its members, but we have also a sure promise concerning this, that as in this life we are partakers of the sufferings and patience of Jesus Christ, so also in the life to come, we shall be made partakers of his glory, Rom. 8. 17.
Doct. 4. Christ together with his highest dignity, bath also highest power.
This the Text evidenceth, in as much as God’s right hand signifieth his power; and sitting down on his right hand, signifies the highest communion and society with God in this power, that can be.
Reas. 1. Because dignity and power might so have the same degrees. For dignity separated from power, is no more but a dead title, and therefore seeing Christ hath highest dignity and glory, it followes also that he is endued with highest power.
Reas. 2. Because Christ is constituted Lord, as
well to correct & governe, as to preserve & glorify his Church. He must therefore of necessity both have the power of right, and the power of strength, fitting and competent for these ends. For the Lord hath both a power of right, and of might, to exercise and put in execution all this, as well immediately, and by himself, as mediately, and by instruments, or servants. And this is that power that Christ professeth was given unto him, in Heaven, and on earth, Mat. 28. 18. Now it is given to Christ, and agreeth to him most properly, as he is Mediator, or as man assumed to the unity of one person with God, but not so properly as God; and therefore it is said to agree to him, as he is the son of man, Ioh 5. 27.
Use, Is of Consolation. For though this divine power of Christ be terrible to his enemies, yet to believers it brings firm hope, and affiance, and comfort; because as Christ himself saith, Ioh.0. 24. such an one hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life. And hither also tendeth, Rom. 8. 34, 35. when there the Apostle proves, that nothing can separate from the love of Christ; because he sits on the right hand of God.
Doct. 5. Christ hath the quiet and unmovable possession of this power
For in this sense it is, that he is said to sit on the right hand of God.
Reas. 1. Because he hath overcome all his enemies virtually; and shall actually in his own appointed time subdue them all fully, and bring them under the yoak.
Reas. 2. Because there is nothing on earth, or under the earth, can in the least trouble or molest this his possession.
Reas. 3. Because this state and condition of Christ is not onely immortal and free from all change by vertue of Covenant and divine Promise, but also of its own nature, being now accomplished according to free Covenant; and such will the happiness of the least Saint be.
Use, This also is of Consolation, which though it may strike terror and amazement in the hearts of Christ’s enemies, yet it raiseth and rouseth up the dejected and drooping spirits of all such, as put their trust and confidence in him; for he sitteth on the right hand of God in power and majesty, there making intercession for us.
The nineteenth Lords day.
Mat. 25. from verse 31. to 39.
Vers. 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy Angells with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.
32 And before him shall be gathered all Nations, and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
IN this place the acts or procedure of the last day are expounded. The parts are two; Christ’s coming, and the end of his coming, which is the last udgement. In this last judgement; 1. The preparation thereto is described. 2. The execution of
the sentence. In the preparation, Christ’s majesty and glory, in which he shall then appear, is ciefly here set down; 1. From his train and attendance that shall wait upon him; consisting chiefly of the glorious Angells. 2. From his glorious Throne. 3. From the effect of this coming; to wit, to the gathering of all mankind together, and separating of the good from the bad. The sentence to be pronounced, is twofold; 1. Of salvation to the good. 2. Of condemnation to the evill. The sentence of salvation is declared; 1. From its causes. 2. From its adjuncts. The principal cause is God’s good will, which is shewn; 1. From the effect of that grace or favour, that is the cause of our salvation, which is the blessing of God. 2. From the relatiou that thence ariseth; which is that of a Father giving an inheritance, and of a Son’s receiving the same. 3. From the adjunct of time, that this salvation was not then first appointed for them, but prepared for them from the beginning of the world. The adjunct signs also, whereby this salvation is declared, are good works; which by the Trope or borrowed manner of speaking, called Synedoche of the special put for the general, by the learned, are designed by the works of mercy; and are amplified by that relation, which these works have to Christ himself, whilest they are exercised towards his members. The sentence of condemnation is quite contrary to the former, handled by the comparison and proportion of like things. The execution of the sentence, is briefly set down in the last verse of this Chapter.
Doct. 1. The universal or general judgement is most certainly to come to pass.
This judgement is called universal, that it may
be distinguished from that particular one, which in some sort is exercised on the greatest part of men even in this life, upon every one in particular, when they pass out of this life. For this comprehends all men together, and therefore is called universal. It may be also called universal, or understood so, because in it upon all mens and angels deeds, and matters generally without exception, sentence shal pass. It is also called the last judgement, because after it no new judgement is to be looked for; but the execution of that judgement only shall follow upon it.
Reas. 1. Because before that time the judgement of God towards men is not compleated and fully perfected; because in this life through God’s forbearance and long patience, evill men in joy many good things; and good men are oppressed with many evills. From this consideration many of the very Heathens themselves collected, that rewards and punishments were more justly and equally to be distributed, where it should be ill with evill men, and not well at all; and should go well with good men, and not ill at all. Which reason seems also to be confirmed by our Lord himself, Luke 26. 15. and the Apostle Paus, 1 Cor. 15. 19. Now after this life, while the Soul remaines separate from the body, the judgement of God is not compleat, nor fully accomplished, because it is not passed upon the whole man in his full being, as he was in this life, while he committed the things that were to be judged. Therefore another and fuller udgement than that on the souls departed onely, followeth to be looked for, which is this last judgement, and shall be certainly in its own time.
Reas. 2. It is most convenient & agreeable to Gods
glory, that God in & by Christ, in a most glorious manner should make manifest before all, as well Angels as men, as well his mercy as his justice; that he might have the publick and solemne glory of both mercy and justice; and this is the thing, that at that time is topass come in that universal and last judgement.
Reas 3. This belongs also to the glory of God, the joy of the faithfull, and just confusion of the unfaithfull, that before their faces they may see the promises, and threatenings of God almost perfectly and accurately fulfilled, not onely particularly on their own persons now in the body, as before death; but universally upon all others, both men and Angells: Which shall then onely be, when this last and universal judgement shall be held.
Use 1. Of Information, that we take care to have our faith and hope solidly confirmed and strongly rooted about this article; least we be any wayes troubled with prophane blasphemies and mockings of Infidells and Heathens, who first cast downe and trample upon the profession of this article by their life and manners; and then also by words and speeches fight and dispute against it: Concerning whom we are admonished by the Apostle St. Peter, 2 Pet. 3. 3, 4. &c.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that with all fear and trembling we watch over our wayes, as those that certainly mind and look for the day of this judgement, 1 Pet. 1. 17. 2 Pet. 3. 11, 12.
Doct. 2. Our Lord Iesus Christ will be Iudge in this judgement.
Reas 1. Because it belongs to his Kingly office and power, whereby he was made Lord and King;
and had all judgement committed to him.
Reas. 2. Because Christ is he, from whom, and by whom the faithfull have salvation adjuded unto them, even in this life; and from whom also unbelievers have death adjudged unto them. Now it is the same judgement, that in this life both wayes is begun, and in the last judgement shall be fully manifested and perfected.
Reas. 3. Because at that time it is, that Christ should fully and actually triumph over all enemies and opposite power, and crown all his own servants, souldiers, and adherents. And this is most conveniently and gloriously done in forme of publick and solemne judgement.
Use, Is of Consolation, chiefly to the faithfull, because they shall have him for their Judge, whom they received for their Redeemer, Justifier, Sanctifier, and Intercessor, or Advocate; from whom therefore they may with all confidence expect all good.
Doct. 3. Christ’s glory at that time shall be incomparable.
It hence appears from the Text; that if the Angells so glorious shall then be his Ministers of State and attendants; and his Throne with all the rest of that procedure shall be so glorious, it mmst needs be, that Christ himself be excellent in glory above all that we can think of.
Reas. 1. Because the exercise of this judgement belongs to the manifestation of Christ’s highest exaltation.
Reas. 2. Because the very end of his coming was to give glory to such as sought God in him. It is fit then that Christ appear in greatest glory.
Reas. 3. The majesty of the supreme Judge of the
world, and the terror and confusion of his enemies, that they must be put to, require that he should come clothed in the greatest glory.
Use, Of Consolation, to the faithfull, against the crosses and contempts, they are liable to in this world together with Christ; because as now they are partakers of the cross of Christ, so then they shall be partakers of his glory.
Doct. 4. In this judgement the condition of the godly and ungodly shall be quite unlike and opposite one to another.
This is taught in the Text; by the separation of the sheep from the goats; by the right hand and the left; by ome ye blessed, and go ye cursed.
Reas. 1. Because there is a great unlikeness and opposition in the lives and wayes of the godly, and ungodly, while they are in this world.
Reas. 2. Because there is a great dissimilitude or opposition between the promises that belong to the godly, and the threatenings that belong to the ungodly.
Reas. 3. Because there is great disparity and opposition between the manifestation of greatest mercy, and of greatest execution of justice.
Use, Of Admonition, that we separate our selves from ungodly men, as much, and in such manner, as we can; that is, if we cannot separate in places, yet in internal affections, as well as external conversation, we should be as unlike unto them as can be in that wherein they are ungodly.
Doct. 5. The cause of any blessing to the godly, is the mercy of God; but the cause of any case to the ungodly, is their own sault.
This is clear in the Text, when the godly are called blessed of the Father, But the ungodly, barely are
called ye cursed, not of the Father, nor from the Father, nor from God; because though it is God that curseth them, yet the first cause of this curse is in their sins.
Reas. 1. Because all good is from God, who is the greatest good, and chiefly good in himself. But all evill of punishment ariseth from evill of fault; and this evill of fault is from the creature it self, breaking the Law and Order that God hath set to it.
Reas. 2. Because the blessing of life is the meer free gift of God; but the curse of death is the reward or wages of sin, Rom. 6. 23.
Reas. 3. Preservation from the curse, which is by Gods favour, is necessary for our blessing; but to incur the curse, there is nothing more needfull, but onely to neglect or contemne that way, that leads unto the blessing.
Use, Of Direction, that we may alway give God the glory in every good thing, that we either have, or seek, or look for; and alwayes blame our selves for any evill that befalls us.
Doct. 6. The blessing of the godly consists in the communion that they shall have with God in Christ; and the curse of the ungodly, in the separation of them from such communion:
This is plaine in the words, come ye blessed, and go ye cursed.
Reas. 1. Because this is the end, whereunto all the godly look; desiring nothing more, than still to apprach nearer, and nearer unto God. The ungodly, on the contrary, shunne nothing more than God, and such things wherein God hath appointed to shew and impart his gracious and singular presence.
Reas. 2. Because man’s happiness not coming of
man himself, is therefore to be sought from without himself, and that from his union or conjunction with the greatest good, and that is the cause and fountain of all good. Therefore of necessity it consists in communion with God; and from deprivation of this communion, greatest misery must needs follow.
Reas. 3. Because the perfectest act of our life, is that which is most closely and intimately carried towards God; as all that we do well consists in this, that therein we live unto God; and the privation of such acting, its want and absence all misery must accompany.
Use, Of Direction, that even in this life we may wholly be taken up with this, to seek communion with God, and shun and take heed of all separation from him.
Doct. 7. The certaine signes and tokens of this blessing, are good workes; and of this curse, are evill workes.
This is largely and clearly laid open in the Text.
Reas. 1. Because good works came from the same grace or favour of God, from which the blessing it self comes upon them; and evill workes joyned with obstinacy and impenitency, comes from that same malice, and malignancy, which God hath cursed and adjudged.
Reas. 2. Because God of his free grace hath promised the blessing unto good workes; and of his unspotted justice hath appointed the curse unto evill workes.
Reas. 3. Because in good works there is a certain disposal and preparation of the way to obtain the blessing; and in evill workes, there is not onely the proportion of a way, but of deserving, or a mertitorious cause even unto the curse.
Use, Of Admonition, that we have great care of our actions through every part of our life, because according to them, men are either condemned or saved. For such as the life is, such is the end.
The twentieth Lords day.
1 Cor. 6. 19.
What, know you not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
IN the words of the Text are contained a most powerfull argument against Fornication and the like sinnes; and it is taken from the contrary end, because the end of Christian’s bodies is quite opposite to this sin. And that end is declared from the subject possessed, and possessor and indweller of it, the Holy Ghost; The subject is again explained by a Metaphor of a Temple, because namely our bodies are as it were houses consecrated to him. And that this argument may be made the clearer and stronger, the Apostle ads, that so the holy Ghost is the possessor of this Temple, or house, that he himself also is the indweller of it. And both these relations that we have to the Holy Ghost, are illustrated from their efficient cause; to wit, that they are of God; and from their consequent effect and adjunct; to wit, faith and certain knowledge of these relations between our bodies and the Holy Spirit, in these words; Know ye not brethren, &c.
Doct 1. The Holy Ghost is true and coeternal God with the Father, and eternal Son.
The Text doth give many reasons for this Doctrine.
Reas. 1. Because to have one and the same spirit with God, is all one as to be glewed or joyned to God, vers. 17.
Reas. 2. Because a Temple is not lawfully consecrated to any but to God; much less could it be lawfull that a man in stead of, or for a Temple should be consecrated to that which is not God. But here such a Temple which is most sacred is said to be consecrated to the Holy Ghost.
Reas. 3. Because the Holy Ghost is so said to be in us, as that we become his of right; and of duty; that is, God’s rightfull possession, as the scope of the words clearly demonstrate.
Use 1. Of Information, for directing our faith arightly, not onely unto the Father, and Son, but also unto the Holy Ghost, as the same one and true God.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that we diligently take heed to our selves, that we neither contemne nor neglect any holy thing, that comes or is breathed from the Holy Spirit; as the whole Scripture is said to have come from the inbreathing, or inspiration of the Holy Spirit; and all the motions of godliness are onely attributed to the Holy Spirit, as to their Author. Likewise all the gifts of grace are bred in us from and by this Spirit of grace. In these all therefore we must take heed, that in no wise we resist the Holy Ghost, or wittingly, and willingly sin against him.
Doct 2. The Holy Ghost himself is given unto the faithfull. This appears in the Text.
Reas. 1. In that our bodyes are called the Temples of the Holy Ghost.
Reas. 2. In that he is said to be in us.
Reas. 3. In that we are said to have him, or to get him from God. Now the Holy Ghost is said to be given unto us, when he hath a singular relation unto us, and that for our good; that is, for our sanctification, & salvation of our soules; & moreover, because he powerfully works these things in us, that are agreable to his most holy nature, and which can no way be derived to us from flesh and blood. And hence it is also, that the gifts of the Holy Ghost, are called the Holy Ghost also, by that trope or borrowed kinde of speech, whereby the cause is put for the effect, which Schollers call a Metonymie.
Use 1. Of Exhortation, as well to thanksgiving to God, that gives so divine a gift; as to religious prayers, and calling upon God’s name, that he would keep unto us, and more and more communicate to us this divine gift, Luk 11. 13.
Use 2 Of Admonition, to take heed of all such things, whereby the Holy Spirit is said either to be grieved, or extinguished; that is, from the grievousness of all such sin, as fights against the holiness of this divine Spirit, so that he cannot delight to dwell in us, but wholly, or in great measure withdrawes himself from us.
Doct. 3. The Holy Spirit is not communicated to our soules onely, but to our bodies also.
It is in the Text, when our bodies are also called the Temples of the Spirit.
Reas. 1. Because as Christ redeemed not our
soules onely, but the whole man; so also the Holy Spirit ought to bring into subjection and possession the whole man to God, and to Christ.
Reas. 2. Because many duties of a spiritual life must be performed by the body also, and therefore the body ought to be subject to the Holy Spirit, and as a vessell, or instrument, be wholly in his power.
Reas. 3. Because our bodies are made liable to sin, and by sin to death, from which we must be freed by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, Rom. 8. 11.
Use 1. Of Admonition, that we suffer not sin to reigne in our natural bodies; that we offer not our members weapons of unrighteousnesse to sin, but weapons of righteousnesse to God, Rom. 6. 12, 13.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, that we glorify God in our body, as it followes in the Text, verse 20. For we ought to have that care of our body in order to things spiritual, that is due to the Temple of God, as in the Text; and to an offering to be offered up in the Temple of God, Rom. 12. 1.
Doct. 4. The indwelling of this Spirit is a flat enemy to the 〈◊〉 of sin in us.
This is the consequence of the argument in the Text; to wit, that the Temple of God cannot be prostituted to whoredome and other such sinnes, without Sacriledge.
Reas. 1. Because there should be an agreement between the Temple, and him whose temple it is, or to whom it is dedicated, as it is, 2 Cor. 6. 16. what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idolls? For by a like reason we may say; What agreement hath the temple of God with reigning sin?
Reas. 2. Because therefore the Holy Spirit dwels in believers, that he might impart holiness to them;
and as his nature, and name, so also his indwelling and operation is an enemy to all ungodliness.
Reas. 3. Because if the Kingdome of sin should prevail in the Temple and dwelling of the Holy Spirit, this would turn to the disgrace, and disho of the Holy Spirit himself. And this is indeed the thing, that is done, when some prophane men blaspheme and mock at the name of God, & of the Holy Ghost, because of the unworthy carriage of those, that make profession to be led by this Holy Spirit.
Use 1. Of Reproof, against such as turn the Temple of the Holy Ghost into 〈◊〉 Den of Thieves, or into a Cage of unclean birds.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that we give no place to sin either in our soules or bodies, but as farre as is possible, that we imitate Christ, who, as it is written, Mat. 25. did cast out of the Temple of God, even buyers and sellers, and the tables of money changers, and Iohn 2 15. with a wlip drave out of the Temple sheep and beeves.
Doct. 5. All the faithfull ought: to have both faith and experience about this indwelling of the Holy Spirit in them.
This is intimated in these words; Do ye not know brethren; that is ye ought not to be ignorant of this, but to believe this, and 〈◊〉 know it from your own proper experience, or feling.
Reas. 1. Because this is amongst the greatest benefits that belong to our salvation.
Reas. 2. Because from this benefit depends the knowledge of all the rest that God hath freely given to us, 1 Cor. 2. 12. So that the same may here e said, that is said of Christ, 2 Cor. 13. 5. Know ye not that Christ is in you, &c. So here, Know ye not what the Holy Ghost is in you &c.
Use 1. Of Direction, that we try our selves in this point, and never rest, as if it were well with us, untill unto our comfort, we can perceive that the Holy Spirit dwelleth in us.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, that we study to have this knowledge lively and powerfully, according to the intent of the Apostle here, who intimates to us, that this knowledge, if it be such as it should be, cannot consist with whoredome, or any such like impurity of life.
The one and twentieth Lords day.
Eph. 5. 25, 26, 27.
Vers. 25, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it.
26, That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.
27, That he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: But that it should be holy and without blemish.
IT is the Apostle’s purpose in this place to stir up men to the duty of love to their wives. And he illustrates this duty and perswades it from the example of Christ’s love to his Church; and in the example, the love of Christ towards his Church is declared from its effects; whereof the first is, that he laid down his life for her. The second is, the end and effect of the former; to wit, that by vertue of his death, he sanctified and purified the Church
unto himself. The third is, the effect and end of both the former, that he namely makes her glorious. The fourth is, the conjunction and union that the Church hath with Christ; to wit, that she is his body, and of his flesh and bones, verse 30. The manner of which union and its nature is shewn to consist in a mystery, and not in any carnal or bodily way, but in a most spiritual and hidden way.
Doct. 1. The Church is the whole company and community of the elect.
This is hence gathered, because she is here described and designed by Christ’s spiritual love to her, as ought the love of an husband to be to his wife. Now this love includes alwayes in it self a differenceing of her beloved, separating of her from all other, and so it is nothing else but an election or choice made of her before others. This is to be understood of a company chosen unto eternall life. Now this company is considered of, two manner of wayes: First, as election lies in the absolute and internal counsell of God. Secondly, as it is described and manifested by its effect of calling, and the blessing that followes on it. They that are chosen the first way they are members of the Church onely virtually, and potentially to be such in time; but such a power as is determinate, and certainly to be brought forth into act in due time, by the decrees of God. Therefore the elect not yet called, are not yet actually, and in themselves formal members of the Church. The second way, as the act of vocation and effect of election is there, it makes men actual and formal members of the Church. Now that first effect of election internal, which is proper to the elect, is effectual calling which 〈◊〉 a kinde of external election
as it were made in time. Therefore the Church hath her name rather from this calling, than from justification, sanctification, or glorification, unto which this accrues moreover, that by this meanes the company or community of actual believers is fitly designed, seeing that none are ordinarily called effectually, but such, as by actual faith answer that call.
Use, Is of Direction, how we may obtaine to our selves the certainty of our election; to wit, if we can be certain of our effectual calling; that is, be sure by inward feeling and experience of our true faith and unfaigned repentance, of their operations on, and in our hearts, and by the effects, that thence follow.
Doct. 2. This Church is the body of Christ.
Reas. 1. It is called his body by way of proportion or similitude, not unto a body politick, as is found in worldly Cities, or Commonwealths; but unto a natural body, such as is that of man. Now it is called the body of Christ; for its most neer union that it hath with Christ, as being as it were flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, as it is in the Text.
Reas. 2. Because of that dependance it hath from Christ, as its head. For as all sense and motion of a sensitive creature is derived from the head into every particular member, so also all spiritual vertue is derived by influence from Christ into his Church.
Reas. 3 Because of the union and communion that the faithfull have amongst themselevs in Christ, which is the communion of Saints; and the joynts, whereby these members are coupled together. The bonds also of this conjunction, are the
Spirit, Faith and Charity. By the spirit they are properly conjoyn’d with God in Christ, and also amongst themselves: but by Faith they are properly conjoyn’d to God in Christ onely: and by Charity most properly, they are conjoyn’d amongst themselves.
Use 1. Of Consolation to all believers, because they are made partakers of so great dignity, as to be assum’d to the body of Christ; on which behalf, they may also certainly expect all good things from Christ.
Use 2 Is of Admonition, that we dishonour not this most holy body of Christ with our life and manners; but with all our care and diligence may go about this, that our conversation may be such, as is worthy of them, that have so neer a conjunction with Christ and his most holy servants.
Doct. 3. The Church in that acception of the word, as she is mystically considered, is one onely, holy and universally, Catholike.
These things are understood of her mysticall estate, because in her visible or external estate, she is neither one, nor Catholike, nor altogether holy. These things are thus gathered from the Text: she is one, because she makes but up one body of Christ: neither hath he more bodies but one: She is holy, because she is said to be sanctified and purified by Christ, to wit, by separation from the world, by pardon of her sins in justification; by renovation of our inherent righteousness in sanctification of this life, and perfecting of it in the life to come. She is lastly Universal or Catholike, because all the elect or faithfull of all Nations, and of all times, and places, make up but one and the same mysticall body of Christ.
Use 1. Is of Resutation, against Papists, who wrest all, that are proposed to be believed and spiritually understood of Christs mystical body, unto the Popish state of their Romane visible Church, which is neither one, because not now the same, that she was, when the Apostles wrote to her; neither holy, because by their own confession many Popes, that is, heads of the Romane Church, were most wicked beasts; nor is he Catholike, or Universall, because it implies a contradiction, that one particular Church, as the Romane properly is, should be Universall in any propriety of speech.
Use 2. Is of Consolation, to all believers; because in this very thing, that they are actuall believers, they are members of this Church, that is proposed to us to be believed; and they are in the same condition, as to the main business, in which the Patriarches, Prophets, and Apostles, and all the Saints were, that ever lived, or shall live hereafter, in any place, or time of the world.
Doct. 4. Unto ths Church all those benefits relate and belong, that Christ hath procured for men by his death.
It is gathered from hence; because Christ is said to have done all that he did, out of love to his Church.
Reas. 1. Because it was the wise purpose and intention of God, gloriously by Christ to communicate his grace unto certain men. For else the whole dispensation of Christ’s incarnation, life and death, had been of uncertain success or event.
Reas. 2. Because Christ not onely promerited this, but also brings it to pass, and that to perfection, by his efficacy or power.
Use, Of Consolation, chiefly to all true believers.
For whatsoever is said of the whole Church in common, is extended unto each member of the same; because the Church is nothing else, but a collection of believers, or believers considered as gathered together, or conjoyned in one body, or multitude.
The two and twentieth Lords day.
Phil. 3. 20, 21.
Verse 20 For our conversation is in Heaven, from whence also we look for a Saviour, the Lord Iesus Christ.
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
A Reason is given in these words, why believers should rather follow the true Apostles, than false Teachers; and it is taken from the comparison of unlike things. The unlike qualities, are a care for the things of the world, in false Teachers; and a care for things heavenly in the true Apostles. This care of the Apostle is illustrated by a double argument: 1. From the adjunct manner, which is set out to us, by the similitude of Burgesses. 2. From the efficient cause of this care, which is faith, and hope of the glory that is to come. This glory, again is illustrated: 1. From its principal cause, which is Christ Jesus. 2. From the subject of it,
which is extended also to the body, and not to the soule alone. 3. From the quality of the body, which is pointed out to us, by a similitude with the body of Christ. 4. From the virtue and power of that efficient cause aforesaid, for producing such an effect; which is no other, than omnipotency; according to that mighty power whereby &c.
Doct. 1. The resurrection of mans body is certainly to be.
This is taught in the Text; 1. In that a transmutation of our bodies is determined on. 2. In that it is said, they shall be made conformable to the body of Christ, which by its resurrection was raised unto glory. The foundations or grounds of that article, are two; The power of God, and the truth of the Scriptures, as Christ himself teacheth in his answer to the Sadduces, Ye erre; to wit, about the resurrection, now knowing the Scriptures, and the power of God. By the power of God, the raising of our bodyes again, is possible; it being as easie to God to do that, as at first to make all things out of nothing; yea, as to make man out of the clay of the earth. For it is easy to conceive, that the same efficient cause, can again joyn the same principles, which once before he did conjoyn, and moreover made them all out of nothing. As for the Scriptures, the truth and certainty of this resurrection is expresly declared by its testimony.
Reas. 1. Because man was created for eternity, and therefore must be set free from death, which assaults the whole race of man kind against its nature, that so it may again attain to eternity.
Reas. 2. Because the soule cannot come to its perfect
and compleat glory, by its reunion with the body; because it would be as it were maimed, as to such faculties, the operations whereof it exerciseth by the body; and so in some sort it should remain, as it were blind, deaf, dumb, &c.
Reas. 3. Because the equity of divine dispensation requireth this, that those bodies, which had their own share in the labours and workes that belong unto this life; should also have their share in such rewards, as belong unto the end of this life.
Use, Is to establish our faith about this truth, which is one of the principal articles of the Christian faith.
Doct. 2. The same bodies that we had, as to their essences and natures, shall arise again; though not the same, as to their dispositions and qualities.
This is hence gather’d, that in the Text our bodies are not onely said that they shall be transfigured, by which phrase we are to understand, that the substance of our bodies shall remain the same, and that the outward figure or fashion, or manner of its disposition and complexion shall onely be changed: But also that they are said that they shall be transfigured after the manner of Christs body. For Christ had the same flesh and bones, which he had before, and this he made manifest unto his Disciples.
Reas 1. Because neither reward nor punishment would have any place in the body after its resurrection, unless the very same bodies were restored to men, whereof they made use here upon earth before, either for doing evill, or doing good.
Reas. 2. Because otherwayes after the resurrection the party should not remain the same man, determinately this man, that man, or that he was before.
Reas. 3. Because it is as easie to God to glorifie the same bodily substance that he had before, as any other.
Use, Of Resutation against such Hereticks, who having almost blended their own dogmatical fictions and phancies with the true Doctrine, would also have our bodies after the resurrection not to be the same, but new ones, even as to their substance.
Doct. 3. Perfection, glory, and eternal happinesse shall be given to believers, after that in the resurrection they shall be clothed with their bodies again.
It is in the Text. This glory is partly in the soul, and partly in the body; but in both there shall be a removal of all imperfection, and a communication of all perfection, which shall be thought fit for every one to receive. In the soul shall be the fruition of God, whereby all desire of desirable things shall be in a certain eminent way satisfied. There shall be also an abundantly heaped perfection of all gifts and virtues, as is in the blessed Angells. This glory shall also so stream forth unto the bodies, that they shall be like unto heavenly bodies; which is the point chiefly expounded in the Text: Our body shall be made conformable, &c.
Reas. 1. Because it is God’s purpose singularly to glorify himself in that supernaturall blessednesse that is to be given unto us.
Reas. 2. Because Christ already glorified, is not onely the efficient cause, but the pattern of our glory. We shall not therefore have onely such a likenesse to Christ; as is between any effect and its cause, according to that maxime; as the cause is, such is the effect: But also that proportion which is between the pattern and its pourtraict.
Reas. 3. In order of dignity, by the bountiful appointment of God, believers shall next after Christ have their place together with the blessed Angells.
Use, Of Direction, that we may often set before our eyes in our meditation, the greatnesse of this glory, unto which we are called, that so we may both stirre up thankfulnesse in our selves to God, and a certaine holy contempt and neglect of all things in this world.
Doct. 4. This resurrection of our bodies from the dead, and the glorification of them, shall be by the most powerfull operation of Christ.
From these words; According to that mighty power of working, he should transforme, &c. And this agrees to Christ, as he is one and the self same God with the Father.
Reas. 1. Because it is the work of that supereminent greatnesse of power, that is proper unto God, 〈◊〉. 1. 19.
Reas. 2. Because that most wonderfull quickening of our bodies, should come from the living, and alive-making God, who is the fountain and source of all life. Therefore in the same manner it is not attributed onely to the Father, but also to the Son, and Holy Spirit, Rom. 8. 11.
This agreeth also to Christ, as he is Mediator, but still as united unto God essentially; also as he submits himself together with the humane nature in one person, to be mediator, Ioh. 5. 26. and 6. 40.
Reas. 1. Because it belongs to the Mediatory office of Christ, not onely that by his merit, he should procure life eternal to us; but also by his powerfull working actually bring the same to pass.
Reas. 2. Because Christ as Mediator is the head
of his Church, from whom is derived and communicated to us the Spirit of life, whereby as well our soules, as our bodies are quickened; our soules especially in this life, and our bodies in the day of the resurrection.
Reas. 3. Because Christ as Mediator, and as the Son of man (but as united pesonally in the Godhead, in the Son of God) shall judge the world, Ioh. 5. 27. Now this belongs to the power of the Judge, that he can bring before himself, and make the parties to be judged, to appear.
Use, Of Direction, that by all meanes we do this, as in our prayers, so in our meditations and other our spiritual exercises; to wit, that we may behold this supereminent power, and greatnesse of Christ’s might, as the Apostle wisheth to the Ephesians, and to us, as one of the greatest gifts of God, Ephes. 1. 17, 18, 19, 20. For by this meanes, 1. Our faith and confidence in Christ is established. 2. We will be forearmed against all terrours of this world, and of Hell it self. 3. With all cherefulnesse we shall recommend our soules to Christ in well-doing, because he is able to performe all that he hath promised, all that we seek of him, and above all that can come into our thoughts.
Doct. 5. We should so look for this glory to come, in this present life, as that we lead in some sort an heavenly life ven here upon earth.
This is it, which is said in the beginning of the Text; We behave our selves as Burgesses, or Citizens of Heaven.
Reas. 1. Because where our treasure, or chief good is, there will our hearts be also; and where the cart is, there will the whole man be. if therefore
we have our treasure and chief good in Heaven, our heart will be in Heaven also; and our conversation will be heavenly.
Reas. 2. Because all these worldly things, whereabout men are busied, and most are drowned in, can never come in competition with the blisse of Heaven, neither as to their worth, nor as to their durance, nor by any love-worthy quality.
Reas. 3. Because to this we are called, that denying our selves, and leaving the world; we may seek the Kingdome of God, and his righteousnesse, and glory.
Reas. 4. Because while we believe and hope in Christ, and have the eyes of our mind set upon him, as our Captain and patterne of our salvation, we must be changed into his likenesse and image, 1 Ioh. 3. 3. 2 Cor. 3. 18.
Use 1. Of Direction, for discerning of our condition, whether we have any such faith and hope, or no.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, to stirre up and rouse our mindes to a more earnest and diligent study and care of all godlinesse.
The three and twentieth Lords day.
Rom. 3. 24, 25.
Verse 24 Beig justified freely by his grace through the rdemption that is in Iesus Christ.
25 Whom God ath et forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood to declare his rightousnesse for the rmission of sinnes that are past, through the 〈◊〉 of God.
THe Apostle had before proved, that all mankind was unde most grievous guilt of sin, ad therefore had need of justification, that they might be saved which justification also he had shwn that it could not be had from any 〈◊〉, no from the Law; which he had set down as the conclusion of his discourse in the 20 verse of this Chapter From thene he also 〈◊〉〈◊〉 further, 〈◊〉 justification is of necessity to be 〈◊〉 in that way of the Gospell, which is proposed in Christ Jesus. The whole dispute may be summed up in this Syllogisme Men are either justified by Nature, or by Law, or by the Gospell: But neither by Nature, nor by the Law; and therefore of necessity by the Gospell. The Proposition is presupposed and tacitly understood, as manifest in it self. The Assumption is provd in the first part of the Epistle, unto the 21. verse of this Chapter. The Conclusion is proposed and illustrated in that 21. verse to the end of that Chapter, and afterwards. The words in our Text set down,
contain a description of this Gospell-justification And it is described, 1. From its principal and highest cause, God; Whom God appointed. 2. From the manner of this cause, which consists not in commtative justice, that gives like for like, or so much for so much; nor yet from distributive justice, which looks at the worth of men, and deales with them in a proportionable manner; but in meer and pure grace, or free favour; in these words, we are iustified freely of his free grace, or free favour where a singular emphasis or force of speech is laid on this part of the description, by this doubling or repetion, freely, and of his fre favour. 3. It is is described from its impulsive, or meritorious cause, which becomes also in some sort the formal cause of our ustification; to wit, our redemption mae by Iesus Christ. 4. From its instrumental cause; which is faith; by faith in his blood. 5. From its final cause; which is the manifestation of the justice and mercy of God; for shewing of his justice, &c.
Doct. 1. It is God that justifieth us.
He is said to justify us, not in that he inuseth righteousness unto us, or makes us fit to do things that are just; which is the errour of Papists, placing justification first in the infusion of the habits of faith, hope, and charity; and next in the good works that comes from those habits; with which they mix a certain sort of remission of sinnes: But therefore he is said to justify us, because by his judicial sentence he absolves us from the guilt of all sin, and accepts or accounts of us, as fully just and righteous for eternal life, by the righteousness of Christ, which he giveth us. This appears from hence, that this justification is used in Scripture to be opposed
unto a charging with crimes, and unto condemnation; Rom. 8. 33. And this is done of God, as it were by these degrees. 1. In his eternal counsell and decree, because from eternity he intended to justify us. 2. In our head Christ rising again from the dead, we were virtually justified, & in some sort actually; as in Adam sinning all his posterity were virtually condemned to death by the Law, and in some sort actually, because in some sort actual sinners. 3. He justifies us fullier actually and formally in our selves, and not onely in our head; when by his Spirit, and our faith the work of his Spirit, he applies Christ unto us, to our justification. 4. And further yet, he justifies us actually and formally to our sense and feeling, when by our own reflex knowledge, and examination of our estate, he gives us to perceive this application of Christ made, and so to have peace and oy in him.
Reas. 1. Because ou sins from which we ought to be justified, are done against the majesty of God, 1 Sam 2. 25. And none can forgive an offence done against another, or an injury done to another, in a proper way of speaking.
Reas. 2. Because the guiit of sin depends on the obligation of the Law, and of divine justice and truth: And therefore cannot be taken away but by him that is above the Law, and knowes what is agreeable to his own truth and meaning, in the first making of it.
Reas. 3. Because by justification we are received into the favour of God, and life eternal, and God himself (in some sort) is given unto us: all which can no otherwise be done, but by God himself alone.
Use 1. Of Refutation, against Papists, who set
down manners and means of justification, from humane tradition, and their owne authority, unto retched men; as if it were in their power to justiie men after what way they please, when it is God lone that justifieth, and that therefore prescribes he manner and means of justification onely.
Use 2. Of Consolation, as it is set down, Rom. 8. 33. Who shall lay any thing to our charge, it is God that justifith? And verse 31. If God be for us, who can be against s?
Doct. 2. This justification is meer, pure, and infinite grace, or favour.
So in the Text; freely, his free favour. The grace of God in justification appears as it were by these degrees. 1. In that God pursues not his right against us and our sins, according to that rigour that his Law might have been taken in, and his revenging justice might have extended its self to; but left place for some reconciliation. 2. In that being himself the party offended; yet he himself of his own good-will both invented, appointed or ordered, and revealed both the manner and means of this reconciliation. 3. In that he spared not his onely begotten Son, for procuring of this reconciliation. 4. That without any merits or worth of ours, he ingrafts us into his Son and our Lord Jesus Christ, and so makes us partakers of that reconciliation which is in him. This was altogether necessary, that our justification might be of free favour.
Reas. 1. Because it was impossible for the laws and the righteousnes thereof to justifie sinners, Rom. 8. vers. 1
Reas. 2. Because in the justification of a sinner is remission or pardon of in; and all pardon is of free avour
Reas. 3. Because in justification is a free Donation of righteousness, and of life eternal, which to sinners, cannot be done, but with especial grace and favour. The satisfaction made by Christ for us, withstands not the freenesse of this favour of justification; because it was of free favour and grace, that Christ himself was given us, and by calling appointed to this satisfaction for us; and of his own freegrace also accepted of that calling.
Use 1. Is of Refutation, against Papists and many others; who will have our justification to depend upon our Works; which yet every where, by the Apostle are opposed to this free grace in our justification.
Use 2. Is of Consolation to believers, and repenters against all these shakings of minde, which they feel, or can feel from the unworthinesse of themselves, that their own consciences tell them of; because our whole justification hangs on the free favour, or grace of God, and not upon our worth or merits.
Use 3. Is of Exhortation: 1. That we alwayes flee to the Free-grace of God, as to the onely garrison of our souls. 2. That from admiration of this grace of God, we alwayes study to be thankfull to God.
Doct. 3. The obedience of Iesus Christ imputed unto us, or given us, and so accounted ours, justifies or makes us righte and is the foundation of all our righteousnesse.
It is in the Text, By the Redemption made by Iesus Christ. 1. For he that is justified by the Redemption 〈◊〉 other, as by paying a ransom: that price is conceived as it were to be paid for him who is redeemed. . If Christ be the pacification in our justification, when we please God, as it is in the Text, then we please him for something, which Christ hath
performed for our good. 3. If Faith justifies, as it hath relation to Christ, and the shedding of his blood, then there is something in his blood thus shed, or in his obedience unto death, by vertue whereof we are justified.
Now the obedience of Christ in respect of our justification, hath 1. the place of a meriting cause, which obtains it for us, because it was the means that Gods justice required to be performed to him, before his grace could justify us. 2 It hath the place of the formal cause, in as much as it is so accepted and taken for ours, being given us by free-gift, and so made ours indeed, as that we are lookt on by God, as truly clothed with it: when he pronounces the sentence of our justification: whence that phrase of the Apostle is, Not having mine own righteousnesse, but that which is Christs, Phil. 3. 9.
Reas. 1. Is, because this is most agreeable both to the justice and mercy of God, joyntly: For if our justification had stood in the bare remission of sin, without the imputation of a sufficient righteousness, or obedience for satisfaction to justice, then onely Gods mercy and favour had had place in this businesse, no regard being had of the justice of God, that satisfaction might be made.
Reas. 2. Because if we had been pronounced just without any imputation of a satisfying righteousness, or obedience performed, then there could have been no just ground of such a sentence; to wit, that he should be pronounced just, which was no way just, neither by his own inherent justice or righteousness; nor yet by anothers justification freely given him.
Rea. 3. Because by this means, we have in some
manner a divine righteousnesse, or the righteousnesse of God himself; to wit, that which Christ, who is God, performed for us (not the essential righteousnes of God, as Soliander dream’d) as God-man in one person; on which therefore we may rely, and with the greater confidence appear before God, and for it hope for all divine and good things at the hands of God.
Reas. 4. Because in this manner we the more own our salvation as wrought by Christ.
Use 1. Is of Refutation against Papists, Anabaptists, Remonstrants or Arminians, and almost all Sects and Sectarians, who all agree in this errour, that our justification depends upon our works, and is not to be sought by the imputation of Christs righteousnesse to us, or accounting his obedience ours.
Use 2. Is of Exhortation, unto due thankfulness towards Christ, by whose Redemption or ransoming of us, we are justified, and set free from sin and death, the wages of sin; and adjudged unto life and glory, above what any meer creatures righteousness could ever have deserved.
Doct. 4. The obedience of Iesus Christ is powerful for justifying of us, by being accepted and laid hold on by our Faith. It is in the Text.
Through Faith in his Blood.
Reas 1. The very nature and duty of Faith is to rely on Christ, or on the favour and mercy of God in Christ, for pardon of sins.
Reas. 2. Because by Faith, we are united unto Christ, and ingrafted into him, that so we may be partakers of all the blessings, that in him are prepared for men.
Reas. 3. Because Faith receives, layes hold on, and embraces all the promises of God, and the
things in them contained, offered, or proposed; amongst which pardon of sins, and justification in Christ hath a chief place.
The Use is of Direction, that it may be our onely care in the business of our justification, to direct our Faith and confidence towards Christ, and to stir up and confirm it more and more, that we may thence have firm and aboundant comfort.
The twenty fourth Lords day.
James 2. 22.
Seeft thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
IN these words is contain’d the conclusion of that disputation, which Iames had against such as vant of Faith, that is, destitute of good-works: For the Apostle concludes, that such Faith is of no worth unto justification: And this conclusion is often repeated, as vers. 14, 17. and 20. 22. and 24. under sundry formes of words; but to one and the same sense. Now this Conclusion which the Apostle proves, is not that good-works are any part, or cause of our justification before God, as Papists take it; nor yet (as many of our own think) that our works justifie us before men, however that contain a truth in it; but this is the conclusion, that justifying faith is such, that it worketh, and puts forth its operation by good-works.
And it is proved 1. from a comparison of likes
from vers. 15. to the 18. 2. By another comparison of likes, to wit, of such a fruitlesse faith in men, and devils, vers. 19. 3. from the example and pattern of that faith that was in Abraham, vers. 21. of all which the conclusion is set down in this 22. vers. In which two things are determined, 1. That true and justifying faith is fruitfull of good works. 2. That good works are the end and perfection of faith; for faith is said to co-operate with good works, because together with the command of God, it furnisheth its strength and force of working, for producing of good works: And that works are called the perfection of faith; it is not so to be understood, as if they were the internal and formal perfection of faith; as the form is the formal and essential perfection of every thing: But in that they contain and shew the external perfection of faith, in as much as they flow from it, and as every effect contains in it self some perfection of its course; to wit, as it partakes of the force and vertue that comes from the internal perfection of the cause.
Doct. 1. Our good workes are no wayes the cause of our justification, but the effects and fruits of a man justified.
It is gathered from the Text, for as much as workes are the effects of faith: And faith and justification according to the nature of relatives, are at once or together in nature. A true believer and a justified man are the same thing. If therefore good works are the effects of a believer, then are they the effects of one justified also. And that works justify us not, is apparent from four reasons.
Reas. 1. Because believers are not now under the Covenant of workes, and therefore cannot be justified by works but are all condemned by them; if we stand to them in that point, because
none of them come up to what the Law requires, and so are sinfull and imperfect.
Reas. 2. Because all our good workes are debts and therefore they can never properly merit or deserve pardon.
Reas. 3. Because the good works we do, came not from our own strength, but from the grace of God.
Reas. 4. Because our best good works are in themselves imperfect, and defiled with many uncleannesses.
Object. 1. Our good workes are perfect, as they come from the Holy Spirit, whose workes are all perfect.
Ans. 1. If in respect of us they be imperfect, they cannot as ours be of force to our justification, though in some other respect they may be perfect.
- That perfection which they have in reference to the Holy Spirit, doth not redound properly unto our meriting or deserving by them, because the holy Ghost is no wayes united unto us, into one person, which is the onely ground, why the works of Christ had a divine merit and worth in them; namely, because they were divine workes, as being his, that was, as man personally united unto the God-head and person of the Son, so as they made but one person. The Holy Spirit, then though he be the principal cause of our good works, yet this is in its own manner, as an external efficient, as having no personal union with the party working.
Object. 2. Our reward is given according to our works.
Ans. That reward is not of our merit, but of God’s free grace and favour. For there is a reward of servants and a reward of sons; the reward of servants lookes not to the person, but to the merit, or desert of the work; but the reward of sons look
at the person chiefly and so is given of grace and good will to the person of the worker, more than to the merit of the work. For the Father in his Sonne crownes that with reward, which in it self deserves no such thing for the most part: Otherwayes he were unjust not to reward it so in servants likewise.
Use, Of Admonition, that we never glory in our selves or our own workes before God, but alwayes acknowledge, when we have done all that we can; that we are but unprofitable servants, as our Lord himself teacheth us to do; and that we depend wholly on the grace of God putting no trust in our own works.
Doct 2. Good workes by a necessary coherence follow true faith.
It is gathered from this, that faith is to work together in and with good works, and by good works to be brought to its end. Now good works are necessary to a believer: 1. By necessity of precept, because God from that right and power he had to do so, was pleased to command us them. 2. By necessity of means without which we cannot attain the end: And that 1. In respect of God, or his glory, as the end, because without them we cannot attain to the enjoyment of God, nor to glorify him, as we should and must for that attainment. 2. In respect of the Church and others without the Church, whose edification without good works we cannot attain: and good men are edified by good workes, as by examples, more and more; and to others a hoping light is as it were held out, whereby they may discerne their right way. Let your light so shine before men, &c. 3. In respect of our own salvation, because good works are necessary to salvation though not as meritorious
causes, yet as dispositions, qualifications, and wayes, that must be had and insisted in, because our election and calling is to them, and by them our salvation, and these other are made surer to our consciences. For in them consists that way of a new obedience, and Gospell thankfulnesse, which onely leads unto life; also as holinesse not onely internal, but also external, is such an inseparable disposition or qualification from such as are to be saved, as that without it, none shall ever see God to his comfort, or happiness. 3. They are necessary by necessity of the end; because election, redemption, vocation, tend and look to this end, that we may live to God, and to Christ, in all holinesse and righteousnesse: And a necessity as well of thankfulnesse as of covenant lies upon us, that with all our vigour and with all our strength, we endeavour to attain unto this end. 4. Good works are necessary by a certain sort of natural necessity. For just as good fruits come of a good tree, and sweet waters come from a sweet fountain, by a like manner and necessity, good works come from true faith. Or as our vital operations and motions do alwayes accompany natural life; so also spiritual life, which is from faith, whereby the just man liveth, puts forth it self alwayes in good works, as the proper operations and acts of a spiritual life. It may sometimes happen, that as in one in a swound scarce any matter or operation doth appear, though yet the fe it self remain; so also by some extraordinary entation, for some time the seed of faith may remain in the heart of this, or that man, the fruits whereof can hardly be discovered. But this is 1. As much against the nature of faith, and of a faithfull
man, as sicknesse is against health and life. 2. It is an extraordinary case by which we must not judge of the ordinary operations and fruits of faith, nor of its nature, or the necessity of good works. 3. In such a case both the degree of faith it self is deminished, and the comfort of it ceases for that time. 4. Although in such a case such fruits of faith appears not, as are required to our comfort yet it is hardly ever so overwhelmed, but that it hath some operation, at least in that fight, which then the Spirit hath against the flesh.
Use 1. Of Reproof, against such mens most vain presumption, as bragge of a sort of faith of their own, that is separated from all care of good works.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, that with such considerations we stirre up our minds to greater zeal and chearfulness in every good work.
The five and twentieth Lords day.
Rom. 4. 11.
And be received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousnes of the faith, which he had yet being uncircumcisd That he might be th father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousnesse might be imputed unto them also.
THe Apostle in this place treats of the justificatification of Abraham which he so ascribes to him, that in him he sets down a pattern of justification to life as well in respect of uncircumcised Gentiles, as of Jewes themselves. For this end the Apostle observes, and proposeth to be observed, that faith
was reputed to Abraham unto righteousnesse, while he was yet uncircumcised, or in the fore-skin. Against which Doctrine, because it might be objected, that then circumcision was of no use to him: The Apostle answers by a probation in this verse, and denies the consequence; and gives a reason of this his denial thence, because there was another end and use of that Sacrament. For he was not therefore circumcised, that by circumcision he might be justified, but that by circumcision, as by a seal and sign he might have his righteousness, that was before imputed to him, the better confirmed. We have then in these words a description of a Sacrament of the Covenant of grace. 1. From its general notion; that it is a signe. 2. From its differencing notion, in which it is described by the use and end of this sign. The end is designed. 1. From its manner of signifying; being not onely called a signe, but a seal. 2. From the object, or thing signified, which is the righteousness of faith, & the receiving thereof.
Doct. 1. The proper end and use of a Sacrament is, that it may confirm our faith.
This is hence collected; because Circumcision is here called a seal of faith, or of the righteousnesse of faith: For a seal, when it is set to Deeds, hath this proper use, that it ratifies and confirmes them; that is declares them solemnly to be sealed.
Reas. 1. Because since Sacraments are fitly and conveniently referred to faith and to grace, they ought of necessity to tend either to the first begetting of grace, or to the confirmation of it. And the first is performed by the Holy Spirit in our first calling, by the preaching of the Gospell; and the Sacraments are not instruments of our first call; therefore
they tend not to the first breeding of faith in us, but to the confirming and strengthening of it more and more in us, after it is first begotten in us.
Reas. 2. Because often faith is begotten, though Sacraments be wanting, if they be not despised: But in any ordinary way, it is never so confirmed and strengthened, as it is when Sacraments are joyned with the Word.
Reas. 3. Because Sacraments properly belong not but to such as have faith already, and so can have no other use, but to confirm such parties faith, and to advance by it all other graces in them.
Use, Of Direction, what we ought to look to properly in the use of Sacraments; to wit, that by such holy Ordinances of God we may be more and more built up in our most holy faith.
Doct. 2. The Sacraments do no other way confirm our faith, or advance our salvation, then by way of signe and seal.
This is hence collected, in that the Apostle gives unto them this onely way of operating in this place. Which that we may better understand, it is to be taken notice of, that a sign is either natural, or by institution or appointment; and that Sacraments are signes by appointment. Now in signes by appointment, the author appointing is alwayes to be looked to, and the end of his appointing. For seeing any appointment is as a mean, it hath an essential relation and dependance as well to the efficient, by which it is directed, as to the end whereunto it is directed. The author and appointer of a Sacrament is God alone, because no creature can appoint one, seeing none can perform
that which in a Sacrament is signed and sealed, nor ind God to perform it for them. The end of a Sacrament in general, is to help our infirmity, and a Sacrament helps it in a three fold manner.
Reas. 1. In respect of our understanding, whereunto they are notifying or knowledge-begetting signes, or as it were clear mirrours, wherein by the intermediate Ministry of our external senses we may behold the mysteries of God.
Reas. 2. In respect of our memory, whereunto they are admonishing signes, and as it were made perpetual remembrances or memorandums, by their orderly reiteration and renovation.
Reas. 3. In respect of our will, faith, and affiance, whereunto they are sealing signes, or most certain seals and pledges.
Use 1. Of Refutation, against Papists, who will have the Sacraments to work righteousnesse and grace in us, as physicall instruments, by the work done.
Use 2. Of Direction, in the use of them, that our chief care may be, by these means to lay hold on, and more and more to apply to our selves all these spiritual things, which by the Sacraments are signed and sealed unto us.
Doct. 3. The things which in the Sacraments are signified and sealed unto us, are in one word all the blessings of the New Covenant.
This is gathered from hence, in that the righteousness of faith is said to be sealed by the Sacrament of Circumcision. Now that righteousnesse by the trope Synecdoche, signifies all the blessings of the New Covenant, as appeares from verse 9. where the imputation of this righteousnesse is called the declaration
of blessednesse Now the same that is signified in one Sacrament, is also signified in another, as to the substance of the matter; though the manner be diverse; and so some benefits are more expresly signified in one Sacrament than in another.
Reas. 1. Because a Sacrament is after the fall a seal of the New Covenant, not as to this, or that part of it, but of the whole. For no Covenant, or Charter, though sometimes it may have many seals, uses to be confirmed as to one part of it by one seal, and to another part of it by another seal; but by all and every seal the whole is confirmed.
Reas. 2. Because Christ from whom every blessing floweth, is exhibited to us in every Sacrament. For as the Sacraments in the Old Testament, looked at Christ, as shadowes do at their bodies; so also, and that much more clearly in the New Testament, we are both baptized into Christ, and have communion with him in his body and blood, in his Supper. And wen Christ is exhibited, there all the blessings that are prepared for us in Christ, are together with him exhibited to us.
Reas. 3. Because the blessings of life and salvation cannot be separated from one another; as for example, effectual Vocation, Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, Consolation and eternal Glorification. When therefore one of these blessings is directly represented, indirectly also, and by consequence all the rest are signified and sealed.
Use 1. Of Information; 1. That we may learn rightly to distinguish between compleat Sacraments, and other Sacramental signes. For other signes and ceremonies, that do not signify and seal the blessings of the New Covenant, as they are such;
though they are sacred signes, yet are they not presently Sacraments, to speak properly; that is, they are not of that nature and rank with Baptisme and the Supper. That we have in great esteem Christs most holy Sacraments, because in them we go about no less, than all that belongs to our eternal happiness.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that we never separate what God hath joyned together in the use of the Sacraments, which useth to be done by such, as seek onely for remission of sins, but not for sanctification and preservation from sin; and that because they have not determined with themselves to amend their lives.
Doct. 4. By the Sacraments these blessings are not onely signed generally, but also particularly to all that partake of them with true faith.
This is hence gathered, in that Araham particular ly is said to have received the seal of his own righteousnesse in particular.
Reas. 1. Because the Sacraments are not so proposed to us, that they may seal on this condiion, tat we have faith; but they alwaves presuppose faith aleady to be in us; and so then they are offered to confirm, and do singularly confirm it.
Reas. 2. Because to every one in particular, and by name they are exhibited for their confirmation; and not in common onely, as the Word is preached publickly.
Reas. 3. Because the manner of administration, and the Sacramentall actions that belong unto them, as washing in Baptisme, taking, eating, drinking in the Lord’s Supper, consist in a particular application of the signes; and therefore also they signify
a particular sealing of the things signified, unto particular persons.
Use 1. Is of Comfort, against scruples and doubts wherewith our minds are sometimes troubled. Because in the Sacraments duly administred to such as have right, God as it were from Heaven stretcheth out his owne hand, and holds forth in it his grace, and all the spiritual blessings of the Covenant, alike unto every one of us (thus participating) in our own proper and singular persons particularly.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that we neglect not the Sacraments, but diligently both prepare and fit our selves for them, and then seek after them, & receive them; because to neglect them, were to neglect our owne proper and singular consolation in particular.
Use 3. Of Direction, how we may rightly use the Sacraments; to wit, o as in a singular manner, we seek our edification and advancement in this, that we see Christ there offering and giving his grace to us by name, and in particular, and accordingly, thus sealing to us in particular our salvation.
The six and seven and twentieth Lords day.
Mat. 28. 19.
Go ye therefore and teach all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost.
HEre is expounded the command of Christ, which being now about to ascend into Heaven, he left unto his Apostles. It contains two principal duties. 1. The preaching and publishing of that Doctrine taught by Christ. 2. The administration of the Sacraments by him appointed. For in this place by Baptisme (according to that usual borrowing of speech, called Synecdoche, that puts sometimes one sort for the whole kind, and sometimes contrarily) the other Sacrament of the Supper is understood; but here Baptisme is rather named than the other: 1. Because it is the first Sacrament, and that of initiation, and receiving solemnly into the Church, on which the other for this cause doth depend. 2. Because it chiefly belonged unto the Apostles office, by themselves, or by others to see this Sacrament rightly administred, who were rather sent to plant, and gather or build Churches from their first beginnings, than to feed, govern, and further build, or advance them, after they were first planted. And Baptisme belongs particularly to the first ingrafting into Christ, and to planation; and the Supper unto feeding, and growth
after planting. Now Baptisme is expounded in this place 1. From its object, or parties to be baptized Baptizing them: that is, such as are already trained up in Christ’s Doctrine, or ade his 〈◊〉 or lars, as the Greek word signifies, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, make them my chollars, or Disciples. 2. From the orme, or manner of doing it; to wit, in the name of the Father Son, and Holy Ghost. By which forme or modell are designed: 1. The efficient causes, by whose authority Baptisme is exercised, and made effectual; and that is by the name, or authority and power of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. . The union of the baptized, that they are to have with the Father, Sonne, and Holy Spirit, in the participation of all their graces of justification, sanctification, adoption, &c. that from the Father, in the Son, and by the Spirit, are derived unto all the heirs of eternal salvation; and in the profession and practice of all the outward Ordinances and meanes, that Christ taught them, whereby to attain to those inward graes, and to keep, and advance them, by the same Spirit in the Son and from the Father.
Doct. 1. Baptisme is the Sacrament of our ingrafting, and initiation or first reception into Christ.
This is hence gathered, in that all that are already taught Christ’s Doctrine, and made his Schollars professedly, are the presently to be haptized, that so they may be registred as it were amongst the domesticks or housholders of Christ.
Reas. 1. This appears in that baptisme came in the place of Circumcision; and Circumcision was the Sacrament of first admition amongst the people of God.
Reas. 2. In Baptisme is represented the death of
fin, and mortifying of the old man; a washing and cleansing from sin; and bringing of a man from death to life: All which do most properly denote our first vocation and therefore also Baptism is called by Scripture it self, the Sacrament of regeneration, or washing of regeneration.
Reas. 3. Because by our Baptisme our first solem reception into Christ’s Family, and Kingdome is represented; and therefore also we are said to be baptised into Christ; by this therefore Baptisme is distinguished from the Lord’s Supper, because however it seal the same blessings, as to the main businesse that the other doth, yet it doth it not after the same manner, but Baptisme denotates their beginning, and the Supper their progress and advancement.
Use, Of Direction, how we should make constant and perpetual use of our Baptisme; to wit, if we take occasion often to meditate on it, and the graces of God sealed in it on God’s part, and our return of universal obedience sealed too on our part and of the favour God did us, thus solemnly to receive us into Covenant with him, and into his Church, the true confederates of God, or number of them that are saved by Christ; and if from this faith and belief, thus sealed and continued, we more and more study to take care in all things to walk worthy of this condition, and to glorify God in Christ, as becomes, and as he requireth of us.
Doct. 2. In Baptisme by washing of water, our adoption, ustification and salvation is sealed to us.
This is hence collected, in that our union in the forme of Baptisme is designed to be with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for sealing our communion
in those benefits, which flow from this union. And we are properly adopted by the Father, justified by the Son, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Reas. 1. Because these three are directly necessary for us, that we may have true entrance into the Kingdome of God. For 1. We must be accepted of as God’s children, that he may be our Father; which is by adoption. 2. We must be freed from the guilt of sin, by which we are separated from God; and this is done by justification. 3. We must be cleansed and purged from the remainders and corruptions of sin, whereby men are made unfit to injoy God; and this is done by sanctification.
Reas. 2. Because the washing with water in Baptisme designeth and some way respecteth our cleansing as well from the guilt, as corruption of sinne, whereby we were made strangers to the estate of the Sons of God, that thence it may appear, that now by grace we are adopted, justified, and sanctified. Neither by any other visible sign could these things so conveniently have been shadowed out, as by the washing of water; because both of its owne nature it hath a principal fitness to cleanse, and amongst all Nations it is eaie to be had at hand, and then also it had been before sanctified under the Old Testament for such uses.
Use 1. Of Information, how greatly we ought to esteem our Baptisme, wherein so great benefits or blessings spiritual, were first sealed unto us.
Use 2. Of Direction, that upon occasion of seeing Baptisme administred at any time, we both with all devot meditation on our own Baptism, lift up our mindes unto the lively apprehensions of these blessings, of our adoption, ustification, & sanctification,
namely; and withall think upon what is due to God from us, for so great benefits, and what we engaged in and by our baptisme, to perform in all manner of holy, thankfull and Christian obedience.
Doct. 3. Those saving blessings, which are signified in Baptism, do not properly depend on the washing of water, as to their reall efficacies; but on the operation of the Father, Son and holy Spirit.
This is hence gathered, because by these words of the institution, our hearts as it were are commanded to be lifted up, that we may look for all the grace and efficacy of this Sacrament out of heaven, from Father, Son and holy Ghost.
Reas. 1. Because the Sacramental signs are no causes of grace, neither principal, nor instrumental, by any virtue or efficacy that is either inherent, or adherent in themselves; that is, are no physical causes (as the phrase is us’d & receiv’d in the Schools about this point) but onely moral, and in a moral way put forth any vertue they have; to wit, in as much as they seal onely that, which God the Father, in the Son, and by the Spirit worketh in us.
Reas. 2. Because our ustification and adoption, which consists in the remission of ins, and accepting of us into favour, are moral effects of their own nature, and not physical, and therefore cannot by any meanes be otherwayes produced than morally.
Reas. 3. Because it can no way be conceived, how these external elements of the Sacraments should physically work upon the soul to the production of spiritual effects, seeing themselves are but corporal, and therefore can onely work physically upon th
body. Indeed in holy Scriptures such spiritual effects use to be attributed unto such signes, as well in the Old, as in the New Testament; but this is onely in the moral sense aforesaid, and by trope or borrowed speech, because of the union, or relation of likeness that is between signes, and things signified by them; from which union, or relation of likeness (grounded partly on the analogy between the things themselves; and partly, but chiefly on the divine institution) there ariseth, in common manner of speaking, almost such a mutual & interchangeable giving or communicating of the attributes, or qualities of each of these to the other, as is found in Christ between his human & divine nature, because of the hypostatical, or personal union between them: Though otherwayes there be no other union here, but of likeness and proportion between the signe, and things signified, or sealed, when the signes are rightly used; which performance or making present of the graces signified, depend wholly on the truth of God’s institution and promise; and that in a moral way, as was said before, not properly physical; though this Sacramental union was devised by School Divines, or mistaken and imagined physical, for maintaining their corporal presence of Christ’s body, in propriety of words, or their monster of Transubstantiation. And all forsooth, because the things that are proper to the signes, are sometimes attributed to the things signified; and countrarily, the properties of the things signified, are attributed to the signes: The true reasons, and manner whereof we have sufficiently explained.
Use 1. Of Refutation, against Papists, who in som
sort turn the Sacraments into Idols, while not by rope or borrowed speech (which is usual, as we have declared) but in propriety of words, they give unto the the signes, and external elements, such things as are proper unto God.
Use 2. Of Direction that in the use of the acraments, we lift up alwayes our hearts, and by faith and devout desires look for and seek from God such divine blessings, as are represented by the outward signes.
Doct. 4. All and onely such are to be baptized as are the Disciples or Schollars of Christ; that is, that are of his family before, and as it were his housholders, and threfore fit to be solemnly declared and enrolled for uch.
This is hence gathered, because the Apostles are here commanded first to gather Disciples or Schollars unto Christ out of all Nations; and then to baptize them, after they were made such.
Reas 1. Because the Saraments are appendices of the Word, so that they are often understood under it, in Scriptures; to wit, when the Gospell and word of the Kingdome are onely mentioned; because they are appendants and connexed to it: And hence it is also, that if the Sacraments be separated from the Word, they are of no value. Where therefore the Word is not received, the Sacraments cannot be received.
Reas. 2. Because the Sacraments are both priviledges, and markes or badges of the Church; and therefore they belong not but to such as are members of the Church.
Reas. 3 Because a Sacrament cannot be a sealing signe, but unto such as have some grant to be sealed. But who so are no wayes patakers of Christ, thee
have no grant, or promise made to them, that can, or ought to be sealed unto them.
A Question here ariseth about Infants; Whether they are to be baptized, or not, seeing they cannot be taught, or instructed about faith?
I Answer, That the Children, or Infants of believers ought to be Baptized, because while they are yet Infants, as to the external priviledges of the Covenant with God, they are accounted both persons and parties of, or belonging to their parents; and therefore they are of the family of Christ, or of the number of his Disciples. For if the Covenant made with Abraham be the same for substance; by which we are saved, and belongeth as much to us, and to our children, as it did to Abraham, and his posterity; then not only we, but our children also ought to be partakers of the seal of this Covenant. But the first is true, as appeareth by Rom. 4. and other places; and therefore the latter also is true. Furthermore, it makes to this purpose, that the grace of this Covenant after Christ’s coming, is no way more straitened, or made narrow, than it was before his coming; but in many sorts made wider, larger, an more extended. What is objected about faith, whic is required of such, as are to be baptized, it 〈◊〉 no more the Baptisme of Infants, than of old it 〈◊〉 the Circumcision of them, which required faith 〈◊〉 well as baptisme, because it was by its institution 〈◊〉 seal of the righteousness of faith, Rom. 4. 11 As therfore in Circumcision, distinct knowledge, 〈◊〉 faith, and profession of it, were not necessary for 〈◊〉 fants; but the state of faith, and of its professio wheren (by meanes of their parents professio they were born, did suffice; so it is also in 〈◊〉
Use 1. Of Confutation, against Anabaptists.
Use 2. Of Comfort, in respect of this great favour done us by God, even from our Infancy, whereby he deems not to receive our selves, but also our children.
The eight and nine twentieth Lords dayes.
1 Cor. 10. 16.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the comunion of the body of Christ?
THe Apostle in the beginning of the eighth Chapter exhorted Christians that they would abstain from the unclean feasts of the Gentiles. In these words of the Text, after a digression, whereby he had prevented some objections, he brings an argument from comparison of likes, whereby he proves, that communication or partaking with Gentiles in their Idolatrous feasts, cannot be exercised without communion with the Idols themselves. The comparing argument proposed for illustrating and proving of this, is the Lord’s Supper, wherein we have communion with Christ. The argument then comes to this: If in partaking of the Lord’s Supper we have communion with Christ, then also in partaking of the feasts of Idols, we have communion with the Idols: But the first is true; and therefore the latter likewise. The Assumption is set down and explained in our Text; and it is
explained by the parts of the Lord’s Supper, or feast; which are bread and wine. The use of these is shewn, 1. From the things which they serve to signify, as things like unto themselves, and subjects or objects which they signify. 2. From the manner of signifying; that they do not barely signify, or represent onely; but also ratify and seal a communion in, or partaking of the things signified. 3. From the reason, or cause whence this relation and connexion between the signes and things signified, doth arise; which is the blessing of the signes, or by using of them, according as Christ did appoint.
Doct. 1. The Lord’s Supper is a Sacrament of the New Testament, whereby our nourishment and growth in Christ, is sealed unto us.
This is hence gathered, in that bread and wine were the external signes appointed by Christ in this Sacrament, which are the chief meanes of bodily nourishment, as not onely experience, but also the Holy Ghost teacheth us, Psal 10 Now, not bread alone, not yet wine alone is used, but both together partly that so the mystery of our spiritual nourishment might be better explained, by such a distribution of the whole into its parts; & partly, that the sufficiency of our nourishment might be thereby declared; to wit, that we need to seek nothing for it one of Christ.
Reas. 1. Because as we have the principle of grace and spiritual life in Christ; so also we ought to look for all progress and advancement in Christ by faith. And as the first is signified in Baptisme; so this last is most fitly declared in the Lord’s Supper. And this is it properly wherein the Supper differs from Baptisme.
Reas. 2. Because for our often infirmities and falls, it was needfull to us, that we had some Sacrament, for the frequent renewing of our confirmation, as indeed our faith stands in need of such renovation, and corroboration. But Baptism is not to be renewed, because it is enough once to be born again, as it was once to be born. Most conveniently therefore the Supper was instituted, often by us to celebrated, that in faith and all grace we might glow more and more, and be confirmed and strengthened therein.
Reas. 3. Because we receive from God all the increases of grace, so is it fit, that by publick profession we acknowledge this, to the glory of his name, and stirring up of our thankfulnesse to him; unto which use the holy Supper doth most fitly serve us.
Reas. 4. Because that communion, which is between the members of the Church, as belonging to the same family, and as they eat all of the same spiritual food at the same table of their owne and the same Master and Lord, cannot be filier declared, than by such a sacred and solemn spiritual feast, or banquet.
Use 1. Of Comfort, that we may be refreshed because that in this manner, both by Word, and Sacrament or seal, we have this confirmed unto us, that all that is necessary to our nourishment, growth and advancement in grace, for attaining of spiritual perfection, is prepared for us in Christ, and is to be by him derived unto us.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, that we may diligently bestow all care and industry, that we may really and in operation attain this nourishment, growth and advancement in grace, which in this Sacrament rightly used, is exhibited unto us.
Doct. 2. This nourishment, which in Christ we receive, it by the working of fath.
This is hence gathered, in that we are said in the Text to have communion with the flesh and blood of Christ, which yet are not bodily present with us, but are onely spiritually partaken of by faith, as is apparent by other places.
Reas. 1. Because by faith it is that we have union with Christ.
Reas. 2. Because by faith in Christ, we draw as it were, and suck unto us all grace and spiritual life.
Reas. 3. Because as the principle of our spiritual life is faith, so from the further intention and extention of this faith, depends our nourishment and growth in the same life. For all spiritual endowments & riches are not only vigorous, & grow cold, according as our faith is vigorous, and grows cold.
Use 1. Of Refutation, against such as will have Christ to be given us in the Sacrament by the outward work only bodily, and by the mouth to be received, whether we have faith, or not.
Use 2. Of Direction, that in the use of the Lord’s Supper, we take great care to stirre up our faith, because unto nourishment and growth, is not only required the habit and disposition of faith, but also the actual exercise of it, in so much that all, even believers and faithfull, are not worthy receivers of this Supper, unless they rouse up the faith that they have, and exercise it according as the exigent of that time and business doth require.
Doct. 3. For this spiritual nourishment in the Supper it is not required, that the bread and wine be substantially changed into the body and blood of Christ; nor that Christ be bodily present, in, with, and under the bread and wine; but
onely that they be changed 〈◊〉 to relation, and application or use; and that Christ be spiritually present onely to such as partake in faith.
This is hence gathered, in that bread and wine are said to remain here in the Supper; and our communion with Christ, is in a sort said to be such, as Idolaters have with their Idols; which stands in relation onely. Therefore Transubstantiation of Papists and Consubstantiation of Lutherans fight.
Reas. 1. With the nature of Sacraments in general, whose nature consist in a relative union, or likeness, as hath been explained; not in a bodily succession of the one in the others place, or a substantial change of the one into the other; nor yet in a bodily conjunction or presence of the one with, in, and under the other.
Reas. 2. With the analogy of this to the other Sacrament of Baptisme, wherein neither Transubstantiation, nor Consustantiation useth to be made, nor is dream’d of to be made.
Reas. 3. With all the Sacramental phrases, or manners of speaking, used through all the Scriptures.
Reas. 4. With the humane nature of Christ, which, with its essentiall properties safely can neither be every where, nor yet in so innumerable places, at once, as the Supper of the Lord useth to be given at one time.
Reas. 5. With the state and condition of the glorified body of Christ, which suffers not that the flesh and blood of Christ, should be divided or sundred, broken, devoured and chawed by the teeth, concocted and digested by the stomack, &c. handled in other such manner.
Reas. 6. With the revealed will of God, by which it is certain, that Christ remains bodily in the Heavens, and shall do so, untill he come again to judge the 〈◊〉 and the dead.
Use. Of 〈◊〉, against the errors and mad 〈◊〉 of such, as defend such monstrous Doctrines without any shame, as they were at first hatched and received without any ground.
Use 2. Of Direction, that in the use of this Supper we 〈◊〉 of no gross and carnall thoughts into our minds, as if the spiritual eating of, and feeding upon 〈◊〉 dayly in the Word preached, were not the 〈◊〉 altogether as to the substance, with this in the 〈◊〉: For they differ onely in this, that the 〈◊〉 eating differs onely in the manner, or external adjunct of sealing, or obsignative exhibition, or ratification, from the others that are meerly spiritual, and without this outward obsignation, in the Word preached, though it hath often the inward, and substantial obsignation by the Spirit, for which onely the other was instituted.
Doct. 4. The onely 〈◊〉 of this operative presence of Christ in the Sacrament, is that blessing, whereby we bless, 〈◊〉, or set apart to such an holy use, the bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, who cannot but be 〈◊〉 with him own Ordinance, by his Spirit and operation, 〈◊〉〈◊〉 his promise when it is used, as he appointed
This is taught in the Text; The cup of blessing, which we bless &c. This blessing containes in it self, 1. The Institution recited and explained in celebration of the upper, as the ground of the whole action, and of the benefit and blessing, that is to follow on it. 2. A thanks giving for Christ, and for this his appointment, unto the Father, through him, and
by the Spirit, that in this Ordinance we are more and more made partakers of Christ and his benefits. 3. A petition, wherereby the grace of God is sought, for directing and keeping us in the right use of it, and making this Ordinance powerfull unto all the ends, for which it was appointad by him: And this is properly the consecrating of the signes, or outward elements.
Reas. 1. Because by this blessing, bodily things are separated from a common use, and are set apart to an holy, and so are consecrated, and sanctified.
Reas. 2. Because by these acts both the will of God by his institution, and our will or consent in this business, sanctified by our prayers, come both together and to one, for procuring spiritual power and operation in the formes or use of these signes.
Reas. 3. Because Christ himself did this, and commanded that we should do the same, that we doing so, may look for the spiritual blessing from him.
Use 1. Of Resutation against those kind of inchantments, or sorceries, that the Papists have put in place of this blessing or consecration.
Use 2. Of Direction that in the celebration of this Supper, we may alwayes have Christs institution before our eyes with thanksgiving, and seeking of grace or favour, that we may approve our selves in the right use of it; because from these comes all the blessing, and power of the Sacrament.
The thirtieth Lords day.
1 Cor. 11. 28, 29.
Verse 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
THe Apostle in this part of his Epistle corrects many abuses, which had got some strength in the Church of Corinth; amongst which was the prophanation of the Lord’s Supper; and of the correction of it, this is the conclusion, wherein he expounds the duty of believers in receiving the Lords Supper. This duty may be referred to two heads; whereof the 1. Is concerning the action it self, whereby the faithfull are made partakers of this mystery by eating and drinking. 2. Is about the manner of this action, which is specified to us in the word 〈◊〉. And this manner is again contained in three acts, whereof the 1. is that which is set in the last place, that every communicant discerne the Lord’s body. 2. Is, that he try himself. 3. Is, that he furnish himself with such a disposition, as is worthy of so great a mystery. And these three acts are set down in these three words; discerning the Lord’s body; let a man examine himself; and he that eats 〈◊〉 drinks unworthily.
Doct. 1. All our work, that is ours onely in the Lord’s Supper, is to eat and to drink the body and blood of Christ.
It is gathered from these words; Let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup; and not discerning the Lord’s body.
Reas. 1. Because this is the Sacrament of our spiritual nourishment in and by Christ.
Reas. 2. Because in the very institution of this Sacrament no other thing is prescribed, but that we should take, eat, and drink; to wit, as the signs with our bodies, so the body and blood of Christ spiritually or by faith, to the nourishment of our soules.
Reas. 3. Because nothing else is represented in the external signes and actions, but this nourishment on Christ, which by the institution of Christ, is in this Sacrament used.
Use, Of Refutation, against Papists, What the difference is between the Supper and the Popish Mass: because Papists have taken away the Sacrament that was instituted by Christ, and have set up in its place the Sacrifice of the Mass, that was devised by men. And this is the difference between a Sacrament and a Sacrifice, that the formal reason of a Sacrifice consists in this, that in it men offer something to God; and God receives something from men: But the formal reason of a Sacrament is in this, that God offers something to men by visible signes, and men receive it from God, on the conditions and manner that he offers it. In this Supper God offers Christ unto us for our spiritual nourishment; and we receive Christ as the food of our soules, by eating and drinking of him by faith. Hence the popish Mass is a meer stranger to Christ’s institution, while they
make its principal use to be a Sacrifice for the quick and the dead; and while they officiate their private Masses, wherein the people neither eat nor drink; while in the publick Masses, they take away the cup from the people, so that though they eat in some sort, yet they drink in no manner; while they hold up the Host, or Sacrifice; that is, the consecrated bread and wine, rather to be adored and worshiped, than to be eaten, or drunk; while lastly, they do all this in an unknown tongue, so that the people cannot understand, either what, or how they should eat, or drink.
Doct. 2. That we may rightly partake in the Lords Supper, it is chiefly required, that we rightly discerne the Lords body.
By this discerning of the Lords body, is understood an act of the understanding, whereby we observe the difference between this bread, thus consecrated to be a signe, and exhibitive seal of the Lords body (that is of all his benefits and graces) to our faith, and common bread: Or it is that judgement of our mind, whereby we have a right apprehension and pronounce right sentence concerning this whole mystery, or business. The want of this discerning is that which is reproved here by the Apostle.
Reas. 1. Because without judgement and prudence agreeable to the thing undertaken, nothing can be rightly, or perfectly, done or performed.
Reas. 2 Because in the Sacraments, where the external appearances are bodily and gross, and yet a spiritual mystery or secret (as to sense) lies hid in them, there is need of spiritual heed and judgement, that we may rightly pierce and dive into that spiritual secret it self.
Reas. 3. Because the want of this discerning, brings with it a prophanation of this holy feast, as appears by the example of the Corinthians. For who so discerne not what it is about which they are busied, can never fit themselves so, as to behave themselves arightly in handling of such a business.
Use, Is both of Direction and Exhortation together, that every one earnestly set his mind and iudgement arightly to discerne, before he come to the table of the Lord; what it is, that is there done; and what it is that himself should there do. Now the special points, that ought by all communicants to be discerned, are these. 1. The occasion and necessity that there was, that Christ should be broken and given for us, and to us, which was no other but the deepest guilt of our sin, & heaviest punishment due to it; and the misery that to us would thence have followed. 2. The proper cause and reason of this donation, which was the infinite mercy of God towards us. 3. The manner in which Christ was given for us; which was both in body and soul to the sufferance of death [though they were the soul and body of God personally] that by this his obedience we might be both freed from death, and the consequent of its misery; and made partakers of all the blessings of grace, and glory, and happiness, which were in him prepared for us; and he had deserved to us. 4. The meanes by which Christ is thus applied unto us, and made ours; as in this Sacrament, externally by the signes of eating of bread, and drinking of wine, and internally, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, and our faith stirred up by him, to rely upon Christ for life, and nourishment and growth unto life eternal, and all the blessings aforesaid.
Doct. 3. The second duty required unto a right communicating, or partaking of this Sacrament, is that we seriously examine or try our selves.
The object of the former duty was the Supper it self, instituted of God. The object of this is our selves, wherein by a reflex act we behold and consider our selves, that we may understand how our disposition and condition agrees, or disagrees with the nature and use of this institution. And this inquiry should be made with greatest care and diligence, as the word used for it, doth sufficiently express; wherein is properly expressed the Goldsmiths pains in diligently trying of silver and gold, that he may know true coyne from false.
Reas. 1. Because it would be in vain to discerne the Lords body, unless we discern aright also, how our selves agree with, or disagree from the Lords body, and whether we have such requisites, as necessarily we must, for the saving participation of his body. For in the Sacrament there is a mutual relation between the gift offered, and our receiving of it; nor doth it bestead us at all, to know of what sort, and how precious the gift is, unless we know also that our selves are such, as to whom this gift doth belong.
Reas. 2. Because great is the deceit of mans heart, whereby men use to deceive themselves, while they think that all is right, although it be nothing so. It is needfull therefore, that we diligently examine our owne hearts, least we be deceived with a false faith, and rest in a phancie and vain imagination instead thereof.
Reas. 3. Because it is not enough to our comfort, that we be sometimes well disposed to partake
of these good blessings of God, unless we also discerne this disposition to be in us. For our comfort dependeth not onely on the presence, or having of grace; but also on our inward feeling, and perceiving that we have it: Which perceiving that we may attain to, it is needfull that we seriously examine our selves, and know what is in us.
Use, Of Exhortation, that we may have a care of this duty, and deal not too gently with our selves, nor slightly; but bring all to a very punctual and rigorous trial. Now the special points that we ought to examine in our selves, are these: 1. Whether we have knowledge and understanding of the things that belong to the institution of the Supper; that is, whether we rightly discerne the Lords body, as hath been taught in the precedent Doctrine. 2. Whether we have a true acknowledgement and repentance for our sins, from the guilt whereof we would be disburthened; i. e. the pardon whereof we seek to be sealed unto us in the use of this Sacrament. 3. Whether we have that faith, whereby we flee onely to Christ, that we may be freed from 〈◊〉 sins. 4. Whether we be so far in charity, and love with our Neighbour, as that we carry no spite, hatred, malice, or revenge to his person, but can pray heartily for him to God, for his forgivenesse (in case he be froward to convenient and fitting meanes of reconciliation) as for our selves, though we may not outwardly testify our forgivenesse of him in such case, where Ecclesiastical procedure cannot be had for fear of hardening him in his sin, or exposing our selves and these mysteries to dirision; or because some other hinderance will not suffer us, as remote absence of the parties, and others
the like; and can where occasion offereth, yea, are desirous to do him really all the good that we can.
Doct. 4. The third duty for right communicating, is that we have the disposition, that is worthy and fitting for so great a mystery.
It is gathered from these words; He that eats or drinks unworthily. Now the worthinesse that is here required, is not the worth of quantity, or of merit; but of quality, or uprightness in the business; and of suitableness, as when St. Iohn Baptist saith, Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance; he understands not fruits that deserve repentance to be given us; but are agreeable to true repentance; that is, true fruits of true repentance, and suitable to the nature of it.
Reas. 1. Because these mysteries cannot be unworthily used, but that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ must needs withall be unworthily affronted, as it were by contempt. And hence it is, that unworthy partakers are said to eat and drink judgement unto themselves; to wit, from God’s wrath, who by this most unworthy ignomony put upon his Son, is provoked.
Reas. 2. Because no noble forme is introduced ordinarily into matter, nor fitly disposed and prepared before; so the grace and comfort of this Sacrament, useth not to be received but by such, as are suitably disposed and prepared for it; so that who so comes unworthily, doth of necessity go unfruitful from this Sacrament, as to any solid fruits thereof.
Reas. 3. Because unfitness and unpreparation makes this most holy Ordinance become an occasion unto many of greater hardening in their sinnes.
For as the preaching of the Gospell is to some a savour of death unto death, not of its owne nature, but by their perverse dispositions; so also this Sacrament unto unworthy communicants, is not the cup of blessing, but occasion of a curse. Now the specialties that are required unto this disposition, are these: 1. A right and pure intention, whereby we look at all and onely such ends in partaking of the Supper, as God looked at, in the appointing of it, and giving of it to us. 2. A good conscience, whereby we have a sure and firm purpose and resolution of obeying God in all things, commanded by him; and of shunning all sins, in obedience unto him. 3. An awfull reverence flowing from the right discerning of the Lords body. 4. Humility, which flows from a right examination of our selves, whereby we cannot but perceive our owne unworthinesse. 5. A great desire to the spiritual good things, which are offered us in this Sacrament. 6. Thankfulnesse to God for the goods bestowed and imparted to us. 7. Charity towards our brethren, who are together with us partakers of these blessings in Christ; as in the former Doctrine were further declared.
Doct. 5. Whoso neglect openly these duties, are not to be admitted unto the Lord’s Supper.
The one and thirtieth Lords day.
Mat. 16. 19.
And I will give unto thee the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven: And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven: whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven.
IN these words is contained an explication of that promise, which Christ in the last preceding verse had made to Peter, of building his Church upon the Rock, and of the strength of that building, which the gates or power of Hell should not overcome. Now the building of his Church is signified by the instrumental cause thereof; that is, the Ministry of the Gospell. The strength or firmness of this building is shewn in the firmness it hath from Heaven, which is its principal cause. And the building of the Church by the Ministry is Metaphorically explained, by the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, because the giving of the keyes to bear, is the signe of power given over that House, or Town unto which they belong; therefore Christ most fitly designed the power of the Ministry, in such things as belong unto the Kingdome of Heaven by this simile. The confirmation or strength of this Heavenly building is explained from things compared in likeness; to wit, between the administration of men about these keys; and the approbation thereof, and ratification by God. This parity or likeness is explained
in two parts, according to the two uses that keys use to serve for, of 〈◊〉 and binding; and of opening and loosing.
Doct. 1. Christ appointed in his Church a certain order r rank of Ministers, for the building of her up, and keeping er in repair or strength.
He appointed a Ministry, not a Magistry, mastership or Lordly power; because he ordained not that any in the Church should do any thing from or of his owne authority, or according to his owne pleasure; but onely from and by the authority of Christ himself, who is the only King, Lord, and Lawgiver in his Church. He appointed a certain order.
Reas. 1. Because God is the God of order, and not of confusion, which ought to be far from his House.
Reas. 2. Because no other but the Lord of the Church had power to ordain any such thing; or make it effectual for its ends.
Reas. 3. Because thus it became Christ to shew himself faithfull in the House of God, as Moses was, Heb 3.
He appointed this order for the building of his Church, or keeping her in repair, or strengthening of her.
Reas. 1. Because he would deal with men in a man-like and moral manner, as was suitable to their nature. And this servantship or Ministry is a moral meanes of building up and confirming the faithfull.
Reas. 2. Because believers imperfections and diverse tentations, require such means, whereby they may be established and ordained in the faith.
Reas. 3. Because he would so put forth his powerfull working by such earthen vessels, and weak
meanes, for the greater praise end illustration of his grace.
Use, Of Information, that we understand how to esteem the Ministry of the Gospell; to wit, as a most holy and saving Ordinance of Christ ought to be esteemed.
Doct. 2. To this Ministry is adjoyned a ministerial, or servant-like power, in things that belong to the Kingdome of Heaven.
This is collected from giving of the keyes. For although by a key is sometimes designed supreme, or Lordlike power and command, as Rev. 1. 18. yet sometimes also a Ministerial power onely, as Isa. 22. 22. And that it is so understood here is clear, in that Christ alone is King of his Church, and commander, endowed with supreme power. And by this he is distinguished from the Apostles themselves, Mat. 18. 19, 20. as also by this, that the Apostles every where profess themselves the Ministers of Christ.
Reas. 1. Because every order, rank, or degree instituted of God, hath some suitable power adjoyned to it. As therefore a commanding or an imperial power is adjoyned unto Empire or the State; so a ministerial power is adjoyned unto Ministers.
Reas. 2. Because the building and keeping in repair, and strengthening and advancing the Church, in which the end of this Ministry consists, cannot be procured by men, but by such a power.
Reas. 3. Because the Kingdome of Heaven is of that nature, that it can be subect to no imperial or commanding power of sinfull man, but to him onely that is infallible, and imperable, God and man, Christ Jesus; and to a Ministerial or servant-like power of sinfull men only.
Use 1. Of Refutation, against Papists, who give an imperial and commanding power to Peter, and to the Popes of Rome: which also they would fain pick out of this place. But the power here spoken of, is equally given, or joyned to all the Ministers of the Word, and not to Peter alone, as they would have it. For, 1. Peter here represented the persons of all the Apostles, and of all Ministers of the Word, their successors; and in some kinde of the whole Church. For as Christ thus proposed the question to them all, and had the answer given by Peter by the approbation and consent of them all, as that to which they adhered, and allowed as well as he, and therefore might be said to have been made in the name of all, he being the senior, and so often the speaker for all; so also in this promise instead of them all, Christ directs his speech to Peter. 2. This same power is solemnly given unto all the Apostles, and to their successors, Ioh. 20. 23. 3. Unto every true Church this power is in some kind extended.
Use 2. Of Direction as well of Ministers, that they attempt nothing but from the command of Christ, as his Ministers; as of others, that they so look at Ministers, as they keep not still their eye upon their persons, and look no further; but that they lift up their eyes to Christ, whose Ministers they are, and love and honour them for his sake, and the imployment he hath laid upon them, wherein, and as far as they carry themselves sutably to both.
Doct. 3. This power is properly exercised in binding and loosing, or in shutting and opening; that is, in retaining, or remitting of sins.
Reas. 1. Because the whole consolation and edification of the Church chiefly consists in the remission
of sins given and granted unto believers, which is also set out and illustrated by retaining of sins, or denial of remission, which is denounced to unbelievers in the Church.
Reas 2. Because all other duties that belong unto the Ministry depend on these, and may conveniently be reduced into them, either as meanes, effects, adjuncts, and the like.
Reas. 3. Because in these the excellency and worth of the Ministry of the Gospell do singularly appear; because that chief work of forgiving sins, which properly and absolutely agreeth onely to God, is in some sort communicated to the Ministers of Christ, or made common to them with God; to wit, because the denunciation, testification, declaration, and certification of forgiveness of sins, belongs unto the Ministers of Christ, by their office; and that in two wayes; to wit, either in the preaching of the Word, or in the exercise of Discipline.
Use 1. Of Information, about the excellency and worth of the Ministry of the Gospell, that it may not be disgraced by Ministers themselves, nor condemned, or spoken against by others.
Use 2. Of Comfort to believers, because the whole Ministry of the Gospell labours for this, that believers may be ascertained of the forgiveness of their sins.
The thirty third Lords day.
Ephes. 4. 20, 21, 22.
Verse 20 But ye have not so learned Christ:
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Iesus.
- That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitfull lusts:
THe Apostle is here taken up in that most weighty exhoration, whereby he began at the entry of this Chapter to stirre up Christians to that conversation, which agreeth unto their calling unto Christianity. And this exhortation he began verse 17. to illustrate from a comparison of unlike things. And the parties that are compared, are Christians, and other people: The quality wherein they are compared, is their manner and way of living. The unlikeness in this quality, is either in the principles and causes of living, or in their effects. As to their principles, Heathens are said to have all their faculties corrupted; and as to the faith, all their actions and motions are deformed. On the contrary, all the faculties of a Christian are renewed, and the motions of them holy and honest. The reddition or second part of this comparison, which belongs to Christians, is contained in these five verses, wherein the unlike condition of Christians and unbelievers is explained: 1. From its external cause, which
is the Doctrine and Discipline of the Gospell, verses 20, 21. 2. From the internal causes, which is conversion and sanctification. This again consists of two parts: 1. The mortification and laying off of the old man. 2. Its vivification and putting on of the new man; that is, renovation of the whole man, each part is illustrated by its description, which are from their effects. The effects of the old man are corruptions and errours, verse 22. Of the new man, righteousness and holiness, v. 23, 24.
Doct. 1. There is a great unlikenesse of condition and life between men regenerated and unregenerated.
This is gathered from the scope of the Text, and these words; the old man, and the new man, as if a man were not the same man after regeneration, that he was before. Hither belong all these comparisons which through most of the Proverbs of Solomon are made between the godly and ungodly. It is pointed at also every where in the New Testament, and also in the Old, by the difference between light and darknesse, and between a quick man and a dead, and between one that being defiled with all sort of uncleannesse, like the Sow that wallowes in the mire, and one that is washed and cleansed.
Reas. 1. Because they have a diverse nature; believers being made partakers of the divine nature, 2 Pet. 1. 4. and unbelievers are scarcely to be said to have a mans nature in a moral consideration. Hither belongs it, that the Apostle every where teacheth that believers are led and governed by the Spirit of God, to walk thereafter; and that unbelievers are led by their own flesh.
Reas. 2. Because as the internal principle of operations
is quite unlike; so also the outward rule of all their conversation is quite contrary; the regenerate ordering his whole life after the will of God revealed in his Word; the unregenerate after his owne suggestions, and corrupt imaginations, or worldly opinions.
Reas. 3. Because the end to which they tend, is unlike and contrary; the regenerate breathing after God and Heaven, as he is called to the hope of eternal life; the unregenerate seeking himself, and this present world. Hither belongs it, that the unregenerate are said to be of this world; but the regenerate Citizens of Heaven it self, Phil. 3. 20. and often elswhere.
Use 1. Of Reproof. of such as will be thought, and think themselves perhaps true believers and regenerate, when yet in their whole conversation scarce any thing can be marked, which is not common to them, and unregenerate persons.
Use 2. Of Comfort, for the godly, that lead a life worthy of Christian profession, but are sometimes from infirmity troubled, because most with whom they live, or have to do, become strange to them; and make it plain that they are offended some way with the strictnesse of their conversation; which offence ariseth properly from this unlikenesse of conversation, whereby the corrupt walking of others according to the fashions of the world, are tacitly reproved, Ephes. 5. Now this unlikenesse ought to be our greatest comfort, as it is a sign of our regeration.
Use 3. Of Exhortation, that by change of our life and conversation, we may more and more study to shew unto others, and confirme unto our selves this
grace of our regeneration, whereunto we are called in Christ.
Doct. 2. Th cause of this unlikenesse of regenerate from unregenrate, is the Doctrine of the Gospell.
It is in the Text clear enough.
Reas. 1. Because the Doctrine of the Gospell teacheth us to deny all ungodlinesse, and worldlinesse, and to live holily, 〈◊〉. 2. 12.
Reas. 2. Because the mighty and powerfull operation of the Holy Spirit is present with the preaching of the Gospell, for producing this change in man; for which cause it is called the Ministry of the Spirit, and the Law of the Spirit of life, and the Arme of God.
Reas. 3. Because the proper power of faith is to cleanse the hearts of those that it is in, Act 5. 9. and to make us from our hearts to harken to the Doctrine unto which we were delivered, Rm 6. 17.
Use, Of Admonition. that we beware least by hearing in vain the preaching of the Gospell, without this fruit of conversion and change of life, we perniciously deceive our selves.
Doct. 3. One part of this conversion made by the Gospell, is mortification of all our corrupt dispositions and customes.
It is gathered from verse 22. where by the old man, all the corrupt dispositions are understood, because they possessing all the parts and faculties of the man from our birth, and that with dominion and power over us to keep us still under them, do therefore carry the name of the old man iustly, and that for these reasons. 1. Because they thus possessed us from the beginning of our conception. 2. Because they ought by Christians to be esteemed as things old, and useless, and to be put off, and laid away: And that,
Reas. 1. Because the end of Christ’s death, and the Gospell it self, is to dissolve the workes of the Devill, oh. 3. 8. And these inordinate dispositions and customes are amongst the first and chief works of the Devill.
Reas. 2 Because by these we were separated from God; and the Gospell calls us and drawes us to God again; and therefore to lay these aside.
Reas. 3. Because life and obedience cannot have place in such, as these lusts and customes have power in; and the Gospell calls us to a spiritual life, and a new obedience.
Use 1. Of Rproof of such, as would have themselves thought regenerate, when yet they are the servants of such carnal lusts.
Use 2. Of Exhortation, that we manfully set our selves not onely to repress such lusts, but quite also to root them out. Now the old man is mortified, 1. By that firme and constant purpose of changing our life, which is effectually begun in our first repentance, and dayly ought to be renewed, and extended to all new emergencies. 2. By the vertue of Christ’s death applied to us by faith, whence our old man is said to be crucified with Christ; and it may be rightly added, with the same nailes, that Christ was crucified with. For Christ was fastned unto the Cross, partly because of the guilt of our sins; partly out of the love of the Father to us, that we might be saved: partly out of Christ’s owne love to us, whereby he was willing to lay down his life for us. And by the earnest meditation of these things, the power of sin is most diminished in us. 3. By the power of the Holy Spirit, to whom we ough to give up our selves, in the use of all the
meanes ordained of God, whereby he useth to put forth his powerfull working.
Doct. 4. The other part of this conversion, is vivification, or renewing of the inward man.
By the inward, new, or renewed man, are understood the new dispositions, that are agreeable unto the will of God: They are called the man, as these other dispositions were, because they should be diffused over the whole man, as they were. And they are called the new man partly in respect to order, because they follow the other; partly in respect of their excellency, because they are so much better than the other, as new things are to old, out-worn, and decayed things; in which respect, many things of greater excellency than others are called new, in comparison to the other. And this new man is said both to be repaired, and to be put on, because as these inward dispositions in the spirit of our minde are acquired, they are the renewing of the man, and the innerman, verse 23. and the same is said to be put on as a garment, as both outwardly and inwardly it hath full hold of us, and wrappes us wholly up in it self, so that it containes not oney imputed righteousnesse, but together also that of inherence, which consists in the actions of a new obedience.
Reas. 1. This new man must be put on, because it is according to God, or the image of God, as it is in the Text. For it is our duty in our whole life to live unto God, and to aspire to be like to the image of God, according to which we were created, and whereunto we are now again called.
Reas. 2. Because in this new man, or in this image of God our spiritual perfection consisteth, and
so are almost the chief parts of our glorification.
Reas. 3. Because as by this image we please God, who delighteth in his owne image; so by the same alone we are made fit, and apt to glorifie God as we ought.
Reas. 4. Because we cannot be freed from the corruption and perversenesse of the old man, but by vertue of this new man, as darkness is not removed out of this or that place but by letting in of light.
Use, That with all care and by all means sanctified of God for this end, we may more and more labour to put on this new man. Now he is put on. 1. By virue of that effectual desire & purpose we have to please God in our first repentance. 2. By vertue of Christ’s resurection applied to us by faith. 3. By vertue of the Holy Spirit given us in the word of Christ, and in his Sacraments.
Doct. 5. The old man brings us errours and coruptions; and the new man brings forth righteousnesse and true holinesse, verses 22, 23.
The old man corrupts 1. The understanding with all secret errours. 2. The other faculties, by all sorts of lusts and concupiscences. 3. The life and conversation, by all sort of misleadings from the right way. In all these there is corruption properly so called, because there is want of such a life and perfection, as should not be wanting; and a perturbation of that order that belongs to the state of perfection. Now that the new man produceth the workes of righteousnesse and holinesse, appears by these reasons.
Reas. 1. Because he observes the rule of righteousnesse, which is the Law of God.
Reas. 2. Because he belongs to our spiritual perfection, wherein we resemble the divine nature, according to our proportion which is our holinesse.
Reas. 3. Because he brings alwayes forth kindly fruits, or like unto himself, seeking both his owne conservation and improvement from the common conspiration of all our inclinations.
Use, Of Exhortation, that with the same care and zeal we may labour for the mortification of the old man and vivification of the new, wherewith we desire to shun corruption and death, and to attaine unto an holy and blessed perfection.
The thirty fourth Lords day.
Exod. 20. 1, 2, 3.
Ver. 1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out out of the Land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
IN these words are contained the preface of the Moral Law, and the first precept thereof. In the preface is contained the definition, division, and confirmation of the Law: The difinition is pointed at by circumstances, which are as it were the specificative or differencing notions of it, whereby this Law is distinguished from all others: Whereof the 1. is, that God himself spoke it, or immediately by himself pronounced the words of this Law. 2. That then he spoke it; that is, after such a singular preparation
of the people, as never was used in the giving of any other Law. The division of it is contained in these words; that God is said to have spoken all the words of it; that is, of both the Tables, or all the tn words; where respect to the whole, and to its parts is plainly pointed at. The confirmation, or perswasion used to confirm it, is verse 2. where a most strong argument is brought to induce to obedience suitable to this Law; and it is twofold, 1. In general from the Covenant; I am thy God. 2. From a special benefit bestowed upon them by vertue of that Covenant. The first precept it self, is verse 3. whereby is injoyned us, that we have Iehovah for our God; or Iehovah alone: So that in it two points are together injoyned us. 1. That we acknowledge Jehovah to be the true God, and none else. 2. That with all religious honour and worship, we worship him, and that with all our heart, &c. For that is to have Jehovah for our God; and not to be understood speculatively onely, but practically, effectively, and really.
Doct 1. This Law of God contained in the decalogue, or ten words (that is brief sentences) is the most perfect rule for directing of the life of man.
This is gathered from the definition, which we said; before was pointed out in two circumstances; because it hath not onely God for its author, but is also given with singular majesty in the perfectest manner, as after extraordinary preparation: That we may understand all perfection that can be desired in any Law, is to be found in this.
Reas. 1. Because it prescribes all the duties of man, whether they look at God himself directly, as in the first Table; or our neighbour, as in the second.
Reas. 2. Because in all those duties, it not onely requires the workes themselves, but also the most perfect way of working them; to wit, that they come from the whole heart, and from the bottome of the heart; that is, from the intire strength of the whole man, and with perfect purity and sincerity; and that they be directed to the glory of God.
Reas. 3. Because it containes in it self a delineation or draught of that perfection, whereunto man in his first or innocent nature was created, according to the image of God. And therefore also it is called the Law of Nature, because that rule of life, which was written in the heart of man, according to its primitive and pure nature, is in this Law explained.
Reas. 4 Because it belongs not onely to one Nation, as the Judicial Law did; nor unto some certain time onely, as the Ceremonial Law did; but it is the Common-Law of all Nations, Times, and Persons.
Use 1. Of Information, that we esteem this Law of God as we ought; that is, that we think no otherwayes of it, than as of the will of God omnipotent, and as of that will of his, which most intimately belongs to us, as the onely rule of our life; and as of such a rule, as hath no defect, but is both perfect in it self, and requires all perfection in us.
Use 2. Of Admoniion, that with all reverence we give heed unto this Law, and beware of all neglect and contempt of it, as we would shun death.
Doct. 2. The Moral Law is divided into diverse words, or precepts.
It is gathered from this, in that God is said to have spoken all these words. They are called words,
because they are short; and as it were spoken summarily, or in one word. The chief division of them is into two Tables; the next into ten Precepts, or Commands.
Reas. 1. That we might the more easily understand the will of God, by parts delivered; which wholly together, and at once declared as it were in heaps, we could not so well understand. For the parts in a distribution, or division, make much for the declaration and illustration of any whole.
Reas. 2. That by this meanes our memory may be helped; because naturally our memory is strengthened from the order of the parts amongst themselves.
Reas. 3. That in every part and act of our conversation, we may have light of singular direction, from some part of this Law.
Use, Of Admonition, that we neglect nor contemne no word of this Law; because they are all parts of one and the same Law, and have the same sanction of authority; so that who so stumbles against any one, is guilty of them all, Iam. 2. 10.
Doct. 3. Whatsoever is commanded in any part of the Law, we are bound for may causes to perform the same to God.
This is gathered from that confirmation of the Law; I am Iehovah, &c.
Reas. 1. Because God commands us nothing, he may not with very good right require from us, as well by reason of his absolute power and dominion, as of our dependance on him, by which we require to be supplied and upheld by him in all things.
Reas. 2. Because he requires nothing from us, the observance whereof he did not deserve at 〈◊〉
hands before, as well by spiritual benefits and blessings, as temporal and bodily, in regard whereof, out of thankfulness we owe him all obedience, as is plain in the Text; I brought thee out of the Land, &c.
Reas. 3. Because God is ready to reward our obedience most abundantly in every point.
Use, Of Direction, that by often meditation of the manifold obligations, whereby we are bound to performe our obedience to God, we may more and more stir up our mindes to a care of observing him in all things.
Doct. 4. Every command of the Law, requires the whole obedience of the whole man.
That is, as well inward as outward; of the heart, as of the mouth, and hand or worke: Thou shalt have no other, &c. Make not unto hy self &c. Are formes of speaking, whereby formally such an universal obedience is required.
Reas. 1. Because God the giver of this Law, ought to be glorified with obedience of the whole man, as well of soule as of body, and of both these parts of man.
Reas. 2. Because this is the excellent perfection of the Law of God, whereby it goes beyond all humane Lawes, in that it subjects unto it self the heart, and the reines, and the most inward retirement of of men, as God himself alone, who is the author of this Law, knowes what is in man.
Reas. 3. Because this Law is the rule of spiritual life, and so ought to peirce even to our spirits themselves.
Use 1. Of Information, that for the right understanding of this Law, we look not onely to such things, or think that they onely are contained under
the Law, as in express words are there contained; but all such things also, as belongs to such an head of obedience, whether they be outward or inward. For in every command, as is certain by the summe of entire and whole obedience, the words are to be taken not according to the bare letter, but in a modification of diverse tropes, or borrowed sorts of speaking, as agree to the perfection of such a Law of nature. The trope of Synecdoche that puts the special for the general to be understood by it, is here frequent; as when abstinence from some one vice by name, is put for the whole obedience, whereby we not onely abstain from all faults of that kind; but also are bound to the performance of the contrary affirmative good; and when some action is put for all of its kind and of affinity of nature with it. The trope also of Meonymie is every where in these commands, whereby all the adjuncts are understood under the name of their objects; the effects in their causes, and contrarily; with which is complicated the trope of Metaphor some way; so as all the decalogue is Metaleptick, or to be understood by Transsumption. And these rules must of necessity be understood in the explication of every precept, as our Saviour’s exposition of them, and other Scriptures make clear.
Use 2. Of Admonition, that we rest not, nor please our selves in obedience of any sort done to the Law; but that we may aspire to the entire and perfect observance of it, and ever acknowledge just matter of our humbling in this, that we are so farre from that perfection, that it requires.
Doct. 5. The first and greatest command is that, which containes our duty to God.
Hence is it that it is both put in the first place, and hath also the expresse testimony of Christ, Mat. 22. 28.
Reas. 1. Because God himself being the object of this duty, from him a sort of noblenesse and dignity is derived unto the duty it self.
Reas. 2. Because more and greater things are contained in our duty to God, than either can or may be used in duties to man; as is clear by that form, With he whole minde, and the whole heart, &c.
Reas. 3. Because this duty is the foundation and principle of all others, in as much as in God, and for God onely, we ought to perform all other duties; and so the duties of the second Table are thus virtually contained in the first Commandment.
Use Is of Direction, that our first and chief care may be taken up in those duties, that belong to God.
Doct. 6. The principall duty to God is, that we have him onely for our God.
And to have God for our God, is in general to give God that honour, which is due unto his excellent Majesty: And to this are required.
- That we seek the true knowledge of him, with all care, as he hath revealed himself in his word; because we cannot honour him rightly, whose nature and will we are ignorant of: Iohn 4. 12. Rom. 10 14.
- That from a most humble reverence, we subject our selves unto him, because the honour that we give to God, as to our God, is the honour of a Creature towards its Creator, of a Son towards his Father; of a Servant towards his Master, and that such a Master as hath power of life and death over
us; not of the body onely, but of the soul, or that which is eternal.
- That we believe all, and rest in them, by true faith, which he witnesseth and proposeth unto us; because otherwayes we cannot give him the glory of his omnisience, truth, &c.
- That with certain hope we look for all that he hath promised; because also we cannot give him the honour of the truth of his promises, unless with belief of them, we be so affected with them, as to desire and hope for the accomplishment of them.
- That with greatest love we cleave to him, as the chief good; because as the quidditative notion of God, doth its self denotate the Fountaine and Author, and so the possessor of all highest and most perfect goodnesse; so the honour due to God, contains in it that affection, that is raised up by the meditation and apprehension of the chief good; which is pure and perfect love.
- That we expresse all these duties, and exercise them by a devout hearing of his Word, and calling upon his name, with the like exercise of divine worship; because we can neither powerfully be affected about the honour of God, without such operations, wherein such affections are put forth: neither is the honour we owe to God, contained within the bounds of individual disposition or affection; Nor lastly, can a lively affection of honouring God be cherished or kept in our minds, without such means, whereby it is as well begotten in us, as preserved and improved.
Use 1. Is of Reproof, against such as think they have God for their God, and keep this command well enough, if they deny not God with their
mouths, though they never rouse up themselves to give God this honour before spoken of: Of which sort of men are all such, as 1. deny not themselves, that they may be wholy subject to God and his will. 2. All such as rest in their ignorance. 3. Such as endeavour not to build up themselves in true Faith, Hope, and Love. 4. Such as contemn or neglect the exercise of Piety, publick or private; of all these it may truly be affirmed, that while they endeavour not thus to give God his due honour, they have him not really for their God.
Use Is of Exhortation, that by such considerations we stir up our selves to a greater care of Piety, unlesse we would be like such, as are without God in this world, and so can look for no other than to be separated from God in the world to come.
Doct. 7. Who so giveth this honour, or any part of it, to any other than God, they set up a false God to themselves, and so are Idolaters.
It is gathered from this; Ye shall have no other God. That is; give not this honour to another, that is not true God by nature or essence: For against this cōmand men sin three manner of ways, 1. If we give not this honour to God 2 If we give it to another, that is not God. 3. If we fight or dispute against God, or this honour of his: Who so sin against God in the first way, they are prophane; in the second, they are Idolaters; in the third, they are enemies to God.
Use 1. Is of Refutation, against Papists, who give a great part of this honour to creatures
Use 2. Of condemnation against such as have their minds so fastned to worldly things, that it may be truly said of them, that they have their affiance,
hope and love chiefly placed in them: concerning whom the Apostle warns us, that they have their belly for their god, and their substance, riches and the like.
The thirty fifth Lords dayes.
Exod. 20. 4, 5, 6.
Verse 4. Thou shalt not make to thee any graven image, or the likenesse of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thy self to them, nor worship them, nor serve them; for I the Lord am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
VVE have here the second Command, and the sanctification of it. It concerns the means of worshipping God. It is expressed by Negation and Distribution of means, and description of the use, that is wont to be exercised about such means: The Distribution is taken from the places of the means, Heaven, Earth, Waters. The Description is from the Adjunct of Adoration, or bowing down to them. The Sanction consists in a threatning and promise, the nature and ratifying power whereof is expounded from the nature of God, I am Iehovah, thy strong God. This command is distinguished
from the former, in that there essential and natural worship of God was commanded; but here accidental and of free institution. And this instituted worship, as to the Negative par is declared Synecdochically by an image; because by the abuse of images, this worship of God useth most to be violated.
Doct. 1. In such way, and by such means God is onely to be worshipped, as he hath commanded himself to be worshipped by his word.
This is gathered from this Precept, in that by image is to be condemned all will worship, brought in by men; so that no other is approved, but that which himself hath prescribed. This Doctrine seems also to be clear in these words; Thou shalt not make unto thy self: that is, at thine own pleasure, and as thou likest best, thou shalt bring no worship to God. For although this phrase hath sometimes the sense, thou shalt not make any thing, so as to have it for thy self alone; yet both the short and comprehensive manner of speech in the Decalogue, and the matter it self that is here handled, perswade us; that it should be here taken in the former sense. This Doctrine is expressed, Exod. 23. 33. Deut. 12. last verse.
Reas. 1. Because God alone knows what is acceptable to him, and sutable to his nature and will.
Reas. 2. Because the whole blessing and fruit of our worship that we owe to God, depends on him: and it is not for us to prescribe to God, by what means he should work on us, or we blesse him.
Reas. 3. Because worship not commanded, hath not the nature of obedience in it. But it is Gods will
and it belongs to his honour, that by obeying we worship him, and by worshipping we obey him.
Reas. 4. Because such is the vanity and futility of mens imaginations in things divine, that if it had been left to us, to choose unto our selves the means of divine worship, it would have been turned all into traditions and vain observations; as experience witnesseth, that the Devill by this way hath led away men into empty superstitios, almost through all the world.
Use 1. Is of Refutation against Papists, who have defiled all parts of Divine-worship, with their Willworship, traditions of mens devising, and their own ordinance.
Use 2. Is of Direction, that in worshipping God, we have a precise regard of Gods own holy Ordinances in the ministry of the Word, Sacraments, and Discipline; and on the other part, that we despise all humane devises, with how soever faire colour and pretence they may be commended to us.
Doct. 2. God is not to be worshipped, at, or before an Image.
For otherwayes Images in this place are not absolutely forbidden, because there is a civill, lawfull, use of some Images; but onely the use of Images in Gods worship: Neither are such Images onely forbidden in Gods worship, as are of counterfeit Gods, as Papists will have it; but also of the true God, Deut. 4 1. Where Moses opposeth the voice of the true God, which the people had heard in the Mount, unto all Images of the same God, and not of other counterfeit gods. This was also said expresly to have been signified in the sin of the Israelites, about the Image that they made, Exod. 22.
verse 6. that they would make a Calf for an Image, or representation of Iehovah: The distinction therefore between an Image and an Idoll, in which, and by the which Image God is served, hath no ground neither in writing, nor right reason, nor in common use of words. The grievousnesse of this sin every where appeareth, that in scripture it is commonly called Idolatry: For such as worship the true God at or before an Image, they do not altogether and professedly forsake the true God; and therefore do not commit that principal and essential Idolatry; yet are they guilty of secondary Idolatry, and that which is such indirectly, and by participation.
Reas. 1. Because in some sort, they make unto themselves another God besides the true God; to wit, such an one as will be represented by an Image, and worshipped there by us.
Reas. 2. Because they not onely diminish that glory which they ought to give unto God, but they also refer a part of it either expresly, or implyedly unto the image, which is due unto God alone.
Reas. 3. Because also they honour in some sort with Divine honour the Authors of Images, while they grant them the power or authority of instituting divine worship, which belongs to God alone: and by that means also they are said to worship the Devill himself, because he is the principal authour of Image worship. Hence it is that scripture useth to call this grievous sin by some special phrases; as when in the sanction of this commandment, it is called a hating of God, and in other places, treachery or perfidiousness, adultery and violation of the wedlock-covenant. Hence also it is, that so heavy a
punishment is denounced against this sin, as is in the threatning laid down in this commandment, whereby it is said, that God will visit this iniquity on the Sons, Nephews and their Children again unto the the thrid and fourth generation.
Use 1. Is of Refutation against the Idolatry of Papists, who as they commit Idolatry against the first commandment, in praying to Angels and Saints departed, and the like; so here they commit secondary Idolatry, 1. In that they make Images of God the Father, Son and Holy-ghost; which is expressely forbidden. 2. In that they honour with divine worship these and other Images. 3. In that they make the worship it self Idolatrous, which they would offer to God, while by the intervention of an Image they thrust it upon God, against his own revealed will. And this amongst others, gives just and necessary cause to all the godly of making separation from the Church and worship of Papists: Because such a worship is abhominable to God, and ought to be in abhomination and detestation with all the godly.
Use 2. Is of Exhortation, as well for thanksgiving to God, that he hath delivered us from such Idolatry, as unto care and caution, that we communicate in no manner with such Idolatrous ordinances.
Doct. 3. Such Images are diligently to be shunned of us.
It is gathered from the manner of setting forth the command, whereby with such care and so precisely all and every sort of Images are forbidden: And this is it that thē Apostle Iohn means in 1 Epistle chap. and last verse
Reas. 1. Because such Images belong to that greatest abhomination, to wit, of Idolatry; from which all the godly ought to keep themselves very far.
Reas. 2. Because there is great danger in these humane inventions, least they should insensibly allure us unto an apostacy or defection from God; as is evident by the words of this precept, Thou shalt not bow thy self, neither worship, &c.
Reas. 3. Because by this means we should reprove Idolaters, and as much as in us lies, call them back from their Idolatry.
Use Is of Direction, that we alwayes have a care to be precise in this kinde, that so we may preserve unto our selves the worship of God pure and undefiled: Neither then are any Images of God to be admitted, nor any other Images for holy use, nor any thing of our devising, that hath analogy or proportion to an Image, as are all symbolike, or signifying ceremonies in divine worship introduced by men: And the instructing of rude and ignorant people hereby, is but of vain pretence, because Images are teachers of lies, Hab. 2. 9. Ier. 10 18.
The thirty six and seventh Lords day.
On Exod. 20. 7.
Verse 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
THe third command is here proposed, and its Sanction or Confirmation. The Command is concerning the manner of worshipping God, or the right use of such things, as have a speciall relation to God and his worship: For by the name of Iehovah, all is understood, whereby God is made known to us, or discernable, as a man is by his name. By taking of Gods name into our mouths, is understood then, the use of all such things; because things use to be taken up so commonly, that they may be applied unto use. And by in vain, or vainly, is understood all pravity of this use, by a Synecdoche of the special put for the more general kinde; and that because a vain using of sacred and holy things, is a grievous abuse of them, though there may be others that are more grievous, as when not onely without their just and true end and fruit, they are used, or for no settled end, that is, rashly, or in vain; but also setledly and purposely, they turn and wrest them about to some wicked and impious uses. So then, by taking Gods name in vain, all abuse of sacred things is understood. The Sanction
of this precept is by its threatning; which is generally of all misery. This misery is explicated by its proper causes; that is, the prosecution of that guilt, which followeth the breach of this Command, God will not leave him or hold him guiltless, &c. For as the blessednesse of a man is declared by the taking away of the guilt of sins, Rom. 4. 6. 7. So also mans misery is declared by prosecution of the same guilt.
Doct. 1 We ought with all religion, or devotion to be conversant about such things, as belong unto Gods worship, both as to the things themselves, and as to the manner of handling them.
It is clear enough in the words themselves; Take not the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Reas. 1. Because this manner of handling things, belongs some way to the form of the action, and of our duty: and it more inwardly belongs to our duties that we rightly direct our actions, as to the point of their form than of their matter and object; though a care must be had of both, and that with a devotion of the same kinde.
Reas. 2. Because in such things the name of God is as it were committed and recommended to our trust, that it may appear with what devotion and respect we will use the same.
Reas. 3. Because that name of God hath so much worth and excellency in it, that it is with little or no lesse wickednesse used with contempt or sight, than when it is altogether neglected. Now the religious manner of using Gods name, consists chiefly in these things: First, in the sincerity of our intentions, whereby we are to look at the very end in the use of it, and worship of God, unto which of
s own nature, and by Gods appointment it tends and was ordained. 2. In the reverence wherewith we use it, which is to be such, as thereby we may shew, that we are careful to preserve & keep up the honour of God, and of his worship, in good esteem, and save it from all contempt, slight, dishonour, and reproach. 3. In our zeal, whereby we endeavour with all earnestnesse of minde to glorifie God in the use of these things, and so advance our own salvation. These and the like wayes are pointed out to us in the very forbidding the using of them vainly.
Reas. 1. Because that is used rashly and vainly, which is not used to its own end; therefore to exclude this vanity, sincerity about our intention must first be used.
Reas. 2. Because that is counted but vain and empty, which is but light and slightly handled, as if it were a thing of no weight or importance, therefore the forbidding to use vainly, commands us by the same means to use it, with reverence, earnestnesse and gravity.
Reas. 3. Because a thing is used in vaine, when it attains not to its end, uses and fruit it was ordained for; therefore for the taking away of this vanity also a diligent endeavour is required, of reaping and receiving the just fruits of such ordinances; thus is done by zeale.
Use 1. Is of Reformation, against Papists, who in many things look onely to the worke done, and neglect the manner of doing, and disposition of the der.
Use 2. Is of reproof, of all carnall and irreligious manners of men in the use of Gods worship, and sacred things; when as they go about them, either
after a wonted fashion of their owne, or out of custome rather than from conscience, and a knowing, and feeling resentment of duties; and have in them, for the most part, other ends set down and proposed to themselves, than such as God appointed, and they ought onely to intend; or they are lightly touched with them, and therefore but slightly busied in them, as if they were matters of sport, or high-way pastimes; or lastly, these are so old in the good duties they do, though they look not like men in sport, that yet they look as such, that never either looked for, nor had any great care of reaping any great benefit from the things they did.
Use 3. Is of Exhortation, that we may more and more stir up in our selves, and in our minds and consciences, this religious care.
Doct. 2. This religious care ought singularly to be had in the use of Oathes, and such things as are of the like nature thereto.
It is gathered from hence, because the name of God in a special manner is taken up into our mouths, in Oaths, Vows, Promises, Covenants and the like; and a reverence of Gods dreadfull name is especially here commended unto us.
Reas. 1. Because in every Oath, there is a certain calling upon the name of God, in a speciall sort.
Reas. 2. Because God is not barely and onely called upon, as in other businesses, to help us; but as a witnesse, judge and an avenger, if we speak not and think not truth, and do not right.
Reas. 3. Because in an Oath we binde our selves not onely to man, or our party on earth, but also unto God, and for the most part of our own accord;
and where otherwaies we needed not put our souls under the wrath and curse of God, and his fearful engeance, if we should deceive.
Reas. 4 Because as it were, we here interpose God and his name for our Surety; all which respects require a singular religious care of the use of Gods name in such a behalf.
Use Of Condemnation against such as are given to ash Oathes, or to superstitious, blasphemous and prophane ones.
Doct. 3. It is a most grievous sin, and such as God will n a singular maner avenge, to abuse Gods name in this manner.
This is gathered from the sanction, adjoyn’d to the precept: God will not leave him unpunished, &c. And this sanction is grounded on two Reasons,
Reas. 1. Because this sin amongst men is accounted venial, and is daily committed without any punishment.
Reas 2. Because it is our natural corruption, little or nothing to regard the dispositions of our minds in worshipping God; which yet God chiefly looks at.
Now the grievousnesse of the sin, appeareth in this; 1. That God is in this, as it were, mocked: 2. That Gods worship is turned as it were, into a stage-play. 3. That an occasion hereby is given of contemning and blaspheming of Gods name: And amongst the punishments, wherewith God follows this sin, that spiritual revenge is most horrid, whereby he so deserts such men, that things which of their own nature are a savour of life unto life, become unto them a savour of death unto death;
which also by the very order of nature follows upon this kinde of sin.
Use Of Admonition is, that we take heed of such sort of sins; and these are not to play and make a sport with passages of holy Scripture; or to make use of them to charms, or inchantments, and witchcraft: without any reverence or gravity, to tosse them to and fro like Tennis-bals, in common discourse, and purposes; lastly, to be exercised in any part of Gods worship, meerly for a shift, and for the fashion, and for the custome that is in use.
Doct. 4. That for the fear or horrour of such a sin, we ought not altogether to abstain from Oathes, as things in themselves and absolutely unlawfull.
For in some cases, times and matters, we are bound unto them by the affirmative or commanding part of this Precept.
The thirty eighth Lords day.
On Exod. 20. 8, 9, 10, 11.
Verse 8. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy:
- Six dayes shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
- But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy Gods in it thou shalt not do any work: thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattel, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six dayes the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, Wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
THis fourth command, which is about the time of more solemn worship, is, explicated 1. generally, vers. 8. Remember, &c. 2. speciall, vers. 9, 10. that this is the seventh, or one of seven; whereunto is adjoyned the duty about keeping this day. This duty consists of two parts, to wit, of rest, and of the Sanctification of that rest: the rest is a ceasing from all our workes; and is illustrated from its causes, by a distribuition; neither thou, nor thy son, &c. The sanctifying of this rest is consecrating, or holy application of it to Gods worship. And this sentence is not onely proposed, but also confirmed, and that with a double reason; whereof 1. Is taken from a tacit comparison of the greater. God hath promised us six dayes for our works; and therefore by
very good right and reason, he may challenge the seventh to himself, to be consecrated to his worship. . Reason is taken from the exemplar cause, because God by his own example of resting on the seventh day, went before us, as it were to give us a coppy to follow. 3, Reason is from the efficient, that is, Gods institution or appointment which consisteth of two parts; sanctifying of it, and blessing it. The sanctifying of it, was the separating of this day from a worldly use to an holy. The blessing of it, was the promise to blesse them, that rightly blesse this day.
Doct. 1. Certaine times are both privately and publickly to be appointed and set apart for more solemn worship.
This is understood in the command by that Synecdoche, that names the special for the general. Those times in general are due unto publick worship which are most agreeable to the societies, in which we live. And to the private exercises of godliness, by night order; some part of the morning, and of the evening time is due; and this is alwayes the practice of the Prophets and Apostles approved in Scripture, and proposed unto us, as an example to be followed.
Reas. 1. Because we ought to have this care, that we orderly and decently worship God; which cannot be without setting apart such a certaine time.
- Because our vanities, and straglingnes of mind and forgetfulness about spirituall duties requires of us the help of such an ordinance, as this.
- Because these appointed times keep us from many sins, while in our thoughts we are either preparing our selves for these exercises, or else keep
still the fresh remembrance and power of them in our memories.
Use, is of Reproofe, against their negligence, who though they professe themselves to be worshippers of God, yet can scarce finde any time, to give God the worship that is due to him
Doct. 2. That one day of seven be holily observed, is of morall and perpetuall duty; as with us, the Lords Day.
Reas. 1. Because this is expresly commanded in this morall law, as spoken immediatly by God himself, together with the other commands, and written by his own finger on tables of stone, as they were; which things were onely proper to the morall law.
Reas. 2. Because it was thus ordain’d from the beginning of the Creation.
Reas. 3. Because it is never lesse necessary, that some seventh day be observed, than it was at the first institution. And that the Lords day, or first of the week, or seventh is now by Divine authority appointed to us, that it be holily kept, appeareth:
- From the ground and reason of the change, because as God from the beginning, appointed the seventh day of the week, or septenary circuit of dayes for his rest from Creating of things: So Christ appointed the first of the week, or of the seventh days of ordinary recourse, because on that day he rested from his penall and afflictious labours of his humiliation, or emptying himself, whereby he restored and created the world, as it were new again, unto a better condition than it had lost.
- By the frequent apparitions of Christ in the convention of his Disciples on this day.
- From the sending and shedding abroad of the Holy-ghost, on this day.
- By the practise of the Apostles.
- By Apostolike constitution, 1 Cor 16.
6 From the very title and name of the Lords day, that it hath in the New Testament
- From the rigorous observation of this day in the Primitive Church, by occasion whereof they were accounted worshippers of the sun; because this first day of the week was by Heathens attributed to the Planet of the Sun, as the rest were to the rest of the Planets.
Use Is of Exhortation that out of conscience towards God, and obedience to this command, we have a care of observing the Lords day.
Doct. 3. One part of our duty is that on the Lords day, we cease from all our own works.
It is gathered from the Text; In six dayes shalt thou doe all thy work; but on the seventh day thou shal doe no work. &c. That is, no work that is thme. Now that work is said to be our work, which neither directly belongs to the worship of God, nor yet is otherways imposed upon us by any necessity from God; but is chosen by our selves for some humane, or worldly end. Now such are 1. All our common and merenary works. 2 All things, that call away our mind from that intention that is required unto the worship of God on that day, though otherwaies they be not servile. Yet such things are not forbidden, as either belong unto common honesty, or are of a very urgent and not of a made necessity of our own. The reason of this rest is, that we may be at convenient leisure for divine worship: For worldly businesses do in divers wayes withstand
this more solemn worship of God.
Reas. 1. Because the very external acts of both are for the most part such, as that they cannot consist or stand together at one time.
Reas. 2. Because the minde being distracted with such worldly businesse, cannot compose or settle it self in good order to perform solemn worship to God, as it ought.
Reas. 3. Because the taste, and savour, and power of holy exercises is impaired, and dulled at least, or blunted by mixture of such things with them, which in comparison should be but vile to them.
Use Is of Reproof, of such as easily break the rest of this day, either by their ordinary and vulgar occupations; or with merchandizes, or with sports or plays, or with troublesome and long feastings on it, &c.
Doct. 4. The other part of our duty on the Lords day, is to sanctifie this our rest; that is, to apply the leisure that we have, to Gods worship, as well publikely as privately.
Duties of this kinde are first, a preparing of our minds to Gods solemn worship. Secondly, Hearing of his Word. Thirdly, Solemn prayers. Fourthly, Partaking of the Sacraments. Fifthly, Works of Charity. Sixthly, Meditation and conference about holy things. Seventhly, A religious considering of the works of God, of Creation and Providence, and even of such as occasionally we then hear or see, though they be otherwayes worldly.
Reas. 1. Because in such duties, we make profession of Religion, and of that honour, that is due unto God; which therefore is to him honourable, and accepted.
Reas. 2. Because by this means, we build up our
selves, and advance our communion that we have with God: For seeing that by worldly occupations through the six days of the week, our mind is somewhat pressed towards the earth, it was by a most wise purpose and counsel of God ordain’d, that every seventh day at least again they should be lifted up to heaven, and sent up thitherwards by all such means, that they might be restored to their former step or degree, from which they had been declining: And seeing we contract also some filthynesse from such worldly businesses, on the Lords day they should be wiped off, and we cleansed from them by the exercises of sanctification. And seeing many occasions fall on the other days, which bring their own difficulties and tentations with them; on this day we ought to be well furnished and armed, so that it ought to be our day of spirituall mustering or weapon showing; and a day of lustration. A cleansing our selves from all filthinesses before contracted; and a day of our ascending into heaven, in as far as our Faith and Charity, with other heavenly gifts, on this day should be singularly kindled in our hearts.
Reas. 3. Because by this means also we build up one another in the practise of our Religion, so that he who hears the preaching of the word, though he learn nothing himself, yet he teaches others some good thing, even in this, that he hears, and thereby presses that he both should do so and other too: So hereby he teaches others, that God is to be solemnly worshipped, and his word with reverence to be heard.
Use 1. Is of Admonition, that we beware of the neglect of these duties, which can not consist with
any vigour either of religion to God, or of love and care of our own salvation: Or lastly, of love and christian affection towards the Church, and our neighbours.
Use 2. Is of Direction, that according to this rule we judge of the duties, which on this day we perform about Gods worship: For all of them in common should rise up so high as to a sanctifying of this day; and this sanctifying again of the day, depends on our sanctifying of the name of God, and our advancing of our own salvation: Unlesse therefore we seek such fruits in our consciences, we have therein just cause of great humiliation; but if we feel them in any degree, we have as great reason to give the Lord as great thanks for it.
Doct. 5. It is the duty of every Christian, that not onely themselves sanctifie that day, but also that they make all such to do it, as far as in them lies, that are under their power.
This is hence collected, because this commandement is in a singular manner directed to such as are over others, Magistrates, Parents, Masters, &c. Neither thou, nor thy son.
Reas. 1. Because such servile works, as are forbidden on that day, are for the most part made to be done by command of Fathers to Children, Masters to Servants, Magistrates to Subjects: So that though they be performed by others, yet the works are theirs, at whose command they are done.
Reas. 2. Because the sanctifying of this day was ordained as well for the cause and use of Sons and Servants, as of Parents and Masters.
Reas. 3. Because it is the duty of all Superiours, to further the salvation, as much as they can, of all
that are under them; and to procure by them and from them that honour to God, that is due to him from them.
Use, 1. Is of Reproof, against that most unworthy carelesness of men, who as they are not diligent enough themselves in doing their own duty on this behalf, so they think that they are free from all charge of children and servants about this matter.
Use 2. Is of Direction, to Inferiors, that are under others power. 1. That herein they willingly obey their Superiours, when they call them to serve God. 2. Yea, that they be thankfull towards them for this cause. 3. That such as have the liberty should chuse out such Superiours to be under, as from whom they may look for this help.
Doct. 6. For keeping of this duty, we must have a special remembrancer, Remember that ye keep holy. &c.
Reas. 1. Because this command is not written naturally on our hearts, as the other; but it was a command of institution rather than of natural light.
Reas. 2. Because the command concernes not all dayes and houres; but one special time, therefore we may the more easily forget.
Reas. 3. Because the many businesses of this life, do easily turne away our mindes from this duty, unless with care and some diligence we set our selves to the contrary.
Reas. 4. Because that we may rightly and conveniently sanctify this day, we had need beforehand to think of the same, and set our worldly business in such order, that they be no hinderance to us in that day, to sanctify it arightly; and so also on other dayes be busied about them, that when
that day comes we may be disposed and ready with freedome of minde and chearfulnesse to lay them aside, and betake our selves to, and go about the solemne worship of God, with our whole mindes.
Use, Is of Reproof, against the lazinesse and carelesnesse of many, who are so farre from an holy remembering of this day, that they remember it rather to this end, that they may bestow it on their private pleasures, or other businesses of their owne; on which they cannot have the leisure to bestow any other day. For if they must run abroad a little, or some sport and easy journey must be made, or some trouble-feast to be held, before any day else, they chuse the Lords-day for these; as if otherwayes that day should be lost to them, as an idle day, if it were onely bestowed on Gods solemne worship. Others there be, that do not so much as remember the day of the week, unless by the Bell they be put in rememberance of it.
The thirty nineth Lords day.
Exod. 20. 12.
Honour thy Father and thy Mother: That thy dayes may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
IN the fifth command of the Decalogue that duty is handled, which is due to our Neighbour, in regard of his rank, degree, or quality, that he is of: Ad it is expounded by the Synecdoche, that denominates
one special for all the kind; which is honour: For honour is a principal part of this duty, and also an impulsive cause unto other parts of it. For by honour is understood a just and right esteem, and respect of worth (what ever it be) which appeareth in our Neighbour, whether he be our Superiour, or our inferiour, or our equal. Yet (as we said) it hath its special denomination from that special respect, which we owe unto them, in whome some singular and eminent excellency appears. Whence it is also, that the degree of our Neighbour, in regard whereof, honour is to be given him, is by like Synecdoche signified to us, by the titles of Father, and Mother, in whom nature it self, however very corrupt, yet doth evidently acknowledge, a rank and degree of dignity, whereunto honour is due. The sanction of this command is in a promise of long life, because the continuation of our life, and of all our quietnesse thereof, depends on the preservation of the societies of mankind; whereof the first, and source of all the rest almost, is between parents and children; and this also is the true reason, why this command hath the first place in the second Table.
Doct. 1. All men whatsoever are in some sort or other to be honoured by us.
It is hence gathered, in that all precepts of the second Table regard our Neighbour, whatever he be, according to Mat. 22. where the summe of this Table is made, Thou shalt love th Neighbour, &c. Though therefore this honour is referred by name to Father and Mother, as its chief objects; yet in some sort it is to be extended unto every Neighbour; that is, unto all mankind.
Reas. 1. Because none is found so base and vile, but that he hath something in him, that ought to be esteemed by us, and much valued. For if nothing else could be remarked in one, yet the very common nature of man hath that worth and dignity in it, as unto it regard should be had, and the party not altogether contemined, or accounted less of than indeed he deserveth; and in such respect some honour is contained.
Reas. 2. Seeing all men are either our Superiours, or Inferiours, or our equals; religion, charity, and natute it self in a sort, leads us thither, that we should honour all Superiours, because they are superiour to us, as Parents; as by the very phrase of this command appears, where all Superiours are called Fathers and Mothers, and by a like reason, all Inferiours should be respected by us like sonnes; and equals, as brothers or sisters.
Reas. 3. Because such honour makes much for advancing of love, and mutual duties of all kinds. For all do the more willingly performe their duties, when they see themselves and what they do, to be had in some respect.
Use, Of Reproof, against that barbarous pride, which so possesses the mindes of many, that they can finde but very few, that they think worthy of any honour from them. Whether are such to be from hence excepted, as make some such poor shew of respect towards others, by their Puppit and Moris-like behaviours, as signs of the honour forsooth, that they do you; but they go no further unto any reality. For the honour here commanded ought to have sound roots in our hearts, and to bring forth some found fruits, and not onely colours, and pre and lying shews.
Doct. 2. A special honour is due to our Superiours, and that according to the nature and quality wherein they are superiour to us.
This is contained in naming of Father and Mother specially to be honoured, in the general duty of honour due to all.
Reas. 1. Justice requires that to every one his due be given; and Superiours have a special worth and excellency, unto which a special esteem, and respect of honour is due.
Reas. 2. Religion commands that we acknowledge that special manner of Gods image, which appears in every supereminence of dignity; whence it is also, that all such respect towards Superiours, is called piety, partly because by piety, or religion towards God it is in special manner commanded; partly also, because it hath some likenesse of that piety and worship, that is due unto God.
Reas. 3. Charity and thankfulnesse perswade the same also, as from Superiours to Inferiours some good thing ordinarily useth to descend, if it were but from the rank and order; by reason whereof a special sort of honour is due to them, even from such, as in their owne proper persons perhaps receive no particular good from them.
Reas. 4. Because, even for the society of mankinde, nature teacheth us to honour them that deserve well of others, though we should receive no profit by them.
Use 1. Of Admonition, that we take heed of such barbarous and uncivill manners, whereby respect towards Superiours is taken away.
Use 2. Of Direction, that we alwayes give reverence to such, as in authority or power are superiour,
as to the Fathers of the Country, the Fathers of our bodies, the Fathers of families, Fathers in Christ, and the like.
Doct. 3. Superiours owe a kinde of honour to their Inferiours, suitable to their place.
This is hence gathered, in that Father and Mother are put here by a Synecdoche. 1. For all Superiours. 2. For all Neighbours, as hath been said. So men are commanded to honour their wives, 1 Pet. 3. 7. The meaning is, that so they ought to behave themselves towards their Inferiours, that their Inferiours may chearfully acknowledge that degree of dignity they have over them, and shew the same.
Reas. 1. Because this is but that general and universal justice, whereby every one is bound to render to another his due.
Reas. 2. Because humility inclines all godly men, that as farre as conveniently may be, they condescend to Inferiours, and as it were lift them up rather to themselves, than stand too much upon their owne title, or superiority.
Reas 3. Because that esteeme and respect which descends from the superior to the inferior hath much more weight than that which ascends from the inferior to the superior, and therefore makes more for preserving of the safety of mankinde in its right order.
Use 1. That Superiours uphold with their dignity, that resemblance of God, which they ought to carry before there inferiours.
- That they have a care of going before them in a right way and by a good example.
- That they alway use all their wisedome, authority, and power, that they have, to the procuring of the good of them that are under them
Doct. 4. This mutuall honouring of each other makes much for the prolonging, and making our lives the more pleasant in this world, and improving of our hope about the life eternal.
This is clear from the promise that is subjoyned to the precept.
Reas. 1. Because the conformation of humane society tends derectly to the conservation of the life and livelihood of each one in particular.
Reas. 2. Because sins that are committed against parents, by whom we received this life are most sutably punished by the losse of this life, and of the comforts thereof; and there is a like reason sinnes against such, as are placed in stead of parents.
Use. Is of Exhortation, That by this and the like considerations we stir up our selves to a generall care of the performance of this duty.
The fortieth Lords day.
Exod. 20. 13.
Thou shalt not kill.
IN this sixth command of the Decalogue Moses treats of the person and life of man, and this is the reason, why this command is placed before the other two following, in which onely are andled, only the adjuncts of these. For the person and life are of greater importance, than the things that belongs to the person. Therefore care was first o be had of this, and then of these. The command is proposed negatively, without the rest that
follow, when yet the praecedent were proposed affirmatively. The reason is, because in things belonging to the fifth precept, privation is more used than contrariety; that is, it is more commendable not to give the honour to such as it is due, than to load them with manifest injuries, and reproaches. But in these commands nothing is more usuall, than that unto the duties commanded, we run into the quite contrary faults as to hurt our neighbours life or his livelihood in his goods, or to beare a false testimony against him, or to desire any thing inordinately, that is his. It was therefore very sutable that in the fifth commandement the perfect duty opposite unto the privation of honour should affirmatively be commanded us; but in the rest it was more necessary that we should be recalled from the contrary faults, and sinnes by a negative prohibition. Now the life, for which provision is made in this command, is both bodily and spirituall; and both these ought to be considered not onely in their esteem and existence, but also in all their accessarie qualities, that makes for their comfort and conveniency.
Doct. 1. Out of conscience to God and his law, we ought to abstaine from all such things, as tend to the hurt of our neighbours bodily life.
This is gathered from the words of this command; because while murther or killing is forbidden all causes also, and effectuall occasions thereof are forbidden.
Reas. 1. Because man is made after the image of God, and so any unjust violence done to the peson or life of man, makes against the honour of God, Gen. 9. 6. &c.
Reas. 2. Because God alone is the father of spirits, and the Lord of our life. He doth therefore an injury to God who unjustly hurts his brothers life, and arrogates to himself that power which belongs properly to no other but to God alone.
Reas. 3. Because this is the greatest wrong that can be done to a man, as to this life, to deprive him of life, in which all other injuries are privatively contained.
Use 1. Is of Admonition That we diligently keep our selves not onely from effusion of blood, in which consists the height of this injury; but also from all cruelty, and from all both words and deeds, whereby mans life, or the comforts and conveniencies of his life, may be hurt, or impaired.
Use. 2. Is of Admonition also that by like reason and conscience we keep our selves from all those inward dispositions and affections, whereby men use to be led and provoked to hurt their neighbour unjustly; as are. 1. Anger. 2. Hatred, which is as it were a vehement anger now strengthned and rooted in the minde, whence it is, that men wish great evils to such as they hate and that constantly; form which affection indeavour follow’s; and from endeavour the act it self of hurting. 3. Envy, whereby men so repine at others good estates that they wish them worse, or some evil. 4 Desire of revenge, whereby men use to render evil for evil, and that as it is evil. For although the desire of restitution of what is taken away, or of satisfaction for wrong, or of chastisement, or punishment, against such or such an one, that hath offended, be honest sometimes and laudable; to wit, because and when some evill in these and the like, is wished
to the party, not as evil, but as it tends to his good, and so as it may be good for him: Yet desire of revenge, whereby we desire some evill to another, as it is, and may be evill to him onely, without any reference to his good, can never be either honest, laudable, nor lawfull.
Doct. 2. But most of all we ought to keep our selves from such things, whereby the life of the soul of our brother is 〈◊〉.
This is gathered from the words of the Text, because of all other this is the deadlest sort of killing a man; of which also the Scripture admonisheth us in the same phrase, whereby bodily killing is forbidden, I will require his blood at thy hands. Ezek. 36. Yet this difference there is between bodily and spiritual killing, that no man can be spiritually killed, or murthered by violence and meer force, as bodily many are.
Reas. 1. Because the spiritual life of a man is his preciousest possession, farre surmounting his bodily life.
Reas 2. Because the hurting of this life, belongs to the hurt of his eternal state and condition.
Reas. 3. Because the depriving of this life drawes with it the deprivation of all the true comfort of the bodily life also.
Reas. 4. Because in hurting this life, Gods glory is directly wronged, by reason that this life cannot be hurt, but by the sin as well of him that hurts it, as him that is hurt; though bodily life may be taken away without the sin of him whose it is.
Use, Of Admonition, that with great care & conscience we keep our selves from all things whereby this life of the soul is hurt; as, 1. From Heretical
Doctrines. . From evill and corrupt counsells . From scandalous and pernitious examples. 4. From all neglect of such duties, as we owe unto our Neighbour, in order to this eternal salvation.
Doct. 3. It is our duty not onely o abstain from all such things, as the life of our Neighbour bodily or spiritual is hurt by but also carefully to do all such things whereby he may be fured in either life, and it may be made more lively and comfortable to him.
It is hence gathered, that as no command is altogether negative, but containes alwayes and commands the contrary duties to the sinnes forbidden, so is it also in this sixt Commandment.
Reas. 1 Because there is a certaine communion of nature and life bodily amongst all the posterity of Adam as they do all come of one and the same blood. There is likewise a like communion of spiritual life amongst many, as to the act and exercise it self; and amongst all, as to the hope and possibility.
Reas 2. Because religion sets up a sort of society amongst men, and as it were, a spiritual or City o Commonwealth; wherein every one is bound to procure the common good, and advance it as much as he can.
Reas 3 Because God in such duties is glorified, and according to the power and occasion given us, there ariseth to us, a calling, and a divine allowance, whereby we are in special manner to perform this duty.
Use. Of Exhortation to all sorts of duties, whereby the life of our Neighbour may be cherished; as, . To a care of peace and love. 2. To patience. 3. To courtesie. 4. To pitty, mercy, and bounty. 5. To
spiritual almes of Instruction, Exhortation, Admonition, Consolation, as occasion shall require. Hither also are such sinnes to be referred, as we commit against our owne lives, as drunkennesse, surfet, the evills of whoredomes, and uncleanness, and the like; and contrarily, those duties, whereby we ought to procure and further our owne comfort both of life and health, as also of body and soul
The forty first Lords day.
Exod. 20. 14.
Thou shalt not commit Adultery.
IN this seventh Commandment are handled such duties as belong to the begetting & propagating of humane life. For these have place next after such as belong to preservation of life, which were ranked in the sixth Commandment, which takes care for continuing the life of this and that party in particular; but this seventh Commandement, of all men in general. By name then one special impurity and dishonesty is onely forbidden; but by the usual Synecdoche or comprehensive sort of speech, all others of that kinde are understood, whether disordered actions like unto this, or whether such as tend either of their owne nature, or of the intention of the doer, to the furtherance of such impure acts.
Doct. 1. We ought out of conscience towards God to keep our selves from all impurity and unchastity.
Reas. 1. Because sins of this kind bring disorder into
such things as belong to the propagation of mans life, and so tend some way to the corrupting of mankind.
Reas. 2. Because from such sins a sort of most inward uncleannesse followeth in the person or body of man; whence it is, that the Apostle, 1 Cor. 6. 18. distinguisheth this sin from all others, in that others are without the body, this in and against the body it self; though there be some other sins that seem to be in and against the body, as drunkennesse, surfet, &c. yet they neither so inwardly arise from the body, nor so directly affect it, and primarily, as these lustfull dishonesties.
Reas. 3. Because from this kind of uncleannesse followeth that dishonouring of our owne bodies, the contrary whereof is naturally due to them, and to our persons, as appears, Thes. 4. 4.
Reas. 4. Because these impurities in a special manner withstand inward holiness, as appears both from that place of the Thessalonians, where holinesse is conjoyned with the honour of the body in opposition to this uncleannesse; and from that to the Corinthians, where our bodies by these faults, are said of temples of the Holy Ghost, and of members of Christ, to become the members of an Harlot.
Use, Of Admonition, that with the greater care and conscience we shunne all such uncleannesses, which ought so much the more to be called to mind by us, as the depravednesse of mans nature useth most to appear in these kind of sins, because they are most common, most prevalenr; and keep strongest dominion in him, possessing the whole man, in whom they are, and that most deeply, and with a kind of violence and force. Hence it is, that in Scripture
they are called a burning, because they burne up all in their way, and by little and little consume the whole man, as fire doth the thing that it burnes; more especially we ought to keep our selves, 1. From that lust which is properly called carnal, that we be not subject to, or obey the affections and dispositions of it. 2. From all outward conversation, whereby such lust is cherished and furthered in our selves, or in others; as are, 1. Such thoughts, as with pleasure and delight are taken up and used about unchast matters. 2. Wanton apparel and behaviour, or which savour of wantonnesse, or cherish it. 3. Filthy and unclean communication, either in common discourses, or songs. 4. Unclean company, and wanton representations, as are commonly in Stage-playes and interludes, pictures, and rooms hung with such, &c. 5. All occasions and provocations to lust, as idlenesse, drunkennesse, surfetting, and the like. 6. Most of all the acts themselves, of unchastnesse in whordome, adultery, fornication, and the like.
Doct. 2. By vertue of this command we are bound to study all cleannesse of soule and body, that belongs unto procreation.
This is commanded in the same words, that the contrary faults are forbidden by, according to the constant use of speech in the decalogue.
Reas. 1. Because this cleannese is a part of our inward sanctification.
Reas 2. Because from this part of our sanctification a special sort of honour ariseth, 1 Thes. 4. 4. While our bodies are not made drudges for the fulfilling the base and vile affections of the flesh, but are applied unto nobler uses.
Reas 3. Because this purity is needfull, that we may be fit to worship God, as we should. For carnal impurity where it prevailes and gets the dominion, it not onely presses downe and burthens the minde, so that it cannot raise up it self unto spiritual thoughts and affections, but also it infecteth with contagion, and pollutes those very thoughts and endeavours, whereby we seek after and breath for spiritual life.
Use, Of Admonition, that we indulge not, nor allow the inclinations of our corrupt natures in these things, nor suffer our selves to be carried away with the evill manners and examples of the vulgar sort, who in this kind, are more beasts often, than Christians; but let us alwayes be thinking, how we may keep our selves clean, as well from these lusts of the flesh, as from other sins: This cleannesse is maintained by modesty and temperance. Modesty is herein kept, if neither by words, nor by gestures, nor by any other such way, we uncover as it were without reverence, what nature tells us should be covered and hid, and be ashamed of the uncovering. Temperance or sobriety consists in the keeping a moderation or measure in the pleasures of the flesh or body, especially in meat and drink. The cleannesse or chastity, as to the diversity of manner, is divided into chastity of single life, and chastity of mariage For mariage is appointed now since the fall, by God, to be a meanes of keeping this cleannesse or chastity, in things that belongs to the generation of mankinde. We ought therefore to have a care, 1. That we so marry as that it be in such cleannesse; that is, with such a person, in such a manner, for such an end, that from a good conscience
it may be said, that the contract or bargaine was made in the Lord, and in his fear. 2. That it be used and exercised in this cleannesse; that is, that neither the end of it may be broken, nor it self be drawne beyond the bounds of modesty and temperance; nor that it be any way from a remedy of sin and lust, turned into a cover for uncleannesse and wantonnesse.
The forty second Lords day.
Exod. 20. 15.
Thou shalt not steal.
IN this eighth Commandement mens possessions are handled as things that come under the name of their outward goods, and commodities. For thus God would shew what a care he hath of us, in that not onely by his Law he hath provided for the safety of our life, and chastity, and honour of our persons, but also for our possessions and external goods. He would also hereby admonish us how confidently we may trust all that is ours to him; where by his eternal Law he would have us secured about these lesser matters. There is in this Commandment ordained and presupposed a propriety to every particular man in his own goods, by reason whereof its truly said, his is mine, and that is hine For though at the beginning of the creation all things were in a manner common; yet afterwards by lawful seizure and possession of this, or that, a division of things
ensued, the unjust breach of which division is condemn’d in this commandment, with all such things as make for it, or lead to it. For as in a feast some dish is set downe in common and is no more this guests, than thats; yet when any guest hath taken to himself a portion or share of it, then that is more his owne, than any others, so that it cannot by any other be taken from him without uncivility; so were all the commodities of this life at the first set out in common to all; but when one took to himself a certain portion of them, another could not by violence take it from him without sin. Now by name theft onely is forbidden, because it is one of the grossest and manifestest sins of this kinde; because in theft to every one is apparent the breach of that right which every one hath to his own commodity, and so the unjustice and the wrong is clear: Yet together with it also, according to the perpetual use of speech in all the other Commandments, all the degrees, and causes, principles, and occasions or provocations to it, are forbidden.
Doct. 1. We must keep our selves out of consience towards God, from all unjust hurting of our Neighbour, in point of his possession or outward goods.
Reas. 1. Because otherwayes we sin against God and that after diverse manners: 1. That dispensation of his providence, whereby he hath made division of such things amongst men, is disturbed against his revealed will. 2. The dominion of God himself, which he exercises in the dispensing of such things as seems best to himself, seems this way to be contemned. 3. We invade as it were this soveraignty and dominion of God, while at our pleasure we will make ours whatsoever we list.
Reas. 2. Because we do our neighbour grosse and manifest injury, while we take by force to our selves, what belongs to him, and so take away from his his goods.
Reas. 3. Because in this manner, charity is directly broken, while instead of that good, which we both ought to wish, and procure to our neighbour; we do him reall evill, in depriving him of his own goods.
Reas 4. Because from such sins follow strifes, hatred and the disturbance of all society.
Use Is of Admonition, that we not onely shun that which is commonly called theft, but also all those sins, which in Scripture are referred to theft; as their common head; As 1. the too great love of riches. 2. The desire of our own profit with our neighbours losse. 3. All unjustice of bargains and commerce, how ever it may be done with colour of right. 4. All using or appropriating to our selves that which is anothers without its masters consent, whether this be done by force, or by deceit and circumvention.
Doct. 2. With the same religion or conscience that we ought to abstain from theft, we ought to st ouselves to this on the contrary, that we may seek our neighbours good, and further it in his outward goods.
It is gathered from the likeness of reason, that is between the sins forbidden, and the duties commanded, that are contrary to the same.
Reas. 1. Because by this means we make our selves instruments of Gods bounty and good providence, whereby it is his pleasure, that all be provided for in things necessary to this life.
Reas. 2. Because it is the exercise of our charity towards our neighbour.
Reas. 3. Because it belongs also some way to iustice, in as much as we ought to behave our selves as members of the same society, and every one hath right to such duties from others, as far as conveniently they can be by them performed.
Reas. 4. Because our Lord admonisheth us, that we make unto our selves, freinds from the use of this communion; and so further others by our good example, and our selves by their good desires and prayers for us, in the way to salvation.
Use Is of Direction, that we set our selves with all care, that according to this duty of humanity, we further the profits of others, as our occasion and power shall require.
Hence 1. we ought to purchase nothing to our selves, but by honest means, and just titles of right: For whatsoever is otherwise purchased or acquired, turns alwayes to the wronging of another. 2. Every one should betake himself to some honest exercise of life, which is in its self lawfull, sutable to our selves, and profitable to others, and such as live at ease: For who so live disorderly, as stout beggars, with him in the Gospel, who having full Bags and Barns, sings a requiem to their souls; saying, Soul take thine ease thou hast much laid up; these as in other things, so they sin in this, that they take not upon them such a condition of like, whereby they may doe good unto others. 3. Diligence is to be used in our calling, without which we cannot keep the things we have, much lesse increase them; that we may spare something from them, and lay it out unto the common good
of others. 4. Frugality and moderation in our expenses about our selves ought to be used, least the fountain should be drawn dry, whence such streams should flow, for helping and refreshing others. 5. Bounty and mercy ought to be exercised, in communicating our goods unto others, especially persons that are to be pittied; and of these, chiefly such as are of the houshold of faith: For in this duty is most of all exercised, and most manifestly that vertue that is most contrary to theft; because as in theft we take unjustly to our selves, what is not our own; so in liberality and alms, we justly take from our selves what is our own, and freely bestow it on another.
The forty third Lords day.
On Exod. 20. 18.
Thou shalt not beare false witnesse against thy neighbour.
IN this Commandment, is handled the testimony of one given on the behalf of another, for getting of belief or trust of them. This then is also amongst the things that belong to our neighbours: For it either tends to his good, or to his hurt, as the belief that is given to this testimony, may either do him good or do him harm. God in this Commandment therefore shews us, that we ought not onely, not to hurt our neighbour, in his honour, or life, or chastity or goods; but also that no effectual occasion
of harm should be given him, either by words, or by a witnessing, though he should not thereby be immediately hurt, but either by the comming between of his own, or some other bodies credit or endavour. The general sin that is here forbidden, is called a false witnessing; that is, whensoever by our credit, authority, or testimony, we confirm that as truth, which we know to be false, which is the very nature and definition of a lye.
Doct. 1. Every lye with whatsoever pretence it may be excused, as it is a witnessing of falshood, it is a sin.
Reas. 1 Because it contains an inury to our neighbour, who from the very law of nature, hath this right, that he may challenge of us, that we say nothing to him, as true as that is not true; no more than we would thrust upon him a piece of false coin, for true or currant gold or silver, which yet is but a counterfeit.
Reas. 2. Because there is a base and dishonest disorder in the false witnesse, that lyes while his tongue and speech disagree quite from his minde; and it is as if the Interpreter of some Princes should speak things quite contrary to those, that he got in commission from his Prince to declare.
Reas. 3. Because the inconveniences that are brought forth and furthered in the world by lyes are very grievous and heavy; because by them all trust, in which lyes the very knot and foundation of humane society, is troubled in every kinde; and there is no evill that in any other sort is done to any, but both may and useth also to be brought about by lies; so as by lies sin is committed against the honour, the life, the chastity, and the outward goods of men, as also against his religion, so that all
the foregoing Commandments, by breaking of this Commandment by lies, may also be some way broken.
Reas. 4 Because by a lie the nature of the Devill himself is in a special manner followed, and as it were put on like a garment, Ioh 8. 44. You are of your Father the Devill, and the lusts o your Father you will do. He was a Murtherer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a ly, he speaketh his own; for he is a lier, and the Father of it.
The Use is of Admonition, that out of conscience towards God, we keep our selves from all lying, whether it be that of a pernicious lye, or an officious lye, or a merry lye: Whether it be spoken of our selves, as in our vaunting and dissimulations, or of others, as in calumnies, slanders, backbitings, flatteries, soothings, &c But these lyes are chiefly to be shunn’d, as use to be committed in publick judgments, and matter of great weight and importance. 1 Because with how much more advisedness a man lyes, by so much his sin is the greater. 2. Because by how much the greater the danger is, that another is brought into by the lye, by so much the sin is the heavier. 3 By how much the greater obligations come together, binding us to speak truth: by so much the sinne is multiplied.
And that we may abstain from lying, we must abstain from such things as make way for lying; as are rash suspicions, and too great easiness to believe and receive false reports; and a talkative and twatling nature, which by many useth so to be exercised, as without that consideration, whereby they
should alwayes put a difference between truth and falseshood, and the like.
Doct. 2. We ought to love truth, and according as occasion serves, further and advance it.
This is gathered from the words of the Commandment, because veracity, whereby we both love truth, and according to occasion, witnesse the same, is that virtue here commanded; and is contrary to that sin that is here condemned, in bearing falsewitnesse: So that speculative truth is not properly here treated of, neither that which is true generally; but onely morall truth, that is, such as belongs to mens manners and consciences; and that is such a truth of our words, as that they agree with our minde, and our minde also with the thing it self, as far as we are bound to know, or professe that we know. And this veracity is to be followed and highly to be prised for these reasons.
Reas. 1. Because it is not the least part of that Image of God, that we ought to shew; because in a speciall manner God is, and is called the God of truth, Psal. 31. 6. and his word the word of truth, and truth it self: so that truth hath a peculiar agreement with the nature and perfection of God: Whence also it is, that God, though in other commands hath sometimes used a kinde of exception, and as it were dispensed with it for a time, as in the matter of Theft, with the Israelites (for he made that to be no theft, by a speciall explication of that command, which otherwise had been theft) and of some marriages both before and under the Law, which by extraordinary approving of them he made lawfull; yet in this command about speaking truth, he never granted any explication or dispensation,
because from the very nature of the thing it self, it hath more of Gods Image in it, and of divine and immutable justice; yea, which is more, God hath absolutely forbidden us, that we lye not, although for his cause, much lesse for our own, or for any mortal mans.
Reas. 2. Because this veracity is a speciall perfection of man, while it excludes these deviations and crookednesses of mens minds, whereby they are perverted unto a custome of lying, and subjected unto the base affections either of fear, or fraud, or the like: Hence also from the very light of nature, it is a singular honour to any, if they be lovers of truth, and stick fast to it, and are constant both in defending and furthering of the same.
Reas. 3. This is also the foundation of all civill society and conversation; so that it being taken away, men would become rather Wolves and Foxes to one another, than men.
Reas. 4 By the exercise hereof and the love of it, our mindes are the better disposed for embracing that truth, which leads to our salvation.
The Use is of Direction, that in our conversation with men, we follow after this truth, for though it be not required, either that we know all that is true, nor yet that at all times we speak all, that we know to be true; yet against the truth at no time, in no place, for no party whatsoever, no not for God himself (as hath been said) we ever witnesse any thing: Moreover we are always bound to give witnesse unto the truth, and to confirm it, when either religion or conscience towards God, or iustice and charity towards our neighbour shall require this duty from us.
The forty fourth Lords day.
Exod. 20. 17.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours 〈◊〉, thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbours.
IN this last commandment is handled, the estate and condition of our Neighbour in common, as appeareth by these last words; or 〈◊〉 is 〈◊〉 neighbours: For as in the first Commandment of the first Table, that duty is commanded, whereon all other duties lye and depend; so also in this last Commandment of the last Table, that duty is handled, on which all others, that relate to our neighbour do depend. About this state of our neighbour in common, coveteousness is forbidden; by which neither is understood the natural faculty of coveting or desiring, which is of it self good and lawfull, and not to be ranked in the place of things forbidden: Nor yet every concupiscence or lust is here to be understood; because such acts of filthy lust, as have the consent of the will joyned with them, for the accomplishing the acts of sin, if occasion were given, are prohibited in the other Commandments, according to their kindes, whereunto they belong, as Christ himself teacheth of a man inordinately lusting after a woman: which while he calls adultery, he shows that it is forbidden
in the seventh Commandment: Nor yet is understood that innate, and inbred lust in us, which is original sin, and the inder to all actuall sin; because that is no more forbidden in any one Commandement, than the contrary original righteousness and innocency is commanded in the whole Law, but as this primitive righteousness is commanded us in all the Law throughout; so the contrary original sin, lust or inclination and propensity to evill, in general, is forbidden in the whole Law, and not in any one commandment: Here then is properly understood, that coveteousness, which is a disorderly desire or longing after any thing, that is our neighbours, though we do not fully consent thereto, and though we never desire to accomplish the same by unlawfull means.
Doct. 1. The first motions, wherein we are touched with an inordinate desire, are to be holden or sins, that are to be shunn’d.
It is gathered from the words of the Commanment; because that first lusting after any thing, that is our neighbours, is expresly condemned; and all other inordinate motions are of the same kinde.
Reas. 1 Because such motions are contrary to the perfection of Gods Image, which we are every where bound to keep intire in our selves, as much as is possible.
Reas. 2. Because such motions are contrary to charity, whereby we ought to love God with our whole hearts, and our Neighbour as our selves For if this charity were perfect in us, no place would be left in us for such motions of affections either against God, or against our Neighbour.
Reas. 3. Because in such motions there is a certain
beginning of a consent to evill, though it be not full and perfect; which appeareth from that hidden liking and delight, that useth to accompany such motions, untill seriously they be repressed.
Use 1. Of Refutation, against Papists, who hold not such first motions for sins, and so do not acknowledge the spiritual depth of sin; and by the same meanes in great part take away the power of repentance and spiritual humiliation.
Use 2. Of Admonition. that with all diligence we keep our hearts, that however we cannot be altogether free from such motions, yet as much as may be, we may keep our selves from them; and that for two causes: 1. Because they have something of sinfulnesse in them, and tend also to the promotion of heavier sins. 2. Because in some sort they defile our mind and make it less fit for excercising and preserving holy motions.
Doct. 2. Every one ought to be content with that portion and condition that God hath measurd out unto him
This is hence gathered; because contentment with our owne, is the duty directly contrary to desiring what is anothers.
Reas. 1. Because we ought to rest in Gods dispensation, as in our Fathers good providence, who knowes best what is good for us.
Reas. 2. Because this contentment makes much for the quietnesse of our minde, and so for the happinesse of our life.
Reas. 3. Because the want of this content argues our too great love of the world, and of our selves; and it comes from a perverse affection, that we are not content with our lot
Use 1. Of Reproof, against such, as do, or think nothing else almost, than how they may compasse such or such a worldly thing, that they have not; so that their whole life is nothing else but a continual exercise of avarice and ambition.
Use 2 Of Exhortation, that we may more and more strive unto this contentment of minde, which is the companion of true piety, as is said; Godlinesse is great gain, with a minde contented with its owne condition. For we brought nothing with us into this world, nor can we take any thing out of it with us; but having fod and raiment, let us there ith be content. But such as will be rich fall into tentation, and into a sare, and many lusts or covetousnesses, &c. 1 Tim. 6. 6, 7.
Doct. 3. We ought to desire our Neighbours good as well as our owne.
This is hence gathered; that here is forbidden the coveting of that, which is our Neighbours; whence followes, that we ought not onely to leave to him such things as are his; but also, which is more, desire heartily that he may keep and enjoy his owne to his owne content, not that we should have them, or desire them. So that as the love of God above all things else is commanded in the first Commandment, so this love of our Neighbour, as of our selves, seems chiefly to be commanded, and as it were summed up in this last Commandment.
Reas. 1. Because love to our Neighbour ought to follow from our love to God; and God may be as well honoured by the things he gives to our Neighbour, as the things that he gives to us.
Reas. 2. Because however it be more natural to wish well to our selves, yet it is more divine and
perfect to wish well to others in such external things.
Reas. 3. Because by wishing well to others, we wish well to ourselves, in as much as by the exercise of this duty, we further our owne salvation
Use, Of eproof, against the common frailty of us all. For from this, as from the Commandment of a loving God above all things, it followes that none can perfectly keep this moral Law, in this life; to wit, if we understand such perfection as consists in compleat obedience. For otherwise in all believers is found such a perfection, or integrity and sincerity, as is opposed unto fainednesse and dissimulation; and such as is opposed unto halting or lamenesse, by which some duties seem to be looked after, but not all; and such a perfection also as is opposed to lukewarmnesse. For all believers both worship God sincerely, and desire to keep all his Commandments, and pant after a compleat obedience also: Yet the Law is not for this proposed to us in vain, though we be unable to keep it fully. For hence we understand, 1. What is our duty. 2. What are the defects under which we lie. 3. What we may require of God; to wit, that we may be freed from guilt, & renewed to a performance of duties. 4. That we have a mark set us, whereat we may aim in all our endeavours. 5. That we may in part take notice of the perfection of that life which we shall enjoy in another world.
The forty fifth Lords day.
On Ephes. 6. 18.
Praying alwayes with 〈◊〉 prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication fr all Saints.
THe Apostle after explication of our spiritual armour, which every Christian ought to furnish himself with, addes exhortations to prayers, by which this spiritual armour is taken up, put on, strengthened, made sure, and of proof, and is encreased. In the Exhortation it self several things are expounded as the Duty of praying which duty is declared, 1. By a distribution, with all prayer and supplication; 2. From the adjnct of time, alway, or at all times. 3. From the obect, unto whose good these prayers are to serve; to wit not onely for our selves, but for all Saints 4. From the efficient cause, by the Holy Ghost. 5. From its singular manner that must accompany it, which consists in watching and in perseverance.
Doct. 1. Prayer is amongst those pincipal duties, which ought to be had a care of by us.
It is hence gathered from the Text; because the Apostle so carefully urgeth it.
Reas 1 Because it gives very great glory to God; for God in all our prayers is acknowledged the principle and fountain of all our good.
Reas. 2. It contains mans greatest subjection and
homage to God. 1. Because it seeks all things of free gift and grace. 2. Because the soul and conscience themselves are prostrated before God, and cast at his feet as it were, when we pray.
Reas. 3. Because by prayer, we receive all the spiritual gifts of God.
Reas. 4 Because by the same, we sanctifie to our selves all the corporal gifts of God.
Reas. 5. Because by Prayer we flie unto God, that in him we may be secured from all evill.
Reas. 6. Because we have most sweet communion and communication of the grace of God in the exercise of Prayer.
Reas. 7. Because in Prayer either expressely, or implyed we give up our selves unto God, so as after and from prayer, we rise more obliged and bound to God than we were before; because all Prayer hath alwayes adjoyn’d to it some promise of thankfulnes, for hearing our prayer and granting our desires.
Use Is of of Exhortation, that we may more and more give our selves to this holy exercise of Prayer, as well in publick as in private Unto which care many considerations ought to stir us up: As first, That holy Prayer is so acceptable to God, that in Scriptures it useth to be called Incense, or Perfume, and Sacrifice. 2. In that it is so proper to the godly that in Scriptures godly men, and such as call upon the name of God, are without difference put for the same. 3. In that it is so inseparable a fruit of the holy spirit dwelling in the heart of a believing man, that from thence it is called the spirit of Prayer; and Prayer is almost the same to spiritual life, as breathing is to naturall or animal life. Moreover that by prayers we best resist all sort of temptations;
whence also it is, that we are bid resist the Devill by Praying; and to pray and watch, that we fall not into temptation: Lastly, in that all grace is stirred up, and increased by the exercise of Prayer.
Doct. 2. In prayer we ought to exercise our selves in all the kindes and sorts of it.
This is hence gathered in that the Apostles exhorts us here, to all prayer, and supplication, and thanksgiving.
Reas. 1. Because our manifold necessities, as well in respect of evils, wherewith we are pressed; as in respect of good things that we want, or for receiving whereof we ow thanks; as also the necessities and occasions of others, unto whom we ow this duty of Prayer, do require manifold sorts of Prayer.
Reas. 2. Because by this means, not one onely, or another, but all the graces of God are put forth and exercised in us, according to their proper objects and natures.
Reas 3. Because God by this means is many ways glorified of us.
Use Is of Direction, that we rest not on forms of Prayers, as if the saying over of such were enough, for the fulfilling of our duty in general; because according to divers occasions, we ought to betake ourselves to divers manners or wayes of Praying.
Doct. 3. In Godly prayers the holy spirit exercises a speciall power of his own.
From the words, by the holy spirit.
Reas. 1. Because we of our selves know not, neither how, nor what to pray for: And although we be taught about such things in the word of God, yet for the practise it self, a special direction of the holy spirit is requisite.
Reas. 2. Because our weaknesses are so many, in
the exercise of Prayer, that they must be helped by the holy spirit.
Reas. 3. Because no prayers can be holy and acceptable to God, unlesse they come from the holy Spirit.
Use, Of Direction, that in making our prayers, we trust not to our own wit, and volubility of gifts, and to our own strength; but that we rely alwayes on the grace and help of the Holy Spirit.
Doct. 4. In some sort or other we ought alwayes, or at all times to be praying.
From the words, Praying alwayes.
Reas. 1. Because we ought always to have a praying disposition of minde, or a mind ready to pray: For in this consists the right disposition and ordering of our minde.
Reas. 2. Because we ought to take all just occasion of this exercise of Prayer.
Reas. 3. Because we ought not to passe over our set and established times of prayer.
Use Is of Reproof against such, as are so far from this exercise, that they cannot onely passe over whole dayes, but weeks also without any serious thoughts of Prayer.
Doct. 5. The manner of Praying, is as much to be taken care of, as prayer it self.
This is here gathered, in that watching unto prayer is commanded in the same manner with prayer. Now watching unto Prayer, belongs unto the manner of Praying, and in some sort it contains all things, that belongs unto it. For,
First, We ought to watch before prayer, that we may so prepare our selves thereto, as all hinderances may be removed, and we our selves get a fit disposition of mind and spirit.
Secondly, In prayer we must watch against lukewarmnesse, want of reverence, wandring thoughts, and the like.
Thirdly, After prayers we must be watchfull, against forgetfulnesse and slothfulnesse, whereby we come short of the fruit of our prayers; neither indeed for our carelesnesse ought we to expect any.
Reas. 1. Because in every moral action the manner of doing is of greatest weight, by which it onely is, that we not onely do that which is good, but do it well.
Reas 2. Because in prayer, after a special manner we are in Gods presence, in whose sight, how we behave our selves is a matter of no small concernement.
Reas. 3. Because a corrupt manner of praying, sometimes not only blasts the power of our prayers, but also makes them to be turned into sin to us.
Use, Of Direction, that we may have a care of all such things, as make for the right manner of praying; such as are Faith, Humility, Zeal, or Fervour, and Constancy.
The forty sixth Lords day.
Mat. 6. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
Verse 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which at in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
10 Thy Kingdome come: Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.
11 Give us this day our dayly bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evill, for thine is the kingdome, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.
THis prayer was dictated by Christ, and for this reason ought chiefly by all Christians to be had in esteem, as coming from him that was the wisdome of God it self, which therefore both knew well all our necessities, & knew also most perfectly, what the will of God is towards us: And it was dictated, that it might be an example or pattern of all Prayers, that we ought to use; not that we should be bound up to this very frame and form of words; however it may also be freely used by us: For we read not that this very form of words was used by the Apostles, though otherwayes divers Prayers of theirs are mentioned as well in the Acts as in their Epistles. This Prayer is made up of certain Petitions, whereunto are adjoyned a foregoing Preface, and a following Conclusion. The Preface is in these words; Our Father whch art in Haven.
And herein is proposed and commended unto us a certain description of God, to whom our prayers are alwayes to be directed. This description sutably to its occasion; that is, unto praying, layes out unto us those perfections of God, which are most needfull to be knowne and considered of us for a devout calling upon his name. And because nothing makes more for this, than that we be assured of Gods goodnesse, and good will towards us, whereby he intends good to us; and of his power, whereby he is able to do all that he pleaseth in Heaven or on earth; Therefore, The goodnesse of God is declared by that title of, Our Father. And 2. His greatest power and majesty is designed in these other words; Which art in Heaven. He is called Father not onely from the benefit of creation and providence, whereby as with a Fatherly care he provides for us in all things; but chiefly also for the benefit of adoption, whereby of his special favour he chuses us to be of the rank and number of his sons. And he is said to be in Heaven because in Heaven, especially the third Heaven, he manifests his maesty, as it were in his royal throne, amongst the blessed and glorious spirits; and from thence he sends out his Word, as a royal declaration of his will, through all parts of the world, for the powerfull effectuating of all and every thing, that he wills, or pleaseth.
Doct. 1. Some preparation of minde is necessary for ight making of our prayers.
This is hence gathered, in that a preface is here used, and that such a one, as directly makes for preparing of our mindes, that we may make our prayers the more directly before God.
Reas. 1. Because so great is the majesty of God,
that to appear before him, and rashly as it were to rush into conference with him, and so negligently without any care of our fitnesse, and predisposition to it, would be such an indignity, as it were great incivility, and want of wisedome, to use towards any worldly Prince, or great man.
Reas 2. Because so great is our weaknesse, that unlesse our mindes be strengthened by some religious meditation, they will never lift up themselves to God, so as becomes them.
Reas. 3. Because so great is our unworthinesse, that hardly can our mindes be raised up to consider and believe, how our prayers are heard of God, unless we seriously meditate on the favour or grace of God, and his promises.
Ue, Of Direction how we ought to dispose and settle our selves to prayer; namely by such a preparation, which chiefly doth consist in two things: 1. In calling away of our minde, and thoughts, and cares, from all other things, not onely unlawfull, but otherwise lawfull, though worldly, during that time, and exercise. 2 In setting of our mindes, and thoughts, and affections on heavenly things, and that according to that occasion, which our prayers in general, and in their special and particular natures, give us.
Doct. 2. God alone by religious prayer is to be called upon.
This is hence gathered; because in this most perfect pattern of Christian prayer, we are not taught to call upon any in that kinde, but whom we may call, Our Father which art in heaven.
Reas. 1. Because prayer is so divine a worship, and gives so much glory to the party that it is made
to, that without idolatry it cannot be offered to any creature; whence also in Scripture every where it is called a sacrifice, which the very Papists themselves confess cannot be offered but to God alone.
Reas. 2 Because no creature can sufficiently know our prayers; to wit, as they come from the heart, and not from the mouth onely.
- 3. Because no creature can always & every where be present to hear prayers, where they are made.
Reas. 4. We cannot religiously call on such, as we do not religiously believe in, Rom. 10. But we may not religiously believe in a creature, Ir. 17. 5.
Use. Of Resutation, against the perverse superstion of Papists.
Doct. 3. In all our prayers we ought to come unto God with confidence, as unto our Father.
It is gathered from the word, Father.
Reas. 1. Because prayer in its most inward and essential nature, is an action of affiance and trust. For we seek nothing from God, but out of trust and hope grounded on his promises.
Reas. 2. Because we ought to strive unto this, that we our selves may be accepted of God, as his sons, that so we may know that our prayers will be accepted of him: And this we onely attain by faith and affiance placed on God, through Jesus Christ.
Reas. 3. Because we ought to give God this glory, that as a bountifull Father he will liberally give unto us, when we doe ask of him, all that is good for us.
Quest. What shall they do then, that have not yet received the spirit of adoption, so that with any certainty they may all upon God, as their Father?
Ans. Though such cannot for that time receive
that comfort of their prayers, that others do, yet they ought not therefore to cease from the exercise of prayer, because this it self is a most fit meanes to attain to this confidence; when by lifting up the heart to God, we wish at least, if we cannot with downright confidence and affirmation say of the Word, that yet we could, and might truly call upon God, as our Father.
Use, Of Direction, that we alwayes call upon God in Christ, in whom alone God is our Father by adopting us, and reconciled unto us, and accepts of our selves and of our prayers.
Doct. 4. In our prayers together with confidence towards God, charity towards our brethren ought always to be joyned.
It is gathered from the word, Our For though it be both lawfull, and sometimes expedient and profitable, that a believer say in his prayers; O my Father, for manifesting his particular confidence in God; and not for designing any specialler sonship that he hath in God, than others; as Christ the Lord alone might and did use that forme of speaking; yet even for designing our particular confidence, it ought never to be joyned with excluding thoughts of others, but what ever our own particular feelings be, in respect of charity, & the judgment & desire thereof towards others, we ought alwayes either expresly or impliedly, to call upon God, as the common Father, as of our selves, so of others also.
Reas. 1. Because it belongs to our comfort, that we so call on God, as being members with others of that mystical body, whereunto God hath prepared and promised all good things.
Reas. 2. Because it belongs to the communion of
Saints, that they have a perpetual communication or mutual partaking and benefit of prayers amongst themselves.
Reas. 3 Because charity towards others, is a disposition, which is in a special manner required of us, that our prayers may be acceptable to God, according to that of our Lord; If ye forgive hers, yu shall be forgiven.
Us Of Reproof, against such, who burning with hatred, and desire of revenge, rush into praying, not that we ought to abstain from praying, because of such perturbations of ours; as neither from the Lords Supper: But that we ought to lay aside and purge out such perturbations, not onely when we come to partake publickly of the Lords Supper; but also daily, and privately, when ever we set our selves to make our daily prayers to God.
Doct. 5. The majesty and power of God are to be set before us, when we call upon God.
It is gathered from the words; Which art in Heaven.
Reas. 1. Because this majesty of God rightly set before us, and thought upon, strikes us into an awfull reverence and fear of God, which is required unto all humble and rightly conceived prayers.
Reas. 2. Because the consideration of the same majesty lifts up our mindes above all earthly and worldly things, to think upon and seek for things heavenly.
Reas. 3. Because the heavenly power of God directly strengthens our confidence, according to that of the Apostle, Rom 4 21. He believed, and dubted not, that e who had promised, could also performe.
Use, Of Direction how in our prayers we may resist
sundry thoughts and temptations; to wit, by lifting up our mindes to behold and think upon the majesty and power of God, in whose presence we are.
The forty seventh Lords day. On the first petition of the Lords prayer.
Hallowed be thy Name.
ALl the petitions of the Lords Prayer are very short, & yet such, as contain all things that are to be sought for in their own way, and that in an order most convenient. For the four first Petitions concerne the obtaining of good; and the two last, the removing of evill. Amongst the former, these have the first place, which nearliest concerne the glory of God: And first of all the glory of God it self is sought and prayed for in the first petition, where by the name of God, God himself is understood, & such things as most intimately belong unto him, in as much as he hath reveal’d himself unto the creatures. By sanctifying of this name then is understood, the manifestation of Gods glory, as most becomes his most holy majesty.
Doct. 1. All prayers that we offer to God, are to be followed with great zeal and affection.
This is hence gathered; because all these petitions are so short, but yet pithy and comprehensive, that it may from thence appear that the power of prayer consists not so much in multitude of words, and empty or vain repititions or bablings, as in the servent and well composed desires of the heart.
Reas. 1. Because the abundance of the heart is here chiefly regarded, according to which the mouth ought onely to speak: And the abundance of the heart consists in such desires with zeal and fervour, or heat of affections.
Reas. 2. Because God knowes what we stand in need of, so that a long and artificial or skilfull expounding of things to God, is not needfull, nor doth at all profit, further than it proceeds from an overflowing abundance of the heart.
Use, Of Reproof, against such bablings, as being expresly condemned by Christ our Lord himself, are yet wilfully and professedly used by Papists; and by others also out of a lukewarme formality, in as much as they use a forme of praying, but deny the power of it.
Doct. 2. Such things are in the first place, and with greatest affection to be sought after, as most concerne the glory of Gods name.
This is gathered from the order of the petitions.
Reas. 1. Because in the order of intention, and of a well ordered desire, the end is first to be desired: And the glory of God is the end of all.
Reas. 2. That which is first in worth, ought to be put before all other things: And the glory of God hath infinite excellency and worth beyond all things else.
Reas. 3 Because this is one the difference between true and sincere prayer, and that which is hypocritical and vain; in that hypocrites then onely seek after God, when by their owne private and proper necessities they are constrained to it, and seek not to him first, and for himself. But the godly call upon God for the esteem that they have of himself
especially, although even then also with him, they seek their owne happiness in him, and in him alone; because this is most of all to glorify God in that manner that himself hath prescribed.
Use. Of Exhortation, that by all means we stir up in our selves this servent desire towards the glory of Gods name, not onely beyond and above all profits and pleasures of this life, but also above our life it self, both in this world, and in the world to come, if it were possible that we could desire Gods glory separately from our owne salvation, and glorification in Heaven.
Doct. 3. Our hallowing or sanctifying and glorifying of Gos name depends upon his owne 〈◊〉 gift and bounty
For we are here taught to seek and pray for it from him.
Reas. 1 Because no mortal creature of it self knows the way how Gods name is to be sanctified; nor doth any by that illumination which he hath got, so understand it, but that he still stands in need yet more and more from time to time to be taught it of God.
Reas 2. Because when we understand how Gods name ought to be sanctified of us, yet the direction, and leading, and grace of the Spirit of God is needfull for the performing of that, which we know belongs unto our duty.
Reas 3. Because there be many things without us, that belong to the sanctifying of Gods name, that cannot be brought to any effect by us, but by the special and powerfull working of God himself.
Use Of Information, that by this we may understand, that all the duties that we perform unto God are Gods owne gifts. For nothing can be by us offered unto God for sanctifying of his name, unless
that first were freely given us of God. And thus God is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, in all that spiritual communion, that we have with him. First he forgives us our sins; then he gives us the grace both to will and to do that which is good and well-pleasing in his sight; and lastly, all these his owne gifts he crownes in us, both with grace to the end, and glory in the end.
Doct. 4. It is a great benefit of God to us, when we see his name to be hallowed or glorified.
For here we seek this first, as our principal desire and benefit, that the name of God may be hallowed.
Reas. 1. Because this hallowing of Gods name, turnes alwayes to the profit and building up of the children of God, who in some sort are made partakers of his glory.
Reas. 2. Because all such as love God above all things else, are made possessors of their chief desire, when they see the name of God to be hallowed and glorified.
Reas. 3. Because God often vouchsafes us this honour, to be made some way instruments of hallowing and glorifying his name; and this ought to be acknowledged for a great honour and benefit.
Use Of Reproof, against the base and earthly mindes of men, that are more taken with a little profit of the things of this world, than with the glorious hallowing of the name of God.
Doct. 5. It ought to be our greatest grief, if the name of God be prophaned or blasphemed.
For this is it, that is directly contrary to this first and great petition, and the greatest hearts desire of all the godly.
Reas. 1. Because Gods majesty ought to be most dear unto us.
Reas. 2 Because the actors of such a sin are most wretched, and therfore much to be pittied, for the miserable blindnesse and perversnesse wherein they lie.
Reas. 3. Because great scandal is given to others.
Reas. 4. Because by this meanes Gods judgements are in a singular manner thus provoked and procured, for God will alwayes have his glory, will we, nill we; either from us freely, or upon us fiercely; either the glory of his mercy from us, or the glory of his justice and wrath upon us.
Use, Of Direction how we ought to be affected, when the name of God is prophaned or blasphemed; that is, if it be done by others, we ought to grieve at the thing, and as far as in us lies, to mend it; but if it be done by our selves, or by occasion of us; that is, for a life led altogether unworthy of, and unsutable to the glorious God, that we profess to serve; then we ought as it were to repair God of his honour, by our humiliation and repentance for such misdoings, and by zeal of glorifying him afterwards, as we had offended and dishonoured him before.
The forty eighth Lords day. On the second petition of the Lords prayer.
Let thy Kingdome come.
IN the second Petition is handled the principal meanes, whereby the name of God is hallowed, or glorified amongst men; and that is, the Kingdome of God, and its coming is sought for. And by the Kingdome of God properly is understood that state of the Church, wherein she is made partaker of that happinesse, that she hath in her communion with God. For a Kingdome in its general notion, is a kinde of politie or publick government and state of men, wherein one hath the supreme and chief command, and all others are subject (less or more) for their own good. For unless it be for the good of the Subjects, or people, it is not a Kingdome, but a Tyrany. So the Kingdome of God, is a Politie or State, wherein God hath the Soveraignty or Supreme power and command; and men are subect in such a sort, that from thence they may reap and receive their chief good, that can be desired, or eternal and true happinesse. By a 〈◊〉 also all such meanes are understood by the Kingdome of God, whereby such a state of the Church is procured. Of this Kingdome there are two most remarkable degrees; one in that administration which belongs unto this present life, in respect whereof it is called the Kingdome of grace: The other unto the life to come, in regard whereof it is called the Kngdome
of glory. By the coming of this Kingdome then, is understood its state or condition; and the giving, or bringing to pass of all such things, together with the advancing and perfection of them, as belong to this state, for its accomplishment.
Doct. 1. The chief meas to hallow, or glorify Gods name by, is the Kingdome of God, which consists in his Church.
This is gathered from the connexion of this petition with the preceding.
Reas. 1. Because the name of God, or the greatest perfections of God, are more manifested in this Kingdome, than in any other of his works, but especially his grace, or mercy, justice, truth, and wisdome.
Reas. 2 Because this Kingdome of God in its perfection comes nighest unto God himself. For there is nothing out of God himself, that can be compared with his Church; yea, in a manner all things else are subject to the Church.
Rea. 3. Because nothing is more contrary to the glory of Gods name, than the impairment of this Kingdome, or trenching upon it, or than the troubling and deforming of it.
Use, Of Direction and Exhortation, that first of all we seek the Kingdome of God.
Doct. 2. This Kingdome is not set up, nor brought about by any other, than God himself.
This is hence gathered, in that the coming hereof is sought from God alone, as the author and principal cause and procurer of it.
Reas. 1. Because the adversaries and enemies of this Kingdome are more and mightier, than that they can be overcome by any creature.
Reas. 2. Because the profits and advantages that
this Kingdome brings, are greater, than that they can be imparted to any by any creature.
Reas. 3. Because the administration of this Kingdome is more spiritual, than that it can be performed by any creature in chief.
Use, 1. Of Refutation, as well against Pelagians, who go about to rob God of a great part of this Kingdome, and ascribe it to nature; as against Papists, and others, Who will have the external government of the Church at least to depend upon humane power and pleasure.
Use 2. Of Direction, that in seeking this Kindome we fly to God by faithfull prayers.
Doct. 3. This Kingdom is come to us, but in part, as yet.
This is hence gathered, in that the coming of this Kingdome is by all during this life alwayes to be sought for.
Reas. 1. Because alwayes in this life something cleaves to us, which belongs to the Kingdome of darkness, and must be put off, and laid away.
Reas. 2. Because alwayes something is wanting to us, that belongs to the Kingdome of light, and must be put on.
Reas 3 Because we must alwayes pant and breath after the accomplishment of this Kingdome, which is to be revealed and perfected in the last coming of Christ.
Use, Of Admonition, that we never so set up our rest here, as if we were arrived at the end and last perfection, but strive unto a further perfection, than any we have attained.
Doct. 4. It belongs to our duty, that we use all care and pains to advance this Kingdome of God, by our desires, prayers, and all other lawfull meanes and endeavours within the
compass of our power, place, and calling, that God hath set 〈◊〉 in.
This is gathered, because we are here taught to do this by prayer; and what we are bound to pray for, we are bound to use all lawfull and expedient meanes to bring it to pass: else we should but tempt and mock God by such prayers, by dividing the right means from the end, and disjoyning of things that God hath conjoyned.
Reas. 1. Because the zeal of the House and Kingdome of God (for Gods Kingdome and his Family or House, are all one) ought to take up and possess our mindes as farre as makes for the glory of God.
Reas. 2. Because from it depends our owne salvation.
Reas. 3. Because such endeavours, if they be sincere, are never in vain. For though perhaps they profit little with men sometimes, yet they alwayes advance the Kingdome of God in our selves, and have the promise of the blessing.
Use, Of Reproof, of such as care nothing what the estate of the Church be, how the Word is preached, the Sacraments administred, Discipline exercised, and the like; but it is to be feared that such Gallio’s have no part nor portion in this Kingdome, which they entertain with such slight and neglect.
Doct. 5. We ought to wish for the uttermost perfection of this Kingdome, which is to be after the day of judgement.
This is hence gathered, in that believers here on earth are taught still unto the day of judgement to pray for this Kingdome. For further illustration it needs no more, than what hath been said on the former Doctrines.
Doct. 6. The Kingdome of the Devill, and of Darkness, and of Antichrist, and all other such things, as are opposite to the Kingdome of God, and enemies to it, we ought with all our heart to detest, and with all our strength to oppose.
This is gathered from the distinctive particle, thy: Wherein is held out an opposition of this Kingdome to all other Kingdomes and things, that are contrary to it.
The forty nineth Lords day. On the third petition of the Lords prayer.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.
IN this Petition is sought the fulfilling of Gods will, and in that manner, that it ought to be sought to be fulfilled: which is explicated by a comparison of the like; where the things compared are the fulfilling of Gods will by men, and by Angels: The quality or manner, wherein they are compared, is the manner of obedience, that ought to be given to this will: Now by the will of God here properly is understood that which God hath revealed unto us concerning our duty, or that which he hath laid upon us to doe, by his revealed will; though the secret will of God also is so farre contained under this Petition, as that we ought to rest content with it, when it appears now to us by the event, that it was the will of God, Acts 25. 14. This Petition hath dependance on the first, in as much as it is a man teding to that end, that is
there proposed. It depends also on the second, because it is the effect of that kingdome and administration; and it is also the perfection and accomplishment of the same kingdome: For God is not said to have a perfect kingdome of grace, untill he have got all the faithfull absolutely subject in all things unto his will: The fulfilling therefore of the will of God, differs from his kingdome, as the government differs from the obedience that is given to it; in the same sort almost, as the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof differ: Mat. 6. 33. Seek e first the kingdome of God, and the righteousness thereof, and all these things shall be added unto you.
Doct. 1. The name of God is hallowed by men, and his kingdome is advanced, when his will is religiously and devoutly done.
This flows from the former connexion already shown.
Reas. 1. Because reverence to the name of God, which is the hallowing or glorifying of it, brings with it of necessity obedience to his will.
Reas. 2. In this very thing, that we subject our selves to the will of God, we give God glory and power, and command over our very souls and lives; and so we highly glorifie him.
Reas. 3. By this doing of the will of God, the kingdome of God comes to be within us; and within us is his place of maesty and state, and his throne powerfully set up to him, in our hearts.
Use Is of Direction, according to this rule, we judge of our love and care towards the name and kingdome of God.
Doct. 2. The revealed will of God shuld be the rule of our life.
This follows from the substance of the Petition. Reas. 1. Because the will of God is the law, partly, written in our hearts, and partly revealed in the Scriptures for this very end, that according to it, we should direct our wayes.
Reas. 2. Because it contains in it self all perfection, which belongs to the imprinting upon us the image of God, and making of our life divine.
Reas. 3. Because according to this will, and the doing of it, God both in this life, and in the life to come, distributes and disposeth of all rewards and punishments.
Use Is of Admonition, that we deny our own carnal wills and affections or lusts, with all things that disagree from this will of God; and that we conform our selves altogether to it, which seems here to be insinuated to us in the particle thy, which is put here in opposition to our will, and to the lusts of this world.
Doct. 3. It is God that gives us both to will and to doe any thing, that is according to his will.
For this is the very thing, that here we seek of God.
Reas. 1. Because of our selves we can do nothing that is truly good, and pleasing to God, in a spiritual sort.
Reas. 2. Because there are so many things both in us and without us, that fight against this good will of God; that unlesse God gave us to will and to do what he will’s, and kept us in this minde, we should never be able to attain it.
Reas. 3. Because God ought to have all the glory of any good, which yet could not be given him, unlesse he were the Author and giver of all good.
Use Is of Admonition, that with all humility we think of our selves, and of our own endeavours, and learn to depend altogether upon God, that from him we may receive both to will and to oe that which is good.
Doct. 4. In this doing of Gods will, we ought to strive and endeavour unto an Heavenly and Angell-like perfection.
From the words,
On earth, as it is in Heaven.
Reas. 1. Because this is the best way to help our imperfections, if we alwayes aim at the chiefest perfection.
Reas. 2. Because we are called unto the same society and communion with those blessed spirits that are in Heaven, therefore we ought to aspire unto the imitation of them.
Reas. 3. Because we seek the same happiness and glory that they possess; and therefore ought to follow the same holinesse.
Use, Is, that we alwayes study to obey God with all cherefulnesse, sincerity, readinesse, and intirenesse, that in Scriptures are attributed to Angells in their obedience, as special properties and qualifications of the same.
The fiftieth Lords day. On the fourth petition of the Lords prayer.
Give us this day, &c.
THe summe of this petition containes things needfull for this present life. For by bread is understood by a Synecdoche, all that sustaines and comforts bodily life. The act of God that is humbly desired about these necessary things, is that he would give us, by which also, by another Synecdoche, is understood, not onely the first free imparting of things to us, that we have not, but also the continuation of them that we have, together with the right use and fruit of them, by the blessing of God: And moreover the removing of all other things, as on the other side are contrary to this present life, or to the comfort, quietnesse, and contentment of it. This bread then thus understood, is illustrated from its subject, and adjunct. From its subject, in that it is called our bread: And from its adjunct, in that it is called daily bread; that is, fit for us, and our use, day by day, or from day to day. The giving of God that we desire, is illustrated also from the adjunct of time, this day; that is, now when we have need: And from its object, to whom; to wit, us mn of all sorts, or all men, but especially such as are of the houshold of Faith. This petition depends on the first, in as much as all other comforts of this life, ought no otherwayes, nor no further to be made use of, than
as they are instrumental, or made necessary to the hallowing of Gods name, or glorifying of him. It depends also upon the last preceding petition (and by it also on that going before it) because by the necessaries of this life we are made the fitter, and ought to be readier for doing the will of God upon earth, as it is done by the holy Angells in Heaven.
Doct. 1. Necessaries of this lie are on this ground chiefly to be desired and sought for, that by them we may be the better fitted and inabled for the doing of the will of God, and glorifying of his name.
This followes from the connexion that we have shewed.
Reas. 1 Because thus all things are referred to the glory of God, as their last end, according as they should.
Reas. 2. Because while thus we receive these outward goods, we get all the good that is in them, and at once also keep our selves free from all the evill, that someway cleaves to them; in regard whereof, they are called snares, thornes, and all designed in Scripture by such like names, that set forth unto us great danger by them, or from them.
Reas. 3 Because thus such bodily goods are turned in some sort into spiritual goods, as they are looked upon, as effects and signes of Gods blessing, and are received as pledges of his love, and directed in their use to the encrease and furtherance of spiritual good things.
Use, Of Reproof, against worldly men, who in a carnal manner seek the goods of this life, and use them also onely carnally.
Doct. 2. All the necessaries of this life, both the greatest of them, and the least, come o mens use by the free gift and bounty of God.
This follows from the manner of seeking them; give us &c.
Reas. 1. Because God is absolute Lord of all that is in heaven and in earth; and therefore whatsoever any creature possesses or enjoyes, it hath all this from Gods free indulgence.
Reas. 2. Because as from God, the thing it self that we possesse, depends; so also doth the whole fruit, use, and benefit of it, every way.
Reas. 3. Because this gift of God, is herein singular, and freely bountifull, in that he gives them to such as are unworthy, and such as too too unworthily use them, and abuse his gifts.
Use 1. Is of Refutation, against the doctrine of Papists about mens merits, which have no place so much as in our daily bread, or in one crum of bread, much lesse in respect of the life to come, or eternal glory.
Use 2. Is of Direction, that we place not our confidence in second causes, but in God alone, even for these outward things; and that we shew all thankfulness to God, even for these worldly things; and specially beware, that we abuse not these gifts of God, and make them an occasion and matter of sinning against the Author and donour of them.
Doct. 3. We ought all to live contentedly on that pittance, that God hath measured out unto us, of the conditions of this life.
This follows from hence, in that we are taught to seek onely our daily bread: so Proverb 30. 8. Feed me with the food of my daily portion, or pittance, measured ut to me.
Reas. 1 Because we ought not to be carried towards
such things with such a desire, as we should seek the kingdome of God with, and the righteousness thereof, but with greater moderation, and with far lower desires.
Reas. 2 Because we. ought not to bind, and prescribe God the measure of the things, that we desire of him, but for that we ought to rest content with his pleasure.
Reas. 3 Because that as he gives, and we have of him, if we enjoy it with contentment, it brings more true good with it to us, than all the greatest riches bring, or can bring to worldly men.
Use Is of Exhortation, to keep our selves from all inordinate care and sollicitude about worldly things.
Doct. 4. Our confidence or trust in God, and prayer to him, even about the necessaries of this life, is daily to be renewed.
This follows from the word, this day.
Reas. 1 Because there is no day wherein we stand not in need of Gods favour and blessing, even in such things.
Reas. 2. Because daily the blessings of God are renewed towards us, and therefore also our worship towards him ought daily to be renewed.
Reas. 3 Because every day hath in it as it were a picture which represents the whole life of man; and we are uncertain whether we shall live unto the next day; therefore every day, as it goes over us, we ought to take care of this duty.
Reas.. Because there is great danger, that we shall finde no time, that we may apply to such duties, but that we will forget and over-passe them altogether unlesse daily we do renew the duty
and do it every day in its own day.
Use Is of Reproof against such, as either daily neglect these daily prayers, or very slightly and coldly go about them to perform them.
Doct. 5. We ought not onely to pray for, and procure such things to our selves, but to all others also, as much as in us ly.
From hence give us, not give me.
Reas. 1. Because this belongs to Charity.
Reas. 2. Because it is the duty of a good steward of the gifts of God.
Use Is of Reproof, not onely against such as exercise thefts and robberies, but also against all such as are guilty of too great sparing niggardliness and envy.
The one and fifty Lords day. On the fifth Petition of the Lords Prayer:
Forgive us our debts, &c.
THe following Petitions, treats of the removing of spiritual evill, or sin: And sin is two ways removed; either 1. by forgiveness of sin committed; or 2. by preservation from sin, that it be not committed: The first is the substance of the fifth Petition; the last of the sixth and last: In the fifth the Petition is proposed, and then afterwards it is confirmed. In the Petition because sins are chiefly considered, as to their adjoyned guilt: therefore 1. they are under that notion by a metaphor, or
simily marked out to us, and declared, when they are called debts: The reason of the simily or metaphor is, because by the law and justice, we are bound to God, to give him intire obedience; and for omission of any part, or point of this whole or intire obedience, we were bound to undergo the punishment or penalty of the curse of the law. Sins therefore are called debts. 1 Because of the want of that obedience in them, which we owed to God. 2 Because they did bring with them an obligation of undergoing those punishments.
Now of both these debts the forgiveness is sought for; that is, the removing of our guiltinesse, that we contracted by our sins; and by consequence justification and adoption. The argument whereby this petition is enforced, is taken partly from the place of like things; because from our forgiveness and mercy to others, we must expect the forgiveness and mercy of God; and partly from the place of unlikenesse, or of that from the less to the more; in this, or such Syllogisme: If we, who scarce have a drop, or small resemblance of that mercy, that is in God, do yet forgive men their offences, whereby they have offended us; then much more will God forgive us our offences out of his infinite mercy, that we have done against him: but the first is true; and therefore the latter also. This argument is thus expounded, Luke 11. 4. This petition hath its dependance rrom all the foregoing, as a means whereby way is made for the obtaining of them; because God of his mercy forgiving us our sins, by so doing removes the hinderance of his grace and blessing, whereby other things are obtained; and so he gives us all
good things that we want, or desire. It is expresly coupled to the next foregoing petition, by the conjunction and, which was not used in the former petitions; because the three former petitions were so nere allied, that of themselves they depended one upon another, by a natural connextion and consequence; and the fourth did upon the last of the cther three, by that kindlinesse of connexion, that the well-being of the whole, or person, for the better exercising of its duties and actions well, hath on the well-being of a very necessary and essential part of it self. But this petition, and that fourth, are of farre different kindes, and have not so direct and immediate a connexion in the nature of the things; but that they required to be coupled together by such a grammatical conjunction, and.
Doct. 1. Our sins are the heaviest of all evills.
This is hence gathered, in that we are taught to pray for the removal of this evill absolutely, and of none other.
Reas 1. Because they are most opposite to the chief good; that is, unto the image and holinesse of God, as they may be partaken of by us, to our felicity; and so some way to God himself. Whose will, as much as in us lay, we have violated.
Reas. 2. Because they spoyl us of our greatest perfection.
Reas. 3. Because they beget unto us the greatest miseries.
Use, Of Direction, that having a right esteem of our sins, we may the more abhor them, and all other evill that comes by them.
Doct. 1. Sins bring with them an obligation of the greatest debt.
It is hence gathered, that they are here called debts.
Reas. 1. Because the Law of God bindes sinners to suffer paines, and that no common ones, but of the wrath and curse of God.
Reas. 2. Because this debt is such, that for it, we can never be able to satisfy God. For whatsoever sinners do, it rather augments, than diminisheth the nature, or account of the debt.
Reas. 3 Because the justice of God exacting so rigorous a discharge of this debt for sinners, is still upon them, and is as it were perpetually threatening condemnation to them in their owne consciences.
Use. Of Admonition, that neither by a mad kind of secureness, or secure and careless madness, we neglect these so heavy debts; but go about this by all meanes, that we may be set free from them.
Doct. 3. The mercy of God in Christ is sufficient to forgive and remit all our debts.
This is hence gathered, in that we are here taught to this end to fly to the forgiving mercy of God.
Reas. 1. Because God is not onely a just Judge, but also a mercifull Father, as is in the preface of this prayer.
Reas. 2. Because God according to his infinite wisedome hath so ordered things in Christ, that he can with safety to his justice, of his free mercy forgive us our sins.
Reas. 3. Because this mercy being infinite, farre surpasseth our sins, though in themselves they be horrible.
Use Of Exhortation, that with all our hearts we fly to this mercy, and rest in it, and on it.
Doct. 4. Unto remission of sins, together with aith, is required a confession of them, and repentance or a change of minde and amendment.
This followes from the nature of the petition.
Reas. 1 Because none can earnestly desire the blotting out of his sins, unless he both confess and also hate and detest them.
Reas. 2. Because otherwise he can by no meanes rightly magnify the mercy of God, whereunto he flies; but rather goes about to prostitute it, and make it a Pander or Baud to his sins.
Reas. 3. Because without these, none is fitted for receiving comfort from the mercy of God in remission of his sins.
Use, Of Reproof, against such as presume on the mercy of God, though they never thus seriously repent of their sins, nor can be brought to confess or acknowledge their cruell dispositious to men.
Doct. 5. Mercy and love to our brethren, is a signe of the mercy and love of God to our selves.
From these words; As we forgive our debtors.
Reas. 1. Because the mercy and love of God shed abroad in our hearts, begets mercy in us to our bretheren, as heat begets heat.
Reas. 2. Because this mercy and love towards men, is for its conformity thereto, and suitableness to it, a special condition of obtaining the mercy of God; and so is declared to be tied to it, Mat. 6. 14. If ye forgive men their trespasses, your Father also that is in Heaven; will forgive you.
Reas. 3. Because this forgiving of all injuries and wrongs done to us, by others, is taken of the special and free mercy of God communicated unto us; and this grace is the effect of Gods mercy forgiving us our sins.
Use Of Admonition, that we deceive not our selves, and promise to our selves the mercy of God, whilst we nourish in our own hearts hatred and ranour against our brethren.
The fifty second Lords day. On the sixth petition of the Lords prayer.
〈◊〉 u not into temptation, &c.
IN this petition the business is about the evill of sin in respect of its dominion, which it uses to have over men; concerning which, we have first the petition; and secondly, its declaration, or opposition. In the petition we pray against this evill in its twofold cause; whereof the first is, the proper cause of sin, intending it; which is the temptation of the Devill, or the Devill tempting us to sin. Now temptation is nothing else but an argument proposd to us, whereby we are induced to be perswaded, and drawne into sin. The other cause, that is looked at in this petition, is not properly the cause of the sin, nor any efficient or author of it, but a governour and orderer as well of the sin it self, as of the tempting to sin, and of the effects of both; but the true cause of the evill of punishment, that followes sin: And this is Gods effectual and powerfull way of working about sin, or exercising of his providence, which usually is called Gods permission, although it be more than a bare and an idle permitting. The explication of this petition is in praying
for the contrary to this evill, that we prayed against in the words going before; which is prayed against from Gods gracious acting towards us, contrary to that, which before was called a leading into temptation. For it is called a delivering or plucking of us out of temptation.
Doct. 1. The guilt of former sins committed, deserveth altogether at gods hands, that we should be quite given over to temptations and sins.
This is gathered from the connexion; wherein first forgivenesse of sins is sought, and then deliverance from temptations, and evill for sin.
Reas. 1. Because sin being an aversion, or turning away from God, therefore it deserves, that he should turne away himself, and his grace from us.
Reas. 2. Because for sin, we both give our selves up as it were servants to sin, and to him that tempts to sin; We deserve therefore directly, and very rightly, that we should be given to such masters, as we our selves have chosen.
Reas. 3 When we rush into sin, we neglect that grace of God, by which we might have been preserved from sin; and therefore we deserve to be deserted by him.
Use 1. Of Admonition that we so much the more take care to keep our selves from sin.
Use 2. Of Direction, that we daily seek from God, the forgivenesse of our sins, even for this end, that we be not further given up to sin, and to temptation, but that we may be preserved from both.
Doct. 2. Whosoever have forgivenesse of sins, or seriously sek after it, they have a desire, and true purpose to abstain and keep themselves from sinning in time to come.
This is also clear from the connexion of these two petitions.
Reas. 1. Because otherwayes they would not truly abhor sin, and so would shew themselves altogegether indisposed, and not qualified for remission of sins.
Reas. 2. Because else they would not be thankfull to God, that forgave them their sins.
Reas. 3. Because else that forgivenesse would be in vain, if they should again purpose to themselves to returne to the like condition, wherein they were before.
Use, Of Reproof, of such as seem to wish for forgivenesse of sin, but in the mean time have no care to fly from sin.
Doct. 3. Who so desires to keep himself from sin, ought also to keep himself from all temptations and occasions that lead into sin.
It is clear from the petition, which prayes against temptations to sins
Reas. 1. Because the end of such temptations is sin, and the misery that followes upon sin.
Reas. 2. Temptations are so many, so subtile, and so powerfull, that unless with great care we take heed to our selves, it cannot be, but they lead us into sin.
Reas. 3. Because of our selves we are carried that way, and incline unto this, that by giving place to temptations we may betray our owne soules to the tempter.
Use, Of Admonition, to such as from too much security and boldness, rashly expose themselves to the danger of diverse temptations and inticements to sin, for temptation is not to be desired and sought after, but as wisely as we can to be shunn’d; and where that cannot be, stoutly and couragiously to be repulsed.
Doct. 4. Our Father that is in Heaven, disposeth also of our temptations according to his owne good pleasure.
For thus it is here held out to us, that it is he, that either leads us into temptation, or causes us not to be brought into it; but kept from it.
Reas. 1. Because he exercises his providence in guiding and measuring of every temptation.
Reas 2. From him depends the strengthening of our soules against such temptations, as we are vexed with.
Reas 3 From him depends the issue of the temptation it self, together with its effects, which follow on it, either of their owne nature, or by accident.
Use Of Comfort, because from hence we may have comfort against all temptations, that we be never fully led into them, as 1 Cor. 10. 13. No other temptation hath overtaken you, but as useth to befall men; but God is faithfull, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Use 2. Of Exhortation to thanksgiving, that we are not led unto this and that temptation; because this should not be attributed to our owne strength and wisedome, but to the grace of God.
Use 3. Of Admonition, that with horrour, fear and trembling, we pray chiefly against this judgement of God which he exercises upon many sinners, when he leads them into manifold temptations.
Doct. 5. It is a great benefit of God towards his owne, that he thus delivers them from evill, that they be not delivered into temptation.
This is hence gathered, in that this is sought from God by a doubling of the same petition in a manlead us not into, but deliver us from.
Reas. 1. Because a mischief to man lies in the prevaleuey of temptations, when he is not onely tempted, and led somewhither unto temptation, but also led into it, so as he is inwrapped in it, and held intangled therein, after the will of the tempter Sathan, and so is kept captive in the slavery of sin.
Reas. 2. Because so great is the force of temptations, and such is our natures slipperinesse, and deceitfulnesse, that from this evill of temptation we cannot be delivered, but by God.
Reas 3. Because God delivers not all, but of his just judgement suffers many to be led into temptation, of whom a great part (for ought we know) were no worse than we our selves, who yet are delivered from them.
Use, Of Direction, 1. What evill it is, that we should chiefly pray against at Gods hands to be delivered from; to wit, not against outward afflictions, which are also temptations; nor yet against all other temptations absolutely, but against that deadly evill of sin in them, that is intended to us by Sathan, both by afflictions, and all other his temptations, which in truth are often times no less dangerously couched in prosperity, than in adversity. 2. How we should wholly depend upon God for deliverance from this evill, and so give him the glory.
On the conclusion of the Lords prayer.
For thine is the Kingdome, power, and glory, &c.
THis is the conclusion of the Lords prayer, wherein two things are contained; 1. The confirmation of all the foregoing petitions. 2. The obligation of our affection, that moves us to offer up these petitions to God, and in some sort moves God also to hear the petitions offered. The confirmation is taken from the causes, which concur in God for strengthening of our confidence about the hearing of our petitions at his hands. The efficient cause is, 1. The right and authority of God, by which he can and may dispense and dispose of all, according to his owne pleasure; and it is here called the Kingdome of God for thine is the Kingdome; that is, the soveraignty, the supreme dominion, and right. 2. The same efficient is also, that power of God, or his might, whereby he is able to put in execution all to what he hath right; that is, all that he pleases, or whatsoever he will: Thine is the power. 3. The final cause, is his owne glory; Thine is the glory. All which are illustrated by their adjunct of duration, not for a time onely, and then either to cease, or to pass to another; but for ever and ever: but unto ages of ages, or worlds of worlds, as the old English did bear; or world without end as now it goes; that is, to all eternity. The obligation of sealing up of our affection, is in the word of acclamation, Amen; whereby is shown 1. The strength of our desire, wherewith we
follow after all these things, that were proposed in these petitions. 2. The strength of our faith, whereby we rest in, and rely on Gods mercy, for them all. 3. Of our hope, whereby we look for and wish, that God would ratify and hold firme all our petitions, in the same manner as he doth the promises, whereunto himself hath prefixed this same word of strong asseveration (for it is of both) Amen, Amen, that is, Verily, Verily, a kind of oath; and so hold our acclamation as firme, as his owne asseveration: and that is beyond exception.
Doct. 1. No petition, nor pr ought to be made to God, without some praise of his name at least implied.
This is hence gathered, that in the very brief patterne of petitions, a solemne praise of the name of God is subjoyned, how ever it be in order to confirme all the petitions foregoing.
Reas. 1. Because it is not our selves that we ought either onely, or chieflie to look at in the worship of God; but it is the honour of Gods name, that we should so much regard.
Reas. 2. Because this is a most powerfull motive, to obtain what we seek, if in all things we give God his glory.
Reas. 3. Because it is a chief part of worship.
Use, Of Reprof, against our negligence on this behalf, who are so wholly taken up with the things that belong to our own necessities, that we neglect the giving God his honour by duly praising of his name; when yet it is the sole thing aimed at in this prayer of our Lords, that the glory of God may have the first and the last place, as the Alpha and Omega of all his worship, the beginning and the end of ight serving him. For the first petition is about
the hallowing or glorifying of his name; and the last conclusion is the extolling and praising of him to the same glory.
Doct. 2. It makes very much for the strengthening and confirming us in our prayers, if we set before our eyes the infinite soveraignty and right, and the infinite might, and glory of God.
From the words; Thine i the Kingdome, power, and glory.
Reas. 1. Because hence it appears, that we doe rightly, and according as just order doth require, fly unto God in our prayers; and seek all good things from him, because he onely hath the absolute right and might, to dispense all these things, according as his own honour and glory requires.
Reas. 2. Because hence it appears, that we may have certain and sure confidence, that he will hear our prayers, because it is as easie to him to do all this, as to will it; and it belongs also to his glory in some sort, to will the same.
Reas. 3. Because from hence we are taught, both in what manner, and for what end, we ought to look for the accomplishment of our desires; to wit, in such manner as shall seem good unto God, according to that wisedome and power of his, whereby he exercises soveraignty of kingdome and command, or dominion in all things, and in such manner, as may make most for the glory of his name.
Use, Of Direction, that we use these and the like titles of God, in our prayers, not for a fashion, but from religious resentment and intention, that our prayers may be the more powerfull, from the greater feeling, and abundance of our hearts.
Doct. 3. All thing that uphold our faith and our prers, are from the everlasting and eternal God.
From these words; For ever and ever. Or thus rather it makes for the same purpose; that we consider, that all things that sustain our faith, and our prayers, are in the eternal God, unto eternity, or for ever and ever, &c
Reas. 1 Because from hence it appears, that now God is the same, and such unto us, as he was from the beginning of the world to any other, that called upon his name, Isa 59. 1. & 1. 17.
Reas. 2. Because from hence we are confirmed in this, that God will unto eternity remain still our God, even then when he will cease by changeable dispensations to doe us any more good, as here he doth, because then we shall be setled in the possession of our last and highest good
Use, Of Direction for the right use of this divine attribute of eternity.
Doct. 4. While we pray, and especially towards the end of prayer, we ought to put forth our petitions with all earnestness of desire, and lively strength of faith, and of affections.
From the word Amen.
Reas. 1. Because as at the end our prayer is as it were come to its perfection, so we ought there to exercise the perfection of our faith, affection, conscience, and desire.
Reas. 2 Because every natural and kindly motion growes stronger and faster towards its end; otherwise if it be flashy in the beginning, and flag towards the end, it is a token it was forced, or framed upon some wrong ground, and will not prove durable and kindly unto the end.
Reas. 3 Because our affection in the end of prayer ought then to act from the doubled and recollected force and power of all the affections going before.
Reas. 4 Because by this meanes in a sort we redouble our whole prayer, while first we propose all our petitions one by one in order, with their own measure of desire and affection; and thereafter press vehemently and earnestly for them all together, that they may all be granted us, and so according to our earnestnesse, est as confident that they will.
Use Of Reproof, against the negligence of men on this behalf, which is grown so great, that now it is gone out of use amongst us, to signify such our affections, or strong wishes and desires, by saying, Amen; as the Apostle witnesseth and saith, that all Christians of old were taught, and did use to practise 1 Cor. 14. 16.
A Table of the Texts of Scripture, fitted for each Lords day of the year.
- Psalm 4. vers. 6, 7, 8.
LOrds day, There are many that say, &c. Page 1
- Rom 7 7.
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? &c. p. 13
III. Rom 5 12.
Wherefore as by one man sin entered, &c. p. 17
IIII. Ephes. 5. 6.
Let no man deceive you with vain words, &c. p. 24
- Rom. 8 3.
For what the Law could not do, &c. p. 30
- 1 Tim 3. 16.
And without controversy great, &c. p. 37
VII. Act. 16 31.
And they said believe on the Lord Jesus, &c. p. 46
VIII. Mat. 28. 19.
Go ye therefore and teach all Nations, &c. p. 56
IX Rev. 4. 11.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, that thou, &c. p. 62
- Rom. 11. 36.
For of him, and through him, and to him, &c. p. 72
- Acts 4 12.
Neither is there salvation in any other, &c. p. 78
XII. Acts 2. 36.
Therefore let all the House of Israel know, &c. p. 83
XIII. Math. 16. 16.
Thou art Christ the son of the living God. &c. p. 90
XIV. Mat. 1. 20.
But while he thought on these things, &c. p. 96.
XV: 1 Pet. 3. 18.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sinners, &c. p. 103
XVI. Iohn 10. 17, 18.
Therefore the Father loveth me, that I lay, &c. p. 110
XVII. Ioh. 10. 17, 18.
Ibidem, &c. p. 117.
XVIII: Mark. 16. 19.
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, &c. p. 122
XIX. Math. 25, 31. to 39.
When the son of man shall come. &c, p. 129.
- 1 Cor. 6. 19.
What know ye not that your body, &c. p. 137
XXI. Ephes. 5. 25, 26, 27.
Husbands love your wives even as, &c. p. 142
XXII. Phillip 3. 20, 21.
For our conversation i in heaven, &c. p. 147
XXIII. Rom. 3. 24, 25.
Being justified freely by his Grace, &c. p. 154
XXIIII. Iam. 2. 22.
See thou how faith wrought with, &c. p. 161
XXV. Rom. 4. 11.
And he received the signe of circumcision, &c. p. 166
XXVI. and XXVII. Mat. 28. 19.
Go therefore and teach all Nations, &c. p. 173
XXVIII. and XXIX. 1 Cor. 10. 16.
The cup of blessing which we blesse, &c. p. 181
XXX. 1 Cor. 11. 28, 29.
But let a man examine himself, &c. p. 188
XXXI. Mat. 16. 19.
And I will give unto thee the Keys, &c. p, 196
As in the 24, lecture, p 161
XXXIII. Lords day Es. 4 〈◊〉. 20, 21,
〈◊〉 have 〈◊〉〈◊〉 Christ, 〈◊〉 201
XXXIII Exod 0 vers 1, 2, 3.
〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉 thse 〈◊〉〈◊〉aying, 〈◊〉 . 308
XXXV. Exo〈◊〉vers 4, 5 6.
Tho〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉 by self any gra, &c p 217
XXXVI. and XXXVII. Exod.〈◊〉 vers. 7.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, &c. p. 223
XXXVIII Ex〈◊〉. vers. 8, 9, 10, .
Remember the Sabbath day to keep, &c. p. 229
XXXIX Eod. 20 vers 12.
Honour thy father and thy mother that the, &c. p. 237
XL Eod 20. rs 13
Thou shalt not 〈◊〉, 〈◊〉 p. 242.
XLI. Exod 20 vers4.
Thou shalt not commit adultery p. 247
XLII. Exod. 20. vers. 15.
Thou shalt not 〈◊〉. p. 251
XLIII. Exod. 20. vers 16.
Thou shalt not 〈◊〉 false witnesse, &c. p. 255
〈◊〉 Exod 20 〈◊〉 17.
Thou shalt not cot hy 〈◊〉 wife, &c. p. 260
XLV. Ephes.. vers 18.
Praying alwayes with all praye, &c. p. 265
XLVI. Mat. 6. vers. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
After th manner therefore pray ye Our father, &c. p. 270
XLVII. On the first petition.
Hallowed be thy name. p. 276
XLVIII. On the second petition.
Let thy Kingdome come. p. 281
XLIX On the third petition.
Thy will be done on earth a it is in heaven. p 285
- On the forth petition.
Give us this day our daily bread p. 289
- On the fifth petition.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive, &c. p. 293
LII. On the sixth petition.
Lead us not into temptation. p. 298
The conclusion of the Lords prayer.
Because thine is the Kingdome, &c. p. 303