Life eternall or, A treatise of the knowledge of the divine essence and attributes Delivered in XVIII. sermons. By the late faithfull and worthy minister of Iesus Christ, Iohn Preston, D. in Divinity, chaplaine in ordinary to his Majestie, master of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, and sometimes preacher of Lincolns Inne.
Preston, John, 1587-1628., Ball, Thomas, 1589 or 90-1659., Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.
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LIFE ETERNALL OR, A TREATISE Of the knowledge of the Di∣vine ESSENCE and ATTRIBVTES. Delivered in XVIII. Sermons.

By the late faithfull and worthy Minister of IESVS CHRIST, IOHN PRESTON, D. in Divinity, Chaplaine in ordinary to his Majestie, Master of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, and sometimes Preacher of LINCOLNS Inne.

IOHN 17.3.

This is Life Eternall to know thee, the only true God, and Iesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

Imprinted at London by R. B. and are to be sold by Nicholas Bourne at the Royall Exchange, and by Rapha Harford, in Pater-noster Row, in Queenes-head Alley, at the signe of the guilt Bible. 163.

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SO waking and om∣nipotent hath ever beene the eye and hand of God, that nothing by him∣selfe designed to worth and use, could wholly be Page  [unnumbered] debased or layd aside. Moses and Cyrus devoted in their infan∣cie to ruine and obscurity, were by that eye and hand kept and ad∣vanced to highest honours and imployments for his Church.

Some footsteps of which care and power, we have observed, up∣on the birth and bringing forth to light of this Orphane: which, in relation to the painfull labour of him, who (as the Mother) brought it forth, and dyed in tra∣vell with it, wee thought might well be stiled BENNONI, Sonne of my sorrowes; But, when wee saw the strength and holinesse imprin∣ted on the child by God the father of it, wee doubted not to call it BENIAMIN, Sonne of the right Page  [unnumbered] hand. For, as dying Jacob laid his right hand upon the youngest son of Joseph: So God did stretch forth his on this, the last issue of the dy∣ing Author; when out of a wombe (as then) so dead and dryed, hee brought forth a Man-child so strong and vigorous: As also, when by the Parents immature departure, it seemed to be adjud∣ged to death and darknesse, that yet by the same hand it was pre∣served, and at last through many hazards delivered unto us, who by the dying Parent, were appoin∣ted to the Mid-wives Office, in bringing it forth to the publike view.

And, if we may estimate the writings of men, by the same rule Page  [unnumbered] whereby wee are to judge of the works of God himselfe; and those workes of God excell the rest, which doe most cleerly shew forth him the Author of them: and ther∣fore Grace, though but an acci∣dent in the soule, is of farre more price with God, than all mens soules devoid of it, because it is the lively Image of his Holinesse, which is his beautie. VVe could not imagin, how this work should not bee valued when it came a∣broad, that presents to all mens understandings so cleare, evident and immediat expressions of God, his Name and Attributes. And in∣deed what vast and boundless vo∣lumes of heaven, earth & hel, hath God bin pleased to publish to make Page  [unnumbered] known his wrath, eternall power and God-head? and how long hath he continued that expensive worke of governing the world, to shew forth the riches of his goodnesse, pati∣ence & forbearance? Yet when all were bound together; so little knew we of him, that he set forth his Son, the expresse Jmage of his Person, as the Last, and best Edition, that could be hoped for.

And, it being much more true of God which is usually sayd of knowledge in the generall, Non habet inimicum nisi ignorantem, that being so good, he hath no e∣nemies nor strangers to him, but those that know him not; surely then the knowledge of him is a most necessary and effectuall means to friendship with him.

Page  [unnumbered]And indeed, As, that God know∣eth us, is the first Foundation of his Covenant of Mercie vvith us, 2 Tim. 2.19. So, our true and sa∣voury knowledge of him, is made the first entrance into covenant, continuing of acquaintance, and encreasing of communion with him, Jerem. 31.33, 34. Yea fur∣ther, as to make knowne himselfe was the utmost end of all his workes; Rom. 1.19. So rightly to know him, is the best reward at∣tainable by us for all our workes. Joh. 17.3. This is eternall Life to know thee, the onely true GOD, and IESVS CHRIST, whom thou hast sent.

VVhich great reward we doubt not, but this servant of God attai∣ned. Page  [unnumbered] VVho, after he had spent the most of his living, thoughts and breath in unfolding and ap∣plying, the most proper and pecu∣liar Characters of Grace, which is Gods Jmage; whereby Belee∣vers came to be assured, that God is their God, and they in covenant with him; was in the end admit∣ted to exercise his last and dying thoughts, about the Essence, At∣tributes and Greatnesse of GOD Himselfe, who is their portion and exceeding great reward.

In the very entrance almost in∣to which, hee was carried up so nigh to Heaven, that he came not downe againe, but dyed in the Mount into which (by Gods ap∣pointment) he was ascended; and Page  [unnumbered] before many of Gods glorious back∣parts were passed by him, he was ta∣ken up to view the rest more fully Face to face. So that, as he was of∣ten in his sicknes wont to say, J shall but change my place, and not my companie; we may also truly say, he did but change his studying place, not his thoughts nor stu∣dies. God being the only imme∣diate subject about vvhich the studies of men and Angells are wholly taken up for all eternity.

VVhich change, though to him full of gaine, had been to us more grievous, had not this little peece, like to ELIAHS mantle falne from him, as he was ascending. VVherein wee have those lofty speculations of the schools (which Page  [unnumbered] like emptie clouds flie often high, but drop no fatnesse) digested in∣to usefull applications, and distil∣led into Spirit-full and quickning cordialls, to comfort and confirme the inward Man.

Not onely shewing (as o∣thers) vvhat GOD is; but also what wee therefore ought to bee. At once, emblazoning the Di∣vine Essence, and glorious Attri∣butes of God; and withall delinea∣ting the most noble dispositions of the Divine Nature in us, which are the prints and imitations of those his Attributes, applying as a skilfull builder, the patterne to the peece he was to frame. So, as by his unfinisht draught, it may be gathered, what inlarged and Page  [unnumbered] working apprehensions, and im∣pressions of the Deitie possest his heart. He speakes of God, not as one that had onely heard of him, by the hearing of the eare, but whose eye of faith had seene him.

But needeth hee, or this relict of his, Epistles of commendation from us unto your Honour, who knew him so well? Or unto o∣thers, besides this Inscription of, and Dedication to your Name? vvhich vvee account our onely choice, and best Epistle to the Reader; You, are our Epistle, &c. Seeing in your Honour, those more Heroicall Graces, and Noblest parts of Gods Image, which in these SERMONS the Authour endevoured to raise his hearers to, Page  [unnumbered] are found already written, and im∣printed not with inke, but with the Spirit of the Living God: yea, and not onely vvritten, but also by reason of the greatnesse of your birth, the noblenesse of your de∣portment in your countrie, known and read of all men. Such inge∣nuous simplicitie lodged in depth of wisedome: Holinesse of life so set in honour and esteeme, and immoveably settled with even∣nesse of vvalking in midst of all vanities: Such humilitie in height of parts: gratiousnesse of heart in greatnesse of minde. So rare, fixt and happy a conjunction, in an house so eminent, doth not fall out, without a generall observa∣tion.

Page  [unnumbered]To your Name and Honour, therefore, wee present it (most Noble LORD) as the last Le∣gacie bequeathed by him to the Church, as a pledge of our ser∣vice, and a counterpane of your Lordships most raysed thoughts and resolutions.

And likewise unto others, as honoured vvith your Lordships name; that those vvho studie, either men or bookes, may reade these SERMONS together with your Lordships VERTVES, each as the coppie of the other, to in∣vite them to the imitation of the same.

And that the VVorld, which (like that Indian Monarch) accounts such true Pictures of Page  [unnumbered] the beauty of Holinesse as this, to bee but counterfeit, because not tawnie, like their owne; and looke upon so high Principles of Godli∣nesse, as emptie notions raised up by art and fancie to make a shew, may see and know in you, the true, reall, uniform subsistence of them; and that God hath indeede some such living, walking Patternes of his owne Great Holinesse, and more transcendent Graces.

VVhich Graces, Hee, who is the God of all Grace, increase and perfect in your Lordship here, that hereafter you may be filled with all the fulnesse of him; So pray

Your Honours ever to be commanded, THOMAS GOODWIN, THOMAS BALL.

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  • THat there is a God proved: Page 5
  • 1 By the Creation. Ibid.
  • By the law, written in mens hearts. Page 13
  • By the Soule of man. Page 15
  • VSE 1.
    • To strengthen faith in this Principle. Page 22
  • VSE 2.
    • What consequences to draw hence. Page 28
    • Objections against this Principle. Page 30
    • 2 That there is a God proved by faith. Page 19.45
    • The Scripture proved true by foure things. Page 48
  • VSE 3.
    • To confirme us in this Principle. Page 61
    • Page  [unnumbered]Difference in the assent of men to this. Page 62
    • 4 Meanes to confirme our Faith in this. Page 68
    • Three Effects of a firme assent to this Prin∣ciple. Page 70
    • 3 That there is no other God, but GOD. Page 75
    • Five Arguments to prove that there is no o∣ther God. Page 76
    • The gods and religion of the Heathens false, proved three wayes. Page 80
    • Religion of Mahomet false. Page 82
  • VSE 1.
    • To beleeve that our God is God alone, and to cleave to him. Page 85
  • VSE 2.
    • To comfort us in this, that God will shew him∣selfe the true GOD, in raising the Chur∣ches. Page 87
  • VSE 3.
    • To keepe our hearts from Idolatrie. Page 88
    • Three grounds of Idolatrie. Page 89
    • What God is. Page 94
  • Doctrine.
    • God only and properly hath being in him. Page 97
    • Page  [unnumbered]What the being of God is, explained in five things. Ibid.
  • VSE 1.
    • There is something in Gods Essence not to be inquired into. Page 100
  • VSE 2.
    • To strengthen our faith and incourage us in wants and crosses. Page 103
  • VSE 3.
    • To give God the praise of his being. Page 112
  • VSE 4.
    • To learne the vanitie of the creatures, and the remedie against it. Page 116
    • Attributes of God of two sorts. Page 119
    The First ATTRIBVTE.
  • The perfection of God. Page 120
  • Five differēces between the perfection of God, and the creatures. Page 121
  • Page  [unnumbered]
  • VSE 1.
    • All that wee doe cannot reach to God to me∣rit. Page 123
  • VSE 2.
    • To see the freenesse of Gods grace. Page 125
  • VSE 3.
    • To goe to God with faith though wee have no worth in us. Ibid.
  • VSE 4.
    • God hath no need of any creature. Page 126
  • VSE 5.
    • Though many perish it is nothing to God, he is perfect. Page 127
  • VSE 6.
    • Gods commands are for our good, hee is per∣fect. Ibid.
  • VSE 7.
    • To give God the honour of his perfection. Page 129
    • Foure signes of exalting Gods perfection. Ibid.
    • The creatures of themselves can doe nothing for us in three respects. Page 137
    The Second ATTRIBVTE.
  • God without all causes. Page 140
  • Reason 1.
    • Else something should bee before him. Ibid.
  • Reason 2.
    • That which hath a part receiveth it from the whole. Page 141
  • Reason 3.
    • All other things have a possibility not to bee. Page 142
  • VSE 1.
    • God wills not things because they are just, but they are just because he wills them. Page 143
  • VSE 2.
    • God may doe all things for himselfe and his owne glorie. Page 144
  • VSE 3.
    • We should doe nothing for our owne ends but for God. Page 146
    • Eight signes to know whether a man make God or himselfe his end. Page 148
    The Third ATTRIBVTE.
  • Doctrine.
    • God is eternall. Page 156
    • Five things required in Eternitie. Page 157
    • Reasons why God must be Eternall. Page 158
    • Foure differences betweene the Eternitie of God, and the duration of the creatures. Page 159
  • Consect. 1.
    • God possesseth all things together. Page 159
  • Consect. 2.
    • Eternitie maketh things infinitely good or e∣vill. Page 160
  • VSE 1.
    • To minde more things Eternall. Page 161
    • Motives to consider Eternity. Page 167
  • VSE 2.
    • Not to be offended with Gods delaying, he hath time enough to performe his promises, be∣ing Eternall. Page 168
  • VSE 3.
    • To consider Gods love and enmitie are eter∣nall. Page 171
  • Page  [unnumbered]
    VSE 4.
    • To comfort us against mutabilitie of things below. Page 172
  • VSE 5.
    • God is Lord of time. Page 174


    The Fourth ATTRIBVTE.
  • God is a SPIRIT. Page 2
  • Foure properties of a Spirit. Ibid.
  • VSE 1.
    • Gods eye chiefly on our spirits, therefore they must be kept fit for communion with him. Page 4
    • How to fit our spirits for communion with God. Page 6
    • Directions for cleansing the spirit. Page 10
  • VSE 2.
    • Gods government chiefly on the spirits of men. Page 25
    • Proved by 3 Demonstrations. Page 28
  • VSE 3.
    • To worship God in spirit. Page 32
    • Which consists in three things. Page 33
    • Page  [unnumbered]What necessity of the gestures of the bodie in Gods service. Page 38
    • How to conceive of God in prayer. Page 44
  • The Simplicitie of GOD.
    • Gods simplicity proved by sixe reasons. Page 48
  • Consec. 1.
    • To see what a stable foundation faith hath. Page 51
  • Consec. 2.
    • God cannot be hindred in his workes. Page 52
  • Consec. 3.
    • The Attributes of God are equall. Page 53
  • VSE 1.
    • To labour to bee content in a simple condi∣tion. Page 54
  • VSE 2.
    • To labour for singlenesse of heart. Page 59
    • Two things in simplicitie. Page 60
  • VSE 3.
    • To goe to God rather than to the creatures. Page 67
    The Fifth ATTRIBVTE.
  • Gods immutability. Page 72
  • Five Reasons of Gods immutability. Page 73
  • Two Objections against Gods immutability. Page 76
  • Consec. 1.
    • How to understand severall places of Scrip∣ture. Page 78
  • Consec. 2.
    • Love and hatred in God eternall. Ibid.
  • VSE 1.
    • Take heede of provoking him to cast us off. Page 80
    • The time of Gods casting off a man, un∣knowne. Page 83
  • VSE 2.
    • Gods gifts and calling without repentance. Page 84
    • How to know vvee are in Covenant vvith God. Page 85
    • The unchangeablenesse of God takes not away endevour. Page 93
    • The occasion, end, and use of revealing the do∣ctrine of Gods unchangeablenesse in Scrip∣ture. Page 96
  • Page  [unnumbered]
    VSE 3.
    • God dispenceth mercies and judgements, now as in former times. Page 98
    • Two cases wherein God punisheth his owne Children. Page 99
    • GODS Iudgements different in time and meanes. Page 101
  • VSE 4.
    • To see a difference betweene God and the crea∣ture. Page 103
    • Forgetting the creatures to be mutable, three inconveniences of it. Ibid.
  • VSE 5.
    • To esteem things by their unchangeablenes. Page 106
  • VSE 6.
    • To judge our owne spirits by constancie in well doing. Page 111
  • VSE 7.
    • To goe to God to get it. Page 113
    • Two causes of inconstancie. Page 115
    • 3 Helps to strengthen purposes. Page 117
    • Meanes to helpe resolutions. Page 119
    The Sixth ATTRIBVTE.
  • The greatnesse of God. Page 123
  • Page  [unnumbered]The greatnesse of God in sixe things. Ibid.
  • The greatnesse of God proved by foure Rea∣sons. Page 127
  • VSE 1.
    • To know our interest in God, and to get an answerable greatnesse of minde. Page 129
    • Why men are led aside by outward things. Page 130
    • How to come to true greatnesse of minde. Page 137
  • VSE 2.
    • To feare him for his greatnesse. Page 140
  • VSE 3.
    • To thinke no affection or obedience enough for him, and therefore not to limit our selves. Page 142
  • VSE 4.
    • To reverence before him. Page 145
    The Seventh ATTRIBVTE.
  • Gods immensitie. Page 147
  • 3 Reasons of Gods infinite presence. Page 148
  • VSE 1.
    • God governes the world immediatly, a remedy against complaint of ill Governours. Page 150
  • Page  [unnumbered]
    VSE 2.
    • To choose God, and rejoyce in him, as a friend in all places. Page 152
  • VSE 3.
    • To see a ground of Gods particular Provi∣dence in the smallest things. Page 154
  • VSE 4.
    • To be patient and meeke in injuries offered by men. Page 156
  • VSE 5.
    • To walke with God. Page 159
    • How we are present with God. Page 160
    • How to make God present with us. Page 161
    • Why men desire companie. Page 166
  • VSE 6.
    • God observeth all the evill and good we do. Page 168
  • VSE 7.
    • Terrour to wicked men, God is an enemy they cannot flee from. Page 174
  • The Eighth ATTRIBVTE.
    • God is Omnipotent. Page 176
    • Omnipotencie of God, wherein. Page 177
    • Page  [unnumbered]4 Reasons of Gods Omnipotency. Page 178
    • Objections against the Omnipotencie of God. Page 181
  • VSE 1.
    • To rejoice in our God, who is Almighty. Page 186
  • VSE 2.
    • To make use of Gods Power, in all wants and straits. Page 191
  • VSE 3.
    • To beleeve the Omnipotencie of God. Page 194
    • Men doubt as much of the power of God, as of his will. Ibid.
  • VSE 4.
    • To seeke and pray to God in all straits with confidence. Page 198
    • 2 Instances of Gods Power. Page 201
Page  [unnumbered]Page  1



He that commeth to God, must beleeve that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seeke him.

HAVING undertaken to goe through the whole body of Theologie, I will first give you a briefe definition of the thing it selfe, which we call Divini∣tie, it is this;

It is that heavenly wisdome,*or forme of wholesome words, revealed by the Holy Ghost, in the Scripture, touching the knowledge of Page  2 God, and our selves, whereby we are taught the way to eternall life.

[ 1] I call it [heavenly wisdome] for so it is called, 1 Cor. 2.13.*The wisdome which we teach, is not in the words, which mans wisdome teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth. So likewise the Apostle in another place calls it, The forme of wholesome words;* that is, That systeme, or comprehension of wholesome Doctrine delivered in the Scripture.

Now it differs from other systemes, and bo∣dies of Sciences:*

1 Because it is revealed from above; all other knowledge is gathered from things below.

2 Againe, all other sciences are taught by men, but this is taught by the Holy Ghost.

3 All other knowledge is delivered in the writings of men, but this is revealed to us in the holy Word of God, which was written by God himselfe, though men were the mediate pen-men of it; therefore, I adde that, to distinguish it from all other Sciences; that, It is not revealed by men, but by the holy Ghost, not in bookes written by men, but in the holy Scriptures.

[ 2] In the next place I adde the object, about which this wisdome is conversant, it is the knowledge of God, and of our selves. And so it is likewise distin∣guished from all other knowledge, which hath some other objects. It is the knowledge of God, that is, of God, not simply considered, or abso∣lutely, in his Essence, but as he is in reference and relation to us.

And againe, it is not simply the knowledge of Page  3 our selves, (for many things in us belong to o∣ther arts and sciences) but as wee stand in refe∣rence to God; so that these are the two parts of it; the knowledge of God, in reference to us; and of our selves, in reference to him.

[ 3] Last of all, it is distinguished by the end, towhich it tends, which it aymes at, which is to teach us the way to eternall life: And therein it dif∣fers from all other sciences whatsoever; for they onely helpe some defects of understanding here in this present life: for where there is some fai∣ling or defect,* which common reason doth not helpe, there arts are invented to supply and recti∣fie those defects; but this doth somewhat more, it leads us the way to eternall life: for, as it hath in it a principall above all others, so it hath an higher end than others: for as the well-head is higher, so the streams ascend higher than others. And so much for this description, what this summe of the doctrine of Theologie is.*

The parts of it are two:

  • 1 Concerning God.
  • 2 Concerning our selves.

Now concerning God,* 2. things are to be known:*

  • 1 That he is; both these are set downe in the Text.
  • 2 What he is. both these are set downe in the Text.

1 That God is,* wee shall finde that there are two wayes to prove it, or to make it good to us:

  • 1 By the strength of naturall reason.
  • 2 By faith.*

That wee doe not deliver this vvithout ground, looke into Romans 1 20.*For the invi∣sible Page  4 things of him, that is, his eternall power, and God-head, are seene by the creation of the world, be∣ing considered in his workes, so that they are with∣out excuse. So likewise, Act. 17.27, 28. you shall see there what the Apostle saith,* that they should seeke after the Lord, if happily they might grope af∣ter him, and finde him: for he is not farre from eve∣ry one of us: for in him we live, move, and have our being: That is, by the very things that wee handle and touch, wee may know that there is a God; and also, by our owne life, motion, and be∣ing, we may learne that there is a Dietie, from whence these proceed: For the Apostle speaketh this to them, that had no Scripture to teach them. So likewise, Act. 14.17.*Neverthelesse, hee hath not left himselfe without witnesse, in giving us fruit∣full seasons: As if those did beare witnesse of him, that is, those workes of his in the creatures. So that you see, there are two wayes to come to the knowledge of this, that God is; One, I say, is by naturall reason: Or else to make it more plaine, we shall see this in these two things:

1 There is enough in the very creation of the world, to declare him unto us.

2 There is a light of the understanding, or reason, put into us, whereby we are able to dis∣cerne those characters of God stamped in the creatures, whereby we may discerne the invisible things of God, his infinite power and wisdome; and when these are put together, that which is writ∣ten in the creature, there are arguments enough in them, and in us there is reason enough, to see Page  5 the force of those arguments, and thence we may conclude that there is a GOD, besides the argu∣ments of Scripture, that wee have to reveale it. For, though I said before, that Divinity was re∣vealed by the HOLY GHOST, yet there is this difference in the points of Theologie:* Some truths are wholly revealed, and have no foot-steps in the creatures, no prints in the creation, or in the workes of GOD, to discerne them by, and such are all the mysteries of the Gospell, and of the Tri∣nitie: other truths there are, that have some vestigia, some characters stamped upon the crea∣ture, whereby wee may discerne them, and such is this which wee now have in hand, that, There is a God.*

Therefore we will shew you these two things:

  • 1 How it is manifest from the creation.
  • 2 How this point is evident to you by faith.

3 A third thing i will adde, that this God whom we worship, is the only true God.

Now for the first, to explicate this, that, The power and God-head is seene in the creation of the world.

Besides those Demonstrations else-where handled,* drawne from the Creation in generall, as from:

1 The sweet concent and harmony the crea∣tures have among themselves.

2 The fitnesse and proportion of one unto another.

3 From the reasonable actions of creatures, in themselves unreasonable.

Page  64 The great and orderly provision that is made for all things.

5 The combination and dependance that is among them.

6 The impressions of skill and workmanship that is upon the creatures. All which argue that there is a God.

There remaine three other principall argu∣ments to demonstrate this:

[ 1] The consideration of the Originall of all things, which argues that they must needs bee made by GOD,* the Maker of Heaven and Earth; which wee will make good to you by these parti∣culars:

If man was made by him, for whom all things are made,* then it is certaine that they are made also. For the argument holds; If the best things in the world must have a beginning, then surely those things that are subserving, and subordinate to them, must much more have a beginning.

Now that man was made by him,* consider but this reason;

The father that begets, knowes not the making of him; the mother that conceives, knowes it not; neither doth the formative vertue, (as we call it) that is, that vigour that is in the materials, that shapes, and fashions, and articulates the body in the wombe, that knowes not what it doth. Now is is certaine; that he that makes any thing, must needs know it perfectly, and all the parts of it, though the stander by may be ignorant of it. As for example; he that makes a statue, knowes how Page  7 every particle is made; he that makes a Watch, or any ordinary worke of art, he knowes all the junctures, all the wheeles, and commissures of it, or else it is impossible that hee should make it: now all these that have a hand in making of man, know not the making of him, not the father, nor the mother, nor that which wee call the forma∣tive vertue, that is, that vigour which is in the materials, which workes and fashions the bodie, as the work-man doth a statue, and gives severall limbes to it, all these know it not: therefore hee must needs be made by God, and not by man: and therefore see how the Wise-man reasons, Psal. 94.9.*Hee that made the eye, shall he not see? he that made the eare, shall not he heare? &c. that is, he that is the maker of the engines, or organes, or senses, or limbes of the body, or hee that is maker of the soule, and faculties of it, it is cer∣taine that he must know, though others doe not, the making of the body and soule, the turnings of the will, and the windings of the understanding; all those other are but as pensils in the hand of him that doth all; the pensill knowes not what it doth, though it drawes all, it is guided by the hand of a skilfull Painter, else it could do nothing; the Painter only knoweth what he doth; so that formative vertue, that vigour that formes the bo∣die of a man, that knowes no more what it doth, than the pensill doth, but he in whose hand it is, who sets it on worke, it is he that gives vigour and vertue to that seed in the womb, from whence the bodie is raised, it is he that knows it, for it is he Page  8 that makes it. And this is the first particular by which wee prove that things were made, and had not their originall from themselves. The se∣cond is:

[ 2] If things were not made, then, it is certaine, that they must have a being from themselves:* Now to have a being from it selfe, is nothing else but to be God: for it is an inseparable propertie of God, to have his being from himselfe. Now if you will acknowledge, that the creatures had a being of themselves, they must needs be Gods; for it belongs to him alone, to have a being of himselfe, and from himselfe. The third followes, which I would have you chiefly to marke.

[ 3] If things have a being from themselves, it is certaine then that they are without causes;* as for example; That which hath no efficient cause, (that is) no maker, that hath no end. Looke up∣on all the workes made by man (that we may ex∣presse it to you;) take an house, or any worke, or instrument that man makes; therefore it hath an end, because he that made it, propounded such an end to himselfe; but if it have no maker, it can have no end: for the end of any thing is that which the maker aymes at. Now if things have no end, they could have no forme: for the forme and fashion of every thing ariseth only from the end, which the maker propounds to himselfe; as for example, the reason, why a knife hath such a fashion, is, because it was the end of the maker, to have it an instrument to cut with: the reason why an axe or hatchet hath another fashion, is, because Page  9 it might be an instrument to chop with; and the reason, why a key hath another fashion different from these, is, because the maker propounded to himselfe another end, in making of it, namely, to open lockes with; these are all made of the same matter, that is, of iron, but they have divers fa∣shions, because they have severall ends, which the maker propounds to himselfe. So that, if there be no ends of things, there is no forme, nor fa∣shion of them, because the ground of all their fa∣shions, is their severall ends. So then wee will put them all together; if there be no efficient, no maker of them, then there is no end, and if there be no end, then there is no forme nor fashion, and if there be no forme, then there is no matter, and so consequently, they have no cause; and that which is without any cause, must needs bee God; which I am sure none dares to affirme; and there∣fore they have not their being of themselves. But besides that negative argument, by bringing it to an impossibilitie, that the creatures should be Gods, wee will make it plaine by an affirmative argument, that all the creatures have an end.

For looke upon all the creatures, and we shall see that they have an end;* the end of the Sunne, Moone and Starres is, to serve the Earth; and the end of the Earth is, to bring forth Plants; and the end of Plants is, to feed the beasts: and so if you looke to all particular things else, you shall see that they have an end, and if they have an end, it is certaine, there is one did ayme at it, and did give those creatures, those several fashions, which Page  10 those severall ends did require: As for example, What is the reason, why a horse hath one fashi∣on, a dog another, sheepe another, and oxen ano∣ther? The reason is plaine, a horse was made to runne, and to carry men; the oxen to plow; a dog to hunt, and so of the rest. Now this can∣not be without an author, without a maker, from whom they have their beginning. So likewise this is plaine by the effects: for this is a sure rule: Whatsoever it is, that hath no other end, but it selfe, that seekes to provide for its owne happi∣nesse in looking no further than it selfe; and this is only in God, blessed for ever; he hath no end but himselfe, no cause above himselfe, therefore he lookes only to himselfe, and therein doth his happinesse consist. Take any thing that will not goe out of its owne sphere, but dwels within its owne compasse, stands upon its owne bottome to seeke its happinesse, that thing destroyes it selfe; looke to any of the creatures, and let them not stirre out of their owne shell, they perish there. So, take a man that hath no further end than him∣selfe,* let him seeke himselfe, make himselfe his end in all things he doth, looke only to his owne profit and commodity, such a man destroyes himselfe: for he is made to serve God, and men, and therein doth his happinesse consist, because that hee is made for such an end: take those that have beene serviceable to God, and men, that have spent themselves in serving God, with a perfect heart, we see that such men are happie men; and doe we not finde it by experience, that those Page  11 that have gone a contrary way, have destroyed themselves? And this is the third particular.

[ 4] 4 If things had no beginning,* if the world was from eternitie; what is the reason there are no monuments of more ancient times, than there are? For, if wee consider what eternity is, and what the vastnesse of it is, that when you have thought of millions of millions of yeares, yet still there is more beyond: if the world hath been of so long continuance, what is the reason, that things are but, as it were, newly ripened? what is the reason, that things are of no greater anti∣quity than they are? Take all the Writers that ever wrote, (besides the Scripture) and they all exceed not above foure thousand yeares; for they almost all agree in this, that the first man, that had ever any history written of him, was Ninus, who lived about Abrahams time, or a little be∣fore; Trogus Pompeius, and Diodorus Siculus a∣gree in this. Plutarch saith, that Theseus, was the first, before him there was no history of truth, nothing credible; and this is his expression: Take the Histories of times before Theseus, and you shall finde them to be but like skirts, in the maps, wherein you shall finde nothing but vast Seas. Varro, one of the most learned of their Writers, professeth, that before the kingdome of the Si∣cyonians, which begun after Ninus time, that be∣fore that time nothing was certaine, and the be∣ginning of that was doubtfull, and uncertain. And their usuall division of all history, into fabulous, and certaine, by Historians, is well knowne, to Page  12 those that are conversant in them; and yet the Hi∣storians, that are of any truth, began long after the Captivitie in Babylon; for Herodotus, that li∣ved after Esthers time, is counted the first that ever wrote in Prose, and he was above eight hun∣dred yeares after Moses time. For conclusion of this, we will only say, that which one of the an∣cientest of the Roman Poets, drawing this con∣clusion from the argument we have in hand, saith, If things were from eternitie, and had not a be∣ginning;

Cur supra bellum Thebanum & funera Trojae
Non alias alii quoque res cecinere Poetae?
If things were from eternitie, what is the reason, that before the Theban and Trojan warre, all the ancient Poets, and ancient Writers did not make mention of any thing? Doe you thinke, if things had beene from eternitie, there would be no monuments of them, if you consider the vastnesse of eternitie, what it is? So likewise for the beginning of Arts and Sciences; what is the reason that the origi∣nall of them is knowne? why were they no soo∣ner found out? why are they not sooner perfe∣cted? Printing, you know, is a late invention; and so is the invention of Letters: take all Scien∣ces, the ancientest, as Astrologie and Philosophy, as well as the Mathematickes; why are their authors yet known, & we see them in the blade, and not in the fruit? So for the Genealogies of men (for that I touch, because it is an argument insinuated by Paul, when hee disputed with the Heathens, Page  13Acts 17.26. That God hath made of one bloud all mankinde) you see evidently how one man begets another, and he another, &c. and so goe and take all the Genealogies in the Scripture, and in all other historiographers, we shall see, that they all come to one well-head. Now, I aske, if the world was from eternitie, what is the reason that there is but one fountaine, one bloud whereof we are all made? Why should they not be made all together? Why was not the earth peopled together, and in every Land a multitude of in∣habitants together, if they had beene from eter∣nitie, and had no beginning?

[ 2] The second principall Head, by which wee will make this good to you, that there is a God,* that made Heaven and Earth, is, the testimony of God himselfe. There is a double testimony; one is the written testimony, which we have in the Scripture; the other is, that testimony, which is written in the hearts of men.

Now, you know that all Nations do acknow∣ledge a God, (this we take for granted) yea, even those that have been lately discovered, that live, as it were, disjoyned from the rest of the world, yet they all have, and worship a God; those Na∣tions discovered lately by the Spaniards, in the West Indies, and those that have beene discovered since; all of them, without exception, have it written in their hearts, that there is a God. Now the strength of the argument lies in these two things:

1 I observe that phrase used, Rom. 2.15. It is Page  14 called a law written in their hearts.* Every mans soule is but, as it were, the table or paper, upon which the writing is; the thing written is this principle that we are now upon, that there is a God, that made Heaven and Earth: but now who is the Writer? surely it is God, which is evident by this; because it is a generall effect in the heart of every man living, and therefore it must come from a generall cause: from whence else shall it proceed? no particular cause can produce it; if it were, or had beene taught by some particular man, by some sect, in some one Nation or King∣dome, in one age, then, knowing the cause, wee should see that the effect would not exceed it, but when you finde it in the hearts of all men, in all Nations and ages; then you must conclude, it was an universall effect, written by the generall Author of all things, which is God alone; and so consequently, the argument hath this strength in it, that it is the testimony of God.

2 Besides, when you see every man looking after a God, and seeking him, it is an argument that there is one, though they doe not finde him: it is true, they pitch upon a false god, and goe the wrong way to seeke him, yet it shewes that there is such a Deity. For as in other things; when we see one affect that thing which another doth not; as to the eye of one, that is beautifull which is not to another, yet all affecting some beauty; it is an argument that beauty is the general object of all, and so in taste & other senses. So when we see men going different waies, some worshipping one God,Page  15 some another, yet all conspiring in this, to wor∣ship a God, it must needs argue that there is one: for this law ingraven in every mans heart, you will grant that it is a work of Nature at least, and the workes of Nature are not in vaine; even as, when you see the fire to ascend above the aire, it argues that there is a place where it would rest, though you never saw it; and as, in winter, when you see the Swallowes flying to a place, though you never saw the place, yet you must needs ga∣ther that there is one which Nature hath appoin∣ted them, and hath given them an instinct to flye unto, and there to be at rest; so when you see in every mans soule such an instigation to seeke God, though men never saw him, and the most goe the wrong way to seeke him, and take that for God which is not, yet this argues there is a Deitie which they intend. And this is the third.

[ 3] The last argument is taken from the soule of man,*the fashion of it, and the immortality of it.

[ 1] First, God is said to have made man after his owne Image; hee doth not meane his bodie, for that is not made after the Image of God; neither is it only that holinesse which was created in us, and now lost: for then he would not have said, Gen. 9.6.*He that sheds mans bloud, by man shall his bloud be shed, for in the Image of GOD made hee man. The principall intent of that place, is (for ought I can see or judge) of that Scripture (spea∣king of the naturall fashion of things, and not of the supernaturall graces) it is, to expresse that God hath given a soule to man, that carries the Page  16 Image of God, a likenesse to the Essence of God, immateriall, immortall, invisible; for there is a double Image of God in the soule, one in the sub∣stance of it, which is never lost; another is the su∣pernaturall grace, which is an Image of the knowledge, holinesse, and righteousnesse of God, and this is utterly lost. But the soule is the Image of the Essence of God, (as I may so speake) that is, it is a spirit immateriall, immortall, invisible, as he is; hath understanding and will, as he hath; he understands all things, and wils whatsoever he pleaseth. And you see an expression of him in your owne soule, which is an argument of the Deitie.

[ 2] Secondly, besides, the immortalitie of the soule, which argues it came not from any thing here below, but that it hath its originall from God; it came from GOD, and to GOD it must re∣turne; that is, it had not any beginning here, it had it from him, and to him againe it must re∣turne. For what is this body, wherein the soule is? it is but the case of the soule, the shell, and sheath of it; therefore the soule useth it but for a time, and dwels in it, as a man dwels in a house, while it is habitable, but when it is growne rui∣nous, he departeth: the soule useth the body, as a man doth a vessell, when it is broken, he layes it aside; or as a man doth an instrument, whilest it will be serviceable to him; but when it is no lon∣ger fit to play upon, he casts it aside; so doth the soule, as it were, lay aside the body: for it is but as a garment that a man useth; when it is worne Page  17 out, and threed-bare, he casts it off: so doth the soule with the body. And for the further proofe of this, and that it depends not on the body, nor hath its originall of it, or by it; consider the great acts of the soule, which are such, as cannot arise from the temper of the matter, be it never so curious: As the discourse of the soule from one generall to another; the apprehension of so high things, as God, and Angels; the devising of such things as never came into the senses. For, though it be true, that sounds and colours be car∣ried into the understanding by the senses; yet to make pictures of these colours, and musicke of these sounds, this is from the understanding with∣in: So the remembrance of things past; obser∣ving the condition of things, by comparing one with another. Now, looke upon bruit beasts, we see no actions but may arise from the temper of the matter; according to which their fancie and appetite are fashioned; though some actions are stronger than others, yet they arise not above the Well-head of sense: all those extraordinary things, which they are taught to doe, it is but for their food, as Hawkes, and some Pigeons, it is re∣ported, in Assyria that they carry Letters from one place to another, where they use to have food; so other beasts that act dancing, and such like motions, it is done by working on their sen∣ses: but come to man, there are other actions of his understanding and will in the soule: It is true indeed, in a man there are fancie and appetite, and these arise from the temper of the body; there∣fore Page  18 as the body hath a different temper, so there are severall appetites, dispositions and affections; some man longs after one thing, some after ano∣ther, but these are but the severall turnings of the sensuall appetite, (which is also seene in beasts) therefore when the soule is gone, these remaine no longer; but come to the higher part of the soule, the actions of the will, and understanding of man, and they are of an higher nature; the acts which they doe, have no dependance upon the body at all: Besides, come to the motions of the body; the soule guides and moves the body, as a Pilot doth a ship, (now the Pilot may be safe, though the ship be split upon the rocke.) Looke on beasts, they are led wholly as their ap∣petite carries them, and they must goe that way; therefore they are not ruled, as a Pilot governes a ship: but in men, their appetites would carry them hither, or thither, but the will saith no, and that hath the understanding for its counseller. So that the motions of the body arise not from the diversity of the sensuall appetites, as in all other creatures, but of the will and understanding; for the soule depends not upon the body, but the acts of the body depend upon it: therefore, when the body perisheth, the soule dies not; but, as a man that dwels in a house; if the house fall, he hath no dependance on it, but may goe away to ano∣ther house; so the soule hath no dependance up∣on the bodie at all; therefore you must not think that it doth die when the body perisheth.

Besides, the soule is not worne, it is not weary, Page  19 as other things are; the body is weary, and the spirits are weary: the body weares, as doth a garment, till it be wholly worne out: now, any thing that is not weary, it cannot perish; but, in the very actions of the soule it selfe there is no wearinesse, but whatsoever comes into the soule perfects it, with a naturall perfection, and it is the stronger for it; therefore it cannot be subject to decay, it cannot weare out, as other things doe, but the more notions it hath, the more perfect it is: the body, indeed, is weary with labour, and the spirits are weary, but the soule is not weary, but in the immediate acts of it, the soule it works still, even when the body sleepeth: Looke upon all the actions of the soule, and they are indepen∣dent, and as their independencie growes, so the soule growes younger and younger, and stronger and stronger, senescens juvenescit, and is not sub∣ject to decay, or mortalitie: as you see in a Chic∣ken, it growes still, and so the shell breakes, and falls off: so is it with the soule, the body hangs on it, but as a shell, and when the soule is growne to perfection, it falls away, and the soule returnes to the Maker.

The next thing that I should come to,* is to shew you how this is made evident by faith. When a man hath some rude thoughts of a thing, and hath some reason for it, he then begins to have some perswasion of it; but when, besides, a man wise and true, shall come, and tell him it is so, this addes much strength to his confidence: for when you come to discerne this God-head, and to know Page  20 it by reasons from the creatures, this may give you some perswasion; but when one shall come, and tell you out of the Scripture, made by a wise and true God, that it is so indeed; this makes you confirmed in it. Therefore the strength of the argument by faith, you may gather after this manner: Yee beleeve the Scriptures to be true, and that they are the Word of God; now this is contained in the Scriptures, that God made Heaven and Earth; therefore, beleeving the Scriptures to be the Word of God, and whatsoever is contai∣ned in them; hence faith layes hold upon it also, and so our consent growes strong and firme, that there is a God: After this manner you come to conclude it by faith. For what is faith? Faith is, but when a thing is propounded to you, even as an object set before the eye, there is an habit of faith within, that sees it what it is; for faith is nothing else, but a seeing of that which is: for though a thing is not true, because I beleeve it is so, yet things first are, and then I beleeve them. Faith doth not beleeve things imaginary, and such as have no ground; but whatsoever faith be∣leeves, it hath a being, and the things we beleeve, doe lye before the eye of reason, sanctified and elevated by the eye of faith; therefore Moses, when he goes about to set downe the Scripture, hee doth not prove things by reason, but pro∣pounds them, as, In the beginning GOD made the Heaven and Earth; he propounds the object, and leaves it to the eye of faith to looke upon. For the nature of faith is this: God hath given to man Page  21 an understanding facultie, (which we call, Rea∣son) the object of this is all the truths that are de∣livered in the world, & whatsoever hath a being. Now take all things that we are said to beleeve, and they also are things that are, and which are the true objects of the understanding and reason. But the understanding hath objects of two sorts:

1 Such as we may easily perceive, as the eye of man doth the object that is before him.

2 Such as we see with more difficulty, and can∣not doe▪ it, without something above the eye to elevate it: As the candle and the bignesse of it, the eye can see; but to know the bignesse of the Sunne, in the latitude of it, you must have instru∣ments of art to see it, and you must measure it by degrees, and so see it: So is it here, some things we may fully see by reason alone, and those are such as lye before us, and them wee may easi∣ly see: but other things there are, that though they are true, yet they are more remote, and further off; therefore they are harder to bee seene; and therefore we must have something to helpe our understanding to see them. So that indeed, Faith, it is but the lifting up of the un∣derstanding, by adding a new light to them and it; and therefore they are said to be revealed, not because they were not before, as if the revealing of them gave a being unto them; but, even as a new light in the night discovers to us that which we did not see before, and as a prospective glasse reveales to the eye, that which we could not see before, and by its owne power, the eye could not Page  22 reach unto. So that the way to strengthen our selves by this argument, is to beleeve the Scrip∣tures; and the things contained in them.

Now you should see, why we are to beleeve the Scriptures; but this wee must leave till the next time. We will now come to some use of the point, for wee are not to dismisse you without some application, but we must insert some uses here and there.

[Vse 1] When you heare these arguments, and this conclusion proving that there is a God,* the use you should make of it, is, to labour daily to strengthen our faith in this principle, and to have an eye at God in all our actions, for this is the reason given in the Text, why one man comes to God, because he beleeves that he is, and another doth not, be∣cause he beleeves it but by halves; if they did be∣leeve this fully, they would serve God with a perfect heart. What is the reason, that Moses breaks thorow all impediments,* he had temptati∣ons on both sides; Prosperitie and preferment on the one side, and adversity and afflictions on the other, yet he passeth thorow wealth and pover∣tie, honour and dishonour, and goes straight on in the way to heaven, and 〈◊〉 reason is added in the Text, because hee saw him that was invisible; even so, if you did see him that was invisible, the God wee now speake of, as you see a man that stands before you, your wayes would be more even, and wee should walke with him more up∣rightly than we doe, if we did but beleeve, that it is he that fills the heaven and earth; as he saith of himselfe, Ier. 23.24.*

Page  23Some may here say; [Object.] How can we see him that is invisible? here is oppositum in adjecto, to see him that is invisible.

[Answ.] Come to the body of a man, you can see no∣thing but the outside, the outward bulke and hide of the creature, yet there is an immateriall, invi∣sible substance within, that fils the body; so come to the body of the world, there is a God that fills Heaven and Earth, as the soule doth the body. Now to draw this a little nearer, that invisible, immateriall substance, the soule of man which stands at the doores of the body, and lookes out at the windows of the eyes, and of the eares, both to see and heare, which yet wee see not; yet it is this soule that doth all these; for if the soule be once gone out of the house of the body, the eye sees no more, the eare heares no more, than an house or chamber can see, when there is no body in it; and as it is the spirituall substance within the body that sees, and heares, and understands all; so apply this to God that dwells in Heaven and Earth; that as, though you see not the soule, yet every part of the body is full of it; so if we looke into the world, we see that it is filled, and yet God (like as the soule) is in every place, and fills it with his presence; he is present with every creature, he is in the aire, and in your selves, and seeth al your actions, and heareth al your words; and if we could bring our selves to a setled per∣swasion of this, it would cause us to walke more evenly with God than we do, and to converse with him after another manner; when a man is pre∣sent, Page  24 yea, are sollicitous, thinking what that soule thinkes of you, how that soule is affected to you; so if you beleeved God were in the world, it would make you have an eye to him in all your actions, as he hath an eye to you, and to have a speciall care to please him in all things, rather than to please men. And this is the ground of all the dif∣ference betweene men: One man beleeves it ful∣ly that there is such a mighty God; another be∣leeves it but by halves; and therefore one man hath a care, only to please God in all things, and to have an eye to him alone; the other beleeving it but by halves, he seeketh and earnestly followeth other things, and is not so sollicitous what the Lord thinkes of him.

The thing therfore which we exhort you unto, is, that you would endevor to strengthen that prin∣ciple more and more. We speake not to Atheists now, but to them that beleeve there is a God, and yet we do not think our labour lost: For, though there be an assent to this truth in us, yet it is such an one as may receive degrees, and may be streng∣thened: for I know that there are few perfect A∣theists, yet there are some degrees of Atheisme left in the best of Gods children, which wee take not notice of; for there is a two-fold Atheisme:

*1 One is, when a man thinkes that there is no God, and knowes he doth so.

2 Another kinde of Atheisme is, when a man doubts of the Deity, and observes it not. There are some degrees of doubting in the hearts of all men, as we shall see by these effects, that this un∣taken-notice-of Page  25 Atheisme doth produce. As, [ 1] when men shall avoid crosses, rather than sinne, not considering that the wrath and displeasure of God goes with it, which is the greatest evill that can befall us: What is the reason of it? That whereas the greatest crosse is exceeding light, if the wrath of God be put in the other ballance, what is the reason that yet this should over∣weigh the other, in our apprehension, if wee be fully perswaded of this principle, that God made Heaven and earth? What is the reason that when crosses and sinne come into competition, as two severall wayes, that we must goe one way; why will men rather turne aside from a crosse, to sinne against God, and violate the peace of their consci∣ences, rather than undergoe losses, or crosses, or imprisonment?

[ 2] Againe, what is the reason that we are so rea∣die to please, and loth to displease men, as a po∣tent friend or enemie, rather than God? If this principle were fully beleeved, that there is a God, that made Heaven and Earth, you would not doe so. The Prophet Isaiah doth expresse this most elegantly, Isai. 51.12, 13, 14.*Who art thou that art afraid of man that shall die, and the sonne of man, which shal be made as grasse, and forgettest the LORD thy Maker, which stretched forth the Heavens, and laid the foundation of the Earth? As if he should say, what Atheisme is this in the hearts of men?

Whence else are also those deceits, lyes, and shiftings, to make things faire with men, when they know that God is offended with it, who seeth all things.

Page  26What is the reason that men are so sensible of outward shame, more than of secret sinnes; and care so much what men thinke of them, and speake of them, and not what God sees or knows? Doth not this declare that men think as those A∣theists of whom Iob speakes, Iob 22. and doe they not conceive in some degree, as those doe, as if GOD did not descend beneath the circle of the hea∣vens to the earth,* and his eyes were barred by the curtaines of the night, that he did not take notice of the wayes of men; and looke how men doe this in a greater measure, so much greater A∣theisme they have.

[ 4] Againe, if you doe beleeve that there is such a God, what is the reason when you have any thing to doe, that you runne to creatures, and seek help from them, and busie your selves wholly about outward meanes, and seeke not to God by prayer, and renewing of your repentance? if you did fully beleeve that there is a God, you would ra∣ther doe this.

[ 5] Againe, What is the reason that men are car∣ried away with the present, as Aristotle cals it, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, this same very (nunc) doth transport a man from the wayes of vertue to vice, that they are too busie about the body, and are carelesse of the immortall soule, that they suffer that to lye, like a forlorne prisoner, and to sterve within them? Would you doe so, if you did beleeve that there is such a God, that made the soule, to whom it must returne and give an account, and live with him for ever?

Page  27 [ 6] Againe, what is the reason that men doe seeke so for the things of this life, are so carefull in building houses, gathering estates, and preparing for themselves here such goodly mansions for their bodies, and spend no time to adorne the soule? (when yet these doe but grace us amongst men, and are only for present use) and looke not for those things which commend the soule to God, and regard not eternity in which the soule must live? I say, what is the reason of this, if there be not some grounds of secret Atheisme in men?

[ 7] What is the reason that there is such stupidity in men, that the threatnings will not move them, they will be moved with nothing, like beasts, but present strokes, that they doe not fore-see the plague to prevent it, but go on, and are punished? And so for Gods promises and rewards; Why will you not forbeare sinne, that you may receive the promises, and the rewards? Whence is this stupiditie both wayes? Why are we as beasts, led with sensuality, that we will not be drawne to that which belongs to God▪ and his Kingdome? Is not this an argument of secret Atheisme and impiety in the heart of every man, more or lesse?

[ 8] Againe, what is the reason, that when men come into the presence of God, they carry them∣selves so negligently, not caring how their soules are clad, and what the behaviour of their spirits is before him? If you should come before men, you would looke that your cloaths be neat and Page  28 decent, and you will carry your selves with such reverence, as becomes him, in whose presence you stand; this proceeds from Atheisme, in the hearts of men, not beleeving the Lord to be hee that fills the Heaven, and the Earth: Therefore, as you finde these things in you, more or lesse, so labour to confirme this principle more and more to your selves; and you should say, when you heare these arguments, certainly I will beleeve it more firmely, surely I will hover no more about it. To what end are more lights brought, but that you should see things more clearely, which you did not before? So that this double use you shall make of it:

[ 1] One is, to fix this conclusion in you hearts, and to fasten it daily upon your soules.

[Vse 2] The second is, if there be such a mightie God, then labour to draw such consequences as may arise from such a conclusion.*

As, if there be such a one that fils Heaven and Earth; then looke upon him, as one that sees all you doe, and heares whatsoever you speake: As when you see a ship passe thorow the sea, and see the sailes applied to the wind, and taken downe, and hoysed up againe, as the wind requires, and shall see it keepe such a constant course, to such a haven, avoiding the rockes and sands, you will say, surely there is one within that guides it; for it could not doe this of it selfe: or as when you look upon the body of man, and see it live and move, and doe the actions of a living man; you must needs say, the bodie could not doe this of it selfe, Page  29 but there must be something within that quic∣kens it, and causeth all the actions; even so when you looke upon the creatures, and see them to doe such things, which of themselves they are no more able to doe, than the body can doe the acti∣ons that it doth, without the soule: therefore hence you may gather that there is a God, that fils Heaven and Earth, and doth whatsoever hee pleaseth; and if this be so, then draw nigh to him, converse with him, and walke with him from day to day; observe him in all his dealings with us, and our dealings with him, and one with another; be thankfull to him for all the blessings wee enjoy, and flye to him for succour in all dangers, and upon all occasions.

Page  30



He that commeth to God, must beleeve that GOd is, &c.

BEfore we come to the second sort of arguments to prove this principle, that GOD is, by faith, we thinke it necessa∣rie to answer some objections of Atheisme, which may arise and trouble the hearts of men.

[Object. 1] Men are ready to say that, which you shall finde, in 2 Pet. 3.4.*All things have continued alike since the creation. That is, when men looke upon the condition of things, they see the Sunne rise, and set againe, and see the rivers runne in a circle Page  31 into the sea, the day followes the night, &c. the winds returne in their compasses, and they have done so continually, and there is no alteration; therefore they doubt whether there be such a God, that hath given a beginning to these things, and shall give an end?

[Answ. 1] For answer to this, consider that these bodies of ours, which we carry about with us, which we know had a beginning, and shall have an end, that there is something in them, that is as con∣stant as any of the former; as the beating of the pulse, the breathing of the lungs, and the motion of the heart, and yet the body had a beginning, and shall have an end: Now what is the diffe∣rence betweene these two? It is but small, this continueth only for some tithes of yeares, but the world for thousands; the difference is not great; and therefore why should you not thinke it had a beginning, as well as your body, and like∣wise shall have an ending.

See what the Apostle saith in this place, though all things continue alike; yet there are two rea∣sons, whereby hee proves that God made the world, and that the world shall have an end.

1 The first is laid downe in verse 5.*For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the Word of GOD the heavens were of old, and the earth stan∣ding out of the waters, and in the waters. That is, naturally the waters would cover the earth, as it did at the beginning; for the naturall place of the waters is above the earth, even as of the aire a∣bove the waters: Now who is it that hath drawn Page  32 these waters out of the earth, and caused it to stand out of the waters, and made it habitable for men and beasts, saith he, was it not the LORD?

2 And was not this proved by the Floud, vers. 6. whereby the world,* that then was, being overflowed with waters, perished; that is, the wa∣ters, when God tooke away his hand, returned to their place, and covered the face of the earth. Now, who was it that did drie the earth againe, and now reserveth it to the day of Iudgement to be destroyed by fire? And this hee proveth by the famous story of the Floud: You have heard of it (saith he) but of this they are willingly igno∣rant, that is, they are such things as may bee knowne; but by reason of your lusts, which ob∣scure your knowledge, and hide those parts of nature and reason, which God hath planted in your hearts; therefore, of these things you are willing∣ly ignorant.

[Answ. 2] And therefore, besides, wee will give this se∣cond answer to those that make this objection. That things are not alike since the creation. For,

1 The course of Nature hath beene turned many times, as those miracles that the LORD wrought in stopping the course of the Sunne, and making of it go backward; he made the waters to runne a contrary course, and stopped the heat of the fire, and the efficacie of it, so that it could doe the three Children no harme.

2 Besides those miracles, look upon the things done amongst us, and you shall see, though they are not contrary to Nature, yet Nature is turned Page  33 of its course, as in our bodies there be sicknesses and distempers, so there are in the great bodie of the World, strange inundations, stirres and alte∣rations; now if there were not a free Agent, that governes these, why are these things so, and why no more? why doe these things goe so far, and no further? why are there any alterations at all? and when any alterations come to passe, who is he that stoppeth them? why doth the sea over-flow some places, and goe no further? who is he that sets bounds to them, but only the Lord? Therfore this we may learne from it, the constan∣cie of these things shewes the wisdome of God; as it is wisdome in us to doe things constantly: and againe, the variety of things shewes the liberty of the Agent; for the actions of Nature are determi∣ned to one, but God shewes his liberty in this, that he can change and alter them at his pleasure.

Besides, the things that are ordinary amongst us, wherein there is no such swarving, but they are constant in their course; doth not God guide them, and dispose of them as he pleaseth? as the former and latter raine: doth not God give more or lesse, according to his good pleasure? which shewes, that all things have not continued alike, but that there is a God, that governes the world. And as it is thus with naturall things, so in other things also; you shall see some judgements and rewards upon some, and not upon others.

[Object.] Oh but, you say, the world hath continued very long, and there is a promise of his comming, but we see no such thing?

Page  34 [Answ.] But, saith the LORD, A thousand yeares are to me but as one day, and one day as a thousand yeares. As if he should say, it may seeme long to you, who measure time by motion and revolution, to your narrow understanding it may seeme long; but to God it doth not: A thousand yeares with him, is but as one day. Where, by the way, we shall answer that fond objection:

[Object.] How the Lord imployed himselfe before the creation of the World?

[Answ.] A thousand yeares to him is but as one day; and againe, one day is as the longest time, that is, there is no difference of time with him. To which I may adde this; that, who knoweth what the Lord hath done? Indeed he made but one world to our knowledge, but who knoweth what he did before, and what he will doe after? who knowes his counsels? and who is able to judge of him or of his actions? we can know no more, nor judge no otherwise than he hath revealed, we have no other booke to looke into, but the booke of his Word, and the booke of this World; and there∣fore to seeke any further, is to be wise above so∣brietie, and above that which is written.

[Object. 2] But whence then comes this promiscuous ad∣ministration of things, which seemes to make things runne upon wheeles, they have no certaine course, but are turned upside downe: whence comes this to passe, if there be a God that rules heaven and earth?

[Answ.] For answer of this, looke in Ezek. 1. where you have an expression of this,* of things running Page  35 upon wheeles: wherein you may observe these things:

1 That all things here below are exceeding mutable; and therefore compared to Wheeles, and they are turned about as easie as a wheele, so that a man may wonder at their variety and tur∣ning.

2 But yet, these wheeles have eyes in them, that is, though we see not the reason of things in them, yet they have eyes in them, they have something to be discerned; the speech is a meta∣phor, and a metonymie too, shewing that there is something in their events, that may shew the rea∣son of their Turning, if we could discerne it, but it is oft hidden from us.

3 And these Wheeles are stirred, but as the beasts stirre them; that is, there is nothing done here below, but they are done by the instruments of God, namely, the Angels.

4 And these Angels, first, have faces like men, that is, the wisdome of men; and on the other side, secondly, a face like a Lion, for their strength; thirdly, there is service, and laboriousnesse in them, as in Oxen: fourthly, there is swiftnesse in them, as in Eagles; and this is meant of the An∣gels, that order and guide the course of things, and change them, as we see continually.

5 Againe, as these Wheeles move not, but as they are guided by them, and both move by the Spirit, that is, what God commands them, they execute, they goe, when he would have them go, and stand still, when he would have them.

Page  366 Againe, for the manner of their motion; every one of them had foure faces; that is, they could looke every way, from East to West, and from North to South, when as man can see but one way, before him, he cannot looke on the right side, or the left, or behinde him, and therefore he may be deceived; but these looke every way. So also the feet, on which they goe, are not like mens feet, to goe forward only, but like calves feet, that is, they were round feet, which goe ei∣ther forward or backward, so, as they are easily turned; and as they see every way, so they are apt to goe every way, and this with the greatest facilitie that can be. Let a man set any thing on worke, and it must needs runne in such a chanell, in such a way, he cannot change it suddenly: But it is not so with God, hee can alter a thing as easi∣ly to the left hand, as to the right, and that in an instant.

[Object.] But what dependance is there between things; doe we not see strange things come to passe, that we can see no reason for, as the Churches over∣throwne, the godly afflicted, the wicked ex∣alted?

[Answ.] Well, saith the Lord, this is to bee conside∣red further, that one wheele is within another, and the wings of the Angels are one within another; there is a sutablenesse, and an agreeablenesse betweene them: so that take the changes of a thousand yeares, and, if you summe them up, you shall finde them, as wheeles, one within another. Therefore I would summe up the answer thus; Page  37 this deceives us, we look upon Gods providence, in some few particulars only, that we looke up∣on a wheele or two, and not as they are one with∣in another; for then, indeed, we should see things that might cause us to wonder: as we see Ioseph, an innocent man, lying in disgrace and imprison∣ment; and David, though innocent, yet a long time disgraced in the Court of Saul, and after∣wards Shimei cursing him; yea, wee see Iesus Christ himselfe delivered and condemned for an impostor, and that by witnesses, and in a legall manner: so we see Paul, one that was a man, full of zeale, yet accounted one of the worst men, that lived in his time: and Naboth, an innocent man condemned to death by witnesses, & stoned, and who shall rise againe to shew his innocencie? If you looke but upon a wheele or two, you shall finde the Church ready to bee swallowed up in Esters time; but if you looke upon them all at once, then you will see, that these passages have eyes in them, and that they have Angels, and the Spirit to guide them. As for example, looke on all the wheeles of Iosephs life, you shall see the en∣vie of his brethren, selling him to the steward of Pharaohs house, and there his falling out with his mistresse, his casting into prison, and there mee∣ting with Pharaohs officers; he was thereby made knowne to Pharaoh, and so he became great in Pharaohs Court; and then you see it is a goodly worke. So in David, take all the wheeles toge∣ther, and you shall see a glorious work; how God brought him along to the Kingdome; God was Page  38 with him, and wrought his works for him, when he did sit still; and when his hand was not upon Saul, then he sent the Philistines to vex him, and to end his dayes: and first hee gave David the Kingdome of Iudah; and then afterwards Abner and Isobosheth fell out about a word, and one of them was slaine; and then also came two wicked men, and tooke off the others head, and so came home the whole Kingdome of Israel into his hand. So also in Esthers time, take all the wheeles together, and you shall see an excellent act of Gods providence, when the Church was ready to be destroyed, when the neck was upon the block, and the sword drawne out ready to strike, and that that night the King should not sleepe, but that a booke must be brought, and rather that than another, and that the place should be ope∣ned, where he should finde Mordecai his revealing of the treason against him, and thereupon the de∣cree was revoked, and the Church delivered: I say, take all these together, and we shall plainly see, that in this strange administration of things, there is still a providence, and that there are eyes in the wheeles, and a spirit to guide them.

[Object. 3] If there be such a God that made the Heaven and the Earth; what is the reason then, that wee see things are brought to passe by naturall causes? If there be a cause for such a thing, the effect doth follow; when there is no cause, then the effect doth not, as a wise man doth bring a thing to passe, but the foolish miscarry in them, we see the diligent hand maketh rich, and hee that labours Page  39 not, hath nothing; and things that are strong pre∣vaile against those that are weake; and so God is forgotten in the world, and his wisdome and power is not seene?

[Answ. 1] It is not so: God doth carry it often another way, as it is, Eccles. 9.11.*Alway the battell is not to the strong, but chance and accident befall them all; that is, the LORD of purpose doth often change them, that his power and might may be seene. We see often, that Princes walke on foot,*like ser∣vants, and servants ride like Princes, as in Chap. 10. that is, things doe not alwayes come to passe according to their causes; for, when the cause is exceeding faire to bring forth such an effect, yet we see it is an abortive birth, and such things come to passe that we looked not for; as he that was dili∣gent, many times comes to povertie; the wise doe often miscarry in bringing their enterprises to passe.

[Answ. 2] Though the immediate cause produceth the effect; yet, who is the first cause? As for exam∣ple, though folly be the cause, that such a businesse doth miscarry, yet who is the cause of that folly? It is sin that bringeth destruction, and doth pre∣cipitate a man thereunto; but who is it that lea∣veth men to their sins and lusts? You see, what was the immediate cause of the losse of Reho∣boams Kingdome, the ill counsell that was given him by the young men; but who was it, that fit∣ted the cause thereunto? was it not the Lord? So on the contrary, wee see that godlinesse is the cause of good successe, and makes men to prosper, Page  40 but who is the cause of that cause, is it not the Lord himselfe?

[Object. 4] But, oftentimes it is ill with those that are good, and well with those that are wicked; the wicked prosper, many times, when it goes ill with those that feare the LORD; oftentimes it commeth to the wicked according to the worke of the righteous, and contrarily. If there be a God, what is the reason that this comes to passe?

[Answ.] It is certaine, that whensoever any wicked man doth an evill act, and a good man doth well, and serveth the Lord with a perfect heart, that there is a sentence of good and evill goes with it; but God doth often suspend the reward to the godly, and of punishment to the wicked; the exe∣cution of them is deferred. Besides, we are of∣ten mistaken; for that which we thinke to be ill to us, is many times for our good; and that which we thinke is very happie and prosperous, may be hurtfull to us. As for example, when Ia∣cob came from Laban, GOD said to him; Be not afraid, I am with thee, and I will doe thee good. You see, Iacob was no sooner gone, but Laban follows him, and would have done him much hurt, had not the Lord taken him off: No sooner was La∣ban gone from him, but Esau comes against him, and when the Lord had rescued him from him; when he was come neerer home, when he might have expected some rest after his weary journey; yet then his daughter was ravished, and his two sonnes were rebellious, and committed murther; after that Rachel died, and Deborah, who was Re∣beccah'sPage  41 nurse, who was a good woman, and ther∣fore a great losse to his family; after all this, a fa∣mine fell upon him; yet for all this, God said that he would doe him good; and doubtlesse, God was as good as his word, and hee did him good: for that medicine is good, that doth us good, though it be bitter, and so was it with these afflictions. So Paul, he prayed that he might have an happie journey to Rome, and no doubt, the LORD heard his prayer, as appeareth by the Lords appearing to him; yet see what a kinde of prosperous jour∣ney he had; what a deale of trouble did he meet with? Being in great afflictions, he went to Ie∣rusalem, thinking there to be comforted by the Saints; and when he came thither hee went into the Temple, thinking he had well provided for himselfe; but then he was hardly entertained, put into prison, and sent bound to Caesarea, and after∣wards, was in many perils upon the sea. And this was the prosperous journey that Paul had, and surely it was happie, and did much good to his owne soule, whereby he did good to others; a journey that led him into many experiments of Gods providence, and goodnesse towards him: therefore wee must not judge according to the outside, or that which the world accounts of, and appeares to be evill, for they may be causes of much good to us: therefore Saint Iames wils us, Iames 1.2, 3. to rejoyce when wee fall into divers temptations,*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 because it is but a triall of your faith. These varieties of afflictions are as fire to cleanse your faith, and make it shine Page  42 more, and grow more: therefore, saith he, re∣joyce, when you fall into variety of them; for the variety of them will cure that variety of evils and diseases in us; as poverty may do that which sicknesse cannot do, and imprisonment may heale that which povertie or disgrace cannot doe, &c. So on the contrary, those good things are not al∣wayes good, which we account good; as when a man goes on from one good blessing to another, and is carried with a prosperous wind, and findes no change in any thing; this may also tend to his hurt and destruction, as the other to his salvation; these slay the foolish, even as the other save the godly: for these often-times doe make the soule fouler and fouler, and make it to be more rustie. This want of changes makes men to depart from God, and fall into evill; whereas the other makes us the more carefully to cleanse our wayes, and to cleave more firmely to him: Therefore, let us take heed that we be not deceived about these evils.

[Object. 5] What is the reason then, that as dies the beast, so doth man die, to our appearance, there are none that rise from the dead; indeed, if one should come from heaven or hell, and bring us word what is done there, wee should beleeve it, but when did any ever heare of such a thing?

[Answ.] You have more, than if a man should come from the dead, from either of these two places: for you have Christ come into the world, from the bosome of the Father, and he hath brought us newes, what is done there. Besides, we have GodPage  43 himselfe, who is, as it were, come from heaven, and hath revealed many things unto us, and hath declared his will, what he would have us to doe, as to Moses upon Mount Sinai, and hee would have done it to this day, but that our weaknesse cannot endure the mightinesse and greatnesse of his Majestie, but would say, as the people did; Let not the Lord speake to us any more lest we die, but let MOSES, let him send his messengers, let him speake no more. Againe, the Spirit whereby the Prophets and Apostles spake to us, was it not sent from heaven?

Againe, suppose one should come from either of those two places, would you beleeve him? It might be a false relation, would you beleeve him without further ground? But it is a direct answer which our Saviour giveth to this question, Luke 16. the two last verses,* it was the objection of Dives, if there came one from the dead againe, they would beleeve it; Abraham answers, They have Moses and the Prophets, and if they will not be∣leeve them, they will not beleeve, though one should come from the dead: as if he should say, these car∣ry greater evidence in them, they have more power to confirme the truth that they delivered, that it came from the great God of heaven and earth, than if a man should arise from the dead, if we consider the many miracles which they did, and holy life which they led.

[Object.] But, if you will say, that, indeed for the decla∣ring of things, and for the confirmring of truths, there is more evidence in these, than if one did Page  44 arise from the dead; but if one should come from the dead, this would be much to shew the eterni∣tie of things, and the immortality of the soule.

[Answ.] If this be so; you see, that men have risen from the dead; as when Christ did a∣rise, then many arose from the dead.

Page  45



He that commeth to God, must beleeve that God is, &c.

NOw we proceed to that which remaines;* we will shew you how this point is made mani∣fest to you by faith, that GOD made the Heavens, and the Earth. It is done after this manner;

When you beleeve the Scriptures to be true,* and finde this set downe in the Scripture, that God made Heaven and Earth, then you beleeve that there is an eternall Deity, that is the Author and Maker of all these things: and thus faith gathers the conclusion:

Page  46 [Object.] If you aske me, how faith differs from rea∣son, and how this second proofe differs from the former.

[Answ. 1] I answer, after this manner: There is a double assent: One is a doubtfull assent, which we call Opinion, that is, when we assent to the one part, so as we feare the contrary to be true.

[ 2] The other is, a firme assent, and this is two-fold: Either it is grounded upon reason, which we call Knowledge; or else is grounded upon the authoritie of him that reveales it; and this wee call Faith. And the difference of them stands in this: The objects of the first, which wee call Knowledge, are naturall things, such as God did not reveale himselfe, but they lye before us, and reason can finde them out: but Faith beleeveth things that are revealed by God, yet so, as that there is no reason for them, as well as for the other. For if one come and tell you any thing, and if you beleeve it, you can give a reason of it, and why you beleeve it, aswell as of any other natu∣rall conclusion; as that he is a wise man, and one that I know will tell the truth, I have had expe∣rience of him heretofore, &c. Even so, when you beleeve the Scriptures, you can give a reason for it; it is, because God delivered it, and he cannot lye; but now, how doe yee know that God deli∣vered it? Because the men that delivered it, in his Name, did confirme it by workes, and mi∣racles, and predictions of times; so that reason runnes along together with Faith: Onely there is this difference betweene them; Faith addeth Page  47 to the eye of reason, and raiseth it higher; for the understanding is conversant, as about things of reason, so about things of Faith; for they are propounded to the understanding, onely they are above it, and must have faith to reveale them; as when Moses saith, In the beginning, GOD made the Heaven and the Earth: when we heare such a proposition, reason doth but looke upon it, and cannot see it at first, but Faith helpeth reason to goe further: therefore Faith is but an addition to the strength of reason; when it could goe no further, Faith makes it to goe further: as one that hath dimme eyes, he can see better with the help of spectacles: even so doth the eye of reason, by a supernaturall faith infused. So that all the things which we beleeve, have a credibilitie and entity in them, and they are the objects of the under∣standing; but we cannot finde them out, without some supernaturall help. As if you would choose a right jewell; (you know there are many coun∣terfeit ones) how should you know a true one? The stander by cannot tell, but brings it to a La∣pidary, or a Ieweller, and he knowes it, because he is skilled in it. Now, as there are the Iewels, and they are to be discerned and differenced, but all lyes in the skill. So is it in the things that are revealed by God, and by naturall reason, to know which are of God, which not; there are the things, and they are to be seene, yea, the things them∣selves have characters, by which they may bee discerned; but let two men looke upon them, one beleeves, and the other doth not; one man Page  48 goes no further than reason, but the other doth; the reason is, because one is helped from above, and the other is not, he wants that light, that ha∣bit of skill which another hath.

Now, this being premised in generall; let us see how faith gathers, that the Scriptures are true, and that all that is in them is true; and con∣sequently, that there is a God that made the world.* It gathers it by these three heads:

[ 1] When a man lookes into the Scriptures, and sees the phrases of the Prophets and Apostles, saying, Thus saith the Lord; he considers, if this be from God, then it must needs be true. But now the question is, whether it was delivered truly, and therefore hee lookes upon the men that did deliver it, as upon Moses, &c. and if he can finde any evidence in them, that they delivered it tru∣ly, without collusion, then he beleeveth that it is so, and so faith layes hold and pitches upon it; and gives solide assent unto it.

Now the proofes, whereby we shew that these men have spoken by the Holy Ghost,* are these three:

[ 1] The miracles, which they wrought: wherein this is to be considered; that they were such mi∣racles as were done before many witnesses,* they were not done in a corner, where two or three were,* and so related to the people, as many false miracles are, but they were done before many thousand; as the standing still of the Sunne, the plagues of Aegypt, the dividing of the waters, the Mannah, that came downe from Heaven, the wa∣ter Page  49 flowing out of the rockes, the miracles that were wrought by Eliah, and Elisha, they were all openly done, in the view of all the people.

[ 2] They were such miracles, as had a reality in them; false miracles stand onely in appearance,* they have onely a shadow and not the substance, they have no solidity in them, as the miracles that Inchanters doe, they are but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as wee call them; they are onely appearances, and no more, as, if they give money, it will afterwards prove but drie leaves; and such were the mira∣cles of the Inchanters in Aegypt: but looke upon the miracles of Moses, they were solide, as the Mannah fed the people many yeares; the water that came out of the rockes did refresh them, the plagues of Aegypt were reall; the miracles of Christ were all of use to mankinde, as when he turned water into wine, it was such as they were refreshed by; so, when hee healed the people, when he gave sight to the blinde, they were all usefull, and had a reality in them.

Besides, consider the miracles which were wrought at the delivery of the Law, Exod. 19. as the thunder,* the lightning, the sound of trumpets, &c. whatsoever was done then, all the people saw it, and their senses were taken up about it, so that they could not be deceived. The lawes that Numa Pompilius brought from the gods, he rela∣ted to them, but the people saw and heard no∣thing; but these miracles the people all saw, the Mount burnt with fire, and thick darknesse round about it; and there was thunder and lightning, Page  50 and the Mount trembled. And as their eyes did see 〈◊〉 things, so their eares were busied.

In hearing the voice of the trumpets sounding louder and louder, a great while, and hearing the voice of God himselfe. And this was not done only in the sight of the Elders of Israel, but all the people saw it, and heard the voice of the Lord. And such were all the miracles of the Apostles, and of all the Prophets. And this argues that they came from God himselfe; because they could not be done, but by a supernaturall power.

[ 2] Againe, I will adde to this the prophecies,* for that is one of the wayes by which the Lord con∣firmes his word unto the sonnes of men, Isa. 41.22, 23.*Shew to us the things to come, that we may know that you are Gods, &c. As if hee should say; If any man be able to foretell things to come, he is God: for it is the propertie of God alone; and therefore he can doe it.

Now I will name some prophecies, to instance in; and I will shew the difference betweene them, and the predictions of Southsayers; for you shall finde that these prophecies were Particular,* and not generall, they were Perspicuous and plaine,* and not obscure, and they had fixed times set,* and not left at randome: As in the prophecie de∣livered to Abraham, that the Children of Israel should be strangers, and in bondage in Aegypt foure hundred yeares: now, saith the Text, that very night they went forth of Aegypt, the foure hundred yeares were expired.*

Moreover, that prophecie, that Iudah should Page  51 have the Scepter, it was a thing could not be fore∣seene; Iudah was not the elder brother, and it was long first before it was brought to passe: there∣fore Moses could not see it by any thing at the pre∣sent; and besides that, he should not only have the Scepter, but he should have it till Shiloh come, that is, CHRIST IESVS, which was about two thousand yeares after; which was not like to the prophecies of other Nations.

Moreover, the prophecie of Iericho, that hee that did begin to build it againe, should lay the foun∣dation of it in his eldest sonne, and set up the gates of it in the youngest, which was fulfilled, 1 King. 16. last.*

So likewise, the prophecie of Iosiah, it was a distinct prophecie, you have it in 1 King. 13.1, 2, 3. where the Prophet comes from the Lord,* and cryeth, Oh Altar, Altar, behold a childe shall bee borne, Iosiah, by name, &c. he names the very man that should performe it.

The like is the prophecie of Cyrus, long before Cyrus was borne, that he should deliver the Iews, and take off the yoke of their captivity, &c.

So likewise, come to the prophecies of Daniel, the prophecie of the foure Monarchies you see, how particular it was: Daniel, he lived but in the two first, which were the Chaldean and Persian Monarchie, it was not possible, by any thing that was then done, that he should have beene able to see the succession; yet then after them was the Grecian, and then the Roman Monarchie.

So likewise the prophecie of the captivitie, se∣ventie Page  52 yeares, and of their deliverance, you see, how distinct and particular it is.

[Object.] But the time of Moses is very ancient, it is out of memory, and it might be some fained storie, those things were done long agoe, they that saw them are all swept away, and who can say that they were done so?

[Answ.] Herein lyes the strength of the argument; If you could thinke it possible, that Moses and all the people should consent together to leave a false monument behinde them, (which was impossi∣ble) yet consider that many hundred yeares after the same was confirmed by all the Prophets, who had miracles to confirme the same, and they all agreed in one; and it is impossible that such an imposture and falshood should be compacted to∣gether, and carried downe so strongly, for they differ not a jot: all the Prophets repeating that which was delivered by Moses. Consider the strength of this argument, for it admits of no am∣biguitie. If you will adde to this the holinesse which appears in their writing, and of the men, as in Moses; looke upon the holinesse in his doctrine and Law: Looke upon Paul, see with what Spirit he wrote his Epistles; so consider the spirits of them all in their writings, they did, as it were, transcribere animas, they did not forbeare to pub∣lish their owne faults: see how they were hand∣led, they suffered persecution, and in this, what end could they have? Moses sought not his owne glory, he doth not deliver the Scepter to his own Tribe, but in his prophecies he speakes worse of Page  53 that Tribe than of any other, of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, and this will confirme it, and take away all doubts of it. And this is the first proofe.

The second Argument,* by which we confirme the truth of the Scriptures, is taken from the testi∣monies that are given to them by our enemies;* the Gentiles themselves being Iudges: As, to in∣stance in the Floud, there are many that have made mention of it. Those Flouds that are rela∣ted by the ancient Greek Historians come so neare it, that they must needs have the relation of it from the Iewes, though they have mingled it with many falshoods, wee have not the Writings of them, but fragments in the Writings of others, as of Alexander Polyhistor, in Iosephus and Cyril: They say that there was a great Floud, and that there was one Nicurus, to whom Saturne revealed it, and bade him make an Arke; and he did so, and gathered some of all beasts into it, and that the Arke was in Armenia, and that the fragments of it are in Heliopolis. And Abidenus saith, that it was a common opinion, that the men, that the Earth brought forth, gathered themselves toge∣ther and builded a great Tower, which was Babel; and the gods being angry with it, threw it down with a great wind, and thence came the confusion of tongues. And for the pillar of Salt, Iosephus saith, that some of it was remaining in his time. And for Abraham, many speake of him, and also of Moses, there are many that agree in their story of him, but the Chaldee Historians especially, and some of the ancientest Greek Historians. Diodorus Page  54 Siculus relates the history of him, though ming∣led with falshoods, of what he did in Aegypt, and what lawes he gave the people, and how he cast out the Canaanites, and that he said he received his lawes from a God called Iah, and that they were such lawes as separated that people from all o∣thers, and that his God was such an one, as could not be seene, &c. And Strabo saith, that he re∣proved the Aegyptians for worshipping visible gods, and therefore he was cast out, and his peo∣ple with him, &c. After this, when Cyrus did restore the Kingdome of the Iewes, and had over∣come Darius, Zenophon reports this, that when he came into Babylon, he gave commandement, that no Syrian should be hurt: now Syria lyes up∣on Iudea, even as one Shire doth upon another, so that they were all called Syrians. Moreover, Megasthenes, the Chaldean Historian, relates, that Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Aegypt, Phoenicia, and Syria, and all those parts he brought into cap∣tivitie; and after that, hee made him a great Pa∣lace, which is spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, and how he ordered the people of the captivitie. Moreover, Berosus saith, that afterward hee was strucken with madnesse, and Evanuit, he vanished (for that is his word) he departed from amongst men. (Indeed one Annius, a Monke, hath put forth some books under the name of Megasthenes, but they are but supposititious.) So likewise, of Senacherib and Salmanasars warre, and of the buil∣ding of Salomons Temple, they are recorded in the Annals of the Tyrians. This is related by Page  55 those that are neither Iewes nor Christians; and these testimonies are fetched from those that are our enemies, which are more fit for the Presse, than for the Pulpit, and to be written, than deli∣vered in a popular congregation.

I will adde to this but this one; consider the exact Chronologie, which is found in all the Scriptures,* and the agreement of them with the Heathen Histories.

In latter times there have beene great confusi∣ons, but the greatest evidence, that is to be found, is the Tables of Ptolomy, lately found, which doth exactly agree with the Scripture; he exactly sets downe the time that Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus reigned; compare them with the Scripture, and you shall finde these agree with Daniel and Iere∣mie, otherwise Chronologers differ very much: for in Ioseph Scaligers time, that Table they had not, but it was found since: So in the time when Ierusalem was taken, they agree exactly; and this is the greatest testimony that the Scripture can have from Heathen men.

[Quest.] But this Question may now be made; How should we know that these bookes, which wee have, as written by Moses, that these are they, that there is no alteration in them, or supposititious prophecies put in?

[Answ.] You have the Iewes agreeing with the Christi∣ans, who were enemies, and the Iewes kept it ex∣actly, yet theirs agree with ours.

[Object.] But how should we know that the Iewes are true?

Page  56 [Answ.] They have testimony from the Samaritans, and they were enemies to the Iewes, and there be∣ing once a rent made, were never reconciled a∣gaine: yet in the Samaritan Bible, there is no dif∣ference at all, to any purpose. Now adde to this the testimony of the Churches from Christs time downward, still it hath continued; so as in Euse∣bius and Baronius you shall see plentifull testimo∣nies thereof.

*The third Argument is from the Scriptures themselves,* if you consider but these three things;

1 The majestie and plainnesse of the stile,* and the manner of the expressions, a meere relation, and no more. In the beginning was the Word, &c. Where doth any booke expresse it selfe, in a manner, in the relation of any stories? So as that it carries evidence from God; so that Iunius rea∣ding the first Chapter of Iohn, was stricken with an amazement, by a kinde of divine and stupen∣dious authoritie, and so he was converted from Atheisme, as himselfe said in his life.

*2 If you consider the purity of the doctrine. If a man would deceive the world, then the things that he teaches, must needs be to please men; but the Scripture is quite contrary, it ties men to strict rules, and therefore see how it is etertained, and how hard it is for men to keepe it in the purity of the doctrine, which is an argument it came from God. If the Scriptures were delivered by men, then either by good men, or by bad; if by holy men, then they would speake the truth, and not lye; if by bad men, then they would never have Page  57 set downe such strict rules of doctrine that they must live by, and which condemne themselves.

3 Consider the an••quitie of them,* they were before all other Heathen stories, which will an∣swer an objection, namely, why there is no more testimony from them of the Scriptures: The an∣swer is, that when Scriptures ended their writings did but begin, there being little use and trading of learning in those dayes, but it seemes the Grecians were the first, or rather the Chaldees, but there were not so many bookes written then, as after∣ward.

Now when all these things are considered, we are brought to beleeve the Scriptures are the Word of God, and you finde this in the Scrip∣tures, that there is a God, that made Heaven and Earth, then this begets faith; and so, By faith we beleeve (as here saith the Apostle) that there is one GOD. I confesse all this which hath beene said is not enough, unlesse God infuseth an inward light by his Spirit to worke this faith, but yet there is enough left in the Scriptures to give evi∣dence of them∣selves.

Page  58



He that commeth to God, must beleeve that God is, &c.

THere is one reason more remains, & that is from the testimony of the Church; doubtlesse, it is an argument of great strength;* That so ma∣ny generations since CHRISTS time, and before, have, from hand to hand, delivered it unto us, and that so many holy men, as the Martyrs were, and, as the Fa∣thers were, when they lived, that these all gave testimony to this Scripture in all ages.

Page  59But yet we will adde something to it, because the Papists have abused this, and say, they would have the truth of the Scriptures to depend upon the authority of the Church, and not so much up∣on the testimony it hath received from all ages and generations; they would have it to be such a testimony as the present Church gives of it; be∣cause, say they, that can erre in nothing; there∣fore not in this: and therefore they say, This is the Bible, and the very Dictate of the Pope, in ca∣thedrâ, with his Councell (some say,) makes it so, and you must receive it for Scripture, upon this ground, without any further inquiry. But, with us, who doe not receive that conclusion, that the Church cannot erre; it is out of questi∣on, that the Scripture doth not depend on the au∣thoritie of the Church.

But yet we will give you this reason against it. Aske that Church, that Synod of men, what is that which makes the Church to beleeve that the Scripture is the Word of God? Surely, they will give the same answer, that we shall deliver vnto you; that it could be nothing else, but the Scrip∣ture it selfe, which therefore must needs be of greater authoritie than the Church it selfe, for the declaration of themselves, and the Scriptures ma∣nifestation of this argument, be of more force than the authority of the Church, as the cause hath much more strength, than the effect. Againe, the Church hath no authoritie to judge of the Scripture, till it be knowne to be the Church, which cannot be but by the Scripture. More∣over, Page  80 the Scripture hath a testimony more an∣cient, than the authoritie of the Church, and therefore cannot receive its authoritie from any; the Scripture being the first truth, it cannot be proved by any other; it is the confession of their owne Writers, that Theologia non est argumenta∣tiva; Theologie is not argumentative, to prove its owne principles, but only our deductions out of it: As also, they say, we cannot prove the Scriptures, probando, sed solvendo, by answering, and resolving objections made against it. In all other things, you see, it is so; as the Standard, that being the rule of all, cannot be knowne but by it selfe; the Sunne that shewes light to all things else, cannot be knowne by any other light but its owne: so the Scripture, that is the ground of all other truths, cannot be knowne, but by the evidence of those truths, that it carries in it selfe.

We have onely this word to be added more concerning the Scriptures. You shall observe this difference betweene the Writings of the Scripture, that were written by holy men inspi∣red by the Holy Ghost,* and all mens Writings in the world. In mens Writings, you shall see that men are praised and extolled, something spo∣ken of their wisdome, and of their courage, and what acts they have done; there is no story of any man, but you shall finde something of his praise in it: but you shall finde the quite contrary in the Booke of God, there is nothing given to men, but all to God himselfe; as Moses, David, Page  61 Paul, and all the Worthies in the Scripture, you shall finde nothing given to them: But of David, it is said, that he walked wisely, because the LORD was with him, it was not his owne strength; so, when they had any victory, it was not through their owne courage, or stratagems, that they used, but the LORD did give their enemies into their hands. And Paul, that was the meanes of con∣verting so many thousands, he ascribes nothing to himselfe, but it was the grace of GOD, that was with him. So, Samson was strong, but yet he had his strength from God; and therefore this is an argument, that the Scriptures were written by holy men inspired by the Holy Ghost.

Seeing we have such just ground to beleeve,* that there is a GOD, that made Heaven and Earth,* and that this word, which testifies of him, is indeed the word of GOD. This use we are to make of it, that it might not be in vaine to us; it should teach us to confirme this first principle, and make it sure; seeing all the rest are built upon it, therefore we have reason to weigh it, that we may give full consent to it, and not a weake one.

[Object.] But, you will say, this is a principle, that needs not to be thus urged, or made question of; there∣fore, what need so many reasons to prove it?

[Answ.] Even the strongest amongst us have still need to increase our faith in this point; and therefore we have cause to attend to it, and that for these two reasons:*

Because these principles, though they be so common,* yet there is a great difference in the be∣leefe Page  62 of the Saints,* and that, with which common men beleeve them; the difference is in these foure things: both of them doe beleeve, and they speak as they thinke, yet you shall find this difference:

A regenerate man hath a further and a deeper insight into these truths, he gives a more through and a stronger assent to them;* but another man gives a more slight and overly assent; that faith, with which they beleeve them, is a faith that wants depth of earth; therefore, if any strong temp∣tation comes upon them, as feare of being put to death, &c. they are soone shaken off, and doe of∣ten fall away, when they are put to it; they shrink away in time of persecution: for their faith wants depth of earth, that is, the assent, they give to the Scripture, is but an overly, and superficiall assent, it doth not take deep root in their soule, and there∣fore it withers in time of temptation, they doe not so ponder them, as others doe; and therefore they are not so grounded in these first principles, as others are; though they have some hold, 〈◊〉 yet not so great a hold, as the godly have: So as they are not so firmely established, so grounded in the present truth, they are not so rooted, as the Saints are.

*That, which breeds this assent in them, is, but a common gift of the Holy Ghost; but that, with which the Saints beleeve them, is a speciall grace infused, wrought by the Holy Ghost: now, that which hath a weaker cause, must needs have a weaker effect; that which is wrought by a com∣mon, cannot be so strong an assent, as that which Page  63 is wrought by an infused habit of the Holy Ghost; therefore the faith of the Saints is stronger than the faith of the wicked.

The Saints, the regenerate men,* build their hope, comfort and happinesse upon the truth of these principles, as that there is a GOD, that rules Heaven and Earth, and that the Scriptures are his Word, and whatsoever is in them, is truth, they build all upon these; therfore, if any doubts arise, they can never be at rest, till faith hath resolved them, and wrought them out: with another man it is not so; he takes these things upon trust, and beleeves them, as others do, but he doth not much trouble himselfe about them; and therfore, if any doubts come against them, he suffers them to lye there, and goes on in a carelesse manner: But with the Saints it is not so; they building their hope upon them, doe therefore resolve to suffer any thing for God, they will be content to lose all for Him, if occasion requires, and therefore they are upon sure ground; but the other, they doe but receive upon trust, and therefore they doe not cleave to him in that manner that the Saints doe.

Regenerate men have a lively and experimen∣tall knowledge, that there is a GOD,* and that the Scriptures are his Word, from the communion that they have had with this God, and from the experience they have had of the truths delivered in the Scripture. They know very well, and that experimentally, what difference there was be∣tweene; what they were once, and what they are Page  64 now; what it is to envie the Saints, and what it is to have an affection of love to them; they know the time, when they slighted sinne, when they made no reckoning of it; they know againe the bitternesse and sorrow of sin, when the com∣mandement came, and shewed it unto them in its colours: they know a time when they judged perversely of the wayes of God, when they had a bad opinion of them, and how now they are changed: besides, they know, how that once they did admire, and magnifie worldly excellen∣cie and preferment; but since they were inlight∣ned, their opinion is otherwise; I say, they know all this experimentally. Take the whole worke of regeneration, they know it in themselves; and so for God himselfe, as hee is described in the Scriptures, such have they found him to them∣selves: Now where a man doth know things thus experimentally, it is another kinde of know∣ledge, than that which is by heare-say: so that though there is a beleefe in them both, yet there is a great difference betweene them.

*We must labour to confirme our faith in these principles, because they are of exceeding great moment, and consequence, in the lives of men;* though they seeme to be remote, yet they are of more moment than any other; as of a house, you see a faire top, but yet the foundation is of more moment, and that cannot be seene; the streames are seene, but the Well-head cannot: so all the actions of the lives of men are built upon these principles, and as they are more strongly, or Page  65 weakly beleeved; so have they more or lesse in∣fluence into the hearts and lives of men. As take a man that beleeves fully, that there is a GOD; and that, the Scriptures are his Word: this breeds an unresistable resolution to serve, and please him, notwithstanding all oppositions he meets with: Take the greatest things that use to daunt men, as take a man that is to die, if he considers that there is a God, with whom he is to live for ever, what is death then? no more than the stones flying about Stevens eares, when he beheld the heavens opened; so when men speake against him, and slander him; when they scoffe, and re∣vile him, and trample upon him; yet, if God be with him, he can boldly say, I care not for mans day, nor for the speaking against of sinners; he is not moved a whit with them; they passe away as a vapour, that moves him not: so when hee sees the current of the times to runne against him, yet, when he sees that there is an Almightie GOD that takes notice of him, he is able to stand against and despise them all, and is not stirred an haires breadth out of the way for it, they are as waters beating against a rocke. Consider the Martyrs, that died in the fire, if you had stood by, you would have said; Surely, that man hath a strong faith, that can goe out of this life, and suffer such a kinde of death; but why doth he doe it? be∣cause he beleeves that there is a GOD,*that is a rewarder of them that seeke him. So every regene∣rate man, whatsoever he doth, he doth it with the same faith that they did, only here is the diffe∣rence; Page  66 the Martyrs spent all at once, and these doe it but drop by drop: as when a man for∣beares all present joyes, which this life consists in; it is, as it were, a dying by peece-meales, a dy∣ing drop by drop, as Paul said, I dye daily. If one of us were to suffer, as the Martyrs did, what is it that would establish our soules? it is the beleefe of these principles, that inables the Saints to doe all this: you live by your faith in these princi∣ples, though you observe it not; for this is a thing that is to be marked to this purpose, that the opinions of men, their imaginations and thoughts, they all proceed from such notions, as lye more overly in their hearts, but their actions proceed from the strong setled notions and prin∣ciples that are riveted in their inward heart. And therefore, observe the lives of men; such as their principles in them are, such are their actions: For as it is true, on the one side, where men beleeve, there they come to God; so it is true on the other∣side, if men be not grounded in these first princi∣ples, if they doe not beleeve, they doe not come to him; but goe on unevenly in their wayes, and forsake their profession.

Now, whence comes this uneven walking, this exorbitance of the wheeles, but from the weaknesse of the maine spring, that sets all on mo∣tion? because these are the first springs, that set all the rest on worke. For, could a man be car∣ried away by the praise of men, by the voice and breath of man, on the one side; or could he be discouraged by the scoffes of men on the other Page  67 side, if he did fully beleeve this principle? it is impossible he should, as Esay 52.* As if he should say, It is impossible that men should shrinke so, at the face of man, if they did not forget the Lord their Maker. Hence it is, (although you doe not observe from whence it comes) yet hence doe come all those fruits of Atheisme in the lives of men; all that unthankfulnesse, that men can take blessings at GODS hands, and never give him thankes, nay rather, they render evill for good; hence it is, that men trust in meanes more than in God; hence it is, that men are so unholy when they come into his presence, they are not strucke with feare and reverence of his Majestie, when they come before him; hence also comes that care∣lessenesse in the lives of men that feare not his Word, but walke on in a carelesse and remisse manner; and hence also is that hasting after ho∣nours and profits, with the neglect of better things; they all arise from hence, even the weak∣nesse of the assent to these maine principles: for there is a double kinde of Atheisme in the heart; there is a direct thought of Atheisme, when a man doubts of the truth of these principles, and knows he doth so. Secondly, when a man doubts, and knowes not that he doubts.

[Object.] But, you will say, If it be of so much moment, then what is the way to strengthen our faith in them?

[Answ.] It is exceeding profitable to search and exa∣mine these truths to the ful, * not to give over pon∣dering of them, till your hearts be established in Page  68 the present truth.* It is good to doe with your selves, as Eliah did in the case of Baal, Why halt you betweene two religions, come to that disjuncti∣on, If Baal be god, follow him? So I say to you in this case; examine it to the full,* if these princi∣ples be not true, walke according to your liberty and lusts, take no paines, but live as your nature would have you; but if they be true, then walke so, as if thou didst throughly beleeve them so to be; the beleefe of them is that which will carry us through all losses and slanders, through good report and ill report; if thou didst throughly be∣leeve them, they would make thee doe any thing for God; I say, it is very profitable to come to this disjunction, and it strengthens our faith much; and this being laid, then draw the conclu∣sion from it, that we thus here must live, and that it is here best for us to doe so.

*To pray to God to strengthen our faith in these common principles,* to say as the Disciples did, LORD increase our faith: you see that Christ did it, when Peters faith failed him, he prayed that it might bee strengthened; and when you have found any weaknesse or doubting, you must re∣member that faith, in these principles, is the gift of God. There is indeed a common faith, which others may have, and thou mayest have, but the strong faith ariseth from the Spirit, God dispen∣seth it where he pleaseth; this infused faith is not gotten by strength of argument, or perspicuitie of the understanding; it is not brought in by cu∣stome, but God doth worke it; it is not all the an∣tecedent Page  69 preparation that wil doe it, but God must first worke it, and then you are able to beleeve these principles of faith, and able to beleeve them to the purpose.

When thou hast such a habit lying in thy soule,* the more thou readest the Word, and acquaintest thy selfe with it,* day by day, the more stronger doth thy faith grow, Rom. 10.*Faith comes by hea∣ring, and hearing by the Word of GOD, that is, it is a meanes, by which God workes it, both in the beginning and increase of it. Therefore take that exhortation, which is in Coloss. 3.16.*Let the Word dwell in you plenteously, &c. that is, let it not come as a stranger, looking to it now and then, (as it is the fashion of most men) but let it be familiar with you, let it dwell with you, and let it dwell with you plentifully; that is, reade not a Chapter or two, but all the Word; be not content to know one part of it, but know it thorowout. Lastly, let it be in wisdome; A man may reade much, and understand little, because he knowes not the mea∣ning of it; a childe may be able to say much by hart, and yet not have it in wisdome: therefore let the Word dwell plentifully in you, in all wisdome.

It is profitable to converse with faithfull men:* As it is said of Barnabas,* hee was a man full of faith; therefore it is said, he converted many: It is not in vaine, that phrase of the Scripture; hee was a man full of faith, and therefore many were added to the Lord. And you shall finde it by ex∣perience, when you converse with worldly men; Page  70 they will be readie, on every occasion, to attri∣bute the event of things to naturall causes, but the godly, they ascribe it to God. Now good words strengthen our faith, but the evill words of natu∣rall men, they corrupt good manners. And not on∣ly the words of the godly worke so, but the very manner of the delivery of it, is emphaticall, for they doe beleeve it themselves: now if a man de∣liver an history that he beleeves, he will deliver it in such a manner, that hee will make others be∣leeve it also: Act. 14.1.*They so spake, that a great multitude of the Iewes beleeved; that is, in such a manner, that many were turned to the faith. Iu∣nius professeth in his life, that the very first thing that turned him from his Atheisme, was the tal∣king with a country-man of his not farre from Florence, and his manner of expressing himselfe. The next was the majesty of the Scripture, which he observed in Ioh. 1. but the other was the be∣ginning of it.

*So it will still be true, that walking with god∣ly men will increase our faith, but with worldly men, it will weaken it. Therefore use all these meanes to strengthen these principles in you; for they will have many excellent effects in your lives. As;

[ 1] When a man beleeves this throughly, he will take the judgement of the Scripture against his owne fancy, and the opinions of men (with which we are still ready to be misled;) so that when the Scripture saith of riches, that they are nothing, whereas before thou thoughtest them to be a Page  71 strong tower, now you thinke them to be but a staffe of reed; so of sinfull lusts, that are so plea∣sant to us, the Scripture saith of them, that they fight against the soule, though they are sweet for the present, yet they are sowre in the latter end; so that thou takest the judgement of the Scripture against thy own reason. So for the praise of men, see what the Scripture saith; he is praise-worthy whom God praiseth; so thou judgest vaine-glory to be but a bubble; I say, if you could beleeve this throughly, you would set the judgement of the Scripture against your owne reasons, and the opinions of men.

[ 2] Besides this, it will breed a notable fervencie in prayer, when a man knoweth that there are such promises, it will make him never give over, it will make him watch and pray continually with all perseverance, though many times hee prayeth, and hath no answer, as the woman of Canaan, yea, though he hath sometimes a contra∣ry answer and effect to what he asketh; yet when he hath laid hold on the promises, he will not let goe, he will never give over; hee knowes, Hee, who hath promised, is faithfull; therefore he is not like a wave of the sea, tossed up and downe with every wind.

But it is not onely a ground of all this, but it brings forth the effect: it doth exceedingly strengthen our faith in matters of justification; for it is certaine, that the same faith, whereby we beleeve, and apply the promises of salvation, through Christ, it is the same faith whereby we Page  72 beleeve the Scripture, and that there is a God, that made both Heaven and Earth. There is no diffe∣rence in the faith; yea, that justifying faith, by which thou art saved, it ariseth from the beleefe of these principles; as it was the same eye, where∣by the Israelites did see the mountaines and trees, and other objects, and by which they saw the brazen Serpent; No man beleeves justification by Christ, but his faith is mainly grounded upon this Word of God; for whereas in Scripture we finde that IESVS CHRIST is come in the flesh, and that he is a Lambe slaine, for forgive∣nesse of sinnes; that he is offered to every crea∣ture, that a man must thirst after him, and then take up his Crosse and follow him. Now come to a beleever going out of the world, and aske him what hope hee hath to be saved, and what ground for it? he will be ready to say, I know that Christ is come into the world, and that he is offered, and I know that I am one of them that have a part in him; I know that I have fulfilled the conditions, as that I should not continue wil∣lingly in any knowne sinne, that I should love the LORD IESVS, and desire to serve him above all; I know that I have fulfilled these conditions. I say, if the ground whereon our faith is builded be the Word, then it is builded on a sure rocke, and the gates of hell, Satan, and all his tempta∣tions shall not prevaile against it, but against a strong fancie it may.

Therefore let us labour to strengthen our faith in these principles, that there is a GOD that made Page  73 Heaven and Earth; and that the Scripture is his Word, whereby his minde is revealed to us, that so you may know what his will is, and what to expect of him, upon all occasions.

[ 3] There is one thing which remaines in this point, which we added in the third place; That, that God which we worship is this GOD: for either it is that God, whom we worship, or else there is no true God in the world; we are to propound it negatively, to take away all other false religions: For, if there was ever a God revealed in the world, he was the God of the Iewes, and if he was the God of the Iewes, then of the Christians, and if of the Christians, then surely of the Protestants, and not the Papists; (for they doe in most points adde to the garment of Christ, and the Protestants doe but cut off what thy have added before) and if of the Protestants, then surely of those that doe make conscience of their wayes, that doe not live loosely, but doe labour to please him in all things.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  75


ISAI. 46.9.

Remember the former things of old; for I am GOD, and there is none else; I am GOD, and there is none like mee.

THe third thing which remains,* is this, that there is no other GOD; and it is an argument which is often used in Scrip∣ture, to prove that the Lord is God, because there is none be∣sides him;* for so you are to understand it: I am GOD; because there is no Page  76 other; this particle is so used many times, Esay 45.22.*I am GOD, and there is none else, there is none beside me; and this shewes the falsenesse of all other gods, and all other religions; and the argument stands thus; That if you looke to all former times, you shall see that there was never any other God, or any other religion but this, which wee professe. There are two arguments set downe in the Text:

1 Remember the former times, and you shall alwayes finde it thus, that there is none besides mee.

2 There is none like me, saith the Lord; take all other gods, and there is a wonderfull great difference betweene them and the God whom wee professe; there is none like him. So that the point to be delivered hence is this;

*It is a great argument to prove the Deity, that there is none besides the Lord.

To open this to you; I will shew you;

1 What reasons the Scripture useth to prove, that there is none besides him.

2 We will shew you in some instances of it.

3 We will make some uses of it.

For the first, you shall finde in the Scripture these five arguments, to shew that there is no o∣ther God, but that the LORD is GOD alone, and that there is none besides him.

[ 1] From the greatnesse of Gods Majesty, and the immensitie of his workes,* and that is the reason of the words here annexed; there is none like him:* as in verse 5. of this Chapter you shall see Page  77 it more plainly. So, Among the gods,*there is none like to thee, O Lord, neither are there any works like thy works. Where you see that they are both put together; there is none like to him for the great∣nesse of his Majestie, nor for the immensity of his workes. More particularly, first, in regard of the greatnesse of his Majestie, there is none like him; Behold the nations are as a drop of a bucket,*and are counted as the small dust of the ballance: behold, he ta∣keth up the Iles as a very little thing; and Lebanon is not sufficient to burne, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering; All nations before him are as no∣thing, and they are counted to him lesse than no thing, and vanitie: that is, let a man looke on the greatnesse of God, and compare him with all the things that are in the world, and you shall finde a great disproportion betweene them; they are but as the drop of the bucket. A bucket, of it selfe, holds but little water, but yet that is for some use; but the drops that fall from the bucket, when it com∣meth out of the Well, they are so small, as wee make no account of them; and yet all the world is not so much to the Lord, as these small drops. And if that similitude will not serve, there is an∣other; They are as the dust of the ballance: if it were but as the dust of the earth, it were but small, but as for the dust of the ballance, it is so small, that it cannot weigh the ballance this way, or that way; and yet the whole world is not so much to the Lord, as the dust of the ballance.

Againe, a third expression he useth, and that is taken from the manner of his worship: for some Page  78 might here object; If he be so great, how short then doe we come of worshipping him, and of giving him that honour which we owe unto him? saith he; it is true, for all the beasts of Lebanon are not sufficient for a burnt offering: nay, all the wood of Lebanon is not enough to kindle the burnt offering. And take all the gods of the Gentiles, they were but men, and their Temples, and all the glory of them, they are nothing to the Lord: See another description of this in vers. 25.* And as, thus in re∣gard of the greatnesse of him, there is none like him; so likewise in regard of the greatnesse of his workes; vers. 12.*Who hath measured out the wa∣ters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the spanne, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountaines in scales, and the hils in a ballance? That is, looke up∣on the great building of Heaven and Earth, and consider what went to these buildings, what might and power hee must have to handle such things as these; as the vast mountaines, the huge earth, the wind, and the seas; and consider, what an hand and arme he must have, that must doe such things. And also consider the wisdome of God, that went to this worke, and he did it alone; he had none to helpe him; take a man, let him set up a building, and he cannot do it of himselfe, but he needs some body to helpe him; but the Lord did all this alone: therefore he concludes, vers. 18.* that there is none like to him; as if it were his scope and intention in that place.

[ 2] It appeares hence, that they are not gods, from Page  79 their newnesse, they had a beginning, and they have an end; but God is from everlasting,*I am the first and last, Esay 41.4. and 44.6. and 43.10.* The meaning is, all the other gods had a begin∣ning, we know when they began, and their owne Historians have related it; but I was before them all, saith the Lord, and they have all vanished a∣way, even in your owne sight.

[ 3] Their ignorance and want of knowledge, and his Omniscience, is another argument,* which you have used in Esay 41.22, 23. and 44.7, 8.*Let them bring them forth, and shew what will happen, let them shew the former things, what they be, &c. that we may know that you are gods. The meaning is this; that there are none other gods, that doe declare former things, that tell of the beginning of the world, or of the creation, nor can declare things to come; I only can doe it, I have not spo∣ken in secret, but my prophecies are plaine and open, I have spoken it, and I will bring it to passe. Therefore, I say, his omniscience and shewing future things, doth testifie, that there are no other gods besides him, seeing no other hath beene able so to doe.

[ 4] The greatnesse of his power put forth in the continuall passages of his providence,* and their want of power; which is another argument used in Isai. 41.23.*Behold, you are nothing, and your workes are of nought; that is, you are not able to doe any thing, either good or hurt to the sonnes of men, and therefore you are no gods, you are but vani∣tie, and of no value: which argument you have Page  80 often repeated; as also the great changes, that God workes on the sonnes of men, which Idols cannot doe, Isai 40.23, 24.*He brings the Princes to nothing, &c. that is, he is able to set up whom he will, and pull them downe againe; and hee gives instance in the greatest Princes, that thought themselves best rooted, saith he, when I doe but blow upon them, when I blast them, they are, as if they never had beene planted, as if they had beene never sowen, but they are, as if they had tooke no root in all the earth. So Psal. 107.33, 34.*He turneth a desart into a fruitfull land; and a fruitfull land hee turneth into barrennesse, for the wickednesse of them that dwell therein; making changes of men, and things, which no Idols could doe.

[ 5] They are such as are dead men, and have no life in them. This is an argument that the Apo∣stle Paul useth, Act. 14.15. that they should turne to the living GOD; Psal. 115.* It is true of all other gods, they are dead vanities, they are Idols, and have no life in them; only God is living, he only hath life in himselfe, and gives life to all other things in the world. Therefore, there is none other god besides him.

*Now we come to particulars. As, Take all the religions that ever have beene in the world, be∣sides that which we professe; take all the gods, that have beene set up by others; they are divided in∣to two times,* either before, or since Christ; be∣fore, and they are either those gods, that were worshipped by the Grecians and the Romans, the Page  81 wisest of the Heathens, or else those that were worshipped by the Barbarians. Now, they wor∣shipped the Sunne, and Moone, and foure-footed beasts, Rom. 1.* If there be question of any, it is of those among the Romans; such as were Saturne, and Iupiter, and Inno, &c. which are now alto∣gether exploded; and there is enough said against them, even by their owne Writers. As;

1 They were men, and therefore not gods;* this was the argument that Tertullian and Iustin Martyr used to convince those, amongst whom they lived, that Iuno, Iupiter, Neptune, &c. were Saturnes off-spring, and therefore they were men; and if men, then borne of men, and their Genealo∣gies are recorded by their owne Writers.

2 And as they were men,* so they were the worst of men, given to the grossest vices, as adul∣tery, theft, murther, &c.

[Object.] And if it be objected, as it was to Lactantius, that these are only fictions of Poets.

[Answ.] I answer, that the Poets were their Prophets, as the Apostle saith, One of your Prophets saith so; and they did but give light to the picture; and all their owne Writers agree, as Cicero and Varro, that they were subject to those vices that wee named.

3 They did dye, and therefore were not gods;* and therefore they would in one place shew you a sepulchre, and in another place a temple erected to the same god, which is an extreme contradi∣ction; yet this was acknowledged even by them that worshipped them: and as for Tully, we can∣not Page  82 have more against him, than he himselfe con∣fesseth in his Tractate, De naturâ deorum; as one saith, Re tollit deos, sed oratione reliquit; He tooke away their gods in deed, though not in word: and himselfe saith, Vtinam tam facile veram religionem invenire possim, quàm falsam convincere: I would I could as well finde out the truth of true religi∣on, as the falsenesse of the other. All which are disputed at large by Tertullian, and Augustine De civitate Dei, and Clemens Alexandrinus, who li∣ved in those dayes; which we speak the more of, because it was that, which did spread it selfe even over the whole world for many ages together. And as for the gods that are worshipped by the Chaldaeans, and the Syrians, as the Sunne and Moone, they are not worth the naming.

[ 2] There is another religion that is growen up since Christ, the religion of Mahomet,* which hath spread over the most part of the world, for if that computation be true, that is lately given, they have foureteene times as much as any other hath; and they arose about six hundred yeares after Christ, and therefore they have continued a long time. I speake not this, because I thinke that any here had need to be disswaded from it, but to shew that there was never any veri-similitude of it, but that God was alwayes God alone. Therfore against it, I will use foure arguments:

1 Mahomet did fully acknowledge the truth of the Old Testament, and of the New; yet the things which he delivers, are contrary to both;* which confirmes our religion, and shewes the Page  83 falsenesse of theirs; for he did acknowledge, that Moses received the Old Testament from God, and so did the Prophets, and he repeats most of the story; he acknowledgeth the creation of Adam, and the eating of the forbidden fruit, and the whole story of Abraham, and his calling, and the offering of his sonne Isaac; and also, he acknow∣ledgeth the whole History of Moses, how God ap∣peared to him, and how he went into Aegypt, and of the ten Plagues that he sent upon the Aegypti∣ans, and the wonders that hee wrought going downe into Canaan; and so of all the rest, naming the booke of Psalmes, and quoting things out of it; and of Deuteronomy, acknowledging many of the Prophets, as Eliah, Samuel, Iob and Ionah; and he confesseth that there were many more, which he did not name: and so hee acknowledgeth the New Testament likewise; hee acknowledgeth that Christ was borne of a Virgin, and that by the mightie power of God, without man; that he hea∣led diseases; and that he received the Gospell from God himselfe; and that God gave power to him more than to all the Prophets that were before him, and that hee was the word and power of God, and that all, that doe beleeve in him, shall be be saved; and they shall follow him in white gar∣ments, and that hee, which beleeves it not, shall be damned; and hee acknowledgeth the New Testament to beare witnesse to the Old; and he acknowledgeth the resurrection, the comming of Iohn Baptist; and he speakes very honourably of Christ, except only in two things:

Page  841 He tooke up the opinion of the Arrians, to deny his Divinitie.

2 And also, he denied that he was crucified, but that some body was crucified for him.

[ 2] He brought in a new religion, and yet he pro∣fesseth, that hee had no miracles, or predictions of things to come. Now, when religion is not confirmed by miracles,* or predictions of things to come, or holinesse of life, it is a token that there is no truth in it.

[ 3] We may perceive it by the writing of the Al∣coran; It is so barbarous, that there is no sense in it;* and they say, that he could neither write nor reade; and so the writing shewes, that it was by one, that was an ignorant man, that had no skill; and those stories that are alleaged out of the Scripture, have much falshood mixed with them; which is a signe that he never read them himselfe, but that he had them by relation; but onely hee speaking to a very ignorant people, they received it of him; and having inlarged themselves by the sword; and so they continue to this day.

[ 4] The impuritie of his doctrine, he cut off what was hard to be beleeved,* and whatsoever was dif∣ficult to practise, and he propounded that to the people, wherein there was no hardnesse, no diffi∣cultie, promising them a paradise, wherein they should have all pleasures, and should enjoy wo∣men; and also they should have meat, drinke, ap∣parell, and fruits of all sorts; as also, they should have silken, and purple carpets to lye upon, &c. and also he professeth that he had a licence given Page  85 him from God, to know what women he would, and to put them away when he would; which li∣cence was given to him and to no other. All which arguments are enough to shew the vanitie and falshood of this their religion.

[Vse 1] Seeing there is none other god besides the Lord, we should fix this principle in us, * and labour to strengthen it by this other medium also. When more candles are brought into a place, the light is greater, and you may see the objects the better. Therefore, adde this to the other, that there is no other god; for this expresseth not only that the Lord is God, but that it is he whom we worship: for if there be a God that made Heaven and Earth, he would have revealed himselfe to the sonnes of men, but there hath never beene any other revea∣led. Remember the former things, and you shall see that there was never any other. Make this chaine, and every linke of it is exceeding strong: see if ever there hath beene any god besides him: For, if there was ever any God revealed to the sons of men, it was the God of the Iewes, that was re∣vealed by Moses, and the Prophets. For all the dunghill gods of the Gentiles, they were but vani∣tie, and they appeared to be so; and if it was the God of the Iewes, then of the Christians, (because the New Testament is builded upon the Old;) and then surely, he is that God, whom the Prote∣stants worship, and not whom the Papists wor∣ship. For, if you take all those things, wherein they differ from us; as in their worshipping of Images, their Purgatory, their Indulgences, their Page  86 Prayers to, and for the dead; their Prayers in an unknowne tongue, and so all other points of diffe∣rence, and you shall finde that they were added, and taken in, in continuance of time, now one, then another; and there are many that have taken paines to shew the pedegree of them, when they came in; and therefore they that have not sedu∣ced hearts, whose eyes the god of this world hath not blinded, may see, that what our devices cut off, is nothing but that which they have added before; the Papists agree in all with what wee teach, only the difference is betweene the additi∣ons which have come in from time to time. Ther∣fore you must learne from hence to confirme your faith, by that argument which Peter useth, Ioh. 6.68.*Whither shall we goe, thou hast the words of eternall life. There are two things which make us cleave to any thing:

1 The firmenesse of the thing.

2 When we can goe no whither else. So that looke to any time or place, and consider that all other gods they are but vanitie. For, looke upon the world, and the creatures, and they have no bottom to stand on, they have no state to hold by. Therfore, let this teach us to cleave to him with∣out separation: looke upon every side, as David did, to the right hand, and to the left, and you shall see that there was no other god. Only here the soule hath sure footing; therefore say, that if the dissolution of all things should come, as death and martyrdome, (as wee know not how soone they may) yet God shall be our God, we will for∣sake Page  87 all to follow him. Consider the present time of the Church, consider how soone the times may come upon us, when we shall be put to it; for now things are in praecipitio; hasting downe to the bottome of the hill; and we know not how neere we are to that houre of temptation, spoken of in the Revelations; when it shall be as it was in Esay's time, 2 Chron. 15.6.*Nation shall rise against Nation. These times are growing, and gathering strength more and more; therefore let us streng∣then our faith, and prepare for a triall. Hither∣to religion and peace have walked together in one path; but when they shall goe in different paths, it will appeare then, whose servants we are. So when the times of triall come, it will be a great matter to have this principle laid. If you should come to suffer death, and to lose your lives, it will be a great matter, to be rooted and grounded in the faith: for there is a great difference betweene those that have much earth, and betweene those that are not well rooted, that have not received this anointing, that teacheth us these things.

Only this I will say to you in the second place to comfort you,* though you see the Lord laying the Churches waste,* so that they are wallowing in their bloud, and yet that you might hold up your heads; consider that he is God alone, and therefore will rouse up himselfe in due time; for, He will not give his glory to another: therefore though you see all the Churches in Christen dome laid waste, yet the Lord will raise them up againe, and the ground of it is in Esay 48.11 Page  88For mine owne sake,*even for mine owne sake will I doe it: for, how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory to another; speaking there to the Churches in that time, saith the LORD, I have refined them,*but not with silver, I have cho∣sen them in the furnace of affliction; that is, I have thus and thus dealt with them, yet will I not cast them off, though they be sinfull, yet will I not put them away, for mine owne sake; for my name should be polluted, if I should suffer them to lye thus: It should be thought that the other religion was true, and so I should lose my glory. And againe, will God now say, I will not doe so; for, should Antichrist prevaile, it would be an argument that they had the truth, and not we. So Esay 42.8.*I am the LORD, that is my name; and my glory will not I give to another, neither my praise to graven images. As the graven images there should have had the praise, so should the Papists now, if God should suffer his Church to be so, but for his owne sake he will not suffer it. Let this encourage you then to be earnest with him in prayer; for the time will come, when hee will turne his head, when the just period is come, he will be seene in the Mount.

[Vse 3] If there be no other God, then let us be care∣full to keep our hearts from all kinde of idolatry, not to set up any other in our heart or affections.* For there are two kindes of Idolatry:*

1 One is grosse, as the worshipping of Baal, Mahomet, &c. and that you are free from, because there is light enough in the Church to see the va∣nity of them.

Page  892 There is another kinde of Idolatry, which Saint Iames speakes of, Iames 4.*Yee adulterers, and adulteresses, you make riches your god, and honour, and your belly, your god; and when you sacrifice to your owne nets, that is, to out∣ward and secondary meanes, or when we joyne any other thing with God; now this is Idolatrie, which is common amongst us. Our nature is as prone to Idolatry as any, though not in that kind: for man is a weake creature, and therefore hee seekes something to repose himselfe upon; and because they finde not any one thing sufficient; therefore they put their confidence in many, Rom. 1.* For all Idolatry is upon one of these three grounds:

1 They worship them for gods,* whom they saw excellent men, that had something in them above themselves; such as were strong men, as Hercules; and those that were Law-givers, and Princes, as Saturne, and Iupiter; and they did worship Vertues likewise; and they did build a Temple to Vertue it selfe; and to Iustice, and Pa∣tience.

2 Those, that brought any speciall helpe, and comfort to the lives of men; as they that did in∣vent usefull Arts, as Bacchus, Ceres, Vulcan, Aescu∣lapius; and also they worshipped the creatures themselves, as the Sunne, and Moone, and Oxen, and the like.

3 They worshipped for god, that which was stronger than themselves; therefore Tully saith, we build a Temple to Feavers, to Diseases, be∣cause Page  90 they were stronger than they, they could kill men when they did seaze upon them: so they did build a Temple to Fortune. Now to trans∣late this to our selves, see if we have not the same ground with us; see if the things that have any excellencie amongst men; if the things that are profitable to us, and things that exceed us in strength, and over-power us, whether they are not ready to be set up as gods; when men spend themselves upon their pleasure, and are afraid of men, what is this, but to set up another god? We doe the same, though not in the same manner that the Heathens did. Now, for the worshipping the creatures; we are not to doe it: there is no crea∣ture in the world that can do either good or hurt, as it was said of Idols. But when our affections are so inordinately carried to them, we set them up for gods, though we observe it not. It is Gods prerogative royall, and it belongs only to him, to doe good or evill; whatsoever is either good or evill, he is the Author of it; he makes mens lives comfortable, or uncomfortable, at his plea∣sure; for hee disposeth of things, giving them, and taking them from whom he will. Therefore, why is he forgotten? and why doe men joyne other things with him? so farre, as men see not the vanity of all things, and so farre, as their af∣fections are taken up with these outward things, so much Idolatry there is in their hearts. There∣fore you must take heed that you give not Gods glory to another.

[ 1] Take heed of Idolatry; in your opinions give Page  91 not the glory of God to riches; for that which a mans minde is set most upon, and which he looks for comfort from, in time of need, this they count as God: so that, whatsoever it be, riches, or the favour of men, if you set your minde upon it, you make it as God, and it is to give the glory of God to another.

[ 2] We must not trust in them, Psal. 115.9. but trust in GOD;*O Israel trust thou in the LORD, he is their helpe and their shield. Now then, we ex∣alt him, when we trust only in him, when we trust not in any of these outward things, when we think not our selves any whit the better, the more ri∣ches or friends we have: for so farre we trust in the creatures, so far we commit idolatry with them: but he that thinkes himselfe safe, because he hath the Lord for his God, and because he is his Shield, he doth exalt the Lord, and this is to put this in practice which is here spoken of; I am God, and there is none like mee.

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EXODVS. 3.13, 14, 15.

13 Moses said unto GOD; behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them; The GOD of your Fa∣thers hath sent me unto you, and they shall say unto mee, What is his Name? what shall I say unto them?

14 And GOD said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel; I AM hath sent me unto you.

15 And GOD said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Is∣rael; The LORD GOD of your Fa∣thers, Page  94 the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Iacob hath sent me unto you: this is my Name for ever, and this is my memoriall unto all genera∣tions.

NOw wee come to this, What GOD is.*God is IEHOVAH ELOHIM; an absolute Es∣sence, in three Persons.

But we will first speake of the Deitie, then of the Per∣sons.

Now God is knowne to us two wayes:

  • 1 By his Essence; and
  • 2 By his Attributes.

Now the great question is, what this Essence of God is.* Beloved, you need more than the tongue of man to declare this to you; yet we will shew it to you, as the Scripture reveales it.

Now, if we should define it, (though it is ca∣pable properly of no definition) wee would say, GOD is an incomprehensible, first, and absolute Be∣ing. These words in this place, set out the Essence of God most clearely of any place in Scripture, that I know. This is the first expression, where∣by God did ever shew himselfe in his Essence. God hath before made himselfe knowne by his All-sufficiencie,* Chap. 6.3. I appeared to Abraham; to Isaac, and unto Iacob, by the name of GOD Almigh∣tie, but by my name IEHOVAH, was I not knowne Page  95 unto them. This name, IEHOVAH, was knowne to Abraham, as appeares in divers places; but the meaning is, it was not opened to them, they did not understand it: The Lord saith, Gen. 17.1.*I am the Almightie GOD, walke before mee, and be thou perfect. You shall finde that Name used on every occasion, by Abraham, by Isaac, and by Ia∣cob. El-shaddai; GOD all-sufficient; but not IE∣HOVAH. The first time that ever God made himselfe knowne by this name, was here to Mo∣ses, I am that I am. There are two things to be observed in this expression:

[ 1] The incomprehensiblenesse of Almighty GOD, as it is usually said by us; when wee are asked a thing, that we will not reveale any further, or that we would not have another to prie any further into, we say, It is, what it is; so God saith to Mo∣ses, I am, what I am.*

[ 2] Such a kinde of speech is also used to shew the immutabilitie of a thing; as Pilat said, What I have written, I have written; I will not change it: so men use to say; I have done what I have done, to shew the constancie of a thing, that it shall not be altered: therefore, when God would shew the constancie of his Nature, he addes further, I am, without any other word: as if hee should say; Moses, if they inquire of thee, what my name is, tell them only this; Hee is, hath sent me unto you; as the Septuagints translate it,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; that is, if I should deliver the most expressing name, where∣by I would be knowne to all ages, this is that which I will pitch upon; I am, or IEHOVAH; Page  96 which comes from the same root. And if Moses should yet further inquire of his Name, he leads him into a further expression: The LORD GOD of your Fathers, the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Iacob hath sent me unto you; this is my Name for ever, and this is my memoriall unto all generations. As if he should say; If yet they cannot understand what this Name is, it is the same that I was knowne by to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Iacob; what I was to them, the same will I be to you. I was knowne to them by my Word, and by my workes, and by my miracles, and the same shall you finde me, it is that God which hath sent me unto you. This is my Name; which words are to be referred, not onely to the latter words, but to the former, I am, that I am. The words in the originall are in the future tense; yet it is fitly translated, I am; for the future tense in Hebrew is often put for the present tense; and the words are put in the future tense, to shew his immutabilitie; which translation Christs words doe warrant; Before Abraham was, I am: therefore the Septua∣gints do well translate it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, signifying no more, but he which is; so that, that which we are to learne from hence is this; That I am, or Iehovah, I am, that I am, is the proper and essentiall name of God, (all Divines agree in this, I know none hat differ) because it expresseth him in his Es∣sence, without any limitation, or modification. Besides, you shall finde, that this name is never attributed to any other. The Altar, indeed, was called Iehovah; but the meaning was; to Iehovah; Page  97 his other names indeed are given to the creatures, but this is given only to him: Whence I gather this point:

That to be, or to say this, He is, or I am,*is proper to GOD alone.*

It is common to no creature with him; you cannot say of any creature, It is; if it be the only property of God to be, then you must say of every creature, It is not; and onely the Lord is; which is a strange speech, but yet it is true, or else it is not proper to God only.

[Object.] But you will say; What is the meaning of that? for creatures have a being, though not so excellent a being, as he hath.

[Answ.] In comparison of him, they have no being at all, they cannot reach to his being: And there∣fore, what this being is, we will explaine to you by these five things:*

[ 1] It is an immense being,* such as hath all the de∣grees, and kindes, and extents of being in it. The creatures have not so; they have so little of this being, that it is nothing: it is not so much, as the drop of a bucket, Isai. 40. that is,* it is of so small a being, that it is no being: therefore that place is to be marked, Isai. 40.17.*All nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him lesse than nothing, or vanity. Which place shewes, that this place of being doth not agree to the creatures; for having said before, they were as the drop of a bucket, hee addes, nay, they are lesse than no∣thing. But you will say, how can they be lesse than nothing? That is, if I should expresse it to Page  98 you, as it is, they are lesse than that which you reckon as nothing; as you doe a dust of the bal∣lance; so that in respect of the largenesse of his being, they are nothing to him: there are divers degrees, and extents of being, and he hath them all in him; as, there is a being of Angels, another of men, and so of every creature; but they are defined, and you know that definitions doe but limit the being of a thing. The Angels have a large and glorious being; men have a good and excellent being, but they are nothing in respect of the being of God.

[ 2] It is a being of himselfe,* he is a spring of be∣ing, whereas all the creatures are but cisternes of being; which they have but by participation from him,*Rom. 11. In him we live, move, and have our being: In him, and for him, and through him, are all things; he only is of himselfe

[ 3] It is not only from himselfe, but it is an ever∣lasting being:*I am the first and the last: that is, I am before any thing was, and I am the last; every thing hath dependance on me.

[ 4] It is a being without succession:* the creatures have not this; there is something to them, which was not before; and something shall be, which is not for the present: this is true of every crea∣ture; of men and Angels; but with God there is no succession: and therefore it is that these words are used, I am hath sent unto you: which shewes that there is no time past with him, there is no distinction of time with him, all things are alike to him; but with the creature there is flux of time, Page  99 the creatures enjoy one thing one minute, which they do not another; but God enjoyes all at once, and that is one part of his blessednesse, which the creature is not partaker of. And againe, his acts are all done at once; but the creatures doe all theirs by succession.

[ 5] It is such a being, as gives a being to all things else.* And this is a great difference betweene him and the creatures: the Angels have an excellent being, yet they cannot give the least being to any thing. So that by these we may plainly see, that he only is, that is, he only is of an immense being, that is, he is like a mightie sea of being, that hath neither bankes nor bottom, he only is a spring of being, he only is everlasting, he onely is without succession, of time present, past, or to come. Last∣ly, he only gives a being to every thing. Such a one he is, all this is implyed, where he bids Moses goe, and tell the people; I am that I am, is hee that hath sent me unto you. But we will stand no longer hereon, onely wee will labour to reduce these speculations to use, as it is said of Socrates, he did Devocare philosophiam de coelis, bring phi∣losophy downe to be practised in private houses.

If we should inquire the reason, why God did reveale his Name to Moses, was it, that onely he, and the Israelites should finde out argute specu∣lations in his name, as many of the Rabbins have done? and our Divines follow them too farre; no surely, the end of names is to make things knowne. But yet he sets bounds to our apprehen∣sions, in saying, I am that I am; as if there were Page  100 more in it, as if there were some greater immen∣sitie in his nature: therefore the use is this;

[Vse 1] That there is something of the Essence of God, that may not be inquired into,* but to be content with that which is revealed. Rom. 1.18.*For that which may be knowne of GOD, is manifest in them; for GOD hath shewne it unto them: there is some∣thing that may be knowne, and something there is that may not be knowne: therefore, Beloved, looke not for a full knowledge of him, but only for a small degree of it; as Exo. 33.*My face (saith God to Moses) thou canst not see; which place com∣pared with that, Ro. 1.20. the meaning is this; that it is very little of God, that we can know: even as when a great traine, or glorious shew, shall passe before us, and all is gone, we onely see the latter end of it. So God passed by Moses, and he saw but a little of him: even as when you heare the latter end of a sentence, only that which the eccho re∣sounds; the maine we cannot know. Therefore we should learne from hence, not to be searching and prying into the counsels of God; as, why so many are damned, and so few saved; to ask, how the infallibilitie of Gods will, and the libertie of mans will can stand together; to aske the reason, why he suffered the Gentiles to walke in the vani∣tie of their owne mindes so long a time; why he suffers the Church to lye, as it doth at this time: for we might say as Gideon did, If the LORD be with us, why are wee thus and thus? Why the Church of the Grecians, those famous Churches; why the golden Candlestickes were removed Page  101 from them? These, and all other such, we must be content to be ignorant of; he doth not reveale himselfe fully in this life. Thou canst not see mee, and live, saith God to Moses: the meaning is this, the vale of mortality doth hide us, it covers God from us: when that shall be laid aside, wee shall know all these things; and therefore we must be content to stay the time; and till then, we are as narrow-mouthed vessels, wee are not able to re∣ceive much knowledge, but a great deale will fall beside; and God wil do nothing in vaine; as Christ said to his Disciples, There are many things that I should reveale unto you, but you are not able to beare them: and therefore it should content us rather; as a weake eye is not able to behold the Sunne, as the Schoole-men well say, we cannot see it in rotâ; we cannot see the circle wherein the Sunne doth runne, but only the beames of it; no more can you see God in his Essence; you may see him in his Word, in his effects: and therefore let us be content to bee ignorant of these things. Who should aske, why deales GOD thus with his Church? why are so many damned? Remem∣ber that in Isai. 45.9.*Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker; let the potsheard strive with the pot∣sheards of the earth: Shall the clay say to him that maketh it; What makest thou? The meaning of it is this; we should be content to let God alone, not to inquire into all his actions, into the ground and reason of all his workes; let the potsheards strive with the potsheards of the earth: if thou hadst to doe with man, one like thy selfe, then Page  102 thou mightst murmure with him, and aske him, why doest thou so? but what hast thou to-doe with the Lord? Shall the clay say to him that maketh it, why doest thou so? This similitude of clay doth not, by a thousand parts, expresse that distance that is betweene God and us; and there∣fore we should doe thus, stand upon the shore, as it were, and behold his infinite Essence: I am that I am; and goe no further; as a man that stands upon the sea-shore, and sees the vastnesse of the sea, and dares goe no further, if he goes into the deepe, he is drowned: You may looke into Gods Essence, and see and admire it; but to thinke that thou couldest comprehend God, is, as if a man should think to hold the whole sea in the hollow of his hand; yea, there is a greater disproporti∣on between them: therfore you shall see, that the Apostle doth thus expresse it, Ro. 11.*Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdome, and knowledge of GOD; how unsearchable are his judgements, and his wayes past finding out! Onely remember this, and make thus much use of it:

When you heare this name, I am that I am; that it is the Lords will to set limits to us. When the Lord came downe from the Mount, he set li∣mits to the people, and he gave this reason of it; I will not have them stand and gaze; so is it in this case, it is a dangerous thing to goe too farre; you know what did come to the Bethshemites, because they would be gazing: Remember that speech of God to Manoah; Why doest thou aske my name that is secret? There is something that is secret in God.

Page  103 [Object.] But, you will say; I would but see reason of things.

[Answ.] But thou must stay for this till mortalitie be put off; and in the meane while stand a farre off, and looke on God: And when thou seest the vast workes of God, when thou seest him to span the winds in his fist, and measure the waters in the hollow of his hand, and to weigh the mountaines in scales, and the hills in a ballance, &c. It is no great thing if thou art ignorant of his counsels. It is made an argument why we should not search into his secrets, Prov. 30.4.*Who hath ascended up to heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the winds in his fist? who hath bounded the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, or what is his Sonnes name, if thou canst tell? As if he should say; it is im∣possible that this mightie Work-man, he that did all this, that thou shouldest know him, or know the ground of his counsels; you can see but his back-parts, you can see no more and live, and you need see no more, that you may live.

That which is the very scope and drift of the Lords revealing his name to Moses;**Goe and tell the people; I AM THAT I AM hath sent me unto you; that is, it should strengthen our faith, and in∣courage us, it should raise our mindes, and stir up hope in us, in all wants, and in all distresses, that we fall into, upon any occasion: for this is the scope why the Lord reveales it here; he reveales it in a very seasonable time. A man would have thought it impossible, that they should be delive∣red Page  104 from Pharaoh, he being so mighty, yet God bids Moses goe, and tell them, that hee that IS, hath sent him unto them. Hee that IS, hee that can make things to be, when they have no rudi∣ments of being, he hath sent me.

Consider all the griefes and complaints that we have, they all arise from hence; there is some∣thing we would have, which is not; as it was the complaint of Rachel, shee wept for her children, be∣cause they were not: now, consider what the Lord saith here, I am that I am: he is the Lord of be∣ing; he giveth being to whatsoever pleaseth him: As take your expressions of your ordinary wants, you use to say; oh, if that such a thing were; if an house had such and such a thing, it would be a goodly house; so in an instrument, as a Watch, if it had such and such a being, it were a perfect Watch: so is it in the complaints that we make for our soules, or the soules of others; if you see a man that you would have reclaimed, you say if there were a stability of minde in him, a conside∣ration of death, a right knowledge of things, a sense of sinne, if there were grace in his heart to establish him, then hee would be thus, and thus. Consider that he who is the Lord of being, is able to make up these wants: so if our complaints be for our selves, they all come from some wants; but know that he who is the Almightie God, that makes all things to be, he can give thee constan∣cie, he can enable thee to do all things, and streng∣then the weake hands and feeble knees, Hebr. 22. He that is full of being, as the Sunne is of light, and Page  105 the Sea of water, thinke with thy selfe that hee alone is able to give being to every grace, and to make up every defect, and give that to thee which thou hast not, and to all whom thou hast to doe with, as thy wife, children, friends, &c. he can make things that were bad, good and usefull, and so make thy friend good also, as he did Onesimus for Paul; thinke with thy selfe that the Lord of strength can doe it, and he only can doe it: here every creature is at a stand to make a being; ther∣fore goe to him, and give him the praise and glo∣ry of his Name.

And as it should move us to doe this in our wants; so it should helpe thee in all those great crosses that afflict thee: For every crosse is in that which is not; as Rachel wept of her children that were not: You shall see in Abraham, he belee∣ved in GOD, even in GOD, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not, as though they were Rom. 4.17.* This was Abrahams case, he was to lose his sonne, for ought that he knew, yet he comforted himselfe in this, that Iehovah, the mightie God, that is the Lord of being, he that calleth things that are not, as if they were, hee could either give him his owne sonne againe, or one that was as good as he. Thus he did comfort himselfe; and so may we upon all occasions: God can make things to be that are not. Take Iob, when his houses, his children, estate, all were gone, and all were not, yet Iehovah, he that makes things that are not, did not he make all things to returne againe? So David, when things were not, Page  106 when his Kingdome was not, when his good name was gone, as wee see by Shimei's cursing, what a name he had, yet God did make all to come againe. Naomi, when all was gone, her husband and her sonnes gone, and they were not, yet hee that was the Lord of being gave her a sonne, and a daughter, that brought her in more comfort that her owne sonnes would. And this is the use that I would have you to make of it.

When thou hast lost any thing, when thy sons or thy goods are gone, he can make up all: Hee who could make up the absence of Christ to the Disciples, as he did by his Spirit, so that it was better with them than before, they had more comfort and knowledge, and could doe greater miracles, that God can surely make good any o∣ther losse the most pinching. For you must re∣member that he is IEHOVAH; you shall finde that name often used on this occasion; still it is added, I am IEHOVAH. But, to take the pre∣sent Scripture, there you shall see, what ground there is for this use we now make of it, Chap. 6.6. Wherefore,*say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burthens of the Aegyptians, &c. The meaning of it is this: many objections might be made by Mo∣ses, (and this is the reason, why God reveales this Name to Moses.) Alas, saith Moses, who am I: Shall I go unto Pharaoh, and bid him let the chil∣dren of Israel goe? What am I to be sent on this errand? Saith the Lord, Goe, tell him; I am, or Iehovah, hath sent thee unto him: and those an∣swers Page  107 are observable that Moses makes:

[Object.] I am of a slow mouth, and of slow speech.

[Answ.] Why? saith the LORD, I made the mouth; goe therefore, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

[Object.] Againe, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?

[Answ.] Saith the LORD, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy Prophet.

Where observe this, by the way. A man would wonder why Moses, that went to such a one as Pharaoh, should complaine, that he was a man of uncircumcised lips. One would thinke that Pharaoh being a carnall man, that uncircum∣cised words would please him better; but it is, as if he should say; Lord, when there is any circum∣cisednesse in my lips, then there is no authority in my speech. The lesse circumcision there is in any mans lippe▪ the lesse authority there is in his speech; as it is said of Christ, that he spake with authoritie, for his lips were circumcised. But to take this objection away; saith the LORD, I am Iehovah, I will be with thee, I will circumcise thy lips.

[Object.] Yea, but will Pharaoh be moved with words?

[Answ.] I am Iehovah, saith the LORD, I will make that to be, which is not: I will send plagues among them, and then he will let them goe.

[Object.] But when they are gone, they are a weake and a naked people, how shall they doe to live?

[Answ.] Saith GOD, I will give them favour in the eyes of the Aegyptians, and not send them emptie, and I will provide food for them.

Page  108So Moses went. A strange kinde of errand; as if one should goe and tell the great Turke, that the God of the Christians hath sent to let them goe: but yet Moses goeth; and all that comforted him, was 〈◊〉 the revealing of this Name.

Now apply this to your selves; when you are in any distresse, know that he that made the hea∣vens and the earth, can give a being to all these things: Esay 50.10.*Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servants, that walketh in darknesse, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his GOD. He that walketh in darknesse, and hath no light; let that be thy case, that every thing is desperate, thou seest not a jot of light, nor spark of hope, yet trust in the Name of Iehovah, hee can make light, when there is none; a man that hath no grace in his heart, let him trust in Ieho∣vah, that saith in his heart, I would I could be rid of such a lust, and that I could keep holy the Sab∣bath, but I have nothing in me, my heart is emp∣tie of all; (this is the complaint often even of those that have grace:) why, if there be no light, no grace, yet he can work it; and so Paul applyes that in Gen. 1. there was darknesse and no light,* to himselfe and them, in 2 Cor. 4.5.*He that com∣manded light to shine out of darknesse, &c. I, sayes he, and we Gentiles were in darknesse, and had no light; yet God commanded light to shine into our hearts, and into mine, the darkest of all the rest. So learne to apply the same to thy selfe; he that is in darknesse, and hath no light, yet let him Page  109 trust in the Name of Iehovah; beloved, that is faith. If you should expect no more of God, than a man can doe, or a creature can doe, it is not worthy the name of faith: as this is proper only to God, to give being to things that are not; so it is the propertie of faith, when things are not, to beleeve in the name of Iehovah: therefore, there would thy faith be seene; and as for thy selfe, so for the Churches also, you see now, 〈◊〉 how low an ebbe they are brought, and yet, they cannot be lower than the estate of the Israelites was in Aegypt, and when they were in captivitie; yet consider, that that Iehovah, who is the Lord of being, is able to raise the Churches, and to give a new being to them: Isai. 6.13.*But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall returne, and shall be eaten; as a Teile-tree, and as an Oke, whose substance is in them when they cast their leaves; so the holy seed shall bee the substance thereof: That is, when you see the Churches goe to wracke, when you see them cut downe like a mightie wood that is cut downe, or that is spoiled of its glory in the Autumne: So when you see the glory of the Churches thus ta∣ken away, yet there is a holy seed, which shall be like a root or bulke of a tree. So should you see the Churches overthrowne, laid under feet, so that there is no hope of them, so far as we could see; yet be assured, that there is a holy seed, that shall rise, and spread it selfe againe, even as a little root spreads it selfe into a great tree; and how shall they doe it? saith the Lord, I am Iehovah, I can give a being, I can inlarge their being.

Page  110 [Object.] But you will say, why then is it that they are brought so low?

[Answ.] Consider, that it is the Lords usuall course to sit as a man in sleepe, but saith he in Isai 42 13, 14.*The LORD shall go forth as a mightie man, he shall stirre up jealousie like a man of warre; he shall crie, yea roare; hee shall prevaile against his enemies: I have long time holden my peace, I have refrained my selfe, now will I cry like a travelling woman, I will destroy and devoure at once. He useth three expres∣sions there, to shew what hee will doe for his Church in extremitie; I will raise my selfe like a Giant, &c. and when he comes, he will come sud∣denly, as paines on a woman with childe come sud∣denly, so saith the LORD; When you looke not for me, them will I come, there shall goe nothing be∣fore me, I will come on a sudden; and not only so, but he will cry as a Giant, he will doe it strongly, and he will doe it effectually; so as he will bring it to passe as a man of warre, and so he will doe for his Church; againe, he that hath raised it in for∣mer times, he will doe it now; therefore let us not faint and give over hoping, for he that is Al∣mightie, he is able to doe all these things: Hee who could in Ioel destroy the armie of Catter∣pillars, and leave a blessing behinde him; can doe the same as well to men, (though never so many) who are the enemies of his Church.

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EXODVS. 3.13, 14, 15.

13 And Moses said unto GOD; behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them; The GOD of your Fa∣thers hath sent me unto you, and they shall say unto mee, What is his Name? what shall I say unto them?

14 And GOD said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel; I AM hath sent me unto you.

15 And GOD said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Is∣rael; The LORD GOD of your Fa∣thers, Page  112 the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Iacob hath sent me unto you: this is my Name for ever, and this is my memoriall unto all genera∣tions.

*IF God be the LORD of being, full of being in himselfe,* and giving be∣ing to every thing; learne then to give him his praise, Psal. 60.4. Yee shall praise the LORD, and yee shall extoll him by his Name IAH. For he only brings enterprises to passe; as hee gives being to every thing, so he gives being to all the workes that are wrought by the creatures. If our being be from him; much more all our workes are wrought by him, because they are but dependants on our be∣ing. Now this God takes to himselfe, as most proper to himselfe, and that from his Name, Iehovah; there be many places for this; I will doe it, for I am IEHOVAH, &c.

[ 1] Now if the creature shall say; I have such a purpose,* such a project in my heart, and I will doe it, I will bring it to passe; what is it but to arrogate to himselfe, that which is proper to Ie∣hovah? which is a greater sinne, than we are a∣ware of; for it is no lesse than Idolatry;* and the Lord so takes it; Isai. 42.8.*I am the LORD, that is my Name, and my glory will not I give to another, neither my praise to graven images; that is, I will take a speciall care, that you shall not say, that Page  113 your images doe bring things to passe, for then they should be called Iehovah, which is proper alone to me, to bring any thing to passe.

So a man may apply it to any thing else; if a man shall say, that his owne wit, or worth, or in∣dustrie, &c. doth bring things to passe; he takes that praise which peculiarly belongs to God, and gives it to the creature; whereas the Lord sayes, Iehovah is my name, and there is not the least thing, but I bring it to passe. Take heed therefore of that secret Idolatry which God hates; it is a place which you know, Hab. 1.16.*Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burne incense unto their Dragge; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. To offer sacrifice, is, to doe that which is proper to God: now to goe about any thing, and to say, that thy wealth brings it to passe, is to sacrifice to thine owne net, that is, to attribute that to thy selfe, which is proper onely to him.

[ 2] Againe, as it is Idolatry, so it is a vaine thing to doe it; for we are not able to do it;*Psal. 37.5.*He will bring it to passe; there the Lord takes it as peculiar to him onely; therefore in Isai. 26.12. (you may compare them both together) it is said there,*Lord thou wilt ordaine peace for us, for thou also hast wrought all our workes in us. The scope of this place is this: Other men (saith he) they for∣get God, they carry themselves aloft, but it is hee that will ordaine us peace, though none else shall put his hand to it; it is he that doth all our works for us, not our especiall workes only, but all; it is Page  114 not any man, or any creature that doth them, it is he that workes all our workes for us. And if we did beleeve this, we should looke upon him with another eye, and serve him after another manner; we should be more dependent on him, we should be more fervent in prayer; & not when we would doe any thing, turne every stone, and to knocke at every creatures doore, to see what helpe they could give us; but our eye would bee towards him; for it is in vaine to runne to them; no crea∣ture can doe it, there is no enterprise but hath many wheeles, and the stopping of one wheele hinders the whole enterprise; and it is hee, that turnes all those wheeles, commands all, must bring it to passe, or else the least thing will hinder our greatest enterprises; therefore you see that the fairest blossomes of our endevours doe often wither, and the unprobablest things doe come to passe. See it in David, to give you an example of it; when he would trust God, he had a promise of the Kingdome, but not by himselfe; his owne power should not doe it; and yet the wheeles of Gods providence did bring it to passe. So when he staid his hand from killing Nabal, did not the Lord bring it to passe in a better manner than hee could have done? And when he had the King∣dome, Abner was his great enemie, but yet David did nothing, but that which was right; and you see how God did bring it to passe, he tooke away his life without any hand of his. So Ishbosheth was his enemie, yet when David sate still, and did nothing, his head was brought to him; Page  115 (though they that did it, did it wickedly) yet it was an act of Gods providence to him. Thus things are done for the best, when wee commit them to him; but if we doe them our selves, wee are as they that fished all the night long, and caught nothing, till Christ came, and bade them to cast in the net, then they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: So it is with us, when we goe about any enterprise, it is in vaine, we are not able to doe it. There is a double going about any enterprise; when we goe about an enterprise without God, and when we goe about it with him. When wee goe about it without God, I confesse, that yet some things are brought to passe; and that will serve to answer an objection which you have ful∣ly expressed in Psal. 37.7.*Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him; fret not thy selfe because of him, who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to passe, &c. There is the objection.

[Object.] For when we teach this doctrine of trusting in God, as David had before, vers. 5. The objection then is; there are many that doe not trust in God, and yet they bring their things to passe?

[Answ.] 1 To this we answer, that either they doe it not, it withers under their hand.

2 Or else, if they doe it, it is to no purpose, they receive no comfort from it. Therefore hee addes; the evill doer shall be cut off, that is, though they doe goe farre in an enterprise, yet they ne∣ver come to the end, they reape not the fruit of it, hee cuts them off; so that, if you looke Page  116 to the issue, it is as good as nothing.

3 It tends to their owne hurt, to their owne ruine; if they get wealth, favour with great men, credit, &c. the sword turnes to their owne bowels, their ease slayes them, and it turnes to their owne destruction. Therefore take heed of it; if thou doest goe about it with God, hee will give thee the comfort of it. One thing brought to passe by him, is better than a thousand by them∣selves without him.

*Learne from hence the only remedy against the vanity that all creatures are subject to,* that we have to doe withall; for what is the reason of that mutabilitie, we finde in all things? Is it not from hence, that they have no being of their owne? If you looke to the rocke, to the foun∣dation; from whence they were hewen, and to the hole of the pit, from whence they were digged, they were made of nothing, and are readie to returne to nothing. Take a glasse, or an earthen vessell, they are brittle; if you aske the reason, they are made of brittle ma∣terials: plate is not so; so that this is the reason of all the vanitie under the Sunne, because they are made of nothing. Therefore there is no way to remedie this, but to looke up to God, Act. 17.28.*For in him we live, move, and have our being. This is the meaning of it. They have not onely had their being from him at the first, but their be¦ing is in him. We have our being in him, as the beames in the Sunne, and an accident in the subject.

Page  117Then, if thou wouldest have constan∣cie in any thing, thou must looke up to God. Every creature is mutable; it is so for unchangeable, as constancie is communicated to it from the unchangeable God.

Consider this for matter of grace. When thou hast got any good desires, or good purpo∣ses, at any time, remember that the being of them comes from God. Hence it comes to passe, that good purposes oft-times doe come to nothing, and like sparkes goe out againe; because we re∣member not that they are from God; wee thinke that if wee have good purposes to day, if wee be spiritually minded to day, we shall be so to¦morrow; and thus you deceive your selves, you must consider that the being of them comes from God: that place is remarkeable, 1 Chron. 29.18. when David had rejoyced that the people had offered willingly,* he prayes that GOD would keepe it in the imagination of the thoughts of their hearts: If we would thus hang upon him, and de∣pend on him, when the Spirit hath breathed in us at any time, when we have any sparks of truth, and are warmed with any holy affections, if we would give him the glory of this, that he gives a being, if we would make this prayer that David doth, you would finde it a meanes to make you more equall, and more even in grace. And what I say of this, I say of all other things. It is the fault of us all, we are subject to the which is said of wicked men, Isai. 56.12.*Come yee (say they) I will fetch wine, and we will fill our selves with strong Page  118 drinke, and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

Now, whence comes this? let a man have health to day, he thinkes he shall have it to mor∣row; let him have peace and friends to day, hee thinkes it will be so still. This is every mans thought; and it ariseth from hence, that we for∣get Iehovah, he that continues the being of every thing. If we did remember this, we should say; I doe not know whether it be his pleasure that gives being to them: I know, that if he withdraw his hand, they will come to nothing. It is a great fault to boast of to morrow; hereby you detract from God, and dishonour him exceedingly, you see how he complains of it, Iam. 4.13, 14. you en∣ter upon his royall prerogatives.* It is, as if a man should challenge many 100. acres of ground, and hath not one foot; for future times are properly the Lords. Now, when we will anticipate things in our thoughts, and rejoyce in our projects be∣fore-hand, as if they were come to passe; this is a sinfull rejoycing. And thence it is, that pride goes before a fall; because that when a man begins to lift himselfe upon a creature, and to build upon that which is but vanity, then the Lord begins to take away our foundation, and hinder our purpo∣ses, and then he falls and perisheth. Why doest thou boast of to morrow? Knowest thou what is in the wombe of the day? thou knowest no more, than they know, what is in the wombe of a woman, till they see it.

Now, God hath an over-ruling hand in all Page  119 these, and therefore he doth disappoint us, be∣cause wee are readie to give to the creature that which belongs to himselfe; therefore, if thou wouldest have any thing to continue, depend up∣on him, because all things else are subject to va∣nity, and he only gives being, and continuance to them all.

The Attributes of GOD in generall.

NOw we come to declare to you, how this Essence of God is made knowne. It is by his Attributes; and they are of two sorts:*

1 Either such as describe God in himselfe.

2 Or else such as declare God as he is to us. O∣ther divisions there are, but this is the best that I can finde; because it agrees with the scope of all the Scripture.

For the first, those Attributes that shew God in himselfe, as when the Scripture saith, that God is perfect; as, Be yee perfect, as I am perfect. So when the Scripture saith, that hee is unchangeable, al∣mightie, eternall; these shew what he is in himselfe: then his other Attributes shew what he is to you, as that he is mercifull, patient, abundant in mercie and truth, and that he is all-sufficient to you, &c.

Page  120

The first Attribute of GOD.

[ 1] FIrst then, we will take this out of the Text, I AM hath sent me unto you;

That God is perfect;* he hath all the kindes, de∣grees, and extents of being in him. There be di∣vers kindes of being in the world; some have more, some lesse; some have a more excellent being, some have a lesse excellent; some have a larger being, some a lesser, and yet all are in him; and this is his perfection. Imperfection is a want of some being; Perfection is to have all the de∣grees of being, that belong to a thing in his kind, but all this is in God.

Now God is said to be perfect:

[ 1] Because hee being before any thing was; and therfore, he must needs be ful, without them, and whatsoever they have, they receive it from him. You shall see this in Act. 17.25.*Neither is he wor∣shipped with mens hands, as though hee needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life and breath, and all things. He proves there, that God is perfect; be∣cause he needs nothing, seeing hee gives to all life, and breath, and all things. That which is said of man, may be said of every thing else; What hast thou, that thou hast not received? Therefore, hee that gives it, must needs be full of it. It is said that he made man after his owne Image; and so he makes every thing else, hee is the life of them all. Now the sampler and the life hath more in it, than the image; and therefore the life, and first Page  121 originall; the realty, and first beginning must needs be perfect in himselfe.

[ 2] There is none that can set limits to God, that can set land-markes or bounds to his entitie or being. Every creature hath his severall bounds and limits, thus farre shall they goe, and no fur∣ther; but who hath set bounds to him? When he had set forth his Essence in Isai. 40. he addes,*To whom will you liken GOD? or what likenesse will you compare unto him?

There be these differences betweene the perfe∣ction that is in God, and that which is in any crea∣ture:*

[ 1] All creatures have perfection within their own kinde only, and in such a degree; but he is simply and absolutely perfect, without all respect, with∣out all comparison, he is a mightie sea of being, without banke and bottome; therefore his being is absolute.

[ 2] They have all some imperfection mingled with it; as, take all the creatures, the Angels; take all the Saints, when they are in the highest top, and full of all their blessednesse, yet they have some imperfection, as Iob saith; he hath charged you with folly.

[Object.] But you will say; they are perfect in their kinde, how then are they imperfect?

[Answ.] They have a negative imperfection, though not a privative; they are not deprived of that which should be in them; yet there is a negative imperfection, that is, there be many perfections, which they have not; it cannot be said of any Page  122 creature, as, 1 Ioh. 1.*That in it there is light, and there is no darknesse at all: Of him only can it be said, there is no creature so perfect, but it hath some imperfection.

[ 3] The creature though it be perfect, yet it is ca∣pable of sinne and misery, and it is in possibilitie to lose that perfection it is in; but God is not in possibility to lose that perfection he hath, neither can he be capable of sinne.

[ 4] Take the best, and most exquisite creatures, the Angels; their perfection is made up by some things, that are no substances, by circumstances, which are not substances, which may be separa∣ted, (though they are not;) there is something in them which is better, something which is worse; a substance and an accident, and every accident is separable, it may be lost; you see the evill An∣gels, they fell, they lost that they had: but God is a perfect substance, wholly substance; there is nothing him, by reason of which it may be said, there is something in him that is best, some∣thing that is worse.

[ 5] Though they have perfection, yet they have alwayes need of something; now God hath need of nothing. The creatures, though full of per∣fection in their kinde, yet still they have excee∣ding great need of something. As you say of a river, you will say it hath need, though it be full, it hath need of the fountaine to maintaine it; so may I say of the creatures, though they be full of perfection in their kinde, yet they have need of that fountaine, from whence their perfection Page  123 commeth, which if it be stopt, they will come to nothing.

Thus God is infinitely perfect and immense, having no limits:* For all limits are either from the matter or from the forme; the forme is limi∣ted, because it wants matter to carry it to a fur∣ther extent; and the matter is limited, because it is bounded with such a forme; but in God there is neither matter nor forme; as there is nothing without him, so there is nothing within him to bound that largenesse of being which he hath.

But now to apply this:

[Vse 1] If God be thus full of being, as the sea is full of water, and a thousand times fuller; then all that you can doe, reacheth not to him;*Psal. 16.4.*It extends not to him; the sinnes that you commit hurt him not; all the righteousnesse you per∣forme, doth not pleasure or benefit him: and if it be so, then consider what little cause you have to murmure against him at any time, upon any oc∣casion. For all discontentment among the crea∣tures comes from the hence, that their expectation is not satisfied; and what is the reason, why it is not satisfied▪ but because they thinke that there is some reason why they should bee respected. Therefore examine your owne hearts, whether there be not a secret popery in your hearts, that you think, that you can do somthing that reacheth to God, that he should respect you for: but if God be thus ful, thou canst doe nothing, that can reach to him. But you shall see how prone men are to this; are we not ready to say; Why am I not in Page  124 so great a place as another? Why have not I more gifts? Why have I not greater imploy∣ments? Why have I such imperfections? Why am I thus subject to diseases and crosses? Whence comes this? Because we expect something; be∣cause we thinke we are not well dealt with; and why doe we thinke so? because men thinke, that there is something in them, why they should be lookt after, they thinke that they have carried themselves so, that they thinke there is something in justice due to them. But if thou canst say with David, and Iob, and Christ, when he saith to his disciples; When you have done all, that you can, say that you are unprofitable servants. What if God will not have David to build a Temple, but his sonne must doe it? Or Moses to lead the children of Israel into the Land of Canaan, but Ioshua must have the glory of it? They must be content; yet they did more for God, than ever thou canst doe; therefore thou must labour to be content also. The creature doth but take of him whatsoever it hath, and therefore it can give nothing to him; and shall the River bee beholding to him that drinkes of it, because hee comes and quencheth his thirst? Or shall the Sunne be beholding to him that hath the use of his light? When thou hast done all that thou canst, say thou art an un∣profitable servant, thou canst doe nothing that reacheth to God; therefore labour to be vile, and low in thine owne eyes, and willing to be dispo∣sed of, as it pleaseth him.

*Againe, if this be so, then consider the free∣nesse Page  125 of his grace,* in all the goodnesse which hee bestowes: for to have done any thing for a man before-hand, doth lessen the benefit bestowed. Now consider, that thou hast done nothing to the Lord; therefore labour to magnifie the Lord, that hath bestowed it upon thee. For this cause the Lord will have justification by faith, and not by workes, that he might be magnified: And so he will have sanctification, not by the power of the free-will, but by the infused grace of his Spi∣rit, that no flesh might boast. It is the Lord that is full, it is he that gives it to thee, thou canst doe nothing to him; Rom. 11.35, 36.*Who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompenced him againe; for of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, &c. As if he should say, the Lord out of his free grace had shewed mercy to the Iewes, (for of them he there speakes) they were wet, like Gi∣deons fleece, when all the world was drie. After∣wards it pleased him to bedew the Gentiles, when the Israelites were dry; well, he hath done this, sayes Paul, and what hast thou to say to him? Did he any wrong? Is he not free? May not he doe what he will? This is one use. Another is, that you should be content with his disposing; he owes nothing to any; for of him, and through him, and for him are all things; to him be glory for ever; Amen. [Vse 3]

If hee be thus full, that the creature doth no∣thing to promerit at his hand, then thou mayest goe to God. though thou hast no worth in thee;* though thou hast done little service to God, yet Page  126 goe to him, and say; Lord, I have done nothing; if I had done much, yet it would not reach to thee; thou art full of perfection, and blessed for ever: therefore a man may goe to him with great faith, and aske great things of him, though he be little worth, and hath done little service for him. For, if thou didst God any good, thou mightest goe to him, and say, I have done this and that for thee, therefore recompence me. But seeing it is not so, therefore labour to goe to God in faith, and when thou goest, thinke with thy selfe; why may I not have it aswell as another? Doe not say, I am not so holy, and I cannot doe as Paul and Moses, their workes did nothing to him. Thinke with thy selfe, that when he first chooseth a man, he doth it freely; and thinkest thou that he is not the same afterwards? Therefore, now thou mayest go to him on this ground with boldnesse, because whatsoever thou doest it is nothing to him.

[Vse 4] Moreover, if the Lord be thus full in himselfe, then he hath need of nothing.* He therefore saith to all the men in the world, and to all things; he saith to Princes, I have no need of you; to rich men, I have no need of you, or of your wealth; he saith to Schollers, that have excellent parts, I have no need of you: therefore say not, I am un∣done, or the Churches are undone, because Prin∣ces are not for you; because men helpe you not, for God can helpe them alone; he doth not need Princes: When there was none, saith the LORD, I stirred up my selfe like a mightie Giant, hee needs Page  127 no helpe, he is most perfect, full of being, able to doe whatsoever he pleaseth.

[Vse 5] Againe, consider with thy selfe, that if thou∣sand thousands perish, it is nothing to him;* hee cares no more for the destruction of the whole world, than thou doest for the throwing away of a little dust; he is full of excellencie and perfecti∣on; you see how often he sweepes away whole kingdomes with the besome of destruction, nay, he swept away the whole world by the Floud, as you doe sweepe a little dust out of your houses. Therfore do not thou dispute with God, and aske, why are so many damned? why are so many swept away? thinke with thy selfe, that he, that was before all things were, will be when they are gone: therefore learne with Paul, to reverence his judgements, to feare and tremble before him. He is full of being, and though thou perish, what is that to him? Wilt thou dispute with God? thou art but a particle of dust. What art thou that con∣tendest with him? let the Potsheard strive with potsheards of the earth, but not with God. Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, what makest thou?

[Vse 6] Againe, if God be thus full, then consider why hee hath laid such a commandement on thee,* to doe such and such things. It is for himselfe? no, for thy righteousnesse, thy keeping of his Law reacheth not to him. What is it for, then? Sure∣ly it is for thy selfe, and for thy good. If for thee he hath commanded, and every commandement is for thy wealth; then consider what reason Page  128 thou hast to walke in his wayes; he saith, as kinde parents to their children, when they exhort them to good courses, it will be for your owne good; and if you doe it not, it will be for your hurt: as it is said of the Sabbath, It was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; that is, God appointed the Sabbath for mans advantage, he would be undone else; he would grow wilde, and forget God: and as it is said of the Sabbath, so it is true of every Commandement; therefore that is put to every Commandement; The Commandement, which I command you for your wealth, Is••••. 36. 17.* that is, when ever I command you any thing, it is not for mine owne sake, not, that I might be served and worshipped, (though that is joyned with it) but it is for your profit, whatsoever I command. This then should stirre us up to goe about holy duties willingly, after another manner than we doe. No man will serve himselfe unwillingly, (though, it may be, he will other men.) Now, all the Com∣mandements of God doe tend to our owne ad∣vantage: for to that end hath he appointed them. Keepe the Commandements and live in them: you live in them, as fire doth by wood, and the creatures by their food. If a man did consider this, hee would doe this in another manner; wee goe about our owne businesse with intention, be∣cause it is our owne; so if we were perswaded, that what God did command, it were for our own good, you would doe it in all diligence; you would not only goe, but runne the wayes of his Commandements; you would not only take hea∣ven,Page  129 but you would take 〈◊〉 with violence, and with all your might and strength, you would do what∣soever he commands, for it is for your own pro∣fit, and not for his.

[Vse 7] If God be thus ful, then you should give him the praise of his perfection,* and stay your thoughts upon him. It is a thing that we come short of, for the most part, for we are ready to aske, what is God to us? what profit, what good is it to us? (for that is the base nature of ours;) but grace teacheth us otherwise, we must learne to know God, to honour and magnifie him in our thoughts for himselfe. Some men have a greater know∣ledge of God, some lesse; hee that hath more, he is able to set him up higher in his apprehension, and to give him the more praise, Psal. 68.1.*Ex∣alt him in his name IAH, that is, consider that he alone is ful of being, and gives being to all things; therefore (saith he) praise him, and extoll him for this, and let your thoughts be upon him.

[Quest.] But must it be a bare and empty thought of him onely?

[Answ.] No, you shall know it by these foure things, if you thinke aright of God indeed:

[ 1] Thou wilt esteeme his enmitie and friendship above all things;* thou wilt not regard the crea∣tures at all; either in the good, or hurt that they can doe thee: if thou canst see the fulnesse of be∣ing that is in him, and the emptinesse that is in every creature; then, if he be thy friend, he is all in all to thee; and if he be thine enemie, thou wilt consider that hee that is full of all strength, and Page  130 power, and being, that he is thine enemie, and that his enmity is heavy, for hee which is, is against thee. If the creature be set against thee, it is but as a little clay or dust, they cannot hurt thee, unlesse his arme goe along with it; and then it is not that creature, but his arme that doth it: As when they came to take Christ, it is said, hee passed thorow the midst of them; they were to him as a little dust, and as the armie that came against David, Ioshua, and Elisha, they were to them as a little water; but when God comes against a man, then every little thing, if he pleaseth to extend and joyne his power, he is able therewith to quell the strongest man. Then, one man shall chase a thousand, and a thousand shall put ten thousand to flight, Deut. 28.* He is as a mighty river, that carries all before it, Nahum 1.* Therefore regard the enmity of the creature, as small things, his enmity is only to be respected.

[ 2] If thou thinkest of him thus, then thou wilt be satisfied with him; for thou hast him that is, and thou wantest only the thing that is not;* and there∣fore thou must say, when thou hast lost any thing, I have lost that which is nothing; when thou hast gained any thing, say, that thou hast gotten that which is nothing: it is a hard thing to say so, but yet it is so; as it is said of riches in the Prov. 23.5. so it is true of honour, pleasure, pro∣fit, &c. Indeed riches to men are their substance, so they call them, but to God they are nothing; and so he cals them: riches, honour, &c. they have but a little diminutive being, as if they were no∣thing. Page  131 And they are nothing in two respects:

  • 1 In comparison of God, they are nothing.
  • 2 Because they are able to doe nothing.

So other comparisons argue, as that they are flowers, and false treasures, and shadowes: now doth any man grieve, if his shadow doth disap∣peare; or that he hath lost a flower. Therefore learne to magnifie God, for he is all; thou wantest nothing, if thou hast him; he is all in heaven, and why should hee not be so here? Because when Peter said they had left all; Christ tels them they should have an hundred fold, and why? be∣cause they had a full communion with God; and therefore, they had all the comfort that friends or lands could afford; he was in stead of all to them, as Paul, when hee was in prison, was not God all to him? and what need had he of riches, or lands, or friends? for friends are but to com∣fort a man; and money, it can doe no more than man can doe; and praise, and honour doe but knit mens hearts to us; now, if we have the light of Gods countenance, we need not mans helpe; if God will put forth his power for us, what need we any thing else? if he will heale us, what needs the Physitian? if hee will cloath us, and give us meat and drinke, then what needs wealth? Therefore labour to be satisfied with him, to prize and esteeme him, and to thinke him to be all in all.

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EXODVS. 3.13.14, 15.

13 And Moses said unto GOD; behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them; The GOD of your Fa∣thers hath sent me unto you, and they shall say unto mee, What is his Name? what shall I say unto them?

14 And GOD said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel; I AM hath sent me unto you.

15 And GOD said moreover unto Moses, Page  134 Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Is∣rael; The LORD GOD of your Fa∣thers, the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Iacob hath sent me unto you: this is my Name for ever, and this is my memoriall unto all genera∣tions.

[ 3] COnsider, whether your mindes ga∣ther an holy magnanimitie even from hence,* that you have the Lord for your God: for, if he be most per∣fect, if hee hath the fulnesse of all things in him; then if you have him, the minde is ready to grow to an holy kind of greatnesse; for it is the greatnesse of the object, that makes the minde great: and the greatnesse of the minde ap∣pears in this, that it doth not esteeme smal things. Animo magno nihil est magnum; When a man can, out of this consideration, that the LORD is my Sunne, and shield, and exceeding great reward, contemne and reckon all things else as matters of small moment; it is an argument that he hath, in truth, apprehended God, as hee ought to appre∣hend him. I say, this is true holy magnanimity: there is a false magnanimity; whereas mens mindes are great, because they grow great with men, because of their great hopes, and riches, and great learning; this is a false greatnesse, because it drawes men from God; it is such a greatnesse as Page  135 the arme hath, when it is swelled, which riseth not from the strength and true greatnesse of it, but from the weaknesse of it. This is of an ill kinde; but there is another kinde of greatnesse, when the minde growes therefore to an holy magnanimity, because it is set upon the great God: as David, he had such a magnanimity, Psal. 27.1.3.*The LORD is my light, and my salvation, whom shall I feare? The LORD is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Though an host of men should incampe against me, my heart should not feare, &c.

If there be any thing in this world to be re∣garded, it is an host of men; because it is the powerfullest thing amongst men; but I will not regard it. Why? not because hee was stron∣ger than they, but because God was his life and strength; when his minde raised up it selfe to such a greatnesse, upon this consideration, then he was able to contemne these things, that were to be contemned. Such was the greatnesse of minde, which was found in Moses, Hebr. 11. he cared not for the favour,* or disfavour of the King, Because hee saw, enjoyed, and bore himselfe upon him, which was invisible.

[ 4] Consider, whether you exalt him as God, you shall know it by this,* by seeking to him to fill up all those defects and imperfections, that we meet with in our lives, from day to day. Beloved, there are many things that we want; as if we lose a friend, we complaine of a want; if we lose fa∣ther or mother, it is a want; yea, if wee lose no∣thing, Page  136 yet we find many defects which we would have made up: now, what is the way to doe it? If thou thinkest to make them up by the creature, thou wilt finde it to be but a small bush that will not stop the gap; but if thou goest to him that is all in all, Coloss. 3. if thou seekest to make it up in him,* when any thing is lost: when the bucket is broken, if thou goest to the fountaine; if a beame be cut off that was given and shined thorow the creature, if thou goest to the Sunne, that can give the like beame thorow another creature; if thou seekest to have communion with him, then it is an argument that thou esteemest him as thou oughtest to doe.

[Object.] Every man will say; I seeke to the Lord, I looke for all my comfort from him.

[Answ.] Yea, but how doest thou bestow thy labour? Isai. 55.2.*Wherefore doe you spend money for that, which is not bread? and your labour for that, which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto mee, and eat that which is good, and let your soule delight it selfe in fatnesse. Let a man consider in this case, how he bestoweth his paines: if he thinke to have all in God, he will save his paines, and not lay it out up∣on vanitie, but he will bestow it to some purpose; that is, he will take much paines to seeke his fa∣vour in all things, and looke to him for a supply of all, and not to the creatures, because they can doe but little, they have no power, no strength to doe any thing, they are of no moment; but if God be pleased to make up the defect, then if he have but little wealth, he will make it to serve his turne; if Page  137 he have but one friend, it shall be to him, as if he had many; if he hath but a little credit, it shall be to him, as if he had a great name, &c. all things else are but of a little bulke without him.

[Object.] But the creatures are of great moment, expe∣rience shewes them to be something: for, who lives without them? Againe, are not wee com∣manded to pray for outward blessings? and wee are not to pray for that which is nothing. Again, doth not the Scripture reckon them so? they are things for which we must be thankfull, and the want of them doth afflict us, and we must esteeme it as a chastisement. Now, no man will be thank∣full, or afflict himselfe for that which is nothing; and therefore there is something in the creature, they are not altogether nothing or vanitie.

To this we will give a threefold answer:*

[Answ. 1] Though they be something; yet their efficacy is not from themselves, but from the Lord. A horse is able to doe something, but to save a man, it is a vaine thing; the builder builds, but it is no∣thing, and the watch-men watch in vaine with∣out the Lord; the efficacie that they have to doe us hurt or good,* is from him, and not from them∣selves: If God will say to the creature; Goe, and doe such a man good, it will doe it, because there goes a concourse of efficacie from him to doe it: So, if he say to a creature, Goe to such a man, and afflict him, it will doe it, though it be never so small and meane a creature; therefore of them∣selves they neither doe good nor hurt, the effica∣cie that they have is from him, and not from Page  138 themselves: they are meere instruments; and if God withdraw his blessing and cursing, they can doe us neither good nor hurt.

[Answ. 2] We say that they are nothing, because they are at his command;* if he would doe us good, hee never wants one to send of his errand; if he will make a man rich, he wants not wealth, it is at his command; if he will give a man friends, he can fetch them againe; if all thy friends be present, yet they stirre not, unlesse he command. The rich and the poore, they meet together, but the LORD makes them both. And in this regard, riches are said to be nothing, Prov. 23.*Riches take to them∣selves wings, and fly away; And, why doest thou set thy heart upon that which is nothing? That is, they goe and come at his command; and therfore they are to be accounted as nothing. If a man see a flocke of the best fowle on his land, yet he looks upon them as nothing to him, because they have wings and will fly away; and you should thinke so of all things else; that they have wings, that they goe and come at his command, that they are nothing, because they are nothing to you.

[Answ. 3] They are nothing, because they can doe but little good; and that which they do, is of no con∣tinuance;* and therefore they are said to be vani∣tie. So that put the case that they have some effi∣cacie in them, (when yet they are acted by the Lord;) yea, put the case that they were at their owne command (as they are not) yet they can doe but little good, and that is of so short conti∣nuance, that therefore they are vanity, they are Page  139 nothing; because they are little more than no∣thing; as Salomon calleth them; all things under the Sunne are vanitie; they are emptie things; and that which is under the Sun cannot reach above the Sunne; and therefore they are said to be va∣nitie.

[Object.] But if you say that they are great things, and therefore you see how the Prophets did magni∣fie them, and did set forth the greatnesse of affli∣ctions in the want of them.

[Answ.] I answer, that they are of use indeed, in re∣gard of the weaknesse of the creature, and the continuance of this life; but if they be compared to eternitie, they are nothing; and againe, if the Lord be with us in the want of them, they are no∣thing; if the Lord send us afflictions, and give us his favour and the light of his countenance, it is nothing; if he send us into prison, if he be with us, it will be nothing: As, on the contrary, if a man had a brave Palace, and God was not with him, if he did withdraw his favour from him, all were nothing.

Page  140

The second Attribute of GOD.

The next Attribute,* which likewise may bee drawne from this place, is this:

That GOD is the first, without all causes,*having his being, and beginning from himselfe. This I finde set downe in Rev. 1.8.*I am ALPHA and O∣MEGA, the beginning and the ending, saith the LORD, which is, which was, and which is to come, the Almightie, that is, what Alpha and Omega are in the letters, that I am to the creatures; I am the first, and the last; that is, if I should suffer the creatures to fall, then I should be the last; and I am He they would returne unto, Rev. 3.14.*Christ, according to his God-head, is said to be the begin∣ning of the creation of GOD, Isai. 44.6.*I am the first, and last: The meaning of it is, that he is without all causes, that he is from himselfe, and by himselfe, and of himselfe, and for himselfe, Rom. 11.36. that is,* he is the first, hee never had any efficient cause, as all the creatures have; that which hath no efficient cause, hath no end; that which hath no end, hath no forme; (for the forme doth but serve to carry a thing to such an end) that which hath no forme, hath no matter, for the matter is dependent on the forme; and so con∣sequently, he is without all cause. But wee will shew you the grounds of this, they are these three:

*He is without all cause: for, if there were any cause of him, that cause must needs be caused, Page  141 either from some other, or from it selfe, not from any other; for then there should be something that is before the Lord, that is better than he, from whom he receives all things; but that cannot be: for, then it should be God, and not the Lord; and it is not from it selfe, because nothing is the cause of it selfe, for then it should be before it selfe, and it should be better than it selfe; for the cause, though it give the same that is in it selfe, to the effect, as the father to the sonne; yet the cause is better, because that which gives, is better than that which receives.

Againe, it should be different from it selfe, for the cause is different from the effect: therefore it must needs be, that he is without all cause, and the first, and the beginning of all the creatures of God.

Wheresoever you see any thing,* that hath but a part of another, it must needs receive it from some whole; and if it doth receive it from that which is but a part; yet by degrees it must come to some whole, as to the fountaine; as for exam∣ple, if iron or wood be on fire, &c. they have but a part of that element, which argues that there is some whole.

But it may be said,*

[Answ.] That cannot be; because whatsoever hath any thing originally, must have the whole, and not a part; as the Sunne, because it hath the light origi∣nally, therefore it hath not a part, but the whole, though afterward it gives light to many; so a Page  142 fountaine, that hath water originally, hath not the part, but the whole, though afterwards it runnes into many brookes; and if there were but one fountaine, as there is but one Sunne, then all the water would be in that fountaine, as the light is in the Sunne.

Now to apply this, looke upon all the crea∣tures, and you shal find that they have all but part of being; the Angels have one part, men another, and other creatures another part, &c. which is an argument that there is a whole, which is GOD blessed for ever.

Besides, it argues that he hath that wholenesse of being from himselfe; for he that hath but part of a thing, doth borrow it, and therefore must come to the originall; for nothing is borrowed but it is from another, and not from it selfe; ther∣fore, seeing the creatures have but a part of being, it presupposeth that there is a whole, that there is an immense being, that is of himselfe, and from himselfe, and hath it not from any creature.

*Lastly, there is nothing that the eye hath seene, or that the eare hath heard, but it is possible not to be; there is almost nothing but is subject to corruption; but if it be not so, yet they have a possibility not to be; as the heavens, though they are not corrupted, yet they may be: now what∣soever hath a possibility not to be, it is certaine that it was not, & that which was not, is brought to a being by him that is; so that you must come to something which is, that is the cause, that is the beginning and ending, that is without cause, Page  143 that is α and ο, he that was, and that is to come.

Now we come to application.

[Vse 1] If the Lord be without all cause, this we may gather then, that he doth not will any thing, be∣cause it is just,* or desire it, because it is good, or love any thing, because it is pleasant; for there is no cause without him, all perfection is in him ori∣ginally.

The creatures indeed desire things, because they are good; and love them, because they are plea∣sant; because they seeke for perfection out of themselves, because they are caused by that which is out of themselves: but this is not so in God, who is the first cause, because, of the first cause there is no cause; and of the first reason there is no reason to be given. Looke whatsoever is in the creature, what justice or excellencie, it comes from God; and if he should will any thing for this cause; because it is good, there should be a reciprocation, which is impossible. I speake this for this end; that in our judging of the waies of God, we should take heed of framing a mo∣dell of our owne, as to thinke, because such a thing is just; therefore the Lord wils it: the rea∣son of this conceit is, because we thinke that God must goe by our rule; we forget this, that every thing is just because he wils it; it is not that God wils it, because it is good or just. But we should proceed after another manner, wee should finde out what the will of God is; for in that is the rule of justice and equity; for otherwise it was possi∣ble that the Lord could erre, though he did never Page  144 erre: that which goes by a rule, though it doth not swarve, yet it may; but if it be the rule it selfe, it is impossible to erre. As, if the Carpen∣ters hand be the rule, he strikes a right line. The Angels and creatures have a rule, and therefore may erre; but it is not so with God, and therefore what God wils is just, because he is the rule it selfe; therefore in the mysteries of predestination, we are to say thus with our selves; Thus I finde the Lord hath set it downe, thus he hath expressed himselfe in his Word, such is his pleasure; and therefore it is reason, and just such against which there can be no exception.

[Vse 2] If God be without all cause, then he may doe all things for himselfe, and for his owne glory;* because he that hath no cause above, or without himselfe, he needs not doe any thing but for him∣selfe. The Angels, they have a cause above, and without themselves, therefore they must doe nothing for themselves, but for another, Rom. 11. last, Of him are all things, therefore to him be glory: that place shewes us a ground of this, why wee must not expect, that God should doe any thing for any other end, for any other creature in the world; for having no end above himselfe, it is impossible that hee should have any end but himselfe, Prov. 16.4. The LORD hath made all things for himselfe; yea, even the wicked for the day of evill. Whereas this objection might be made; Will he cast men to hell? will hee damne them for his owne glory? Yes (saith he) all his acti∣ons even that also is for his own sake; Rom. 9.22. Page  145 there it is more large: What if GOD willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power knowne, endu∣red with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fil∣led to destruction? &c. This is enough, he hath no end, no cause above himselfe; and therefore it is reason enough, he doth it because he will doe it. And this is a thing to be observed out of the 19. and 20. verses, where the same reason is given that we now speake of, Who hath? &c. saith the Apostle, if you looke on God, and the creatures, you shall finde this difference betweene them; all the creatures are made, as pots are made by the potters; and therefore, as they have an author of their being, so they doe serve for another end; so that the potter he may appoint what end hee will, and no man can say, why doest thou it? So God, because hee is the first cause, hee may have what end he will, and no man can say, why doest thou so? hee may make some vessels of honour, and some of dishonour, and all for himselfe, and his owne glory: therefore, when you see that he did not spare the Angels, but cast them downe into hell, there to be reserved in chaines of darknesse till the last day; when you see him not sparing the old world, when you see him suffering the Gentiles to walke in their owne wayes; when you see him to suffer a great part of the world to be damned, and to perish; when you see him let the Churches to be made havocke of, you should be ready to say thus, To him be glory for ever: that is, you should not murmure against him, but glori∣fie him, and reverence him for ever: for he may Page  146 doe all things for himselfe. And this is the reason that is rendred, Matth. 20.15, 16.*May not I doe what I will with mine owne? He gives it there as the reason, why many are called and few chosen, why the Iewes were first, and the Gentiles last: why he let goes many probable men, and choo∣seth the worst; saith he, May not I doe with mine owne what I will? Beloved, this difference is to be observed betweene the creatures and God; there is no creature can say of any thing, that this is mine owne, because he made it not, they are not the masters of them; but God may doe what hee will, what he pleaseth, because they are his owne. If God will take a few out of a Nation, and de∣stroy all the rest, who can say any thing to him? they are his owne; as he is without all cause, so he is without all end. Now, as this is of use to justifie God, in that it is his property to be with∣out all cause; so it may teach us;

[Vse 3] That man may not doe any thing for his owne end,* but he is bound to doe all for an higher end, as hee that made us hath appointed, for the effi∣cient can make a thing to what end he please. You see it is so with men, as a knife is made to cut, a key to open, &c. and yet they are all of one ma∣teriall: so the Lord looking downe from heaven, he made of one heape of clay severall creatures, and appointed to every one his several end, which end they must observe and aime at; and if they doe not, they wrong him that made them; and therefore it is hee destroyes them. And so it is with every thing that is made for an end; as fire, Page  147 that is made to warme a man, if it doe burne the house, we put it out; a vessell that is made to keep wine or beare, if it doe corrupt it, we lay it aside, and put it into one more wholesome: so doth God, he puts to every man his severall end, and therefore he gives them severall gifts, and severall callings: himselfe, indeed, is the generall end, but besides the generall, he appoints to every calling a particular end; to a Minister he saith, Goe, and feed my sheepe; if he goes, and feeds himselfe, and not the people; if he feed them with stubble, and not with hay, hee doth not attaine his end; and so may I say of every thing else; of a schol∣ler, a Magistrate, a husband; they have severall places, and divers gifts given them, and all for their severall end, and if they aime not at their end, but worke for themselves, they are worthy to be destroyed: as a man, if hee hath an instru∣ment that is crooked, and unfit for use, then hee casts it away, and taketh another; but if it be fit, he will lay it up for use, and he will say, let it not be lost: so doth the Lord with men, if they be pliable to him, if they will worke for the end that he hath appointed them, then he saves and preserves them; but if they will doe things for their owne end, it is the next way to destruction.

For observe this; for any man to do any thing for his owne end, is to arrogate that to himselfe, which is the Lords, who is without cause, which is an high kinde of idolatry. Let them consider this therefore, that labour that they may be rich, that labour that they might have outward excel∣lencie, Page  148 and to be something in the flesh, that la∣bour only for outward honour, for places of im∣ployment, and credit in all things; so a scholler that is negligent, he saith, I shall make a shift to live; but hast thou not another end? art thou not made? art thou not a creature? is it enough for thee to live, and no more? so they that have their estates provided for them, they care not for lear∣ning, they say, they can live without it; but art not thou made? and is not this thine end, to serve God and men? So he that shall choose a calling or course of life, according to his owne fancie, not that which shall be serviceable to men, but that which pleaseth himselfe, let him aske himselfe this question; Am I not made? Am I not a crea∣ture? have I no other end, but my selfe? There∣fore let men consider this, and looke to it; have I not chosen this course of life, and have I not an end appointed to me? That end is to be service∣able to God, and profit men: But if a man shall thinke with himselfe, what is the best way to live and provide for my selfe, and to get profit and wealth; these are idolatrous and sinful thoughts. God may doe all things for himselfe, because he hath nothing above himselfe; [Object.] but if thou dost so, thou provokest him to wrath exceedingly.

[Answ.] *But you will say, I doe all for this end, to serve God and men?

Thou that doest pretend this, that thou doest things to be serviceable to God and men, and not to thy selfe, thou shalt know it by this:

[ 1] 1 If thou puttest thy selfe to things that are Page  149 above thee, it is a signe that thou doest it not for his sake, that hath appointed thee, but for thine owne.

2 If thou art fit for an higher place, if thou restest in things that are beneath thee, for thy greater profit, thou seekest thy selfe, and not the Lord.

3 If thou doest resist the providence of God, that when thou hast a calling, and art put in it, and thou puttest thy selfe out again for thy advantage, then thine end is thine owne selfe. Paul when he went to Macedonia, hee found but bad entertain∣ment there, yet he went, because he was sent. So Iohn, he went to Pathmos, where the people were but few, and barbarous, yet he obeyed God, and went. Eliah, when he was sent to Ahab, and to prophesie to the Israelites, among whom, for all that hee knew, there was not one soule, that did not bow his knee to Baal. Ezekiel and Isaiah, when they went to harden the people to destruction, yet they went willingly, because the Lord sent them; it was an argument that they did it not for them∣selves. A servant is not to doe his owne worke, he doth it as his master will have him to doe it; if he doth the things that his master bids him, and saith, I am his servant; and if he bid me to goe, I will goe, or if he bid me come, I will come; if he bid me to keepe within doore, and to doe the meanest works, I will doe them; this is an argu∣ment that he doth not seeke himselfe. When a man is thus dependent upon God, willing to take imployment, not above him, nor below him, nor Page  150 resist his providence, but willing to be guided by him, it is a signe that he seekes the Lord, and not himselfe.

4 Besides, let a man consider what he doth in these services that immediatly concerne the Lord himselfe. If a man shall study much, and pray lit∣tle; if a man shall spend all his time in his calling about worldly businesse, and little time for duties to build up himselfe in knowledge, as in prayer and reading, &c. it is a signe that he doth it, not for the Lord, but for himselfe; for he that seekes not the Lord, in that which is done to his person, he doth it not in that which is done in outward workes; he that will not be faithfull in the grea∣ter, and that which God doth immediately com∣mand in his worship, he will never be faithfull in those things which are further off, that are of lesse consequence, Act. 6.4.* It was an argument they gave themselves in integrity, to the ministry of the Word, because they gave themselves to prayer as well as it; they did, as it were, divide the time between both; if we were to preach on∣ly, say the Apostles, we could then wait upon Ta∣bles, but one halfe of our time is to be taken up in prayer, the other in preaching: and if you thus divide the time, it is a signe you look to the Lord.

5 Besides, consider what it is that troubles thee? what a man aimes at, if he lose his end, that grieves him, when his worke is done; if this be thy trouble that thou hast lost some credit, or profit, then thine end is thy selfe; but if this be thy griefe, that thou hast not done it in such m••∣sure, Page  151 that others may receive profit and advantage by it, it is a signe that thou diddest it not for thy selfe, but for Gods glory.

6 Besides, if a man considers what it is that doth make things pleasant, and gives amabilitie to that, which is harsh in it selfe. Labour in it selfe is sweet to no man, unlesse there be something in it that sweetens it: now consider what that is, if in it thy eye is upon thy wealth, that comes by it; if thou studiest hard, and if thou preachest much, and it is for the praise of men, thou seekest thy selfe, and thy reward is in it; but if thou lookest up to the Lord, if thou doest it, because he sees it, and knowes it, and that he may say; I know thy worke and thy labour; it is a signe that thy end in it, was the Lord, and not thy selfe.

7 From whence doest thou looke for wages? from God or from men? Whence come those complaints of the unthankfulnesse of friends and pupils, and those we doe good to? but because we looke to men, and not to God. For if we did looke to God for our reward, their thankfulnesse or unthankfulnesse would be of small moment to us: for doth the Nurse nurse the childe for it own sake only? doth shee looke for reward from the child, or from the mother that putteth it to nurse; if you look for your reward from men; they are your end; but if you looke for it from the Lord, their encouragements or discouragements will not much move you.

8 Againe, consider wherin thy minde resteth, for that which a man makes his end, therein his Page  152 minde resteth, and in nothing besides: a husband-man, though he doth plow and sow, &c. yet he rests not til he comes to the harvest: he that hews stone, and squares timber, doth it, and stayes not till the house be built: therefore, doe thou con∣sider with thy selfe, in all thy workes, what it is that gives rest to thy thoughts; if thou doest say, I have now wealth and riches enough, and means enough, I have gotten what I aimed at, and now my soule is at rest; if thou sayest, I have now ho∣nour and name enough, my children be well pro∣vided for; and therefore your soule rest in this; then this was your end, and not the Lord; wheras you ought to say, though I have provided for my children, yet doe they feare the Lord? are they brought home to him? My trade hath brought me home much, but how serviceable have I been with it? I have much credit and estate, but what glory hath it brought to IESVS CHRIST? So he that is a Minister; it is true, I have enough, enough credit, enough for estate; but what is this? have I brought any glory to the Lord? have I converted any? if thy heart can have no rest, but in the Lord, and in the things that belong to the Lord, it is an argument that thine eye was upon him.

Remember this, that seeing we are made, seeing we have an higher cause, and that to be without cause belongs to God alone; therefore wee must carry our selves as creatures; as it is said of Da∣vid, he served his time; hee did nothing for his owne end, but he carried himselfe as a servant, he Page  153 did not say; I will have so much pleasure, and then serve God; he did not cut the Lord short, but he served his time, he gave the Lord the whole day. It was the comfort that IESVS CHRIST had, when he was to goe out of the world, Iohn 17.4.*I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the worke that thou gavest me to doe; that is, I was as a servant, and I chose not my worke, but it is that which thou gavest me, and I have not done it by halfes, but I have finished it; therefore glo∣rifie thou me. So, if thou canst say it, when thou goest out of the world, that will be thy comfort at that day; but if not, remember that it is the Lords manner of dealing, when men will seeke themselves, and their owne end; he layes them aside, as we doe broken vessels, fit for no more use, and he takes another. If there be any here, that can say so, that the Lord hath laid thee aside, and taken thy gifts from thee; remember, consi∣der with thy selfe, that hadst thou used them to his glory, and made him thy end, be sure that he would not have laid thee aside, but that he would have used thee. Beloved, we see it by experience, that men of small parts, yet if they had humble hearts, and did use them in the simplicitie of their spirits to Gods glory, then he hath enlarged them, and used them in greatest imployments. Againe, on the contrary side; men of excellent parts, they have withered, because they did not use them to Gods glory, therefore he hath layd them aside as broken vessels.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  155


EXODVS. 3.13, 14, 15.

13 And Moses said unto GOD; behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them; The GOD of your Fa∣thers hath sent me unto you, and they shall say unto mee, What is his Name? what shall I say unto them?

14 And GOD said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel; I AM hath sent unto you.

15 And GOD said moreover unto Moses, Page  156 Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Is∣rael; The LORD GOD of your Fa∣thers, the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Iacob hath sent me unto you: this is my Name for ever, and this is my memoriall unto all genera∣tions.

The third Attribute of GOD.

WE come now to a third Attribute, and that is the Eternity of GOD;* for God doth not say, He that was, but He that is, hath sent me unto you. He that is without all cause, the effi∣cient and finall, he must needs be eternall; he that hath no beginning nor end, must needs be eter∣nall: and besides, in that he saith, I am that I am, not, I am that I was, it must needs be that hee is without succession.

Therefore from hence we may gather, that

GOD is Eternall.

*In handling of this point, we will shew you,

[ 1] First, wherein this consists.

[ 2] The reason, why it must be so.

[ 3] The differences.

Page  157 [ 4] The consectaries, that flow from these distin∣ctions of eternitie.

[ 1] For the first, you must know, that to eternitie these five things are required:*

[ 1] It must not only have a simple, but a living and most perfect being. For eternity is a transcendent property, and therefore can be in none, but in the most excellent and perfect being, and therefore it must be a living being. This we have expressed in Isai. 57.15.*Thus saith the high and loftie one, that inhabiteth eternitie, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, &c. As if he should say; there is no house fit for him to dwell in, that is high and excellent, but only the house of eterni∣tie. Where eternity is compared to an house or habitation, to which none can enter, but God him∣selfe, because he onely is high and excellent; all the creatures are excluded out of this habitation.

[ 2] It is required to eternity, that there be no be∣ginning; which description you shall see of it in Psal. 90.2.* LORD, thou hast beene our dwelling place in all generations; before the mountaines were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth, or the world; even from everlasting to everlasting thou art GOD.

[ 3] And here also you have the third expression; and that is, to have no ending, he is not only from everlasting, but to everlasting.

[ 4] There is no succession: as, suppose all the plea∣sures that are in a long banquet, were drawne to∣gether into one moment; suppose all the acts of mans understanding, and will, from the begin∣ning Page  158 of his life to the end, could be found in him in one instant; such is eternity. God possesseth all things altogether, he hath all at once, Ioh. 8.58.*Verily, verily I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am: As if hee should say, there is no time past, present, or to come with me; he doth not say, be∣fore Abraham was, I was, but I am, and therefore he is eternall.

[ 5] He is the dispenser of all time to others; he is Lord of all time, al times do but issue out of him, as rivers from the sea; he dispenseth them as it plea∣seth him, Psal. 90. compare verse 2. and 3. toge∣ther,*Before the Mountaines were brought forth, &c. even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art GOD. Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest; returne yee children of men. He sets time to the sonnes of men; where we shall see that this is the property of him, that is eternall, to set times and seasons to men, &c.

[ 2] The reason why God must be eternall,* is this, because he is what he is of himselfe, he is with∣out all cause, and therefore can have no beginning or ending; and therefore he must of necessitie be without all motion, and without all succession, for all succession presupposeth motion, and all motion presupposeth a cause and effect; for what∣soever is moved, is either moved from no being to a being, or from an imperfect, to a more per∣fect being; that is, to be moved to an higher de∣gree: now God that hath nothing in him to be perfected, is not capable of a further and higher degree.

Page  159 [ 3] The third thing is the difference betweene the eternitie of God, and the duration of all creatures,* which consists in these particulars:

[ 1] They, even the best of them, have but an halfe eternitie, they are not from everlasting, though they are to everlasting.

[ 2] That eternall duration that they have, is not intrinsecall to them, it is dependent, they receive it from another.

[ 3] They cannot communicate it to another, nor extend it beyond themselves; the Angels, though they bee eternall, yet they cannot make other things to be eternall; God onely can doe this.

[ 4] All the acts of the creatures, all their pleasures and thoughts, and whatsoever is in them doe ad∣mit a succession, a continuall flux and motion; but in God it is not so; he is as a rocke in the wa∣ter that stands fast though the waves move about it; so is it with God: and though the creatures ad∣mit of a continuall flux and succession about him, as the waves doe; yet there is none in him. And these are the differences betweene the eternity of God, and the duration of all the creatures. Now followes the fourth thing.

[ 4] The consectaries that flow from hence, they are these two:

If this be the eternity of God,* then to him all time, that is to come, is, as it were, past, Psal. 90.4.*A thousand yeares in his sight are but as yester∣day, when it is past: that is, a thousand yeares that are to come, thay are to him as past; they are no∣thing to him. And againe, a thousand yeeres that Page  160 are past, are as it were, present to him, as we heard before: Before Abraham was, I am: For he pos∣sesseth all things together; by reason of the vast∣nesse of his being, to him all things are present. As he that stands upon an high mountaine, and lookes downe (it is a simile that the Schoole-men often use;) though to the passenger that goes by, some are before, some behinde, yet to him they are all present. So though one generation pas∣seth, and another commeth; yet to God, that in∣habits and stands upon eternity, they are the same, they are all present, there is no difference. And then this followes from hence, that to God no time is either long or short,* but all times are alike to him; therefore he is not subject to any delayes or expectances; he is not subject to any feares, for they are of things to come; nor to the translation of griefe, or pleasure, or the losse of any excellencie, that before hee had not, as all creatures are; therfore we should consider of the excellencie of God, to give him the praise of it: this use is made of it, in 1 Tim. 1.17.*Now unto the King eternall, immortall, invisible, and the only wise GOD, be honour, and glory for ever and ever, A∣men: As if he should say; this very considera∣tion, that God is eternall, should cause us to give him praise: and so is that in Isai. 57.15.*

*Eternitie makes that which is good, to be infi∣nitely more good than it is, and that which is evill,* to be much more evill; and that not onely in respect of duration (that which is good for a weeke, is better for a yeare; and an evill, when it Page  161 continues an infinite time, it is infinitely more evill,) but also in regard of that collection into one, which is found in those things that continue to eternitie: as when all joyes are collected into one heape, and all griefe into one center; so that you shall joy as much in one instant, as ever here∣after; so that though the thing be still but the same, yet the continuance makes it infinitely more good.

[Vse 1] Seeing eternitie is a propertie of God; wee should learne hence, to minde most the things that are eternall,* for they are, of all other things, of the greatest moment, because they doe most participate of this transcendent propertie of the almightie. God is eternall, the soule is eternall, heaven and hell are eternall; therefore they are more to be regarded of us. You shall see this in 1 Ioh. 2.17. as a reason why we should not minde the things of the world;* because the world va∣nisheth, it passeth away, and the lusts thereof (saith the Apostle;) that is, looke upon all the things below, and both the things passe, and your affe∣ctions and desires passe, that which you love to day, to morrow you will not love; therefore love them not, regard them not, for they are of a flitting and passing nature, but he that doth the will of the LORD abides for ever; and therefore we are to minde such things most: such as the King is, such are his subjects, and such are the rewards and punishments that he gives. Now God, hee is eternall, 1 Tim. 1.17.*To the King eternall, immor∣tall, invisible, and only wise GOD, be honour and Page  162 glory for ever. And as he is an eternall King, so he hath given to us, his subjects, to be eternall, as the soule is; and he hath given punishments, and rewards eternall; hell is an everlasting prison, and heaven is an eternall Palace; therefore these are the things most to be regarded of us. And if wee would but throughly consider that these things are eternall, it would effectually draw our mindes to the things that are above. A man that comes to an Inne, if he can get a better roome, he will; if not, hee can be content with it, for hee saith, it is but for a night; so your habitation here is but for a night: if you can have a better condition, use it rather, but if not, be not much moved, for it is but for a night. In worldly things the shortnesse of them makes us to undergoe them cheerefully. An apprentiship that is hard, a man will indure it, for hee saith it is but for a time; so things that are pleasant, if they be but of short continuance, wee regard them the lesse. Now our time that we have here, in respect of eternity, is shorter than an apprentiship, nay, than a night, nay, shorter than an houre. Now put the case, that a man should have an houre given him; and it should be said to him; as thou spen∣dest this houre, so thou shalt live all thy dayes; what would not a man doe, or what would he not suffer? how carefull would he be to spend this houre well? Now this life is not so much as an houre to eternitie; and therefore why should we not be carefull how we spend this houre, see∣ing it shall be with us for ever according as wee Page  163 spend it? 1 Cor. 9.25.*Every one that striveth for the mastery is temperate; now they doe it to ob∣taine a corruptible crowne, but we an incorruptible. Thus he reasoneth, If men that use these Olympi∣an gaines, if they will endure so much hardship and abstinence, accustome their bodies to heat and cold for the race before-hand, and doe all but for a crowne, that will last but this life at the most; and shall not we (saith he) for an incor∣ruptible crowne? Beloved; If wee would sit downe but one halfe houre, and consider serious∣ly what eternity is, it would make us to neglect all temporary things, which now we are so affe∣cted with. It is eternitie, my brethren, and the consideration of it, that doth set an high price upon grace, and gives the just weight to sinne, but it makes all other things exceeding light; for this is a true rule; that untill we come to appre∣hend sinne, as the greatest evill in the world, we are not truly humbled, and it is eternitie that makes it to be so; for (as was said before) eter∣nitie makes an evill infinitely the greater. Now if you looke upon all other things, as honour, and disgrace, and the favour of men, they reach but a little way, but to the end of this life, at the utmost; but if you looke to the reach of grace and sin, they reach (as it were) a thousand thou∣sand miles beyond it. Grace reacheth to eterni∣tie, and sinne reaches to eternitie, and therefore these are the things that a man should be busied about. What a shame is it for a man to grieve for some outward crosses, and to rejoyce much Page  164 for some preferment here; and not to regard or be affected with eternity: It is the phrase that the Apostle Paul useth, he cals it mans day; I care not to be judged by mans day; and indeed it is but a short day; and what is it to that eternitie I looke for? What is it to that God, with whom I must live for ever? therefore I care not what men say of me, but I rather thinke what the eternall God thinkes of me, and what will be thought of mee in that Kingdome where I must live for ever. If a man were in Turkie, or in some other remote place, to trafficke there a while, hee would not care what the men of that place thought of him, for hee saith, this is not the place where I must live: so doe you but consider, that this is not the place where you must live, and then of what mo∣ment will it appeare to you, what men say of you? Beloved, if the soule were mortall, there were some reason that you should make provision for it here; but seeing it is immortall, you ought to make a proportionable provision for it, even for ever: for the body you are apt to make pro∣vision, a viaticum beyond the journey; but con∣sider, that you have an immortall soule, which must live for ever, and you must make some pro∣vision for it, to carry it so long a journey. It is our Saviours exhortation, Ioh. 6.27.*Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for the meat that en∣dures to everlasting life, &c. As if he should say; if you had no other life to live but this, then you might seeke the things of this life, as glory, ho∣nour, pleasure, &c, but these things perish, and Page  165 the taste of them perisheth, as the sweetnesse of meat in the eating; but (saith our Saviour) seeke those things that will abide for ever: you have an everlasting life to live, therefore you must make some provision answerable thereunto: As for the body, the soule weares it but as a garment, and when it is worne out, the soule must have a new suit of apparell one day.

Well, seeing God hath brought this point to our hands this day, let me but prevaile with you so farre, as to set some time apart the following weeke, where you may enter into a serious consi∣deration of eternitie, the very thinking of it, will be of great moment to you; for looke what the object is, such is the soule, about which it is con∣versant; high objects lift up the soule to the Lord, and make the minde answerable to them, and low objects make the minde like to them. Now eter∣nitie is an high object, and it will worke in men high mindes; and hence it is, for the want of this consideration, that when a man comes to die, and sees eternitie before him, how it doth then so amaze the soule of man? I have seene it by ex∣perience: I knew one who said, If it were but for a thousand yeares, I could beare it, but seeing it is to eternitie, this amazeth me. Behold, if you would consider, that after many thousands of yeares are past, yet you are to begin as at the first; if men did consider this seriously, would they let their eter∣nall estate depend so upon uncertainties. And let them consider this, that are yet strangers to the life of God, that if death should come, they should Page  166 not escape eternall death: it is good to keepe our thoughts upon this, and it would make us not to hasten after the things of the world, as we doe; and for thy sinne thou dotest on so, there are three things to be considered in it: First, the pleasure of it; is as the speckled skin of the Serpent: Second∣ly, the sting of sinne: and thirdly, the eternity of that sting. Now looke not thou upon the plea∣sure of sinne, that endures but for a season, but con∣sider the hurt that comes from sinne, and then consider the eternity of it: a candle in a darke night makes a great shew, but when the Sunne comes, it vanisheth, and is nothing; so would all these things that wee doe so affect now, if they come before eternity in our thoughts: it is great wisdome in this kinde to husband our thoughts well, 1 Cor. 7.29, 30, 31.*Vse this world, as not using it, for the fashion of this world passeth away: that is, minde them not much, be not much affe∣cted with them, one way or other, either in joy or griefe, let them be such as if they were not; for why? they are temporall things, passing things, things that continue not: for that is the thing I gather out of that place, that the Lord would not have our thoughts to be bestowed upon them, but so remissely, as if not at all, because there are eternall things, and set your minde upon them, for the time is short: As if he should say, thou hast not so much time to spare; the time is short, and you have businesse enough another way; there is water little enough to runne in the right channel, therefore let none runne beside; and the things Page  167 that should take up your minds, are sin, and grace, things that are eternall. It is a pitifull thing that the noble intentions of eternall mindes should be bestowed so ill upon these flitting things, which are nothing to eternity? A man that hath not much mony in his purse, but onely for to provide necessaries; when one comes and askes him to borrow any, he will say; I have no more than to buy me food and rayment, or if he hath his rent to pay, and no more; if one should come to bor∣row any of him, he saith, no, I have no more than to pay my rents. So saith the Apostle there; you have no such spare time, no such spare affections, that you can bestow them else-where, but bestow them upon things that endure to eternall life.

[ 1] And further to move you to this, consider the shortnesse and vanity of this life,* how all man∣kinde are hurried and rapt with a sudden motion to the west of their dayes. Our fathers went be∣fore us, we follow them, and our children follow us at the heeles, as one wave followes another, and at last we are all dashed on the shore of death: and withal, consider the vanity that al conditions are subject unto; whether they be mountaines or valleyes; if mountaines, they are subject to blasts, to be envied; or if valleyes, to be over-drow∣ned, oppressed, and contemned; yea, the things that we prize most, honour and pleasure; what doe they but weary us, and then whet our appe∣tite to a new edge? Consider the men that have beene before us; many men that have beene like a greene tree, but now the floud of their wealth is Page  168 dried up, they and their goods have perished to∣gether.

[ 2] Consider in the second place, what eternity is; here the body is corrupted with diseases, and the soule subject to vexation; but that life is sure, composed and constant, and there is no varia∣blenesse in it; and if we desire life so much, why doe we esteeme this life that is but a span long, and neglect that which is so spacious.

[ 3] Consider the errand, upon which you are sent into this world, and be not put aside from it, by any needlesse occasions (as they are all when they come into competition with this) which hinder our thoughts, and our actions, as farre as they be∣long to eternity: and indeed all the world spend too much of their time upon by-businesses, and they are hampered with them before they are aware, still making our selves new worke; so that we make this life, which is short enough of it selfe, shorter than it is, wearying our selves with anxious griefes, labour and care: thus men did before us, and thus we are ready to doe, there∣fore we had the more need to take heed unto it.

[Vse 2] If God be eternall, then be not you offended, because you see that he stayes long,* either in gi∣ving reward, or in executing judgement on men for their sinnes; for with him no time is long, there is no succession with him; therefore say not, because you feele nothing for the present, there are great promises made, but you finde no performance; and there bee many judgements threatned, but none executed; doe not you there∣fore Page  169 say, that your rewards are neglected, or judgement passed over, and that God hath forgot∣ten. For here you see, that with God no time is long or short, there is no succession with him: you have the same use made of it, Isai. 40.27, 28.*Why sayest thou O Iacob, and speakest O Israel; My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgement is passed over from my GOD? There is the objecti∣on, that which is in the hearts of men: Now you shall see what answer is made to it in the follow∣ing verse, Hast thou not knowne? hast thou not heard that the everlasting GOD the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is wea∣ry? there is no searching of his understanding. The meaning is this; To us indeed the time is long, either when reward is deferred, or when the pu∣nishment, or the execution of sentence against evill works is deferred; but with God it is not so. Now that which makes it seeme long to us, is,

1 Partly the passions, and restlesnesse of the mind, (for that is motion) but God, he is without al motion or passion, and therefore nothing is long.

2 Againe, not only we are subject to motion, but the things that we have to doe with, they are subject to motion, and passe away, and therefore they seeme long to us: for time, you know is no∣thing else but the measure of motion; and there∣fore where there is motion, there is time, and no while else. Now to us that are in motion, and to the things that we have to doe with, a thousand yeares are a thousand yeares; but in God there is no motion, nor flux; and therefore a thousand Page  170 yeares with him, are but as one day: God is nei∣ther in motion himselfe, nor are other things as in motion to him; but wee are moved, and the things we have to doe with, are moved; and if ei∣ther, there must be motion, for if the ship moves: though the waters stand still; or if the waters move, though the ship stand still, there is motion; but God stands still, and all things stand still to him likewise. Doe not wonder therefore that the Churches lye so long in misery, that the in∣juries of the Saints are so long unrevenged, doe not accuse God, doe not mistake him, doe not thinke amisse of him, doe not thinke that hee is forgetfull, and doth not remember, that hee is slacke, and doth not regard, that hee cannot, or will not helpe. Beloved, it is not so; you shall see the very same use made of it, 2 Pet. 3. if you compare vers. 4, and 8, 9. together:*In the latter dayes there shall come scoffers, &c. saying, where is the promise of his comming? for since the Fathers fell asleepe, all things continue as they were from the creation, vers. 8, 9. But be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand yeares, and a thousand yeares as one day. The LORD is not slacke concerning his promise (as some men count slacknesse) but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. It is not slacknesse in God: For (saith the Apostle) a thousand yeares with him are as one day. We thinke it a great matter, that the Church should lye so long, and cry, How long LORD! and yet no remedie, saith the Apostle, thinke not Page  171 much at it; For a thousand yeares with him are but as one day.

[Vse 3] If God be eternall, then consider with whom you have to doe, even with him whose love and enmity are eternall;* with him, whose soveraignty and power is eternall: if a man be angry, we re∣gard it the lesse, if we know it is but for a fit; but consider what it is to have to do with him whose love and enmitie are eternall. Therefore learne, not to regard men as wee doe, but to regard the Lord only, and that in these three respects:

1 Learne to trust the Lord, and not man,* for God is an everlasting refuge, Psal. 146.3, 4.*Put not your trust in Princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no helpe, &c. that which they can doe for you, is but for this life at most; trust in him that is able to defend you for all eternitie; for he that made heaven and earth, hee continues for ever. This use you have made of it in Psa. 90.1.* LORD, thou hast beene our habitation for ever and ever: as if hee should say, Lord, thou wast an habitation (that is, a refuge, as our house is) to the Churches, thou wast so in Abrahams time, in Pharaohs time. Consider, that God is not onely an habitation to his Church from generation to generation, but also from everlasting to everlasting.

2 Learne from hence likewise to feare him;* feare him that can cast body and soule into hell for ever; his eternity should make us to feare him. Feare not man, Isai. 5.13, 14.*Why? because he is of short continuance: and if he can do you any hurt, it is but for a short time, for he shall be made as the Page  172 grasse; but feare the Almighty GOD, who laid the heavens, and stretched the foundations of the earth. Vse the Lords arguments, they are the arguments that can work on the soule; it is the holy Ghosts argument why we should feare him, because he is eternall, as the opposition in that place shewes.

3 Labour to serve him, 1 Ioh. 2.17.*The world passeth away,*and the lusts thereof, but hee that doth the will of the LORD abides for ever; that is, the world cannot make you to abide for ever, it pas∣seth away; if you fulfill the lusts thereof, if you fulfill your owne will, you are not able to conti∣nue your selves, but you will passe away: what should wee doe then? why, fulfill the will of the Lord, consider what he would have you doe, and so you shall abide for ever.

[Vse 4] If God be eternall, then we should learne hence to comfort our selves,* when we looke upon the mutabilitie that we and all creatures are subject unto in this vale of misery, it is a thing that may comfort us exceeding much; if wee serve him who is constant, without change, who is eternall, that can make up the changes that we are subject unto; it is the use that is made of it, in Psal. 102.11, 12.*My dayes are like a shadow that declineth, and I am withered like grasse; but thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever, and thy remembrance unto all generations. Why doth he put these two together thus? my shadow, and Gods enduring for ever, &c. as if he should say, this is my comfort, that though I am of short continuance, yet God with whom I shall live for ever, hee is eternall, and Page  173 abides for ever. It is as if the beame should rea∣son thus; though I am brickle and fading, yet the Sun that maintaines me, abides for ever: or, if the streame should reason thus; though I may be dried up in Summer, yet the fountaine that maintaines me continues for ever: So, though men be sub∣ject to change, yet the Lord, that maintains them, is immutable, and abides for ever. You that have the life of Christ in you, have the beginning of this eternity; and though the old building be pulled downe, yet you have a building not made with hands, eternall in the heavens; even as when one skin fals off, another comes on: and what though the outward man perish? yet the inward man growes daily more and more, till it come to perfection. This is not only a comfort to us, but also it is a great motive, and we should use it as a great argument to God; that because we are sub∣ject to change, yet because hee is immutable, therefore he should helpe us, Psal. 102.26, 27.*The heavens shall wax old, as doth a garment, but thou endurest for ever and ever; therefore cast me not off in the midst of my dayes: as if he should say, Lord,thou hast Time enough to bestow, thou art full of eternitie; the heavens that seeme to be of long continuance, yet are nothing to thee; therefore I pray thee to fill up my wants, and make me eternall with thee; so because thou in∣habitest eternity, therefore comfort mee, Isai. 57.15.* Seeing God is eternall; learne hence to know that he is the Lord of all Time.

[Vse 5] Doe not thou looke upon Time as belonging Page  174 to thee,* but to him, he overflowes all; it is the phrase used in Psal. 90.5.*Thou carriest them away as with a floud, they are as sheepe, &c. that is, all times are subject to him, he over-reaches them, and makes them long or short, as it pleaseth him; he is not only in himselfe eternall, but hee is the lord of all, and hee disposeth all times, and ap∣points the seasons to every thing: if hee be thus, then take heed of looking upon future times, as thine owne; thou breakest in now upon the Lords prerogative, if thou looke upon future times as thine, and sayeth with the rich man in the Gospel, now soule take thy rest; this is sacrilege against God. It is, as if a man should say, I have three thousand acres of land, when he hath not three foot, or if a man should say, I have three thousand pound, and hath not three pence. It is the use made of it in Iames 4.13, 14.*Goe to now yee that say, to day, or to morrow, we will goe into such a Citie, &c. Where∣as yee ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and doe this or that, if hee will give us leave to come in upon his ground. This phrase is out of use with many men, as clothes that are out of use, we are unwilling to weare them; but Christians should bring them into use againe, and say, if the Lord please; let them labour to doe this in feare and trembling. Thou shouldst thus thinke of time, thou shouldst looke upon it, as on a large field, given by God, and nothing of it belonging otherwise unto thee; and looke what ground the Lord God gives thee, thou art to sow seed in it, and apply it to seeke him, that thou mayest receive an Page  175 harvest in future time; and let men not say, I will repent and turne to God hereafter; but doe it pre∣sently in feare and trembling. Boast not of time; why doest thou deferre the time? thou breakest into the Lords right, and oftentimes he cuts thee off for it, because thou breakest into that, which doth nothing belong unto thee.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  1


EXODVS 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM: And he said; thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

WEE come now to the next Attribute; and that is the Simplicity of God:* he is with∣out all composition, with∣out any parts, not having soule and body, as we have, not being compounded of substance and accident, as we are, but hee is Page  2 simple, without all composition. Which I ga∣ther out of these words; I AM, WHAT I AM: that is, whatsoever is in mee, it is my selfe. I am a pure act, all being, a whole, entire, simple, and uniforme being, without parts, not like to the creature: for the best of them is compoun∣ded of actions, and qualities, but whatsoever is in me, it is my selfe.

Now in this simplicity, and immixture of God, wee will first fall upon that which the Scripture sets downe in plaine words, Iohn 4.24.*God is a Spirit:* that is, he is not mixt, he is not compounded of body and soule, as men are, but he is a Spirit. The word Spirit, both in the Hebrew, Greeke, and Latine tongue, doth sig∣nifie, breath. A breath is indeede a body, but because it is the finest body, the most subtile, and most invisible, therefore immateriall sub∣stances, which we are not able to conceive, are represented to us under the name of a spirit, or breath.

*Besides, this is to be added; though God bee said to be a spirit, yet he is not properly a spirit as Angells are; for an Angell is a creature, and though it want a body, and be a spirit, yet it is a created substance: but yet because that is nee∣rest to the pure, and incomprehensible nature of God, therefore he calls himselfe a spirit, as An∣gells are, and our soules are.

*To shew you what a spirit is, these foure things are to be considered.

[ 1] 1 It is proper to a Spirit to be invisible, im∣palpable, Page  3 not to bee discerned by any sense. Therfore Christ bids his Disciples to feele him: Behold my hands, and my feete (saith he) that it is I my selfe, handle, and see;*for a Spirit hath not flesh and bones as I have. A Spirit is that which is drawn from the sight of any corporeall sense whatsoever, and in this sense God is called a Spirit, because he is invisible: and therefore Moses is said to see him that is invisible, not by any bodily eye, but by the eye of faith.

[ 2] 2, Every Spirit moves it selfe, and other things also: The body is but an earthy piece, that is not able to stirre it selfe at all, as you see it is when the soule is gone out of it, it is the spirit, that both moves it selfe, and carries the body up and downe where it listeth, and it moves it selfe with all speed, and agility, be∣cause it finds no resistance. Bodies, beside their elementarie motion vpward and downeward, have no voluntarie motion, they cannot move themselves whither they will, as spirits doe; And this I gather out of Ioh 3.8. the Holy Ghost is compared to the wind,* that blowes where it listeth.

[ 3] 3. It is the propertie of every Spirit to move with exceeding great force and strength, and with much vehemency, so that it farre exceeds the strength of any body. Therefore in Isa: 31.3. speaking of the strength of the Aegyptians,* he saith, that they are flesh, and not spirit: as if hee should say; all flesh is weake, but the spirit is strong. Therefore you see, the Divells, that Page  4 are spirits, what strength they have; and the man in the Gospell, that was possessed, it is said that he could breake the strongest bonds, and you see it commonly in those that are possessed, and you read, how he threw downe the house over Iobs children. This is the strength of the spirit ex∣ceeding the strength of any body.

4 It insinuates it selfe, and enters into any bodily substance, without all penetration of di∣mension; that is, it is not held out of any place, by reason of a body, that is in it; it may be in it, though the place be otherwise full: as, you see, the soule is in the body, you shall find no where an emptie place, the body is every where whole; yet the Spirit insinuates it selfe in every part, and no body can keepe it out. And so is God; he is invisible, not seene by any eye, hee moves himselfe, and all things in the world, as he lists; and he doth what he doth with excee∣ding great strength; and then, hee fills every place, both heaven and earth; what bodies so∣ever be there, yet he may be there notwithstan∣ding. And thus you see in what sense this is to be understood, God is a Spirit

Now we will come to apply this.

[Vse 1] If God be a Spirit, first then this we may ga∣ther from it:

1 That his eye is cheifely vpon the spirits of men.* There are many things in the world, which his hand hath made: but that which he chiefely lookes to, is the minde, and spirit of man. Whereas a man consists of two parts, a Page  5 body and a spirit, it is the spirit that is like to God: and in regard of the spirituall substance of the soule, it is said to be made after his Image, and therefore in Heb: 12, God is called, the Fa∣ther of Spirits: Why? He is the Father of the body also, he made that, but the meaning is, that he is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Father over them, because he guides and nurtures them, being most like to himselfe: as the sonne is like the father, so they are like to him, and therefore hee most regards the spirits of men. As you may see when Sa∣muel went to anoint David King, and all the sonnes of Iesse came before him, those that were much more proper than David, God tells him, that he did not looke upon the persons of men, nor upon their outward appearance, hee heedes them not; what doth he then? he sees the soule and spirit of man; the Lord looketh upon the heart, and according to that hee judgeth of them, 1 Sam. 16.7.*

Now, if his eye be chiefly upon the spirit, thou shouldest labour to let thine eye be chiefly still upon thy spirit, and so thou shalt most please him. Let thy eye be upon thy soule, to keepe it cleane, that it may be fit for communi∣on with him, who is a spirit. This should teach you to looke to the fashion of your soules with∣in, because they are likest to him, and carry his image in them; he is a father of them in a speci∣all manner, and they are that whereby you may have communion with him, in that which is most proper unto him, in spirituall exercises and performances.

Page  6 [Object.] But, you will say, what is it that you would have us to doe to our spirits,* to have them fit for the Lord, that he may regard them, and that they may be like to him?

[Answ. 1] 1 Thou must scoure and cleanse them from all filthinesse. 2 Cor. 7.1.*Having therefore these pro∣mises, (dearely beloved, let us cleanse our selves from all filthinisse of the flesh, and spirit, perfecting holinesse in the feare of God. There is a pollution, which the Apostle speakes of, which pollution he divides into two kindes, of the flesh, of the spirit: both of these, thou must labour to bee cleansed from, but specially that of the spirit, if t••n wouldst have it fit to have the Lord to delight in: for he being a Spirit, doth most re∣gard those actions which are done by the Spi∣rit, and therefore that is the thing that mainely thou shouldst looke to.

[Object.] But what is that pollution of spirit, or what is that which doth defile it?

[Answ.] Every thing in the world defiles the spirit, when it is lusted after.* 2 Pet. 1.4.*Having escap∣ed the corruption that is in the world through lust: that is, the world, and all things in the world, and all the parts of it, they doe then corrupt the spirit, defile, and soile it, when the soule of man hath a lust after them. You might medle with all things in the world, and not be defiled by them, if you had pure affections, but when you have a lust after any thing, then it defiles your spirit; therefore in Titus 1.15. the Apostle speakes of a conscience defiled*. And in Matt. 15.*Page  7 19. saith our Saviour: out of the heart proceede e∣vill thoughts, murthers, adulterers, fornications, thefts, false witnesse, blasphemies; these are the th••gs wh••h defile a man. He doth not speake onely of actuall adulterie, or murther, but even of the si••ull dispositions of the soule: even these are things that defile the spirit in Gods sight, who lookes upon them as you doe upon outward filthinesse with the eyes of your body: So that every inordinate lusting of the soule, doth de∣file the soule.

[Object.] But is not this rule too strait? We are com∣manded not to murther, nor to commit adulte∣ry: this is the commandement: and why should you say, that every disordered affection doth defile the soule, and that it is more regarded by God then the outward actions?

[Answ.] You must know that the tenth commande∣ment doth strike against these abominations: Thou shalt not lust, and so it is translated: Rom. 7: so that these lustings of the spirit,* are those that defile the soule. You see that God hath spent a whole commandement against them. And indeede, all the actuall sinnes committed by us simply considered in themselves, as committed by the body, are not so hated of God, as the pol∣lution of the spirit is.* Nay, I dare be bol•• to say, that the act of adultery, and murther, is not so abominable in Gods eyes, as the filthinesse of the spirit; this is more abominable in the sight of God, who is a spirit, than the act of the bo∣dy; for it is the spirit that he mainly lookes to. Page  8 Indeed the act contracts the guilt; because the lust is then growne up to an height, so that it is come to an absolute will and execution. Therefore, if these lustings doe presse into the soule, wee should put them out againe, and re∣ject them with shame and griefe: for GOD is a Spirit, and beholdes the continuall behaviour of thy spirit.

Againe, the injury which you offer to others, though in it selfe it be a great sinne, yet that inward brooding of it in thy heart, plotting mischiefe, that boiles within thee, while it hatches rancour and revenge, this is that which he hates, though thou shouldest never commit any actuall sinne this way. Iam. 4.5. you have this phrase used,*The lust of the spirit to envie: that is, the bent of the spirit, and inclination of the minde, which lookes upon the gifts of o∣thers, whereby it overshines them, so that they lust to have that light put out, that their candle might appeare above it; though they act no∣thing, yet this is abominable to him.

*And that I might not deliver this without ground, consider:

[ 1] There is nothing so pleasing to God as a bro∣ken heart, Isa. 57.* Now the breaking of the heart is nothing else, but the severing betweene the heart and sin. As when you see an artificers worke, wherein many parts are glued toge∣ther; if it should fall downe, or the glue be dis∣solved, then they all breake to pieces: and when the lusts that are in our soules are thus severed, Page  9 this pleaseth the Lord; not that the affliction of a mans spirit is pleasing to the Lord, but the separation of sinne from his soule, when the so∣der that joynes a sinfull action and the heart to∣gether, when this is dissolved, this doth please the Lord. And by the rule of contraries, if this be true, then it is true, on the other side, that when the spirit is glued by any lust to any inor∣dinate thing, it is most hatefull to God: for the stronger the lust is, the stronger is the glue; and therefore a man the more he is tyed to this world, and hath such strong lusts, the more hee hath this uncleannesse and pollution of spirit. And therefore as a broken heart is most accep∣table to God: so a spirit that is knit to any inor∣dinate object, by the thing, that it cleaves to, it becomes most hatefull and abominable to him.

Consider, that although a lust left at liberty, when God hath taken off the chaine, and suf∣fers it to doe what it will, doth contract more guilt, and doth indeede more hurt to mankind; yet he that hath a heart as full of lust, and filthi∣nesse, is no lesse abominable, and odious in Gods sight. Take a wolfe, that runnes up and downe, and kills the sheepe, that wolfe is abominable, and every one cries out against him; but a wise man that sees a wolfe tyed up in a chaine, hates that as much as he did the other: for he knowes that he hath the same nature, and would doe as much hurt if he were let loose: So we may say of men, whose hearts are full of lusts, God it may be, hath tyed them up, so that they breake not Page  10 forth; yet these lusts are abominable and hate∣full in his sight, though they doe not so much hurt, nor breake so many commandements. Therfore let them consider this, that live under good families, good Tutours, or in good com∣pany, cōmonly they are as wolves tied up, they cannot break forth so into outward acts, it may be, they are restrained by reason of some bo∣dies favour that they would not lose, or the like, but yet they give way to the spirit within, that rangeth and lusteth up and downe; and this is therefore defiled in Gods sight.

[ 3] Consider that these lusts of the Spirit, are full of the spawne, and egges of sinne; that is, they are the mother sinne: it is pregnant with actuall sinne. Iam. 4.1.*From whence come warres and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that warre in your members? Concu∣piscence is but as the lust of the Spirit, which concupiscence is full of actuall sinnes, and brings them forth when occasion is given; Iam. 1.15.* And therfore it is more hated than an act is, which is but one, which hath not so much spawne in it: and therefore you ought to cleanse your spirit from this pollution.

[Quest.] But how shall we doe this? to get our spirits thus cleansed?

[Answ. 1] You must search out the pollution of the spi∣rit.* For the spirit of a man is a deepe thing, and hidden, full of corners and cranne, a lust and pollution will easily hide it selfe in 〈◊〉; therefore thou must finde it out and confesse it. Doe as Page  11David••d, goe to God, and say, Lord search, and try me, see if there be any wickednesse in me▪ as if he should say, if I could, I would search my owne heart, but I cannot doe it enough, therefore doe thou come and doe it; I will open the doores, as a man useth to say to the officers that come to looke for a traytour, Doe you come in, and search if there be any here, I will set open my doores; so faith David here. So, when a man would cleanse his heart from the pollutions of his spirit, let him doe on that manner; remem∣ber, that to hide a traytour is to be a traytour himselfe; therefore labour to finde it; and, when it is found, confesse it to the Lord, and lay a just weight upon it. What though it never breakes forth into outward actions? say to the Lord, O Lord, I know that thou lookest to the spirit, and art conversant about it: to have a pol∣luted spirit, is an abomination to thee. This is a thing that we would doe, and wee are often∣times to blame in this, in our prayers: for we confesse our actuall sinnes, and doe not confesse the pollution of our spirits to the Lord.

[Quest.] But you will say, We would faine have some directions to finde out this uncleanesse of our spirits.

[Answ.] Consider, what ariseth in thy spirit, when it is stirred at any time, and there thou shalt finde what the pollution of the spirit is. Set a pot on the fire, and put flesh into it; while it is colde, there is nothing but water and meat: but set it a boyling, and then the scumme ariseth. It is a Page  12 similitude used in Ezek. 24.11, 12.* I say, observe what ariseth in thy spirit, at any time, whē there is some commotion, when thy spirit is stirred more than ordinary, now every temptation is, as it were, a fire to make the pot boyle, any in∣jurie that is offered to us, this makes the scumme to arise, now see what ariseth out there, and when any object comes to allure thee to sinne, see what thoughts arise in thy heart, as the thoughts of profit or preferment, so that when such an opportunity comes, it stirres the spirit, and sets it on boyling; consider what then ari∣seth in thy heart, and thou shalt see what thy spirit is. And that which thou art to doe, when thou findest it, is to confesse it to the Lord, and suffer it not to come into outward act; cast it out, suffer it not to boyle in: Ezek. 24.13.*

[ 2] When thou hast done this, thou must not stay here: but thou must labour to loathe and hate that pollution of spirit. There are two things to be hated by us; the sinne, that we looke upon as a pleasant thing; but there is be∣sides, thy inclination to that thing, and that is the pollution of thy spirit, and that thou must hate and loathe; thou must not onely hate the object that is offered to thee, but thy selfe also, and the uncleanesse of thy spirit. Thus it is with every one, whose heart is right, Ezek. 36.21. that is,* when a man begins to looke upon his sinne, and see the pollution of the spirit in it, he begins to grow to an indignation against it, (as that is the fruite of godly sorrow, 2 Cor.*Page  13 7.) he findes his heart so disposed, that he be∣gins to quarrell with his heart, and to fall out with it; and to say; What? have I such a heart that will carry me to sinne? that will not onely carry me to sinne, but to hell? Hee begins to loathe himselfe, hee would not owne his owne selfe, if hee could; hee would goe out of himselfe, he is weary of his owne heart: such a hatred and loathing thou must have of this pollution of spirit that is in thee. And this thou shalt doe, if thou wilt but consider, what evill this pollution doth bring thee, and what hurt filthinesse hath done to thee: a man can hate the disease of the body, and cry out of it; and why should not men doe so of the soule? It is our sinne that is the cause of all evill; it is not poverty, or disgrace, or sicknesse, but it is sinne in thy poverty, sinne in thy disgrace, sinne in thy sicknesse: so that if a man could looke upon sinne as the greatest evill, and that doth him the greatest mischiefe, he would hate that above all things. And here remember not one∣ly to doe it in generall, but to pitch thy hatred chiefly upon thy beloved sinne. Be ready to say in this case, as Haman of Mordecai; what availeth it me, if Mordecai yet live? If we could do so with our beloved lusts, and come to such a hatred of them as Haman had of Mordecai, to hate that beloved pollution, which cleaves so fast to thy spirit, this were a blessed thing.

Thou must yet goe a step further, that is, to get it mortified, to get it utterly cast out, slaine and killed, not to suffer it to live with thee: thou Page  14 must doe with such a pollution of thy spirit, as thou doest with thine utter enemy, whom thou followest to death, and wilt have the law up∣on him, and wilt be content with nothing but his life: So when thou hast found out thy sinne, then goe this step further, to have it out before the Lord, and cry against it, and say, that it is his enemy, & thy enemy, & an ene∣my to his grace; it hath sought thy life, and thou wilt have the life of it before thou hast done: this thou shouldest doe, to get it utterly cast out, to get an utter separation betwixt thy soule and it; so that if there should come a temptation to hee againe, if there should be pleasure on the one hand, and threatnings on the other, then thou shouldest say, rather any thing than this sinne, than this lust, it is my greatest enemy, that hath done me thus much mischiefe; so that thy soule doth not onely loath it, but thou wilt not suffer it to live in thee; this is that which wee ought to doe, if wee would cleanse our spirits.

[ 4] When a man hath done all this, thou must goe to God, and beseech him that hee would melt that soder, as it were, that he would make a dissolution, that he would sever thy soule, and the lust that cleaves so fast to it. That which made the soule, and the object to cleave so fast together is lust, that is the soder: which like unto soder must be melted with fire: Isay 4.4.*When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and shall have purged the blood Page  15 of Ierusalem from the midst thereof, by the spirit of wisedome, and by the spirit of burning: that is, the holy Ghost, who is as fire, that melts the soder, and loosens it; & also the word, Ier. 23.24. & so also in Mal. 3.**Christ there is compared to fire, and to Fullers sope, and all to expresse the divers wayes that the Lord hath to cleanse our spirits from sinne. Sinne cleaves to the soule as drosse to the gold: now the spirit of burning cleanseth and pu∣rifies it; yea it doth it violently; and therefore it is said to be a hammer also in Ieremy. Againe, sinne sinkes in as a deepe staine, therefore Christ is as sope to cleanse it. And therefore goe, and say to God, Rather than I should not be clean∣sed, Lord cleanse me with the fire of affliction, as it is also called, Zach. 13.9.*And I will bring the third part, saith the Lord, through the fire, and will refine thē, as silver is refined, & will try them as gold is tryed. It were best (my beloved) if you would yeeld to the Spirit, & the Word, that they may cleanse you before his sight: For if that will not doe, he will come with the fire of affliction, and it is better that you should be dealt so with, than that your soules, being still uncleane, should perish for ever.

[ 5] To fit thy spirit for the Lord, that is a spirit, and the father of spirits, thou must goe yet one step further; thou must labour to beautifie it, to seeke to adorne it by a spirituall excellency. Now if thou wouldest beautifie it by any thing, seeke not for outward excellencies, as clothes, or fine apparell, or adorning in the sight of Page  16 men, but seeke such an excellency as is sutable to the spirit: seeke not other things; for they are such things that God regards not. So that, as every man seekes some excellency or other, that which thou art to seeke is, to get spirituall excellency, such as may beautifie thy heart, for that which is outward, God regardeth not. You shall see an excellent place for this, Isay 66.2.*All these things hath my hand made, saith the Lord, but to this man will I looke, even to him that is poore, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. When the Lord lookes upon all things here below, they are all at his command, (my hand hath made them, saith he, and I can dispose of them as I will) but what is it, of all them, that I doe esteeme? a spirit that is fashioned, and beautified with inward ornaments, so that it trembles at my word, that is the thing which I regard. So 1 Pet. 3.3. you have a comparison there of outward excellencies,* and of the spi∣rituall decking of the inward man, which the Apostle preferreth, because that is a thing that is esteemed of by God. Whose adorning, saith the Apostle, let it not be that outward adorning, of plaiting the haire, and of wearing golde, or of putting on of apparell: But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meeke and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. So it is said of wise∣dome, Prov. 3.22.*It shall be life to thy soule, and grace to thy necke: that is, wisedome adornes the soule in the sight of God, therefore that is the Page  17 excellency that is chiefly to be sought by us, even thus to adorne the soule. And there is good reason for it: for, if thou consider what thy body is, and what thy spirit is, thou shalt see, that all these things that doe adorne the outward man, are not the excellencies to bee sought after. Indeed there are divers kindes of those excellencies; they are of three sorts. First, excellency of clothes, and building, and such gaudy things, which children and vaine men and women are sensible of. Secondly, great titles, and honours, and great rewards, which a higher sort of men are capable of. Thirdly, the excellency of learning, and knowledge, and skill in arts and sciences; and this also is but an outward excellency: for though it be seated in the spi∣rit, yet it inables onely to outward things. These are not the excellencies that thou shoul∣dest seeke for: but it is an excellency of the spi∣rit, thou art to regard: looke to thy spirit what that is: for as the spirit is, such is the man. Spi∣ritus est perfectio hominis, this is the proper ex∣cellency: the body is but, as it were, the sheath for the soule; a man is said to be more excel∣lent, as his soule is excellent. Other excellency is but an outward excellency, this excellency is that which is intrinsecall to a man; the other are but adventitious, they are not proper, it is not that which makes the difference. The righ∣teous is more excellent than his neighbour: There is a difference of honour, but all these are but accidentall differences: the essential difference Page  18 is the spirit, and that is it which God regards and by this thou excellest thy neighbour. All other excellencies are but as when a mule or an asse having goodly trappings, should boast it selfe against the horse, which is a goodly crea∣ture, because it hath goodly trappings; or as if a mud-wall, that the Sunne shines upon, should boast it selfe against a wall of marble that stands in the shadow. Therefore consider of this, that so thou maist labour to beautifie thy spirit; if there were no other reason, but that he is a Spi∣rit, and that he beholdes the excellency of the spirit, this were sufficient. Take all other ex∣cellencies in the world, they make thee onely excellent in the sight of man; but this makes thee excellent before God, this is a solid thing, all the glory of the world is but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, empty glory; but that which makes thee ex∣cellent before God, is this. As it is, Iam: 2.5.*Hath not God chosen the poore of this world, rich in faith, and heires of the kingdome which he hath pro∣mised to them that love him? As if he should say, that which makes men glorious, is their faith and holines within, that is the thing that makes us excellent in Gods sight, and inables us to doe higher workes: all other things habilitate us but to the things of this life, but grace makes thee strong, and makes thee to serve the Lord with fear and reverence, Heb. 12.28.* And therfore this is to be sought of us. Phil. 4.8.* The world seekes other things after their owne fancie, but seeke you these things, this is the excellency Page  19 that we should seeke; for this adornes thy spi∣rit. And now if I should aske any man, whe∣ther is it not better to have Gods image renewed in him, and to be like to him, than to have the excellency of humane knowledge? every one would say, that to have Gods image renewed in them, were the best: but then why doest thou not busie thy selfe about it? why doest thou not labour for it? why doe you studie much, and pray so little? So if I should aske another, whether grace, or outward excellency were better? he would say, grace: but then why doe you not bestow some time about it, to get it? It is a great signe that the heart is right, when we can judge aright of the excellency, that is to be sought by us. 2 Cor. 5.* It is made a signe of a new creature, that he doth judge aright of spiri∣tuall things. Iam 1..10.* It is made a signe of a man converted to God, when he is brought low, that is, he is drawne from that high esteeme of out∣ward excellency, which before he had; when he sees that they are but fading flowers, things of no worth: and thus the soule gets strength to it selfe.

[ 6] When thou hast cleansed thy spirit, when thou hast adorned it with such spirituall beauty, so that God is delighted in thee: then thou must goe yet further: thou must let it have rule, and dominion; thou must let it have the upper hand of the body in all things. Let thy spirit be still advanced, that is, let it not bee drowned with the body, but be emergent still aboue it, kept Page  20 from all base affections, let it be cleare from all corporeall drosse, that is, from those bodily af∣fections of meate, drinke, uncleannesse, sports, pastime &c. wherewith the body is delighted: for this spirit is the most excellent thing in thee, therefore it is meete that it should have domi∣nion, that it should not be brought into subje∣ction, no not by any spirituall lust, that ariseth from the spirit, that the body is not capable of; much more then a shame is it to be brought in∣to subjection by any bodily lust, that wrongs the Father of spirits. 1 Cor. 6.12, 13.*All things are lawfull to me, saith the Apostle, but I will not be brought under the power of any thing. Meat is for the belly, and the belly for meat, but God shall de∣stroy both it and them. His meaning is this, I see that it is not convenient for me to eate flesh; I doe not deny but that I have a desire to eate flesh as well as others, but because it is not convenient, therefore I will bridle that appe∣tite: for, Meat is for the belly, and the belly for meat, but God shall destroy both it and them. If that appetite should prevaile, the body would rule over the soule: but that I will not suffer, that my spirit should be brought into subjection by any bodily appetite. And consider, what an unreasonable thing it is, that the spirit should be brought under the body. There are but two parts of a man, and they draw us two wayes: the spirit drawes us upward to the Father of spi∣rits, (as it is a spirit:) and the body drawes us downeward. Now consider which should have Page  21 the vpper hand, they will not goe both toge∣ther Now know this; that if the spirit bee under the body, it will breede confusion. It is so in other things; looke into the Common wealth, if you should see servants riding and Princes going on foot, looke into nature, if the fire and aire should bee below, and the water and earth aboue, what confusion would there bee? So is it in this case. The Apostle compares them to bruite beasts, 2. Pet. 2.12.* (and the wise man compares them to a citie, whose walls are broken downe, so that there is an vtter ruine.) Saith the Apostle Peter, in the place forenamed, that they as naturall bruite beasts made to bee taken and to be destroyed, who speake evill of the things they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their owne corruption: that is, if a man will come to this, to suffer such a confusion as this, they shall even bee served as bruite beasts are: Nay be∣loved, if it were with us as it is with beast, we might giue libertie for these corporall appetites to rule over the soule: as, take a horse, if he hath no rider, then you blame him not, though he runne, and kicke up, and downe, for he is a beast, and hath no rider to sit him; but when he is under the bridle, then, if he doth not doe that which he should doe, then you blame him. But a man hath reason to guide him, and hee hath grace to guide reason: now to cast off both these is more than brutish. Consider, that all things, the more refined they are, the better they are; for they come neerer to the spirit: So Page  22 then doe thou looke vpon thy selfe; and say with thy selfe; the more that spirit within me is advanced, the more it is suffered to rule, without impediment, it is the better for me. To give you an instance or two, that you may see the practise of the Saints in this case: Iob he saith, I esteemed thy word as my appointed meales, &c. I will rather restraine my body in this, then I will suffer my soule to want that which belongs to it; as he saith for eating and drink∣ing, so saith David for sleepe; rather then my soule should not doe its duty, I will deprive my body of sleepe, saith he: So Iesus Christ: Ioh: 4.34.*Iesus saith unto them, my meate is to doe the will of my Father, and to finish his worke: that is, I will be content to neglect my body, to doe that which is the worke of my spirit, the worke of my Father. And such is his owne ad∣vice: seeke not the loaves, saith he, nourish not your bodies, labour not for the meate that perish∣eth: but looke that thy soule get the better in all things.

[Object.] But how shall I know this, whether my soule doth rule or no?

[Answ.] When the bodily appetite, and inclination shall arise so high, as to rule the sterne of the soule, and the actions of it, then the body gets rule over the soule: but when these shall bee subdued, and ruled, and guided by the soule, when they shall bee brought to that square, which the spirit within shall set downe, then the spirit rules over the body.

Page  23 [Object.] But my inclinations are strong, and I cannot rule them: what must I doe then?

[Answ.] Thou must doe in this case as Saint Paul did, who kept under his body by violence, as men use to tame horses; we should keepe it downe, wee must take heed of carnall lusts, they will keepe the body too high, as a Horse may be too lustie for his rider: yet so, as on the other side it must not be kept too low, for the body is the instru∣ment of the soule: but onely the soule must have dominion over it, it should alwayes bee subject to the principall agent, as it is said of a servant, that he should not be Supra negotium, nor infra negotium, but par negotio, not above, nor below, but fit for his businesse: so ought the body to be the soules servant. Beloved, consider this, doe but thinke what your soules are, that you should suffer them to be thus in subjection, Thinke what a shame it is, that these bodily affections should so overrule the spirit that is made like to God, the soule, that shall live for ever, the soule for which Christ dyed, that is better then all the world beside; thinke I say, with your selves, what a sencelesse and unrea∣sonable thing it is, that this soule should be kept under by the body, and that the body should rule over it? Are not men in this kinde, like to beasts, subject to sensualitie, that eate that they may play, and play that they may eate? and the soule is not considered all this while, how it is a spirit, that is like to God himselfe, who is a spirit. Alas, what is the body to it? It is in it as in a prison: such is the body to the soule, not Page  24 to be regarded in comparison of it. Therefore adde this to the other, that the soule may still be advanced, and that it suffer not bodily actions to bring it into subjection, lest you be as bruite beasts, subject to sensuality, made to be taken, and to be de∣stroyed.

Page  25


EXODVS 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM, &c.

[Vse 2] A Second use from this point is this: If God be a spirit, then his dominion, government, and provi∣dence is chiefly exercised on the spirits of men.* It is true, his providence is over all things that belong to us: but, as he is in himselfe a Spirit, so he puts forth, and exerciseth this power of his principally in guiding the spirits of men, and Page  26 in that you are chiefly to observe his provi∣dence toward you. And that you shall see in Rom. 14.17.*The kingdome of God, that is, his rule, and power, is not in meate and drinke, for they are outward things, and hee that is a spirit regards them not; but it is in righteousnesse and peace, and joy in the holy Ghost: that is, in the things that belong to the spirit, therein is his kingdome, and dominion chiefly exercised. So also, Psal. 33.14, 15.*From the place of his habi∣tation hee looketh downe upon all the inhabitants of the earth: he fashioneth their hearts alike, hee consi∣dereth all their workes. Marke it, when God lookes downe from heaven, and beholdes the children of men, the chiefest thing that he doth, wherein his government is exercised, is, in that hee fashions their hearts and spirits: and therefore those e∣ternall subjects of his that live with him for ever, and spirits, as the Angels, and the soules of men. Therefore if thou wouldest observe the will of the Lord toward thee, and wouldest see, wherein his providence is chiefly exerci∣sed, looke upon thy spirit upon all occasions; that is, what bents, what inclinations, what hopes, and desires hee hath put into thy soule. If you looke upon men in the world, you shall see them divers in their spirits; one man lusts after riches, honour and preferment; another after gaming, sporting and drinking: now looke upon this temper of spirit as the grea∣test judgement of all others. Againe, looke upon the spirits of other men, they are fashio∣ned Page  27 a contrary way, to deny themselves, to seeke grace, and avoid sinne; to be content to have God alone, to doe his worke, and to leave their wages to God, to live a painfull life, ser∣ving God, and men with their sweetnesse: this is a quite contrary spirit, and this is the greatest blessing. Therefore you shall see, that when the Lord is angry with a man, so that his anger is wound up to the highest pegge, then he gives him over to this judgement: as it is, Psal. 81.12.*So I gave them over to their owne hearts lust, and they walked in their owne counsells: that is, my judgement shall be executed upon their spirits, to leave them to an unjudicious minde. Againe, on the other side, when the Lord would doe a man the greatest kindnesse, then he fashions his spirit another way. Deut. 30.6.*And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord with all thine heart, and with all thy soule, that thou maist live: as if he should say, when I minde to doe you a kindnesse, then I will thus fashion your hearts aright. So E∣zek. 36.26.*A new heart also will I give unto you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you an heart of flesh. The Scrip∣ture is plentifull in this. Therefore if thou wouldest observe what the LORD is to thee, looke how hee fashions thy spirit: if thou findest that hee leaves thee to unruly affecti∣ons and lusts, and leaves thee to be glued to that from which thou shouldest be divorced; Page  28 or that he hath left thee in bondage to the feare of men, as a snare to thee, there is no greater judgement in the world than this, as it is the greatest mercy on the contrary. Therefore in 2 Tim. 4.22.*Paul prayes, The Lord Iesus Christ be with thy spirit: as if hee should say, this is the greatest mercy that I can wish thee, and the greatest good that God can doe thee, and there∣fore he wisheth God to be with his spirit.

*Now to set on this point a little further, and to make this plaine to you: you shall see it in these three things.

[ 1] 1. Because all other things, as riches, poverty, health, sicknesse, &c. he dispenseth these pro∣miscuously, so, he gives riches to wicked men, &c. because as it is Eccles. 9.1.*His love, or ha∣tred, cannot be knowne by these things. Whence I reason thus; That wherein the love and hatred of God is most seene, therein his providence chiefly exerciseth it selfe: but in the fashioning of the spirits of men, there, and there chiefly, is his providence seene; for other things come alike to men, to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not.

[ 2] 2. The disposing of other things is much in the power of men. A Prince, or a man hath power to kill, or to save, he can give riches, and honor, and take them away, at his pleasure: But to rule the spirits, to compose, and guide the apprehensions, and affections of the soule, that belongs to God alone; a man is no more a∣ble to doe it, than to rule the raging sea. For Page  29 as it is proper to God alone, to compose the winde, and to rule the waves: so it is proper to him alone to rule the turbulent affections, to compose, and guide them. If there be any dis∣ordered affection in the heart, as an immoderate love of any thing, or an impatient desire to any thing, who, is able to remove it, but the Lord who is a Spirit? So, who can implant holy af∣fections in thee, but he alone? as, for example, to thinke a good thought, a man cannot do it with∣out him, who is the Father of spirits; so to per∣swade a man, no man can doe it, it must be the Lord, as Noah saith; God shall perswade Laphet to dwell in the Tents of Sem. So to see the hai∣nousnesse of sinne, and the evill of it, no man can doe it but by the spirit of God, as it is said. Iohn 16.9.*The Spirit convinceth men of Sinne. So to wil this, or that, which is good, it is he that workes both the will and the deed. A man cannot choose but bee swallowed vp with worldly griefe, except God keepe him, he cannot chose but feare the face of man, except God assist him: for this is one of Gods prerogatives royall, to rule in the affections, and apprehension of men.

[ 3] 3 Because the guiding of a mans spirit, is of the greatest consequence of all other things else. Now God is a wise commander, and there∣fore he will not exert, and put forth his power, but in things of greatest moment: but the guid∣ing of our affections is all in all to us. For, in a mans outward estate, what things soever befall him, all are nothing; but what his apprehensi∣on Page  30 is of them, and how he is affected to them, makes them crosses or comforts: if a mans spirit be whole, the greatest crosse is nothing, and the least is intolerable, if his spirit be broken. As, againe, what are all pleasant things, if a man hath not a heart to apprehend them? As to Paul, what was all his persecution? as long as his spirit was whole within him, he carried it out well: and what was Paradise to Adam, and a kingdome to Ahab, when their spirit was bro∣ken? It is the apprehension that makes every thing to a man heavy, or unheavy, pleasant or unpleasant, sweete or sower: and therefore this is the use to be made of it, to behold Gods pro∣vidence cheifely on our spirits, and not onely in our owne spirits, but what he doth vpon the spirits of others also. It is a thing we stumble at, when we see a wicked man prosper, and car∣ry all things in the world before him, we should not say, where is Gods providence, and the truth of his promise? but see what he doth upon the spirit of that man. If thou seest such a man more malicious to the Church, and children of God, growing more carnall, and abominable in his courses, therein is Gods curse seene more, than in all the dispensation of outward curses: for that treasure of sinne which he layes up for himselfe, will draw on a treasure of wrath, which will be executed in due season. There∣fore beholde your spirits alwayes, and Gods providence upon them. Lament. 3.65.*Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse upon them: the Page  31 words signifie, which is thy curse upon them. Therefore if you see an obstinate heart in a man, that is the greatest curse of all. As in re∣ceiving the Sacrament, there wee doe pro∣nounce a curse to him that receives it unworthi∣ly, and prophanes the Lords body: but, it may be, he goes on and sees it not; but now looke upon his spirit, and see how GOD deales with that, whether his heart doth not grow harder, and more obdurate, which is the greatest curse? You may observe this every where. If thou seest one that hath a vaine and idle spirit, that cannot studie, that cannot pray, that cannot choose but be carried away by an unruly lust to this or that thing, believe it, this is a greater judge∣ment than all the diseases in the world, than all shame and disgrace, that wee account so much of, than poverty and crosses: as it is the grea∣test mercy, on the other side, when a man is able to serve GOD with an upright heart, and to be sincere in all his carriage. Thus it is with men, and this thou shouldest observe in thy selfe also from day to day. Let us not observe so much, what accidents befall us, what good is done to us, or what crosses wee have, (it is true indeed GOD is seene in all these things) but chiefly looke what GOD hath done to our spirit, what composing of minde, or what tur∣bulency of affections, or what quietnesse, what patience, or what impatience; and for this be chiefly humbled, or be chiefly thankfull: for to take away from Christ the praise of sanctifi∣cation, Page  32 is as much as to take away the praise of his redemption. Herein thou shalt see his love or hatred manifested to thee; his greatest judge∣ment shewed to thee, or his greatest mercies.

*The Third Vse is that which the Scripture makes of it. Iohn 4, 24.* If God be a Spirit, then worship him in Spirit and truth.* What it is to worship God in spirit and truth, you shall see, if you compare this place with that in Rom. 1.9*For God is my witnesse, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospell of his Sonne, that without ceasing I make mention of you alwayes in my prayers.* The meaning of it is this. When Paul had taken a solemne asseveration, GOD is my witnesse, &c. doe not thinke, saith hee, that I have done this feignedly, I am no such man; in preaching the Gospell of Iesus Christ, I doe it in my spirit: that is, I doe it not for by-ends, for feare of men, or the like, but I doe it in my spirit, that is, plainly, heartily, and sincerely.

So that to worship GOD in spirit, is, to have a plainnesse, and sincerity in our worshipping him, that is, to doe it heartily what we doe to him; in our praying, and worshipping him, when it is not formally, and customarily done, but our spirit seconds it within, this it is to wor∣ship him in spirit. So that the scope of our ex∣hortation is, that you would worship GOD chiefly in your spirits. As it is said of singing Psalmes, Col. 3.16.*Admonish one another in Psalmes, and hymnes, and spirituall songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And the Page  33 ground of it is, because GOD is a spirit, and therefore he beholdes at any such time, when you come before him, the inward behaviour of your spirits: that is, he observes when you come to preach, or pray, what squint-eyed ends, what vaine glory, what respect to men you have. Yea, he observes how farre naturall conscience leads you, so that you do it as a task, out of custome, &c. he observes what worldly-mindednes, and carnall affections creep into the soule, at that time, that makes you either to post off the duty, or else to doe it in a customary manner. All this doth he behold, he lookes to the inward carriage of the spirit: and therefore doe you looke chiefly to the inward carriage, to the inward frame of your minde.*

[Quest.] But what is that more particularly?

[Answ.] I will shew it to you in these three things.

[ 1] 1. See that thy spirit be as neare him as thy lippes are, Isay 29.13.* Hee complaines of a sort of people, that draw nigh unto God with their mouth, and with their lips doe honour him, but have removed their heart farre from him, and their feare towards him is taught by the precepts of men. So Ier. 12.2.*Thou oh Lord art neare in their mouth, and farre from their reines. Now if thou wouldest worship him in spirit, see that thy spirit be as neare him as thy words are. As, for example, in prayer thou confessest thy sinnes, and profes∣sest that thou doest hate them, thou prayest for mortification, and grace, & for weanednes from the world; herein thy words and Gods will doe Page  34 agree, they are consonant, and when yet, it may be, the inward inclination of thy heart is farre enough off from this expression: therefore bring thy spirit neare to God as thy lippes are, and then thou worshippest him in spirit. To shew you more plainly what this farrenesse off of the spirit is; take a covetous man, and put him upon the racke of any exigent, where hee must part with all to save his life, he will say as much as need to be in this case: but his heart is set as close to his wealth, as ever it was before, so that he is loath to part with any thing. And take a thiefe that comes before the Iudge, hee confesseth his fault, and begges pardon, and saith that he will doe so no more: but yet his heart sits as neere to his theft, he is as farre from honesty as ever he was before. So take a man, when he comes into some exigent, (for that u∣sually is the time) as at the receiving of the Sa∣crament, or at his day of death, he comes and professeth to the Lord, that hee will follow no more his wicked courses; but he will become a new man, here his words draw neare, but looke to the bent and inclination of his heart, to the radicall constitution of it, and that is farre from holinesse, there hee sits as close to his sinne as hee did before. Therefore, if thou wouldest worship God in spirit, take care that thy spirit draw neare to him upon all such occasions, as thy words doe. A man in his ordinary course, it may be, prayes, and his prayers are good: but how farre his heart is from it, that his life Page  35 shewes. It is a strange thing, that at the Sacra∣ment, men come and make confession of their sins: and yet their spirits are far from it, and that their practise shewes. Consider this; you are the men that the Prophet doth speake too, you draw nigh to GOD with your lips, but your heart is farre from him. And this is the first particu∣ler.

[ 2] When you worship God with all the might and strength, and indevour of the minde and all the faculties of it, this is to worship God in spirit. 2 Sam. 6.14.* It is said of David, that hee danced before the Lord with all his might: it was a worship of God, a spirituall worship of God, wherein David, by his outward act of dancing, did expresse his exultation, and re∣ioycing in the Lord. Now the text saith, that he did this with all his might, with all the might of his spirit; (for so you must understand it.) It is a Metaphore taken from the body, when a man useth all his strength, and might to doe any thing, he vnites all the forces of his body to it: so a man worshippeth God in spirit, when all the faculties of the soule, are concentred and united together in the performance of such a dutie. And therefore it is called a wrastling with the Lord, as Iacob did: and it is called a stri∣ving with God, as Paul saith, that you strive together with me in prayer: Rom. 15.30.* that is, when the soule, and the minde are joyned all to∣gether, when hee bends the whole soule to the worke, this is to worship God in spirit. Such Page  36 an expression you haue, Act. 20.* where Paul went bound in the spirit to Ierusalem; that is, his spirit did not hang loose, but it was girt up in a resolution to goe through with the worke, whatsoever came of it, his spirit was bound. Now, when thy spirit hangs loose upon the du∣ty, halfe on, and halfe off, when a man cares not whether hee doth it or no, this is not to worship God with the spirit; but when thy minde is girt up, and thou dost it with all the intention of thy soule, then thou dost it hearti∣ly, as it is Col. 3.22.*Servants obey in all things your Masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men pleasers, but in singlenesse of heart fearing GOD: where eye-service, and heartily are op∣posed. Eye-service is, when a man doth it in the outward shew, and appearance onely, and what is the other, to doe a thing heartily? That is, when a mans strength and his soule doth goe with the duty: and the contrary to this is, the loosenesse of the minde, and the wandring of it about other things, when the body, and the words are well imployed, but the minde doth not goe with them; this is not to worship God in spirit, when the spirit sits thus loose to God. And this is the second thing, wherein this worshipping of God in spirit, doth con∣sist.

[ 3] The Third which hath not much, but yet some difference from the former, is this, when the spirit of a man beholds God alone; when his eye is upon him, when hee comes to wor∣ship Page  37 him, and upon nothing besides. If a man will have an eye to men, to the praise, or dis∣praise that shall follow the performance of the duty, he doth so farre worship men. But hee serves God and worships him in spirit, when his heart is left naked, and stripped of all other re∣spects in the world, and so filled, and over∣awed with the presence of God, that all other respects doe vanish. This it is to worship God in singlenesse of heart; and this is opposed to outward performance Col. 3.22.* for eye-ser∣vice is but onely a bodily and outward wor∣ship: but when a man doth it with singlenesse of heart, then it is not eye-service as there; that is, it is not outward onely. Now, singlenesse of heart is this; when the minde hath but one single object to looke upon; so that to looke, not upon any creature, but upon God, and none besides. This is to worship God in singlenesse of heart, which is the same with holinesse of spirit. As the holinesse of the vessell in the old law was when it was set apart from all other services to God alone, so the holinesse of a mans spirit is, when it is separated from all by-respects and aimes, and is wholly devoted to him (whence our word, Devotion doth spring) and when a man worships God with this naked∣nesse, with this singlenes and holinesse of spirit, then he worships God in spirit. But when thou commest to performe any duty, as to preach a Sermon, or to pray, and thou lookest what men will thinke of thee, and what praise and credit thou shalt get by it, this pollutes your spirit; so Page  38 farre as you doe this, there is not singlenesse, but doublenesse of spirit, and here is eye-ser∣vice in GODS account.

Therefore looke alwayes to worship him in spirit, remember the argument here used, GOD is a Spirit: that is, looke how the corporeall eye of man beholds the body, when thou com∣mest to Church, and can see the negligence of thy behaviour, and uncomely gesture; so GOD, that is a spirit, he beholds the vanity and loose∣nesse of thy spirit within, the turning and rou∣ling of it this way, or that way; therefore take diligent heede to thy spirit; labour to approve thy selfe to him, care not what any creature saith or thinketh of thee; and this is to worship him in thy spirit.

Now here are two Questions to be answered.

[Quest. 1] If GOD must thus be worshipped in spirit, and it is the behaviour of that which he lookes to, what necessity is there then of a bodily, comely, and outward gesture? how farre is this required in his worship?*

[Answ.] The spirituall worship of God is never well performed, but when it is signified by the comely gesture of the body, as farre as wee may. I say, they must concurre, the body must goe with the spirit, (though indeed he chiefly lookes to the spirit) for they are both his, 1 Cor. 6.20.* Besides, the body doth exceedingly helpe the spirit, and it doth testifie, when you come before others, that holinesse and reverence, which you have of Gods glory and majesty. Page  39 Therefore to perswade you to this, you must know, that when ever you come to worship God, there ought to be a great solemnity in e∣very part of his worship, which cannot be without the concurrence of the body and spi∣rit of man, they cannot be disjoyned: And you shall see the necessity of this, in these 3 things.

[ 1] 1. Because, though holinesse be seated in the spirit, yet it doth & will appeare in the body at the same time. You know, the light of the can∣dle is seated in the candle, yet it shines through the lant-horne, if it be there; so, though holi∣nesse be seated in the spirit, yet it will appeare in the body, if it be there. It is so in all other things, and therefore must needes be so in this: As, take any affections that are in us, as a blush∣ing affection, when occasion is, it will appeare in the body, whether we will or no; so an im∣pudent face is discerned and perceived also; so awefulnesse, and feare, and reverence, they will shew themselves, and looke out at the windowes of the eyes, and appeare in the face, except we willingly suppresse them. Now, if these will doe so; surely it holds in this also. If there be a reverence of the minde, it will be seene in the behaviour of the body. Therefore you see; Eliah, when he prayed earnestly, the dispositi∣on of the body went with it, he put his face downe betweene his legges. So Iesus Christ, when hee prayed for Lazarus, hee groaned in his spirit, and wept. Now if he did so, (who might be exemp∣ted, if any might) then doe not thou thinke that Page  40 thou canst have a holy, reverent disposition of the minde, and it not appeare in the body, it cannot be. Therefore you shall finde, that this is called the heart every where, because the af∣fections are seated there; and now the body is accordingly affected as the heart is affected; for what affections a man hath, such is his heart.

[ 2] 2. Consider this; If thou findest thy selfe apt to a carelesse, negligent behaviour, and carriage of the body, when thou commest to GOD, and pretendest this, that he is a spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit; I say, consider, whether this be not an excuse that thy flesh makes to this end, that it may be lazie, and have some ease to it selfe, from a false acception of that principle, God is a Spirit, that so it may give way to an outward lazinesse of the body. Therefore looke narrowly to it, thou shouldest stirre up the out∣ward man, that thou thereby maist stirre up the inward man, when thou commest before God in any worship.

[ 3] 3. Consider, that to make any thing an or∣dinance, there must be an application of the whole man to it; otherwise, it is but a lame performance, and God will not reckon as the obedience of an ordinance. For this truth must be remembred; That an ordinance of God per∣formed as it ought to be, doth usually carry a blessing with it. A prayer, a Sacrament recei∣ved as it ought, a fast kept as it should, moves the Lord to give a blessing, if thou doest not Page  41Ponere obicem, thou shalt not goe away empty; for it is alwayes accompanied with a blessing: as it is said to Ananias, Acts 9.*Goe to Paul, for behold he prayes: when it is a prayer indeed, God can holde no longer. Doe you thinke, that Paul never prayed before, when he was a Pha∣rise? Yes; but it was not as he ought, he never prayed indeed till now; now consider, when thou commest before the Lord to performe any duty to him, thou wilt say, it may be, that my spirit is well disposed, though the gesture of my body be not according? but I say, deceive not thy selfe with this, but looke that it be a tho∣row performance. For as it was in the old law, a lame sacrifice was accepted as none: so a lame prayer, a lame hearing the word, a lame perfor∣mance of any exercise God reckons as none. Therefore in these things God sends them away empty as they came. What better are they? doe their hearts get any thing? Beloved, God is a fountaine, and if he meet with a fit pipe, (as is an ordinance rightly performed there he usu∣ally conveyes his grace: but if he meet with a foule pipe, and obstructed, there hee doth not conferre any blessing.

Now, if thou saist, I have thus behaved my selfe, and have not beene answered? Doe not deceive thy selfe; for if it be truly performed, you shall be answered: so that looke, if it be truly done, expect a blessing, GOD will not suffer his ordinance, at that time, to be a pen without inke, or a pipe without water. I hope Page  42 there be none of us here that neglect prayer to GOD morning, and evening, that live as if there no GOD in the world, as if they were not his subjects: if there be, GOD will wound the hoa∣ry scalpe of such. But these are not the men I speake to; but they are those that doe it from day to day, they pray from time to time, and o∣mit it not; these are the men, whom wee are to advertise in this case. Take heede, though you pray every day, yet it may be thou hast not made a prayer all thy life yet, and this is the case of many. For, if thou considerest what an ordinance is indeed, thou shalt know that the Lord doth not reckon all petitioning as a pray∣er, nor set it downe for the ordinance. And it may bee the case of the Saints sometimes, (though we speake not now to them) they may pray often, and yet the Lord not register, nor set it downe for a prayer, and therefore it may never come into remembrance before him. And this I take to be Davids case in the time of his adultery; the ground of which you shall see, Psal. 51.16, 17.*Open thou my lips (O LORD) and my mouth shall set forth thy praise: David had, as it were, mistaken himselfe, he thought that he had prayed, and offered a sacrifice, but, saith he, I was deceived all this while, I was not able to open my mouth to any purpose; therefore, Lord, open thou my mouth; I brought sacri∣fice in, but thou regardest it not, till my heart was humbled; Therefore, a broken and a con∣trite heart, O GOD, thou wilt not despise. Page  43 Therefore you deceive your selves, that goe on in a customary performance of holy duties, and thinke that you pray for all this; that thinke this worship to be in the spirit onely, when your outward man carries it selfe negligently; this is but a lame performance, they must goe both together. Therefore looke that it be an ordinance, which then it is, when not onely the spirit of a man is well set, but the whole man is applied to the duty, that is, when all the strength of a man goes to it.

[Object.] If you say, May not a man pray sometimes, when he is walking, or lying, or riding by the way, or the like?

[Answ.] I answer, There be two times of prayer, one is ordinary, and in private, when you may have all opportunity to doe it in a holy, and solemne manner, and then you ought to doe it solemn∣ly. The other is, when you pray occasionally; and there the occasion and disposition doth not admit such outward solemnity; as when a man gives thankes at meate, or prayeth when hee rides; Here the Lord accepts the will for the deed: GOD requires not this upon all occasi∣ons; yet when you may, you ought to doe it, in a reverent manner, not onely of spirit, but of the bodie also. You may gather it from Christ, he fell on his face and prayed, Luke 22.42. and Da∣niel,* and Abraham, it is said that they bowed themselves to the ground: And it is said of Christ, that hee lifted up his eyes to heaven, when he blessed the loaves. Why are these set Page  44 downe? If any man might be freed, Iesus Christ might; but it pleaseth the holy Ghost to set downe that circumstance of him, that he fell on his face, and that hee lift up his eyes to hea∣ven.

Indeed, in this case when it is hurtfull to the body, there it may be omitted; the Lord will have mercie rather than sacrifice, even mercie upon your bodies. So also, when you finde that it hurts the inward man, and hinders it, when the heart doth it out of a conceit, that it may performe it the better, then there is a libertie left unto you to dispense with it.

As I say for prayer, so for other duties: when a man comes to heare the word, hee saith, my minde is intent enough, though I make not such a shew; yet notwithstanding know this, that thou must behave thy self reverently when thou commest before God. You shall see in Luke 4. when Christ preached,* it is said, that the eyes of all the people were fastened upon him. Why is such a corporall gesture noted in the text? is it in vaine? No, because it is a comely gesture, therefore it is to be regarded.

[Quest. 2] How should we conceive of GOD in prayer, seeing he is a Spirit, and a Spirit we never saw: what conceit and apprehension of GOD should we have then when we come to call upon his name?

[Answ.] Wee may not conceive him under any cor∣poreall shape, for he is a Spirit: and therefore they that thinke they may worship the huma∣nity Page  45 of Christ disjoyned, are deceived: we are not to worship it as separated from his Deity; for we are to worship the Trinity in the Vnity, and the Vnity in Trinity, which we cannot doe, if we worship his humanitie as separated from his Deity. Therefore when you come to pray before GOD, you must remember * that he is a Spirit, filling heaven and earth, strong, gracious, mercifull, full of goodnesse and truth, &c. concer∣ning which three things are to bee conside∣red.

[ 1] First, That he is a Spirit.

[Object.] But how shall I conceive of a Spirit?

[Answ.] How doest thou conceive of the soule of an∣other man when thou speakest to him? thou never didst see it, yet thou knowest that there is such a spirit that fills the body, and that doth understand what thou sayest, and speakes to thee againe; so remember this of the Lord, that he is a Spirit. Compare Ier. 23.24. with this:*Can any man hide himselfe in secret places, that I shall not see him, saith the Lord? Doe not I fill hea∣ven and earth, saith the Lord?

[ 2] Secondly, That the Lord fills heaven and earth, as the soule fills the body: so that thou must thinke that hee sees all things, and heares all things. Indeed the Lord is not in the world, as the soule is in the body, but in an incompre∣hensible manner, which we cannot expresse to you; yet this is an expression which wee may helpe our selves by, and is used every where in Scripture.

Page  46 [ 3] Thirdly, consider his Attributes, that hee is a Spirit filling heaven and earth, and hee is ex∣ceeding fearefull, powerfull, almighty, excee∣ding gracious and long-suffering, abundant in mercy and truth, that hee hath pure eyes, and cannot see any iniquity: Deut. 24.* So Exod. 34.6.* As Moses could not see him, but his Attri∣butes, his backe parts; so thou must conceive of him, that he is exceeding strong, potent, and fearefull, one that will not holde the wicked in∣nocent, but shewes mercie to thousands of them that feare him; and to sinners, if they will come in unto him: And thus you must conceive of him, when you come before him.

Page  47


EXOD. 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM, &c.

HAVING finished that point, that GOD is a Spirit, which is a particular expression of the Simplicity of GOD, we come to speake of the Simplicity it selfe: which is that Attribute, by which he is one most pure and entire essence, one most Page  48simple, being without all composition; so that there is no substance, and accident, matter, and forme, body, and soule; but he is every way most sim∣ple, nothing in him, but what is God, what is himselfe. The rise that it hath from hence, we shall see hereafter. All those phrases of Scrip∣ture, where God is said to be love, truth, light, and wisedome it selfe, all these shew the Simpli∣city of God: for of no creature can you say so. The creature is wise, and just, and holy, and true: but to say, it is truth it selfe, love it selfe, light it selfe, or wisedome it selfe, that cannot be attributed to any creature. So that this you must know, that God is one most pure, intire and uniforme being or essence: I AM, shewes that he is a being; and if we should aske, what kinde of being he is; he is a most simple and un∣compounded being. And that hee is so, wee will make it cleare by these reasons.*

*Because, if there be many things in him, they must not be the same, but different; if different, one hath one perfection which another wants; if so, there must be something imperfect in God: for if the defect of that were made up, it would be more perfect.

*If there be two things in God, then there is multiplication; now all multiplication ariseth from some imperfection, from some want and defect: for if one would serve, two would not be required. As if one could draw a ship or boate up the streame, two were needlesse; if one medicine would cure, two would be unne∣cessary; Page  49 so in all things else: so that the reason of multiplication is, because one will not serve the turne. Therefore GOD being all-sufficient, it is not needfull, yea it cannot be, that a brea∣king into two should be admitted in him, and consequently, he must be most simple, without all composition, a pure and intire essence, full of himselfe, and nothing besides.

If GOD should have love in him, or justice,* or wisedome, or life, or any other quality different from his essence, as the creatures have them, he should be what he is, not originally of himselfe, but derivatively, and by participation, and so imperfectly; as to be fiery is more imperfect than to be fire it selfe, to be gilded is more im∣perfect than to be gold it selfe: So to be wise, loving, holy, that is, to be indewed with the qualities of wisedome, love, holinesse, is more im∣perfect, than to be wisedome, and love, and ho∣linesse it selfe. Therefore there is not a substance and a quality in GOD, as in the creature: but he is love, and light, and wisedome, and truth, and so the Scripture expresseth him.

Wheresoever there is any composition,* there must be two or three things, so that there may be a division; they are seperable, though not se∣parated; but where division may be, there may be a dissolution and destruction, though it never be: But of GOD, we cannot say, that this may be, and consequently, there cannot be two things in him, but what he is, he is; one most sim∣ple, most pure, and most intire being, without Page  50 all composition and multiplication.

*If GOD be not simple, there must be parts of which he is compounded: But in GOD bles∣sed for ever, there are no parts, because then there should be imperfection, for every part is imperfect.

Againe, Parts are in order of nature before the whole, but in God there is nothing first or second, because he is simply first.

Againe, Parts cannot be united and knit, and compounded together, without causes to doe it; but here is no cause to knit and unite any part together, because he is without all cause, as hath beene shewed before.

*I will conclude this with a reason out of the text, He is a being, I AM hath sent mee unto you. If he be a being, then either the first or second being. A second being he cannot be, for then there should be some before him, and above him, upon which he should be dependent: but this cannot be; therefore hee is absolutely the first being. Adam was the first man, but God onely is the first absolute being. Now the first being was never in possibility to be: and there∣fore he is a pure act in regard of his essence. A∣gaine, there are no qualities springing from him; for if there were, they should have had sometimes no being; and so in possibility to be, and consequently have a beginning, and be a creature: Therefore there is neither Potentia substantialis, nor accidentalis in him, and so hee must be purus actus, as the Schoolemen say; and Page  51 therefore he is most simple, without all composi∣tion. This I speake to schollers; for it is a mixt auditory: and therefore you must give mee a little liberty.

Now I come to those Consectaries which flow from hence; and they are these three.

If God be such a simple, first, pure,* and absolute being, then hence you may see, what a stable foundation our faith hath to rest upon;* we are built upon the lowest foundation in all the world, that is, upon the first, most absolute, and simple, and pure, and intire being; which I say is the lowest foundation, that depends upon no other, but all upon it: and this is the happy con∣dition of all Christians, and of them alone. An∣gels, men, heaven and earth are foundations to some things which are built upon them: but they are all built upon this, and therefore de∣pendent. For if this foundation shake it selfe, (for so he hath power to doe) they all fall to ru∣ine: But God is the first, simple, and lowest foun∣dation, being the first absolute and simple be∣ing; therefore he that is built upon him, hath the greatest stability, which is the transcendent happinesse of Christians, above all men in the world. And this is a great priviledge of theirs, which you shall finde upon this ground magni∣fied and set forth in Psal. 46.1, 2.*God is our hope and strength; therefore will we not feare, though the earth be removed, and though the mountaines be carried into the midst of the sea, &c. As if hee should say, Though there were a subversion of Page  52 Kingdomes, and an overthrow of all the Chur∣ches, yea a confusion of heaven and earth, (as there shall be at the last day) though the moun∣taines were rent from their foundations, and cast into the middle of the sea, yet Christians should be sure all the while, because God, who is the first, absolute, and simple being, and so the lowest foundation, is their hope and strength; that is, he is a foundation lower than all these, that when all these things shall come to ruine, yet GOD on whom wee trust, shall be a sure helpe, and comfort.

Beloved, this is to be considered, that you may know what your comfort is, and upon what foundation you are built.

*If GOD be most simple, without all composi∣tion, then this will follow, that he cannot be hindred in any thing that he goes about to doe,* but is most independent as in being, so in working, by reason of his simplicity. There is no crea∣ture but may be hindered: for in the best of the creatures, to wit, in the Angels, there is an es∣sence, and an executive power by which they worke: Even as you see it in the fire, there is the substance of fire, and the qualitie of heate by which it workes: now where there are two things, an essence and a faculty by which it workes, something may come betweene, and hinder the working and operation. As in the Babylonish furnace, GOD separated betweene the fire, and the heate, that it could not burne the men that were cast into it, Dan. 3. So he doth Page  53 with the Angells, he comes betweene the sub∣stance, and the executive power, and often hin∣ders them from doing what they would: But in GOD, seeing hee is most simple, and intire, there is not an essence, and executive power, (as the Schoolemen call it:) therefore there can nothing come betweene to be an impediment; there is not any action that he intends, but he workes it absolutely and of himselfe. Therefore we are to consider, that that GOD which we have to worship and serve, that nothing can come be∣tweene, and hinder him in working, but what he will doe, he doth: and therefore wee should learne to feare before him, and to trust in him, and to acknowledge the greatnesse of his pow∣er, and to know the ground of it, seeing he is so absolute and wonderfull in all his workes.

Hence likewise it followes,* that all the At∣tributes of GOD are equall among themselves,* not one higher than another, or larger than an∣other; for if he be simple, and there are not two things in him, then his Attributes, or his es∣sence, and himselfe are the same; and if so, one cannot exceed another; his mercy is not be∣yond his justice, nor his justice beyond his wise∣dome. Therefore though he doth put forth one Attribute now, another then, yet wee must not thinke that his mercy is greater than all his Attributes: therefore that place in the Psalmist, His mercy is above all his workes, is commonly misunderstood. The meaning is not, that his mercy exceedes all his other Attributes, but Page  54 that his mercy is over, and upon all his workes. As the warmth of the hen is over all the egges, to warme, and cherish, and hatch them: so Gods mercy is over all his workes, to cherish, and nou∣rish, and perfect them; that is, it is shewed forth upon them all. For it is not a comparative speech, as if his mercy did exceed all his other Attributes: for if all his Attributes are himselfe, they must be equall, there is no difference in re∣gard of height or largenesse betweene them. And thus the place is to be understood: for so the word signifies in the originall, and not ac∣cording to the common acception. So much for the Consectaries, now wee will come to uses of practise.

[Vse 1] 1. If simplicity be one of GODS excellencies; then let us labour to come as neere to it as we can, by bringing our hearts to be content with a simplicity of condition:* for this is a sure rule, The more composition, the more weaknesse, the more impediment, and withall the more exposednesse to dissolution and decay. Therefore GOD is not subject to weaknesse and impediment in wor∣king, because he is most simple, not having es∣sence, and faculty, so that any thing should come betweene and hinder him; and therefore also is he not capable of dissolution: & therfore the nearer any come to this simplicity, they are (as I say) lesse weake, lesse subject to impedi∣ment and destruction; and the safer, and stron∣ger, and happier they be. As for example, the Angells, so farre as they fall short of the sim∣plicity of the eternall GOD, who is blessed for Page  55 ever, so farre they are subject to all this: they have faculties different from their essences, and one from another, as understanding, will, and their executive power; hence they are subject to weaknesse. For they may fall into sinne, as you know the first Angels did, and their faculties jarred one with another, and fell out of tune: and having an executive power, they are also subject to impediment; whence neither the good Angels, nor the bad, can doe what they would, but they are and may be hindred.

In the next place consider man, and as hee is much more compounded than the Angels, so he is more weake, more subject to impediment, more liable to decay and ruine, as sicknesse, di∣stemper, crosses, death: for he hath not onely a rationall faculty, as the Angels have, but sensitive; a sensitive memory, a sensitive fancy, and a sensitive appetite; he hath also a body consisting of di∣vers members, needing many externall helpes, as aire, diet, houses, exercises, and so he is sub∣ject to many weaknesses, many hurts, many impediments, and losses of all sorts.

[Object.] You will say, this is a mans naturall condi∣tion indeed, but how shall this be helped?

[Answ.] The naturall condition cannot be changed▪ but it may be exceedingly helped; as, if wee bring our hearts to be content with a more or lesse simplicity of condition, that is, if the dis∣position and constitution of the minde be such, that it be not dependent upon many things, but upon few; this is done, when the thoughts and Page  56 affections of the minde doe not lie scattered, hanging or lying upon this or that thing, so that you cannot live without it; but when the mind is recollected and gathered up, so that you can be content with a simplicity of condition, with GOD alone for your portion; so that you can live with exceeding little, not requiring a mul∣titude of things, upon which the contentment. and satisfaction of the minde doth depend. As for example; some men cannot live without sports and pleasure, and a great living to main∣taine them: another must have great learning and gifts, and eminency, and praise that fol∣lowes it: Another hath his heart so wedded to a convenient house, wife, children, compa∣nions, &c. that if any of these be taken away, he is dead in the nest: Not to speake of their vaine, base, distempered affections, they must have a hundred things, their fancy is infinite, and all must be to their minde, or else they are still complaining. Now the more things a man needes, the more compound, and lesse simple he is, (as I may so say) and consequently, the weaker he is, and more apt to be hindred, more apt to be hurt and disquieted; because if you touch any of that multitude of things, upon which his heart is set, he is presently troubled; which is more easily done, as the things are more, upon which his affections are placed: but he is best, who is come to that selfe-suffici∣ency of minde, and to be content with that sim∣plicity of condition, that he can say of any of Page  57 these things; I can live by them and without them, I can live without liberty, I can live without friends, I can live without sports and pleasure, without worldly credit, and esteeme, without wife, and children, without riches, without conveniency of aire, garden, orchards. This is the condition that wee should labour to grow up to: and the neerer wee grow up to it, the better wee are, and the safer is our con∣dition.

[Object.] But will not you have us to use such things?

[Answ.] Yes, but not to bee wedded to them, but so weaned from them, that you may use them, as if you used them not; whereas there are some that have their hearts so glued to them, that it breaks their hearts, when they have their friends or children, or estates, or credit faile them, or if they bee hindred from their liuings, pleasure and conueniences: but hee is in the happiest and best condition who can live alone, and can bee content with God alone; that can fetch so much comfort and helpe from him, that hee can hee without friends and companions, with∣out wife, and children; and if hee be put into a country towne farre from all sutable acquain∣tance, yea if he be shut up in a close prison, yet he can walke with God, and doe as Paul and Silas, have his heart filled with joy and peace through believing. This is the safety and strength of a man. For even as the body, the more sicke it is, the more helpes it needes; and the lamer it is, the more props it must have, Page  58 one for his arme, another for his legges, ano∣ther for his back: whereas a stronge man can walke upon his owne legges, hee needs noe other helpe: even so the soule, the more sicke and lame it is, the more it needs; but he which hath a strong inward man which is in health, let him have GOD, and shift him from vessell to vessell, from condition to condition, let him bee stripped of all, yet hee can goe upon his legges and can live without all. So saith the Apostle Pàul, Phil. 4.*I have learned in what estate soever I am, therewith to bee content: that is, riches or not riches, honour or not honour, yet his minde had a bottome that he could stand alone, and bee happie without them. Thus I say, the more a mans affection is inlarged to a multitude of things, the weaker hee is, and more subject to bee disquieted, by any thing: but the more his minde is contracted, and gathered into a narrow compasse, and con∣tent with a greater simplicity of condition, the safer, and stronger hee is, and lesse subject to bee disquieted by any creature; because let come what will come, whatsoever condition hee is put into, he hath a bottome to stand up∣on, he hath some thing to comfort his heart.

[Object.] But how shall a man get his minde to such a frame?

[Answ.] You shall have a meanes prescribed in 1 Tim 6.6. Godlinesse with content is great gaine: that is, godlinesse is alwayes joyned with contentment, it is alwayes the cause of contentment, and there∣fore Page  59great gaine. So then, be a godly man, that is, make thy heart perfect with GOD, serve and feare him alone, be content with him alone for your portion; he is All-sufficient, his com∣munion will breed contentment and satisfaction enough to thy heart, so that thou shalt be able to live with a very slender outward condition. And this is the onely meanes to have the minde drawne from these things that other men are so glued to; and that is, to labour to be content with GOD alone, to serve, and feare him, to grow up to him more and more: for hee is All-sufficient, there is no such way in the world to contract the minde, as to have GOD to be knit to him, to serve and feare him, and to be assu∣red of his favour and love in all conditions. Be∣loved, what a miserable thing is it, to have such changeable happinesse, for a man to be so de∣pendent upon many things which are so excee∣ding mutable? Therefore it should bee our wisedome to bring our mindes to be content with a narrownesse or scantnesse, or simplicity of condition, to let the minde be drawne into as narrow a compasse as may be; and so to come as neere to this excellency of GOD, as our pre∣sent humane condition will well permit us.

[Vse 2] 2. Seeing it is said, Be perfect as your heavenly Fa∣ther is perfect, holy as he is holy,* and good or kinde to the evill, as he is, causing the raine to fall upon them, and his Sunne to shine upon them: So upon the same ground we may say, Be simple as he is simple: that is, you must labour to grow up to Page  60 a simplicity of minde; and such a simplicity as is in almighty God you cannot reach too: but to have a heart immixed, to bee cleansed from drosse, as the gold is, you should labour to get this simplicity of minde, a thing often com∣mended in scripture. What this Simplicity is, wee have briefly touched heretofore, and we will now open it to you more fully.

There are two things required to simplicity or singlenesse of heart.

[ 1] 1 That the heart looke but upon one single object.

[ 2] 2 That it bee so cleansed from all admix∣ture of sinfull affections, that the frame of it may bee fitted to doe so.

[ 1] For the first, I pray you marke that in Iam: 1.8.*A double minded man is unstable in all his waies: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, By a double min∣ded man there is meant, one whose minde hangs betweene a double object, so that he knowes not which of the two is more eligible; his minde is in an even ballance, where neither scale doth praeponderate: On the contrary, he is a simple or a single hearted man, who is not thus divided betweene two objects, but he so resolveth and pitcheth upon one, that hee sub∣ordinates all the other to it. As for example, a double minded man, hath an eye to GOD and his credit, to GOD and his pleasure, to GOD and his friends, he would faine graspe both, and is willing to part with neither: such a man goes not straight on, but he walkes une∣venly Page  61 in his courses; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 that is, while hee is quiet and no temptation doth assaile him, then he walkes with GOD in a strait rule, but let a temptation come, and put him to it, then he steps out of the way, hee will not let his credit or his profit goe. As a weather-cocke, let there bee no winde at all, and it stands still like a fixt thing: but as soone as the wind comes it turnes about. So is it with such a man, while he is quiet, while religion costs him no∣thing, he walkes on in an even way, but let a temptation come and assault him, and be∣cause he hath not a single object, vpon which he is resolved, therefore hee goes out, and walkes unevenly. Contrary to this is hee that hath pitched upon one object, upon GOD a∣lone; hee saith, let me have the Lord alone, and and heaven alone, though I have noe more, thus I have pitched, thus I have resolved, that let what will come, I will part with all, when it comes into composition with this. Beloved, you never have a single heart till now. This singlenesse of heart David expresseth in himselfe, Psa. 27.4. One thing have I desired, that I will require, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all my dayes and behold thy beauty: that is, this one thing have I chosen, I have pitched upon it, I care for nothing besides; if other things come, so it is, but this I require, that I may walke with the Lord, that I may bee in his house all my dayes, that is, that I may injoy the vse of GODS ordinances, and walke with him; and behold Page  62 his beauty in them. And such a speech was that of Christ to Martha; One thing is necessary; that is, if you looke to any thing else, it is in vaine: you ought to take him alone, as a wife takes a husband, that must have none besides, (for so it must be.) And this is the first thing required to simplicity and singlenesse of spirit. The second is this.

[ 2] Let the heart be cleansed from all admixture of sinfull affections, and so brought into such a frame, that it may be apt to looke onely upon one object, upon God alone. And this I take out of Matth. 6.22. The light of the body is the eye, if then the eye be single, the whole body shall be light, &c. even as the eye guides all the members of the body, the hands, feet, &c. so doth the heart or minde guide all the actions of a man. Now as the eye, if it be vitiated or distempered with drunkennesse, or surfeit, or the like, it doth not represent things single, but double, and treble, and so makes a man to walke unevenly: so sin∣full affections, which are contrary to the sim∣plicity of the minde, doe so distemper it that it cannot looke upon God alone, as upon one sin∣gle object, but it hath an eye to other objects with him, and he is distempered betweene them, and so he walkes unevenly. As for example, feare will make a man to walke in a double way; all miscarriage and double-dealing car∣riage comes from feare; were it not for feare, men would be plaine, and simple: therefore feare of men, or any creature, losse of credit, life or Page  63 liberty, this is a snare, and distempers the eye; and till the heart be cleansed of these, you will never walke evenly. And so doth covetous∣nesse distemper us, and voluptuousnesse, or any 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in any kinde, any over-eager desire, or too much haste to accomplish the end which a man propounds to himselfe. So Iacobs too much hasting after the blessing made him not to looke single upon God; but to goe a double and uneven way in using unlawfull meanes to obtaine it. And Ieroboams too greedy desire of the Kingdome, made him to joyne God and the Calves together: for two severall principles cause two severall motions. And so is it when there is any inordinate affection, be it what it will be, there is not a simplicity of heart; and if there be not, you will never looke upon God a∣lone, but upon some creature, upon some ob∣ject or other. Therefore, Iames 4.8.*Cleanse your hearts you wavering-minded. As if when the heart was cleansed from corruption, the minde would be freed from wavering, and brought to simplicity: were the heart purged, there would be a constancy and evennesse in our mouth, and in all our wayes.

This expression of simplicity you shall finde in Matth. 10.16.*Beholde I send you as sheepe among wolves: be wise therefore as serpents, and innocent as doves. The meaning is this: I send you (saith our Saviour) among men as cruell as wolves, that will persecute, and hurt, and devoure you; wherefore be wise as serpents, that is, as serpentsPage  64 have many wiles, doe winde and turne to shel∣ter off a stroke, and defend their head, so doe you: but on the other side, take heede of being too fearefull of this persecution, so that when to endure it comes to be a duty, you doe not shrinke backe and withdraw your selves, but in such a case let your hearts be simple, cleansed from such an inordinate affection, as that feare is; and even take that blow, as the doves doe, which have no wiles as the serpents have to de∣fend themselves. So that in any such case when a duty is to be done, as the professing of my name, or the like, here you must take the blow as willingly as the dove doth, there is no avoid∣ing in such a case; therefore take heed that your hearts be simple, that there be no feare there, so that you must be haled to the duty. And this is the very meaning and scope of the words. In∣nocent as doves, that is, let no sinfull inordinate temptation admixe it selfe, and so deprive you of this simplicity of heart, because you doe not like my service.

This you shall see lively exemplified in Saint Paul, 2 Cor. 1.12. For our rejoycing is this, the te∣stimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and god∣ly sinceritie, not with fleshly wisedome, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you wards. Saint Paul was a very prudent man, and therefore ha∣ted above all the Apostles, as Saul was angry with David, because he walked wisely, he was so subtle to escape out of his hands, which is as if Page  65 the hounds should complaine of the hare, that she hath so many trickes to escape from them: but, as I say, he was a very prudent man, and he used the serpents wisedome to save himselfe, as he did when the assembly consisted of Sadduces and Pharises, he put a division betweene them, and so escaped himselfe, as it were through the middest of them. So the first part was true in him, he was as wise as a serpent, to keepe the blow off from himselfe. But now (saith the A∣postle) if carnall wisedome shall come in, that is, if my understanding shall suggest a thing in∣ordinate, and shall say, Goe, and give a bribe to Faelix, and thou shalt escape imprisonment, goe and take a gift of these Corinthians, and thou shalt have something of thine owne, and shalt not be so dependent on the almes of others; now, saith he, when carnall wisedome shall sug∣gest any such thing to mee, I would not admit of it, but I walked in simplicity and godly pure∣nesse toward all men, but especially toward you, Corinthians; here was in him the simplicity of the Doves.

That we might draw it to a little more par∣ticulars, you shall see an other expression of this, Ephes. 6.5. Servants be obedient to them that are your masters in the flesh, with feare and trem∣bling, in singlenesse of your heart as unto Christ: that is, servants, take heede even with feare and trembling, that you admit not by and sinfull re∣spects in performing your duty, as there are many motives, as feare, hope, reward, and a ne∣cessity Page  66 to doe it, but keepe your hearts single that you may looke onely upon Christ and his com∣mandement, and then you shall be faithfull in your service; but if other respects mingle them∣selves with this simplicity, you will doe but eye-service, you will doe it in a double and dissem∣bling manner, not plainely, and heartily, and simply. Therefore let us put in practise this simplicity upon all occasions, in all other things whatsoever. Rom. 12.8.*He that distributeth let him doe it in simplicity: that is, men are subiect to by ends in their good workes; as in giuing almes, or shewing a kindenesse to men, there may be many by-respects, as that they may make use of them heareafter or the like, but, saith hee, keepe you your hearts simple, to looke upon GOD alone in them. So in conversing with men, when you professe love and kinde∣nesse, you are subject to by ends in doing it, but they are commended, Act. 2.46. that they did eat their meat with gladnesse and singlenesse of heart: that is, what love they professed one to another, it was simple and plaine, not double. Compare this place with that in 1 Pet. 1.22. Se∣ing you have purified your selves in obeying the truth through the Spirit, vnto vnfained love of the bre∣thren; see that yee love one another with a pure love fervently: that is, when there is nothing else, when the heart is simple and plaine, when there is nothing but love, noe mixture, noe by ends in it. So likewise when you come to preach the Gospell, doe it in simplicity of heart, that Page  67 is, let there be nothing besides: as the Apostle saith of himselfe, he preached Christ and not himselfe, so we should doe every thing in sim∣plicity of heart. And so you should behave your selves in your elections, to looke with a single eye to the oath by which you ought to be guid∣ed: doe nothing for feare or favour of men, or for any sinister respect. I wish I could speake and give this rule to all the kingdome at Parli∣ament times. For it is an errour among men to thinke that in election of Burgesses or any others, they may pleasure their friends, or themselves, by having this or that eye to their owne advantage or disadvantage that may arise from it: whereas they ought to keep their mindes single and free from all respects; so that when they come, they may choose him, whom in their owne consciences, and in the sight of God, they thinke fittest for the place, and that you may doe so, you are to get a single and a simple heart to doe it.

[Vse 3] 3 If there bee in GOD this simplicity that we have declared to you, * then goe to him upon all occasions; goe not to the streame, goe not to the creatures, which have what they have, but by derivation and participation: but goe to him, that hath all that he hath naturally, and abundantly, not sparingly, as they have, that have it by participation. As when a man is in any miserable condition, wherein hee desires pitty, and would bee respected and relieved, what wilt thou doe in this case? Wilt thou Page  68 goe to weake man, and have him to pitty thee? No, goe to the great GOD, in whom there is mercy it selfe. Amongst men, he that is the fullest of pitty, he hath but a streame of it, a drop of it, therefore seeke not so much to him; no not to parents, their pitty falls infinitely short of what is in GOD; remember that he is mercy it selfe, that is, thou shalt finde infinitely more mercy in him, then can be saide to be in man; the most that can be said of man, is, that he is mercifull, but that which can be saide of GOD is, that the very thing it selfe is there. If you have a firebrand, and light it by the fire, it is something, but fire it selfe is another thing: man he hath a little mercy, but if you goe to GOD, he hath a sea of mercy, and he is never dry; Therefore whatsoever thy mise∣ry or distresse bee, whether of conscience or e∣state, be sure, that thou goe to God and say to him, If evill parents can bee so mercifull to their children when they aske it of them, what then shall I have of him that is mercy it selfe? Matth. 7.11. So likewise for wisedome; if thou hast a doubtfull case, and knowest not what to doe, thou goest to thy friends (which in deede is a good meanes, and ought not to bee neglected, for in the multitude of councell there is peace:) but remember this, that there is but a little wisedome in them, and therefore they will councell thee but a little; but goe to God, that is wisedome it selfe, Pro. 8. Goe to him, for hee will give thee wisedome liberally, and with∣out Page  69 reproach. Iam. 1.5. thinke of him, that hee is the fountaine of wisedome, and fullnesse it selfe. So if thou needest grace, thou woul∣dest faine have more, thou wouldest have thy faith strengthened, and thy love and zeale more fervent, goe to CHRIST then, from whom wee receive grace for grace, and that is made to us wisedome, sanctification, and redemption; goe to God that is grace it selfe. Goe not to men, for what they have, they have it from him; therefore looke upon all oc∣casions, that thou goest to the Lord: when thou wantest comfort, goe not to thy pleasure, and sports, and friends, and acquaintance, but goe to God that is the great God of hea∣ven and earth, that hath it in him abun∣dantly; and in him thou shalt find more abundance, then in a∣ny man of the world.

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EXOD. 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM, &c.

IN these words, as you know, God describes him∣selfe to Moses by his eter∣nall being; I AM hath sent me unto you. Now our bu∣sinesse is to make this es∣sence and being of GOD more fully knowne to you: This is done by Page  72 declaring to you the severall Attributes, which are given to him in Scripture, wee have passed through divers: The last Attribute was his Simplicity.

That which followes next in order is his Im∣mutability or Vnchangeablenesse.* Now that hee takes this proper to himselfe, you shall see in Numb. 23.19. GOD is not as man that he should lie, neither the sonne of man that hee should repent. Repenting, you know, is a signe of change; he will not repent, that is, he will not be subject to any change: whatsoever purpose or decree, or counsell he takes to him, hee is immutable in it. Shall he say, and not doe it? shall he speake, and not make it good? So Iames 1.17. Every good and perfect gift is from above, and commeth downe from the father of lights, with whom there is no variable∣nesse, nor shadow of turning. When the question was, whence temptations should arise; saith the Apostle, GOD tempts no man, for he is in himselfe just, good, and full of goodnesse, and he can never be otherwise, and therefore no temptation to evill can arise from him: and see∣ing he is so, he must alwayes be so, for he is not changed, nay there is no shadow of change in him. So Mal. 3.6. I am the Lord, I change not. So that in this body of Divinity we doe but summe up divers heads, and so open them to you. This is an Attribute that he takes to him∣selfe, and therefore we will explaine it to you. First, I will shew you the reasons why; se∣condly, an objection or two against it; and Page  73 thirdly, I will shew you the consequences or uses that arise from it.

Now to convince us fully of this point, con∣sider these reasons.

Because wheresoever there is any change,* there must be some vanity and imperfection; that all the creatures are subject to change, it a∣riseth from hence, that they are subject to some imperfection. Now that which is most per∣fect, cannot be subject to change; because in e∣very change, either there is some perfection added that before was wanting, or else some∣thing is taken away which before was enjoy∣ed. Now neither of these can befall our GOD, who is most perfect, nothing can be added or taken away from him; for if any thing could, he were not perfect: whence it must needes fol∣low, that he is unchangeable.

Whatsoever is changeable must be in a pos∣sibility either to receive some new being,* or some other being that it had not before, either in substance or in circumstance, or else it cannot be changeable: now that which is capable of no new being in any respect, nor other being in no circumstance, or accident, cannot be chan∣ged. Now GOD is exceeding full of being, as the sea is of water, and the Sunne of light, that is, he hath all the degrees and extensions of be∣ing in him: therefore he is not in possibility of receiving any other being, than he hath; he is not subject to receive any other being, for sub∣stance, and no other being for quantity, and Page  74 therefore nothing can be added to his time or place where he is; neither can hee receive any other being for quality, no new habits, no new powers can be added to him; for if there could be, he should not be full of being, but there should be some defect in him; if there were any possibility in him of having any more: but see∣ing he is full of being, and constantly full, it cannot be that hee should be subject to any change; some other being must be added to him, or else taken from him; but seeing that cannot be, therefore he must needes be unchan∣geable.

*In regard of his simplicity; because, if there be nothing in him but what is himselfe, but what is his essence, unlesse his essence should be annihilated, (which is impossible) he is not sub∣ject to change. Now all the creatures, besides their essence, have quantity in them, and that may be greater or lesse in the creature; and be∣sides, they have quality, and therefore they may be better or worse: but God is great with∣out quantity, and good without quality; and therefore in regard of his simplicity, seeing there is nothing in him, but what is himselfe, he cannot admit of any shadow of turning.

*Because he is infinite; you know, an infinite thing is that which extends it selfe, which fills all things, to which nothing can be added: and therefore seeing he is infinite at the utmost ex∣tent, hee cannot extend himselfe any further. Againe, nothing can be taken from him, where∣by Page  75 he should be changed; for, Infinitum est, cui nec addi, nec adimi potest: and therefore seeing he is most infinite, he is also unchangeable. For whatsoever is infinite, cannot be greater or les∣ser, nothing can be added or taken from it: and therefore unchangeable.

If you observe it among the creatures,* you shall find, that all change ariseth from one of these two things; either from something with∣out, or else from some disposition within the creature: But in God there can be no change in either of these respects. Not from any thing without him, because he is the first and supreme being, therefore there is no being before him, that he should borrow any thing of; neither is there any being above him, or stronger than he, that should make any impression upon him. Againe, not from any thing within him; for when there is in any creature any change that ariseth from a principle within, there must needes be something to move, and to be mo∣ved; something to act and to suffer in the crea∣ture, else there can be no change: as mans body is subject to change, because there be divers principles within, of which something doth act, and something doth suffer, and so the body is subject to change, and moulders away: but in God there are not two things, there is not in him something to act, and something to suffer, and therefore he is not made up of such principles, as can admit any change within him. So then the conclusion stands sure, that hee can admit Page  76 of no change or variation within or without him: and so needes must be unchangeable.

[Object. 1] The objections against this are but two. The first is, That which is taken from those pla∣ces of Scripture, where God is said to repent, as, that He repented that he made Saul King, 1 Sam. 15.11. and Gen. 6.6. It greived him at the heart, that he made man: now those that repent, seeme to change their minde.

[Answ.] This is attributed to God, as many other spee∣ches are, onely after the manner of men: as man, when he alters any thing that he did be∣fore, seemes to repent: so that it is but a figura∣tive speech, and a Metaphor, vsed, when hee doth make any change in the world: as he made Saul King, and put him downe againe: he puts men in high estates, and pulls them downe a∣gaine, this is onely in regard of the actions done; as when he shewes favour to any man, and takes it away againe. So that it is but a fi∣gurative kinde of speech: not that there is any change in himselfe, but because what he did be∣fore, he undoes it now: in regard of his actions he changeth, not in regard of himselfe.

[Object. 2] What is the reason that he is said to drawe neere to us at one time, and at another time to depart from us, why doth the Holy Ghost come into one mans heart, and sanctifie him, when before hee was an unregenerate man; what is the reason that Christ which was in heaven, came downe and tooke our nature vpon him, and lived amongst us, I say, what is the reason Page  77 of all this, if there be no change in the Lord.

[Answ.] GOD is said to doe all this, to come to us, and to goe from us, and to sanctifie them that were voide of sanctification: and as you say of the Sunne; you say, that the Sunne comes into the house, when it fils it with light, but when the windowes are shut, you say, the Sunne is gone; Yet the Sunne alters not, but the change is in regard of the house, It is said to come in∣to the house because of the light that comes into it, which before did not, but the Sunne it selfe is not altered: So in this case, the Holy Ghost sanctifies a man, GOD drawes neere to him in his comfortable presence, because there are some workes wrought in the heart, that before were not: GOD is not changed, but it is the man that suffers the change; he sees light now, that before was in darkenesse and in the shadow of death; he is said to be changed by reason of those operations that now are there, which before were not. So is it in Christs com∣ming; there was a change in the humane nature that was assumed, which before was not: there was a worke done on the earth, which was not before: he put forth his power in his humilia∣tion and exaltation, which before he did not: but yet he was the same, the change was in the creature, and not in him.

Now we come to the consequences; which are two.

Hence wee may learne then how to under∣stand all those places which wee meete with in*Page  78 Scripture, wherein the Lord expresseth such a sollicitude for the death of sinners: as, Why will you die, O house of Israel? why will you not hear∣ken, and obey? And, As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sinner. And, how am I prest under your abominations, even as a cart is pres∣sed with sheaves? And it is said, Gen. 6.6. That the Lord was grieved at the heart, or it pained him at the heart, that hee had made man. All these kind of expressions (as it is evident from hence) are but attributed to GOD after the manner of men: not that hee is moved, for it cannot be, seeing he is unchangeable: whatsoever new ac∣cidents fall out in the world, hee is not stirred with them, he is not moved with any new affe∣ction: for if he were, he should be, as man is, changeable. But the meaning of those places is, to shew the infinite goodnesse of his nature, and the greatnesse of our sinnes: so that as men grieve much, when their wills are crossed, and when their worke is brought to nothing, how weary are they, when they strive long, and doe no good? So the LORD would expresse it to us thus, that wee might take notice, what the great provocations are, what the sinnes and faults are, wherewith we offend him from day to day, that we may know what they be, and what price to set upon those sinnes whereby we weary him from time to time.

*That all the love and hatred,* that hee hath now since the world was made, all the com∣placency and displicency, all the happinesse and Page  79 joy which he hath from any thing, done either by the Angels or men, that he had it from all eternity; for if any thing were new in him, there should be a change: but now there being none, you must needes grant this, that they were in him from all eternity. So that all the workes of men and Angels be nothing to him, all the joy that he hath from them, hee had it from eternity.

Againe, all the sinnes whereby evill men provoke him, and all the punishments that they suffer for sinne, it moves not him; but as when a glasse falls against the wall, the wall is not hurt, but the glasse is broken: so wicked men, they hurt themselves, but hee is not moo∣ved.

Therefore hence observe, that GOD must needes be most holy, and righteous, and just in all his wayes,* because there is neither love, nor ha∣tred, nor griefe in him, nor joy, which should make crooked, or bend the rule of his will, or alter it in any action. Men are therefore unjust, because in all that they doe, there is something that bends their wills this way, or that way, they are capable of love, joy, griefe: but GOD, seeing he is capable of none of these, therefore he must needes be most just and righ∣teous in all his workes. Therefore whatsoe∣ver he doth, though thou seest no reason for it, yet justifie thou him in all; when thou seest him overthrowing the Churches, denying his grace to many thousands, and the like, yet doe thou Page  80 justifie him in all his wayes: because there is no griefe or trouble can come to him, as to the creature, therefore he must needes be ho∣ly in all wayes, and righteous in all his workes.

If this be so, then this will also follow, that all the decrees, all the counsells, and all the acts of his will, that ever were in him, they were in him from all eternity: that is, there is not a vicissitude of counsells, thoughts and desires upon the passages of things in the world, as there is in men; for then he should be subject to change: For this is a sure rule, Whatsoever is under different termes, there is a change in it; he is now, that which he was not before: and if there were any instant, in which GOD should will one thing which he did not another time, hee should bee subject to change. Therefore looke backe to all eternity, in your imaginati∣ons & thoughts, as in the making of the world; all those acts, those counsels that he executed upon men, they were in him from everlasting.

Now I come to uses for practise: and we will make such uses as the Scripture doth make of this point. The first is this.

[Vse 1] In 1 Sam. 15.28, 29. And Samuel said unto Saul,*The Lord hath rent the kingdome of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thee: and also the strength of Israel will not lie, nor repent: for he is not as man that hee should repent. If GOD be unchangeable, take heede then, lest he come to this, that hee cast thee off, as he did Saul: for if ever he doe Page  81 it, he will never repent, never alter, never re∣tract his decree. Saul lived, you know, many yeares after, for it was in the beginning of his reigne; and yet because the will of GOD was revealed clearely to him, he was bid by a cleare command, Goe and kill all the Amalekites, and leave not any of them alive: Saul now had a heart contemning GOD in this commandement, therefore also GOD came to a resolution and decree, to cast him off: though Saul lived ma∣ny yeares after, yet you could see no change in him, there was no alteration in his outward condition: But, saith he, and it is most feare∣full, God doth not repent: it is not with him as it is with man, for he may be intreated, and may repent; but the Lord is not as man that he should repent. Consider this, you that have cleare commandements from GOD, you that have beene tolde that you ought to be conscionable in your calling, that you ought to pray in your families, if you will be still breaking the Lords will, and live idly in your calling, and rebelli∣ously sinne against GOD, living as if there were no GOD in the world; take heede lest the Lord reject you; and when hee hath done it, consider that he is an unchangeable God, and that all his decrees are immutable. Consider that place, Hee swore in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest. It was not long after the children of Israel came out of Egypt, yet ten times they provoked him, before hee declared this resolution, and many of them lived forty Page  82 yeares after: but because many of them did see clearely that it was the will of GOD, they did see his miracles and his workes that hee had done amongst them, and yet because they still rebelled, he swore in his wrath, that they should never enter into his rest. It is a fearefull case, when GOD shall doe this, (as he doth it:) Even all you that heare me this day, there is a time, I am perswaded, when the Lord pronounceth such a decree upon such a man, saying, I have rejected him: yet no man sees it, no not he him∣selfe, but he comes to Church, and heares the word from day to day. But yet remember that GOD is unchangeable; for, you see, the Iewes in Ieremies time, they lived under Ieremies Ministe∣ry almost twenty yeares, but yet at the last hee rejected them, and hee would not be intreated, though Ieremy and the people did pray to him. There are three places for it: Ier. 7.16. There∣fore pray not thou for this people, neither lift thou up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me, for I will not heare thee. But what if the Iewes were moved with the calamity when it came, should cry, and be importunate with the Lord, would not their teares move him? No, saith he: Ierem. 11.14. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not heare them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.

But what if they fast and pray? No; if they doo that, I will not heare them. Ier. 14.11, 12. Then GOD said unto me, pray not for this people Page  83 for their good: when they fast, I will not heare their cry; when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them, but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pesti∣lence. When the day of death comes, when the time of sickenesse and extremitie comes, then you will cry, and cry earnestly: but God shall say to you then, the time was, when I cryed to you by the Ministers, and you would not heare: nay, you slighted and mocked them, and you would not heare them, I will also mocke & laugh at your destruction. Prov: 1.26. Doe not thinke this is a case that seldome comes, it is done every day, continually upon some. There is a double time: a time of preparing and try∣ing before this unchangeable decree come forth. Zeph. 2.1, 2. Gather your selves together, yea ga∣ther together, O nation not desired, before the decree come forth, before the day passe, as the chaffe, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lords anger come upon you. And there is a time, when the decree is past; and when this is not past, there is a doore of hope opened: but when the decree is come forth, then you are past hope.

[Object.] But how shall I doe to know this?

[Answ.] Beloved, never an Angel, nor I, nor any crea∣ture can tell you; you see that he tooke Saul at the beginning of the kingdome, when hee was young and strong; hee tooke the Iewes at the beginning of Ieremies preaching; onely the use that you are to make of it is this: Take heede Page  84 of neglecting God, or good admonitions, take heede of contemning the word from day to day, and saying, that I will repent hereafter; for the Lord perhaps will not give thee a heart to repent, he will not heare you, as he said be∣fore, though you cry never so much to him, as in time of extremity you are likest to doe.

[Vse 2] The second use I take out of Rom. 11.28, 29. As concerning the Gospell, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the Fathers sake. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.* The meaning of it is this: saith the Lord, I have cast away the Iewes, and they are now enemies for the Gospels sake, that is, that the Gospell might come sooner to you; they have rejected it, that upon their re∣fusall, it might come to you Gentiles; they are enemies and cast off, yet they are beloved for their fathers sake; that is, in regard of the pro∣mise that I made to their father Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob; and in regard of that covenant, I will not alter; not, saith he, to all the Iewes, but those whom I have elected, so farre as my co∣venant reacheth, with whom I have made it. Do not thinke that there is any change of the Lord toward them, For the gifts and calling of the Lord, that is, the calling of them by the worke of the Spirit, and the gifts of saving grace, that he hath bestowed upon the elect Iewes, they are without all repentance, there is no change in them. Then if ever thou art in covenant with God, and hast this seale in thy soule, that there is a change Page  85 wrought in thee by the covenant, then thy ele∣ction is sure: and be sure God will never alter it, for he is unchangeable. This thou must consi∣der, that thou maist have strong consolation. Belo∣ved, our consolation, if it be upon any thing, but upon GOD that is unchangeable, it is weake, and twenty things may batter it, and overthrow it: but when it is grounded upon the immutabi∣lity of his councell, it is called in Heb. 6.18. strong consolation,* so that all the Divells in hell, all temptations of the world, and all the objecti∣ons that our owne hearts can make cannot bat∣ter it; for it is built upon the lowest foundation, even upon the unchangeable God. So that this doctrine is for comfort to all the Saints of God. Therefore consider thou, whether thou art in the state of grace, whether thou hast made the match with Iesus Christ, if ever there was a covenant betweene Christ, and thy soule.

But how shall I know it, you will say? Did you ever come to this, as to say, I am content to be divorced from, and to part with all things, with every lust, and to be content to follow him through all his wayes, and to beare every crosse? yet this is not enough; Did there fol∣low hereupon a generall change within thy heart, and a new heart, and a new spirit given thee? otherwise it is but lip-labour, a thought onely that passeth through the mind, and there∣fore was never any such actuall agreement be∣tweene Christ and thee. But if there were any such change, then thou maist comfort thy selfe; Page  86 for God is unchangeable, and this covenant, it is an everlasting covenant. Consider that it is every where called so: Isay 55.3. it is said to be an e∣verlasting covenant,* because it is founded upon the sure mercies of David: God gave Saul mercies as well as David, God tells him that he shall have the kingdome, if hee will walke in his wayes; but Saul started out of the wayes of God, and so God performed his part, but yet the covenant was broke, because Saul performed not his part. And as it was with Saul, so it was with the peo∣ple of Israel; because they broke the covenant on their parts, God also broke his. David started out of the way, as well as Saul: but they were sure mercies that were promised him, for it was an everlasting covenant of mercy. Ther∣fore you must know this, that there is a two∣fold covenant: First, a single covenant, such as GOD makes with children when they are bap∣tised, which is this; If you will believe and re∣pent, and walke in my wayes, you shall be sa∣ved: now if they breake the condition, GOD is freed, he is not bound any further. Secondly, a double covenant, to performe both parts; which is this; If you will believe, and repent, you shall be saved, and, I will give you an heart, and you shall repent, and believe, and be saved; I began the worke, and I will finish it: here is not one∣ly a covenant on Gods part, to be our Father, but on our parts also, as in the other; but GOD doth not onely promise for his part, but makes a covenant to to inable us to performe the con∣ditions Page  87 on our part: and therefore it is called a double covenant. And it is impossible that this covenant should be broken, for then GOD should breake it himselfe, (for he is ingaged for both parts); and so be changeable, if hee should not give thee a new heart, and keepe thee from the first day of thy regeneration till death. Therefore it is an everlasting covenant, and the fruites of it are sure mercies; it is a double cove∣nant, and therefore cannot be changed. And it is called, Compassions that faile not: why are they called so? to shew the unchangeablenesse of this covenant.

But you will say, what if I fall into sin? I will forgive them, saith the Lord. Oh, but lusts doe rebell, old lusts, and new: but, saith the Lord, I will mortifie them, and give you grace to over∣come them. Oh, but grace is subject to decay: but I will renew it, saith GOD. If thy sinnes and lusts should exceede his mercies, then they should faile; but they cannot: and therefore they are called compassions that faile not.

Besides, consider this, that the covenant is made in Iesus Christ. There are two Adams, he made a covenant with both: with the first A∣dam, he made a covenant, as with the common roote of all mankinde; but Adam brake the co∣venant, and so did all his members. But there is a second Adam, and all that are saved, are members of him as truely as wee are of the first Adam: and he kept the covenant, and therefore if he stand, they shall stand also.

Page  88Besides, consider that he makes this Cove∣nant as to sonnes, and not as to servants. To the servant the Master saith; Doe my worke faith∣fully, and thou shalt have thy wages, if not, I will turne thee out of my dores: but with his Sonne it is not so, hee abideth in the house for e∣ver; if he fall into sinne, hee corrects and nur∣tures him, but yet hee keepes him in his house for ever.

[Answ.] But what use is there of this Doctrine?

[Object.] There is this end for it; were it not for this Doctrine, thou couldest never love God with a sincere and perfect love: For I aske thee this question, canst thou love him with a perfect love, whom thou thinkest may sometime be∣come thine enemy? It is a saying, Amare tan∣quam aliquando osurus, is the very poyson of true friendship. But now, when thou knowest that God is knit to thee by an unchangeable bond, that hee is a friend whom thou maist build upon for ever, whom thou maist trust: this makes thy heart to cleave to him, as Paul saith, I know whom I have trusted, this makes thy heart to fasten up∣on him, and there is no scruple of love, which would be, if there were a possibility of change.

Besides, what makes a man to depart from his profession? Because he thinkes to get a bet∣ter portion: but when thou hast this portion sure; Christ, and heaven sure, why shouldest thou let it goe. Heb. 10.23.*

Besides, endeavours never faile, till hope failes: And therefore when thou art sure that Page  89 thy worke is not in vaine in the Lord, it is that which makes thee constant, and immovable in well-doing. And therefore the use is, to make us have strong consolation in the Lord, and to doe his worke abundantly,* to doe that which wee are exhorted to doe; to cleave to the Lord without separation. And this wee cannot doe, except we were sure of him: and that you may know by this, that he is an unchangeable God, and the gifts of his calling are without repentance.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  91


EXOD. 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and they shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM, &c.

[Object.] WHEN men heare that GOD is thus unchange∣able, that when he hath rejected any, he never retracts his decree; this objectiō may be made. For what end is it then to pray, to endeavour a change of life, or to repent, for if there be such Page  92 an unresistable decree past against mee, what hope is there?

Before I come to a particular answere to this, I will premise these two things in gene∣rall.

[ 1] First, you know, that in other things there is an unchangeable Decree,* as there is an unaltera∣ble Decree concerning the time of mens death, and yet no man for this doth cease to eate, or to take Physicke: so there is an unchangeable De∣cree concerning the successe of every businesse under the Sunne, yet wee doe not forbeare to take counsell, and to use the best meanes to bring our enterprises to passe: And so there is an unchangeable Decree concerning the sal∣vation of men, concerning giving grace, or denying grace to them; and you can no more take an argument from hence, to give over endeavours, than you can in the for∣mer.

[ 2] 2. Though there be an unchangeable Decree past upon men, when GOD hath rejected them, and GOD will not alter it; yet this Decree is kept secret, and no man knowes it: therefore there is a dore of hope opened, to stirre up men to endeavour. Indeed if the Decree were made knowne, and revealed to us, then it were in vaine, then there were no place for endeavours: but seeing it is not so, therefore there is place for hope, and for endeavours which arise from hope.

These things being premised, we will now Page  93 come to a particular answer of this objection.

[ 1] First, that if thou doest pray, thou shalt change GOD and his carriage toward thee, though hee be unchangeable. For if a man be rejected as Saul was, and as the Iewes were, and as those in Rom. 1. who were given up to a repro∣bate minde; if he be so rejected, he is not able to pray, or repent, or to seeke to GOD or to desire to go about in good earnest to seeke any change of life: for if he were able to doe it, he was sure to speed. Therefore if thou doest pray in truth, thou shalt prevaile, thou art sure to have mercy at his hand; for it is a great signe that he hath not giuen thee over, that no such unchangeable decree is past against thee: there∣fore it is no doctrine of discouragement. In∣deed it is a doctrine of great terrour to those, whose hearts doe not tremble at it, that let such a doctrine slide a way as water doth off a stone, and not sinke into threir hearts at all: but to a man that saith, I would repent, and pray, and change the course of my life, if there were any hope; I can say this to thee, that if thou doest pray thou shalt be accepted; for GOD hath stiled himselfe, that he is a GOD hearing praiers; and except he were changeable, he must needs be ready to heare thee, if thou seekest to him: For the Lord is unchangeable in his promises, & thou shalt finde him unchangeable towards thee: but to a man that will not pray, that is set upon e∣vill, and will not be wrought upon, to such a man this is a fearefull and a terrible do∣ctrine.

Page  94 [ 2] Secondly, though GODS decree be unchang∣able, yet if thou canst find a change in thy selfe, it shall go well with thee: as if a father should take up an unchangeable resolution to disinherit a stubborne and ungracious child, because he is so; if the child should change now and alter his courses, and grow sober, the father may now re∣ceiue him to mercy, and yet no change in his resolution, but the change is in the sonne. Or, if a Prince should set downe in a law, (as a law of the Medes and Persians, that alters not) saying, I will not receive to favour such a rebellious sub∣ject, because he is so: yet if his subject be chan∣ged, he may receive him, and yet his Decree may be unchangeable, because the change was in the subject, and the decree was grounded up∣on this, if hee did remaine so rebellious and stubborne: So I say to thee, if GOD hath there∣fore threatned to reject thee, because thou art a stubborne and rebellious wretch, if now thou shalt finde a change in thy selfe, that thy stub∣borne heart is broken, standing in awe of him, fearing to offend him, or to commit any sinne that thou knowest to be a sinne, I say, notwith∣standing that unchangeablenesse of his, he cannot but receive thee to mercy. As if a Physitian should take up an unchangeable resolution, not to give his patient such restorative physicke, be∣cause his stomacke is foule, so that it will not worke, and because he will not receive such pur∣gations whereby he should be prepared for it: But if there be a change in him, if his stomacke Page  95 be cleane & fit for it, so that it will work, and he become willing to receive it, if hee give it him, the change is not in the Physitian, but in the pa∣tient. Therefore when you heare this, sit not downe discouraged, but rather goe and sit a∣lone, and consider of thy sinnes, and give not over till thy heart be broken for them: and when this is done, be sure that he will receive thee to mercy, for he may be unchangeable in his decree, if the change be in thee. And there∣fore this Doctrine doth not discourage, but ra∣ther stirre up, and incite men to change their courses, yea it is the very scope of it.

[ 3] Againe, I adde this further; he that saith, to what purpose is it to endeavour, whosoever it is that sayes so, I would aske that man this que∣stion; Didst thou ever goe about any holy du∣ties, and yet didst finde this stoppe in it, that though thou wouldest doe them, thou couldest not be accepted? hadst thou ever a serious re∣solution to forsake such and such a sinne, and the occasions of it, and yet thou didst finde such a barre as this, that thou couldest not alter GODS decree thereby, and for that onely reason hast gone on in it? Did ever any man upon his death-bed say so? No man will say so: but it is because he would not. Therefore complaine not of the unchangeable decree of GOD, but of the stubbornesse of thy heart, that thou wilt not buckle, and come in unto him.

The best way in this Doctrine of the unchan∣geablenesse of Gods decree of election, is this: It Page  96 is good to consider in what manner it is delive∣red in the Scripture, and to what purpose, and to make that use of it, and then thou shalt be sure not to abuse it. As for example; to what end, and for what occasion is this Doctrine of ele∣ction delivered? You shall finde that it is on this occasion. Rom. 9.18, 19. When many of the Iewes did not come in, to whom did belong the covenant, and the lawes, and the testimonies, this was an objection that was made against the Doctrine of the Gospell; what was the reason that the Iewes did not come in, and that his owne people were not wrought upon? To an∣swere this objection, the Apostle tells them, that it was not against Gods good will, hee was able to doe it, if it was his pleasure, but, saith he, some hath hee chosen, and some not; some hee loves, and some hee hates; some hee hath mercy upon, and some he hardens. So that the scope of the Doctrine is, that God might be magnified, that no objection might be made a∣gainst the almighty power of GOD, that hee was not able to bring them in, that men might not say that they have resisted his will: and the Apostle reveales it for that purpose, that men might be answered. So that such Doctrines as this, you must consider for what end they are revealed. As for this Doctrine of Gods un∣changeablenesse, what is the end, why it is revea∣led? You shall see in Numb. 23.19. He is not as man that he should repent: Therefore I have blessed Israel, and he shall be blessed. The end is, to shew Page  97 that his favour is an unchangeable favour: So he hath cursed Saul, and he shall be cursed, 1 Sam. 15.29. his decrees are unalterable. As it is Iam. 1.17. GOD is good, and cannot be otherwise, therefore he can tempt no man. Out of all these places it is apparant, that the use of this Do∣ctrine is, that we might tremble at his judge∣ments, and that we might rejoyce in his favour with joy unspeakable and glorious: In a word, that men might know the excellency of the Al∣mighty, and might know and magnifie GOD, because constancy and unchangeablenesse is a property of wisedome. This being the end why it is revealed, it ought to be applied onely to this use: as to come to particulars, which before we did not mention. When we heare that GOD rejected Saul, and will not repent of it, and the Iewes, &c. the use that we should make of it is this; If GOD should passe such a decree of re∣jection upon me, it cannot be changed; there∣fore I would feare before him, and take heede of that stubbornesse and course of disobedi∣ence, that may bring that curse upon me, and such a stroke upon my soule; and for this pur∣pose is this doctrine revealed to us. And this use the Apostle makes of it, Heb. 3. when he had delivered Gods unchangeable decree, declared by his swearing in his wrath, that they should never en∣ter into his rest: therefore deferre not, saith he, while it is called to day, lest that you continuing in a course of rebellion, the doore of mercy be shut upon you, and GOD doe sweare in his Page  98 wrath, as he did to them, that you shall never en∣ter into his rest. Beloved, there is a double time: a time of the comming forth of this decree, and a time of preparing and trying, while the doore stands open. Therefore take heede that that acceptable time doe not passe away, lest thou be hardened through the deceitfulnesse of sinne.

[Vse 3] If GOD be unchangeable, then looke what∣soever hee hath done in former times,* what judgements hee hath inflicted, and for what, what mercies hee hath shewen, and upon what ground; and thou maist expect the same, be∣cause there is no change in him: therefore goe over all the Scripture, and beholde what hee hath done there, looke through all thine owne experience, & see what he hath done to thee, & to others, & know that he will doe the same to thee, for he is unchangable. As for example, look what he did to Ioab, Shimei, and the house of Saul. You know the sinnes that they commit∣ted; Ioab had committed murther, and Shimei reviled David, and Saul slew the Gibeonites a∣gainst his oath: though they went on a long time in peace and prosperity, yet because their pardon was not sued out, therefore after many yeares God called them to an account. As Ioab went not to the grave in peace, and Shimei de∣served death, and therefore it was brought up∣on him; and Saul was punished in the blood of his sonnes, and hee was slaine himselfe, as hee had slaine others in battell. So be thou assured, if there be any sinne which thou hast formerly Page  99 committed, unrepented of, though it be long since, GOD will waken it in due time. So, looke what he did to David; hee had committed a sinne in secret, but the Lord saith, that hee will make his punishment to be open, he will doe it before the Sunne: So if thou hast committed a sinne in secret, take heede lest hee bring it to light, he will doe to thee, as he did to David; and I say unto thee, that though thou be rege∣nerate, and art one of his elect, yet if thy case be the same with Davids, hee will doe so to thee, for hee is unchangeable. There be two cases wherein the Lord will not spare, but bring judgement upon his owne children.* [ 1]

First, in the case of scandall, as Davids was: for though his first sinne was secret, yet his se∣cond was publicke, and made the first so too. Therfore though his sin was forgiven him, God tells him that his punishment should be open, and that the sword should not depart from his house.

[ 2] Secondly, if their sinne be not scandalous, yet if it be unrepented of, GOD will even pu∣nish his owne children. And as GOD deales with secret sinnes to bring them to light: so he will doe with secret innocency, on the other side also. As Ioseph, whose uprightnesse was in secret, for none did see it but himselfe; as for his Mistresse, she accused him, and was belie∣ved: yet the Lord brought it to light in due sea∣son. So he will doe thine. Let men keepe their credit with GOD, and he will keepe their cre∣dit with men, let them raise slanders, or what Page  100 they will: looke how he did with Ioseph, so he will deale with thee, for he changeth not.

So looke how the Lord hath dealt with wic∣ked men; looke how the Lord did deale with them that did meddle with holy things, as Na∣dab, and Abihu, and Vzzah, and the Bethshemites; you know that he destroyed them all, and that with a present destruction: so if thou wilt a∣buse his name, abuse his holy things, and come unto the Sacraments with an uncircumcised heart, he is the same God still, hee is as much offended now, and hee is as ready to execute his wrath upon thee, as he was then.

So looke how hee dealt with Saul, with the Iewes that came out of Egypt, hee swore in his wrath, that they should not enter his rest: if thou wilt doe the same that they did, rebell against him as they did, he will sweare in his wrath, that thou shalt never enter into his rest. As hee passed his sentence upon Saul, and as hee passeth his sentence upon any: so he will bring it to passe, if thy case be the same, for he is unchangeable.

So looke how hee did deale in Iohn Baptists time, and as it was with them, Now the axe is laid to the roote of the tree, when the Gospell, and the meanes of grace, and the spring-time of the word began; because they did not regard it thē, they were cast off: the time of their ignorance God regards not so much; but then hee called upon every one to repent, and because they did not come in then, hee deferred not his judge∣ment. That upon which I ground this, you Page  101 shall finde in two places of Scripture. 2 Pet. 2.4. If the LORD did so with the Angels, spared not them, saith he, he is the same GOD, and there∣fore hee knowes how to reserve the unjust to the day of judgement, and especially those that are uncleane: the ground of it is his unchangeable∣nesse. The other place is in 1 Cor. 10. You know what he did to the Israelites, saith hee, hee will doe the same to you: therefore doe you take heede, that you doe not commit fornication, as some of them committed, and died in the wildernesse, &c.

Onely here is this caution diligently to be remembred, which we must adde to all this that hath beene spoken.* It is sure, that whensoever it is the same case, hee will doe the same thing: though his judgements are different, the time different, the wayes and meanes are different.

As for example, he stroke Vzzah presently, and so he did Gebazi, and Nadab, and Abibu; yet to others there may be difference in time: to these he did it presently, to others it may be he will doe it many yeares after. Againe, he stroke them with death, but it may be there is another kinde of judgement reserved for thee▪ as it may be he will give thee up to hardnesse of heart, or the like.

Againe, so it is in shewing mercy, for the rule is as true therein also: For he shewes mercy to some this way, and to others that way, and he humbles men after divers manners; and so some men hee punisheth for their sinnes in this life, some hee reserves for another world: Againe, Page  102 some hee strikes presently, and some hee for∣beares with much patience.

And this you must remember in both these, that though hee doth the same things, yet hee doth them in a different manner, time, and way: he hath divers judgements, and afflictions; and as there are divers meanes to attaine to the same end, as some may ride, some go on foot, and yet all come to one journeys end: So the judge∣ments and afflictions may be different, yet the end the same; and that this caution being taken in, thou maist be sure, that the same judge∣ments that he did execute in former time, he is ready to execute them still. As he hath given them up to open sinnes, that did neglect him in secret, so he will doe to thee; as he hath stric∣ken some men in their sinnes, so the same wrath is gone out against and remaines for thee, if thou doe not repent and turne to him: for the kindes, as whether by sicknesse, or death, &c. these we cannot determine of; the wayes of GOD are in∣finite, and exceding divers, unsearchable, and past finding out: but though in regard of his particular wayes it doth not follow, he did thus to this man, therfore he will doe the very same to thee; yet because he did this to them, he will doe the same thing to thee in the same or in a different manner.

So looke what he hath done to all his Saints, hee hath blessed them, and heard them. But thou wilt say, I have prayed, and I am not heard. I say to thee, if thy case be the same, Page  103 thou shalt be heard. To this end are those pla∣ces: The Lords hand is not shortened,*that he can∣not save, nor his eare heavie, that it cannot heare: This is the scope of the Prophet; as if he should say, you wonder why you are not heard, that you have not the same successe in prayer that they had, but the case is not the same, saith he: they repented, but you doe not; you are mista∣ken, for you are yet in your sinnes; I am as strong to helpe you, and as ready, and if I doe it not, it is because the case is different: your sins have made a separation betweene me and you. Which implies, that GOD will heare if the case be the same. Onely remember this, that GOD may deferre it something long before he heares you, yet he will doe it in the end.

[Vse 4] If unchangeablenesse be proper to GOD (for so you must understand it, proper to him, and common to no other) then learne to know the difference betweene him and the creatures.

There be diverse branches of this use:* As,

[ 1] First if this be so, then every creature is, and must be changeable, and if so, then take heed, that you doe not expect more of the creature,* then is in it, for this will raise our affections to the creature, and so cause griefe and vexation in the end: and indeede the forgetfulnesse of this changeablenesse in the creature, and unchang∣ablenesse in GOD is the cause of all our crosses and sorrow in outward things we meet with. There be these degrees to it.

For, first, The forgetfulnesse of the mutabi∣litie Page  104 of the creature causeth us to expect more from it then is in it. Secondly, This expectati∣on raiseth our affections unto the creature: hence it is, that we set our affections too much vpon them, and delight too much in them. Thirdly, Strong affections, when they are set vpon the creature, doe alwayes bring forth strong afflictions: for what is the reason of all the griefe, that we undergoe from day to day? Is it not, because our affections are set upon changeable objects, vpon the creatures? And therefore when they are changed, then there is a change in the mind: whereas if thou didst looke alone upon the unchangeable GOD, this would keepe thee from worldly care and sor∣row, this would preserve in thee evenesse and aequability of minde. Therefore take heed of forgetting this, that to be unchangeable, is pro∣per to God alone; Therfore set thy affecti∣ons vpon none but him: and if thou wilt doe so, thou shalt allwayes injoy a constant securi∣ty of mind, as if a man were in the uppper regi∣on, where there is no change of weather, when as belowe here, there is one day foule, another faire; so that if a man could live with GOD, and walke with him, and have his conversati∣on in heaven, he should not be subject to such change: whereas if a man set his minde upon earthly things, he shall be still subject to per∣turbations and unevenesse. All griefe of mind comes from hence, that thou lookest for un∣changeablenesse from the creature, where it is not to be had. If thou wouldest looke up to God,Page  105 thou shalt find all things a like there, there is no change with him. When an earthen pot is broken, it doth not much trouble you, for you remember it to be but an earthen pot: now e∣very thing here below, all your friends, wife, children, they are but earthen vessels, and the consideration of this would exceedingly helpe you, if you would settle it on your heart. Ther∣fore say, what a foole was I? I did not remem∣ber, they were but a flower, a vapour, and a shadow: for so the Scripture calls them. And shall a man take on, because a vapour is scat∣tered, and a flower withered, and a shadow va∣nished? Therefore remember, that to bee un∣changeable is proper to God alone: and to be changeable is as proper to the creature, as to him to be immutable.

[ 2] Secondly, You may see from hence, how to helpe that vanity to which the creature is sub∣ject:* for if unchangeablenesse be the property of God, thou must not seeke a stabilitie from the creature, but consider that it hath no further in it, then God is pleased to communicate the same to it. Therefore to goe to him to whom un∣changeablenesse belongs: for as mutable as they be, yet if he will make thy freinds to be stable, or thy wealth, it shall be so. Therefore the on∣ly way is, to goe to him, to make those things firme, which otherwise are unconstant. The love of a freind is unconstant, for hee may dye, the breath is in his nostrils, and if he doe live, yet his thoughts may perish, and his affections alter: So that they shall faile thee as a land floud doth Page  106 in summer, as Iob saith. It dries up in summer time, and yet that is the time of thirst; and so will they faile thee in time of neede: and the like may be said of all things else, so that he whose comfort doth depend upon them, hath but a de∣pendent felicity, which is like the motion of mills, and ships, which cease when the water or wind failes them. But yet as mutable as they are, God can put a constancy unto them. Apply this therefore to thy selfe. Thou livest now, and art in health and wealth, in such and such a place, and such circumstances as may continue it: the onely way to establish thee in all this is, to goe to God, and to beseech him to put a stabi∣litie into thy condition. For the creature, as it is made of nothing, and is built upon a founda∣tion of nothing: So it is apt to returne to no∣thing. And remember this, that the more reti∣red, and weaned, and fearefull thy affections are about any thing, so that thou canst say in good earnest; If God will, I shall injoy them to day, and next day, but his will I know not, I know not how long I shall injoy them; if thou canst say thus, thou shalt hold them the longer, and the faster: for that is a signe that thou depend∣est upon God, and not not on the creature, that thou trustest him, and art not fastened to it.

[Vse 5] If this be so, then unchangeablenesse is an ex∣cellency in him:* for all his Attributes are ex∣ceeding excellent. Then if thou wouldest judge of any thing in the world, thou must take this as a measure by which thou maist prize and e∣steeme Page  107 it: looke how changeable it is, so much the worse it is; if it be good, the more immu∣table, the better it is, for all changeablenesse commeth from weakenesse. Therefore learne to value it so: and you shall finde this of much use. As we may see in the heavens: it is said that they are vaine, because they waxe olde as doth a garment, but thou art the same, Psal. 102.26, 27. Go through every thing glorious in the world, glorious Churches, they are subject to change; as Ierusalem, the glory of all the earth, it is ruina∣ted, and brought nothing. Take men that are most eminent, yet because they are subject to change, by death or by passions, there is an un∣evennesse in them: though they live here like Gods in their glory. Therefore magnifie no man, but labour to be perswaded of thy selfe, as a man. I need not speake to you of riches, they take to themselves wings and fly away; nor of credit and honour, they are in the power of them that give them: whatsoever is changea∣ble, according to the mutability of it, so value it. But I presse the contrary. Looke upon the things that are not changeable, and labour to prize them. Thou shalt find saving grace to be unchangeable, though it may be impared in de∣gree, and may recoyle to the root, and may not bud forth as at other times, yet it is unchangea∣ble, it shall never be taken away: So spir••uall life is unchangeable, when that begins, then the other shakes off, even as old nailes doe; when new grow under them: therefore this should Page  108 teach us to value it much.

So the word of GOD is an unchangeable thing, Isay 40.8. The grasse withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of the Lord shall stand for ever. So Matth. 5. Heaven and earth shall passe away, but my word shall not passe. Now what use should we make of this? Then study the word more than any thing in the world besides. There is much learning in the world, and there are many creatures: now all other knowledge is of the creature, and that vanisheth away with them, but the word of God shall not passe, the word indures for ever. Therefore looke what truthes thou canst get out of the word, which may build up the inward man, looke what profit thou canst get from it, that shall remaine for ever: therefore thou shouldest prize it much, get it plenteously in thy heart, in the wisedome and power of it. We have many imployments in this life: but that which is bestowed upon unchangeable things, which shall shall never al∣ter, that is the best time spent.

Lastly, all the good workes thou doest, and all the evill workes of unregenerate men unre∣pented of, shall remaine for ever. Looke what good workes thou doest in the world, they shall remaine with thee for ever, they shall be had in continuall remembrance. Therefore thou shoul∣dest labour to be abundant in good workes, that is, to be sure to serve GOD whatsoever thou doest. If thou be servant or a labouring man; when thou doest thy workes out of obedience Page  109 to him, even those workes shall remaine. So looke in any thing that thou hast done for Christ, all these things shall remaine for ever: what faithfull prayers soever thou hast made, or whatsoever thou hast suffered for Christ, what paines thou hast taken in preaching, or in repen∣ting, or in advancing the cause of CHRIST, these shall be had in everlasting remembrance. So looke what sinnes unrepented of thou hast committed. The sinnes of unregenerate men shall also remaine. All the praise that comes from any action, and the pleasure of it, that passeth away, and comes to nothing: but looke what sinfulnesse there is in any worke, that re∣maines, and if thou repent not of it, that sinne shall be reckoned upon thy score; and what uprightnesse soever there is in any worke, that shall remaine. Therefore learne from hence to prize and value onely those good things that are immutable, and proportionably to feare and shunne the evill.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  111


EXOD. 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM, &c.

AS wee are to judge of other things by the mutability of them: so learne to judge of thy selfe, of thine owne spirit, by that constancy that thou findest in well-doing, or that muta∣bility and unconstancy that thou art subject to. If a man would make a censure of himselfe, let Page  112 him consider, that the nearer hee comes to un∣changeablenesse in well-doing, the better he is, and the stronger he is: againe, the more muta∣ble, the weaker. Thou art to judge of thy selfe, as we use to esteeme of one another. Now let a man be unconstant, one that we can have no holde of, that is as fickle as the weather, that will resolve upon such a thing to day, and change his minde to morrow: what ever lear∣ning or excellency, or what kindnesse soever there is in this man, we regard him not, because he is an unconstant man. Now learne thou to doe so with thy selfe, to aske thy selfe that que∣stion: Hast thou not had many resolutions, that never came to any endeavours? Hast thou not begun many good workes, and never finished them? Hast thou not found that property of fol∣ly in thee, To begin stil to live? Stultitia semper incipit vivere? If this be thy case, learne to ab∣horre thy selfe for it, and to be ashamed: for all is nothing, till we come to a constant and unchangeble resolution: So that we come to set it downe with our selves as an inviolable law: this is a duty, and I will doe it, whatsoever it cost me; this is a sinne, and I will avoid it, whatsoever come of it. This is a resolution that Daniel takes up, Dan. 1.8. He determined in his heart, that he would not be defiled with the Kings meate: and such a resolution they were exhor∣ted to in Acts 11.23. With full purpose of heart, to cleave unto God. It is translated, full purpose: but the words are, with a decree and full reso∣lution Page  113 of heart; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: That is, when a man doth not lightly put himselfe upon an holy course; but takes up a strong resolution to goe through with it; such a resolution as Pauls was, Acts 20.22. he knew what bands did waite for him, as for theeves it was no matter, he was bound in the spirit, All is nothng: I care not, sayes he, so that I may fulfill the Ministery committed to me. Such a resolution we should have. And accor∣ding as thou findest thy selfe able to doe this, so thou shouldest judge of thy selfe. A man that is on and off in his wayes, Salomon com∣pares him to a City whose walls are broken downe, that is, if a temptation come, and set upon him, it hath free entrance, and the temp∣tation comes in, because his soule was without guard and ward. But on the other side, a man that doth not stand trifling with the Lord, to say, I wish I could, and I am sorry that I can∣not, but he will goe through a good course, such a man is like to a City which hath walls round about it; that if a temptation come, there is something to keepe it out. I say, as thou art to judge of other things by the mutability of them: so of thy selfe. There is nothing bet∣ter than to have a peremptory resolution in well-doing, to be constant therein, and there is nothing worse than to bee peremptory in e∣vill. [Vse 6]

If God be immutable, then thou knowest whi∣ther to goe to get this constancy,* to make thy Page  114 selfe unchangeable, and immutable and constant in well-doing. For, for what end hath he revea∣led to us that he is unchangeable? is it not for our use? Sure it is, even to teach us, that when we finde our selves subject to mutability, wee should goe to God, and beseech him to establish our hearts. No creature is able to doe it. E∣very creature is mutable, onely so farre un∣changeable, as he maketh it to be so; he onely is originally unchangeable; all friends and all o∣ther things in the world are no further un∣changeable than he communicates it to them, (as was said before:) and the same is true of thine owne heart, and of thy purposes. Therefore thou must thinke with thy selfe, and make this use of the unchangeablenesse of God, that hee onely can make thee unchangeable. Therefore when a man wants direction, hee must goe to GOD: Iam. 1.5. he is onely wise, and can shew a man what to doe, when he is in a strait. And upon the same ground when thou seest that thou art un∣constant, goe to him that is unchangeable, that can make thee constant; and desire him to fixe thy quicke-silver, to ballance thy lightnesse, and that he would settle and fill that vaine and empty heart of thine with something that may stay and establish it. There is no other way: all the meanes that can be used, all the motives that can be put upon a man, all the reasons that can be brought, are not able to make us constant, till GOD worke it in us, and for us. Therefore the onely way is to give GOD the glory of his Page  115immutability, to goe to him in a sense of thine owne unconstancy, and say so; Lord, thou hast revealed thy selfe to be unchangeable, that wee may seeke it of thee, and finde it in thee, thou alone art originally and essentially so: no crea∣ture is any further than thou doest communi∣cate it to it. Therefore doe thou, LORD, make mee stable and constant in well-doing. Grace it selfe of it selfe is not immutable, for it is subject to ebbing and flowing: and the rea∣son why we doe not quite lose it, is not from the nature of grace, as if it were immutable, but because it comes from and stickes close to Christ. Therefore goe to him; he is the roote that communicates sappe and life to thee, be∣cause thou abidest ingrafted in him.

[Object.] But the Lord doth this by meanes: it is not enough to pray, and to seeke to him, to make me unchangeable, (so much as humane infirmi∣ty can reach) but I must use the meanes also.

[Answ.] It is true, he doth it by meanes: and if you say, what are those meanes? I will shew it you briefly.

You shall finde that there two causes of un∣constancy,* or mutability, or ficklenesse: and if you finde out what the causes are, you will easily see the way to helpe it.

[ 1] First, Strength of lust: that causeth men to be unconstant. Iames 4.8.**Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purge your heart you wavering-minded: what is the reason, that the Apostle bids them to purge their hearts, that were wavering-minded,Page  116 but because that corruption, and those unruly affections that are within, cause us to be uncon∣stant, to waver, even as an arrow shot with a strong hand, that the winde makes to fly uncon∣stantly: so a man that resolves upon a good course, and takes to himselfe good purposes and desires, he having some lust in him, these thrust in, and make him unstable; therefore purge your hearts you wavering-minded. As if he should say, the reason why you are not stable, is, because you are not cleansed from these corruptions, which are the cause of this unconstancy. So Psal. 5.9. There is no faith∣fulnesse in their mouth, their inward part is very fil∣thinesse, &c. The reason why there is no con∣stancie in their speech, life, and actions is, be∣cause within they are very corruption: that is, the sinne that is within, is the cause of all the wavering that is in the life of man; were it not for it, there would be no such unevennesse in our lives. Therefore if this be the cause of it, there is no way to helpe it, but to get this cor∣ruption mortified, to be cleansed from all pol∣lution of flesh and spirit, as much as may be.

Take a man that sayes hee will amend his course, that intends to be diligent in his calling, and thinkes not to turne to such evill courses, but to serve God with a perfect heart: observe now what is the reason that this man breakes his purposes, and falls off againe; it is, because there is some strong lust, that comes like a gust of a contrary winde, and breakes him off from Page  117 his course. Therefore the first way is, to cleanse thy heart, if thou wilt be constant.

[ 2] The second cause of unconstancy, is weake∣nesse; * if a man were free from that inward cor∣ruption, yet weakenesse would make a man to bee unconstant: so much weakenesse, so much unconstancy; and so much strength as a man hath, so much constancy he hath. For what is the reason that man is so fickle? Because the banks of his resolution are so weak to hold out against temptations when they assault him, & he giues over because he is not able to resist them. And this ground I take out of 1 Sam. 15.29. The strength of Israel will not repent, for he is not as man that hee should repent. By repenting is meant a change: now you see the reason given why the Lord is not subject to change, he is the strength of Israell. For you shall allwayes finde in the Scripture, that such attributes are given to GOD, according to the nature of the worke that he hath in hand: Now the reason why the Lord will not repent is, because he is strong.

To make this appeare to you,* you must know, that three things must concurre to make a resolution strong.

[ 1] First, there must bee some reason that must move him.

[ 2] Secondly, there must bee an inclination of the will to it.

[ 3] Thirdly, It must be often renewed. First, I say, there must be some reason that must move him: but if that were all, he would not resolue, Page  118 therefore hee must have an inclination of the will to it; both these, when they concurre, they make the resolution up: when the understand∣ing is convinced, and the will inclined, the un∣derstanding saith there is reason for it, and the will saith, it is good, then this makes up the re∣solution. As first, when a man hath any reason to move him to any action, and it is a strong reason, so that hee answers all objections that hee meets with, now the resolution continues firme: but if his reasons be not sufficient, but he meete with objections that are stronger, then the first principle being taken away, the reso∣lution growes flaggy and weake. And so is it in the other also, when a man hath a desire to any thing, if it be so strong, that nothing is stronger then it, that can overtop, and over∣rule it, then he goes on without any impedi∣ment: but if it bee weake, so that a stronger desire can come, and overballance it, then the second principle is demolished, and there is an end of this resolution. So that let the reason on which wee fixe it bee strong, and let the in∣clination (which must concurre,) be fix't and strong, and then the resolution will be accor∣didg.

But I adde the third, that there must be a re∣newing of this: for though the resolution bee well built, yet to make it constant, it must still be renewed. For there are some workes, which must have a third and fourth hand to goe over them, or else they will fall, and moulder away: Page  119 And this is the nature of our resolution also, it is not the resolution of a day or two, that will serue the turne, for the nature of man is subject to such weakenesse, that except our resolutions bee gone over and over againe, they shrinke and come to nothing. Therefore the thing that ca∣seth unconstancy, is one of these three: either weakenesse of reason that sets thee on worke, or weakenesse of the inclination and desire, or else, not renewing of this. Now when you have found out the causes of weaknesse, you may ea∣sily finde out the meanes to make you resolute in well doing. As

[ 1] First, Labour to get strong reasons for what you resolve on. The want of this was the cause of the mutability of the second ground. It wan∣ted depth of earth: that is, the seed was good, and the earth was good, but it was not deepe en∣ough, and the strength of the Sunne caused it to wither away. So when we shall have good purposes and resolutions, and they have not root inough, that is, when he hath not well ex∣amined the thing, so as to bee fully convinced of the thing that he undertakes, he is apt to be inconstant in it. And this was the reason of Eves inconstancy, because shee considered not the bottome that she was built upon. On the o∣ther side, the Woman of Canaan when she had fixed her faith upon a good ground, she would not be beaten off: though she could not answer the objection, yet she would not bee plucked off. Thou art the Messias, and therefore thou Page  120 wilt shew mercy: and then she had neede of mercy, for her daughter was sicke, and weake, and therefore she would not be driven off, shee would take no deniall. So is it with all our re∣solutions when they have this depth of earth. Therefore the best way is, to consider, and forecast the worst. So our Saviour counselleth to suspect the worst: How canst thou that hast but two hundred, goe against him that hath a thou∣sand, so is it in this case. When you shall un∣dertake a good course, and you goe out but with weake reasons: if Sathan or a lust come and object stronger reasons, this will make thee give out. Therefore the best way is to forecast the worst, and to outbid the Devill in every temptation. Therefore when hee shall come and say, that thou shalt have favour with men, say to him that the favour of GOD is bet∣ter; if he shall tell thee of riches, and wealth, say that thou shalt have a treasure in heaven: if hee say to thee that thou shalt have rest and plea∣sure in sinne, say to him, that the peace of con∣science, and joy in the Holy Ghost, is farre be∣yond that rest, and pleasure, whatsoever it be: So in all the temptations one the other hand, it is good to ponder them well, that wee may bee able to outbid him therein. Whatsoe∣ver he doth object, it is one of these two: ei∣ther some good that thou shalt have, or some e∣vill. Now consider, that as the love and fa∣vour of GOD, is a greater good then all the world can give thee: So his wrath is a grea∣ter Page  121 evill, than any the world can doe to thee.

[ 2] Secondly, If thou wouldest have thy reso∣lution strong, to breake through all impedi∣ments, labour to get vehement desires to over∣toppe all other: that whatsoever comes, yet this may overballance them.

[Quest.] But how shall I come to get such a desire?

[Answ.] There is no way in the world but this: La∣bour to be humbled for thy sinnes, to get a broken heart for them: for then a man comes to prize grace exceeding much, and worldly things as nothing. For this is a sure rule, When thou feelest thy sinnes to lie heavie upon thee, then all the things in the world will appeare light: there∣fore labour to know the bitternesse of sinne; it is that which sets an edge upon all our spirituall desires: without this a man doth but cheapen the kingdome of heaven, he doth as the people did with Rehoboam, they expostulated with him about their serving him: so wee doe capitulate with the Lord, as it were, and stand upon termes with him, untill we are humbled; and then we are ready to take heaven upon any condition. Till a man be thus humbled, his desires are re∣misse, and weake, and flaggy desires; they raise up great buildings upon no foundation; the foundation is weake and crazie, and so the building comes downe. And hence is it, that men put their hand to the plough, and looke backe againe. A scholler will serve the Lord, if hee may have eminency in gifts, and outward ex∣cellency, or some honour in the flesh; but all Page  122 this while his desires are remisse: but when he is once humbled, then he will say with Saint Paul, Lord, what wilt thou have me to doe? and I will doe it, whatsoever it is, and whatsoever thou wouldest have me to suffer, I will suffer it. He will take the kingdome of heaven by violence: and then his resolutions continue constant that way. For what can Satan do to him? wil he take away his pleasure from him, his wealth, or his credit? they are things that hee hath despised before: he can take nothing from him, but what he cares not for. It is the bitternesse of sinne, that makes him now to prize Gods love and fa∣vour above all thing.

[ 3] Thirdly, thou must renew thy resolution oft: it is not enough to set the heart in a good frame of grace for a day, or two, or for a moneth, but thou must have a constant course in doing of it, ever and anon: as the Dutch men use to doe with their bankes, that keepe them with little cost, because they looke narrowly to them; if there be but the least breach, they make it up pre∣sently, otherwise the water makes a breach up∣on them. So thou shouldest doe with thy heart: observe it from day to day, marke what obje∣ctions come, that thou canst not answer, what lusts and desires doe overballance thee, and learne still to renew thy reasons and resolutions against them: and this will make thee constant, and firme, and peremptory in well-doing.

Page  123NOw I come to the next Attribute, and that is, The Greatnesse of God, or his Infi∣nitenesse:* We follow in this rather the rule of the Scripture, than the tract of the Schoole∣men, and wee insist upon those that God doth especially take to him in Scripture.

Now that God takes this Attribute to him∣selfe, you shall see in 2 Chron. 2.5. For great is our God above all Gods. Psal. 135.5. For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all Gods. But the place that I would chiefly com∣mend to you is this: Psal. 145.3. Great is the Lord, and most worthy to be praised: and his great∣nesse is unsearchable. Where you see, that it is an infinite, and incomprehensible greatnesse that the Lord takes to himselfe. So Psal. 147.5. Great is our God, and of great power: and his understan∣ding is infinite.

In handling of this, I will shew you these two things.

[ 1] First, I will shew you how this greatnesse of God is gathered from the Scriptures.

[ 2] Secondly, I will shew you the reason of it, as I have done in the rest.

The greatnesse of God is declared to us in the Scripture by these sixe things.*

[ 1] First, By the workes of his creation.* The greatnesse of the workes doe shew the greatnesse the maker. Isay 40.12. Who hath measured the heavens in the hollow of his hand, and meted out the heavens with a spanne, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the moun∣taines Page  124 in scales, and the hills in a ballance? that is, If you would looke upon any worke, you may judge of the workeman by it; if you see a great building, you conceive it to be made by a man of some power: now when you looke upon the great building of heaven and earth, you may thinke that he that handles the materialls, as an Architect doth handle the stones, and lay them in their place is great: now the Lord doth put the waters together, as if he held them in his hand; and hee measures out the heavens, as a workeman measures out the roofe: Againe, e∣very workeman must worke by plummet and by weight, now consider the great mountaines, saith he, he weighes them in scales, and the hills in a ballance: as this building doth goe beyond mans, so doth the greatnesse of God exceed the greatnesse of man: and by this you may take a glimpse of the greatnesse of the Lord.

[ 2] Secondly, by the ensignes of his greatnesse:* The greatnesse of Princes is set out by those out∣ward signes, which are the declaration of it. Now when the Lord would shew his greatnesse, you shall see how he expresseth it. Deut. 4.36. When he came out of the Mount, they heard a great voice, and on the earth there was a great fire: by that you may know the greatnesse of God. For why doth hee come out with those ensignes, clothed with them, as it were, but that by this you might have a crevice opened to shew you the greatnesse of God? So when he appeared to Elias, and in his apparitions to Moses, to the Page  125 Prophets, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. It is said also, that his voice was as the sound of many waters; and he was so terrible, that is was a vsuall saying a∣mong the Iewes; Who can see God and live? why so? Because when he appeared, when he shew∣ed any shadow of his greatnesse, weake flesh could not behold him, but was swallowed up as it were, with the greatnesse of his Majesty.

[ 3] Thirdly, By the workes of his providence. *Ezek. 36.23. And I will sanctifie my great Name which was prophaned among the heathen, which yee have prophaned in the middest of them, and the hea∣then shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. As if hee should say; They make no ac∣count of me now, but when they shall see me to bring downe great Babel, then they shall know and beleeve, that I am a great GOD. So else where in Ezechiel hee compareth Ashur, and Tire, to a Lyon and Eagle, and a Cedar: and hee saith, that hee will put a hooke into the Lyon, and deplume the Eagle, and overtop the Cedar: that is, hee will shew forth his greatnesse, at that time, when he shall bring downe those great nations. So the greatnesse of GOD is seene in his provi∣dence over every thing: when he shall over∣throw a whole kingdome, and a great battell by a litle accident, as great ships are turned about by a litle rudder, then his might appeares. So in his ruling the winds and seaes, and weather, all this shewes the greatnesse of his excellency. Therefore look vpon his judgements, and like∣wise Page  126 upon his mercyes, when you see, how he raiseth men out of the dust &c. All this shewes the greatnesse of God.

[ 4] Fourthly, It is set out comparatively. To compare him, with the greatest of men,* Kings, what are they unto him, who is the King of Kings? Nay, take Nations which are greater, nay take all Nations, you shall see what they are to him. Isa. 40.15. Behold the Nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the ballance: Behold he taketh up the Iles as a very little thing, & Lebanon is not sufficient to burn for a burnt offering. All Nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him lesse then nothing and vanity. The very scope of this place is, to shw the greatnesse of God by comparison. A bucket of water is but a small thing, but the dropps that fall from it, they are of no use: Againe, the dust of the earth is but a small thing, but the dust of the scales, that will not so much as turne them, that must needes be exceeding little: but all the world is not so much to him, as a litle dust. An∣other comparison you shall finde in Isa 55. My thoughts are above your thoughts, as the heaven is a∣bove the earth. Beyond al things are the thoughts of man; for though Nations bee great, yet a mans thoughts goe beyond them: notwithstan∣ding the Lord is as much beyond the scant∣ling, and modell that we draw of him in our thoughts, as the heavens are above the earth: When you have thought upon mee as much as you can thinke; when you have thought Page  127 me mercifull, (for that is the thing which hee speakes of) yet I am as much more mercifull, then you can thinke of me, as the heavens are a∣bove the earth.

[ 5] Fifthly, The Immensenesse or extent of his being.*Ier. 23.24. Doe not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord? When we consider, that the heaven of heavens cannot containe him, that large∣nesse presented to our mindes, will shew his greatnesse to us.

[ 6] Sixthly, His holinesse shewes his greatnesse. Looke as men keepe a greater distance from o∣thers,* (as Princes doe) so wee esteeme them greater: Now his holinesse is nothing else, but his separation and distance from every creature. Every thing is holy, because it is separated; it is common, because it is not sequestred from o∣ther uses: now GOD is separated, none may come neere him; as the Cherubims cover their faces before him; and when he was in the Mount, none might approach neare to him; if they did, they were to be thrust through with a dart: He dwells in light inaccessible; and therefore the great holinesse of GOD shewes the greatnesse of Majesty.

[ 2] The reasons of this Infinitenesse are these.

[ 1] First, from this very place,*I AM hath sent me unto you; I AM, shewes that he hath a being from himselfe, if so, then he had no cause. Now from hence, as in that he had no efficient nor finall cause, he is eternall: so in that he hath nei∣ther matter nor forme, hee is infinite and incom∣prehensible. Page  128 And that is the reason that hee hath an unlimited essence, because all limitation proceedes either from the matter or from the forme: the forme is contracted by the matter: againe, the matter would be indefinite, but it is contracted and bounded by the forme. Now GOD hath neither matter nor forme, nor no∣thing like it: therefore hee is infinite. All the creatures they have their severall kindes: the Angels they have no matter, yet they have something in them answerable to matter and forme, wherein they agree, and disagree with other creatures: and therefore they are one kinde of creatures, and man another; which shewes that they have formes to bound and limit them, and that the essence of the Angels goes so farre, and no farther; and so the essence of man, &c. But in GOD there is no similitude of any such thing, there is no Esse receptum, there is no limits in him, nothing to binde his essence: whereas they are Entia in a certaine kinde, he is simpliciter Ens, and therefore without all limi∣tation, and so must be immense.

*Secondly, He is omnipotent and almighty, he can doe whatsoever he will: Whence I rea∣son. If he have an infinite power, it must needs proceede from an infinite cause; for as a thing is in working, so it is in being: therefore when his power is infinite, that must needes be infinite in which it is rooted, and from whence it pro∣ceedes.

*Thirdly, That which is beyond all that wee Page  129 can conceive is infinite: but GOD is so, for if any thing could be imagined more perfect than he is, that should be GOD and not he: and therefore in Scripture, whatsoever we can con∣ceive of him, yet he is beyond it. Rom. 11. His wayes are past finding out; and it is said, that hee dwells in light inaccessible.

Fourthly, Consider it from his workes: you see that hee hath made the world of nothing.* Whence I reason: If you would heate the aire, it is more easily heated than water, because the passive power is neerer the active; and if you would heate water, you may more easily heate it than the earth: Now according to the resi∣stance, according to the passive power, such is the active: if the passive power lie open, the active power is lesse, that workes upon it: now when the passive power is infinitely low, then the active power must be infinitely high, and an∣swerable to it. Therefore when GOD comes to make something of nothing, the active po∣wer must bee exceeding high, because the passive power is so low: and therefore re¦quires an infinite active power to make some∣thing of nothing, and consequently, hee must be infinite, in whom this power is seated.

[Vse 1] If he be so great a GOD, he that is our God, the GOD,* who is our Father, if he be thus great and incomprehensible, learne you to know what you are then: that you have an infinite God to maintaine, defend and uphold you, in all all that you have to doe, or suffer for his will. Page  130 This will cause you to take great mindes to your selves to have a holy magnanimity in you: And the consideration of this Attribute is of great vse, to make Christians come to have great mindes. For what is it that makes the minde great? It is the greatnesse of the object: whence it is, that Kings have great mindes, be∣cause of their great Kingdomes; and great men have great thoughts, because of the great objects that they have to looke vpon. Now therefore, if thou wouldest looke vpon the great God, if thou wouldest consider that he is thy Father, and that all that hee hath is thine, this would likewise make thy minde exceeding great: it would take from us that pusillanimity and nar∣rownesse of mind, which we are subject to; and it is of great moment it should doe so. A litle mind though it be good, yet because it is a litle vessell, it can bee and receive but a litle good; whereas when the minde is great it is capable of great grace, great actions, and great indeavours: therefore we should get our minds to be inlarg∣ed, by considering the greatnesse of GOD, and our interest in it. For want of this it is, that Christians are so apt to bee led aside into by∣wayes by the power of great men; because they thinke that they are greatly graced when they are look't after by great men; when as if they did know their owne greatnesse, that they are Sonnes of GOD, and heires of heaven, this goes beyond it. Hence likewise it is, that men are so easily wrought vpon by pleasure, profit, Page  131 and the like, that they are ready to transgresse: why is it? It is, because they doe not know what they are borne to, that the great GOD of heaven is theirs.

So what is the reason, that the praise, and credit of men, doe so much affect you? but be∣cause we have so litle mindes? whereas, if God were knowne in his greatnesse, what would the praise of great men be to the praise of the great GOD? This would give us much strength a∣gainst these temptations. And hence it is that young students that are provided for, have their mindes lift vp to vanities: whereas if their minds were great, they would despise them, and labour to serve the great GOD with their strength and parts.

And so men that are growne vp, if they have estate inough, they leave the high and honorable calling of the Ministery; the reason is, because they overvalue these outward things: whereas, if a man had, a great mind, nothing would bee great to him.

Hence also it is, that men are so stirred with variety of conditions; when prosperity comes, it shakes them one way; when crosses and ad∣versity comes, it troubles them on the other∣side: and what is the reason, but because they seeme great to them: which appeares from hence, because they stirre vp great affections. Therefore the way, to walke even in both con∣ditions, is, to get this greatnesse of mind: for it is the weakenesse of minde, which causeth a Page  132 man to be over affected with these things, to re∣joyce too much in the one, and to bee too much affected with the other. Even as, wee see, a weake eye, as the eyes of Owles and Bats, can∣not indure a great light; and a weake braine cannot beare strong drinke: but a strong eye, as the eye of an Eagle, can indure the greatest light; so a strong minde, it will indure great grace and disgrace, with the same temper, it will beare all well enough, it knowes how to want and how to abound; because he hath a great and a strong minde: whereas others have their eyes dazeled, and their braines made giddy as it were with the favour or losse of great men.

Hence also it is that wee are so busie about worldly things, dignity, and riches, &c. It is true we should seeke after these things, but why doe we doe it tanto conatu? It was Paules great∣nesse of mind, that made him ambitious to preach the Gospell; to serve tables, and such like, were small matters, hee would not looke after them: So if wee had great minds, wee should seeke for grace, and how to increase in it, how to live an usefull, and painefull and profi∣table life. Worldly things are too litle for the mind to bestow it selfe upon; which would be so to us, if we could see GOD in his greatnesse, and our interest in it. Men of little mindes and pusillanimous, doe as the Bramble, which reckon∣ed it as a great matter to reigne over the trees: whereas the Vine and the Figgetree esteemed it not so, but chose rather to serve GOD and man with their sweetnesse and fatnesse.

Page  133Hence it is that men are so much affected with the injuries of men on the one side, and the feares of men on the other side: all this ari∣seth from the littlenesse of the minde. Saint Paul, Gal. 5.12. the Galathians had done him great injury, yet saith he, Brethren, be as I am, for I am as you are: you have done me great injury, but I esteeme it not, you have not hurt mee at all. For, a man inlarged to a holy greatnesse of mind, all the injuries put upon him by men, seeme small to him: when men are full of complaints, and say, they cannot beare such disgrace and slander, and reproach; this doth not proceede from the greatnesse, but from the weaknesse of their mindes. Men thinke it indeede greatnesse of minde, not to passe over these things, not to put up an injury: but surely it is a note of a great minde, to overlooke them all. So it is true on the other side, not to regard the praise of men: The Philosopher could say, that the magnani∣mous man did not regard the praise of common men, because he was above them; and he is but a weake man, that would regard the praise of children, because they are not able to judge: so hee hath but a weake minde, that regards the praise of worldly men; for they are too little for him to regard, if hee did see GOD in his greatnesse. This made Paul to say, that hee did not care for mans day, let them say what they will by me, better or worse, I regard it not. (There is indeede a meete regard to be had of of them; but if they come into competition Page  134 with God, then they must beare no weight at all:) and thus because disgrace and disparage∣ment, &c. seemed but little to him, he despised them all.

So from this weaknesse of minde ariseth that cowardlinesse which wee see often in men. Whence is it that men are so fearefull to holde out the light of a holy profession? is it not from hence, that they are pusillanimous, that they doe too much esteeme the face of men? A Lion, be∣cause he knowes himselfe to be a Lion, if the dogges barke, hee walkes in the street and re∣gards them not; he turneth not his head aside for them: So a magnanimous man, that knowes himselfe in GODS favour, will passe by the obloquies of mn. You shall see David did so: hee went on in his course like a Lion, when Shi∣mei railed against him, so that the two sonnes of Zerviah would have cut off his head; No, let him alone, saith he, the Lord then raised him up to a great mind. So was it with Paul, he passed through evill report, & good report, & never turned aside for any. So Moses, & Ieremy, They shall smite thee with the tongue of men, &c. sayes GOD, but I am with thee. And so, if wee could see GOD in his greatnesse, all these outward things would seeme nothing to us. As a hundred torches appeare to be nothing, when wee looke upon the Sunne▪ so, if we could consider aright of the greatnesse of God, all the faire speeches of men would be as nothing. Now the way to get this magnanimity, is to beleeve this great∣nesse Page  135 of God, and to consider that wee are the sonnes of God, and heires of heaven: the cause of this pusillanimity is the want of faith. If wee did beleeve that we were the sonnes of God, and did beleeve that GOD would be with us, that he was so great a GOD, and that hee did stand by, and second us, we should not be so feare∣full as we are. Therefore strengthen your faith, that you may have your mindes inlarged, that so you may walke without impediments, and be perfect with him; as it is said of Abraham, that hee was perfect with God in all his wayes.

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EXOD. 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and they shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM, &c.

[Answ.] IF you aske the question, [Quest.] How a man shall come to this greatnesse of mind, what rise it hath from the great∣nesse of God?* I answer.

First, it ariseth thus from it. When a man considers that GOD is so exceeding great, and that hee Page  138 hath interest in him, that will make him to de∣spise all other things, as small things in compa∣rison of him. Indeed, if GOD was great, and we had no interest in him, then there was no cause why wee should take to our selves this magnanimity upon any such ground: but seeing that he is so great, and that his greatnes shall be improved to our advantage, what addition can any thing else make unto us? You shall see that Paul raised his heart upon this ground: Phil. 3.8. considering the priviledges that hee had in Christ, this makes him to account other things as nothing. Hence in Iames 1.10. Let him that is of a high degree, rejoyce in that hee is made low: that is, let him rejoyce that hee is inabled to looke upon his riches which he did so high∣ly magnifie before, to thinke them as nothing, but as fading flowers; let him rejoyce in it, because now he is made a greater man, because he seemes too bigge for them; they are no such things, as before he thought them to be: not that they are made lesse, but because he is exal∣ted and lifted above them.

[ 2] Secondly, so likewise there is a rise for it in this regard, because he is able to defend us, and protect us, and beare us out against all opposi∣tion. You see that men looke great, because they have got great men or Princes to beare themselves upon. But when men consider that they have the great God on their side, to beare themselves upon, why should not they have great mindes? Thus Moses, Hebr. 11. regarded Page  139 not the wrath of the King, because hee did see that GOD that was invisible: that is, when he considered GOD in his greatnesse, the King and his wrath were nothing to him. So that the way to get this magnanimity, is, to beleeve that GOD is our GOD: and according to the great∣nesse of a mans faith, such will be this greatnes and magnanimity of minde that we commend to you. Saul, when he was a King, had a new heart, and a new spirit, because when he beleeved in ear∣nest that he was a King, he looked upon things after another manner; he had other thoughts and other affections than he had before: and so would any man else, if he were advanced from a meane estate to a kingdome. And, if we did beleeve that wee were the sonnes of the great God of heaven and earth, wee would have great mindes; therefore the stronger our faith is, the greater our minde is. Onely this is to be added; that this faith must not be in the habit onely in thee, but it must bee exercised and renewed continually: there must not be onely 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the actuall use of it. And were that which GOD said to Abraham, (I am thy excee∣ding great reward,) were this beheld of any of us, that GOD is so great, and that this greatnesse is our exceeding great reward, then all other re∣wards would seeme but small things. You shall see what David did upon this ground, in Psal. 27.1. The Lord is my light, and my salvation, whom shall I feare? the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? See, here are two Page  140 things: First, he considers that GOD is his; He is my salvation. Secondly, he considers the great∣nesse, and strength and power of God; and from thence he drawes this conclusion, whom shall I feare? For in thee doe I trust; that is, in this po∣wer and greatnesse of GOD, and the interest that I have in him. Psal. GOD is our refuge and strength: a very present help in trouble, There∣fore will we not feare though the earth be removed, and though the mountaines be carried into the midst of the Sea: though the waters thereof roare and bee troubled, and though the mountaines shake with the swelling thereof: that is, when GOD is seene in his greatnesse, when we looke vpon him, and beleeve him to be such a God, and that we have interest in him, in the greatest trouble and confu∣sion that can befall vs: though the earth be shaken, and the mountaines cast into the midst of the Sea, yet the minde will not be shaken, but still re∣maines the same. They beare out all, because they have a great God, to beare themselves vp∣on, who will protect and defend them vpon all occasions.

[Vse 2] If GOD be so great and infinite, (as he is) hence we should learne to feare him,* and to tremble at his word. A great and potent enemy, men will feare: therefore this is one use that we are to make of the greatnesse of GOD, that his wrath is exceeding great, and so is his goodnesse; and both are to be feared. Wee ought to feare his wrath, lest it come upon us, and his goodnesse least we loose it: for he is a great God, and his Page  141 wrath is able to crush in peices, and to consume us, as he expressed it, when hee put forth but some part of his strength, as when he consumed them with their Censers, even the company of Corah, Dathan, and Abiram. Who can dwell with everlasting burnings? as if he should say; he is a great God, who can come neere him? who can converse with him? how shall men deale with him? Some of them there made an evill use of it: but we must learne to make use of it for our owne advantage; to take heed, how we pro∣voke him: for is it a small thing to have the great God of heaven and earth our enemy? Let them consider this, that live without GOD in the world, that sinne, and will sinne, they are told of their particular faults, of their idlenesse &c. and they are so and will be so still: but let them consider that which is spoken in 1 Cor: 10.22. Doe we provoke the Lord to jealousie? Are we stronger than he? He speakes it to them that receive the Sacrament unworthily: as if hee should say; Both in this, and in all other sinnes that you doe commit, you doe, as it were, con∣tend with the great God, which is a vaine thing, if you consider his greatnesse: for are you stron∣ger then he? So Psal. 90. Who knowes the power of his wrath?

And so should we doe in regard of his good∣nesse, Hos: 3. vlt: Men shall feare his goodnesse: that is, if his goodnesse be so great and infinite, as himselfe, then the losse of it, is a losse above all things in the world. Whatsoever is precious to Page  142 us, that we feare the losse of, as our liberties and lives: and as things are more precious to us, the more we feare the losse of them. Now the goodnesse of God is greater than all other things, it is beyond all these, as having all these in it: therfore wee are to feare the losse of it as the greatest evill in the world.

Therefore if we could see the extension of his wrath and goodnesse, the losse of the one would be the greatest losse, and the other the greatest crosse; the enjoying of the one the grea∣test good, and the 〈◊〉 of the other the greatest evill in the world: and the consideration of this would helpe us to guide our hopes and feares aright: for a great cause of misleading us in our wayes, are the vaine hopes and feares that we are subject to: we feare the losse of friends, and losse of lives and liberties; but these in comparison are not to be feared. This use Christ makes of it: Feare not those that can kill the body, but feare the great God, that can destroy both body and soule. The greatnes of his wrath wee should feare as the greatest evill: and his goodnesse as the chiefest good: and our thoughts and inten∣tions being taken up about these two, it would set our hopes and feares aright; and worldly things, as credit, and profit, &c. would seeme nothing to us, and prevaile nothing with us.

[Vse 3] * If GOD be so exceeding great, then there is no love enough, no affection, no desire answe∣rable to him. If our love were perfect, yet it could not reach to him, whose greatnesse doth Page  143 farre exceede it: but being imperfect, as it is, it falls exceeding short of him. Therefore let no man feare that he can goe too farre, that there can be too much holinesse and strictnesse in our wayes: but let him remember the great GOD of heaven and earth, and what is due to him, and then thinke how farre thou fallest short of that which thou shouldest doe to him. It is an expression of CHRIST, Luke 14.26. Mat. 10.37. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. That which I would have observed out of these places is, He is not worthy of me: that is, if men considered my great∣nesse, and excellency, they would easily see me worthy of more love, than this of friends; and except you can doe so, except you can prize my love above these things, yea even hate them all, if they come into competition with me, you are not worthy of me. Consider therefore, how much love he is worthy of, and see if there be not reason for the commandement, where we are commanded to love the Lord with all our strength: that is, if you would love God with that love that he is worthy of, you would love God with all your strength: that is, whatsoever strength a man hath, his love should put it forth to doe service to God. If a man be rich, he is able to doe more for God than a poore man; if he be a Magistrate, he can doe more than a pri∣vate man; if he hath learning and knowledge, he hath much more strength than another: now the improvement of these to the glory of God,Page  144 this is to love him with all our strength. And if you consider how great a God he is, you will see great reason why you should love him thus with all your strength. Therefore we should check our selves when we see the dulnesse of our hearts, how ready and how apt wee are to bestow our love upon any besides him: we should observe all those riverets wherein our love goes out, and runnes to other things, and bring them backe againe into the right channell. For if you consider the greatnesse of God, you will see, that there is no love to spare.

[Object.] But may wee not love him, and love other things also?

[Answ.] You cannot with an ordinate, but with a sub∣ordinate love you may: that is, you cannot love him, and the world, for they are opposed. 1 Iohn 2.15.*Love not the world, neither the things of the world: if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. So Iam. 4.4.*Know ye not, that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world, is an enemy to God. All our love must be bestowed upon him, as most worthy of it: there is not one particle to be bestowed upon any o∣ther thing.

But then hee gives us our love againe, and then we may disperse it here and there. As for example: he hath commanded hee to love fa∣ther and mother, and friends: and the ground that thou hast to doe it, is, because he hath com∣manded thee, and gives thee leave to it.

Page  145So he hath given thee leave to love recreati∣ons and other things that are sutable to our de∣sires, but you must remember, that the end is, that you may be made more serviceable to him, to quicken and strengthen you to doe his ser∣vice, and thus it may be bestowed upon other things.

But that which we have in hand, and com∣mend to your consideration is this: that if he be so exceeding great in goodnes, that therefore he deserves thy whole love. 1 Cor. 16.22. If any man love not the Lord Iesus Christ, let him be Ana∣thema, Maranatha. Paul comes with indigna∣tion, considering the great good that Iesus Christ had done for us: if any man love not him, he is worthy to perish, let him be accursed even to death. I say, if we consider the greatnesse that is in him, you shall see some reason for that curse, that indignation of the Apostle, where∣by hee expresseth it: and so farre as wee fall short, we should goe to Christ, and beseech him to make it up, that our defects may be supplied, and that we may be accepted in him.

[Vse 4] Againe, If he be so great, then wee should learne to reverence to him, to come before him with much feare when wee performe any duty to him.* According as a man is great, so wee feare him. This use is made of it in Mal. 1.14. Cursed be the deceiver, that hath in his flocke a male, and voweth and sacrificeth to the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts; and my name is dreadfull among all Nati∣ons:Page  146 that is the reason, that the Lord there u∣seth to stirre them up, I am a great King. So that the consideration of his greatnesse should cause us to feare before him.

When hee appeared to Iacob, when hee fled from his fathers house to his uncle Laban, Gen. 28.17. Iacob saith of the place wherein God ap∣peared to him, Surely this place is exceeding feare∣full: the reason was, because God appeared there, because hee was present there, his pre∣sence strooke him with an awefull reverence, that he said, the place was exceeding fearefull. So wee should thinke of his dreadfull presence when we come before him. Eccles. 5.2. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter ony thing before God: for God is in hea∣ven, and thou on earth, therefore let thy words be few: that is, he is exceeding great, and he is in heaven, therefore learne to feare him, when you draw nigh unto him. That which may help us in this, is to consider how glorious his appa∣ritions were, when hee appeared to Moses, to the Prophets, as Eliah, and Ezekiel: and you must remember, that though you see not these apparitions, yet consider that you have the same GOD to deale withall: and though hee doth not shew it so now, yet hee is as great now as then; and so feare before him. And this is to sanctifie GOD in our hearts: that is, when wee conceive of him as he is, and doe accordingly feare, when wee come before him. And thus much in generall of this Attribute.

Page  147Now this greatnesse of God is seene in foure particulars.

[ 1] First, In the Infinitenesse of his presence.

[ 2] Secondly, In the Infinitenesse of his power, which is his Omnipotence.

[ 3] Thirdly, In the Infinitenesse of his wise∣dome.

[ 4] Fourthly, In the Absolutenesse of his will, that it is without all bounds and limits.


The Jnfinitenesse of his presence, Or, His Jmmensity.

FOr the first. The Infinitenesse his presence,* that is another At∣tribute which hee takes to himselfe in Scripture. As Ier. 23.24. Can any man hide him∣selfe in secret places, that I shall not see him, saith the Lord? Doe not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord? That is, he is present every where, in all the parts of heaven and earth, even as water when it fills every place, and as the light when it shines throughout the whole world: So, Doe not I fill heaven and earth, Page  148 saith the Lord? So, Eph. 4.6. One God and Fa∣ther of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. GOD fills all in all.

[Quest.] Onely this question may be asked, Whether he be without the world, as well as he is in the world? Because some have disputed it; there∣fore we will briefly answer it.

[Answ.] The Scripture is cleare in it, that he is with∣out the world: there is no limits of his essence, that wee can set downe; hee is not contained within the compasse of heaven and earth, as you shall see in 2 Chron 2.6. But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven of heavens cannot containe him? But this is but a curious questi∣on: therefore I will leave it, and will come to shew the reason of his omnipresence, why hee is immense, why he is every where, as I have done in the rest.

*1. This property or Attribute of immensity must needes be given to God, because his essence is infinite, which hath beene before proved. Now as the argument holds good, that accor∣ding to the substance of every thing, such must the quality be in things that have quantity; if the body be great, so must the quantity bee: So, if God be an infinite essence, (as he is) there is as good reason that he should have an infinite presence accompanying it, as that a great bo∣dy hath a quantity answerable to it. So that he is of an infinite being, and therefore also of an infinite presence.

*2. You see see it by experience, and cannot de∣ny Page  149 it, that his power is every where, he guides all things, he puts forth his power every where: Now in the Lord seeing there is no facultie as is in man, but whatsoever is in him, is himselfe; it cannot be, but that he himselfe must be in e∣very place where he doth any thing. The fire may heate afarre off, and so may the Sunne, give light to the whole world, and yet abide in the firmament, because it hath a quality of heat, and light: but Almighty God is most simple, there is no composition in him, no qua∣lity, no executive power, but hee is himselfe what he is, and therefore what he doth is done by himselfe immediatly, immediatione suppositi, as the Schoolemen expresse it.

Lastly, I adde,* that GOD must bee every where present, not onely within the world, but as Salomon expresseth it, The heaven of heavens cannot containe him: that is, hee is without the world as well as within it, because wee cannot deny but that hee is able to make other worlds as well as this; and then if hee should not be without the world, he should move himselfe, and change his place: and there should bee a world where hee is not present: but he is not capable of any change, of any motion or altera∣tion of place.

Onely one caution must be taken in: You see that the light is in many places throughout the world, but the presence of GOD is not like to that presence, nor the presence of any creature, because he is totally present: the creatures are Page  150 not so, but according to the parts of them, one part here, another there: but GOD being without all parts, whereso ever he is, he must be totally there. Therefore you must not conceive, God is commensurable by the place, as if he were partly here, and partly in another place, but he is every where all present. The heavens you see have a large place, but they have one part here, another there: but the Lord is totally pre∣sent, wheresoever he is present.

[Vse 1] First, If God be every where present, so that he doth not doe any thing by a mediate vertue or power,* but he doth it by the presence of his essence, hence we gather: first, that he governes the world immediately. For though there bee meanes vsed, yet hee is present with those meanes. Other Kings must needes governe by Deputies and Viceroyes; and inferiour Magi∣strates of justice, because they cannot be every where: whence it comes to passe, that Kings may be good, and yet the people may be op∣pressed by their wicked instruments. But with the Lord it is not so: but he guides immediatly, and being every where present, he needeth no Deputies, for he is not capable of information, as Kings are, but sees all with his owne eyes, and heares all with his owne eares. And a∣gaine, he useth no Deputies: for the use of De∣puties argues a defect, as the using of spectacles or crutches doth, if the eyes or legges were well and sound inough, a man would not use them; so a man would not write letters, or use Page  151 other meanes to doe his businesse, but from a defect; he is not large inough to doe his busi∣nesse immediately: But almighty God, he is eve∣ry where present, and in his governing al things are done by his owne Almighty power. Good Governours, may have wicked instruments, contrary to their mindes, which they know not of, as Ely, and Samuel had: but in GODS Government it is not so; therefore learne from hence, not to complaine of the iniquitie of the times, or the injustice of men. It is true, that a kind mother may ignorantly put her child to a wicked Nurse, that will abuse it: but GOD never puts any of his children to Nurse, but he is present with them, his government is im∣mediate. So that that which is said of David, he is a man after Gods owne heart, it may be said of every King and Governour; they doe, what God would have them to doe, though it be for evill, as his was for good, they are men after Gods owne heart. As it was in the killing of Iesus Christ, even that is said to be done by the deter∣minate Counsell of God. And therefore let no man complaine of his Governours: for God go∣vernes not by Deputies, but by himselfe. Therefore let no man say, that hee hath an evill Master or Governour, but let him acknow∣ledge, that whatsoever he hath from man, it is the worke of the Almighty God, that is every where present: it is he that disposeth of men, and puts them into such a condition; for he is the King of heaven and earth. Therefore com∣plaine Page  152 to him, and be patient, because he hath done it: doe not complaine of men, and fret against them, because the Lord is not absent in his kingdome, but is present to guide and dispose them according to his owne pleasure.

[Vse 2] Secondly, If GOD be every where present in his owne essence and person, wee should the rather choose him to be our GOD, and re∣joyce much in the amplenesse of our portion, seeing wee have such a GOD that is every where:* we can goe no whither, but he is pre∣sent with us; wee have nothing to doe a thou∣sand miles hence, but he is there, and doth our businesse for us. We seeke a multitude of friends, because one cannot doe it, because one doth one thing, and another another; one friend may be a comfort to us in one place, but if you come to another place, there you may be desti∣tute; friends cannot be every where, hence we neede many friends: but if you looke upon the Lord, and his omnipresence, all this is sup∣plied in him; hee is in every place, and hee can doe your businesses for you, though you be distant from the place, where they are to be done; and GOD is with you every where, as it was his promise to Iacob, when he went to Padan Aram, I will be with thee, saith the Lord. So he said to David; and when Ioseph went into prison, the Lord went with him. When Abra∣ham was called out of his Country, the Lord bid him to goe, I will be with thee. Beloved, when you consider this, that GOD is every where Page  153 present, and can doe every thing for you, whereby he hath the sweetnesse of a thousand friends in him, and the ability of as many; I say, when wee consider this, it should teach us not onely to be content, but to say that we de∣sire no more.

Learne therefore to studie this Attribute. The more we know him by it, the more com∣fort we gather from it. As, is it not matter of great comfort, that in all places wee should have a GOD to doe all our businesses? To which purpose is that expression in Ier. 23.23, 24. Hee is a God nigh at hand: that is, though your businesse lie in other Countries, yet I am there to doe them for you. And againe, is it not comfort to consider that hee is with your enemies (it may be) in a distance place? For you thinke, that if you were there, you would have something to prevent them. Consider that hee is there, and after another manner, than any man is: hee is present with their mindes, and knowes their counsells, and moves their hearts, and disposeth of all their counsells. As Elisha tolde the King of Arams counsell to the King of Israel, (which shewed that GOD was there.) So also hee is present with thy friends when they are absent: it may be that they forget us, yet he can stirre them up, as he did stirre up Cyrus to doe what hee did for the people of Israel. So likewise he is present with our children, when wee are with GOD, when we are gone out of this world, to provide for Page  154 them, and to bring them up. Hee is present with all our affaires, and businesses; when we are absent, and know not how things goe, we are apt to be sollicitous: but if we would con∣sider, that he is a great God, and that he is every where, this should comfort us, and stay our hearts. And therefore thinke with thy selfe, that thou hast a large portion, because thou hast the LORD. And this is the second use.

[Vse 3] Thirdly, If God be every where present, hence you may see a ground for his particular providence. It seemes something strange to men, that every small thing should be disposed of by him;* we thinke indeed that great things are: but for the least things, therein we are apt to make a doubt, and can hardly beleeve it. But this point in hand is a great confirmation of this truth. If an horse stumble by the way, wee thinke it a common accident; if a fly fall into a mans eye, or if a tile fall off from the house, or an axe head, we looke upon them as common accidents; but if we consider that he is present there, it is then an easie matter for us to beleeve, that God doth disposed all these: when the axe head falls off, it is in his hand, as before it was in the hand of the workeman. If he be present with every small creature, with every fly, with every sparrow and stone, with every motion of the creature, then all the actions that befall us, they are all his workes. In him wee live, move, and have our being: that is, hee is present with every creature. Therefore it is no difficulty to Page  155 beleeve, that hee guides the smallest thing. If an enemy hurt us, wee are to thinke, that he is but as a staffe in Gods hand, as it is said of Nebu∣chadnezzar. Every accident is but as a cup, as Christ saith of the cup that was brought to him by others, Shall not I drinke of the cup, which my Father gives me? So wee may say of every af∣fliction. The tongues of men are but scourges in his hand, hee can rule them as he pleaseth: and so wee should thinke of every action. And indeed the more wee thinke of his particular providence, the more wee conceive of his infi∣nitenesse. For why doe wee thinke men to bee present, but because they see and heare? Be∣cause they doe something? If the body be there, and the soule gone, wee say, that the man is absent: it is the action that makes them present. Therefore the Schoolemen say, that the An∣gells are said to bee present here or there, be∣cause they worke there. Therefore, I say, the more that wee can see Gods hand in every acti∣on, the more wee acknowledge his presence. Therefore we should labour to bee abundant in considering the Omnipresence of God upon all oc∣casions: as if a man bee out of the way, and one come and tells him that he is so, wee should bee ready to say, that GOD sent him. If we are in a strait, and know not what to doe, and there come one, and helps vs; wee should say that it comes from God. So did David when Abigail came and met him; he saith that the Lord sent her. 1 Sam: 25.32. And this would Page  156 easily bee beleived, if we would thinke that hee is present every where. There is no man that speakes for us or against us, that doth us either hurt or good, but GOD is present with him, and stirres him up to it, whatsoever it be. 1 Chro. 5.26. And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul King of Assyria, &c. that is, he himselfe was present with his Spirit, he stirred him up: (for the thoughts of men have their rising up, from their spirit stirring them to good or evill.) So also for their speeches: when Shimei cursed David, David saith, that it was the Lord that sent him. So the Lord is present with the creatures: it is hee that acts them, and sets them on worke to doe us any good. And this is the next vse that wee are to make of it.

[Vse 4] Fourthly, If GOD bee present every where, it should teach us patience, and meekenesse, and quietnesse of minde in all injuries and hard measure which wee suffer from men.* This vse you shall see made of it. Phil. 4.5. Let your moderation be knowne unto all men, The Lord is at hand. Iam. 5.8. Bee yee also patient, stablish your hearts; for the comming of the Lord draweth nigh. Therefore when any injury is done you, when you are oppressed by men that have power o∣ver you, yet bee quiet: for GOD sees it, and knowes it; and hee takes care for you. A man will be ready to say, shall I take this? shall I bee trampled under foot? as I shall bee, if I re∣sist them not: saith the Apostle, you neede not Page  157 to feare, for the Lord is present. We use to say, if the Magistrate be not present, we may offend another, to defend our selves; but if the Magi∣strate be present, there is no excuse: so here the Iudge stands at the doore. Servants,* if their Ma∣sters be absent, will defend themselves against their fellow-servants; but if the Master bee there, and looke on, they will let them alone, because he hath power to punish, and knowes better how to revenge them: So is it in this case; when we consider that GOD is present, and that he sees what we suffer, we should be quiet, and patient, and not onely be patient within, but let our patient mindes be knowne unto all men, that is, carry our selves so, that men may see it, and take notice of it. And if you say, that nothing is done, but hee abuseth mee more and more: I answer. Consider, it is not because the Lord is weake, and cannot helpe us; or because he is negligent, and will not doe it; no, he is present, and sees it all the while: but you must consider, that the due time is not come, therefore you must be quiet, and not tu∣multuous in your thoughts, and revengefull in your spirits, because the LORD lookes on, and will avenge you in due time. Therefore this is the thing added in Phil. 4. Because, when a man suffers any thing from another man, then he will be ready to be sollicitous, how to defend him∣selfe, and what he shall doe hereafter; saith the Apostle, Be you in nothing carefull, &c. for the LORD is at hand: that is, he doth not stand by Page  158 as a looker on, or a bare spectator, who meanes to doe nothing but see the injuries done and suffered, but he lookes on, as one that takes care for you. Therefore be you in nothing carefull: but in every thing by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made knowne unto GOD.

Page  159


EXOD. 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and they shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM, &c.

[Vse 5] AGaine, If GOD be present with us, this should stirre us up to walke with him,* to be present with him. Shall hee be present with us, wheresover wee are; when we goe by the way, or lie in our beds, or sit in our houses? and shall not we take notice of his presence, and direct our Page  160 thoughts to him, and apply our selves to him? It is an exceeding great dishonour to him. You know, a great man, when he is with you, if you neglect him, and apply your selves to inferiour men, he will take it as a great wrong done unto him, to let him sit alone, and not to regard him. And when the Lord is with us from day to day, will you not take notice of him? Let them con∣sider this, that suffer dayes to passe without any calling upon the Lord, that never thinke of him, nor consider that hee beholds all that they doe: You know, it was the onely commendation of Enoch, that he walked with God.

[Object.] But you will say, What is this to walke with the Lord?

[Answ.] It is to see him present with us, and to make our selves present with him: and what that is, we will easily finde out, when we consider what it is to be present with any one.

The presence of any man is seene in three things.*

[ 1] First, A man that sees and heares all things; that we doe, he is said to be present.

[ 2] Secondly, he that speakes to us, he is present with us.

[ 3] Thirdly, he that acts or doth something a∣bout us or toward us, he is present. In this ma∣ner is GOD present with us; and so we should be with him.*

[ 1] First, we must be present with him, that is, we must see him, as he sees us. Hee that lookes upon the Lord, as beholding him, as knowing Page  161 all that he doth, hee that observes all these pas∣sages of his providence toward him, and about him, hee makes himselfe present with the Lord.

[ 2] Secondly, he that speakes to the Lord, and maketh knowne his secrets to him, and o∣peens to him all his desires, and all his greifes upon all occasions, he makes himselfe present with him.

[ 3] Thirdly, he that pleaseth GOD in all his actions, and doth what is acceptable to him, that doth what he hath commanded, and ab∣staines from what hee hath forbidnen, he which behaves himselfe after this manner, makes him∣selfe present with the Lord. For this last, you shall see, if you compare that in Genesis, of E∣nochs walking with GOD, with that in Heb. 11.5. To make our actions agreable to the rule of his will, this is to walke with the Lord: for E∣noch is said to walke with God, in Genesi; and in the Hebrewes he is said to please of the Lord.

And, as wee must be thus present with the Lord, So [ 2] secondly, wee must make him pre∣sent with us. [ 1] As first, we must looke upon him, as one who obserueth all that we doe. When a man hath this full perswasion in his heart, not onely habitually, but actually, that the Lord lookes upon him in all that he speakes, and doth, hee makes the Lord present with him; [ 2] So se∣condly, when a man shall observe the Lord spea∣king to him, which a man doth in meditating in the word. But this is not inough: but you Page  162 must observe what the Lord saith to you upon every occasion, and in every passage of his pro∣vidence also.

But you will say, that the Lord doth not speake to us now as he did to the Prophets.

Yes, he doth in a manner speake to us.

How doth the Lord speake to us now?

Hee speakes to our consciences: that is the immediate deputy by which he speakes to eve∣ry man. And also hee speakes to us by the suggestions of the Spirit, and the good motions of it: hee speakes to us by the good counsell of our friends, and of the Ministers, and others; hee speakes to us by the passages of his provi∣dence (for a man may make knowne his will by his actions, as well as by his word.) I say, to observe what the Lord saith to us in all these, this is a part of our walking with him.

[ 3] Lastly, so consider what hee doth, and what the mercies are, which hee shewes to thee: what corrections, what judgements, what turnings of his providence, what hee doth to those that are neare thee; (for God would have us to take speciall notice of it, as in Dan. 5.22. So observe what is brought to your know∣ledge; for as the word of God, so also his workers ought to bee sought out by them that belong to him.

After this manner wee should walke with the Lord from day to day. And it is one thing re∣quired, whereof you are put in minde, when you here that he is every where present, you should Page  163 bee present with him upon all occasions, and observe his dealing towards you, and your carriage to him. Every man walkes with some∣thing continually: now looke what a mans mind is busied about most, that he walkes with. And indeed, to walke with any thing, is to giue it the honour that is due onely to GOD. When a man is busie about what men thinke of him; about his riches and estate, how they ebbe and flow, about his credit with men; these are the things that a man walkes with. Beloved, you are not to goe a step with any thing, except hee send you on such an errand, as a Master doth his servant; but you are to walke with him from day to day. It is possible that a man may bee in company, and his mind bee in another place, and busied about other things: and where his mind is, there hee walkes. A man may bee in the world, and yet his mind and conversation in heaven; as Enoch did the things of this life, and yet hee is said to walke with God: if thou doest so, this is a signe that thou lovest GOD; for to walke with a thing, it is the best argu∣ment that thou lovest it. Let a man professe never so much love to a freind, if he will not walke with him, it is but in shew, and not in truth. If thou wouldest shew thy love to God, why doest thou not walke with him? If there bee a freind that thou lovest, doest thou not de∣sire to bee with him? And when thou art in company with him, is it not a signe also of re∣spect. As when many are together, all goe to Page  164 the chiefe man: so thou must walke with GOD. You know what GOD saith to Abraham, Gen. 17.1. I am God All-sufficient: walke with me, and hee thou perfect. Marke here the connection: as if he should say, Abraham, when I desire this, thou shouldest withdraw thy selfe from all o∣ther creatures, and things, to walke with me: know that there is great reason for it, for I am All-sufficient, thou needest no other. If thou hast a friend all-sufficient, hast thou not need to walke with him? But as wee shewed you, God is in stead of ten thousand friends. A man needs many friends, a friend at Court, a friend at home, a friend abroad, to be there where hee himselfe cannot bee: but wheresoever thou go∣est, the Lord is with thee: if into banishment, banishment is nothing you will say, if I might have all my companions with mee; now re∣member, that GOD is with thee: if thou goest into imprisonment, hee is there. A man will say, that no friend in the world can doe so, but yet the Lord doth. When Iacob went to Padax Aram, GOD promised him, that he would goe with him, Ioseph, when he went into prison, GOD went with him: and with Paul when he was in bonds. And Abraham was banished in∣to a strange Country, and the Lord tells him, that he would bee with him there: and that makes a mans home and country, and liber∣ty to bee every where, hee is at home, when he is a broad; and at liberty, when he is in pri∣son. Now therefore let a man consider this, Page  165 that wheresoever he is, yet GOD is with him; who is able to direct us in all our doubts, to de∣fend us in all danger, and to provide for us in all our necessities. And then consider also what benefit comes by this; thou shalt grow ac∣quainted with him, and then thou canst finde the way to him upon all occasions whatsoe∣ver, when other men cannot. Another man would faine goe to GOD, but he knowes not the way. Iob. 22.21. Acquaint now thy selfe with him, and be at peace, thereby good shall come unto thee: that is, serve GOD, and thou shalt prosper. The meaning is this, one that is ac∣quainted with GOD, when he hath any thing to doe, he may goe to GOD, and get helpe from him, and so bring his enterprises to passe: he knowes the way to put up a prayer to him, and he shall finde a present helpe upon all occasi∣ons.

So consider in the time of death; if thou hast accustomed thy selfe to walke with God, if in thy life time thou hast beene acquainted with him, death will be no death to thee. Death in∣deede is bitter, because it drawes a man from his home, from his friends and acquaintance, and into a strange place: and therefore you use to say, we know not what we shall have here∣after, we know what we have here, and there∣fore the soule trembles at it. Whence comes this, but because we have not beene wonted to walke with the LORD? Is it a great thing for him to die, when he hath the same company, and Page  166 the same friends with him still? It is but chan∣cing the place, not his company: one of the spee∣ches repeated by the Authour at his death: for he is present every where. Therefore our du∣ty thence is, no maintaine such a constant com∣munion with him, that we may be able to fetch helpe, and comfort, and direction from him, so that we neede not turne aside to the creatures, and be dependent upon them. And indeed one that is acquainted with the LORD, and hath full communion with him, may be satisfied with that alone: for what is it that makes a man to desire company? It ariseth from these two things.

[ 1] First, partly because one would have fit ob∣jects to exercise his faculties upon: which if hee had not, they would languish, and a weari∣somnesse would grow upon them.

[ 2] Secondly, because hee would have know∣ledge and direction, and helpe and advice, and comfort brought into his empty heart, by such friends as are able to suggest it to him: and therefore they desire company. Now shall they not finde this in the Lord more than in any creature? Is not he then the worthiest and the highest object, on whom they should bestow their thoughts?

Againe, cannot he fill thy heart with joy and comfort? is not he onely wise to give thee di∣rection upon all occasions? and is there any then that thou shouldest choose to walke with more than with him? Every man, the more Page  167 faith he hath, and the more wisedome he hath, the more able hee is to walke with GOD, and with himselfe: the more unbeleeving, and weake, and unconstant, the more unable hee is to be alone. And the ground of it is: By faith a man walkes with God, and by reflection hee walkes with himselfe. There are two companions which a man needes never to be destitute of, GOD and himselfe.

[ 1] First, a man walkes by faith when hee sees GOD present, and speaking to him, and hee speakes againe to the LORD: and the stron∣ger a mans faith is, the more he doth it.

[ 2] Againe, a man walkes with himselfe by re∣flection on his owne actions, and heart, and wayes; a beast cannot walke with it selfe, be∣cause it cannot recoyle and turne in upon it selfe; neither can children or fooles, or weake and unconstant men: therefore they cannot be without company, it is a hell to them to be alone; and the lesse a mans wisedome is, the more he complaines of want of company.

Seeing therefore God is every where present, labour to strengthen thy faith in that his pre∣sence, and so thou maist still be with him, and walke with him.

And then secondly, labour to speake to thy selfe, to reproove and admonish thy selfe, to consider thine owne wayes and actions, to cheare and comfort thy selfe, (for these are all the actions of one that makes himselfe a com∣panion:) and hee that doth these things, shall Page  168 never complaine of want of company, and soli∣tarinesse.

*Sixthly, If God bee every where present, then he is present to observe all the sinnes that thou committest, and to observe all the good that thou doest. Then make this use of it: that the presence of the Lord should be a restraint to keepe thee from sinning, on the one hand, and it should incourage thee on the other hand to a∣bound in every good worke.* Therefore a man should say thus with himselfe: I dare not doe this, because God is present, he stands by and lookes on. It was Iosephs reason to his Mistres. Though we be alone, yet God is present, and be∣holdes it: And how can I doe this great wickednesse, and sinne against God, As if he should say; though we see him not, yet he is present, and sees it, and knowes it. And not onely say, I dare not doe it, but thou shouldest say, I dare not so much as thinke it: for he beholdes the thoughts. You shall see an excellent place for this, if you com∣pare Iob. 31. verse: 1. and 4. together, it is one continued speech. I have made a covenant with mine eyes: why then should I thinke upon a maid? Doth not hee see my wayes and count all my steps? As if hee should say; I durst not give so much as give liberty to my thoughts, because hee be∣held all my wayes. it is a question which those that feare God have beene wont to aske; How shall I doe to bee rid of such and such thoughts, that haunt mee continually? I would very faine bee rid of them. This is an excellent Page  169 way: to consider that GOD himselfe stands by annd knowes all thy thoughts, and takes no∣tice of them. As put this case; Suppose a wise and godly man should stand by and take notice of all thy base thoughts, that passe through thy heart, wouldest thou not bee ashamed of thy selfe? If thy body were made a glasse, and men should see all thy thoughts through it, wouldst thou not bee ashamed of them, and carefull in them, as wee are of our actions now before men? Now to consider that the Lord beholds them, to consider that he sees every thought, (the least whereof is no light matter,) this would be a meanes to restraine thee. Nay con∣sider, that the Lord doth not onely behold them, but he ponders all thy actions, to giue thee the fruit of them: so that God doth not stand by as a meere looker on, but he takes such notice of all thy thoughts, that passe through thy heart, and all thy vaine words, that he weighes them, as it were. And therefore hee is said in Scripture so often, to ponder our wayes. He puts thy sins, and those lusts in one ballance, and his censure in the other; and gives thee according: he puts weight for weight; he gives thee correction, if thou art his child, and judgement if thou bee wicked. Therefore thou must consider who it is that knowes them; what a one he is: as it is in Rev. 2. when he tells his Churches that hee knowes them all, then hee describes himselfe, what a one he is: as his eyes to be of flaming fire, and his feete like brasse. This, if conside∣red, Page  110 would make a man to looke about him. If there was a company set together, and there was an informer standing by, and did note downe in his table-book what they did, and did declare it to their enemies, or to the King and Counsell, men would be exceeding wary, they would ponder every word before they spake: so when GOD is present, and beholdeth all that thou doest; hast thou not reason much more to consider thy wayes? Men say indeed, that the Lord is present every where, but our lives shew that wee thinke like the Atheists in Iob, that God is shut up in the thicke clouds, and cannot see through them. Yea there is noe man, but needs an increase of faith in this point. For if it were fully believed, it could not be, but that wee should take more heed to our wayes and thoughts than we doe. Therefore to con∣vince you of and perswade you to this, I will name two places. One you shall finde in Ephe. 4.6. One God, one Lord, who is aboue you all, and in you all, and through all. First he is above all. As a man that stands above can see all that is done below: so the Lord lookes downe, and beholds all that is done on earth, as a man in an high place, sees all that is done below.

But it may bee objected, though a man be a∣boue, yet there may be some corners, some rockes and dens, so that he may hide himselfe from the eyes of him that is aboue him: there∣fore it is added, who is in you all; that is, he be∣holds every thought, every secret place, every Page  111 corner of our hearts: he is in you all, and through all. This you shall find more at large in Psa. 139.1. O Lord thou hast searched me and knowne me, thou knowest my downe sitting and mine up ri∣sing, thou understandest my thoughts afarre off &c. The meaning of it is this. David labours to perswade his owne heart, that God is present with him; and he doth it by the argument: If I goe forward the Lord is there; if on this side or that side, yet still he is present, he compas∣seth me round about, he is behind and before: therefore it must needs be, that there is not a word that I speake or a thought that I thinke, but he sees and heares all. Yea, he knowes my thoughts afarre off, that is, as a man that knowes what rootes he hath in his garden, though there be not a flower appeares, yet he can say, when the spring comes, this and this will come up, be∣cause he knowes the garden, and knowes what roots are there: So the Lord knowes a mans thoughts afarre off, because he knowes the prin∣ciples that are within, and he knowes what they would doe, when occasion is offered; and therefore saith David, I have cause to feare ex∣ceedingly before him. Nay, he doth not onely see mens thoughts afarre off, but he will judge you afarre off for them. Wee use to destroy hem∣locke even in the middest of winter, because wee know what it will doe, if it be suffered to grow: so the Lord doth cut off men long before, be∣cause, he knowes that they will doe this and this. Such passages of his providence there Page  172 may be, as to cut off children and yong men out of the foresight of the evill, that they would doe to his Church, because he knowes their thoughts afarre off.

So hee knowes thy thoughts for good afarre off: therefore though a child of God may bee cut off in some undiscovered sinne, when hee hath not actually repented, yet GOD forgives it him, because he knowes what he would doe, if he had time to repent, and should come to dis∣cover it: and therefore GOD judgeth him ac∣cordingly: and likewise if wee have begun any good worke, if we be cut off before we have finished it, yet remember, that GOD knowes what wee would doe. And seing hee doth this, we should learne, exceedingly to feare before him, to ponder our owne thoughts and speech∣es, seing GOD himselfe takes notice fo them.

So it should bee a continuall incouragement to consider that GOD takes notice of all the good that we doe, as well as of the evill: Rev. 2. and 3. I know thy workes, thy labour and thy pa∣tience, I know thy sufferings; that is, when a man is miscalled, slandered, and evill spoken of, be∣cause he serves and feares God, because he is none of the worlds owne, and therefore it shewes forth its hatred in word, when it cannot in deed; (for malice must have some vent) yet I know thy sufferings, and let it bee inough that I know them and register them: there is not the least suffering but I take notice of it, and it shall bee Page  173 rewarded. Againe, men take much paines, and no man regardes it; yet God takes notice of their labour, and their paines, and not of their workes onely, but their labour in doing them, and sees what ends they put upon all. Againe, men put up injuries, and suffer much wrong, yet saith the Lord, I know thy patience &c. What is said of this may be said of all other good actions. And it is a great honour to the Lord, that we are con∣tent with this, that he alone knowes it. And so we may be well inough; for his knowledge will bring in a sure fruit with it, as he saith to Iacob. Gen. 31. I know all the labour thou hast done unto me. And what followed that? Why, God taught Iacob how to inlarge his wages, and so translated Labans substance to him. So Psa. 1. last. The meaning is, the Lord knowes the way of the righteous, and therefore it doth prosper, and shall. And he knowes the way of the wicked, and therefore they shall perish, Therefore it is inough to us, that he is present, and sees it, and knowes it.

Againe this should stire us up to good duties, seeing he is alwaies present; you dnow souldi∣ers though they are some what cowardly other∣wise, yet in the presence of the Generall, if hee looke on they will adventure much: so servants that are otherwise idle, yet they will doe eye-service, they will worke while the Master lookes on: so when we consider that the Lord stands by, and lookes on, and takes notice what paines we take, how we doe fight his battells, Page  174 and what wee doe for him, it should incourage us and makes us abundant in the worke of the Lord, seeing we know, that our labour is not in vaine in the Lord. Nay it is an incouragement against the discouragement of men; thou maist have discouragement from friends, from neigh∣bours, and the place where thou livest: yet let this bee thy comfort, the Lord is present; hee knowes thy dwelling, thy neighbours, who is for thee, and who against thee, he knowes the difficulties thou meetest with any performāce, he knowes what hindrāce thou hast, as it is there in the verse: 13. I know thy workes, and where thou dwellest, even where Sathans seat is, and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those dayes wherein Antipas was my faith∣full Martyr, who was slaine among you, where Sathan dwelleth.

[Vse 7] Seventhly, this should bee an exceeding great terrour to all men that remaine in the state of unregeneration. The Lord is their enemy, and they have such an enemy from whome they cannot fly or escape,* which is a miserable thing. On earth if man have an enemy in one place, if he goe to another he is free; if he have an e∣nemy in one land, yet he may fly to another, and there be free; and how ever, yet when he dies, he shall bee free from the voice of the oppres∣sors, and the wearied shall bee at rest, as Iob saith; his enemy can follow him no further: But con∣sider what an enemy God is, who is every where present; fly whither thou canst, he followes Page  175 thee, if thou goest into another Country, hee will be with thee there; or if thou diest and goe into another world, yet still he followes thee. I presse it the rather, because, when some great man makes request to a man, and God commands the contrary; when the commands of God and men differ, they will rather make God their ene∣my than a powerfull man. Thus men wrench their consciences, because they choose rather GODS enmity than mens. Doe but consider what it is, to have the Lord your enemy, he will meet thee in every place: Though man be thy enemy, yet he meetes not with thee every where; if thou be in thy chamber, hee cannot come at thee, but God will meete with thee there. And how will he meet thee? Hee will meet thee as a Lyon, and as a Beare robbed of her whelpes. You shall see how the Lord expres∣seth it: Amos*Though they digge into Hell, thence shall my hand take them: though they climbe up to heaven, thence will I bring them downe. &c. It is a common opinion, that if men have strong freinds, strong Towers, and a strong Land, that is well beset the Sea, and clifts, or great estates that will defend them; then they are safe: but if the Lord be thine ene∣my, none of these will doe thee any good, verse 2.4. and yet if a man hath made peace with his enemies, he thinkes himselfe safe, as if there were no other enemy but mortall men. So the Iewes not being killed, but going into captivity onely, thought their lives safe, their peace Page  176 made: but, saith the Lord, If you goe into captivi∣ty, yet there I will command the sword to slay you: verse 4. The meaning is this: no condition that a man can be in, no greatnesse, though he be compassed about with friends and safety on every side, can availe, if God be his enemy; he will pull thee from the midst of the sea: verse 3. and which yet is an hard thing, to finde a man in the midst of the sea: and all this is but to describe that no condition is safe, when God is a mans e∣nemy.

And thus much for this Attribute.


His Omnipotence.

THE next Attribute is the Omni∣potence of GOD:* for wee tolde you, that this Infinite∣nesse of GOD consisted in foure things.

First, In the Infinitenesse of his presence.

Secondly, In the Infinitenesse of his power.

Thirdly, In the Infinitenesse of his wise∣dome.

Page  177Fourthly, In the Absolutenesse of his will. The first of these we have spoken of his Omni∣presence: now we come to speake of his Omni∣potence.

I will not stand to prove it. It is observed by some Divines, that God is almighty, is ex∣pressed seventy times in the Scripture. Mat. 19.26. Luke 1.39. To God nothing is impossible. He doth whatsoever he will: and in Genesis, it is said, The God almighty be with thee, &c. Genes. 28.3.

In handling this Attribute, I will shew you what it is, and the reasons of it, and the obje∣ctions against it, as I have done in the rest.

The Omnipotence of God lyes in this, that hee is able to doe whatsoever is absolutely, sim∣ply, and generally possible to be done. Other things can doe what is possible to doe in their owne kinde; as fire can doe what belongs to fire to doe; and a Lion can doe what is possible for him to doe: so men, and Angels: but no creature can doe what is simply and absolutely possible to be done. Now whatsoever can be done, when the nature of the thing is not re∣pugnant to it, without any limitation, that the Lord is able to doe: and herein is his Omni∣potence seene. And the ground of it is this.

Because all creatures are put into their seve∣rall kindes; a man is one kinde of creature, he is not an Angel; Angels are another kinde, they are not men; and as they are put in seve∣rall kindes, and hedged in, and limited with Page  178 bounds and definitions, so is their power limi∣ted; they can doe what is in their owne sphaere, and according to their essence and being, such is their power: But the Lord is a being without all limits and restraint, an absolute being, and an unlimited essence; and therefore he can be said not onely to doe things within such a compasse, within this or that kinde, but whatsoever is simply, and absolutely possible to be done; even that his power reacheth unto, and this is properly his Omnipotence.

There is no Attribute of GOD, that doth need a greater degree of faith than this: there∣fore reasons are not unnecessary. The first rea∣son therefore is this.

*First, consider, that he that made these great things, he that made the highest heavens, and those heavens that thou seest, he that made the earth, and the deepe sea, he that made the wind, and the treasures of snow, and haile, hee that made the Angels, hee that wrought so many miracles, thou must thinke that hee that doth these things can doe the like: as hee that hath made a faire picture or statue, hee can make an∣other; he that makes a faire house, you are ready to say, that he is able to build another. Looke then upon his great workes, and you will thinke that he is able to doe the like. This is an argument very frequent in Scripture, when there is any occasion of expressing Gods great power to bring any thing to passe: as hee that made heaven and earth, he that brought the children Page  179 of Israell out of Egipt, he that divided the red sea, he that wrought the wonders in Egipt before Pharoh and all his host; and such like.

Secondly,* consider the manner how the Lord did all these things. You know he did no more, but say, Let there bee light, and there was light: Let the trees bring forth, let the fishes mul∣tiply, and the aire bee filled with fowle, and it was so. Now to doe such things with a word, with such facility, is a signe of an infinite power: for when one can doe great things, with his breath, or little finger, we are apt to say, what could he doe if he put his whole strength to it? So the manner of his working doth shew the infinite∣nesse of his power.

Thirdly,* the further any thing is off from be∣ing, the more power it requires to bring it to Being. As take base materialls, and there is greater power required, to make a faire buil∣ding of them; to make a goodly statue of a crooked piece of wood, is harder, than that which comes neerer in propinquity to it. Now no being at all is in a thousand times greater di∣stance, than the basest materialls are from such or such a being, and therefore the power must bee infinitely greater that brings it to being. Now the Lord hath done this, therefore his power must bee infinite great. To make this more plaine to you; Consider what it is that restraines mans power, so that he can goe no further: it is because the matter will not permit him. If you give him clay, and straw, hee can Page  180 make bricke; but if you give him nothing, hee can doe nothing: so if you give him timber, he can make an house; but if you give him none of these, hee can doe nothing. But suppose now, there was such an architectour, such a builder, that if he did but imagine the modell or frame of an house in his minde, hee could set it up of nothing, or make materialls at his plea∣sure, hee could make it as bigge as he could con∣ceive it, then also he could make as many hou∣ses as hee could thinke of, and in as great and large a manner, as hee could conceive, if there were such a one, there would bee no restraint to him. Now the Lord is such a builder, what∣soever he conceives, he can make it without any thing, as he did the heavens and the earth: and therefore there is no restraint in his power, as there is in the creature.

*Fourthly, consider that the Attributes of God are equall, and needes must be so, because eve∣ry Attribute is his essence, and wee doe but distinguish then in our understanding: his omni∣potencie is but the active power, his wll, the com∣manding; and his understanding, the directing: we distinguish them thus. But in him they are all one. Hence I reason thus: the wisedome of GOD, the largenesse and infinitenesse of his understanding and knowledge, what is it not able to conceive? You know men are able to thinke much, and Angells more than men, but GOD is able to conceive infinitely beyond them: For his thoughts are above ours, as the hea∣vens Page  181 are above the earth. Now whatsoever hee can conceive, his power is able to act it. In man it is not so; he imagines and wills many things, but his power falls short, because his faculties are not as large as the object: but God can imagine infinitely, and his power is as large and infinite as his wisedome: therefore he must be able to doe things that are infinite. So Psa: 135. He doth whatsoever he will, to shew that his power is as large as his will: which cannot bee said of any creature. Consider these things; for when you are in distresse, and put to it, you shall find need of them to perswade you that God is Allmighty.

Now I come to answer the objections which are made against this, which are these.

[Object. 1] First, why doth GOD produce no infinite thing, no infinite effect? All his effects are fi∣nite: therefore we cannot see by any thing hee doth, that he is omnipotent.

[Answ.] It is true in naturall causes, and such causes as produce things onely like to themselves, which are called univocall causes, (but I will not trouble you with that distinction) there the cause goes not beyond the effect: as fire begets fire, and it cannot but beget it, and it cannot goe be∣yond it, for it is a naturall cause, and produceth effects like to it selfe; So a Lion begets a Lion, because it is a naturall cause.

But there are causes wherein it is not so; wherein you must not say, that there is no such Page  182 effect, and therefore the cause doth not goe be∣yond it: that is, in voluntary causes, wherein the cause not worke necessarily, but by the li∣berty of his will, and he may be able to doe much more than he doth.

[Object. 2] 2. There are some things which GOD can∣not doe, as things that are past, and have beene, hee cannot cause them not to have beene, &c.

[Answ.] The reason why GOD cannot doe these things, is not because there is a restraint of his power, but because the things are not possible to be done; because he cannot make truth to be falshood, or things that are, not to be; what∣soever implies a contradiction, he cannot doe: and the reason is, because the things are not to be done: But in things simply possible, therein consists his omnipotence: as when it is not con∣trary to the nature of the thing, as when the praedicate is not repugnant to the nature and essence of the subject; as a Lyon being a Lyon cannot be a man, this is a thing that cannot be done: therefore it is no impeachment to his om∣nipotence not to doe it.

[Object. 3] 3. God cannot sinne, GOD cannot deny himselfe, he cannot lye, &c.

[Answ.] We need not answer this: for even for this cause he is omnipotent, because hee cannot doe these things. As if I should say, the Sunne is Page  183 full of light, it cannot be darke. These are the expressions which the Scripture useth: as Tit. 1.2. God cannot lie: and 2 Tim. 2.13. God cannot deny himselfe.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  185


EXOD. 3.13, 14.

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent mee unto you, and they shall say unto me, what is his name; what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM, THAT I AM, &c.

[Object. 4] IF GOD produceth no infi∣nite effect, and yet is infi∣nite in power, that power which being never brought into act is in vaine.

[Answ. 1] To this I answer, that it is true, when any power is appointed and destinated to any act, it is so Page  186 farre in vaine, as it doth not attaine to that end and act: as bread is appointed to nourish; if it doth not, it is not fit for the end to which it is made, and so in vaine: I may say the same of every thing else. But that is not the end of Gods power, to bring forth any effect answera∣ble to it selfe: for his power (to speake proper∣ly) hath no end, but all things are made for it. In other things, the cause is proportionable for its end: but he himselfe is the cause of all other things; all that he doth, is for himselfe; and therefore though hee doth not produce any such effect, yet his power is infinite.

[ 2] Secondly, when there is a repugnancy in the nature of the thing, it is no shortening or li∣mitation of his power. Now a creature, if it be a creature, must be finite: And the Lord can doe what may be done: but to make a creature infinite, is a contradiction. And therefore if hee doe not doe it, it is not because hee can∣not but because the thing it selfe cannot bee done.

Wee now come to the application of this point.

[Vse 1] If GOD be Almighty, then let all those that are in covenant with God, and that have interest in him, that can say, they are the Lords, and the Lord is theirs, let them excedingly rejoyce in this, that they have an Almighty God for their God.* To have a friend that is able to doe all things, (as we tolde you before, he is every where present,) it is a great benefit: to have a Page  187 friend in Court, in Country, a friend beyond the seas, if you shall have occasion to bee bani∣shed thither: but if you adde this, hee is able to doe whatsoever he will, it will adde much to our comfort. A friend many times is willing, but he is not able; if able and willing, yet not present: but seeing he is every where, if thou hast any businesse to doe, thou needest not to send a letter, doe but put up a prayer to him, to bee thy factour, to doe it for thee, to worke thy workes for thee, he is every where present, and hee is Allmighty also, able to doe it, there∣fore bee content to have him alone for your portion. That is the cause, that mens wayes are so unlike one to another: because they would graspe GOD and the creature. And why doe they doe so? Because they will not bee content to have GOD alone. And what is the ground of that? Because they doe not thinke him indeed All-sufficient and Allmigh∣ty: for if they did, they need not to joyne any other with him.

[Object.] But you will say, this is against sence: GOD is All-sufficient, it is true, it is good to have him: but, doe we not need many hundred things besides? Must we not have friends, house, wife, &c.? Can wee live without them? Can wee live without friends, estate convenient? What is your meaning then to have GOD a∣lone for our portion?

[Answ.] GOD hath all these in him, that is, hee hath the comfort of them all: if he bee All∣mightyPage  188 and All-sufficient, then looke about, and consider the multitude of the things thou need∣est, and the variety of comforts thou desirest, and thou shalt finde all in him. That argument which you are not strangers to. He hath made them all; and there is nothing in the effect, but what is in the cause, because it gave it to the ef∣fect first, and it gives nothing, but what it selfe had before: if hee hath put in beames of comfort, and this beauty in the severall crea∣tures, must they not needs be in him?

[Object.] But you will say, that this is but a specula∣tion.

[Answ.] But that it is more I will put you to one place, which I desire you to consider seriously: that is, Mar. Then Peter began to say unto him, Loe wee have left all, and have fol∣lowed thee. And Iesus answered and said; verily I say vnto you, there is no man that hath left house, or Bretheren, or Sisters, or Father, or Mother, or Wife, or Children, or lands for my sake and the Gospels; but hee shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, Houses, and Bretheren, and Sisters, and Mothers, and Children, and lands, with per∣secutions, and in the world to come eternall life. When it is said here, hee shall receive the ve∣ry same; why doth the Holy Ghost repeat them in particular; Hee shall receive houses and Bre∣theren &c. with persecution? that is, you shall bee stript of all these things by persecution, yet at the same time, you shall have them all. At that time when he is in a close prison, & driven from Page  189 all these, hee shall receive them for this pre∣sent. The meaning is this: let a man have com∣munion with GOD, let the Lord reveale him∣selfe to a man; if hee be once pleased to come to a man, and sup with him, if hee will but commu∣nicate to a mā the consolations of the spirit, and fill him with joy and peace through beleiving: I say, though hee be in a close prison, yet he shall have the comfort of houses, Brethren, Sisters; Mothers &c. That is, that comfort which they would yeeld him, he shall finde them altoge∣ther in GOD. So that if one should come and say to him, what if you should have Father, Mo∣ther, and friends restored to you, that you may injoy them; I say, a man that hath a neere com∣munion with GOD, to whom GOD saies, that hee will come and sup with him, at such a time; hee will say, I doe not care one jot for them, for I have that which is better than them all. For example: you see this in the Apostles, that rejoyced in prison. What doe you thinke they would have said to men that offered them rich∣es? Would they not have slighted them? They did slight imprisonment: and in that they did slight shame, and prison &c. they would have slighted the other by the rule of contra∣ries. Therefore labour to be content with GOD alone.

To make this argument without doubt, con∣sider what heaven is. Doe you thinke, that there you shall have a worse condition than here? Here you have need of many comforts Page  190 and conveniences, it is a variegate appetite, that is, an appetite that is full of multiplicity: why, when you come to heaven, you doe not lay aside your nature, but you desire still; and there you shall have none but GOD alone: so that there you shall bee in a worse estate then here, if all these things were not to bee found in the Lord: if there were not this variety in the Lord, it could not bee, that in heaven you should bee so happy. Here you need Sunne, and Moone, and Starres, and a thousand other things, but there you shall have none, but I, saith he, will bee Sunne, and Moone, and all to you: and there∣fore he saith, that hee will be all in all, which is the plurall number, and signifies, all things, I will be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

Now this Allmighty GOD, that will bee All-sufficient in heaven, if hee will but commu∣nicate to a man, and draw him neare to his pre∣sénce, shall not that be inough? Beloved, it is certaine, that hee will bee inough for your por∣tion. As for instance; let a man be stripe of all his friends, and brethren and sisters, and country, as Abraham was: hee was stript of all, and had GOD alone left for his portion, yet you see that hee was exceeding rich, and made a great Prince, and he had a great posterity. Ther∣fore let us make this use of it: to care for none but the Lord alone, wee know not what shall become of us, wee may be led into banishment, as others now are, and have bin: now if you have the Lord with you, it is inough. So if Page  191 any condition befall you, if you can bee con∣tent with GOD alone, you are well, what if your friends deceive you? What if you should bee shut up in a close prison? It is nothing, he is All-sufficient and Allmighty, and there is no estate or condition, but hee is with you in it, there is no streit, but he can helpe you out. Therefore study these things, and examine them, and labour to beate them upon your soules: never rest, till you have brought your hearts to such a condition: to say, I know that no man can separate betweene GOD and me, and I am content with GOD alone.

[Vse 2] Secondly, If this be so, then labour to make use of this power of his.* Why is this Attribute revealed to you? is it not for this, that men might make use of this power of his? Then let every man consider with himselfe, what he hath neede of, what strait he is in, what businesse he would have done: remember that GOD is All∣mighty, and is able to bring it to passe; be it poverty in your estates, or debts, which a man is not able to overwrastle, if there be a blemish in your names, and you cannot tell how to have it healed, or any weaknesse in your body; and which is more than all this, if there be a lust that ye cannot overcome, a temptation which ye cannot be rid of, if there be a deadnesse of spirit in you, and indisposednesse to holy du∣ties, and yee cannot tell how to get life and quickening; remember that there is an All∣mighty power revealed for that end, and it is Page  192 our parts to make use of it: though it be an he∣reditary disease in thee, (now you know an he∣reditary disease is that which we have from our parents,) though thou hast such a disease, such a strong lust, yet thinke with thy selfe, the Lord is able to heale this. Iam. 4.6. A place named before, But he giveth more grace, &c. As if he should say: when hee had tolde them of the lusts that fight in their members, this objection comes in; Alas, wee are not able to master these lusts. It is true, saith the Apostle, the lusts that are in us, doe lust against the spirit, as natu∣rally as the stone descends downeward: but how should wee heale them, say you? How? The Scripture giveth more grace, that is, there is an omnipotent power which can heale all this.

So Matth. 19.26. With men this is im∣possible, but with God all things are possible. It is a place worthy consideration. Saith our Savi∣our, It is impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdome of heaven: why, say the Disciples, Who then can be saved? Indeed, saith Christ, it is impossible with men, but with God all things are possible. The meaning is this; when a man hath riches, that is, when the object is present and before him, a man cannot of himselfe but set his heart upon them; and when a mans heart is set upon them, no man in the world can weane his heart from those riches: what shall we doe then? Why, saith hee, the LORD hath an Allmighty power, he is able to morti∣fie Page  193 these lusts. We can no more doe it, than a cable rope can goe through the eye of a needle. Now that which is said of riches, may be said of any lust. Let an ambitious man have honour, or such an object sutable to a carnall minde, hee cannot choose but set his heart upon it: now when that lust is set upon an object, a Camell may as well goe through a needle, as hee can loose his heart from these lusts: but yet the Lord can doe it, With him all things are possible. And what the Apostle saith of the Iewes, Rom. 11.23. The Lord can ingraft them in againe, as bad as they be, though the wrath of GOD be gone over them to the utmost, yet GOD can doe it: so is it true of thy selfe, and any one else, the Lord can, if hee will; to him nothing is impossible. Thinke with your selves, that he that can draw such beautifull flowers out of so dry an earth, as you looke upon in winter; though thou hast an heart as farre from grace, as the flowers seeme to be from comming forth in the midst of winter, yet he that can do so in nature, is able to doe the like in grace also, as he did to Paul, and Mary Magdalen. Now consider what they would have beene without his power: and by his power we may be as excellent as they. To confirme this, consider what a change grace hath wrought even among us: how many a∣mongst us, that of proud have become humble, of fierce and cruell have become gentle; of loose, sober; of weake, strong, &c. Goe there∣fore to him, beleeve this, and apply it: and it is Page  194 sure it shall be according to thy faith. If a man would goe to the Lord, and say to him, Lord, I have such a lust, and cannot overcome it, and I want griefe and sorrow for sinne, thou that hast an allmighty power, thou that didst draw light out of darknesse, thou art able to make such a change in my heart, thou hast an allmighty power, and to thee nothing is impossible. I say, let a man doe so, and the Lord will put forth his power, to effect the thing that thou desirest. Surely hee which establisheth the earth upon nothing, and keepes the winde in his fists, and bounds the water as in a garment, can fixe the most unsetled minde, and the wildest dispositi∣on, and set bounds to the most loose and in∣temperate.

[Vse 3] If God be allmighty, you must beleeve this all∣mightinesse of his:* and whereas you say, wee doubt not of his power, but of his will; I will shew to you, that all our doubts, and discou∣ragements and dejections doe arise from hence, not because you thinke the LORD will not, but because you thinke he cannot. Therefore you know not your owne hearts in this, in saying that you doubt not of the power of GOD.* I will make this good to you by these argu∣ments.

[ 1] If we did not doubt of the power of GOD, what is the reason that when you see a great probability of a thing, you can goe and pray for it with great chearfulnesse: but if there be no hope, how doe your hands grow faint, and Page  195 your knees feeble in the duty? You pray be∣cause the duty must not bee omitted, but you doe not pray with a heart. And so for endea∣vours: are not your minds dejected, doe you not sit still as men discouraged, with your armes folded up, if you see every doore shut up, and there bee no probability of helpe from the creature? And all this is for want of this faith, would this bee, if you did beleive this Allmigh∣ty power of GOD? For cannot GOD doe it, when things are not probable, as well as when there are the fairest blossomes of hope?

[ 2] Besides, doe wee not heare this speech of man? when the times are bad, doe not men say; oh, wee shall never see better dayes? And when a man is in affliction, oh, he thinkes this will never bee altered: 'so if he be in pro∣sperity, they thinke there will bee no change. Whence comes this, but because we forget the Allmighty power of GOD? If wee thought that hee could make such a change in a night, as he doth in the weather, as he did with Iob, wee should not bee so dejected in case of adversity, and so lift up in case of prosperity.

[ 3] Besides, men have not ordinarily more abili∣ty to believe, then the Israelites had which were GODS owne people: yet consider, that these very men, that had seen all those great plagues, that the Lord brought upon the Egyptians, I therein meane, all his Allmighty power; that saw his power in bringing them through the red sea, and giving them bread and water in the wil∣dernesse; Page  196 yet called his power into question, and said, that GOD could not bring them into the land of Canaan. Yee will finde they did so, Psa: 78.41. They turned backe, and limited the holy one of Israel. And said, hee cannot doe this and this: and why? because they have Cities walled up to heaven. That is the thing laid to their charge, They limited the holy one of Israel: that is, they remembred not that hee had an unlimited power, but they thought, if the Ci∣ties had bin low, and the men had bin but ordi∣nary men, hee could have done it: but because they were so mighty men, and the Cities had such high walls; therefore they could not be∣leive, that hee could bring them in. Now if they did so, doe you not thinke it is hard for you to doe otherwise? Yea take him, that thinkes he doth not doubt of the power of God, bring that man to a particular distresse, and yee shall see him faile: (for it is one thing to have a thing in the notion, as for a man to thinke what hee would doe, if hee were a Pilot, or a Cap∣taine; and an other thing to have it in the reall managing, as when hee is brought to fight:) so is it here. It is one thing to beleive GODS Allmighty power, and who doubts of it? But I ask you, if you have had a triall of your heart; if you have bin brought to an exigent. Doe you finde it so easie a thing, to believe in diffi∣culties, as in facility?

[Object.] But you will say, the people of Israel were a stubborne and stiffenecked rebellious people: and I hope our faith is greater then theirs.

Page  197 [Answ.] I, but doe you thinke that your faith is grea∣ter than the faith of Mary or Martha. Ioh. 11.21. Lord, if thou hadst bin here my Brother had not died. So verse 32. If you observe their reaso∣ning, you shall see, all this doubt was of his power. If thou hadst bin here, when hee was sicke, and when it was time, thou mightest have raised him: but now it is too late, hee hath bin dead foure dayes, and his body is putrified. Here is no doubt of his good will: but all the question was of his power. And so it is with us: doe not we doe the same, and say with our selves, if this had beene taken in time, it might have beene done, but now the case is desperate? Why? is not the Lord as well able to helpe in desperate cases, if he be Allmighty?

[Object.] Yea, but these were but weake women, and we hope our faith may be stronger than theirs?

You shall see there that Moses did doubt of Gods power. When God had pro∣mised to send them flesh, and that not for a day or two, or five, or twenty▪ but for a moneth together, and for so many people: Moses saith, Lord, wilt thou send them flesh for a moneth together? There are sixe hundred thousand men of them, and it is in the wildernesse. As if he should say, if it had beene for a day or two, or in a plentifull Country, or for a few per∣sons: but there are six hundred thousand, and it is in the wildernesse, and that for a moneth toge∣ther. Here Moses was at a stand, and could not Page  198 beleeve it. The Lord answeres him; Is the Lords hand shortened, that he cannot helpe? thou shalt see, that I am able to doe it, Numb. 11.21. It is therefore not an easie thing to beleeve Gods power. Therefore set your selves with all your might, to beleeve this Allmighty power, and know, that all your strength will be needfull for it. It is apt to man to measure things accor∣ding to their owne modells, as to thinke him to bee as powerfull, as mans understanding can reach, and mercifull, as farre as man can bee mercifull; but for a finite creature to be∣lieve the infinite attributes of God, hee is not able to doe it throughly without supernaturall grace. You cannot believe that hee forgives so much as hee doth, or that his power is so great, as his power is, but (though you observe it not) you doe frame modells of him according to your selves, and you doe not thinke that his thoughts are above yours, as the heavens are above the earth. Therefore labour to get faith in his power. And will you have it to lie dead, when you have it? No. Therefore adde this for a fourth use.

[Vse 4] Fourthly, then whatsoever thy condition bee, whatsoever strait thou art in, be not dis∣couraged, but seeke to him;* that is the ground of your prayers. You know the Lords prayer is concluded with this: For thine is thy kingdome, power and glory, for ever and ever. As if that were the ground of all the petitions that went before. So if the Lord bee Allmighty, and hath an All∣mightyPage  199 power, then in the most desperate case, when there is no hope or helpe in the creature, that you can discerne, yet then pray, and pray strongly an confidently as men full of hope, to obtaine what they desire.

And remember this for your comfort: At that time, when you are in affliction, and in so great a strait, that you are hedged about, and no hope, no possibility to evade, that is the time that the Lord will shew forth his power; for a man is never discouraged but in this case; I have seene it by many particular experiments: when the case hath beene desperate, when there hath beene no hope, yet when God hath beene sought to by fasting and prayer, there hath beene alteration above all thought, accor∣ding to that expression used, Ephes. 3.20: Hee is able to doe exceeding abundantly above all that we aske or thinke, according to the power that wor∣keth in us: that is, when they could not enlarge their thoughts farre, nor were able to see there could be any way devised, yet enlarging their prayers, the LORD hath devised a way often∣times; I will give you some instances that the Scripture gives in this case. When Esau came against Iacob, was hee not in a fearefull strait; there was no hope, and no possibility, Esau was too strong for him; what should he doe now? he exposeth himselfe to the enemy, there was no other remedy; and it was an enmity of twen∣ty yeares continuance, and the Text saith, that Iacob feared, and yet the LORD delivered him, Page  200 when he had prayed to him. So when Laban came against him, GOD bid him that he should doe him no hurt. So Daniel, when he was cast into the Lions den, when all the Lions were present with their mouthes opened ready to devoure, yet the Lord stopped their mouthes, they could doe him no hurt. So is it in many cases amongst us; when our enemies are ready to devoure us, then GOD comes in in the nicke, betweene the cup, and the lip, and workes a way for our delivery. Therefore never be dis∣couraged whatsoever thy case be: it is a very great matter to say, that the Lord can doe such a thing, though you thinke it but a small thing. As when the Leper could goe to Christ, and say, Lord, thou canst make me cleane if thou wilt, then the Lord did so. It was a great matter for those three children in Dan. 3. to be able to say, when the fire was ready prepared, and the King was wroth, and there was no resistance, yet they said, The Lord is able to save us out of thy hand O King! The LORD did take this so well at their hands, that the LORD did helpe them, and save them. On the contrary side, when a man doth doubt of his power, you shall see how much moment it is of. As that Prince said to Eliah, Though God should make windowes in heaven, yet there could not be such a plenty, as hee spake of: now the LORD was so displeased with it, that he destroyed him for it. So the Israelites did not beleeve that the LORD could bring them into the land of Canaan, therefore Page  201 the Lords anger was kindled against them for this: Psal. 78.

But to draw this use to a conclusion. Learne to bring your hearts to this, whatsoever your case is, still to beleeve his power, and to be a∣ble to say still, the Lord can doe it; and it is not a small matter to be able to say so. When the Churches are very low, and there is no hope, and you see little helpe, a man should goe and pray with such chearfulnesse and such hope, and confidence, as if it was the easiest thing in the world to helpe them; which you would doe, if you did beleeve that GOD is Allmigh∣ty. You know what the case of the Church was in Ahasuerus time, yet fasting and praying made a great change in the suddaine. Nay when the Church is downe, yet pray with as great hope, as if it had the best props to holde it up, for the Lord is able to raise it up againe.

I will give you two instances, that you may consider the Lords power on both sides; his power to raise it up from a low condition; (as now, if you consider the miserable estate of the Church in Christendome at this time:) as it appeares by the vision of the dry bones in Eze∣kiel: the meaning whereof is, that when the people are as low as low may be, like dead men, buried men, men scattered to the foure windes, yet saith the Lord, I will put life into them; I will raise them and make them a great army, and I will put grace into them, and make them living men; that is, though the Church Page  202 be never so low, yet the Lord can put life into it, and make a wonderfull change.

Again, there is no Church so safe, (as we doe thinke our selves now, and as the Palatinate did thinke themselves) but that yet the Lord can make a sudden change, and bring them downe, as well as hee could raise these dry bones; and as he hath done to others already. This you shall see. Lam. 4.12. The Kings and all the inha∣bitants of the world, would not have beleived, that the adversary and the enemy could have entred into the gates of Ierusalem. Ierusalem was so strong, there was such probability of safety, that no man would ever have beleived that the enemy and the adversary should ever have entred into the gates thereof. Yet the Allmighty power of GOD brought them downe on a suddaine, and laide them flat to the ground. Therefore let the case bee what it will bee, suppose a nation bee never so strong, yet GOD can bring them downe; and let it bee never so weake and low, yet the Lord is able to raise them up. And it is true of every particular thing also; then beleive this Allmighty power of GOD, and apply it, whatsoever thy case bee; consider that thou hast to doe with an Allmighty God.

[Object.] But you will say, the case may bee such, as there is no helpe, the Lord hath declared his will by an event; and the case is such as never was helped, and will you have us to beleeve it now, because there is an Allmighty power?

[Answ.] You must learne to doe in this case, as ChristPage  203 did: Lord if thou wilt, let this cuppe passe from me; yet not my will but thine be done. Iust after this manner you ought to doe in every one of these cases, where there is no hope: you must say thus, Lord, it is possible to thee to doe it, be the case as desperate as it will be. As suppose a man hath a stone in the bladder, which we thinke an incurable disease, because the stone is so hard, and cannot be softened, yet it is possible to him; he can so lodge it, and bed it, that it shall doe you no hurt; and if he doe take away this life, yet he gives you a better; if it doe paine you here, yet he will give you joy and peace, which is farre better than to indure a little paine in the flesh. I say, you ought to doe as Christ did in this case; and remember this, that in such a case, your businesse is not with the power, but with the will of GOD: that is, you must say, Lord I know it is possible that this cup may passe, but Lord, here is all the matter; it is my desire that it should passe, and it may be it is thy will that it shall not, Lord, if this be the case, it is meet my will should yeeld, and that thy will should be done: As if Christ should have said, Lord, I will give thee this honour, that thou canst remove this cup from mee, but if thou doest not, it is not thy will to doe so; and I am content. So doe thou give the Lord this glory of his power in every case, that hee can doe it, if it be his will.

Be it that thy desire is to be delivered from such or such an affliction; consider this: Is it Page  204 meete Gods will should yeeld to thine, or thine to his? Then bring thy heart downe, and be content that it should be so.

[Object.] But you will say; it is hard to doe this, to be willing to undergoe such an affliction.

[Answ.] Consider it is Gods will; and therefore if it were not best for thee, yet thou shouldest ho∣nour him so farre, as to preferre his will before thine own: but it being his will, thou shalt be as∣sured if thou art one that belongs to him, that it shall be best for thee. Christ was no loser when he yeelded to his Fathers will, for God heard him in what he prayed for: as it is Heb. 5. though the Lords will passed on him, and he dranke of the cup. So thou must yeeld to his will what∣soever it is, be content with what is done, and beleeve that thou shalt be no loser by it in the end, but thou shalt have what thou desi∣rest, though not in that manner that thou wouldest have it to be done.

Page  [unnumbered]



  • Absolute.
    • THe perfection of God ab∣solute. Part. 1, Pag. 121
  • Adorne.
    • The spirit of man how it should be adorned. Part. 2, Pag. 15
    • Adorning of the spirit com∣mends us to God. Part. 2, Pag. 18
  • Adversaries.
    • The truth of the Scriptures proved by the testimony of the adversaries. Part. 1, Pag. 53
  • Advantage.
    • Hee that puts himselfe from Gods worke for his owne advantage, makes himselfe his end. Part. 1, Pag. 149
  • Affections.
    • Affections inordinately set on a thing, make it a god. Part. 1, Pag. 90
    • Affections sinfull must be pur∣ged out. Part. 2, Pag. 62
    • Affections to the creatures, what raiseth them. Part. 2, Pag. 204
    • Affections strong breed strong afflictions. Ibid.
  • Agreement.
    • Agreement of the prophecies in Scripture. Part. 1, Pag. 52
  • Alcoran.
    • Alcoran of Mahomet barba∣rous. Part. 1, Pag. 84
  • Almighty.
    • God is almighty. Part. 2, Pag. 128
    • That God is almighty, 70 times repeated in Scripture. Part. 2, Pag. 177
    • VVee should rejoyce that our Page  [unnumbered] God is almighty. Part. 2, Pag. 186
  • Alone.
    • To beleeve that God is God alone. Part. 1, Pag. 85
    • To behold God alone in serving him. Part. 2, Pag. 36
    • VVhy men are not content with God alone. Part. 2, Pag. 187
  • Angels.
    • Angels used in guiding the course of things. Part. 1, Pag. 35
  • Antiquity.
    • Antiquity of Scripture proves them true. Part. 1, Pag. 57
  • Apprehension.
    • Apprehension of things makes them heavy or easy. Part. 2, Pag. 30
  • Arts.
    • Arts why invented. Part. 1, Pag. 3
  • Assent.
    • Assent double. Part. 1, Pag. 46
    • Assent bred differently in the Saints and others. Part. 1, Pag. 62
  • Atheisme.
    • Atheisme of two kindes. Part. 1, Pag. 24
    • Atheisme, the effects of it. Part. 1, Pag. 25
    • Iunius converted from atheisme Part. 1, Pag. 56
  • Attributes.
    • Attributes of God of two sorts Part. 1, Pag. 119


  • Beast, see Man.
  • Before.
    • God before all things. Part. 1, Pag. 120
    • If God had any cause, some∣what was before him. Part. 1, Pag. 140
  • Being.
    • Being properly onely in God. Part. 1, Pag. 97
    • Being of God explained in five things. Ibid.
    • Being given to all things by God. Part. 1, Pag. 99
    • VVee should give God the praise of his being. 1.112
    • All things but God are capable of not being. 1.142
    • VVhat being hee must have that is eternall. Part. 1, Pag. 157
    • God the first being. Part. 2, Pag. 50
    • God not capable of any new being. Part. 2, Pag. 73
  • Beginning.
    • He that is eternal must be with∣out beginning. Part. 1, Pag. 157
  • Body.
    • Body must bee kept downe. Part. 2, Pag. 23
    • Page  [unnumbered]Body, gestures of it used in Gods worship. Part. 2, Pag. 38
  • Busie.
    • VVhy men are so busie in worldly things. Part. 2, Pag. 132


  • Cast off.
    • VVe should take heed God cast us not off. Part. 2, Pag. 80
    • The time of Gods casting off unknowne. Part. 2, Pag. 83
  • Cause.
    • The creatures should be with∣out cause, if they were not made. Part. 1, Pag. 8
    • God the first cause. Part. 1, Pag. 39
    • God without all cause. Part. 1, Pag. 140
    • God a voluntary cause. Part. 2, Pag. 181
  • Change.
    • Change in the creature whence it is. Part. 2, Pag. 75
    • Change in us a token of good. Part. 2, Pag. 94
    • VVhen we thinke our conditi∣on cannot change, we doubt of Gods power. Part. 2, Pag. 195
    • See Imperfect.
  • Chronology.
    • Chronology of Scripture exact. Part. 1, Pag. 55
  • Church.
    • Churches testimony proves the truth of Scripture. Part. 1, Pag. 58
    • Scriptures of greater authority than the Church. Part. 1, Pag. 59
    • God will shew himselfe God in raising the Churches. Part. 1, Pag. 87
    • Not to faint in the misery of the Churches. Part. 1, Pag. 109
  • Christ.
    • Christ his humanity alone not to be worshipped. Part. 2, Pag. 45
    • See Mahomet.
  • Cleaue.
    • What makes us cleave to a thing. Part. 1, Pag. 86
  • Conceive.
    • God is beyond all that we can conceive. Part. 2, Pag. 129
  • Complaint.
    • Complaint and griefe whence it ariseth. Part. 1, Pag. 104
  • Command.
    • The creature at Gods command. Part. 1, Pag. 138
  • Confusion.
    • Confusion, when the body rules the spirit. Part. 2, Pag. 21
    • Comfort, see God, see Heaven.
  • Composition.
    • God without composition. Part. 2, Pag. 49
  • Page  [unnumbered]Counsell, see Eternity.
  • Covenant.
    • How to know we are in cove∣nant with God. Part. 2, Pag. 85
    • Covenant twofold. Part. 2, Pag. 86
    • Covenant not frustrate by our sinnes. Part. 2, Pag. 87
  • Constancy.
    • To judge of our spirits by con∣stancy in well-doing. 2; 111
    • Constancy in ill nothing worse. Part. 2, Pag. 113
    • Constancy, to beg it of God. Ibid.
    • Constancy, two meanes to get it. Part. 2, Pag. 115
  • Company.
    • Company, why it is desired. Part. 2, Pag. 166
    • Companions that a man may al∣way have Part. 2, Pag. 167
    • Company, the more griefe in want of it, the lesse wise∣dome. Ibid.
  • Contradiction, see Infinite.
  • Content.
    • To be content with GOD, though with crosses, Part. 1, Pag. 130
    • To be content with a simple condition. Part. 2, Pag. 54
    • Content bred by godlinesse: Part. 2, Pag. 58
  • Creature.
    • Creatures, to learne the vanity of them. Part. 1, Pag. 116
    • Creatures of themselves can doe nothing for us. Part. 1, Pag. 137
    • Creatures, difference betweene God and them. Part. 1, Pag. 146
    • Creatures, not to goe to them but God. Part. 2, Pag. 67
    • Creatures, difference betweene God and them in respect of his unchangeablenes: Part. 2, Pag. 103
    • Creatures, not to expect much from them: Ibid:
  • Creation.
    • Workes of creation shew the greatnesse of God: Part. 2, Pag. 123
    • Gods omnipotence in the crea∣tion. Part. 2, Pag. 178
  • Crosses.
    • Crosses, God doth his good by them: Part. 1, Pag. 41
    • Crosses, faith strengtheneth in them, how: Part. 1, Pag. 105
    • See Content.


  • Dead, Death.
    • He that beleeveth not Christ, would not beleeve one rising from the dead: Part. 1, Pag. 42
    • Page  [unnumbered]We cannot see reason for many things till death: Part. 1, Pag. 103
    • Death sweetned by walking with God: Part. 1, Pag. 165
  • Decree.
    • Decree of God unchangeable, yet unknowne: Part. 2, Pag. 92
  • Defend.
    • GOD is able to defend us: Part. 2, Pag. 166
  • Delay.
    • Delay of GOD should not of∣fend us, why. Part. 1, Pag. 168
    • Delay seemes long, why: Part. 1, Pag. 169
  • Depend, Dependent.
    • Not to depend on many things: Part. 2, Pag. 56
    • Dependent felicity to trust in the creature: Part. 2, Pag. 106
  • Desires.
    • Desires must bee strong that helpe resolution: Part. 2, Pag. 121
    • How to get strong desires: Ibid:
  • Despise.
    • What makes a man despise out∣ward things: Part. 2, Pag. 138
  • Destroy.
    • A man destroyeth himselfe, how Part. 1, Pag. 10
  • Die, Dying.
    • Mortifying of lusts a dying dai∣ly: Part. 1, Pag. 66
    • Heathen gods die, therfore false Part. 1, Pag. 81
  • Direction.
    • Men desire company for dire∣ction: Part. 2, Pag. 166
  • Discontent.
    • Discontent, whence it is: Part. 1, Pag. 123
  • Dispose.
    • Affliction and prosperity dispo∣sed by GOD: Part. 1, Pag. 40
    • To be content with GODS dis∣posing of us: Part. 1, Pag. 124
  • Doe, Doing.
    • VVe are present with GOD by doing his will: Part. 2, Pag. 161
    • To consider what GOD doth to us: Part. 2, Pag. 162
    • Some things that GOD cannot doe, why: Part. 2, Pag. 182
  • Double.
    • Double-minded man who: Part. 2, Pag. 60
    • Sinful affections make the heart double: Part. 2, Pag. 62


  • Effects.
  • Efficacy.
    • Efficacy of the creature from GOD: Part. 1, Pag. 137
  • Enemy.
    • VVhat an enemy GOD is to wicked men: Part. 2, Pag. 175
  • End.
    • All creatures have an end: Part. 1, Pag. 9
    • VVe should doe nothing for our owne ends: Part. 1, Pag. 146
    • End of mens callings appoin∣ted by GOD: Part. 1, Pag. 147
    • VVhen a man makes himselfe his end: Part. 1, Pag. 148
  • Ending.
    • Hee that is eternall must be without ending: Part. 1, Pag. 157
    • See Advantage.
  • Ensignes.
    • Ensignes of GODS greatnes: Part. 2, Pag. 124
  • Equall.
    • Attributes of GOD equall: Part. 2, Pag. 53
    • Equality of GODS Attributes prove him omnipotent: Part. 2, Pag. 180
  • Erre, see Rule.
  • Essence.
    • Essence of GOD what: Part. 1, Pag. 94
    • Essence of GOD infinite, 2:148
  • Eternall, Eternity.
    • Eternity of GOD: Part. 1, Pag. 156
    • Eternity 5 things in it: Part. 1, Pag. 157
    • VVhy God must be eternall: Part. 1, Pag. 158
    • Foure differences betweene the eternity of GOD, and duration of the creatures: Part. 1, Pag. 159
    • Eternall things to be minded more: Part. 1, Pag. 161
    • Eternity, an exhortation to con∣sider of it: Part. 1, Pag. 165
    • Eternity, motives to consider it: Part. 1, Pag. 167
    • Eternity what: Part. 1, Pag. 168
    • Love and enmity of GOD eter∣nall: Part. 1, Pag. 171
    • Hatred and joy in GOD from eternity: Part. 2, Pag. 78
    • Counsels of God from eternity: Part. 1, Pag. 81
  • Evill.
    • Things are not alway evill that we think are: Part. 1, Pag. 42
  • Everlasting.
    • GOD from everlasting: other gods new: Part. 1, Pag. 79
    • GODS being everlasting. Part. 1, Pag. 98
  • Events.
    • Events contrary to mans pre∣parations. Part. 1, Pag. 39
  • Exalt.
    • To exalt GOD as GOD: Part. 1, Pag. 135
  • Excellency.
    • Excellency outward not to be Page  [unnumbered] sought after: Part. 2, Pag. 17
    • Excellency outward of 3 sorts: Ibid:


  • Faculties.
    • Men desire company to exercise their faculties: Part. 2, Pag. 166
    • Faint, see Church.
  • Faith.
    • That there is a GOD, proved by faith: 1, 19, 45
    • Faith what. Part. 1, Pag. 20
    • Faith in this that there is a GOD should be confirmed: Part. 1, Pag. 61
    • Faith of elect and others differ: Part. 1, Pag. 62
    • Faith though the same hath se∣verall acts: Part. 1, Pag. 72
    • Faith strengthened by revea∣ling GODS name: Part. 1, Pag. 103
  • False.
    • The gods, and religion of the Gentiles false: Part. 1, Pag. 80
    • The religion of Mahomet false. Part. 1, Pag. 82
  • Feare.
    • VVhy we should feare God: Part. 1, Pag. 171
    • See Goodnesse.
  • Fire.
    • The Spirit as Fire: Part. 2, Pag. 15
  • Fill.
    • The Lord fills heaven and earth Part. 2, Pag. 45
  • Flee.
    • God such an enemy as the wic∣ked cannot flee from: Part. 2, Pag. 174
  • Force.
    • Force in the motion of a spirit: Part. 2, Pag. 3
  • Foundation.
    • Foundation of faith stable: Part. 2, Pag. 51
  • Friendship.
    • Friendship of God to be estee∣med: Part. 1, Pag. 129
  • Future.
    • Future things knowne onely to God. Part. 1, Pag. 79


  • GOD.
    • God, that he is: Part. 1, Pag. 3
    • That there is a God: Part. 1, Pag. 5
    • Creatures should be God, if they were not made: Part. 1, Pag. 8
    • A God sought naturally by all: Part. 1, Pag. 14
    • That there is a God, consequents of it: Part. 1, Pag. 28
    • Meanes to confirme our faith, that there is a God: Part. 1, Pag. 68
    • That God is God, and none be∣sides him: Part. 1, Pag. 75
    • 5 Arguments, that there is no other God: Part. 1, Pag. 76
    • God, what he is: Part. 1, Pag. 94
    • God, how to conceive of him in prayer: Part. 2, Pag. 44
    • Page  [unnumbered]GOD, how said to come and goe: Part. 2, Pag. 77
    • GOD, the comfort of all things in him: Part. 2, Pag. 188
    • See Affections.
  • Good, Goodnesse.
    • The commands of GOD for our good: Part. 1, Pag. 127
    • Eternity makes things infinite∣ly good: Part. 1, Pag. 160
    • To feare GOD for his goodnes: Part. 2, Pag. 14
    • See Observe.
  • Government.
    • Government of the world by GOD Part. 2, Pag. 150
    • See Spirit.
  • Grace, Gracious.
    • Grace of GOD free: Part. 1, Pag. 125
    • The Lord is gracious: Part. 2, Pag. 46
    • To goe to GOD for grace: Part. 2, Pag. 69
    • See Light, Sin, Vnchangable.
  • Grieve, see Himselfe.
  • Greatnesse.
    • Greatnesse of GOD: Part. 2, Pag. 123
    • Greatnesse of GOD declared in sixe things; Ibid:
    • Greatnesse of GOD compared: Part. 2, Pag. 126
    • Greatnesse of mind to be sought Part. 2, Pag. 129
    • VVhat makes the mind great: Part. 2, Pag. 130
    • Greatnesse outward why men are led away with it: Ibid:
    • Greatnesse of minde how got∣ten: Part. 2, Pag. 137
    • To feare GOD for his greatnes: Part. 2, Pag. 140


  • Hate.
    • Pollution of spirit to hate it: Part. 2, Pag. 12
    • How to come to hate it. Part. 2, Pag. 13
  • Heathen.
    • Passages of Scripture acknow∣ledged by Heathen. Part. 1, Pag. 53
  • Heaven.
    • No want of outward comforts in heaven. Part. 2, Pag. 19
    • See Humble.
  • Helpe.
    • No case so desperate but GOD can helpe: Part. 2, Pag. 203
  • Hindred.
    • GOD cannot be hindred: Part. 2, Pag. 52
  • High.
    • Not to put our selves to things too high: Part. 1, Pag. 149
  • Page  [unnumbered]
  • Himselfe.
    • Being of God of himselfe. Part. 1, Pag. 98
    • GOD may doe things for him∣selfe. Part. 1, Pag. 144
    • what he doth that greiues most for things that concerne him∣selfe. Part. 1, Pag. 150
  • Hope.
    • Hope of the Saints whereon built: Part. 1, Pag. 63
  • Holinesse.
    • Holinesse of Scripture: Part. 1, Pag. 52
    • Holinesse what: Part. 2, Pag. 37
    • Holinesse expressed outwardly: Part. 2, Pag. 39
    • Holinesse of God shewes his greatnesse Part. 2, Pag. 127
  • Holy ghost.
    • Holy ghost guided penmen of Scripture: Part. 1, Pag. 48
  • Humble.
    • An Humble man takes heauen how Part. 1, Pag. 121
    • Humanity, see CHRIST.


  • I am.
    • I am, what meant by it: Part. 1, Pag. 95
  • Idolatry.
    • To keepe our hearts from Ido∣latry: Part. 1, Pag. 88
    • Idolatry of two kinds: Ibid:
    • Idolatry 3 grounds of it: Part. 1, Pag. 82
    • Idolatry to resolve on things by our owne strength: Part. 1, Pag. 112
  • Image.
    • Image of God: Part. 1, Pag. 15
    • Image of God in the soule dou∣ble: Part. 1, Pag. 16
    • Immediate, see Government.
  • Impure.
    • The life and doctrine of Maho∣met impure Part. 1, Pag. 84
  • Immense.
    • The Immensity of Gods being: Part. 1, Pag. 97
    • Immensity of Gods being shews his greatnesse: Part. 2, Pag. 127
    • Immensity of God: Part. 2, Pag. 147
    • Immensity of God we should rejoyce in it: Part. 2, Pag. 152
    • Immensity of God we should studie it. Part. 2, Pag. 153
  • Imperfection.
    • Imperfection negatiue in the Saints: Part. 1, Pag. 121
    • Imperfection where there is change: Part. 2, Pag. 73
    • See perfect.
  • Impenitence.
    • Impenitence punnished in Gods children: Part. 2, Pag. 99
  • Immutable.
    • Immutability of God Part. 2, Pag. 72
    • 5: reasons of Gods Immutabi∣lity:Page  [unnumbered]2, 73
    • Grace in it selfe not immutable: Part. 2, Pag. 115
  • Inconstancy.
    • Inconstancy, to be humbled for it. Part. 2, Pag. 112
    • Inconstancy, two causes of it: Part. 2, Pag. 115
    • Inconstancy from weaknesse: Part. 2, Pag. 117
  • Indeavour.
    • Indeavours help not when God hath cast off a man: Part. 2, Pag. 83
    • Indeavour, not taken away by Gods decree: Part. 2, Pag. 92
  • Infinite.
    • God is infinite: Part. 2, Pag. 74
    • To make a creature infinite, were a contradiction: Part. 2, Pag. 186
    • See Essence, Presence.
  • Invisible.
    • To be invisible, a property of a spirit: Part. 2, Pag. 2
  • Inquire.
    • Somewhat in God we must not inquire into. Part. 1, Pag. 100
  • Injuries.
    • Injuries of men, why we are so affected with them: Part. 2, Pag. 133
    • How to be patient in injuries: Part. 2, Pag. 156
  • Influence.
    • To beleeve there is a God hath influence into the whole life: Part. 1, Pag. 64
  • Iustification.
    • Faith strengthened in matters of justification, whence. Part. 1, Pag. 71
  • Iust, see Will.
  • Iudgements.
    • Iudgements spirituall the grea∣test: Part. 2, Pag. 27
    • Iudgements dispensed by God now as in former time: 2:98
    • Iudgements of God different in time, and meanes. 2:101


  • Kill.
    • Lusts must be killed: 2:13
  • Knowledge.
    • Knowledge experimentall that there is a God: 1:63


  • Labour.
    • Labour, how it is sweetned: 1:151
  • Page  [unnumbered] Lame.
    • Performances lame when the body is not exercised: 2:40
  • Law.
    • Law written in mens hearts proves that there is a God: Part. 1, Pag. 13
  • Liberty.
    • Gods presence gives liberty: Part. 2, Pag. 164
  • Life.
    • God onely the living God: Part. 1, Pag. 80
    • Life, the shortnesse of it should make us thinke of eternity: Part. 1, Pag. 167
  • Light.
    • What makes all outward things light: Part. 1, Pag. 163
    • Prophecies of Scripture limited to a set time: Part. 1, Pag. 50
    • God without limits: Part. 1, Pag. 121
    • Our obedience to God should not be limited: Part. 2, Pag. 142
    • VVhen wee limit God, wee doubt of his power: Part. 2, Pag. 195
  • Lips.
    • Our spirits must be neare God, as our lips: Part. 2, Pag. 33
  • Long, see Short.
  • Low.
    • VVe should not rest in things too low: Part. 1, Pag. 149
    • GODS power can raise from a low condition: Part. 2, Pag. 201
  • Love.
    • GODS immutability makes us love him: Part. 2, Pag. 88
    • Love of other things must be subordinate to the love of GOD: 2.144
    • To walke with GOD a signe of love: Part. 2, Pag. 163
  • Lusts.
    • Lusts defile the spirit of man: Part. 2, Pag. 6
    • The tenth commandement a∣gainst lust: Part. 2, Pag. 7
    • Lusts restrained hatefull to GOD: Part. 2, Pag. 9
    • Lusts mortified make us con∣stant in well-doing: Part. 2, Pag. 115
    • See Doing.


  • Magnanimity.
    • An holy magnanimity in enjoy∣ing of GOD: Part. 1, Pag. 134
    • Magnanimity false: Ibid
  • Page  [unnumbered] Mahomet.
    • Mahomet denied two things in Christ: Part. 1, Pag. 84
    • See false.
  • Maiesty.
    • Majesty of Scripture proue the truth of them: Part. 1, Pag. 56
    • Majesty of GOD 1, 76.77
  • Man.
    • That there is a GOD proued by the making of man: Part. 1, Pag. 6
    • Difference betweene the acti∣ons of man and beast: Part. 1, Pag. 17
    • Heathen Gods men: Part. 1, Pag. 81
  • Matter.
    • GOD without matter: Part. 2, Pag. 127
    • GOD can worke without mat∣ter: Part. 2, Pag. 180
  • Merit.
    • All that we can doe cannot me∣rit of GOD: Part. 1, Pag. 123
  • Mercie.
    • Mercie of GOD how it is o∣ver all his workes: Part. 2, Pag. 54
    • Mercie we should goe to God for it: Part. 2, Pag. 68
    • See Iudgement.
  • Minde.
    • To worship GOD with all the minde. Part. 2, Pag. 35
    • See Great.
  • Miracles.
    • Miracles proove the truth of the Scriptures: Part. 1, Pag. 48
    • Mahomets religion wanted miracles: Part. 1, Pag. 84
  • Monuments.
    • Monuments, none more anci∣ent than those in Scripture: Part. 1, Pag. 11
  • Morrow.
    • Morrow, not to boast of it: Part. 1, Pag. 118
  • Page  [unnumbered] Move, Motion.
    • GOD not subject to motion. Part. 1, Pag. 170
    • A spirit moves it selfe and other things: Part. 2, Pag. 3
  • Multiplication.
    • No multiplication in GOD: Part. 2, Pag. 48
  • Mutability.
    • How to comfort our selves in the mutability of things: Part. 1, Pag. 172
    • Mutability of the creature for∣gotten: Part. 2, Pag. 203


  • Nature.
    • Nature, the course of it altered since the creation. Part. 1, Pag. 32
    • Faith strengthened from Gods workes in Nature: Part. 2, Pag. 193
  • Need.
    • God hath no need of any crea∣ture. Part. 2, Pag. 193
  • Nothing.
    • Outward things nothing in two respects: Part. 1, Pag. 131


  • Object, Objection.
    • Single heart lookes but upon one object. Part. 2, Pag. 60
    • Objections against this princi∣ple, that there is a God: Part. 1, Pag. 30
  • Observe.
    • GOD observeth all wee doe: Part. 2, Pag. 168
    • See Sinne.
  • Omnipotent.
    • Omnipotency of GOD: Part. 2, Pag. 176
    • Omnipotency of GOD where∣in; Part. 2, Pag. 177
  • Page  [unnumbered]
  • Omnipresence.
    • A caution concerning the omni∣presence of GOD Part. 2, Pag. 14
  • Originall.
    • Originall of all creatures Part. 1, Pag. 6
    • Love, wisedome &c. originally in GOD: Part. 2, Pag. 49
  • Owne.
    • Two cases when God punnish∣eth his owne children: Part. 2, Pag. 99
  • Outward.
    • Outward man stirrs up the in∣ward: Part. 2, Pag. 40


  • Parts.
    • GOD: what parts: Part. 2, Pag. 50
  • Perish.
    • Why it is nothing to GOD, that many perish: Part. 1, Pag. 127
  • Particular.
    • Prophecies of Scripture parti∣cular: Part. 1, Pag. 50
  • Perspicuouse.
    • Prophecies of Scripture perspi∣cuouse: Part. 1, Pag. 50
  • Perfect,
    • GOD is perfect: Part. 1, Pag. 120
    • Perfection what Ibid
    • 5 differences betweene perfecti∣on in God, and in the crea∣tures: Part. 1, Pag. 121
    • To praise GOD for his perfecti∣on: Part. 1, Pag. 129
    • 4 Signes of praising Gods per∣fection. Ibid:
  • Place.
    • A spirit not held in any place: Part. 2, Pag. 4
  • Pleasure.
    • Pleasures, why men are car∣ried away with them: Part. 2, Pag. 131
  • Power.
    • Power of GOD every where: Part. 2, Pag. 149
    • Power of GOD the end of it: Part. 2, Pag. 185
    • Power of GOD, we should be∣lieve it; Part. 2, Pag. 194
    • Power of GOD doubted of: Part. 2, Pag. 197
    • Power of GOD manifested: Part. 2, Pag. 199
  • Pollution.
    • Pollution of spirit to find it out. Part. 2, Pag. 10
    • Pollution, directions to finde it out. Part. 2, Pag. 11
    • See Prayer.
  • Prayer.
    • Fervency in prayer one ground Page  [unnumbered] of it: Part. 1, Pag. 71
    • Pray against pollution of spirit. Part. 2, Pag. 14
    • Men may pray much, yet not aright. Part. 2, Pag. 42
    • Prayer, two times of it: Part. 2, Pag. 43
    • He that is rejected of GOD cannot pray: Part. 2, Pag. 93
    • Prayer heard of God now as in former time. Part. 2, Pag. 103
    • Power of God should make us pray. Part. 2, Pag. 198
  • Praise.
    • Praise of men why men are led away with it Part. 2, Pag. 131
    • See weakenesse.
  • Presence, Presently
    • Presence of God infinite: Part. 2, Pag. 148
    • How men are present: Part. 2, Pag. 155
    • Why God auengeth not pre∣sently: Part. 2, Pag. 157
    • Presence seene in 3. things: Part. 2, Pag. 160
    • How we are present with God. Ibid.
    • How wee make God present with us: Part. 2, Pag. 161
  • Prophets, Prophecies.
    • Prophecies in Scripture prove the truth of it. Part. 1, Pag. 50
    • Poets the Gentiles Prophets: Part. 1, Pag. 81
  • Providence.
    • Providence of God, the great∣nesse of it proves that there is no other God. Part. 1, Pag. 79
    • Greatnesse of God seene in his providence. Part. 2, Pag. 125
    • The ground of Gods particu∣lar providence. Part. 2, Pag. 154
  • Provoke, See Casting off.
  • Prosper.
    • Those that trust not in God may prosper: Part. 1, Pag. 115
  • Profession.
    • why men leaue their profession: Part. 2, Pag. 88
    • Fearfulnes in profession whence: Part. 2, Pag. 134
  • Promiscuously.
    • Outward things dispensed pro∣miscuously Part. 2, Pag. 28
  • Probabilities.
    • VVhen we are incouraged by probabilities we doubt of Gods power: Part. 2, Pag. 194
  • Punish, see owne.
  • Purity.
    • Purity of Scriptures prove them true: Part. 1, Pag. 56
  • Purposes.
    • Purposes of GOD brought to Page  [unnumbered] passe by wayes vnknowne to us: Part. 1, Pag. 36
    • Stronge lusts breake stronge purposes: Part. 2, Pag. 116
    • Purposes 3. helpes to strength∣en them: Part. 2, Pag. 117
    • Purposes must be renewed: Part. 2, Pag. 118


  • Quantity.
    • God simple without quantity. 2, 74.


  • Reall.
    • Miracles in Scripture reall. Part. 1, Pag. 49
  • Reason.
    • Difference betweene faith and reason: Part. 1, Pag. 46
    • Reason for that faith beleeveth: Ibid.
    • Reason raised by faith. Part. 1, Pag. 47
    • Purposes grounded on reason. Part. 2, Pag. 118
    • VVee must get strong reasons for our resolution. Part. 2, Pag. 119
  • Regard.
    • VVe should regard the Lord in three things. Part. 1, Pag. 171
  • Rejoyce, see Immensity.
  • See Almighty. Religion, see False. Repentance.
    • Repentance, how attributed to God. Part. 2, Pag. 76
    • Gods gifts and calling without Repentance. Part. 2, Pag. 84
  • Resolution.
    • Resolution, meanes to helpe it. Part. 2, Pag. 119
    • Resolution must be renewed: Part. 2, Pag. 122
    • See Desire.
  • Reject, see Pray.
  • Rest.
    • Of resting in things concerning a mans selfe. Part. 1, Pag. 151
  • Reward.
    • He that lookes for reward from men, makes himselfe his end Part. 1, Pag. 15
  • Reverence.
    • VVe should reverence God why Part. 2, Pag. 145
  • Righteous.
  • Roote.
    • The roote of all sin what: Part. 1, Pag. 66
  • Rule.
    • That which goeth by a rule may erre: Part. 1, Pag. 144
    • We should let the Spirit rule: Part. 2, Pag. 19
    • How to know when the Spirit beareth rule: Part. 2, Pag. 22
    • See confusion.


  • Scandall.
    • GOD punnisheth his owne children in case of Scandall: Part. 2, Pag. 99
  • Scriptures.
    • Scriptures proved true by faith 3. wayes: Part. 1, Pag. 48
    • Scriptures proved by them∣selues: Part. 1, Pag. 56
    • Difference betweene penmen of scripture and other writers: Part. 1, Pag. 80
    • Whence it is that men take the judgement of scripture rather then mens fancies: Part. 1, Pag. 70
    • How to understand scriptures: Part. 2, Pag. 78
  • Seek.
    • How to know we seeke to God Part. 1, Pag. 130
  • Serve, service.
    • He that neglects GODS service makes him not his end: Part. 1, Pag. 150
    • VVhy we should labour to serve GOD: Part. 1, Pag. 172
  • Secure.
    • GODS power in bringing downe those that are secure: Part. 2, Pag. 202
  • Seeing.
    • We are present with GOD by seeing of him: Part. 2, Pag. 160
    • GOD present with us by see∣ing us: Part. 2, Pag. 161
  • Short.
    • The good the creatures do us is short: Part. 1, Pag. 138
    • To GOD no time long or short: Part. 1, Pag. 160
  • Sinne.
    • The perfection of GOD to bee vncapable of sinne: Part. 1, Pag. 122
    • Sinne 3. things in it: Part. 1, Pag. 166
    • Sinne and grace to be thought on cheifly: Part. 1, Pag. 167
    • Sinne observed by GOD: Part. 2, Pag. 168
    • GOD therefore Omnipotent because he cannot sinne: Part. 2, Pag. 182
    • Page  [unnumbered]See Light.
  • Simplicity.
    • Simplicity of God what. 2, 1.
    • Simplicity of God proved by 6 reasons. Part. 2, Pag. 49
    • Simplicity, two things in it: Part. 2, Pag. 60
    • See Quantity.
  • Singlenesse.
    • Singlenesse of heart what. Part. 2, Pag. 37
    • Singlenesse to be laboured for. Part. 2, Pag. 59
  • Sicknesse.
    • Sicknesse in the body of the world. 1.33
  • Soule.
    • A God proved by the soule of man. Part. 1, Pag. 15
    • Soule, the acts of it depend not on the body: Part. 1, Pag. 18
    • God in the world as the soule in the body. Part. 1, Pag. 23
  • Spawne.
    • Spawne of sinne in the lusts of the spirit 2; 10
  • Speake.
    • Speaking to GOD makes us present with him. 2; 161
    • GOD present with us by spea∣king to us; Ibid.
    • How GOD speakes to us now; Part. 2, Pag. 162
  • Spirit:
    • GOD a spirit: Part. 2, Pag. 2
    • VVhat kinde of spirit God is; Ibid
    • 4 Properties of a spirit. Ibid
    • Gods eye especially on the spi∣rit of man. Part. 2, Pag. 4
    • How to fit our spirits for com∣munion with God: Part. 2, Pag. 6
    • Pollution of spirit, how hatefull to God, Part. 2, Pag. 7
    • Spirit broken pleaseth God. Part. 2, Pag. 8
    • Directions for cleansing the spi∣rit: Part. 2, Pag. 10
    • Gods government chiefly on mens spirits: Part. 2, Pag. 25
    • Spirit GOD guides onely: Part. 2, Pag. 28
    • Spirit, the guiding of it of great consequence: Part. 2, Pag. 29
    • GOD must be worshipped in spirit. Part. 2, Pag. 32
    • To serve GOD in spirit what: Part. 2, Pag. 33
    • How to conceive of a spirit: Part. 2, Pag. 45
    • See Adorne, Iudgement.
  • Stability.
    • Stability in that we enjoy to be begged of GOD: 2 10,
  • Page  [unnumbered]
  • Stronger.
    • The assent in the elect stronger that there is a God, than in others. Part. 1, Pag. 62
  • Substantiall.
    • Perfection in God substantiall. Part. 1, Pag. 122
  • Succession.
    • God without succession. Part. 1, Pag. 98
    • Hee that is eternall, must be without succession. Part. 1, Pag. 157
  • Suffer.
    • VVhy men rather sinne than suffer: Part. 1, Pag. 25


  • Temptations.
    • Temptations, we must outbid them. Part. 2, Pag. 120
  • Testament.
    • Testament both olde and new acknowledged by Mahomet. Part. 1, Pag. 82
    • Testimony, see Adversaries, Church.
  • Theologie.
    • Theologie what. Part. 1, Pag. 1
    • Theologie, wherein it differeth from other sciences. Part. 1, Pag. 2
    • Theologie, the parts of it. Part. 1, Pag. 3
    • Difference in points of Theo∣logie. Part. 1, Pag. 5
  • Time.
    • Time dispensed by God. Part. 1, Pag. 158
    • All time present with God. 1.159
    • Time of outward things short. Part. 1, Pag. 162
    • God the Lord of time. Part. 1, Pag. 174
    • Time as a field to be sown. Ibid.
    • Time double. Part. 2, Pag. 83
    • See Iudgement.
  • Thoughts.
    • How to be rid of ill thoughts. Part. 2, Pag. 169
  • Together.
    • God possesseth all things toge∣ther. Part. 1, Pag. 159
  • Trust.
    • To trust in God. Part. 1, Pag. 171


  • Vanity.
    • Vanity〈…〉 our owne stre•••• 1 13
    • See 〈◊〉
  • Page  [unnumbered]
  • Vessells.
    • All outward things earthen vessells. Part. 2, Pag. 105
  • Visible.
    • Miracles of Scripture visible: Part. 1, Pag. 48
  • Vnderstanding.
    • Objects of the understanding of two sorts. Part. 1, Pag. 21
  • Vnchangeable.
    • Men make excuses from this, that Gods decree is unchan∣geable. Part. 2, Pag. 95
    • Vpon what occasion the do∣ctrine of Gods unchangea∣blenesse is revealed. Part. 2, Pag. 96
    • The end, and use of the doctrine of Gods unchangeablenesse: Part. 2, Pag. 97
    • To prize things by their un∣changeablenesse. Part. 2, Pag. 106
    • Grace unchangeable. Part. 2, Pag. 107
    • See Decree.
  • Vnmixed.
    • The perfection of God unmix∣ed. Part. 1, Pag. 121
    • Voluntary, see Cause.


  • Walke.
    • To walke with God. Part. 2, Pag. 159
    • To walke with God what: Part. 2, Pag. 160
    • See Love.
  • Want.
    • How faith is strengthened in our wants. Part. 1, Pag. 103
    • Perfection of GOD without want: Part. 1, Pag. 122
    • To make use of Gods power in our wants; Part. 2, Pag. 19
  • Weaknesse.
    • Weaknesse, to regard praise of men; Part. , Pag. 133
    • See Inconstancy.
  • Weaned.
    • To use outward things with weaned hearts; Part. 2, Pag. 57
  • Weary.
    • The soule not weary in its acti∣on; Part. 1, Pag. 19
  • Wheeles.
    • Observations from the wheeles in Ezek: 1. Part. 1, Pag. 35
  • Will.
    • God wills not things because they are just, but they are just because he wills them: Part. 1, Pag. 143
    • Gods power large as his will: Part. 2, Pag. 181
    • Page  [unnumbered]Men doubt more of Gods pow∣er than his will Part. 2, Pag. 194
    • No losse by yeelding to Gods will: Part. 2, Pag. 204
  • Wisedome.
    • Wisedome carnall opposite to sincerity. 2.65
    • See Company:
  • Word.
    • Word of God unchangeable, Part. 2, Pag. 108
  • Workes.
    • Workes of God, the greatnesse of them: 1, 78:
    • Good workes unchangeable: Part. 2, Pag. 108
    • Gods greatnesse seene in his workes: Part. 2, Pag. 129
  • World:
    • World, the dissolution of it pro∣ved: Part. 1, Pag. 31
    • World, why we are sent into it, Part. 1, Pag. 168
    • World, God without it as well as in it: Part. 2, Pag. 148
    • God able to make other worlds 1.149
  • Worship, see Spirit, Christ.
  • Worth:
    • VVant of worth in us must not discourage us from comming to God. Part. 1, Pag. 125
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Part. 1. Page 50, line 2, blot out all. p: 53, l: 17, for nicurus read Nisurus. p: 56, l: 15, r: in such a manner. p: 59, l: 27, for this argument r: themselves. p: 62, l: 21, blot out ven p: 6, l. 18, for where r: when▪ p. 71, l: 28, for the r: this. p: 80, l: 10, blot out but p: 86, l: 9, for device; r: Divines. p: 87, l: 8, for Esay's r: Asa's. p: 88, l: 4, for head r: hand. p: 97, l: 28, for place r: phras p: 108, l: 5, blot out upon. p: 109, l: 9; for at r: o p: 121, l. 25, for you r: them; p: 128, l. 12, for Isay 56, 17; r. Deut. 6, 24; p. 129, l: 1 for in r: t, l: 10, for, for that r▪ such in the margent, for entitling r: exalting; p 143, l. 15 for and r, as; p. 145, l: 3, for filled r: fitted; p: 149, l. 17, for all r. ought; p. 150. l. ult. for measure r, manner: p: 164, l 16 for, dlace, rplace p: 165, l: 26, for behold r. beloved; p. 167 l. 10, blot out and no more p 173, l 30, begin Vse 5, at Seeing God, &c.

Part. 2. Page 21. line ult read, to the nature of a spirit. p 42, l , r. were no God p 44 l 11, for out of a conceit, r. without deceit; p. 50, l. 19 for some r something; p▪ 53, l. 22, for or r and; p 62, l: 29, for miscarriage r. dissembling; p. 65, l 12, for thing r. meanes; p 72, l. 12, for will not be, r. is not; p 76, l 13, for seemes r is sayd; p 80, l. 18, for eternity r tymes; p 105, l 22, r, it hath it; p, 118, l, 116, for nothing r, no other desire; p, 119, l, 6, for caseth r, causeth; p, 120, l, 8, for suspect r, expect, p, 122, l, 1, for all this while r, otherwise; p, 12, l, 29, r, of the maker; p, 123, l, 7, for handles r, did handle; p, 133, l, 3, for feares r, favours, p, 138, l, 3, for if God was great r, though God were great, p, 142, l, 2, for losse, r, enduring; p, 144, l, 15, for an ordinate r, coordinate; p, 147, l, 14 r, infinitenesse of, &c, p, 148, l, 24, for quality r, quantity; p, 149, l, 24, for and r, or; p, 151, l, 24, for governours r, go•••nment, p, 14, l, 10 for need r, reason p, 169, l, 7, for a glasse r, of glase p, 170. l, 14, r no man; p, 10, l, 22, for then, r, them, p, 181, l, 5, for as large as the obiect r, of equall largenes, p. 182, l, , for not worke, r, doth not worke. p, 186, l, 9, for proportionable for its end r, apo••td for the effect as its end; p, 195, l, 14, for man r, many, p, 18, l, 17, for his power is r, it is, p, 201, l 18 for as it r, as if it. p. 203, l. 14, for is farre better than to indure, r. will farre exceed the enduring.

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