Of the third Article. Touching the forme and nature and manner of drawing: 1. Its a question,* Whether this drawing be Justification, or Sanctification? Antinomians say its both: But withall, both is one, (say they.)
Posit. 1. Drawing is relative to running and walking, Cant. 1.4. Now this is rather in acts of Sanctification, and in running in the wayes of Gods commandements, Psal. 119.32. then in Ju∣stification, though coming goe for an act of beleeving and ap∣proaching to Christ, Joh. 6.44. and so excludes not faith.
Pos. 2. It is most unsound to affirme, that Justification and Regeneration are all one;* for this must confound all acts flow∣ing from Justification, with those that flow from Regeneration, or the infused habit of Sanctification. 1. Justification is an in∣divisible act; the person is but once for all justified, by grace. But Sanctification is a continued daily act. 2. Justification doth not grow; the sinner is either freed from the guilt of sin, and justified, or not freed; there is not a third. But in Sanctifi∣cation, wee are said to grow in grace, 2 Pet. 3.14. and advance Page 272 in sanctification: nor is it ever consummate and perfect, so long as we beare about a body of sin.
Pos. 3. To repent, to mortifie sin, is not to condemne all our works,* (as M. Town saith) righteousnesse, and judgement, and our best things in us, and then by faith to flie to grace; nor is it to distrust our owne righteousnesse, and embrace Christs in the promise. 1. Because this is faith; and the Scripture saith, wee are justified by faith. 2. We receive Christ by faith, Joh. 1.12. (3.) Wee receive and embrace the promise by faith, Heb. 11.11. and were perswaded of them. 4. Wee are to beleeve without staggering, Rom. 4.19. (5.) Wee have peace of con∣science through faith, Rom. 5.1. (6.) By faith wee have ac∣cesse into this grace, wherein wee stand, Rom. 5.2. And bold∣nesse to enter into the holy of holiest, and draw neare to our High Priest, with full assurance of faith, Heb. 10.19, 20, 21, 22. Now wee are not justified by repentance and morti•ication; wee neither receive Christ, nor embrace the promises by repentance. The Apostle requireth in repentance, sorrow, carefulnesse to es∣chew sin, clearing, indignation, feare, zeale, desire, revenge, 2 Cor. 7.10, 11. but no where doth the Scripture require this as an ingredient of repentance, that wee have boldnesse and accesse, and full assurance: nor doe Antinomians admit, that by re∣pentance wee have peace, or pardon, but this they ascribe to faith.
*A second Question is, How farre the Law can draw a sinner to Christ? Antinomians tell us of a Legall drawing and con∣version, and of an Evangelike drawing; the Legall drawing, they say, is ours; the latter theirs.
Asser. 1. The difference between the letter of the Law, and the Gospel,* is not in the manner of working; for the letter of either Law or Gospel, is alike uneffectuall and fruitlesse to draw any to Christ. Christ preached the Gospel to hard-hearted Pha∣risees, it moved them not. Moses preached the Law and the curses thereof to the stiffe-necked Jewes, and they were as little humbled. Sounds and syllables of ten hells, of twenty heavens and Gospels, without the Spirits working, are alike fruitlesse. And wee grant the Law is a sleepy Keeper of a captive sinner; hee may either steale away from his Keeper, or if hee be awed with his Keeper, hee is not kept from any spirituall, internall breach of the Law, nor moved thereby to sincere and spirituall Page 273 walking. But the difference between Law and Gospel, is not in the internall manner of working, but in two other things. 1. In the matter contained in Law and Gospel: because nature is refractory to violence,* and the Law can doe nothing but curse sinners, therefore it can draw no man to Christ. The Gospel a∣gaine containes sweet and glorious promises of giving a new heart, to the elect; of admitting to the Prince of peace, laden and broken-hearted mourners in Sion; and in conferring on them a free imputed righteousnesse; and this is in it selfe a taking-way; but without the Gospel-spirit utterly ineffectuall. 2. To the Gospel there is a Spirit added, which worketh as God doth, with an omnipotent pull; and this Spirit doth also use the Law to prepare and humble; though this be by an higher pow∣er then goeth along with the Law, as the Law.
Asser. 2. The Gospel-love of Christ freeth a captive from under the Law, as a Curser, and delivers him over to the Law,* as to a Pedagogue to lead him to Christ, and as to an Instructer to rule and lead him when hee is come to Christ. Love is the immediate and nearest lord; Law the mediate and remote lord. Love biddeth the man doe all for Christ; the Law now of it selfe, because of our sinfulnesse, is a bitter and soure thing; but now the Law is dipped in Christs Gospel-love, and is sugared and honeyed, and evangelized with Free grace, and receives a new forme from Christ, and is become sweeter then the honey and the honey-combe, to draw and perswade: and all the Law is made a new Commandement of love, and a Gospel-yoak, sweet and easie; but still the Law obligeth justified men to obedi∣ence, not onely for the matter of it, but for the supreme autho∣rity of the Lawgiver; now Christ, who came to fulfill, not to dissolve the Law, doth not remove this authority, but addeth a new bond of obligation, from the tye of Redemption in Jesus Christ, and we are freed from the curse of the Law. 2. The rigid exaction of obedience, every way perfect. 3. The see∣king of life and justification by the Law.
Asser. 3. There be two things in the Law.* 1. The autho∣rity and power to command, direct, and regulate the creature to an end, in acts of righteousnesse and holinesse. 2. A secon∣dary authority, to punish eternally the breakers of the Law, and to reward those that obey. These are two different things; suppose Adam had never sinned, the Law had been the Law; Page 274 and suppose Adam had never obeyed, the Law also should have been the Law, and in the former case, there should have been no punishment, in the latter no reward. Antinomians confound these two. Mr. Towne saith, It cannot be said, that my spirit doth that voluntarily,*which the command of the Law bindeth and forceth unto. It is one thing for a man at his owne free ly∣berty to keepe the Kings high way of the Law; and another to keepe it by pales and ditches, that he cannot without danger goe out of it. It cannot be denyed, but that the Gospel both chargeth or aweth us to beleeve in Christ, and to bring forth good fruits, worthy of Christ, except wee would bee hewen downe, and cast into the fire; and also that Grace worketh Faith, and to will, and to doe; and so voluntary obedience and obligation of a command, may as well consist, as bearing Christs yoak, and soule-rest; yea, and delight, and joy unspeakable, and glorious, may be and are in one regenerate person. Crisp and his followers are farre wide, for Christ dyed freely, out of ex∣treame love, and yet he dyed out of a command laid on him, to lay downe his life for his sheep, though no penall power was above Christs head, to punish him if he should not dye, Joh. 10.18. Nor was there need of any power to force him sub penâ, or to awe him, if hee should not obey; so doe Angels, with wings of most exact willingnesse, obey God, yet are they under the authority of a Law, and command, but yet under no compelling punishment, Psalm. 103.20.21. Psalm. 104.4. So in the Saints love hath changed the chaines, not the sub∣jection.* Love hath made the Law silken cords; and whereas corrupt will was a wicked Landlord, and lust a lawlesse ty∣rant, and the Law had a dominion over the sinner, in regard of the curse. Now the Spirit leades the will under the same com∣manding power of the Law-giver, frees the sinner from the curse, and turnes forcing and cursing power in fetters of love; so that the Spirit draws the will sweetly to obey the same Lord, the same law, onely Christ hath taken the rod out of the Lawes hand, and the rod was broken and spent on his own back. The fewd betweene the Law and the sinner is not so irreconcilable, as the Antinomians conceive, so as it cannot bee removed, ex∣cept the Law be destroyed, and the sinners free will loosed from law. It standeth in blessing, and cursing; salvation, and damnation: that are effects of the Law as observed, or vio∣lated. Page 275 Now, Christ was made a curse, and condemned to die for the sinner; all the rest of the Law remaines. It is most false that M. Towne saith, To justifie and condemne are as pro∣per and essentiall to the Law, as to command. 2. It is false that wee are freed from active obedience to the Morall Law, because Christ came under active obedience to the Morall Law; for the Law required obedience out of love. Antinomians can∣not say, that wee are freed from obedience out of love; for it is cleare, Antinomians will have us oblieged by no Law to love our brother; to abstaine from worldly lusts, that warre against the soule; but in so doing, wee must seek to be justified by the works of the Law. This consequence wee deny. To keep one Ceremony of Moses drawes a bill on us of debt to keep all the Ceremoniall Law; because now its unlawfull in any sort. But to doe the duties of the Morall Law, as by Christ wee are ena∣bled, layes no such debt on us, but testifies our thankfulnesse to Christ, as to our Husband and Redeemer.
The other considerable thing here, is the way and manner of Christs drawing.
Asser. 1. The particular exact knowledge of the Lords man∣ner of drawing of sinners,* may be unknowne to many that are drawn. 1. In the very works of nature, the growing of bones in the womb, is a mystery; farre more the way of the Spirit, Eccles. 11.5. Know yee the ballancing of the clouds? Job could not answer this. And who knowes how the Lord patched to∣gether a peece of red clay, and made it a fit shape to receive an heavenly and immortall spirit? and at what window the soule came in?* 2. How God with one key of omnipotency hath opened so many millions of doores sin•e the Creation, and hath drawne so many to him, must be a mystery. There be many sundry locks, and many various turnings and throwings of the same key, and but one key. 1. Some Christ drawes by the heart, as Lydia, Matthew: Love sweetly and softly bloweth up the doore, and the King is within doores in the floore of the house before they be aware. Others Christ trailes and draggeth by violence, rather by the haire of the head, then by the heart, as the Jayler, Act. 16. and Saul, Act. 9. who are plunged over eares in hell, and pulled above water by the haire of the head: sure thousands doe weare a crowne of glory before the throne, who were never at making of themselves away by killing them∣selves, Page 276 as the Jayler was. A third sort know they are drawne, but how, or when, or the Mathematicall point of time, they know not: some are full of the Holy Ghost from the womb, as John Baptist. Yee must not cast off all, nor must Saints say they are none of Christs, because they cannot tell you histories and wonders of themselves, and of their owne conversion: some are drawne by miracles, some without miracles; the word of God is the Road-way. Arminians have no ground to deny that wee are irresistibly converted, because wee know not the parti∣cular way how Omnipotency conspireth strongly, but sweetly, to win consent, without internall violence of our will, which so wills, as it may refuse. Joh. 9. diverse times the Jewes aske the blind man, What did hee to thee, how opened hee thine eyes? Hee gives them one sure and true Answer, One thing I know, once I was blind, now I see. All can give this testimony, early or late, I know I am drawn. Its good the soule can say, Christ is here, I find him and feele him; but whether hee came in at the doore, or the window, or digged a hole in the wall, I know not. All may know they were blind as well as others, and by nature the children of wrath; as yee know Adam hath had a building in you, (though now yee be renewed in the spirit of the mind) by the old stones and rubbish in the house, and by the stirrings of the old man: When yee see the bones of a halfe dead man, and his grave, and find some warmnesse of life and heat, yee know there hath been life and strength in the man; so though yee cannot tell when Christ was first formed in you, yet yee find the bones and some warme bloud, and some life-stirring of concupiscence in the old man, though Christ have made his grave, and hee be well neare compleatly buried, and his one foot in the grave. God hath appointed a time for the coming of the Swallow; a season when flowers shall be on the earth, and when not; an houre when the sea shall be full tyde; but there is no set day, not a determinate and set summer known to us, when the wind shall blow up doores and locks of the soule, and Christ shall come in. But yet they are not Christs who neither know how they are drawn, nor can give any proofs that they are drawne. The Apostle saith, 1 Cor. 2.12. Now wee have received not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that wee might know the things that are free∣ly given to us of God. The converted can say, I was such a man, Page 277 1 Tim. 1.13. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but I obtained mercy; or, I was all be-mercied, filled with mercy.* As Ezek. 16. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Thy time was a time of loves. As a constellation is not one sin∣gle starre, but many; so the converted soule observeth a con∣fluence, a bundle, an army of free loves, all in one cluster, meet∣ing and growing upon one stalk: As to be borne where the voyce of the Turtle is heard in the land, its free love; to heare such a Sermon, free love; that the man spake such an excellent word, free love; that I was not sleeping when it was spoken, free love; that the Holy Ghost drove that word into the soule, as a nayle fastened by the Master of the assembly, it was free mercy: so that there's a meeting of shining favours of God, in obtaining mercy; and this would be observed.
Asser. 2. There be two ordinary wayes of God, in drawing sinners: one Morall, by words; another Physicall and reall,* by strong hand. Which may be cleared thus: Fancie, led with some gilding of apparent or seeming good, as hope of food, doth allure and draw the bird to the grin; and sometime pleasure, as a glasse, and the singing of the Fowler: So is fish drawne to nibble at the angle and lines cast out, hoping to get food. Now this is like Morall drawing in men; and all this is but objective, working on the fancy. But when the foot and wing of the bird is entangled with the net, and the fish hath swallowed down the bait, and an instrument of death under it, now the Fowler draw∣eth the bird, and the Fisher the fish, a farre other way, even by reall violence. The Physician makes the sick child thirsty, then allures him to drink physick, under the notion of drink to quench his thirst: this is morall drawing of the child by wiles. But when the child hath drunk, the drink works not by wiles, or morally, but naturally, without freedome, and whether the child will or no, it purgeth head and stomack.
That there is a Morall working by the word, in the drawing of sinners to Christ, though most evident, yet must be proved against Antinomians and Enthusiasts, who (a) write, That the whole letter of the Scripture holds forth a covenant of works. And, (b)The due search and knowledge of the holy Scripture, is not a safe and sure way of searching and finding Christ. And, (c)There is a testimony of the Spirit, and voyce unto the soule, meerly immediate, without any respect unto, or concurrence with Page 278 the word. And, (d)Such a faith as is wrought by a practicall Syllogisme, or the word of God, is but an humane faith; be∣cause the conclusion followeth but from the strength of reason∣ings, or reason, not from the power of God, by which alone di∣vine things are wrought; Ephes. 1.19, 20. Col. 2.20. and that because such a faith wrought by the word, the works (of san∣ctification in the regenerate) and light of a renewed conscience, are all done by things that are created blessings and gifts; and these cannot produce that which is onely produced by an Al∣mighty power. For the word of it selfe without the Spirit, (yet the word is more then works of sanctification) is but a dead letter; but that God works faith by the word, his owne Spirit concurring, is cleare.
[unspec 1] 1. The Prophets alledge this for their warrant, Thus saith the Lord.* Ergo, You must beleeve it. And one more and greater then all the Prophets, But I say, so Christ God equall with the Father speaketh.
2. Rom. 10.17. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by [unspec 2] the word of God. Verse 14. How shall they beleeve in him of whom they have not heard? Its true, the word, the works of God, are not the principall object of faith, nor objectum quod; faith rests onely on God, and the Lord Jesus, Joh. 14.1. 1 Thes. 1.8. Your faith toward God. 1 Pet. 1.21. Deut. 1.32. Joh. 3.12. Gen. 15.6. Dan. 6.23. Rom. 4.3. Gal. 2.16. 2 Tim. 1.12. The word, promises, and Prophets and Apostles, are all creatures, and but media fidei, the meanes of saving faith: they are objectum quo, Joh. 5.46. Psal. 106.12. Exod. 4.8. Psal. 78.7. of them∣selves they are dead letters, and dead things, and cannot without the Spirit produce faith: Yea, all habits of grace, of faith, of love, in us, are like the streames of a fountaine that would dry up of themselves, if the spring did not, with a sort of eternity, furnish them new supply; so would habits of grace, being but created things, wither in us, if they were not supplied from the Fountaine Christ. And all beings created, in comparison of the first Being, are nothing; and all nations to him are lesse then nothing, and vanity, Isai. 40.17. and so are the infused habits of grace nothing. If this were the meaning of Familists and Antinomians, who say that there is in us no inherent grace, but that grace is onely in Christ, we should not contend with them. Wee teach no such thing, as that Reasonings, Syllogismes, or the Page 279Scriptures, without the Spirit can produce Faith, yet is it vaine arguing, to say raine, and dew, the Summer-Sunne, good soyle cannot bring forth roses, floures, vines, cornes; because sure, it is a worke of Omnipotencie, that produceth all these; and so its vaine to say, that because Faith is the worke of the omni∣potencie of Grace. therefore Faith commeth not by hearing, and reasoning from Scripture: the contrary whereof is evident in Christs proving of the resurrection, by consequence from Scrip∣ture, Mat. 22.31, 32. Luk. 20.37.•8. Nor can any say, Christ may make discourses from Scripture, and his reasonings, because he is the King of the Church, are valid, and may produce faith, but we cannot doe the like, nor are our reasonings, Scriptures; for Christ r•buketh the Saduces, Yee erre not knowing the Scriptures, &c. because they beleeved not the consequences of Scripture as Scri∣pture, and made not the like discourse, for the building of them∣selves in the faith.
3. The searching of the Scriptures is life eternall, the onely [unspec 3] way to find Christ. Joh. 5.39. Acts 10.43. Rom. 3.21. Esai 8.20.
4. Gen. 9.27. God shall perswade Japhet (by the Scriptures [unspec 4] preached) and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, Acts 16.14. Gods opening of the heart, and Lydia's hearing and attending to the word that Paul spoke, goe together.
5. The way of Enthusiasts, in rejecting both Law and Go∣spel, [unspec 5] and all the written word of God,*is because there is no light in them. Some immediate sense of God, and working of the holy Ghost, on the soule of the child of God, witnessing to me in particular, that I am the child of God, I deny not, and that my name expressely is not in Scripture, is as true; but this testimo∣ny excludeth not the Scripture, as if the searching thereof were [unspec 1] no safe way of finding Christ, as they blasphemously say, 1. [unspec 2] Because this Enthusiasme, excludeth the onely revealed rule,* by which we trie the Spirits, and we are forbidden to presume a∣bove that which is written, 1 Cor. 4.16. and Enthusiasts have acted murthers, and much wickednesse under this notion of in∣spirations of the Spirit. 2. Because if the matter of that which is revealed, be not according to the written Word; Now after the Scriptrue is signed by Christs owne hand, Revel. 22.18. I see not what we are to beleeve of these inspirations. What extraordinary impulsions, and propheticall instincts have been in Page 280 holy men, and such as God hath raised to reforme his Chur∣ches, can be no rule to us. 3. If there be any marke of Scrip∣turall [unspec 3] sanctification, that doth not agree to Scripture, the rule of righteousnesse, though found in a person not mentioned in Scripture, its a delusion. 4. Its all the reason in the world, [unspec 4] that a sinner be drawn to Christ. For Christ is the most ratio∣nall object that is,* he being the wisdome of God. And man is led and taken with reason. Christ is a convincing thing, and invincibly bindeth reason: so the forlorne Sonne, before he returne to his Father, argueth, Luke 15.17. My Father hath bread, he giveth it to servants, and I am a starving Son; therefore I'le returne to my Father; and the wise Merchant must discourse, Matth. 13.45, 46. Christ is a precious pearle, all that I have in the world are but common stones and clay to him; therefore I cast my account thus, to sell all, and to buy him. So Matth. 9.21. the diseased Woman hath heart-Logick within her self,* if a touch of the border of his garment may heale me, then Ile goe to Christ; and the unjust Steward, cast Syllogism•s, thus; I cannot worke, and a lodging in hea∣ven I must have, and there is but one way to come by it, to make mee a friend in heaven. Yea, a fooles paradise, a wedge of gold, is a strong reason. Prov. 7.21. The Whore for∣ced the young man with guilded words and the out-side of reason. Faith is the deepest and soundest understanding, the gold, the floure of reason. Christ can make me a King, there∣fore Ile be drawne to him. Poore Adam out-witted himselfe, turned distracted, he studied an aple, so while hee studied all his postrity out of their wits, and now wee are borne 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, mad fooles, Tit 3.3. What is the Gospel? but a masse, a Sea, a world of faire, and precious truthes, that sayes, come borne-Idiots to wisdome, and be made eternall Kings: this is good reason. For the other way of drawing, we shall speake of it here-after.
Asser. 3. In words and oratory there is no power, to make the blinde see, and the dead live. Will yee preach heaven, and Christ seven times, and let Angels preach above a dead mans grave, Yee doe just nothing. But Christs word is more then a word. Joh. 4.10. Jesus said, if thou knewest that gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, give me drinke, thou wouldest have asked of him, and hee would have given Page 281 thee living water. Psalm. 119.33. Teach mee, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I shall keepe it unto the end. Psalm▪ 9.10. Those that know thy name, will put their trust in thee. Christ said, but, Follow me, to Mathew. And I said unto thee when thou wast in thy bloud, live. Ezech. 16.6. One word live, is with child of omnipotencie; Majesty, and heaven, and glory lie in the wombe of one world, when Christ speaks as Christ, he speaks pounds and talent-weights, Luk. 24.32. The Disciples going to Emans, say one to another; did not our hearts burne within us, while he talked with us by the way,*and while he opened to us the Scriptures? There bee co•es of fire, and fire-brands in Christs words. Christ is quick of understanding, to know what word is the fittest key, to shoote the yron barre that keepes th• heart closed; he opens seal•s on the heart with authority, violence may break up sealed letters, but it may be unjustly done; but authority can open Kings seales justly. Christ not onely teacheth how to love, or modum rei, but hee teacheth Love it selfe, he draweth a lump of love out of his owne heart, and casts it in the sinners heart; the Spirit per∣swadeth God, Gal. 1.10. then hee must perswade Christ, and perswade heaven, this is more then to speake perswasive words of God and Christ, it is to cast Christ in at the eare, and in the bottome of the heart, with words. Men open things that they may be plaine to the understanding, Christ opens the fa∣culty it selfe to understand. The Sunne gives light, but cannot create eyes to see, Christ can whole the broken optick nerves. He creates both the Sunne, and tyes a knot upon the broken eye-strings, that the blind man sees bravely.
Asser. 4.* One generall is unseparable from Christs draw∣ing, that for the manner of drawing, he doth it out of meere free Love. The principle of drawing on Christs part, is great love. Ephes. 2.4. God rich in mercy, for his great love, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sinne quickned us in Christ. Tit. 3.4.*But when the b•unty, and man-love, or rather, the man-kindnesse of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us. Thankes to the birth of love, and of felt love Col. 1.12, 13. Giving thanks to the Father 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 who hath delivered, who hath snatched us with haste and violence, from the power of darkenesse, and hath translated us to the kingdome of the Sonne of his love.•. This Page 282 love hath in regard of his fervour, much haste, and loseth no time,* but comes and drawes, and pulls the sinner out of hell, before he be past recovery, and cold dead; as a Father seeing his child fall in the water, and wrestling with the proud floods, he runnes, ere he be dead, out of hand to pull him out. Luk. 15.10. The Father ranne and fell on his neck, and kissed him. The Fathers running saith, that the love of Christ hath need of haste to prevent a sinner, and that hee is eager and hot in his love; when Christ runnes to save, hee would gladly save; he drawes with good will, when he runnes and sweats to come in the nick of due time to save: So Cant. 2.8. when he com∣meth to save his Church, or comfort her in her faintings, loves pace is swift, like the running of a Roe or a young Hart. Be∣hold he commeth leaping upon the mountaines,*skipping on the hills. And it is an expression of the extreme desire that Christ hath of an union with us, and how faine hee would have the company of sinners: So wee difference between inviting or calling; yea, or leading and drawing in calling and leading; Christ leaveth more to our will, whether we will come or re∣fuse, but in drawing there is more of violence, lesse of will.
3. In drawing there is love-sicknesse, and lovely paine 〈◊〉 [unspec 1] in Christs ravishings. 1. When Christ cannot obtaine and winne the consent and good-liking of the sinner to his love, he ravisheth, and with strong hand drawes the sinner to himselfe, when invitations doe not the businesse, and he knocks, and we will not open,* then a more powerfull work must follow. Cant. 5.4. My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the doore, and my bowels were moved for him. Christ drives such as will not [unspec 2] be led. 2. And these who will not be invited, he must draw them, rather then want them: he drawes with compassion, as being overcommed with love; for his bowels are moved for Ephraim, Jer. 31. he drawes while his armes bleed. 3. And [unspec 3] does not onely knock, but he stands and knocks, Revel. 3.20. His standing, notes his importunity of mercy, how gladly hee would be in, and he useth this as an argument to moove his Spouse, out of humanity, to pitty him, and give him one nights lodging in the soule, Cant. 5.2. Open to mee, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled. Why, I stand long, I wait on in patience, forcing my love on you. For my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. Every Page 283 word is love, Open, open my sister, I am a brother, not a stran∣ger; open my love, for I have interest in thee, every word is a talent weight of free grace.
4. Not onely is drawing an expression of his love of union [unspec 4] with sinners; for he beares the sinner, he translates the sinner 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, he gives the sinner a lift to set him out of one countrey into another, into a farre choiser land, out of a land of death, into the Kingdome of his deare Sonne, Col. 1.13. And the little lambes that have no leggs of their own, Christ shall bee leggs to them. Esai 40.11. He shall gather the little lambes (and so the Hebrew) with his arme, and carry them in his bosome. I should wish no higher happinesse out of heaven, then to bee carried in the circle of Christs armes, and to lye with the lambes, in his bosome, and be warmed with the heart-love, that comes out of his breast. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is to carry on the shoulders; and Aaron is said in the same word, Exod. 28. to carry the names of the children of Israel on his breast, as a man is said to carry his child in his armes, Deut. 1.31. And Christ, Luk. 15.5. finding the lost sheep, layeth it on his shoul∣ders, rejoycing. Legges I have none (saith the sinner) and so cannot goe to the new kingdome. What then (saith Christ) I have leggs and armes both for you, to serve you. Ile beare you if yee can neither lead nor drive. A sinner is as heavie as a mountaine of yron, and cannot bee drawne or borne, but they be heavie lumps of hell that Christ cannot beare to hea∣ven. Christs love hath mighty armes, and great and strong bones. Christ now above five thousand yeares hath been carrying ty∣red lambes up to heaven, in ones and twoes, and is not yet wearied, of bringing up his many children to glory, and will not rest till there bee not one lambe of all the flock out of that great and capacious fold; and drawne they must bee, whom Christs love draweth. Christs love is not so loose in griping as to misse any he intends to put in his bosome.[unspec 5]
5. The particular way of loves drawing is lovely and sweet∣ly, and with strong allurements.*
1 Redemption is a sweet word to a captive, but Redempti∣on by Law is not so sweet, as Redemption by Love. For Re∣demption is nothing comparable to Redemption dipt and wate∣red Page 284 with free love, I ought no more to be Redeemed, then the damed Devils, Christ is not my debtor, he owes me nothing, but eternall vengeance•; neverthelesse, he out of onely strong love, Redeemed me. O this is two Redemptions.
2. Drawing by free and strong love is an easie worke, and [unspec 2] so is it easie to be drawn;* because all works of love are easie, as the act of marrying is no great paine, the Solemnities and Ceremonies of marriage are more toylsome th•n Marriage it selfe. All the right Mariages in the world are made by love; a•d th•re is no more, but I consent, I say Amen, to have Christ for my husband, and he saith Hosea 3.3. Captive woman bought for fifteene pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an halfe, thou shalt be for me, and not for another, and I will also be for thee, and ther's an end. Christs chariot runn•s on wheeles of love, and the pace is soft and sweet.
3. The way of loves working through delight is sweet, to [unspec 3] the drawn soule, when Christ hands the heart, and the love of Christs soft fingers grasps about the soule, how alluring and cap∣tivating is Christ;* when he comes in to the heart, his fingers drop pure myrrhe. What honey, or what heaven drops are these? Christs honey-combe was gathered, and made out of that floure that incomparable rose, never planted with hands, out of Christ himselfe, from the bottome of eternity, from the head and root of infinite ages, which have neither head nor bottome, and out of Christ freely loving, freely chusing the creature to himself. Cant. 1.3. Because of the savour of thy good ointments, thy name is as ointment powred forth, therefore doe the Virgins love thee. Cant. 5.11. Christs head is of most fine gold. What thinke ye of the golden and choise eminencies that are in Christ? of a cloth∣ing of increated glory that goes about Christ? Cant. 2.3. I sate downe under his shaddow, w•th great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. Christs love casteth so sweet a smell, that his love leades not, but drawes, yet loves cords are softer then oyle. The honey of Christs love was gathered out of the floures that grow in that highest mountaine of roses, a larger field of floures then ten millions of earths, and out of the faire blossomes, and sweet heavenly sop of the tree of life; the glo∣rie of Lebanon, and excellencie of Sharon, is nothing to this. Bring all your senses, see, heare, feele, tast, and smell, what tran∣scendent sweetnesse of heaven is in this love; a Sea of love is Page 285 nothing, it hath a bottome; a heaven of love is nothing, it hath a brim; but infinite love hath no bounds.
4. Love drawes strongly and irresistibly: Christ never woo'd a soule with his free love, but he wins the love and heart. Death and the grave and hell are conquering things for strength, and have subdued huge multitudes, since the Creation; but the love of Christ is stronger and more constraining, Cant. 8.6, 7. The coals of love burn more strongly then any other fire. The flames and coals of God are mighty hot; they burnt up hell and death to ashes: how much more will they take a sinner? Christ cast out coals of love with that word, Matthew, follow me: and there is no resisting, hee arose and followed him. Christs love drawes till hee bleed, and hee loves till hee die of love. His love must prevaile, for Omnipotency was in it. Had there been ten thousand worlds more of sinners, Christ hath love for them all. And had the elect world had ten thousand millions more of re∣bellions then they have, all these sins should have been infinitely below the conquering power of Christs love. Never sinner went to hell Victor, to •ay, Love could not pardon me; I was in sinne above Christs omnipotency of love. Never sinner went to heaven, but Christs love had the better of him. Great hea∣ven is but an house full of millions of vanquished captives, that Christs love followed, and over-took, and subdued. O loves prisoners, praise, praise the Prince of love. Sense of this love so swells and so ascends, that the Spouse, Cant. 5.10. is not Master of words: every word is like a mountaine, if you come to his Person, Nature, Offices; none speak like Christ, none breathe like him; Mirrhe, Aloes, and Cinamon, all the perfumes,* all the trees of frankincense, all the powders of the Merchants, that Assyria, or Egypt, or what Countreys else ever had, are but short and poore shadowes to him: These are but hungry gene∣ralls. 2. For beauty hee hath no match amongst men;* because hee is fairer then all the sonnes of men. Christ hath a most good∣ly face. But of this hereafter. 3. For the sweetnesse and ex∣cellency of nature, hee's God equall with the Father: when yee say God; yee say all things. God is a taking and a drawing excellency: The image of the invisible God; hee that is, hee that was, and hee which is to come, the Alpha and Omega, the be•inning and the end, the first and the last, of time, of creati∣on, of what possible excellency wee can conceive; for our con∣ception Page 286 can reach no higher then time, and created things. 4. For greatnesse of Majesty. 5. For lowlinesse of tender love. 6. For freeness• of grace. 7. For glory diffused through all his Attributes. 8. For soveraignty and absolutenesse of power, &c. who is like to our Lord Jesus?* 9. For sweetnesse and loveli∣nesse of relations; the onely begotten Son of God, no relation like this: The Creator of the ends of the earth, the Saviour, the good Shepherd, the Redeemer, the great Bishop of our soules, the Angel of the Covenant, the head of the body the Church, and of Principalities and Powers, the King of Ages, the Prince of peace, of the Kings of the earth; the living Ark of heaven, the Song of Angels and glorified Saints, but they cannot out∣sing him; the Joy and Glory of that land, the Flower and Crown of the Fathers de•ights, the sweet Rose of that Garden of solace and joy. Compare other things with Christ, and they beare no weight: cast into the ballance with him Angels, and hee is Wisdome, they but wise Men; they are liars, and lighter then vanity, and Christ is the Amen, the faithfull Witnesse, the expresse Image of the Fathers substantiall glory: Cast into the scales kings, all kings, and all their glory, hee is the King of all these kings. Cast in millions of talents weight of glory, and gaine, they are but bits of paper, and chaffe, weight they have none to him. Cast in two worlds, that is nothing; adde to the weight millions of heavens of heavens, the ballance cannot downe, the scales are unequall; Christ is a huge over-weight.
To all these drawing powers in Christ, in the generall, be∣cause Christ is the Master and King of the Land, where his owne created kings dwell, wee may adde a strong drawing ar∣gument, from the condition of the glorified in heaven; because Christ useth this as a strong argum•nt to those that come to him,*Joh. 6.37. Isai. 55.3. Joh. 5.40. Mat. 11.26. Revel. 21.6. & 22.17. wee may use it after him. The Earth is but a Potters house, that is full of earth•n-pots and Venice-glasses, and with∣all taken by a Conqueror, who can make no other use of these vessels, but break them all to sheards; it cannot be a drawing and alluring thing. Death hath conquered the earth, and these many hundred Ages hath been breaking of the clay-pots, both men and other corruptible things, into broken chips and pieces of dust. But Christ draweth, by offering a more enduring City: That Christ can give, and promiseth heaven to his followers, is Page 287 a strong argument, and drawes powerfully. 1. Heaven is not one single Palace, but its a City; a Metropolis, a Mother-City, [unspec ·1] the first City of Gods Creation, for dignity and glory; Revel. 21. chap. 22. But a City is too little; therefore its more, its a Kingdome, Luk. 12.32. & 22.23. Yea but a Kingdome may be too little; therefore its a World, Luk. 20.35. It is a World, and for eminency, a World to come; Heb. 6.5. the World of Ages. 2. The lowest stones of it are not earth, as [unspec 2] our Cities here, but twelve manner of precious stones are the foundation of it. 3. In what City in the earth doe men walke [unspec 3] upon Gold? or dwell within walls of Gold? But under the feet of the inhabitants there is Gold; all the streets and fields of that Kingdome and World are, Revel. 21.21. Pure gold, as it were transparent glasse. 4. Then all the inhabitants are kings, [unspec 4] Revel. 22.5. And they shall reigne for ever and ever. Whole heaven intirely and fully enjoyed by one glorified Saint, as if there were not one but this one person alone; all and every one hath the whole Kingdome at his will, and is filled with God, as if there were no fellowes there to share with him. 5. O so broad and large as that Land is, being the heaven of [unspec 5] heavens! As the greater circle must containe the lesse, so all the dwellings here are but caves under the earth, and hol•s of poor clay, in the bosome of this. But there are many dwelling places, Joh. 14. and there lodges so many thousand Kings. O what faire fields, mountaines of roses and spices, gardens of length and breadth above millions of myles are nothing; and among these, trees of Paradise; every bird in every bush sings, Wor∣thy is the Lamb; every bottle is filled with the new wine of heaven: O the wines, the lillies, the roses, the precious trees that grow in Immanuels Land! And they sweat out balme of prais•s in those mountaines. 6. If men knew what a draw∣ing [unspec 6] and alluring thing is the tree of life, that is in the midst of the street of the new Land,* the tree that beareth at once twelve ••nner of fruits, and yeeldeth her fruit every moneth; an hun∣dred harvests in one yeare are nothing here; and all are but shadowes, there is nothing so low as gold, as twelve manner of precious stones, nothing so base in this high and glorious King∣dome as gardens, trees, and the like: Comparisons are created shadowes, that come not up to expresse the glory of the thing. And for Christ himselfe, signified under this expression, hee is Page 288 the most, yea the onely drawing glory in heaven and earth. 1. Hee is the High King of all the made and crowned kings in [unspec 1] the Land. 2. The onely heaven and summe, yea the all of all [unspec 2] the shadowed expressions of the Kingdome, whatever is spoken of that glory comes home to this, to magnifie Christ, to make him as God equall with the Father and Spirit, all one; and all the onely heaven of all heaven, and all in all, to the Saints. Then created delights there, as divided from him, must be nothing in nothing, as hee is all in all. 3. Nothing can take the eyes and [unspec 3] hearts of the glorified, being now made so capacious and wide vessels to containe glory, as hee can doe. What can terminate, bound, and lill a glorified soule, but Christ enjoyed? Abraham, Moses, Elias, the Prophets, the Apostles, all the glorified Mar∣tyrs and Witnesses of Jesus Christ, especially now being clothed with majesty and glory with Christ, must be more lovely ob∣jects then when they were on earth, and if Christ were not there, would appeare more then they doe; but the Saints have neither leasure nor heart to feed themselves with beholding of creatures, but sure all the eyes in heaven, which are a faire and numerous company, are upon, onely, onely Jesus Christ: The father hath no leasure to look over his shoulder to the son, nor the husband to the wife, in that City; Christ takes all eyes off created things, there; its enough for Angels and Men to stu∣dy Christ for all eternity: it shall be their onely labour to read Christ, to smell Christ, to heare and see and taste Christ: All the eyes of that numerous hoast of Angels and Men shall be on him; and hee is worthy and above the admiration, the thoughts [unspec 4] and apprehensions of all that heavenly Army. 4. Then Christ shall appeare a farre other Christ in heaven then we doe appre∣hend him now on earth; not that hee is not the same, but be∣cause neither we have eyes to see him in the Kingdome of grace as he is, (narrow vessels cannot receive Christ diffused in glo∣ry, as hee now is) nor doth Christ make out himselfe in that latitude and greatnesse to us now, as hee is to be seen and en∣joyed in the heavens. 1 Joh. 3.2. We shall then see him as hee is. What, doe wee not now see him as hee is? No; wee see him as hee is in report, and shadowed out to us in the Gospel, the Gospel is the Portraiture of the King, which h•e sent to ano∣ther Land to be seen by his Bride, but the Bride never seeth him as hee is, in his best Sabbath-Robe-Royall of immediate Page 289 glory, till shee be married unto him: So Kings and Queens on earth wooe one another. And, 5. In heaven Christ is (to [unspec 5] speak so) in the element, prime fountaine, and seat of God as God, where hee sheweth himselfe to be immediately seen and enjoyed; and its as it were by the second hand, by Messengers, words, mediation, that wee enjoy Christ here; hee sendeth to us, rather then cometh in person. An immediate touch of th• apples of the tree of life while they yet grow on the tree of life, is more then derived and borrowed communion. To see Christ himselfe, the red and white in his owne face, to heare himselfe speak, to see him as hee is, and in his robes of Majesty now at the right hand of God, is, in thousand thousand degrees, more then all the pictured (if I may so speak) and shadowed fruiti∣on we have here. The Gospel is but the Bridegrome's Mirror and Looking-glasse, and our created Prospect; but O his owne immediate perfume, his mirrhe, the oyntments and the smell that glory casteth in heaven, who can expresse? 6. We ne∣ver [unspec 6] see all the in-side of Christ, and the mysteries of that glori∣ous Arke opened, till the light of glory discover him: Thou∣sands of excellencies of Christ shall then be revealed, that wee see not now. 7. O what delights hee casteth forth from himselfe! The river of life is more then a sea of milk, wine and [unspec 7] honey. To suck the brests of the consolations of Christ, and eat of the clusters that grow on that noble Vine Jesus Christ, and take them off the tree with your own hand, is a desireable and excellent thing. The more excellent the soyle is, the wines, the apples, the pomegranates, the roses, the lillies must be the more delicious; and the nearer the sun, the better; the more of summer, the more of day, the more excellent the fruits of the Land are: Beleeve it, the wines of that Paradise grow in a brave Land. O but Christ is a blessed soyle; roses and lillies, apples of love that are eternally summer-greene are sweet, that grow out of him: the honey of that Land, the honey of heaven, is more then honey; the honey of love, pure and unmixt, must be incomparable. 8. The Mediators hand wipes the foule [unspec 8] face, and the teares off all the weeping strangers that come thi∣ther; hee layeth the head of a friend under his chin, between his brests. Joh. 14.3. Revel. 21.4. Death is cryed down, paine, sicknesse, crying, sadnesse, sorrow, are all acted and voted out of the House, and out from all the inhabitants of the Land, for Page 290 ever and ever. 9. It must be a delightsome City that hath [unspec 9] ever summer, without winter; ever day, without night; ever day-light, without sun or moon or candle-light; because the Lord God giveth them light, Revel. 22.5. No danger of sun∣burning or summer-scorching, or winter-blasting: all morning without twy-light, all noon-day without one cloud for eterni∣ty, is joyfull: light, and day, and summer, flowing immediat∣ly [unspec 10] from the Lamb, is admirable. 10. (1) Joy, (2) full joy, (3) fulnesse of joy, (4) pleasures, (5) pleasures that last for e∣vermore, (6) and that at Gods right hand, yea (7) in his face, [unspec 11] is above our thoughts, Psal. 16.10, 11. 11. O the musick of the Sanctuary, the sinlesse and well-tuned Psalmes, the songs of the high Temple, without a Temple or Ordinances as we have here, and these exalting him that sits on the Throne for ever∣more. All which, with many other considerations, are strong drawing invitations to come to Christ.
Asser. 5. Christ draweth with three sorts of Generall Argu∣ments,* in this Morall way: The first is taken from pleasure; this is the beauty that is in God, 1. That is in a communion with God. 2. The delectation we have in God as love-worthy to the understanding. For the drawing beauty of God, a word: 1. Of Gods beauty. 2. Of Gods beauty in Christ. 3. Of the relative beauty of God in Christ to Men and Angels. 1. Beauty, as we take it, is the lovelinesse of face and person a∣rising from 1. the naturall well contempered colour,* 2. the due proportion of stature and members of body, 3. the inte∣grity of parts; as that there is nothing wanting for bodily per∣fection. So beauty formally is not in God, who hath not a bo∣dy: Nor speake we of Christs bodily beauty, as Man. Then beauty, by analogy, and eminently, must be in God: So as there be foure things in the creature to make up beauty to the bodily eyes,* and there be, by proportion, those same foure things in God; for if beauty be good, and a desirable perfection in the creature, it must bee in an infinite and eminent way in God; as the perfection of the effect, is in the cause. If the roses, lil∣lies, medowes be faire, hee must be fairer who created them; but in another kind. If the heavens, starres, and sunne be beau∣tifull, the lovely Lord who made them must have their beauty in an high measure. Zech. 9.17. How great is the Lords good∣nesse, how great is his beauty? What then is the beauty of God? Page 291 I conceive it to be, The amenity and lovelinesse of his nature and all infinite perfections,*as this pleasantnesse offers it selfe to his owne understanding, and the understanding of men and An∣gels, and as bodily beauty satisfies the eies, and so acts on the heart to win love to beauty; so the truth of the Lords nature, and all his Attributes offered to the understanding and mind, and drawing from them admiration or wondering, and love is the beauty of God; David maketh this his one thing, Psal. 27.4. That (saith he) I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the daies of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and inquire in his Temple. See then as white and red excellently contempered maketh pleasure and delectation to the eies, and through these windowes to the mind and heart, so there ariseth from the na∣ture of God and his Attributes a sweet intelligibility, as David desires no other life but to stand beside God, and behold with his mind and faiths eyes, God in his Nature and Attributes, as he reveales himself to the creature. The Queen of Sheba came a far journey to see Salomon, because of his perfection; some common people desire to see the King; the Lord is a fair and pleasant object to the understanding.
2. There is in beautie a due proportion of members. 1. quantity. 2. situation. 3. stature. Let a person have a most pleasant co∣lour, yet if the eares and nose be as little as an Ant, or as big as an ordinary mans leg, he is not beautifull. 2. If members be not right seated, if the one eye be two inches lower in the face then the other, it mars the beautie; or if the head be in the breast, it is a monster. Or 3. if the stature be not due, as if the person be the stature of ten men, and too big; or the stature of an in∣fant, or a Dove; had he all other things for colour and proporti∣on, his beauty is no beauty, but an error of nature, he is not as he should be, now the Lord is beautifull because infinitnesse, and sweetnesse of order is so spread over his nature and Attributes, nothing can be added to him, nothing taken from him, and hee is not all mercy only, but infinitely just; were God infinitely true yet not meek and gracious, he should not be beautifull; had he all perfections, but weak, mortall, not omnipotent, not eter∣nall, his beauty should be mar•ed; then one attribute does not over-top, out-border or limit another; were he infinite in power, but finite in mercy, the lustre and amenity of God were defaced.
Page 2923. There is integrity of parts in beauty. Were a person fairer then Absolom, and wanted a nose or an arme, the beau∣ty should be lame. The Lord is compleat and absolutely perfect in his blessed nature, and attributes.
4. All these required in beauty, must be naturall, and truely and really there. Borrowed colours, and painting, and fair-ding of the face, as Jezabel did, are not beauty: the Lord in all his perfections is truely that which he seemes to bee. Now as there is in Roses, gardens, creatures that are faire, something pl••sant, that ravisheth eye and heart; so there are in God so ma∣ny faire and pleasant truths to take the minde, and God is so capatious, and so comprehensive a truth, and so lovely, such a bottomlesse Sea of wonders, and to the understanding that be∣holds Gods beauty, there is an amenity, goodlinesse, a splendor, an irradiation of brightnesse, a lovelinesse, and drawing sweet∣nesse of excellencie, diffused through the Lords nature. Hence heaven is a seeing of God face to face, Revel. 22.4. Matth. 18.10. Now God hath not a face; but the face of a man is the most heavenly visible part in man, there is majestie and gravi∣tie in it, much of the art and goodlinesse of the creature is in his face. To see Gods face, is to behold Gods blessed essence, so farre as the creature can see God. Now as we may be said to see the Sunnes face, when we see the Sunne, as we are able to be∣hold it; but there is beauty, and such vehemency of visibility in it, as it exceedeth our faculty of seeing; so do we see Gods face, when we neerely behold him, not by heare-say, but immediate∣ly. Let us imagine that millions of Sunnes in the firmament, were all massed and framed in one Sunne, and that the sense of seeing that is in all men, that ever hath been, or may be, yet this Sun should far excell this faculty of seeing: so suppose that the Lord should create an understanding facultie of man or An∣gels, millions of degrees more vigorous and apprehensive, then if all the men and Angels that are, or possibly may be created, were contemperated in one, yet could not this understanding so see Gods transcendent and superexcellent beauty, but there should remaine unseene treasures of lovelinesse never seene, yea, it in∣volves an eternall contradiction, that the creature can see to the bottome of the Creator.
*All this bounty of God is holden forth to us in Christ. Psal. 45.10. He is fairer then the Sonnes of men.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the word Page 293 is of a double forme, to note a double excellencie. Cant. 1.16. Behold thou art faire my beloved, yea pleasant,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifi∣eth lovely, amiable, acceptable. The Seventy render it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Psal. 146. It is pleasant, and sweet. 2 Sam. 1.26. Thou wast very pleasant to me. Cant. 5.10. He is white and ruddie Vers. 15. His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the Ce∣dars. Rev. 1.16. His countenance as when the Sunne shineth in his 〈◊〉 strength. All the beauty of God is put forth in Christ. Esai 33.17. Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty. Hebr. 1.3. Christ is the brightnesse of his Fathers glorie. The light of the Sunne in the ayre is the accidentall reflection of the Suns beames; Christ is the substantiall reflection of the Fathers light and glory; for he is God equall with the Father, and the same God.
3. This beauty to Men and Angels is an high beauty, Angels have eyes within and without, Revel. 4.6. to behold the beautie of the Lord, and it takes up their eyes alwayes to behold his face; and there is no beautie of truth they desire more to behold,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 1 Pet. 1.12. as to stoope downe, and to looke into a darke and veiled thing, with the bowing of the head, and bending of the necke; the Seventy use for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Cant. 2.9. Where Christ is said to stand be∣hind the wall, and looke out at the casements, with great at∣tention of minde; It is to looke downe over a window, ben∣ding the head, Exod. 25.18, 19, 20. Joh. 20.5. They stooped downe and saw the linnen clothes. Luk. 24.12. Angels are not curious, but they must see exceeding great beauty, and wonder much at the excellency of Christ, when they cannot get their eyes pulled off Jesus Christ.
2. There is a beauty of Christ in a communion with God, which is a ravishing thing. When the soule comes to Christ,* he seeth a beauty of holynesse, and Christ is taken with this beauty. Psalm. 110.3. So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty. Psalm. 45.11. Thou hast ravished my heart, (saith Christ to his Spouse) Cant. 4.9. my sister, my Spouse. —Vers. 10. How faire is thy love, my Sister, my Spouse; how much better is thy love then wine, and the smell of thine oyntments then all spices. Vers. 11. Thy lips, O my Spouse, drop as the honey-combe; honey and milke are under thy tongue, and the smell of thy garments is as the smell of Lebanon. Sion is the Page 294 perfection of beauty, Psal. 50.2. All this beauty and sweetnesse commeth from Christ, there is no such thing in the people of God, as they are sinnefull men, considered in their naturall con∣dition; and therefore it must be fountaine-beauty in him, as in the cause, and originall of beauty.
2. There is a del•ct•tlon in a communion with God. This is one generall,*Prov. 3.17. All Wisdomes waies are waies of pleasure; to the spirituall soule, every step to heaven is a pa∣radice.
1. What sweetnesse is in the sense of the love of Christ to delight all, the spirituall senses? 1. The smell of Christs Spick∣nurd, his Myrrhe, Aloes, and Cassia, his Yvorie chambers sm•ll of heaven; the oyntment of his garments bring God to the Sense. Psalm. 45.8. All thy garments smell of myrrhe, a∣loes, and cassia: out of the yvorie palaces, there have they made th•e glad. Cant. 1.13. A bundle of myrrhe is my beloved to me, he shall lye all night between my breasts.
2.To the sight Christ is a delightfull thing; To behold God,* in Christ, is a changing sight. 2 Cor. 3.18. But wee all with open face-beholding, as in a glasse, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord, Ephes. 1.17. Math. 16.17. 1 Joh. 2.37. To see the King in his beautie, is a thing full of ravi∣shing delight. 3. It taketh the third spirituall sense of hearing; the Spouse,*Cant. 2.8. is so taken with the sweetnesse of Christs tongue, that for joy she can but speake broken and un∣perfect words. The voyce of my beloved; It is not a perfect speech, but for joy she can speake no more. Its the voice of joy and gladnesse, that with the very sound can heale broken bones, Psal. 51.8. and which David desired to heare. O if you heard Christ speake, Cant. 5.13. His lips are like Lilies, dropping sweet smelling Myrrhe; Heavens musick, the honey of the new Land is in his tongue, the Church cheereth her soule with t•is. Cant. 2.10. My beloved spake, and said unto mee, Rise up, my love, my faire one, and come away. Christs piping in the joyfull Gospel-tiding, Vers. 5. should make us dance. Matth. 11.17. Christ harping and singing sinners, with joyfull promises out of he•l to heaven, must have a drawing sweetnesse to move stones, if the sinner have eares to heare; and what heat and warmnesse of love must it bring, when Christ is heard Page 295 say, Esai 54.11. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold I will lay thy stones with faire colours, and lay thy foundations with Saphirs? He doubles his words, hee desires Jerusalems eares may owne this cry, Esai 40.1. Com∣fort yee, comfort yee my people, saith the Lord, speake to the heart of Jerusalem.
4. Christ is sweet to the spirituall taste. Cant. 2.3. I sate downe under his shaddow with great delight,*and his fruit was sweet in my mouth. Psal. 34.8. O taste and see that the Lord is good. Christ is a curious banquet, the Wine, the Milk, the Honey, and the fatted calfe killed, are all but shaddowes to Christs excellent Gospel-dainties.
5. The sense of touching, which is the most spirituall, is the heavenly feelings, sense, and experience of Gods consolations, and this sense is fed with the kisses of Christs mouth, Cant. 1.3. With the hid Manna, the White stone, the new Name.
3. Joy is a drawing delight. Psal. 16.11. In his face there is fulnesse of joy. Look how farre Gods face casts downe from heaven, sparkles of joy on us, as farre goes our joy; and wee are said in beleeving, 1 Pet. 1.8. to rejoyce with joy unspeak∣able, and glorious.
4. There is particularly delectation, Psal. 36.8. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatnesse of thy house, and thou shalt make them drinke of the rivers of thy pleasures. Should not this draw men to Christ? And there must be abundance of pleasures where there is a river of pleasures; as Psalm. 46.4. There is a river, the streames whereof make glad the City of God. What a Sea of Seas must God himselfe bee? His full and bright face, his white throne, his harpers and heavenly troopes that surround the throne, the Lambe the heaven of hea∣vens it selfe, the tree of life eternally greene, eternally adorned both at once with soule-delighting blossomes, and loaden with twelve manner of fruit every month. Peace of conscience from the sense of reconciliation, the first fruits of Emmanuels land, that lyes beyond Time and Death; must all be above ex∣pression.*
There is a second drawing motive in Christ, and this is from gaine; which is eminently in Christ.
1. The drawne soule hath bread by the covenant of grace, his yearely rent is written in the New Testament, Christ is his Page 296 rentall booke and heritage. Esai 33.16. He shall dwell on high, his place of defence shall be the munition of Rocks; for his lodging, he shall not lye in the fields. Bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure; or faithfull: bread and drinke are unfaithfull, uncertaine, and winged to naturall men. 1 Tim. 6.17. Riches hath an, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, an uncertainty, like Ghosts or Spirits that yee see,* but they evanish out of your sight, and dis∣appeare; or like cloudes, or fire-lightnings in the ayre, that come and goe suddenly; but bread is faithfull and sure to the soule drawn to Christ; when the covenanted people are so drawn, that they receive a new heart; then God, saith Ezech. 36.29. I will also save you from all your uncleannesse. What then? And I will call for the corne and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. Vers. 34. And the land shall be tilled. Does the New Testament provide for the plowing of your land?* Yea, it doth? Yea, know Wisdoms attendants and allacays. Pr•. 3.16. On her right hand, is length of dayes, and on her left hand, riches and honour. Eternity hath the honour, and the right hand. Riches is the left hand blessing of wisdome.
2. It should draw us in the owne kind to Christ, in regard, Christ is more then gain. Pro. 3.14. Wisdomes merchandise is bet∣ter then silver, and her gaine then fine gold. Vers. 15. Shee is more precious then Rubies. (2) Job 28.1. Wisdome cannot bee gotten for gold. (3) Is there not some worth in Gold? Vers. 16. Wisdome cannot be valued with the gold of Ophyre, with the precious Onix, with the Saphire. Vers. 17. The Gold and the Christall cannot equall it. (4) May, there not be bidding and buying, and words of a market here? Nay, the dispro∣portion between Christ and Gold is so great, that a rationall Merchant can never speake of such a bargaine. Vers. 18. No mention shall bee made, of Corall, or of Pearles, for the price of Wisdome is above Rubies. Say that heaven and earth, and all within the bosome and circumference of heaven, and millions of more worlds were turned into Gold, Pearle, Saphires, Ru∣bies, and what else yee can imagine; yee undervalue Christ, if yee speake of buying of him.
3. Being drawne to Christ maketh all yours; when yee are hungry, all the bread of the earth is your Fathers: When yee are in a Ship, yeare in Christs Fathers waters; when yee tra∣vell in Summer, ye see your Redeemers fields, your SavioursPage 297 woods, trees, floures, cornes, cattels, birds; Yea, and all things are yours, 1 Cor. 3.21. Not in possession, but in a choiser free-holding, in free heritage, Psal. 37.11. Yee have the broad, rent, the faire In-come of all things. Your land is named, All things. Revel. 21.7. Hee that overcometh shall inherit all things.
4. All you have, a morsell of greene herbes, a bed of straw, want, hunger, wealth, are guilded and watered with Christ. [unspec 4]
The third drawing thing in Christ, is Honour. The Church is a Princesse daughter, Cant. 7.1. A Kings daughter, Psal. [unspec 3] 45.13. A Queene in gold of Ophire. Psal. 45.9.*Kings and Priests unto God. Revel. 1.5. Not young Kings onely, but Crowned Kings. And they had on their heads crownes of gold, Revel. 4.4. Every Saint rules the Nations with a rod of iron. Every beleever is a Catholicke King, and swaies the Scepter o∣ver all the Kingdomes of the world. (1.) In regard that his head Christ guides all Kings, Courts, and Kingdomes; all the [unspec 1] world, and the weight of States, Empires, not indirectly, and onely in ordine ad Spiritualia; but directly, and the weight of the Church tryumphing, and the Church fighting, are upon the shoulders of our brother and Saviour. (2.) In that by faith he breaks and overcomes the world. (3.) And by prayer, [unspec 2] which is more then the key of Europa, Africk, and Asia, he [unspec 3] can bring in the nations to Christ, and shut and open heaven.
2. Consider what God makes them. To him that laies hold [unspec 2] on my Covenant saith the Lord, Esai 56.5. I will give within my house, and my walles, a name. But what is a name? A name is but name? A name better then the name of sonnes and daugh∣ters, even an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. An e∣verlasting name (I confesse) is more then a name. Esai 43.4. Since thou wast precious in my sight, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 thou hast beene glorious, or honourable. 1 Chron. 4.9. And Jabez was more honourable then his brethren; the same word, and way, Vers. 10. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, oh that thou wouldest blesse me indeed, and enlarge my coast. It was said of Reuben, Gen. 49.4. Reuben thou shalt not excell; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 nor be an overplus in praise, its to remaine or abound either in quantity or quality; for his incest deprived him of his excel∣lencie, Page 298Prov. 12.•6. The righteous is more abundant (the same word) more honourable, glorious, or excellent then his neigh∣bour.
[unspec 3] 3. The Lord who knowes the weight of things, Angels and Men;* esteemes highly of them. Cant. 5.2. My Sister, my Love, my Dove. The Spouse must in Christs heart, have an high respect, when he saith, Cant. 4.1. Behold thou art faire, my love; and that cannot content him, he addeth. Behold, thou art faire, Cant. 6.9. my dove, my undefiled is but one, shee is the onely one of her mother, shee is the choise one of her that bare her. The Saints in Christs bookes are jewels, Mal. 3.17. His on•ly choise, the floure of the earth. All the world is Christs refuse, and King are but morter to him; the Saints are Christs ass•ssors, and the Kings Peeres to judge the world with him, Lords of the higher House, Christ devides the throne with them, Luk. 22.30. 1 Cor. 6.2. Revel. .21. The Lord so farre honoureth them, as to put them on all his secrets, Psalm. 25.4. The secrets of the Lord are with them that feare him, Joh 14.21. I will manifest my selfe unto him they are of his Ca∣binet counsell, Cant. 2.4. The King brought me into his house of Wine; his secrets of love, and free grace are there.
[unspec 4] 4. Christ so honoreth them, that he professeth, hee desires a a communion with them. Cant. 4.8. Com• with me from Le∣banon, my Spouse. Joh. 14.23. The Father and I will come un-him, and make our abode with him. Cant. 2.16. He seedeth a∣mong the Lilies, till the day breake; the Lord familiarly converseth with them.*
Vse 1. All them who are taken with faire things, and are so soft, as pleasures they must have, and will not be drawne to Christ, the pleasantest and fairest one that ever heaven had, are much prejudged; ye warme your selves, O children of men, at the outside of a painted fire. Your pleasure (and wee may beleeve Salomon) are floures worme-eaten, and as garments torne and threed bare. Salomons honey, and Sampsons Dalilah, are sweet drinks that swels them; when these work on their stomacke, they are glad to vomit them out, and are pained with sickenesse,* at the remembance of them; there is no drawing beauty to Christ, behold him in all his excellencies. Cant. 5.10. My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among tenne thou∣sand.Page 299 Vers. 11. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushie, and black as a raven. Vers. 12. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of water, washed with milke, and fitly set. Vers. 13. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet floures; his lips like Lillies, dropping sweet smelling myrrhe. Vers. 14. His hands are as gold rings set with Berill; his bel∣ly is as bright yvorie, over-laid with Saphires. Vers. 15. His legges are as pillars of Marble, set upon sockets of fine gold, his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the Cedars. Vers. 16. His mouth is most sweet;* or in the abstract 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉sweet∣nesses, and hee is all desires, all loves, and all of him, or every peece of him is love; and when John sees him, Revel. 1. O what a sight, Vers. 13. Hee was clothed with a gar∣ment downe to the feet, and girt about the paps, with a gol∣den girdle. Uers. 14. His head and his haire were white like wooll, as white as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire. Vers. 15. And his feet like unto fine brasse, as if they burned into a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters. Vers. 16. And hee had in his right hand seven starres. Hee hath the Churches, and all the elect in his right hand, and ou• of his mouth went a sharpe two edged sword, and his counte∣nance was as the Sunne shineth in his strength. When John saw him thus, he was so over-gloried with the beauty and brightnesse of his Majestie, that whereas he was wont to leane on his bosome in the daies of his flesh, now he is not able to stand, and endure one glance of his highest glory; but (saith he) Ver. 17. And when I saw him, I fell down at his feet as dead. And there was much lovely and tender affection lapped up in this glory, when poore John fell a swouning at his feet; Christ for all his glory, holds his head in his swoune. And he laid his right hand on my head, saying unto me, feare not, I am the first, and the last. I am good for swouning and dying sinners. Why, I am he that liveth, and was dead: And behold, I live for evermore. Would sinners but draw neere, and come and see this King Salomon in his chariot of love, behold his beau∣tie, the uncreated white and red in his counten•nce, hee would draw soules to him; there is omnipotencie of love in his coun∣tenance, all that is said of him here, are but created shadowes; a•, words are short to expresse his nature, person, office, lovely∣nesse, Page 300 desirablenesse. What a broad and beautifull face must hee have, who with one smile, and one turning of his countenance, lookes upon all in heaven, and all in the earth, and casts a heaven of burning love, East, and West, South, and North, through hea∣ven and earth, and filles them all? Suppose omnipotencie would inlarge the globe of the world, and the heaven of heavens, and cause it to swell to the quantity, and number of millions of millions of worlds, and make it so huge and capacious a vessell▪ and fill it with so many millions of elect Men and Angels, and then fill them,* and all this wide circle with love; it would no more come neere to take in Christs lovely beauty, then a spoon can containe all the Seas; or then a childe can hide in his hand the globe of the world. Yea, suppose all the cornes of sand in all the earth and shores, all the floures, all the herbes, and all the leaves, all the twigs of trees in woods and forrests since the creation, all the drops of dew and raine that ever the cloudes send downe, all the starres in heaven, all the lithes, joynts, drops of blood, haires, of all the elect on earth, that are, have beene, or shall be, were all rationall creatures, and had the wisdome and tongues of Angels, to speake of the lovelinesse, beauty, ver∣tues of Jesus Christ, they would in all their expressions stay, millions of miles, on this side of Christ, and his lovelinesse, and beauty. It is the wicked fleshly disposition of Libertines, who turne all the beauty, excellency, freenesse of grace in Christ, to a cloake of licentiousnesse, and a liberty of all Religions; they highly under-value free-grace, as any Hereticks, that ever the Church of Christ law, who turne all sanctification, all the grace of Christ that should be expressed in strict, precise, accu∣rate walking with God,* (but as farre from merit, as grace and and debt, as Christs free grace, and the condemning Law) into a notionall speculative apprehension,* or rather a presumptuous imagination, or Antinomian faith; that Christ hath obeyed, mortified the lusts of the flesh for the sinner; that no Law, no commandement of God, no letter of the Word, obligeth us to walke with God; onely an immediate Enthiasticall unwar∣rantable inspiration of a Spirit, without the Word, or blasts of love when they come, and not but when they come, ingageth beleevers to keepe any commandement of God. Never Pela∣gian, Jesuit, Arminian, were such disgracefull enemies to Jesus Christ, to free justification, and the grace of the Gospel, as Page 301Antinomians, for they make the Law of God and the love of God in commanding holy walking opposite; all the doctrine of the New Testament that teacheth and commandeth to deny un∣godlinesse; all the Old Testament, and particularly the 119. Psalme, reconcileth the Law commanding to keep the Lords wayes, and testimonies, and the love of Christ, sweetning with delight and joy, holy walking, as one and the same way of God.
Vse 2. Again nothing more lesseneth Christ, then the height∣ning of the world in the hearts of men; Haman had the scum of the pleasures of 127. Kingdomes, yet there was a bone wrong in his foot, anger and malice to see Mordecai is a hell to him; its a sweeter burthen to bear the fire and coals of the love of Christ in the heart, then the hell of envy in the soule: Nay,* say that all the damned in hell were brought up with their burning and fiery chaines of eternall wrath to the outermost doore of heaven, and strike up a window, and let them look in and be∣hold the Throne, and the Lamb, and the troups of glorified ones clothed in white, with crowns of gold on their head, and palms in their hands shewing their Kingly and victorious condition, and let them through a window in heaven, hear the musick of the new Song, the eternall praises of the conquering King and Redeemer, they should not only be sweetned in their paine, but convinced of their foolish choise that they hunted with much sweating after carnall delights, and lost the fulnesse of joy and pleasures that lasts for evermore in the Lords face.
Would we beleeve the Spies that have been visiting the new Land that Immanuel God with us is Lord of; hear, for Mo∣ses he was in that Land, and he saith, Deut. 33.29. Happy art thou O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy helpe, and who is the sword of thy excellencie. David was there a landed man, and what saith he of that new Land that Christ hath found out, Psal. 16.*Canaan at its best is but a wildernesse to it. Vers. 6. The lines are fallen to me in pleasant (things, or places.) Then there must be multitudes of pleasures, not one only in God; My heritage is pleasant above me, above my thoughts, or I have a goodly heritage. Solomon was a messenger who saw both lands, and he saith, Eccles. 2.13. Then I saw that wisedome excelled folly, as far as light exceedeth darknesse. And the Spouse saith, Cant. 1.12. When the King Page 302 sitteth at his table, my Spikenard sendeth forth the smell there∣of. 13. A bundle of Myrrhe is my beloved, he shall lie all night between my breasts. Cant. 2.4. He brought me to the banquet∣ting house and his banner over me was love. All the Song reporteth great things of the Kingdome of Grace. Ask of Isaiah, What saw ye there, he answereth, c. 25.6. It is a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees of fat things full of marrow. And Ezekiel saith, That there shall be a brave summer in that land. Chap. 47.12. By the river upon the banke thereof on this side, and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leafe shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his moneth, because their waters issued out from the Sanctuary, and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine; This hath reall truth even in the Kingdome of Grace. And J•remiah saw the fruits of the Land, and a golden age there. Cap. 31.12. There∣fore they shall come and sing in the height of Sion, and shall flow together to the goodnes of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oyle, and for the young of the flock, and of the herd, and their soule shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow a∣ny more at all; and Christ brings good newes out of that countrey, Mat. 22. That the life of all there is the life of Ban∣queters, called to the Marriage-feast of a Kings Son, of which every one hath a Wedding garment: And if yee ask tidings of John, What saw ye, and heard ye there? he saith, I saw a Prin∣ces daughter with a Crown on her head, Rev. 21.10. He shew∣ed me the great City, the holy Jerusalem descending out of hea∣ven from God, having the glory of God: Even an enemy who saw the land a far off, and was not neer the borders of it, saith, Numb. 24.5. How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy taber∣nacles O Israel! Surely Prov. 2.10. Knowledge is pleasant to the soule. O all ye pleasures of the flesh, blush and be ashamed, all world-worshippers be confounded that ye toile your selves in the fire for such short follies; Were there no other pleasure in godlinesse; but to behold the Lord Jesus, what a pleasant sight must he be? The Templ•, th•t stately and Kingly house, of faire carved stones, cedar wood, almug trees, brasse, silver, gold, scar∣let, purple, silks, in the art of the curious fabrick and structure, was a wonder to the beholders. What beauty must be in the Samplar! O what happinesse to stand beside that dainty preci∣ous Page 303 Ark, weighted now with so huge a lump of Majestie, as in∣finite glory▪ to see that King on his Throne, the Lambe, the fair tree of life,* the branches which cannot for the narrow•ess of the place have room to grow within the huge and capacious bor∣ders of the heaven of heavens▪ For the heaven of heavens can∣not containe him. What pen though dipped in the river of life that flowes from under the Sanctuary can write? what tongue though shapen out of all the Angels of that high Kingdome, and watered with the milk and wine of that good land, can suffici∣enly praise this heart ravishing flour of Angels, this heavens wonder, the spotlesse and infinitely beautifull Prince, the crown, the garlan•, the joy of heaven, the wonder of wonders for eter∣nity to Men and Angels? What a life must it be to stand un∣der the shadow of this precious Tree of Life, and to cast up your eyes and see a multitude without quantitie of the Apples of Glory, and to put up your hand, and not only feel, but touch, smell, see love it selfe, and be warmed with the heat of imme∣diate love that comes out from the precious heart and bowels of this princely and Royall Standard-bearer, and Leader of the white and glorious troups and companies that are before the Throne: If one said but finding the far off dew-drops that falls at so many millions of miles distance from that higher mountain of God, down to this low region, Psal. 63.5. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fa•nesse. What must the glory it self be that is in this dainty delightfull one? we have but the droppings of the house here.
Vse 3. Naturall men say this Kingdome is a soure, sad and we•ping Land; here is repentance, sorrow for sin,* morti•ica∣tion. True; but teares that wash those lovely feet that were pi•rced for sinners, are teares of honey and wine, and the joy of Christs banquetting-house: and mortification,* flowing from a loathing and a soule-surfet of the creature, and a tasting of the new wine of Christs Fathers higher palace, is rather a piece of the margin and bor•er of heaven, then a soure and sad life.
Object. 2. But discipline, and the rod, and censures of Christs house, makes the Church terrible as an army with banners. Christs yoke is easie, hee hath not cords and bands to cut the necks of those that follow him.
Answ. 1. Yea but this rod is a rod of love, onely used that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 5.5. Page 304for the gaining of the soule, Mat. 18.15. for building of soules. 2 Cor. 10.8. And Christs cords are silken and soft, and bands of love, every threed twisted out of the love of Christ. Hos. 11.4. I drew them with the cords of men, with the bands of love. But consider, Psal. 48. The Lords mountaine of holinesse is glo∣rious.* Vers. 2. Beautifull for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Sion, the City of the great King. But is it so to all? Vers. 5. No: But loe, the kings were assembled, they pas∣sed by together; they saw it, and so they marvelled: they were troubled, and hasted away. Vers. 6. Terror took hold on them, and paine, as a woman in travell. What cause is there here that the kings should be afraid? They see a beautifull Princesse, the daughter of a glorious King, the joy of the whole earth; yet the Lords people works on them 1. a wondering; 2. more, trouble of mind; 3. flying; they haste away, and cannot be∣hold the beauty of God in a Kings daughter: 4. terror takes hold on them, and quaking of conscience: 5. when the Pow∣ers of the world, Princes, States, Parliaments, see the convin∣cing glory of another world in the Church, they part with child for paine. It is known, some have such antipathy with a Rose, which is a pleasant creature of God, that the smell of it hath made them fall a swooning. Jerusalem is the rebellious City, Ezr. 4.12. therefore men are unwilling it should be built. Lusts in mens minds, either heresies, or any other fleshly affection, is against the building of the house of God.
Vse 4. A beleever is a rich man, and an honourable, say hee were a beggar on the dung-hill: Christ cannot be poore, and hee is a fellow-heire with Christ, Rom. 8.17. We must think the father of a rich heire hath bowels of iron, and sucked a Tyger when hee was young, who suffereth the heire, remaining an heire, to starve. As the naturall man is but a fragment of clay, so hee hath a life like an house let for money; and the rent and in-come that the house payes to the Lord of the land, is but hungring clay, a dead rent, and some new-borne vanities of homage and service; but the promise, the Magna Charta, and the Charter of food and raiment that is an article of the Cove∣nant of grace, is a full assurance that the Saints are the Noble∣men Pensioners of the Prince of the kings of the earth: And Christ hath so broad a board, that hee doth pay all his Pensio∣ners. And the Saints are truly honourable, being come of the Page 305 bloud-royall, of the Princely seed, Joh. 1.13. 1 Joh. 3.1, 9. And the Church is a spirituall Monarchy: The Plant of renowne, their Head, said of her, Isai. 62.3. Thou shalt be a crowne of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royall diadem in the hand of thy God.
Asser. 6. The other particular manner of drawing sinners to Christ, is reall: In which wee are to consider these two.*
- 1. Gods fit application of his drawing of the will.
- 2. His irresistible pull of omnipotency.
In the former way of working, I desire that notice be taken (for Doctrines cause, rather then for Art of Logicall method) of these foure wayes:
- 1. God worketh by measure and proportion.
- 2. By condiscension.
- 3. By fit internall application.
- 4. By externall, providentiall accommodation of out∣ward meanes.
1. In works of omnipotency without God, we see hee keeps proportion with that which hee works upon:* When God wa∣ters the earth, hee opens not all the windowes of heaven, as hee did in the Deluge, to poure on mountaines and valleyes all his waters in one heap; for hee should then not refresh, but drown the earth: therefore hee makes the clouds like a sieve, and divides the raine in hoasts and millions of drops of dew, that every single flower, and inch of earth may receive moisten∣ing, according to its proportion. If the sun were as low down as the c•ouds, it should, with heat, burn up every green herb, tree, rose, flower, and our bodies; and if it were the highest of Planets, all vegetables on earth should perish through extreme cold. It may be a question, though the omnipotent power of God move the will invincibly and irresistibly, Whether Om∣nipotency puts forth all its strength on the will; or, whether the will be able to beare the swing of Omnipotency in its full strength? If the Fowler should apply all his force and strength to catch the bird alive, hee should strangle and kill it. Divines say, that Christs dominion in turning the will, is, Dominium forte, sed suave; strong, but sweet and alluring: No wonder, if hee carry the lambs in his bosome, Isai. 40.11. the warmnesse and heat of his bosome must sweetly allure the will▪ Drive a Page 306 Chariot as swiftly as an Eagle flieth, and yee fire and break the wheels: Knock Chrystall glasses with hammers, as if yee were cleaving wood, and yee can make no vessels of them. This is not to deny that Gods omnipotent power must turne the will, but to shew how sweetly hee leadeth the inclinations.
*2. The Lord by wiles and art works upon the will: Hos. 2.14. I will allure her, and bring her to the wildernesse, and speak to her heart. The word of alluring is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉seductus, decep∣tus fuit; to be beguiled; and the Hebrew is, I will beguile, or deceive her;* as Deut▪ 11.26. Take heed to your selves that your heart be not deceived. So Pethi is the simple man, that is facile and easily perswaded. Psal. 116.6. The Lord preserveth the simple. Then hee saith hee will speak to her heart, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉super, secundum, hee will speak friendly to her; not according to the renewed heart, for it was not yet renewed; not according to the corrupt and unrenewed heart, for nothing that the Lord speaketh according to sinners, is sutable, but contrary to the re∣newed heart, and to internall perswading; but hee speaketh all reason, according to the temper and naturall frame of the heart, to convince and perswade that there is more reason in turning to God, then that the wit or engine of man can speak against it. Grace is pia fraus, a holy deceit, that ere the soule be aware, it is catched: and though that be spoken of Christ, Cant. 6.12. Ere ever I was aware, my soule made me like the chariots of Amminadab; yet it hath truth in this, that 1. No uncon∣verted man intends to be converted, till God convert him; be∣cause spirituall intention is a vitall act of the soule living to God: No living man can put forth a vitall act of life, till the Lord be pleased to give him a new life. 2. That spirituall love alluring the soule, worketh by such art as cannot be resisted: Hence, conversion and being drawn to Christ, is termed by the name of charming;* even as turning off Christ is a bewitching, or killing with an evill eye, as wee say; Gal. 3.1. And so being drawne to God, is called a charming. And the wicked are re∣buked for this, Psal. 58.4, 5. that being strangers to God, they are like the deafe adder that stoppeth her eare, and will not hearken to the voyce of Charmers, (or Singers, who sing as Witches and Inchanters doe) charming wisely. There be two Page 307 words that signifie•inchanting; the former is to * mutter with a low voyce, as they doe to serpents, to take and kill them: the other is to conjoyne and associate in one, as Witches doe, things most contrary. Conversion to God, is to be allured, be∣witched, overcome with the art of heaven, that changeth the heart. And the Lord made Peter and the Apostles fishers of men. Christ layeth out hooks and lines in the Gospel, Luk. 5.10. to catch men with hope, as fishes are taken. Christ so condiscend∣eth to work upon the will, as with art, and unawares the will is taken, and made sick of love for Christ, and the man intended no such thing; as sicknesse cometh on men beside their know∣ledge or intention: So Christ maketh himselfe and heaven so lovely, and such a proportion and similitude between the soule and his beauty, as hee app•ares most desirable, taking and al∣luring. Gal. 4.20. I desire to be present among you (saith Paul) and to change my voyce: I desire not to speak roughly, and with asperity, as I have written; but as a mother speaketh to her children, to allure you. The word of God is an arrow that kills afarre off, and ere yee see it. There is a great difficulty to per∣swade a man who is in another element, and without the sphere of the Gospels activity; as Christ and the naturall man are in two contrary elements: There is required art for a man on the earth, to take a bird flying in the aire; or for a man in a ship, or on the bank of the river, to catch a fish swimming in the ele∣ment of the water. Christ layes out the wit, the art, and the wiles of free grace to charme the sinner; but the sinner stops his eare: there is need of the witch-craft of heaven to doe this. The love of Christ, and his tongue is a great Inchantresse; Ezek. 16.8. I said unto thee, when thou wast dying in thy bloud, Live.
3. Christ knoweth how to apply himselfe internally to the will. Suppose one were to perswade a stiffe and inexorable man,* and knew what argument would win his heart, hee would use that. The will is like a great curious engine of a water-work, consisting of an hundred wheels, of which one being moved, it moveth all the ninety nine beside; because this is the Master wheele, that stirreth all the rest. Now the Lord knoweth how to reach down his hand to the bottome of the elective faculty, and that wheele being moved, without more adoe, it drawes all the affections, as subordinate wheels. If the key be not so fitted Page 308 in the work, wards and turnings of it, as to remove the crosse-barre, it cannot open the doore. Omnipotency of grace is so framed and accommodated by infinite wisdome, as that it can shoot aside the dissenting power, without any violence, and get open the doore.* If free will be the workmanship of God, as wee must confesse, it is a needlesse arguing of Arminians and Jesuites to say, that free will is essentially a power absolutely loosed from predeterminating Providence; so as whatever God doth on the contrary, it may doe, or not doe; it may nill, will, chuse, refuse or suspend its action; for such a creature, so absolute, so soveraigne and independent, as hee that made it cannot without violence to nature, turn, move, bow, determine and master it in all its elective power for his own ends, and as seemeth good to the Potter, for the manifestation of mercy and justice, is to say, Hee that made the free will, cannot have mer∣cy on it; hee that framed the clay-vessel, cannot use it for ho∣nour or dishonour, as hee pleaseth; hee that moulded and crea∣ted the horologe, and all the pins, pieces and parts, hath not power to turn the wheels as hee pleaseth.
4. Christ in externall meanes accommodates himselfe so, in the revealing of himselfe, as hee thinks good.
- 1. In accommodating his influence with his word.
- 2. With externalls of providence.
The breathings of the Holy Ghost goe so along with the word,* as the word and the Spirit are united, as if they were one Agent; as sweet smells are carried through the aire to the nose. The word is the chariot, the vehiculum, the horse; the Spirit the Rider. The word the arrow, the Spirit steel∣eth and sharpeneth the arrow. The word the sword, the Spirit the steel-mouth and edge that cutteth and divideth a∣sunder the soule and the spirit, the marrow and the joynts, Heb. 4.12. It is the same Christ in all his lovelinesse and sweetnesse that is preached in the word, and conveyed to the soule; not God or Christ as abstracted from the word, as Enthusiasts dreame. And though the Preacher adde a Ministe∣riall spirit to the word, to cause Felix tremble; yet hee is not Master of the saving and converting Spirit. Golden words, though all Gospel, and honeyed with heaven and glory, plant∣ing and watering, without the Spirit are nothing.
Page 309In externals of providence, God chuseth,
- 1. Meanes.
- 2. Time.
- 3. Disposition.
- 4. Anticipation of the sinners intention.
- 5. Fit words.
1. In meanes. God appeares to Moses,* acquainted with mountaines, and woods, in a bush which burnt with fire; to the Wisemen, skilled in the motions of the heaven, in a new starre; to Peter a fisher, in a draught of fishes.
2. He setteth a time, and takes the sinner in his month,* Jer. 2.24. In his time of love. Ezech. 16.8. When he is ripe, like the first ripe in the figge-tree, Hos. 9.10.
3. Often he chuseth in the furnace, Hos. 5. Last verse, I will returne to my place. Hebrew, till they make defection, or be guilty; for the most part, man is not guilty in his owne eyes, while hee bee as Manasseh was in the bryars; the fire melting the silver portrait of a horse causes it losse the figure of head, feet, leggs, and turnes all in liquid white water, and then the metall is ready to receive a farre other shape, of a man, or any other thing, the man is ductill, and bowable, and •npartiall, when God seales and stamps the rodd; he is not so wedded to himselfe as before; it may be also, that mercies, and great deliverances, and favours, melt the man, and bring him to some gracious capacity to be wrought on by Christ.
4. Christ anticipates the current of the heart and intention. When Saul is on a banquet of blood, Christ out-runnes him,* and turnes him; all men are converted, contrary to their in∣tentions, thousands are in a channell and current of high pro∣vocations, and they are in the fury of swelling over the banks, and Christ gets before them, to turne the current to another channell. Christ is swift, and they are all chased men that are converted. Sure, Mathew that morning he came to the receipt of custome, minded nothing, but money, and his count book, and had not a forset purpose of Christ; and because, intentions, pur∣poses, counsels, are as it were, essentiall to rationall men, as men, and the refined'st acts of reason, and their noblest, and most An∣gel-like works; and Christ catcheth sinners contrary to their intentions; and in this sense, saves the sinner, blesses him, and gives him Christ, and heaven, against his will, whether he will or Page 310 not, that is, whether he spiritually will or no▪ or whether he sa∣vingly intend his owne conversion, or not.
5. There is one golden word, (and God is in the word) one good word that is fit,* and dexterous, hic & nunc, Prov. 25.11. A word fitly spoken, Heb. a word spoken on his wheeles, is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Sure Christs words to a sinner ripe for conversion,* moves on wheeles, that is, in such order,* as two wheeles in one cart, they answer most friendly one to another in their motion, because Christ ob∣serveth due circumstances, of time, place, person, congruency with the will and disposition; As Hos. 2.14. and Salomons Ecoles. 12.10. The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, Hebr. words of will, or of good will; Christ was grea∣ter then Salomon, and is a higher Preacher then he, and seeks out words to the heart, that burns the heart, Luk. 24.32. Sure, there is more of heaven, more life, and fire, in these words to Mathew, Follow me; and to dying Jerusalem, Live; then in ordinary words, the Hebrews call vaine words. Esai 36.5. A word of lips. Prov. 14.23. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 these be words of winde, that are empty, and have no fruit; the words of the Lord fitted for converting, are words of the heart, and words of power which want not the effect, they are words fit for the heart, Esai 40.2. Hos. 2.14. Such words as teach the heart, Esai 54.13. Joh. 6.45. there is an uncreated word sutable for the heart, that goes along with the word spoken, and that meets with all the byases, turnings, and contradicti∣ons of the heart, and takes the man; and no word, but that onely can doe the businesse, there is a word that is with child of love; a word commeth from God, and its a coale from the Altar, that is before the Lords throne, and it fires up all yron locks in the soule, that the will must yeeld. The woman of Samaria, hea∣reth but these words, I am he that talketh with thee, and her will is burnt with a strong necessity of love; shee must leave her water-pot, and for joy, goe and tell tydings in the Citie, Come and see, I have found the Messiah. Christ maketh a short preaching to Magdalen, and in his owne way sayeth, but, Ma∣ry; and Christ himselfe is in that word, her will is fettered with love. Peter makes a Sermon, Acts 2. and there bee such coales of Paradice in his words, that three thousand hearts must Page 311 be captives to Christ, and cry, what shall we doe to bee saved? Every key is not proportioned to every lock, nor every word fit to open the heart.
But though Christ speake to men in the Grammar of their owne heart and calling,* I am farre from defending the con∣gruous vocation of Jesuits, once maintained by Arminius, and his disciples, at the conference at Hage; but now, for shame, forsaken by Arminians. For the Jesuits take this way; asking the Question. How commeth it to passe, that of two men e∣qually called, and drawen to Christ, and as they dreame (but it is but a dreame) affected and instructed with habituall and prevening grace of foure degrees; the one man beleeves, and is converted; the other beleeves not, but resists the calling of God. They answer, Christ calleth, and draweth the one man, when he foresees he is better disposed, and shall obey; as his free will being in good blood, after sleep, and a good banquet, and fitter to weigh reasons, and compare the way of godlinesse with the other way: and he calleth the other, though both in regard of grace and nature, equall to him that is converted, when he foresees he is in that order of providence, and acci∣dentall indisposition, of sadnesse, sleepinesse, hunger, and extrin∣secall dispositions of minde, that he shall certainely resist, and both these callings, are ordered and regulated by the two abso∣lute decrees of Election and Reprobation, from eternity.
The Arminians answer right downe, the one is converted, because he wills, and consents; whereas he might,* if it plea∣sed him, dissent and refuse the calling of God; and the other is not converted, because he will not be converted but refuses, whereas he hath as much grace as the other, and may, if he will, draw the actuall co-operaton of grace (the habituall he hath e∣qually, in as large a measure as the other) and be converted, and beleeve; nor is there any cause of this disparity in the man con∣verted, and the man not converted in God, in his decree, in his free grace, but in the wil of the one, and the not-willing of the other.
Our Divines say,* 1. There never were two men equall in all degrees, as touching the measure and ounces of habituall saving internall grace; yea, that the never converted man had never any such grace.
2. That the culpable and morall cause, why the one is not converted rather then the other, is his actuall resistance, and cor∣ruption Page 312 of nature, never cured by saving grace, but the ade∣quate, Physicall, and onely separating cause, is 1. The decree of free election drawing the one effectually, not the other. 2. Habituall saving grace, seconded with the Lords efficacious actuall working in the one, and the Lords denying of habitu∣all and actuall grace to the other; not because the will of the creature casts the ballance, but because the Lord hath mercie on the one, because he will, and leaves the other to his owne hardnesse,*because he will, and that the separting cause is not from the running, willing, and sweating of the one, and the not-running, and not-willing of the other; but from the free unhired, independent absolute grace of Christ.
But the Jesuites congruous calling we utterly reject. 1. Be∣cause this is the Pelagian way,* sacrilegiously robbing the grace of God, for the Lord fore-seeth this man placed in such cir∣cumstances and course of providence will beleeve, the other will not, because he will do so, and the other will not do so; and both the placing of the one in such an opportunity, and his willing beleeving, and the other mans nilling not beleeving is in order before the fore-knowledge and far more before the decree of God and his actuall grace, and therefore free-will is the cause why the one is converted, not the other, for both had equall habituall grace, and the one is not to give thanks for his conver∣sion comparatively, more then the non-converted, but to thank his owne free-will. 2. The object of their fancy of their new middle science, is a foreseen providence, of the conversion of all that are willing to be converted, and voluntary perseverance in grace, and the non-conversion and finall impenitency of all the wicked that are willing to refuse Christ, and these two goe before the prescience, before the decrees of election and reprobation, so as God is necessitated to chuse these and no other; and to passe by these, and no other what ever hath a future being before any decree of God cannot by any decree be altered or otherwise dis∣posed of then it is to be: So the Lord in all things decreed, and that come to passe contingently,* must have nothing but an after-consent, and an after-will to approve them, when they were now all future before his decree; this is to spoile God of all free will, free decrees, liberty and soveraignty in his decrees, and that mens free will may be free and Independent, to lay Gods freedome of Election and Reprobation under the creatures Page 313 feet. 3. Jesuites dream that Christ cannot conquer the will to a free consent, except he lie in wait to catch the man when he hath been at a fat banquet after cups, hath slept well, is merry, and when he sees the man is in a good blood, then he drawes and invites and so catches the man; and when he seeth the re∣probate in a contrary ill blood, though he seriously will and in∣tend their salvation, and gave his son to die for them, yet then he draws, when he foresees they by the dominion of free-will shall refuse, and he drawes neither after, nor before, but at the time when he knowes free will is under such an ill houre, as it freely came under, without any act of Gods providence and free decree, and in the which the called and drawn man shall certainly spit on Christ, and resist the calling of God. But this resolves heaven and hell, salvation and damnation, into such good or ill humours, and orders of providence, as a banquet, no ban∣quet, a crabbed disposition, or a merrie; whereas grace, which by an omnipotent and insuperable power removes the stony heart, can more easily remove these humours and win the con∣sent, when the man is decreed for glory, and besides that all men unconverted and in their own Element of corrupt nature are ill to speak to, and in a sinfull blood of resisting, except Christ tread upon their iron neck and subdue it, and he spreads the skirts of his love over Jerusalem at the worst, Ezek. 16.6.8. Scripture is silent of such a manner of drawing, and the grace of Christ and his decree lyes under no such hazard or lotterie, as such imaginary dispositions o• good humours, thou∣sands being brought in to Christ in chaines, in saddest afflictions: Nor is grace being a plant of heaven, a flower that grows out of such clay ground.
Asser. 7. Christ drawes by such a power (and this is the last point in the drawing) That it is not in the power of man to re∣sist him.
1. He drawes by the pull of that same arme and power by which he commanded light to shine out of darknesse,* 2 Cor. 4.6. by which he raised the dead out of the graves, Ephes. 1.18▪ 19. by the exceeding greatnes of his power, and the mighty power by which he raised Christ from the death. Arminians answer, this was omnipotency of working miracles, but what was it to the sal∣vation of the Ephesians, and to the hope of their glory to know with opened eyes such a power as Judas knew? and can the dead chuse Page 314 but be quickned and come out of the grave, when God raiseth them, Joh. 5.25. That Vaga necessitas, the strong morall necessity talked of by Jesuites, when strong morall motives work, is a dream there,* for it may come short; a man quickned in the grave and put to his feet as Lazarus was, of necessity must come out, he will not lie down in the grave again and kill himselfe. A man starving for hunger when meat is set before him on any termes he desires, if he be in his right wits will ne∣cessarily eat, and not kill himself, but the necessity of saving soules in the tender and loving mind of God in Christ is much stronger, and if we consider the corruption of will, this fancied vaging necessity cannot so bow the will, but it is necessary that corrupt will dissent, rather then consent to Christ.
2. God taketh away all resisting, and the vitious and wicked power of resisting, hee removeth the stony heart, openeth blind eyes, removeth the vail that is over the heart in hea∣ring or reading the Scriptures, Ezek. 36.26. 2 Cor.•.16, 17. Deut. 30.6. Col. 2.11. takes the mans sword, and armour from him, cuts off his armes, so as he cannot fight or resist you. It is true, Christ taketh not from David, Abraham, Prophet, Apostle, or from any Men or Angels that are to be saved the natural created power of nilling and willing, purum 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 posse nolle, Christo trahente, but he taketh away the morall wicked, and godlesse power hic & nunc, and vitious and corrupt dispositi∣on of resisting.
3. God layeth bonds on himself by 1. Promise, 2. Covenant. 3,* Oath, to circumcise the heart of his chosen ones, Deut. 30.6. to put his Law in their inward parts, Jer. 31.32, 33. To give them one heart to fear God for ever, not to depart from God. Jer. 32.39, 40. Heb. 8.6, 7, &c. to blesse them, Heb. 6.16, 17, 18. Gen. 22.16, 17. Psal. 89.33, 34, 35, 36, 37. Heb. 1.5, 6. We cannot imagine that God will keep Covenant, pro∣mise, and oath, upon a condition, and with a reserve that we give him leave so to doe; that is as much as the Creator will be faithfull, if the creature will be faithfull: And there is no∣thing glorious in the Gospel and second Covenant above the Law and first Covenant, if God promise not to remove the power of resisting, for if God doe not promise to work our o∣bedience absolutely, without any condition depending on our free will, then must free will be so absolutely indifferent as it Page 315 can suspend God from fulfilling his oath. Now the Law had a promise of life, If yee doe this, ye live eternally, but God neither did work, nor was tyed by the tenour of that Covenant, to work in us to doe, to will, to continue, to abide in all writ∣ten in the Law of God to the end, and therefore it was a bro∣ken Covenant. Nor can Arminians make the Covenant, Gospel-promise, and oath of God so conditionall, as the Law of works, or as the promise of giving the holy Land to the seed of Abra∣ham upon condition of faith, because many could not enter in, because of unbeliefe, except Arminians and Jesuites prove, 1. That all that entred in to the holy Land, yong and old, did be∣leeve and were elected to salvation, redeemed and saved, as Caleb and Joshua were, as all that enter in to the true promi∣sed Land are beleevers; otherwise they die, are condemned,* and can never see God, John 3.18.36. v. 16. Joh. 11.26. and 5.24. Mark. 16.16. Acts 15.11. Acts 11.17.18. but the former is most evidently false in the History of Joshua and Judges, multitudes entred in who never beleeved; as multi∣tudes entred not in who beleeved, as Moses and many others. And therefore from this, that many entred not in, because of un∣beliefe; The Arminians shall never prove, that as God makes a promise of life eternall, that beleevers infallibly and only shall be saved, and unbeleevers excluded; so God made a covenant and promise that all these of Abrahams seed infallibly, and all these onely should enter into the holy Land, who should be∣leeve as did Caleb and Ioshua. I put all Arminians and Papists and Patrons of universall atonement to prove any such cove∣nant or promise. 2. Let Arminians prove that faith and a new heart was promised to all Abrahams seed who were to enter in t• the holy Land, as it is promised to all the Elect who are sa∣ved, and to enter in the Kingdome of Heaven, Ezek. 36.26. Jer. 31.32, 3•. Jer. 32.39, 40. 3. That the promise of eter∣nall rest in heaven was typified by conversion to Christ, and con∣version upon condition of faith, as they say, but without ground; the holy Land was promised to all Abrahams seed upon condi∣tion of Faith, the like we say to all o•her conditionall promi∣ses of God made in Scripture, that are as the legs of the lame unequally paraleld with the Covenant of Grace. Because this is the only answer Adversaries can give, though it be as a para∣ble in a fooles mouth. Let it be considered, 1. The difference Page 316 between the first Covenant which was broken, Jer. 31, 32, 33, 34. and the better Covenant which is everlasting and cannot be broken,*Jer. 31.35, 36, 37. and 32.39, 40. Isai. 54.10, 11. Isai. 59.19, 20. Heb. 8.6, 7, &c. is expresly holden forth to make the new Covenant better then the Old; But its close removed, for both are broken Covenants by this reasoning. 2. When God promiseth the removing of an old and stony heart, and to give a new heart; he promiseth to take away resisting in [unspec 1] us, for nothing can resist Christs drawing, but the stony and old [unspec 2] heart. 3. The Apostles reason Heb. 6.13, 14, 15, 16. of the [unspec 3] Lords two immutable things, his oath and promise is, That wee might have strong consolation and hope: Now this makes un∣deniably the consolation though never so strong, the hope never so sure, to depend on our free will, if the sinner brue well, he drinks well, if he resist not grace, as he may, or accept it as Gods free will thinks good, he is Tutor and Lord of his own hope and consolation. Christ cannot help him to determine his will, if so be he be a bad husband of his own nilling and willing, let him see to [unspec 4] it. 4. It must be in him that willeth, and runneth, and deserveth well, as on the separating cause that saveth or damneth, not in God that sheweth mercy; by this vain arguing of fast and loose free will, doing and undoing all at its pleasure, let Christ doe his best.
Arg. 4. Whom God predestinateth, them he also calleth and glorifieth, as all the predestinated are indeclinably called and glo∣rified, Rom. 8.30. Acts 13.48. 1 Pet. 1.2. Now by this, mul∣titudes should be predestinate, who are never called and glo∣rified, if they have it in their free and independent choyce to resist the drawing of Christ.
Arg. 5. God (as Augustine saith) hath a greater dominion o∣ver our wils, then we have over them our selves; as he is more Ma∣ster of the beings, so of the operations, (that are created beings) then the creature is, and so he must use the creatures operations at his owne pleasure, otherwise he hath made a creature free-will, which is without the Sphear of his owne power; whereas the freest will of a King the most Soveraigne and Independent on earth, must run in his channell, Pro. 21.1.
Arg. 6. Christs Lordship and Princedome through his re∣surrection, is in turning of hearts, Acts 5.31. Rom. 11.23. Grace is stronger then Devils, sin, hell and death, Rom. 14.4. Ephes. 3.20. Jude 24.1. John 2.14. 1 John 4.4,
Page 317Arg. 7. If it must lye at our doore more then Christs to ap∣ply the purchased Redemption, and actually to be saved, then we share more, if not large, equally with Christ, in the work of our salvation; nor can the Church pray, Draw me, we shall run; why should we pray for that which is in our owne power, saith Augustine, for we are drawn, and may not run. 2. Why should Peter give thanks, rather then Judas or another Peter, both were equally drawne, free will lost the day to the one, and wins it to the other. 3. Christ must but play an after-game, and can doe nothing, though with his soule he would save, but as free will hath first done, so must it bee. 4. Nor am I to trust to omnipotency of grace for conversion, for if I husband well natures hability, the crop is my own. 5. I may ingage the influence of free grace to follow mee, and grace leades not, drawes not my will, I draw free grace.
Arg. 8. If free will bee Lord carver of the sinners being drawne to Christ,* then the making good of the Articles of the bargaine and covenant between the father and the Sonne must depend on mans free will. Now 1. know, the covenant be∣tweene the Father and the Sonne is expressed first, by sim∣ple prophesie or promise. The Father passeth the word of a King, Christ shall be his first borne, the floure of the Family, an Ensigne of the people, nothing can stand good, if the free will of Gentiles refuse to come under this Princes Royall Standart. The Father prophecieth and promiseth, Psalm. 72.8. Christ shall have dominion from Sea to Sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. Psal. 89.25.*The Lord shall set his hand in the Sea, and his right hand in the Rivers, hee shall call God his Father, his God, the Rocke of his salvation. Now there must be a condition in this Royall charter, in Christs Magnâ Chartâ, nothing can be done, even when Christ goes up to a mountaine, and lifts up his Royall Ensigne, and Stan∣dart [unspec 1] of love, and cryes, all mine, come hither; and when the people flocke in about him, except free will, as independent as God say Amen, and yet it farre rather may say, Nay, and refuse the bargaine.
2. The Father bargaineth by asking and giving, Psalm. 2.8. Aske of me, and I will give thee. Christ must be an heire, [unspec 2] by mans will, not by his Fathers goodnesse; if Christs sutes, and demands, Father, give me the ends of the earth, and Bri∣taine Page 318 for my inheritance, Depend upon such an absolute ay, and no of mans free will as may cast the bargaine,* where∣as our consent was not sought, nor were wee called to the counsell, when the Father bargained to make us over to his Sonne.
[unspec 3] 3. The Father bargaines by way of worke, and hire or wages to give a seed to his Sonne, Esai 53.10. When he shall make his soule an offering for sinne, he shall see his seed; this is not a bare sight of his seed, but its an injoying of them, hee shall see his seed, he shall prolong his daies, the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. We cannot say, it depends on men, that Christ speed well in having a numerous seed, and that wages be payed to Christ for his sore work of laying downe his life to save his people, except we be more play-maker, then God in this covenant.
Arg. 9. The Scripture right downe determineth this Con∣troversie. Rom. 9. No man hath resisted his will; and It is not in him that willeth. Augustine useth three Adverbs in the Lords manner of turning the heart; Omnipotenter, Indecli∣nabiliter, Insuperabiliter; Omnipotently, Indeclinably, and without short-coming.
*Vse 1. O how sweet and strong is the grace of Christ; It is a conquering thing, Col. 1.11. Strengthned with all might, according to his glorious power. 2 Cor. 10.4. The wea∣pons of our warfare are not carnall, but mighty through God. Were they mighty through Angels and Men, that were but one creature storming another. But when Christ besiegeth a soule, who can raise the siege? Vers. 5. We bring downe eve∣ry height,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, They goe not to a counsell of warre, to advise upon quarters. 2. They cannot flee; For every thought is brought captive to the obedience of Christ. Christ riding on his horse of the Gospel, and strength of free grace, is swift and speedy, and hath excellent successe. Revel. 6. He went out 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, both conquering, and that he might con∣quer. Christ shoots not at the rovers, to come short, or beside the marke; his arrowes of love are sharp and conquering. The Spouse is out of her owne element, and sicke, and pained with love, when she wants his presence, and cannot dissem∣ble, nor hide it, nor command her selfe, Cant. 3. no more then a sicke person can master death, or a swouning. Cant. 5.6. My Page 319 soule departed out of me; drinke once of this strong wine of his love. O death, the Lyons teeth, burning quicke, all these tor∣ments are nothing to the love of Christ. O, Christ wee cannot forsake. Davids key is strong to open all hearts, to open hell, and bring in a new heaven of love to the soule. Naturall ha∣bits and powers are strong, fire cannot but cast our heat, Ly∣ons cannot but prey upon lambes, wicked habits are strong De∣vils, and cannot chuse but be destroying Devils. The coales of the fire of Christs love burne not by election. 2 Cor. 5.14. The love of Christ constraineth us; there is a peece of e∣ternitie of heaven in the breasts of the Martyrs of Jesus Christ. Abraham must goe, when he is called. Lydia cannot keepe the doore, when love removes the handles of the barre, and must be in. The Lord casts in fire-workes of love, in at the windowes of the Apostles soules; O! their nets, and callings, and their All become nothing, they must leave all, and fol∣low Christ.
Wee must bee loggish and crabbed timber,* that take so much of Omnipotencie, or else we cannot be drawne to the Sonne. Men thinke it but a step to Christ, and Heaven; ah! wee have but a poore and timorous suspition of heaven,* [unspec 1] by nature, it is no lesse then a creation to be drawne to Christ. 2. We are needy sinners, and neede as much mercy, as would save the Devils, as may bee gathered from Hebrew. 2.16. [unspec 2] (3.) We are, by nature, as good clay and mettall to be ves∣sels of revenging justice, and firewood that could burne, as [unspec 3] kindely in hell, as Devils, or any damned whatsoever. 4. Not onely at our first conversion must wee bee drawne; but the Spouse prayes, Cant. 1. to be drawne; theres need that Christ use violence to save us, while wee be in heaven; for Christ hath said, Matth. 7.14. Straight is the gate,*and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life. I grant Antinomians who loose us from all duties, and say Christ hath done all to our hand, make little necessity of drawing at all. For Crispe saith, The strictnesse of the way, Math. 7.14. is not the strictnesse of the conversation, but all a mans owne righteousnesse must bee cut out of the way, otherwise it is a broader way then Christ allowes of. I confesse, if in this one point all the strictnesse of the way to heaven were; then the way, 1. should bee strait and narrow onely to those that trust in their owne Page 320 righteousnesse; but I hope, there is much more strictnesse then in that one point; as in mortifying idol-lusts, loving our ene∣my, feeding him when he is hungry, suffering for Christ, bearing his Crosse, denying our selves, becomming humble as children, being lowly and mocke, and following Christs way in that.
2. Christ speaks of two wayes, a wide, and a broad way, and [unspec 2] a narrow way; Now if the narrow way be all in a quitting our owne righteousnesse onely; as Crispe saith, perver∣ting the Text, then all the latitude and easinesse of the broad way, must be that all the world that runne to hell, they follow no sinnes sweet and pleasant to the flesh; no delight∣full lusts, contrary to the duties of the first and second Table, their onely sinne is to trust in their owne righteousnesse, which is against both Law and Gospel.
3. Christ commandeth his hearers to enter in this strait [unspec 3] way: which is clearely a way of holy walking, no lesse then of renouncing our owne righteousnesse. For Christ both in the foregoing, and in the following words, urgeth duties; as not to judge rashly, Vers. 1. to eye our owne faults, rather then our brothers, Vers. 3.4, 5. not to prophane holy Ordinances, Vers. 6. to pray assiduously, Vers. 7.8, 9, 10. to doe to others, as we would they should doe to us. Verse 12. to be good trees, and bring forth good fruit, not to content our selves with an empty dead Faith; as Dr. Crispe, and Libertines doe, but to doe the will of our heavenly Father, to the end of the Chapter.
But let the Reader observe, as we doe detest all confidence in our inherent holynesse, and all merit, and deny that our strictest walking can in any sort justifie us before God; so Libertines in all their writings and conference cast shame upon strict wal∣king, as Popish, Pharisaicall, and Legall; and will have this our Christian liberty, that holy walking is not so much as no part of our justification, which thing wee grant; but (saith Crispe) All our sanctification of life is not a jot of the way of a justified person to heaven;(a) the flat contrary of which Paul saith, Ephes. 2.10. For we are his workmanship, cre∣ated in Christ Jesus into good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walke in them. That which we should walk in, must be a jot and more of our way to heaven; and the Page 321 same Crispe(b)Beleevers are kept in holynesse, sincerity, simplicity of heart, but all this hath nothing to doe with the peace of their soule, and the salvation and justification thereof. See, hee confounds salvation and justification. As if sincere walking were no way to salvation, because it is no way to justification, and because its not the meritorious cause of our peace and salvation; for Christ alone is so the cause: But there∣fore must it be no condition of salvation? It is a prophane and loose consequence. But doe not Libertines teach that no man is saved, but these that walke holyly, and that sanctification is the unseparable fruit and effect of justification?
Answ. They say it in words, but fraudulently.* 1. Because all Sanctification to them, all Repentance, all mortification, all new obedience is but an apprehension, that Christ hath done all these for them, and that is their righteousnesse, and so Christ repented for them, and mortified sinne for them, and perfor∣med all active obedience for them. Now this sanctification is Faith, not the personall walking in newnesse of life that Christ requires.
2. This sanctification by their way is not commanded by God, nor are beleevers obliged to it, under danger of sinning against God; for through the imputation of Christs righteous∣nesse (saith Chrispe) cAll our sinnes are so done away from us, that wee stand as Christs owne person did, and doth stand in the sight of God, nor is there a body of sinne in Christ. I as∣sume, but Christ is not obliged to our personall holiness, that were an impossible immagination.
2. All acts of sanctification to the justified person are free, he may doe them; yea, hee may not doe them, and can bee charged with no sinne for the omitting of them; for hee is not under any morall Law, and where there is no Law, there is no sinne, (say Libertines.)
3. Men are kept in holinesse, sincerity, simplicity of heart, saith Crispe.d What is that, kept? They are meere pati∣ents in all holy walking, and free will does nothing, but the Spirit immediatly workes all these in us; if therefore we omit them, it must bee the fault of the Spirit, as Crispe speaketh, not our fault, nor ought wee to pray, but when the Spirit moves us, as before you heard; so that this sanctification is not any holyness opposite to the flesh, and to sinne forbidden in Page 322 the Law of God, but a sort of free and arbitrary and imme∣diate acting of the Spirit,* in the omission of which acts, the justified person no more sinnes against God, then a tree, or a stone, which are creatures under no morall Law of God, when these creatures doe not pray, nor love Christ, nor out of san∣ctified principles abstaine from these acts of Adultery, Mur∣ther, Oppression, which being committed, would make rati∣onall men under guiltinesse, and sin before God.
4. Towne Ass•rtion of Grace, Pag. 56.57. and pag. 58. pag. 156. A beleever is as well saved already, as justified by Christ, and in him. Pag. 159. Divines say, our life and sal∣vation is inchoate; but they speake of life, as it is here subje∣ctivè, pag. 160. Quantum ad nos spectat, Or in respect of our sense and apprehension, here in grace, our faith, knowledge, sanctification is imperfect; but in regard of imputation and donation, (pag. 162.) our righteousnesse is perfect; and (pag. 160. he that beleeveth (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) hath life, not he shall have it, or hath it in hope.
Answ. If we have glory really, actually, perfectly, but we want it onely in sense; wee have the resurrection from the dead also, actually, and perfectly, and wee are risen out of the grave already, and we want the resurrection onely in the sense: for sure by merit, and Christs death, we have as really the re∣surrection from the dead, as wee have glory, and life; and the one we have as really as the other; so we want nothing of the reality of heaven, but sense; but wee are not yet before the throne, nor risen from the dead, nor locally above the visible heavens; except they say as Familists doe, and as Hymeneus and Philetus did, that the Resurrection is a spirituall thing in the minde; and heaven is but a spirituall sense of Christ, and that Christ is heaven, and the life to come is within the precincts of this life; this were to deny a life to come, a heaven, a hell, a resurrection, which Antinomians will be found to doe.
This one speciall ground is much pressed by Master Towne, and the generality of Libertines, to wit, that holy walking be∣fore God, is neither way to heaven nor condition, nor meanes of salvation, in regard, we are not onely in hope, but actually Page 323 saved, when we are first justified, and as really saved and passed from death to life, when we beleeve, as we are said, Ephes. 2.6. To be raised up with Christ, to sit together with him in hea∣venly places. And therefore holy walking can be no meanes, no way, no entrance, no condition of our possession of the heaven∣ly kingdome, and therefore no wonder they reject all sanctifi∣cation, as not necessary, and teach men to loose the raines to all fleshly walking.
But 1. Rom. 8.24. We are saved by hope, then wee are not actually saved, but the jus, the right through Christs merits to life eternall is ours, and purchased to us. The borne heire of a Prince, is in hope a Prince, but he comes not out of the wombe with the crowne on his head. Christ comming out of the grave, which is the wombe and loynes of death, as the first begotten of the dead is borne a king, Acts 5.31. and all that are borne of this father of Ages, Esai 9.6. his seed are heires annexed with Christ the first heire, Rom. 8.17. but heires under non-age, and minors, and waiting for the living and the crowne, they have it not in hand. Rom. 8.24. Hope that is seene, is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth hee yet hope for it. Vers. 25. But if we hope for what we see not, then we doe with patience wait for it. Hence I argue, what wee wait for and see not, that we do not actually injoy. But we hope for salvation, Rom. 5.2. 1 Joh. 3.1, 2, 3. The proposition is Scripture; no man can hope for that which he enjoyes already. 2. We can be no otherwise said to be saved, then the belee∣ver is said to be passed from death to life, and to be risen again with Christ, and to sit with Christ in heavenly places. For as we are saved and glorified in hope onely, not actually, so are we passed from death to life, and sit with Christ in heavenly pla∣ces, and are partakers of the resurrection in hope onely, or in our flesh, in regard our flesh is in heaven in Christ, who hath infest∣ment of heaven for us, as a man getteth a stone or a twigge in his hand, and that is to get the land, but yet hee may want reall possession. Christs presence in heaven is reall in Law, we are there with him. But it cannot inferre our personall and bo∣dily presence, and reall resurrection, which we hope for and want, not onely in sense, but really. For we are not in this life immortall, beyond death, and sicknesse, and burying and cor∣ruption actually, nor yet are we in glory, that which wee shall Page 324 be, when Christ our life and head shall appeare, For, 1. wee yet groane as sicke creatures in tabernacles of clay, 2 Cor. 5.1, 2. and carry about with us sicke and dying clay, and Christ promiseth that of all that the Father gives him, he will lose no∣thing, but raise them from the dead; but that is, not in this life, but at the last day, Joh. 6.39.
3. Such as are really and actually saved, can neither mary, nor be given in mariage,*neither can they dye any more, (ma∣rying and dying are bloud-friends together) but are as the An∣gels in heaven, Luk. •2.36, 37, 38. their vile bodies are chang∣ed,*and are fashioned and made like the glorious body of our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. Phil. 3.20.21. And shall be heavenly bodies, spirituall, and as the starres of the heaven in glory, 1 Cor. 15.40, 41, 42, 43. But we are not in that con∣dition in this life, this corruptible hath not put on incorruption, nor this mortall immortality. Then as wee are saved in hope, and have jus ad rem, a full right to life eternall, and the Re∣surrection of our bodies, in regard, that the price is payed for us, a compleat and perfect ransome, even the bloud of the Son of God is given for us, and so we are saved in hope, 2. in Law and jure. But sure we have not actuall possession of the King∣dome, in the full income, rent, and compleat harvest of glory, but onely grapes, and the first fruits of Canaan.
4. It is too evident to halfe an eye, that when Antinomians say we are actually saved, and perfectly freed from sin in this life and as perfectly sinlesse as Christ himselfe; That their mea∣ning is, that which the old Libertines in (a)Calvins time said, Page 325 1. That our deliverance from sin in Christ is, in infernali Spi∣ritualitate, (as Calvin speaketh) in such a Divelish and hellish Spirituality; as that wicked Priest Anto Pocquius said, was in judging neither murthers, adulteries, perjurie, lying, oppression,* to be sins, when once the pardoned and justified person commit∣ted such villanies, because the Spirit of God was in him, and took sense from him. 2. Because the justified person is made one with Christ, one person, or as Antinomians speak, we are Christed, and made one with Christ, and he one with us, or incar∣nate and made flesh in us,(b)and the(c)new creature or the New man mentioned in the Gospel, is not meant of Grace, but of Christ, and (d)by love 1 Cor. 13.13. and by the armour mentioned Ephes. 6. are meant Christ. So said that vile man Pocquius, that we and Christ are made one, as Evah was for∣med out of a rib of Adams side, he meaneth one person. 3. Man following his lusts and committing all sin with greedinesse, is made spirituall and mortified by Christs death, so also (e)Poc∣quius who said to sin without sense is the Spirituall life we are restored to in Christ: So Antinomians aime at this, that what ever the regenerate do, they are as free of sin before God, as Christ or the Elect Angels, and this is the begun Spirituall Life. 4. Libertines in Calvins time (f) said that life eternall was in this life, and that the resurrection was past; as Hymene∣us and Phyletus who made shipwrack of the faith, because a man knowes his soule is an immortall Spirit living in the heavens, and because Christ hath taken away the opinion and sense of death, by his death, and so hath restored us to life. Mi∣stris Hutchison and her Disciples, the Familists of(g)New Eng∣land denying the immortality of the soule, and the resurrection of these our mortall bodies affirmed all the resurrection they knew, was the union of the soule with Christ in this life. I ne∣ver could observe any considerable difference between the foule *Page 326 Heresies of the Familists of New England, and of Old Eng∣land either by the writings of, or conference with them, nor of either, from the damnable Doctrine of Hymeneus and Phyletus, and the old Libertines who said, The Resurrection was past.
Vse 3. The drawing of sinners to Christ, if he draw so sweet∣ly and with such a loving condiscension, cannot be a violence of∣fered to free will, by which the naturall and concreated liberty of the creature is destroyed, for there remaines a naturall in∣differency, by which reason and judgement proposeth to the e∣lective faculty divers objects, that have no naturall connexion with will; so as the will should be bowed to any of them, as the fire casteth out heat, and the Sun light, and the stone falleth downward, its true in drawing of a sinner, Christ is carried into the heart with a greater weight of love, and a stronger sway of grace,* then any other object whatsoever, and with so prevailing a sway, as masters the elective power, that it cannot will to re∣fuse, yet it destroyes not the elective power; because this non posse repudiare, impotencie or unwillingnesse to reject Christ, (to speak so) is a most free, vitall, kindly, voluntary, and delight∣ing impotency, and comes from the bowels and innate power of will, and this is the Virgin-liberty and power of will. But againe, because Christs drawing is efficacious and strong and car∣ries the businesse with a heavenly and loving prevalency, the Arminian and Jesuiticall indifferency that New Pelagians a∣scribes to free will,* as an essentiall property of it, by which when God and the pull and nerves of the right arme of Jesus Christ in his free grace, have done what they can to draw a free Agent, neverthelesse the man may refuse to be drawn, if so it please free will, though it displease God, and crosse his decree and most hearty and naturall desire, is a wicked fancie.
1. Because by this dream God hath not a dominion and sove∣raign power over the created will of man to determine it for his own ends, and to make use of it for the glory of his grace, though the Lord with his soul desire so to doe, but the creature hath an absolute, free and independent power, to crosse the desire of the Lords soule, for its own destruction and a far other end, which God intends but at the second hand, and contrary to his naturall and essentiall desire (as they teach) to save his creature, to wit, that revenging justice may be declared in the eternall destruction of the most part of mankind; whereas it was his desire that Page 327 not only the most part, but that all and every single Man and Angell (the fallen Devils not excepted) should be eternally sa∣ved.
2. We beleeve that God the first cause, as he decrees to all things that were from eternity in a state of poor possiblity; so as of themselves they might be, or might not be; a futurition or a shall be, or a non-futurition, or a shall never be: So he is mid∣wife to his own blessed decrees,* and determines all created cau∣ses to bring forth these effects that were in the wombe of his holy decrees, for all things that were to be, and doe fall out in time, were births from eternity that lay in the wombe of the decree of God; evils of punishment, or sins as permitted, Acts 17.30. are not excepted.* So Zephaniah willeth the people to flee to God, before the decree that is with child, bring forth the birth:* Then God must in time open and unlock free will for all its actions. Isai. 44.7. And who, as I shall call and set it in or∣der for me, since I appointed or decreed the ancient people? and the things that are coming or shall come, let them shew unto them. So God taketh this to him as proper to appoint things to come, and no supposed God, nor power what ever can share with him in it, and let any man answer and give a reason why of ten thousand possible worlds of infinite things, actions of Men and Angels that from eternity of themselves were only possible, and might be, or not be; so many of them, not more, not fewer re∣ceived a futurition, that they shall come to passe, and so fall out in time, and others remained only possible, and came never fur∣ther to being, and never fall out, but from the only free decree and will of God, who conceived in that infinite wombe of his eternall counsell and wisedome, such things shall be, such things shall only remaine possible, and shall never be, nor never come to passe? As it was decreed that wicked men should break the legs of the two Theeves crucified with Christ, and that they should not break Christs legs, yet the breaking of Christs legs was in it selfe, and from eternity no lesse possible, then the break∣ing of the legs of the fellow-sufferers with him; but Gods on∣ly decree gave a futurition and an actuall being to the one, not to the other: So are all the actions, the chusings, refusings, •illings, willings of free will determined to be, or not be; and come to passe, or not come to passe, according as they were births conceived in the mother-decree of God from eternity, Page 328Psal. 139.16. In thy booke were all my members written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them.
*3. Hee that works all things according to the counsell of his will, as Ephes. 1.11. Hee of whom, and through whom, and for whom are all things, as Rom. 11.36. Hee that made all things for himselfe, Pro. 16.4. even the wicked for the ill day, and for whose pleasure all things are, Revel. 4.11. must be such an Ef∣ficient and Author, such a finall cause of all, as shapeth a par∣ticular being to things,* actions, and every creature, as their de∣terminate being must be from him. If the being of the actions of free will, rather then their not-being, be from free will, not from God, but in a generall, universall, or disjunctive influence; that is, in such a way as whatever God decreed from eternity, touching Peters acts of willing or nilling,* embracing or repu∣diating Christ, or what way soever the Lord shape and mould his influence and concurrence in time, either the one or the other may fall out, and Peter may embrace Christ or not embrace him, and so may Judas, and all Men and Angels; then shall I say, The Kings heart, and his nilling and willing, is in the hand of his owne heart; so the King turnes his owne heart, whither so∣ever hee determines his owne will, and not as Solomon saith, Pro. 21.1. in the hands of the Lord: and the creature is master of worke; Angels, Men, free and contingent, necessary and na∣turall causes are Mint-masters to coyne what actions they will, this or this; election and reprobation, vessels of mercy and of wrath, beleeving or not-beleeving, are in the hands of Angels and Men, the creature shall be both Potter and clay: The great Lord and former of all things, and the vessel for Gods condi∣tionall decree, his collaterall and universall, his disjunctive and dependent influence hath no force to cast the scale of free will to willing, and so to salvation, election, inscription in the book of life, more then to nilling, damnation, and blotting out, or not-inrolling in the book of life;* but is indifferent to either, is determined and bowed by the free will of man to which of the two shall seeme good to lord will, and the Lord can∣not turne the heart whither soever hee will. Which close sets up fortune, independent and absolute contingency, and a supre∣macy and principality of working every effect and event on both sides of the sun, and above the sun, in order of nature, by the Page 329 creature, before and without the efficiency of the cause of causes, and the intention or counsell of God: yea, it involves the Lord in a fatall chaine, hee must either concurre, or the crea∣ture disposeth of the militia, lawes, and affaires of heaven and earth without the King of ages. 1. I cannot make prayers to the Lord, to determine my will to his obedience, not to lead me into temptation. 2. I cannot thank his free grace for ei∣ther. 3. I cannot intrust God with working in me to will and to doe: Nor, 4. comfort my selfe in the Lord: 5. Nor be patiently submissive to God under all my calamities that be∣fall me, by the hand of men, devils, or creatures. Why? The Lord can doe no more then hee can; hee had no more will nor counsell before time, nor hand and disposing of the businesse in time, for all these, then for the just contradicent of these; say the lord-patrones of indifferent and so absolute a free will. 6. How doth Jacob pray that the Lord would give his sonnes favour with the Governour of Egypt, whom hee beleeved to be a heathen; and pray that God would change his brother E∣sau's heart; and Esther and her maids pray, that God would grant her favour in the eyes of Ahashuerus, if God have not in his hand power to turne their hearts from hatred to favour, as pleaseth him? 7. The Lord takes on him to turne mens free will in mercy or judgement, as pleaseth him: Pro. 3. My sonne, forget not my law, so shalt thou find favour (Vers. 4.) with God and man. The Lord gave Joseph favour in the eyes of Potiphar, Gen. 39.21. God brought Daniel in favour and tender love with the Prince of the Eunuches, Dan. 1.9. The Lord made his people to be pittied of all those that carried them captives, Psal. 106.46. The Lord turned the hearts of the E∣gyptians, to hate his people, Psal. 105.25. Warre and peace are from the free wills of men, as second causes, yet the Lord saith, according to his absolute dominion, Isai. 45.7. I forme the light and create darknesse; I make peace and create evill. And Isai. 7.8. The Lord shall hisse for the fly that is in the utter∣most part of the river of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria, and they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys. Isai. 10.6. I will send the Assyrian against an hypocriticall nation. So Jer. 1.15, 16. Isai. 13.1, 2, 3. Chap. 15.1, 2, •. & 17.1, 2, 3. & 19.1, 2, 3, 4. Now God could not be the Author of warre and peace, as God and Soveraigne all-Dis∣poser, Page 330 if it were in the indifferent arbitriment and free election of men, that warre should freely issue from mans free will; so as God could neither decree, command, ordaine it in his pro∣vidence, threaten it in his justice, fore-see it in his wisdome, and fore-tell it by his Prophets, determine it by his free grace, except the free will of nations and men first passe an act in this poore low Court of clay, in the heads and brests of little lords, free-will-men, and make sure work on earth of its coming to passe; and so the Almighty Soveraigne of all things should have the second conditionall vote of an after-game in heaven, of all actions contingent and managed by free will of Angels and Men, such as peace, warre, honour, infamy, riches, poverty, health, sicknesse, life, or violent death, by sword, gibbet, poy∣son, &c. hatred, favour, learning, ignorance, faith, unbeleefe, o∣bedience to God, disobedience, salvation, damnation, long, or short life, sailing, selling, buying, eating, speaking, joying, weep∣ing, building, planting, praying, praising, cursing, Christs coming of the seed of David, the use of Prophets, prophecying, &c.
Object. Is it not contrary to the nature of freedome, to be determined by a forraigne and externall agent, and that by a power stronger then the free will can resist or master? If yee with a stronger power tye a sword to my arme, and strongly and irresistibly throw my arme and sword both, to kill a man, can I be the murtherer of this man?
Answ. All the question here is, Whether the Lords free∣dome and dominion in these actions of clay-vessels or mens must stand?* Wee had rather contend for the Lord and grace, than for the creature and free will.
2. It is contrary to the nature of freedome to be determined with one sort of determination, not with another: 1. With such a determination naturall, as is in the stone to fall down, the sun to give light,* its true; but now the assumption is false. 2. Should wee suppose that hee who tyes the sword to your arme, so as hee carries along with him in that motion your rea∣son, judgement, elective power, so as you joyne in your arbi∣trary and free election, yea and with delight and joy, (which is somewhat more then free will) to strike with the sword, and hee that lifts both arme and sword did not thwart, or crosse your internall, vitall, and elective power, as the Lord moves the will in naturall acts, as acts in all sinfull deviations from a Law, Page 331 hee should not free you from the guilt of murther: and so yet the assumption is false; for Christ so moves and determines the will to beleeve, as all the in-workes and vitall wheels of will, reason, judgement, freedome, are so moved with such an accommodation and fit and congruous attemperation to free will, as it goes along sweetly, gladly, freely with the grace of Christ in conversion; and too gladly and willingly in acts to which wickednesse and murther are annexed; as there can be no other straining or compulsion here dreamed of, but such as when a Virgin is said to be ravished, who freely and delibe∣rately appointeth time, place, persons, opportunities, and glad∣ly comes to the place in which shee is carried away; which neither Law nor Reason can make a rape. Now, I grant, nei∣ther Man nor Angel can so work upon the will; it is proper to the Lord, and communicable to no creature to know what con∣gruous wayes can efficaciously draw the will. And, 2. Its God onely who can attemper irresistible strength, and sweetnesse and delectation of consent together.
Vse 4. Its not a good, nor a comfortable way,* nor would I love a heaven that is referred to a may be, or a may not be; its not a good heaven that is referred to a venture. 2. Weaknesse left of God turneth wickednesse: It is kindly to our corrupti∣on to be uncouth, strange, froward to Christ, and undiscreet to strong love. 3. Free will is now like a bankrupt Merchant, or a young and loose heire, who hath lost all credit; Christ dare not venture a stock in our hand. 4. Christ is a Shepherd who in feeding▪ his flock stands on his feet, Isai. 40.11. and sits not down, to lie and sleep: the fi•st Adam sat down; all his sons lie down: never man on his owne bottome can come to hea∣ven. Let us chuse this sure way, that broken men may be tu∣tored by Jesus Christ.
Vse 5. If hee be a drawing Christ, its a terrible thing to be at holding and drawing with Christ.* 1. Gods soule loaths with-drawers; Heb. 10.38. If any man draw-backe, my soule shall not be pleased with him. The word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is a word from souldiers that leave their standing out of feare; the feared souldier sends himselfe away out of the Army. But Habac. 2.4. from whence this is cited, seemes a farre contrary word. The soule that is lifted up, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 towred up, or lifted up as a Page 332 high tower, is not upright in him. Isai. 31.14. Feare makes men low and base,* and pride makes them high and lofty; how then is withdrawing from God, so base and low a word in the A∣postles stile, expressed by the Prophet Habbacuc in so high a word, as the towring up the soule? There is a reciprocation of things in the word signified; for unbeleefe, resisting of Christ, and the sinners withdrawing, is an act of the highest pride: hee that will not be converted, and refuseth Christ, thinks hee can fend without Christ, hee hath a stronger Castle to run to then Christ, and imagines that his sinnes and lusts shall shelter him in the ill day: And unbeleefe is a base, timorous, and cowardly thing, when men, for feare of a lesse evill and a poorer losse, steale away from Christ: And both is base or poore pride, and high or lofty beggarlinesse, in stealing away from Christs co∣lours; which the Lord abhorres. 2. Withdrawing looks hell-like: Hee that is not saved in the nick of conversion, is eter∣nally lost. Heb. 10.38. But wee are not of the withdrawing to perdition. Withdrawing hath no home but hell. 3. Its a sign of an obdurate heart. Zech. 7.11. But they have refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their eare, lest they should heare. And so judgement-like is withdrawing, and smells so of vengeance, that God plagues withdrawing with withdrawing: Hos. 5.4. They will not frame their doings to turne unto their God. And what is the issue of that? They shall goe with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, but they shall not find him; for hee hath withdrawne himselfe from them. Pro. 1.24. I called, and yee refused; Vers. 26. then this must follow, Vers. 28. (as also Joh. 8.21. the like is) they shall call upon me, but I will not answer.
Vse 6. Its a terrible plague of God, which wee would eschew as hell, to wit, provoking of God by such sins as may procure that God should in his judgement marre the lock of the heart, the will, that the doore should neither shut nor o∣pen; and cast poyson into the soule, so as Angels and Men, heaven and earth cannot help or cure it: Christ is good at open∣ing hearts, and drawing sinners; and hee is as good at judiciall closing of hearts: If hee but put his finger in the eye, and snap in pieces the optick nerves, all the world cannot restore sight, or open the heart. Hee that is nearest to be drawne to Christ, and yet never drawn, is deepest in hell: An Evangelike-firePage 333 of Gods fury is worse then a Sinai-fire, though it burne up to mid-heaven. 1. Sinning against the light of nature and the known will of God, as Idolatry and the principles of your own Religion, true and known to be so, brings delivering up to judiciall blindnesse, Rom. 1.21. (2.) If yee put your finger in natures eye, and blow out that candle, God will give you up to vile affections, Rom. 1.24. and a reprobate mind, Vers. 26, 27, 28. Some blow out the candle of nature, and God blowes out the sun of the Gospel, that it is to them like sack-cloth of haire, and a moon like bloud. 3. Resisting of the call of God, brings on the plague of hardnesse of heart; Pro. 1.24, 25, 26, 27. Act. 28.23, 24, 25, 26, 27. Joh. 8.21.
Vse 7. Wee are hence taught, to put our heart in Christs hand; hee, and hee onely who makes all things new,* hath a sin∣gular faculty in making old hearts new hearts. Now there is no such way as to lie at the tyde, and wait on a full sea and a faire wind, and ship in with Christ; attend the ordinances, watch at the posts of the doore of Wisdome
Object. I have been a hearer thirty, fourty yeares, I am as farre from being drawn this day, as the first day.
Answ. 1. Such a soule would not be oyled at the first with the perswaded assurance of an everlasting love of election,* as Libertines cure poore soules; but would be brought to see sin, and be humbled and plowed, that Christ may sow.
2. They would be taken off their owne bottome, and dis∣charged to confide and rest on humiliation, or any thing in themselves.
3. The manner, motives, and grounds of their complaining would be examined. Seldome or never is it seen that a repro∣bate man can be in sad earnest heavie in heart, touching his deadnesse of heart, and fruitlesse hearing of the word of God thirty or fourty yeares: and withall, if there be a dram of sin∣cerity, the least graine of Christ, as if the soule doe but look afarre-off, with halfe an eye, yet greedily after the Lord Jesus, its a sweet beginning. Its true,* a talent weight of iron or sand is as weighty as a talent weight of gold, but in a Saint an ounce weight of grace hath more weight then a pound of corruption. It is no Gospel-truth that Antinomians teach, That God loves no man lesse for sin, or no man more for inherent holinesse. Its true of the love of election and reconciliation, in the work of Page 334 justification; but most false of the love of divine manifestation, in the work of sanctification; as is cleare, Joh. 14.21, 23. Nor are men by this taught to seek righteousnesse in themselves; because they are commanded to try and examine themselves, as 1 Cor. 11.28. 2 Cor. 13.5.
4. Such soules would upon any termes be brought to reason and debate the question with Christ, that as the Law may stop their mouth before God, so mercy may stop the mouth of the Law and sin, and it may convincingly be cleared, that though scarlet or crimson can by no art be made white, yet Christ, who is above art, can make them white, Isai. 1.18. as wooll and snow. And therefore such would be brought in an high esteeme and deep judgement of Christs fairnesse, beauty, excellency, in∣compatable and transcendent worth: and though a soule have a too high esteeme of his sins, yet say that hee dies with an high esteeme of Jesus Chri•t, hee is in no danger; for faith is but a swelled, an high and broad opinion and thought of the in∣comparable excellency and sweetnesse of Jesus Christ.
Vse 8. This powerfull drawing teacheth humble thankeful∣nesse.* (1.) The most harmelesse and innocent sinner must bee in Christs book for the debt of ten thousand Talents. (2.) The sense of drawing grace is mighty ingaging, every act of thankfull obe∣dience should come out of this wombe, as the birth and child of the felt love of God. Christ did bid such a man battell. 2. He was Christs enemy when he took him. (3.) It cost Christ blood he died to conquer an enemie, Rom. 5.10. (4.) He kept the taken enemy alive, he might have killed him, he gave him more then quarters, he made a captive a King, Rev. 1.6. Suppose we, Christ should in his own person come locally down to hell, and look upon so many thousands scorching and flaming in that un∣sufferable lake of fire and brimstone, if he should cull out by the head and name; so many thousands of them, even while they were spitting on Christ, blaspheming his name, and scratching his face, and should loose off the fetters of everlasting vengeance, and draw them from amongst millions of damned Spirits, lay them in his bosome, carry them to heaven, set them on Thrones of glory, crown them as Kings to raigne with him for evermore. Would they not be shamed, and overcome with this love, kisse and adore so free a Redeemer? and thus really hath Christ dealt with sinners, look on your debts written in Christs grace-book, Page 335 would not such a redeemed one praise his Ransomer, and say, O if every finger, every inch of a bone, every lith, every drop of blood of my body, every hair of my head, were in an Angels per∣fection to praise Iesus Christ; O the weight of the debt of love; O the gold Mynes and the depths of Christs free love.
3. Consider what expressions vessels of grace have used of free grace? how far below grace Paul sets himself, lo here, Eph. 3.8.*To me who am, 1. Lesse then a Saint. 2. Not that only, but lesse then the least. 3. Lesse then the least of Saints. But 4. yet a little lower, lesse then the least of all Saints is this grace given, that I should preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. Gospell riches is grace and mercy but there is a great abundance of it; its a speech from quick-sented hounds, who have neither footstep, nor trace, nor sent left them of the game they pursue. Christ defies men and Angels to trace him in the wayes of grace. So Paul 1 Tim. 1.13. I was a blasphemer and a persecuter, and an injurious per∣son 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but I was be-mercied, as if dipt in a river, in a Sea of mercy. Vers. 14. And the grace of the Lord Jesus to me was abundant. No, that is to low a word, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, his grace was more, or over-abundant, one Paul ob∣tained as much grace, even so whole and compleat a ransome without diminishing, as would have saved a world. Rom. 5.15. If through the offence of one, many bee dead,*much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the word is exceedingly to abound, and borrowed from fountaines and rivers which have flowed with waters since the creation; but there is a higher word, Vers. 12. Where sinne abounded, grace farre more, or exceedingly over-abounded, or more then over-abounded.—〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. And Vers. 21. Sin reigned unto death, that grace might reigne unto life, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that Christs grace might play the King. The saving know∣ledge of God under the Kingdome of the Messiah, Esai 11.9. fills the earth, as the Sea is covered with waters. A Sea of Faith, and a Earthfull of the grace of saving light, and a Sunne sevenfold, as the light of seven dayes. Esai 30.26. hold forth to us a large measure of grace, and righteousness• and peace like a river, and the waves of the sea, Esai 48.18. All these say Christ is no niggard of grace.
And 4. can they not weare and out-spend their harps, Page 336 who fall downe before the Lambe, Revel. 14. and Revel. 5.8. Who with a loude voice, praise the grace of God. Vers. 12. For ever and ever?* Consider if it must not be a loud voice, when ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousand thousands, all joyne in one song to extoll grace; if we be not in word and deed obliged to expresse the vertues and praises of him, who hath called us from darkenesse to his marveilous light.
The next thing we consider is the person that drawes. I (sayes Christ) I will draw all men to me.
There is a peculiar aptitude in Jesus Christ to drawe sinners to himselfe.*
1. As concerning his person he is fit, for neither is the Fa∣ther, nor the Holy Ghost, in person, Lord Redeemer, but Christ; as in the deep of Gods wisdome, the Sonne was thought fittest to make Sonnes, Galat. 4.4. the heire to communicate the right of heire-ship to the neerest of the bloud, to his brethren to make them joynt-heires with him; so is Christ a fit person, as Lord Saviour, to rescue captives, and to draw them to the state of Sonne-ship, which I speake not to exclude the other two persons; for Joh. 6.44. The Father drawes to the Son; and the Spirit of grace in the worke of conversion, must bee a speciall agent, but Christ is made in a personall consideration, a drawer of sinners; God works and caries on all his state-de∣signes of heaven by Christ, Hebr. 2.10. He brings or drives many Sonnes to glory.
2. Christ by office is a congregating and uniting Mediator, Col. 1.20. He makes heaven and earth one, Hee is our peace, and made of twaine on, Ephes. 2.14. The Shepherd that ga∣thers the Sonnes of God in one, Joh. 11.52. And hee by the merit of his bloud maketh sinners Legally one with God; he is Emmanuel, God with us: fit to draw us in a Law-union to God. We were banished out of Paradise, the Sonne by office, was sent out to bring in the out-law sonnes.
3. God hath laid downe, (in a manner) his compassion, mercy, gentlenesse, to sinners in Christ, and Christ hath taken off infinit wrath, and satisfied justice in his nature and office. Page 337God is no where (to speake so) so much mercy, graciousnesse, kindnesse, tender compassion to sinners, such a Sea of love as in the Lord Jesus. O but he is a most lovely, desirable compas∣sionate God in Christ. The sinner findeth all that God can have in him, or doe for saving, in the Mediator Christ; there can nothing come out of God to the sinner, but through Christ. There is no golden pipe, no channell but this; all God, and whol•God is in Christ, and all God as communicable to the crea∣ture; and were God seen in his lovelynesse, his beauty would be strong coards and chaines to draw hell up to heaven. Love, grace, mercy, are sodering and uniting attributes in God; now though these same essentiall attributes that are in one, bee in all the three persons; yet the Mediatory manifestation of love, grace, and free mercy is onely in the Sonne; so as Christ is the trea∣surie, store-house,* and magazene of the free goodnesse and mer∣cy of the Godhead. As the Sea is a congregation of waters, so is Christ a conf•u•nce of these lovely and drawing attributes that are in the Godhead. Christ is the face of God▪ 2 Cor. 4.6. The beauty and lovelynesse of the person, much of the majestie and glory of the man is i• the face; now the beauty, and ma∣jesty and glory of God is manif•sted i•Ch•ist; So Hebr. 1.3. He is the brightnesse of his glory; the Father is as it 〈◊〉 all Sunne, and all p••rle, the Sonne Christ is the substantiall rayes, light-shining, th• eternall, and •ss••tiall irradiation of this Sunne of glory; the Sunnes glory is manifested to the world, in the light and beames that it sends out to the wo•l•; and if the Sunne should keep its beames and light withi• i•s body, we •hould see nothing of the Sunnes beauty •nd glory. No M•n no Angel, could see any thing of Go•, i•〈◊〉 had not had a con∣substantiall Sonne begotten of himself• by •n eternall genera∣tion; but Christ is the beam•s, and splendor, and the shining, but the consubstantiall shining of the infinite p•arle, and outs God, as the s••le doth the st•mp•; and as God inc••nate h• re∣veales the excellency, glory, and beauty of God.〈◊〉 pearle is a drawing and an alluring creature from its shining b••uty; so Christ is the drawing lovelynesse of God, yee cannot s•e the creatures beauty, or the mans face, but yee see the creature and the man; so saies Christ to Philip▪ Joh. 14.9. Hee that hath seene me, hath seene the Father. I am as like the Father, as GodPage 338 is like himselfe; there is a perfect, indivisible, essentiall unity betweene the Father and me. I and the Father are one; one very God; he the begetter, I the begotten. So God hath laid downe and empawned all his beauty, his lovelynesse, and his drawing vertue in Christ the load-stone of heaven; he is the substantiall rose, that grew out of the Father from eternity. A mans wisdome makes his face to shine. Wisdome is a faire, lovely, and an alluring beauty. Now Christ is the essentiall wisdome of God; were your eyes once fastened upon that dainty lovely thing Christ, that uncreated golden Arke, the eternall, that infinite floure and Lilie, that sprang out of the es∣sence, and beautifull nature of God, with eternall infinite green∣nesse, fairenesse, smell, vigour, life, never to fade, that essentiall wisdome, and substantiall word, the intellectuall birth of the Lords infinite understanding, if your eyes were once on him in a vision of glory, it should be unpossible to get your eyes off him againe, there would come such drawing rayes, and visu∣all lines of lovely beauty, and glory, from his face to your eyes, and should dart in through these created windowes, to the understanding, heart, and affection, such arrowes and darts of love, as yee shall be a captive of glory for ever and ever. Psalm, 16.11. In thy presence is fulnesse of joy. Revel. 22.4. They shall see his face, — its a Kings face, and a kingly glory to see it. — Ver. 5. And they shall raigne for ever and ever.
[unspec 4] 4. Then there is so much warmenesse of heart, and such a fire of love,* such a stock of free grace, so wide, so ten∣der, so large bowels of mercy and compassion toward sin∣ners, as he would put himselfe into a posture of mercy, and in such a station of clay, as he might conveniently get a strong pull of sinners to draw them, a large and wide handfull, or his armes full of sinners, as he would be a man for us, to get all the organes of lovely drawing of sinners to him: a mans heart to love man, a mans bowels to compassionate man, a mans hands to touch the foule leapers skin, a mans mouth and tongue to pray for man, to preach to men, and in our nature to publish the everlasting Gospel; a mans leggs to bee the good Shep∣heard to goe over mountaine and wildern•sse, to seek or to save lost sheep; a mans soule to sigh and groane for man; a mans eyes to weepe for sinners▪ his nature to lay downe his life for his poore friends, hee would bee a created clay-tent of free-grace, Page 339 a shop, and an office-house of compassion towards us, he would borrow the wombe of a sinner to be borne, sucke the breasts of a woman that needed a Saviour, eat and drinke with sinners and publicans, came to seek and to save lost sin∣ners, was numbred with sinners, dyed between two sinners; made his grave with sinners, (saith Esaiah, Esai 53.9.) bor∣rowed a sinners tombe to be buried in. And now he keeps the old relation with sinners, when hee is in heaven, honour hath not changed him, as he hath forgotten his old friends, Hebr. 4.15. For we have not a high Priest that cannot bee touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points temp∣ted like as we are, yet without sinne. Christ cannot now sigh, but he can feele sighing, he cannot weepe, he hath a mans heart to compassionate our weeping, in such a way as is sutable to his glorr•ed condition; the head is in heaven, but hee hath left his heart in earth with sinners: there can bee nothing dearer to Christ, then the holy Spirit; he hath sent us downe that com∣forter, the Spirit, to abid• with us.
Vse 1. O that men would come and look into this Ark, and that Christ would draw the curtain?* Do• but hear himself cry∣ing to the Cities of Iudah, Isai. 40.9. Behold your God. Isai. 65.1. I said to a Nation that was not called by any Name, Behold me, Behold me: The doubling of the word saith, Christ desires to out his beauty, Shall your farme, and you••ve yoak of Oxen keep you from him? Men will not be drawn to him to satisfie their love.
Vse 2. Christ is a drawing and a uniting Spirit, then all that are in Christ should be united;* certainly the divisions now in Bri∣taine cannot be of God: The wolfe and the good Shepherd are contrary in this; the good Shepherd loves to have the flock ga∣thered in one, and to save them, that they may find pasture and the flock may be saved: The wolfe scatters the flock, or if the wolfe would have the flock gathered together, it is that they may be destroyed, then it would be considered, if a bloody intention of warre between two Protestant Kingdomes for carnall ends, and upon forced and groundlesse jealousies be from an uniting Spirit, and not rather from him, who was a Murtherer from the beginning.
Vse 3. Jewes and Turks and civill men, that are but Morall Pagans, are not in Christ,* nor can they have any communion Page 340 with God, nor be drawn to Christ, because no man can be in love with God, except he see God as opened and made lovely to the soul in Christ: Morall civility and Pharisaicall holiness is one of the most heaven-like, and whitest wayes to hell that Satan can devise; Many morall m•n go, by theft, to hell, Satan by o∣pen violence pulleth the prophane and openly wicked men to perdition; but he stealeth millions of civill Saints, honest mar∣ried men that have whereon to live in the world plen•ifully, to hell in their whit•s, as if they were Saints▪ because civill and clean in the Morals of the second Table, yet not being borne againe, they cannot see the Kingdome of God; and most men deceive themselves with countrey Religion and Moralities, but such be but civill honest Antichrists, and deny there is any need that Christ should come in the flesh to die for sinners, for they can live honestly for sinners, and save themselves and not be be∣holding to Christ for heaven, or mortification, or faith.
This drawing of sinners to Christ, is bottomed on Christs dy∣ing on the Crosse, and his dying on the Crosse, is an act of ex∣tream and highest love, Joh. 3.16. Joh. 15.13. 1 Joh. 4.9, 10. Hence let us consider a little further what drawing and alluring power is in the love of God, and what way we may come to the sweet fruit of the strongest pull of Christ, Which may be consi•dered in
- 1. The revelation of the drawing lovelines of Christs dying.
- *2. The fulnesse of this lovelinesse.
For the former, Christ openeth himselfe to us, we cannot dis∣cover him first; and there be two Acts of this. 1. Christ opens the understanding, Luke 24.45. and the heart, Acts 16.14. He taketh away the thick vail, that is over the heart, 2 Cor. 3.15, 16. and rendereth the Medium, the Aire (as it were) thin, cleare, visible,* as when the Sun expelleth night-shadowes, and thick clouds, so Davids key, That openeth, and no man shutteth, Rev. 3.7. removeth the doore, and the seale that the first Adams sin putteth on the heart, Joh. 14.21. He that loveth me shall be lo∣ved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest my self to him. And Christ can show the Father, The Lord Jesus cometh out of his depth and Ocean of glory, and Yvory chamber,Page 341 as it were, and the Son of God revealeth the Son of God, as Gal. 1. v. 12. compared with v. 15▪ 16. sheweth. He would not say, Beh•ld me, behold me, Isai. 65.1. and th•n get into a thick cloud and hide himself, if he had not had a mind to reveal his glo∣ry, and to show himself, The King in his beauty, I•ai. 33.17. all his lovelinesse, the mysteries •f his love, the rosiness, white∣ness, redness, comliness of his face, Cant 5.10. Nor would the Spouse pray for a noon-day sight of Christ, Cant. 1.7. If he could not offer himselfe to be seen in his loveliness of beauty. Thus Christ doth make manifest the savour of his knowledge, in the Ministery of the Gospell, 2 Cor. 2.14. When he letteth out to the soul the smell of Myrrhe, Aloes, of all the sweet oint∣ments of his death, and wounds; that the soul seeth, smelleth ta∣steth the Apples of love, in the beleived mercy, free grace, satis∣fied justice, peace reconciled with righteousnesse, purchased re∣demption in his blood, and he standeth behind the wall of our flesh, and so is called, Our w•ll. Cant. 2.9. Behold •e standeth behind our wall, Or, Behold that is he standing behind our wall, he looketh forth at the window, shewing himself, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 bewray∣ing himselfe through the lat•esse: Yet this is not a perfect vi∣sion of God attainable in this life, as the Author of the Bright Star dreameth,* I see a man more distinctly in the field and before the Sun, then when he looks out at the grates or lattesse of a window, and a window behind a wall, for so we but see Christ in this life.
The compleatnesse of the lovelinesse is, 1. In that there is no spot in Christ crucified when he is seen spiritually,* no ble∣mish, no lamenesse, no defect, for an eternall and infinite Re∣demption, and an absolute righteousnesse, more cannot be re∣quired, nay, not by God. 2. Nothing that the desiring facul∣ty and appetite can stumble at; Paul's determination, the last re∣solved judgement of his minde, and his ripest resolution and pur∣pose was to know nothing save Jesus Christ and him crucified, 1 Cor. 2.2. Christs beauty can fill all the corners and emp∣tiness of the wide desires of the soule. 3. There is an actuall fulnesse of God spoken of, Ephes. 3. Paul praying that the E∣phesians may comprehend the great love of God. v. 19. saith, That yee may know the love of God that passeth knowledge, that yee may be filled with all the fulnesse of God. This is a sa∣tisfying Page 342 fulness, and is an admirable expression. To be filled with God must be a soul-delighting fill. But 2. To be fil∣led with the fuln•sse of God is more,* for there is unspeakable fulness in God. •, The expression is yet higher, That ye may be filled with all the fulnesse of God.
Of this fulness, 1. A word of the measure of it. 2. Of the meanes of it. 3. Of the sufficiency of it in the kind and nature. Randall in his Epistle before the Treatise called, The Bright Star, I have therefore observed the ever to be bewai∣led Non-proficiency of many ingenious Spirits, who through the policy of others, and the too too much modesty and temerity of themselves, have precluded the way of progresse to the top and pitch of rest and perfection against themselves, as being alto∣gether unattainable, and have shortned the cut with a Non da∣tur ultra, and are become such who are ever learning and never come to the knowledge of the truth. But for the measure, sure it is not as Antinomians and Familists dream, compleat and full in this life.
*1. Because according to the manner and measure of the ma∣nifestation of Christ, and knowledge; so is love and the perfe∣ction of beleevers. This is a truth in it self undeniable, and granted by the Author of the Bright Star, cap. 5. p. 52. For Christs excellency and drawing beauty in love goeth in to the soul by the port and eye of knowledge. But 1 Cor. 13.9. We know in part, and we prophesie in part.
2. Paul disclaimeth perfection as being but in the way and journeying toward it, Phil. 3.12. Not as though I had alrea∣dy attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Jesus Christ. Now this perfection which Paul professeth he wanteth, is opposed v. 13.14. To his pressing toward the garland, For the price of the high calling of God in Iesus Christ, Heb. 11, 40.
3. Perfection, such as wee expect in heaven, is in no capaci∣ty to receive any farther addition, or accession of grace or glo∣ry; nor is there a growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, enjoyned us there, as is expresly here in the way to our Countrey, 2 Pet. 3.14. and to runne our race to the end, Heb. 12.1. and be carried on to perfection, Heb. 6.1. Its true, our good works are washed in the Fountaine o∣pened Page 343 for Davids house, in which our persons are washed; but that washing removeth the sinfull guilt, and Law-obligation from them, but not the inherent blot and sinfull imperfection of our works, to make them perfect; for then might wee be justified by our good workes, if Christs bloud make them to leave off to be sins; but that bloud hindereth them to be impu∣ted to us only, but removeth not their sinfull imperfections, as Antinomians say, that so they may make us perfect in this life: nor doth that bloud (as Papists say) adde a meriting dignity and vertue to them, by which wee are justified by workes made white and meritorious in Christs bloud and merits. God hath so portraicted and chalked the way to heaven, that all the most supernaturall acts, even those that have immediate bordering with the vision of glory, should need a passe of pardoning grace; and to beleeve that Christs grace shall work in us acts voyd of sin, is not faith. Therefore wee are to beleeve the pardon of such ere they have being, and not sanctifying grace to eschew them. It seemeth to me unbeleeving murmuring to be cast down at these sins, in such a way as to imagine wee can eschew them, or that grace sanctifying is wanting to us in these; for grace is not due to sinlesse acts. Nor doth the growing in grace which lieth on us, by an obligation of a command, stop the way to the journeying toward perfection and heaven, nor shorten the cut to heaven, because heaven is not attainable in this life; but by the contrary, if perfection were attainable in this life, the man that attaineth it might sit down, rest there, and goe not one step farther; for except hee should goe beyond the crown, and to the other side of heaven, and over-journey Christ at the right hand of God, whither should hee goe? And those that are ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the truth, are, 2 Tim. 3.5. lovers of pleasures more then lovers of God; such as wee are to turne away from; as have a forme of godlinesse, and have denyed the power thereof; and are led away with divers lusts; and are never entered into one onely degree or step of the way of the saving knowledge of the truth, of which Paul speaketh, and not the truly regenerate, who be∣leeve, wit•Paul and the Scriptures, that our great•st perfecti∣on is to sweat and contend for the highest pitch of perfection, even that which is beyond time.
4. Those that are perfected, as wee hope we shall be in hea∣ven, Page 344 feed not with the Beloved among the lillies till the day breake, and the shadowes fly away; but the perfectest, the Spouse of Christ, so feedeth on Church-ordinances, Cant. 2.17. The perfect ones have the fullest pitch of the noon-day Sun of glo∣ry; it shall never be after-noon, nor the evening or twy-light sky with them; nor shall any night-shaddow, nor cloud goe over their Sun.
5. In the Kingdome of perfect on there shall be no in-dwel∣ling of a body of sin, no sin, no uncleannesse of heart, no turn∣ing of the love and liking of the soule off God; but the per∣fectest in this life sin, and carry an in-dwelling body of sin with them; Pro. 20.9. Eccles. 7.20. Job saith, chap. 14.4. The per∣fectest that beget children are unclean. Rom. 7.17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 2, 23. 1 Joh. 1.8, 9▪ 10. 1 Joh. 2.1.* All that have need of an High Priest at the right hand of God to intercede for th•m, have sin, and in so far are imperfect, as all the Saints are, H•• 7.25. & 4.15. & 1.17, 18. & 8.1, 2, • & 9.23, 24, 25, 26. And 1 Cor. 13.8. Love never faileth: 〈…〉 a∣bundantly, and is filled to satisfaction, that t•e 〈◊〉 I can con∣taine no more of God; and is transformed in 〈…〉 of tran∣scendent light, and highest love, as it were l•st in the deep foun∣taine of universall and immensurable love, and light; and the creatures soule and love liveth and breatheth, resteth in the bo∣some, in the heart, in the bowels of him who is an infinite masse of love; is wrapped in the sugared flouds, in the honey-brooks, and over-flowing waves and rivers of pure and unmixed joy, sleepeth and solaceth it selfe in the innocent embracings of the glory that shineth, rayeth, and darteth, world without end, out of Christ, exalted farre above all heavens, all principalities, and powers, the soules there are sweetned, more then sweetned, o∣ver-solaced with the noone-day-light of the Bridegromes glo∣ry, having in it the sweetest perfections of the Morning-Sun; they flee with Doves-wings of beauty after the Lambe, they never want the actuall breathings of the Spirit of glo•y, they can never have enough of the chast fruition of the glorious Prince Immanu•l and they never want his inmost pr•s•nce to the full; th•y •uck the honey, the flouds of milke of eterna•l con∣solations, and •ll all empty desires; and as if the soule were with∣out bottome, afresh they suck againe, in acts for •ternity conti∣nued, there be no such thing here in this life. Yet hath ChristPage 345 crucified in his bosome, the promise and full purchase of this life on the crosse, and holds it out to sinners to draw them.
5. We have not yet attained to the resurrection of our bo∣dies, but cary about such clods of death, as the wormes must sweetly feed on, and have a seed, and subject of distempers in our clay-tabernacles; all which we are uncapable of in the state of perfection, when the body shall bee more naturally clothed with immortality, then the greenest and most delitious Rose, or floure, which we could suppose were growing fresh, greene, and beautifull for ever, in such a happy soile, as the fields that lye on the banks, and within the drawings of sap from the river of life.
6. We are not masters of the invasion, at least, of temptati∣ons of devils, of men, here.
7. Perfection maketh the generall assembly of all the Sons of Sion, the heavenly family is never convened, but in place, countrey, condition separated, some borne, some not borne, som• w•king, some sleeping in the dust, some in their countrey, some in th• way to their countrey.
8. Th••e is no Temple, no Ordinances in our countrey of p•rf••tio•, Revel.•1.2. 1 Cor. 13.8.
9. Th••e •s •o Ang•l▪ life here without marriage, eating, drinking, b•g•ting of children, Luk. 22.29, 30. Mar. 12.25. Clay cannot live, 〈◊〉 earthly, up above the clouds, and visible heavens, till this corruptibl• shall put on incorruption, 1 Cor. 15.
Now for the meanes of attaining this f•l•••se, wee have no other knowne and revealed to us in this life, but the Scriptures,* and Faith; the one without, and externall, and the other with∣in. Under these, I comprehend all the ordinances of G•d. Fa∣milists rejecting Scripture, terming it an humane devise of Inke and Letters, as Antichrist did before them, they call their perfect ones, from all acting, praying, hearing the word; yea, from knowing, apprehending, willing; to a resting on God as meere patients; God as their forme and Spirit immediatly acting on them.*The active annihilation (saith the Bright-starre, Chap. 11. pag. 106.) is a ceasing from all acts, vani∣shing of Images, a doing of nothing, and a resting of all mo∣tion, or from doing the exterior will of God, expressed in the Law and Gospel in their letter. Pag. 107. Passive annihila∣tion is when the man himselfe, and all other things (Medita∣tion, Page 346 knowing, desiring of God, praying, and the practise of a holy life) are cast asleepe,*and are made nothing. The active annihilation is when the man himselfe, and all other things are annihilated, not onely sufferingly, as in the passive; but doing∣ly, I meane by light in the understanding, as well naturall, as supernaturall: wherein he sees, and most infallibly knowes, that all those things are nothing, and rests upon this knowledge in despight of feeling. Pag. 140. Its not best to forsake the pas∣sive annihilation, and the fruitive love, (the loving of God▪ as our last injoyed end) depending thereupon, to take in hand by acts to practise the active annihilation; provided tha• by simple remembrance shee stand to her part. For there it is, (Pag. 141.) that the soule is so transported, inlarged, inlight∣ned,*and united to God. There shee tasts the chast embraces, sweet intercourses, and divine kisses; there shee seeth her selfe sublimed, innobled, and glorified with Angels, at the celestiall table. There shee relisheth the fruits of her mortification, the treasures of her repentance, and the comforts of all her selfe-denials. Pag. 144.145. To forsake such an experimentall union with God, and that men should leape backe to themselves, and re-betake themselves to their owne acts, refuse to endure this emptinesse, povertie of Spirit, this will of God, and all Spiritly entercourse, super-celestiall, or essentiall illumination, though indeed the true and divine Wisdome and naked seeing of God. — So that by their flying back and returning to them∣selves, (that is leaving the contemplative life of Monks, and returne to a practicall walking with God) they doe no other but farre estrange themselves from all poore and empyre all know∣ledge, and from all union and transformation into God, and so bide alwaies straightned within themselves, and their own bow∣els, and in the fetters of the old man. Now if you aske what it is to put off the old man; the Theologia Germanica saith, Cap. 5. Pag. 9.10.*It is to ascribe neither being, action, know∣ledge, nor goodnesse to your selfe, but to God the eternall wis∣dome, — and thus Man, and the Creature evanisheth, — thus ought man to become void of all things; that is, not to ar∣rogate them to himselfe; and the lesse knowledge the creature doth arrogate to it selfe, it becommeth the more perfect: the like we must conceive of Love, Will, Desire, and all such things, for the lesse that man doth arrogate these things to himselfe, the Page 347 nobler, excellenter, and diviner he becommeth, and the more he doth assume these things to himselfe, so much is he made the more blockish, base and imperfect. Theologia, Germanica. cap. 14. pag. 32. that a man die to himselfe, it is as much as if you would say as himselfe, or egoity should die. Saint Paul saith, put off the old man with his works. pag. •4. If it could come to passe that any man might wholy and absolutely cast off him∣self; so as that he lived without all things in true obedience, as the humanitie of Christ was, then he should be void••imself and one with Christ, and should bee the same by grace, that Christ was by nature. — Pag. 35. This also is written, the more selfe-ends and egoity, the more there is of sinne and unrighteousnesse; and the lesser there is of the one, the grea∣ter want there is of the other. This also is written,*the more that my selfe doth decrease (that is egoity or self•enesse) the more doth GOD in mee encrease. — Hence GOD is a Spirit acting, and all in all men, and for men to ascribe the good to God, and the ill to themselves is obedience, and to arrogate being, or good to themselves, is sinne. So Theo∣logia Germanica taketh away the incarnation of Christ thus, Chap. 22. pag. 52.53. Yet are there waies to the life of Christ, as we have already said; when,*and wherein God and man are joyned together, so that it may be truely said, and truth it selfe may acknowledge it; that the true and perfect God, and true and perfect man are one; and man doth so yeeld, and give place to God, that where God himselfe is, there is man, and that God also be there present, and work alone, and doe, and leave any thing undone, without any I, to •e, mine, or the like; wh•re th•se things are, and exist, there is true Christ, and no where •l•e. — Its the property of God to consist, and to bee without 〈◊〉 or that, without selfenesse, egoity, or the like▪ but it is the •••∣perty of the creature to seeke and will, (in all things 〈…〉 doth, or leaveth undone) it selfe;*and those things w•ich 〈◊〉 its owne, and this or that, here or there. Theologia 〈◊〉 Cap. •9. pag. 109▪ 110. Hee who is illumin•ted with 〈…〉 and divine love, 〈◊〉 divine and deified man. Th•olog. 〈◊〉 cap. •8. pag. 7•. Those who are led by the Spirit of God, 〈◊〉 the Sonnes of God, and not subject to the Law, the sen•• of which words is, they are not to be taught what they should 〈◊〉, or leave undone, seeing the Spirit of God which is their in∣structor, Page 348 will teach them sufficiently, neither is any thing to be commanded, or injoyned them, — For hee that teacheth them, commandeth them, — they need no law, by meanes thereof to get profit to themselves, for they have obtained all already; and thus Pag. 70. Christ needed no Law, but was above Law, and removes Ordinances, &c. Theol. German. cap. 11. pag. 23.*The soule of Christ was to descend to Hell, before it could ascend to heaven, and the same must befall the soule of man, and this commeth to passe, when hee knoweth, and beholdeth, and findeth himselfe so evill, that he supposeth it to be iust,*he should suffer all, even bee damned for ever; and when he neither will, nor can desire deliverance and com∣fort, but doth beare damnation neither waywardly, nor unwil∣lingly, but loveth damnation and paine, because it is just and agreeable to Gods will. And (pag. 25.) when man desireth in this hell, nothing but the eternall good, and understandeth the e∣ternall good, to bee above measure good, and this is his peace, joy, rest, satisfaction to him; — this good becommeth mans, and so man is in the kingdome of heaven, — this hell hath an end,*this heaven shall never end; — Man in this hell cannot thinke that ever hee shall bee comforted againe, or delivered; and when hee is in this heaven, nothing can hurt him, — nether can he beleeve, that hee can bee hurt or discomforted, and yet after this hell, hee is comforted, and delivered; and after this heaven, he is troubled and de∣prived of comfort. — Man can doe or omit nothing, by his owne meanes, whereby this heaven should come to him, or this hell depart from him, — For the wind bloweth, where it li∣steth, &c. and when man is in either of these, he is in good case, and he may be as safe in hell as in heaven; and so long as man is in this life, he may often passe from the one to the other.
In opposition to these wicked fooleries, and for further clearing of the truths formerly proposed, let these Positions for the unfolding of the drawing lovelynesse of Christ be consi∣dered.
*Posit. 1. The Scriptures are given by divine inspiration, able to make the man of God perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works, 2 Tim. 3.16, 17. the onely mean to find Christ, for they bear witness of him, Jo. 5.39. And are written that we might beleeve, and in beleeving have life eternall, Joh. 20.31. And all Page 349 that Christ Jesus heard of his Father, he made known to his A∣postles, Joh. 15.15.* And of these one Apostle Paul who also re∣ceived the Gospel, not from flesh and blood, but by revelation from Jesus Christ, Gal. 1.12. 2 Pet. 3.15.16. Acts 9.1, 2, &c. did declare to the Ephesians the whole counsell of God, Acts 20.27. and yet beleeved and preached no other things then the•e that are witten in the Law, or in Moses and the Prophets, Acts 24.14. Acts 26.22. And the Maj•stie, divinity, power, har∣mony, doctrine, above the reach of flesh and blood, the •nd which is not in this side of time and death but beyond both, (as the places in the Margin witness) doe demonstrate that the one Book of the Old and New Testament can be fathered upon none, but on God only.
Position 2. The Scripture and all the ordinances are but cre∣ated things, and not the ultimate object of our faith, and high∣est and compleatest love, that is reserved to God in Iesus Christ, yea, the most perfect we read of, Paul a chosen vessell stood in need of comfort from Titus, 2 Cor 7.5, 6. and the Saints at Rome, Rom. 1.11, 12. and Peter of a rebuke, Gal. 2. and the beloved Disciple Iohn of the joy and comfort of the walking of the children of Gaius in the truth, Ep. 3. v. 4, 5. And of a commandment of the Law which forbiddeth Idolatry, and An∣gel-worship, Rev. 19.10. Rev. 22.8, 9. and of an Evangelike precept to beleeve, and not to fear, Rev. 1.17. and the ex∣cellentest and perfectest member of the body hath need of counsell, exhortations from the lowest member, Rom. 12.3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Gal. 6.2. 1 Cor. 12.14, &c. and all the Saints to whom Paul, Peter, Iames, Iohn wrote, amongst whom there were that had the annointing, that teacheth them all things, must hear and obey many exhortations, precepts and comman∣dements out of the Law, as Evangelized, then the most per∣fect are not above the Law, the Gospel and Ordinances, as Familists say, else all the New Testament and Canonicall E∣pistles were written to the Saints for no purpose. But that we may understand this the better, we are to remember that 1. There is a a twofold happinesse of the Saints, one formall, and another objective. 2. That there is a mediate seeing of God, one by ordinances and meanes; another immediate. 3. That there is a two-fold will of God; one that is revealed in Scripture, or the Law of Nature, and that is the Morall good Page 350 that God approveth and injoyneth to us, rather then the will of God; this the Familists call the exterior or accidentall will of God, because Gods will, as his essence, should have beene en∣tire and selfe-sufficient, though God had never revealed any such will to Men or Angels, yea though he had never made the World, or Men, or Angel. There is ano•her will essentiall in God, which is not the thing willed, but the essentiall faculty of desiring, or willing in God. Now to come neerer the point, the formall blessednesse of the Sain•s is in the act of seeing, know∣ing, loving, enjoying God, which on our part are created things, and so empty nothin•s, and are not essentially the happinesse of man, but meanes by the which we enjoy God our happinesse, so the using of all the meanes and ordinances are not our happi∣nesse. Its true, our Saviour saith, Its life eternall to know God, and his Sonne Christ,* Joh. 17. But he meaneth, it is the way and necessary meanes to happinesse, and life eternall. God in Christ, and in the in-commings, and out-slowings of the Spirit of glory, or the Blessed one God, in three persons, is the ob∣ject and happinesse of the Saints, and therefore we are to preferre Christ himselfe, to all the kisses, visions, out-slowings of glory, and all ou• acts of seeing, lovi•g, and enjoying of God; wee may love ordinances, and prize highly, the vision of God, but God himselfe, and Jesus Christ, we must not onely prize, but be ravished, overcharged with himselfe; as the Bridgrome is farre more excellent then his bracelets, chaines, rings. In this sense I would in my heart, and esteeme, make away all ordinances, yea, all the honey-combes, all the apples, all the created roses that grow on Christ, all the sweet results, and out-flowings of glory, yea, whole created heaven for Christ; Christ God himselfe; the bulke, the body, the stalke of the tree of life, is infinitly to be valued above an apple; yea all the created apples and sweet blossomes, and soule-delighting floures that grow∣eth on the tree. Now here on earth we are happy as heires, not as Lords and possessors, and in an union with the exterior, and revealed will of God, in beleeving, fearing, serving God, in Christ, in a practicall union with God, but all this is but the way to the weell, not the weell it selfe, and the union with, or vision of God is mediate, farre off, in a mirrour, in the image, forme, characters, elements, or looking-glasse, of Word, Sacra∣ments, Ministery, Ordinances, of hearing, praying, praysing, Page 351 but in heaven wee see God face to face, that is without meanes, or the intervention of messengers, or ordinances, I cannot de∣termine whether, when we shall know, and see the Lord, in an immediate vision of glory, our understanding shall receive created formes, intellectuall species, images, characters of the lovely essence, the white, ruddy, pleasant, lovely countenance, of that desirable Prince, the Lord Jesus; its a nicety not for our edification, sure Christ shal infuse and poure in into every ves∣sell of glory, so much of himselfe, his presence, lovliness•, image, beauty, as from bottome to brimme, the soule shall be full, and who knoweth what the eternall milkings, the everlasting in∣tellectuall suckings of the glorified ones are, by which they draw in, and drinke from the honey-combe of uncreated glo∣ry, and the deepe, deepe fountaine and river of endlesse life, the streames of joy, consolation, love, fruition of Jehovah, the soule being the channell, whose bankes are eternally greene with glo∣ry? what are the emanations, the out-flowings of blessedness, from the pure essence, and bright face of him that sitteth on the throne? and what can these in-commings, and the eternall flowings of the tyde of that Sea of matchless felicitie bee? who knoweth? Come up and see, can best resolve; come up and drinke, be drunke and giddie, and satiated with glory, and move no curious question of that fruition of God. Christ will solve all these doubts, to the quieting of your minde, when yee come up thither; nor is it needfull to say, that there is a vision of God in this life, which is heaven, and all the heaven wee shall ever have, and this vision is without receiving any images, formes, characters of God, because it is purely spiri∣tuall, and abstracted from all acts of imagination, and in it we are meere patients, not agents, God powring the immediate brightnesse of his owne essence in us: truely, this is to be wise above what is written, and I crave leave to doubt, if Familists have the images and species of this opinion from the Spirit of God. For that spirit is a Spirit of sobriety, and the most spiri∣tuall and extaticall visions that the Prophets, the men of God were taken up with; in them all, to me, there seems to be visions of formes, images, characters, a Throne, Angels with six wings, smoake, a woman cloathed with the Sunne▪ &c. A pot toward the North, a cloude and a fire infolding it selfe, — a co∣lour of Amber out of the midst of the fire; but a vision of Page 352 God immediate in this life, and that ordinary, without forms, images, without Word, Sacraments, Ordinances, I know not, I understand it not.
Pos. 3. The Monkish conceit of the excellency of a contem∣plative life separated from all obligation to duties of the second Table,* above the practicall life hath been the first seed of wic∣ked Familisme; the Authors of both these books called The∣ologia Germanica, and The Brighs Star being professed Pa∣pists, though Mr. Randall extoll both as peeces of rare price, and Doctrines suiting only for the perfect (as if the Scripture were not such a peece) yet professed grosse Idolatry and the ado∣ring of the wood of the Cross, is in The Bright Star, cap. 19. and divers other Popish principles are in both.
Pos. 4. There is a twofold fulnes of lovelinesse in Christ; one attainable in this life, the other reserved for the life to come. The full and highest pitch of the drawing loveliness of Christ, I thinke excludeth all Ordinances, Scripture, Sacraments, and meanes we now use. Because Old Monks and late Familists make no heaven, but in this life only (as if a Monks coul were the very crown of eternall glory) and say the Resurrection is past; as their Fathers Hymeneus and Phyletus said, and doubt of the immortality of the Soule; therefore they, that they may be true to their own principles, must say that there be a number of per∣fect men, that are above and higher then Law, duties, ordinan∣ces, teaching of men, ministery, because these are for the unper∣fect and unregenerate, (and the Monks and Familists are not such, but doe already injoy God, in a fruition of Glory) But the Scripture saith,* That meanes, ordinances, are ever in use in this life, and only excluded from the life to come. 1 Cor. 13.8. Charity never faileth: But whether there be prophecies, they shall faile, whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. Ver. 9. For we know in part, and we prophecy in part. 10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. v, 12. For now (in this life) we see through a glasse darkly. But then (in the life to come) face to face: Now I know in part, but then I shall know, even as also I am known. And that this is a Paralell between this life and the life to come, is clear from the 1 Joh. 3.2. Behold now we are the Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know when he shall Page 353 appeare, we shall be like him, for we shall see him, as he is. 2. The life to come is holden forth Revel. 21.22. to want all Ordinances. And I saw no Temple therein, (saith Iohn when he saw the New Jerusalem) for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lambe are the Temple of it. Nor is there any ignorance there, Rev. 22.5. And there shall be no night there, and they need no Candle, neither light of the Sun, for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever. What ever a∣ny say of a personall reign of Christ on earth, the words prove that while that life come, all the regenerate here have need of a Temple, and Ordinances, so long as there is night and dark∣ness, and use for Sun and Moon; so the date of Church ordi∣nances is holden forth, Cant. 2.16. My well-beloved is mine, and I am his, he feedeth among the Lillies. 17. Vntill the day breake, and the shadowes flee away. Then there is a night on the Church, and need of the Moon light of Ordinances, so long as Christ by his Ministery remaines in the Shepherds tents, feeding his flock in the strength of the Lord, and holding forth his presence to his justified ones, spotlesse and fair through the imputed righteousnesse of Christ; as Lillies, while the fai∣rest and most desirable day of that illustrious and glorious appearance of Christ dawn, and Paul clearly expoundeth these words, Ephes. 4. shewing the terme day of Christs raigne, in his Saints, by the Ministery of the Gospel, and that the Saints and body of Christ, are but in the way to be perfected and edified, by Pastors and Teachers, verse 13. Till we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ. Hence Saints are not perfected till that day. 2. The body of Christ is low of stature, capable of growing, the brides hair groweth, she is not of a perfect •all stature, but like a yong girle not yet fit for Marriage to the Lamb, Till we meet all in the unity of Faith: So I know no active anihilation, no evanishing of, and ceasing from, all acts of the will of God revealed in the law and Gospell; that is, from praying, hearing, meditating, loving, desiring, longing after Christ, till the day that the shaddowes flee away; Then I con∣fesse I shall have no leasure to read on the book of the Old and New Testament, or to attend Preaching, Sacraments, or other ordinances, because I need no mirror, no portrait of Christ, Page 354 no message of Ministers, when I see and injoy himselfe. 3. All who have God for their Father, and need daily bread, and are clothed with a body of clay, are to pray for remission of sins, not to be led into temptation, or sinfull omitting of duties; all for whom the blood of Jesus is shed, are to declare the Lords death till he come again. What ceasing then from du∣ties of Law, Love, the Spirit, and Christ is this? where is this fancied annihilation to be dreamed of? Scripture know∣eth it not.
Pos. 5. There is a fulness of loveliness in Christ, that is be∣gun in us, by possession and title in this life, but never perfect till the life to come, in which there be these 1. Vnion. 2. Fru∣ition. 3. Rest. 4. Satisfaction. 5. Sense. 6. Living and acting in Christ. 7. Loving and solacing of the soule, of which to hold forth more of the drawing of Christ, we say.
Pos. 6. Christs inviting us to come to him, and that before we can invite him, speaketh union. 1. Such an union as faith can make,* which ariseth not to the pitch of sight, and im∣mediate fruition, for its the union of those that are absent one from another, in regard of fulnesse of presence. 2 Cor. 5.6. Knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are ab∣sent from the Lord, John 16.7. Neverthelesse I tell you the truth it is expedient that I goe away. Luke 19.12. He said therefore a certain Nobleman went into a farre countrey, to receive for himselfe a Kingdome, and to return. Yet it is the union of those that are so neer as the house and the guest, or as two friends that tables together, Ephes. 3.17. Ioh. 14.23. Rev. 3.21. 2. Its an union of fruition, for Christ in some measure is injoyed in this life, yet so, as the fruition is in part, not compleat and full in degrees as it shall be in the life to come; it is there for both a fruition of rest and of motion; of rest, in regard of the present fruition; of motion, in regard of advancing in the way to a compleat fruition; so as is in a journey,* in regard of practicall love, and at its home in re∣gard of love and union of fruition; so the soule is both satis∣fied with bread, and hungers no more, Isai. 55.2. but de∣lighteth it selfe in fatnesse and thirsteth no more, having a pre∣sent sense of complac•ncy and content in the water of life, Joh. 4.14. and also the soule is so farre forth not satisfied, Page 355 and its thirst not quenched, but that it hungreth and thirsteth for a fuller union and an immediate fruition, in which regard the soule is both abroad in its way and motion to have more of Christ, and at home, and at rest, in regard it is fully satisfied exclusively, not inclusively; because this satisfaction excludeth and anihilateth all choice of another lover then Christ, and de∣nies all deliberate comparing of Christ with any other lover, as holding and prizing him the chiefe of ten thousand, and resolving never to fixe the desire on another Husband or Lover but Christ, as Cant. 3.4. It was but a little, that I passed from the watchmen, but I found him whom my soule loveth; I held him, and would not let him go, untill I had brought him into my mothers house, and the chamber of her that conceived me. Find∣ing and holding of Christ, is as much as there is satisfaction and rest in the fruition of him; and yet the Spouses aime to go hand in hand on a journey to the house of the high Jerusalem the mother of us all; which with submission I conceive the Spouse calleth her Mothers house, doth clearly prove that she is not perfect, but in a motion; not yet at her journeys end, till she come with Christ to the Palace of the Princes daughter, the Bride the Lambes wife, Revel. 21.10, 11, 12. Hence we see how true that is, that the desires are swallowed up into the bosome of infinite Iesus Christ, as a little brook is swallowed up when it comes into the Ocean, and yet the desires remaine: They are swallowed up in Christ in that the soule is at home, being quieted and perfected in Christ, and are no more rest∣lesse and pained in the journey toward Christ; but as heaven is begun on earth, so hath David quietness of mind, and break∣eth forth in praises, That the Lord gave him counsell to chuse God himselfe for his portion, Psal. 16.5, 6, 7. So goodly and pleasant is the heritage; And now there is no more desire for Christ as a thing absent, and the thirst is swallowed up in Christ, the soule thirsteth no more, Ioh. 4.14.* And yet the desire remaineth both in the sweet complacency and liking of the Saints, delighting in present fruition, and also in an act of longing for the highest pitch of degrees of union, just as in the act of drinking, thirst is halfe swallowed up in begun satis∣faction, and thirst remaineth in a liking, and a farther desire of a perfect cooling, and refreshing overcomming of a full quench∣ing of the appetite.
Page 356Pos. 7. Yet can it not be said, but here is a begun satisfacti∣on, for Joh. 4.14. Christ injoyed is a draught of the water of life freely given Revel. 22.17. That whosoever will, may drink of the water of life freely Joh. 7.37. In the last, and great day of the feast,*Jesus stood, and cryed, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drinke. 2. Not a drink onely is offered, but a well, a fountain. Psa. 36.9. For with thee is the fountain of life; a fountain is more then a drinke, because the whole is more then the part. But 3. every thirsty man cannot have a fountain within him, but yet it is so here, Joh. 4.14. But the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water, springing up to life eternall. And 4. the Scripture riseth higher, even to a river, and abundance of fatness. Psal. 36.8. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatnesse of thy house, Hebr. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 they shall be drunke with the fatnesse of thy house. Its a river of sweet oyle and fatness, that over-joyeth the soule; thou wilt give them to drinke of the river of thy pleasures: A ri∣ver of which every drop is joy, and a whole well of pleasures must be a Sea of delights. But grace must make the soule a capacious vessell, when not a fountaine, but a whole river; yea rivers of life are within the soule: So Christ, Joh. 7.38. He that beleeveth on me, as the Scripture hath said, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters. Yea, 5. That no expression might be wanting, The peace and righteousnesse of beleevers, is as the waves of the Sea; the Sea is more then a River, its the lodging that receives all fountains and rivers in it, Isai. 48.18.
Pos. 8. There must bee much sense of God, in the fruition of Christ; because beleeving, though we see him not, (as wee hope to see him) causeth joy unspeakeable and full of glory. 1 Pet. 1.8. Thus a high tide, a floud of joy and glory, a rich por∣tion of an antedated heaven, cometh downe on the heires of heaven before hand. Psal. 63.5. My soule shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatnes; a rich feast of only marrow and fatnes, and a satisfying table holdeth forth a great banquet, abundant and glorious; such as is made at the mariage of a great Kings Son.
Positi. 9. And this is not a ceasing from all actings of the soule, because there is an acting and living in Christ. 2 Cor. 3.18. But we all with open face, beholding as in a glasse, Page 357 the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as it were by the Spirit of the Lord. 1. The vaile,* that by the laws ministrie, which can darken, but not inlighten, in the gospel is removed; and we with uncovered face see God revealed in Christ, in the brightnesse of the gospel-day. 2. We see, behold and enjoy glorie: heaven darteth in the rays, and beames of God in Christ, at our soule. 3. This is a changing glorie: precious stones in the night-darkenesse cast out light, but bring them before the Sunne, and the beames and light of the Sunne changeth them into a greater measure of resplendencie, and shining irradiation: we seeing the unspeakeable resplen∣dencie, and heavenly glancing of divine majestie, in the mediatour Christ, are transformed and changed, into the Lord Jesus, his beautie of holinesse; the Gospel-light maketh us holy, as he is holy: as there is beautie in the feathers of a Dove; but when the Sun illuminateth, and shineth on them, they carie the glance∣ing of silver and golden feathers, yet it is but a show: And so red and white roses of themselves have excellent beautie; but set them between you and the Sun, and they are far more beau∣tifull: And the eastern skie of it selfe, is but a darke thin form∣lesse air, that yee can scarcely behold and see; but when the Sun riseth, and shineth upon that skie, it doth create and beget the fairest and most beautifull colour of red, and aizure, that is pos∣sible; for no bodily creature, casteth a fairer and a sweeter re∣splendencie and colour, then the morning-red and purple-skie: So when the glorious Son of righteousnesse Christ, shineth on Saints, in the morning day-light of the Gospel, he createth the image of the glory of God in the soule, and changeth them into a luster and beautie fairer to Christs eye, then the Sun, or the red morning skie; now the Sun, by beholding any creature cannot change that creature into another Sun; but Christ beholding his bride, and the bride beholding with the eye of knowledge, and faith, in the rayes and beames of the Gospel-light, is changed into the glorious image of Christ. Cant. 6.10. Who is she that looketh foorth as the morning, as Aurora, the first birth of the young day, when the Sunne casteth golden beames, faire as the Moon, cleare as the Sunne. 4. We live and act in Christ, and are changed from glory to glory; its but a growing change by degrees. Then the kingdome of heaven and glory is not in this life, nor hell in this life, as these dreamers say; the conditions Page 358 of happinesse, and misery, that followeth Lazarus, and the rich glutton,* after they die, and are buried. Luke 16.22, 23, 24, 25 say the contrary. 2. There is such a gulfe between heaven and hell, that there is no passage, no sayling, nor posting between the one and the other. Luke 16.26. as Familists imagine. 3. That Saints should beleeve they can never be delivered, nor com∣forted; in the hell they are pained with all in this life, when yet God hath promised to them in their saddest nights, deliverance and comfort; is against the faith and lively hope of the Saints, and a sinfull unbeliefe; and the man in sin cannot be as safe in a hell of sin, as if he were in heaven. 4. Hell is a condition of sinning and blaspheming of God, but to desire nothing, but the eternall good, and to understand the eternall good to be above measure good, is not a condition of sinning, but of happinesse, and holinesse, and so cannot be hell. 5. These two conditions, sort not with the everlasting fire prepared for the Devill and his Angels; and life eternall prepared for the blessed of the Father. Mat. 25. But to return, if life be the greatest perfection of be∣ing, the beleever in Christ must enjoy an intellectuall life, in Christ,* and live, see, know, injoy God; and though the injoy∣ing of Christ, bee the highest degree of selfe-deniall, and the man loose himself in Christ; that is, his sinfull and fleshly, I, egoitie, and selfinesse in Christ, yet he loseth not, but findeth in in Christ, his sinlesse created selfe, his selfe perfected, with that high and supernaturall ornament of Christ living in him. It is also most true, selfe, as all created beings are but meere depen∣dencies on God: as the beames of the Sun are but fluxes, results, and issues, that have no being; but in the Sun, sure creatures de∣pend more in their being,* and working on God; then accidents depend on their subject: but it is nothing lesse then blasphemy, against all reason and common sense, and subverteth all the Scrip∣tures of God, to say that God is formally all things, that God is man,*that God is the Spirit and forme that acteth in all, that a holy man is God incarnate, and Christ God man, and that Christ the Mediator is nothing; but God humanized, and man God∣ded, and deified, and that Christ dwelling in a beleever by faith, and the inhabitation of the holy Ghost, is but God manifested in the flesh of every man. This destroyeth many articles of Faith (as Familists care not boldly to subvert all Scriptures) for Christ then is not true man, borne of the seed of David, and he Page 359 is not God blessed for ever, in one person. 2. All creatures and created beings compared with God,* the first being of himselfe subsisting, and the infinite God may be denied, to bee beings comparatively: And so our created selfe is nothing, to wit, no∣thing in dignitie, or excellencie beside God, or nothing in the kinde of a being that essentially is of it selfe: as God is in genere entis per essentiam, yet man is a being in the kinde of being by participation, in genere entis per participationem; man com∣pared with God, is a poore, worthless, sorry, little-nothing, a weeping, melting, evanishing Cipher. Yea, sweetest ordinances, because its but created sweetness that is in them, are neare of blood to nothing, and in comparison of God meere shaddows; that cannot bottome the immortall soule; and nothing, and par∣take of vanitie common to all creatures. So the Scripture saith, Man at his best state is altogether vanitie. Psal. 39.5. Behold, thou hast made my dayes as a hand breadth, and mine age is no∣thing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altoge∣ther vanitie Esai. 40.17. All nations before him are nothing, and lesse then nothing, and vanitie. Yet a heathen may say and thinke, and demonstrate by reason, that selfe, and man, and all the world are lesse in incomparison of the infinite God, then no∣thing to all things, a droppe of water to the Sea, the shaddow to the body, a peny-torch to the light of ten thousand millions of Suns in one; and yet be as farre from selfe-denyall,*from put∣ing off the old man, and mortifying the lusts of the flesh, as light is from darknesse. It is most vaine to say as its the property of the creature to seeke and will it selfe, and its own, and this or that, here or there: as it is the property of God to bee without this or that, without selfiness, egoity, or the like. Because every thing created, even worms, frogs, trees, elements, such creatures as beget creatures like themselves; they have such a sweet and naturall interest in being, that without sin or deviation from law, or rule, or any leading, or directing principle of nature, they desire themselves, their owne being: and when they can∣not keepe being in themselves, they desire to keep it in the kind, by propagation, and will fight it out against all contraries, and e∣nemies, to preserve their owne being, though but borrowed from God, and I know no sin they are guilty of, in so doing; nor was Christs conditional desire of life, and deprecating death, any whit contrary to innocent selfe-denyall. 2. The Lord seek∣eth Page 360 himselfe and his owne glory, and made all things for him∣selfe,*even the wicked for the evill day. Prov. 16.4. And that is a most holy and pure act, which God ascribeth to himselfe. Esai. 43, 21. This people have I formed for my selfe, they shall shew forth my praise.
Now in all dwelling in Christ, there is a continuall act∣ing of life, by beleeving, joying, resting in God. As Phillip saith, Iohn 14.8. Lord, shew us the father and it sufficeth us. Here life seeks a soule-satisfying union with life, for life is onely a satisfactorie object to life. Living things seeke no dead things as such, to be their happinesse, if reason doe rightly act them, and God as revealed in Iesus Christ, is that in which the Saints find a soule sufficiency for themselves; and the act of seeing God in Christ whether in this life,* or in the life to come, is an act of life, for the soule liveth in the Ocean, Sea, and bosome of a fair eternall truth. But doth it act there? yea, it doth, and the Scripture expresseth its acting; by seeing God, drink∣ing the fountain of life. Then th• soule thus in Christ drink∣eth in love, and milketh and sucketh in the soule-reioycing ir∣radiations of Christ, and Christ letting out the breathings of the sweetness of his excellency on the face of the soul draw∣eth and sucketh in reciprocally acts of admiration and won∣dering, Cant. 2.8. The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountaines,*and skipping on the hils; behold is a word of wonder, 1 Joh. 3.1. Behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed on us. Not love onely, but the man∣ner and the kinde of the Fathers love in Christ, is a worlds wonder, and 2 Thess. 1.10. Christ when he cometh shall be wondered in them that beleeve. 2. Then again when wee see, and injoy the drawing lovelinesse of Christ; hee as the fountaine and well of life, powreth in, in our intellectuall love, and in the glancings, and rayes of our understanding, acts of divine light, lumpes of fresh love from the spring of heavens love, and the soule openeth its mouth wide, and taketh in the streames of Christs nectar, hony, and milke, his consolations, and love breathings; and in his light we seeing light, and in his love, feeling love, he maketh out light and love (as it were) coeternall with borrowed eternitie; and we goe along with the out-shinings of Christs bright countenance, to shine in bor∣rowed light, to flame in borrowed coals of love; and as Christ Page 361 is said, to feed his flock among the Lilies, the garden of Christ, his Church being the common pasture for the lambes of the flock; so he feeds the soules of the Saints that enjoyeth him, with the marrow, fatness, and dainties of his light, and love that shine in his face, even as the oyle feeds the lampe; but with this difference, Christs dainties are not lessened, because wee feed upon them, as the oyle is consumed with burning.
Pos. 10. There is a living and solacing of the soule in Christ, even to saciety in this enjoying of Christ.
Hence, 1. Love giveth strong leggs, and swift wings to the soule, to persue an union with Christ.* Love putteth the hand to the bottome of the desire, and draweth with strong coards, the lover to it; we have heard of Christs invitation, Come to me. But suppose Christ had never outed his love, in such a love-expression, Come to me. Christ himselfe is such a draw∣ing object, that beauty, the smell of his garments, his moun∣taine of myrrhe, and hill of Frankincense, the Sea and rivers of salvation, that capacious and wide heaven of redemption are intrinsecally, and of themselves crying, drawing, and ravishing objects: as gold is dumbe and cannot speake, yet the beauty and gaine of it, cryeth, Come hither poore, and bee made rich.
2. Loves wings move sweetly, Open my sister, &c. My head is full of dew, and my locks with the drops of the night; there is no dumbe and silent violence so strong, so piercing as Christs love.
3. When the soule in any measure comprehendeth this love, the Soule is filled with all the fulnesse of God, Ephes. 3.19.* Hence must follow a stretching out of the soule to its widest capacity and circumference, being filled with God, and the ful∣nesse of Christ, that all created objects, because of their little∣nesse and lownesse, and the soules stretched out and wide ca∣pacity, looses proportion with the soule; as if a man were in the top of a Castle higher then the third region of the ayre, or neere the sphere of the Moone, should hee looke downe to the fairest and sweetest meddowes, and to a garden rich with roses and floures, of all sweet colours, delitious smels, he should not see any sweetness in them all; yea, the pleasant∣nesse, colour, and smell of all these, could never reach his sen∣ses, because he is so farre above them. So the soule filled with Page 362 the love of Christ is high above all created lovers, and they so farre below the soules eye, that their loveliness cannot reach or ascend to the high and large capacity of a spiritualized soule; as the light of a penny-candle put in a house of some miles in length, in breadth, and height, in a darke night, should not be able to illuminate all the house, and render the ayre of a mile in quantity, lightsome and transparent, as the day-light Sunne would doe.
4. Because the glory of Christs beauty seene and loved, changeth the soule into a globe or masse of divine love and glo∣ry,*as it were by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3.18. There∣fore the soule seeth Christ so neere in his love-embracements, and close inchaining of Christs left arme under the soules head, and the right hand embracing it, that it cannot see it selfe, it cannot see another lover, it can see nothing but Christs faireness, heare nothing but the beloved's voice, taste nothing but his Aples of love, his Flagons of wine, can smell nothing but his Spicknard, and precious oyntments; so that the soule is cloathed with Christ, and his love, and can but breath out love to him againe; and Christ infuseth himselfe in his sweet∣nesse and excellencie, so as the beleever is apprehended by Je∣sus Christ, Phil. 3.12. violently, but sweetly and strongly drawne in and holden in the Kings house of Wine, Cant. 2.4. Sickned and overcomed with love, Cant. 2.5. Cant. 5.8. chai∣ned and compelled, 2 Cor. 5.14. wounded with the arrowes of love; so as death, the grave, Hell, Angels, things present, or to come, cannot licke these wounds, nor embalme, or bind them up, or cure them, Psal. 45.5. Revel. 6.1.2. Cant. 8.6.7. Rom. 8.38.39. Yea, the soule must yeeld over it selfe; as a Spouse under the power of her husband, and lose her self, and her fathers house, in such a deepe Ocean of delights of Love's stronger then wine, Psal. 45.10. Cant. 5.1. Cant. 1.2. As melted, dissolved, and fallen a swoune in Christ, Cant. 5.6. and therefore needeth in that swoune, to be recovered with the flagons of the wine and aples of his consolations, Cant. 2.4.
5. Nor can Jesus Christ but tenderly, lovingly, and compassi∣onately deale with his beloved;* for Christ must draw them, Joh. 6.44. sweetly allure them, Hos. 2.14. Esai 40.1. Take them by the two armes, and teach them to walke, as the mother doth the young childe, who hath not yet leggs to walke alone, Page 363Hos. 11.3. Beareth them in his armes, and dandleth them on his knee, Esai 46.3, 4. Exod. 19.4. They are carried on Christs warme wings, as the young Eagles by the Mother, Devt 32.11. they are laid in Christs bosome, and nourished with the warmness and the heate of life that commeth from Christs heart, Esai 40.11. caried on the shoulders of Christ, the good Shepherd, Luk. 15.5. and yet neerer Christ, as a bracelet about Christs armes; so hee weares his Church as a favour, and a love-token, Jer. 22.24. Cant. 8.6. and in∣graven in letters of bloud upon Christs flesh, stamped and printed on the palmes of his hands, Esai 49.16. and yet nearer him, set as a seale upon the heart of Christ, so precious to him, as to lodge in his bowels and heart, Cant. 8.6. and they dwell in Christ, 1 Joh. 4.13. and dwell in God, and God is love, and so they dwell in the love of Christ, 1 Joh. 4.16. are kissed with the kisses of Christs mouth, Cant. 1.2. and lye betweene the right and left arme of Christ, Cant. 2.6. Yet all these taketh not the soule off, but inflameth it to duties, for Christs sake who is so highly loved; nor are these raptures inconsistent with sinfull infirmities.
6. As love moveth swiftly to the soule, as a Roe, or a young Hart, (for that is Christs pace to his Church, Cant. 2.) so it acts upon the soule co-naturally, as being a price to it selfe, apprehending the dignity and excellency of Christ the beloved. Love is not irrationall as a fury, and a fit of madnesse, that hath no reason, but its owne fire. Therefore the secrets of Christ, the deepe and hidden things of his treasures of love and wis∣dome, must be opened up to the soule. The soule seeth new gold mines, new found-out Jewels, never knowne to be in the the world before, opened and unfolded in Christ. Here is the in-commings of the beames of light inaccessible, the veins of the unserchable riches of Christ, as if yee saw every moment a new heaven, a new treasure of love, the deepe bottomlesse bottomes of an ocean of delightes, and rivers of pleasures; the bosome of Christ is opened, new breathings and spirations of love that passeth knowledge, Ephes. 3.19. are manifested; nor hath the eye seene, nor the eare heard, nor hath it entered in the heart of man to conceive the things that God hath prepared for them that love him, 1 Cor. 2.9. yet are they revealed, in some measure, in this life.
Page 3647. And it is most considerable, how the soule in loving Christ is not her owne; and in regard of loving, Christ is not his owne, but every one makes over it selfe to another, and propriety or interest to it selfe in both sides (as it were) ceaseth, Hos. 3.3. And I said unto her, thou shalt abide for mee many dayes, thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not bee for another man, so will I also be for thee; so the Mariage covenant of grace saith: I will be your God, and yee shall be my people. And the Spouse, Cant. 2.16. My well-beloved is mine, and I am his. It is true, Christ leaveth not off to be his owne, or to be a free God when hee becomes ours; but hee demeaneth himselfe, as if he were not his owne, and putteth on relations, and assumeth offices of engagement; a Saviour, an Annointed, a Redeemer, a King, a Priest, a Prophet, a Shepherd, a Husband, a Ransomer, a Friend, a Head, a guide, and leader of the people, all which are for us: and the soule injoying Christ, possesseth Christ, and not it selfe; loveth Christ, not it selfe; liveth in Christ, not in it selfe; injoy∣eth Christ, not it selfe; solaceth it selfe in Christ, not in it selfe; beholdeth Christ and his beauty, not it selfe, nor his owne beauty; so that mind, will, love, desire, hope, joy, sight, wondring, delighting, are all over in Christ, not in it selfe. And all this further confirmeth the point in hand, that Christ crucified, and laid hold on by faith, is a desirable and a drawing lover.