The eighth book of Mr Jeremiah Burroughs. Being a treatise of the evil of evils, or the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Wherein is shewed, 1 There is more evil in the least sin, than there is in the greatest affliction. 2 Sin is most opposite to God. 3 Sin is most opposite to mans good. 4 Sin is opposite to all good in general. 5 Sin is the poyson, or evil of all other evils. 6 Sin hath a kind of infiniteness in it. 7 Sin makes a man conformable to the Devil. All these several heads are branched out into very many particulars.
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646., Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.
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THE EVIL of EVILS: OR, The Exceeding Sinfulness OF SIN.*. [Reader, •…is Trea∣ise was first Prea∣ched at Stepney, neer Lon∣don, on the Lordsday mornings t was be∣gun Nov. 29. 1641 and fini∣shed Feb. 27 1641. It is thought good o give the Reader Notice hereof, in espect to ome Ex∣pressions •…d in 〈◊〉 Trea∣•…e.]
Page  103

CHAP. XX.

A Sixt Corollarie.] If sin be thus sinful, it should teach us not only to be troubled for our own sins, but the sins of others.

SIxtly, A Sixt Corollarie, If Sin be so much against God, and wrong God so, Hence it should teach all those that know God, and have a∣ny love to God, to be troubled, not only for their own sins, but for the sins of others, for sin wheresoever they see it. Oh I see the blessed God wronged, fought a∣gainst, stroke at; and this should go neer the heart of all those that have any love to God at all: As with David in the 119. Psalm, 136. Rivers of water run down mine eyes because they keep not thy Laws: 'tis true, every man and woman should especially look to themselves, and their hearts should especially be troubled for their own sins; but mark the Saints that know how sin is against God, their hearts cannot but be wonderfully troubled when they see that God, so dear and precious to them, thus wronged; Rivers of wa∣ter run down mine eyes because they keep not thy Law. Oh when (I put it to thee in the Name of the Lord) in all thy life didst thou shed one tear for the sins of those among whom you live? for the sins of thy Familie? And vers. 158. I beheld the transgressors, and was Page  104 grieved: Oh I was grieved and pained at my heart; yea, thus it will be with thee if thou lo∣vest God. When thou in the Familie, may be thou art a Child, when thou beholdest thy Fa∣ther or Mother Carnal, and spending all their lives without the knowledg of God, and in waies of sinning against God, thou shouldest get alone, and mourn and lament for it: Oh it is that, if any thing in the world, that would break a Pa∣rents heart, if there be a yong Child, a Youth, or a Maid, that God begins to reveal himself unto them, and the Parent speaks, may be against them, and Gods people, and swear, or profane Gods Day, or speak against his Ordinances, though it may be it do not become thee to speak to them; but if thou canst before them, let tears drop from thine eyes; or get alone, and fall down and lament before God, if thou canst by lamenting reprove their sins; that they shall see thee lament for them, this may break their hearts it may be: notwithstanding if it do not break their hearts, it hath this in it; Cer∣tainly, if any thing in the world will stir us and break our own hearts, this should be it, To see God dishonored in the world as he is, though our hearts be never so much hardened other∣wise. There is a Storie of a Child of Cressus that was born dumb, he seeing a Soldier readie to strike at his Father and kill him, the affection to his Father brake the bars of his Tongue, and he cried out, Oh why will you kill the King? Then he cried out thus though he never spake before; but the stroke against his Father made Page  105 him speak. So thou man or woman, shouldest have thy heart dead in other things, and have no mind to speak, yet when you see wretched men and women strike at God, (as they do, as I have shewed in their sin) if thou have any heart in the world; any life in the world, when thou seest this stroke at God, now speak; Oh that should burst all bars asunder. Though thou beest never so meek in thy Familie, and canst bear other things, yet thou shouldest shew that thou canst not bear sin against God. Oh I be∣seech you consider this, and see how neer this comes to you; How many if any thing be done in your Familie against you, or among your neighbors that is against you, you cannot bear it; but you can bear that which is done against God, and never be troubled at it. As many a Master, let the Servant neglect his work, and displease him, he cannot bear it; but let his Ser∣vant be wicked, and break the Sabbath, denie God his time, let his Servant perhaps swear, or do such wickedness, he goes away and saith it may be, Why do you so? or, you should not do so; or it may be, takes no notice of it: Cer∣tainlie that man knows neither God nor sin, or hath little relation to God that takes so little notice of that done against God; and yet that done against himself, he cannot bear it. Take this along with you, If you have anie relation to God, your hearts will be more troubled for the wrong done to God by your Children and Servants, than when your selves are wronged by your Servants or Children. Oh how manie Page  106 men and women would go and wring their hands to their neighbors and friends, Oh! ne∣ver man or woman so miserable as I! my own Child out of my bowels wrongs me, and doth what hurt he can to me! this is accounted mat∣ter of bitter lamentation: But now why should not thy heart melt and lament when thou canst say, Oh the Child out of my Loins and Bowels, how doth he wrong the blessed God of all the world? Oh that I should be so miserable to bear in my Bowels one an Enemie to the infinite blessed God! Oh that an Enemie to God should ever come out of my Loins! My thinks this should move tender hearted Mothers, to see that they should bring forth such that should go on in waies of enmitie against God himself. Sup∣pose one out of your Bowels should be a Traitor to the Parliament, and do mischief to the State, would not this trouble you, that one out of your Bowels should be a Traitor to the Common∣wealth? this would be a grievous vexation. Now is it not more if that thou hast a wicked Child, one out of thy Bowels that strikes at God, and is a Traitor to the God of Heaven? these do more mischief than to destroy a whol Nation; I say, if a man should live to destroy, to undo a whol Land for their outward estate, there were not so much evil in it, as in one sin against God. You would say, that were a Misereant that should be born to undo a whol Nation, and wo to me that I should bear one that should live to do such mischief to undo a State: Now if thou bear one that strikes against God, and wrongs Page  107 God in waies of sin, this should trouble thee as much as the other: therefore never be at quiet till thou see some work of grace, till thou see the heart of thy Child called in. I remember Augustine saith this of his Mother, and I pro∣pound this for Mothers example, he being verie wicked a while, and his Mother godlie; Oh it grieved her heart that she should have a Child go on in such wickedness against God, and she praid and wept, so that Augustine saith of her, after God had enlightened his eyes to consider what she did for him, saith he, I perswade my self my Mother did as much labor, and endure as much pain for my second Birth, as ever for my first Birth: this is his testimonie of her, that by her prayers and tears for her Childs Salvation that was wicked, he did verilie beleeve it cost her as much labor for the second Birth, as for the first: upon which, when she comes and complains to Ambrose of her Child, well saith he, Be of good comfort, surely a Son of so many prayers and tears can hardly pe∣rish; and he did not indeed, for he proved a worthie Instrument of Gods Glorie afterward in the Church. Now is there anie Mother in this Congregation that can say, I have labored as much, and it hath cost me as much pain for the second Birth of my Child, as ever it did for the first? Certainlie did you know what sin were, and how against God, it would cost you a great deal of travail when you see your Children wic∣ked, and much prayer and cost, that you might not have a Child an Enemie to God, a Traitor to the Crown, Scepter, and Dignitie of Jesus Christ. Page  108 Oh Brethren, doth it not pitie your souls to see that infinite, blessed, holy, dreadful God so much wronged in the world as he is. It should move us to pitie to see any Saint, a man or a woman of an excellent gracious Spirit, to see such a soul a∣bused and wronged; as Solomon saith, there was a wise man in the City and not regarded, though he delivered the Citie; to see but one man of wisdom that hath but any excellencie in his Spi∣rit to be wronged, it should trouble any ingeni∣ous heart. But then I reason thus, if it would be, and should be such a trouble to any ingeni∣ous heart to see any one man of a gracious Spirit wronged and abused, then how should it trou∣ble any ingenious, any gracious heart in the world to see the infinite blessed glorious God to be wronged in the world by sin, as I have alrea∣die shewed he is in everie sin, when I discovered to you how sin is against God that I might pos∣sess your hearts with this Principle, for I know no Principle of greater power through the strength of Christ to do good upon your Spirits than this.