[Page] LECTVRES VPON THE EPI­STLE OF PAVL TO THE COLOSSIANS. PREACHED BY THAT FAITHFVLL seruant of God, Maister ROBERT ROLLOK, sometime Rector of the Vniuersitie of Edenburgh.

COLOS. 3. 16, 17.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you plenteously in all wis­dome, teaching and admonishing your owne selues, in psalmes and hymnes, and spirituall songs, singing with a grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoeuer ye shall doe, in word or deede, doe all in the Name of the Lord Iesus, giuing thankes to God euen the Father by him.

AT LONDON Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, ouer against the signe of the Checker. 1603.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL AND MY VERY CHRISTIAN FRIEND, Maister William Scot of Ely, all goodnesse in this life, and in the life to come euer­lasting happinesse.

SIr, in many things God hath been pleased to linke vs toge­ther, as in nature, in nation, and in honest familiaritie or Christian acquaintance, and sundrie such like: yet in none of these, hath this great grace of his, more plainely and plen­tifully appeared, then in the band of the holy Reli­gion which we professe. As the thing it selfe hath been, is, and I trust shall for euer be, the greatest glo­rie and best comfort, that God hath affoorded vs in this world: so we cannot but make much of the meanes, and thinke well of the men, by which this and many other graces, haue been offered vnto vs, [...] [...]ffected in vs.

[...] meanes are the Word, Sacraments, and Prayers of the Church, together with many other [Page] good helpes and aides, both publike and priuate which are good, not onely because they proceede from God, From whom alone floweth euery good and perfect gift, and is all onely goodnes himselfe: but also be­cause they tend, to our spirituall benefit in generall, and in speciall are, the strictest band, to tye vs toge­ther one with another, and to hold vs fast in the bles­sed fellowship of the saints. The men are G [...] faithfull seruants, labouring in the ministerie of Gods holy word and doctrine amongst vs. Who howsoeuer they bee of themselues infirme and weake, and haue Gods blessed treasures but in earthen vessels, and therefore many times euen in both these respects, not onely despised, but ill intreated in this euill world, yet are they made vnto [...]s and the rest that beleeue, the sauor of life vnto life, [...] Christ.

Amongst others, whom God in this last age hath vouchsafed vnto vs, who may we? or who mould we more continually remember, or more reuerent­ly regard, then that worthie Country man of ours, Maister ROBERT ROLLOK, who, what hee was in himselfe (I meane for his life and conuersa­tion) I suppose verilie, you of any man liuing best know, and can and will most truely relate, as time and occasion shall be offered, because you were not onely the longest, but most inwardly acquainted with all his cariages. And what he was, and hath been to the Church, his worthy workes left [...]ind him, besides his daily labours in the Pulpit and Schooles, can more then sufficientlie testifie▪ What to men in the world, is manifested by many things. [Page] But not by any more then this, that hitherto enuie it selfe, hath not opened her mouth, neither euer shall be able so to doe, his conuersation was so Chri­stian, and his iudgement so sincere. This worthie in­strument of his glorie; God graciouslie offered, nay liberally lent a long while to our Church: but we [...] so reuerentlie esteeming him, as we should, nor [...]refullie profiting by him, as in deede we ought, God in great mercie towards him doubtles, though in no small iudgement to vs ward, hath been pleased to retraite him to himselfe, out of this wretched world, and to bring him to, yea to place him in cele­stiall & heauenlie ioyes. Which whatsoeuer he was doing, he did hunger and thirst after, yea groane and [...], and as we may say in another mans speech, [...] another matter, he did eate, drinke, and [...] eternall life, euery thing in him in a manner assuredly testifying, that here was not his hope, but that he looked for a citie, eternall in the heauens. All which graces God gaue him, not onely for his owne con­solation, but in deed for our imitation, if happilie we can striue thereto, that he being in some mea­sure, both in life and death made conformable, to his head and Sauiour Christ, we might learne in deed, and that by an example in fraile flesh and blood, to purge our selues from all filthines of the flesh and the spirit, and to finish our sanctification in the feare of God▪ Wherein, that the Lord might the better in­struc [...] [...]s, he hath thus farre graciouslie prouided for vs, that though he be departed from vs, as in regarde of the bodie, yet he is present with vs, in respect of his spirit; yea to say truth he liueth, and that not onely [Page] with God, and innumerable Saints and Angels, in the heauenlie places, where is the fruition and fulnes of ioy for euermore, but euen with men, yea holy men vpon earth, and speaketh to them, though not in a bodily voyce, yet in the sound of his Lectures, and fame of many excellent things of his, prouoking the good euerie day to be better, and admonishing the wicked, euery where to turne from dead workes, vnto the liuing God, that so they might repent, and be saued. And this he doth amongst others, euen in these Ser­mons or Lectures, which now I present vnto you, as a posthume birth, after the Fathers decease, or as an Orphane destitute of earthly parents, not onely to receiue, as it were breath and being from you, for that it hath done alreadie, as without whose good meanes in deed, it could neuer haue beheld this light, but all good supportation beside, it lying in you, not onely for your selfe, but with sundrie o­thers, by reason of the good credit you haue among all, speciallie with the godlie, to giue it voge, and passage.

Take it therefore I pray you into your good pa­tronage and protection, and receiue it, as it is in deed yours: yea, yours I say, if not in many good and gracious respects besides, yet in a double regarde at the least. One in consideration of the author, whose things whilest he liued, yea and after life and death also, were yours, as yours again his, but all in Christ. Another, in that it is produced to the view of all, by your meanes, without which it should haue been, as bed-reden, notable to moue hand or foote, nor to see or speake, or should haue perished inter blattas & [Page] tineas, as we say; but now commeth forth into the world, cloathed as it were with your countenance, and to be vpheld by your credit.

In this holy loue of yours, hold on I beseech you, and increase with the increasings of God, and shew it ef­fectuallie, not onely to his, which yet remaine a­mongst vs, as you haue bountifullie done, and yet doe, that so that may be verified in you, in the daies of your pilgrimage, which was auerred of a right worthie person in former time, he ceaseth not to doe good to the liuing, and to the dead: but euen to all the Saints and Seruants of God in this world, you ma­nifesting it, to these especiallie, by sending abroad o­ther fruitfull labours of his, for the blessed building of them vp in sound knowledge, stedfast faith, and all vnfeined obedience of truth. Assure your selfe (good Sir) that this labour of loue in you towards them, shall not be left vnrequited, neither of God himselfe, nor of his deare people: for besides that God, who leaueth not a cuppe of colde water vnrecom­pensed, giuen in his name to one of the little ones that be­leeue in him, will render it seuen folde into your bosome, euen in this life, as hee shall see good, but speciallie in the resurrection of the righteous, his Saints vpon earth, will more and more pur­sue you, with all holy loue, and as a sure pledge thereof, vouchsafe you their dailie prayers, and performe all other fauours and furtherances that they can. Nay I will say more, the Saints in Hea­uen, and particularlie our ROLLOK shall abound, not onely in right and sound, but in perfect affec­tion to you: and good reason, because if when [Page] the Saints that dwell here amongst vs, doe vnfei­nedlie loue one another, they cannot but in Heauen perfectlie loue all that are there, and their fellow­seruants on earth, as well because Heauen freeth vs from all corruption bodilie and spirituall, as also be­cause it is the place to and in which God hath ap­pointed, fulnes of all ioy, and perfection of all graces. But whither am I caried? It is time to end, special­lie sith I doubt not but the wisdome of the Word will teach you, and the power of the blessed spirit will inable you to performe these and all other good things, to the glorie of God, the good of his people, and the comfort of your owne con­science thorough Christ. In whom I rest assuredlie yours, now and for euer.

Iames Hamelton.

The Epistle to the Christian Readers.

THe Citie Colosse was a very aun­cient, populous, rich, Zenophon. lib. 1. de expe­ditione Cyriminoris, ad Colossas ve­nit, celebrem vrbē, magnam, & opulentam. Plin. lib. 5. c. 32 and flou­rishing Citie; but much Herodotus lib. 7. qui in­scribitur Po­lymnia. Xerxes praeter­gressus vrbem Anaua inue­nit Colossas Phrigiae op­pidum. So Strabo. li 12 decayed (as some report) long before the birth of Christ. And since this Church of Christ was founded among the Colossians, these three Cities mentioned in this Epistle, Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colosse, were much shaken, if not vtterly ruinate with an Earthquake (which happe­ned in Paulus Oro­sius. lib. 4. c. 10. Ioh. Cal. ep. ad Coloss. Neros time) a fearefull spectacle, and iudge­ment sent of God, for the Exod. 5. 3. 1. Cor. 11. 30. Num. 14. 11. contempt of the Gospell, as we may see the Citie of Corinth for the same cause, euen then, smitten with the Pestilence, for the instruction, no doubt, of all succeeding ages to the worldes ende.

As touching the writing of this Epistle, albeit this blessed Apostle had trauailed twise or Acts. 15. 32. & 16. 18. 23. thrise thorough Phrigia, where these three Cities were, yet came he not to Colosse, for that Epaphras, Onesimus, Tychicus, with others, had first planted the Church of Christ in those parts. The reason is rendred by himselfe, when he saith, I Rom. 15. 20. 1. Cor. 3. 9. enforced my selfe to preach the Gospell, not where Christ was, least I should haue built on ano­ther [Page] mans foundation. Being therefore afterwards oc­casioned, as is most like by Epaphras and Tychicus, with other seruants of Christ, he wrote this worthy Epistle, be­ing prisoner in Rome, to the Colossians for their further in­struction and confirmation in the faith of Christ.

The argument is this in effect: Because the turbulent and superstitious Iewes disquieted the peace of the Colos­sians, intending, as else where often, to make a mixture of the Lawe and the Gospell: therefore the Apostle giues The argument of the Epistle to the Colossians. in this Epistle, a short abridgement of all the heauenly doctrine of our saluation, describing vnto vs in a most liuely manner what Christ is in his natures and offices, working most powerfully in all his liuing members vnited vnto him: and not to be (as the world imagineth) a dead, deformed, idle, painted, Popish Christ. So that this Epistle will teach Christians, soundly and truly, to discerne be­tweene the shadow and substance of true Religion, betweene the true Christ and fained, and consequently betweene the true and false professors of the Gospell.

There are seuen parts of this Epistle: I finde them so Seuen parts of the Epistle to the Colossians. set downe in Maister Rollocks latine Commentarie, very briefely and truly obserued as followeth. 1 The first part is the Salutation, chapter 1. verse 1, 2. 2 The second is the Preface, wherein he reioyceth for their faith in Christ, and loue to the Saints, from the 3. verse to the 12. 3 The third part containes his doctrine of Christs benefits to the Saints, namely their calling and redemption, where the Apostle proceedeth vnto an high description of the Sonne of God, into whose kingdome they were called and translated by the Gospell, applying all things to the Colos­sians, from the 12. verse of the first chapter, to the 23. of the same. 4 In the fourth part, he exhorteth to perseuerance [Page] in the faith, and admonisheth that they take heede of false teachers, from the 23. verse of the first chapter, to the end of the second chapter. In this part he intermingleth ad­monition with exhortation, for verse 23. of the first chap­ter, he exhorteth to perseuerance in the faith: verse 4. of the second chapter, he admonisheth them to take heede of false teachers, and in the sixt verse of the same chapter, he returnes againe to his exhortation: but verse 8. he fals a­gaine to his admonition, and doth insist therein to the end of that chapter. 5 The fift part begins at the third chapter, verse 1. and continueth to the seuenth verse of the fourth chapter. This part containeth exhortations to holinesse of life. And here yee haue againe admonitions partly gene­rall, concerning all Christians, from the first verse of the third chapter, to the 18. of the same, partly speciall, which concerne certaine particular states of men, as of Husbands and Wiues, Children and Parents, Seruants and Mai­sters, from the 18. verse of the third chapter, to the second verse of the fourth chapter, where he returnes againe to generall exhortations, which be continued to the seuenth verse of the fourth chapter. 6 The sixt part is from the se­uenth verse of the fourth chapter, to the tenth of the same: wherein he signifieth to the Colossians, that as touching his priuat affaires, he had committed them to Tychicus and Onesimus, who should report of all things vnto them as they desired. 7 The seuenth and last part, is the conclusion of the Epistie, containing Salutations mixt with some Apostolicall iniunctions, and this is from the tenth verse of the last chapter, to the end.

Moreouer, as concerning Maister Rollocke and his workes: because this is the first fruite of his labours, pub­lished in the English tongue: he was (as may appeare by [Page] many testimonies) a most reuerend and faithfull seruant of Iesus Christ. His name is very pretious and great in all reformed Churches and Nations, which haue receiued the Gospell of Christ. His learned and holy Commenta­ries on the Prophecie of Daniel, on the Gospell of Iohn, on the Epistle to the Romans, Ephesians, Galathians, Colossians, Thessalonians, with his other workes ex­tant in the Latine tongue, testifie aboundantly of his gifts and graces. And least any should except against my iudge­ment, Epistola in Tractar. de vocatione ef­ficac. ad D. Iohnston. which I confesse is but meane, or nothing, heare one to speake for all, whose wisdome and learning is reueren­ced of all the godly Churches (I meane Maister BEZA) concerning this mans workes. He saith, That his la­bours on the Epistle to the Romans and Ephesians, be as a rich treasure sent from God to his people. Next (saith he) without all flatterie be it spoken, I haue neuer as yet read any thing written in this kinde, more briefe, more eloquent, and more indicious. And then he proceedeth, saying, When I had viewed his workes, I could not containe my selfe, but as I was bound, I gaue God thankes for him, reioycing for his blessing on the Churches.

This part of his workes, I meane these Lectures on this Epistle, they were first preached in the Scottish tongue, not much differing from our speech specially in the North parts of this land; but now they are published in the most com­mon and vsuall English phrase, for the comfort and edifi­cation, I trust, of all such as vnderstand not the Latine tongue in both kingdomes. I could wish in mine heart, that all Preachers in both Churches, would learne of this man to Preach the Gospell of Christ; who, wanting neither wit nor learning to set forth his exercises: yet respects he [Page] (as the Apostle taught him) neither excellency of words nor humane wisdome, nor desires to sauour of any thing, but of Iesus Christ and him crucified. His continuall care is so to speake, as that the spirituall power and grace of the 1. Cor. 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Gospell, might speake onely to the consciences of the hea­rers to worke in them: and not himselfe by any perswasions of his learning and eloquence. These workes are now pub­lished after his death, so that he hath not performed what he could and would haue done, if his owne hand had been last vpon them. The Christian readers will therefore par­don (I doubt not) all faults louingly, which haue past in this first impression. And thus hauing commended this worke vnto thee, recommend me and it vnto the protection and blessing of the Al­mightie in Christ Iesus.

Thine in Christ Iesus, Henry Holland.

[Page 1]MAISTER ROLLOCKS LECTVRES VPON THE EPI­STLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

THE FIRST LECTVRE.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

1 Paul an Apostle of Iesus Christ, by the will of God, and Ti­motheus our brother,

2 To them which are at Colosse, Saints and faithfull brethren in Christ: Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.

3 We giue thankes to God euen the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, alwaies praying for you:

4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Iesus, and of your loue toward all Saints,

5 For the hopes sake, which is laid vp for you in heauen, whereof ye haue heard before by the word of truth, which is the Gospell,

6 Which is come vnto you, euen as it is vnto all the world, and is fruitfull, as it is also among you, from the day that ye heard and truly knew the grace of God.

I Haue chosen (brethren) this Epistle which the Apostle Paul lying in bands at Rome, wrote to the Church that was at Colosse: euen for this cause chiefly, because as you shall see in the de­duction, it sheweth all grace to be in Christ Iesus our Lord, all wisdome, knowledge, mercy, and whatso­euer a sinfull creature standeth in need of, is to be sought and found in Iesus Christ, and nothing to be sought with­out [Page 2] him. But to come to the purpose: briefly the Colossians were so called of Colosse, a towne in Phrygia in Asia the lesse, whom Epaphras (not an Apostle, but an Euangelist in­ferior in ranke to an Apostle) had conuerted to the faith of Ie­sus Christ. After him enters in certaine deceiuers to subuert the ground of faith, which faithfully and truly Epaphras had laid, mingling with the Gospell vaine Philosophie, the rites of the Law of Moses, voluntarie worshipping (as it is called) not content with the simplicitie of the Gospell. In the meane time the Apostle lyeth at Rome in bandes, he had neuer seene them nor been among them, because they were not founded by him, but by Epaphras, who comes to him and communica­teth to him the estate of the Church at Colosse, how he had founded it, and how false teachers had crept in. Wherefore he desires the Apostle to write this Epistle to them, to exhort them to stand to the true doctrine that Epaphras had taught them: and not to beleeue the false teachers. And this is the oc­casion of the writing of this epistle.

The Principall parts of it are these. First, the salutation of Parts of the Epistle. the Apostle with Timothie to the Church of Colosse. Secondly, the preface wherein he indeuoureth to purchase the good will and attention of the Colossians. Thirdly, the doctrine it selfe (short, but exceeding effectuall) of the Lord Iesus and his of­fice, as we shall heare hereafter. Fourthly, after the doctrine, he comes to the exhortation, exhorting the Colossians to constancie and perseuerance in the faith and doctrine of Iesus Christ. Fiftly, he admonisheth them to beware of false tea­chers: these things are handled in the first two chapters. Sixtly, he commeth to certaine precepts, partly generall, partly parti­cular. Seuenthly, he endeth his epistle with some salutations.

As touching this first chapter, first, we haue to obserue in it the salutation: secondly, the preface of the Epistle: thirdly, the doctrine: fourthly, the exhortation. As for the salutation, be­cause it is common to the rest of his epistles, therefore I shall passe through it briefly. The persons that wish health and wel­fare to the Church of Colosse are first Paul the Apostle sent immediatly by Iesus Christ, by the will of the Father: first, the will of the father goeth before, then the sonne the Lord Iesus [Page 3] sendeth out this Apostle, for he did nothing without the will of the Father. The second person is Timothy a brother, so he names him, not an Apostle, but an Euangelist, and fellow la­bourer, following Paul, watering where he had planted, for the office of euery Euangelist was to water where the Apostles before had planted, and to build where they had laid the foun­dation of the true doctrine of Iesus Christ the Sauiour. The persons vnto whom this health and welfare is wished, are those that were at Colosse: to wit the saints, the faithfull brethren in Iesus Christ, that is to say, the Church of God that is made vp of faithfull men and saints, all brethren in Iesus Christ, at that time in Colosse. The thing wished by Paul and Timothy is first grace, euen that grace, euen that mercy that is shewed vpon the world in Iesus Christ the Lord of grace and mercy: without whom there is no grace to any nation, tongue, nor person vpon the earth. Then the second thing is peace that followeth on grace, for his grace once obtained in the re­mission of sinnes: vpon it then followeth that inward peace of the soule and conscience especially towards God, and all feli­citie both spirituall and corporall. And without that grace there is no true peace nor blessing of God, all is but a curse to thee though thou hadst all the world.

Now to come to the preface, vpon the which we minde by Gods grace to insist, passing ouer the salutation, and the rest before. In the preface of the Epistle, the Apostle procureth and conciliateth to himselfe the good will and affection of these Colossians, to this end, that they liking of the person of the writer, should esteeme the more of the doctrine, exhortations, precepts, and directions that after followe. For the liking of the person of the teacher and writer, serueth much to the im­bracing of the doctrine that is taught: and by the contrarie, the misliking of the person that teacheth the word of God, hinde­reth the faith of the hearer. The Apostle knew this, and begins with a preface to allure and conquer their fauour and good will. The arguments whereby he laboureth to doe this, are two. The first is, he lets them vnderstand that he thanketh God for them. The second argument is, he letteth them vnderstand that as he thanketh God for them, so immediatly he prayeth [Page 4] for their happie and prosperous estate in Christ Iesus. So there are the two arguments whereby hee will procure their good will and attention to this his doctrine. We thanke God (saith he) euen the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, there is the first argu­ment: alwayes praying for you, there is the next argument. In the text following he expounds euery one of them in their owne roome.

Then to come to the proposition of the argument: we thanke God (saith he) euen the Father. In thanking God for them he congratulateth with them for that blessed state that they stoode in, in Iesus Christ. Obser∣uation. 1 Ye see brethren his reioycing with them: for that estate stands not in thankesgiuing to them, or praising of them for that estate, but in praising and glorify­ing of God: to teach vs, in all our congratulating together for the prosperous estate of any people or person in particular, not to forget God, but to make our congratulation a thankes­giuing to God, and praising and glorifying of him: and why should we not if we looke aright on the matter? whatso­euer thing ioyfull or prosperous falles out in this world either vpon our selues or vpon others, temporall or spirituall, all are his benefits and falles downe from heauen from him: and therefore why should we not when we reioyce for any thing either giuen to our selues, or vnto others, remeber our God and giue thankes to him for the same? Note.Our reioycing should goe vp to heauen, from whence that blessing descended and came downe. This manner of congratulation is not in this place onely, but through all his epistles, and it is far different from the reioycing of the Ethnickes that neuer speaketh one word of God. The flattering Lowne will say to the Emperor, it is your wisedome, you haue done this or that: and neuer a word of God. So that as many congratulations as you reade in these prophane men they are all as many blasphemies against God, giuing the praise due to God, to a creature that is but vile and stincking, though he were an Emperor, or a monarch ouer the whole earth. And as this was the fashioning of the Ethnickes congratulation that knew not God: it is euen so with men in praysing men now in our dayes forgetting God. How many be there which flatter men as though all were done [Page 5] by them, and not by the author of grace? what is that but blasphemie against God?

Obser∣uation. 2 Marke secondly for whom it is that he thanketh God and prayeth, not for himselfe; praying (saith he) ardently for you. We are not bound to pray only for our selues, but we are bound to pray for others also. Selfe-loue draweth vs so neere our selues, Selfe loue. that it maketh vs forget others. Thou art not bound onely to pray for thy selfe, but if thou be a member of Christ, thou art bound to pray for the body in generall, and particular: and all the benefits of God bestowed on any person on the earth temporall or spirituall, should be to thee a matter of praysing God. Brethren, if we had that zeale to the glorie of God, and that loue to our neighbours which we ought to haue, there would not be a blessing of God that fell to our neighbour, but we would glorifie God for it, as if it had fallen to our selues. These are the latter dayes, and worst dayes, wherein zeale to God, and loue to man is cleane departed out of the hearts of men. This is a cursed generation. To whom giues hee the thankes? We thanke God (saith he) euen the father of our Lord Iesus Christ: marke the wordes, he saith, not God onely, but he telleth vs what a God this is, God said he that is the Father of Iesus, to let vs see that it is vnlawfull for thee to acknowledge another God, but onely that God that manifesteth himselfe in the sonne. The knowledge of God in Christ is the very key Seeke the face of God in Christ, and Christ in the Gos­pell. that opens the gate of heauen, & maketh thee to get entry into that light that hath no accesse. Knowest thou God in Christ? then hast thou an entry to him. Otherwise thou knowest him not, nor thou shalt neuer be able to enter into heauen. The Turke for all his speaking of God got neuer accesse to God. The Iewe for all his boast of the knowledge of God, knoweth him not, nor neuer shall knowe him nor see him, without Iesus Christ. God that sittes in heauen will not looke vpon thee without his sonne: he is no father to thee neither will be, neither will he shew any sparke of loue to thee, but in his onely sonne the Lord Iesus. Therefore say not that thou knowest God or that he is thy Father, except first and aboue all thou knowe the Lord Iesus: thou shalt neuer knowe him, but to thy vtter ouerthrowe and wracke, if thou knowest him not in [Page 6] Iesus Christ. Now to come to the second part of the propositi­on contayning his prayer: hee thinks it not enough to thanke God for them, but hee will pray for them instantly. Paul was oft on his knees praying. Men wot not what it is to haue to doe with God. I bowe my knees to God for you Ephes 3. 14. So learne of him that it is not enough to thanke God for the prosperous estate of his Church, that is but an halfe dutie to thanke him; but with the thanking of God, thou must ioyne prayer for the continuance of the blessing of God vpon that person, Church, and Common-wealth, for whome thou thankest God. There is no man so perfect in happinesse or in any blessed estate, whether it be spirituall, or temporall, but yet so long as he liues in the world he hath want: there is a lacke euen in the greatest Emperor and King, yea euen in temporall things. And he that hath begun well, will fall backe againe a hundreth times in a day, yea hee will runne faster backeward, then euer he went forward if the Lord withhold him not. Therefore pray for him that he goe not backeward. Then when he is going forward in the good course begun, he may not stand still, but he must run euer looking to the end. There is no man so long as he liues that putteth an end to his course, his course ends with his life. Hath any man a life? He is in the race, he is in the way and iourney towards the But, or as the Apostle calles it, the price of the high calling of God, Phil. 3. 14. In the progresse he is not able to go one foote forward except the Lord take him by the hand and leade him. Therfore seeing there is no progresse to heauen, without God his especiall grace, nor thou art not able to lift thy foote without him; with euery foote that thou liftest, thanke God for his owne benefit, and pray to God for the continuance and increase thereof. Pray feruently for thy selfe, and for those that thou wouldest haue to continue.

Thus much for the proposition: Now followeth the decla­ration of that wherfore he thankes God: he thanketh God for them but not without cause, he saw matter of thankes giuing in them, and a vaine thing it is to thanke God for that that is The mat­ter of the thankes gi­uing. not in a man. What saw he in them? We heare (saith he) of your faith first, and then of your loue to al the Saints without ex­ception. [Page 7] It is not possible but if thou loue one Saint, thou must loue all. And if thou hatest one Saint as a Saint, it will Loue to the Saints. passe thy power to beare affection of loue to any: so, loue one, and loue all, otherwise thou canst not loue one. Then he seeth matter in them wherefore hee thanketh God, and it is for no earthly thing, but that these Colossians were conquered to that kingdome of Christ. It is better for thee to bee conquered to Christ then to conquer the whole world.

Then the spirituall matter of reioycing (if thou wouldest reioyce, congratulate and praise God) standeth in spirituall graces; if thou wouldest reioyce for thy friend, looke if he haue spirituall graces; looke if he haue faith and loue: if he hath not To reioyce for friends. these, neither hast thou matter to reioyce for, nor he, if he had all the world: away with all thy gratulation: all his prayses, and congratulations, are as many curses if he want faith and charitie, for there is no blessing where they are not. Wot ye what faith is? It ioynes thee with the head: woe is thee that art seuered from him, and if thou hadst all the world: woe is that soule that is not ioyned with Christ, and being ioyned with him, then art thou fast. The earth shall be shaken, and the heauen passe away before thou shalt loose thy gripe, and holde of Christ, or he twine and part. Who shall separate vs from the Faith ap­prehends. Christ. loue of God, saith the Apostle Rom. 8. 24? there is faith and the vertues thereof. What doth loue againe? As faith maketh the vnion with the head, so loue is the band that makes the com­munion with the Saints, which you rehearse in your beleefe: and if thou be not ioyned here with his Church, there is no saluation for thee, nor life: thou shalt neuer see the life of Christ. Then when wee see a man standing first in this vnion with Christ, and secondly in this communion with the Saints, we may say blessed is that soule, for cursed are they that are not ioyned this way. Conioyne thy selfe with the head and the members: there is not a member of the body with whom thou ioynest thy selfe by this communion, but so fast as thy heart cleaues to it, so fast will it cleaue to thee againe. Wherefore re­ioyceth Paul with the Colossians? because they loued the Saints, & so he being a Saint his heart ioynes with them. Thou [Page 8] art a cursed body when a man loues thee, if thou will not loue him againe. Wherefore was it that they had first this faith in Iesus Christ, next this loue towards the Saints? what gained they by faith and loue? the Apostle saith, For that hopes sake that is laide vp in heauen, it is not for nothing: there is a rich reward of faith and loue. Faith and loue will get thee a fairer thing and richer reward, then all the things in this world. Fye vpon them they are but durt and doung, onely see that thou haue faith and loue. Sticke by these two and thou shall get thee a richer and more glorious thing, then al the things of this world can be to thee. You may learne thē, it is the respect that a man hath to a rich reward, and hope that is of the riches of glorie, Ephes. 1. and not of this peltry in the earth, that makes a man to sticke with Christ, and to haue a communion with the Saints. Otherwise if thou haue not this to looke vnto, and this respect to that ioyfull end, fye on thee (it is kept to thee Heb. 11. 26 well enough as Peter saith, thou hast no more to doe but to hold thine eye vpon it) if thou haue it not: it shall passe thy power to keepe thee with Christ, and to be ioyned with the Church militant, for there shall come such iawes and billowes of temptation, iaw vpon iaw, and billowe vpon billowe, that thou shalt perish. But contrariwise, holding thine eie Phil. 3. 20. euer wayting for the comming of thy Sauiour the Lord Iesus (I confesse there be a thousand things to drawe it downe, but if thou striue to holde it vp) certainely thou shalt sticke fast with Christ, and stand with the Saints of God: but if thou car­ry thine eye from heauen like a moule or muddewart grount­ling on this earth, thou shalt tyne and lose Christ, and the vnion with his Saints. Thou shalt lose thy life and that faire heritage, and then wo is thee for euer more. To come forward, how got they their sight and knowledge of this life? Note.It is a looking to this life that must keepe the gripe and holde of Christ, and make thee to loue the Saints. But how got they it? of the which you haue heard, saith he: looke the word. Then they got it by hearing. Well, you that count so little of hearing, take heede to your selues, they got it by the very eare and that of the Lord. They knewe it not before they heard of it. No knowledge of life euerlasting by nature. Thou shalt not know [Page 9] that, Thou that wouldest liue after this life and after the fa­shions of it. Indeede thou shalt know that thou shalt perish and dye euerlastingly. Adam knew this when hee fell from God: death seased on him, and this was his knowledge of good and euill that he got, that he knew what blessing he had lost, and into what damnation he hath fallen. But no sight of his rising before he heard; so no light by nature of life after this life, but a sight of euerlasting death and damnation. Long may a sinner lye still dead in sinne before he thinke of life, he is no more able to thinke of it then a dead body. How got they it then? by hearing. What heard they? a word: the obiect to the care is a word, or sound. What word: not a word of lyes, of men, of dreames, of fables. No, how be it thou heare a thou­sand yeeres all the inuentions and dreames that Monkes in their cloisters haue dreamed, build and rest on them as thou wouldest, yet thou shalt neuer see life by them. What kinde of word must this be then? the word of truth: a true word must let thee seethe heauenly life. What truth is this? the truth of the Gospell. Euery science hath it owne truth: but there is no truth that will saue thee and make thee see that inheritance, but onely the truth of the Gospell: and therefore the Gospell for the excellencie thereof is called the word of God, and for the excellencie of the truth of the Gospell, it is called the word of truth. Then in a word to speake homely and familiarly to you: the charter and the euidence of that heauenly inheritance is the Gospell of Christ. Thou hast no other euidence (looke The Gos­pell is the onely eui­dence of saluation. to thy charter chest) in heauen, earth, or hell; thou shalt neuer get an euidence of thy saluation, but the euidence of the Gos­pell. Wilt thou keepe the charters of thy land, and heritage on earth, and close them fast vp in a sure chest and reade them at all times; and forget this onely euidence of thy saluation, and not care for it, nor take pleasure to reade on it? I de­nounce vnto thee, what euer thou bee, that thou shalt ne­uer see life, but thou shalt bee shut out of heauen. To doe this, it is not a worke of thine own power nor of thine own na­ture and grace, to drawe thee with some delight, to turne ouer the euidence of the Gospell, to heare it, and to take pleasure in it, in some measure so long as thou art from the full fruition [Page 10] of heauen and life euerlasting. Thou shalt neuer brooke it in heauen, and thy pleasure be not in some measure on this eui­dence whilest thou art here on earth. I denounce ouer againe, and that by the ministrie of this word, thou shalt be shut out, thou shalt not haue a furrow of land in heauen. Count of hea­ring as you wil, by hearing is your life; and there is no pleasure but in the word of life, and the oft turning of it ouer. When he hath spoken of this Gospell he falleth out in a commendati­on of the Gospell: you shall finde this in Paul when he falles in speaking of the Gospell he cannot be easily drawne from it. No question he found the power of it so forcible in him­selfe, and sawe it also so effectuall in others, that where hee speakes of it he cannot goe lightly from it. He loued it so well and it was so sweete to him, yea as it is said Psalm. 119. It was sweeter to him then the honey, and the honey combe. Well then, he commendeth the Gospell to them, and there are three argu­ments of the commendation thereof. First, which (saith he) is come to you. Brethren the Gospell commeth to vs and wee The Gos­pell com­meth to vs and we goe not to it. neuer go to it, and it comes vnsent for, it would bide long from vs if it stayed till we went for it, and though thou wentst for it, I tell thee thou art no more able to bring it then thou art able to bring the sunne out of the heauen. For except the Lord send it to thee in his mercy and free grace, thou shalt neuer get it. But to come to the purpose. Doe you scar at this Gospell, that you haue heard because it is Epaphras that hath founded you? you doe euill, would he say. Therefore he saith ye heard of him nothing but that which is spread throughout the world. And Epaphras his Gospell is that that is my Gospell, which I haue preached vnto others, which is the Gospell of Iesus Christ. Take out here a lesson, wouldest thou haue a note or token whereby thou wouldest knowe that the Gospell which thou hearest and that we preach this day, is the true Gospell? the Gospell that must saue the world? looke if it be the same Gos­pell that was spread through out the world in the dayes of Obserue. these Apostles, or if it be that Gospell that Paul and Peter preached. How shall you know if it be that Gospell of the A­postles? It is a long time since: where shall you knowe it better then by their owne writ? Paul nor Peter preached no­thing [Page 11] but that which they wrote. Neuer a sentence of saluati­on was preached by Paul, but all is written. He preached the whole counsell of God Act. 20. I say and will affirme and will dye with it, that Paul preached the whole counsell of God, and wrote euery word of the same. Away with the clouted inuentions of the Papists, and that rabble of the cloyster. Then I pray you examine all our preachings by the rule of this writ­ten word. And would to God brethren, that they would suffer that to be the onely touchstone. Oh vaine Papist! thy cause would perish, if thou wouldest take thee onely to this touch­stone. Thou shouldest finde all their inuentions to be but lyes. But thou wilt hold thee by lyes, and therefore thou shalt perish and they both. Then thou that findest this Gospell that is prea­ched, to be the written word of the Apostles, hold thee by it, and take it for the true word of God, the word of life and sal­uation. Now I pray thee as thou wouldest find life and grace in it, put away all preiudice of the minister, whether he be come Preiudice against the Preacher. from Rome, from the Pope or not, and the Gospell that he preached be as good as the Gospell of Paul and Peter; if it be no other, stand not vpon the man: if thou countest more of the man, or of his calling, then of the Gospell, thou shalt neuer see that life. 1 Looke ye euer to the truth how euer it shall please Notes to knowe the true mini­sterie. God either ordinarily, or extraordinarily to send it to thee, with whatsoeuer man thrust out for that effect. 2 The second argument of the commendation of the Gospell is the fructify­ing of the Gospell, and the effectuall working of it in the hearts: as if he would say, skar not at the Gospell preached by Epaphras. I shall giue you an argument that it is the Gospell that I haue preached, looke if it brought out fruites in you (as it hath done in the world) of life and regeneration: if it hath done this, scar not at it. 3 There is another note to knowe the truth of the Gospel, if the Gospell taught at this day brings out in some (I will not say all, for many are called but fewe are chosen) whose hearts it pleaseth the Lord to open, as he did the heart of Lydia, this true regeneration & renewing the soule, how few soeuer the number of them be, as it did in the dayes of the Apo­stles. O this Gospel must be the true Gospell for this is sure, false doctrine will neuer regenerate thee. The inuentions of men [Page 12] will neuer renew thee. Nay further good morall precepts will neuer alter thy hard heart. Reade Plato, Isocrates, Cicero, reade them if thou wilt tenne thousand yeares, all thy reading and hearing of them will not worke in thee the obedience of the heart to God. They may well make thee an Hypocrite. What Reading of prophane authors their best morall can not conuers the heart. Psal. 19. 7. were all the Philosophers? as many Hypocrites, counterfeiting humilitie, and the rest of the vertues. This ground shall stand then: that there is no renewing doctrine which can change the soule but onely the Gospell of Iesus Christ, because it is accompanied with the spirit. I shall send to you the comforter (saith Christ) and he shall giue you my word Iohn 14. Onely this Gospell then hath the priuiledge to make thee a new man. Therefore let thy rest bee on this Gospell, if thou wouldest be renewed: and renewed must thou be or else no life for thee, nor sight of Christ and of heauen and of the ioyes thereof. Sticke fast I say to this blessed and glorious doctrine of the Gospell, that must renewe thee by the spirit of the Lord Iesus Christ, to whom with the father and the holy spirit be all ho­nour, praise and glory,

Amen.

THE SECOND LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians, beginning at the end of the sixt verse.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

6 From the day that ye heard and truly knew the grace of God.

7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our deare fellow seruant, which is for you a faithfull minister of Christ.

8 Who hath also declared vnto vs your loue, which ye haue by the spirit.

[Page 13] 9 For this cause wee also, since the day wee heard of it, cease not to pray for you, and to desire that yee might bee fulfilled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisedome, and spirituall vnderstanding.

10 That ye might walke worthie of the Lord, and please him in all things, being fruitfull in all good workes, and increasing in the knowledge of God,

THe last day Brethren we intreated of the preface of this epistle of Paul to the Colossians; and to the end that his doctrines, exhortations, and admonitions, should be the more effectuall in them he conciliateth to him­selfe their fauour, and good will, and that by two arguments: the first shewing that hee thanked God for them: the next shewing that hee prayeth continually for them, that they should continue, perseuere, and grow in that grace receiued. We entred into the declaration of these two arguments of be­neuolence (to call them so.) And first we begun to declare the first argument of his thankesgiuing, as it is first in order in the text. The thing that moued him to thanke God for them was nothing in this world, no, no earthly grace or benefit: but first their faith in Iesus Christ: next their loue to the Saints. He setteth downe the cause of their faith and loue. They had a respect and to-looke to that euerlasting life, & glorious in he­ritance that was laid vp for them (and all that beleeue in Iesus) and kept to them with Christ in God, as the Apostle speaketh: teaching vs that except we haue respect to another life, and glorie when this life is done, it cannot be possible to cleaue to Christ, and loue his Saints; because there are so many impe­diments and temptations to drawe vs from him, and from the loue of the Saints. Then he goes forward and sheweth by what meanes they had this respect and to-looke to this life and glo­rious inheritance. It bred not in their brest first, but by hearing: and if thou heare not, thou shalt not vnderstand that there is another life. And what a hearing & whereof? Of a word. What word? not of lyes and vanities, of the inuentions of men, nay heare till the day of doome these vanities, thou shalt neuer get by it the hope of another life, and of glorie hereafter. What a hearing then is this? the hearing of the word of veritie which [Page 14] he calleth the Gospell of the blessed God, which for the excel­lencie thereof (for it excelles all the words of the Philosophers, yea the lawe of Moyses it selfe) it is called the word of truth. Then he recommendeth this Gospell which they heard by the mi­nisterie of Epaphras, least the person of the man should make them to despise the doctrine. As for the Gospell which ye haue heard, doubt not of it, it is the true Gospell, and I shall giue you a token: confer it with the Gospell that hath past through the world, if it be the same Gospell that hath past through the world, let not the person of the minister scar you from re­ceiuing it. Then hee giues another argument of this com­mendation of the Gospell, looke if it fructifye in you and bringeth forth such fruites as sanctification, humilitie, cha­ritie, and such fruits of the spirit as it doth in the rest of the world; doubt not of it, for it is the true Gospell of Iesus Christ. And therefore let not the person of the minister scar you.

Then he commeth to the last argument, whereat we left you the last day, and he calleth them to the remembrance of the sudden effectualnes of the Gospell preached by Epaphras amongst them, of the continuance which it had with them, and saith, from the day that ye heard and truely knew the grace of God, Vers. 6. remember you not that the first day ye heard of it, it begun to fructifie in you, and euer since it fructifies in you. Therefore if you will looke to the suddennesse of the effect, and the con­tinuance of it amongst you, it argueth plainely that it is the truth of God. Vpon this last argument learne this beside the fruite, that the Gospell bringeth out in the heart of man, in the circumstance of the time of the hastie working of the Gospell in the hearts of men, euen in that same hower that man hea­reth it first, he findes it so powerfull in him, and the continu­ance of it working still in him, that it is a sure argument to him and a note, not onely of the truth of the Gospell, but also that it is the very truth of God. If any hath found this sincere working in his heart by the Gospell, this is a sure argument that it is the truth of God which you heare, though all the world, and the Pope himselfe should crye against it. Briefly, as in these words he commends the Gospell; so he commends [Page 15] the Colossians, because they receiued it, and continued in the same. The spirit of God when he giues thee a grace, he will fall out in commending of thee, and this testifyeth a wonderfull loue and mercy in God, and of his liking of them to whom he giues his grace: he will giue them such a praise as if they God com­mends and crownes his own graces in vs. were something, and yet they are nothing, this should make vs to meete him with thankefulnesse, to praise him for some­thing, when he praiseth thee for nothing. When he hath done with the Gospell, he comes to the person, they might haue said, what is this man that preacheth the Gospell, hee is no Apostle? Paul answereth in effect, whatsoeuer the man be, he hath taught you the truth; and then he commends the man, as for the man I will tell you hee is a fellow labourer with me, howbeit I be an Apostle, he is no seruant to me; but with me, he hath his owne roome: and why? he is a minister of Iesus Christ: more, he is beloued of me, I tender the cause, he is a minister, and a faithfull minister, he is sincere in his calling, and as for you he is wholy for your behoofe and profit, he is sent to you, and for you a faithfull minister in Iesus Christ. And he hath shewen indeede that he is for you, for he hath testified True loue. of you, and of your heartie loue, and he calleth it the loue of the spirit, thereby highly commending their loue, because if loue be true it must not onely proceede of thy affection, but it must proceede of the spirit of Iesus. Thus for the words, marke then when we see a man faithfull in any calling, whe­ther in the Church, or common-wealth, this same recommen­dation Obserue. that Paul makes of Epaphras, teacheth vs to recom­mend that man that dischargeth a faithfull dutie according to the grace giuen him, that they may haue the better lyking of him: I say he is a minister of Sathan, that seeing a man faith­full in any calling, goeth about to seuer them and him, to put a misliking in the hearts of the people, to seuer them whom God hath ioyned together.

Now to goe to the next argument, hitherto haue you heard of the first argument touching, thanksgiuing, the next follow­eth in prayer. Therefore saith he from the first day that I haue heard of this grace vncessantly I pray to God for you: Marke first that same very grace of spirituall loue and charitie where­fore [Page 16] he thanketh God, moueth him to pray to God for them. Then (brethren) in any grace whether it bee faith, or loue, or patience, &c. there is matter both of thanksgiuing, and prayer to God: as thou art bound to thanke God for the grace receiued, so thou art bound to pray for the same; and Prayer to God. the more graces we see in a man, the greater care ought we to haue to pray to God to keepe him in those graces. But the time is to be considered: euen as soone as hee heard of their faith, and loue, hee begunne to pray, and from that day to this day, his prayer abideth. This teacheth first that after a man hath receiued a great grace from God, hee should euer pray that that grace receiued, may abide with him, and he with it, according to the example of Paul: for such is the frailtie of mans nature, that euery moment he is readie to fal from grace, except the Lord holde him vp. Againe, marke this: when he would haue the grace kept in the heart, what meanes vseth he? prayer: immediatly hee prayeth to God for them. Then in a word, earnest and feruent prayer to God is the meanes to get grace from him, to keepe it, either in thy owne heart or in others. If thou wouldest haue any grace of God, and haue it abiding with thee fructifying in thy heart, pray to God. Prayer. Prayer is the only meane to effect and obtaine of God whatso­euer thou standest in neede of, and when thou hast gotten any thing, prayer is the meanes to procure a blessing to the same, that it abide with thee. What prayeth he for to them? It is no grace that they had gotten alreadie. Wherefore then? that you may be filled. Marke the words (for there is exceeding great pith in them, and would to God we could attaine to the force of them) that ye may be filled (saith he) with grace: as if he would say, grace is begun with you alreadie, now I pray that you may be filled with grace: you are not full yet: for so long as thou liuest thou mayest get grace, but I say thou wilt neuer be filled with grace here in this world, but there will euer be some empti­nesse and wastnes in thee. There is euer some want in the re­generate man. Learne another lesson. Wherein standeth thy felicitie, and blessednes? euen in this, in a filling vp of that wast­nes and emptines within thee: alas if thou saw and felt thy own voydnesse and want of grace in thy heart, thou wouldest neuer [Page 17] cease but euer bee seeking and crying for abundance of faith (for an emptie heart will perish) Surely if thy heart bee voyde of grace, goe as gallantly as thou pleasest casting thy head in the winde, if thou haue not grace, and a fulnesse of grace, in the end thou shalt perish, looke to it as thou wilt. Thinke ye not that our blessednesse is to be in likenesse with God, and Iesus Christ our head? God is full. O what fulnes is in God! Iesus Christ is full; wee sawe him saith Iohn 1. 14. Full of glorie. Then it must follow, if we would be truly blessed, we must bee full as our head is full; and as the Apostle to the Colossians saith, we must be filled with that fulnesse of God: Blessed are they (saith Christ Matth. 5. 6.) that hunger for righte­ousnesse, Col. 3. 19. for they shall be filled. Then hunger euer for righteous­nesse, that thou mayest be filled: for to be filled is the blessed­nesse of mans estate. But what stuffe must this be wherewith we must bee filled? it is not thy happinesse to bee filled with euery thing, as with meate and drinke; oft times when thou art fullest after that manner, thou art emptiest of grace: He prayeth that they should be filled with knowledge, with light, euen with that that they haue most neede of. O the darknesse that is in man! naturally he is full of that blacke smoake of darkenesse; he is choked full of it lying wallowing in it: so that of all things, he hath greatest misse of light. If thou were lying in a pit, thou wouldest thinke it a great benefit to get a glimse The natu­rall blind­nes of man. Ephes. 6. 12. 13. of light: O but if thou sawst thy owne darkenesse in thy soule, thou wouldest neuer bee ioyfull whilst thou gatst this light which the Apostle prayeth for. So thē the thing we need most, is the spirituall light of God: for God is light, and dwelleth in light that hath no accesse. 1. Tim. 6. 16. What is then thy bles­sednesse? to be filled with this light; to be partaker of it in some part, as thou art able to be filled with it. So the thing promi­sed in the scripture, is knowledge and light; and the first thing the Apostle prayeth for, is to get knowledge of this mysterie of Christ. The second word is to be marked, that you may be filled with all knowledge. This speech letteth vs see that it will not be a part of knowledge that will fill a man, but he must be filled with all knowledge: how beit the heart of man be but of a small roome and capacitie; yet if his heart be sanctified, it [Page 18] is a wonderfull thing, the length and the depth of the grace that it will receiue; howbeit it be finit, yet vnspeakable, how infinite a thing it will receiue. God shall dwell and be all in all in that heart that is once sanctified: so infinite a thing it will be capable of. Take it in the owne nature thereof, ye finde it in A sancti­fied heart. experience in common sciences it is not capable of things that are finit: but get it once sanctified, it will take apprehension of that infinit maiestie and riches in him. That you may be filled with all knowledge: whereof? there are many things better not to be knowen then to bee knowen. Adam would faine haue knowne the mysterie of the forbidden tree, and it had been wel for him that he had neuer knowne it. Whereof then must this knowledge be? of his will: what a will is that? Euen that will, that Iesus his sonne comming out of the bosome of the father hath reuealed to the world, that was the best and ioyfullest reuelation that euer was: So it must be the knowledge of the will of God reuealed. Where was this will (some will aske) all the time preceding the comming of Christ? looke 1. Cor. 2. 7. It was a wisedome in a mysterie hid, and neuer fully reuea­led while Christ came: which was appointed (reade the place) vnto our glorie.

Then he comes to that that was contained in that mysterie, The things (saith he) that the eye neuer saw, the eare neuer heard, neither entred into the heart of man (loue him if thou wilt) which God hath prepared and reuealed to vs by his spirit. If thou haue his spirit, thou wilt pierce into the gulfe of his loue towards thee in Iesus Christ, and of his riches. And in the epistle to the Ephesians 1. hee opens the mysterie more cleerely: well, it is no small matter to get the eye of thy minde opened. Thou wilt thinke it a great matter to get the eye of thy body opened, that thou mightest see the visible creatures of God. But what is that sight and the opening of the bodily eye to the sight of the soule, and opening of the eye of thy soule, whereby thou shalt see God, and the things of God for thy weale? There is no match here. Therefore the Apostle to the Ephesians ex­plaines this mysterie more cleerely, where he saith, that You may see what is the hope of his calling: yet he goeth further, and what is the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints: and then [Page 19] he goeth further; And what is the exceeding greatnes of his power towards vs. And if thou hast faith, thou shalt tast of such an ex­cellent grace, that thou shalt wonder that that same sory and sillie heart could gripe and attaine to such vnsearchable riches. The effect of his will is this: the way of redemption to the lost world is reuealed: the way of remission of sinnes, how to be made holy, and the rest of the graces reuealed in Iesus Christ. True wise­dome. This is the will of God. Note then, what call you true wisdome? Men would be wise, man inclines to nothing more then to haue knowledge. Then what is true knowledge? To know the way of thy redemption. And if thou want this, the greater knowledge thou hast, the greater foole. Be a foole, man, to come to this knowledge. Come down thou art that scansing & soring I wot not where, come downe, come downe I say, if thou know not Iesus thou art a foole: thou shalt neuer reach to the wisdome of Christ; thou must come down and leaue thy foole­ry and proud conceite of knowledge, if thou wilt be truly wise.

In the end of the verse, when generally he hath spoken of this knowledge, he laieth it out abroad, and saith, With all wis­dome and vnderstanding. By wisdome briefly he vnderstandeth all that knowledge that consists not so much in doing, as in contemplation. By vnderstanding, he meanes such knowledge as stands in doing: for religion and that true Philosophie and wisdome is not a bare meditation; for a man to sit in his chamber all the day, and like a Cloister Monke, and in the meane time to doe nothing thereby to profit the Church of God; it is nothing, it auailes not. But religion is a know­ledge, and a meditation and a doing. Practise thy religion, or else it is not worth a penny. And if it shine not in thy life, it is but durt: so you haue the parts of this knowledge, wis­dome Wisedome in medita­tion, vn­derstan­ding in practise. in meditation, vnderstanding in practising to profit the world. You see first this knowledge is spirituall, in quality, not earthly. It is of things that neuer shall take end: it is par­ted, it stands in wisdome and stands in practising, will you come to degrees? It is perfect in degrees, and then it is perfect in parts, in the which there is nothing that wants or is super­fluous. This is that knowledge that we haue in Christ: how­beit, the Apostle would seeme that he prayeth that they should [Page 20] get this faith here: yet is it sure that it is neuer gotten in this life, if thou shouldest liue Methusalems daies. It must be that thou grow in filling vp this faith euery day thou liuest more and more; but so long as thou brookest this mortalitie, this fulnes, whereof the Apostle speakes, shal neuer be: for this mor­talitie must be swallowed vp of life. If thou wouldest haue this faith, thou shalt neuer get it till the day of the resurrection, at which time God shall be all in all. 1. Cor. 15. 28. thou shalt rise vp glorious, and this vile body shall be made like to his glorious body, Matth 13. and then it shall shine more brighter then the sunne at noone day. O the glorie of the Saints! when he shall fill them so that they shall not neede a temple, nor meate or drinke, as it is said in the Reuelation 21. but he shall be al to thee, because he shall be in thee, and thou shalt be are him in thee, thou shalt be a tabernacle to him; then shall this fulnesse be: and vntill then it shall be but in a growing to that perfection. Blessed be that soule that growes and feeles that heauenly liquor dropping day lie into the soule, be assured thou shalt get this fulnesse of the light, and God shall dwell in thee for euer. You see then he hath prayed for wisedome and knowledge; to what end is all this? will God giue a man knowledge or wisedome, or will a man pray for it, except hee wot wherefore? wherefore is it then? That you may walke, saith he. Wherefore is light giuen, but that a man should walke? wherefore shines the sunne, but that thou mightest walke? The sunne is not giuen thee to Similitude. sleepe: he is but a swinger but a lubber that will lye idle in the day light, and the sunne shall witnes against him in that day: much more that heauenly light, that sunne of righteousnesse shines he for nothing? If thou hast gotten this shining light, walke, goe, and trauell, be exercised in thy calling, and be Vocation. not idle: will this sunne in the firmament testifie against thee if thou bee idle? what will the light of the sonne of man doe trowest thou, if thou be idle in thy profession? O woe worth thee that euer thou sawst it! I see there must be a walking, but thou must not walke as thou wilt. In deede there be many that are ouer busie, and that were better sleeping in their beds then walking as they doe in wantonnesse and wickednesse. And there is ouer many reeling here and there as wantons, about I [Page 21] wot not what. The very day light craues that thou walke ac­cording to the light, Rom. 13. 12. thou must haue a very come­ly behauiour in the shining of the sunne, and thou must not play the foole, the drunken man, the harlot, the murtherer, and the theefe: I tell thee and thou doe it, the sunne shall wit­nesse against thy euill deede to thy condemnation. And if the sunne in the world and firmament craues this comely beha­uiour of thee, and that thou walke orderly: then much more must thou walke by a rule in thy light Iesus. What is the rule? Walke worthie of the Lord: as if he would say, is it the Lord that shines? staine not that Lord of light by your euill behauiour. This importeth: as this light shines in thee, so thou shouldest see him. See him as thou wilt, he shines on thee: and if thou get a sight of this light, blessed art thou. Alas these filthie persons if they saw theeye of God, trowe ye that they would puddle on this sort? all stands on this, that howbeit God see them they see him not. Happie art thou if thou canst say when thou risest, Lord thou seest me, now Lord giue me an eye to see thee, and Heb. 12. 14 Gen. 17. 1 by the seeing of thee to walke as it becommeth me in thy pre­sence, neuer to staine that glorious light by my prophane life. Now in the next words he telles more plainely what it is to walke worthie of the Lord: it standeth in this: to please him in the whole actions of our life. Well is that heart that can in any measure be set to please God, and well is the mouth that can say, I would please thee O Lord: Lord giue me grace to please thee. No no, let not a thought that thou thinkest will displease him, break out: hold it in, and say, Lord slay it by thy Thoughts. spirit: but fye on thee, when thy filthie thought falleth out into a filthie deede. Therefore set thee to please the Lord in thought, word, and deede. O the ioy in thy heart when thy con­science beareth witnesse to thee, that thou wouldest please the Lord! thou shalt neuer haue ioy in thy heart while then: When we haue set our heart to please him, it is but a meeting of the 2. Cor. 1. 12. Lord. The Lord hath set himselfe before thee, to pleasure thee: fye, fye then that thou wilt not set thy selfe to pleasure him. Do what thou canst, thou shalt neuer be able to pleasure God in respect of his pleasuring of thee. Thou art but an vnprofitable seruant: yet happie art thou if thou endeuor to pleasure him, as [Page 22] he will, and wrestling and striuing as it were through a thor­nie hedge to get this cankered heart subiect to pleasure thy God: and say, as thou hast pleasured me Lord, giue me grace to pleasure thee.Note. Now the Lord giue euery one grace to please him in some measure. To whom be praise and honor.

Amen.

THE THIRD LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians, beginning at the middest of the tenth verse.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 10, 11, 12.

10 Being fruitfull in all good workes, and increasing in the know­ledge of God,

11 Strengthened with all might through his glorious power, vnto all patience, and long suffering with ioyfulnesse,

12 Giuing thankes vnto the Father, which hath made vs meete to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light.

WE heard brethren the preface of this epistle, it stand­eth first in thankesgiuing: and secondly in prayer. We haue heard this other day of thanksgiuing, and of the causes of it. We entred into the prayer. The Apostle sheweth that the first day that euer hee heard of the grace of God which the Colossians had receiued, he not onely thanketh God for it, but immediatly prayeth for them. The effect of his prayer was, that they should be filled (they were not full yet) wherewith? with knowledge, and not simply that, but with all knowledge: of what thing? not of euery thing, but with all knowledge of his wil, of the will of God reucaled most cleerely to the world, by the sonne himselfe, who is in the bosome of [Page 23] the father, and who manifested himselfe in the fulnes of time, in the nature of man, and with his owne mouth reuealed the will of his father. Then he layeth out this knowledge in the parts of it: In all wisedome (saith he) which consisteth in con­templation of heauenly things; and in all vnderstanding, which consisteth in practizing that contemplation. All wise­dome, not earthly but spirituall; all vnderstanding, not earth­ly but heauenly, touching the loue of God, and the saluation of man in the bloud of Iesus. Now to what end should they be filled with all this wisedome, that they should sit idlie in the world? no, no, but that they should walke and trauell: and how? according to the rule. A misruly life dowes not, it auailes not. The rule is, as it becommeth that Lord of light, as it be­commeth that glorious Gospell, this reuelation of the God of glorie, as it becommeth so glorious a calling. Then he shew­eth what it is to walke worthie of the Lord, it is to please him in all things, in all our actions and cogitations to studie to please him, to make him a meeting as the Apostle speaketh, seeing he hath set himselfe to please vs, we should goe about euery way to please him. Now brethren thus farre wee heard the last day briefly: in this text, first we haue foure points, or heads, in the which consisteth the pleasing of the Lord. Then we are to enter into the third part of the epistle concerning the doctrine to the Colossians. The first part of the pleasing of the Lord is this, fructifying (saith he) in euery good worke, there 4. points wherein we ought to indea­uour to please God. is the first part. The second is, growing in knowledge. The third is, to be strengthened with all might through his glorious power. The fourth and last is, being strengthened with all might vnto pa­tience vnder the crosse, to thanke him cheerefully and ioyfully. These are the foure points wherein the pleasuring of God standeth. To come to the first, it is to fructifie in euery good worke: marke it, the speech is borrowed from a tree that brings out good fruite. We knowe the pleasure of the Husband-man is, when he seeth a tree in his garden fruiteful and bringing out good fruite in due season: Euen so the pleasure of the Lord is when he looketh downe to thee as vnto a tree planted in his garden, and seeth thee fructifying in euery good worke, that is his pleasure. But here the difference betwixt the fruitfull [Page 24] tree and the godly man, is this. The tree that is most frute­full S. will bring out but a kinde of fruite onely: an apple tree will bring forth apples; a peare tree, peares; and another, his kinde of fruite; and so forth in the rest: but thou that art a fruitfull tree in the garden of the Lord, thou must not bee bound to one kinde of fruite; but as the Apostle speaketh, you must bring forth all good workes, both of soule and body, for the Lord will not haue the fruite of the one without the other. But if thou be planted in the garden of the Lord, thou must bring forth fruite to the pleasure of God, both of soule and body. Againe, you knowe a tree hath the season, but thou art not bound to one season, to sommer, winter, or haruest; but thou art bound to beare fruites continually. So briefly brethren, there is the first point of the pleasing of God: woul­dest thou please him? looke that thou bee fruitefull, bee not barren; worke, be not idle, be occupied, and well occupied: doe no euill, but good; not one sort of goodnesse, but all the good that is possible for thee to doe. Now to come to the se­cond point of the pleasing of God: it stands in growing in knowledge, and that is faith. This point flowes from the first, marke it. A man that fructifieth in good workes, he feedes vp­on his owne workes: by the very iuyce and sap of the workes, Growth in know­ledge. knowledge or faith is nourished. It is true in deede, good workes must come of faith, and there cannot be good workes where faith is not first: they must rise of faith in the heart, and faith (as the Apostle saith) worketh by charitie, Galath. 5. 6. Euen Good workes. Note well. as good workes come of faith; so good workes nourish, aug­ment, and intertaine the mother of it, that is faith. This is the difference betwixt the fruitfull man, and the tree. The tree bringeth not forth the fruite to it selfe, nor feedes on it: It is not so with the fruitfull man. In deede it is true, the good workes of a man which are the fruite of faith, they serue first to the glorie of God, and next to the good of his neighbour. But there is further vse of them, he getteth the best himselfe. Doest thou a good turne to any man? thou hast the best of it thy selfe: and thou feedest more on thy good worke, then the person doth vpon whom thou bestowdest thy good worke. So this is sure, good workes nourish faith; euen as euill workes [Page 25] sowre and bitter fruites (whereof this land is ful) foule thoughts in thy heart, foule and filthie speeches in thy mouth, cruell and barbarous deedes in thy hand, nourish vnbeleefe in the filthie and wicked person. Trowest thou all is gone from thee, when thou hast suffered a foule word to passe out of thy mouth, and an euill deede to passe from thy hand, that thou art quit of them? No, no, it comes backe vpon thy selfe, and leaueth a foule blacke spot behinde it: and if thou bee an in­fidell, thy infidelitie increaseth in thy heart, and thou art nou­rished by it. Alas! the best of vs all is subiect at all times to one euill or other. If thou be faithfull, the very euill deede will come backe vpon thee and anger thy heart. The very euill deedes if thou goe forward in them shall extinguish thy faith, or feeling, as the Apostle saith, 1. Thes. 5. 19. So thy fruits shall either augment thy faith, or else extinguish thy faith if thou continue. Therefore take heede to thy doings, that they wound thee not to thy heart: and if thou wouldest please God, fructi­fie in good workes: and secondly by them growe in faith. The third point followes, being strengthened with all might through his glorious power: and this followeth from the second, for euery one followeth from other. Wee knowe that the tree that groweth, as it fructifieth; so it groweth strong, a growing thing groweth euer to strength, as a decreasing thing faileth more and more to weakenes, and the more the fruitfull tree grow­eth, it is the stronger: so a man growing in faith and good workes, he growes to strength. For except the tree groweth to strength, it may well fructifie for a time, but it is not able to fructifie long, the sommer will wither it, and the winter will rot it: euen so a man except he growe in faith, and in the fruits of faith to a strength, till he be strong, and growe in strength of well doing, he shall not be able to stand and abide all. He shall not be able to abide the dint of persecutions, the sword, hunger, imprisonment, and such other afflictions. I say he shall not be able to abide these things, except he growe to a strength of God: but the heate of persecution shall make him to perish and wither away. He is not content with this simple word of strength, but he addeth to all might. A christian man must not be content with one sort of strength in this life. In deede were [Page 26] there but one calamitie, one affliction, and one persecution, one sort of strength might suffice; but seeing there are mani­fold, yea a thousand fold, thy strength must bee a manifold strength, thou must haue al strength. Then to marke it briefly: I see a perfection of all things craueth to bee in a christian. Wilt thou speake of knowledge? the Lord craueth all know­ledge. Wilt thou come to workes? hee craueth all manner of workes. Wilt thou come to strength? hee craues all strength. Well brethren, it may bee that we attaine not in this life to this perfection, but certainly these words are not in vaine, but they let vs vnderstand thus far, that once we shall attaine to perfection; growe here, and hence thou shalt haue a per­fection; growe in knowledge here, and hence thou shalt haue perfect knowledge: but if thou growe not in knowledge, and in the rest of the graces of God here, thou shalt neuer attaine to perfection. But when shalt thou haue it? read 1. Cor. 15. and there ye shall finde it. Then he commeth forward and layeth downe the ground, and beginning of this strength: He craues it not of flesh and bloud, he bids them not be strong in them selues: the stronger that one is in flesh and bloud, the weaker is hee in the spirit, and the more vnable to receiue knowledge and to beleeue, and to bring forth the workes of the spirit and faith: for as the Apostle saith, Galath. 5. 17. The flesh fighteth against the spirit, yea the flesh (as experience teach­eth vs) ouer comes the spirit. Therefore he saith not, be strong in all might, in your selues; but he saith according to the force of his glorious power, as he speaketh to the Ephesians 6. 10. he craues that they should be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Then thou man be strong in the glorious strength of thy God; not in thy selfe, nor in thy owne arme, nor in things earthly, but in the strength of God. But how get wee it? Reade Ephes. 1. 19. where hee saith, what is the excellent greatnes of his power in vs that beleeue: and 1. Pet. 1. 5. Who are kept (saith hee) by the vertue of the strength of God: and how? through faith. Then looke how the strength of God comes downe to thee (there is a farre space betwixt thee and God) beleeue in God through Iesus Christ, apprehend him, behold him by faith in his glorie, spare not, passe through the glorie of [Page 27] God: if thou get a gripe of him by faith, thou shalt sucke downe that power and glorie that is in God, and thou shalt be filled with it. Note.Ye reade of Steuen in the Acts chap. 7. 5. when he is per­secuted and accused, his eye is in heauen: they are looking to him, but he is looking to heauen: his faith pearceth through the cloudes to the presence of God, and suckes downe strength and comfort to him now in the heate of his persecution, euen when his affliction is at the height, and is sorest vpon him: what saith the text? He is filled with the holy Ghost, Acts 7. 55. so that his face shined as an Angell: so ye see the glorie of God what it is. Now in the words following, he is not content ge­nerally to speake of this strength, but he layes it out abroad cleerely setting it out in three parts. First, in all patience, the se­cond long suffering. Thy patience must not be for a time, but it Patience and ioy vnder the crosse. must be in long suffering. The third is in ioyfulnesse of heart, patience without ioy, without willingnesse to suffer auaileth not, if ioy be away burne thee, racke thee, rent thee, all is for nought. So in a word, who is the strong man? men would think that he is strongest that is ablest to persecute, to oppresse, to afflict and to trouble the Saints of God. The King of Spaine is counted very strong, and the Pope is counted very strong, because they haue a strong hand to persecute the silly ones of Iesus Christ. But who is the strong man? that body that A strong man. suffereth the sword, the fire, and all manner of affliction pa­tiently for Christs sake, and hath continuance in patience, and with patience, ioyfulnesse of heart: there is the strong man. The strength of God is not so much in doing, as in suffering: so that thou that sufferest most in patience, and in the ioy of thy heart, thou art strongest, and it is thou that gettest the Rom. 8. 37. victory. Thou that art vndon in the sight of the world, thou art the strong man, and not he that slayeth thee. The filthie mur­therers are slaues, the man that thou oppressest is the strong man, and thou art the slaue, and shalt dwell with the diuell that great slaue, when as the afflicted shall triumph and be with God. Well, if thou haue this strength of God, and pa­tience in afflictions, thine afflictions shall not make thee weake, but the stronger to endure. To come to the last point, giuing thankes vnto the father. This floweth out of the third, a [Page 28] man in persecution strengthened with patience. O the mouth of that man is opened to praise and thanke God, though it were in the fire burning! So you see this riseth out of the other. Marke it, wherefore shall ye thanke him? it is a harde matter that a man exercised by the hand of God (for the persecutor is but the hangman of God, if he were a King, and the Lowne shall be hanged in the end, and the scourg shall be cast into the fire) should thanke God in the middest of persecution. The words following lets thee see wherefore thou shouldest thanke him, to wit, for thy calling. This christian calling, to be heire of Which hath made vs meete. heauen, is the matter of thy ioy, vpon the which thankesgi­uing doth arise. So in the middest of affliction, of persecuti­on, of martyrdome, the remembrance of thy calling to be a christian, and to be heire of heauen, should make thee to re­ioyce, and to giue thankes to the Lord of glory, and should euer hold thee vp, and should make thee to open thy mouth, and praise the Lord, Rom. 5. 2. We glorie in hope. O that glory ministreth ioy in all the afflictions in the world. Then marke Nose of a man true­ly pleasing. God. a lesson out of all this, who is he that pleaseth God? (woe is him that is in no measure about to please him. O wofull wretch, though thou wert an Emperor of the world, if thou be not in some measure set to pleasure him, woe is thee for euer more!) 1 First, the man that fructifieth in good workes: and if thou be an euill doer, thou pleasest not God, but the displea­sure of God lyeth on thee. 2 Secondly, hee that would please God, he must bee a growing man (not standing in this world) and that euer in faith: that is, the elder thou be, the neerer and neerer to God, thou must growe elder in faith. 3 Then third­ly, he must be strong, not onely able to doe but to suffer, and therefore he must be strengthened with patience. A christian man is not a doer onely, but a dyer. 4 Fourthly, he must be euer glorifying, euer thanking God, and praying to his maiestie, euen when hee is most opprest. Put these graces together in a man, and that is the man that pleaseth God. And O the liking of God that hee hath of thee, when thou art thus occupied! Thus far the preface.

Now followes the third part of the Epistle contayning doctrine, both faire and sweete, opening a glorious mysterie, [Page 29] and that briefly. You that would haue riches, he opens vp the riches of Iesus Christ to you, that was so long hid vp from the beginning to his comming. The first thing he begins at in his doctrine, it is this christian calling, it is the first grace and Our cal­ling. The first grace we receiue in time. blessing that in time we get in Christ. I say in time, because our election or predestination is before all time. So the first grace we get in Iesus Christ in time, is our christian calling. In the epistle to the Ephesians he beginneth higher, but in this epistle he doth not so: he begins not for the height but at this bles­sing, that is first in time, to bee called to bee a member of Christ.

Note.Now in speaking of this benefit of our calling to be a chri­stian, hee speakes not simply of it, but in speaking of it he is thanking the Lord the father who hath made vs meete for a part of that glorie: for you shall marke this of the Apostle, he can neuer speake of the graces of God, but he euer thankes God. And in the first epistle of Peter. 1. 3. to teach thee when thou speakest of the graces of God, to remember to praise him, and to giue him hartie thankes for his blessings. Now to come on first in this doctrine of this christian calling, we haue the author of it. Whom thankes he? Thanking, saith he, the father: Author of our calling. so he giues the glorie of our calling to the father of our Lord Iesus, the father of glorie; he gets the first praise of our calling. The sonne himselfe speaking of his owne calling; he giues all glorie to his father: So all the godly giue the glorie of their cal­ling, first to the father, because he is the beginner of all grace. Then he cōmeth to the benefit it selfe, he saith not, thanking the father who hath called vs, but in steed of the word calling, he put­teth the definition of calling, the effect of the calling, who hath made vs meet, or sufficient in effect: then marke the words, they import first this. That then when the father hath put his hand to worke, to cal thee, thou wast vnmeete: if he made thee meete thou wast first vnmeete 2. Cor. 3. 5. thou wast vnmeete, euen if it were to thinke a good thought: when he began to worke, thou hadst no power once to thinke of this calling. Then What our calling is. wherein stands our calling? not in a bare name, as you would calaman, but it standeth in a change. When he calleth thee, he changeth thee wonderfully, & makes thee that, that thou wast [Page 30] not. Thou wast an old crased creature, a faggot for hell: thou wast nothing because of thy sinne: and except the Lord make thee a new thing, better it were for thee to be turned to no­thing, for thou shalt bee turned downe to hell. Rom. 4. 1. he calleth the thing that is not, as though it were. This is the cal­ling of the Lord: when he calleth a man, he changeth the heart of him. The free-will of the Papists, that poysoned doctrine of theirs, that a man hath some grace by nature (howbeit vn­able to receiue grace of God) will neuer stand in the day of the Free-will. Lord: and if thou wilt defend it, thou shalt neuer finde this effectuall calling of the Lord. If thou renounce not thy owne sufficiencie, thou shalt neuer get grace. He thankes God that made vs sufficient of vnsufficient, meete of vnmeete, of dead men quicke men: wouldest thou thanke God from thy heart? (for thanking of God must rise from the heart) there is the first ground of it: the feeling of thy owne want, of thy owne mi­serie, and that great lacke of grace in it, and that must be the deepest sense in thy heart, and lye at the roote of thy heart: and thy prayer must rise from that steppe, and from that Thanks­giuing. steppe to come to another steppe, to the sense of that mercie that God hath shewed thee, that is the next. The first is a sense of thy miserie: the second is a sense of the mercy of God, of these two breakes out the thanksgiuing. So that if thanks­giuing beginne not at the sense of thy wants, I tell thee it is but a thanksgiuing from the teeth forward. Take it for a sure rule, if thou haue not a true sense & feeling of thy owne wants and miseries, and then of the mercie of God; thou canst neuer thanke God aright: nay thou canst neuer in any measure seeke to God truely. So to returne I say, as thou wouldest haue grace, begin at this, that thou art nothing in thy selfe, that God may haue the glory: there is your calling and the effect of your calling. But whereto are we called? A man that is called, he is called to some thing. The Lord calles not, but to some end. He hath made vs meete for a part: whereof? A part of a lot, that is, of an inheritance that falleth by lot. Then wouldest thou vnderstand whereto thou art called, and made meete? to wit, for heauen; to make thee able to brooke that heauenly inhe­ritance: so thou art not called to nothing, but to an inheri­tance. [Page 31] So if thou finde that thou art called and a change is made in thy heart, of an vnmeete man thou art made meete, and if thou finde a change, looke certainely for an heritage, faile not to looke for it, for the heritage shall not faile thee. Thy sufficiencie had not been wrought, if thou haddest not been propped vp for that heritage: yet the word would be noted. He calles it not an heritage, but a lot: by the which he will let thee see, that thy heauenly heritage falleth out to be by lot. Ye would thinke that a man called should merit to himselfe an heritage, that hee might worke for it here. No saith the Apo­stle, thine heritage falleth to bee a lot, when thou art called. So a benefit is not a merit of another benefit; our sanctificati­on is not a merit of our iustification; but all is of grace, and our inheritance is but a lot, that is, a grace or gift of God with­out deseruing. Yet further: whose is this inheritance? he saith that it is the lot of the Saints of God. God hath giuing it them, and none other hath gotten it, or shall enioy one foote broad of it, but the Saints. Thou maist inherit here a king­dome, an earldome, a Lordship, though thou were as a diuell: but in heauen thou shalt haue none if thou be not first a Saint, and a holy one here on earth. Marke this lesson: ere euer thou get a share of heauenly inheritance of the Saints, thou must come creeping to that communion of Saints; be ioyned with them here if thou mind to haue any part with them in hea­uen: separate thy selfe from that societie of the Church of God, thou shalt be debard from heauen: thou shalt neuer get a sight of it. Looke the epistle to the Ephesians, where he shew­eth wherein the riches of the glorie of this inheritance is. Where is it? he saith, it is among the Saints, Ephes. 1. 18. So then associate thy selfe to the society of the Saints in earth. Men may passe their time, and what reckon they of a Church? It smelles in their nose, what should they speake of it? it is a stin­king word, mockage and scorne to them: but I say glad shalt thou be to be of that number, or else I shall debarre thee from all societie of the Saints in heauen. Thou shalt be excommu­nicated out of heauen, if thou excommunicate thy selfe here from the Saints. Now where lies it? you take heed where your heritage lyes, and you will looke to your charters, and [Page 32] euidences diligently; for that cause, you will looke the scitua­tion of it. Hee saith that this heritage of the saints is in the light; there is the place, a lightsome and a ioyful pleasant place. The line of pleasant places saith Dauid, Psalm. 16. 6. is fallen to me. It lyeth then in the light, it is in heauen, as Peter saith in his first Epistle 1. 4. It is kept and laid vp where God dwel­leth: it may well content thee to dwell where God himselfe dwelles. Yet where is it? Thy life is hid with God, saith he. O then thy heritage is in God! what can bee said more? A faire heri­tage lying in so faire a light, euen in heauen with God, and in God. I see then all our life and ioy either in this life or in the life to come, is in that light of knowledge, in that spirituall knowledge: so that a man that hath his minde inlightened to see, as the Apostle saith to the Ephesians, the hope of his cal­ling, the riches of the glorie of the inheritance of the Saints; the man that hath this light, he liues and enioyes a great in­heritance, howbeit he hath neuer an ynch in this earth; and his ioy is a true ioy. And againe, a man that is in darknesse, not seeing the face of God; in no measure, knowing nothing: that man liuing hee is dead, if hee were an Emperor, a King, and a Lord. This countrie is full of dead stinking carrions, be­cause they want this light, and they would pull out their eyes that they should not see this light. But woe to them in the end, when this darknesse shall bring an vtter darknesse, when thou shalt be a dead stinking dog in hell. Get thou this light if euer thou wouldest see heauen, and haue a part of it, which is not in darkenesse, but in the light of God. To whom we giue all honour, praise and dominion for euer.

Amen.

THE FOVRTH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 13, 14, 15.

13 Who hath deliuered vs from the power of darkenes, and hath translated vs into the kingdome of his deare sonne,

14 In whom we haue redemption through his bloud, that is, the forgiuenes of sinnes.

15 Who is the image of the inuisible God, the first borne of euery creature.

THe last day, welbeloued brethren, the preface of this epistle being ended, we entred into the doctrine. The Apostle in his doctrine begins at the first grace that a man or woman getteth in this world in Iesus Christ. The first grace or blessing of God in time after they are borne into the world (for our grace & mercie begins before all time ere we be borne, our election began before the foundation of the world was laid) but the Apostle begins at ye first grace in time, the first grace in Iesus Christ (for all is in him, nothing without him) is this christian calling from darkenesse to light, frō that foule puddle of sinne, wherein we lye by birth and nature (nay if thou wert borne a king, thou liest in the foule puddle of sinne) we are taken out of hell, for our birth is in hell, and to hell we goe if we haue no more but nature. Thou art taken out of hell and put into heauē, there is the first grace in time. Now to come to the text, ye heard ye father he getteth the first glorie of [Page 34] our calling. Thanking (saith he) the father. He is the fountaine. Then we heard wherein the calling consisteth, not in a bare na­ming, as one man would call another, but the Lord in calling vs maketh vs meete; of vnsufficient for heauen, he makes vs sufficient; of vnable, he makes vs able; of dead men, he ma­keth vs liuely; that is the effectualnes of our calling. Then we heard, whereunto we are called. Our calling is not in vaine, we are called to a lot, a fairer heritage then all the kingdomes of the world: nay ye poorest soule is called to be an heire of heauē. Such as are called are called to the kingdome of heauen, all other heritages are but dirt and draffe. And who oweth this kingdom? It is the kingdom of ye Saints. It is distributed among the Saints: and if thou be not a holy one, and in their societie, thou shalt neuer see that heritage: laugh at them so much as euer thou wilt. Where lieth this heritage? To wit, in the light of God: thou neuer sawest such a light. It lieth in God, for God is thy light, and thy life: and if thou be an heire of this king­dome, thy life is hid with God in Christ. To goe forward, yet the Apostle insisteth in this first blessing of our effectuall cal­ling, and maketh it more plaine in this verse. His words are, who hath raught vs out, that is the force of the word: From whence? From the power of darknes. What more? And he translated vs. Whereto? To the kingdome. What kingdome? Of his sonne: the sonne of his loue, his deere sonne, the Lord Iesus. Now brethren, it is cleere, but I shall briefly insist on the words, to let you see the force and power of euery word: for they are of weight. For the words that speake of heauenly things are not the words of men. Then the word he hath puld vs out; with a force or strength, with a constraining. I hold it not a simple deliuerie. Then look to thy calling. It begins at haling of thee. Thou art so fast holdē bound, whē thou art called, that if thou beest not pulled out with a strong hand, thou wilt ne­uer come out: and that Christ himselfe saith, No man commeth to me (no not one) except the father draw him, Ioh. 6. 44. Thou wilt neuer see heauen, if thou be not drawne. So our calling must begin at our drawing: & all the powers in the earth will not draw thee to heauē, if the hand of the Lord draw thee not.

To goe forward. He hath drawne vs out. From whence? From [Page 35] vnder a power: then the cause of thy drawing is this. Thou art holden streight, and thou art holden by a strong power. There was neuer man holden in iron bands, and prison so streight, as thou art holden by sinne: for as light as thou wilt skipt and leape, and as nimble as thou seemest, when thou art leaping lightest thou art fast holden; and the more thou leapest in sin, the faster and the faster thou art holden: so ere thou get out, there must be a power, and a greater power then it that holds thee. No man (saith Christ) will enter into a strong mans house be­fore he haue first bound the strong man, and then deuide the spoyle, Mark. 3. 27. No man will take thee out of sinne that strong man, except he haue a power that is stronger then sinne. What a power is this? The next word tels thee; It is the power of dark­nes. Alas that darknes of Ignorance! O that terrible clowd of darknes and ignorance, that is in the soule of euery man natu­rally, without the knowledge of God, of Iesus Christ, of life, and saluation! O miserable is that soule that lies in that dark­nes! Then it is the power of darknes, a strong power, and the strongest power in this world, that holdeth thee fast. If thou be fettered with darknes, then in deede thou maist say, thou art fettered fast.

Brethren, there is but two great powers only (as for the po­wer of a King, out, out, it is nothing but draffe and dirt: the power of the flesh is nothing) There are but two kingdomes only: The first is, the kingdome of God; the kingdome of light, is a kingdome in deede. The second, is the kingdome of dark­nes, the kingdome of hell, to call it so; yea and all the Kings of the world shall be vnder one of these two, either a slaue of darknes, or els a sonne and heire of the kingdome of hea­uen. Now the kingdome of darknes next after the kingdome of light, it is the strongest in this world: and to speake plaine to you, this kingdome of darknes is but the pit of God, a dun­geon and a prison house, wherein the diuell first lies all chai­ned; of the which they are princes lying in bandes abiding their damnation: and next them are the reprobate, Caine, Iu­das, and the rest, and in the which the diuels and the reprobate shall be tormented euerlastingly. So the kingdome of dark­nes serueth to this kingdome of light, and they who are in it [Page 36] are but the executioners of God, and rods of his fierce wrath. Now then, it is Iesus Christ that Prince of light that hath drawne vs out of that dungeon of darknes, and ignorance. He is that strong man, whose strength is aboue all strength of the diuell, sinne, and hell. It is he then that hath done this: and what more hath he done? He (saith he) hath translated vs, taken vs from one place, and remoued vs to another place; nay it is not enough to bee pulled as it were out of hell, except thou be taken away and translated as farre from it, as thou maist looke to it. Thou wilt goe backe againe, if thou be not transla­ted and kept farre from it. Whereunto hath be translated vs? he saith, to a kingdome: we shall heare more of this kingdome hereafter. A kingdome must keepe thee: It is impossible to be kept, if thou be not kept in a kingdome. The power of a King is required to keepe thee. Whose kingdome is it? not Caesars, no Emperours in the earth: nay the kingdome of Spaine, Fraunce, England and Scotland will not keepe thee; flye, as thou wilt flye. Whose kingdome must it be then that must keepe thee? The kingdome of his owne sonne, and more, of his owne deere sonne; the sonne of his loue, that is, the kingdom of his sonne that he loueth so deerely. Well, and if that bee the kingdome that thou be translated vnto, thou shalt be well kept: it is the onely kingdome that is able to keepe thee. For first behold the King. Who is the King? The King is the sonne of God, a strong King, Ioh. 10. 28. No man shall take you out of my hand. O the strength of the son of God! He is God him­selfe: then he is more, a sonne, and a king, that is so loued of the father, and in him he loueth all within the bounds of this kingdome. So see first the power, and then the loue; and no question thou maist say, that thou shalt be well kept. Blessed is the soule that comes to this kingdom: And if thou be not yet translated to it, striue to it, as thou wilt be safe. In a word, will you haue wherein our effectuall calling standeth? I say to you, it standeth in this: In taking vs out of one kingdome, and putting vs into another: in translating of thee from the kingdome of darknes, and putting of thee into the kingdome of heauen: in translating of vs from a kingdome, wherein we liue as slaues (fie on it, thou liuest as a slaue here, a bondslaue [Page 37] to Sathan and thy own foule affections) to a kingdom where­in thou raignest like a king. There is neuer a slaue there, but all are kings in this kingdome: neuer a slaue there, all are sonnes; and if they are sonnes, they are heires, as Paul reasons Rom. 8. 17. It is a translation from a kingdome of smaller po­wer, howbeit of a great power, to a kingdome that is infinite. No kingdome is infinite but Christs; this is comfortable. Fin­dest thou thy selfe translated and called to be one of this king­dome? See the infinite power of it, that is able to keepe thee, that thou shalt neuer fall backe againe to the kingdome of darknes. And if a man be effectually called, it is impossible that euer he shall fall backe againe, no more then the diuell is able to take the sheepe out of Christs hands. Therefore in the Epistle to the Romanes 11. 29. Paul saith, The gift of God is with­out repentance; so that the gift of thy calling is without repen­tance: Blessed is that soule that findes it.

To come to the next verse, In whom? to wit, in Iesus Christ the sonne of God: What haue wee in him? A faire grace: we haue redemption. Through what? Through his bloud, a deere price. What is this Redemption? Remission of sinnes. Well, well, thinkest thou it a smal thing to haue thy sinnes forgiuen thee? Now weigh the words, for in the words he comes to another blessing, a second blessing euen the remission of our sinnes, that is the effect of the former: but to begin at the first word, In whom. This second blessing is not without Iesus: no, no; no grace, no mercie, no blessing without Christ; this is plaine talke, would to God wee could fasten to him: so he saith, In whom, that is in the deere sonne of God. Brethren, being once translated, that is, effectually called and drawne to him, wee liue not as other subiects vnder a king. Subiects would be far Similie. from their king, and some there is that will not once get a sight of their king in all their life time: but being translated to the kingdome of Christ, we are ioyned neere to our king: nay ne­uer Courtier was so neere a king of this earth, as wee shall be when we are translated to the kingdome of Christ Iesus: hee will not rest till he haue vs in him. O the tender affection of Iesus Christ that hee beareth to them that are in his king­dome! hee will haue vs ingrafted in him, as the grafts in a [Page 38] tree: he will not let thee stand behinde him, but he will haue thee in his bodie, and ioyned with him as a member of his bo­die, and he will haue thee feeding in him, that is, vpon grace flowing from him as from the head. So blessed is the estate of that bodie that is translated to the kingdome of Christ: as by the contrary, miserable is their condition and estate, that a­bide in darknes and ignorance. When thou art in him, what wilt thou get? he saith, we haue redemption. It is impossible but if thou be once in him, thou must haue grace of him: once ef­fectually called to his kingdome, which is that first grace, of force thou must passe to the next grace, which is the Redemp­tion, and all the graces that are in him; and so no end of grace to thee. Get me the first grace, get thy heart once entred; I shall promise there shall be no end of grace, vntil thou be glo­rified without end. O then, what is the next grace which fol­lowes thy calling? It is a blessing called Redemption. A word sounding in our tongue commonly, would to God you vn­derstood it aright: As soone as thou findest in thy heart thy selfe to be effectually called, as soone will the father say; O sin­ner, I absolue thee from thy sinnes. That is the next blessing. There is none who findes themselues effectually called, but they will finde as it were this sound, I absolue thee from all thy sinnes. If thy conscience testifie thy calling, it will testifie also that thou art absolued, and redeemed from sinne. Let no man speake of these things but they, who feele in their hearts dai­ly their effectuall calling.

Now I shall speake of this Redemption as the Lord will leade me, not digressing into a common place. What is then this Redemption? to speake it plaine, it is nothing but a deli­uerie. The redemption of a sinner is nothing but a deliuerie of a sinner, a setting of him at libertie. So a sinner when once he be translated vnto the kingdome of Iesus Christ, when the fa­ther looketh as it were from his tribunall, and sees the sinner ingrafted into Iesus, so soone will hee shake the fetters from him. For in this kingdome there can be no captiuitie, no slaue­rie, no bondage of sinne and death; they cannot be in the kingdome of Christ. Indeede in the kingdome of Sathan, there is nothing but slauerie, and all are but slaues: but in the king­dome [Page 39] of Christ there is nothing but libertie. The kingdome of libertie cannot abide a slaue: but all must be free, free from sinne and death.

The next thing in this redemption: if we be deliuered, from what is it that we be deliuered? (a man that is deliuered is de­liuered from some thing) from slauery; if thou wert a King, thy horse rubber is not so ill as thou art, if thou be not tran­slated from thy nature and from sinne. Thou art deliuered from this when once thou art called: for after we be called and translated, sinne hath no more dominion ouer vs. Yet Rom. 6. 12 when we are in Christ, we are not free of bands, 1. Ioh. 3. 78. A sin­ner in his conuersion, albeit his sinnes be pardoned with God, yet there is a time of further hu­miltation giuen him to feele the seale of the pardon of sinnes put to his hart. Confer 2. Sam. 11 with Psal. 51. Rom. 8. 15. Ephes. 4. 30. Hebr. 6. 1. no neuer till the sentence of the absolution come out from the tribunall of God, and say to thee, I absolue thee.

But to goe forward: how is this procured? vpon what ground proceedeth it? it is no small matter to get absolution at the mouth of God. What procures it then? thou must be ransomed: thy ransome is not without a price. The word [...] imports a ransome, and deliuerance by a price of redemption. For brethren, you must vnderstand that the iu­stice of God cannot be impaired: the infinit iustice of God can­not suffer the deliuery of a sinner, except there be a ransome paid. Thou art conceited of mercie, and neuer hast recourse to that bloud that hath ransomed thee: No, no, seeke to the price and bloud of Iesus, otherwise thou shalt neuer be absolued: yet this ransome preiudiceth nothing the mercy. Indeede if the ransome were taken of thee, out of thy owne purse; then thou shouldest neuer haue got mercy: but because it is the Lord Iesus that paid the ransome, therefore it is mercy and grace to thee. What ransome must this be? you thinke much of siluer and gold, and would to God the bloud of Christ was as much esteemed of by you, as you esteeme of your gold and siluer. But I tell thee, be thou a sinner, all the kingdomes of the earth will not ransome thy life, the whole kingdomes of the world will not ransome the life of one sinner; yea not of the poorest lad and lasse in the world. I speake thus plainely, to teach you to thinke of better things, then the things of the earth. Fye on those things; we should not esteeme them pretious to vs, but to be paltry, the dirt of this earth, and vanitie of this world. [Page 40] What must be the ransome then? It must be bloud. It is impos­sible that a sinner can be ransomed without bloud; the silliest of you all cannot come to heauen without you be ransomed with bloud. Therefore in the epistle to the Hebrewes 9. chap. 22. it is said, Without bloud no remission of sinnes: And if there were but an euill thought, no ransome of it without bloud; else shalt thou dye euerlastingly, and the wrath of God shall feede on thee as fire vpon stickes; or else thou shalt bring for thy ransome the bloud of another. Then whose bloud must this be? surely one must dye; the iustice of God must be satisfied: it must not be thy owne bloud, nor the bloud of any sinner in the world; take them altogether and offer a sacrifice of them all, crucifie them all, all shall not make a ransome for sinne. Indeede it is true, the wrath of God must feede vpon the bloud of a sinner, and vpon the reprobate: but that shall not be a ransome for one sinne; so hee shall neuer be redeemed by his own bloud. A ransome must haue a redemption, but the bloud of a sinner will not doe this: for sinners are in hell, and in hell there is no redemption. So, wilt thou be ransomed? say not I will reedeme my selfe with my owne bloud. The Lord will take the bloud, but thou shalt neuer be ransomed, but die e­uerlastingly. Whose bloud must it be then? By his bloud (hee saith not by our bloud) that is, the bloud of the sonne of God. And this bloud of Iesus Christ is that bloud onely that can be the ransome: none in heauen or earth but his bloud onely, is able to make thy ransome: and this bloud standeth best both with the iustice of God and mercie of God, because it is the on­ly bloud of Christ that satisfies the iustice of God. Why? by reason of the worthines of the person, he is a man, a holy man, without all spot of sinne. It will not be thy stinking rotten bloud: it must be that bloud of Christ, that holy bloud, that must satisfie the wrath of God. It standeth with the mercie of God: for when the wrath and iustice of God hath gotten that precious bloud, then it is well satisfied: then mercie reacheth from heauen to the sinner; if thou canst present that bloud, then the Lord will say: I haue nothing to say against thee, I haue nothing but mercie and grace to giue thee, I forgiue thee all thy sinnes. Many thinke this but words; but you shall see [Page 41] one day what these words meane. In the last words of the verse, that that he hath spoken of redemption, he sets out in a plaine terme and common word, euen the remission of sinnes. In the Epistle to the Ephesians 1. 7. when hee hath spoken as hee hath done here, of the remission of sinnes; he sheweth that it is through the riches of his grace. What is all thy remission to thee, but a free remission through the riches of his grace? thou hast not paid a mite for it; but Christ hath paid the price. So these two stand in thy redemption: In respect of him thou art redeemed by a price; and in respect of thy selfe it is nothing but free pardoning. So giue him the glorie and praise, for I as­sure thee, it is of an vnspeakable mercie and loue, that he hath forgiuen thee, and taken the bloud of his deere sonne for thy sinne. Hast thou not great matter of praising and glorifying of him? O would to God this cankerd generation could see and consider this worke of our redemption!

Now you haue heard of your calling and redemption, two great workes and benefits of God bestowed on his elect, in Ie­sus Christ his deere sonne. There followes now a higher point of doctrine (speeches of the highest things in the world are ei­ther of Kings or Queenes, or els of some other great nouelties; yet all are but dirt in respect of this speech of the Apostle vtte­red according to the spirit of God. For he speaks of the highest things, that is, euen of the king of glorie: so this speech must be a high speech: and yet not so high, but a man may attaine to the knowledge of it, so farre as may serue to their saluation) when he hath spoken of this great king, and of his bloud by the which wee are redeemed, to let vs see how great a king he is, and how precious his bloud is, he fals out into a digression, and he brings out an high description of the Lord of glorie. He may well blabber of him, but more he cannot: he is so high and excellent in all maiestie. All the wits of men and Angels are not able to expresse the excellencie of the glorie of the sonne of God: but I leaue that. The first part of his description, is from his Godhead; Who is (saith he) the image of the inuisible God, the first begotten of euery thing created. Here wee haue to consider, first how God is called inuisible. And next, how the sonne is called the image of the inuisible God: vnderstanding [Page 42] these two, we shall get the meaning of the Apostle. Wee finde this oft in the Scripture, especially in the new Testament, that God is called inuisible. No man (saith Iohn in his first chapter vers. 18) hath seene God at any time: & in another place he saith; No man hath knowne him. And Tim. 6. 16. He dwelleth in light that hath no accesse. How is this then to be vnderstood? Looke how he is inuisible. This is to be vnderstood of the Father, the first person of the Trinitie: Note.He is inuisible, he cannot be seene, neither by Angell, nor all the Angels in heauen, neither by man, nor by the eye of the bodie of man, no not by the eye of his minde. No creature no manner of way can see him: yet God forbid but wee see him. But how is it that he cannot be seene? He cannot be seene immediatly in his owne person, no not all the Angels can get a sight of him immediatly. It is only the sonne of God that hath that sight; for he is in the bosome of the Father: and therefore no man nor Angell gets a sight of God (I say immediatly) because that all the sight that man and Angell hath, is by a mediate person, the sonne of God. This is the first.

Secondly, how is it that the sonne is called the image of the inuisible God? I will not insist here, to bring in all the diffe­rences, and sorts, and images, because it pertaines more to the Schooles, then to this place. But thus farre I tell you, I cannot get here in the earth a better example, to let you see how Iesus Christ is the image of the inuisible God in some measure (for who can see it in a fulnes?) then the example of an earthly son. You see an earthly sonne will represent the person of his fa­ther, in the shape of his bodie, and in the linaments thereof; and that not onely in the outward accidents, but in the very substance that he hath taken from him, and out of him. No image will come so neere as that image; so that he will repre­sent him in all these three, in stature, shape, and substance.

Now to come to the sonne of God, you must vnderstand there are no accidents in God. All is substance and essence. He will then represent him, first in his personage, euen in a kind of portraiture: for how be it, he be distinct in person; yet nothing is so like the person of the father, as the person of the sonne. Therefore in the epistle to the Hebrewes 1. 3. He is cal­led [Page 43] the character and the very stampe of the father: and he will not onely represent him in person, but in substance also. So that secondly he representeth God the father in a sub­stance taken from him: for the sonne of God hath taken his substance from his father, in that eternall generation. And thirdly, which is higher, and this passeth all comparison, he re­presents him not onely in a substance, but in that same sub­stance, in number: so that there is not two Gods, but one God. Nay the father and the sonne is but one substance, and one God in number: and therefore he saith, the father and I am one, in the gospell of Iohn 10. 30. No earthly sonne may say so, I am in the father, and the father in me: nay, no sonne in the earth, how verely so euer he represent his father, may say so as Christ saith: so the likeliest, the quickest, and the best representing of the image of God, is the sonne of God. There is no compari­son, and therefore in Iohn 14. 9. to Philip he saith, In that thou hast seene me, thou hast seene the father also. Why? because I am the brightnes of his glorie: so that if thou seest me, thou seest the father, and without the sight of the father, there is no life. And thou must begin that sight of him here, or else thou shalt neuer see him. And if the sonne were not so liuely an image of God, it were impossible to be content with the sight of the sonne, but because he represents the whole maiestie of his father; therefore the sight of the person of the sonne, contents vs, and we reioyce in him. O if we had that sight of him, as we should haue it, then should we reioyce vnspeakably: so to end, the words imports this, when he saith, that he is the image of the in­uisible God, that he is visible. Then I aske the question, how is the sonne of God visible? marke briefly, in his manhood; that is, in our flesh he is visible; because Iesus Christ in the flesh, is as well seene with the bodily eye as a man; and when we shall see him in heauen, we shall see him in the very body; so there is no question of his humane nature. But how is that Godhead seene in the sonne? that is a greater question (I will assure thee it must be seene, or else no life for thee.) But how is it seene? first I answere, with the eye of the mind. A man hath a bodilie eye in his head, and againe he hath another eye in his soule, which when once it is illuminated by the spirit of Christ, then that [Page 44] eye shall see better than a thousand bodily eyes: it will pearce vp through the very heauens, and neuer rest till it come to the sight and presence of God. Indeede if it be not illuminated, it will see nothing; but being illuminated, it will pearce through the very heauens, and enter into the light of God, & see him. So the sonne of God is seene in his Godhead, by the eye of the minde, and held fast by the heart, and felt of the heart. What meanes this sweete apprehension, that a man will haue of the mercie of God, of the wisedome, and iustice of God? what meanes it? Nothing but a sense of the Lord Iesus Christ; all is in the feeling of Iesus Christ, who dwels in the heart by faith, as the Apostle to the Ephesians 3. 7. saith: so there is the first way how he is seene. But yet would not the eye of the bodie see him? Certainly I would see him with this same bodily eye. And there is no faithfull man, but their yearning is to see him with their bodily eye. Now how shall I get a sight of him with a bodily eye? I shall tell thee how thou shalt get a sight of him with the bodily eye. Indeede thou wilt not get it immediatly, but thou must looke in through the vaile. There must be a vaile hung downe ouer betwixt thee and that glorious maie­stie: now through that vaile, that glorie of God shines in that flesh of Iesus: so the beames strikes so farre, that they pearce within thee, because thou wilt see the glorie of God through this vaile, and thou wilt not onely see the person of the sonne in the vaile, but through him thou wilt see the glorious father. So in a word, when thou commest to heauen (thou wilt now goe here and there on the earth to see glorie, and wilt gaze on heauen) I say vnto thee all the glorie of heauen will be closed in Iesus Christ; if thou turne thy eye from him, no sight of glorie: so all thy pleasure then will be, to hold thy eye vpon that glorious son of God, and that wil be our heauen, and our ioy, through the sonne to see the father, and to see the glo­rie of the Lord Iesus clad with our nature, sitting at the right hand of his father. To whom, with the holie spirit, be all praise, honour and thankes for euen,

Amen.

THE FIFT LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 15, 16, 17.

15 Who is the image of the inuisible God, the first borne of eue­rie creature:

16 For by him were all things created which are in heauen, and which are in earth, things visible and inuisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him,

17 And he is before all things, and in him all things consist.

WE shewed you the last day (welbeloued in the Lord Iesus) the Apostle when he ended his preface, he en­tred into the doctrine, and in it he beganne at the first grace and blessing that wee get in Iesus Christ in time, which is our effectuall calling, and deliuerance from vnder the power of darknes, wherein we are conceiued and borne. Euery man and woman is borne naturally a slaue to the diuel, hell, and darknes. The best of vs all a slaue to hell, the diuell, and darknes: so by this benefit of our calling, wee are taken out from vnder this slauerie, and translated to another king­dome, not of slauerie, but of libertie and light, to the kingdom of his deere sonne, the Lord Iesus Christ; that is the first grace and benefit which the Apostle handleth. Then from this hee comes to another benefit, and he calleth it redemption, or other­wise remission of sinnes. Being now by your effectuall calling translated to the kingdome of Christ Iesus, and being ingraf­ted into him: the next benefit and grace we get is absolution; we get a free remillion of all our sinnes, and consequently we [Page 46] are freed from death and damnation, that followes vpon sin. This absolution and setting of vs at libertie from sinne and death, is not without a price. The iustice of God, the wrath of God against sinne, cannot suffer a sinner to be absolued, with­out a ransome and price: so our remission and absolution must be by a price, and paying of a ransome. But let vs see who paies it? Indeede if wee our selues were bound to pay the ran­some, neuer any of vs could be safe: no all the bloud of men and Angels, and it were all shed to be a price for sinne, would not redeeme a sinner. Then, who paies the ransome? It is said, we haue redemption, not through our bloud, but through his bloud. It is then the bloud of Christ that is the ransome for our sinnes; the Lord Iesus hath bought vs deere. There was neuer from the beginning of the world, nor shall not be vnto the end of the world, such a deere price giuen, as is the price of our ransome, which the Lord Iesus hath giuen for vs. So that which he hath deerely bought to vs, is nothing but a free re­mission. Now, to speake familiarly, wee haue not paid a far­thing for it, but as it is said in the Ephesians, It is the riches of his grace towards vs; so it is nothing but mercie and grace to vs.

Then to come forward: The Apostle when hee hath spoken of the second benefit, which we receiued in Christ, to let vs see that this bloud is no small thing, he passeth out as it were, in a description of the Redeemer, whose bloud this is: That first we may see the worthines of that personage. And secondly, consi­dering his worthines, may see the preciousnes of his bloud, by whom wee are redeemed. And thirdly, that considering these two, wee may see how fast and sure our redemption (made by that bloud) standeth immoueable. It is no small matter to know how fast thy redemption stands: for if thy redemption were quarrelled or excepted against, thou wouldest giue if it were all the world for to know the assurance of thy redemp­tion: for Sathan and his instruments are chiefly busied about thee, to make thee distrust of thy redemption, in the bloud of Christ. Therefore the spirit of God in this place and other places, is busied to confirme thee of the certaintie of thy re­demption, that Sathan nor his instruments deceiue thee not.

[Page 47] Then the first argument of the description, is taken from his Discrip­tion. diuine substance, he is the image of the inuisible God, that is, an essentiall image of God his father; and he is one God with the The first part. father in number, howbeit distinct in persons. Then there is the first ground of our redemption in the Mediatour the Lord Iesus, to wit, the Godhead of Christ. It is not vpon the man­hood that our redemption is first grounded, but vpon Iesus Yet euer remember he is a Me­diatour in respect of both na­tures, and not one on­ly, diuine, or humane. Christ, God equal in glorie, and maiestie with the father. This being the ground, then it must follow; that his bloud is a most precious bloud, as it is called Acts 20. 28, the bloud of God. It being so precious, of necessitie the redemption of man, that is made by that bloud, must hold and stand fast. And all the world, yea all the diuels in hell, be not able to shake it, nor to moue it out of the place: keepe this for a sure ground, when thou art tempted about thy redemption, and the certaintie of it.

Now followeth the second part of his description, in these The se­cond part. words: He is the first borne of all creatures. This argument is from his eternitie, he is without beginning. The Redeemer by whose bloud we are redeemed, as he is God, so he is from all e­ternitie: he hath no beginning. So the second ground of our redemption is his eternitie: and if hee had been but in time, and not from all eternitie, the price of his bloud would not haue redeemed thee. But the Redeemer being first God, and next being from all eternitie, the bloud of our redemption must be precious. Yet to insist: The first borne, I seeke no other Commentarie to explane this, then the words which hereaf­ter follow vers. 17. and he is before all things: which is to the same effect, and it is that that is written Ioh. 1. In the beginning was the word. In these words, this his being and substance is set downe by a certaine allusion to those, yt were first borne in the families of fathers, vnder the old Testament: for as they were first borne, and the rest borne after them; euen so the first borne of God the onely begotten, he is not only before all the rest, as Rom. 8. 29. but before all creatures men and Angels, borne from all eternitie, VVho can declare his generatiō? vnspeakeably. This would be mar­ked, speaking of the eternitie of the Redeemer, hee sets it not downe simply, saying, he is from all eternitie, but he sets downe [Page 48] his eternitie in comparison with the creature. Wherefore doth he this? The eternitie and the glorie of God our Redeemer, ap­peares best by a comparison with the creature. All things are euer best seene and knowne of vs, by comparing them with the contrary. The vilenes and naughtines of the creature ap­peares best, in comparison with the maiestie and excellencie of God. Therefore the Scripture when it sets downe the glorie of God, it sets it downe in a comparison with the creature: and by the contrarie, when it sets downe the basenes of the crea­ture, it sets it downe by a comparison with the Creator; that the basenes of the creature may be the better seene. Nay thou, who thinkest euer much of thy selfe, thou neuer sawest God: if thou saw God, thou wouldest stinke in thine own eyes. All the creatures are but stinke and vanitie, in comparison of their maker.

To goe forward. In the verse following, when he hath set downe the eternitie of Christ, he proues it. The argument is, because by him all things are made. Then neuer any thing esca­ped his hands, all past through his hand: the soberest creature in the world past through his hand. There is the argument. He by whom all things were created, he must be before all things: but so it is, by our Mediatour, our Redeemer, the Lord Iesus all things were created: Ergo, the Redeemer must be before all things, and consequently eternall. There is the argument. The manner of speaking imports, that the Father is the originall of the creation, and it is he who creates, and that by his sonne, as the dispenser of the creation: not that there is difference in creation; nay the father and the sonne had one power, Ioh. 5. vers. 19. What euer the father doth, the same doth the sonne. But how? Equally in power, howbeit the father be first in order; and then next the sonne; and in the third place the holy spirit: yet all concurres with one equall power and maiestie. Now as this is the reason, prouing the eternitie: so it is another part of his description: and the third argument, taken from the creation. Then here thou seest, the third ground of thy re­demption, is thy Creator. He who redeemes thee, created thee; thou hast not one Creator, and another Redeemer: nay, hee who redeemes thee, is he who created thee. Then, thy Redee­mer [Page 49] being the glorious and omnipotent Creator, the bloud wherewith thou art redeemed must be precious. Marke it (ye who count so little of the bloud of Christ) it being so precious a bloud, thy redemption must stand sure and fast: for it is founded vpon the omnipotent Creator.

But to goe to the text, when hee hath set downe generally this worke of the creation, he descends to speake in particular of the creatures, and he laies out them as it were abroad; and the first difference he makes of them, is from the place of their habitation. Some are in heauen, and othersome in the earth; he made all these earthly creatures, man, and beast; yea hee created the Toade it selfe; al is made by his omnipotent hand. Will you looke to the heauenly creatures? the Sunne, the Moone, the Angels, thy Redeemer made them all. The next difference he makes, is from their substance and nature, some visible, that may be griped and handled; some inuisible, a­mongst the which is thy soule, that thy owne eye cannot see: thy soule is a glorious creature. Then lastly, among these inui­sible creatures, he makes a difference, and it is not taken from the degrees of them, as though he would make many degrees; that is but a fantasie of men. But it is from the stiles of honour. He hath made all these inuisible creatures, call them as you will, call them Thrones, Principalities, Powers, and whatsoeuer ye please, thy Redeemer hath made them all: none hath esca­ped his hands. Looke not that I will curiously scan vpon Curiositie. these words; nay this is not the minde of the Apostle: It is but curiositie to satisfie a vaine headed bodie, in laying abroad the diuers sorts of these creatures, made by the Lord Iesus. Where­to tends this? While he doth this, he laieth out the glorie, not of the creatures, but of him that made them, thy Creator, thy Redeemer. Therefore when we looke to the glorie of any crea­ture, we should be so farre from that, to take the glorie of the maker and giue it to the stinking creature (as men haue done, who by nature are so inclined to Idolatrie, to pull the glorie from God, and ascribe it to the creature) that by the contra­rie, seeing he is the maker of all, wee should take all from the creature, and giue it to the God of glorie: though he were an Angell, a king, a fellow, or seruant, wee should take all from [Page 50] them, and giue glorie to the Creator of them. Sticke neuer vpon the creature, but runne to the Creator: for if the crea­ture be glorious, O how glorious is he that created him! For I assure thee, that neuer creature hath the thousand part of that glorie, and maiestie, that is in God the maker of all: nay it is a vanitie to enter in comparison, all the glorie of men, Angels, and of the firmament, that are very glorious and beautifull creatures; yet all in comparison of their maker and Creator, they and their glorie both, are but dirt. When that glorie of God shall shew it selfe, they will be ashamed to enter into comparison with so glorious a maiestie: nay the very Angels hide their face for shame, they doe not behold the glorious maiestie of their maker; and wilt thou then, vile stinking creature, take this glorie of God, or any part of it, and giue it to the creature? O the Lord shall take thee one day in his wrath, and throw that proud neck of thine asunder, and shall shew himselfe glorious to thy euerlasting shame and confu­sion! O these Idolaters shall be ashamed then of themselues, and of these creatures; to whom they haue giuen such wor­ship, which onely belongeth to God!

In the end of the verse, when he hath fallen out in the parti­cular creatures, he reiterates again: All things are made by him; so he turnes backe againe, he tires not to tell it ouer againe. Brethren, will you looke to the heart of the man that speakes? (for these words are come from the heart of the man) These words rise vpon a deep apprehension of the Creator, that glo­rious maiestie. He hath created all things: and againe, He hath made all things. For when the heart of man or woman is full of the deepe apprehension of the glorious maiestie of God, the mouth is full of sounding, and setting forth his praise. When thy heart is emptie of God, thy mouth will be emptie of his praises: and if thy heart be full of God, thy mouth will be full of his glorie.

Now when hee hath repeated these words to the praises of the Redeemer, the Creator of all things Iesus Christ, he turnes to the fourth part of his description: All things were created for him, that is, a further point of his glorie, then the former: hee The fourth part. made all things, and that for his owne honour, that he himselfe [Page 51] might be honoured in them. That is a higher degree indeed. If the Creator had made them for anothers glorie, his glorie had bin the lesse: but seeing al is made for himselfe, O the glorie of him! nay, all the tongues of men & Angels are not able to ex­presse the thousand part of his glorie. All that men & Angels can speak of it, is but like the blabbery and babling of a child: so infinite and incomprehensible is the glorie of that high ma­iestie. All then is for his honour, and all honour and glorie be to him for euer, Amen. You see a Craftsman will build vp a faire building, but not to himselfe; but to a more honourable then himselfe. The Lord is not such a builder, because there is none more worthie then hee himselfe. Then you haue the fourth ground of your redemption, as it is builded vpon one God, and vpon one eternall God, and one Creator: So all is built for his honour, hee is Alpha and Omega. Then precious must the bloud be, wherewith thou art redeemed. The bloud being so precious, the redemption so honourable, thy redemp­tion must stand fast and sure. Yet to insist vpon this: You see the sonne of God, who with the father made all things of nothing. The chiefest respect that hee had in the creation, it was all to himselfe (and why should not that glorious God haue respect to himselfe?) and as he had chiefe respect to him­selfe, so it cannot faile him: nay there is neuer a creature made with his hand, but al shall come about and serue to his honor. He shall be honoured by the very gnat, and the flye; for hee cannot be disappointed. Looke that circuit Rom. 11. 36. Of him, through him, and for him are all things: all goeth about and turnes againe to him. Seeing this is his respect, thou, who art his creature, looke that thou haue that respect to him, and that aboue all things; yea aboue thy life. Preferre the honour of this God thy Redeemer, and if thou doe it, honoured shalt thou be with him. Wouldest thou looke to it (I appeale to thy conscience) can there be ioy in thy heart, and in thy consci­ence, when the Lord is not in thy heart? It is true, thou maist be like a beast, haue a beastly pleasure; but thou that hast not the glorie of God before thine eyes, all the pleasure in the world, will not make thee haue a ioyfull heart. And if thou wilt not respect his honour, thou shalt neuer be honoured of [Page 52] him. Yea I tell thee (and the world shall not bring it backe a­gaine) thou shalt be shamed and shent, if thou wert an Empe­rour: thou maist well run and range for a time, but the Lord shall honour himselfe in thy euerlasting shame and damna­tion, be assured of it. Brethren, this is a deepe mysterie of Ie­sus Christ, and I say to you, that ye may thinke of the glorie of the Redeemer more highly then you doe. Fie on these mis­creants that know it not. Mark it, there was neuer thing done in time, nor out of time, but all was done for him, and for the honour and glorie of the Lord Iesus thy Redeemer. And not for him, and his glorie, as he is the sonne of God onely; but I tell thee more, all was done for the man Christ, for thy flesh and bloud. Thy predestination that is before all eternitie, this election of men and women to life euerlasting (as Paul Rom. 8 29. saith) tels thee, it was all for him and his glorie as man. There is the end of it then, that he might be the first borne a­mong many brethren. Will you come to that that was done in time, the creation of all creatures? All was done for the man Iesus Christ. The fall of man was suffered for the glorie and honour of Christ the man, that thou mightest bee redeemed with his precious bloud; so that the redemption of man is for the glorie of ye man Christ. I shal tell you the ground of it. That incōprehensible God in his vnsearchable wisedome hath laid this plot, that he would be glorified in his sonne man; and therefore he would haue all to be done for the honour of that man Iesus Christ. Our predestination, our election, our crea­tion, redemption and all hee would haue so done, that they might serue for the honour of his sonne clad with our nature. Therefore thinke thou, that the end of all is his owne glorie: Nay, we know not the glorie of Christ, wee know not how all things serues for his glorie; and therefore we count so little of all things.

Then againe hee repeates that part of the description, from the eternitie. And he was before all things: as he said, All things were made by him; so he saith he was before al things. This can­not goe out of his minde, few words cannot content him: would to God wee could follow him, and the men of God in this point. They tire not to speake of him, and of his glorie in [Page 53] his creatures: so deepe is their apprehension which they haue of him. O it is for fault of apprehension, that we let the praises of our Redeemer Iesus Christ goe by vs so lightly! Well, well, Loue to meditate of the ex­cellencie of Iesus Christ, and to speake of his prai­ses. I tell thee O man, if thou findest Iesus Christ at thy heart, and saw his glorie in the creatures, thou wouldest not so lightly passe ouer his praises. No certainly, but men they neuer felt Iesus, nor neuer apprehended him, as the men of God of old did. Therefore what is Christ to them, but a word that pearces the eare and no more? But woe is me for thee, that in this wise esteemes of thy Redeemer. I pray you all in his name, as yee would be saued, seeke to apprehend Christ, & neuer rest while you finde him, in a manner sensible in your heart; and then I assure thee, thou shalt neuer rest to speake of his praise, and to glorifie him in his creatures.

Now after this, followes the other part of his description. Before he hath described him from his essence, eternitie, crea­tion, and from the end of things created: now in the fift roome he describes him from that, that he sustaines the creatures. The The fift part. hand that made them, holds them vp. A man that builds a house, as soone as he hath builded it, he takes away his hand: In like manner, a man that builds a ship, when he hath built her, he holds her not vp, but incontinently he takes away his hand from it. It is not so with our Lord Iesus who hath made all things: nay the Lords hand is still with the worke that he hath made, and hee holds it vp continually. For if hee take his hand from thee, and hold thee not vp, thou wouldest fall down in ye dust and turne to nothing. Nay the hand of his ma­iestie is euen with thee when thou art dead, his hand shall keepe the dust of his owne: And if thou shouldest cast it in the ayre, in the water, and where thou wilt; yet he shall gather it together, and shall keepe the least picke of dust, that thou shalt be resolued into. Then there is the fift ground of thy redemp­tion: As it is builded vpon a Creator, so it is built vpon a pre­seruer and keeper. Thy Redeemer being such an high perso­nage, the bloud must be precious wherewith thou art redee­med; and thy redemption must stand fast and sure. Thou maist well shatter and shake, but thou shalt neuer fall from it; for if once thou haue griped it by a liuely faith, thy redemp­tion [Page 54] shall stand euer sure and immoueable. You see here then a passing maiestie in our Redeemer. He is a God, an eternall God, a Creator, the end of all creatures, and the preseruer of all creatures. Whereunto should I tell this? The maiestie of Iesus Christ passeth in glorie and excellencie. The fulnes of God is in him; yea, euen in thy nature. The eternall God is in him; what is it that thou wouldest haue, that thou shalt not finde in him? Seeke nothing without him; and thy redemp­tiō behooued to be wrought by such a person; and the price of thy redemptiō behooued to be by the bloud of such a person: otherwise thou wouldest neuer haue been redeemed. Alas, fie on their mouthes that speake so lightly of this bloud! Seeing then it behooued to be such a maiestie, and such a bloud, that Swearers. should redeeme thee; it tels thee two things. It speakes as the Apostle saith, Heb. 12. the first thing that it speakes is of sinne. O sinne is a great thing that procured such a bloud, if it were no more then a foule motion in thine heart! it is so great, that Vse of the former do­ctrine. it cannot be taken away without this bloud. Must it not then be a great thing that cannot be forgiuen, except thou get such a bloud? 1 so if there were no more, this one thing is sufficient to tell thee, of the heauines of thy sinne. 2 Then againe it speakes to thee of the greatnes of that infinite iustice, that strikes vpon sinne. Must not that be great that could not be ransomed but by that bloud of God, in the nature of man the preseruer of all the creatures? Nay, and thou wouldest shed all the bloud of men, or Angels, all could not ransome one sinne. So if there were no more to tell the greatnes of that iustice, and wrath that abides sinne, this bloud of Iesus Christ thy Redeemer that was shed for it, tels thee sufficiently. Well, look to that bloud, and let no man dallie with God after the sight of that bloud. Now would to God wee could consider the thousand part of sin, and of that wrath of God for sinne: for then there would follow a feare of iudgement, and a detestation of sinne. And then no question we should get remission of sinne, and should be freed from the wrath of God, and that onely in that bloud of Iesus Christ. To whom with the Father, and the blessed spirit, be all honour,

Amen.

THE SIXT LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 18, 19.

18 And he is the head of the bodie, that is, of the Church: he is the beginning and first begotten of the dead, that in all things he might haue the preheminence.

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulnes dwell.

YOu haue heard (welbeloued in Iesus Christ) the A­postle when hee had spoken of the benefit of our re­demption and remission of our sinnes in the bloud of Iesus Christ, he falles out into a faire and glorious descrip­tion of him, and all to this end, to let vs see the pretiousnes of that bloud, wherewith we are redeemed: that thereby conse­quently, wee might see the surenes of our redemption by that bloud. It being of such value, of necessitie wee must be redee­med by that bloud, and our redemption must stand fast and stable for euer. You heard in the description of Christ, first he called him the image, the essentiall image of the inuisible God: then he stiles him the first borne of all creatures: then he cals him such a one, by whom all things were created: next, the end for whom, and for whose honour all things were created that are created: and lastly, he cals him the preseruer, vphol­der, and keeper of all things created. So, will you compare him with that inuisible God? he is equall in glorie with him, the image of the inuisible God, equall with God whom he repre­sents. Will you compare him with the creature? there is no comparison; for hee is the Creator of all creatures in heauen and in earth; and he infinitly passeth in glorie all the creatures [Page 56] both visible and inuisible. Now when hee hath set him out in these points of glorie and maiestie, hee staies not here: for as yet he hath not told all of him, and he hath not set out all his glorie: but in this text he goes forward, and setteth him out further in more points of his glorie. This is the difference be­twixt the points counted alreadie, and the points of his glorie that follow in the text. Before he hath described him as he is God, the sonne of God from all eternitie; for as hee is God properly, he is the image of the inuisible God, whom he re­presents as the liuely character of his person: so that the points Heb. 1. 2. passed, are the points of his glorie, as hee is God. The points which follow, are of his glorie, not onely as he is God, but as he is man also clad with our flesh and nature.

There haue past alreadie fiue points of his glorie, as he is the sonne of God; there follow other fiue points of his glorie, as Fiue points of glorie of Christ ma­nifested in the flesh. he is God and man in that personall vnion. These are they briefly: He is the head of the bodie of the Church: there is one. Secondly, he is the beginning and the first borne of the dead. Thirdly, he hath preheminence among all creatures that euer were, or shall be in the world. Fourthly, he is a man full of God. Fiftly, in office he is the Mediatour, the midman betwixt God and man, by whose bloud the reconciliation of man is made with God his father.

To goe forward in that order, as they are here set downe, first he is the head of the bodie of his Church: these are the words. Brethren, euery word would furnish great matter of speaking; but I am not minded to digresse into a common place. Onely I purpose to speake so much for the present, as the words will furnish. He is called the head. The word head that is giuen to him imports sundrie things in him: 1 first it imports that Iesus Christ is the Lord, and the superiour ouer the bodie, which is the Church; and that worthily, because he is full of grace and excellencie, and in him is all matter of Lordship and domi­nion. Of what reckoning is a Lord, if there bee no matter of Lordship in him? Of what value is an head, if there bee not Iesus Christ head of his Church. greater graces in it then in the bodie? so the word imports a superioritie full of grace and honour. Euen as you see the head of a man, because of the excellencie of it, it is a Lord and a su­periour, [Page 57] and a commaunder to the bodie. 2 Then againe the word that this Lord Iesus the head of the bodie, he is not like the common sort of Lords and rulers: but a Lord and a supe­riour, who is most streightly conioyned with his subiects the bodie his Church. Euen as you see the head most streightly ioyned with the bodie of a man; euen so the Lord Iesus is most streightly ioyned with the bodie his Church: yea he is more strickly ioyned with his Church, then the head of a man is with the bodie; for the head of a man may be soone seuered frō the bodie of a man; but if Christ thy head be ioyned with thee, all the powers in heauen and earth shall neuer seuer thee from thy head Iesus Christ. 3 Thou shalt neuer be separated from him, as Paul to the Romanes saith: Who shall separate vs from the loue of God in Iesus Christ? As though he would say, not any thing. Nay, if Iesus Christ become once thy head, be assu­red he will neuer part with thee. 4 Yet more, the word imports, that as he is most strictly conioyned with his Church and eue­ry member of the same, as the head of a man with his bodie; so he is most louing and tender affected towards it. 5 Will not the head of a man loue the bodie well, will it not tender it most deerely and intirely, will it not minister all graces it hath to the bodie, giue life and mouing to the bodie? otherwise it were no head to the bodie. Euen so the Lord Iesus, he loues his bo­die the Church better, then any head can doe the naturall bo­die: and in loue ministers a life to his bodie, better then the life of this naturall bodie. He ministers to his Church a spiritu­all life; he ministers a mouing, a doing, and a growing: and in these respects he is called the head of the Church. Now when he hath called him the head of the bodie, he turnes to the bodie, and hee defines this bodie to be the Church. Then there must be a great likenes betwixt the Church of Christ The Church. and the bodie of man: otherwise it cannot be called a bodie. The bodie of man is subiect to the head: euen so the Church of Iesus Christ is subiect to her Lord, Eph. 5. 23. She is his sub­iect, and he is her Lord. The bodie is streightly ioyned with the head; the Church is more streightly ioyned with Christ. The head giues life to the bodie; euen so the Church of Christ is dead without the head the Lord Iesus. Lastly, ye see the bo­die [Page 58] accomplisheth the person of a man; the head will not make a man, but the bodie ioyned with the head makes vp a man: euen so the Church fils vp the whole man Christ, made of the head the Lord Iesus himselfe, and of the bodie. This for the words.

If this point of the glorie of Christ be weighed, that he is the head of the Church, it is a high point of glorie. The Lord hath greater glorie by this that hee is the head of the Church of the godly and holy ones men and Angels, then by that, that he is the Dominator ouer all creatures, ouer the diuell and all the multitude of reprobates. And as it is high, so it is in commu­nicable, no not the Angels gets this honour to be called the head of the Church. Let be stinking flesh, wilt thou set vp a Pope, and call him the head of the Church? A plaine deroga­tion of Christs honour. Thou wilt come out with a ministeriall head in the Church: Away with thee and thy ministeriall head both: there is no such thing. Looke the whole Scripture No mini­sterial head in Scrip­ture. through, thou shalt reade of a Minister in the Church: but thou shalt neuer reade a word of a ministeriall head or Vicar of Christ. But would you know how he comes to this glorie? Yea to speake it so, before hee came to this glorie, there was much adoe and great stirre and busines in heauen and earth, and a great hardnes. The Pope he will start vp to it at the first dash: before Christ came to this glorie, heauen and earth was moued with a wonderfull motion: before hee was exalted to it, he was wonderfully humbled. If you will make a compari­son, it was an easie thing to be the image of the inuisible God, to haue created all things, and to preserue them, all was easie: but when he comes to this, there must be a great change, this sonne of God is humbled, and his glorie is wonderfully obscu­red. Reade Philip. 2. 6. 7. and there you shall see the whole manner of it: Iesus (saith he) was in the forme of God, and hee thought it no robberie: to be equall with God: yet hee is not the head of the Church; what doth he then. The Apostle saith, he emptieth himselfe of his owne glorie, he makes himselfe of no re­putation. How doth hee that? In taking on him the shape of a seruant. What an humbling is this, to clothe himselfe with the forme of an abiect seruant? Thou thinkest it nothing, but sure­lie [Page 59] it a wonderful matter, if ye consider it rightly: so then there is a wide step, a strange step, that he steppeth downe from his glorie, wherein hee stood equall with the Father. Yet he goes another step downward, being found in the habite of a man: he to whom all other creatures giues obedience, of his owne will becomes obedient to his father. Wherein stands this obedi­ence? not in doing only, but in dying. What death? The death of the Crosse, an execrable death: the bitterest death that euer was: nay, neuer man died so bitter a death as Christ died. All the death of men and Angels is not comparable to that death of Iesus Christ, that he died for the redemption of sinfull man: There is his humiliation.

Looke now to his exaltation; Therefore (saith the Apostle) the father raised him vp to a wonderfull highnes, and gaue him a name aboue all names, that at his name all knees should bow. In the Epistle to the Ephesians 1. 20. 21. the degrees of his glorie are set downe: first, he raised him from death: secondly, he hath set him at the right hand of his father: that is, he hath giuen him all power of heauen and earth: and he declares this power. Then he turnes to the Church in particular, and calles him head of the Church: for he could not haue been the head, except hee had had flesh and bloud. Trowest thou that thou canst come to that honour to bee a member of his bodie, before thou bee humbled first? No, no, thou must answere in proportion to him, in his humilitie; otherwise thou shalt neuer bee parta­ker of his glorie. This for the sixt part of the description of the Lord Iesus: in the which marke this, as before wee heard many grounds of redemption made by his bloud: so in this point of the glorie of Christ, there is another ground of our redemption. As thy Redeemer is the image of God, the creator of all things, and so foorth, as you heard him defined before: so thy Redeemer he is the glorious head of the Church; yea he is thy owne head, and thou art a member of him; so thou seest not onely a glorious Redeemer, but a sib, a kinsman redeemer. Therefore precious must that bloud be, and of necessitie if thou beleeue in this bloud thou must be re­deemed.

To goe forward. Here followes the seuenth part of his de­scription, [Page 60] and the seuenth point of his glorie. The beginning and the first begotten of the dead. Yee heard he was called the first borne of all creatures, because he was before them all; and not for that onely was he called so, but because he gaue the being to all creatures. All creatures were created by vertue of him, and by participation of that being that is in him; for the first borne in the families of old, communicated the speciall bles­sings to their brethren: euen so Christ because he communi­cates to the rest of his creatures such speciall blessings, as plea­seth best his wisedome, he is called the first borne of many bre­thren. Now he is called the first borne of the dead, because he was the first that rose from the dead, for there was neuer man that died that rose before the Lord Iesus. 1. Cor. 15. 20. He is called the first fruits of them that sleepe, because that al yt shall rise, they shall rise by vertue of his resurrection. Then what will you haue? He was the beginning of the creation: now he is the beginning of the resurrection of the dead. Then all mercie and glorie must come out of him. No creation without him, no resurrection without him. If you will consider this, it is a great matter: when he had created man, man by his fall lost the creation: nay, by thy fall in Adam thou hast lost thy crea­tion, and as thou wast made of nothing; so by this fall of A­dam thou turnest to nothing (and well were that man that is out of Christ if he were turned into nothing.) No, no; he shall not be turned to nothing, but he shall be turned to worse then nothing. So man by his fall lost his creation, and death seased vpon him, and leaues him not till he turnes him into dust and powder. And if Iesus comes not in, now after that man hath lost his creation, he would neuer be a creature againe. There­fore the second benefit, which is greater then the first, is; that my bodie shall rise againe: so in comes Iesus Christ, and that creature that was brought to nothing, he creates him anew a­gaine, and raiseth him vp more glorious then euer he was be­fore. And if thou be in Christ, thou shalt be made more glo­rious then euer Adam was in the first creation. Then, would you haue another ground of your redemption? Would you now haue the preciousnes of it? Thy Redeemer is the first borne amongst the dead. All dead bodies shall rise by vertue [Page 61] of him, and so that bloud is precious; and if thou beleeue in that bloud, of necessitie thou must be saued. Yet he leaues not of (for who can speake enough of the glory of Christ Iesus?) He subioynes: That in all things he should haue the preheminence: Euen as he is man, he goes before al the Angels of heauen, and they are subiects to him. This is one dominion and lordship he hath. You heard before that hee is the Lord of his Church, but in these words is vnderstood a more vniuersall dominion, reaching euen to all creatures that euer were created: that a­mong all he should be the first, and haue the preheminence. This is that vniuersall dominion that hee takes to himselfe: There is giuen to me (saith he) all power, Matth. 28. 18. And Ro­man. 4. 9. He died and rose againe, to the end that he should be Lord ouer both the dead and the quicke. Such like to the Ephesians 1. 2. He was placed farre aboue all empire and dominion. And in the E­pistle to the Philippians 2. 9. Hee was raised vnto a wonderfull height. So this is a generall Lordship, and it is not onely as he is God, but as he is man. This is a great glorie to a man, to be set aboue al the creatures, and to rule them with a fleshy hand. The Lord Iesus Christ he rules all creatures, euen with a fleshy hand now glorified. Whereof comes this dominion so large? of his resurrection. He rose to be Lord: nay, be thou sure if Resurre­ction. thou risest from the dead, thou shalt rise to be a Lord. For the end of thy rising from the dead, is to be a Lord: a King grea­ter then Caesar. But Iesus Christ, he rose not onely to be Lord, but to be the Lord of lords, because he rose first from the dead. Who euer rose or shall rise, they rise by vertue of him, and his resurrection; and it must follow therefore by good conse­quence, that he by whose vertue we rise, must be Lord of lords: he must be the first and formost in the ranke. The Lord Iesus, he goes before all creatures that euer were created. So, woul­dest thou haue another ground of thy redemption? Thy Re­deemer is not only the head of the Church, and Lord of it; but he is Lord ouer all creatures: yea euen ouer the diuell thy ve­ry enemie. The very hand of the Lord Iesus hales him hither and thither, as it were in a rope: he carries him, he puls him, he drawes him here and there, as he pleaseth where he will. Must not that bloud be precious, must not thy redemption be sure? [Page 62] Onely beleeue in that bloud, and thou shalt be saued. Rom. 3. vers. 25. God hath set foorth Christ to be a reconciliation through faith in his bloud. Away with merits paltrie; fie on thee and thy merits both. Thou thinkest thou canst not be saued but by thy merits, as though the bloud of Christ were not able to re­deeme thee without thy merits: away with such vanitie. The bloud of Christ is sufficient to redeeme ten thousand worlds; yea ten thousand millions of worlds.

To come to the end. In the verse that followes, the Apostle insists vpon this dominion vniuersall of Christ, and lets thee see by two arguments, that the Lord Iesus must be first of all creatures, & haue the preheminence ouer al. The first argumēt is taken from that faire and glorious personage. The second ar­gument is taken frō that excellent office that he beares. Neuer creature bare such an office, to be the Mediatour and reconci­ler of God and man. In this doing hee meetes with that that might be obiected. Is he not a man? what office hath he aboue other men? and what a large dominion is this? He answeres, indeede he is a man; but a man full of God: and as for his of­fice, he is the great Mediatour, such an office as neuer Angell bare, and therefore he is the Lord of Lords. Then the first ar­gument prouing the dominion vniuersall, is in these words: For (saith he) it hath pleased the father that in him should allfulnes dwell: there is the words. The ground both of the excellencie of the personage, and also of his office is this: It hath pleased God the father. If you will aske how is it, that he is so excellent a personage? He answers, it is of the good pleasure of God. It is a pleasure, and a good pleasure, that blessed will, that decree, that hath passed from all eternitie before all time. It pleased the father, that Iesus Christ should be such a worthie perso­nage, and a Mediatour: so the person of Christ and his office hath a farre fetch, and it comes of a decree as old as God him­selfe, euen from the eternall good will and pleasure of God, from his eternall decree. So then, wee learne it comes not by chance, that Iesus was made such a personage, as men think, of things in the world; but it was ordained from all eternitie. Then againe, it comes not by chaunce that Christ should be a Mediatour: but there is a decree past on it. In a word, neuer [Page 63] thing fell to him, but by a counsaile and plat from all eternitie. The crucifying of him past by a decree. There was neuer a naile stroken into his hands or feete, but all was done by a de­cree. Then not to bee curious, to aske why was it that Christ should be filled with God? the Apostle will haue thee to leaue thy curiositie, and he answers thee, that it was the pleasure of the father: so this one word cuts away these thorny questions concerning the mysteries of Iesus Christ. For there is a thou­sand things in him, that should not be inquired of. And it were almes to ding thy teeth in thy throte, that curiously wilt goe Curiositie in vaine questions. and search out the reasons of all things in Christ, and why he did this and that, and suffered this or that. Maist thou not vaine bodie be content with this answere, It hath pleased the father so? It hath pleased him, that the fulnes of the Godhead should bide still in Iesus Christ for euer: for it is said, that the fulnes of God dwels in him. And ye know that hee that dwels, bides still. Now what a fulnes this is, you shall heare hereafter. In him (saith he chap. 2. 3. of this same Epistle) is all treasure of wisedome and knowledge. And againe vers. 9. In him is the whole fulnes of the Godhead bodily dwelling. Then the fulnes that is in Christ, it stands not onely in these graces, with the which the man Iesus Christ is indued aboue his fellowes (neuer man gat or will get such graces, as the man the Lord Iesus hath gotten: neuer a one hath gotten such wisedome, such knowledge, and such holines: nay, all the Angels haue not gotten such graces as he hath.) But it is not onely these graces, wherein this ful­nes stands, but he is filled with the fountaine of all grace. The fulnes of the Godhead it selfe is in him; that is his fulnes; such as neuer creature got, or shall get in heauen or earth. It is a va­nitie to speake of the graces of Angels; in comparison of him, all the graces of men or Angels, they are as it were but riuers and streames that flow from that glorious head, that is full of God. So there is no comparison of his fulnes. Wee haue receiued (saith Ioh. 1. 6.) all of his fulnes. So all our fulnes stands in his fulnes, that is deriued into vs. As this is the reason prouing his dominion; so it is a part of his glorie. Looke to the glorie of that personage thy Redeemer, he is not only a man, but a man full of God; and so must not this bloud yt comes from him be [Page 64] precious? Therefore it is called the blood of God, Acts 20. 28. Yet only beleeue, and I assure thee in his name of thy redemp­tion, if thy sinnes were neuer so great. Fasten thy heart once on him, and thou shalt finde mercie. Take his bloud in thy hand, and sprinkle thy heart with it, and thou shalt finde grace Heb. 9. 14 and mercie to flow to thee through the same, otherwise it had bin better for thee, that this bloud had neuer been shed. As for the rest I leaue it till the next day: concerning the Mediatour onely thus farre.

As the glorie of the image of the inuisible God, and the rest ye haue heard me speake of, is infinitly excellent: so this, that he is a man full of God, this is the glorious personage of thy Redeemer. It tels thee, that that bloud that came out of that bodie, was more precious then al the things in the world. That bloud yt was powred out of his foot, out of his hand and side, al tels thee that it is excellently precious, and beside that, of great necessitie. And further, it tels thee, that sinne against God is great, and greater then thou canst consider. Fie on thee vile creature; if thou wist what it were to sinne against God, thou wouldest shake and tremble: nay neuer a ioynt of thee would bide fast, for feare of that fierce wrath to come on thee. And againe, if thou knew the vertue of this bloud that takes away thy sinne, thou wouldest cleaue fast to it, and make much of it; but thou considerest not this; and therefore thou knowest not the preciousnes of this bloud: for if thou knowest not thy sinne, thou shalt not know the preciousnes of that bloud of Christ that takes away sinne. And againe, it tels vs of that pas­sing iustice, and of that infinitnes of the wrath of God (O that infinitnes of the wrath of God!) O wretch, thou wottest not The wrath of God for sinne. what it is: but if it lighted on thee, it would rush thee to hell. So the precious bloud that was shed for sinne; without the effusion of the which thou couldest not be redeemed: It tels thee, I say, that the wrath of God for sinne is infinite, and if it were but an euill thought. It strikes vpward, and strikes the Lord in the nose, and kindles his wrath against thee: therfore feare and studie to mortification. And more I tell thee, that notwithstanding thou art once redeemed, and by this bloud of Christ freed from sinne and death, by such a ransome; yet [Page 65] if thou take delight in sinne, the murtherer in his murther, the oppressor in his oppression, being once redeemed, thy sinne if it were but an euill thought, it is a thousand times the greater by reason of thy redemption. For why? it brings with it the contempt of the bloud of Christ. And thou sinner, who takes pleasure in weltring in the foule puddle of sinne, what doest thou? thou goest on with thy foote, and treads the pretious bloud of the Lord Iesus vnder thy foule feete. And therefore thou shalt be chalenged in that day, not onely because thou wast a murtherer, an oppressor, and a harlot; no, no, there shal be thy chalenge, villaine thou treadest vnder thy foote the bloud of the couenant, the precious bloud of thy Sauiour, that should haue redeemed thee from thy murther and sinne: and therefore wel were it for thee, if thou hadst been a Gentile that neuer had heard of this couenant; and therefore if thou min­dest not to leaue off thy sinne, in paine of thy life, thou come not to heare a word of Christ. For why? the more thou hea­rest, the greater shall be thy damnation. And there is not one word spoken this day, but if it be not effectuall to chaunge thy euill life, so that thou begin to leaue off thy sinne, but it shall increase thy damnation in that day. Therefore take my coun­sell, either amend your liues; or els come not to heare one word of this Gospell. For this word, as the Apostle saith, shall be either a sauour of life vnto life, or els a sauour of death vnto death, and it shall slay thee with a greater dead stroke, then if a thou­sand rapiers were thrust through thee. I beseech the Lord Ie­sus to touch thee with his word, that it may be effectuall in the hearts of the hearers; so that they may amend their liues to their owne weale, and his glorie. To whom with the Father, and the holy Spirit, be praise.

Amen.

THE SEVENTH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 20.‘20 And through peace made by the bloud of that his crosse, to reconcile to himselfe, through him, through him (I say) all things, both which are in earth, and which are in heauen.

YE remember (beloued brethren) the Apostle, when he had set downe that great benefite of the redemp­tion of mankinde by the bloud of Iesus Christ, hee fals out into a high descriptiō of the sonne of God, tending to this end, to let vs see the preciousnes of that bloud. He set him to be first the image of the inuisible God, a high stile. Secondly, he stiles him to be the first borne of all creatures. Thirdly, hee stiles him to be the Creator himselfe, by whom all things in heauen and earth were created. Fourthly, he calles him to be the end of the said creation of all creatures, for whose honour and glorie all creatures were made. Fiftly, he stiles him to be the preseruer and keeper of all the creatures made by him. Sixtly, he comes forward, and considereth him not onely as he is the sonne of God, God from all eternitie; but as he is man also: and he makes him to be the head of the Church, as he is God and man. Then he cals him the first borne of the dead, as hee is man; who by his power shall raise vp all men that shall rise from the dead. Then hee cals him the vniuersall dominatour of all the creatures; not on­ly cals he him the Lord of his Church, but he cals him the vni­uersall [Page 67] dominatour of all creatures in heauen and earth: yea the Lord ouer the very diuels themselues. He hath the prehemi­nence before all creatures. Now hee insists vpon the last point, and he giues two arguments to proue him to haue the prehe­minence of all creatures, and before all creatures. The first ar­gument is taken from the worthines of his personage, In him (saith he) is all fulnes. And God the Father decreed, that all ful­nes, not only of the graces of God, but of the Godhead it selfe, should dwell in the man the Lord Iesus. The second argument is taken from the dignitie of his office; hee is the Mediatour by whom reconciliation is made betwixt God and man. So bre­thren, this day (by Gods grace) we haue to insist in the office of Christs mediation.

We haue then in the first verse a description of the Media­tour. He saith not simply he is the Mediatour, but in place of the name he giues a description of the name. The Mediatour is The office of the Me­diatour. he, by whom it hath pleased the father to reconcile to himselfe all things in heauen and earth, by making peace through the bloud of his crosse. Now because the Mediatour is defined here from the benefit of our reconciliation: therfore we shall speak of this benefit only, so farre as the words shall furnish. If you will look what is before, and weigh the words of this text; you shall finde these things, namely to be considered, concerning this benefit of our reconciliation. First, the word of reconci­liation, what it meaneth. Secondly, who is the reconciliator, to wit, the Father. Thirdly, who mooueth him to reconcile all things. Fourthly, who are they that are reconciled. Fiftly, to whom they are reconciled. Sixtly, by whom, to wit, the Me­diatour. Seaventhly, after what manner. All these circum­stances are in the text, partly before, and partly after, in these words read. Now for the word of reconciliation, it signifies agreement, and attonement, and friendship made betwixt two parties that were at variance together. This way generally is the word taken; euen so our reconciliation with God: It is an agreement betwixt God and vs that were at variance, enmitie and open warre together; fighting in such sort, as neuer two contrarie parties fought together. When we were enemies (saith Paul, Rom. 5. 10. we were reconciled by the death of his sonne. Yet [Page 62] brethren, the word imports more, not onely it imports an a­greement, but (to speake it so) it imports a reagreement, and a renewing of an old friendship betweene two that first were friends, and then became foes by offence done against the o­ther partie. Euen so our reconciliation, it is a renewing of the Reconcilia­tion what it is. old friendship that was betwixt God and vs in the creation; and because thereafter we offended him, first we become ene­mies to him, and through sinne fight against him most cruelly. So this word includes three things within it: first it includes an old friendship we had with God, as old as our creation. For we were created in the beginning friends to God, and hee was our friend, and we were his friends. Secondly, it imports a va­riance that followed the creation, and that by our foule defe­ction in breaking of the couenant. Thirdly, it imports a re­newed friendship after that enmitie, and that by the Media­tour the Lord Iesus Christ. I remember Paul, writing to the Ephesians 1. 10. he hath a word that he cals recollection, which imports a gathering together of them that were scattered, and it includes all these three, that wee haue spoken of reconcilia­tion. First, it imports a vnion, which wee had with God at the beginning. Secondly, that after there was a scattering. Then it imports a gathering together of vs by the Mediatour. Now this for the word.

In the knowledge whereof, you may learne the three estates of man from the beginning. First, wee stood in friendship and amitie with God: he was ours and we were his; and wee were bound with him in a couenant. Why should wee not remem­ber this our first estate and condition in our creation? wee stood then in amitie with God, such as neuer was betwixt creature and creature. It hath no comparison in this world. Secondly, we learne our enmitie, the state of variance and disa­greement. Enmitie with God. The estate of battell and of warre with God: a mi­serable estate! For like as it was the felicitie of man to be at one with God (for if thou hadst all the world, and all the confede­racie with all the Kings on the earth, and with the diuell him­selfe; thou hast no part of blessing, thou hast no happines, if thou be not at one with God) euen so our enmitie with God is our miserie: cursed is that creature that is enemie to God. [Page 69] Thirdly, in ye word we learne our last estate, our renewed ami­tie with God againe. We began with friendship, wee fell into emnitie; wee returne againe to friendship, and this is made by the Mediatour. If you will compare this friendship with the old friendship, it is both greater and better then the old friendship. The new friendship that is gotten by this reconci­liation The recon­ciliation we haue by Christ is vnchange­able. is vnchangeable: the old friendship was changeable. Wee became his enemies, and hee became ours: but this new friendship it must stand, and shall stand immutable in the Me­diatour, and it shall be immutable to thee: and if thou be tru­ly reconciled to God, thou shalt neuer be an enemie to him a­gaine, nor hee to thee. For Iesus Christ, who hath made the peace, shall hold fast the band of peace betwixt thy God and thee: neuer any was truly reconciled with him, but hee shall stand firme and stable in that reconciliation. For Christ makes intercession for thee; and thy reconciliation shall stand as long as his intercession stands, which is euerlasting: therefore thy friendship shall stand euerlastingly. It is a plaine blasphe­mie to say that a man once truly reconciled to God, can fall from grace againe: and it is as much to say, as that Christ shal not continue in his intercession. So our last estate is most bles­sed: onely hold thy eye on thy Mediatour that makes inter­cession for thee, and I will assure thee thou shalt neuer be seue­red from him: nay heauen and earth shall goe together ere thou be rent from that God. Thus briefly for the word.

Now to come to the second point; who is the Redeemer, and the author of our reconciliation. In the verses preceding The second circum­stance. it is said, It hath pleased the father that in him all fulnes should dwell; and that by him all should be reconciled to himselfe: so the author of our reconciliation is the father of our Lord Iesus Christ. Who was the author of the enmitie? who was the cause of the variance? where begun it? Man himselfe he begun the variance. But who begun the friendship? began man it a­gaine? Ioh. 3. 16. began Adam the reconciliation? thought he of it? No, he neuer thought of it to begin it againe. God the father, who called vpon him when he was runne away, began the friend­ship. Thou begans it not: nay, there was neuer such a thing as a thought of it. The father he began it, euen when thou wast [Page 70] running headlong to thy destruction, turning thy backe vpon God. Thou maist be at oddes with God when thou wilt; but thou wilt not be the beginner of the friendship againe, except The loue of the fa­ther the fountaine of reconci­liation. hee of mercie begin it with thee: so it is the father that is the authour and fountaine of our reconciliation. Yet brethren, what is this that the father begins the friendship, being the partie aduersarie, and the greatest, and the worthiest partie? This is a rare thing, that one of two parties aduersaries, and the worthiest, should seeke reconciliation of the other, that is nothing in comparison of him. So this lets vs see a passing loue and mercie in God, that began first to seeke thee. But yet what a partie aduersarie was he? to wit, he was that partie aduersa­rie that was offended by man: he did no offence to man, but man offended him. Indeede there had been lesse matter of marueiling, if hee had begun the feude and enmitie: but hee brake not a iot to man of his part, of the couenant made with him. But man, false man, kept neuer a point of his part: and therefore as man is called a lier after that breach of promise to God his maker; so this is found that he who hath receiued the wrong, and the more strong and worthie partie, that that par­tie will begin the amitie againe. This is that incomparable loue, that in the Rom. 5. 18. is spoken of. There is not such a loue to be found in heauen or earth, that the partie that is of­fended and hath done no offence, that he should beginne the peace: yea more, should giue his onely begotten sonne, his deere sonne, to be a ransome for the offence done to him. There is that incomprehensible loue of God towards man. What tongue is able to expresse yt thousand part of that loue? Nay, al the wit of men and Angels is not able once sufficient­ly thinke of it. Let be to expresse it as it is in thy selfe. Thus far for the second.

Now the third is, what moued the father to enter into new friendship with man? saw hee ought in me, in thee, or in any man, to moue him to be reconciled with me, or thee, or any man? It is said: It hath pleased him: then it was his owne plea­sure, [...], beneplacitum eius; this was it that moued him to be reconciled with vs. This pleasure, it was not a thing in time, What the loue of the father is. but it was a decree that past in heauen from al eternitie. A de­cree, [Page 71] that proceeded of meere loue and grace, and not of a foresight of any good that either he saw thē presently in man, or that he foresaw should be in man hereafter; but it was of a free grace, without any merit of man. And therfore in his own time for the fulfilling of this decree of reconciliation, hee sent his onely begotten sonne into the world, to preach this word of reconciliation to the world. So this word, It hath pleased him, excludes all merit and worthines in man; and it lets thee see that that friendship was without thy merit; yea to speake Merit. it so, against thy merit. I know not a merit that thou hast, but the merit of hell and damnation.

Come to the fourth circumstance, who were they that were reconciled? It is said, It hath pleased him to reconcile all things. The fourth circum­stance. And then in the end of the verse, he laies this vniuersalitie in the parts of it, All things both in heauen and earth. This vniuer­sall particle All things, extends not to all creatures; yea it ex­tends not to all reasonable creatures; it extends not to the di­uels; no reconciliation with the diuell nor with the Angels that made that foule defection. I tell you more, it extends not to all men and women: no reconciliation with the reprobate for euer: they are in ranke with the diuell himselfe. This re­conciliation, it extends then to the blessed Angels, who haue stood from the beginning. It extends to men and women, not to all, but to the chosen and elect ones from all eternitie. Now there is no question of sinfull man. All will graunt that man, who was chosen to life, howbeit before hee was an enemie to God, yet now in time he is reconciled to him. But all the que­stion is about the blessed Angels that fell not from God. How can it be said, that they are reconciled to God? Well, I will not be curious, if you will consider these blessed Angels in them­selues Whether the elect Angels be reconciled to God by Christ, or what be­nefit they haue by him. apart, from the bodie which is the Church; indeede it is true, they cannot properly be said to be reconciled, because they were neuer at feud or enmitie with God (for reconcilia­tion, as yee haue heard, imports a feud) but if you consider them in the bodie, in a manner they may be said to be reconci­led in the bodie: for howbeit they be bound vp without the bodie, yet they must euer be considered to be in the bodie, and so in the bodie they get a new coniunction with God, through [Page 72] the Lord Iesus Christ. The estate of the blessed Angels before the comming of Christ it was this: They hung as it were by the head (to speake it so) by a stitch, as certaine members seue­red from the body: when Christ comes in, he couples them to­gether, he makes man and Angell all vp together faster then euer they were before. So to leaue this, you may see the very blessed Angels, who fell not from God, they got a benefit by the Mediatour, as man doth. I say the blessednes of the Angels was not perfected, till Christ came: They were indeed blessed, but they had not a firme blessing, while Christ came, who e­stablished their blessednes. And therefore as it is said, ye Abra­ham long before the Lord Iesus came into the world, saw him and reioyced; so the Angels they saw the Lord Iesus long ere he came; and when he came, they reioyced at his comming. And it is said in 1. Pet. 1. 12. that it is their pleasure to looke in through that vaile to see and behold the Lord Iesus. Thus much concer­ning the Angels.

Then the thing I note for our selues is this. Will you marke what care God hath had of man? God, he would not perfect the blessednes of the Angels without man: he would not giue them that blessing till Iesus Christ the man the Mediatour came, and ioyned them with man. So you may see the care of God towards mankinde, to haue been very great and very lo­uing. The Apostle to the Hebrues 11. vers. 39. 40. comparing the old Church with the new, saith; That the Saints that suffe­red before, they got not the thing promised, because God had a re­spect to vs: Euen so he did with the Angels, hee would not giue them their full blessing without vs, vile stinking sinners. What regard is this that thy God should haue of thee? Lastly, I will speake this to thee, that esteemes so little of the communion with the bodie of the Church. O miserable creature! vaine lowne! thou shalt neuer bee blessed till thou bee ioyned with the Saints of God in the Church. Vaine soule, if thou be not ioyned with the bodie of Christ which is his Church, thou shalt perish for euer, thou shalt goe to hell, I giue thee this doome.

Now followes the fift circumstance of this reconciliation. The fift circum­stance. To whom is it made? It is said to himselfe, not to another. It [Page 73] hath pleased him to reconcile all things to himselfe. Then all bles­sednes is in that coniunction with God: ioyne thy selfe with Blessednes wherein it consisteth. him, and thou shalt be blessed; if thou be not ioyned with God, thou shalt neuer be blessed; seeke blessednes here and there, yet no blessednes but with God. The Angels haue no blessing, but in that they are conioyned with God through the Lord Iesus Christ: yea, I tell thee, the earth, and the heauen haue no blessing, but in that amitie and friendship with the creator. O what vanitie is it to thinke thou hast any blessing without the coniunction with the creator! But to speake of man: thy reconciliation must be with the father, with whom thou art at enmitie, to whom thou wast an enemie, whom thou offendedst: therefore thy reconciliation must be with God. Marke it: a sinner, sinne against whom he will, slay and it were all the world; in so doing, he sinnes not so much against man, as against God. No, no, it is against God himself, as Dauid saith, Against thee, O Lord, haue I sinned and done euill in thy sight, Psal. 51. For sinne is the transgression of the law, 1. Ioh. 3. 4. O foule butcher! O oppressor and sacrilegious theefe! Thou that dost any euill against a man, thou dost it not so much against the In euery sin a man fighteth a­gainst God. person of the man, as against God himselfe that is in heauen: and so man that sinnes, must be reconciled with him, because it is against God that the sinne is committed. The creatures also that stood and fell not, are at enmitie with thee: for when thou wast enemie to God, thou wast enemie also to the very creatures, and God and the creatures were enemies to thee, (O well had it been for thee, who art a Reprobate, that thou hadst been made a stone, when thou becamest an enemie to God through thy sinne! for thou madest not onely God to be thy enemie, but thou madest all the good creatures of God to be thy enemie: the Sunne, the Moone, the Starres and firma­ment, the Angels in heauen; yea these very senceles things of the earth, and the beast, and the foule of the ayre) the earth grones vnder thee, and it would be quit of thee, as of an ene­mie: it will not binde vp friendship with thee, if thou be an enemie to God. So if thou be an enemie to God, thou art an enemie to all the good creatures of God, and they are enemies to thee: but if thou be in band and coniunction with God, [Page 74] the heauen and all the creatures will be friends to thee. The enmitie and friendship that stands with any creature, it de­pends vpon the feude and friendship with God: so that if thou All the creatures in enmitie with all vnbelee­uers. be at feude with God, all the creatures will be at feude with thee; and if thou be at friendship with him, all the creatures will be thy friends. Marke this well: marueile not that the Sea should drowne thee, and thy house smother thee, that art at strife with God through thy villanous life: wonder not, it is a wonderfull thing; that they that are at feude with God, dares enter into a house or go out of it, or venter on the sea. But the consciences of men are so locked vp, that they will not vnder­stand nor feare this: but the vaine sleeping lowne, saies peace, peace. Oh but the iudgement comes with such a rattle about the eares of the lowne, that hee cannot get once space to say, God is mercifull! Haue you not marked this in these bloudie murtherers and the rest? Nay thou that criest peace to thy soule, when thou art doing all the mischiefe and villanie thou canst, and if thou goe on so, the fierce wrath of God and ter­rible iudgement shall oppresse thee, ere euer thou be aware of thy selfe.

Now followes the sixt poynt or circumstance to be conside­red in reconciliation. By whom is it made? There must be a mediator, or else it cannot be made. Indeed the first friendship was made without a mediator, because man and woman they were created at the beginning holy, without spot of sinne: but at the making of the next friendship, because of the offence there must needs be a mediator to passe betwixt thee, and that fire that was readie to deuoure thee: for thou thy selfe darest not appeare and sue for it immediatly: for thou art not able to stand in the presence of that terrible God, before whose face there goes a fearefull fire that would consume thee at an instance. So there must be a Mediator. It is true that the Fa­ther made this reconciliation of his free mercie, and of a pas­sing grace hee bare to mankinde. Would to God wee had a sense of it; but I tell thee, this grace and mercie was deere bought (it is not an easie thing to a sinner that hath viola­ted so holy a maiestie to get accesse againe.) This mercie, from whence this reconciliation comes, it springs out of the [Page 75] Lord Iesus, as a faire greene tree in a garden: it springs out of the very bloud of the Mediatour the Lord Iesus. For why, the mercie could neuer haue been nor had place, if the wrath and iustice of the Father had not bin satisfied with that bloud: there could neuer haue been such a thing as mercie to the world, if that bloud had neuer been shed: and so say, I, this mercie and grace springs vp sweetly and gratiously, out of the bloud of Christ. So, wouldest thou haue mercie? lay hold on the bloud of Christ; and as thou wouldest haue part in heauen, rest neuer while thou finde that bloud sprinkled in thy con­science, & thy heart washed with it. Now from whence comes this Mediatour? how is he giuen to thee? The father (saith the Scripture) loued the world, Iohn. 3. 16. So the Mediatour, vpon whom this new band of mercie and grace riseth, is giuē of the father to the world, and that in loue. There is nothing in this new band, but mercie vpon mercie: mercie in the beginning; mercie in the progresse; and mercie in the end. Indeede it is not without iustice and wrath; but thou art spared, and the iustice and wrath it strikes on the Mediatour; so that that is iustice and wrath in the Mediatour, it is mercie and grace to thee. Nay he hath not spared his owne sonne; yet he hath spa­red the stinking sinner. Wilt not thou be thankfull for this be­nefit? Well, if there be not a sense of the mercie of God in Ie­sus Christ, looke not for heauen. I warne thee that art a King, an Earle, a Lord, a Baron, a subiect, man, wife, lasse, and lad; if ye haue not a sense of this mercie of God in Iesus Christ, ye shall neuer see heauen.

Now to come to the last circumstance: after what manner is this reconciliation made with sinfull man? The manner is set downe in these words, making peace by his bloud shed on the crosse. The father reconciles vs to himselfe after this manner, by making peace with vs in the bloud of Christ. Brethren, when two men are at variance, the third man will step in and intreate the person that is at variance with the other, to be friends with him, and he will obtaine it, especially if he be an intire man. But O that sonne of God! that deere and that wel­beloued! when he comes in, it is not faire words, it is not sup­plications, that will doe the turne; but him it behooued to go [Page 76] to suffer death: and that dead stroke of hell, that should haue lighted on me, and thee, and should haue brused vs euerla­stingly, he casts in his head, and that stroke lights on him. It cannot be holdē off thee, by no other buckler, but by his head and bloud shedding: without bloud no remission, Heb. 9. nay, nay, either shall thy bloud passe for it, or els the bloud of the Mediatour. O it is a terrible thing, to haue to doe with the wrath of an infinite God! there is nothing can satisfie him, but the precious bloud of his own deere sonne: and no other death can satisfie him, but a cursed death, the death of the crosse: a painfull death to be nailed quicke to a crosse. It was the figure of the death of hell. He was pained vpon the crosse with the paines of hell. If he could not escape such a death who was an innocent, how wilt thou, who art a sinner, escape that terrible death? O what death shall abide thee, if thou be not in him! These words then teach vs two things: first, the greatnes of the enmitie, that could not be remoued but by the bloud, and execrable death of the Mediatour. For if this enmitie had bin but a sillie and small feude, what needed all this, that the sonne of God should dye such a death? Wherefore should all this a­doe haue been? wherefore should he haue suffered such extre­mitie? So, if there were no more to tell thee the greatnes of sin, the death and the bloud of Iesus Christ shed on the crosse tels thee. O sinne is great! and yet the world will not heare it, but the soule stinking sinner will wallow in it more and more. O sinner! sinne is foule and fearefull. An euill thought is a great and terrible mountaine. The first world had experience of this greatnes of sinne, being without Christ. Our Gentles in Scotland with the rest felt it. I tell thee, before this bloud came and the full time came, there was nothing to hold off the dint of the wrath and stroke of God, that that world found before the comming of Christ. What, was it a small matter to be an enemie to God? was it a light thing to sinne? No, no, for all that time before Christs comming, for the greatest part, God was doing no other thing, but striking and hashing on sin­ners, slaying her, and slaying him. Sinne raigned all the time to death, saith Paul Rom. 5. in the end all perished, and went to hell for the most part, except some very few. And I tell you, [Page 77] this world thinkes there is no hell, and very few get this grace: for so long as that olde Tabernacle stoode, few got entrie to grace. So they, miserable soules that lie now in torment, they testifie and crie the horriblenes of sinne: and O the precious­nes of the bloud that hath freed now the soules of men from sinne! Now when he came into the world, I put it out of que­stion, The cal­ling of the Gentiles increased the num­ber. whereas one was saued before, hundreds were saued af­ter. For Christ saith, for once the bloud was shed, men and wo­men thronged into heauen, Matth. 11. So all tels thee the bles­sednes of thy estate that hath fallen in this time. If thou hadst any sense, if thou wert sent out naked to begge thy meate, thou art happie, considering this time wherein thou art borne. O the happines of this time! when the bloud of Christ runnes abroad as a riuer to saue sinners: but wee are blinded, and (as I said before) that number is drawne in, and beginning to be abridged, and the force of the bloud is drawne in and begun to bee lessened; and the force of faith is nothing now, in re­spect of the former time of the Primitiue Church and daies of the Apostles: and therefore as it began with a handfull; so it shall end with a very handfull: and blessed is that man that can striue to throng into heauen, through this bloud of Iesus. Now the Lord worke this in our hearts, that as wee seeke for the kingdome of hea­uen; so we may throng in at it, through this bloud of Iesus. To whom be praise and honour,

Amen.

THE EIGHT LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 21, 22.

21 And you which were in times past strangers and enemies, because your mindes were set in euill workes, hath he now also re­conciled,

22 In that bodie of his flesh through death, to make you holy and vnblameable, and without fault in his sight.

THese daies past (beloued in Iesus Christ) wee haue heard a high description of the Sonne of God the Lord Iesus, in the which he is painted out in a mar­ueilous glorie. In the last part of this description, ye heard it was said, that by him, as the Mediatour, it pleased the Father to reconcile to himselfe all things both in heauen and earth, making the peace by the bloud of his crosse. In the which words the A­postle turnes ouer vpon the whole Church, that hee hath spo­ken of the sonne of God. For all his glorie tends to the weale of his Church; all to the reconciling of the Church with God the head, in him as the Mediatour. Now brethren, in this text that we haue read, vers. 21. he applies this blessing of reconci­liation to the Church of the Colossians in speciall; And you also (saith he) hath he reconciled. In the which words, as before he turneth ouer the whole glorie of Iesus Christ vpon the vni­uersall Church; so now he turnes it ouer vpon this particular Church of Colosse. For the glorie of Iesus Christ the sonne of God, as it is the glorie of the whole Church; so it is the glorie of euery particular Church: and in so doing, no question hee [Page 77] applies it to euery particular person in the Church: so that the glorie of the sonne of God is mine, and thine. Beleeuest thou in him? All this glorie is thine. There is no point of it in him, but thou shalt haue the vse of it: so that no man or woman that is in the Church, needs to enuie this glory in Iesus Christ. It is naturall to men and women, to enuie the glorie that o­thers haue aboue them: yea, subiects will enuie the honour and glorie of Princes aboue them. But thou who art a subiect in Christs Church, thou needes not to enuie Christs glorie. All his glorie is thine; yea thou oughtest to haue no pleasure but when thou lookest vpon his glorie and exaltation.

But to come to the words. We see then in these words, there is a particular application of this benefit of reconciliation to the Church of the Colossians. The text first offers vs to be con­sidered, who is the reconciler. Now (saith the Apostle) he hath The Re­conciler. reconciled. Who is this that hath reconciled the Colossians to God: Before speaking of the reconciliation in generall with the whole Church, he said, It hath pleased the Father to recon­cile all things to himselfe in him: but now plainly in the text the Reconciler is changed. It was the father before; now the sonne of God, the second person of that glorious Trinitie, hee is the Reconciler. Wherein the Apostle lets vs see that in this worke of reconciliation, this sonne of God is not onely a patient, not onely a Mediatour to suffer for our sinnes; but he is an agent, a doer, a reconciler. As he is the Mediatour of the reconcilia­tion, he is not onely a sacrifice, in the which the reconciliation is made; but he is a sacrificer offering himselfe in a sacrifice to God for our sinnes. For looke how willingly the father offe­red him a sacrifice for vs, as willingly, gladly, and ioyfully offe­red hee himselfe for vs: for if hee had not died willingly and gladly in the nature of man, but against his will as men will dye, his death would neuer haue done men good, nor ranso­med their sinnes. So this is a point of our beleefe, that as wee beleeue hee died; so wee beleeue hee died willingly: and that Christ died willingly. they who crucified him, were not so willing to crucifie him, as he was willing to offer himselfe to be crucified. If thou hast not this faith, thou hast no good of the death of Christ. So the per­son reconciler, is Christ. Then to amplifie this benefit of re­conciliation, [Page 80] he cals them to remembrance of their miserable estate before they were reconciled. What were they before? Who were in times past (saith he) strangers and enemies, meaning to God: and where was this enmitie? In the inward mind. And why? Because their mindes were set onely vpon euill workes. Hee will not speake to them of this benefit of reconciliation, be­fore hee aduertiseth them of that estate they stood in before they were reconciled. Marke it: there is no sight of the mercie of God in Iesus Christ, no presence of mercy and grace, except The mise­rie of man without Christ. in the mirrour (to say it so) of the past miserie wee were in: so that except thou looke to that, thou shalt neuer see, as thou shouldest see, the benefit of mercie and grace in Iesus Christ. There is no sinfull creature that is able to ponder and weigh a­right in the heart, the greatnes of the blessing of God in Iesus Christ, except hee take the blessing and mercie, and put in a ballance with the miserie, and see which of them weigheth downe: otherwise thou shalt neuer know the weight of mer­cie, and glorie, if thou take it not from the miserie of that stin­king nature, and filthines of thine; neither shalt thou euer be touched with that sound ioy, except the sense of miserie goe before. He that hath neuer found himselfe in hell, hath neuer found himselfe in heauen: for all the sense of heauen breakes out of hell.

Now to weigh the words. The first word wherein hee sets down their miserable estate is this: Sometime (saith he) ye were strangers farre off. From whom? From him, who should haue bin their greatest friend; whose domesticks they should haue bin, from God, and so from the Common-wealth of Israel, from his Church. If thou be a straunger from God, and then from his Church, there is no life in thee: thou art but a dead rotten member in sinnes and offences, Ephes. 2. 1. Liue as thou wilt, breathe as thou wilt, haue thy senses as quicke as thou wilt; fling here and there, and leape as lightly as thou pleasest; thou art but dead, and more then dead, and dye shalt thou e­uerlastingly. Yet marke the words: hee cals not them simplie strangers and aliants; but he saith, they were made strangers; to let vs see that all this strangenes from God, is not by our crea­tion: we were created friendly with him, and his domesticks; [Page 81] but by our owne defection, we haue made our selues of dome­stickes and household children, strangers. And therefore it is said in Esai. 59. 2. Your sinnes haue diuided betweene me and you. So it is thy sinne, it is not that naturall substance of thy soule and bodie; but it is the corruption of the substance that makes thee a stranger from God. Yet marke the words, hee saith not that God was estranged from them; but that they were estranged from him. No, no, the Lord is not the beginner of this strangenes, hee turnes neuer first vpon thee, but thou turnest thy backe first vpon him: he neuer drawes from thee that sweete countenance of his, first; but thou drawest thy countenance from him. For brethren, to speake the trueth; when thou hast turned thy backe vpon him, and estranged thy selfe from him; yet if thou be one of his elect, his loue to­ward thee shall neuer leaue thee nor turne from thee. O that loue of God! he loues a sinner that is as it were spitting vpon Gods loue. him: for the loue of God is inalterable. And when thou hast played thee with thy owne counsell, serued thy lusts in thy owne time, the Lord vtters that loue towards thee and calles thee home againe. So there is the first degree of their miserie. Yet it is not all said: he comes on with another degree, and higher then the first; Sometime ye were strangers, yet more, ene­mies. One man may be a straunger to another, and yet not his enemie; but saith he, ye were not onely strangers, but you were enemies also. The words import not onely a secret hatred, but a plaine and open hostilitie: they fought against him: there was neuer so hot a battell betwixt man and man, as was be­twixt God and vs, before the reconciler came: there was ne­uer Before the calling of the Gen­tiles by the Gospell. so much bloud shed, as was from the time of the fall of A­dam to the cōming of Iesus Christ. So there is a higher degree of miserie; not onely strangers, but enemies, fighting against heauen with an vplifted hand. This degree must follow the former. It is not betwixt God and man, as it is betwixt man and man. One man may be a stranger to another, and yet not his enemie; but if thou be a stranger to God, thou art his ene­mie. A stran­ger to God is an enemy to him. For Christ saith, He that is not with me, is against me. Beware then of the first. Turne not so much as thy foote from him: but striue to be at home with him, and to creepe to his house, and [Page 82] to creepe vnder his boord: otherwise thou shalt take vp a banner against him.

Now to goe to the words: where begunne this strangenes and enmitie? where is the first seate of it? which is the foun­taine whereof it springs? It is not the bodie first: it is not in the eye, howbeit it be an enemie to God; if thou stand in na­ture thou wilt lift vp a proud eye, testifying that thou art an enemie to God: it is not in the mouth, howbeit thou blas­pheme God therewith: it is not in thy hand, suppose thou fight therewith against the heauens; but it begins within thee, and the chaire wherein it sits is thy soule. If thy soule were not an enemie, thy eye and the rest of thy members of thy bodie could not be enemies: It comes out of the heart that defiles the man, saith Christ Matth. 15. 18. Then againe it begins not at the inferiour powers of thy soule, at the sensuall appetite: it goes further, it begins at the minde of man; so saith the A­postle, that is to say, at the chiefest power of the soule, the Ephes. 2. 3 minde, the eye, and the light of thy soule. The Mistrisse, the Queene, that should haue kept all cleane, she hath set vp a vile whore, and troubles the whole soule. This reason which should haue made the soule to see and know God, she is the first ene­mie Very rea­son in the naturall man an e­nemie to God. of God. The very reason whereby thou not onely excels the beast, but euen thy selfe is become a whore, and greatest foe that God hath in man, and abuseth the whole soule of man with her foule cogitation: and it defiles the whole parts of the bodie, the eye, the hand, and all the rest with her motion. What is the cause of this, that the first seate of this enmitie is in the minde and reason of man? because all her musing is vp­on euill workes; she is set vpon them. Nay, muse what thou wilt, if thou bee but in nature, all thy musing and thinking shall be but enmitie against God. For thou shalt muse nothing but of euill workes. Ye know (brethren) the first deuiser of any mischiefe, is the first enemie, and not the executor: he that a­buseth others is the first enemie and lowne, and should first dye. But so it is, the first deuiser of all euill workes is this cor­rupt minde of man. If it come not first in thy mind, would thy hand cōmit the euill? No, no, it is first in thy minde, and then she puts it out into the inferiour parts of the bodie. And ther­fore [Page 83] if thou gets not grace, the first thing that the Lord shall torment, shall be thy mind: and he shall so torment it, yt thou shalt crie, would to God when I had had a reasonable minde, that I had been a beast. Let the Philosophers speake of it as they please, as Plato that sets vp the minde as a Queene, and the Pope with his philosophicall reason disputing so finely, as he troweth, extolling nature, and free will to good. Note.That mind of his and his rabble, shall one day be wrung and rent in pee­ces, with such torments as the tongue of man and Angell can not expresse. And therefore it is that Paul commaunds so ear­nestly the Ephesians, to bee first renued in their minds, Eph. 4. 23. The grea­ter reason not sancti­fied, an ar­gument of greater damnatiō. It is the mother of all mischiefe and Idolatrie: thou hast not to glorie in thy reason, if so be it be not sanctified; yea the greater conceit thou hast in reasoning, the greater damnatiō, except it be sanctified in that spirit of Iesus Christ. This is the estate they were in before they were reconciled, which the A­postle remembers them of, that it should neuer go out of their minde. Let neuer the stinke of nature goe out of thy mind, but Let neuer the soule sent of thy naturall corruption goe out of thy minde. weigh it diligently, that thou maist giue thankes and praises to God for his grace and deliuerie. Next he sheweth the man­ner how he reconciled them to himselfe and his father; for all is alike: marke the manner. It is two-fold. First, in that bodie (with an emphasis) of his flesh. The meaning is this, he recon­ciled you by assuming and taking to him a true fleshy bodie: hee calles it, The bodie of the flesh: to let vs see, that the bodie which Iesus Christ bare in the world, and that hee beares now in glorie at the right hand of the father, is not a phantasti­call bodie, or an appearance of a bodie without soliditie (as the Heretikes called it) a mathematicall bodie, a maiestaticke bo­die. All is but vanitie; but it is a reall bodie, as reall as euer the bodie of man was, or is, of flesh, bloud and bones: otherwise The bodie of Christ a reall bodie. hee could neuer haue been a Mediatour to vs, and wee could neuer haue been the better for him, either in his death or life. Then the first manner of our reconciliation is the assuming of this flesh, of this bodie of man: hee is first the sonne of God, Bodie and soule. then he takes to him the bodie, the flesh, and the soule of man. The next word is, by death, that is, by becomming a sacrifice in that bodie which he tooke to him. For otherwise if hee had not [Page 84] offred vp his bodie, he could haue done vs no good: for it is the pearced bodie, the shed bloud, the vexed soule, the tormen­ting of the man that redeemes and saues thee. And therefore Christ suf­fered in soule. when thou hast recourse to Christ, goe not to him, as hee is in heauen, or as he was going vp and downe in Iewrie; but goe to him hanging on the Crosse, that is, to his bloud to sprinkle thy soule; otherwise he shall neuer profit thee. The Father was not appeased in his wrath vntill hee got his bloud; nothing will pacifie the conscience, but onely this bloud of Iesus. Now marke: the Father reconciles vs to himselfe; the Sonne againe he reconciles vs to himselfe. This is common, but in this worke there is a great difference betwixt the Father and the Sonne. The Father when he reconciles vs, he neuer changeth nor al­ters his condition; he sits still in that maiestie on his throne of glorie, keeping that kingly maiestie of his. What doth he? He humbles his sonne (for be assured that thy reconciliation could not be purchased, but by the humbling of God, not in God must be humbled before thou couldest be reconciled vnto him. the person of the father, but in the person of the sonne) and therefore the sonne he leaues his throne, and steps down from it, to reconcile vs to his father; and comes downe here to the earth, and as it is said in the Philip. 2. 7. He abased himselfe, by taking vnto him a vile flesh (howbeit it be cleane without sin, yet it is vile in respect of that glorious maiestie) he takes on him the shape of a seruant. What more? In that flesh he becomes obe­dient to his father (that sits still on the throne) to the death. And what a death? to the death of the crosse. So there is the diffe­rence. The father wrought it not, altring his maiestie and glo­rie, but the sonne wrought it, altring his maiestie: and that so obediently, that the Angels wonders at it; yea they can ne­uer wonder enough, to see that glorious maiestie of the sonne of God so humbled as he was. Now, howbeit it differeth in the The father as mercifull as the son. manner, yet the father and the sonne are equall in mercie. The father is as mercifull as the sonne, and the sonne is as mercifull as the father; they are equall in glorie in this worke: the fa­ther gets as great glorie in this worke as the sonne; and the sonne gets as great glorie as the father. Now to the father and the sonne be all honour, glorie, and praise for euer and euer, Amen.

[Page 85] Before (brethren) when he spake of the reconciliation in ge­nerall, ye heard the whole Church in generall was reconciled by this bloud and death of Iesus Christ. Now ye heare that this particular Church at Colosse, is said to be reconciled by this same bloud and death. Yea more, I say not onely this, a particular Church (as for example the Church of this towne) Euery one of gods e­lect recon­ciled by the bloud of Christ. Christs eye set vpon e­uery parti­cular per­son. reconciled by that bloud, and death of Christ, but there is no man or woman that is chosen, but they are redeemed by that bloud. And this is a true saying; when the Lord died on the crosse, and shed his bloud, his eye was not onely in generall spread abroad, throughout the whole earth; but distinctly set vpon euery particular person. It was set vpon this same Church of Colosse, and vpon this Church of Edenborough (as certainly as euer it was on any, that was present at his death.) Howbeit, it was not a Church at that time, yet his eye was set vpon it; and he said in his heart, I will die for the Church of Colosse, and for the Church of Edenborough. Yea his eye was set vpon euery particular bodie; yea vpon the poorest elect lad, or lasse, now presently liuing, or which shall liue hereaf­ter. And he said, I die the death for this particular person; o­therwise if he had not said it, that he would die for me, and die for thee, thou, nor I, could not haue been saued. I giue thee a token to know that his eye was vpon thee in the time of his death. Findest thou reconciliation and redemption in thy heart? say then he had an eye to me, and the force of his death hath comen to me. For what auailes a generall knowledge of his death, if thou haue not a particular applying of it to thy selfe?

A question may here be moued; how is it that it is said that Christ shed his bloud for the Colossians, seeing they were not as yet called, but remained enemies till Epaphras came amōgst them, and preached the word of grace, and saluation in Iesus Christ, and by his trauell hath drawne on some to the faith of Iesus? I answere, the reconciliation made in the bloud of Iesus Reconcilia­tion by the bloud of Ie­sus of two sorts. is of two sorts; there is one made by the merit of his death: there is another made by the efficacie and powerfulnes of his death. When he suffered, that same very time and houre of his suffering, all nations that euer were to be reconciled to the end [Page 86] of the world, were reconciled by the merit of the bloud of Ie­sus Christ. But if you will looke to the effectualnes, it followed long after. Scotland, Edenborough, that abode long after ene­mies, at that same houre, by his merit were reconciled. For why? that bloud that was shed, merited that saluation: but the effect of that merit followed. A man that will haue the me­rit, must feele the efficacie and power of it. When he is follow­ing his owne lusts, lying out at his whoredome and villanie, at that same time (it may be said truly) he hath the charter of the merit in his keeping: howbeit vntill the time he looke about him, and begin to see Iesus, the vertue of Christs merite vtters We must feele and finde the vertue and power of Christs death wor­king in vs, Rom. 6. 2. 3. 4. 5. Phil. 3. 8, 9, 10. not it selfe vnto him. But when he findes it, then he remembers he had the merit. Howbeit, he wist not that euer he had it, till he found this working. Then he reioyceth that Christ suffered on the Crosse for him.

In the last words he sets downe the end of their reconcilia­tion. The end is, that thou maist be presented holy, vnreproue­able, without spot or wrinckle, as he saith in Ephe. 5. 27. First then, we are reconciled to the end we should be holy; clensed of that filthines and sinne, wherewith wee were polluted before; and The end of our recon­ciliation is holines. being clenfed, wee should be vnreproueable; for the cause of reproofe is sinne: It is sore to abide a reproofe of God. This holines is not gotten perfited in this life, but wee must striue to it continually. Then thinke not that thou art reconciled with God in effect, if thou finde not holines begun in this life: if thou finde no holy motions in thy heart, and actions in thy hand, thinke not thou standest in friendship with God. For as euer two stand together, these two must stand together vnse­parably, reconciliation with God, and holines of life. And if Holines & reconcilia­tion inse­parable. thou haue not a sanctified heart and life, thou abidest a rebell to God. Thus for the first end.

The other end is expressed in the same words; That you may (saith he) be presented before him: that is, that you may get his presence, and he yours: and being presented, ye may get your felicitie for euer. For brethren, that full blessednes of man stands in the sight of God. Then marke this lesson; vpon this holines followes our presenting before God: So it is he or she that is holy, that gets the presence of God. If thou be not san­ctified, [Page 87] if thou liue not in some measure in a holy life here, I Heb. 12. 14 Mat. 5. 4. 5 giue thee this for doome, thou shalt neuer see the face of God, that is, thou shalt neuer be blessed; but shut in hell for euer. But to sticke vpon the words, the word in it owne language, to present a man personally in such sort that he hath the eye of him vpon the Iudge, and the Iudge vpon him. then these words import, that wee shall one day be personally with the same bodie and soule, and no other, presented before the Lord Iesus Christ. No, no, there shall not be such a thing as one shall Euery man must perso­nally pre­sent him­selfe naked before God appeare for thee, but thou shalt personally present thy selfe, and stand naked before God there. If thou stand vp in holi­nes, and see thy Lord thy Iudge with a holy eye, hee looking on thee with a holy eye, there shall be a mutuall pleasure: for if thou be presented holy, thou shalt finde such a ioy in thy heart, as it is wonderfull to speake of, and God shall reioyce of thee, Luk. 15. So there shall be mutuall ioy on both parts: we shall be presented before Iesus, not as before a Iudge, but as a The faith­full pre­sented to Christ as a bride to the bride­groome. bride before the bridegroome: so speakes Paul 2. Cor. 11. not as folke to abide the triall: nay, there is no iudgemēt for thee that shalt be presented as a bride to thy bridegroome, with whom thou shalt liue in ioy and pleasure for euer. You see when a bride is presented to a bridegroome, there is ioy. O the ioy that thou shalt haue, when thou shalt be presented to thy Sauiour Iesus Christ as a bride! who can expresse and thinke of the greatnes and excellencie of that ioy? Then as thou wouldest haue this infinite and vnspeakable ioy with thy hus­band Iesus, striue to holines, and seeke to be presented to him, and then it shall be well with thee. Now in this Iesus with the Father and the holy spirit, be all praise,

Amen.

THE NINTH LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 23.‘23 If ye continue grounded and stablished in the faith, and be not moued away from the hope of the Gospell, whereof ye haue heard, and which hath been preached to euery creature, which is vnder hea­uen, whereof I Paul am a minister.

WE haue heard (brethren) from the beginning of this Epistle, first the salutation the Apostle vseth to the Church of Colosse. Secondly, his preface before the doctrine. Thirdly, we came to the doctrine it selfe, wherein ye heard propounded briefly the benefit we haue in Iesus Christ, our calling to this estate of grace, our redemption in the bloud of the sonne of God. Then after to let vs see the pretiousnes of this bloud, and the necessitie of this redemption by this bloud, hee fell out into a faire and high description of the sonne of God, setting him out in many points of his glory, partly as hee is God, the sonne of God onely; partly as he is both God and man the Mediatour, the Lord Iesus Christ. Of the which whole points of his glorie, we concluded the bloud of such a glorious personage, must be exceeding precious; and so it behooued that this bloud should ransome vs, and ransome the world. Yea if we looke to the preciousnes of it, it is not only sufficient to ransome a world; but to ransome ten thousand worlds.

Now (brethren) wee ended the doctrine the last day: it fol­lowes in this text, that we haue now read in your hearing, that Vers. 23. wee speake of the exhortation that the Apostle vseth, and sub­ioynes to the doctrine. The exhortation is in a word, Abide in [Page 89] the faith, perseuere, stand, and keepe it fast; for it is a precious thing. The first argument hee vseth to perswade them to this Perseue­rance in the faith and con­stancie in religion an infallible argument of our re­conciliatiō with God. perseuerance, & abiding in the faith, is from that benefit of re­conciliation, wherof he spake before. And he reasons after this manner: If you abide in ye faith, you are reconciled, you stand in amitie with God, you are friends to him, and he to you: and therefore if you count of such a benefit, stand fast in the faith.

Now to come to the faith, and to marke such things as God will giue the grace, and time will suffer. If so be (saith he) you abide in the faith. As if hee would say: you are reconciled, and stand in friendship with God, vnder this condition and re­striction; If you stand in the faith: if you stand in the faith, you shall perseuere in the friendship with God. Then ye see, it is the perseuering in the faith of the Mediatour, the sticking fast by the Lord Iesus Christ, who is the Mediatour of our re­conciliation, that makes a man to stand in the reconciliation, and friendship with God. Sticke to him, by whose bloud thou art reconciled to God, and thou shalt stand fast in that friend­ship with God: As by the contrary, so soone as a man lets the hold goe of the Mediatour, hee shall fall from the friendship of the father; and falling, his last estate is worse then the first. If he were miserable before the reconciliation, he becomes tenne times more miserable then euer hee was. And it had been bet­ter for him, that he had neuer beleeued, nor bin reconciled to God; but as he was an enemie, so he had continued an enemy. So you see what it is to sticke to Iesus Christ by faith in him, vnto the end.

Againe, he saith not, if you perseuere in well-doing, in holi­nes, 2 Perseue­rance in the faith. Sundrie kindes of perseue­rance. but in the faith. The perseuerance he craues, is in the faith of Iesus Christ. There be sundrie sorts of perseuering: wee are said to perseuere in faith, in hope, in holines, in weldoing, in a godly life; and finally there is not a grace, but wee are said to perseuere in it, and exhorted to perseuere in it. But the first ground of all perseuerance is, In the faith of Iesus Christ. Marke it well. And if this ground be laid downe, the abiding in Iesus by a true faith, all the rest followes willingly. Keepe me faith, and stand in faith, thou shalt keepe hope of necessitie: keepe Faith the eye and light of the soule. faith, that eye and light of thy soule; thou shalt keepe holines, [Page 90] thou shalt walke in the light, and bring out the works of light. On the contrary, let goe or forsake faith, thou shalt let goe hope of life; let Christ goe out of thy eye once, he shall go out of thy hand: and looke neuer to doe any good turne. A faith­lesse bodie cannot doe a good turne to pleasure God: yea though it should seeme the best thing in the world; yet wan­ting faith, all is but dung before God. So you see, what should be the first thing we should begin at: to wit, at a standing and perseuering in the faith of the Mediatour. Abide in this, and all shall follow of their owne will, holines, weldoing, and the rest.

In the words following, he shewes vs the way, how to per­seuere in faith; If so be that you abide in the faith, grounded, foun­ded. The word is borrowed from building on a ground stone; How to perseuere in faith. the second word is, and established, euen as you see a man set down in a chaire, resting without mouing or wagging, sitteth still immoueable. If thou wilt abide in faith, thou must bee grounded and set downe, and must not goe wagging, fleeting and flowing, as you see some doe. Then what is this foundation whereupon thou must be grounded? It is euen this same faith: Thou must be grounded on it, or else thou shalt not abide in it; and if thou bee not built vpon it as vpon a building, thou shalt not abide in it. Faith then must bee the ground. It must not be built as it were vpon thy heart; it is the falsest ground The heart must be built and rest on faith. that euer was; but thy heart must be built on faith. For faith in Iesus is a fast and established ground. Now what is the seate? euen this same faith. Faith must not sit vpon thy heart, which is but a ioggling seate, a loose seate; but thy heart must be tur­ned ouer vpon the faith of Iesus Christ, that is a fast seate: so that all the powers in the world will not moue it. In a word, if Rest not night nor day till thou seele thy faith lying vn­der thy heart, and thy heart resting firme and stable on it. thou abide and perseuere in the faith of Iesus Christ, bee built on it; rest neuer while thou rise vp vpon it as a building. Rest not night nor day till thou feele it lying vnder thy heart: rest not till thou finde thy heart setled without staggering, sitting downe as it were on a fast stoole and seatc. If thou be once set­led and builded, all the waues of temptations shall not once moue thee, thou shalt stand fast like a house built on a strong rocke: but if thou be not built and setled on it, the least blast [Page 91] of winde of false doctrine and of affliction, wil blow thee from Matth. 7. 24. 25. thy faith; & thy faith from thee like chaffe. Alas, see we not this inconstancie in fleeting and flowing? A vaine lowne, he is here to day, and away to morrow; a Protestant to day, a Papist to morrow; a Christian to day, a Turk or Pagan to morrow, and what ye will haue him. What is the cause of this? O that heart of thine, was neuer established by grace! A vaine and emptie heart, was neuer grounded vpon faith in Iesus Christ. And therefore it is that these miserable creatures are caried away as they are: and be assured, let thy heart abide in that miserable estate of inconstancie till the Lord come, thou and it shall be turned into hell headlong, as the lightest and rottennest thing in the world. Thus much for this first perseuerance in faith.

He ads to another perseuerance, and he saith; If you be not 2 Perseue­rance in hope of the Gospell. moued from the hope of the Gospell; that is, if you perseuer in the hope of all these faire graces and mercies, especially of that life euerlasting, promised in the Gospell. Now (brethren) would you know what this Gospell is? The Gospell of Iesus Christ is like a mirror or looking glasse; so the Apostle cals it, 2. Cor. 3. 18. In the which we may see many faire things. First we see Iesus Christ the Lord of glorie: and then all the faire graces that followes on him; thy remission of sinnes; thy iustification; 2. Cor. 4. 3. 4. thy sanctification; the heauen and life; and all things: what wouldst thou haue more? Now the eye that lookes in it, is not the eye of the bodie, but the eye of faith, quicker and cleerer than all the bodily eyes in the world. The hand that holds vp that mirror, is faith: faith is an eye and a hand; it sees and holds. Now as faith is looking in the mirrour to Iesus Christ, and to all the graces that followes him, and to that life and glo­rie that neuer shall haue end; in comes this hope, and she a­waiteth constantly for the accomplishment of all those graces, Hope what. and of that life euerlasting, that faith sees in the mirror: and she awaites till Christ come with that life in his hand, with the glorie in his hand, that he shall bring with him for them, who awaits for him. As soone as he comes, the mirror fals downe: The word goes away; there shall be no more preaching, when he comes. And as thou sawst him before in the mirror; so then thou shalt see his glorious face as he is: so the mirror shall goe [Page 92] away, that faith of thine shall goe away. What shall be then in steed of all this? Thou shalt get that that Paul saies 2. Cor. 5. 7. Now we walke by faith, but then we shall walke by sight. Our reioy­cing shall be in the sight of him for euer.

Now brethren, you shal marke here briefly: it is not enough to abide in the faith of the promise, wherein thou hast promised to thee life euerlasting; but with the faith thou must haue a hope awaiting constantly for the thing promised: as thou be­leeuest the promise, that is, the word; so thou must hope for himselfe and his comming; and that life he brings with him. Ioyne these two together, faith in the promise; and hope in the performance; of necessitie thou shalt get life. That hope shall Faith and hope com­panions. Rom. 5. 5. 6. neuer make thee a shamed. It is a thing impossible, that a man that waits for Christs comming can be disappointed; for hea­uen and earth shal perish ere that man be disappointed of that he hoped for: so then saith he, if you be not moued from the hope of the Gospell: I say then, so long as we liue, we must not want Take away the Gospel, yee take a­way faith and hope. this mirror of the Gospell. Take away the mirror, thou shalt see nought. Take away the Gospell, thou shalt not haue faith. Take it away, wherein shines all these heauenly graces, thou hast nought to hope for: and if thou hearest not of a life after this life, thou canst not hope for it. So these men in the world (not onely among Pagans, but amongst Christians) Lords, Barons, that haue no pleasure in hearing of the Gospell to looke into Iesus, that is in it; trowe yee if thus they conti­nue, that they shall goe to heauen? thinke ye that they can haue faith and hope? no: no more then a dog hath, and their death shall be worse then a dogs death. As euer then you would haue life, faith, and hope, keepe the Gospell. Thou wilt looke in a glasse to decke thy selfe, and wipe off the spots of thy face: but wilt thou looke to the Gospell, thou shalt see a more beautifull face, euen the face of Iesus: and the more thou loo­kest How pow­erfully the power of Christ transforms vs if we looke vpon his face in the Gospel. on it, the more it casts out these beames of glory, and transformes thee from glorie to glorie. So as euer thou woul­dest haue the sight of Iesus, let thy pleasure be to looke into the mirror of the Gospell; for he, who takes not pleasure to looke in the mirror, shall neuer see the Lord Issus face to face. This is a decree, and I pronounce it against all these contem­ners [Page 93] of the Gospell: they shall finde it sure, they shall neuer see Iesus Christ, but to their damnatiō. Thou, who contemnes All contē ­ners of the Gospell goe to hell. this mirrour of the Gospell, thou art the diuels slaue, and shalt be condemned with him in that great day for euer. O if wee should be carefull to keepe this preaching of Christ! it stands vs vpon paine of life and death. See then what enemies they Preaching. be that would take this mirrour from vs, by the which wee are Papists. comforted and kept to life euerlasting.

To come to the next words: The Colossians might haue said, what a Gospell is this thou speakest of: It is that which Epaphras taught to vs. Is it his, in whose hope we should abide? Countest thou so much of his Gospell? It should seeme that the person of the man offended them. He answers, it is the same Gospell that Epaphras preached, that I recommend to you. Well, you see this how readie wee are to be offended with the good Gospell of Christ, and to cast off the word, because of the persons of men, because he is a sillie man. This our nature is a stumbling nature: we haue a stumbling heart, stumbling like a horse. Thou wilt heare a man, and accept of him and his do­ctrine: and thou wilt heare another, and count little either of him or his doctrine; euen as though thy faith should leane vp­on a man, and not vpon the Gospell. What hast thou to doe with the man if he speake the true Gospell shouldest thou be holden back from the word, because of the basenes of the man? This cannot be gotten away this day in Edenborough. Ye see againe he is very carnest to commend this Gospel of Epaphras, and to remoue the slaunder that they tooke vp against him. It teacheth all preachers, that euery one of them recommend the doctrine taught by others, so it be the same doctrine, let the person be what hee will; this man hath deliuered sound doc­trine. A good les­son for preachers. Yea if he haue greater graces, he should recommend him which hath the simplest; as Paul recommends Epaphras. So it sets not one minister to detract another; but if hee deliuer sound doctrine, he should recommend him, and speake to his praise: for looke what dispraise or reproch thou puttest to the man, it turnes ouer vpon the Gospell, that the man preacheth; as experience this day plainly proues. For see ye not men, who because of some infirmities of the preacher, either will con­temne [Page 94] the doctrine of the Gospell which hee preacheth, so that they will not abase themselues to come and heare him; or else if they come, they are so preoccupied in minde, that they be­gin Preiudice against the person of the prea­cher keepes many from profiting by him. to scoffe at it. Away with this kinde of dealing, and be­ware what you doe, when ye either speake euill of the prea­cher, or suffer others to speake euill of him: for if thou doe so, thou shalt not faile to loath the Gospell, and so consequent­ly ouerthrow thy selfe.

Now the arguments of the recommendation followes. Ibid you stand (saith hee) in hope of the same Gospell, because it is the same Gospell that hath been preached to euery creature vnder the heauen, through the whole world. As if hee would say, Epaphras hath not taught a doctrine diuers from mine, and I another diuers from his; but all is one, and the same doctrine and Gos­pell, that hee and I both haue taught. Then take vp the note, which Paul here giues thee of the true doctrine; seeing our life A note of the true Gospell of Christ. stands in the trueth of the Gospell, wee should be carefull to know the true Gospell. Looke if it be that Gospell that hath been preached to euery creature, to al the world: Christ saith, Preach to euery creature, Mark. 16. 15. but this is not enough. The Papists doctrine hath been preached throughout all Eu­rope, and further: yet it is not the true Gospell of Iesus Christ. There must be yet more then this vniuersalitie: look if it be in the beginning preached by the Apostles, and in their daies; if it be so, thou art sure thou hast the veritie of the Gospell. But thou wilt say, how shall I know this? Looke their writings, go no further. The surest warrant is their writings. Looke Pauls writing, Peters writing, and the rest of the Apostles and Euan­gelists The writ­ten word our war­rant. writings, their bookes shall testifie of their writings: for they haue written no other thing but yt they spake. There is not a sentence left out that euer the Apostles taught, that is not written in this booke of the new Testament, as concerning the substance of it. So if thou haue their writings, be assured thou hast their Gospell preached by them; and consequently Christs owne words and his Gospell. And if an Angell would preach to thee another Gospell, then this written Gospell in the old and new Testament; then say thou, Anathema to it, Gal. 1. 6. cursed be thou and thy Gospell both; cursed be thou Papist [Page 95] and thy gospell, which is nothing els but the vaine traditions of men. And as you would be free of the curses of God, flie frō a Papist and his gospell both, he is vaine, and his gospell is the peltrie of men.

Then the next argument of recommendation, is from his own testimonie in particular, as if he would say; It is euen that which I haue preached, I giue my assent that it is the same with my owne gospell. O the testimonie of an Apostle is a great thing! yea greater then the testimonie of many thousands, be­cause they were inspired by Gods spirit, that they could not erre. Others might erre and haue erred, and there is none now but they may erre, and may teach heresie, and haue taught he­resie when they past a iot from the written veritie; as especial­ly may be seene in that beast of Rome, and shauelings and Clergie (O that damnation that abides him for many thou­sands that haue perished, through his false erronious doc­trine!) Yet I say more, if a holy man shall giue his consent, it auaileth, if it bee agreeable to the doctrine taught by the A­postles; otherwise it is worth nothing: if it were Paul himselfe, let him be Anathema. This for the commendation of the Gos­pell preached by Epaphras, I shall end. Paul at this time lay in Rome in bands, and was vnder an heauie affliction. Now hee considering his bands might bee offensiue to them; in the next verse hee meetes with this slaunder; Now (saith he) I re­ioyce of those things which I suffer for you: As if he would say, my afflictions that I lie in, let them not offend you: It is a mar­ueilous thing how ready men are to offend, and to take a slan­der when it is not giuen. These men were before offended with Epaphras, because hee was not an Apostle: now they are offended with Paul the Apostle himselfe, because he is lying in bands. O there is neuer a thing, but the diuell can make it an offence to the Gospel (he knowes how stumbling a heart thou hast) and all to hold thee backe from the Gospell. Blessed is he that hath not been offended at any thing, as Christ saith, Matth. 11. 6. How takes he away the offence of his bands? The first argument to reuoke it; he saith, I reioyce for these things Vers. 24. which I suffer for you, or for your sake: as if he would say, be not offended at my bands, because they are for you. If I had not [Page 96] comen out at the commaund of my Lord to preach Christ, what needed me to be lying in these fetters? and if I had not loued my Lord Iesus and his Church; what needed I to be in The afflic­tions of the Martyrs do serue for the confir­mation of the faith­full in all ages. these bands? Well, he suffers for the Colossians, and he neuer saw them. Epaphras taught them, I tell thee looke whatsoeuer Paul suffereth, or any of the Apostles or godly Martyrs who suffered, count it all for thee. It was all to hold in this light which is thy life, and if it had not been kept and entertained and holden vp by their preaching, and sealed by their bloud, thou shouldest neuer haue gotten light. And without this Gospell thou shouldest neuer see life. This world is blinded; they know not this darknes they lie in. If the light of this Gos­pell slide from thee, thou blind ignorant that lies now in dark­nes, thou shalt be cast into hell: for the end of darknes here, is that blacke darknes in hell. So hee saith: All that I suffer is for you. Well, if men thought that the sufferings of the seruants of God, which they suffer, whether it be bands, banishment, or whatsoeuer it be, if they could thinke that all was for them, to hold in that light of the Gospell: alas they would be so farre from that, that the bands and these things should be offensiue to them, and so be offended at the Gospell; that by the contra­rie, they would kisse their sufferings, and would take as great pleasure in their bands, as in their preaching; for they serue as well to thy weale as their preaching. For by their bands they seale vp in thy heart all that they haue preached to thee. O if thou couldst thinke of this well! The time will come that these who now preach, shall be afflicted (and Lord giue them ioy in their affliction.) Be ye therefore prepared not to be of­fended at it. You shall see some steale downe closely from the Minister, when he is caught by the necke; howbeit now, they will accompanie him. Well then, be readie to take part of his affliction, as Paul saith 2. Tim. 1. 8. Yet to recommend his af­fliction more, I reioyce, saith he: he suffereth for a good cause, for the safetie of the Colossians. Besides this, hee suffered with ioy, 1. Pet. 4. 15. Let no man (saith hee) suffer as a murtherer, a theefe, or an euill doer: which is now the pleasure of men, but let vs make vs readie to suffer for a good cause: if thou suffer, see thou suffer for Gods cause, for this light, the best cause that [Page 97] euer thou suffered for. Let euery man be prepared to suffer for it, otherwise thou shalt haue no good of it. It is not the paine will make thee a Martyr; but it is the quarrell; the good cause, that will make thee a Martyr. And againe (he saith) if thou suf­fer as Christ suffered, reioyce: As if he would say, when thou Ioy in god­ly afflic­tions. sufferest for a good cause, looke thou haue ioy and willing­nes. No, let not the enemie haue greater will to draw thee to the shambles, then thou shalt be willing with ioy to suffer. So there is another condition requisite in suffering; we must not onely be content to suffer for a good cause, but wee must be Note. willing and ioyfully willing: Otherwise the good cause will not make thee a Martyr. Thou must haue ioy and patience, and willingnes, glorifying God. Looke how the Martyrs suf­fered, and follow them; and then thou shalt dye like a Martyr, and blessed shalt thou be. The Lord prepare vs for it, that we may passe from this miserie to ioy, through the Lord Iesus. To whom be praise and honour for euer,

Amen.

THE TENTH LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 24. 25.

24 Now reioyce I in my suffrings for you, and fulfill the rest of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his body sake which is the Church,

25 Wherof I am a minister, according to the dispensation of God, which is giuen me vnto you ward, to fulfill the word of God.

YOu heard the last day (beloued brethren) how the A­postle hauing ended his doctrine, he comes to his exhortation, and exhorts the Colossians to perseuer [Page 98] in the faith of Iesus Christ. Secondly, he exhorts them to per­scuere in hope: The argument he vseth, is from that benefit of their reconciliation with God. Now (saith he) ye are reconciled, and hee hath reconciled you, but with this condition and re­straint; if so be that you abide in the faith grounded and sta­blished, and be not moued from the hope of the Gospell. Then they might haue said: what Gospell meanes thou of? is it that gospell that Epaphras hath taught, countest thou so much of it? This he meetes with, and saith, yea, I meane of that same gos­pell that you haue heard of that man Epaphras. Then he falles out into a cōmendation of that gospell of his. And the first ar­gument is taken from this, That it is no other gospel but that, Coherence. that hath been preached to euery creature. The second argu­ment is, hee hath preached nought at all, but that that I haue preached. Then they might haue said; what haue wee to doe with thee? we see nought of thee, but a man in bands at Rome. The Apostle answeres: Now (saith he) I reioyce in my afflictions for you. Well, it is true, I am afflicted: but vnderstand this, that my affliction is for you; it appertaines to you, to esteeme of my affliction. I reioyce that I am afflicted for the Gentiles, because I am appointed their Apostle. You are a part of the Gentiles: therefore in that that I suffer, it is for your cause, that the Gospell of Iesus Christ may haue place amongst you, as among the other Gentiles.

The second argument: In the middest of my afflictions I The se­cond argu­ment. The vse of affliction. reioyce, to testifie my loue towards you: for except I had lo­ued you, I would not haue suffered with ioy for you. Brethren, of those that suffer affliction, 1 first it is required that it be for a good cause, for Gods cause, for his truth, and for his Church sake. Suffer not like a theefe or a murtherer, as an harlot or an euill doer in any wise. Alas it is a paine, yea of all paines in the world the greatest, to suffer for euill doing.

2 Secondly, it is required of him that suffers, that he suffer for a good cause, with ioy, cheerefully, and with patience: other­wise thou losest thy trauell and praise, suffer as thou wilt. It is not the good cause onely that makes martyrdome; but it is Martyr­dome. the ioy, cheerfulnes, and patience ioyned with the good cause, that makes thee in suffering to be a Martyr. It is hard to flesh [Page 99] to digest this: how can there be ioy in the paines of most ex­quisite torments? Brethren, Paul at this time is lying in bands at Rome, and yet ye see he vtters that in his bands he hath ioy: and no question when he came to the very point of death (for 2. Tim. 4. 6. 7. 8. he was martyred) he had great ioy. And certainly, I am com­pelled to think that there is more shrinking and sadnes at the remembrance of the affliction to come, then there is in the More grief in the re­membrāce of afflictiō, then in suf­fering it when it comes. chiefe time of affliction. The minde will be more troubled thinking on it, then when the person is afflicted. For out of question, whē the Lord giues a man cōstancie to suffer, he will giue him patience & ioy, which shall swallow vp all the paine: and the experience of Martyrs hath proued this. Stir not, how­beit thou shrinke at hanging, heading, scalding, burning and whatsoeuer paines most cruell & exquisit deuised for thee: yet stir not, for if the Lord giue thee constancie, all the paines shal be swallowed vp, and thou shalt be armed to suffer with ioy.

To goe forward. The third argument, whereby he remoues the offence, they might haue taken at his bands, is this: I (saith he) fulfill the rest of the afflictions of Christ Iesus: as if hee would The third argument. say, mine afflictions are not so much mine, as they are my Lords afflictions: how can ye then be offended at them? You cannot chuse if you bee offended at my afflictions, but you must be offended at Christs afflictions, because my affliction is nothing else but the afflictions of Christ, and the fulfilling of them. Then all these afflictions that are laid vpon the mem­bers of the bodie of Christ, they are all Christs afflictions: and when they are afflicted Christ is afflicted. And the Lord counts it his owne persecutions, when the members of his bo­die, Christ must suffer in his members. which is his Church, are persecuted. Saul, Saul (saith hee) Acts 9. 4. why persecutest thou me? He speakes this to Paul, when he was not persecuting him, but his members. This he calles his persecution? for it was ordained from all eternitie, that the Lord Iesus, who is the head of the Church, should not onely suffer in his owne flesh; but also that hee should suffer in the members of his bodie, which is his Church. So that none of that bodie should be free from suffering, no not from the grea­test to the least; yea euen to the little finger, all should suffer; and the measure hereof was measured, and ordained in that [Page 100] counsell from all eternitie. Sufferest thou much or little? It was measured to thee ere euer the world was. It was not ap­pointed that euery particular person should suffer al, and eue­ry sort of affliction: no, no; but as the head should suffer one kinde of affliction proper to himselfe; so the rest in the bodie should suffer, some in one sort and measure, and some in ano­ther. All shall suffer one thing or other: prepare thee for it; and it is a token that thou art in that bodie, if thou suffer something for Christ.

But to sticke to the words; he calles them not simply the sufferings of Christ, but the fulfilling or accomplishment of the afflictions of Christ: I (saith he) fulfill the rest of the afflictions of Christ. Marke the word well. Euen as the Church of Iesus Christ is the accomplishment and fulfilling of him, to make him a perfect man; so it is called Ephe. 1. the last verse: Euen so the afflictions that the Church and her members suffer, they accomplish and fulfill the sufferings of Christ. And as the glorie of the head Christ is fulfilled and accomplished in suf­fering: euen so the sufferings of his members they accomplish and fulfill the glorie of Christ. Wherein wee haue to marke a loue that Christ beares to vs, that cannot bee spoken of. The Lord Iesus is perfect in himselfe, and he needeth vs not; no, he hath no neede of me, of thee, nor of no flesh to make him per­fiter, The loue of Christ. then he is alreadie in himselfe. He is full, and he fils all in all: yet such is his loue to me, and thee, and to the whole body, that he cannot thinke that he is perfect till he haue thee ioy­ned with him: yea the least member of his Church, hee will haue to be ioyned with him; or els hee counts that his glorie and sufferings are not fulfilled. So his afflictions are perfect, and hee needes not thee to fulfill any part thereof; yet such is his loue that hee will not haue his afflictions perfect without thee. He will haue thee made like to himselfe in affliction: howbeit, his glorie be perfect now at the right hand of the fa­ther; yet he cannot thinke that he gets the perfection thereof, till he get all his members glorified with him in heauen. This is his loue. Rom. 8.

Now let vs see how we account of this. We count it a benefit and a grace to be ioyned with him, to be the members of his [Page 101] bodie, and to be glorified with him; but when it comes to the What a great bene­fit it is to suffer affli­ctions. sufferings, there is the shrinking, there is none that can accord or be content to be like him in sufferings; but they will flye backe, there we faile; and we cannot thinke that it is a benefit to suffer, but rather that it is a curse. So ere thou count it a be­nefit to suffer, thou must haue more then flesh and bloud; thou must haue the spirit of Iesus. It is not onely a benefit to beleeue, but also to suffer, Philip. 1. 29. And Philip. 3. 10. Paul counts it a blessing to suffer, calling it the communion or fellow­ship of his affliction. There he counts it blessednes to suffer with Christ. Looke not to raigne with him, except in some measure thou be a companion with him in suffring. Yet to sticke vpon the words. The word in the owne language is not simply to fulfill, but to fulfill course about; as he would say, my head hath gotten his course; now comes in my course in suffring. So the word affoordeth a good lesson & true, all these afflictions go by courses: al men and women are not afflicted at once; but Afflictions in the Saints goe by course. euery man hath his turne, euery man his course about. Christ begun, and hee is afflicted first. The Apostles are looking to him, their course was not come; but soone after came their course. Others stood looking to them, but soone after their owne course came also. Brethren, we are but lookers on now; we look to France, and to men suffring for this Gospell: & we are looking to Italy, and Spaine: for our time is not come yet. The Lord hath seene that we are not yet ripe; as soone as thou art ripe, hee will plucke thee like a ripe apple. Prepare thee, prepare thee, O Scotland, for thou shalt finde one day thy part of the suffrings of Christ: thy course is approching. He saith not simply, he fulfilled the afflictions of Christ his course about, but that in his course he fulfilled the rest of the afflictions of Christ. The words import the reliques and hinder part, or the residue of the afflictions of Christ. So all the suffrings of Paul and the rest of the elect, were but as small reliques, and remnants of Christs suffrings. What we suffer, yea if it were but in the little finger, we thinke it great; but if thou wert pained in all thy bodie and soule, that is but a remnant of the afflictions of Christ. And where this remnant is, there the bodie is: but the greater part, the heape and multitude went before. Who suffe­red [Page 102] the former part? who was he that suffered the multitude, if Paul suffered the hinder part? who but the head Iesus Christ? The heape of afflictions was heaped on him. The dint lighted vpon him. The waue or billow of Gods wrath tumbling down from heauen, lighted vpon the head Iesus Christ. All that wee suffer are but flashes breaking off from that waue and billow that lighted vpon Christ. So that if you will compare the affli­ctions of the Church to the end of the world, all is nothing in comparison of that that Christ suffered. Therefore compare thy selfe neuer with him in affliction, but when thou seest thy selfe afflicted, then consider what Christ hath suffered. When thou seest a little thing so bitter, then consider what bitternes was in the whole suffrings of Christ. He drank out the full cup of bitternes of Gods wrath; but thou onely tasts it, to teach thee to count what he hath suffered for thy redemption.

Now in the rest of this verse, he sets downe the cause where­fore he suffered. No man suffers for nothing; as the head Iesus Christ did not suffer for nothing, so neuer a member of his suf­fers in vaine. For whose cause then suffered Paul or Christ in him? for the bodie. What a bodie? The bodie which is his Church. All these afflictions (saith he) that Iesus Christ suffers in me, are all for the bodie of Christ. Well, there haue been many suffrings for this bodie. The Lord Iesus suffered the ex­tremitie for this bodie: Paul and al the Martyrs suffred for this bodie; but there is a great difference betweene the suffrings of the head and of the members. The head suffered for the re­demption The diffe­rence be­tweene the suffrings of Christ, and of his mē ­bers. of the bodie, which was in hell vnto the time that heredeemed it out of hell: Paul, Peter, this Martyr, that Mar­tyr, they suffered not for the redemption; their bloud could not be the price of redemption; all the bloud in Paul and Pe­ters bodie cannot furnish out a farthing of redemption; but onely the bloud of that immaculate lambe is the price, and only the price of our redemption, in despight of all the Papists in the world: onely the bloud of God makes out that redemp­tion. These base bodies they haue dreamed a dreame of Indul­gences and pardons, and say, that the people will be safe with Popish par­dons. the Pope that lownes pardons: he shall not get pardon himselfe. What are these Pardons and Indulgences, which these vaine [Page 103] heads haue found out to deceiue the sillie people with? The Pope hee calles it the remission of sinnes, by the bloud of the Martyrs, this Saint, and that Saint. O vaine lowne! is a pardon a remission of sinnes by the bloud of Peter, and Paul, this Mar­tyr or yt Martyr? What a vanitie is this, that they think that a man should not be content with the bloud of Iesus onely, and esteeme it sufficient? but they must seeke to their workes; and where they faile in this, they must seeke to the merits of the Martyrs, setting this with the rest of their works. And this me­rit of the Martyrs, he calles the Treasurie: he will send out this his vanitie, and this his doctrine through the world. Woe to thee Scotland if euer this come among thee. And againe I see here plainly, that there can come nothing to the church with­out suffering. As for her redemption, which is the remission of sinnes, it is not without the bloud of the Lambe, the bloud of God: that is a great matter, except this bloud of God had bin shed, thou shouldest neuer haue been redeemed out of hell. But this is a strange matter: when thou art redeemed by this bloud, when thy righteousnes is bought; yet thou canst not get it without suffring: and it cannot be ministred to thee, ex­cept the minister of it die. Paul it behooued to die, & it Peter behooued to dye, and all for the saluation of the bodie. The diuell hath such an enuie to the saluation of man (would to God thou knew it) that there is none that would preach to thee of this saluation, but he wil stand vp and seek the slaugh­ter of that man. So that this that wee call the Church (which now is come in contempt, the name of the Saints is scorned at) this Church is a precious iewell, the spouse of Iesus Christ: be what she will be in her selfe; yet the bridegroome counts much of her: otherwise, there would neuer haue been so much bloud shed for her. Christ had notsuffered; Peter & Paul had not suffred, if thou hadst not bin precious in the eye of Christ. Darest thou then offer to destroy that that Christ hath dyed for? How darest thou thou dog offer it? He is called an Earle, and a Lord, and a King, and an Emperour, and what will hee doe? He will oppresse the professors of the Gospell of Iesus; he will burne, and scald the members of the bodie: but if thou knew what Christ is, and what a member of his Church [Page 104] meanes, thou wouldest hold vp thy hand. But there are many false Christians worse then Pagans, and in seueritie and cruel­tie against Christ and his Church more fierce and malicious, and more exquisit tormentors of Christ in his members, then Popish per­secution. euer a Pagan or a Turke would be. The truth of this is euident in the example of the Martyrs, who finde none more malicious against Christs Church then these, who would bee counted Christians. Well, Pagans and Turkes shall finde greater case and lesse iudgement at the comming of the Lord Iesus, then false Christians. O their paines shall be vnspeakable!

To goe forward: in the next verse hee sets downe another cause wherefore hee suffered. Of the which Church (saith he) I am made a minister: as if hee would say, I fill out the rest of the afflictions of Christ in my bodie, because I am bound and ob­liged thereto: I am made a minister to it; there is the meaning. Marke the words, I am made. He saith not, I was borne a mini­ster: nay, no man is borne a minister, howbeit, euery man thinkes he may be a minister out of hand. I am made a minister would he say of a very crooked wood, as he testifies of himself, 1. Tim. 1. 12. 13. He placed me in his ministerie when I was a blas­phemer; and a persecutor. Looke what stuffe I had, and whereof I consisted before I was made a minister: And if this was good stuffe, and a way to make a minister of me, iudge ye. I was of al sinners the first in persecuting Christ and his members, and blaspheming of him. But (saith he) God had pitie on me. Euen this Christ whom before I blasphemed and persecuted, hee shewed mercie, and put me in his ministerie. The Lord can make a minister of a blasphemer. I am made a minister, that is, a seruant to serue the Church, to stand and fill the cup, and cary it to the Church. Peter and Paul were none other, 1. Cor. 3. 22. 23. All is yours (saith he) whether it be Paul, or Apollo or Ce­phas: ye are our masters, and we are your seruants, and ye are Christs. So he is but a seruant to the Church, and not a Lord ouer it. It followes that Paul when he suffered, hee suffered not The suffe­rings of the Apostles and Mar­tyrs were not for the redemption of man. as a Lord of the bodie, but as a seruant: neuer any suffered as a Lord but Christ onely, Paul and Peter and the rest suffered as seruants. Ye see a faithfull seruant will die for his master; so the Apostle suffered for his master, the Church: what were the [Page 105] Apostles but the friends of the Bridegroome? Of this it fol­lowes, that Pauls suffrings was not for the redemption of man: no, but for his ministerie and dispensation of the grace com­mitted to him. It is a lye to say hee suffered for the redemption of man; so it was neuer for the redemption and remission of sins to any, yt Paul or any of the Apostles suffered. For no man, Christ Iesus excepted, was able to abide a lot of yt suffring for redemption: no not all the men and Angels in heauen and earth were not, nor are not able to abide one assault of that suffring. That fierce wrath shuld haue so seazed vpon thē, that it should haue consumed and destroyed them. He must bee an excellent personage, God and man in one person, as Christ was, that will beare out that suffring: otherwise hee shall not be able to abide one point of it. Well, not to passe by this, I see a Minister is bound to dye for the Church. Wilt thou be a Mi­nister? The Mini­ster is boūd to dye for the Church if neede so require. prepare thee to dye for the Church: otherwise thou art but an hireling, a false deceitfull seruant. So art thou made a Minister? thou art made a seruant to the Queene the Church: she is greater then any Princesse in the earth. Count thou of a Minister as thou wilt: the faithfull Minister is in greater glory & honor, then al the seruants of Kings & Princes in the world: yea he shall be preferd to the great Monarches of the world themselues. Call ye them vaine fellowes? They are the Lords stewards; the King of kings Chambermen and Counsellors.

But to speake to the Ministerie. Art thou called to be a Mi­nister? thou must prepare thee for suffering: yea there is no calling in the Church of Iesus Christ, which is not to suffering. Thou maist bee called to a politicall gouernment, yet not to suffering; but to take thy pastime and to be in honour: but if thou be called to be a member to Christ, thou art called to suf­fer, as it were a sheepe to the shambles. Set not thy head with­in this fold, except thou think thou must suffer. Peter saith, We are called, yea appointed to suffer, 1. Pet. 2. 21. Then when thou art clapt on the shoulder to be burned, hanged, headed; yea, and the skinne to be flaied off thee, goe to it cheerefully; for thou art bound thereto. Well, if euery common Christian be thus waies bound; how is a Minister bound? I say, the more degrees thou gettest of Christ, the greater preferment thou [Page 106] hast in Christs Church; the more art thou obliged to die for Christ, and his members. Hee is a vaine man, that thinkes, when he is a minister, that he is preferd to ease, to greater plea­sure The Mini­sterie no place of ease, but of labour. then the people: no, no. Is thine honour double? first a Christian, and then a Minister to serue the Lord Iesus? Thou art bound doublie to suffer, and to vndergoe the greater crosse for his sake and the Church. I say, if thou couldest be slaine a thousand times, thou art bound to suffer more then a common Christian. And if gladly thou be content to suffer, thou gettest double honour, first as a Christian; and then as a Minister; and thirdly as a Martyr. Many haue been Ministers, but few haue gotten this honor that the Apostles got, Acts 5. 41. when they were persecuted, they departed with such ioy, with a song that they were thought worthy to suffer for Christ. I speake this to make vs ready to suffer, & that with ioy. It is no ignominie or shame to thee to suffer, if it were the most vile death for Christs sake, and thy Creator sake. Immediatly after that thou shalt suffer, thou shalt be translated from paine and miserie, to euerla­sting ioy: yea and in the chiefe time of thy suffring, thou shalt Ioy vnder the crosse. finde exceeding great ioy, as the holy Apostles and Martyrs found.

When he hath spoken of his Ministerie, he fals out into a de­scription of it, and that to this end, that we may see the worthi­nes of this Gospell: First he calles it a dispensation and steward­ship: then there must be a familie; if he be a steward it must be a great calling. Ye thinke, to be the master of the Kings house­hold, is a great office; but to be a Minister, a steward in the house of the King of kings, and the master of his household, of Ministe­rie what a high cal­ling. all offices of honour it is the greatest; and he surpasseth all the honour of office-bearers in the world: and he shall haue the fulnes of his honour in heauen, and he were a foole to seeke for it here. Secondly, would yee know of whom he hath this dis­pensation? Of whom; but of the Lord of the familie? Who dares make a steward, but the Lord of the house? Euen so who dare make a steward in Christs house, but Christ himselfe? So that he that hath not his calling of God, of Iesus Christ, he is but a hireling and worthie to be hanged. Then let euery one haue this warrant in his conscience, that he is called by Christ, [Page 107] either ordinarily conformed to the rule of the Word and dis­cipline of the Church of Christ; or els extraordinarily, as were the Prophets and Apostles.

Now what foode is this that hee ministers? It is called the word of God. Vaine man thinkes it is but words that hee mini­sters (as many say this day that a Minister, what doth he for his liuing? but goes vp to the pulpit, and speakes a few words:) but I say to thee, they are such words that if thou be not fedde with them, thou shalt dye and that euerlastingly, though thou wert a King. A man (saith Christ) liues not by bread onely, but by euery word that proceedes out of the mouth of God, Matth. 4. 4. But who thinks that the words of a Minister be the words of God? I say to thee, esteeme the words of a Minister as thou wilt, if he speake the word of God (as I am perswaded all true Ministers doe) if thou take it not as the word of Gods mouth, thou shalt die like a miscreant and wretch: for he that heares you (saith Christ) heares me, and he that contemnes you, contemnes me, Luk. 10. 16. Look to that part of the Epistle to the Hebrues, where it is spoken of the iudgement that lighted on them that con­temned Moses and his testimonie, Heb. 10. 28. and you shall finde it not a light matter, to contemne the messenger and Ambassadour of Christ, euen the voyce of a sillie Minister. Then he sheweth the manner how he receiued it: he saith, it was giuen him: he merited it not. No, not one of them, notwith­standing all their graces, merited such a glorious calling as the Ministerie: not a man can merit ought in his house. But the Apostles they are called to the Apostleship onely of the free grace and loue of God; and in such sort all the faithfull preachers of the word, none of them were euer called to the Ministerie, because either of their Nobilitie (as there is few of that sort) or for their gifts of cunning and vtterance, or any such like thing; but onely of the free grace of Iesus Christ, and his spirit that called them, they were elected and put apart to the Ministerie and the worke thereof: therefore it is a free gift. 1. Tim. 1. 12. Paul confesseth the same of himselfe, I thanke God (saith he) that he found me faithfull, and placed me in his mini­sterie or seruice: O the thanks which he giues for so free a grace! I say thou art called to a Ministerie, wherein if thou respect [Page 108] him that calles thee, and the office that thou art called to (for what art thou? vnworthy of the smallest roome in his Church) thou art neuer able to thanke him enough for it all the daies thou liuest. Well, to whom got he this Ministerie? got he it to himselfe, to put his hand euer in the Ambrie to feede himselfe? The Mini­sters of Christ feed not them­selues only. No, no, he is a hireling worthie to be hanged like a theefe, that respects himselfe onely, being not carefull to feede the familie of Iesus Christ. So then he gets not this office of Ministerie for himselfe; no, no, thou that art a Minister gettest not this gift, that thou shouldest take it and locke it vp in thy chest; but thou gettest it, to giue it to others: and I say to thee, by distri­buting it, it shall not be impaired; yea the more thou distri­butest, the more thou shalt haue. The goods of this Ministerie are not like the gifts of these earthly stewards, as they them­selues in office are not alike. The more these earthly stewards giue, the lesse is behinde: but the more the Minister giues of Faithful­nes and di­ligence in the worke of the Mi­nisterie how gain­full. the grace of God giuen to him, the more hath he: for it growes exceedingly.

Lastly, the end of this stewardship is set downe, to fulfill the word of God. He is a Minister of the word: To what end? To fulfill the word of God, not onely to fill the familie, and euery person, man and woman; but that they may leaue behind to fulfill the word, to amplifie the food it selfe. Marke it well, for the more he giues out, the more it growes; the more the word is ministred, the more it is increased; and the growth of the word is by the ministration of it. Who doth not finde this that euer God hath called to that office, but that the more that hee hath giuen of it out, the more it grew, the more was behinde? Therefore let him neuer goe out of the pantrie: stand euer at the doore, and be euer giuing out; and so it shall swell and grow: and thou who receiuest it, shall grow to thy saluation, and to the glorie of God whose foode it is. To this God be all honor and glory,

Amen.

THE ELEVENTH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 26. 27.

26 Which is the mysterie hid since the world began, and from all ages; but now is made manifest to his Saints,

27 To whom God would make knowne what is the riches of his glorious mysterie among the Gentiles, which riches is Christ in you the hope of glorie.

WE heard (brethren) that the Apostle when he had en­tred into the exhortation which he subioyneth vn­to this doctrine, exhorting the Colossians to perse­uere and to abide in faith and hope: immediatly he falles out againe into a speech concerning his owne person. And first he remoues the offence and slanders that might haue been taken at his bands and suffrings, which he suffered at that present in Rome. Then he fals out into a recommendation of his Mini­sterie, calling it a dispensation or stewardship in the familie of God; which was giuen to him as a free gift without deseruing; yea and contrarie to his deseruing, giuen to him by God the Coherence and summe of the for­mer Sermō, Lord and master of the familie: and giuen to him, not that he should keepe it to himselfe, and not communicate it to others; but giuen to him to dispense it to the Gentiles, and amongst the rest to the Colossians, who were a part of the Gentiles. To this end, that that word of God giuen to him to dispense, it should be filled out and accomplished: for euer the more, that [Page 110] men receiue that word, it growes the greater, and the more it increaseth continually. It is not ordained to bee hid vp and smothered, but to be giuen out.

Now to come to the text, and to goe through it briefly. When he hath spoken of this word which he hath receiued to dispense, he leaues it not, but stickes on it; and immediatly he termes it a mysterie. A mysterie, to speake of it briefly, it signifies a thing hid from the eyes of men; so that it cannot be seene, so A myste­rie. long as it is hid: especially it signifies a holy thing concerning religion, and the worship of God, that is the proper significa­tion of a mysterie: and in this place Paul takes it so, as he doth 1. Tim. 3. 16. where he saith, Great is the mysterie of godlines, that is, not the mysterie of euery religion, but of the true religion, which hath been hid from the beginning; and now is manife­sted among his Saints. Then marke briefly. You see this word of God it is a mysterie, a thing hid, and so kept close, that the naturall man could neuer so much as haue a thought in his 1. Cor. [...], 14. minde of it, or once to thinke that there was such a thing in the world, as this Gospell that we preach to you this day: that the naturall soule could not doe so much as once suspect; that there was a Sauiour. It is a folly to thinke that the knowledge of Christ is naturall; nay, by nature thou wouldest neuer haue once dreamed that there hath been such a thing. If God had let Adam alone after his fall, he would not haue euer once so much as dreamed of redemption; or that there was a Christ or a Sauiour: and therefore this Gospell, it must be precious, that was kept so close. If a man get a precious iewell, hee will keepe it close, and will not let it see Sunne nor winde: The Gospell, of all iewels in the world, it is the most precious; and it hath been kept secret and close this long time: yea men knew not what it meant, til the Lord Iesus Christ the wisedom of the father reuealed it, and opened it to the world, and to his Disciples: and therefore it being so precious (if we had eyes to see and hearts to consider) O how highly would wee esteeme of it! yea, euen thou that now lookes so lightly to it! but alas the world perisheth for fault of sight and consideration.

But to leaue this, and to goe to the next point. In the words following, he defineth the time of the hiding of it; he saith, Hid [Page 111] since the world began, that is, from all eternitie. Secondly, it was hid from all generations of men. The first word meanes, that be­fore or euer this world was made, it was hid in God, Ephe. 3. 9. The second word meanes, that after this world was created, it was hid from so many generations, euen till Iesus Christ was manifested in the flesh, and then it was reuealed. Then marke this. This word is an ancient thing, a thing before all things. It The anti­quitie of the word. came not this day or yesterday; but it was before the world was: and looke how old God himselfe is, the Gospell is as old, hid in that secret counsell from all eternitie. And if you com­pare it with the world it selfe, before this world was made it was hid, and consequently it was in rerum natura. Then bre­thren, if antiquitie, if age will recommend a thing; let eternitie recommend the Gospell. It had not a beginning no more then God (in whose breast it lay) hath a beginning: and it is the same Gospell we preach to you this day. Let them call it a new Gospell. O vaine men! this Gospell is the same Gospell that was hid from the beginning. Then marke againe. I see here this world hath lien long in darknes after the creation, and hath wanted the light for a long time. For brethren, I neuer counted of the light of the Sun, when the light of Iesus Christ is lacking. Woe is thee! better it were thou hadst neuer been borne nor seene this light of the Sunne that shines in the fir­mament, The light of Christs Gospel how precious. if thou haue not seene the light that is in the Gospell of Iesus Christ. All light in comparison of that light is meere darknes. So then, this world hath been long without the light of the Gospell, and it hath been a long night euen from Adam to Christ; in a manner there hath neuer any thing been al that time but darknes, and night. As for the Gentiles, they saw ne­uer one glimse, but dyed in miserable darknes; they were led blindfold to death and damnation. As for the Iewes their case was better; yet their light was but a glimmering; they had 2. Pet. 1. 19. not the light of the Sunne. The greatest they had, it was but the light of a lantorne, that is, the light of the Prophets. O then, this behooued to follow, that in the old world before Christ came, many dyed in miserable darknes! for without light and life in Iesus, there is nothing but death. Remoue thy light, thy life is remoued: remoue the Gospell, thou dyest and perishest [Page 112] incontinently. And therefore Paul Rom. 5. 21. speaking of this estate from Adam to Christ, he saith, Sinne raigned vnto death: where the light of Christ is not, there is nothing but the raign­ing of sinne to death and damnation. Well then, this tels vs how we should esteeme of the Gospell: Alas, if thou wist what miserie they were in that wanted this Gospel, then thou woul­dest account all thy blessing to be in the hauing of it.

To goe forward: When he hath shewed how long it was kept close; then he shewes when it was reuealed and brought to light. Now (saith he) it is reuealed to his Saints. (Now) that is, in the fulnes of time, as it is said in the Epistle to the Gala­thians chap. 4. 4. and Ephe. 1. 10. In the dispensation of the fulnes of time, that is, whē Christ was comen into the world, that was brought to light. Yet this word (now) reacheth further, euen to the whole time that the Gospell is preached, and shines in the world. And it is that, that in Heb. 3. 7. is called the day, saying, while it is day, harden not your hearts: and in 2. Cor. 6. 2. it is cal­led that acceptable time. Then here I see, the world since Christ came into the world (as we say) is the blessedest come that euer came. It hath bin a lightsome world, and I see the Sunne hath euer shined, and that there hath neuer been night, but euer day: no, no interchaunge nor coursing about; but where Christs Gospell is, there is euer day. Therefore it must follow that since Christ came, there haue bin many saued. They died and perished in multitudes before his comming; but after his comming when that light and that Sunne of righteousnes rose vp: looke as in huge heapes before they perished; so now mil­lions and great numbers are saued. And whereas before it was but now one, and then one that preased into the kingdome of heauen: now they come in multitudes striuing and thrung­ing who should first enter into heauen, Matth. 11. 12. For it is impossible that this light should be without life. If thou take a pleasure in the light, it is not possible that thou canst dye: but if thou take no pleasure in it, woe be to thee, a double death The cal­ling of the Gentiles. shall befall thee. Woe is to that man, who dyes in the light of the Gospell, without taking pleasure in the same. Well it had been to thee that thou hadst dyed in darknes with the Gen­tiles: for thy damnation shall be doubled. Take therefore a [Page 113] pleasure in it, and all the world shall not make thee to perish: and that is that which Paul saith; Sin raigned to death, but grace raignes by righteousnes vnto life through the Lord Iesus, Rom. 5. vers. 21. But looke to the last words of the verse. Vnto whom is the manifestation of the Gospell made? Not to euerie one; beguile not your selues; for the Lord will not vouchsafe to manifest himselfe, and grace in him to euery man: but hee calles them his Saints, to whom chiefly hee manifests him­selfe. Looke your books, ye that scorne at the name of Saints: if thou be nota Saint, thou shalt neuer see heauen: then this If thou be not a Saint thou shalt neuer see heauen. manifestation is not made to euery man. It is true (brethren) it is preached to all, and all heare it, & it strikes in euery ones eares: yet it is also true, all men see not. It is to many as the light of the Sunne is to a blinde man; and the great multitude Simile. gets no more good of it, then a blind man gets consolation of the Sunne. Who is it then that sees it? None but the sanctified one: that is, none but they that are sanctified by the holy Spi­rit. Nay, no spirit, no sanctification; no sanctification, no sight of God: and so thou art no Saint, but the diuell possesseth thee. So none sees what this Gospell is, but the sanctified ones, and that man is he that hath gotten the spirit of Iesus to open the eye of his soule: for it is the spirit of God that opens the soule, to see what the Gospell of Christ is, and what vertue comes with it, when it comes. If thou hadst the quickest spirit that can be, if thou haue not the spirit of God, thou shalt not see one whit in God, because as it is the spirit of man, that sear­cheth the spirit of man; so it is the spirit of God that searcheth all things, yea the most secret things of God, 1. Cor. 2. 10. So none sees what the Gospell is, and what it brings with it, but such as are illuminated by the spirit of God. Heare as long as thou wilt, thou shalt a bide in blindnes, till thou come to a desperate hardnes of heart, if thou be not enlightened with the spirit of Iesus, & this is to be had in and by the Gospell. Therefore bre­thren say euer, Lord make me a Saint, make me one of that num­ber, and make me to crie for the spirit of Iesus to sanctifie and Luk. 11. 9. 10. 15. enlighten me: for otherwise thou shalt perish for want of the light of God.

Now to come to the next verse, when he hath spoken of the [Page 114] Saints, he insists vpon the reuelation of the mysterie made vn­to them, and hee sets it out in sundrie circumstances. First hee sheweth, who is ye Reuealer, to wit, God. Secondly, what cause moued him to make this reuelation to the Saints, to wit, his The reue­lation or manifesta­tion of the Gospell. good pleasure towards them. Thirdly, what thing is reuealed, to wit, this mysterie. And he termes it not simply a mysterie, but he calles it, the riches of his glorious mysterie, and not that onely, but the mysterie of Christ. Fourthly, among whom is it reuea­led? to wit, not among the Iewes onely, but among the Gen­tiles also, through the world. All tends to this, to let vs see the glorie of the grace of God: as it is said Ephe. 1. 6. So that this Gospell is shining bright, and aboundantly, in such a wonder­full great mercie, that there is not a circumstance, but it lets you see a wonderfull grace in God.

To come then to the first. The reuealer of this mysterie, is no other but God. He was the author of the reuelation of this The first circum­stance. mysterie of the Gospell. The Saints, they begun not to see first, but God first reuealed before they saw, or could see: yea they had neuer seene one glimse with their eye, if God had not be­gun to reueale it: no, thou shalt neuer see any heauenly or spi­rituall Flesh and bloud can not teach vs spiritu­all things. thing, vnto the time it please the Lord to reueale it vn­to thee. Then in that hee is the beginner of grace, herein ap­peares the more the glorie of his grace, and the matter of prai­sing of him: but it staies not here. We will come then to the next.

What moued him to reueale this mysterie to his Saints, both of Iewes and Gentiles? The Lord doth nothing rashly, he hath The second circum­stance. euer good causes mouing him, wherefore he doth this or that. He is not like a vaine man, that doth, and vndoeth again; and wots not what hee doth. Saw hee any thing in these Saints to moue him? Some Papist will say, hee foresaw some merit in them. O but the text saith, that there was no such thing at all without himselfe which could moue him: hee saw nothing I Nothing in the world did moue God to send Christ and his Gospell vn­to vs, but his owne loue and good plea­sure. say in the same, or yet in the world, which could moue him, but his owne goodnes. His good pleasure, which was ere euer they were Saints, is it that moued him to reueale this mysterie. Then againe, they were not Saints before the reuelation was made. There is not a Saint before Christ be reuealed to them. [Page 115] It is the sight of Christ that makes a man holy; so there was ne­uer none holy, but he that first gat that sight of Iesus: the sight went before holines, and holines followed vpon the reuela­tion: because holines is the effect of the reuelation of the Gospell. Then ye see, that as the Lord is the beginner of the re­uelation, so it is not our deseruing, but his owne good plea­sure that moues him thereto. The Lord of his good pleasure shewed himselfe to the world; and no question this is spoken, that thou shouldest euer glorie in God. Alas, would to God as we haue matter to glorifie God, that we could answere to the thousand part of it.

Then to come to the third circumstance. What is the thing The third circum­stance. that he hath reuealed? He calles it a mysterie, and not barely a mysterie, but a glorious mysterie; and not that onely, but he cals it the riches, that is, the infinitnes of the glorie of this mysterie. Then ye haue a glorious mysterie, and a rich mysterie of glo­rie; a plentie of glorie, such as neuer was. I remember in the Ephesians 1. 18. Paul speaking of that inheritance, he calles it not barely a heritage, but the glorie of his inheritance: and not that only, but his inheritance glorious among the Saints. This let vs see first, that all the graces wee haue in Christ, are good in substance; they are profitable: and not that onely, but also it The riches of Christ. lets vs see the gloriousnes of them in qualitie: and not that on­ly, but also it lets vs see the infinitnes of them in quantitie. So, what would you haue in Christ? In him thou hast good things; in him thou hast glorious things; in him thou hast infinite things: infinite in length, breadth, and heighth; infinite in deepnes, incomprehensible euery manner of way. So in Christ, all things glorious, and neuer a thing we haue in Christ, but it is a thing of infinite weight: yea the least thou hast, it is of in­finite weight. All these earthly things, in comparison of these, are of no value: the least bit of thy regeneration is worth them all; so the grace of Christ is incomparable. Howbeit the A­postle borroweth the speeches to expresse the same in some manner: yet the grace of Christ is vnspeakable. O if we could take some apprehension in heart, and but once thinke of it! no, the heart is not capable of it, no more then the tongue can expresse it. And in the day of the Lord we shall see these things [Page 116] to be verified; and happie shal we be if we can striue to know these things of Christ, and striue to haue them in vs in some measure. All our strife should be to prease forward, to take e­uer a further and further apprehension of these gifts of Christ in our hearts: then next, to speake of them with a full perswa­sion. Alas, our speech is but a tastelesse word, which testifies How we should speake of Christ. that thou wotst not what the grace of Christ meanes. When wilt thou learne to call it a glorious Gospell? Yet brethren, marke this Gospell: for as sillie as it seemes to you, it is a rich thing, it is the riches of God. Wouldest thou bee rich? Seeke the Gospell. Wouldest thou be wise? Seeke the Gospell. For if thou hadst all the riches vnder the Sunne, if thou want Christ thou art a poore wretch. And if thou hadst al the glorie in the world, if thou want Christ, thou art an ignominious bodie, full of shame. If thou want the Gospell, thou hast no wit; thou art a foole, if thou wert neuer so fine a Mathematician, a Phisi­tian, and a Lawyer. O foole! if thou hast not the reuelation of Christ, thou hast a foolish head; and thou shalt be shut vp in hell as a foole. So brethren, there is nothing to make choise of besides this Gospell, and one day it shall proue so. And one day you shall see it either to your shame, or to your glorie.

Now to goe forward. Among whom is this so glorious and so rich a Gospell reuealed? He saith, among you who are Gen­tiles. Not among the Iewes and their nation onely: for bre­thren, so great a light craueth greater bounds: who will goe draw in the Sunne into a house to make a house the seate of it, and make it as it were a candle shining in the house? O this passing light of the Gospell, it must not bee drawne into one nation onely! but this light that would illuminate a thou­sand worlds, it must be set vp on high to shine on all the na­tions in the world. And therefore hee saith, it is manifested a­mong the nations, and so it is extended to this sillie vnworthy nation of Scotland. O Scotland! thy onely light is the Gos­pell; and thy onely glorie is the glorie of the Gospell; and shame and darknes shall come to thee, if euer thou let this glorious light of the Gospell depart. And I say to thee, let this glorious Gospell slip, and then of all the iudgements that euer came vpon a nation or countrey, the most fearefull and [Page 117] terrible shall light on thee. And therefore as euer thou wilt haue life, and the ioyes of heauen, striue euer to hold in this light. But here the goodnes of God appeares, that to condem­ned creatures, he should haue suffered this light to shine: all were condemned creatures, the sentence was pronounced a­gainst all. We of Scotland were of that number, Gentiles. A­las, if we could once consider this! O wretched man that euer thou shouldest haue seene this sight of the Sunne of righte­ousnes, if thou reioyce not in it! If thou couldest consider the benefit, that thou art borne in the daies of light, that ye beames of Iesus Christ goe into thy heart, thou wouldest count more of it then of al the kingdoms in the world: yea thou wouldest say euery morning and euening, Blessed be God that I was borne in this lightsome time; and among all things yt should make thee thankful, this should be the chiefest, that thou wast borne in the time of the light and grace of Iesus Christ offe­red to the world.

Hitherto wee haue spoken of these foure circumstances. In euery one of them shines the glorie of God, and that so won­derfully, that God got not to himselfe in the creation such a glorie, as he hath gotten by the reuelation of this mysterie of Iesus Christ. For aboue all his workes, the worke of this his mercie is the greatest. Now in the end of the verse, hee makes this more plaine, that hee spake of the riches of God and the Gospell. And hee comes downe more homely to their vnder­standing, as if he would say: O ye Colossians, would you know what I meane by these riches? I meane nought but Christ, as these riches be nothing but Christ. What was hid in this my­sterie of the reuelation? nothing but Christ, when it was re­uealed, and the glorie of it laid out abroad, as merchandise is vsed to be, there was nothing in it but Christ. For brethren, all this word of the Gospell, is nothing but Christ. Al our prea­ching, what is it but Christ? The word of the crosse, and then of his ascension: all our Gospell hath no other matter nor sub­stance. And when he hath drawne these riches to Christ, and made him all: then hee comes neerer them, and drawes in Christ to them, to their consolation. It is not enough that they should heare of Christ, and him preached; but he applies the [Page 118] same vnto their hearts and soules: so the lesson is: All the hea­uenly glorie and riches which thou hearest tell of, draw it into In Christ consists all fulnes of glorie. Christ: for there is no glorie but Christs glorie. For the glorie of the Father and of the holy Ghost dwels in him bodily: and thou shalt neuer see so much as a iot of glorie without Christ. Therefore when thou hearest speaking of glorie and riches, call it all Christs: and then sticke not here, but when thou hast drawne all to Christ, then take him to thy selfe. What auailes me all the glorie of God and of Christ, if I haue no part of it? for it is the greater damnation to thee, if thou haue no part of it. The more power he hath, the greater terror is it to thee: the greater mercie, the greater sadnes to thee. So take him and put him in thy heart: and trowest thou not, that God will dwell in thy heart? The Scripture saith, he dwels in the heart, Eph. 3. 17. Well then, take him, and put him in thy heart, and thou shalt get the fulnes of glorie: and all his glorie shall be in euery one. So getting Christ, thou shalt get all glorie. It is a small matter to know that in Christ is all glorie, except thou get Christ ap­plied to the heart. him applied to thy heart. O the consolation that will be in the heart that hath Christ! and without him, fie on thee and thy stinking heart both. All the things vnder heauen shall not mi­nister ioy to thy soule, if thou want Christ in thy heart. Alas, all other ioy is but vanitie, and from the teeth forward.

Now in the last words, when hee falles out in speaking of Christ hee cannot leaue him. Would to God wee could finde Christ as powerfull as Paul did. Alas wee haue nought but a castlesse word of him, and away with him. If he were in thee, as he was in Paul, thou wouldest not speake of him so slenderly, but thy mouth would euer speak of him in great aboundance: and thou wouldest thinke that thou couldest neuer speake e­nough of him. And why should wee not learne of Paul, and such holy men to speake as they spake of Christ? Then (I say) he falles out, and calles him that hope of glorie, as if he would say, that glorie that is hoped for. Iesus Christ is that glorie that is reuealed in mysterie: Iesus is the riches of that glorie, and is that same thing that wee looke for. Hee is glorie here in this life, and he is that glorie we hope for in the life to come. Think not that thou shalt see another glorie in substance, but that [Page 119] thou seest now in the Gospell, as in the mirrour of all glorie. Seest thou not this glorie of Iesus Christ in the reuelation of the mysterie: thou shalt neuer see this glorie after this life. Looke if this be a streight band; it bindes thee with life and death. As euer then thou wilt see Christs glorie after this life, looke that thou see his glorie in the mirrour of the Gospell. We must see Christs glorie in the Gospell if we will see him af­ter this life. O vaine foole! wilt thou take pleasure to looke in a mirrour to see thy vaine foule face; and wilt thou take no pleasure to looke in the mirrour of the Gospell to see the sweete face of Ie­sus, that casts his beames not to thy face onely, but downe to thy heart also; and makes it light, and illuminates thy blinde minde, and makes a faire soule? Well is the man that hath a lightsome soule. O foole! thou wilt be carefull to haue an eye in thy head, but it had bin good if thou neuer hadst had one, if thy soule abide blind. It is ye light of Iesus that makes a soule a soule. When he shall come in his owne person, thou shalt see him no more in a mirrour; thou shalt heare no more of the Gospell, but in steede of it, the Lord Iesus shall stand vp in proper person, and the beames of his glorie shall transforme thy face, and all the parts of thy bodie shall begin to bee more glorious then the Sunne in the noone day. Thou shalt be made conformable to his glorious bodie, Phil. 3. 21. Hold on there­fore To looke on Christs face in the Gos­pell, till we see him face to face. in looking on the mirrour till hee come. He is comming behinde, he is at thy backe; he is at thy hand, the mirrour will away, and then he shall shine on thy face. Hold on there­fore, and looke in the mirrour till he come, and fill thy soule with glorie and honour for euer. Now to this Iesus, with the Father and the holy spirit be euerlasting praise,

Amen.

THE TWELFTH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 1. vers. 28. 29.

28 Whom we preach, admonishing euery man, and teaching euery man in all wisdome, that we may present euery man perfect in Christ Iesus:

29 Whereunto I also labour and striue, according to his wor­king, which worketh in me mightily.

I Shewed you brethren, the Apostle in the end of this chapter, he speakes especially of his owne person, to the end he might gaine authoritie, and reuerence to his doctrine and exhortation. 1 First, ye heard he spake of his suf­ferings, The sum of the last Sermon. remouing the offence which the Colossians might haue taken at them. 2 Secondly, he speakes of his ministery, that he was a Minister of the Church, according to the dispensation giuen to him from God, for the Colossians in speciall: to this end, to fulfill the word of God.3 After this he speakes of that hid mysterie: for he defines the word which he preached, to be that mysterie so long time hid, and at last reuealed to the saints: and he interprets it to be of Iesus Christ, who is said to be the riches of the glory of this hid mysterie. Thus far we haue heard. When he hath spoken of the mystery, he returnes and speakes of his owne person. And in the first part of these words, to speake of them word by word as they lye; he saith, whom we preach; that is, the which Iesus Christ that hope of glorie (as he [Page 121] tearmed him before) we preach, that is, I and the rest of my fel­low laborers. So no question in these words he endeuours to purchase authoritie to his ministry, from the subiect of his preaching. All his preaching was of the most glorious things that euer were, or shall be in this world. All his preaching was of Christ, the riches of that glorie that so long was hid, and at the last was reuealed. Briefly, we see of these words of Paul, a Minister of the Gospell of Christ hath gotten in trust commit­ted to him, a faire and precious thing. He hath vnder his hand The word of reconci­liation committed to the Mi­nisters of the Gos­pell. the riches of the glorie of God, to wit, Iesus Christ. He is a trea­surer (to speake of it so) and hath in his custodie a treasure: but such as is the richest that euer was, is, or shall be in the world. And he hath a commission not to keepe it close, but to giue it out and deale it to the world, that euery one should haue their portion of it. And therefore what is the glory of the Minister, the Preacher, what is his estimation? All his glorie 2. Cor. 5. 19. 20. and his estimation, all his honour is in this treasure Iesus Christ, that he hath in custodie. Marke it. And in what thing consists his honour, and glorie, and estimation? As it is his ho­nor to distribute this rich treasure to thee and to the world: so here is all thy glory to put out thy hand and take in these ri­ches to thy selfe. Thou hast more honour to doe this, then if thou wert aduanced and promoted to the highest honor and dignitie vnder the sunne; then if thou wert made a King of all the world: for when thou art made a King, if thou haue no part with Iesus, thy end will be miserable, and woe is thee for euermore.

To goe forward: in the next words, he laies down his prea­ching in the parts of it, admonishing and instructing euery man; there be the parts: admonishing them that were out of the way; instructing them that had entred in the right way. It is Admoniti­on and in­struction, how they differ. not enough to tell a man that he is in the way; but to counsell and instruct him to hold on: which if he doe, to assure him of life euerlasting. Then briefly, all the preaching of Christ stands in these two points, in admonishing the sinner and telling him his fault, that he is in the wrong way: if he were a King admo­nish him of his error, either in manners or doctrine. And then tell him the high way of his manners and doctrine, wherein he [Page 122] should walke. If the Minister cannot doe this; yea if it were to a King, if he cannot admonish, instruct, and teach him, he can­not preach Christ: let him therefore be silent, and neuer speake a word of Iesus Christ. And what euer they be of the people, that will not suffer admonition, and will not receiue instruc­tion, they shall neuer be rich in Christ: if they had all the ri­ches in the world, they are but beggers, and shall dye like beg­gers. Who are these that he admonisheth? and who are these whom he instructs and teacheth? Marke euery word, he saith not one man, two men, this sort or that sort of men onely; but euery man, and al sorts of them, Iew, Gentile, Grecian, and Bar­barian; wise, vnwise, Kings, subiects, poore, rich. There is ne­uer a one exempted from admonition: neuer a soule exemp­ted from instruction. Wherein brethren, you may see that v­niuersall dominion and lordship, that Christ Iesus hath ouer euery man, and euery estate of them; ouer Kings and subiects, rich and poore; ouer them that be in honour and dishonour. Whatsoeuer ranke thou be of, thou maist well exempt thy selfe from his dominion; but thou art not exempted in deede, though thou wert a King or a Monarch, the Gospell hath a Lordship ouer thy head. If thou draw out thy necke from vn­der the yoke of the Gospell, thou shalt one day vndergoe the heauie yoke euen of Gods vengeance and fearefull wrath: so then we see the vniuersalitie of the Gospell of Iesus Christ ouer man, and how this ministry that seemes so contemptible to all men, is extended to all. And if thou wert a King, thou art vn­der the ministry of the word; thou must suffer of the Minister admonition; and thou must receiue instruction. If thou wert neuer so learned in thy owne conceit, thou art but a scholler to this ministry, and oughtst to sit with reuerence, and to heare. And lastly, ye see the common miserie, that all stands in in this world: all is out of the way; thou art out of the way by nature, Euery man by nature in the high way to damnation. and in the high way to damnation. And therefore if thou lay not hold on admonition, thou shalt goe to damnation. By na­ture thou art ignorant like an Asse; and therefore perish shalt thou if thou receiue not instruction, by this ministry of the Gospell. All haue sinned, saith the Apostle Rom. 3. 23. and fal­len Ephes. 2. 1 2. 3. Psal. 32. from the glorie of God: and therefore admonition, and in­struction [Page 123] extends to all men. But I would aske, who is he that can admonish, teach and instruct effectually? Paul saith, We teach Christ, admonishing and instructing all men. I answere then, Who can admonisis. none can admonish, but hee that can teach Christ. Will you say, that a prophane Philosopher could euer admonish or in­struct any to frame their life aright, howbeit he will take it vpon him? No, no, onely the man that can speake of Iesus Christ, that man can admonish and teach others, because he onely can speake to thy heart. For brethren, it is the word of Psal. 19. 7. God that is able onely to reforme the heart. All the words vn­der the sunne will not doe it. For this word of the Gospell hath onely the concurrence of the holy spirit of Iesus, that causeth this word to goe downe to thy heart.

Now what doctrine is this he teacheth? Instructing, saith he, euery man in wisdome; so wisdome is his doctrine. O but in what measure? in all wisdome, saith he. It is perfect wisdome, there is no lacke or want in that wisdome, that he teacheth. He tea­cheth euery man, and euery ranke and sort of men wisdome, and a perfect wisdome, whole wisdome and full wisdome, euen that fulnes of wisdome that was in Christ. O the treasure of wisedome and knowledge that is in him! In the second chap­ter of this epistle, vers. 3. it is said, he is full of wisdome and know­ledge. Neuer any had all wisdome, except Christ; no not all the Philosophers: onely Iesus hath this prerogatiue. This wisdome, this full wisdome (I say) is giuen to the Apostlés, and to Paul in a high measure; but so, that they haue it of Christ, and not of themselues. And therefore Christ, as I haue said, hath onely this prerogatiue, to haue all wisdome in himselfe. Looke next: who teacheth this wisdome? Paul an infirme weake man, he teacheth all wisdome. Then marke, Iesus Christ he hath put these treasures in earthen vessels, as it is said, 2. Cor. 4. 7. In a weake brittle bodie: so that if thou take it not out of this vessell, Ministery. thou shalt neuer get it out of Christ: if thou contemne this treasure for the frailtie & ignominie of the vessell wherein it lies, thou shalt neuer get this riches of God. For the Lord hath ordained that thou shalt take it out of the hand of a silly man. Againe, you see the blessednes of the schollers of Christ (O blessed is the soule that is a scholler to Christ!) It was counted a [Page 124] blessed thing to be a scholler in Platoes schoole, or Aristotles schoole, by reason of the wisdome they taught: but Plato nor Aristotle neuer taught all wisdome, nor true wisdome; but Wisdome. thou who art a scholler in Christs schoole, thou hast the true wisdome, and that not in a measure, but thou hast all wisdome to make thee perfect in knowledge, that is, thy blessednes. Alas, this miserable world knowes not the true blessednes! O would to God we could know what blessednes we are called vnto, by the preaching of this Gospell!

To goe forward: What is the end of all this preaching, of this admonishing and teaching; and that in all wisedome? The fairest end that euer was. What is that end? That we (saith he) may present euery one perfect in Iesus Christ. The meaning hereof is, that wee may present euery man and woman to whom wee preach, of what estate so euer they be, a perfect scholler, and that in Iesus Christ, without whom there is no perfection. So this end of this preaching, instructing, and ad­monishing is, a presenting of euery man in perfectnes and ho­lines, especially in the great day of the Lord, before that glo­rious tribunall, and to set them vp before their Iudge. For if you will reade Paul, you shall gather thus much of him, that Heb. 13. 17 there is neuer a faithfull preacher, but in that day hee shall bring in his companie, them whom hee hath conuerted, and say, Lord, there is my companie, that were conuerted by my ministery, vnto the faith in thy bloud. Paul appeares to meane this in these words. Alwaies I marke of this presenting, that all men and women were once absent from God: if thou art to be presented, then it must follow that thou wast absent. Nay, all flesh wandred away from his God.

The second thing I marke: what is the end of all this fer­uent The end of the mini­sterie. preaching, admonition, and instruction? There is the end, to bring men and women that wandred away home a­gaine 2. Cor. 5. 18. 19. to their God in Iesus Christ: to bring thee who wast ab­sent from God, present to him, and to that sight of that coun­tenance, in the which is the sacietie of all ioy. And in that day when euery Pastor shall present so many, as he hath conuerted by the voyce of the Gospell; then hee shall see the fruit of his labours: for let him preach what he will, yet hee shall not see [Page 125] what is the fruit of his trauels till that day. Then it shall be said to him, Thou didst winne these soules. Then he shall get his re­ward. He gets not his wages here modified, as you would mo­difie them to one that serueth you. Nay, nay, but at that day he shall get a Crowne of glorie. Paul looked for a Crowne, A Crowne of righteousnes (saith he) is laid vp for me, which the Lord that righteous Iudge shall giue me at that day, and not to me onely, but to all those who looke for his appearing, 2. Tim. 4. 8. Who shall be presented? Shall onely Kings be presented, who haue heard the Gospell? shall onely the rich be presented to that glorie? shall onely the honorable? the Grecian, and not the Barbarian? shall onely the wise, and not the vnwise, be presented? No, no, euery man, from the King to the very begger that hath heard the Gospell, as they all are sinners without exception: all hearers of the Gospell of grace, all shall be presented without exception in that day. Marke it. So thou, who hearest this Gos­pell, hast no small consolation; looke for a faire presenting of thee: onely lend thy eare, and thou shalt not be frustrate of that glorie, howbeit thou be here ignominious and despised for this Gospels sake: yet shall it make thee glorious. I pro­mise thee it shall glorifie thee, if thou wilt honour it in this life. So all the faithfull shall there be presented. And in what state? Perfit (saith he.) Brethren, a perfect wisdome, makes a perfect man in all knowledge and glorie; and be assured of it, howbe­it thou hearest the Gospell in imperfection, yet if thou wilt continue in hearing, thou canst not but come to perfection; in the end thou shalt be filled with all wisedome; and when thou shalt be presented, thou shalt be presented in such a per­fection, as the learnedst in this world cannot attaine vnto. Thou art an idiot now in their conceit; but if thou wilt heare Christ in his Gospell, thou shalt be more wise then euer Plato The wise­dome of the world and of Christ how they differ. or Aristotle; or the wisest worldling that euer was; and thou shalt get perfect wisedome in the end. And this is that diffe­rence betwixt that wisedome of the Philosophers, and that wis­dome of Christ. All their wisedome neuer perfected any man, because it was imperfect in it selfe, as they themselues who taught it were imperfect: but this wisedome of the Gospell which is the wisedome of Christ and of God, as he is perfect, so [Page 126] is it perfect. So shall it perfect the man that heares it, if he con­tinue but a short time in hearing.

In the end of the verse, he shewes in whom this perfection is. There is nothing without Christ Iesus, there is no grace out of him: no beginning of grace, no progresse in grace, no perfection without him. Wouldest thou begin in grace? Be­gin in him. Wouldest thou proceede in grace? goe on in him. Wouldest thou be perfected? be perfect in him, and thou shalt be perfected. For euen in this life by reason of that coniunctiō we haue with Christ through faith in his bloud, wee haue per­fection euen in this imperfection of ours. If thou be ingrafted in Christ, thou art alreadie perfect in him, and maist stand vp and claime it, and say: O my God, I am perfect in Christ. But in that great day, when wee shall be presented (being in Iesus Christ, for the hold we get of him here shall neuer let goe, thou shalt neuer be seuered from him) thou shalt haue a double per­fection. Thou shalt not onely haue his perfection and his glo­rie, which shall shadow thee and couer thee as a garment, but beside that, thou shalt then be filled with perfect glorie thy selfe. All thy bodie and soule shall be filled with exceeding great glorie. So thou shalt haue no small vantage in him. All comes to this exhortation, sticke by Iesus, and be not seuered from him: for if thou seuer from him, thou art seuered from thy grace; and if thou cleaue to him, all thy glorie and perfe­ction shall neuer be hindred. Let them rent thee and teare thee as they wil, thou shalt be glorified and perfected in spite of their teeth. Fie then on thee creature, that suffers thy selfe to be seuered from Christ: cleaue to him as euer thou wilt see glorie and perfection.

Now we come to the last verse. When he hath spoken of the end of his ministerie, now hee sheweth he laboured to attaine to it; vnto the which (saith he) I laboured. If there was euer any la­borious man, Paul was one; he was a painfull man, neuer re­sting night nor day, and all to this end, to present many to the Paines in the Mini­sterie. Lord Iesus. Then marke the lesson: would a Minister attaine to the end of his calling? let him be painfull. A sluggish Mini­ster will neuer doe good; if he be not painfull, he is no louing man; for loue is euer painfull, 1. Thess. 1. 3. He that loues, will [Page 127] straine himselfe, if it were to the death, for the weale of them he loues. So if he be not painfull, I doubt if euer he shall pre­sent himselfe (let by other men.) Therefore the people should be carefull to haue a painfull man to watch ouer them. For the Minister is ordained to present thee before the Lord, and hee cannot do that if he be not painfull. I will neuer giue the peo­ple counsell to hold a man, that is not painfull to present and gaine them to God. And cursed be that Pastor that takes his ease and rest, and lets the sheepe of the Lords pasture goe here and there astray: cursed be he, and the Lord himselfe curseth him in Ierem. 48. 10. that doth the worke of the Lord negligently. Alas, it will not bee the studying nor the preaching of a Ser­mon, that will make thee to be a painfull Minister; but it must be the continuall teaching of thy flocke, and euery one of them, admonishing them that are out of the way, and by thy trauels bringing them home, and instructing them that are in Idlenes in the Mini­sterie dan­gerous. the way of grace to goe on, that they goe not to the left hand, nor to the right hand; but that they hold out the high way to Christ Iesus, neuer resting till they get his presence; and night and day to be watching, and on his guard praying for the peo­ple; this man is a painfull man that doth thus. So a Minister should not be an idle bodie; neither can he be idle if hee haue any whit of conscience in his calling. And I count a sluggish Minister worse then a theefe: he will goe and studie a peece of a Sermon, and vp to the pulpit and preach that; and then come his way: hee thinkes hee hath done enough, and neuer more thought nor care hath he of the people of God. O vaine man! thou art a sluggard, worse then a theefe; thou shalt pre­sent but few or none at that great day. And therfore thy dam­nation shall be the greater: for the bloud of all these soules that through thy default dye ignorant, shall light about thy shoulders and presse thee downe like milstones in hell; where thou and they shall be tormented euerlastingly. Yet there is more here, this presenting craues more then labour or paine. He saith, he stroue, as a man fighting a combat, or as a souldier vnder a banner. And to speake the truth, this mans life is but a battaile, as is plaine in the 2. Tim. 4. 7. I haue (saith he) fought a good fight: yea, and the sorest fight that is fought, is to fight [Page 128] for the soule, to bring it out of the diuels hands, and to put it in Christs hands; to bring it from hell, and to set it in heauen, How hard a thing it is to winne a soule. from death to life, that is a sore fight. The man therefore that will bring soules to God, he must not be a painfull man onely; but he must be a warriour, and he must oppose himselfe stan­ding and fighting with euery one, who oppose themselues a­gainst Christ, if they were Emperours or Monarchs; and hee must fight the battaile to the end: otherwise, if he be not pain­full and a fighter also, I doubt if he shall present himselfe, much lesse others, in that day to Christ. A coward that will take a backe side, he will not be meete to present one: he is not for the field; away with him. Of al this I marke: it is a hard thing to winne a soule to God; nay the soule of one cannot be won, but with great paine, and labour and fighting. Why then la­bour ye not with striuing and wrestling for the safetie of your soule, that you may present it to the Lord safe and sound. The soule of euery bodie hath many enemies, and mightie ene­mies. O if thou wist how many enemies thy soule hath to stay The ene­mies of the soule. thee from going to heauen, thou wouldest not sit in such ease as thou doest, neglecting thy selfe and the time both: but thou wouldest euer bee labouring, and painfully labouring and fighting to keep thy soule safe to the Lord. Againe, we see that heauen is a faire thing. For this is true, Difficilia quae pulchra, The more glorious, the harder to get: so heauen is too faire a iewell to lose through sluggishnes. No, these things in the world haue no ioy: A heape of stones is no iewell: and if thou wilt lose the iewell of heauen for that, looke what aduantage thou wilt make.

Now let vs see what fruite reaped he of his paines, according to his working the effectualnes of him (saith he) who worketh in me mightily: the end of his labour was effectualnes: he was effe­ctuall in the hearts of them, who heard him. In despite of the diuell and his impes, he drew great multitudes by the power of the word, out of the kingdome of the diuell and darknes, and wanne them vnto Christ. Take paines on thee, meete the diuell, fight on to relieue soules, and be assured thou shalt see the effect of thy labours: for there was neuer none that stroue, but he shall be presented at that day glorious. Yet albeit men [Page 129] would labour and striue neuer so much, some will perish. All shall not perish in that great day; therefore let vs fight with paine and labour. To whom giues hee the glorie of his labours and effectualnes? ascribes hee it to himselfe? saies hee accor­ding to my effectualnes? No: how then? According to his effectualnes that workes in me mightily: that is God. So that all power and al the effectualnes, that is in his hand, is not in him­selfe, but in God, and of God: and that power of God is cra­ued, and is needfull to the recouerie of a soule; yea of the sil­liest soule of you all. The silliest soule that is, shall neuer be safe by any power or vertue of man: of the Minister there is no power that can free a soule, but the almightie power of God. The power of God on­ly must free a soule. This his power comes downe from heauen while the Minister is speaking; and it gaineth & conquereth the soule that heares the word. Therefore looke not to the man that teacheth, but pray that the power of God would come downe, and free thy soule from bondage. And as thou shouldest depend vpō God, so when thou hast trauelled all thy daies, turne back thy prai­ses vnto God, and thank him for it. The Apostle takes nothing to himselfe. Marke and behold the words, he saith, according to his effectualnes that worketh by me, that is in a word, hee taketh the honour and reputation of an instructer, of a Minister and seruant of God, and God giues him that honour. As the Lord will haue the honour of the principall worke to himselfe (and good reason he haue it) so when hee hath imployed thee, hee vouchsafeth to impart honour vnto thee. He will giue thee a honour that thou art his seruant, and therefore 1. Cor. 3. 5. 6. he saith, Paul is nothing, and Apollo is nothing, but God who giues the increase. When he hath giuen God that glorie; then in the fourth chapter vers. 2. he saith, let men so esteeme of vs, as the disposers of the mysteries of God: so let men euer giue God all glorie and praise, and let them be assured the 1. Sam. 2. 33. God whom they honour in their calling, shall honour them againe. Now to this God be all honour and praise,

Amen.

THE THIRTEENTH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 1. 2. 3

1 For I would ye knew what great fighting I haue for your sakes, and for them of Laodicea, and for as many as haue not seene my per­son in the flesh,

2 That their hearts might be comforted, and they knit together in loue, and in all riches of the full assurance of vnderstanding, to know the mysterie of God euen the father and of Christ:

3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdome and of know­ledge.

YE haue heard, brethren, from the foure and twentith verse of the first chapter of this epistle, how Paul hath insisted vpon his owne person, purchasing authority to his doctrine yt he hath propounded, and to the exhortation begun. As yet he continues in speaking of himselfe, from the beginning of this second chapter, vnto the sixt verse thereof. Then after he returnes to his exhortation, exhorting the Co­lossians to perseuerance in that faith which they had receiued, The sum of the former Lecture. and exhorting them from vaine traditions, obtruded or layd on them by the false teachers; letting them vnderstand that there was nothing, except Christ and his Gospell to be ac­knowledged or receiued by them; and that all other things without him, are but vanitie.

Then to come briefly to our purpose, and this text now [Page 131] read: in the last verse of the chapter preceding, yee heard the Apostle vttered what paines he tooke, and what strife he suf­fered, and all for this end; to present euery man without ex­ception perfect before God, especially in that great day. Now the Colossians to whom he writes, whom he neuer saw bodily, nor they him, might haue obiected against this his paine, labor and strife which he sustained. Well Paul, thou pinest thy selfe; but for whom? what is that to vs? It is not for vs, thou neuer sawest vs, nor we thee: so all thy labour, fighting and trauell, Obiection. is nothing profitable for vs. The Apostle in the first verse meets Answere. with and answers it, I would you knew (saith he) what great figh­ting I haue for your sakes, and not for you onely, but for your neigh­bours them of Laodicea: (this is a towne in Phrygia) and not for them only, but for as many (of the Gentiles) as haue not seene my person in the flesh. There is his answere: it is plaine: onely here­out I shall gather some short notes for our instruction. Then first I marke in the person of the Colossians, that moues the question. They thought he could haue no care of them, except he had seene them: so commonly men thinke that they, who are absent from them, and neuer see them, neither know them by their face (as we say, whom they haue not seene face to face) can haue no care of them, nor loue to them. This is the iudge­ment commonly of the world, and it is so indeede, for naturall men, that haue no more than naturall loue, will speake thus of them, with whom they haue not been acquainted; I knew him not, what haue I to doe with them, whom I neuer saw nor knew? What good can such men doe to me, or I to them? This is the fashion of the worldly men. But this is all wrong as you The diffe­rence be­tweene the regenerate and vnre­generate. The loue of the Saints exceedes the loue of the world. shall see, and therefore marke in the answere of Paul, what great difference is betwixt naturall men, and renewed men: the common sort of men, and the seruants of God.

In his answere we learne, that they that are of God, which haue gotten that new birth aboue nature and contrarie to nature, the seruants of Christ, especially such as Paul was, they loue them whom they neuer sawe; haue a care ouer them whom they neuer knew: yea they will striue and fight to the death for them. For why brethren, you must vnder­stand, concerning them that are conioyned in the bodie of [Page 132] Christ, one hand will not know another better, then they will know one another although they haue not seene one another bodily, being far distant in person and place the one from the other: because it is the spirit of Iesus who ioynes them toge­ther, and giues euery one a sure knowledge of the other con­ioyned with Christ, as a member of that body. Hence com­meth this liuely knowledge which one christian will haue of another, whom otherwise he neuer sawe in properperson. For they haue not onely this fleshly sight of naturall men, and bodily eye to see a mans body and face before them, but they haue a spirituall eye, whereby they can see to the farthest nooke and corner of the world, and will send as it were the very spirit and soule out of the body to the vtmost part of the world, where they know there is any of Christs members. Therefore Paul saith 1. Cor. 5. 4. When ye are gathered together and my spirit, &c. Thou that hast no care of the Saints of God, where euer they be scattered, thou hadst neuer this spirituall and heauenly eye of Paul. Suspect thy selfe; thou art but a na­turall man: and if thou haue not a loue to them to embrace and fixe them as it were in thy heart; alas, it is a token that thou art not in that body of Christ as yet. Thirdly, in this answere I see it is requisit that we loue them that are Saints, howbeit we neuer saw them, nor they vs in this world; for when the conscience is touched with a feeling of that loue, there ariseth The fee­ling of loue in our hearts. a consolation to the soule. When thou feelest in thy soule that the Saints loue thee, thou maist be assured that God also loues thee: and therefore it hath pleased the Lord to leaue in register the acts of the Apostles, containing that loue and care they had for the Saints, not onely for their owne time, but also for all who should liue to the end of the world. For Paul he had not onely a care of the Colossians, but also of the whole gen­tils, his loue and care extended so far, that it reached out to the end of the world. If thou be a member of Christ, the care of Paul reacheth to thee, as one of that body. Then lastly I note, it is so requisit that we vnderstand of this loue of the We must endeuour to make our loue knowne to the Saints. Saints to vs, whether we haue seene them, or they vs or not: that the man that loues vs although hee be absent; yet he should striue to make his loue knowne to vs, by a register and [Page 133] putting of it in writing, as Paul did. He writes vp and registers his loue to vs. It is no shame to Paul to tell vs that he loues vs, if so be he haue the glorie of God and our consolation before his eyes. So all comes to this in a word: it is a comfortable thing for thee to know, that the Saints of God loue thee; and that thy pastor loues thee; and it is an argument that God loues thee, and that thou art deere to him. This for Pauls answere in the first verse.

To come to the second verse, and to goe forward word by word, he sets downe the end of his care he had of them, and his strife he sustayned for them: the end is, that their harts might be comforted, that they might get consolation, not in their head, Consolati­on is felt in the heart. but in their heart. Consolation is in the heart: It is not a flee­ting thing in the head; it is not an imagination or phantasie in the braine: it is not superficiall, but it occupies the whole heart: it takes roote in the heart, and it spreads all the roots of it through all the parts of the same: and this is the true conso­lation. Then brethren, you may perceiue by these words, that all men by nature are comfortles: no man by nature hath Euery man comfortles by nature. any consolation. O comfortles miserable creatures are we! if thou wert borne a king, thou art borne a comfortles body, and miserable by nature: for by nature there is no consolation to mankinde after the fall of Adam, but woe and miserie. For as touching these earthly things and benefits, what sound consolation is in them? The light of the sun ministers no true consolation to man, that hath no more but nature; nay the more blessings, which might minister of themselues consolati­on, the more curses to thee if thou stand in nature: the greater honor, the greater misery, if thou stand in nature onely. And againe, all these benefits shall serue to thy welfare if thou be in Christ, through faith. This preaching of the word, it ministers consolatiō to thy silly soule. For the end of it (as this place lets you see) is, to minister true consolation to the comfortles. And this is the end of all the care, trauell and strife that the Apostle The end of the gospel and mini­stery therof is to bring consolation vnto men. takes to minister comfort vnto thee. And therefore Iohn saith in his 1 Epistle chap. 1. 4. These things write I vnto you, that your ioy may be full. So all that is spoken and written in the Scrip­tures, serues this end, that thou mayest haue sound ioy in thy [Page 134] heart. And thou that wilt not take consolation at the hand of the minister, I denounce against thee though thou werst a king, thou shalt get no consolation in this world, and thou shalt see no ioy nor consolation in the life to come.

To come to the next word. By what meanes come they to this consolation? by being ioyned and compacted in one, al­together as the members of a man: there is the meane to ob­taine this consolation. This lesson is easie, the meane of true consolation and comfort, of sound ioy, tranquillity and peace of conscience is this, a blessed coniunction with the mem­bers Communi­on with Christ and his mem­bers brings sound con­solation. of Iesus Christ. This is it that we call the communion of Saints, and to be ioyned in the societie of the Church here in earth. And thou that wilt stand thy selfe alone, if thou cut thy selfe off as a rotten member, and disdaine the societie of the Saints, and runne from them, run thy way if it were to the end of the world, the curse of God followes thee. And therefore this being the meane of this consolation, without the which no saluation nor ioy can be, he that would haue that comfort, let him be ioyned with the members; and the minister that would comfort any, let him labour to make them members of that body of Christ; that the ioy of Iesus Christ may flow downe from Christ to them.

To come to the next word. Hee sets downe the meane, wherby this coniunctiō is brought to passe, being conioyned to­gether (saith he) through loue. Albeit that faith goes before by na­ture, yet I will follow the text as the words lie. The meane whereby thou art ioyned with the body of Christ, and standest The first meane of the com­munion of Saints. Loue the band to binde vs with men, but faith with God. with that societie of the Church in the earth, is loue. Wouldst thou be coupled with the body? loue thy neighbour. One member of this naturall body will loue another: So if thou be a member of the body of Christ, thou must needes loue thy neighbour truely. And he that cannot loue, nor will not loue, he shall neuer be ioyned with the body; for wanting loue, no band can binde thee to Christ, nor his Church. A malitious euill body that cannot loue (call him as ye will a christian) he is not in the body; and so hath no consolation; for without the coniunction with Christ, there is no comfort. Therefore he that will haue comfort, let him be conioyned with the body, [Page 135] and hee that would be conioyned with the bodie, let him loue the members of the bodie. Loue God first aboue all; and then thy neighbour as thy selfe. And therefore Iohn in his first chap­ter of his Epistle, when he had spoken of this coniunction, hee euer in the rest speakes of loue. For without this loue, there is no coniunction, nor societie with his Church.

The second meane of this coniunction is in these words, The se­cond meane of our com­munion with the Church. And in all riches of the full assurance of vnderstanding: by these words he meanes nothing els, but this faith in Iesus, which by nature in this coniunction is formost, and loue followes. For (to speake it so) faith is the master sinew, that binds the mem­bers with the head, and this loue is the band which bindes vp the members among themselues. Then to come briefly to the matter: here ye see the chiefe meane of this societie with the Church. One faith in Iesus Christ, not two, or three, or foure faiths: sundrie faiths will not make thee a member of the bo­die True faith. of Iesus Christ. If thou be of another faith then this true faith, which hath this full assurance; then the Church will not be conioyned with thee: it will be like a brasen and firie wall to hold thee backe from that societie. So that without one faith there cannot be one bodie. Therefore Paul when he hath spo­ken of one bodie, then he subioynes one faith; meaning that there cannot be one bodie without one faith. Marke the place Ephes. 4. 5. All these bands of bloud, of consanguinitie, will not ioyne men together, if faith ioyne them not: if thou wert all my kinne, if thou haue not one faith with me, we cannot be ioyned together. And therefore considering this, whatsoeuer thou bee that wouldest labour to conioyne a bodie with the Church, striue day and night to bring that person to the faith of the Church. For he will neuer be conioyned with the body, that hath not this faith of the body.

But let vs marke the words; All riches (a high word) of the full assurance of vnderstanding. To begin at this, hee calles faith Faith is an vnderstan­ding. The wofull state of such as be ignorant of the Gospell. an vnderstanding. Faith is not ignorance and blindnes, but it is an vnderstanding; and thou that art altogether ignorant of God and of Iesus Christ, thou hast no more faith then a dogge. Bragge as thou wilt of it, ignorant men will begin to crake of faith, as though they knew it. Faith is an eye that [Page 136] seeth more cleerely, then all the eyes of the world. It is a light Faith is an eye. and vnderstanding, the eye of the soule whereby we see God, and his sonne Iesus Christ our Sauiour: yea faith is more then an vnderstanding, it is a certaintie of the whole truth of God, e­specially of the promises in Iesus Christ. When thou art sure that euery word of the Gospell is true, that is the assurance of faith: and with this there is conioyned a heartie imbracing of the heart: for when thou art sure of the promises, O how the heart wil fold about ye promises of God! Haue you not assaied it yet? Whē the heart hath assurance of the truth, O how it wil cleaue to it! For as it is said, A true saying is worthie to be im­braced. Now faith is not onely this full assurance, but it is a ri­ches. The belee­uer most rich and most ioy­full. Ye that would be rich, take heede; faith is not a poore thing, a beggerly thing. A faithfull bodie is no begger, but he is rich. But yet more, he calles it not only riches, but he calles it all riches. So there is no riches without it: thou that hast not faith, hast no riches: for howbeit thy hand be full, yet if thou want faith thy hand is emptie. He that hath not faith is euer poore, and the beggerliest creature that is: but he that hath faith, giue him but a coate on his backe, he is rich enough, and he is the ioyfullest body that euer was, ioyfuller by ten thou­sand times, then these worldlings that gruntle on this pelfe of this world. Well, well, then get faith, and thinke that without it, thou art not rich: for if thou haue an emptie bag in thy hart, thou art but a poore miserable creature.

Brethren, ye heard how Paul speaking of this mysterie of the Gospel, he called it the riches of God hid: now speaking of faith he calles it riches also, and all riches. So I see all is riches, Iesus is riches, all things concerning Iesus be riches. That mysterie of him, is the riches of glorie. This faith and full perswasion is riches. And therefore wilt thou be rich? seeke to Christ, seeke to this Gospell, swallow it vp, seeke to faith. And be not con­tent till thou hast got a heartfull of this faith of Iesus Christ: and then I promise thee thou shalt be rich, and more ioyfull then if thou hadst all the world, howbeit thou leaue not a pe­ny behind thee.

Now to come to the rest of the words that I haue read, they tend to the declaration of that, that is spoken, especially of the [Page 137] riches of faith. Defining first the riches of faith, hee cals it the knowledge that was hid vp in a mysterie; and at last reuea­led to the world, to the euerlasting consolation of the world. Then I see this faith is a relatiue to the mysterie, that is, to the Gospel, and to speake it so, the obiect of faith, which faith seeth and vnderstandeth, is the Gospell. Now concerning this my­sterie, you heard before, it was the riches of glorie. Well, if the obiect of faith bee the riches of glorie, of necessitie thy faith must be glorious & rich. For a rich obiect, makes a rich know­ledge. The Gospel the obiect of faith. Knowest thou all the Sciences in the world? all is but beggerly knowledge, if thou want the knowledge of faith. Therefore thou who wouldest know, striue to know this rich mysterie; for it shall giue theefull riches. Now in the words God the subiect of the Gospel. following he insists vpon this subiect of faith. It is the mysterie of God; then the subiect of it is God: O that is a faire science that speakes of God! All other sciences that speake of the creatures, it is but of dirt they speake of, in respect of him who made them all. One will come of, and speake of the earth, of fishes, and paint out a faire storie of this King, or that King, of cornes, of lands, and that will be his subiect. Another will goe vpward, and speake of the heauen, and starres: but what is all that, in respect of that glorious Creator, but dirt? So this Gos­pell of Iesus Christ, is onely the eminent science, that mounts The Gospel the science of sciences. vp aboue all sciences. And therefore this mysterie and this Gospell that speakes of this subiect, must be glorious, albeit the coate of it be but sober and simple; howbeit it be preached by simple men, and therefore our great men thinke nothing of it. But if thou saw the glorie and riches that is in this Gos­pell; O thou wouldest seeke it before all riches and all glorie! It would be thy ioy day & night, teach it who will. Well then, take the Lord Iesus, who is offred to thee in this base clothing, as thou wouldest be partaker of him in glorie, when this coate shall be shaken off.

The Apostle hauing made mention of God, he leaues not off so; but laies him out in two glorious personages, and saith, God euen the father, and of Christ. God (saith he) that stands in these two personages, glorious and equall in glorie, the Father and the Sonne. So what place would ye haue to know the Christ pro­ued very God. [Page 138] Godhead of the Lord our Sauiour, if this place will not tell you? For when hee hath set downe the Father to be the onely true God, he sets down his sone Iesus Christ to be God equall with him in all things euery way. So that Iesus thy redeemer he is so man, that he is God glorious for euer. I see againe there is no true vnderstanding of God, but that whereby hee is knowne distinct in persons. It is not enough to know that he The true knowledge of God. is one in essence, but if thou know him well, thou must know him distinguished in three persons, the Father, Sonne, and ho­ly Spirit: all eternall, all equall in power, glorie, and maiestie; onely one true and euerliuing God. If this (brethren) be the true knowledge of God, as it is indeede; O the blindnes the world hath lien long in! especially the Gentiles. Plato seemed to haue great knowledge of God, he was called diuine Plato, but he had no knowledge in deede: for he knewe him not di­stinct in persons. And all other knowledge is to damnation: for there was neuer a science that made this plaine, but this Gospell of Iesus preached by the Apostles, and left to this day in register to vs. All the science of Philosophers is meere follie, in respect of this science of the Gospell. The knowledge that the Iewes had of God, was but as a glimmering: for all were vnder shadowes and types; but in the Gospell there is the full sight. So that as thou seest the Sunne shining, whereby thou art able to discerne and iudge of euery obiect: so thou hauing this Gospell shining in thy soule, thou shalt see distinctly the God of heauen in his essence, and shalt discerne the persons of the Trinitie, wherein thou shalt finde ioy.

O the ioy that ariseth vpon this spirituall knowledge and sight of God, as hee hath reuealed himselfe in his word! Al­waies (brethren) marke the gloriousnes of this Gospell. It lets thee see cleerely and distinctly thy God, thy redeemer: if thou 2. Cor. 4. 3. 4. wilt prease to looke without it to see him, thou shalt be the more blinde, and the more dimme, and the further from seeing of him. Therefore striue to get a sight of God in his Gospell; otherwise thou shalt not get a sight of him to thy comfort.

Now making mention of Christ, he subioynes a description of Christ, In whom, saith he, that is, in Christ Iesus, is all treasure (weigh euery word) of wisedome and knowledge. I cannot see [Page 139] when euer he names Christ, that he can let him goe so, but the heart is so full of him, that his mouth is full of him also. He be­fore called him that hope of glorie: and now naming him, hee saith, In whom is all treasure of knowledge and wisedome. Alas bre­thren, to speake this by the way, this tastlesse speaking of Christ, testifies that there is little of Christ in the heart of men How to speak com­fortablie and cheere­fully of Christ. and women now adaies. If thy heart were filled of him in any measure, thou wouldest euer be speaking of him, and so fully as thy heart could deuise. Now the Lord teach vs to speake of him so ioyfully, as wee may euer more and more take pleasure to speake of his name, to his euerlasting praise; that wee may finde what vertues be in the Lord Christ Iesus, Amen.

But to come to the words, he laies out the rich merchandise that is in him (take heed ye that would be merchants) and that The riches of Christ. that is in him, he calles wisedome and knowledge. I will not be cu­rious to distinguish them, except ye will call wisedome that hid mysterie; and knowledge, this knowledge of earthly and heauenly things: all is in Christ, hee hath this knowledge: these two are distinguished Rom. 11. 33. O the deepnes of this riches both of the wisedome and knowledge of God! For there is no other wisedome but in Iesus Christ; for the fulnes of God is in him. Now he calles it not bare knowledge and wisedome, but he saith, In whom are the treasures of all wisedome and knowledge. Many will haue wisedome and knowledge, but neuer a one hath the storehouse of it, saue Iesus Christ. Now hee saith not the treasures, but all treasures; to shew you that there is not a treasure without him. Ye haue heard before of this fulnes: In him (saith he) this fulnes dwels. Now againe hee saith, In whom are all treasures: And againe in a higher stile, hereafter vers. 9. In whom dwels the fulnes of the Godhead bodily: looke what a Sa­uiour ye haue, all is included within the vaile and nature of man, and shines as it were through the vaile. Then of this I conclude, there is nothing to be sought without him. Thou that hast need, seeke nothing without Iesus. For he that would be wise without Iesus Christ, hee would be wise without God, because the father is in him. So thou that wilt haue all fulnes, seeke it in him. Brethren, if this Iesus that is reuealed this day, were sought earnestly, we would finde it by plaine experience [Page 140] in our selues, that there was nothing lacking in him that might doe vs good; but he would minister vnto vs wisedome and knowledge, and all other benefits. And I charge thee vn­der the paine of thy life, that thou goe to no other, to seeke for ought without him. Seeke not to mans traditions, to these deceiuers of Gods people. May not their deceits be perceiued by you? May you not see that poyson of theirs in their doc­trine? Fie on that man of sinne; fie on him that drownes all the world with his foule stinke of traditions. Rest vpon this Gospell, and spit at this beast, and this poyson that hee offers to the world. Content thee with this Gospell. Would to God I or thou could attaine to the thousand part of this Gospell. If thou wist what this Gospell were, and what treasures of wis­dome were in it, thou wouldest neuer let it be out of thy sight night nor day. Thou wouldest spit at all other doctrine and tradition, that sauoured not of this Gospel. For in this Gospel is light and life; but in mans tradition, thou shalt finde no light nor life. Darknes and damnation shall be the end to them which imbrace them. O damnation to thee ô man that leaues the fountaine of liuing waters, and diggest vp to thy selfe cesternes of rotten water! Woe vnto thee that leaues the truth of the Gospell, to follow the traditions and fantasies of mans braine! Lord deliuer vs from that poysonfull doctrine, and they that are in the chaines of it, the Lord deliuer them out of the same, and giue them this full riches of the Gospell of Iesus Christ. To whom with the Father, and the holie Spirit, one euerlasting God be praise for euer,

Amen.

THE FOVRTEENTH LECTVRE VPON THE Epistle of PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 4, 5, 6, 7.

4 And this I say, least any man should beguile you with entising words:

5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, reioycing and beholding your order, and your stedfast faith in Christ.

6 As ye haue therefore receiued Christ Iesus the Lord, so walke in him,

7 Rooted and built in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye haue been taught, abounding therein with thankesgiuing.

AFter (brethren) that the Apostle hath spoken at large of his owne person, to purchase authori­tie to his doctrine and exhortation: now in the first verse which I haue read, hee returnes to the exhortation begun in the first chapter; taking the occasion of the words going before. For there the Apostle shewed that in Iesus Christ were all treasures of wisedome and Coherence. vnderstanding hid. Vpon this hee concludes in this verse, see­ing in him are hid all treasures of wisedome and knowledge, therfore be not wise without him: seeke not wisdome without him. There are false teachers entred in that make you thinke there is wisedome without him; but I say vnto you, if you would not be deceiued, seeke no wisedome without him: for in him is the treasure of all wisedome and knowledge. There is the force of the argument briefly. Now marke the order of the A­postle. [Page 142] Before hee exhorted them that they should not be de­ceiued by the inticing of mens words and doctrine, and hee laies out the reason taken from the treasure and riches of wis­dome and knowledge that is in Christ. So the Apostle to the Hebrues 13. 8. being about to exhort them, that they should not be carried about with sundrie and strange doctrine; hee laies downe this ground; Christ is today and yesterday &c. ther­fore be not carried away from him. As if hee would say, there was neuer saluation without him, from the beginning of the world; and there shall be no saluation without him to the end thereof: therefore sticke to him. This order teacheth vs this lesson: that after wee haue let men see what is in Christ, after we haue opened as it were, and laid abroad before the eyes of the world, all that store of wisedome and knowledge that is in him: then it is time to exhort men to leaue all their doctrine and vanitie, and inticing words of men; and to sticke by this Christ, in whom there is such wisedome and knowledge. For brethren, you must vnderstand; men if they see not true wise­dome, they will drinke in vanitie: the heart must be filled with The heart must be fil­led vvith something. something, if thou see not the truth, thou must drinke in lyes. And more, when thou hast begun to receiue the truth (as these Colossians did) except that truth be opened and laid before thy eyes as it were to be seene what is in it, and what is the meaning and true sense of the same: except this Gospell (I say) be continually taught; O vaine man, thou wilt goe to the puddle of mens fancies; thou wilt fall againe to mens doc­trine, The prea­ching of the Gospell must be cō ­tinued. traditions and vanitie; thou wilt be a Papist, yea and an Atheist to. And therefore there is nothing more needfull then this, that these riches of Christ be laid out before our eyes, and euer tolde to vs, that in Christ is all wisdome and knowledge. I aske, what is the cause that this miserable world, all men, and all nations for the most part be so drunke in mens dreames? (what is the Popes doctrine but dreames and poyson? drinke it in, thou shalt be poysoned with it) I tell thee, because these false deceiuers close vp the Gospell, and swaddle vp Christ in the swaddle bands, this is the cause that these poore soules see no better; and therefore they are led to damnation blindfol­ded. O miserable bodies! these foule spirits send out their [Page 143] poyson to dampne the world withall, as alas the greatest part of Europe this day can tell.

But to sticke to the words: The Apostle saith, I speake this, least any man should beguile you with inticing words. [...] are set out in faire flattring talke. Then ye see here, he opposeth to all the treasures of Christ inticing words: to wisedome he op­poseth flattring words. There is no wisedome without Christ, all is plaine sophistrie, as it is called in the Schooles. Then in a word, all wisdome being in Christ, if thou yt wilt be wise with­out him, seeke thy wisedome where thou wilt, runne to Rome, runne here and there, to the Iesuites to get wisedome out of them; thou shalt be filled with dreames, thou shalt finde no­thing but sophistrie; thou shalt not meete with wisedome. All that thou shalt see and finde, shall be but inticing words. And what wilt thou winne by this? He saith, that ye be not deceiued, and tooke in a grin. Thou shalt be taken in a grin as a beast, if thou seeke ought without him. Alas brethren, when I re­member Antichrist and his wo­fully de­ceiue soules this miserable world, it is a pitie to see how it is abu­sed by these traitors and deceiuers of mens soules. O that dam­nation and iudgement that shall fall on that cursed kingdome of Antichrist! For I assure you, this world for the greatest part are taken in the grins by Antichrist; and so reserued to iudge­ment. And the more miserable are they, that are in the grin of Antichrist, that they thinke that they are in sweete bands; for the end shall let ye see how bitter the bands were: let them now be to thee as sweete as they will, thou shalt finde in the end that of all bands in this world, they are the worst.

To goe forward. He hath vttered a great care to the Colos­sians, whom hee neuer saw nor knew. Therefore they might haue said; what care is this thou hast of vs? thou neuer sawst vs, nor we thee. He meetes with this in the next words: O ye Colossians (saith he) though I be absent from you in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit. Then ye see the Saints the true members of Christ, they haue a sight and knowledge of others, that the world knowes not of. This world and naturall men, that haue Iudgement. and loue of the world concerning other men. not the spirit of Iesus, thinke that none can reach out to the worlds end, and can haue knowledge of another, nor any care ouer him if he see him not with his bodily eye; but al is vaine. [Page 144] For a spirituall man will send his soule to the end of the world, and vpon this hee will vtter his care vnto him by his exhorta­tion. And this is a token of a greater thing, euen of this ioyning of the godly together, that one day they shalbe together soule and bodie. If thou haue a heart and care with the Church of God, thou shalt raigne with her in heauen for euer. And in deede if thou haue not this, it is a venture if euer thou raigne with her.

Now when he hath set downe this spirituall presence with them, he subioynes the effect of it, reioycing (saith he) there is the effect of that spirituall presence, his soule was with them, Spirituall presence of the faithfull one with another. and with ioy hee reioyced to see them. So this presence spiri­tual, whē the heart of the faithfull is with others, it is no fanta­cie, as a vaine head will thinke: but I say thou hadst neuer such ioy, as the faithfull will haue with others in a spirituall pre­sence. Thou neuer knewest this ioy, that hast not this spiritual presence. And brethren, it is euen with the Church, as it is with Christ, 1. Pet. 1. 8. he saith, you haue not seene Christ with your eyes, yet beleeuing in him who is farre from vs in his bodily presence, and louing him, howbeit he be away, ye reioyce with a ioy that is vnspeakable and glorious. It is euen so with the Church, howbeit wee see not the members of Christ in the bodie; yet if we haue the spirituall eye, we shall see them and they vs, and shall haue this spirituall ioy, spoken of in this place. And this same ioy that is in this life, with the Saints, is a sure argument of a passing ioy, that wee shall haue with the Church, when we are gathered to our head Iesus Christ, when with the eye of the bodie we shall see those glorified bodies. O vaine bodie! thou neuer wist what ioy, glorie, and beautie meaneth, if thou attaine not to this, to be a member of Iesus Christ, and to haue a spirituall presence with others.

Now followes what matter of ioy he heard in them. Behol­ding (saith he) your order: then the stedfastnes of your faith. Hee saw this in spirit, and not with the eye of the bodie. Brethren, certainly the thing that man walkes in, if it be in the ioy of the heart, it must be pleasant; it must be a pleasant sight, that will make a man to reioyce. Ye see when a man sees a thing that is not pleasant, he wil not reioyce. So that except the man [Page 145] of God see that that is pleasant, he will not, neither can he re­ioyce in heart. Now what is more beautifull then the spouse of Iesus, sauing the Lord himselfe, who is the bridegroome? There is nothing more beautifull to the spirituall eye, then the Church of Christ; howsoeuer she seemes to be vile in this world.

The first part of this beautie, is Order, that is, a well ordered The beau­tie of the Church. life, holines of manners, according to the rule of the Gospell: so holines of life is the order he saw among them: and thou shalt neuer see a face so pleasant as holines is, when it is vtte­red by a well ordred life. That is the fairest beautie that a man or woman can haue: if thou want this, wash and decke thy selfe as well as thou canst, thou art no better then dirt and dung, that is troden vnder feete. If a man looke vpon thee with a spirituall eye, if thou wert a Queene, pamper thy selfe vp as thou wilt, want thou holines, thou art but dirt and fil­thie dung, for all thy outward brauerie of attire.

The second thing that made him to reioyce with them in Faith. spirit, it was deeper then the first: Holines is outward: there­fore he goes further downe, and in through their life he looks and sees the faith that lay in the heart: that is to say, of the out­ward behauiour, he gathers more of their inward faith, from the which holines proceedeth. For certaine it is, that thou canst not be holy, if thou haue not a good action in thy hand; nor an holy word in thy mouth, if faith be not in thy heart. So when a man hath a spirituall eye, hee will presse into the heart, and not stand vpon outward appearances. O then how great is the beautie of faith! Thy outward actions are no­thing without this faith in thy heart; and it is a thing most pleasant to God, when hee seeth faith in thy heart, and that thou beleeuest in Iesus. He calles it not simply faith, but hee calles it that solidnes, that stedfastnes of faith in Iesus Christ. Well, thou that wouldest haue faith, thou must haue a solide faith: if thou be wagging and wauering, & nodding here and there; so that when thou art in Scotland, thou art of the reli­gion there professed; when thou art in France & Germany, of Trauellers into Spaine and Italy. the religions professed there; and when thou art in Spaine, Italy and Rome, thou art of their religion: Is that thy faith? [Page 146] That faith of thine shall doe thee no good, thou art but a vaine bodie, there is no stedfastnesse in thee; and except there bee stedfastnesse of faith in thy heart, thou shalt neuer be a holy li­uer. Many will professe at this day, I haue faith in Christ Iesus, I beleeue: but to come to their life, there is no such thing: and this is because there is no sound faith in their heart; but their faith is onely in the tip of their tongue. For thou that leadest a life contrary to faith, thou hast no faith at al. For the Apostle seeing a godly life in these Colossians, hee gathers that there was a solide faith in them. Then in a word, there is the matter of ioy, that the godly haue, when they see first that outward How wee may truly ioy in our brethren, when vve see them stand fast in faith, & liue godly and righ­teously. beautie of holines and godlines of conuersation in thee or in any man; and then that stedfast faith from whence it springs, there is matter of ioy. When wee see a Church liue godly, and then haue faith stedfast in Christ, here the ioy of the heart will arise: and by the contrary, there cannot be a greater displea­sure, then to see a Church out of order, liuing a life directly contrary to their profesion; there is the displeasure and grief of the faithfull.

And so to come to our selues, if we would be pleasant to o­thers that neuer saw vs, let vs liue after this order, and seeke to haue faith in Iesus: otherwise be sure, they that neuer sawe thee, will be witnesses against thee to thy iust damnation, that thou professest one way, and hast liued cleane contrary to thy profession.

In the next verses, hee returnes to his exhortation, and ga­thers his conclusion. Therefore (saith the Apostle) as ye haue re­ceiued Christ Iesus the Lord, and begun exceeding well both in life and faith; so walke in him, perseuere in him: there is the ex­hortation. Note heere first, the thing that should moue a Church, or any person to perseuerance. What should moue thee to hold on to the end? Hast thou begun in holines of life and faith in the heart? The beginning should moue thee to goe forward to the end. A good beginning would haue a good end: otherwise it had been better thou hadst neuer begun. I shall giue thee a faithfull counsell, either minde neuer to be a Christian man or woman, or else beginning once, and taking that name vpon thee, hold on, perseuere for euer. For if thou Perseue­rance. [Page 147] perseuere not, thy damnation shall be double, and thou shalt curse the day that euer thou heardst of Iesus: so Iesus shall be either saluation to thee or damnation. Peter saith in his second Epistle chap. 2. 21. It had been better for them, not to haue knowne the way of righteousnes, thē after they haue knowne it, to turne from the holy commaundement giuen vnto them. It had been better for thee neuer to haue receiued this word and doctrine of the Gospell, then to haue fallen backe from this holy doctrine.

Then I note the manner of perseuering: Euen as thou hast receiued him walke in him. As if he would say, ye haue receiued him in simplicitie of heart, ye haue receiued the Gospell with­out the traditions of men, perseuere in the same manner, and put not to it so much as one tradition of any man. The Lord Traditions Iesus cannot abide that the inuention of mans braine should be foysted into his Gospell. So either keepe the Gospell in the owne simplicitie, and spit out the dreames and traditions of men (which they labour to put to it, as though it were not suf­ficient;) or else neuer know it, let it goe by thee, and then woe to thee euermore. Keepe it in it owne simplicitie: for if thou mingle of thy inuentions with it, thou shalt lose the efficacie and force of the Gospell. Imbrace once Papistrie, I assure thee thou hast fallen from Christ: thou hast but fancied to thy selfe the name of a Christian. Therefore either lay the Gospell from thee, and take thee to traditions, or else keepe it in it owne simplicitie.

Then thirdly I see what faith is. Faith is nothing els but the VVhat faith is, and perse­uerance. receiuing of Christ, not with the hand, but with the hart. He is giuen thee; thou receiuest nothing but that that is offered. And what is preseuerance? A walking, and going forward in Christ. Wouldest thou perseuere? Thou must not sit downe, thou must not stand still, but thou must goe forward in him, and make progresse: at the least thou must striue to goe on, vnto the time thou meete with him. A bodie that sits downe shall neuer meere with him: thou must therefore goe on thy way, and be on thy iourney, or else thou shalt lose him. If thou make not progresse, thou shalt goe backward. Therefore run, [Page 148] hauing thy eye vpon the goale, and count not that thou hast done, till thou get the goale, which shall be in the day of the resurrection.

In the next verse when hee hath exhorted them to perseue­rance, hee lets them see how they shall come by this perscue­rance. Marke the way, if thou perseuere in him: Thou must be well knit vp and fast ioyned with him; or else thou canst ne­uer goe on foote for foote with him. This coniunction is set downe in two borrowed words. The first is rooted in him: no, neuer tree tooke such roote in the earth, as thou must take in Christ, if thou goe with him. And therefore he borrowed this word from a tree, and if thou be rooted in Iesus, that sappe of life must runne from that roote, and make thee to grow. The second word is, as wee would goe forward with him, wee must be grounded vpon him, as a building builded vpon a founda­tion. Nay, there was neuer building so builded and setled, as thou must be in Christ, if euer thou wilt perseuere, or else the least blast of winde shall blow thee away. As the Lord in the Gospell in the similitude of the house, builded vpon the sea sand doth declare, Matth. 7. 26. 27. Then marke: wee must haue a streight coniunction with Christ, if we wil goe forward with him. Therefore our care should be euer to see, that wee take roote further and further in Christ, and to see that sted­fast foundation laide vp vnder our hearts, and that wee grow euery day more and more on him. Well is the man that can enter into this count with himselfe. Then learne thy lesson at the tree, when thou seest it rooted in the earth: say, O Lord let my heart be builded on thee, and as the building riseth, so raise thou A prayer. vp my heart on thee. And the Lord shall make thee a fairer buil­ding then all the buildings in the world. Then that which he hath spoken in borrowed speeches, he speakes it plainly, and he saith, established in faith. As if hee would say, it is nothing that I meane, but your stablishing in faith. O the vnstabilitie of man without faith! O vaine man that hath not faith! If thou finde any stabilitie in faith, thou shalt say; O my heart where hast thou been stragling? there is no anchor that can fasten or stablish thine heart, but faith and hope in Iesus [Page 149] Christ. When by this anchor thou art anchored on him, then thou shalt stand so fast, that no winde nor waue of the sea shall be able to remoue thee. And therefore except thou wouldest goe lose thy selfe, seeke to get thy heart anchored on Iesus, who is only able to make it fast. A Papists heart hath no sted­fastnes nor stabilitie, because it is grounded on the wrong place; it is founded vpon Antichrist.

Now to the establishing of thy heart, he requires two pro­perties. To stablish thine heart in the faith note two things. The first is, in the faith that ye haue been instructed into, that is by the Gospell of Christ. Then (brethren) there is no­thing will stablish thy heart, but that faith that is taught out of the Gospell. If thou get not thy faith out of this Gospell, the Scripture of God, and that onely without paring or adding of mens dreames, thou shalt neuer get it. The Lord shall iu­stifie this one day; seeke it where thou wilt, thou shalt not find it without the Gospel. Seeke it in the Councels of the Fathers; seeke it among the Popes Clergie; thou shalt not finde it a­mongst them; thou shalt euer be the further from it. For the Apostle streightens them sore: he sees lownes creeping in vn­der the cloake of Christ, and stealing in traditions of mens wisedome: Therefore he warnes them, and saith, I charge you that ye seeke saith only out of this Gospell. And this day also, I charge all flesh from Kings to beggers, to seeke faith onely out of this Gospell; and spit at the vile inuentions of men: or else thou shalt neuer see the face of God, nor the ioyes of that life in him. Therefore sticke by this Gospell, and suffer not thy selfe to be seuered from it: yea rather suffer thy skinne be pul­led off thee as the Martyrs did, before thou shouldest be par­ted from the Gospell.

The second propertie that is required to the establishing of thy heart in faith, is; Thy faith must abound, abounding (saith he) with thankesgiuing. It must abound, it must grow aboun­dantly; it must not begin onely, but it must grow degree by degree. For (brethren) O how voide is the heart of man of grace, and ful of vanitie. It wil not be a degree of grace yt will fill thy heart, nor two, nor three, &c. but there must be aboun­dance. Faith must abound and grow, so long as thou abidest in this world: thy heart must euer be filling. But alas thou art [Page 150] euer filling thy bodie, and forgets thy heart. O but thou must be more carefull to fill thy heart, then thy bodie! Crie there­fore euer to haue thy heart filled with faith in Iesus: and say, Lord, as thou fillest my bodie, so fill my heart also. For thy body be­ing Pray that thy heart may be fil­led with faith. filled shall perish: but if thy soule be filled with the faith of Iesus, thou shalt liue for euer and euer. And therefore seeke this aboundance, and be not content with one degree of grace or two, or sixe or seauen: for there is no facietie till thou get that sight of the countenance of Iesus in the heauen, as he is.

Now he ioynes with this aboundance, thankesgiuing: as if he would say, as thou findest thy faith grow, euer thanke him that giues thee it. For these two are inseparably coupled together; so that if you take thankes away, there will be no abounding of faith. Thou that canst not thanke God, thou hast no faith: thou that canst not perseuere in thanksgiuing, thou growest not in faith. For thanksgiuing is an vnseparable companion of faith. Growest thou in thanksgiuing? thou growest in faith: True signes of faith. for it is a plaine argument of the growth of faith in thee. Hast thou a pleasure to pray, and to aske, and to thanke God? thou canst not get a surer token of the aboundance of faith then that. Then thou maist reioyce and say, Praised be God, my faith growes, and I shall get daily a cleerer sight of the face of Christ, and so shall be made conformable to my Sauiour the Lord Iesus. Now the Lord worke this grace and earnest­nes in our hearts, for this his Christs sake. To whom with the Father, and the holy Spirit, be praise for euer,

Amen.

THE FIFTEENTH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 8. 9. 10.

8 Beware least there be any man that spoyles you through Phi­losophie, and vaine deceit, through the traditions of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:

9 For in him dwelleth all the fulnes of the Godhead bodily.

10 Andye are compleate in him which is the head of all princi­palitie and power.

THe Apostle (brethren) hauing set downe his doctrine, as ye heard in the first chapter: he addes hereunto an exhortation and admonition. He hath exhorted to perseuerance in faith, now hee admonisheth to beware of false teachers and of false doctrine. He began his exhortation in the first chapter: then hauing spoken something of himself, partly in the first, partly in the second; he returnes and giues this admonition to beware of false teachers. Then after he re­turnes to the exhortation again, calling vpon them to be con­stant in the doctrine once receiued. Now in the text that wee haue read this day, he returnes to the admonition, admonish­ing them to beware of false teachers. Then briefly to come to the words: Beware (saith he) least there be any man that spoyles you. The word in the originall language signifies, Let no man The sense of the word spoiles. carrie you away as a pray. The word is borrowed from robbers and theeues that come vpon a folde of sheepe, and carrie away [Page 152] the sheepe as a pray. Euen so false teachers are naught else but robbers, brigands, theeues that come vpon the sheepfold of the Lord Iesus, and carrie away his sheepe as a pray. The man­ner how they doe this; is not by strong hand or by violence, but it is by Philosophie, by deceiuing of the sheepe and snaring of them: first by sophistrie, and then when they haue snared them, and trapped them, they binde them, and so take them on their shoulders, and they goe on willingly being deceiued. Therefore, wouldest thou not be a pray to a false teacher? keep thee from his deceit, keepe thee from the Papists traditions, mens Philosophie. For all their religion is meere peltrie. I say to thee their Philosophie, that is their deceit, and vanitie in do­ctrine, The philo­sophie of the enemies of the Church more to be feared then their vio­lence or power. is more to be feared then their violence and power, be­cause by it onely they get their pray: if thou keepe thee from their deceit, they shall not bee able to take thee as a pray. As for their violence, if they beguile thee not, it shall neuer seuer thee from the Lord Iesus Christ. Yet to insist vpon this; hee calles it Philosophie. A faire name to be called wisedome, but hee giues it as foule a name afterward, when he names it vaine de­ceit, that is, vanitie that deceiues: there is no soliditie in all their doctrine. Search it who will? Indeede it is true, the wisedome of man so long as it is within the bounds of things that are earthly and worldly, things naturall, things concerning poli­cie; it will haue some soliditie: but so soone as the head of a man, albeit neuer so ingenious and learned, reacheth without the bounds of earthly and naturall things, & begins to climbe vp to heauen, and to seeke out God and his worship; there the head of man vanisheth and becomes foolishnes. O how great distance is there betwixt the wisedome of God and man! Therefore Paul to the Romanes chap. 1. 21. speaking of the wise Philosophers seeing to be wise, saith, they became starke fooles. Diuine Plato, a very foole in the knowledge and wor­ship of God, and all the rest fooles concerning God.

Yet (brethren) he saith: This wisedome of theirs is deceiuing. Although it be vaine, notwithstanding it is effectuall to be­guile thee, because it will seeme to be wisedome, and it is dyed with the colour of wisedome: so that if thou wilt looke on it at the first face, it wil seeme wisedome: for outwardly it hath a [Page 153] fairer shew, then the greatest wisdome of God. So I note here, alas how lightly, and with how light a thing is a bodie decei­ued? Follie will seeme wisedome, and vanitie will seeme sted­fastnes vnto him. There is none borne otherwise, if he haue no more then his natural birth. So there must be a deeper ground of this matter. What can be the cause that vanitie and follie can so soone deceiue a man? Alas, if the cause were not in thee, thou couldest not so soone be deceiued. Thou art borne with a vaine hart, and thou drinkest it vp as naturally as sand doth water. If thou hadst not this nature, and this vaine heart, none would be able to beguile thee. When I consider this (O fie vp­on the deceit of the world) I wonder not to see millions of Pa­pists, Poperie is a naturall religion. Kings and nations, to be so blinded this day, at the light of the Gospell: for that is the naturall disposition of all men: but rather I wonder to see one silly body, to haue that change, that he can drinke in the truth of God. And if thou haue it thy selfe, wonder at it, and giue him thanks that hath shewed such grace and mercie on thee.

To go forward. In the second word, when he hath set down this vaine deceit, he specifies it more particularly, and saith: Through the traditions of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ. I aske the question, what thinkest thou by the vainest doctrine that euer was taught? I answere out of this place of the Apostle, when hee hath said Traditions of men the vainest de­ceit in the world. vaine deceit, hee expounds it mens traditions: so the vainest doctrine in the world is mens traditions. If thou wouldest be vaine, all the fables of the Poets be not so vaine, or will not make thee so vaine, as the vaine traditions of the Papists, cal­led their vnwritten verities. O vaine Papist! I giue thee the soueraigntie of the vainest creature that euer stepped vpon the ground.

In the words following he declares it yet more particular­ly, according to the rudiments of the world. This is one sort of mens traditions. In this chapter, ye shall see two sorts of mens traditions, one that neuer was knowne, such as the holy Ghost Two kinds of tradi­tions here specified. neuer gaue, nor was ordained to be preached, as the inuoca­tion vpon Angels, or Saints; Satisfactions; Purgatorie; such as God neuer knew. Another sort called the Rudiments of [Page 154] the world, or the elements of the world, that is, the elements and shadowes of the law ceremoniall that God gaue to his people; which hee willed should be abolished, when the truth it selfe which they shadowed should come; I meane the Mes­sias: whē he came into the world, all these ceremonies ceased. Learne heere that euen those ceremonies that were giuen by God to be obserued, before Christ came into the world; now when Christ is come, are to be counted the doctrine and tra­ditions of men. And now if God will not know these ceremo­nies, which he himselfe gaue; O vaine Papist! will he acknow­ledge thee and thy dreames, and the rest of that peltrie? No, in that great day thou shalt finde the Lord shall say; I know neither thee nor thy doctrine.

In the last of these words opposing to mens traditions, and specially to the ceremonies of ye Iewes, he saith, not after Christ; that is, that Christ and his Gospell hath not to doe with them. Then wouldest thou haue two opposite things, that will not stand together, where wilt thou seeke them? Thou thinkest water and fire, a wolfe and a lambe be most contrarie. No; I must tell thee, what is more contrarie, yea that it will neuer be glewed together: the sincere word of the Gospell, the written word of the Scriptures, and their vnwritten verities. Let the Papists endeuour as they will to glew and to soder them to­gether, they shall neuer agree together. Heauen and hell shall bee as soone put together, as thou shalt put them together. And looke how soone thou puttest to a part of mens tradi­tions to the Gospell, so soone thou puttest to a peece of sower leauen to sweete; and so all is made sower to thee. So thou hast no sweete bread in the Gospell. Put me in a tradition to Iesus Christ, paint him out in as good intention as thou canst, I say in mans tradition Iesus Christ is nothing but a maine Idol, and thou art an Idolater, and thy death shall be with Idolaters.

When he hath giuen them the admonition, that they should beware of false teachers, & their doctrine, whereby they were led away captiue as a pray to perdition; he subioynes a good reason in the next verse, wherefore they should not feede vp­on vanitie: For in Christ (saith he) dwels all the fulnes of the God­head [Page 155] bodily. As if hee would say; would ye be filled? And cer­tainly The heart desires to be filled with some­thing. the harts of mē naturally craue to be filled, either with one knowledge of God or other: yea and ere it will want a filling, it wilinuent a God to it selfe. Nature tels this. So would ye be filled, saith he? Leaue not the full plenitude that is in Ie­sus Christ, and runne to puddles that will turne to poyson in the end. Then before I come to the words in particular, marke this. There is such a fulnes in Christ, that thou needest not to be emptie, or to seeke to be filled without him, with any thing in this world. Thou art bound to seeke out of this plenitude to be filled, and not elsewhere. That fulnes in him is offered to thee, and if thou seeke without him to be filled, his fulnes shall make thy damnation double. Remember I tell thee, the fuller he is of grace and glorie, if thou get not a share of it, the grea­ter shall be thy damnation in that day: either shalt thou get grace; or else his fulnes shall aggrauate thy iudgement.

In whom (saith he) dwels the fulnes of the Godhead bodily. Then what is in him? First not onely grace (as we say) by participa­tion, as it is in vs; but in Iesus is the God of grace himselfe. The deitie, the Godhead, Gods owne essence, and nature is in Iesus Christ. He saith not simply, the Godhead is in him, but hee saith, the fulnes of it; not a part of it: so that one part is here, and another there; one part in him, and another part without him: but hee saith, the fulnes of the Godhead is in Ioh. 14. him. He is full of God, the perfect God is in him; yea the God­head of the Father is within him. The full Godhead is in him, in substance, nature, and essence. Hee saith not simply (looke euery word) that the fulnes of the Godhead is in him, but hee All the ful­nes of the Godhead is in Christ. saith, all the fulnes is in him: as if hee would say, The fulnes of the Godhead in euery sort and manner of way is in him. The fulnes not in wisedome onely, in power onely, in iustice only, in mercie only; but the fulnes in all these together, and euery propertie of the Godhead is in him. In a word, the whole glo­rie and maiestie of God is in him. And not this onely, but hee saith, it dwels in him. God is not in Iesus, simply to speake it so, in him today, and tomorrow out of him, but he abides in him euerlastingly. He shall neuer leaue him. Then he saith, he dwels in him. How? not after a common manner, but bodily, that is [Page 156] to say, essentially. So that the very substance of the Godhead in Iesus Christ, is become corporall in the person of the sonne: The word was made flesh, Ioh. 1. 14. The very essence of God is become incarnate, as it were: a marueilous coniunction there is of two natures in Christ. For that the nature of man in Iesus Christ is conioyned with the nature of the Godhead; and the two natures are become one person, to wit, the person of God is become one, ioyned with the nature of man. No creature hath this prerogatiue, only Iesus hath it: and so in this respect it is said, the Godhead dwels bodily in him. This is the mea­ning of the words. This is the third time that he hath spoken of his fulnes. Note.In the first chapter vers. 19. he saith, In him dwels all fulnes, and then in this second chapter vers. 3. In him are hid all the treasures of wisedome and knowledge. Where ye see in his second speaking, hee speakes more fully then he did in the first. Now lastly in the third roome hee saith, In him dwels dwels all the fulnes of the Godhead bodily; there is a more full speaking then before. So by his example (wee that cannot speake as the Apostles and Saints of God did) wee should learne how to speake of God. Paul the more he insists in speaking of Christ, and his fulnes; the more his heart aboundeth, and the more How to speake of Christ with grace. his mouth is filled with words to his praise, degree by degree. So the mans heart being filled with Iesus, his mouth is filled: & a full mouth speaking of Christ, wil fill the harts of the hea­rers. Then brethren learne: the more yt one speakes of the ful­nes of Christ and of his glorie, the more & more shall he finde his hart abound, & his mouth filled. And it is impossible if thy heart be full of him, but thy mouth must be full, and thou wilt speake of him with a full mouth, and not lightly a word and a­way. And then who wots, but the Lord will make that fulnes to fill some of the hearts of the hearers? Blessed is that heart that can get any part of that fulnes of Iesus: for thy heart was neuer stablished with grace that neuer got no part of the ful­nes of Iesus.

All this speaking tels thee Christ is no winde, nor vanitie. If thou hadst no other thing to know stedfastnes by, this same speaking of Paul tels thee that all soliditie and fulnes is in Ie­sus Christ. Therefore when thou readest this, marke it, and say: [Page 157] I see here a fulnes: Alas, that there should be such fulnes in Christ, and I hauing so small part of it. Lord let me finde this fulnes in some measure. Cease not while thou finde it, for it stands thee vpon life and life, and the heart that is not filled with Christ here in some measure, shall neuer be filled with his presence and ioyes in heauen hereafter. And therefore thou that wouldest haue that onely fulnes, which shall be in hea­uen, by the sweete presence of Iesus there, where thou shalt see him, as hee is in our nature, full of glorie and maiestie; which sight shall make thee reioyce exceedingly: looke as thou wouldst haue ioy for euermore, that thou be filled with Iesus here on earth in some measure, otherwaies away with thee, thou art a cast away, and thy end shall be in euerlasting woe, woe vpon woe, and euer in woe. So then you may see all the glorie in heauen is in Iesus Christ; there is not a iot of glorie out of him, but all is in him, that is, in thy Sauiour. Wouldest thou haue a Sauiour? where wouldest thou get one if thou misse this Sauiour? See the honour of thy nature in him. All the glorie of heauen shines through the vaile of thy nature in him: thy nature is the very vaile, that hangs about that glo­rious Christ God manifested in our flesh maiestie, that light that hath no accesse, and it shines to thee through the vaile. I speake this, for this cause, that thou presse not to seeke heauen, nor no ioy, nor glorie therein, but in this Lord Iesus Christ. No, looke not here nor there, but directly set thine eye vpon him, that sits at the right hand of the Father. For in him is all the glorie of the Father, and looke that thou imagine not to see any glorie, but that that is in thy head. Where is thine heauen? Iesus is thine heauen. All thy heauen here, and hence is as it were included in him. Seeke it where thou wilt, thou shalt finde no heauen without Christ.

Now to come to the next verse, the Colossians might haue said: What is that to vs, that thou hast told vs of the great fulnes that is in him? he is full, but we are emptie: what van­tage haue wee by it? Euen as if one would tell of a glorious King: another will answere, what is that to me? The Apostle meetes with this obiection, and saith, In whom ye are complete, who is the head of all principalitie and power. As if he would say: O Colossians, in him ye are filled, his fulnes is yours: it serues [Page 158] for your profit. So you see, that not onely all fulnes of glo­rie is in Iesus Christ, in his owne person; but with the beames of it, as it were all creatures are filled: yea heauen it selfe is filled with his glorie; and the earth is filled with his glo­rie: and this is the felicitie of all the creatures in the world. Wherein trowest thou stands the blessednes of the earth? of the heauen? and of all the elements? Note.Looke the eight chap­ter to the Romanes, vers. 21. 22. and there you shall finde that the blessednes of the creature stands in the gloriousnes of Rom. 8. 21 22 Christ, one day to be reuealed. And therefore Paul saith, that the world groanes, sighing for the reuelation of his glorie: for the glorie of the earth and heauen, is not yet reuealed. Peter saith in his second Epistle chap. 3. 12. 13. When that the Lord shall come in his glorie, that the heauens shall burne, and be dissol­ued, and the elements shall melt: then there shall be new heauens A new heauen and a new earth. made, and a new earth: So that thou shalt see another glorie in heauen and earth, then euer was before, or is now seene. But to speake of man especially; they that would beleeue and would be in him, they shall be ingrafted as it were into him, and set as it were in his fulnes, aboue all other creatures: for they shall be filled with his own fulnes. If thou be set in him as the Sunne is in the firmament, the fulnes of the glorie that is in him, shall shine in thee, aboue the earth, aboue the Moone, & aboue the Sun it selfe. So that this is felicitie, to haue a share and portion of the grace and glorie of Christ, to receiue of his fulnes; for he is full of grace, and veritie, saith Iohn 1. 14. It is true indeed, and so long as wee liue here, this appeares not. There is neuer a one that beleeues, but he is a Kings sonne, and a Kings daughter. But saith John, 1. Ioh. 3. 2. it appeares not as yet; but when hee comes, then it shall appeare, wee shall all shine in glorie. And the reprobate that thought thee but a lost creature, shall wonder that euer there should be such a glorie prepared for thee. Albeit thou shine not now, yet if thou be­leeue, thou hast this vantage: all that glorie that is in Christ is thine. I say to thee, a man is not so surely clad with his shirt, as thou that beleeuest in Christ art clad with him. He is a gar­ment to thee, haue what clothing thou wilt; if thou hadst but a ragged coate, yet if thou beleeuest in him, thou art clad with [Page 159] him. Goe where thou wilt, if thou cast off thy coate, Iesus will sticke by thee: There is neuer a faithfull Saint wants Iesus. And therefore thou maist say, The Lord is the portion of mine in­heritance. Onely beleeue in him, be ingrafted in him by faith: Onely possesse him in thy heart. Thou hast all his glorie and maiestie. And againe, you see no man needes to enuie the glo­rie that Christ hath in him; for he communicates that glorie to vs; you see we enuie the glorie of earthly Princes. This wee haue by nature, we would haue it all our selues, and the seed of ambition is in the beastliest bodie that is vpon earth, which Ambition. raiseth all these seditions, tumults, warres and vprores that is now adaies, and hath been from the beginning. Such is the enuie that euery man hath against another mans preferment, his honour, and estimation, that hee cannot away with it, ex­cept he haue all in himselfe. And therefore hee leaues nothing vndone, if it were to cut his throte, so be it he may get his glory and renowne. But thou that beleeuest, needs not in such wise to enuie the glorie of Iesus Christ. A King will not communi­cate his glorie with thee, no not a iot of it; but Iesus Christ communicates all his glorie with thee: and therefore thou shouldest loue him the more; yea and the faithfull man, the more he sees God glorified, the more is his ioy: but a repro­bate wil enuie the glorie of God. Nay, there was neuer such a subiect that enuied the glorie and honour of a Prince, or of his master, as a reprobate will enuie the glorie of Iesus. Hee would if he might plucke him from his glorie: such is the ma­lice of his heart against Iesus Christ. Yea the reprobate would The repro­bate. if it were possible, bereaue the Saints of their glorie: and whē this glorie of the Saints shall be reuealed, the reprobate shall fret and fume: they desire not to heare tell of the glorie of Christ and of his Saints. And when they heare of it (for they shall heare of it in despite of their teeth) they heare it with the sadnes of their heart; it is no comfort nor consolation to them to heare of it. And by the contrary, the faithfull one reioyceth, when he heares of it, it makes his hart to leape for ioy, as Iohns did in his mothers belly, when Mary the mother of Christ A sure to­ken of e­lection. spake to Elizabeth, Luk. 1. 41. Therefore if thou canst reioyce, when thou hearest of Gods glorie in Iesus Christ, it is a good [Page 160] and sure token of thy election. And againe, seeing that in Iesus there is this fulnes, thou needes neuer to be emptie, or feare to want. Thou that findest any wastnes or emptines, put out thy hand to the ambrie of the Gospel, wherein this fulnes of grace The Gospel is the meane whereby Christ com­municates his fulnes vnto vs. and glorie is to be had. A contemner of the Gospell if he were a King, he shall not taste of this fulnes, and of this glorie of Ie­sus, for there is no way to be partaker of this fulnes, but by the Gospell. It is the ambrie wherein it is contained. And if thou misse it, thou shalt neuer get a cheekefull or morfell of any ful­nes in thy soule.

When hee hath said, And in him ye are filled, he subioynes a glorious description of him, who is the head of all principalitie and power. He cannot leaue of to speake of that glorious maie­stie: he said before, In him are hid all treasures of wisedome and knowledge: and againe, in him dwelleth the Godhead bodily, and so foorth, as you haue heard: now againe, when he hath cast in a word of him, he leaues him not so, but hee will yet paint him out in his glorie. Then learne to speake fully of Christ. Alas this hungry speaking of Christ testifies the emptines and void­nes To speake fully of Christ. of God in our hearts. It is a true saying, Of the aboundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. If thy heart were full of him, as I haue said, thy mouth would be full, and thou wouldest speak fully of him: but thy heart being so emptie, what marueile is it, to heare thee speake coldly of this Lord full of glorie. Well, there is no question, but by this description, wherein he makes him Lord ouer all, both in heauen and earth, hee meanes this, that he is not onely Lord aboue them all, but that also they are cast downe vnder his feete, hee is mounted aboue them all.

Now there be two things that will make vs chiefly to ac­count of this gloriousnes, that is in Christ Iesus. The one Two things do cause vs to thinke highly of Christ. thing is his highnes, a maiestie about all maiesties. There is not a maiestie but that maiestie. The other thing is, thy lowli­nes and thy basenes; thou art but a worme on earth, hee is a­boue all heauens. Is not this a great goodnes, that he that is so high, should so lowly humble himselfe, so that he should abase himselfe as it were, to become a worme? Men would wonder that euer the God of glorie should so haue humbled himself; yea the Angels wonder at this, that euer sinfull man should [Page 161] haue gotten a share or portion of that grace of God. So this is my counsell, if thou feele a smacke of grace, of consolation, or A speciall consolatiō. of faith, if it were but as a mustard seede, count more of it, then of all the kingdomes of the earth. For it will weigh downe all, keepe it well in thy heart, and lose thy life and all before thou wilt lose it. I counsell thee to looke vp to heauen first, and say: yet this Lord will giue me more of his grace and glorie: when I shall see him with this eye of the bodie; then the Lord will fill me with glorie, and I will hope and be con­tent to lose all before I should lose this. Keepe this earnest peny, for it is the ioy of the creature, to keepe this earnest pe­ny: for one day thou shalt get the full summe and fulnes of ioy. If thou keepe it not, and haue no regard of it, and hold not vp thy eye by night and by day, by looking to Iesus in this Gospell, thou shalt neuer get the full summe and entire payment. The sucking of the hearts of the faithfull, and the drinking in this milke of the word, is the way to get Iesus to The way to get Iesus into the heart. thy heart, and to keepe him night and day: yea it is the way appointed from all eternitie. Abraham sought for him, and got faith in him by the word of promise, which is the Gospell. Therefore it is said, that he sawe him and reioyced, Ioh. 8. 56. Nay, Abraham neuer suffered himselfe to be seuered from that grace that was in him. So the Gospel is the way to bring Christ out of heauen to thee, and to fill the elect with all ioy and glorie. To him therefore be euerlasting glo­rie, praise and dominion, for euer,

Amen.

THE SIXTEENTH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 11. 12.

11 In whom also yee are circumcised with circumcision made without hands, by putting off the sinfull bodie of the flesh through the circumcision of Christ,

12 In that ye are buried with him through Baptisme; in whom ye are also raised vp together through the faith of the operation of God which raised him from the dead.

IN this second chapter of this Epistle (brethren) you haue heard how the Apostle exhorteth to perseue­rance in that faith receiued: next how he admoni­sheth the Colossians to beware of false teachers and false doc­trine. The last day ye heard, how he admonisheth them that they should take heed that no man spoyle them, or driue them away as a pray, and that through Philosophie, which hee calleth vaine deceit. His argument was from that fulnes that is in Christ. In him (saith he) dwelleth the fulnes of the Godhead bodily. Summe of the former Sermon. Therefore be contented with him, and seeke not to be filled with vaine traditions of men and their deceitfull philosophie. Then for that they might haue said, he is full, that is true, let him be full, and let the fulnes of the Godhead be in him, what is that to vs? we are neuer the fuller in regard thereof. He ther­fore meeteth with this obiection and saith, you are compleate in him, his fulnes filleth you: if you be in him, you shall receiue [Page 163] of his fulnes and be filled. And who is this that filleth them? To let them see that it is no small matter to be filled with his fulnes, he painteth him out and saith, he is the head of all the Em­pire. Well, would you thinke it a small matter to be filled with his fulnes that is so high?

Now to come to the words which we haue read. They might Coherence. Obiection. haue said, we want Circumcision (for the false teachers did al­waies beate that into their heads) & they themselues thought they could haue no grace in Christ, but by Circumcision. The Iewes receiued Circumcision, which was an entrie to grace: we want this Circumcision: therefore wee can haue no entrie to grace, as the Iewes had. In this verse the Apostle meeteth Answere. them and saith, In whom also ye are circumcised. He granteth to them circumcision in a manner, and saith, Complaine not, you want not circumcision in Christ. Neuer Iew had it in greater effect then you haue, and therefore complaine not. Then note here shortly this question of theirs, and his answere thereto. He saith plainly, that we cannot be filled with the fulnes of Ie­sus Christ, except after some sort we be circumcised; that is to say, except the foreskinne, not of the bodie, but of the heart, Our natu­rall corrup­tion must be circum­cised if we be in Christ and Christ in vs. be cut away. For except this originall and naturall corrup­tion, wherein we are borne, be cut away, there is no grace for vs. For I tell you; if in no measure it be abolished (it so occu­pieth all the parts and powers of the soule) that there is no place to the grace of Christ Iesus. Therefore it must be first thrust out; and think not that the original corruption where­in thou art borne, and the grace of Christ can dwell together: Simile. the one expelleth the other, as water doth the fire.

The second thing which I note is this: I perceiue there is The second obseruatiō. nothing that the Iewes had, but in effect Christians haue the same. Wilt thou speake of Circumcision? The Church of Iesus Christ hath it in a farre better sort then euer they had. It is true, that they had more Ceremonies, Sacraments, figures and outward rites in their religion, then we haue: but we haue no losse by the want of them, but rather a plaine aduantage. They had the shadow, wee haue the bodie. Haue you not a greater aduantage by the body thē by the shadow? They followed the shadow going before the bodie; but thou laiest hold vpon the [Page 164] bodie following the shadow. Oh would to God the Church of Scotland could consider this grace we haue in the bodie! that the Iewes nor any els in the old world could get. Thou woul­dest wonder at that grace of God in Iesus Christ. But alas wee esteeme it not in our daies.

Well to goe forward, least they should misconster him, hee expoundeth himselfe, and sheweth of what circumcision hee meant: to wit, not of the grosse circumcision of the Iewes; He saith, Ye are circumcised, not with circumcision made with mens hands, not of that outward skinne, but with an inward circum­cision of the hart, that is made by the spirit and finger of God, there is the meaning. In this you see a difference betweene the Iewes religion & ours. All things among them were outward obiects to the eyes of men; their religion for the most part stoode in an outward glorie and shew. Things among them were made by the hands of men, as their Circumcision and their Tabernacles, as appeareth in the Epistle to the Hebrues: but the religion that Christ brought to the world, when hee was manifest in the flesh, abolished all their religion, and stan­deth in spirit and veritie. He is not, neither will be worship­ped in this mountaine, and that mountaine; but hee will be worshipped in spirit and truth, Ioh. 4. 21. His religion seeketh not this outward pompe. So when I looke to these men that haue brought into Christs Church this outward vanitie, I am compelled to say, that the deceiuers of the world haue turned Poperie. Christianisme into Iudaisme; yea into Gentilisme and Paga­nisme. Fie on them; I may say to them, as Paul said to the Ga­lathians chap. 3. 1. O foolish Galathians, who hath bewitched you? So I say, O foolish man! when thou hast begun with a spirituall thing, wilt thou end in a fleshly thing? thou shalt neuer see heauen, if thou make such an end. The Lord began with an outward thing, and ended with a spirituall thing: but thou wilt begin with a spirituall thing, and wilt end with a fleshly and outward thing. O thy end shall be damnable!

To goe forward, he insisteth vpon this circumcision made without hands, & he defineth it in plaine words, that thereby he would make them vnderstand these spirituall things (for it is hard to cause a naturall man to vnderstand spirituall and [Page 165] heauenly things) he saith, it stands. Wherein? In a putting off, in an vncloathing of thee, as one would cast off his coate or shirt: so the circumcision that is not made with hands, stan­deth in this; thou must cast something from thee. He maketh it not to stād in the outward cutting off of the outward skin, but the inward circumcision of a foule heart: the cloathes that it is clad with, they are pestiferous, and they must be torne and throwne off, that thy heart may be circumcised. For I tell thee there was neuer any one more surely clad with infected appa­rell, then thy heart is enwrapped with the botchie corruption of thy nature. And if thou keepe it on, it will infect thee, and steale thee to death & destruction before thou be aware.

But to come to this garment, the Apostle tels thee what gar­ment and cloathing it is that thou hast: first he calleth it a bo­die, it is a bodie, then a massie lumpe: this is a borrowed word from the bodie of man. So the garment wherewith thou art clad by nature, and which must be shaken off of thee, if thou wouldest be saued, it is no superficiall thing. O vaine man! Our natu­rall corrup­tiō no light or superfi­ciall thing. thou thinkest it a superficiall light thing. No, it is a bodie and a lumpe, with all the dimensions thereof, length, heighth, breadth, and deepnes: yea thou art not able to finde out the deepnes thereof. Thou maist indeede feele the deepnes of thy bodie, of flesh, and bones: but thou canst not finde the deep­nes of thy heart. For as thy soule is compassed with thy bodie, euen so thy heart is compassed and clogged with an heauie lumpe, heauier then the whole earth. One sinne is heauier then the whole earth: no marueile then if thou be drawne to hell, if thou be not relieued.

Now let vs see whereof this bodie is. He calleth it a bodie of sinne. O stinking nature! Then (brethren) ye see the arraigne­ment of nature, a bodie not of flesh, bloud and bone, but of sinne, and of all sorts of sinne. Wilt thou looke into thy heart? thou shalt see it full of foule stinking cogitations, and affec­tions. And if thou haddest any smell of it, thou wouldest stink Naturall corruption how vn­cleane a thing. in thy owne nose. I forbeare to speake of the outward effects, as foule speeches, and the wicked deedes of the hands, which returne to the heart againe, and makes vp the stinking bodie. [Page 166] The heart of man is drowned in the sinke of sinne, and if thou relieue not thy selfe, thou shalt be drowned in sin. The world will not beleeue this, nor yet learne this lesson.

In the next word he calleth it, the bodie of flesh. Wouldest thou haue the originall of sinne? it is called flesh, not this out­ward bodie that thou bearest; but an inward hid thing, and stinking corruption that is runne through thy whole soule and bodie, and infecteth them; so that there is not an inch of thee free. So you see the welspring of this sinfull masse; it is not outward; it is within thee that ayleth thee; the seate of it is in the heart, and occupieth the depth of it, and no part ther­of is free, and it spouteth out vehemently this foule stinking venome of sinne, as euer thou sawest any spout, spout out wa­ter. So that if thou grow not in regeneration, thou shalt grow in sinne, which poysons thee day by day, till at the last thou drop downe like a poysoned bodie. Therefore roote it out, and digge it vp: let this be thy occupation night and day, as Kill sinne, or else it will kill thee. thou wouldest be saued, or else it will destroy thee. So thou seest this garment, this bodie wherewith thou art so clogged must be cast off; otherwise of necessitie thou must be a fire­brand of hell.

In the end of the verse he taketh vp that which he hath spo­ken in one word, I meane (would he say) by this of casting off the bodie, nothing else but that circumcision of Christ: that is to say, not onely that, that he suffered in his owne flesh pas­siue, but that this is made by him actiue, as we speake. Then note shortly, that all this, of putting off this foule garment, is not by the hand of man (all the men in the world cannot get their hand into thy heart, to plucke off this foule stinking garment) hee may open thy breast, and pull out thy fleshie heart; but there is no hand that can pull off, and draw out that foule heart, but onely the hand of Christ Iesus. Therefore if thou wilt be freed of that mortalitie, craue his hand to pluck Christ a­lone doth circumcise the heart. off this garment, and crie, O Lord, put in thy hand, and plucke this foule heart away: fie on it, it stinkes in mine owne nose. When he hath thus spoken, he leaueth vs not so; but maketh it plaine, shewing the manner how this is brought about. [Page 167] Thou must not dreame of a grosse fashion; for the manner is spirituall. In old time a man would haue put to his hand bo­dily; but Iesus Christ puts to his hand spiritually.

Now the circumcision of Iesus Christ standeth in a confor­mitie VVhat the circumcisiō of Christ is. and likenes betweene Christ and vs. This likenes stands in two poynts; first in the likenes with him in death and buri­all: thou must dye, I tell thee, thou that wouldest be made like to Christ thy head: Secondly, it standeth in a conformitie in life, and in rising againe to life; and truly thy life shall be more sweete and ioyfull, then euer thy death was sower and heauie. But he beginneth at his death, his words are, being bu­ried. Buriall presupposeth death: no man is buried but he that is dead. Then vnderstand how thou canst neuer liue with To be bu­ried vvith Christ in griefe for sinne. Christ, vnlesse thou dye with him: thinke not that euer thou shalt rise, except thou bee first buried with him in griefe for sinne. Well, well, wanton companions, burie your hearts in teares and holy repentance. Repentance if it be holy, is thy buriall; for who euer rose except he lay downe? Can a man rise from death to life, except he were first dead? Canst thou rise to that spirituall and eternall life, except thou be first spi­ritually dead? It must be the death of this bodie of sinne, of this body of flesh that is within thee, that must bring thee to this buriall of Christ. Couldest thou neuer sigh for thy sinne? then wast thou neuer at deaths dore; nor dead with Christ. And except thou sigh continuallie day and night for thy sinnes, and dye to them, and euery one of them, how canst thou say thou shalt rise with Christ? Art thou a murtherer and greeuest not for it, so that thou abstainest from it? then thou diest not, and shalt not therefore rise with Christ. Art thou an oppressour, and repentest not? then thou diest not, neither shalt thou rise with Christ. Art thou an euill speaker of thy neighbour behinde his backe (as this land is full of such peo­ple, who thinke it no sinne) and sorrowest not? thou neuer wast dead with Christ, neither canst rise with him. O the vil­laine, that will please himself in this sin & the rest, and yet will imagine to rise as well as the best men to life in Iesus! But O foole! thou art altogether vaine, and thy cogitations are [Page 168] meere deceits: for Christ will not be a Sauiour to any but to such as die with him, mortifying their sinnes. If thy buriall be not with him, thou shalt neuer rise to spirituall life with him. Thou maist indeed rise, but not to thy comfort: if thou be not buried to sinne in some measure in this life, there shall be no resurrection for thee to that life which is in the heauens pur­chased in the bloud of Christ Iesus. Men thinke not hereof; and those that neuer mourne for their sinnes, doe suppose that they shall rise laughing. The promise is made to them that mourne: Blessed are they (saith Christ) that mourne (to wit for sinne) for they shall receiue comfort, Matth. 5 4. Men thinke they shall come to heauen before their feete be colde, and yet they delight themselues in their sinnes. Nay, goe thy way, crucifie thy sinne and thy selfe to sinne, or else thou shalt ne­uer see heauen nor come to glorie. Would to God this were as well felt as it is knowne.

Now the meanes whereby this dying is wrought, is Bap­tisme, instituted by Iesus Christ, that put away and abolished Baptisme not only re­presenteth the cruci­fying and burying of Christ, but also is po­werfull in the bap­tized in the whole course of his life. Circumcision, and placed Baptisme in steede thereof. I will speake somewhat of Baptisme, but as it concerneth the mat­ter we haue in hand: It not onely representeth the death and buriall of Christ, and as oft as thou seest it, so often thou seest, or at the least shouldest see Iesus crucified and buried: it hath not onely the naked representation hereof, but the vertue of that death and buriall. It crucifieth the bodie that is baptized: it burieth the old man: it is the very power of God, to the mortification of thy sinfull nature: and the Lord is powerfull in it, not onely at that instant when thou art baptized (as the Papists say) but also continueth so in thee in the whole course of thy life. Thou thinkest it is but for children onely: nay it is euen for old bodies also: and if thou keepe it in thy sight and remembrance, thou maist be perswaded that the Lord will worke most assuredly thy mortification, as long as thou liuest. Therefore neglect not thy Baptisme, as thou wouldest goe for­ward in the mortification of thy sinne, and thinke euer and The vse of baptisme in our whole life. say: O Lord, I was baptized in thy name, Lord let it not be gone out of my minde; make it powerfull in me to the mor­tification [Page 169] of sinne: and it shall haue force euen in thy very death. I speake this because men thinke there is no more re­quired but an outward shew: but if thou knewest the force and powerfull working of the Lord, thou wouldest remember thy Baptisme, euen as long as thou liuest: and if thou diddest finde it to haue any working in thee, thou wouldest reuerence it more and more. And so much for the first part of the likenes of Iesus Christ.

Then he proceedeth to the second part of this conformitie that is by Baptisme; In whom ye are also raised vp. This follow­eth vpon the other, as the Apostle Rom. 6. 5. proueth this con­sequence, where euer this buriall goeth before, all the world cannot stay thee from life. Thou that findest any mortification of sinne, assure thy selfe of life: but if thou finde not the death and buriall of sinne, looke not to finde life. And I say more, there shall be no deferring of time, for thy comfort, as if thou shouldest first dye a long time before thou rise to Iesus Christ. Indeede the last resurrection shall be in the last day: but I say When the life of God begins in vs. thou shalt begin no sooner to dye to sinne in this life, and find any compūction and heauines in thy heart for it, but with the death of sinne and the buriall and slaying of it, immediatly shall come life. This life breaketh vp through death, and ioy breaketh vp through sadnes, al heauenly ioy riseth vp through an heanie heart: so that thou shalt not feele ioy vnlesse thy heart be pressed downe with the heauines of sinne. And this ioy, as Peter 1. Epist. 1. 8. saith, is vnspeakable: so that when a man is sighing most for sinne, drawing sighes from the bot­tome of his heart, then the quickest and sweetest ioy ariseth: but whē thou art laughing and singing, there is no such thing as ioy at thy heart. Wherefore should I speake of these things? Onely learne this, to be sad and to sigh for sinne, that with it thou maist get some ioy of thy heart; which is an earnest pe­ny that thou shalt be filled with it, at the sight of that glorious maiestie.

Now to goe forward: How is this resurrection wrought? Euen as death was wrought by Baptisme: for as it represen­teth the death of Christ; so, so often as thou seest Baptisme [Page 170] ministred, thou seest in it the resurrection of Christ. Yea, and it raiseth vp the bodie of him, that is baptized, to life, by vertue of the resurrection of Christ, who is also manifested in Bap­tisme. Immediatly and in one instant, the Lord will work two contrary things; he will cast thee downe to hell, and then in the same moment he will raise thee vp to heauen. And Bap­tisme hath this force continually, so long as thou liuest, if so be thou remember it, looke for the vertue of it to the last houre of thy death.

In the words following, least they should haue thought this signe of Baptisme should haue had this force (as we say, virtute operis operati) to haue buried sinne and quickened a man a­gaine, without any more; he ioyneth, by faith, not onely by Baptisme: as if he would say, we are buried to sinne, and raised Faith re­quired in baptisme to appre­hend Christ and to re­ceiue ver­tue from him. to righteousnes; but this great worke is wrought also by faith: so that if thou haue not faith apprehending and taking hold of God, if thou send not faith to heauen in the ministerie of the Sacrament and the word preached, and if thou want faith to applie grace to thee, the Sacrament and the word preached shall neuer doe thee good. And if thou get not this faith at one time or other, this Sacrament shall be a seale to thy damna­tion, and the word preached shall aggrauate thy iudgement. So if there were no other place to condemne the Papists error of opus operatum, this place were sufficient to condemne it: for Opus o­peratum. the Apostle meaneth plainly, that Baptisme hath no force without faith, and this Gospell hath no power to thy saluation without faith. Away then with that erronious doctrine of these vaine babling fooles of opus operatum. It is diuellishnes and lying.

In the next words he sheweth the obiect of faith: It must lay hold vpon something: for faith is an holding fast: an hand that taketh hold apprehendeth something. It is an anchor cast out, to hold thee by: so this faith must haue some obiect to leane vpon, otherwise thou wouldest be dasht on euery side Obiect of faith. with each waue, till thy ship be broken. What is then the ob­iect of faith? The word is [...], an effectualnes. The A­postle to the Ephesians chap. 1. 19. taketh it to bee the effec­tualnes [Page 171] of the strong power of God, that must be the thing to stay thee, that must hold thy heart that it fleete not, nor flow not here and there: that which thou must rest vpon, must be nothing else but the power of God, the efficacie of the strong power of God. Thou must not lay hold vpon Angels, Saints, or vpon Princes in the earth; thou wilt be beguiled: yea thou and they (going about so to vphold thee) will both to hell to­gether. Therefore suffer not thy selfe to be deceiued with an o­pinion of them. I dare be bold to say, that if the Angels and Saints would take the honour that the Pope and his Clergie Inuocation and wor­ship of Saints and Angels. would giue them, they should all goe to hell, and leaue the ioyes which they now haue. So the stay of thy faith, and that which thou must apprehend, is the mortification of thy sinne; and thy quickening to newnes of life: it must not be by the mediation of man or Angell, or of any Saint glorified; but by the onely and immediate mediation of Iesus Christ; there on­ly thou gettest that spirituall power that quickeneth thee to life. It is easie to slay a man (and men now a daies think slaugh­ter but a sport; yea and rather then they will not slay, they had liefer goe quicke to hell, as they vse to say) but the slaying of sinne must be onely by the power of God: Sinne must be vanquished by faith, and without faith thou shalt neuer mor­tifie sinne. Therefore continually put out that hand of faith, and pluck down that power of God, for thy saluation, & euer crie for this hand of faith. Draw, draw, spare not; for there is no want in him. That well of his effectuall power will neuer waxe drie, and this bloud of Christ will neuer drie vp, all po­wer is through that bloud of Christ. Then first by a true faith lay hold vpon Christ on the crosse; and then sitting at the right hand of the Father: and so thou shalt neuer depart with him, till thy glorious resurrection be accomplished.

When hee had spoken of God, when hee had said, through faith of the effectualnes of God; then he subioyneth: Who rai­sed him from death. Hauing once spoken of that God who is so effectuall, when hee nameth God hee leaueth him not, but hee subioyneth some glorious description of him; so speaking of him here, hee describeth him first, in respect of Christ and his [Page 172] resurrection. Secondly, in respect of raising of the Gentiles. Thirdly, in respect of the abolishing of the law, and quickning of the Iewes. And in respect of Christ hee saith: who raised him from the dead: to wit, by the effectualnes of that strong power that is in him. The first that euer he raised by that power, is Ie­sus Christ. And therefore he is called the first borne of the dead, chap. 1. 18. For this resurrection from the dead, is first by de­cree afore all times, and then in time it begun at Christ, who was that lambe that was sacrificed from the beginning, and gaue grace to all other sacrifices; so that they in his sacrifice Resurrec­tion follow­ing regene­ration, and both depē ­ding on Christ. were accepted of God: and then his resurrection is deriued to all them that doe, or euer shall rise hereafter in Christ: for they that are not in Christ, haue no resurrection for them, because there is no regeneration for them in this life, and consequent­ly no resurrection for them hereafter. It is true, that by vertue and power of that Godhead, the most wicked and vnregene­rate shall rise; but they shall not rise in him, that is, new crea­tures, who before in this life were regenerated, and liue the life of Christ. There shall be no such thing, to follow them in their resurrection. Againe, you shall perceiue in the writing of the Apostles, when hee would set out that all-sufficiencie of God, and his mightie power, he deliuereth it by the effects, for ther­by it is knowne. Now what an effect chuseth he? not the crea­tion of the world, for he leaueth that, and maketh choise of the raising of Iesus Christ: as though the all-sufficient mightie po­wer of God, had neuer been so powerfully declared, as in the death of Iesus Christ, & his resurrection. Reade in the Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. 1. 19. 20. where you shall finde this manifestly proued, how God shewed this his power when hee The grea­test power of God ma­nifested most in Christs death and resurrec­tion. raised vp Iesus from the dead, and placed him at his right hand, Rom. 1. 4. There was neuer such a power vttered as this was, in raising Christ from the dead. What can be the cause of this? Is it not a great power to create a thing, and to create all things of nothing? Iesus was something lying in a graue. I an­swere, that that power was so much the greater, in respect there was neuer any so humbled, as Iesus was; so cōpassed with the bands of death as he; so that by loosing of those bands, there [Page 173] must of necessitie appeare the greatest power that euer was, or should be: for the strongest bands require the mightiest power to loose them. There were neuer bands so strōg, as Christ God equall with his Father was bound withall. As for thee and me, the bands of death wherewith wee are or shall be bound, they are but gentle, and it is but an easie matter to binde any of vs. Neuer any was bound as Iesus; and therefore a stronger power is required to raise him, then to raise any of vs. Well, the Lord he raised him vp by the efficacie of his great power. Now hee being raised, who was bound in such strong bands, despaire not thou, but take thee comfort and say; My Lord, when he was bound with a strong power, God raised him: therefore it is an easie matter for him, when I am dead and laid in graue to raise me, in respect of him: if he did raise Christ with his whole hand, he will raise me with his little finger. But (beloued) learne if by faith thou be not bound and ioined with him in his death and burial (for thou must be conioyned with him in his death, and thou must lie as it were vnder him in the graue) if thou be not so conioyned, thou shalt not rise with him. But if thou be bound with him by faith (as I haue said) as he rose, thou shalt rise, and thou shalt be pulled vp out of that graue with him; otherwise when the Lord raiseth him, thou shalt lie still. Then seeke faith in Iesus, and that blessed coniunction with him through faith: sticke by him in death, and in the graue; and let him not be raised without thee: fixe thy heart to him, and assuredly thou shalt rise with him in that day, and he shal pull thee out so glorious a bodie, as that then he and his father shall take pleasure in thee, and thou shalt raigne with him for euer and euer. Now to this powerfull God that raised this Lord Iesus, with the holie Spirit, be all honour and dominion,

Amen.

THE SEVENTEENTH LECTVRE VPON THE Epistle of PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 13. 14.

13 And ye which were dead in sinnes, and in the vncircumci­sion of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, forgiuing you all your trespasses:

14 And putting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against vs.

REmember (brethren) the last day we had in hand the circumcision not made with the hands of man, but standing in a putting off of the bodie of the sinnes of the flesh, he tooke it vp in one word, and termed it the cir­cumcision Summe of the last Le­cture. of Christ, that is, an inward circumcision made by him, and by his vertue. Now to make this more plaine, he insi­steth in the next verse on the circumcision of Christ: and hee made it to stand in a conformitie betweene Christ and vs, that as Christ after his death was buried; so wee should be buried with him, that is, our old man and the corruption of nature should be buried with him. Next, as after his death and bu­riall, he was raised vp to life; so we being dead and buried to sinne, should rise vp to newnes of life in him. Now this is ob­tained not by the Sacrament of Baptisme onely, but by faith laying hold on God and his mightie power. After this, when he had spoken of the effect of this strong power of God, he a­bides on it, describing God himselfe & his omnipotent power. The description ariseth of the effects that proceede from him. The effects of Gods power. You haue heard the first effect: it was in raising Christ from [Page 175] death; in which worke the power of God chiefly appeared: there was neuer a worke that God wrought from the creation to this houre, or will worke to the end of the world; in the which so mightily appeared the power of God, as it did in the raising of Christ; because there was neuer a creature so hum­bled, and so bound with the bands and dolor of death as was Iesus Christ.

Now in this that we haue read, presently followeth the rest of the description of God in his power; and first wee haue his The second effect of Gods power description from the second effect and worke of his power. It is the quickening of the Gentiles (that were dead with Iesus who was first quickened) namely the Colossians, to whom he writeth. Then followeth the third effect, the quickening of the The third effect. Iewes that were as well dead as the Gentiles. But to speake of the quickening of the Gentiles, and namely of the Colossians, and so to come to the words, he saith, And you, that is, you Co­lossians and all the rest of the Gentiles, when you were dead in sinnes, and in the vncircumcision of the foreskin of your flesh; then he quickened you, and raised you vp from the death, that ye lay in, with him, meaning Iesus Christ, whom hee raised vp first, and that in this order. He hath freely forgiuen you all your sinnes, these are the words. Now (brethren) this is to be conside­red; he setteth not downe the quickening of the Colossians, and of the rest simply; but he setteth it downe in a comparison with their former estate, wherin they were before their quick­ning, calling them to remembrance that before they were quickened, they were dead, life followeth death: the first gate to life with Iesus, is to be dead with him; so it behooued, that before they were quickened they should be found dead.

Now in the comparison and example set downe here, mark first, it is the will of God, whatsoeuer grace hee giueth vs, wee doe much esteeme it; and if he giue thee life, he will haue thee highly account of it. The spirituall grace that is gotten in Ie­sus Highly price the least grain of the grace of Christ. Christ, it cannot be highly enough thought of in the heart of man. For when thou hast put it in a ballance, with al earth­ly things, all is nothing: the least graine of this spiritual grace gotten in Iesus Christ, is worth them all. Therefore the Lord that giueth thee it, will haue thee to make much of it. Now the [Page 176] way, to weigh aright this heauenly life receiued in Christ, is this: to cast thy eye back and looke ouer thy shoulder to that death wherein thou latest, before thou gottest it: looke what thou wast before; looke whether thou wast dead or quicke be­fore thou gatest this spirituall life. And therefore there is no­thing more required then a sanctified memorie in a Christian. Remember wealth and woe, both good estate and ill what euer it hath bin. Now looke to the working of God; for rather then his own elect shall be forgetfull of their former estate, of their death they lay in before they got life; he wil make ye very stink of their sinful nature, wherof they haue yet a remnant: he will make it I say, to strike them in their nose, and make them feele that stinking sauour. For he keepeth still the remnant stinking The rem­nant of sin in the re­generate, what vse is hath. in them, that they may remember what estate they were in, be­fore they got this life in Iesus Christ: that they might remem­ber the life they haue gotten to be the sweeter. Nay marke it, thou shalt neuer feele the sweete odour of the life in Iesus Christ, except thou feele the stinke of thy nature. And if thou take a delight to looke into thy owne nature, and thinke it de­licate, thou neuer thoughtest what grace meant; yea thou shalt neuer account of it: but once tasting of the life of Iesus and the sweetnes of it, then thou shalt abhorre that stinke of nature wherein thou before delightedst. For whē once thou hast tasted of that sweetnes, for all this world thou wouldest not returne againe to that death of sinne, wherein thou liuedst before it was taken away by the quickening power of God.

But to insist vpon the words. When ye were dead, as if hee should say: ye Colossians did imagine that you were quicke; but I say ye were dead, not onely ye, but all the Gentiles were dead. Then (brethren) ye may see, a man if hee were neuer so quicke, being out of Christ, he is but dead, as Paul speaketh of the wanton widow, 1. Tim. 5. 6. and the quicker thou thinkest thy selfe, if thou be out of Christ, thou art the deader. But here is our miserie, wee feele not that we are dead: alas these mise­rable creatures that wallow in sinne, they haue dead bodies, but they feele it not; and certainly there is no man that get­teth the sense of the bitternes of that death, or that loathes and is squeamish at the filthines of his nakednes, vntill he be in [Page 177] Christ, and vntill he feele the sweetnes of the life of Christ, hee The sweet­nes which the faith­full feele by Christ, in their rege­neration. neuer knoweth himself to haue haue been dead, or vnder the power of death. And therefore whatsoeuer ye be, which he dead with­out Iesus, striue to get a feeling of the sweetnes of that life which is in him. I doe promise thee if thou doe it, thou shalt haue the bitternes of thy nature taken away, otherwise thou shalt neuer possesse a contented heart.

What a death this was he expresseth when he saith; which were dead in sinnes: there is the first cause of this death, sinnes and trespasses, that is, all the actuall sinnes of their life, all the foule thoughts of their heart, all the prophane words of their mouth, all vnruly actions of their hands, all these be vnder­stood vnder this word sinnes, in the plurall number. Then (brethren) this word importeth first, the kinde of this death Death in sinne. that man lieth in before he be in Christ; it is not the death of the bodie. In the bodie thou wilt seeme to be quicke enough, when as thou art but dead; but this death it is the death of the spirit; it is the death of the soule: for when thou goest on in sinne, thou doest nothing else but stick and goare thy soule: and besides in the end, thou wilt slay the bodie also: so as if thou continue in it, it shall neuer leaue thee till it slay both soule and bodie for euermore. Thou maist be a wanton har­lot, and a cruell murtherer; but yet take thy delights howsoe­uer thou wilt, promise thy selfe as great assurance of life, com­fort and ioyes, as thou canst imagine; yet thy perseuerance in sinne shall slay thee with death in this world, and in that to come: For the wages of sinne is death, Rom. 6. 28. Then this cause of death importeth not onely that this death is spirituall, but also it importeth that it is a death exceeding fore, and withall the dissoluing of this very bodie into powder and ashes. Death in generall is nothing els but the depriuing of life. A mā is said to be dead, when he wanteth life. Now these sinnes which he speaketh of here, doe depriue thee of the quickest and sweetest life that euer was: and what a life is it that sinne depriueth thee of? euen the life of God, the best life that is, or can be. Woe is thee that euer thou gottest life in the bodie, if thou want this life of God, that thou maist liue with Iesus Christ for euer. [Page 178] Yea woe is thee for euermore, that thou sawest either Sunne or Moone, if thou want the life of God in Iesus Christ: and there is nothing but sinne that can depriue thee of it. And further, it not onely bereaueth thee of life, but it maketh thee guiltie of eternall death both in soule and bodie. Thou hast these two Tvvo ad­uantages sinners haue by sinne. aduantages, delight in sinne as thou wilt; sinne ruling in any man, so long as hee liueth without Iesus Christ, remission of sinnes, and sanctification, it excludeth the life of God from him; and more then this, it holdeth him poore miserable wretch vnder the guiltines of euerlasting death for euer. You will aske, how can a man be dead in sinnes? Is he not liuely in actions? is hee not counted the gallantest fellow in all the Realme, and the liueliest, that is the greatest swaggerer, that can commit most euill? Is hee not counted the liueliest, that is the greatest murtherer? I answere thee, the quicker hee is in murthering, in adulterie, and such like, the more is hee dead: because first he wants the life of God. And further, all these are but dead actions, dead workes comming from a dead man, and they are as it were a stinking sauour from a filthie carrion: so these men, trimme them vp as you wil, they are but stinking carrions. O thou murtherer, thou defilest the heauens, the earth and the ayre! O thou harlot, thou defilest all the house and the bed thou liest in! Thou oppressour, thou defilest all the world, though thou werst an Earle, a Duke or a King, thou art a dead stinking carrion worse then a dead dogge.

To come to the next words, he ascendeth to a higher ground of this death, and he saith; they were dead not onely in actuall sinnes, but they were dead in a sort of sinne that did cleaue faster and neerer to their ribbes. You were dead (saith he) in the vncircumcision of your flesh, that is, in your originall sinne. Hee setteth downe this, by an allusion of the foreskinne; the Gen­tiles vncircumcision was a signe of their originall sinne, which Originall sinne. was inherent in them; as circumcision was a signe of the ta­king away of the same. Then the cause of thy death in bodie and soule, is not onely these actions that passe away (as when thou hast murthered, the action goeth away, although the guilt remaine: for the action that passeth, it leaueth vpon thy backe [Page 179] a guilt which shall bring downe damnation vpon thee.) The cause I say of thy death in bodie and soule, is not only in these fleeting actions, but the grounded cause of it is original sinne, the sinne conceiued in thy mothers wombe. Thou art borne in sinne, and it sticketh fast to thee: and therefore it must fol­low, that seeing the cause is a sticking and biding cause, the death must also be abiding death. I called it before a sore death: now I call it an abiding death, & that greatly encrea­seth the miserie. You know that a disease naturall that com­meth of any vitiositie of nature, as of the birth, so many as haue that disease it doth still accompanie their bodie: It may wel be that they get it mitigated, but they cannot fully clense it: They may procure a relenting of it, but neuer be able to take it away. And therefore this death hauing the ground in that foule feede that thou art conceiued in, by the generation of all thy forebeers, it will passe the power of the world to get it away. No, the Angels of heauen will not bee able to relieue thee of it: nothing will free thee of it, but grace, which is con­trarie to that corruption of nature. You know the prouerbe, That which is bred in the bone wil hardly be driuen out of the flesh. It therefore thou wouldest be cured of this rooted euill, thou must crie for grace, and say; Lord send thy spirit of grace into my heart, to rid me of this corruption of nature. It thou crie not for this night and day, yea and finde it in some mea­sure working in thee, thou shalt neuer be relieued. Crie there­fore and say, Lord, I was conceiued dead, I was borne dead, I A good prayer. am euery way dead: send thy spirit of free grace, and free me of this death that so sore setleth vpon me, that I may once en­ioy that life of Iesus. Crie this way night and day, and all thy time; and then I assure thee thou shalt finde deliuerance, and shalt taste how sweet the life of Iesus is. And this for their for­mer estate which is miserable, being out of Christ Iesus.

Now followeth the estate in Christ: He hath quickened you, that is, the father hath put life in you. It is a quickening when death is expelled, and life commeth in his place: but what a life is it that wee receiue in Christ? Would to God wee could meditate vpon this life that is in Christ, you shall know it best [Page 180] by this; what a death wast thou in? It was a spirituall death, both of the soule and bodie, standing in the want of the life of God. Then this life must be spiritual also, euen the life of God, that thrusts out that death, that is, that corruption, and fruites of the same. If thou haue this life, though thou werst dying bodily, thou wilt be liuing in thy soule; and when thou art dead, thou shalt be liuing: this is the aduantage of this life of God. But if thou want this life dying, thou shalt be onely dead and nought els: and woe is that man or woman that is onely dead. 2. Cor. 4. 10. Paul speaking of himselfe saith, Euery where we beare about in our bodie the dying of the Lord Iesus, meaning this dying in the bodie, but yet (saith he) the life of Iesus is ma­nifested in my bodie: that is, in dying bodily, I liue spiritually. And vers. 16. The more that the bodie died, the more he was renued daily. Paul felt this in himselfe; doest thou not feele this na­turall life wearing away, the strength of it decaying daily? Striue thē with Paul, that with the decay of the one, thou maist feele the growth of the other in thee; and woe is thee, losing the bodily life, if thou get not the growing of the spiritual life. But if thou doest feele it, keepe it well; otherwise thou shalt die euerlastingly. He saith not simply he had quickened them, but he saith, he hath quickened them with him, that is, with Ie­sus Christ, in this order: First he raised Christ from the dead: then with him he beginneth their rising here in this life, which shall be accomplished in the second resurrection that is to come. If ye wil consider these words, they import three things: 1 First, there is none quickened alone; so as if thou be alone Three things in our [...]iuifi­cation to be conside­red. and separate from Christ, thinke not to liue, conceiue not to get the life of God; and therefore he saith, hee hath quickened you with him. 2 The second thing is, there is no man that is first quickened in order, but Christ is first quickened, and thou commest in the second roome: thou canst not get life before him. 3 The third thing to be considered in this place, is, no man getteth life from God immediatly; for first hee giueth life to Christ; and thou being in Christ, thou drawest a portion out of him. He hath the fulnes: if thou be ioyned with him, thou drawest out a share of life, where by thou doest liue. And there­fore [Page 181] take this admonition; Wouldest thou haue life? stand not alone, but ioyne with thy head Christ, and then with the bodie: for if thou be not a member of this bodie (though it seeme ignominious to thee) thou shalt haue no life in thee. Creepe then vnto Christ, be neuer alone, be euer in the society of the Saints. And if Christ be the head, then claime not to be the first to haue life, but let Iesus thy head be first; and then come thou creeping in to him; striue to be next him as much as thou canst: and striue not to be first; for hee will be first in despite of thee. The last is, seeke not to get grace and life im­mediatly of God without Christ, as if there were any life of thy own without him: thou wouldest be deceiued, & in steed of life the curse of God will fall vpon thee. Thinkest thou that the Iewes which looke vp to heauen, and seeke life without Christ; thinkest thou that they will get it? Nay, they get death in steed of life: but thou that gettest a drop of his grace (which is better then all the kingdomes of the earth) to refresh thy soule, that is parched, as it were, with the heate of sinne, thou (I say) wilt get life in him; for all grace is in him: therefore seeke for it in him.

To goe forward, he laieth downe whereupon this procee­deth: It must be builded vpon a ground, which is a remission of thy sinnes; which is in effect, the iustifying of thee in Iesus, ac­compting thee to be a iust man, notwithstanding thy sinnes: saying, I pronounce thee a iust man. Then briefly mark this, and looke by what order thou attainest to life. This is the order to come by the life of God: first before euer thou get that quick­ning How to at­taine life. spirit (for it is the spirit that quickens) thou must haue the bloud of Iesus. For there are two things that come from Iesus, his bloud and his spirit; thinke not to get the spirit be­fore the bloud; but seeke the bloud, bathe and wash that foule soule of thine. Wash and clense thee againe and againe in that bloud shed on the crosse, to the end that the guiltines of thy sinnes being washed away from thy soule (for this is the vertue of that bloud to all that beleeue) thou maist get the spirit of Iesus. For being once washed in his bloud, then thou gettest that that is called the remission of sinnes, which are washed a­way Heb 9. 14. [Page 182] through faith in the bloud of Christ: and hauing got this free remission, the spirit will come and will pull out that roote of bitternes, and digge it vp by the rootes: all the power in the The power of Christs spirit. world cannot pull it vp, but the spirit of Iesus will doe it; it will (I say) pluck vp that roote, and all the branches and mem­bers of it: howbeit he will not doe it at once; yet hee will doe it by degrees. Then if thou wouldest haue life, goe on in this order, and say to God; Lord forgiue me my sinnes in the bloud of Two peti­tions. Iesus; say not Lord quicken me, but say, Lord forgiue me my sinnes, and take away the guiltines of them in the bloud of Ie­sus. 1 It is most certaine that if thou haue faith in the bloud of Iesus, thou must be forgiuen. 2 Then say in the second roome: Lord quicken me, giue me that spirit that may pull out this naturall corruption, and put life in me. Come on in this manner, and if thou hast a faithfull heart, it is not possible but thou maist ob­taine remission of thy sins, and be quickened. Crie then con­tinually, Lord forgiue me, Lord relieue me of the death which I lie in; relieue me of this corruption, & put life in me, and all this through thy beloued sonne Christ Iesus. For it will not be the life of thy parents that will make thee to liue; crie to root out that poison which thou hast from thy parents. Our gentle­men thinke it enough for them, if they be descended of such a descent of people. Ha, ha, thou wilt die like a dog, if thou haue no more: be neuer contented til thou hast gotten a new birth. For all they that will raigne with him must haue a new birth. It is impossible for thee to be one of Gods children and of Christs, and to haue place in heauen, if thou be not borne a­new againe, by the spirit and water, as saith Ioh. 1. Epist. 5. 6. And so much for the second effect of the strong power of God.

Now followeth the third effect in quickening of the Iewes: The third effect of Gods power there must be something supplied in the text: And vs, that is, the Iewes: so I shall stand vpon these words where he saith, he hath put out the hand writing. Note.The order whereby the Gentiles were quickened, was the remission of their sinnes: but the or­der whereby the Iewes are quickened, is otherwise, before euer they gate life, there must be an hand writing blotted out: and [Page 183] if we looke to it, the Iewes were more bound to death, then the Gentiles, because they had subscribed to their death, and that publikely in the face of the world. But to come to the words. We haue to marke these things: first, who is this that blotteth out, and scrapeth away this hand writing. Secondly, what is meant by the blotting out. Thirdly, what is the thing that is blotted out. Fourthly, wherefore serued this hand wri­ting; he telleth it was against them, it serued to their condem­nation. I shall goe through these foure as time shall serue. As for him that is the blotter out, his name is not expressed, it is Iesus Christ the sonne of God: for I see here, that which I no­ted Foure points in the 14. verse. in the first chapter, the person is changed, he said it is God the Father that quickened the Gentiles: now he changeth the person. There is no fault in this: for that, that the Father doth, the Sonne doth: To let you see that all is common to the Fa­ther and to the Sonne, The Father worketh and I worke, saith Christ, Ioh. 5. 17. Then what is meant by this blotting out? The word in the originall signifieth a perfect scraping out, as it were of an obligation; so that there remaineth not behinde any memorie of that that is scraped out; there rests not one letter or tittle vnscraped out. Then Christ Iesus is made a Chauncellor of the Father to cancell, to blot out at his plea­sure, and as hee pleaseth. Hee hath rent the obligation and drawne lines through it: so thou that wouldest haue thy obli­gation cancelled, get thee to him, for wee haue bound our selues to him. Thirdly, what is that that is blotted out? The handwriting standing in ordinances, that is, in rites and cere­monies. Then it is the ceremonies or rites that be blotted out, which was an obligation of the Iewes, subscribed with their owne hands. Now wherfore serueth it? He saith it was against vs, not for vs; it did vs no good, but euill. It bound and tyed vs to death, and sealed vp to vs the guiltines of death and dam­nation. He exempteth not himselfe from this death: hee sub­scribeth it with his owne deede. To make this plaine, the Iew in vsing of circumcision, he protested hee had originall sinne, and so was guiltie of damnation: in vsing of these washings, he protested and proclaimed, hee was all filthie, and so guiltie [Page 184] of the curse of the law, and so subscribed to his owne death. How the Iewes in the vse of the ceremoniall law pro­claimed their owne guiltines and death. And last of all in sacrificing, hee protested hee was sinfull, and that he had deserued that death, which the innocent beast su­stained for his cause: and therefore guiltie of iudgement and damnation, and so subscribed to his owne death. Brethren, this was marueilous, the rites and ceremonies were figures of Christ, and serued to leade them to Iesus Christ, to see that bloud of Iesus in a figure, which washeth away the sinnes of the world. How is it then a handwriting against them? I an­swer, it is true if their ceremonies be taken as figures of Christ, they were no handwriting against them, if they had an eye to the bodie that is Christ, and sought not life in the ceremonies, but in the thing figured. But brethren, take them from Christ, take washings, and sacrifices, as a kinde of religion without Hovv the ceremonies vvere an handwri­ting a­gainst the Ievves. Christ, all was but a handwriting against them. And whatsoe­uer Iew he was that looked not to Christ in his Circumcision, in his washing and rubbings, and in sacrificing, that Iew peri­shed; and all his doings was but the subscribing to his owne death.

Now to come to the Apostle; hee taketh the ceremonies as separate from Christ, and so they were a handwriting against them. He was a rare Iew that vsed them with respect to Christ, but the multitude tooke them as a religion without Christ; and therefore the greater multitude perished. And so I say that outward ceremonies cannot saue vs. In comming to the Church thinke not to get life, except thy heart pearce into Christ Iesus, all thy outward worshipping shall not helpe thee, but shall be an obligation to thy owne condemnation, as the outward Ceremonies of the Iewes were to them a handwri­ting against them to their owne destruction. And if thou a­buse these Ceremonies which we haue in religion, in preach­ing, Spirituall vvorship. praying, and outward meeting, I assure thee thou shalt not escape the iudgement of God. And therefore beware, and ne­uer content thy selfe with the outward worshipping; fie on it all, if thou haue not an inward worshipping in thy heart. A­gaine, I see no man that goeth to hell, but before hee goe, hee subscribeth to his owne death. I subscribe with my owne hand [Page 185] that I am worthie of death. The obligation passeth against thee either secretly or openly in thy owne conscience; and then thy mouth shall be closed, and the Lord shall cast thy handwri­ting before thee, and shall say, Seest thou not thy owne hand­ting? knowest thou not that thou subscribedst this? And if thou werst an Emperour, thou shalt keepe thy mouth close then, and goe from him with howling and scritching. And therefore neuer rest as thou wouldest haue life, till thou get that handwriting taken away. Thou wouldest be busie to get that handwriting taken away, which thou seest and knowest will doe thee euill here, and that may trouble thee in thy per­son, goods, or lands; fie on thee that shouldest be so busied a­bout trifles and vanities, and forgettest to take away this fear­full handwriting: which if it stand vntaken away, may doe, and shall doe thee more harme then the losse of this whole world can doe. Seeke therefore continually night and day to haue this handwriting of thy sinne and guiltines taken away, as thou wouldest stand with ioy in the presence of thy maker, at that day. To whom with the Sonne and holy Spirit be all ho­nor for euer,

Amen.

THE EIGHTEENTH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians, beginning at the midst of the 14. verse.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 14. 15.

14 Which was contrary to vs, he euen tooke it out of the way, and fastened it vpon the crosse:

15 And hath spoyled the principalities, and powers, and hath made a shew of them openly, and hath triumphed ouer them in the same crosse.

WE insist yet (brethren) on the description of God, and of the effectualnes of his power. Ye haue heard that he is described from his effects, the workes that hee hath wrought. The first effect and worke in which chiefly the effectualnes of his strong power vttred it selfe, was the raising Coherence. of Iesus Christ from the dead: not by remitting him any sinne that he had done, because he neuer sinned; but simply he rai­sed him by his power. The second effect is, the raising of the Colossians, and generally of the Gentiles, when they were dead in sinne, and in that vncircumcision of the flesh. But how? by forgiuing them their sinnes: for there is no life, nor quickening of thee, but by the remission of thy sinnes. First that guiltines must be taken away, before euer that spirit of life enter into thee. The third effect, that wee entred into the last day, and now this day, wee shall finish it, by Gods grace, [Page 187] and it is the quickening of the Iewes, who had also as great neede to be quickened, as the Gentiles had. And Paul confes­seth his owne miserie, and wants, naming himselfe among the rest. But how? by putting away the handwriting that was a­gainst them: for besides the guiltines of sinne, they had sub­scribed to their own guiltines: for so oft as they vsed the cere­monies of the Law, so often did they subscribe to their owne condemnation. So that before they could be quickened, it be­hooued that this handwriting should be scraped out. It stan­ding, there was no forgiuenes to them: so their life is by ta­king away of this handwriting.

But to proceede: the last day we opened these words: Ha­uing put away the handwriting of the ordinances that was against vs: That is to say, hauing put away the rites and ceremonies of the Law (for Christ by his death abolished them all) the which rites were as an obligation or handwriting, subscribed by the Iewes against themselues, sealing the guiltines of death and damnation for sinne. Now to goe forward in the text as it followeth, as God will giue grace. Immediatly after these words (marke euery word, for they haue weight) hee subioy­neth, which was contrary to vs: he repeateth it againe, but hee tooke it out of the way, that is the handwriting of rites that was contrarie to vs, and made not for vs: the Lord Iesus took it out of the way. It lay in our way, and it was a sure stumbling blocke to vs, and we were not able to remoue it, nor to take it out of the way: but yet the Lord Iesus, hee taketh it out of the middest of the way. So ye see there is nothing but a repeating of that, that was spoken before: howbeit in other tearmes; he said before, which was against vs: now hee saith, which was con­trarie to vs, al is one in effect. Repetition of a thing is not with­out cause: for the holy spirit neuer speaketh any word in vaine. Thou and I may often spend words idly, but the holy spirit cannot waste one iot or sillable. The cause of this repetition is: Paul cannot forget the thing that he and the rest had done against themselues, and that that Christ did for them. O, if thou remembredst the benefits of God, once telling thē ouer would Repetition not idle in Scripture. not serue thy turne! and it learneth thee neuer to forget that, that thou hast done against thy selfe, and that which Christ [Page 188] hath done for thee. By that that thou hast done, thou had dest beene vndone, if this that Christ hath done had not beene done. Besides this, it serueth for the greater certaintie of that that was done. He will force an assurance into thee, both that thou hast subscribed to thy owne death, and also that Christ hath taken away thy subscription, that thou shouldest not doubt. Woe to that vaine doctrine of doubting, and woe to Doubting. the doubting Doctors. The dolts will bid thee doubt whether Christ hath taken away that subscription: woe to such Doc­tors! If wee will marke the words, ye shall see an opposition, that, that thou hast done Iew or Gentile, it is against thy selfe: that, that Christ hath done, is for thee. This lets thee see, not on­ly the Iew but the Gentile, that thou art more beholding to Christ then to thy selfe: thou subscribedst against thy selfe; and if the Lord proceede vpon thy handwriting, thou shalt certainly dye. But Iesus Christ hath put that subscription of thine out of the way: so that if thou be thankfull thou shoul­dest loue him better then thy selfe: for the greatest enemie that man hath is his owne selfe: And therefore shouldest thou not loue him better then thy selfe? If thou doe it not thou shalt dye. But not to leaue the force of the word (for this word im­porteth a greater meaning then the other) the word of blot­ting The word [...], putting out. The word [...], to take out of the way. out was great indeede, ducere transuersas lineas, is a great word; but to destroy the very tables, paper, and all, and to rent it asunder, is more then both. Marke it; for it lets vs see that his mercie is not halfed; he shewes not a peece of mercie vpon vs. Men will halfen their mercie towards others: but Ie­sus Christ halfens not his mercie towards vs, but he perfecteth it. If he once meant to shew mercie, he wil not leaue that work till he end it: and if he once meane to remit, he will not leaue off till he haue freely forgiuen: for that that he doth, he doth it perfectly, to his glorie and thy saluation. The Pope will make him to halfen his mercie. O vaine doctrine! doest thou halfen the mercie of the Lord? thou art a lyer; the mercie of The guilt of sinne & the punish­ment both remitted in Christ. the Lord is perfect: so that when hee remitteth, hee remitteth both the sinne and the punishment thereof.

Now to come to the words that follow. In the last words he sheweth how the handwriting is taken out of the way. It was [Page 189] not after so light a manner, as a man would take an obligation and rent it: but before it could be rent, it behooued the Lord to be crucified. Well (who would be hanged for another mans obligation?) and he being crucified, he taketh that obligation and naileth it to the crosse, and rents it asunder. Now to make this plaine, when Iesus Christ was crucified, he was not cruci­fied alone, but many things were crucified with him; and ma­ny things that same very houre were nailed to the crosse with him: This handwriting of thine, thy inditement that would haue condemned thee, thy sinne originall, thy actuall sinnes, the death that followeth thereon, and hell, euen all these were nailed to the crosse with him: finally that curse was crucified with him; all died together, hee died not alone: all depended vpon his death, he died first, they followed. For brethren, the sinnes of the world were laid vpon Christ; and for that cause he came into the world, to take them of the back of the world, and to lay them on his owne backe, as is said Esai. 53. 5. The Lord laid on him all our iniquities, tumbled them on him: so that when Christ was lifted vp vpon the crosse, there was neuer such a lift lifted vp. Take all the mountaines and lay them on one person, and there was a heauier burthen lying vpon his backe. For the wrath of God was lying vpon him: who felt it? the Iewes? Nay the Lord Iesus felt the weight of that fierce wrath; and he hanging on the crosse all hanged with him, thy malediction, thy obligation, thy death and curse were on his backe and hung with him. Therefore Peter in his first Epistle and second chapter, vers. 24. saith, that he bare in his bodie our sinnes, all hung with him. Now brethren, think ye that his bur­then was light? That handwriting of the curse of God for sin, thy sinne and euery particular mans sinne, that beleeueth or should beleeue in him, their death and torments due to them, haue they escaped Christ crucified on the crosse? No, no, all were laid on him, and al were crucified with him, and the same nailes that were driuen into his hands and feet, were also real­ly beaten into thy sinnes, and into that death due to sinne, and they were driuen through hell, the last torment for sinne. But who did this? The Iewes had little minde of this; no not of their owne obligation. Who was it then that crucified them? [Page 190] The Iewes nailed the Lord: but the Lord nailed them. The ve­ry death that Iesus dyed was the nailes that were striken tho­row The Iewes nailed Christ on the crosse: but he him seise nailed our sinnes, the obliga­tion, death and hell to that his crosse. that obligation, and the sins of all the beleeuers, to the vt­ter ouerthrow of all things that before had offended his father in the elect, or that should offend him thereafter. For in that hee died, it was not for sinne done before alone, but for sinne also that after should be done by any of his elect: for he is the mediatour that taketh away the sinnes of the world for euer and euer: as he was the lambe of God that was slaine from the beginning. O then let neuer that powerfull death of Iesus goe out of thy minde, as thou wouldest be saued, and haue com­fort in the day of thy death! The Lord Iesus in his death was the most blessed agent that euer was, the very death of Iesus slew all the sinnes in the world.

Now to goe to the next verse. To the end that they should not doubt of the destroying of the hand-writing, the Apostle telleth them what more he did, when he was on the Crosse, that seeing the greater thing they should not doubt of the lesser: for he that can doe the greater, he can doe the lesse. What did he? He tooke all the diuels in hell, he disarmed them, he spoyled them, and led them in a triumph like slaues, with their hands bound behind their backes, and hee mounted vpon the crosse, as vpon a chariot, triumphing ouer them, and that is more. Now to vnderstand this the better, we must vnderstand there were two things against vs (howbeit he speaketh of the Iewes, yet all may be drawne to vs generally) first there was thine owne hand, it stood vntaken away: then there were powers and principalities and diuels: there was not one diuell but he Two things against vs all. was against thee, accusing thee vpon thine owne obligation. There is his obligation (saith he) how can he escape iudgement and condemnation? And they neuer cease to accuse thee, yea within thy owne conscience, and they make it to condemne thee. Now what doth Christ? He taketh thy obligation and all that may be laid to thy charge, and abolisheth it; and then hee turneth to the accusers and fighteth with them, disarmeth How vain­ly vaine men speake of Christ crucified. thē, and leadeth thē captiue in a triumph. O would to God we could weigh ye mercie of God! O vaine bodie! it is but a word to thee, that Christ was crucified, as if thou werst speaking of a [Page 191] hanged man, so vainely thou speakest of Christs crosse. Then this I marke generally. I see Iesus Christ, when hee was on the crosse dying, hee was the most occupied that euer was in any action: thou when thou art dying, thou doest no more, but Iesus Christ when hee was in dying hee wrought and sought most busily. So that the death of Iesus was ordained for the a­bolishing and destroying the aduersest powers in the world, thy sinne and hell, and whatsoeuer was contrarie to thee and thy saluation. Brethren, the argument that the Apostle vseth, is from the greater to the lesse: he hath spoyled the principa­lities and powers; therefore concludeth he, be assured he hath taken thy obligation away. When thou hearest this, doubt not but thy sinnes are forgiuen thee; the one thing is the smal­ler, the other is the greater. When thou seest the diuell rageth not in the world, when thou seest his dominion empayred: An argu­ment to as­sure vs our sinnes are pardoned, because that Sathā and sinne doe not raigne in vs. make thy vantage of it, and say, O my sinnes are forgiuen! For be ye assured, if there were not remission of sinnes, the diuell would raigne and rage: and therefore this restraining of him, is a sure argument that thy sinnes are forgiuen thee. For if thy hand writing were not rent, hee would raigne in thee, as hee raigneth in such men as rage in their wicked lusts of adulte­ries and murthers. Thou that art exercised in thy pollutions and murthers, and such like; thou hast no warrant that thy sinnes are forgiuen thee, for as yet the diuell raigneth in thee. Seeke therfore to this Lord Iesus, and the vertue of his crosse, that the diuell raigne not in thee. O miserable is that creature whatsoeuer it be, that walketh in sinne, whatsoeuer it be, thou maist be assured: for that handwriting of thy curse, standeth as yet against thee, and will condemne thee in that great day. It will be dasht in thy teeth to thy shame and confusion for euer.

He saith, Hauing spoyled. The word is stripped, taken off all that cloathing of theirs. Of whom? no small creatures, but of principalities and powers, that is, the diuels, of whom one is stronger then al the men in the world. He were able to destroy all liuing men: and there are millions of them. O if thou knewest them, thou wouldest feare continually! Thou wilt looke to a sillie creature and wilt stampe vpon it, but thou hast [Page 192] enemies aboue thy head, and if thou sawest them, thou woul­dest take little thought of the enimitie of men: looke Ephes. chap. 6. vers. 12. This power of the diuel is restrai­ned only in the belee­uers, for he rageth e­uery day more and more fierc­ly in vnbe­leeuers to­wards the end of the world, as Saint Iohn saith in the reuela­tion, be­cause his time is but short. Then it followeth: before Christ was crucified, the diuels raigned as armed men, to the destroying of men. O how much be we beholding to Christ, that liue now in these daies, after this restraining of the power of the diuels! Now brethren, it is a thing that one might wonder at: will ye com­pare him and them together? The Iewes spoyled Christ of his clothes, setting him vp naked; what is he doing in the meane time? They are not so busie in stripping him, as he is in strip­ping the diuels. They are stripping him, and he is stripping the Lords that raigned among them. And that yee may thinke the more of it, by the vertue of the stripping of him, and the pulling off of the clothes of him he pulleth off the armor of the diuels. If Christ had not been stripped, he had not stripped them; by the ouer comming of him, binding of him, he ouer­commeth and bindeth the diuels: To learne you to account much of euery particular poynt of the sufferings of Christ; for there was no poynt of it without a power to slay sinne, and to slay the diuell. The nakednes of Christ is stronger, then the armed diuell is. And so much for this part.

Then to see againe concerning these principalities, since Ie­sus Christ hath suffered, what are they? Naked creatures: I may speake it boldly, they are naked creatures, and this is to thy comfort. Thinke not but that thou must meete with him once, by day or night. It is his pleasure to haue thy heart wrap­ped vp, and to lull thee a sleepe. Then this is thy comfort, when thou hast to doe with the diuell, thou hast to doe with a naked creature, whom the Lord hath spoyled. But looke to this condition: if it be so, that thou be armed with the breast­plate of faith: that thou be armed with Iesus Christ. Hast thou this? the diuell is but a naked bodie before thee. He may well tempt thee, but he shall not ouercome thee: yea, he shall not be able to dare thee: it shall passe the power of all the diuels in hell to doe thee harme. But if thou be naked and meete him without Christ, thou wilt meete with an armed man; he will draw thee here and there: and in very deede he raigneth like a Lyon in euery infidels heart: howbeit his kingdome be im­paired; [Page 193] yet if thou be an infidell, hee raigneth in thee like a Sathan in vnbelee­uers. wood roring lion, and hee will draw thee euery way from one sinne to another, till by sinning he bring thee to destruction. Ye see daily examples hereof in such miserable creatures that Ephes. 2. 1 suffer on scaffolds. Fie on thee that sufferest him to abuse thee as he will; he will abuse the murtherer to wash his hands in the bloud of his brother; he will abuse the harlot to commit whoredome; the oppressour to rage in oppression, and so out of their open and horrible transgressions hee bringeth them to destruction. Such is the tyrannie of his kingdome. Fie on thee that knowest this, and yet sufferest thy selfe to be abused with him. Well, well; seeke thy faith in Iesus Christ to be clad with him, as euer thou wilt be free of this tyrannie of the diuel, of his tempting thee, and of his abusing of thee to commit sin euer at his pleasure. Thus much for the victorie which the Lord getteth ouer these principalities and powers euen while hee is in crucifying.

Now followeth that glorious triumph and progresse, which he maketh in the sight of God and the Angels. The words are these, He made a shew of them openly: in the originall, he led them thorough openly, thorough the world, they looking on this side and that side. This manner of speech is borrowed from Ora­tors that haue vsed to set out glorious triumphs of Emperours in such speeches: it is taken from them and giuen to Christ: and no wrong done. Ye know the Romane Emperours, when they triumphed, they vsed to be honoured with many points of honour, and to be briefe, the manner of their triumph was The Ro­manes tri­umph. this: The Emperour himselfe was mounted on hie in a glorious Chariot, and all the people assembled and stood gazing on him: and then the Captiues were brought before him, their armour taken from them, and their hands bound: they were led formost, and the Emperour followed. The Apostle alludeth to the same manner, in this triumph of Iesus Christ. But to come to euery word, he saith he led them thorough, as it were thorough a companie of men and women. The diuels are led thorough thē: but this is that, that is to be wondred at; Christ is led to the crosse bearing his own crosse like a slaue, and the Christs tri­umph. people are gazing on him, and hee is made a mocking stocke: [Page 194] he is raised vp vpon that shamefull crosse, & dieth that shame­full death. The Apostle turneth this ouer and saith, it is the di­uell that is led in chaines; it is the Lord Iesus that triumphes, and they are in chaines: he goeth forward in glorie, and they goe in shame. This same turning ouer letteth thee see, that by When the diuell thought to triumph o­uer Christ, he trium­phed ouer him. that leading him out to the crosse so shamefully; he was sha­ming the diuels of hell, and leading them captiues in such sort, that if he had not been shamed, he could not haue shamed the diuels. In his shame he shameth the diuels. Indeede it had bin a smaller matter if by his glorie he had shamed them: but this is marueilous, that with the shame wherewith they shamed him, he shamed them. Ye may see againe, it is for our consola­tion to see the diuels deiected. I shewed you before that since that very houre that Christ suffered, the diuels are naked: now as they are naked, so they are shamed, and they are without power: and so thou hast a great vantage ouer them. The diuell blusheth when he seeth thee, his head hangs downe. The da­stard dares not looke vp to heauen; when thou hast to doe with him, thou hast to doe with a shamed creature, that is a­shamed to looke thee in the face: they are shamed creatures. O but note the condition! If thou be glorious in Iesus Christ, if thou come out honourably in him, comming out in his glo­rie, the diuels will be ashamed to looke on thee, they cannot abide the sight of thee. The very glance of thee wil strike them blindfold. Indeede they may well push at thee, but they dare not come so neere thee to hurt thee: but if thou come out a­gainst them, without the glorie of Christ, in the ignominie of thy owne nature, if thou werst a King (thou art but a confoun­ded creature in thy owne nature) he shall cast vp his face, and he shall be glorious aboue thee (for he is a principalitie) and he will oppresse thee: So blessed is that man, and that soule that is clad with Iesus, and hath his faith in him: for he shall ouer­come the diuel & find strength in the day of temptation. Cast Gorgons head, or Medusas: so many as did looke on it were turned in­to stones, as Poets faine vp Iesus Christ as it were Gorgonis caput, the diuell dare not look vpon thee: but if thou appeare in thy own nature, with­out Christ, lying in thy stink, he will boldly and fiercely set on thee. He will cast vp his face & assaile thee mightily, & he shall not leaue thee till he destroy thee: for there is no mercie or pi­tie [Page 195] with him, he is more cruell thē a Tiger. Well, seek to Christ, as ye would be saued, and stand fast in the day of temptation.

He led them through (saith he) openly. That is, in the sight of God, his Angels, and all the world, and these that stood about the crosse. What auailes a triumph that is done in secret? The glorie of this triumph stood in that, that it was done so open­ly. I tell thee his crosse was no more open then his triumph was; his glorie was as open as his shame. But thou wilt say, who was this? all the Iewes and the nations about, saw him crucified ignominiously: who saw this triumph? alas, if they had had eyes they might haue seene it. Whereto tended his death? but to the vanq [...]ng of the diuell: so the fault was not in the crosse, bu [...] in them that they saw not. If there were no more but that title, Iesus of Nazareth King of the Iewes, which Pilate would not alter, if they had taken heede to that title, they might perceiue hee was triumphing. But howbeit they all saw it not, yet I doubt not but there were some secret ones that saw it: both God and his Angels saw it; and Paul looking back againe to the crosse, he seeth that triumph. There is none of vs, but when we looke backe to the crosse of Christ Iesus, wee see in the crosse a triumphing King, sitting in a tri­umphing chariot, this is Pauls sight, and it is the sight of euery faithfull soule. They see it and they feele it daily, and out of my sight it shall neuer goe, nor out of thy sight that beleeuest in the Lord Iesus.

In the last words he taketh vp in one word, the triumphing He cōpares Christs tri­umph with the Ro­manes tri­umphes. ouer them: ye know the greatest glorie of victorie, when men triumph ouer their enemies, is to be set aboue them; and al the Romane Emperours neuer got so great glorie, as when they got a triumph. But all is nothing to this glorie of the triumph of our Iesus: for he getteth the greatest honour, he getteth the triumph, which is worthily called a triumph. What is his tri­umph? The Romanes got their triumph when they had op­pressed men most vniustly, and so it was but a tyrannie: but the Lord Iesus triumpheth not, because hee oppresseth this or that man; but he triumphs because hee oppressed principali­ties and powers, that is, the diuels. Neuer a Caesar ouercame [Page 196] the diuell; but the diuell ouercame them, when they were in their greatest royaltie; so that the diuell was leading them to hell fastest, when they triumphed most vniustly: but Iesus Christ triumpheth after a iust victorie. The spoyling of them was most iust, and so it passeth all the triumphes of all the Ro­mane Emperours and Caesars. Their Chariots are not to bee compared with that crosse of Iesus. So wouldest thou triumph with Iesus Christ, and after a iust conquest? Alas, alas, seeke not to triumph ouer men, ouer this or that King, this bodie or that; ouer poore tenants to shed their bloud, to wring thy hands in their heart bloud as thou wilt. O villaine, villaine, stay! let not that King of Spaine, that slaue subiected to that beast of Rome reioyce, in that by his crueltie he triumphs ouer many nations. O thou wilt call thy selfe a Christian King! learnedst thou of Christ to oppresse thy neighbour countries? No, if thou werst a Christian King, thou wouldest learne to oppresse the diuell, that raigneth ouer thee. But to leaue them and to speake of this victorie of Christ: thou that wouldest haue a true triumph, seeke to haue the victorie ouer the diuel, that seeketh to triumph ouer thee, and that in Iesus Christ: for without him there is no true victorie.

To end in a word: ye would marueile, if you looke to this writing of this Apostle, and I doubt not, that mē in this world, that know not what Iesus and his crosse meane, would scorne all this language: for the wisedome of God is foolishnes to this world. What is this he is telling? He is speaking of an ig­nominious crosse of Christ: and againe, he is setting him vp as it were a Caesar. There was neuer an Oratour that spake more highly of an Emperour, then hee doth, speaking of the crosse of Iesus Christ. He is making a glorie of an ignominie; and a Chariot of a gallowes; a triumph of a man that is hanged. Bre­thren, this same speech of the Apostle (would to God we could see as he saw, it is a triumphing speech of a triumph) testifieth plainly, that hee felt in his heart the power of the crosse and A trium­phing speech in the Apostle of Christs triumph. death of Iesus Christ, as he saith, Galath. 6. 14. God forbid that I should reioyce but in the crosse of our Lord Iesus Christ, It testi­fieth that his heart was full of the power of God, and of the [Page 197] death of Christ; and that the obligation was cancelled, and the diuell vndone; and by this effectuall feeling, the mouth and the heart are opened. Alas, alas, he would not haue com­pared the crosse of Christ with the triumph of Emperours, if his heart had not felt the vertue of the crosse of Christ. O then, seeke a sense of the death of Christ, and the power of it! other­wise reade not these words; for thou wilt scorne the Gospell. Againe I say, thou wilt scorne the Gospell, if thou finde not the vertue and power of the death of Christ in some measure sen­sibly in thy heart; yea and the wiser thou art, thou wilt euer account it the greater follie. Therefore as euer thou wilt ac­count of it, and speake of the crosse of Christ to thy ioy, seeke to feele sensibly the power of that death of Christ: for it is not like a common death. In the death of the man Iesus Christ what was there? There was the life of the Sonne of God that quickened the death of the man. So that it is more powerfull then all the liues of Angels or men that are, or that euer will be. So all tendeth to this: seeke to finde the power of that death, that thou maist reade it with ioy, and heare tell of it with ioy. And certainly, if thou shalt feele the power at the hearing and speaking of it, if thine hart shal leape for ioy: it is argument for thee, that Iesus Christ hath trium­phed ouer death to thy saluation. To this Ie­sus, with the Father and the holy Spi­rit, be all glorie and honour for euer and euer,

Amen.

THE NINETEENTH LECTVRE VPON THE Epistle of PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 16. 17.

16 Let no man therefore condemne you in meate and drinke, or in respect of an holie day, or of the new Moone, or of the Sabboth daies,

17 Which are but shadowes of things to come: but the bodie is in Christ.

THe purpose of the Apostle in all this place (beloued brethren) it is partly to exhort the Colossians to be­ware of false teachers, that had crept in amongst them; & partly to admonish them. Now, heretofore ye heard, hee fell vpon occasion into a faire description of God, and of Coherence. the effectualnes of his power, which was from the effects: first from the raising of Iesus Christ from the dead. Secondly, from raising vp of the Gentiles, and namely the Colossians, who were dead in sinnes and in the vncleannes of their flesh, from that death they lay in. And thirdly, from the quickening of the Iewes, who had subscribed an obligation against them­selues, sealing vp that they were guiltie of damnation. There­fore Iesus Christ, the first thing he doth, is the cancelling of the obligation, and putting it out of the way, by nailing it on the crosse: then when he had done this, he turneth him vpon the same crosse, to principalities and powers, who are the diuels that persecuted mankind, and accused them vpon that hand­writing. He turneth (I say) to them, and fighteth with them, spoyling and leading them captiues. Then hauing spoyled [Page 199] them, he leadeth them to their shame and his glory in the sight of God and his Angels, openly in a triumph, hee sitting as it were, in his triumphing chariot the crosse, more glorious then all the chariots wherein any triumphing Emperour euer tri­umphed from the beginning. Now (brethren) in this text which we haue read, the Apostle returneth to his former pur­pose, and vpon the former doctrine, containing that fact of Christ vpon the crosse, in nailing the hand-writing to the crosse, and putting it out of the way, and vanquishing the di­uels; he gathers this admonition. Seeing this hand-writing of ordinances, all rites, ceremonies and all, are abolished by the crosse of Christ: therefore ye Colossians, let no man condemne you for these things. They are not, they are all abolished, and put away; therefore beware of the false teachers, that would condemne you for not vsing of such things: I meane (saith he) new Moones, Sabboths, meates, drinkes, and such other cere­monies. If wee will weigh these words well, wee shall finde in them not onely a simple admonition giuen to the Colossians, that they should not suffer themselues to bee condemned in such things: but also we shall finde an inhibition giuen to the false teachers, forbidding them to condemne the Colossians, or any of the Gentiles, in any of these rites that were alreadie abolished, forbidding them streightly vnder the paine of their condemnation to vrge them with the same. The very forme of the words sheweth, that it is a very law: for it is giuen after the manner of a law: Let no man. As if he would say, I inhibite that no man condemne you for these ceremonies of the law alrea­die abolished in the death of Christ.

Then briefly (brethren) ye see there is a law giuen: the ho­lie Spirit giueth it, the Apostle proclaimeth it, the law is this, An euan­gelicall law. that no man condemne them whom God absolueth. When God ab­solueth a man, let no man condemne him: no, if it were all the Kings in the earth they are ouer bold to condemne the silliest creature that God absolueth. Paul to the Rom. chap. 8. 33. 34. commandeth and vrgeth, Who will intend any crime? who will be so bold to doe it? it is God that iustifieth, who then dare be so bold as to condemne him whom hee iustifieth, and absolueth? The law is giuen in generall. But to come to the particulars. There is a [Page 200] law giuen concerning the Iew, that after God hath rent his hand-writing, and abolished all the rites that hee was subiect vnto; let no man condemne him for not obseruing of these ceremonies. And as concerning the Gentile, there is a law, let no false teacher condemne a Gentile for not obseruing any of these ceremonies, considering the Gentiles neuer receiued them: they were imposed vpon the Iew. As for the Gentile, they were not imposed vpon him, and therefore it is a great presumption to impose these rites vpon them who neuer had receiued them. But to come neere and speake plainly. There is a law against the Pope and Papists, that they condemne no Christian man vnder paine of condemnation, for not obser­uing of such rites, as their festiual daies, & ceremonies of their owne inuention. And in the name of the same Iesus (as the A­postle intimateth this law) so doe I intimate the same to them and you that heare me; let no man condemne you for not keeping of such things, as the Papists would impose vpon you. The Lord hath made you free of them. The Lord hath gi­uen you libertie: He is too impudent to binde you with the obseruation of such things.

But let vs particularlie see the things, in the which he will not haue the Colossians and the rest of the Gentiles & vs this day condemned. He calleth them, in meate drinke, and holy daies, apparantly he vnderstandeth the feasts, that were most so­lemne, as the Passeouer, the feast of Tabernacles, and such o­thers. And then he commeth to them that were not so solemne, as the new Moones and the rest. And if you will marke the man­ner of speaking, he speaketh of these rites with a disdaining of them. They are of no worth after the body is come. I will not insist to speake of the rites of the Iewes, onely thus farre con­cerning their meates. Before the Lord came and was manife­sted, Leuit. 11. 1. Deut. 14. there ye shall finde that among the Iewes there was a difference of meates, some cleane, some Of the Iewish ob­seruation of meates. vncleane and forbidden. All was to signifie the difference be­tweene the Iewe and the Gentile, that the Iewe should not communicate with the Gentile. But that partition wall was throwne downe by Iesus Christ at his comming, and all diffe­rence was taken away. Now the false teachers did as much as [Page 201] they could, to haue raised vp the partition wall, and so to make voyde the crosse of Iesus Christ.

As concerning holy daies I onely touch it, among the Iewes there were many feasts obserued, but all were figures of Christ; Holy daies. and when he came, they all tooke end. And therefore the false teachers, that pressed the obseruation of those daies, did what they could to annihilate the comming of Iesus Christ, as though he had neuer yet come into the world. And here yee may cleerely perceiue the nature of erronious spirits that in­cline Erronious spirits. to heresie, for the most part they are occupied about tri­fling things; things indifferent, as meate, drinke, holy dayes, and such like. O as the Papists here are busie about meates, holy dayes of their owne making, and such like, from the which the Lord hath freed vs: To impose lawes necessarie to be kept (as they speake) vnder the paine of saluation and dam­nation; as the eating of flesh on friday: O vaine foole! As for things necessarie to saluation and the worship of God, Papists passe ouer them as friuolous. They will not condemne an a­dulterer. Behold their religion (brethren) I thinke ye desire that I should speake some thing of the obseruation of daies, and difference of meates. Seeing this hath been handled in the doctrine of the Catechisme; it is not my purpose to insist vp­on it. Yet I shall shew you mine opinion as plainly and briefly as I may possibly, agreeing with the godly and learned in these daies. Ye will aske, is there any difference betweene meates, what shall we thinke of them that wil abstaine from meates? I answere, if for policies sake, because of any politike law, and in regard of a common-weale, thou abstainest from meates, Law con­cerning meates. thou doest well. As on the contrary, thou doest euill, if thou abstaine not: for the Magistrate is to be obeyed for conscience sake, Rom. 13. 5. If againe thou abstaine from meates, and vse not these bodily exercises, that by abstinence and fasting thou maist be the better helped in the exercises spirituall, as prayer and repentance: whether there be a constitution of the Church to that effect, or whether of thy owne motion, thou doest it, thou doest well. But if thou begin to place god­lines True fast. in eating and not eating, putting a necessitie in them, and that with the opinion of merit, that thou deseruest this or [Page 202] that (as the Papists speake) away with thee and thy fasting. If thou be of that opinion, fast and it were fortie daies together, thou art an Idolater, and all thine exercise stinkes in the nose Supersti­tious fast. of God; yea though thou doest fast till thy bones and skinne came together.

Now as concerning daies, what shall wee thinke of other countries, that yet keepe holy daies? I shall tell you, the holy daies (as they call them) they are either commaunded by God, or instituted by man: God is the author of them, or els man. The daies commaunded by God in old time before Christ came, they were many, as ye may reade in the bookes of Mo­ses: but as touching the daies inioyned by God to be kept of vs, after the comming of Christ, reade the Scripture from the beginning to the end, and yet thou shalt finde but one day onely inioyned thee to be kept, and that by the law Morall, and this day is the Lords Sabboth: and in keeping of this standeth the worshipping of God. So thou that keepest the seuenth day, thou doest the thing that is acceptable with God; and thou that doest it not, thou highly offendest God. Then concerning the daies instituted by man, whether of old, or of late, they are different. Some were instituted by man, for the honour of vulgar and common Saints: of some of the which it may be doubted whether they were Saints or no. Some were instituted for the honour of the Apostles, indeede they were Saints; yea euen although the Pope would not canonize thē. Some were instituted for the honour of God and Iesus Christ. Now to go thorow: as for the holy daies appointed for ye honor of common Saints, I say this (and it is the opinion of the lear­ned) they are Idolatrous; thou that doest run to the bones of Popish holy daies. this Saint, or that Saint, & kissest it, and thou wotest not whe­ther it was the bone of a murtherer, a theefe, or an oppressour, or of a Saint: And therefore the reformed Churches in Europe haue abolished these daies. As for the daies instituted to the honour of the Apostles, indeed it is true ye reformed Churches agree not vniformally in this point. Some keepe these daies, and yet without perill of Idolatrie, because they keepe the daies only, and yet without dedication of seruice to the Saints. But certainly, will ye see the matter as it is. It wanteth not su­perstition [Page 203] (if the Apostles were neuer so holy) to dedicate a day to them, and seruice for them. I wil not bring in more reasons, yet this I say, to celebrate a feast to any man, whether dead or liuing, with diuine worship to the same, it is Idolatrie: for the celebration of a feast, with seruice adioyned thereto, is a kinde of worship, that pertaineth to God onely. Reade the Lawe, and ye shall finde this. Now will ye haue Gods mind in this matter? When Moses was dead, God taketh his bones and cau­sed them to be buried secretly; that not one of the people should know where they were laid. And wherefore doth he it? To preuent the superstition of the people, that they should not worship them, and celebrate a feast to them. He knew the va­nitie of mans braine, he will make a God of a dead bone: Bles­sed art thou that art restrained by the word of God.

Will ye haue the example of the Iewes, reade where euer they made a feast to Moses, or Aaron, or old Abraham? And if any should haue a festiuall day, they should haue had it: but I neither read nor heard tell, that they got any. Come to the Apostles themselues, reade the Acts, when that idolatrous peo­ple would haue worshipped them, they rent their cloathes for griefe of their superstition: And this day I trow they should riue their cloathes, if they saw and vnderstood the superstition and worship that is done to them: and if Paul had accepted of thy feast, O vaine Papist! hee should not abide in heauen one moment: for that were to the dishonour of God: they giue thee no thanke: if they wist of it, they would not faile to rent their cloathes and bodies both, and to curse thee to thy face, for taking the honour that is due to God, and to giue it them. So concerning this, it is a peece of superstition, and ido­latrie, to celebrate a feast, and appoint diuine seruice to the A­postles; I will except none of them: no, not Mary would not stand in heauen, if she accepted of that honour that thou gi­uest her. Fie on these vaine Papists, they rent Gods cloake a­sunder, and would put it on another: fie on them and their stinking idolatrous daies.

To come to the next word. In it hee subioynes another ar­gument of his admonition, that none should condemne them of these ceremonies, and it is taken from the nature and de­finition [Page 204] of all the old Ceremonies. What are they all, but sha­dowes? and therefore seeing they are vanishing things, let no man condemne you vpon trifles; let no man find fault with you, nor thrust them vpon you, as though they were necessarie poynts to the seruice of God. Then no man should be condem­ned for a shadow, a vanishing and fickle thing: if thou werst a King doe it not, there is no man so giuen ouer into the hands of men. It was not giuen to Angels to condemne a man for ce­remonies; much lesse oughtest thou to condemne a man, spe­cially for a shadow. And yet for all that brethren, as I said be­fore, this is the nature of an erronious spirit, all their censuring Iudging of men by their ob­seruation of ceremo­nies. proceedes of iudging a man for obseruation of ceremonies, and they will send him to heauen and hell for euery trifle at their pleasure. So marke an erronious spirit and a deceiuer: his head is busie about these trifling things, censuring vpon shadowes, putting a necessitie where there is none, and step­ping ouer the necessarie poynts of Religion. In a word, ye shall finde the diuell hath been a sore enemie to this christian liber­tie, to burden thee with things indifferent. But as Paul coun­selleth thee, Gal. 5. 1. Stand fast in the libertie wherewith Christ hath made thee free, and count him for a false teacher that would restraine thee.

But to weigh the words better, which are but shadowes, that is, no substantiall thing. There is a great difference betweene the shadow and the body: for a man going to the East, his sha­dow striketh to the west; so all the shadowes, when Christ rose in the East, were stricken backe to the precedent times, and for the times since his resurrection, are abolished and done away. The Sacraments that we now receiue, are not shadowes, but sure seales of Iesus Christ alreadie come. Marke what was the estate of the Iewe: he liued vpon shadowes vnder the law, and yet he was safe: not by the vertue of the shadowes, but because in the meane time, while he is in remembring of the The Iewes before Christ. shadowes, his eye lookes out beyond the shadow to that body that was comming: So it was hope that saued him. As for those that had no eye to the bodie, they got no life but death by the shadow. Thou shalt neuer haue life by these outward exerci­ses of Religion, except thou haue the inward substances: for [Page 205] the outward shall euer turne to thy damnation, if thou haue not the inward. And further, the very estate of the Iewes doth recommend to thee the blessednes of thy estate aboue the Kings, and all the Prophets of old. They embraced the sha­dow, but thou embracest the bodie. Iesus Christ is come alrea­die crucified in the Gospell: so that thy estate is such a blessed estate, yt thou canst neuer think enough of it. But alas, heauēly things are not regarded! when thou hast gotten some small preferment in the world, thou wilt make much of it: but as for this preferment in Iesus Christ thou carest not for it. Yet the end will commend or condemne all thy ioyes. Now mark the power that riseth from the shadowes of Christ: the very shadow of him, being rightly taken, saueth and comforteth the sinfull soule. It was his shadow that saued Adam, and all Kings and people, before his comming in the flesh: but yet, as the shadow must be still vnderstood to be accompanied with the bodie, and to haue the power from it. O what power must be in the bodie when it is standing before thee without the shadow, seeing the shadow is so powerfull! O the wonderfull power that is offered to me and thee! fie on vs that finde it not: the blame is in vs that we finde not this power; and not in Iesus. Seeke to Iesus, take hold of him by faith, and I doe as­sure thee there shall come out of him such a power that shall quicken thee so, as thou wouldest not want it for all the world.

Thirdly, ye shall see how foolish these false teachers are: they are teaching to embrace a shadow, when the bodie is come. See how vaine they are. The Iewes did well, that embraced the shadow before Christ came; but after his comming it was vaine to doe it: and so it was as much as to bid them embrace the thing that was not. And admit that the shadow abode still, were it not follie to comprize the shadow with the bodie? the shadow goeth before, the bodie commeth after. But bre­thren, such is the follie of these vanishing heads, this fellow will seeme to be some bodie, a iolly fellow, as who but he; and yet hee will make thee to thinke that light and darknes may dwell together, the shadow and the bodie to be both in one place. O but all this is vanitie! decline thou once from the [Page 206] truth, thou be commest mad, thou wilt cause the people to erre. So blessed is the man that stickes by Iesus, and stands by the scripture of God: and if thou doe it, thou shalt be safe, other­wise thou shalt goe into euerlasting darkenes: As the Apostle Rom. 1. 21. testifieth, ye shall become mad fooles, and in the end perish with the reprobate, if yee sticke not to this Iesus Christ and his word.

Now to come to the end: they might haue said, if these be the shadowes, where is the bodie? He answers, But the bodie is in Christ. There are two things here: first, there is the shadow of things to come: the second is, the bodie which is Christ, and followes the shadow. The bodie that followes, is not this or that bodie; not Iohn the Baptist, not one of the Prophets, but onely Iesus Christ. Then note first, there was neuer from the beginning, nor is nor shall be to the end, any other sub­iect of Religion, of godlines, but Iesus Christ the Lord: seeke it where ye will, there is no other foundation of faith: No man (saith Paul, 1. Cor. 3. 11.) can lay any other foundation beside that that is laid, Iesus Christ. Onely this is the difference: amongst the Iewes he was but a shadow, now he is the bodie. So, woul­dest thou haue a godly man defined? it is he whose heart is oc­cupied about Christ in some measure: how he was incarnate, and of his passion. Thinkest thou that this should goe out of thy thought? Alas, if thou thoughtest of thy sin, thou shouldst neuer get rest, till thou thinke of his crosse, then of his resur­rection. This is the godly harted man Paul, 1. Tim. 3. 16. when he had said, Great is the mysterie of godlines, then he comes to the parts of it, God manifested in the flesh, iustified in the spirit, and so forth till he comes to the last, receiued vp in glorie: where we are taught, that the mysterie of godlines is onely in Iesus Christ. So that if thou wouldst haue thy heart occupied in god­lines, fixe thy heart on Iesus Christ: for I assure you this, thinke of any thing in this world, or out of it, and leaue out Iesus Christ, not thinking of him; thou shalt find that thy heart shall not be sanctified, but prophane and wicked. So there is no­thing to make a godly heart, but to thinke on Iesus. When thou art thinking of many things, reserue a peece of thy heart for him, giue him a thought; if thou wert a King, be not so [Page 207] busie in thy affaires; if thou wert in Parliament, take heed thou forget him not, but euer giue him a thought or a looke, other­waies thou art not sanctified: yea, if in all thine affaires thou thinke not on Christ, and haue not a presence of God, the ve­ry horse thou ridest on, is better then thou; and the higher thou art mounted vp, the more miserable, if thou want a thought of God in Iesus Christ. Againe, yee see Iesus is called the bodie, yee know that by humane reason, a bodie is a solide thing, with dimensions, that thou maist apprehend solidlie. In a word, Christ hath this prerogatiue to be called a bodie: Iesus Christ, of all things is the solidest and firmest: in comparison of him, there is not a bodie in the world. I say to thee, when thou puttest out thy hand to lay hold on the most solid thing in the world, thou shalt not find it so solid as the heart of the godly shall by, when it by the hand of faith layeth hold on him, for as soone as Iesus toucheth the heart, then the heart that before was vaine and superficiall, is made a solid bodie, so there is not a solid heart, but it that hath Iesus closed in it. I tell thee thy heart is but as an emptie bagge if thou get not Iesus into it: therefore crye euer, Iesus fill my emptie heart. Neuerthelesse, fooles set not greatly by this, but I say to thee, if thou wert a King thou shalt neuer be solid, thy heart shall neuer be solid, but a blast of wind shall carrie thee away, if thou haue not Ie­sus Christ in thy heart. Lastly, I see the religious heart that is occupied vpon Christ, is occupied vpon the firmest thing in the world: those that faine would bee godly, and separate themselues from this world, and lay hold on Christ, the pro­phane may well say of him, what is this bodie doing, he is a sillie foolish bodie? But if he were a King, if he knew the estate of that bodie, he would change his estate with his: this you may see in the example of Paul, speaking to Agrippa, Acts chap. 26. vers. 29. Well, as I haue said before, the end shall trie all, and they that in this life followed Iesus, and set their eye vpon this solid thing, they shall abide, because they haue laid hold on him who is eternall and abides for euer, and blessed is the soule that apprehendeth this onely solid thing Iesus. And thou that laiest holde on the things that are seene, on the pleasures of this world, O they shall vanish, they shall be ca­ried [Page 208] away as dust! because the things that are seene are mo­mentanie and passe away. Therefore if thou wouldest liue for euer, fasten thy heart vpon Christ: it will not be honour, meate and drinke that will establish thy heart when heauen and earth shall be shaken together, nothing shall establish thee but that ankering of thee vpon Christ, and therefore seeke to bee ankered vpon him. To whom bee all honour and praise,

Amen.

THE TWENTITH LEC­TVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 18.‘18 Let no man at his pleasure beare rule ouer you by humblenes of mind and worshipping of Angels, aduauncing himselfe in those things which he neuer saw, rashly puft vp with his fleshly mind.

THe Apostle (brethren) throughout this whole chap­ter admonisheth the Colossians to beware of false teachers, and of mens doctrine and traditions. The traditions he admonisheth them to beware of, are of two sorts: the first sort is the olde ceremonies that the Lorde sometime gaue to bee obserued by the people of the Iewes, which at Christs comming were wholy abolished, and put away; and therefore the receiuing of them againe into the Church of Christ, it was nothing else but the doctrine of men and not Two sorts oferaditi­ons. of God.

[Page 209] The second sort of traditions are such, as God neuer gaue to any people, nor will giue to the end of the world to be obser­ued: as this: To bid men goe worship Angels: to call vpon Saints: they are such as the Lord neuer knew of, nor gaue to man; he neuer commaunded to worship an Angell, nor call vpon a Saint. Wee heard the last day of the first sort of mens traditions; and the doctrine concerning the ceremonies that were abolished by Christs comming: Let no man condemne you (saith he) in meate or drinke: there is the first sort. The ceremo­nies of the Iewes, in the which the Apostle wils them that they suffer not themselues to be condemned for not keeping them, because they are alreadie abolished.

Now (brethren) in this text presently read, we are admoni­shed concerning the second sort of traditions: namely, con­cerning the worshipping of Angels. To come then to the pur­pose, and words of the text: Let no man (saith he to the Colos­sians) at his pleasure beare rule ouer you by submission of minde, and worshipping of Angels. These are the words, Let no man beare rule ouer you. The word is to bee considered, in the originall it signifieth to play the part of a moderator and of a Iudge; and not that onely, but it signifieth to beare rule, not for men and their will, but against them, and to their hurt and domage. This is the force of the preposition ( [...]) as if he would say; Let no man beare rule ouer you, that is, against you, and to your hurt and domage. The Apostle vseth sundrie words, where­by hee expresseth the action of false teachers and deceiuers. First in the eight verse of this chapter he said, Let no man spoyle you, carrie you away as a pray: Then he saies, Let no man condemne you, sit vpon you to iudge and condemne you. Thirdly, Let no man beare rule ouer you. What meanes this varietie of words, and euery one worse then other? All tends to this; to let vs see False tea­chers de­scribed. that there is no kinde of euill that one man can doe against another, but a false teacher will doe it against man. What thing can any man doe against another bodily, but a false teacher will doe against him spiritually? and it is worse an hundred times to be hurt spiritually then bodily. One man wil come to another, and take him and draw him away bodily, but a false teacher will draw him away spiritually; and that more [Page 210] cruelly then one man will draw away another bodily. This man will giue him whom he draweth, leaue to breathe, and to rest a while: but a false teacher, if once hee take a man in his snare, he will not giue him rest night nor day till he bring him to damnation. Againe, men will condemne thee bodily, but false teachers wil condēne thy soule. So in one word, there was neuer a tyrant frō the beginning of the world, that hath done so much euill to the world, as the Pope and his Clergie haue done. O the soules of them that he hath made to perish! fie on this world, that sees not this lowne plainly playing the tyrant daily. Alas, worldly tyrants destroy the bodies, and goods of men only: but he destroyeth the soules and bodies of men for euer. Fie on this world, that will not once see it. And yet to insist on the word, Let no man beare rule ouer you, that is against you. The word that hee ascribeth to false teachers, lets vs see the nature and engine of a false teacher. He is ambitious, and seekes by all meanes to beare rule ouer all men: not for their weale, but for their woe: woe is them ouer whom hee beares rule. What matter is it if he sought to beare rule ouer the body and substance of man onely? but the chiefest thing that hee seekes, is to beare rule ouer the soule: which importeth two things. First, an vsurping of the place of God (for God onely is the Lord of the conscience and soule of man: neuer Angell gate place to beare rule ouer the soule & conscience of man.) Note these two things in false teachers which de­sire to do­miniere o­uer consci­ences. Secondly, it importeth an euerlasting wracke to the soule of the creature, if he be kept vnder his gouernment. If thou giue thy soule to be vnder his gouernment and tyrannie in such a cleere light, thou shalt be sure to perish both in bodie & soule. This for the first word of this text.

The second word is, At his pleasure. Let him not beare rule ouer you, and that at his pleasure; not according to God and his word, but according to his foule affections. A deceitfull villaine lookes neuer to the word of God, but to the foule af­fections of sinne. I told you before hee was ambitious; but now he is a tyrant, which is the more perilous in that hee see­keth to beare rule ouer the conscience, after the fancie of his foule affections: and if hee continue with thee, thou shalt dye euerlastingly.

[Page 211] The next words giue vs to vnderstand, when he is set vp in his throne aboue a man, what lawes he giues out. A Prince or King when he is placed in his throne, hee will giue out lawes: the words tell you that first hee begins at the submission of minde, lowlines: there is his beginning. A faire preface, and true in generall, that men should be humble and lowly min­ded. There is no man, no not the truest teacher that is, that can haue a fairer beginning and entrie of doctrine, then a decei­uer, and can lay downe some grounds of doctrine more truly then he: and specially he will begin at that, which is most plea­sing to the people: he will begin with humilitie, and in the meane time he will counterfeite such an humilitie, in his eyes, with his hands, with tricking and ducking of his head, and in all that he shall speake of, he shall speake as an Angel of light. This is faire, but looke to the end, when he hath begun with a faire preface, where goeth he to next? Worship Angels. How ga­thereth he this? Be humble; therfore worship Angels. How ga­thereth The argu­ment which false tea­chers vse to moue men to worship Angels and Saints de­parted. hee the conclusion? He gathereth it this way: It is a point of pride to passe to God immediatly, and to come in be­fore him at the first dash: therefore sir, worship Angels, be­cause they are in the gate betweene thee and God. It is a foule assumption; It is pride to goe to God immediatly. Ha, ha, false de­ceiuer: it is no pride to goe to God, and to passe by all the An­gels in heauen: but it is a point of humilitie, as it is most cleere through the whole Scriptures, in the examples of the Pro­phets and Patriarchs. So to be short, ye see what followeth a faire preface; when a deceiuer propoundeth a faire preface, be sure of a foule end; when the lowne hath commended good vertues, hee will fall out in a filthie conclusion of one thing or other. He will be speaking of things in generall, and will gather a foule particular conclusion: and therfore when he speakes fairest, suspect him most. When a Papist propoun­deth a point of true doctrine, he is most dangerous; suspect him then most: when he commends humilitie, and that with many a bowing of the bodie, beware of him, for then hee will subioyne, Call vpon Saints, and worship Angels, and doubt of thy saluation, it is presumption to say, that a man is sure of saluation, humilitie bids thee doubt. Now fie on thee and thy doubting [Page 212] doctrine both. So if thou heare his preface, hee will come in with this end: close therefore thine eare at his generall; for he is a Sophister to allure thee in the end, and to draw thee into the net of destruction. Therefore neuer account of his begin­ning, for the end of it is deceit. Well (brethren) was this point of doctrine concerning the worship of Angels in Paules daies? Yes. Then I am enforced to graunt that there are some points of the Papists doctrine very ancient; yea as ancient as the Apostles themselues. Goe to the Papist, hee will say it is pre­sumption to goe the hie way to God; therefore goe to Saints, and Angels. This is very old, and so it may be that through Popish an­tiquitie. antiquitie their doctrine is commended. Looke to the anci­ents, say they; yet I say, if antiquitie will commend an heresie, away with thee and thy antiquitie both. Well, well, then all their reason from antiquitie is to confirme heresies, that haue been damned in hell. I will not insist to shew what heresies they haue raised vp againe (for their religion is clouted and patched vp with all heresies in the world, of Gentilisme and Iudaisme) there is little pleasure to speake of them or their doctrines either. Now to bee short, in the next words the A­postle fals to the confuting of so foule and false a head of do­ctrine, to wit, concerning the worshipping of Angels: he con­demneth it: let them defend it as they will. The first argu­ment he vseth is from a shamelesse pertnes of the false teacher; aduancing himselfe (saith he) in things which he neuer saw. The words import a violent entring into another mans professiō, as if he would say; where saw the deceiuer any Angels? How knew hee that the Angels make intercession in heauen, the word of God told him neuer a word of it, who made him so wise to know that the Angels are mediatours? so it may be a shamelesse pertnes that he speakes of the worshipping of An­gels. Marke then (brethren) the Apostle notes a false teacher with this note, shamelesse pertnes. He rubbeth off all shame of his forehead. Nay know ye not? There is the first preparation, A note of a false tea­cher. in his chamber before he come out to the people, he rubbes off shame from him, and then he comes out with a vizard on his face shamelesse, and then he will speake of things which he neuer knew, heard nor sawe, and that were neuer written; yea [Page 213] that are impossible for men to know in this life, he will speake A notable confuta­tion of all popish sig­ments. so frankly of them, as if he had seene them all; he will begin to speake of Angels and of their orders, and tell you there bee so many orders of them. Who told you that? and then he will be­gin to speake of Saints, and he will bid you call on them. Did God commaund him to bid thee doe so? and when hee hath done with heauen, he will goe downe to hell, and will tell you of all the chambers and places there, of Limbus Patrum, Pur­gatorie, with the rest, as though he had bin there: And againe, with such confidence he will speak of these things, as if he had seene thē with his eyes. This then tels vs, yt this doctrine of the Papists, is not a new, but an old heresie; and how like is a new heretike to an old heretike? Well, to be short, let neuer man be curious in that which God hath neuer reuealed. If God Curiositie. hath not reuealed what the Angels be doing in heauen, what the Saints be doing, question not of it: where hell is, and what parts are in hell, if God haue not reuealed it, be not curious to search it, let it be, leaue off questioning of things that God hath not reuealed, seeing there are so many things reuealed which thou canst not attaine vnto, if thou shouldest sit night and day meditating vpon them.

Againe, let no man bee bold to affirme the thing that hee knoweth not, whether it be true or not; if thou vse thy selfe to shamelesse pertnes, thou wilt come in the end to confirme lyes. Euer keepe a moderation, and speake according to thy knowledge that, that thou hast seene and heard. And speake (seeing it is the office of the Pastor to speake) speake assuredly of saluation: for surely thou must be studious to get the truth, and to speak boldly of it, and to die in the truth of God. There is the first argument why the Apostle wils the Colossians, that no man condemne them for meate and drinke: learne of it to answere the Papists after this manner. Thou art a pert and shamelesse bodie to intrude thy selfe into this point and that point of religion, whereof thou hast no sure warrant, and in that thou neuer sawest, heardest, nor was neuer reuealed to thee. The second argument is from as euill a ground, euen from pride, and a poore pride, as the words import: for so the Apostle speaketh, blowne vp, as a bagge with winde; no solide [Page 214] stuffe. Now after what manner is he puft vp? Rashly: that is, without cause, hauing no matter but onely winde. For ye shall vnderstand, that there is but two sorts of pride. There is one that is called a poore pride, as we say, A proud heart in a poore Two sorts of pride. breast, whē vpon a vaine conceit men are proud of that which they haue not: Such was the pride of the Pharisie, vpon the conceit of his righteousnes, & through it he scornes the poore man besides him, who was notwithstanding more iustified then he was. The second sort of pride is, when one is proud, but hath some matter of it, as a rich man for his riches; a man of science for his science, whether the matter of it be outward or inward. Of this the Apostle speaketh 1. Cor. 4. 7. What hast thou that thou hast not receiued? why then boastest thou, as though thou haddest not receiued it? Alas, no gift should make one proud! For where that is, it is a tokē that thou misknowest the giuer. If a man haue pride with his graces, all his graces are poyson: for pride is a poysonable seasoning of them, so that they shall neuer doe thee good. As for example, hee that hath grace to speake well, if he be proud, he may well doe the people good; but he shall neuer be able to doe himselfe good. A man of law Pride poy­sons all gifts. that is full of law, euen to the throte, if he haue pride with it, he may doe thee and the people good with it; but not himself: yea it is a curse to him. A Preacher that hath knowledge in the Scriptures, and can discourse vpon them finely, if hee haue pride with his gift, all is poyson; he may well doe the auditorie good, but hee shall neuer be able to doe his owne soule good. So it is no small grace of God with thy gifts to haue humilitie: and grace with humilitie is more worth then many graces that are conioyned with pride. Now to goe to the words. Where from commeth this pride? this mischieuous pride, that hath no matter to be proud for nothing, it is a thing which is into­lerable. Hee sets downe the ground of it. It comes from the minde: there is the mother of it. It is not without thee: it is not riches, honour and what euer thou hast, that will make thee to haue a conceit of thy selfe: it is not these things out­ward, Pride whence it comes. howbeit they will greatly further thee and helpe thy pride, as ye may see this day in the persons of rich and honou­rable men. What is it then? euen the best thing of nature gi­uen [Page 215] to thee, euen thy minde; the reason that is within thee, it poysoneth al thy gifts. A natural mā wil make a faire discourse in reasoning, yet with such a pride, that he will not yeeld to a­ny that saith against him, and his reason. So the best thing in man is his greatest enemie. Man hath reason, a reasonable minde, and that is his preferment aboue the beast: but I say to thee, if that reason be not sanctified by the spirit of Christ Ie­sus, if thou werst a King, well had it been to thee that thou haddest bin borne a dog: yea that thou haddest bin created a stocke, or a stone, if thou be not sanctified in thy reason. This reason in the minde hauing pride conioyned with it, beguiled all the Philosophers, Rom. 1. 21. What a minde is that? a fleshly minde, saith the Apostle. If there be any pure thing in man, it must be the minde. Yet the Apostle calleth it fleshly, and Ro­man. 8. vers. 7. The wisedome of the flesh is enmitie against God: I say to thee, as the bodie is grosse and corrupt; so the minde is as grosse and corrupt by nature. So that as the bodie can feele nothing, but that that is grosse: no more can thy soule appre­hend spirituall things, but grosse things: So there is the mo­ther of all mischiefe. That that Paul calleth flesh, the canker of nature, will ye see her daughters? she begetteth vaine discour­sing. Then when she is in conceit of wisedome, followeth false The daughters of reason not sancti­fied. opinions of doctrines, as this; that Angels should be worship­ped: and then followeth the last childe, Pride. So all tends to this, seeke mortification, the slaughter of this mother the flesh, or els she will destroy thee: I say, if she be not mortified, thou shalt die euerlastingly. For she shall fill thee so with wind and puffe thee vp so, that when the iudgement commeth, thou shalt be burnt vp like stubble. Alas, hast thou not thought of mortification? crie for it, or els thou shalt die, and apprehend the death of Christ: for it is the death of Christ that slayeth the flesh, and takes away the corruption of thy nature.

Now to come againe to the false teacher. I gaue you a mark Markes of false tea­chers. of him before, hee is pert, hee is shamelesse, and hath a brasen face; otherwise hee durst not affirme such points of doctrine. 1 Another marke of a false teacher; he is proud, as proud as the diuell, as wee say; what were it if hee had matter? 2 but hee is [Page 216] proud with the winde of false doctrine; for as humble as hee will seeme to thee, yet beware of him: his heart is blowne vp with pride. There is not a false teacher, but hee is proud; a proud heart in a poore breast, he is a poore diuell. I remember a sentence of Augustine to Paulinus; It is a wonderfull thing that a man should be more proud of humilitie, then if he were openly proud; and I will assure thee, a deceiuer will be prou­der in his counterfeit humilitie, then he that is openly proud. A simple man cannot doe it, and of all the proud men in the world, the deceiuer is greatest. Another thing I marke; false doctrine and pride are companions together: so that if thou 3 say there is false doctrine; I will say there is pride also. If thou wilt say there is false doctrine in this heart; I will say there is a proud bodie, as a man of a foule stomacke will giue a foule belch: So a blast of false doctrine is a puffe of pride, wherewith the heart is filled vp: Therefore it is no marueile, though I say a false Doctor is a proud man. Be not deceiued with a Iesuite, when hee commeth with his side long cloake and his broad brimbd hat, who is so humble as hee? but I say hee is full of pride, and thou shalt bewaile the time that thou sawest him. Keepe him in thy chambers as thou wilt, hee shall sting thee to death.

The last argument of the condemning of this false doctrine, is in these words; he saith, He hath not to doe with the head Iesus Christ. The third argument of false do­ctrine. He vttereth plainly, he neuer wist what Christ was, and that hee neuer tasted of that power and vertue, which descen­deth from the head to the bodie: for if hee had tasted of it, O for all the world hee would not haue put an Angell betwixt him and Christ! VVilt thou put one betweene thee and thy head? An Angell is but a stranger to thee in respect of Iesus. Is not a mans head the most familiar and best thing that a man hath? will he not haue recourse to his head? O would the deceiuer put thee from thy head Iesus Christ! he plainly testi­fieth that Iesus Christ thy head stood neuer vpon his necke. Iesus stood neuer vpon the necke of a Papist: speake of him what he will, for if he were thy head O Papist, and haddest ta­sted the vertue that descended from him! thou wouldest neuer [Page 217] seeke to Angels and Saints, to bid them open their mouth to pray for thee. But thou that followest after Saints, and hun­test after Angels, thou shewest that thou neuer tastedst of the head Iesus Christ: And therefore thou testifiest that thou art a false teacher: and thou that followest such a teacher, thou art a false professor of Iesus Christ.

Here I end: onely I request you, sticke to Iesus, once get him to be thy head, and I shall promise thee, thou shalt neuer long for Angell nor Saint. For thou shalt finde such a power and vertue of life to flow out of him to thee, and such a sweet­nes as therewith thy soule shall be contented: and as thou continuest with him, thou shalt finde thy selfe more and more liuely and ioyfull in thy heart; thou shalt sucke continually life and ioy out of him, till at the last thou shalt see him in his Iob. 21. 22 glorie, and be filled fully in him; for in his countenance is the sacietie and fulnes of ioy: And thou shalt not seeke to Angels and bid one of them goe betwixt thee and him at that day. O then acquaint you with him! for the Angels are but mini­stering spirits at his commaund. I say, O acquaint you with him, and sticke by him immutably! and thou shalt finde the ioy of thy heart vnspeakable. To Iesus Christ, with the Father and the holy Spirit, be all honour and praise,

Amen.

THE XXI. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 19. 20.

19 And holdeth not the head whereof all the bodie furnished and knit together, by ioynts and bands, encreaseth with the encrea­sing of God.

20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the ordinances of the world, why, as though ye liued in the world, are ye burdened with traditions?

YE heard (brethren) the admonition of the Apostle, that the Colossians should not suffer themselues to be abused by false Apostles: especially with the rites and ceremonies that sometimes were giuen to the people of the Iewes, and after abolished by Christs comming. Secondly, that they should not suffer themselues to be abused by no o­ther kinde of traditions, which God neuer gaue to any people: as the worshipping of Angels, whereon wee insisted the last day. This kinde of tradition it came in vnder the pretence of Coherence. humilitie, and it was refuted, and condemned by the Apostle, as ye heard by three arguments: 1 first it comes of shamelesse pertnes of men, pretending to haue a knowledge of that they neuer saw, nor heard. Where sawe they the Angels, and their intercession they make in heauen? where heard they of it? and so it is a false doctrine to propound any thing, whereof they haue no warrant. 2 The second argument is taken from the pride that is in them; for this doctrine concerning the wor­shipping of Angels, it commeth of pride without any cause or [Page 219] knowledge; and so it is no more but a blast of a foule proud stinking heart. 3 The third argument, which is in the beginning of this verse, is from the want of Christ the head. These doctors neuer tasted that Christ was their head: for if they had, they would neuer haue sought, nor bidden seeke to Angels to bee mediatours betwixt them and God. So briefly, there be these three arguments, whereby this false doctrine is refuted, and taken away. Yet the Papist defendeth it by the same argu­ments that the false Apostles defended it. It commeth of humi­litie to vse them as mediatours that are most familiar and con­uersant with God. Alas, a new heretike is wondrous like to an old heretike! So it is but a damned doctrine that they haue raised vp in these daies. Now the Apostle hauing spoken of the head Iesus Christ, hee falleth out into a description of him from the relation to the bodie, and from the effects of the bodie which is the Church, all to this end to shew the false teachers and their followers, of how great a good they had de­priued themselues. Ah, woe to all false teachers, and woe to them that doe depriue themselues of such an head, and make the Pope their head!

But to come to the words: he saith, He holdeth not the head: that is, the false Apostle. Then he subioynes, whereof, that is out of the which head (the Lord Iesus) through ioynts and bands the whole bodie is knit, and compacted together and furnished. Whereof, it importeth not onely that Christ the head is the efficient and worker of all grace that comes to the bodie: but more, Christ the head of the Church. that out of him as out of a storehouse, and not elsewhere, all grace and vertue doe flow vnto man. So the word hath a great force: for as out of the head of a man flow all the vertues, mo­uing, life and sense that is in the bodie (take the head away, no vertue is in the bodie) euen so from this head the Lord Iesus, to his mysticall bodie, flow all power and mouing, that the bodie, that is, his Church, and euery member thereof, hath. Thou hast nothing but that that floweth from him. Therefore the Apostle saith, in him dwelleth all fulnes: and againe, in him are all treasures: and againe, in him dwelleth the Godhead bodily: and againe, in him wee are compleate: To let you see that Iesus Christ is the storehouse of graces. Goe thy way to heauen, [Page 220] thou shalt not finde one iot out of thy head the Lord Iesus. Thou shalt seeke all thy time, and thou shalt not get a droppe without him. Then he saith, that by ioynts and bands the whole bodie is furnished, not a part, but the whole bodie, and euery member, neuer a one being excepted, neither rich nor poore. But to insist in the comparison: euen as the whole bodie of a man, and euery member of the bodie to the finger and toe, sucketh vertue from the head; and the head is powerfull to cause euery ioynt to liue: it is euen so with this mysticall bo­die. There is neuer a member of this bodie, but it receiueth some vertue from the head the Lord Iesus: yea the silliest bo­die of them all receiueth it owne grace, and Iesus Christ is ef­fectuall in euery one from the highest to the lowest. If it be in the bodie it cannot want grace: It is impossible that any that are in Christ Iesus can want grace, but the Lord must be po­werfull in them. Runne then and ioyne thee with the bodie; for if thou be not of this bodie, I giue thee this doome, thou Ioyne thy selfe with the Church if thou wilt be in Christ shalt neuer see grace, nor get the spirit of Iesus, which is the worker of this grace in Iesus. 1. Cor. chap. 12. 7. he saith, To euery one is giuen the manifestation of the spirit to profit withall. And Ephes. 4. 7. likewise he saith, To euery one is giuen grace ac­cording to the measure of the gift. This importeth that Iesus Christ is not onely full of grace, but that there is such a varie­tie of grace in him, that there is not onely one or two graces in him, but he is full of varietie of graces. There is not a member but he hath gotten a different grace: I haue gotten mine, thou hast gotten thine, and euery one hath gotten his owne diffe­rent grace. So looke what varietie there is of the faces of men, Varietie of graces in Christ. as great varietie there is of the graces of Christ; and so there is no grace out of Christ; seeke grace in him, or els thou wilt ne­uer finde it. To goe forward; the first thing that euer commeth downe from the head to the bodie, what thinke ye it to bee? What is the first thing that commeth downe from the head of a man? It is yee know the sinewes, as the first thing: for the head by them is bound to the bodie; euen so the first thing that commeth from Christ, he calleth it bands or ligaments, that goe downe from him as from the head. So that there is not a member of the bodie of Christ, but there is a sinew, a band [Page 220] comming from Iesus Christ the head to it. Ye will aske what The bands which knit vs vnto Christ. are these mysticall sinewes? 1 The first of them is the spirit of Ie­sus Christ. God himselfe is the master sinew, without that si­new thou shalt neuer bee conioyned with the head. 2 The se­cond band, is faith: for when that spirit commeth, he is not idle in the person in whom he is, but hee worketh faith in him. There is the other sinew, whereby thou takest hold of him: he taketh hold first of thee, and then thou takest hold of him. 3 The third and last band, is loue to thy neighbour, a branch as it were striken out from faith; where faith is, loue will strike out from it as a branch striking out from the master sinew; so these are the three bands: The spirit entring into vs, faith rising from vs, and our loue rising from our faith, whereby we mutually embrace one another. I neede not to insist to proue by the Scriptures these points, ye see in this Epistle chap. 3. 14. Loue is called the band of perfection. Now brethren, ye must know this moreouer, euery one of these bands must extend to euery member. There is not a member of Christs bodie, but first he must haue the spirit of Iesus: next, faith: and thirdly, loue; otherwise thou canst not be a member of Iesus Christ. For if thou want but this loue, which is the last, thou canst not be one of Christs: I say, and affirme, thou hast not the spirit, nor faith, and so art not conioyned with the head. It is true that euery one hath his particular gift, different from other: but I assure you, a man may not want one of these three. Thou maist want the gift of tongues, miracles, and such others: but thou must not want the spirit, faith, nor charitie. Want what thou wilt, and if thou haue not these three, thou canst not stand in the bodie: thou hast not to doe neither with Christ nor with his bodie; therefore if thou hast the spirit, faith, and charitie, and doest find thy selfe to haue them; then thou maist be ioyfull.

Now to goe thorow: after he hath set downe the bands, he sets downe three effects that proceede from Christ by these Three ef­fects pro­ceed from Christ to e­uery mem­ber. bands downe to the bodie. The first effect is a furnishing of the bodie; wherewith? not with earthly furniture, but with spi­rituall furniture; otherwise it cannot stand. For as when the bodie is knit with the head by sinewes, and then downe [Page 222] through these sinewes, as thorough certaine conduits doe flow vertue and power to the bodie (cut off thy head, thy bodie nor no member thereof hath any power to moue or stirre:) euen so this mysticall bodie being ioyned to Christ by these spiri­tuall meanes, the spirit, faith, and loue, there commeth downe through these conduits to vs that water of life: and that is the furniture that Paul in the Epistle to the Ephes. 4. 16. speakes of. For this cause calleth he them the bands of furnishing, be­cause their office is to furnish grace, life, mouing, and whatsoe­uer How the water of life pro­ceeds from Christ. spirituall thing, to the bodie. To make this plaine, there are two sorts of furnishing; there is one which is common, that euery man hath: as for example, life and mouing. This thou must haue, or else thou canst not be a man: so if thou want a spirituall mouing by the spirit of Iesus, thou canst not be in the bodie. And there is not a naturall bodie, but it must receiue life, sense, and mouing from the head: so there is not a spirituall member of the bodie of Iesus Christ, but it must re­ceiue from the head Iesus, through his spirit, spirituall life, sense and mouing: and if thou stand in the bodie, this furni­ture must flow to thee from the head. This is the first sort of furnishing.

There is another sort, which is of other particular graces, conueighed into men and women by this spirit, faith, and loue; and yet of great varietie. I will get a particular grace; thou wilt get another particular grace; another man will get the third: so that it is not needfull that thou haue this whole furniture. Seeke not all graces, seeke them not: for there is none that hath all graces. Hath the eye all graces? Nay, the Euery man must not haue all gifts of the spirit. foote hath a grace, that the eye hath not. Seeke then for grace, but so that it be without an ambitious desire of the grace of o­thers. Be euer prouiding that ye want not some of this furni­ture; striue to excell in the grace of regeneration with all the world; but in other graces striue not. Then ye see this first ef­fect of furnishing. It followeth, vpon the ioynts and bands, so that if thou haue not the ioynts and bands, thou canst not haue the furniture of grace. Therefore looke that thou haue the spirit, otherwise thou shalt get no life, sense, mouing nor sanctification. I repeate it againe; looke thou haue the bands, [Page 223] or els thou shalt not be in the mysticall bodie of Christ.

So to the next effect flowing from these ioynts and bands, it is the knitting together of the bodie, and euery member thereof one with another: as the spirit of Iesus is the band that The spirit is the band vvhich knits vs with Christ and his members. knits vp the members with the head; so hee is the band that knits the members among themselues; that knits thee with thy neighbour, and makes a mutuall band of loue among the members. This effect is wrought by the head, who bindes all so surely together, as is vnspeakable: nay, no man can expresse that sure coniunction this band will make. The force of the word importeth a compact coniunction: there was neuer so compact a coniunction as this is. Thou shalt neuer binde any thing so streightly, as the members of Iesus be bound to the head, and mutually together among themselues. The word al­so signifieth a decent compacting together; so that there is no coniunction so well fauoured as this is. Therefore the A­postle to the Ephes. 4. 16. vseth a word signifying a harmonie and comely situation of the parts: when thou seest that bodie thou seest a most pleasant situation. To insist in this effect of knitting: this effect it goeth before the other. First, things must be knit together; and then commeth the furniture; so marke this order. If first there must be a compacting, and then the furniture, I giue thee a lesson: looke neuer to get grace, except thou be conioyned in the bodie; for then that spirituall grace shall flow to thee. Let not one that is not knit in the bodie, seeke for grace. A lowne will scorne when he is cut off from the body by excommunication: well I say, go & ride where he will, he wants the spirituall life of Iesus, and shall not get it till he come to the bodie againe.

To come to the third effect: the third effect is growth; and followeth the other two. For after once by sinewes the mem­bers are knit, and then receiue furniture, of necessity the mem­bers must grow, and the whole bodie must grow according to the portion of grace giuen. Reade Ephes. 4. 16. looke how hee setteth downe there the manner of the growing: he saith, eue­ry member groweth according to the measure of grace gi­uen. Thinkest thou that thou canst not grow, except thou grow in all graces? wilt thou haue thy hands growing as thy [Page 224] feete, to goe as thy feete? No, no: but euery member groweth Euery one growes in his owne gifs. as is giuen to it, euery one groweth in his own gift: and thank the Lord for the growth in thy owne gift. Then hee saith, the bodie groweth as effects to the bodie, as if he would say, the bodie groweth in all graces: the member groweth in one grace. So as euery member groweth to the growth of the bo­die in all graces: so the bodie groweth in all grace when the members growe in their particular graces. Then euery one should set their minde, that for their part, they may build vp the bodie of the Lord Iesus. This is the counsel of the Apostle, if thou carrie not stones to build vp the building, thou shalt neuer get to be of that building whereof the Lord Iesus is the head.

Now lastly marke this of the order: first there is the com­pacting of the bodie with the head, by bands and ioynts. Se­condly, there is the furnishing thorough sinewes and bands. Thirdly, there is the growing; and then the building groweth to a full stature. But howsoeuer thou gettest it not here fully, yet grow in him daily and neuer rest, and then thou shalt come to the stature of a perfect man. And as there cannot be a com­pacting of the members without the bands; so without the furniture thou canst not grow. Therefore crie euer for the fur­niture, that thou maist grow vp in Iesus Christ. First compact thy selfe in the bodie, and then aske graces night and day: I Note this order. shall then promise that thou shalt grow in thy owne grace night and day, till thou meete with Iesus Christ, in whom stands full blessednesse.

In the last words he shewes, what kinde of growth is this? to wit, the growth of God; it is not common, not naturall, but it is a diuine growth, God giueth it. Paul may plant, and Apollo may water; but it is God that giueth the growth and encrease, 1. Cor. 3. 7. none can giue thee growth, but onely hee: and therefore when thou art watered by the Gospell, euer seeke growth at his hand onely: for all the Angels in heauen haue no power to make thee grow a hand breadth. It is the spiri­tuall worke of God, as the creature is of God, euen so the bo­dily growth of the creature is of God: and how much more is that spirituall growth in Iesus Christ, of God? Therefore seeke [Page 225] it of him. He calleth it the growth of God, because the furni­ture is of God: for where the furniture is of God, there must be the growth of God. As the naturall furniture maketh the naturall growth; euen so where the spirituall furniture is, it maketh the spirituall growth: and as the one failes, see that the other grow daily. Endeuour to grow spiritually, otherwise this life is most miserable, and a wofull death will abide thee. Therefore haue a greater respect to the spirituall growth, then to this temporall. If it be a great corsiue to this life to be be­reft of visible and earthly things; what a sore sting shall it be, to be depriued of the life to come, and the ioyes of heauen, and the sight of the spirituall things there? There must bee so­row of sorrowes, the greatest and wofullest sorrow that euer was.

Further I see, there is set downe here an opposition betwixt this growth of God, and the swelling vp of the false Apostles. Where Iesus is the head, and furniture sent downe from him, Where Christ is. there is the growth of God: where he is not, and no furniture from him, there is no solid growth there. There may well be one blowne vp, with a vaine winde of poyson, as a bodie that will swell foote and hand: he may well swell vp in the wombe of sinne; but if there be not a furniture from Iesus, thou shalt neuer grow truly, either in knowledge, or sanctification: thy estate shall be as the women learning, but neuer come to the knowledge of the truth. Our Noblemen will take in Iesuites into their chambers, and will giue eare to them: but I say to thee, heare as thou wilt, there is no solid growth to be had of his speech. There is no sound spirituall growth in the king­dome of Antichrist. It may be ye thinke it growes, because the world followeth it (for the kingdome of the truth of Iesus is in a narrow bound) but I say vnto you, there is no good growth in that kingdome of Antichrist: therefore flye from them, flie from Babylon; for Babylon shall be destroyed, flie away then from them. Shame shall befall them that ioyne with them. This for the description of Iesus, and the growth in him.

In the next verse hee returneth to his admonition, and he [Page 226] saith, be not burthened: alas, these traditions are a burthen of Traditions such weight, that whosoeuer will take them on, they shall presse them downe to hell and damnation! The argument that he vseth, ye are dead with Christ, and by his crosse he hath freed you; if (saith he) ye be dead with Christ, why should ye suf­fer your selues to be burthened with such trifles, as the false A­postles would haue you berthened with? as if he would say, it is a great indignitie done to Christ, if ye doe so. He said be­fore, they were buried with him, now he saith, they are dead with Christ: Who euer thou be then, that hast any part with Iesus, thou must be dead with Iesus. There is none but they must be dead in this world with Iesus, if they would haue any part with him. A man that is quicke in this world, giues a token that he hath no part with Iesus. But heare this death described: Yee were dead (saith hee) with Christ, then hee hath a companion: that is a blessed death that hath the fellowship of Iesus. It is better to die with Iesus, then to liue with all the world. The word which he vseth, imports further: To die by vertue of his death, so it is his death that maketh vs to die. O there is a double happines! blessed is that soule that dieth by vertue of the death of Iesus. So then it is not so much thou that diest, as it is sinne that dieth in thee, by vertue of his death.

Yet more, he saith, ye were dead with Christ. Where from? from the ordinances, or elements, that is, the grosse rudiments of Religion, that imported a subiection and a thraldome to the law. Looke if this be a burthen or not? So in a word, there is the greatest happines to die with Christ: for to die with him is to be freed of the law, and of sinne: So, wouldest thou haue a blessed death? dye this death with Christ, for it bringeth to thee a faire libertie. It is better to dye with Christ, then to liue a slaue with sinne. And if thou wouldest liue a free man, leaue Libertie. sinne, and seeke the libertie that is in Christ. He saith, if ye be dead with Christ, why are ye burthened with traditions? some­what sharply and angerly: Fie shame, fie shame on thee that goest to put thy necke vnder traditions, wherefrom thou wast once freed: fie on thee man that makest defection to Papi­strie, why goest thou to be burthened with such vanities? Now [Page 227] he lets them see that it was a mischieuous thing that they cast off Christ, to liue to this life. This is a miserable case with the wofull and sinfull life in this world. O thou Papist! woe is thee that makest this choice, thou that hast dyed with Christ, thou wilt begin to liue with the Pope and his vaine traditions. It shall neuer make thee to haue life, no not in this world, as quicke as thou seemest to be. I insist so much the more in this, that ye that stand, should be moued to stand still: and not to be chaunged from your Christ, as many doe when they goe to these parts of the Popes dominions. O it will be a blacke day to you, if ye stand not fast euer by Christ and his truth! Be ioyfull that ye are crucified with Christ, and be not wanton with the world; but be sorie: for sinnefor if sinne liue in you, ye shall dye: but if thou leaue it in the teares of repentance, thou shalt liue for euer. I loue not a wanton sinner, be therefore buried and dead with Christ, that ye may liue with him. To whom with the Father and holie Spirit bee euerlasting praise and glorie, for euer and euer,

Amen.

THE XXII. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 2. vers. 21. 22. 23.

21 As touch not, taste not, handle not,

22 Which all perish with the vsing, and are after the commaun­dements and doctrines of men.

23 Which things haue in deede a shew of wisedome in voluntary religion and humblenes of minde, and in not sparing the bodie, which are things of no value, sith they pertaine to the filling of the flesh.

YE heard the last day (welbeloued brethren in Iesus Christ) the Apostle when he had set downe that faire description of Christ the head of the bodie, he retur­ned to his purpose, and that admonition which is through this whole chapter; that they should beware of false teachers and false doctrine, and especially that they should not take on thē the burthen of ordinances, that is to say, ye burthen of the rites and ceremonies of the law, that sometime had place in the Church of the Iewes before Christs comming: but now Coherence. are so abolished, that they become not the tradition and doc­trine of God, but of men. His argument was, Ye are dead with Christ from all these things, by your death ye are freed. There­fore why should ye be burthened with ordinances? I insist not vpon that which was spoken, but I goe to the verse that followeth, wherein he setteth downe a certaine kinde of rite, whereunto the false teachers presseth them, to wit, concerning meates; and hee bringeth in this matter by counterfaiting of the voyce of the false teacher: O saith the false teacher, Touch [Page 229] not, taste not, handle not: there is the doctrine of the deceiuer: ye heard when hee admonished them to beware of these ceremo­nies. The first sort was concerning rites: from that he past to daies. Now againe, the onely sort of ceremonies, which here he expresseth, is the same concerning meates. This importeth something that he sticketh so vpon this ceremonie of meates. Wherfore the Apostle specifieth the Iudai­call cere­monie con­cerning meates. It teacheth vs this, that the diuell, the enemie of man, specially tempteth men about meate. He begun betimes. Our first pa­rents were not so soone created and placed in Eden, but he be­gun to tempt them about meate; and from that houre to this houre, he neuer resteth to tempt men about meate, either after one manner or other; either to abstaine or else to exceede. He hath thus tempted the world in this subiect of meates. VVhat is the cause of this? He seeth not a meeter subiect to tempt men with, then meate & drink. It is the thing that we vse and must vse daily: therefore he setteth his engine to tempt men in this. Yet to open this matter better: there are two things especial­ly, wherein the Lord hath giuen men libertie, meate and ma­riage: In these two the Lord hath giuen vs libertie. And this hath euer been the craft of Sathan to restraine this libertie gi­uen by the Lord. The Apostle foresaw this in the 1. Tim. 4. 1. and foretold that in the latter daies, men should arise, with a lying spirit, and should deliuer the doctrine of diuels. And then he nameth these two points of their doctrine, forbidding (saith he) meates, and mariage. Now there must be some cause of this temptation of Sathan: he knoweth well enough there is a faire The pre­tence of hypocrites. pretence for restraining of mens libertie; to wit, the mortifi­cation of the flesh: Abstaine (say they) from meate, abstaine from mariage, because it mortifieth the flesh. So hauing a faire pretence, he tempteth men in these things, and restraineth the libertie that the Lord hath graunted. This pretence is friuo­lous, because there is no meane of mortifying, but that that God hath commanded. Therefore if thou shouldest pine and famish thy selfe to death, thou shalt not be mortified; but the more thou vsest that dealing, without the spirit of Iesus, thou shalt be the more puffed vp in the vanitie of thy minde: for it is a meane to pride to vse that which the Lord hath not com­maunded thee. It is true that Paul said, 1. Cor. 9. 27. he held his [Page 230] bodie vnder at a straite diet, and so doe all godly men; this is a good meane, and the Lord hath commaunded a diet to be kept: but to abstaine frō meat as an vncleane thing, thou hast no warrant; neither oughtest thou to follow such as would perswade thee to the same. Therfore follow no meane to mor­tification, but that which the Lord commaundeth thee. And as for that which Paul did, hee had the warrant of the spirit of Iesus: but yet ye shall see there that he placeth no merit in it. But the false teacher, as the Pope and his Clergie, they place a merit and necessitie in these things.

But to come to the words of the Apostle: he counterfaiteth the voyce of the false teacher, and speaketh as they doe, and that with bitternes of heart: O saith the deceiuer, Touch not, taste not, handle not: which testifieth plainly that in the heart of the spirit of God, there is a bitternes against the hypocrite, yea a bitternes like gall, especially against the false teacher. O thou shalt finde one day a bitter voyce vttered against thee! Touch not, saith hee, that is, lay not thy fingers end vpon such meate, hold backe thy hand from it. Taste not, that is, bring it not to thy mouth, let not the tip of thy tongue taste it. Handle not, that is, lay not thy hand grosly vpon it, nor meddle not with it in any wise: handle not such vncleane and forbidden meates. Brethren, these commandements that are so streight, import that these false teachers thought there were in certaine meates vncleannes, and that they were poysonable, and had force to infect and make a man vncleane: this was their mind concerning meates, and therefore their sinne was manifolde. For first they are iniurious to the meate, in accounting the creature vncleane, which was cleane. In 1. Tim. 4. 4. it is said, the creature is cleane. And Rom. 14. 14. that there is no meate vncleane. So they were very iniurious against the creature the meate. And then, that which is more, they were iniu­rious to the Colossians in taking their libertie from them, and in burdening them with an vnnecessarie burden. To bind a man to this meate or that meate, thou snarest the consci­ence, and doest worse then if thou shouldest strangle that man, whom thou thus entrappest. What God commaundeth, that thou countermandest, Lastly, they were iniurious to God [Page 231] who created althings cleane, & especially to them that are in Iesus Christ, who sanctified althings, and gaue libertie to man to eate what it liked him: as wee see in the Acts 10. 15. when all sort of meate was offered to Peter, and he being commaun­ded to eate indifferently of all, refused. Then the voyce com­meth to him halfe in anger, and saith to him, that which God hath made cleane, make not thou vncleane. O Papist! God hath not made the meate foule, but it is thou that defilest thy selfe, and the meate both: the Lord hath cleansed it in the bloud of Iesus; and thou deceiuer, shouldest thou stand vp and say, it is vncleane? O deceiuer! thou art vnworthie of meate. Yet more; ye see in these words, the nature of an hypocrite: A false The marke of a false teacher. Doctor, he is the strictest yt euer was in that that auaileth not; in a trifle he will be wondrous precise: in the things wherein the Lord hath giuen libertie, he will be a niggard and close the hand of him. And by the contrarie; in that which the Lord hath forbidden, he will be liberall. Come to murther: he will giue thee a pardon before hand; hee reckoneth not of adulte­rie and oppression, and such grosse sinnes. Paul 2. Thess. 2. 4. giueth this as a note of the Antichrist, that he shal oppose him­selfe to euery thing diuine; he shall be euer in a contradiction to God. So where ye find this opposition, say, here sitteth An­tichrist. Therfore I say, in the Church of Rome sitteth the Anti­christ. There he sitteth & shall sit, vntill he be abolished by the breath of the Lord Iesus. This for this point of false doctrine.

In the 22. verse he falleth to, and refuteth this doctrine, and he bringeth in two forcible and pithie arguments: and first he reasoneth from the perishing nature of these things: what are they? They are corruptible things. Who will set downe rules about things that perish, as though religion were in them? Paul 1. Corinth. 6. 13. in handling this same matter, he saith, Meates are ordained for the bellie, and the bellie for the meates, but God shall destroy both it, and them. As if hee should say, both the meate and the bellie shall perish. Now this argument taken from the corruptible nature of these things, hee aggrauateth when hee saith, but in the vse they perish. When they are in the hand and mouth they perish. It is true that all these earthly things appointed for this mortall life passe away, all goeth [Page 232] away that is appointed for the sustenance of man; yet there are somethings more lasting and more durable then others: but as concerning meate, and cloath, and such things, they all weare away by the vse. So the Apostle would say, that of all vanishing things, meate is the most vanishing thing that is. Then note this: Religion, godlines, and the worshipping of God, it is not in things corruptible; it is not in things indiffe­rent, as meate, drinke, daies, cloathes, and the rest of these va­nishing things: but true religion standeth in things perma­nent, and in things necessarie. I giue thee an example: To eate this, and not to eate that, I will not count thee the more godly or religious; for that is to be in the kingdome of Antichrist; but to honour one God onely, the true God sincerely, that is religion. And so goe through the whole commaundements, and if thou finde thy heart sanctified to obey God in his word, and to follow him onely; then I say to thee, thou art truly re­ligious. Eate what thou pleasest, all is sanctified to thee; and to keepe temperance in the vse of them, that is acceptable to God. But to eate, or not to eate, that is no religion; if thou haue not the warrant of the word of God for thy religion, I will not giue a poynts end for thy religion: for there is no religion, but that which the Lord hath commaunded. And therefore Paul to the Romanes chap. 14. vers. 17. he saith, that the kingdome of God is not meate and drinke: religion consisteth not of these things, but in an vprightnes, peace with God, and with thy neigh­bour, and ioy in the holy Ghost. Albeit thou shouldest fast all the fridaies and wednesdaies in the yeere, yet if thou be a wrang­ler with thy neighbour, thou hast no religion, thou art an hy­pocrite. Ye see the religiō of the Papists standeth in things cor­ruptible: goe to Rome and Spaine, ye shall see this; their reli­gion standeth in wearing this cloathing and that cloathing; in abstaining from this meate, and eating of that, and such o­ther trifles, wherewith they haue troubled the world. Fie on them, will they neuer be ashamed of it? Thus for the first rea­son of the refuting of this false doctrine: now followeth the second.

What are al things saith he againe, but the doctrine of men? This doctrine, Touch not, taste not, handle not, was not the doc­trine [Page 233] of God: and therefore saith the Apostle, it auaileth not. For euen as these things corruptible, as meate, drink, with the rest of that sort, they are no matter or subiect of religion: euen so the commaundement of man, and the doctrine of man that commeth from his braine, is no rule of religion. Liuest thou af­ter the doctrine of man? I affirme thou art not religious. Li­uest thou in abstinence at the commaund of man? Ha, ha, there is a faire countenance in thee: but I say to thee, all is su­perstition, which is ruled by the doctrine of men. In one word, take all that religion in that Church grounded on the braine of man, not to be religiō, but superstition. Thou shalt find out a superstitious Friar by his habit; goe through all their Cloy­sters, ye shall finde nothing but the doctrine of man: and the doctrine of man will neuer make a religious bodie. Secondly, The doc­trine of mē cannot make any religious. I perceiue in this place, and such others, that men in all ages haue busied themselues to set downe doctrine about things in­different. Looke the doctrine of the Romane Church, ye shal finde this true. This testifieth whereto the wit of man incli­neth, to wit, to be religious in vanities: in eating, drinking, cloathing, and to let thee liue as thou wouldest. As for other necessarie points, it will not acknowledge them: as for the ho­nour of the parents, thou wilt passe by that. O the wicked na­ture of man! it hath no inclination to any thing, but to vanish­ing things, and it will haue a religion of these things in any case.

To come to the last verse; hauing thus confuted this false doctrine concerning meates by these two arguments, the false teacher might haue excepted and said: O yet there appeareth some reason in this doctrine of abstinence, because it hath a shew of wisedome. Secondly, it hath the appearance of the submission of the minde: and thirdly, it is a mortifying of the The third obiection. bodie: it spareth not the bodie, but it humbleth the body; and therefore this doctrine must haue some reason, and shewe of wisedome. The Apostle graunteth this, but he saith, it auaileth not, because this doctrine is about fleshly things, the filling of the bellie, &c. But briefly to examine the words, which indeed hath the shew of wisedome. Marke first a false teacher a Sophister, howbeit there be no wisedome in his doctrine; yet if it haue a [Page 234] faire shew and a glance, it is enough to him. This is the nature of a Sophister, he is well contented with a shew of wisedome, and beguileth the world with this: And the people are natural­ly as vaine as he. If thou get a shew of wisedome, thou wilt be content with it: And why? The heart is vaine, and vanitie may serue a vaine heart, a vaine emptie heart that hath no soundnes, will drinke in vanitie greedily as a man drinketh in water, 2. Thess. chap. 2. vers. 10. 11. Therefore (brethren) won­der not to see this world wander after vanitie, wonder not to see so many Papists and superstitious persons to spread abroad, and the people to follow them: no wonder, because the world inclineth to drinke in vanitie, and the world is con­tent with a shew of truth; but thanke God if hee hath made thee able to discerne betwixt a shew and a solid thing: for thou hast gotten a great grace. And therefore if thou heare of Phil. 1. 9. their vaine arguments, thanke God that thou hast that heart to consider of them aright, and that thou hast an eye that can rightly discerne thereupon: for few hath gotten this spirit of God to discerne aright betwixt the shew and the sound truth. Againe, note there is not one head of doctrine, but it will get a colour of an argument to defend it. There was neuer an here­sie, but it got the colour of truth: neuer doctrine so foule, but it will take to it a faire shew. Thinke ye that the diuel that can change himself into an Angell of light, that he hath not taught his owne to colour that vanitie of theirs, and to couer ouer with sugar their poyson spued into them by that foule spirit? No, no, I warrant you hee forgetteth not that: therefore be not deceiued with a colour of seeming probabilitie, but when thou hearest a noueltie in doctrine, trie and proue the spirit, and hold that that is good. Trust not till thou trie, and credit not lightly; for thou wilt be deceiued, except thou trie skil­fully, and with time.

Now I passe to the colours of their doctrine. I tell you in generall of these sorts of colours that teachers will put on. There is one that is false in it owne nature, as the doctrine is false. It is a false argument concluding a false head of doctrine. Secondly, there is another colour, that is a true colour, but falsely applied to such a subiect, as thou wouldest colour a [Page 235] peece of dirt with faire colour; so a false teacher will take a faire colour and put it vpon his dirt, vpon his dreames, and phantasies. But to come to the speciall, and that ye may see this more cleerely: the first colour whereby the doctrine of meate is coloured, is called voluntarie worshipping, that is, such Colours of false tea­chers. worship as is not commaunded by God, but inuented by the vaine head of man. Woe worth such a worship! when a man followeth his owne fansie. And how coloured they this head of doctrine? after this manner. This doctrine of abstinence from meates, is a kinde of voluntarie worshipping, that God hath not commaunded (so readie is man to serue God vnbid­den) Voluntarie worship. apparantly hee that tarieth for bidding, deserueth no thankes at Gods hands, as the false teacher would say: but to answere. To worship God vnbidden, it hath a false colour, and it will not be allowed of God. If thou worship God vnbidden, thou seruest a thanklesse master. He will not accept of thee, nor thy worship. So there is a false colour applied to such a sub­iect.

Come to the second colour, humilitie and submission in the minde, how put they on this colour? O saith the deceiuer, the doctrine that maketh thee humble, it must be the doctrine of wisedome. But so it is: this doctrine concerning abstinence, it humbleth thee, and maketh thee lowly minded, for meates puffe vp: therefore this doctrine must be a good doctrine. I answere, this is a faire colour, humilitie and submission of minde, a thing commended: so it is a true colour. O but it is euill applied! for as the deceiuer saith, that sorow & fasting is for humilitie, he belieth it. No, no, fast all thy life long, hauing no warrant of God, it shall not profit thee to humiliation. Will then a false teacher bid thee abstaine from that, that God hath commaunded, and hath giuen thee libertie of? I say to thee thou shalt neuer be the more humbled. So it is a good colour, but falsely applied to this foule doctrine.

The last colour is the subduing of the flesh. Man consisteth of two parts, and this abstinence serueth for both, how layeth he on this colour? That doctrine is a doctrine of wisedome, that serueth for the chastening of the bodie, I can it not denie: [Page 236] but (saith he) that doth the doctrine of abstinence. I say to thee, that is false; for there is no meanes wil serue thee for that turne, but that which the Lord hath commaunded. Put in thornes in thy shooes, put in pinning stones in thy shooes, scourge thy selfe: vaine lowne, thou shalt be whipped in hell; take penance to thee; doe all these things, and such like; I say to thee, O deceiuer, the more thou vsest these, the more thou shalt bee puffed vp. There is none more proud then these of the Church of Rome: for I tell thee, it is a pride to follow that, that God hath not commaunded. So it is a faire colour, but falsely applied as a colour vpon dirt, and all commeth to this. Trie well the argument of a Papist; for the argument of a Papist hath euer some falsehood, if thou hast an eye to see it, howbeit it will not at the first appeare to thee. And if it bee a true thing, which he speaketh, looke how he applieth it. For ye see that hee can take good and faire colours, and applie them very falsely. Trust neuer any of these Iesuits; for he will make thee beleeue that blacke is white: be not deceiued then with their colours. Now will ye haue the Apostles answere: he is short. He granteth all these colours and shewes are true, and saith as it were to these false deceiuers, your doctrine will haue all these colours: but I answere you, all auaileth not, they are of no value, colour it as ye will colour it: for that which is not good in it selfe, it will neuer bee good, vse what argument thou wilt. Thy argument what euer it be, will neuer make a false doctrine good. He condemneth then this doctrine of ab­stinence, that the Papists this day vse; for that that is false in it selfe, shall neuer stand true by any colour. He giueth the rea­son wherefore it auaileth not: because it is a doctrine that ser­ueth for the stuffing of the flesh; as he would say, there is no true religion concerning things of the bellie, nor cloathing of the backe, nor filling of the purse; what hath religion to doe with these things? Eate and drinke Papist (looke chap. 1.) while thou burst, keep thy cord and cowle on thy backe, what hath religion to doe with that? He cutteth it therefore away in one word, it is of no value. Then brethren take the lesson. The doctrine concerning things that serue for this life, for thy [Page 237] bodie, thy flesh, thy bellie, thy back and cloathing, and if thou shouldest cloathe it with sackcloath, and in one word things of this life haue not to doe with religion, with God, and his worship. God is not worshipped by these things. There is not one commaundement giuen by God touching these things. Where readest thou it? is there ought concerning this meate, or that, this garment or that? no, no, all the commaundements that serue for the worshipping of God, are all in the word of God. So then I say againe, there is no doctrine of religion in the things of this life: for why? the doctrine of religion is a­bout things that concerne spirituall life, about faith, about worshipping of God, about the honouring of thy parents, ab­staining from murther, and such like, as thou hast set downe to thee in the law of God, which is the lanterne that shineth be­fore the feete of his elect ones. So then brethren, be earnest in keeping and hearing such doctrine as concerneth life euerla­sting: and when thou hearest this doctrine of dirt, turne thy eare away from it, for there is no godlines in it. And I giue you my counsell, heare him not that speaketh of such things, but heare him that will speake of Christ Iesus and his doctrine, which shall feede thee to life euerlasting. It will not be meate and drinke, and the doctrine thereof, which will feede thee; but it must be this doctrine of Christ, wherewith thou must be fed, and thou must still feede on it, vntill thou be glorified in him and with him for euer and euer. To whom with the Fa­ther and holy Spirit, be al praise and honour now and euer,

Amen.

THE XXIII. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 1. 2. 3.

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seeke those things which are a­boue, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God:

2 Set your affections on things which are aboue, and not on things which are on the earth.

3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

1 WE haue heard in this Epistle (beloued brethren in Ie­sus Christ) first the inscription of the Epistle. 2 Se­condly, The parts of this e­pistle al­readie handled. the preface. 3 Thirdly, the doctrine touching Christ and his benefits. 4 And then fourthly, wee haue heard how he passed from the doctrine, to the exhortations and ad­monitions, exhorting the Colossians to perseuerance in that faith which they had receiued, admonishing them to beware of the false Apostles, their doctrine, and mens traditions. In this admonition hee insisteth throughout the whole second chapter. Now (brethren) in this third chapter, taking occasion of the vaine and corruptible things, as meate, drink, and such things (of which are the traditions of men, from the which he had disswaded them in the former chapter) he begins to exhort them to other things not corruptible, but euerlasting; not earthly, but heauenly; in the which true godlines and holines standeth. Throughout all this whole chapter he insisteth vpon this first in general; and then he cōmeth to his exhortation in [Page 239] speciall. And he continueth so to the seuenth verse of the next chapter. The particulars I remit to the diduction of the text, and I come to the words presently read.

In thē there are two exhortatiōs to one thing, together with sundry arguments, hee exhorteth in both, to the things aboue, to heauenly things: and the foresaid exhortation which he vseth for this purpose is to seeke them: and the second exhortation is to know them, to be wise in them, and to vnderstand them; for that is the force of the word. Then to come to the first ex­hortation: If ye be risen with Christ, seeke the things that are a­boue. There is the exhortation, and the first argument, which is, ye are risen with Christ to life, after that ye were dead to all these beggerly ceremonies, to mens traditions of meate and drinke and such like. Now after ye were dead to these, ye are risen againe to a life, and to an heauenly life: therefore seeke the things that are in heauen. Now to insist vpon euery word: Ye see here, and in the chapter before, mention is made of a dying of Christ, and of a buriall with him, and of a rising and liuing with him: so that when he dieth, wee die; and when hee riseth and liueth, we rise and liue. Marke it well. In a word, as he altereth, wee alter: so many as beleeue in him, of necessitie they change as he change; when he dies they die, by vertue of his death, to sinne and to the world, and sinne dieth in them: when he riseth, they rise with him, vnto that heauenly life. This alteration is wonderfull. What man is high in the world which wil draw others after him after this manner? that when he dieth wil cause another to die with him, that neuer saw him bodily in this life. What is he I say, looke through the whole world, and to all the Kings of the world, whom will ye find in heauen or earth, that will alter men after this manner by his death and life? This is one common doctrine, but it would be considered well: for there are few which vnderstande this do­ctrine. Then of necessitie in Iesus Christ there must be a great force and vertue. Ye see now, the Heauens, Planets, Sunne, Moone, and the rest, because they by their operation do make alteration in these inferiour things, as in plants, grasse, fields, and euen in the bodie of man; because (I say) of this operation in these inferiour creatures wee ascribe a great vertue to them. [Page 240] But all these celestiall bodies cannot worke such effects, as Ie­sus Simile. his death and life can worke. No, no, if thou were once dead, these celestiall signes and planets will not make thee liue againe. The Sunne nor the Moone cannot make thee liue, when once thou art dead; but when thou art dead, Iesus will raise thee vp more liuely then euer thou werst before. So there The power of Christs death and resurrec­tion. must be in him a force aboue all the force and power, that euer God made or gaue to any creature. But marke brethren, con­cerning this power: he must be a man in whom this power is, because this vertue cannot come to thee, but through the na­ture of man: man cannot die to sinne, and liue to righteous­nesse, but by that vertue that commeth through man; yet he must be more then a man, and that a holie man without al spot of sinne. He must be more then this: I say, he must be God, to Rom. 8. 11 Phil. 3. 10. 11. make thee die to sinne and rise vnto righteousnes. This com­meth of the special power and vertue of God; for none is able in heauen or earth, to worke such a strange worke as this, ex­cept hee be God. Yet there must be more of necessitie, there must be a coniunction betwixt thee and him; he must be ioy­ned Our com­munion with Christ to thee, and thou to him; otherwise his vertue will not come to thee either to thy death or to thy life: he must bee thy husband, and thou his spouse; yea hee must be more then thy husband: for the husband cannot draw the wife after him by vertue of his death or life, either to liue or to die, as Christ can doe. He must be then thy head: he must be as neere as thy head is neere thy bodie. That is the familiar similitude of the Scrip­ture. When the head dieth, the bodie dieth with it; and when the head is liuely, the bodie hath sense and being: So when Iesus dieth, the bodie dieth; when Iesus riseth, the bodie riseth also. So the meetest thing to expresse him and his coniunction with vs, is the head & bodie of man; and yet he must be more then the head: for there came neuer such vertue from the head of a man to the bodie, as there shall come from thy head Iesus Christ vnto thy soule, when thou art ioyned to him by faith. He must haue vertue and power to giue thee, whereby thou maist be able to die or to liue. Now brethren, if there were no more but these effects to flow from Iesus into vs, it telleth vs plainly, that there was neuer giuen such a power to any in [Page 241] heauen or earth, as there was giuen to Iesus Christ, man our Regenera­tion. head. It telleth, that as hee is man, so is he God. Looke if thou haue regeneration in thee, and thou shalt feele this to be true: if wee haue it, it will tell vs that Iesus Christ is the neerest to me, and thee of all others. There is none that will make thee to die with them, but Christ only: no, thy father and mother will not be able to doe that: none will draw thee after him in death and life, saue onely Christ. So if thou be ioyned with Christ, it is impossible to separate thee from him, as thou maist be from thy wise and children, and the deerest things thou hast: no, no, if thou be once ioyned to him as thy head, there is no separation for thee, he shall be all things to thee.

Now this much for the first argument, the exhortation fol­loweth. If ye be risen with Christ (saith he) seeke those things which are aboue. There is an action required, and life, and euery kind of life must haue an action, otherwise it cannot be a life. The naturall life must haue an action: the earthly life must haue an action. Then this heauenly life, that we are risen to, with Ie­sus, it must haue an action, otherwise it cannot be a life. Note.Thou that art quickened with him, must be a doer; otherwise thou hast not his life: for as his life is the quickest thing that is, or euer was (for it is the life of God) so it must haue the quickest action that is. This action is first a seeking with the whole hart, and all the affections, and members of the bodie. There is the first action, seeking. Euery life, ye know, seeketh for the things VVhat the spirituall life of Christ workes in his mem­bers. that serue for the sustaining of it. This naturall life that pe­risheth, so long as it abideth, it is occupied in seeking for the maintenance of it by night and by day, by al meanes possible. Should not then this heauenly life haue a seeking? Shouldest thou sit when thou seest this man catching here and there, see­king for the maintenance of this naturall life? Wilt thou not take an example of these earthly things and earthly crea­tures, to seeke for heauenly things to the confirmation and preseruation of thy spirituall life? O if thou hadst a sparke of heauenly life, thou wouldest seeke more earnestly for the en­tertainment of it, then euer any creature did for the mainte­nance of this naturall life! Well then, by the example of these earthly things that are occupied in seeking for the meanes of [Page 242] this present life, learne thou to seeke spirituall graces, and say to the Lord: O Lord, grant that I may seeke heauen, and heauenly things, for the preseruation of this my spiritual life, as al these earth­ly bodies seeke for these perishing things.

Now come to the things that they should seeke, Seeke (saith he) what? nothing beneath, meate, drink, and the rest of these things: No, what should they seeke? Things aboue in heauen that are in Iesus Christ. O the fulnes that is in him! Brethren, all grace first is in heauen, yea aboue these visible heauens, where that glorious bodie is: then it commeth downe to the earth. Therefore he sendeth thee vpward to heauen for to seeke. Ye know euery kind of life seeketh things proper and meete for such a life: The life of a beast will seeke for that, that is proper for the life of a beast; the life of a tree, for that that is meete for such a life; and the life of a man for such things as are meete for the life of a man. Euery life will seeke for things which serue for the preseruation of it: euen so if thou hadst this life of God, thou wilt seeke things proper for this life. Thou wilt seek things from heauen, because heauenly things are proper for such a life. For heauenly things are proper for an heauenly life. Iesus Christ after his death and buriall, or euer his bodie was in heauen, the heart of him was in heauen: So if thou haue the life of Iesus, of necessitie thy heart must goe to heauen; for looke whither his heart went, if thou bee risen with him, of ne­cessitie thy heart must goe thither: and by thine action mea­sure thy life in Iesus: for if thou haue not a heart to heauen and heauenly things, alas thou hast not the life of Iesus: but if thou haue it, thou wilt euer be seeking for heauenly things; and then, in some measure thou art in heauen.

Then to conclude this first exhortation and first argument thereof in a word, and so to come to the second argument. If there were nothing more to moue thee to seeke after heauen and heauenly things, but this spirit of regeneration, the life of the spirit in Iesus Christ, it should lift thee vp to heauen as heauie as thou art. For it is true, thou art a lumpe: but if thou haue the spirit, if thou werst neuer so heauie, he will raise thee; and giue thee strength to flie vpward, though the body be ne­uer so clogged. If thou haue a sparke of that life, it will cause [Page 243] thee to mount aloft. Indeede this bodie will draw thee downe, and must doe so; yet bee assured, if thou haue one sparke of that spirituall life, it will raise thee vp, when the other is pul­ling thee downe; and in the end when mortalitie is so shaken off of thee, then in a wonderfull manner the bodie shall be lif­ted vp, and that soule and bodie of thine shall be glorified. Therefore marke euer this life by the effect: if thou findest thy heart in heauen and heauenly things, say, thou hast the life of Iesus: but on the contrarie, if thou finde not thy heart set A true note of the life of God in vs. on heauen, and seeking for heauenly things, thou hast not to doe with the life of Iesus, and woe be to thee for euermore. When thou risest in the morning, if thou findest thy heart vp­ward, O thou risest with ioy! therfore neuer rest till thou hast Eph. 4. 18. gotten the life of God. Lord make vs carefull to haue a sense of this life, without the which there is no glorie, nor ioy for the soule of any person liuing.

Now to come to the next argument, which is taken from Christ himselfe, and the place where hee is: Seeke (saith he) those things that are aboue where Christ is. As if he would say, Christ is aboue, that glorified bodie with all the spirituall gra­ces, and that fulnes is aboue; yea aboue these visible heauens. Therefore let thy heart goe where he is; let it be lifted vp a­boue these heauens. Brethren, the presence of Iesus and the loue of that presence should make vs to loue heauen, and make vs oftentimes to cast vp not onely the eye of the soule, but also the bodily eye, to these visible heauens, if we loue the presence of Iesus, who is aboue these heauens, and to striue to pearce through them as to his owne presence. For if hee were not there, what reckoning is there of these heauens? I would not reckon of them more then of the earth which wee tread on: and I had rather dwell with Iesus in the earth, then in hea­uen, for all the glorie thereof without Iesus: for all the plea­sure that is either in heauen or earth is in Iesus, and without him, away with heauen and earth both, I will giue nothing for them. And therefore the loue of that presence should make vs to loue heauen. Ye know if a man loue another entirely, he will loue the place where he dwelleth, and (as we say) hee will A note of loue. loue the ground hee goeth on: so if thou loue thy Lord, thou [Page 244] wilt loue the place hee treads on; nay thine eye would not be off these visible heauens, at the least once in the day; for hee is aboue them, and shall abide there, till his last comming: So if thou loue him, thine eye would follow him where he is. But a­las, for the lacke of the loue of his presence, this loue is not to be found in many mens hearts, and of this it commeth to passe that men are so loth to die: nay if the loue of thy soule were with him, thy soule would say with Paul, I groane to be with the Lord; it will groane within thee to be out of the bodie. And take this for a token; where there is not an eye to heauen, alas there is no loue of Iesus Christ in thy soule: and alas, what good thing can possesse thy soule, if it be emptie of the loue of Iesus Christ?

Now followeth in the end of the verse the third argu­ment, taken from the estate of Christ in heauen; but what is his estate? He is sitting at the right hand of God. As if hee would say; he is in heauē, but not there as a seruant or an Angel; there are sundrie in heauen, but in diuers rankes. He is in heauen exalted to that height; hee hath such glorie as thou neuer The glorie of Christ in heauen. sawest. All the Angels bow their knees, hee is Lord ouer them all, euen as he is man. Then as the presence of Iesus and loue of him should draw our heart to heauen: so the estate he stan­deth in presently, that passing glorie, and that kingdome he is in, should draw our hearts vpward to heauen. If his glorie were deare to thee, thy heart would be where his glorie is, and thou wouldest not be content vntill thy heart were lifted vp to him, and the eye of thy soule set on him: yea this bodily eye would euer pearce to get that presence of Iesus in the heauens glorified in our nature. Ye know, if a man, vpon whom our life and comfort dependeth, were in a strange land, and pro­moted A sweete similitude. to be a Lord; thou wouldst neuer rest vntill thou were with him, and thy thought would be euer vpon his glorie: Now I would to God wee could haue that affection to Iesus the King of glorie. It is true, we cannot loue him as we should: but (I say) blessed is that soule that hath any loue towards him, pearcing through this bodie of clay. Blessed is that heart that can giue once but a sigh either by night or day, if it were after neuer so small a measure for the presence of Iesus: for be assu­red [Page 245] that soule shall be glorified with the Lord of glorie. Note.This for the first exhortation, with the three arguments, the life whereunto we are risen, the presence of Iesus, and his glorious estate in heauen, al which should make vs set our eye vpward to heauen, and bee occupied in seeking of heauenly things meete for the spirituall life.

Now to goe to the next exhortation, and it is to these same things that are aboue. Before hee exhorted the Colossians to seeke them, now he exhorteth them to be wise in them, to fill themselues with them, to Or to de­sire that they may affect all their sen­ses. sent them with all their senses: to see them with their eyes, and to feele them sensibly, as it were with their hands. This exhortation is grounded vpon the first argument. If ye be risen with Christ, &c. Then be [...]. wise in the things that are aboue: that is a common ground to both. This is so ioyned with the first, that there can be no seeking with­out wisedome. How canst thou seeke that, that thou knowest not? If thou haue no knowledge of heauen & heauenly things, how canst thou seeke them? what desire canst thou haue of them? for the prouerbe is true, Ignoti nulla cupido, there is no desire of that wee know not. Then as before he exhorteth to seeke; so now hee exhorteth to know; and knowledge goeth Know­ledge. before seeking: And therefore thou that wouldest seeke hea­uen and for heauenly things, know them first; and when thou hast gotten a knowledge of them, then let thy affection come after: for if thou seeke without knowledge, thou shalt neuer finde them. Therefore euer seeke the knowledge of Iesus, and of that fulnes of grace that is in him, and thinke not that thou hast enough of knowledge alreadie. No, crie euer, Lord open the eye of my soule to see thee and the things that are with thee, that I may see the things I haue not seene, and that I should see. Heare the word of the Gospell; for knowledge is gotten by the word of the Gospell. Seeke, that thy mind may be instructed, but to the purpose.

Bewise. As seeking is an action; so wisedome is an action. There is no action without some sense and knowledge. The life of a beast is not without some sense; take it away, the beast perisheth. The life of a man cannot be without some sense and knowledge; therefore thou canst not haue the life of God, ex­cept [Page 246] thou haue a sense and smelling of God and of heauenly things. It is a thing impossible, that thou that hast no taste of things aboue, canst either seek or see them; and if thou thin­kest otherwise thou art deceiued. Can the life of Iesus be in thee without a knowledge of heauenly things? No, no, de­ceiue not thy soule, it is vnpossible: for Iesus liueth not in the soules of men altogether ignorant. So that if thou get not a portion of this knowledge, of this heauenly life, and of things aboue, thou shalt neuer seeke for them, nor haue a desire of them: no, I say to thee, if thou want knowledge, thou shalt neuer get them.

Come forward. Let vs see of what things must this know­ledge be? He answereth, of things aboue, that is, of such things as are proper for such a life. I tell you this earth, and all the things in it, your siluer, gold, drinke, and all the rest, the knowledge of these things serueth not for the life of heauen: but if thou wilt haue such a life, thy knowledge must reach to heauen: and howbeit thy knowledge be finite; yet it will compasse things infinite: if thou haue the spirit of Iesus, saith the Apostle, it compasseth the breadth, and depth of him, Ephes. chap. 3. verse 18. 19. Knowledge of heauen­ly things necessarie if we be in Christ. So this heauenly life requires wisedome in heauenly things. Iesus Christ when hee rose, the eye of him went vp to heauen; he knew no more these carnall things; all went a­way, and the minde of him was occupied vpon heauenly things: so if thou rise with him, thy minde will to heauen, and in some measure thou wilt vnderstand things, and thou wilt be wise in God. If thou haue not this, I say thou hast not risen with Iesus, but art yet filthie, wallowing in thy owne bloud to thy eternall damnation.

Now he is not content to exhort them that they be wise in these things aboue, but hee excludeth things of this earth: to teach thee that thou canst not be wise in these heauēly things, in case thou be wise in these things beneath; yea these heauen­ly things shall bee but foolishnes to a wise man in earthly things: for they shall be but as a dreame and imagination to such: the speech of the Gospell shall be follie to him. So think not to take both in thy armes; when thou art looking downe, how canst thou looke vp? Thinke not to compasse heauen and [Page 247] earth both together: for in compassing the one, thou shalt lose the other: Therefore the Apostle sundreth them. This seemeth to be hard, for how can we cast all care of this world away, we must eate, drinke, and be cloathed, and haue some care of these things so long as we abide in the earth? The Apostle answereth in the first Epistle to the Corinth. chap. 7. vers. 29. for hauing spoken of mariage, he saith, the time is shortned. As if hee would say, ye will not be long in this life. Therefore ye that haue wiues, be as though ye had them not. By the which he meaneth not, that we should cast all care away of this world, but that we should take the things of this earth by the way as it were: that is to say, let not thy chief care be on them, but so farre as they serue for heauen. Doe euen as though thou were going on a pilgri­mage, yee will take meate, drinke, gold, siluer, and such other things to helpe you forward in your iourney; yet your care will not bee on them, but your care will bee chiefly on your iourney, euer hauing your eye vpon the end of it. Thou wilt not sit downe vpon thy riches, vpon thy meate, and the rest Simile▪ while thou art in iourneying; but wilt be euer going forward in thy iourney, vsing these things by the way: euen so the Lord in this our iourneying to heauen, hee will not haue vs to sit downe, and set our care chiefly on these things in the earth, but to take them as it were by the way, hauing thy chiefe care Matth. 6. on him, and the things with him: therefore sit not down vpon any thing in this earth; if thou doe, thou shalt neuer come to thy iourneys end; yea thou shalt lose the remembrance of it.

Now to goe forward in the words following. There are two arguments to this purpose set downe by the Apostle: the first is to disswade them from earthly things, ye are dead. The next is to seeke heauenly things; your life is hid with Christ in God. To speake then of the first argumēt, which is, ye are dead to the earth: therfore striue not to be wise in ye earth. Ye knowe that a mā that is dead, supposing that he had neuer so great care of this world, and could neuer get a fill of the things in it, so long as he liued, yet when life is gone, the bodie lieth still, and will not giue a peny for all the world, all pleasure goeth away, and Simile. as a man dieth, he will begin to spit at the world: yea, a man full of the honour of it, he will at his dying day spit at it. Euen [Page 248] so brethren, the soule dying with Iesus spiritually (as the bodie dieth naturally) to sinne, to the earth, and to all earthly things, to what end should it care for these earthly things? Nay, if thou didst finde that death of Iesus, thou wouldest loath these things. In deede it is vnpossible to be altogether voyde of the care of these things of the earth, as long as we are in the bodie here: but if thou be buried with him, certainly thou wilt loath all these things beneath, and despise the wisdome of them, and begin by little and little to seeke the things of heauen. And if thou be thus wise dead, it is a sure argument, thy soule is mor­tified, lying as it were in the buriall of Iesus, vntill the time thou rise glorious in that great day. As by the contrarie, if thou be not buried with Iesus in thy soule and bodie, thou art li­uing to sinne, thou wantest the life of God, and hast nothing but a sinfull life. Brethren, ye heard before, he sayd they were liuing: now he saith, they are dead. How can these two stand Obiection. Answere. together? I answere, a spirituall death in the soule, when it di­eth to sinne, to foule affections, and to earthly things, such a death as that standeth very well with a spirituall life; yea, this death is so ioyned with the spirituall life, that except the spiri­tuall death precede, the life of Iesus will not enter into thee. Thinke not to enioy both together at once, the life of sinne, and the life of God; but ere thou get the life of God, the eye thou hadst to earthly things must be closed: no, thinke not to looke vp and downe together at once. No, no, be dead to the world ere euer thou minde to open an eye to heauen. So then, the death to the world, and the life to heauen standeth well together.

The last argument followeth, perswading to the things a­boue, your life is hid aboue with Christ. There are the words, and why should ye not follow him, and set your heart and your eye vpon him, where your life is? Brethren, I see there are ma­ny things to moue vs to seeke heauen, and to be wise in hea­nenly things. Now I would to God one of them could moue vs, but alas! as for a stonie heart, speake and reason with it as ye will, and conuince it as ye please, it will abide hard, and will not be moued. Wouldst thou goe downe to the things of this life? that death that thou diest forceth thee vp to heauen; it giueth thee wings to flie vpward, and closeth thine eyes from [Page 249] the world, and then commeth that spirituall life; which also forceth thee vpward: will not this moue thee? Then commeth the presence of Iesus that is in heauen, he is drawing thee vp­ward with his hand; the other two thrusteth thee vpward, but he draweth thee by his spirit: Father (saith he) in Iohn chap. 17. verse 24. I will that those which thou hast giuen me be with me where I am. Will not this moue thee? yet there is more, his glorie wherewith he promiseth to adorne thee with himselfe. Would not that yet moue thee to seeke heauen and heauenly things? O thy life is not here! In deed thou hast begun a peece of the life of heauen, when thy desire is set vpon it; but thy glorie is in the heauen, thou art alreadie the sonne of God, but yet it appeareth not what thou art, 1. Iohn 3. 2. Thy life is in heauen. Then seeing there are so many arguments to moue thee to set thy heart and affection on heauen and heauenly things, to drawe thee vpward to heauen; O miserable soule! that yet wilt goe downe to hell. There is no want of power to conuince, and arguments to moue vs to seeke for heauen and heauenly things; but alas all the want is in thy miserable heart, to let thee see how great an induration is in thy heart, that will vndoe thee so in the light of the Gospell. The grea­test sinne that thou canst commit, it is not thy murther, thy adultery, thy oppression, it is none of these that holdeth thee backe from God. No, no, it is the hardening of thy heart against Hardnes of heart how perilous. so many graces, whereby the Lord would heaue thee vp to heauen. And so the speciall poynt of thine enditement shall be, that thou hardenest thy heart, and wouldest haue none of his grace. I would haue forgiuen thee freely, will the Lord say, if thou wouldest haue taken me by the hand when I put it out to thee. O blessed is that soule that can put out the hand, and take grace of God when he offereth it! Yet I must not passe by the words. Your life (saith he) is hid aboue with Christ, and in whom? In God. By life is meant that perfection of glorie, that once we shall see, when the glorie of Iesus shall ouershadow vs, and make this vile bodie of ours glorious, as it is said in the Epistle to the Philippians, chap. 3. vers. 21. There our life (he saith) is hid aboue, it is not open to be seene. The eye of man hath not seene it: the eare hath not heard of it: and all the [Page 250] tongues of the Angels cannot tell you of the greatnes of that glorie; neither can it enter into your heart, Hebr. 2. 7. So it is hid aboue from the world: the wicked seeth it not, and so it commeth to passe that the child of God is least accounted of; and why? because the life of him is not seene, and the repro­bate shall wonder at it, at that day, when it shall be cleerely reuealed to him, but alas, to his euerlasting confusion; yea the very sonnes of God shall wonder at it themselues: for thou seest not the glorie of thy estate. Alas, heauen is but as a dreame to thee, and is as it were a glimmering; thou seest not the thousand part of it, neither feelest the thousand part of the ioy that thou shalt haue there: but we see it a farre off; and therefore it seemeth like a mote. But when we draw neere it, it shall be like a great mountaine. So it is hid. With whom? with Christ: where he is, there is thy life. Then it must follow, as it is hid, Iesus is yet hid from thee; thou liuest not by sight of him, but by faith in him, 2. Cor. 5. 7. He is hid from thee, and thou shalt wonder, when thou shalt see him: When thou shalt see him, euen as he is man, he shall make thee astonished. And where is Iesus hid? He answereth, in God. It is not these hea­uens: it is not this visible circle, these cloudes that hide him. No, take them away, thou canst see him with that corruptible eye of thine. In whom then is he hid? In God. That is, in a light that hath no accesse. 1. Timoth. chap. 6. vers. 16. where God is himselfe, Iesus is hid vp. So all the sight of things inuisible is in Iesus: So that no eye can see God, but in Iesus; and if Iesus be hid vp, God is inuisible to thee, all is hid vp within that vaile, and all is dwelling in that vaile of man. So all is hid: thy life is hid, and Iesus is hid vp. Therefore wonder not, although thou canst not get such a sight of that life of Christ, and such a sight of God, as thou wouldest haue: for the appointed time is not as yet come. The Lord hath appointed a time, when Christ shall be reuealed, and then seeing Iesus, thou shalt see thy life, that was hid vp in him: yea then thou shalt see God himselfe. Now what shall we do in the meane time? I will tell thee, hold thee by the faith of Iesus, vntil thou get this sight: that is, stick A sweete conclusion. 2. Cor. 3. 17. 18. to the mirrour of the Gospell, hold thy eye to it, and euer bee looking on it: and then in a moment Iesus shall stand vp be­fore [Page 251] thee, ere thou be aware; and when the mirrour shall goe away, Iesus shal stand vp in steed of it; and he shal not so soone stand vp before thee, but hee shall as soone transforme thee, and shall make this vile bodie to be glorious. And so soone as this mortalitie shall be swallowed vp, then thou shalt possesse that infinite ioy euerlastingly, and shalt looke into the deepe­nes of that Lord for euer. Now Lord giue vs grace to looke stedfastly in this Gospell of Iesus till wee be glorified in him, and get his presence to look on for euer and euer, Amen. Now to this Lord Iesus with the Father and holy Ghost be euerla­sting praise, honour and thankes for euer.

THE XXIIII. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossains.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 4. 5.

4 When Christ which is our life, shall appeare, then shall ye also appeare with him in glory.

5 Mortifie therefore your members which are on the earth, for­nication, vncleannes, the inordinate affection, euill concupiscence,

THe last day (brethren) we entred into the exhortation to true godlines and holines of life. In the first three verses of this chapter we had two exhortations, and both were to things that are aboue, to heauenly things. The first exhortation was to seeke them: the second was to be wise in these heauenly things. There were sundry arguments which the Apostle vsed for this purpose, ye heard euery one of them as they occurred in their own place. The last argument where­by [Page 252] he would moue them to be wise in these heauenly things was, that life that was hid vp with Christ in God, euen that life which is the perfecting of this spirituall life begun here. The perfect life of glorie is with Christ, therefore they should set their eye on heauen and heauenly things. Now to go forward: they might haue demaunded, when shall wee haue that life, and when shall it be manifested? To this, the Apostle in the first verse which I haue now read, answereth and saith, it shall be reuealed to you; yea rather, ye shall appeare as soone as Ie­sus Christ the Lord of life shall be reuealed. After this follow­eth another exhortation, grounded vpon this answere and promise of life to be reuealed, as we shall heare.

To come then to the first part of their demaund and que­stion they moue: I marke this first, when once any hath begun to taste of that life to come, and of heauenly things, as the Co­lossians did, there is a continuall longing and desire to haue the fulnes and accomplishment thereof. If thou hadst tasted it, thou wilt long for it, and aske when it shall be fully reuea­led. Such as haue tasted Christ effe­ctually long to see him. And therefore Paul to the Romanes chap. 8. vers. 23. saith, We that haue receiued the first fruites of the spirit (there is the be­ginning of the life spirituall and of heauen) we sigh within our selues, waiting for the adoption euen the redemption of our bodies. What thing can be more cleere then this? And in the 2. Cor. chap. 5. vers. 2. We (saith he) being burdened with this mortalitie, we sigh; not that we would cast away these bodies, but that we would be cloathed vpon. Then he expoundeth himselfe, that mortali­tie might be swallowed of life. So the taste of a spirituall life here, hath euer a continuall longing and a desire to haue it fully manifested, that it might appeare as it is. It is euer enquiring The first obserua­tion. when it shall be fulfilled: but thou that hast not tasted it, thou canst not seeke after it; and thou that hast not tasted it in this life, thou shalt neuer finde it hereafter. But I debarre thee from heauen, and this life of Iesus (play thy part as thou wilt, and reele here and there at thy pleasure, if thou haue not a taste of heauen and of the life of Iesus here) thou shalt neuer see it hereafter; I giue thee this doome.

The next thing I obserue about this demaund is: They aske not so soone, but as soone they are answered; yea they are pre­uented, The second obseruatiō. [Page 253] and they get no leasure as it were to aske. So thou that seekest for comfort, shalt get comfort; & they that seeke for that life euerlasting, shall get a meeting, and finde a comfor­table answere. It cannot faile; at the least while they be put in possession of it, they shall be fed with the promise of that life, and shall no sooner aske for it, but the answere shall be made to them: When Christ shall appeare, then shall ye also appeare with him in glorie. And least (brethren) ye should thinke these pro­mises to be but bare words: Peter in his first Epistle and first chapter resolueth you when he saith, beleeuing in the promise, ye reioyce with a ioy vnspeakable and glorious. The faith in the pro­mise of things that are not yet come, filleth the heart with ioy, and bringeth some sense of that we long for: for the faith in the promise sucketh that life out of heauen. Therefore beleeue while thou seest, let faith hold vp thy heart vntill thou be put in the full possession of the things beleeued in.

To come to the words of the text. The promise is this: Ye shall appeare in glorie, and ye shall see your life. There is the pro­mise. The time is defined here, when Christ shall appeare: vpon this defining of the time, ye shall note: Our life dependeth vp­on Christ: the time of it dependeth vpon his time, all the time from the beginning to his first comming in our nature, as hee was hid and was not yet manifested. So that heauenly life lay hid, and shined not in the world: and more I tell you, few gat it, and few saw it. Then againe, when hee begun to come out, and manifest himselfe in our nature, then our life came out and begun to appeare. Lastly, when hee shall come againe in this full manifestation of his glorie, that that thou now hast, is but little in respect of that which thou shalt see. It was but a small sight the Iewes gat, in respect of that thou shalt get then: for then shall thy life appeare in the fulnes of it: there shall no­thing be hidden, but all shall be made manifest. And seeing then our life dependeth on him alwaies, hang thou on him by faith, and waite for his comming. Alas cannot thy eye once in the day be lifted vp to heauen to waite for him? Paul maketh the promise to none, but to those who waite for his last com­ming; and so it shall not pertaine to thee, if thou waite not for his comming.

[Page 254] Againe, another thing followeth cleerely of these words, and The third obseruatiō. this manifestation: The glorie of Christ must be in the first place, it must be formost. Then secondly followeth thy life, and thy glorie, as one pendicle of his glorie: for thy life is manife­sted with him; when hee shall appeare, who is thy life, then shalt thou appeare. So his life and glorie goeth first, and then thine followeth after. And when Christ shal come in that day, the chiefest respect he shal haue shall be to his own glory. And therefore 2. Thess. chap. 1. vers. 10. it is said, when he shall come, he shall come that he may be glorified among his Saints. So the end of his comming, is his glorie, that hee may be admirable; that all The mani­festation of Christ in his com­pleate glo­rie vnto men and Angels with ad­miration. the Angels and all the Saints may stand about to giue glorie to Iesus. Nay there shall not be such a wondring at the elects glorie, as at his glorie; he shall be a perpetuall admiration to man and Angell. Then the lesson is: seeing it is his glorie that first shall appeare, giue it the first place, and let it be deerer to thee then thy life, and thy glorie both. Thou shalt not dimi­nish one iot of that; yea chuse rather to goe to hell, then that he should not haue his glorie: yea if thou account more of thy life, then his of glorie, thou shalt neither get life nor glorie. In some measure thou must do as Moses and Paul did, rather then hee should want his glorie, desire rather to be rased out of the booke of life, and to be Anathema, accursed: for therein thou shalt lose nothing, but thou preferring his glorie to thy very life and saluation, shalt find life, glorie and saluation for euer; for he loueth them decrely that loue him.

In the beginning of this verse, there is a short description of Christ, when Christ that is our life. This short description con­taineth the cause wherefore when he shall be glorified and ap­peare, thou shalt be glorified: The cause is, because hee is thy life, and then hee appearing, of force thou must appeare, be­cause his life is thine. Is not this comfortable, that the glorie The glorie of Christ and thy life cannot be parted. of Iesus and thy life cannot bee parted? Thou canst not liue without him, and hee will not want thee. Againe, as soone as his life shall appeare, thou shalt appeare. It is very comfor­table: yet the phrase is to be marked. He saith not, when Christ of whom wee haue our life shall appeare, but hee saith, when Christ who is our life shall appeare. This is a more effectuall spea­king, [Page 255] and the very manner of speech noteth this, that that spi­rituall life that we begin to liue here, is not so much a life dif­ferent from his life, as it is the very life that Christ liueth him­selfe. Christ hath a life, and wee haue the same in number, the life of Christ ouershadoweth vs. That same very life and no other extendeth to vs so farre as wee are capable of it. Bre­thren, ye may perceiue this to be a similitude. Liueth the bo­die another life then the head? No: There is but one life in the man, and that that the head hath, the same the whole bodie­hath, and it quickeneth euery member of the bodie: Euen so is it to be thought of the life of Iesus our spirituall head. There is a neerer coniunction betwixt vs and him, then there is be­tweene this head of ours and the bodie: so that of necessitie there is but one life of Christ and ours; and we liue that same life of Iesus as members of that mysticall bodie, whereof he is the head. Paul Galath. chap. 2. vers. 20. he saith not, by Christ I liue, but he saith, Christ liueth in me. And Ephes. chap. 3. vers. 17. he dwelleth in me. So his life is mine: And the 2. Cor. chap. 4. vers. 10. the life of Iesus is manifested in me. The life of Iesus was Pauls life. What else then is thy life, but this same life of Iesus? This is comfortable, he hath made thee a fellow companion to himselfe: he will not giue thee another life, but his owne life. O that this miserable world wist what it were to liue the life of God, to haue Christ and his life in it! It is no small glorie to liue the life of Iesus.

In the last words, he saith not, when Christ, who is your life shall appeare, your life shall appeare: but he saith, ye shall ap­peare, euen ye your selues in proper person, and none others for you, but ye your selues shall appeare with Iesus in that day. For their demaund would seeme to meane another thing; to wit, that howsoeuer Christ should appeare, who was their life, yet they would be farre to seeke, as we say. But hee answereth them more comfortably, ye your selues shall appeare at that day, and not your life onely. For your life shall not so soone appeare, but as soone incontinently thereafter, within the space of the twinckling of an eye, ye your selues shall appeare: so this speech telleth vs, that there is a space of time, wherein the sonnes of God are not knowne in the world: the Lord [Page 256] hath children here and the world knoweth them not; yea The world knowes not the Saints. scarsely they themselues see it, much lesse the world. Then a­gaine, they haue a time when they are made knowne to be Kings sonnes, the least of them (euery one is the Kings sonne) 1. Ioh. 3. 2. 3. and they themselues will know themselues then. When is it that they are not knowne? when his glorie is not seene. What difference is there betweene a Kings sonne and another, when he is not in his own place and dignitie? So is it with thee: thou art not in thine owne place and honour. When shalt thou be knowne to be the sonne of God? when the sonne of glorie Simile. shall appeare, then thou shalt be knowne to be the sonne of God. Then the diuell shall be compelled to say, there is the sonne of God; there is a Kings sonne, and an heire of the e­uerlasting kingdome. Then againe, when appeares not thine honour? when the honour of thy eldest brother appeareth not: so long as he is obscured, so long thou art obscured. When shall it appeare? when thy eldest brother shall appeare, then thou, if thou be first, second, third, fourth; yea if ye were tenne thousand, the honour of the eldest brother shall reach to all. Then in one word, the manifestation of the sonnes of God de­pendeth vpon the appearance of Iesus Christ the first borne our eldest brother. When he shall appeare, then thy glorie and honour shall appeare. Therefore yee pray, Let thy kingdome come, that is, let Iesus appeare in his glorie, and let me next ap­peare. This is the effect of the prayer.

Now to come to the next verse vpon this promise of appea­ring and life to be manifested: he groundeth his exhortation, and saith, therefore mortifie your earthly members; as if he would say, your glorie is to bee reuealed, yee shall once appeare the sonnes of God in glorie and dignitie: what shall ye then doe in the meane time? Be occupied (saith hee) in mortifying the members of your bodie, that ye may be found cleane; other­wise ye shall not see that life to come. Now to obserue this ere wee goe further. Such a glorious life requires a death; thou shalt neuer get it, if there be not a death in thee: thinke not to come to it, with all thy lusts with thee, if thou fall not to the mortification of that hand that hath slaine thy eldest brother the Lord Iesus; thou shalt neuer get that life. This vaine world [Page 257] thinketh to carrie vp a bloudie hand, and a wicked eye to hea­uen: no, if thou take it with thee, thou shalt not get entrance, the gate shall be hurled on thy face. The harlot thinketh that she shall get heauen with her harlotrie: No, she and her har­lotrie shall goe to hell; no vncleane thing shall enter there: if thou be not holie and in some measure sanctified, and that fil­thie 1. Cor. 6. 9 lust of thine slaine, thou shalt neuer get heauen, deceiue not your selues. Yet to marke the words, he saith, mortifie, slay. Hee said before they were dead, meaning to sinne; now hee biddeth them, slay on, and die on: thou that hast begun to die, continue, otherwise thou wilt not liue. This telleth vs, sin is not slaine in an instant: yea if thou shouldest liue a thousand Sinne is not slaine in an in­stant. yeeres, it will liue with thee as long as thou liuest, ere thou die it shall not die: it hath a quicker life then thou hast: thou art but a bubble of water: all the Kings of the earth cannot slay sinne; yea when this life is gone, that same originall sin goeth to the graue with thee, and resolueth the bodie into ashes; Originall sin liueth after death in the ashes. and after that, lieth in the ashes and leaueth thee not, vntill Christ come and take vp the bodie; and so sinne is not a light thing. Seeing then it is so hard to slay these affections, conti­nue in slaying them, and thinke it not enough thou hast giuen sinne a wound to day, and so leaue off: I tell thee, it will slay thee, if thou slay not it daily and hourely. For that is it Paul saith, Rom. chap. 7. vers. 18. 19. A wanton girle and a wanton fellow, they thinke they are liuing; but I say there is not a sparke of life in them, and well were they that they had not that life. Therefore continue in slaying of sinne, or else thou shalt be slaine of sinne, and the life of lifes shall be taken from thee. Ye that haue bin occupied in slaying of others, slay your selues, and your affections. But how shall ye slay your affec­tion? It lieth not in thy hand to doe it, there is no vertue in thee: thou canst not slay one affection: I will tell thee. The meanes are two, the first is faith in Iesus, and in his death, that is the death of Iesus apprehended by faith, draw him as gree­dily Two means to kill sin. to thee, as thou suckest sinne. It is the vertue of the crosse of Iesus that slayeth sinne, and thy foule affections; so that if thou haue not faith in him and his death, thou shalt neuer be Gal. 6. 14. 15. able to slay sinne in thee, nor to mortifie one foule affection.

[Page 258] The other meane to slay sinne and foule affections, is the spirit of Iesus, that accompanieth the crosse of Iesus (take away the crosse of Iesus, no spirit.) Then this spirit comming into thy heart, it falleth to and putteth his hand in that sinne which is within thee, and killeth it by little and little: for as hee is a quickening spirit, so hee is a slaying spirit of sinne. So Christs crosse embraced by faith, & then his spirit, they are the meanes to slay sinne in thee. Then thou hast no more to doe, but by faith to entertaine that crosse of Christ and his spirit: for woe Rom. 8. 2. 3. 4. is that heart that is without the spirit of Christ. But how shall this be? I tell thee faith is by hearing: heare the Gospell then; for if thou take no pleasure in the Gospell, faith, Christ, and his spirit shall goe from thee. Besides these two, there are other godly exercises, profitable to the same purpose, conti­nuall prayer; for that is the exercise that God delighteth in: Meanes to come by & to increase saith. earnest exercising of the workes of charitie; if thou leaue off these exercises, thou shalt lose Christ and his spirit, and shalt grow in sinne, and then thou shalt be cast into damnation for euer. Gods iudgement shall light on thy necke, and shall crush thee downe to hell, and thy sinne both. This for the word mortifying.

The next is, what should wee mortifie? Hee saith not thy neighbour: no, no, but hee saith, mortifie thy cancred affection that moueth thee to slay thy neighbour; slay thy selfe, that is, that masse of sinne, that is within thee, and cut off from thy bodie euery vncleane thing, and slay euery member thereof, and leaue not so much as thy little finger vnslaine. By the mē ­bers Members of sinne. I vnderstand the foule affections in thy heart, which run thorough the whole bodie, and fill the eye with pride, with adulterie, with wrath, and crueltie: in such sort, that the very looke of the eye is defiled, and will runne to vncleannes. The hand is defiled, and runneth to bloud: the foote is defiled, and hasteth to murther: yea thy foule affections in the heart, they will come to the tongue, and imploy it all in their seruice; so that thou maist perceiue, what a sinne lieth in thy heart, that infecteth all the members. Therefore this is the exhortation of the Apostle, slay the foule affections in thy members: if it be in thy eye, plucke it away, that is, plucke away that foule affe­ction [Page 259] in thy eye; for better it is for thee to bee crooked and blinde, then to be cast into hell, and there to curse thy hand and feete, and all the members of thy bodie euerlastingly. Now then of this briefly. Ye see how farre sinne spreadeth in man and woman: it is not content to occupie one part onely of man: it will not be content with thy soule, but it runneth through all. It leaueth not one part free, but filleth al the parts of man and woman. Therefore mortification must not bee in one part; it must not be in the soule onely, but as farre as sin Mortifica­tion in all parts. reacheth, so farre must thy mortification reach. Then begin at thy heart, and next come to the outward members of the bo­die; for it auaileth nothing to haue a faire counterfaite face without, if thou haue a foule heart within. Yet the stile is to be noted, that he giueth the members, he calleth them earthly, not heauenly. All these foule affections are called earthly, be­cause in themselues they are grosse and earthly, and their ob­iects are earthly: And what matter (brethren) if these affec­tions were made of the best part of the earth, they are made of the dirt of the earth, of these ofscourings of the dirt, that thou wouldest lothe to look to. Note.Indeed there are some that be of the good earth, as eating, drinking, and sleeping, &c. therefore are lawfull being sanctified: but as for these affections of har­lotrie, of concupiscence, of murther, of couetousnes, they are vnlawful and vncleane: wilt thou then foster them? No, mor­tifie them, slay them, and cut them away. Christ came not to make thy harlotrie cleane to thee: no, no, thou lies in thy throate; cut it away therefore, otherwise thou and it both shal perish. This for the generall. Now I come to the particular members.

Because the large dispute vpon the particulars fitteth not for this time, onely I will speake so farre, as serueth for the pur­pose of this text. Hee beginneth first at fornication. Then hee commeth to vncleannesse. Thirdly, to inordinate passions. Fourthly, to euill concupiscence. And fiftly, he commeth to a­uarice: and he would haue all these cut away. Now to prose­cute euery one of these. The first is fornication, harlotrie, when whores and harlots go together. Paul to the Romanes chap. 1. vers. 24. and Ephes. chap. 5. vers. 5. when hee counteth out the [Page 260] vices of the Gentiles, hee beginneth alwaies at harlotrie and fornication; and then from that hee commeth to other vices. In the first to the Corinthians chap. 6. he insisteth more largely Fornica­tion. in condemning of that sinne, then commonly yee shall finde him to doe in any other vice: and hee vseth for the condem­ning of it, fiue or sixe arguments. What meaneth this constant doing in condemning this vice? The spirit doth it not in vaine, no, not one word commeth from that holie spirit in vaine. I shall tel you the cause. This sinne was a sinne common among the Gentiles, and they thought it no sinne; they thought it a thing indifferent, that might be done without any fault: they were come to that reprobate sense, that nature condemneth. Therefore the Apostle to let them see that this was a sinne, and one of the first, when he reckoneth the sinnes of the Gentiles, he nameth fornication first to be the ring-leader to the rest, and the more they extenuate it, the more the spirit aggraua­teth it. The more thou shalt extenuate any sinne, the more the spirit of God shall aggrauate it to thy conscience. Wilt thou say, murther (which now is so rife) is no sinne? The Lord will say to thee, it is a sinne, and a huge great sinne: if thou do not amend it, thou shalt neuer inherit the kingdome of heauen. Therefore wee learne, that these sinnes, the world accounteth least of, the Lord accounteth most of; and thou shouldest ac­count most of them, and in condemning of them thou shoul­dest insist. This harlotry is euer conioyned with prophanenes: Thou that takest pleasure to defile thine owne bodie, thou growest a prophane bodie, and so thou art ready to be drawne to al mischiefe, for thou art left of God. Heb. chap. 12. vers. 16. Let no man be a harlot, or a prophane person, as Esau was, mea­ning hereby, that a harlot is a prophane dogge, readie to be polluted with all vice.

But to come to the next vice. It followeth: Vncleannes. Har­lotrie is one sort of vncleannes. But now hee subioyneth, all manner of vncleannes: And from the lesse member, which is harlotrie, he goeth to the greater. This teacheth vs, that we are full of filthines. For if this vncleannes in all manner of waies were not in vs, the Apostle would not bid vs mortifie the gene­rall vice that is in vs: and so though thou were come of a King, [Page 261] thy nature is full of filth, and vncleannes. No, the sow was ne­uer Greater fil­thines cō ­mitted by man then by a beast. so vncleane as thou art by nature: A sow hath not the filth of sinne; but thou hast. There was neuer beast that will fall into such filthines, as man will doe: wilt thou reade histories, yea the Scriptures? thou shalt finde greater filthines commit­ted by man, then by any beast. This thing and that will make thee loathe: but if thou hadst an eye to see thy sin, thou woul­dest loathe it more then all the filthines in the world. The se­cond thing that we learne here is this: It is not enough to mor­tifie one sort of vncleannes. In case thou be a drunkard, it is not enough to mortifie that sinne: in case thou be an harlot, it is not enough for thee to mortifie this (howbeit it be well done to do it) but thou must passe from one sinne to another, and neuer leaue it aliue in thee; but mortifie them all, slay all, cut all away: for I assure thee one vncleanenes will cause thee die; it will cause thee goe to hell. The Germanes thinke that drunkennes is no sinne; but I say it is: and it is enough to cause thee die: as a sicknes will cause thee die if thou mend it not, so one sinne will cause thee die, if thou repent not.

Now to go to the next member. He calleth it [...], an vn­ruly Vnruly affection. affection what euer it be. Here it is taken for a raging lust, that setteth a man on fire, 1. Cor. chap. 7. vers. 9. So yet I send you to nature, looke what stuffe it is made of. There is a fire in nature of foule lust that will burne thee to death, and in the end put thee in hell, if it be not mortified. May ye not see this by experience? when ye see that which is fit for ye a bating and quenching of lust, cannot quench it, but he will runne and mingle himselfe with harlots; these harlots testifie of this fire. Looke to the adulterer, there is a fire. Yet more then that, when this fire hath burnt vp all the moysture of the bodie, and wasted all; yet it burneth in the heart. Ye shall see this in fil­thie aged men, when the bodie is decrepit; yet the fire of this lust will be burning still in the heart, and it looseth the tongue to filthines: fie on thee, it becommeth not an old man to speak foule filthie talke. This is one thing. I marke another thing by subioyning firie lust to vncleannes: It teacheth vs, that among all vices we should take heed of it. This burning lost is not the least; we should put out that fire first: for I tell thee, if thou [Page 262] let it burne, all the things in the world will not quench it. Thou must get the water of the spirit of Christ to quench it. Therfore crie for that water, or els thou and it both will burne in hell for euer. When he hath spoken of this, he goeth to euill concupiscence. It is not one filthie affection, but all filthie affe­ctions, and euery kinde of them, which are many in number, Euill con­cupiscence. that he will haue mortified. Thinkest thou there be no more but vncleannes and burning lust in thee? Yea although they were taken away, yet thou art full of other affections. This let­teth thee see yet, how foule thy nature is. The Papist saith, we aggrauate the filth of nature ouer much. Ah filthie creature, thou hast not felt the stinke of nature, and therefore thou art Stinke of nature. the worst teacher of nature: I say to thee, the filth of nature cannot be spoken of sufficiently enough: yea an Angell can not paint out sufficiently the mysterie of sinne, and the filthi­nes of thy nature. And therefore the Apostle teacheth vs to enlarge our mortification; when thou hast mortified one sin, two sins, three sinnes, yea many sins; think alwaies there are more behinde: when thou hast mortified all these former sins, yet auarice is behinde: suppose thou shouldest quit thy selfe of them all, yet if thou be auaritious, it shall cause thee die, thou shalt not inherit heauen. Then as there is no end of sinne: so let there be no end of mortification of sinne. There are more members of sinne within thee, then there are members of thy bodie; and therefore be slaying one. And here I end, cra­uing of him, who is able to slay this filthines of na­ture, to graunt his holy spirit and faith in Iesus Christ to that effect. To whom with the Father be all honour and thanks for euer,

Amen.

THE XXV. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians, be­ginning at the end of the fift verse.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 5. 6. 7.

5 And couetousnes, which is Idolatrie:

6 For the which things sake, the wrath of God commeth on the children of disobedience.

7 Wherein ye also walked once, when ye liued in them.

YE haue heard (brethren) the first exhortation the A­postle maketh to the Colossians in this chapter was, that they should seeke the things aboue. The second exhortation was, that they should be wise in them. And wee haue entred into the third exhortation the last day, which is, that they should mortifie their earthly members; and after the generall he commeth to the deliuerie of these seueral foule affections that breake out in the bodie: and the 1 first hee na­meth was fornication; 2 the second was vncleannes in generall whatsoeuer; 3 the third was one speciall kinde of vncleannes, the inordinate affection, the burning lust that cannot bee quencht: the fourth was generall, euill concupiscence. Now (brethren) wee spake of these the last day, as God gaue the grace, and as this permitted, leauing off the generall discour­sing pertaining to the common heads of doctrine, and there­fore without further repetition of any thing that was spoken, I goe forward. This day we proceed with the fift member, and then after wee shall come to the two arguments, whereby hee [Page 264] will moue them to this mortification of the lusts of the flesh. The fift member then hee termeth it auarice, or couetousnes: Euen as before, when he had named the generall vice or mem­ber called vncleannes, hee subioyned a speciall member which he called the inordinate affection, the which member of affec­tion among all parts and sorts of vncleannes, is the greatest: Euen so now when he hath named the general member, which he calleth euill concupiscence, he subioyneth, the speciall cal­led auarice, which is the worst kinde of euill concupiscence in this world: therefore he maketh a choise of it besides al other concupiscences in the heart of men. For euen as that burning lust of the heart is vnquenchable, and cannot be extinguished by any earthly meane; without the spirit of Christ, it will ne­uer be quenched: so this wicked concupiscence of auarice, it is vnsatiable; it can neuer be filled. It is like a deuouring gulfe; for though it could swallow in all this world, yet it would be too little for it. Giue an auaricious man the whole world, hee will yet craue more: and this is no marueile; for this world, and all that are in this world are finite and bounded within termes: but the desire of an auaricious man is in a man­ner infinite: And to speake the truth, if it get not God, it will Nothing can fill the couetous heart but God him­selfe. neuer be satisfied. There is nothing that will content or fill it: the more he hath, the more hee will craue. In a word, there is nothing that will be able to fill the desire of man, but that in­finite God. And as one said well, alluding to the shape of this world, and comparing it with the heart of a man: The world is round and circular; the heart is foure cornered. Therefore the couetous mans heart may fitly bee compared to a square which can neuer be compleatly filled vp by a circle, though a [figure] circle be of all others the most capacious figure: still there is a corner voide, turne the circle which way thou wilt within the square: Euen so though the whole frame of the heauens, earth, seas and ayre, with all that be within thē were ingrossed in the gulfe of a couetous mans vnsatiable hart, yet would it neuer be filled, neuer contented, neuer haue enough. It is knowne that a quadrangle is neuer filled: euen so the heart of an auaricious man, being a quadrant, it is neuer filled. The more he hath, the more hee will craue: the auaricious heart will neuer be satis­fied, [Page 265] vntill it drowne the man. Paul 1. Timoth. chap. 6. vers. 9. speaking of them that will be rich, he saith, they drowne them­selues. There is their end. Brethren, if ye will compare together these two foule affections, as the speciall worst members in a man: certainly, I account auarice farre worse and more incu­rable, then the other. As for the lust, and that fire, it will grow lesse; and as a man groweth old, it wil grow old and faile with him. But as for this affection of auarice, it groweth more and more: and as a man groweth in age, it groweth in youth; the older thou art, it is the younger: for the more thou decayest in strength of thy members, the more strong groweth it, ac­cording to the prouerbe: All vices grow old, but auarice groweth young. Therefore aboue all wicked affections, this vice of aua­rice A prouerb. requireth mortification. Now slay it I beseech you, and fill it vp once; fill vp that gulfe: And wherewith? either with godlines, or else it will neuer be filled. Godlines is great gaine, 1. Timoth. chap. 6. otherwise thou shalt neuer haue contenta­tion. I tell thee, there is no other meane then to fill thy heart with godlines: & if thou haue thy heart filled with godlines, a little thing will fill thy heart, a sober supper and a sober dinner will serue thee: but if thou want godlines in thy heart, auarice shall raigne in thee, as a tyrant: and how beit he had gotten a world of things; yet if he heare of any thing behinde, he can not be satisfied, but requireth that also. For his greedines can not be filled.

Now to goe forward: when he hath named this auarice, he leaueth it not as he did the rest of the vices before, simply na­ming it; but he insisteth in it, and describeth it to be idolatrie; as he would say, it the greatest vice that is: it bereaueth God of his honour and worship. Brethren, it is not in this place on­ly where he calleth this vice of auarice idolatrie, but in the fift to the Ephesians 5. verse, he termeth the auaricious man an ido­later, and Iesus Christ in 16. of Luke vers. 13. No man (saith he) can serue God and riches. Where ye may see he attributeth that to riches, which is proper to God: for the auaricious man ho­noureth his riches, and is a seruant, yea rather a slaue to his ri­ches, whereas he should serue his God. But I say to thee, pre­tend to serue God as thou wilt, thou shalt not serue God and [Page 266] riches both: for the words of Christ meane, that when once thou beginnest to be in loue with thy riches, thou biddest God farewell. For thou wilt be content rather to be a slaue to riches worshipping them, then to serue God, as he cōmanded thee in his word. Brethren, ye may aske of me, what man is hee that will adore his riches? (for he is an idolater that will adore any Idol whatsoeuer it be) what rich man will fall down to a piece of money? I say there was neuer an Idolater tooke greater pleasure to looke on a grauen Image, then an auaritious man Auarice is idolatrie. 1. The co­uetous man loueth his mony more then God. 2. Trusteth in his mony will delight to looke on a piece of money. The outward eye of him shall be so fixt on it, that he shall forget his God: such shall be his pleasure to behold it. But to speake nothing of the outward worship: There was neuer an idolater that had grea­ter confidence in his Idoll, then the couetous man in his mo­ney. Remember ye not the rich man, who when hee had filled his barnes: My soule (saith he) take thy rest: whereon? vpon thy riches: there is his confidence, Luk. 12. vers. 9. What Ido­later Luk. 12. had greater confidence in any thing, then this man had in his riches? The auaritious man then can haue his confi­dence in nothing, but in his riches. Therefore in the first to Ti­mothie chap. 6. vers. 17. the Apostle saith, Charge the rich men in this world, that they be not proud, nor put their confidence in vn­certaine riches. And Dauid in the 62. Psalme vers. 10. saith, If riches abound, set not thy heart vpon them. Dauid knew well that man would make a God of his riches. Well, if he put his trust in his riches, and doth worship and honour them, he is an ido­later. For wherein standeth the worship of God, but in put­ting of confidence (which is the inward worship of God) in him? Doest not thou then honour riches, when thou puttest thy confidence in them? yea certainly: yea I say, none will goe beyond him in that. Looke to him that will put his confi­dence in an Idoll most, an auaritious man shall goe beyond him, and ouermatch him. Ye will moue another question: Is there no other vitious man an idolater? Is not the ambitious man an idolater? puts hee not his confidence in his honour? and the belly-god in his bellie? and some in the arme of men? put not all these sorts of persons, and many more then these, their confidence in their seuerall vices like Gods? are not [Page 267] these idolaters also? I answere, it is true indeede, thou that art ambitious, art an idolater; thou that art a belly-god, art an idolater; and thou that puttest thy trust in the arme of man, art an idolater: but I say, certainly not without cause hee ter­meth the auaritious to be an idolater before all other; euen because it is most common, and least counted of, by reason that men most naturally are inclined thereto. What is he that cannot cloake his auarice? It is thriftines, will the auaritious man say, and why should I giue out my goods to this & that? why should not I keepe them well, when I haue them? And so they are most readie to cloake it with a colour. And therefore the Apostle, to let them see it is but vaine so to doe, termeth this vice the greatest, and more like to idolatrie then any o­ther. So that idolatrie is first, and then auarice that is likest to idolatrie succeedeth, and then ambition and the rest. And to speake the truth, it is an harder thing to draw the heart of an auaritious man from this world, then it is to draw the heart of any man: yea it is easier to winne the idolater from his idola­trie, then it is to winne the couetous man from his couetous­nes: for couetousnes is bred in the marrow of thy bones. Then I say againe, this vice hath most neede to be insisted vpon, and aggrauated. For all the world will not satiate the heart of man: it is onely the spirit of Iesus that will fill it. Now one thing note here, and so I will goe forward. Certainly this ag­grauating of auarice, & calling of it idolatrie, lets vs see, that the chiefe sinne in the world is idolatrie. When he would make one sinne greater then another, he will take the greatest sinne and set with it: as here, to shew that auarice is a great sinne, Auarice and idola­trie com­pared. and greater then many others, he setteth it downe with idola­trie that is greater. And therefore it must follow, that idola­trie is the greatest sinne; for that sin that is next to the grea­test sinne, must needs make that that sinne which is before it, to bee the greatest sinne. But so it is, that couetousnes is next to the greater sinne which is idolatrie: therefore idolatrie is the greatest sinne. And therefore fie on them that leaue the true God, and set vp an Idoll to worship it. O that true God Idolatrie. shall not leaue of to pursue them while they come home again! and all the Kings of the earth shall not make them to prosper, [Page 268] except they come home againe! O then come home, come home! or els I pronounce it shall not be the Pope that shall be able to saue thee from damnation. It was easie to win the idolatrous Gentiles, but to winne false Christians from their Hard to cō ­uert Pa­pists from idolatrie. idolatrie, of al things of the world, it is one of the hardest. Wilt thou not be wonne by the light and truth of the word? that iron rod shall bruse thee together.

Now to speake something of these members: will ye see the obiect of these-foule affections? The obiects are two in num­ber. The first is pleasure, the very pleasuring of the flesh. The second is profit and gaine. There are the two. The lust is occu­pied about pleasure, and this desire is occupied about pro­fit; and so the two obiects are pleasure and profit. Now it is true, the Lord that hath created all things, hath created thee with these affectations of pleasure, and desire of these things in this world: so that it is natural to desire the things of this world, and to take pleasure in them. And the Lord that hath created thee so, hee hath giuen thee pleasure and pro­fit: and such is his liberalitie towards thee, that hee alloweth that thy affections be satisfied, so be it that thou vse all to his honour and worship, whether thou eate, or drinke, or whatsoeuer thou doe; and that in vsing thy libertie with an vncleane heart, thou defile not the good gift of God: otherwise of necessitie these foule affections must be double sinnes. Thou sinnest doubly not onely in thy lust, but in the liberalitie of God: thou sinnest in harlotrie, and in ingratitude against God. The Lord hath permitted thee to haue riches. And the Lord shall say to the harlot, permitted not I thee to haue pleasure? but thou wouldest not take it as I commaunded thee: but thou wouldest perseuere in whoredome from one to another, and Inordinate affection. so pleasure thy selfe in vncleannes, which I haue forbidden thee. And likewise he shall say to the auaricious, permitted not I thee to haue riches? but what hast thou done? Thou hast made a god of thy riches and serued them, whereas thou shoul­dest haue knowne me for thy God, and me onely shouldest thou haue worshipped; and therefore thou and thy lust, and thou and thy profit shall both to hell in my hot indignation: and as one affection that is foule bringeth many sinnes with [Page 269] it; so it bringeth double iudgement with it. Beware then, and marke well these affections, that they bee not in excesse and passe measure. This inordinate affection to the foule lusts of the flesh, and the gaine of the things in this world telleth vs, that the corruption of nature, and of these affections, is more bent to an excesse, passing measure, then to a defect in nature. There are some things that are in excesse, and some in a defect: but this corruption that is in man tendeth more to an excesse, then any other thing. Man is readier to offend in ouer great desire of riches, then in ouer little. Looke thou through this age, thou shalt finde that it inclineth to ouer great seeking of riches. Againe, ye shall finde that a thousand faileth in ouer great desire of pleasure; and so it tendeth more to an excesse then to a defect. And therefore this mortification hath more adoe to hold downe these affections, then to draw them for­ward, seeing they set vpon excesse on euery side. Bridle then your affection: for will you goe to your owne experience? ye shall finde more adoe in drawing backe your affections from this world, the pleasure and riches of the same, then in putting them forward.

Now to come to the arguments: ye haue heard the first from that life hid vp in God: he pointed it out to them, which should moue them to mortifie their members, as they would looke for the reuealing of it. Now in the verse that followeth, the second argument is set downe on the contrarie. Before, he set downe heauen: now hee setteth downe damnation before them. Note. For the which things (saith he) the wrath of God commeth on the childrē of disobedience. They are tumbled into hell for vn­cleannes; of any sort, men and women, are thrust daily into hell, not onely for them altogether, but also for any one of these sinnes, if it raigne in them. And indeede there are few in whom some one of these vices (if not the whole number) doth not raigne: so that if he be not auaritious, yet it may be he is a fornicatour, and giuen to this filthie vncleannes of the flesh, or some other of these sinnes. And I say to thee, there is not one of these sinnes, if it raigne in thee, but it will draw thee to hell: that is his meaning. So he closeth in this mortification betwixt heauen and hell; heauen on the one side, and hell on [Page 270] the other; mercie on the one side, and iudgement on the other: to let thee vnderstand that if heauen will not moue thee, hell will get thee; if that life will not moue thee, iudge­ment and hell shall deuoure thee. In the world we are allured with heauen, and threatned with hell; if thou wilt not be mo­ued with the one, the other shall oppresse thee; if thou were a King thy estate shall not helpe thee. And therefore slay thy foule affections, as thou wouldest haue heauen and eschue hel. And in that he setteth hel before them, it letteth vs see the can­ker of our nature; yea euen of the regenerate. Thou art not so well renued, but thou hast neede to be chased and compelled to thy grace, and to haue the terrors of hell and of the wrath The best haue neede to be awa­kened with Gods ter­rors. of God obiect to thee, to chase thee to heauen, as the Apostle 2. Cor. chap. 5. vers. 11. saith, knowing this terror of the Lord, ther­fore I am faithfull in my vocation, & bring others to the faith. A Minister if he were neuer so good; yea if it were Paul him­selfe; yet ye see hee hath neede of this terror of the wrath of God to be obiected to him, that he may be faithfull, and waite vpon the glorie of heauen. Then againe, ye see fornication will procure the wrath of God euerlasting: much more the tempo­rall. Well, thou thinkest simple fornication, a single man with a single woman, it is but a smal fault: but the Apostle saith, for­nication, if thou lie in it, it will thrust thee downe into hell. Sinne in any sort or measure will procure the wrath of God. There is no sinne, but it will bring the wrath of God against thee, and in the end shut thee in hell. But this is to be marked; For the which cause (saith he) the wrath of God falleth: vpon whom? vpon the children of disobedience, that is, vpon these persons that will not repent. Therefore it is not euery fornica­tion and vncleannes that will cause thee goe to hell, but it is fornication vnrepented for, and vncleannes vnrepented for: that is the sinne which will put thee in hell, and vpon that sin­ner that is impenitent the wrath of God falleth. Auarice that is not repented for, and a man that is hardened in heart, that is he, and that is the sinne that will put thee in hell. So to speake it properly, it is not so much harlotry, fornication, vncleannes, and auarice, or other sinne in it selfe, that procureth the wrath of God, as it is the impenitencie of the person that cannot, nor [Page 271] will not repent. Alas, could the harlot repent him of his sinne, hee would be saued? Could the murtherer repent him of his murther, he would be saued? Could the auaricious repent him of his auarice, hee would not be vnder the wrath of God? For there is no sin so great, but if repentance follow, there is grace The grea­test sinne is pardonable to the peni­tent. for thee. Repent thee then of thy sinne, as thou knowest it, and aske mercie in the Lord Iesus, and if thou doe this thou shalt be saued, and free from the wrath of this great God: for of all sinne in the world, the sinne that is accompanied with impeni­tencie, is the greatest. Therefore set your heart euer to repent, The least sinne vn­pardonable to the im­penitent. as thou wilt declare thy faith in Iesus; for faith in Christ can not be without true repentance. If we should liue Methusalahs daies, all is little enough to repent of sinne; yea euen the smal­lest that euer thou diddest, or art guiltie of. Thou that hast bin an harlot, spend the rest of thy life in repentance, and thou shalt finde grace and saluation. And so likewise, thou that hast been a murtherer, an oppressor, an auaricious bodie, spend the time ye haue behinde in heartie repentance; and I assure you ye shall finde mercie and saluation: otherwise I debarre you out of heauen. Or I leaue these words, marke: he saith, For the which the wrath of God commeth vpon the children of disobedience: Supposing that the Colossians had been such men as had wal­ked in all the sinnes he spake of: yet this wrath commeth not vpon them. Then it is not the elect that be made a spectacle to the world of the wrath and iudgements of God, but they are the reprobates that are made the spectacles of Gods wrath and iudgements: for they are the children of disobedience. As for the elect none of them falleth vnder this wrath. O happie is the estate of the chosen number! and if thou be not one of the number of Gods elect in the Lord Iesus, woe is thee: thou shalt be made a spectacle of Gods wrath. But as for the elect, he chuseth them out to let them see his wrath rather in others, then that they should experiment it in their owne persons. He will take a slaue and torment him in the sight of his elect, and Psal. 50. teare, him (as it were) in pieces (O the terrible hand of God!) to make them to stand in awe: for all the reprobate, if they were Kings, they are but slaues and vessels of earth, and not of gold, let them cloathe themselues with gold as they will. So be­hold [Page 272] the seueritie and mercie of God; seueritie for the repro­bate, and mercie for the elect. Ye will aske; makes not God the chosen sometime a spectacle of his wrath? was not Dauid in a miserable case, and a fearefull spectacle of Gods wrath, when as the sword went neuer out of his house all his daies? and are there not many daily, that are made fearefull spec­tacles; and yet no doubt there are many of them that are of the chosen of God? I answere, indeede it is true, the Lord will chastise his very sore here; but all is in this world, hang him, head him, burne him, all is nought; and that that is, is euer conioyned with the mercie of God, and his paine hath an end. But the Apostle speaketh here of an eternall wrath. The elect incurre not this wrath: it is proper to the sonnes of infidelitie. And therfore I say, the elect are neuer made spectacles of Gods Gods pu­nishments in this world on his are but chastise­ments. wrath, whatsoeuer the chastisement be that fals vpon them. Ye will aske againe: where was there euer such a spectacle seene? In hell. Saw you euer one tormented in hell with this wrath? saw you euer one tormented in this world with this wrath? God forbid, I will not iudge so hardly of any that suffereth, or are visited by the hand of God. How is it then that the repro­bate are made the spectacles of Gods wrath? I say, albeit thou neither see it, nor thou heare it, yet there are infinite numbers tormented in hell. But there are some so pitifull hearted bo­dies, who cannot heare tell that one goeth to hell. O foolish pitifull hearted bodie! I tell thee, infinite numbers go to hell, and shall goe; and thou, if thou beleeue not this, shalt go with Hell. the rest to hell. For if this word will not serue to confirme thee in this truth, that the, reprobates shall be made spectacles of Gods wrath: the wrath of God shall serue one day when it shall light on thee, and them both, as infidels, to your vtter destruction.

Now to goe forward: ye haue heard two arguments seruing to mortification. The first was taken from heauen; the second from hell, as ye heard. The last followeth, and it is taken from these same sinnes, in the which the Colossians sometimes wal­ked, as if he would say: ye were such men sometime, these sins all raigned in you before ye came to Christ; ye were fornica­tors, idolators, couetous, &c. all these raigned in you, as they [Page 273] did in any infidell. Therefore let the remembrance of these sins be matter of mortification to you. This is the argument brief­ly. Of the which yee may gather, that men should not looke How to re­member our old sins. idly on their sinnes wherein sometime they walked: for when thou remembrest thou wast an harlot & murtherer, an oppressor, and an auaricious man, let that remembrance serue to an earnest slaying of sinne to come, and mourning for thy sinnes past continually. Fie on thee for euermore, if this be not the effect of the remembrance of thy sinnes, and so slay that foule affectiō that made thee an harlot, and crie for that bloud of Iesus that washeth it away. And certaine it is, as all things that befall the elect are for their good: euen so are their sinnes Rom. 8. for their good, when they begin to repent them of their sinne, and to slay it. Dauid was better after his adulterie, then he was before; and he neuer remembred his sinnes (as he euer remem­bred them) without mortification. For this is the nature of a sanctified remembrance, it euer worketh sorrow in the heart, and a mortification of the sinne. O fie on thee, when thou re­membrest thy harlotrie, and wilt not haue sorrow in thy heart for it, nor mortifie it! Well, Paul saith, Godly sorrow bringeth foorth repentance, which is nothing else but a mortification of thy sinne, sorrowing that thou hast done it: and brethren, san­ctified remembrance maketh a fresh wound in the heart. If thou stand in the grace of Iesus Christ, thou wilt not so soone remember thy sins, but as soone thou shalt be wounded with sorrow and griefe for them: and thou shalt not so soone bee wounded, but so soone that oyle of gladnes shall be powred into thy heart to comfort thee in Iesus and his grace, and shall bring to thee a ioy vnspeakable. Therefore this is my minde, and it is true: the ioyfullest bodie that euer was or is, is a pe­nitent The ioy of a penitent sinner. sinner, who with sighes vnspeakable groanes for sinne. O then, there is ioy vnspeakable and glorious in that heart! 1. Pet. chap. 1. it refresheth the hart so sweetly, that the mour­ning sinner is swallowed vp with ioy, and blesseth the time that euer he mourned for sinne.

Come to the words of the text, there are three things he no­teth Three points. in them: 1 First he saith, they walked in them: that is, in these sinnes. 2 Secondly, he setteth downe their manner of walking. [Page 274] And thirdly, the time when they walked in them. As to the first, ye walked, that is, in fornication and vncleannes, and the rest; ye walked in them, as men are wont to goe from mor­ning to euening. The word teacheth vs this, that a sinner can­not sit idle (if sinne raigne in thee thou canst not sit idle) but he must be euer going on; yea and running on to sinne. It is said in the epistle to the Ephesians, that they gaue themselues to wan­tonnes with greedines, striuing who should be formost. There Eph. 4. 19. 20. was neuer two in a course of running, striuing who should be formost and formost, as a sinner in whom sinne raigneth, will striue to be formost in sinne before all others. There is none that went to hell, nor none goe or shall goe, but their owne Sinners walke to hell, they neede no horse. foote carieth them thither; they neede not a horse to ride on and gallop thither. There was neuer none so readie to goe to heauen, as the reprobates are to goe to hell: Would to God we could make as good speede in the way to heauen, as they doe in the way to hell. And so there is none that dieth that euerla­sting death, but it is according to his owne will. Thy perdition is of thy selfe, O Israel; but thy saluation is of me, saith the Lord. Thou wilt runne of thine owne will to hell, except the Lord meete thee and hinder thy course.

2 The second thing he marketh in them, is the manner of their walking. Ye also, that is, euen ye walked after the same manner, as the children of infidelitie did. Looke as they walked, so yee walked; as they ranne, ye ranne; no difference betwixt you. So the lesson is, before the effectuall calling of God by his spi­rit and faith, there is no difference betwixt the elect and the reprobate; the soule of the elect will be as vitious as the soule No diffe­rence be­tweene the elect and reprobate before grace. of the reporbate. So look to the persous, there is no difference vntill God make the difference: he will runne to hell as fast as he. Then wherein standeth the difference? it standeth not in thee, but in yt counsel and purpose of God; it is in the breast of God: there is nothing in the elect himselfe, but all in God: And in his owne time he maketh the difference. So ascribe nothing to thy nature and birth, but ascribe all to God, to his counsell, and to his election; and giue him the glorie, and say, I thanke thee, O God, that hast elected me, and for that thou hast called me to thee by thy spirit in time, and hast made me to know [Page 275] thee and thy goodnes. Who hath distinguished me from thee, and thee from another? but God. Why then shouldest thou glorie in any thing, but in God? O vile creature and vaine! fie on thy nature, it shall turne to thy destruction: so then, only glorie in God, and in nothing besides.

3 The third thing marked here, is the time when they walked. Sometime, saith he. Then he maketh it cleare, when ye liued in these vices, that is, as outwardly ye walked in them; so in­wardly in your soules ye liued in them. Walking is outward, and liuing is inward in the soule: so as the ground of these naturall actions, as of going on the way outwardly, is the life of the soule (for take the life away thou canst not goe) so the ground of all these sinfull actions, these wofull actions, woe to them all! the ground of all thy fornication and vncleanenes, is a wofull life that thou liuest. Sinne is liuing within thee; if sinne liued not within, the actions would not appeare in thy bodie that appeareth. Thou art dead, and yet sinne is liuing in thee. Thou and it shall not liue both together, Rom. 7. saith he. Sinne is reuined in me. Thou art dead, and sinne is quickened in thy breast. And or euer one be a harlot in his bodie, in his outward action, it is first in the soule of him: or euer one be a murtherer with the hand, he is a murtherer in his soule: it be­ginneth first there; and then it raiseth and stirreth vp the hand to the outward action. It is so of all sinfull actions, they pro­ceede first from the sinne liuing in the soule; so thou that wilt mortifie sinne, and the outward actions of sinne, slay first the sinne that liueth within thee, or else it will slay thee; either thou or it must die: and I pronounce this, that if thou slay not the sinne that is within, thou shalt be slaine by it for euer. Be­gin then in order to the slaying of sinne; for there is an order in mortification, and God that biddeth thee slay sinne, is the Lord of order. He comming in, bid deth thee first slay the sinne that is within thee; he will not bid thee begin at the hand, the eye, or any of thy members outward; but he will goe into thy heart, and he beginneth and putteth out that life of sinne, that liueth in theethere. He first maketh thy heart cleane, where sinne dwelleth and taketh roote; and so he will haue thee to [Page 276] roote it out that it bud not in thee. This way God beginneth in taking away sinne and slaying of it, and this is the way that the elect child of God doth. But hypocrites will make a well fauoured outward countenance, and who are so holy as they; Hypocrisie begins without. and in the meane time, will be fostering the filth of this foule life of sinne inwardly in his heart with pleasure. But the holy spirit, who beginneth to mortifie thee, beginneth at the heart, and slayeth the man of sinne in thy heart first; and he will wound it so deepely when he shall strike vpon it, that he shall mortifie it, and then thou shalt begin to see thine owne filth, and stinke in such sort, that thou shalt abhor thy selfe; but the hypocrite countes all these things, but as words of office. But O that dolefull waking, when the conscience wakeneth thee! It will cause thee say, O foule harlot! what hast thou been doing? walking in harlotrie and deceiuing men, with a shew of godlinesie. Therefore happie is the soule that is this wise wakened in time, and wounded with the sight of thy own fil­thines; for it shall procure ioy comming vpon sorrow. If thou wilt be content to restraine thy hand, foote, and eye for a time, so that thou sinne not openly as others doe, but that thy life that lurketh in thee, must vtter it selfe at the last; so as thou maist be a fornicator, a murtherer, and an auaritious bodie (for there is no hypocrite, but he must vtter himselfe at the last) thou hast no true mortification in thee; and therefore thou shalt finde no comfort in all thy outward shewes: studie then to this [...] mortification. Suppose a man to be bound hand and foote, and that the man be a harlot in the inward man, so as he had no vse of the outward action in all his life time: ad­mit this, that thou hadst not the outward action in all thy time; yet I say, if that life of harlotrie be in thee, and not slaine within thee, thou wilt to hell. It will not be that outward ab­stinence that will saue thee; but it must be the slaughter of the inward appetite, and then the hand nor no other of thy mem­bers needeth to be fettered, but all will be peaceable and stand still when once that life of sinne is quencht. Therefore slay euer the sinne in thy soule, and let it not raigne; for if it raigne, thou wilt to damnation. We beseech him that is able to worke [Page 277] this worke, to put to his hand, and doe it; for all the words of the world will not doe it, onely he must doe it. Now to him be praise and honor,

Amen.

THE XXVI. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 8.‘8 But now put ye away all these things, wrath, anger, malicious­nes, cursed speaking, filthie speaking, out of your mouth.

YE remember brethren the last time we occupied this place; wee insisted in the exhortation that the A­postle hath to the mortifying of the sinfull members, the foule affections and actions of the soule and the bodie: Mortifie (saith he) your earthly members, that is, your cankred affections that hold the bodie occupied in euill. To this pur­pose he vseth sundry arguments: 1 the first was taken from the life euerlasting, that was hid vp with Christ in God, laid vp in heauen: as if he would say, as euer thou wouldest see that life, Coherence. mortifie thy earthly members, slay thy affections; for it is im­possible that they can stand with that life of heauen. 2 The se­cond argument was taken from that death in hell: if heauen will not moue thee to mortifie thy earthly members, thy foule affections; yet let hell terrifie thee and moue thee. For because of these members, the wrath of God commeth vpon the chil­dren of disobedience. 3 The third argument was from that for­mer [Page 278] life of theirs; they were in life no better then the children of disobedience. Now certainely, thou that hast been a sinner, and hast liued as wickedly as any other, when thou lookest o­uer thy shoulder, and seest that life thou liuedst in, it should be a motiue to thee to mortifie thy members and foule affections; for if thou doe it not, thou shalt goe backe againe. Wast thou an harlot? thou shalt goe backe againe to thy harlotrie. Wast thou a murtherer? thou shalt fall to thy murther againe. Wast thou an auaritious person? thou wilt to thy auarice againe, and be worse in these sinnes, then euer thou wast before: if thou mortifie not still these thy foule affections, thou shalt backe againe to these sinnes and many more.

Now to come to the text, vpon this last argument he con­cludeth his exhortation: therefore put now away all these things, wherein ye haue liued ouer long; thinke ye haue liued ouer long in sinne, as it is said, 1. Pet. 4. 3. an houre in sinne is ouer long. Alas, if thou couldest abhor thy sinne! there was neuer so great a stinke, as the stinke of sinne: thou thinkest thy The pollu­tion of sin. dirt to be something to thee; alas, thou wilt perish and drowne thy selfe in it, if thou take not vp thy selfe. Briefly, these words containe the same in effect, that was said before: Put away ye also now. There is neuer a word here without force; and for your better vnderstanding, I will note foure things in them to be considered. 1 The first is, what this putting away meaneth. 2 The second is, what things they should put away. 3 The third is, the manner of putting them away. 4 The fourth is, the time when this should be.

To come to the first. The word that he vseth, put away, it sig­nifieth as much as to mortifie, to slay; for in other places also he vseth these words indifferently. The words are borrowed. The first word of mortifying from things that are subiect to the slaughter: and the word of putting away, is borrowed from 1 Put ye a­way. cloathing, that is put away off a man: so brethren, as sinne is an old man (as Paul saith) hauing life (it hath life as euery thing hath life) and therefore is slaine: euen so thy sinne is a botched cloathing, a cloute, and a filthy garment where with we are cloathed naturally; and therefore must now be put away off vs: we must shake it off, as we would see that life of heauen, [Page 279] or else it will bring thee to destruction. Further, the word im­porteth more then a bare putting off: it importeth also a put­ting Put off sin so as you neuer put it on again. off of it from thee, that thou see it no more. Thou must not play with sinne, as thou doest with thy coate. No, cast it not off now, and then put it on thee in the morning; nay, ra­ther hold it still: and thou that art a harlot, cast not thy harlo­trie from thee this day, and then put it vpon thee to morrow; no, but continue a harlot still: for if thou put it now off, and now on, the Lord shall make thee finde it, to sticke faster to thee then thy skinne doth to thy backe. Goe not then to thy custome againe, but if thou once put off or away sinne, put it away foreuer; meddle neuer with that sinne againe. This is the first thing here to be considered.

The next thing to be noted in this place, is, the things to be 2 All these things. put away; not one thing onely: manifold are the pleites or fol­dings of sinne, Lord, if it be not a thick cloathing for if thou be cloathed with sinne, thou hast a thicke coate vpon thy backe: there is such a varietic of sinne in thee. And therefore he bid­deth thee not, put away one of them, and keepe another; as to put away thy adulterie, and keepe murther; to put away theft, and keepe couetousnes: No, play not so with sinne; say not, I will shake off that sinne, and keepe this: but the Apostle bid­deth thee put all away; yea the least sinne that can be, as well as the greatest. Iames in his second chapter, and tenth verse saith, he that faileth in one is guiltie of all. If murther raigne in thee, thou art gone; keepe temperance as thou wilt, if one sin raigne in thee thou art a lost man: for I say, if one sinne raigne in thee, there is no mortification in thee, and so there is no­thing in thee that pleaseth God. And ye know, as ye see a man will die of many maladies; euen so ye shal see a mā die of one Simile. maladie: Euen so, supposing that you were cleane of many sinnes, yet if there be one in thee, that one sinne will cause thee die. Yet the word is to be marked. He biddeth not onely ge­nerally all, put away all sinne, but the direction is giuen to euery one in particular, of the which it must follow, that there are none that are borne, but they are cloathed with all sinnes vn­der the heauen: for howbeit a man burst not out in euery sin, an open murtherer, an open adulterer, a theefe, an auaricious [Page 280] person; yet he hath the seed of euery one of these by nature in his heart: thou art a murtherer by nature, & a drunkard, &c. Therefore I say to euery one of you, put away all these things; put away murther out of thy heart, put harlotric out of thy heart; and in a word, put all sin away; slay all.

3 The third, that is to be marked here, is the manner of the putting away of these affections. And it is set downe in this word also. That is, as the rest of the world that is faithfull hath done, if ye would be accounted Christians, be ye like them; as they haue mortified in themselues these affections, and slaine the earthly members, so doe ye likewise: as if he would say, ye stroue before with the children of disobedience, who might be first in euill: euen so striue now with the children of light, the faithfull, who may be first in mortification of sinne, and in ba­nishing sinne from you; for this compensation must bee by thee that art called to ye light of the Gospel, or else thou shew­est thy selfe neuer to haue been called. Hast thou striuen with the wicked before in wickednes? striue now with the godly in godlines. Sawest thou euer the broad gate, thou wentest in? go now and see the streight gate, and thrust in with the faith­full that way. For if thou be a counterfaite, and say thou art a Christian, and walkest not as a Christian, but after thy old manner of life in wickednes like to the Infidels; I say, thou shalt finde greater iudgement and damnation in that day a­gainst thee, then against an open infidell. Hee setteth then be­fore them the faithfull, and all to worke this mortification. For as the Lord mortifieth by his word (when the Apostle saith mortifie, that same word is a word of mortification) euen so he mortifieth men by example. Hee will take a slaine soule, and Examples of the faithfull ought to moue vs. set it vp as a spectacle to thee, and bid thee that art a sinner, looke to that slaine soule; he will point it out to thee, and bid thee take an example of it of mortification; and so, well art thou that preachest by thy life, howbeit thou neuer preach Heb. 12. 1. 2. 3. one word with thy mouth: for thou wilt be able to edifie by thy life, as another will be by ye word. Now howbeit that the Lord vseth both the word and example, to teach vs mortifica­tion; yet for all this, it is not effectuall in euery one of vs: for where one will be moued by example, two will scorne at it. [Page 281] Know yee not how a naughtie packe sold to wickednes will scorne, when he seeth the life of a godly man or woman pro­pounded to him; he wil scorne at him: what matter if he were a Lord, or whatsoeuer he be, if hee scorne at the life of a godly man, I say he is but an impious man void of grace. 1. Pet. chap. 4 vers. 4. 5. it is said, Because yee will not runne on with them, they blaspheme. But what addeth he? Who shall render an account to him that is readie to iudge both quick and dead, thou scorner shalt first render an account of thy prophanenes; and then of thy blasphemie against the Saints.

4 To come now to the fourth; that is to be marked here which is the time, put away (now) saith he, that is, while it is to day: be­fore it was night and darknes, and therefore yee walked in darknes; but now it is day: and fie on thee that wilt liue in the day light, as it were in the night. Brethren, there is no small force in the time, to doe this or that. Ye know by experience, when it is night, and when the clowdes couer the earth, it pro­uoketh men to doe that, which they would not doe in the day, and prouoketh a man to sleep. A man that is inclined to drun­kennes, will goe to it in the night; and he that desireth harlo­trie, he craueth the night: for he that doth euill, hateth the light. And by the contrarie: there is no small force in the day light, it will shamethee, and will make thee to wake, and compell thee to put to thy hand to doe some good thing. But to come to the spirituall night and day: if this day hath this force, hath not the spirituall night a great force? Thou that liest vnder the clowd of ignorance, thou art more heauily opprest there­with, then the clowd of the night doth the bodie: this clowde will cause thee to runne to all mischiefe in the world. And by the contrarie, when once that light, the sunne of righteousnes shines, when the shining of the Gospell beginneth to breake vp, it prouoketh men to goe to heauenly workes, which are the workes of the light. Therefore Paul saith, The night is past, and now is the day; walke then as in the day time, Rom. 13. vers. 12. Fie on thee that euer thou shouldest let this glorious light of Iesus shine vpon thee, and then walkest in the workes of darknes, and in the night. Better were it for any in Scotland, that they had neuer seene the light of the Gospell, then to haue seene it. [Page 282] For there are many in Scotland that the more they heare of the Gospell, they are the wickeder: for except this Gospell be forcible to the slaying of sinne in thee, it shall be forcible to the workes of darknes, which shall worke thy damnation. If it make thee not the better, it will make thee the worse: for it shall be either the sauour of life vnto life, or els the sauour of death vnto death: either Christ shall quicken thee, and slay thy sin; or els he shall slay thy selfe. In a word, neuer Turke, nor Pagan was so wicked, and so euill a liuer as a Christian man; and yet he will heare the word, and turne vp his eare and listen to the preaching: now if this word alter him not, it shall harden him. And therefore I giue thee my counsell, except thou finde a mortification in thee of thy affections by the hearing of this Gospell, neuer lend thy eare to heare the word of Christ, for it shall be a sealed booke vnto thee. And therefore take good heed that the Gospell be powerfull to life to thee; and crie, O Lord, let the word of life be powerfull to life, that I may finde life in me by it.

Now brethren, I haue ended these first words. When hee hath generally exhorted them, to put away all these things, he commeth on in particular, and besides the members that hee hath rehearsed before, he reckoneth more of them, but not all. And in this text he reckoneth vp seauen, wrath, anger (as it is turned) malice, blasphemie, or cursed speaking, filthie spea­king, lying-speaking. Let vs heare of euery of them as they are set downe. Onely I shall touch them so farre as shall serue for the purpose. The first foure are contained vnder the gene­rall Sixe com­mon iniu­ries. Foure de­grees. sin, called iniurie or wrong done against our neighbour; they are set downe in degrees, and passe vp in degrees. The first is wrath, that is the lowest degree: anger is the second; and a firie malice is the third; and cursed speaking is the fourth. To come to the first, he termeth it wrath; that is the first member of the argument, that hee will haue them to put away from them. This wrath is the first commotion sinfull in thy heart a­gainst thy neighbour, to this end to be reuenged on him. An angry man is euer reuengefull, and there is nought in him but vengeance, and the vengeance of God shall ouertake him: I call it a sinfull commotion, because there is a commotion that [Page 283] is holie. God forbid that men want wrath; the Lord hath wrath, the Angels haue wrath, and the godly man hath wrath, Holy wrath and that a holie wrath; I call it so, when it is not so much thou that art angrie, as it is the holie Spirit that dwelleth in thee, that is, when the holie Spirit so ruleth & gouerneth thy wrath, that in wrath thou sinnest not in any circumstance. Wrath in it selfe is a thing indifferent, but if thou faile in circumstance, it is a sin. Some will be angrie without a cause for the turning vp of a straw: thou sinnest, if thou passe measure in anger: thou sinnest if thou be angrie, when it is no place, nor time: thou sinnest, if thou bee angrie with one, with whom thou shouldest not bee angrie. So it is a sinfull commotion when there is fault committed in these circumstances, either in one Eph. 4. 30. or all. And then when thou failest, it is not the spirit of God in thee that directeth thee in thy anger, but it is thou thy selfe in thy corruption: And thou makest the spirit sad; and if thou continue on, thou wilt make the spirit to dislodge himselfe out 1. Thess. 5. 22. 23 Psal. 37. 11 of thee; for the spirit of Iesus dwelleth in a pacified heart. And to be short, it is true, a man to be angrie and not to sinne in it, it is a hard matter: for wrath of all affections, it is the hottest, sodainest, and misruliest. It is a short furie depriuing thee of thy wit. Therfore the counsell of the Apostle to the Ephesians chap. 4. vers. 26. is to be followed, Be angrie, but sinne not; where he sheweth that it is a hard thing to be angrie and not to sin. Now then, as all the affections would haue the direction of his spirit: so chiefly anger would haue the direction of the spirit of God, otherwise it is sinne. Aske then the direction of that spirit, and say; O Lord, guide my wrath; yea supposing it were a iust cause, seeke the spirit; otherwise thou wilt passe the bounds, and spill a good cause: therefore in anger, the speciall thing to be craued is the spirit of Iesus.

The second degree of wrong, he calleth it anger, the word is too milde to expresse the first language. The word impor­teth Anger. a firie wrath, and commonly to speak it so, when the bloud swelleth and gorgeth about the heart, and runneth, and fireth the tongue, and the eye: so that when this firie wrath is en­kindled, there is no mercie at thy hand: it cannot be restained from euill, and thy tongue wil fall out in cursed and euill spee­ches [Page 284] against thy brother and neighbour; and so this sinne is Anger re­steth in the bosome of sooles. worse then the first. I say, thou that hast this vice, except thou seeke mortification in time, if thou let it raigne within thee, I will assure thee an euill turne will be in thy hand: a furious man will either stab or be stabbed. Therefore temper thy an­ger in time, and be not content that it burst within thee, but euer striue to quench the fire in the heart. Ye know if a house bee set on fire, if it bee not quenched in time, it will burne thorough, and spoyle both the house where it is begun, and o­thers Simile. besides: euen so if thy heart be set on fire with wrath, if it be not quenched with the watrie spirit of God, it will burne thee vp, and hurt thy neighbour also: quench it then with the spirit of Iesus.

Now come to the third degree, hee termeth it malice, worse then the two first: there is no worse bodie then a malitious Malice. body. Malice is a continuing wrath; it will lodge with thee night and day, and thou and it will sleepe on together. The other two commeth on with a sudden push, and they will flie away at an instant: but a malitious man taketh a purpose to doe ill, when he seeth his time. Paul saith, Let not the Sunne goe downe on thy wrath; it will keepe thee waking, & the diuell will come to thee, and thou and the diuell will take counsell together to slay thy neighbour. And therefore if common wrath, and that firie wrath are to be mortified, how much more shouldst thou mortifie thy malice? As for a furious bodie, he wil soone be pa­cified: but a malicious man, hee will come laughing and slay the man.

Now come to the fourth that he speaketh of here, he calleth it blasphemie: that is, a cursed speaking, that hurteth the name 4 Blasphe­mie. of thy brother. It is the effect of the former, all runne to the tongue, and from the tongue the action passeth to the hand: So that when thou hast strooken him with thy tongue, thou wilt strike him with thy hand. Therefore slay the first, slay the cursed speaking, that it may haue the hand holden off.

Now (brethren) there is yet a higher degree: where is slaugh­ter, murther? there is not a word here of it. The highest here is cursed speaking: I marke this in Paul, while he is condemning vices, ye shall finde that he speaketh either little or nothing of [Page 285] murther: which is an argument to me that this cursed vice of murther had not at this time been so rife amongst them, to whom hee writeth, as it is at this day. O villaine! how darest thou take away the life of a creature? Thou wilt say, I will dis­charge a pistoll on him: O, God shall powre downe his iudge­ments vpon thee vile murtherer, that so lightly esteemest of the creature of God, created to his owne image! The like was not found among the Ethnickes, that at this day raigneth in Scotland. For so I perceiue this hainous vice of murther hath Note this of murther not so rife among the Gentiles as among Christians. not raigned so amongst them as it doth this day. And I am sure, if Paul were to write an Epistle to Scotland, hee will con­demne this vice most: for of such scalding, burning and mur­thering, as there is in this land, was neuer heard of in any part of the whole world; and yet hee will be called a Christian, while he is more cruell and tyrannous then the worst Gentile that euer was. And so Paul hee leaueth this vice vnspoken of, because it raigned not so among the Gentiles; yea he abhor­reth it so, that hee would not haue it once named among the Christians. Ye see then here this garment of iniurie against our neighbour: there is wrath, firie anger, malice and blasphe­mie put together, and all to let you see that that wofull gar­ment it is a thicke cloath, and that our neighbours may many waies be wronged. Againe, I note that thou shouldest not bee content to put one pleate, two, or three away, but goe to the singlest of all, & put it off of thy heart: for if thou foster it, it will grow thicke vpon thee, and it will not rest till it come to the vtmost action: for mortification is not of one sinne onely, but it is of all sinnes; yea of the lightest corruption in the heart. Therefore begin not to extenuate and say, I will leaue this, and keepe this: no, away with the least sinne, if it were but the smallest canker that is in thee, keepe not a bit of it: no, slay all, or else thou shalt be holden at heauens gate.

When hee had ended these foure vices contained vnder the generall iniurie, hauing spoken of the iniurie of the tongue, he leaueth it not so; but insisteth vpon the euils that followeth the tongue. To lend the tongue to euill speaking against thy neighbour, either before his face or behind his backe, as it is the custome of many now adaies; it is a dangerous thing.

[Page 286] Looke how the third chapter of Iames describeth the tongue. It is a world of wickednes: and therefore it is chiefly to be taken Sinnes of the tongue. heed of. Slay that member and ye affection, or els thou wilt pe­rish. It is no small matter to let thy tongue fall a chiding; it shall fire thee. Well, to come to this vice of filthie speaking; would ye know it? There is no house but it is full of this villa­nie. The villaine cannot speake two words, but the one is fil­thie speaking; and so it is no wonder that this ayre is defiled. Thou bringest on Gods iudgements on thee, and thy corne both; thou art a foule speaker. Paul in the Ephesians calleth it rotten speech, stinking speech; and that because it is of foule things. For where the thing is filthie, the talke must be filthie also. And as the filthie thing defileth and corrupteth the flesh, and vitiateth all that it toucheth: euen so out of question, the filthie speech will rot thee. Put a fresh apple amongst the rot­ten, the very rotten apples will rot the fresh: euen so thou Simile. shalt rot thy selfe by thy foule speech. Ye will say to me: Is there such a force in a word? what doe I reckon of it? it is but winde. But Paul 1. Cor. chap. 15. vers. 23. saith, be not begui­led, thou thinkest words be nothing; what addeth he? wicked speeches corrupt good manners; wicked speeches therfore will rot thee; be not beguiled with them. By this learne thou then how subiect the heart of man is to vanitie, and how readie hee will be to sucke it in. Hee will sucke it in faster, then euer a drie mouth will drinke in drinke, and he will speake of his vanitie and filthines: no, there is not an obiect cast vp, but it will de­file the soule of the filthie speaker. To what end should I speak of these things? the foule heart will commit filthines with the shadow of it: and ere euer thou be a harlot in thy bodie, thou wilt be a harlot in thy heart and tongue first; and then it will not rest vntill thou pollute that bodie of thine. Looke to it, and proue thy experience, if thy heart hath not committed a­dulterie, or euer thy bodie committeth it. The bodie was ne­uer so subiect to draw a pestilence, as the hart is to attract the vice of adulterie, and all other filthie vices; and thy senses in thy head are as many doores to the soule, that letteth in either good or euill things, when they are open; especially take heed The senses windowes. to thy eyes and eares, for they are principall, but the eares [Page 287] chiefest. For as the greatest grace is let in by the care (for from whence commeth faith but by the hearing? From whence cō ­meth edificatiō but by the care?) and so it is a special sense in a man: and therfore take heed to it. As it receiueth the greatest grace; so it will take in the foulest & greatest vice that is. Take heed thē to it, let it not be giuen to euery bodies talk, keep her chast, lend her not to filthie speaking: when thou hearest any speake filthie talke, turne thy eare from him. I giue this exhor­tation to yong ones, that are brought vp in filthie houses with gentlemen, with swaggerers; I say this therefore for them, that they may receiue knowledge; for it will take a deepe impres­sion. And therefore it should be enformed in good things: for there is none of you, but the filthie things ye gate in your youth, hindreth you in good operation. Therefore thou that art young, keepe a chast eare, abhorre filthie companie. And you know if the pestilence were in a house, you would not a­bide there: O if thou knewest the pestilence of filthie talke! thou wouldest not abide in the house with him that speaketh filthie talke. For as filthie thoughts are put from the heart; so filthie speaking is from the mouth: and as there is mortifica­tion required in the heart; so there is mortification required in the mouth and tongue. That spirit crieth to all, runne vp tho­rough the bodie, and all the members of it, and mortifie them, beginning at the heart. Therefore thou that wouldest speake, speake cleane things; minister grace in thy talke; purge the heart: for yee know out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. Therefore I say to you, if thou heare a Lord speake foule talke, say, my Lord, your heart is foule, stinking like a priuie; I will say this to thee, Lord clense thy heart and tongue, or els both will be burnt in hell. Againe brethren, as the contagion ariseth out of the heart to the tongue: euen so the filthy word goeth not so soone from the mouth or tongue, but it sendeth a stinke back againe to the heart, and it maketh it fouler then before; and so thou defilest not thy tongue only by thy filthie speech, but thou defilest thy heart, and laiest on it a double filthines. Is it not as good then to be silent and euer purging your hearts? Thou that thinkest both filthie things and speakest filthy things, O vile villaine! thou sinnest doubly. [Page 288] But alas, who can hinder this filthines in man or woman! alas so long as we liue, we shall finde it in them: yet I giue thee my counsell, lend not thy tongue to it, but aske grace of God in Iesus Christ to keepe thy heart and tongue from this vnclean­nes, and be slaine in thy heart, and surely thou shalt get grace in thy heart to slay it by the spirit of the Lord Iesus: to whom be all honour and praise for euer.

THE XXVII. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 9. 10.

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye haue put off the old man with his workes;

10 And haue put on the new which is renued in knowledge, af­ter the image of him that created him.

WE insist yet (brethren) in this exhortation, which the Apostle hath to the Colossians, to this end that they should mortifie their earthly members: that is, their lusts and foule affections. He vseth sundrie arguments to this purpose, as we heard, and at last hee concludeth that purpose in other words. Before he said, mortifie; and now, put away; see­ing it is to day, it is a shame that they should bee seene now in Coherence. the day light of righteousnes, to walke in vncleannes and fil­thie lust. Then he rehearseth vp a number of vices besides them that were before, namely wrath, anger which is firie, malice, cursed speaking, filthie speaking. And here we left the last day. Now we shall goe forward with the last vice, which is lying, we [Page 289] be to speake of it first here, and so to passe forward to the argu­ment taken from that regeneration begun; and therefore it should perseuere in vs to the end.

But to come to the vice of lying. There be here three vices Three vi­ces of the tongue. reckoned, that follow the tongue: for if it bee euill, it is the worst member in the bodie. The first is cursed speaking, when we hurt the fame of our brother. The second is filthy speaking, rotten speaking, as hee saith in another place, when wee defile the eare, and consequently the heart of our brother, with the breath of our mouth: for we defile all, and our owne heart al­so, whereunto our foule speech returneth, as ye heard. The third and last is lying speaking, when we speake not the truth to our brother, but thinke one thing and speake another with the mouth. That is as euill a vice, as was yet any. Now then brethren, because this sinne of lying is so common and natu­rall to man and woman; for all men are lyars, saith the Apostle Rom. 3. 4. by nature. The diuell began it, and in the fall of man he spued that venome into him: so that al men naturally from the beginning are lyars. Therefore we will speake to you of ly­ing, howbeit not so amply as it would require: yet for your satisfaction to open to you the greatnes of this sin, and to be­gin at the word.

To lie, it signifieth (to take the meaning of the word) to speak The sinne of lying. one thing and thinke another in the minde. It is a variance and disagreement betwixt the minde and the mouth. Alas, all should goe together. The minde of God and his mouth goeth together; and if thou be reformed to this image, all will go to­gether in thee also. Now this variance proceedeth of a disa­greement: 1 First it goeth asunder within the man. The minde shewing the truth, the will repining. Now you must vnder­stand that the tongue is chiefly commaunded by thy will, and the disordred appetite of man, and not by reason: for if reason ruled it, it would not speake so much wrong as it doth. 2 The second thing that wee should obserue is this: To lie, to speake one thing and thinke another, is a sinne against God. Suppo­sing there were no more euill that followed it, and that thou iniurest no bodie; yet that same contradiction betwixt the minde and the tongue, is a sinne against God, and thou iniu­rest [Page 290] God himselfe by thy lie. There is nothing then more vn­beseeming a Christian man, and that is more vnworthie of the Lord Iesus, then is lying. For what saith he of himselfe, I am the truth, Ioh. 14. 6. and wilt thou then be a liar? looke how thou agreest with Christ. 3 But brethren, there is yet more in a lie, to wit the end, and respect that the lyar hath before him when he lieth, and by this hee maketh the sinne the greater: for this is most sure, all lies are to deceiue. Thou that liest to thy brother, thou wilt deceiue him, and oftentimes the end of thy lie is ei­ther to hurt him in his bodie, or goods and substance. And therefore the Apostle saith: Lie not against him to hurt him: Yet there is more. Supposing a liar be not set to hurt his brother, but to profit him: As for example, when a Phisition will say to the patient, the medicine is sweete, when it is bitter; when thou art set thus way to profit him, as thou profitest his bodie, thou hurtest the minde; for there is no wrong information but it hurteth the minde; if thou make me to beleeue that, that is not, hurtest not thou my minde? 4 But brethren, to goe forward. Supposing the lyar hurt not his brother by his lie, neither in bodie, or goods, nor minde, neither one way or o­ther: yet it commeth backe to thine owne hurt. Let profit come to thy neighbor as it will by thy lie, yet thou hurtest thy selfe; and that is a simple aduantage to pleasure any with thine own hurt, and especially to displease God with the plea­suring of thy neighbour: if there were no more but this, thou shouldest not lie. If thou get an habite to lie, thou canst not, speake one true word; and if thou speake the truth, thou wilt Simile. mingle it so with fallehood, that scarsely canst thou be belee­ued, and that is a foule fault. Ye see this by experience. Well then, euill custome is euill. And besides this, thou losest thy credit amongmen, howbeit at times thou speake the truth. For this is true: Quisemel malus, semper praesumitur malus: He that is once euill, it may be presumed he is euer the same. But what mattereth this? Know yee not that a lyar procureth the wrath of God? Among the rest whom God hateth, Salomon saith in his Prouerbs: The Lord hateth a lyar. To conclude, a lie of whatsoeuer sort, is a sin against God: yet yt ye may vnder­stand this better, ye shall know there are sundry sorts of lying. [Page 291] One is pernitious, tending to the hurt of thy neighbour. The second is an officious lie for the good of thy brother: and the third is a merrie lie for the delectation of thy brother. There is none of these but they are euill, howbeit they be not alike. That lie that serueth to the good of thy brother, is a sinne to thee; and again to deliuer thy brother with a lie, it is a greater sin: but the pernitious lie is the greatest of all. Now all com­meth to this; all is sin. Would ye haue me insist in probation? If there were no more but the commaundement, Thou shalt beare no false witnes, it may serue: for this commaundement teacheth thee, that all sorts of lies are euill in their owne na­ture. And Paul to the Romanes chap. 3. vers. 7. 8. Doe no euill, (saith he) that good may come of it. This telleth thee, that that is That which is euill in his owne na­ture can neuer be good. euill of it owne nature, and forbidden by Gods commaunde­ment, that thing will neuer be made good by any circum­stance in the world: lay to it the sweetest salue thou wilt, it will neuer be good, yea if it were to saue the life of thy brother, if thou lie, it will not be good to thee; yea though thou were able to alter the nature of a lie, it is a sinne, and it is a follie to thinke that the pretence of a good end will make an euill thing of it owne nature to be good. Augustine saith: If wee looke not simply to the nature of the action as to the end, then the euill may haue a defence. Therefore (saith he) looke euer to the action, put all other things aside; if it be not good, say not that that action is good; how beit the best thing in the world should follow it, it will euer abide a sinne. Further, if there were no more but this naturall conscience in man, it telleth thee that all sorts of lies are euill: I appose thine owne con­science, if thou hast any. Thou wilt not so soone lie, but thy conscience will admonish thee, and will say to thee: Thou hast sinned. Brethren, there is no man that will seeme to lie and confesse it, but he will be ashamed of it. What meaneth this? but that the cōscience telleth them, it is a sin. Look to the chil­dren, they will blush when they are challenged with a lie. What is the cause of this? but that the conscience sheweth them they haue sinned. Ye see that a man thinketh he cannot haue a greater iniurie done to him, then to say to him; hee lieth. This telleth him, that there is a conscience within him, [Page 292] that abhorreth a lie; and that it is vnworthie of the nature of man, because man is created to the image of God, and God is truth: So euery lie is a sin before God. Alas, when Christ in the 12. of Mat. vers. 36. saith, that we shall giue an account of all this vaine talke, and idle words, that defile the care, and fill it with clattering and glauering from morning to euening, how much more shall a liar giue an account of his lies? So to con­clude, all lying is sinne of what sort soeuer it be. Therefore vse it not neither in iest nor earnest.

I am not ignorant (brethren) but this matter hath bin rea­soned of old euen by the learned to excuse some kinde of lie, especially this officious lie, that is for the good of their bro­ther: they want not arguments, and especially the examples of the Scripture. The Midwiues lied to Pharaoh, Exod. 2. Ra­hab the harlot lied to her owne townesmen, to saue the spies, 1. Iosu. chap. 2. Dauid to saue his owne life, being in the Court of the Philistines, hee lied, 1. Sam. 21. he fained himselfe mad. Now, say they, we cannot say that these godly persons sinned in all this; seeing the Midwiues were highly rewarded: Rahab was saued, when all the towne was spoyled. This is an appa­rant argument. Now (brethren) grant this, that they lied (as it is doubted whether they lied or not) yet it followeth not that they sinned not. I say to you, they sinned in lying. The mid­wiues sinned in lying; Rahab sinned in lying; and Dauid in that counterfeiting; and it was not the lie, it was not the infir­mitie, of the which the lie proceeded, that the Lord rewarded: no, the Lord forgaue the lie: but it was that pitie and feare of God, that was in the women, that the Lord rewarded. There­fore their lie is not set downe to thee for imitation, but that thou shouldest flie it. Doe the good they did, but by another meane; Doe not euill that good may come of it. No, doe the good, but vse the lawfull meane. I doubt not but these women asked mercie for their lie; if thou be so straited that thou liest, aske mercie; if it were that thy lie were to saue the whole countrie, aske mercie for it: for it is an offence to God. Now a question, and so to go forward. We see here, if we haue con­cluded with the Apostle, that it is sinne to lie in any sort: ye will aske, is it a sinne to conceale the truth, to hide the truth? [Page 293] Sinneth the man that telleth not all the truth? I answere, there are two sorts of truth, one of religion, and another of policie Of con­cealing a truth. concerning this present life. If thou aske about religion, I giue thee a distinction. If thou be vrged to giue a confession of thy faith, thou art bound to conceale nothing; otherwise thou de­niest the Lord Iesus; and as thou deniest him, thou forswearest the truth, & so sinnest grieuously. Beware then of this, though the fire should be set before thee for the telling of the truth, when thou art vrged thereunto, rather be content to goe to the fire, then thou shouldest conceale one iot of the truth of Ie­sus; but tell all the truth then. But againe, if thou be not strai­ted with a confession, it is lawfull to conceale; yea to cast out the truth in euery place, and to euery person, it is to cast pearles before swine. As for the matter of policie, I answere with a distinction also: If before a Iudge thou be charged to Confession of the truth in religion and policie publike & priuate. depose the truth, thou art bound not to conceale a whit of it; and thou that concealest, and wilt not tell the truth, thou re­sistest the ordinance of God: for it is God that chargeth thee in the Magistrate. But if one priuate man haue to doe with an other, and standeth not before a Iudge, it is lawfull to hide a part of the truth: for I tell you all the truth would not be told at all times to euery man: yea it is a sinne to tell the truth at all times. Saith not the Apostle, Charitie couereth the multi­tude of sinnes? Now I end it with this word: let no manner of lie proceed out of thy heart; let no man be deceiued by think­ing that to lie, is a matter indifferent: no, no, alas we are ouer readie to thinke so. But I admonish thee, if thou vse to lie in light things, thou wilt bee brought on to lie in the greatest things; yea if it were in matters of saluation. Beware then of it.

Now to goe forward: he returneth to his argument tending to mortification, and it is taken from the regeneration begun. There are two parts of it: the first part is in putting off: the se­cond is in putting on. The meaning is, ye haue begun to put off the old man, the euill affections of your nature: therefore continue in putting it off; otherwise it had bin better for you that ye had neuer begun the work of your regeneration. Then (brethren) the lesson is, regeneration once begun would be [Page 294] insisted in, vntill thou end it; begin once to be holy, thou must end it; begin once to put off this old man, thou must hold him off; and put him away, that thou see him no more. And be­ginning once to put on the new man, thou must hold him on Perseue­rance. still; otherwise to begin and not to goe forward, is double ini­quitie to thee. It is better neuer to begin, except thou make a progresse, vntill thou bee glorified. For hee or she that begin­neth, and then commeth backe againe, are in hazard if euer they come forward againe. It is easier to bring one forward, Relapse. that neuer came forward, then it is to bring one that hath once begun, and then hath reuolted and made defection. Reade the Epistle to the Hebrues chap. 10. vers. 26. of this apostasie. But to marke the words: Seeing (saith he) ye haue put off the old man with his workes. The word is borrowed from cloathing, for pro­perly the cloathing is put off. Therefore the word importeth, that this old man is a kinde of cloathing; and being a cloa­thing, Simile. ye see the thing neerest man, is his cloathing. This old man it may sit neere thee, and sticke close to thee; yea thy coate and shirt sit not on thee so neere as this old man. The coate couereth thy outward skinne; but the old man cloa­theth thy heart, and thy marrow; so that there is not one bit vncloathed of thee. Thou wast borne without coate or shirt, Note of our corrup­tion. but thou art bred with this old man, cloathed with this old man from top to toe. Then seeing this old man is a cloathing, he is not of thy substance, either of bodie or soule. Thy cloa­thing is not of thy substance, no more is this corruption; that is, thy old man of thy substance, and so it is a follie to say that originall sinne is in a substance. But what is hee then? he is a corrupt qualitie, and sitteth so fast to thee, that all the Angels cannot get him off. No, all the drawings of the world shall not pull him off, except Iesus come in and put to his hand, and pul him off. He onely is sufficient to doe that turne; he hath taken it away, if thou beleeue in him. It is easie to thee to pull off thy skinne; but thou shalt not be able to pull off this sinne. This for the word of putting off.

Now what is it they haue put off? Seeing ye haue put off the old man. What is meant by this old man? Not to insist in this matter, by this old man is vnderstood this corruption, this [Page 295] canker, this infection, this pestilence that cleaueth so fast to Originall sinne. the soule and bodie of man; the which we haue sucked out of the rotten loynes of old Adam, and euen commeth downe to vs through so many fathers, so many hundreth thousand fa­thers, vntill it light vpon vs: it hath that force.Note. And look how old Adam is, this old man is as old; and therefore not with­out good cause is he called the old man, and being so old, this old man that we beare about by nature, no wonder though he be wrinkly faced, for he was neuer well fauoured. But now be­ing so old, O the wrinkles that are in his face! if thy conscience were wakened to see that old face of him, it is the terriblest face that euer thou sawest: it would amaze thee, if thou were the ablest yt euer went on two legs: if thou saw that old face, thou wouldest bee cast downe; for the wrath of God is in his face: it would feare thee. Seeing then thou hast put him off, put off this cankred corruption, hold him off, put him not on againe. But what more is meant by this old man? not onely this corruption and infection of nature, but also by him is meant his whole actions; and what are they? the foule thoughts within, the foule speeches that ye heare, the foule ac­tions that ye see. For howbeit he is an old man, yea as old as Adam, yet he runneth on me and thee, and euery one of vs hath a skarre of him; for all his age he sleepeth not: yea when thou art most idle, hee is busie. Sleepe as thou wilt, if he bee in thee, if it were in thy dreame he will be busie; and when thy mouth is closed, he will be in thy affections; so he neuer sitteth idle. An old man as he draweth to age, he loseth actiuitie: but this old man, the elder he groweth, the more actiue is he. I tell thee, if he be not slaine, if thou were neuer so dead in thy old age, he shall be the quicker. An aged man that hath not this old man mortified, is the worst man that euer is. For it is a sure thing, this old man, the elder he be, he is the more actiue. I say a great word to you: Euery one of vs that is come of Adam, and so farre from him by so long a descent, there is not one of vs, but wee are wickeder then Adam was. Thinkest thou that he was the greatest sinner? No, was originall sinne so great in him? no, it is greater in thee: for the old man, the longer he liue hee is the worse. Ye see now that there is more euill in a [Page 296] young one that is crept out of the shell, then was wont to bee in an old man. The sonne is worse then the father: so that this old man groweth worse and worse, and this wickednesse telleth vs that he raigneth in this land, and sheweth that there is no mortification of him: And therefore hee hath dominion. Yet I see another thing, the old man and his actions are euer together. If he abide with thee, the actions be with thee; if he goe from thee, the actions will goe from thee. Therefore call not thy selfe a Christian man, if thou be not renued by that spirit of Iesus. And if an euill wicked deed be in thy hand, and filthie speaking be in thy mouth, I say to thee, that thou art the old man yet, and hee sticketh in thy ribbes, and thou and hee will die together. Therefore take heede to thy actions, and striue to liue holily; there is no better warrant to thy consci­ence, that the old man is dead within thee, then when thou fee­lest thy selfe well exercised. As by the contrarie, if thou com­mit sinne with pleasure; alas thou hast no part of sanctifica­tion: the old man as yet liueth within thee. Now this for the first part of regeneration.

The second part followeth: And seeing (saith he) ye haue put on the new. Then brethren, after the putting off of the old man, and his soule actions, there must be a putting on; thou must not stand vp naked; thou must be vncloathed of one thing, and thou must be cloathed with another. Thou must be cloa­thed with righteousnes, euen with Iesus Christ the Lord. The Lord must be the vpper garment, and thou must be sprinkled ouer with the bloud of Iesus; otherwise no appearing for thee in that day. Secondly, thou must be cloathed with inherent holines, and righteousnes: for whosoeuer is counted iust, must Inherent holines. be in some measure sanctified in his owne person: For as it is said in the Hebrues, chap. 12. vers. 14. without holines no man shall see God: if thou wert the King, if thou haue not this holi­nes, thou darest not looke on the face of God. But to come to the words. Ye haue put on. The words are borrowed. And there­fore, as the old man was a kinde of cloathing; so is the new man a kinde of cloathing. And as the old man was neere thee, so this new man must be neere thee: hee must goe thorough thy skinne, and come to thy heart and cloathe it; yet hee is a [Page 297] cloathing, and as hee is a cloathing, he is not of thy substance. Away then with that essentiall holines, for holines is acciden­tall: Essentiall holines. and howbeit it be not of thy substance, yet it sticketh so fast to thy substance, that all this world will not separate thee and it. The difference then betweene the old man and the new is this: the old man may be put off, but the new man once put on truly cannot be put off againe; thou shalt neuer lose him againe. The grace of Christ is vnchangeable, and the gifts of God are without repentance, Rom. chap. 11. vers. 10. It neuer re­penteth God that he hath giuen thee the grace of repentance and renouation, if thou be once truly renued. Seeing (saith he) ye haue put on the new man. What is meant by this new man? As the old man is the corruption of nature, sucked out of the rot­ten stocke of Adam by a naturall propagation: euen so this new man is the vncorruption, 1. Cor. 5. or that holines drawne out, not of Adam, nor of father, nor mother; but out of Iesus the greene tree; not by a naturall propagation, but by a gra­cious insition, and ingrafting into Iesus. For as thou suckedst corruption and vncleannes and mortalitie out of thy former parents, Adam and Eue: euen so beleeuing in Iesus, thou shalt draw out of him the sappe of life and sanctification. But the words following make the words plaine: What is meant by this new man? There are three things in the words following. Three things in the new man. There is first the making him new againe. Secondly, there is the nature, what it is wherein he standeth. And thirdly, there is the paterne, according to the which hee is made: the Lord had made him according to a paterne. First, it is said, He is re­nued: That is, he is created a new againe. Then it must follow, that he was once made before, and that in the creation: and if he be made againe, hee was once lost, and so it was. Now after this losing, the Lord renueth him againe: and therefore ye see a wonderfull mercie of God, and it is the will of the spirit, that thou shouldest conceiue this in thy heart, and say, O that ex­ceeding mercie of God! that the Lord of mercie hath shewed on thee this mercie. Looke to Paul Ephes. chap. 2. vers. 4. But God who is rich in mercie according to his great loue, wherewith he hath loued vs, euen when we were dead in sinnes, hath quickened vs together in Christ. There he looketh in through the grate of re­nouation, [Page 298] and therein hee seeth a wonderfull mercie in God. Ye shall finde the life of this in the Epistle to Titus. Alas wee want this eye, there is such a dulnes in vs, that we cannot passe vp to see this mercy of God. Thou shouldest not so soone heare of mercie, but thou shouldest euer looke vnto God and his mercie, and thanke him for it. What Angell could euer haue thought that God would haue created that new man againe? They all wondred when they saw it. Alas it is long ere wee can wonder!

Now what is his nature? Which is renued to knowledge. What is he? I answere, he is knowledge, the light of the minde; thou hast a new minde; would ye know what is knowledge? Paul. Ephes. chap. 2. telleth you that the eyes of your minde are opened. (O if the eye of thy minde bee closed! thou art yet in nature) Whereto? That ye may know that hope. Yet he goeth higher, and that riches of his grace. And yet he groweth higher, and that ex­cellent greatnes. In a word, it is the sight of faith, full of that glo­rie that shall be reuealed. I remember the Apostle to the Eph. chap. 4. vers. 24. addeth to these two things, righteousnes and holines: so that in all his members he is light to see God, Iesus Christ, and all the glorie of heauen there. There is the renuing that is spoken of here; he is then sincere in heart, in his body; and in hand, he is righteous in dealing with his neighbour. If thou haue this new man, he will cloathe thee within and with­out; if thou were cloathed with gold, and thou haue not this cloathing on thee, thou art but a lumpe of stinking dirt. The last thing is the paterne, hee is created to one paterne. Now what looketh God to in making of him? looketh he to an An­gell, and saith, I will make this new man like an Angell? or looketh hee to the Sunne and Moone, to the beasts and ele­ments, or to any creature in heauen or earth? No, no, but hee looketh to his owne glorie, and maketh thee according to that forme; he looketh to that light that is in himselfe, and ma­keth thy light like to his owne light, and thy holines like to himselfe. Looke the first of Genesis, when hee had created all things, the heauen, the earth and the rest, ye shall not finde such a word that he created any to his owne image. But when he commeth to man with a consultation, saith elohim; Let vs [Page 299] make man like to our selues, Gen. chap. 1. vers. 26. So then, O man there is thy first glorie! the Lord honored thee in thy creatiō, but thou hast lost it. And the renuing of this image, it is pas­sing excellent: it is double more glorious then it was at the beginning. O that mercie that renued it! Thou deseruedst to be turned into a stone, or into the vilest brute beast or vermin that is. Therefore it must be a passing great mercie, that in re­nuing thee, hee renueth thee in an higher measure, then hee created thee in. No, in the renuing of thee, in Christ he dou­bleth his image in thee. And if hee made thee like himselfe at the first, now he doubleth it a thousand times more. The glorie of Adam was great, but now that is farre greater which wee haue in Christ. If Adam had kept his glorie, yet it would haue bin nothing but an earthly paradize, yt he would haue bin in: but al the earth is not capable of one glorified bodie in Christ. So then, striue to beleeue in him, and certainly the fall of A­dam shall be so farre from thy heart, that thou shalt blesse the time that he fell, if thou gettest this renued creature in thee, through the Lord Iesus; otherwise thou shalt curse the time that he fell. So beleeue in Iesus Christ, and all things shall worke to thy good, felicitie and blessednes in Iesus. To whom with the Father and the holy Spirit, be ho­nour and praise for euer and euer,

Amen.

THE XXVIII. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 11.‘11 Where is neither Grecian, nor Iew, circumcision, nor vncir­cumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, free: but Christ is all, and in all things.

THis whole place is an exhortation to the mortifying of these earthly members, these sinfull lusts and af­fections, and to the putting off of them (for we haue been ouer long cloathed with them) so that they be not put on again. Ye haue heard these daies past sundrie sorts of them, and likewise sundrie arguments to moue vs to this mortifica­tion. To come briefly to the purpose. The last argument was from our regeneration begun in this life, standing in two Coherence. parts, that is, first in putting off the old man, that is, corrup­tion of nature, that we haue drawne not onely out of our mo­thers wombe, but haue suckt out of the loynes of old Adam: so that looke how hee is, it is as old. It sitteth on and pearceth through the skinne to the heart, and there is none that is free from it. The second part was, the putting on of the new man. For certainly as I shewed you, no man is able to stand naked before God; cloathed must thou be, or els there is no appea­rance for thee, being naked before that tribunall seate: all must be cloathed with that righteousnes, and sprinkled with the bloud of Christ; and then next with this new man, that [Page 301] is, with that inherent holines that floweth out of the bloud of Christ. For he that is iustified by his bloud, must be sanctified by his spirit.

Ye heard a description of this new man; he is new made a­gaine. In the first creation he lost the image of God, and Christ came and renued that image of God againe: for there was not one sparke of the spirit of God left in man. Therefore hee must be renued againe. Then ye haue heard his substance: The chiefe point is knowledge of things heauenly, of God, and his glorie by faith. To this wee added two other things; holines and righteousnes: So there is the new man. The knowledge in the minde; holines in the heart, iust dealing in all thy actions with thy neighbour: and so he couereth vs both inwardly and outwardly. There is not a part vncloathed; and happie is hee that is cloathed with this cloathing of Christ.

Lastly, ye heard the paterne whereunto hee is made: hee is not made to the paterne of Angels, nor of Sunne and Moone; but he is made to the paterne of the Lord. O that glorie that thou hast in this thy renuing! and blessed is hee that hath it. These things shall be perfited at that day, at the appearance of the sonne of glorie; and then it shal appeare that we are made to his paterne, and that wee are the sons of God. For it appea­reth not as yet, as Iohn saith, 1. Epist. chap. 3. vers. 2. yet it shall appeare in that day.

Now to come to the text read. In the first verse wee haue a certaine propertie of this new man set downe, and it is this. Where hee is, all these old things, these outward things which men most respect and make account of, as nation, kindred, bloud, honour, riches, bondage, freedome, beautie, deformitie, &c. where this new man commeth out, all these cease: he hath no more regard to the King then to the beggar: he hath no more regard to the free, then to the slaue; but hee extendeth himselfe alike to all. This is his propertie. But it shall appeare better in weighing the words of the text: therefore marke them with me. And to begin at the first word. Where he is, where this new man commeth, there is neither Grecian, nor Iew. That is to say, where he is, all these externall things, these carnall and old things, so the Apostle calleth them 2. Cor. 5. 17. all turne to [Page 302] ashes: he knoweth none of them. All these things that were wont to put a difference betwixt man and man, he is a King, he is a subiect, and the rest; all these cease to this new man. But to goe to particulars: There are sundrie of these old and worne things reckoned vp. The first is the nation wherein wee are borne; as the nation of the Iew, the nation of the Gre­cian. The nation wherein a man was borne, was wont to put a difference betwixt man and man: but when Christ commeth, and this new man with him, there is no regard of nation; this new man respecteth not one more then another, all is alike to him. To be homely with you; Frenchman, Dutchman, Italian, Indian, Scottishman, Englishman, all is alike to him. The poo­rest nation that is, the new man wil account of it. This is plaine by experience: for if Christ had respected this nation, hee had neuer come this way. The second particular of these outward things, that was wont to be accounted of, is of these outward markes that the Iew and Gentile had. The Iew had circumci­sion; the Gentile had vncircumcision; whereby they were discerned. But Christ when he commeth out, hee looketh not to these things; he putteth no difference betwixt the one and the other: he accounteth all alike to him. And to come home to our selues, wee were of the vncircumcised number; and if Christ had had respect to this, Scotland had not been called to grace. The third particular is, the language. It put a diffe­rence betweene man and man. The Greeke had a trim and elo­quent language: all others besides the Grecians, had but bar­barous languages. But when Christ commeth, and this new man with him, he respecteth not one more then another: but Grecian and Barbarian all is one to him. This pertaineth to vs all, we were Barbarians; so that if Christ had respected barba­rousnes and exempted it from grace, Scotland had not gotten grace. So wee should draw comfort out of this, and say, grace pertaineth to me, as well as to the Iew or Grecian. The last particular is, the estate of men in policie; some are free; some are bond; some masters; some seruants: This diuersitie of e­state put difference betwixt man and man: but Christ com­ming respecteth not one more then another, but all are alike to him. And so seruants haue to reioyce; for they are not se­cluded [Page 303] from grace more then their masters: otherwise slaues had been most miserable creatures, and better had it been for them that they had bin made beasts. Reade the Galat. chap. 3. vers. 28. ye shall finde this matter handled. There is another particular reckoned vp there, male and female, that was wont to put a difference betwixt man and man; but all is alike to Christ, he respecteth not one more then another. The female is no more exempted from grace, then the male; but this new man extēdeth to al. Now I assure you, if God had had respect to the sex, your estate of women had bin miserable. So that there is not one word here, but it offereth consolation to vs. Bre­thren, there be many other particulars; for these old things are infinite, and that that I haue spoken is to be vnderstoode likewise of riches and pouertie: al is alike to Christ: his grace extendeth to all. Therefore our lesson is, in the matter of sal­uation Obserue. the Lord hath no respect to persons, to men, to women, there is the generall; but all that will beleeue, all is alike to him, Iew and Gentile, male, female, rich, poore, honourable, vnhonourable. If thou beleeue in Christ, thy estate in grace is as good, as the Kings: thou art as high in grace as the grea­test Monarch that euer was. And to bee more plaine; in the matter of our Christian calling, iustifying, glorifying, and san­ctifying, there is no difference, al is alike to him. I might proue this by Scripture, Rom. 8. vers. 30. Whom he hath called, them al­so he hath iustified, &c. There ye see this Christian calling to be vniuersall. And in the Romanes chap. 3. vers. 21. speaking of iustification: hee saith, the righteousnes of God is made manifest. Againe in this place of regeneration, there is no difference: so this abideth sure; in the matters of saluation, and all poynts thereof, there is no difference of persons, all is alike to him. It is to be noted that I say (in the matters of saluation) least that I should seeme to take away policie, and some wicked spirit hath brought in such a conclusion, as the Anabaptists: but all is but vanity. For brethren, as in the matters of saluation there The Gos­pell and Christian policie doe well agree. is no difference: euen so the Lord hath ordained a difference in policie: he hath ordained, that there should some be kings, some subiects; some masters, and some seruants: for otherwise an horrible confusion should follow. And the Gospell is so far [Page 304] from that, that by the contrarie it sanctifieth policie. So that if any King before the Gospell was setled, after the Gospell he is better setled. And if a master of a house was setled before the Gospell, he is now farre better setled after the Gospell. And this is the rule of the Apostle 1. Cor. chap. 7. vers. 17. 20. Let e­uery man abide in that vocation, wherein he is called. And then he saith, Art thou a slaue? art thou called to it? abide still in it, vn­till by lawfull meanes thou get freedome. Will ye haue ex­ample of this? There was Onesimus that ranne from Philemon his master, Paul after that he had made him a Christian man, hee sendeth him againe to his seruice. So it is but vanitie to thinke that religion is enemie to policie, or maketh any alte­ration in policie; nay it rather establisheth all in policie. This one thing is to be marked. The second is, seeing in matters of grace, the Lord hath no respect to the persons of men, hee will not iustifie a King, because he is a King; and denie it to a beg­gar, because he is a beggar: but he will iustifie the one and the other, without all respect of persons. Seeing then this is his do­ing, what should we doe? Looke what Paul saith 2. Cor. 5. ac­cording to the flesh, I will not account of one man more then of another; I will offer grace to the beggar as well as to the rich. And againe, in policie I giue thee leaue to account of the King, as much as thou wilt; and why shouldest not thou that art a seruant account of thy master? otherwise thou offendest. Thinke that thou art an inferiour to him, albeit thou be equall in grace with him. And so let euery one in policie, in common­weales and families, haue their owne place: let the King haue his place, the Lord his place in his own ranke and roume, and so foorth. And I say to thee if thou doe it not, thou hast no grace. For if thou hadst grace, thou wouldest be so sanctified, that thou wouldest not faile in any wise to honour thy supe­riours here on earth: and yet when the comparison falleth out betwixt the gracious man or sanctified man, and old things; count more of a regenerate man, then of all the prophane Kings of the world. What did Paul? hee had many of these outward things; as ye may reade in the Epistle to the Philip­pians chap. 3. I am an Hebrue (saith he) as ye are; O, but when Christ came in, all these aduantages became to me not onely do­mages, [Page 305] but they became as dung. So all these externall things, are but as nothing in comparison of regeneration. It is better to be a renued man being a beggar, then to be the greatest Monarch in the world, wanting regeneration.

Now lastly in this place ye see, when Christ commeth, there is a strange change in the world. Thinke ye he came in vaine, or for nothing? Is there not a great change, when a great Mo­narch commeth into the countrey? Thinke ye not but when Christ came there was a great change, such as was neuer at the comming of all the Monarches in the world? Paul 2. Cor. 5. vers. 17. saith, speaking of this change; Whosoeuer is in Christ is a new creature, all things are made new in him: but there is such a stupiditie in men, that they cannot see this. Thou art euer har­ping on these old things: will ye heare him boast? it will be of these old things. O senseles creature! thou shewest thou art not renewed. O these braue Courteours! all their speech is of these old things, by the which they testifie that they wote not what Christ meaneth. Yet in a word, some may doubt: Are all things so renewed, that these olde things haue no place? Is there no difference of nations, of riches, of honours? stand not these things, these old things, fleshly things, notwithstanding this innouation? I answere, they stand: but I adde this, if euer it be well with them, they must be renued; that old shape must be put off them. Thou that art a King, must be made a new creature; and thou that art a subiect, thou must be renewed a­gaine, and obey thy Prince in the Lord. The Gentiles knew not this; thou yt art a seruant, thou must obey thy master in the Lord; and thou that art a master, thou must doe thy dutie to thy seruant in the Lord: so as these outward things must be renewed in Christ. I say more, the first comming of Christ made some change; but the next comming shall make it pal­pable. Thou shalt see it, and feele it: for there shall be no kings, but the kings of heauen: there shall be no superiours or ma­sters, but all shall be glorified; there shall be such an altera­tion then. And thou that wilt not see it now, thou shalt then be compelled to see it, nill thou will thou. This for the first part of this verse: the next part followeth.

In the first ye heard he hath taken away all respect of these [Page 306] outward things: now it might haue been thought, if this new man hath cast off all these outward things, what hath hee in steed of them? for it were a great losse if he gat not something in steed of them. He answereth in a word, Christ is all, and in all things. There is the answere. So that the thing that graceth a new man is one onely thing, and what is it? Iesus Christ the Lord is in steed of all: he supplieth the want of all these earth­ly things. So that if yee will aske of this new man, what is thy nation (supposing he be of the best nation on earth) he will an­swere, Christ is my nation. If thou aske, what is thy kindred, (let him come of Kings) he will say Iesus Christ is my kindred. It is a wofull bloud thou art come of, if thou be nothing re­newed in Christ. Wilt thou aske what is thy kingdome? He will answere, Iesus Christ is my kingdome. An earthly bodie will say and answere, I am King of France, and I am King of Spaine, and I am Emperour, and will cast his head vp. If thou wilt aske, what is thy riches, thy honour and estate? hee will answere, Christ is all things to me, and so there is no prero­gatiue in this world. Hee will put Christ in the roume of all, whether he haue or want it. Ye remember Matth. 12. when the mother of Christ would haue come to him, and the Disciples telling him that, saying: Behold thy mother, & thy brethren stand without, desiring to speake with thee: he answereth, Who is my mo­ther, my brethren and sisters? Euen they that doe my fathers will. Then generally he telleth: whosoeuer will doe the will of his father, are his mother, brother, and sisters. Then turne it ouer: if thou be a faithfull man, thou art brother to him, and all: and againe, he is all to thee. Now certainly this meeting is much more worth to vs, then it is to him: for what haue wee but all of him? and so Christ is in steed of all; because he is all: other­wise he could not be in steed of all. What is this that Christ is all? He hath said in the first chapter of this Epistle, vers. 19. that in him dwelleth all fulnes. And in the second chapter he saith, in him dwell all the treasures: and againe, in him dwelleth the Godhead bodily. And yet to come more particularly, 1. Cor. chap. 1. vers. 30. hee saith, hee is made to vs wisedome, and righ­teousnes, and holines, and redemption. So, wantest thou these things? he is all to thee if thou beleeue in him; he is full of all. [Page 307] Yet brethren, some will think, there wanteth yet somethings, I finde not all: I seeke saith the auaricious, riches; I would haue house and chests full: The ambitious saith, I want ho­nour, I cannot get this in him: The leacherous saith, I cannot get my lust, he is an enemie to me in that, and so forth, as man is inclined, he would haue Christ made thereafter to him. But vnderstand this brethren, he speaketh not of a foule old man, but of a new man; not of an auaricious man and such others, but of a new sanctified man; and this man findeth all in him: there is nothing that he wanteth, but he findeth it in his Christ. And I say, suppose thou get not these earthly things in that measure, that others get; yet thou gettest better in him. What, and if thou get the better, what hast thou lost? Thou art a ser­uant, yet thou art a freeman of the Lord Iesus. And yet thinke ye that the Lord Iesus wanteth these earthly things? Think ye that riches are not at his disposition? He that diuideth acres is aboue the earth, the Lords all are at his commaund, if it were to wring them in peeces. Therefore hee saith, Seeke first the kingdome of heauen. There is the first that wee should be occu­pied about, if we would haue Christ: to wit, that we busie our selues about heauenly things: and what shall follow? He ma­keth a faire promise, and all these earthly things shall be cast to you. What are they worth? they are but bits that are cast to thee. There is no comparison betwixt them, they are but things Matth. 6. that are adiected. They are as it were additaments: and yee will not thinke when this kingdome is gotten, how small a thing of this world wil giue cōtent to a creature. No, he will vse it with greater contentation of mind, then any hauing all this world, wanting Christ, will doe. No, if thou hast Christ, thou lackest nothing; all our want is, that we cannot get him: get him, and thou shalt find that thou hast no want. Now it might be said, Christ is all; but what is that to me? he is full of glorie, maiestie, and power, what is that to me? He answereth, he is all to all, that is, his grace is thy grace, his abundance is thy abun­dance. In the second chapter vers. 9. when he had said, that in him dwelleth all the fulnes of the Godhead bodily, he addeth, ye are full in him. Note.It is to be marked that he saith not, Christ is all to some, but to all. The riches that are in Iesus extend not onely [Page 308] to some, they are not contained within the compasse of one nation, within Iewrie: it could not hold them. No, tenne na­tions The riches of Christ common to all nations. could not hold the riches of Iesus, but it behooued that they should reach to the vtmost corners in the world: yea I say, if it were to tenne thousand millions of nations, the riches of Iesus is so infinite, that they are sufficient to serue all. His glorie also is infinite, so that it would fill infinite worlds. All these things are but plain speech, but would to God they were weighed. Againe hee saith, not onely to all, but in all, meaning Iesus himselfe is in vs first ere any thing of his be in vs. And as he saith to the Ephesians chap. 3. vers. 17. he must dwell in thy heart first, or euer thou get any thing that is his: now where he is in proper person, there of necessitie thou hast all his graces. Thou needest not to goe here and there to seeke grace. And this is the difference betwixt the sufficiencie of the old and new man: if thou bee an old man, Iesus nor his grace is not within thee. Where is the honour of the King? in his own bo­some? No, it is out of him: if he want Christ, he will stand vp stript starke naked of all things. Where is his riches and strength? where is his dinner? all are without him, and he hath nought, if he be an old man; and hee will dye for hunger, if it be not giuen to him. But to come to the new man, where is his riches? in his bosome, in the heart of him. It will passe the power of all the Tyrants in the world to take that from him: so all his sufficiencie is within him by faith. It is written that a certaine Philosopher said, Omnia mea mecum porto: Christ is his sufficiencie. O the aduantage that a Christian man hath, in respect of one that is not in Christ! for there is such suffi­ciencie in Christ, as no tongue can expresse.

Now there are one or two things that I will speake of. This is a great word; Christ is all in all; before that day of the great resurrection. For looke 1. Cor. chap. 15. it is said, that God shall not be all vntill then, at what time this shall come to passe. But the answere is easie. There are two estates of the elect, here they are called the faithfull, and in the life to come they are called the blessed. O that blessing, who shall abide to see it! In deede so long as we are the faithfull, Christ is not perfectly all in all: so long as we stand in the estate of faith only, he begin­neth [Page 309] in thee by faith to be all in all: and that is the Apostles meaning here. But in the estate of that celestiall blessednes, it shall be farre otherwise: then Christ shall be all in all in full perfection; there is the difference. Yet to make this more plaine. There are two things required to make Christ all in al. A perfec­tion of grace, a perfection of glorie. First there is required a perfection of grace. And secondly, there is required a perfection of glorie, that there be nothing but the Lord Iesus Christ, when he is al in al. There is nothing but he, and the fulnes of his glorie. These are the two things required, that Christ may be all in all. Now brethren, to applie this to the two estates. So long as wee abide in earth, howbeit there be no grace in Iesus, but that we haue some share of it; yet the perfection in the degrees of grace is not yet: thou art holie in him, but it is not perfected. Then in this life in the faithfull, Christ is not all in vs: for there is much ill stuffe be­sides grace in vs. Goe thy way to thy heart, and thou shalt finde it thus, and thou shouldest thinke it a marueile, that one sparke of grace should abide within thee. But come to that life to come: In the resurrection when faith shall goe away, Iesus Christ shall be in thee in his full glorie. Then in that estate there shall be nothing but Christ. Al this vncleannes and vile­nes shall be cast away, and that heart of thine shall be inligh­tened, and shine in thy bodie. It shall not hold in thee, but it shall breake out in thy face, and make all glorious both thy hands and feete, and all this mortalitie shall be scoured out of thee, and then it shall be truly spoken, Christ is all in all.

Now one thing and so I end. Comparing this place with that to the Galath. chap. 3. vers. 28. I finde there one end of the comming of Christ, and of the new man in this word, that is not specified here: and it is, that all might be made one in Ie­sus Christ: for as long as hee is a Iew, and a Grecian, they are two; but when once this commeth, that they are new men, they are made one in Christ: so the words spoken import. For Christ being in all, who is one, of necessitie all must be one. And againe, if hee be all in all, it being but one, of necessarie force it must be one. Ye see the end of Christs comming into this world, & of the new man, it is this, to make all one, to put Communiō of Saints. away all this variance, and to ioyne all in one. There is much [Page 310] adoe to ioyne altogether: wouldest thou haue thy blessednes to stand? it standeth in ioyning thee first with thy head Iesus Christ: and then in making thee a member of his bodie. If it were but one ioynt of his little finger, if thou be but one toe of that bodie, thou shalt be safe. Well, wanton men and women goe out from the Church. But O that terrible wrath, if thou be not found in that blessed societie! make a iest of it as long as thou wilt, if thou be not of the militant Church, thou shalt not see the triumphant Church: and thou shalt not be of the number of them that shall be glorified.

I might let you see the example, what danger it is to be cut off from this bodie of the Church. I aske, what is a mans arme worth when it is cut off? it serueth for nothing, it dieth and perisheth. Now it is euen as sure if thou be cut off from this militant Church, thou shalt die and perish, and thou shalt ne­uer haue part with thy head Iesus Christ; if thou abide cut off, thou shalt die euerlastingly. Wherefore count it your blessed­nes, to be first conioyned with Christ; and then with his mem­bers. Now what is the blessednes of the true God? euen an v­nitie in trinitie. So thou art blessed, when thou art one with the members of Christ, and all thy ioy is to be in the Lord Iesus. Now the Lord graunt we may abide one, vn­till we obtaine this vnitie in perfection in Iesus Christ: to whom be all honour and praise now and for euer,

Amen.

THE XXIX. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 12. 13.

12 Now therefore, as the elect of God holy and beloued, put on tender mercie, kindnes, humblenes of minde, meeknes, long suffering:

13 Forbearing one another, and forgiuing one another, if any man haue a quarrell to another: euen as Christ forgaue you, euen so doe ye.

BEfore in this chapter, the Apostle hath exhorted the Colossians to mortifie, slay, and put away the mem­bers, affections, and actions of the old man, that is, of the sinful and corrupt nature. Now because it is not enough to put off the members of the old man (the actions of the sin­full nature) except we appeare before God with other actions, (for we cannot stand naked before him) therfore in the second roume, hee exhorteth vs to put on the members, actions, and affections of the new man: these are the actions, and this is the cloathing wherewith we must be clad to stand before God. Then to come to the words, and to weigh euery word as the Lord shall giue the grace. The first word is, Therfore put on, &c. He hath spoken immediatly before of the new man: now vp­on the occasion of this word (new man) he gathers his conclu­sion. Haue you put on the new man? Therefore put on all his actions. If ye be holie, cloathe your selues with holy actions. The obseruation is short. The new man, which consists in holi­nes [Page 312] and righteousnes, requires a new life, and new actions: for if the life be not yet renewed, but that the old life yet abide with the old actions, I say, you wot not what the new man meanes. This is but a vaine boasting of regeneration, that is in the mouthes of men, to say, thou art renewed and made a new man; all is but vaine. Let me see thy life and thy actions, and I shall tell thee by them what thou art: otherwise, thou shalt neuer perswade me that thou hast put on the new man. Now the Apostle saith, Therefore put on, as it were a garment, or rai­ment neuer to be put off againe. I shewed you before, that when once thou hast put on this new man, thou must not cast him off againe, as thou wilt doe with thy coate at night when thou goest to bed, which thou wilt cast off, and the morrow put it on againe; but this cloathing thou must goe in it, walke in it, lye downe with it, and rise with it.

Now the parts of the cloathing followe, Put on therefore the bowels of mercie, &c. Note then briefly: wherein stands this abi­liment of the new man? It is made of sundrie parts, it is like the coate of Ioseph made of sundrie colours. This coate is so plea­sant, that it is wonderfull to looke on. Mercie, a pleasant sight, Bountifulnes pleasant, Modestie pleasant, Meekenes pleasant, Lenitie pleasant; so there was neuer so pleasant a garment put vpon the backe of man. Before hee comes to the parts of this garment, hee puts in by the way sundrie arguments to moue them to put on this new man. The motiues are three: the first is election: the second holines: the third, the loue of God to­wards vs. Ye are the chosen of God, the holy ones of God, the belo­ued of God: therfore put on this garment that is pleasant in the eyes of God. But to examine these grounds: The first is their election, that is, the calling them out of this darknes into the light of God: so Peter defines it 1. Pet. 2. 9. a faire choise. This Gospell that ye heare is the light of the world, and so this elec­tion whereof the Apostle speakes here, is nothing els but that which we call commonly our vocation. For whom God hath elected from all eternitie, them in time he elects and chuseth out from the rest of mankinde, by effectuall calling. Then I make of this first ground a lesson. This Christian calling, it re­quires a faire rayment. You know the cloathing of euery man [Page 313] and woman, should be according to their calling; when thou goest aboue thy calling, thou sinnest: so the earthly raiment and cloathing, whatsoeuer it be, should be according to thy vocation. This calling of God is an high calling, as Paul to the Philippians chap. 3. vers. 14. speakes. And as the calling of a King requires a faire apparell to set it foorth with: so this cal­ling to the kingdome of God, craueth a higher apparell. Ther­fore remember thou art called to put on that faire apparell.

The next argument is, Ye are holie. This holines is the effect of the other. For wast thou blacke before? yet being called from darknes to light, the beames of the face of God shining vpon thee, now thou art whiter then snow. Ye see a man that walkes long in the Sunne, will be altered; so of necessitie, this sonne of righteousnes must make a chaunge, to wit, to make thee holie. And this is that which the Apostle 2. Cor. 3. 18. saith, Looking into the glorie of God, as it were in a mirrour, we are transformed from glorie to glorie; and therefore take pleasure to look into it night and day, and thou shalt be changed from the dregges of the world, and made to shine. Marke then, as I said of him that is called; so I say of him that is a Saint. A faire garment fits thee well: for the Saints stand night and day be­fore God in his household. Who will come before the eye of an earthly Prince ragged and bare? how much lesse before that great maiestie of God. If thou be not clad with holines, the very eye of God will strike thorough thee to thy consump­tion.

Now the third argument is, the loue of God shewed to thē. This is that loue of God that he bare to vs, when we were ene­mies to him: when thou wast wandring in thy vanitie, he gaue himselfe for thee, and hee loued thee ere thou wist, and after­ward he powres it into thee that thou feelest it. Nay thou neuer tastedst of sweetnes, if thou neuer tastedst of the loue of God: and this is the loue of God that makes thee to loue him again. The beloued one of God craues a faire apparell. Who is he or she among you, that will not trauell to be pleasant in the eye of your louer? So the Lord loues thee, and neuer one loued thee so well. Therefore wilt thou not studie to come pleasantly clad before him? Then ye see they in whom the Lord delights, [Page 314] come before him gloriously in faire apparell, that makes them to be pleasant in his eye. Thus much for the arguments that he sets down, which should haue moued the Colossians to put on the new man.

Now followes the vertues: The first vertue he termes, The bowels of mercies (that is the word in the first language) that is, pitie, mercie, and compassion: briefly, it is a vertue and grace, not growing of nature, but wrought in the heart by the spirit of Iesus. Now it hath this force and effect, to pitie the miserie of men and women: but there is little of it in these daies. When thou seest the members of Christ sick or sore, be sorie for them: thou wilt be sorie for thy hand when it is sore; euen so thou shouldest be sorie for the members of Christ. Againe, he calles it no mercie, but mercies in the plural number, to signifie that he that is mercifull, must haue many of them: for many mise­ries require many mercies. He cals it not mercies, but the bo­wels of mercies, to signifie this intire loue: it must be within thee, and in thy bowels. Then this mercie it hath two proper­ties: first thou must abound of it. Next, it must be in thy bo­wels, and thy bowels must bee loosed with pitie. Then bre­thren, ye see this faire garment, hee exhorts them to put on. Where begins it? It begins at thy bowels, the depth of thy heart; there is the first cloathing, and the cloathing is pitie and mercie: and wherefore mercie, and so many mercies? be­cause in this world there are many miseries. Where shall the godly man turne to, but he shall see miserie? Wilt thou looke vp to the King and his Court? a spectacle of miserie. Wilt thou looke to the beggar? a spectacle of miserie? And if euer there was any pitie to be had, this land hath neede of it.

The next vertues, Kindnes, Bountifulnes. The first was the vertue that pities thy neighbour: this is the vertue that doth him a good deede: Mercie is in the bowels; Bountie is in the hand. And if thou pitiest any bodie and hast it to giue, put out thy hand, and giue him: otherwise it auailes not. Then yee see this vertue of the elect of God is Bountie. And wherefore is this bountie requisite? because there is so much neede in all estates, and a great scant of all things both earthly and hea­uenly: and therefore it is requisite to haue bountifulnes, that [Page 315] thou maist bestow vpon one bodie, a benefit spirituall, and vpon another, a temporall.

Now to come to the next vertue, which is the third in num­ber, Low lines of minde, modestie. It is a vertue when men and women counts nothing of themselues, and are not puffed vp in pride. So it hath these two properties: it counts nothing of themselues, but much of others. Then this vertue is lowli­nes in the eye, and in the heart. If thou wouldest appeare in the sight of thy God, put on modestie, come not haughtie, come not with raised vp neckes: the Lord is aboue thee, and he will giue thee such a stroke, that hee will slay thee. For there was neuer a proud man, that raised vp his head against God, but he made him stoope. So the third peece of this garment is hu­militie. Wilt thou looke to thy selfe, what hast thou to glorie in? where thou hast one thing, thou wantest tenne. Wilt thou looke to others? the grace thou seest in thy brother, thou shouldest account of it.

Now the fourth peece of this garment is Meekenes, that is, excellently well matched with humilitie, euer the humble man is meeke; the proud euer churlish, without meeknes, and mildnes, and so farre as in him lies renting the bodie of Iesus. For where pride is, there is no societie: for a man that hath pride hee cannot associate himselfe with another. Now this vertue is in thy mouth, and makes thee to giue to thy neigh­bour sweete language. Now this fourth part is so necessarie, that there can bee no standing of the Church without it: for such is the nature of man, if it bee handled roughly, it is lost, and if thou handle a sinner thus, thou doest ouerthrow him. And therefore Paul euer recommends gentlenes: if thy re­bukes smell of bitternes, and not of meeknes, thou wilt de­stroy him. Forthere is no sinner, as the Apostle 2. Tim. chap. 2. vers. 25. &c. speakes, but he must be allured by peece and peece out of the bands of the diuell.

Now followeth the fift part of this garment, which is Long suffering. The word following in the next verse expounds it, when one beares iniuries done of another, that is long suffe­ring. This long suffering is so requisite, that the world cannot stand without it. What part is there in this land wherin wrong [Page 316] exceedeth not; and wrong would not be met with wrong, nor iniurie with iniurie, but wrong with long suffering? and I say, if men were not disposed to suffer, the world long since had eaten vp one another. It is the patient bodie that beares the iniuries, otherwise euery one had deuoured another. So this is a faire garment of the beloued and holy ones of God: but the vertue that followes is greater. Forgiuing one another. Long suffering may be without forgiuing, as a poore may yt sustaines wrong, he must lie vnder the wrong, because he is not able to reuenge it. Others againe (albeit they haue abilitie) will not reuenge, but will hold it in their heart till they get oportuni­tie. Then remission is a greater vertue; it will not onely suffer the wrong, but it will put it away; it will forgiue thee that hast done the wrong: or else if it will not altogether forgiue the man, it will call him before the Iudge. Remission therefore, when it thinkes not expedient to forgiue, it will not put to the hand, as our men will doe, but it will call thee before a Iudge. The King should reuenge all these wrongs. The Lord should not slay, the Esquire should not slay, the Gentleman should not slay: but in the meane time while he is pleading his cause before the Iudge, his anger should be abolished, and so God shall be glorified. But if the iniurie be done to thee by any man, and in the meane time thou haue anger in thy heart, al­beit he be before the Iudge; yet thou art the slayer of him.

So then, there is the sixt part of this garment, free forgiuenes. This vertue is so needfull, that if men forgaue not wrongs, the world had perished long agoe. And let men thinke as they please, that runnes in reuenging; it is not they that hold vp the world, but the blessed ones of God. Now to moue them to this vertue, he vseth an argument taken from the example of Christ, As Christ hath forgiuen you, so forgiue you one another. There was not a reason put to the rest: what meanes this? He lets vs see it is a hard thing to flesh and bloud to forgiue: if thou take counsell at flesh and bloud, thou wilt neuer forgiue, admit thou wert dying. But flesh and bloud will euer crye a vengeance; and so it is a hard thing to forgiue: And it is so ne­cessarie, that except thou forgiue and striue against thy na­ture, thou shalt neuer haue part with God in heauen, and it [Page 317] shall debarre thee from that societie of Iesus Christ. For he that inclines not in no measure to forgiue a wrong, but is alwaies set to recompence the like for the like, he is not a member of Christ; and if thou bee not a member, thou hast no life. And Christ himselfe in Matth. 6. 14. 15. saith, If thou forgiue not thy brother in earth, thy heauenly father shall not forgiue thee. Then brethren, ye shall not finde any one more resembling Christ in any vertue, then in mercie and compassion: and by the con­trarie, there is none that more resembles the diuell, then the merciles bodie: and iudge ye how many in this land bee like the diuell, and so few like Christ. Hee cannot bee satisfied, who hath put hand in man not once or twice, but he wil triple and quadriple it, and so this vice abounds in this land. Now to adde this to that that is spoken: I dare say a merciles heart neuer wist what the pitie of God was: if thou finde crueltie in thy heart, it is an argument thou art not his. Thou that hast felt the mercy of God, his pitie and compassion powred out vpon thee, thou wilt powre it out vpon others. I see next in this ex­ample of Christ Iesus, Christ is to be imitated, follow him in thy life. Would you haue leaders in the way? follow Iesus, and put thy footsteps where his was: but it is to be taken heede to, in what things thou followest him. Iesus wrought wonders in the world: follow him not in these; for if thou followest him so, thou puttest thy selfe in Gods roume. Iesus Christ wrought the worke of redemption, follow him not in that, because it is the worke proper to the Creator. Will you reade the Scripture? you shall not finde the example of Christ propounded to fol­low him in wonders, or to follow him in forgiuing of sinnes. But when euer we follow him, we should follow him in meek­nes, in lenitie, in gentlenes. To what end should I speake of the vaine dreames of the Papists? they will say, imitate Christ. Christ fasted fortie daies: therefore you must fast al the Lent: but I leaue them to their vanitie, and they that are vncleane, let them be vncleane still, and the Lord keepe vs with his truth. Now ye see in expresse termes, Iesus Christ hath forgiuen vs our sinnes, Ephes. 4. 6. it is said, that God in Christ hath for­giuen vs eur sins. In the one place it is said, God hath forgiuen [Page 318] vs: in the other place that Iesus Christ hath forgiuen vs. Then Iesus Christ is God the redeemer of the world. So it followes of this place, Iesus Christ is God blessed for euer, Amen. For why? it is proper to God to forgiue sinnes; it is onely proper to the Creator: the creature hath no power to forgiue. Now in the other place, Iesus Christ is the price of our redemption, through the which remission of sinnes is purchased, he is both the forgiuer of the sinne and the price: if Iesus had not been the price, there had been no redemption in the world.

Now followeth the third. This benefit of our redemption was deerely bought by our Redeemer. It was not a word to say, forgiue, but it behooued him to die: and this benefit which he giues, he bought it by his owne bloud. Then marke a great difference betweene him and man: Iesus he dies; but where thou forgiuest, thou giuest but a word. Looke what a doe the Lord hath with the world: and what trauell hee takes to get the offence done by thee, taken away: he dies for it. And therefore the thing we haue to presse to, is to feele his loue: all ioy and welfare is in the sense of this loue. And therefore to this Lord be all honour and glorie now and for euer,

Amen.

THE XXX. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 14. 15.

14 And aboue all these things put on loue, which is the bond of perfection.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye are called in one bodie, and be ye thankefull.

THe Apostle (brethren) after he had exhorted the Colossians to put off the cloathing of the olde man, which was made vp of foule affections, as peeces of his garment: he begins to exhort to put on the cloathing of the new man, which is made vp of sundrie graces of Christ, vertues and holy affec­tions. The last day we reckoned vp certaine pieces of this cloa­thing, Parts of the gar­ment of the new man. namely sixe: to wit, the 1 bowels of pitie and compassion, 2 kindnes, 3 humblenes of minde, 4 meekenes, 5 long suffering, and lastly, 6 the forgiuing of offences. Now to come to the text wee haue in hand: yet hee continues in this raiment and cloathing, and reckons vp other parts of it. 7 The seuenth part of this garment, he calles it Loue, charitie that one beares to another, neigh­bour to neighbour. Among all the rest of the peeces, he desires them to put on loue. And whereon should they put this peece of the garment? And aboue all these (saith he) put on loue, as the vppermost garment, they being vnder it, & it being aboue thē all, as a cloake aboue all the rest of the cloathing. Now (bre­thren) Loue must be the vp­permost garment. you know commonly the vppermost cloath is the fai­rest, and the honestest, the preciousest cloath, because it is in [Page 320] the eyes of the world: therefore seeing hee craues that they should put on charitie, as vppermost, it must follow, that it is the fairest, comliest, and preciousest peece of cloathing that is. I say more, when thou hast put on all the rest, as mercie, Obserue. kindnes, humblenes, meekenes, long suffering, forgiuenes, if thou put not on loue aboue all, all is nought worth. It is but a garment of hypocrisie, and there is no sinceritie in thy mercie; thou shewest no sinceritie in thy humblenes, nor in none o­ther of thy vertues. Looke what the Apostle speakes of thy vertues that can be giuen to a man, 1. Cor. 13. without chari­tie the gift of tongues is nothing; the gift of prophesie, of wisedome, of faith, of doing miracles, of almes deedes, all is nothing, and lastly, of long suffering, it is nothing without this charitie. It may well be thou profit others, but as for thy selfe, without charitie thou shalt get no profit. Therfore the Apostle saith (speaking of these gifts and many more) they be not pro­fitable, if I want charitie, and what auailes it if it be not profi­table to me? So without charitie all is nothing, of no value? and if these vertues want charitie, I say to thee, they are but dead images of vertues. Thy mercie is but a dead image of ver­tue, if thou want loue, and so foorth in the rest: for the life of all vertues is loue; if the heart be not with the hand, that is, the heart with the action, it shall neuer doe thee good.

Then marke in euery good action there are two things to be considered. The first is the good action it selfe. The second, is the manner of the doing of the action. O there is no small respect to be had of the manner of doing, which is the very habite and cloathing of it! Now the action comes from the hand: O but the forme, the manner, the habit, which is the or­nament of it, comes from the heart! now the heart of him doth the good deede; if it be euill affected, the action if it were neuer so good, it hath an euill habit on it; it is euill fauoured to the Lord: how pleasant so euer it seeme in the eyes of man, yet it is not acceptable to the Lord: all is lost, yea all good workes, if they want this loue, stinke in the sight of the Lord, and thou shalt neuer get good of them. But if the heart be dis­posed with loue, that comes of faith in Iesus Christ, then thy action appeares before the Lord in a faire beautie, and hee [Page 321] makes that deede thou doest to returne backe to thee to thy A good worke re­turnes back with much comfort to him which doth it. good, as it is good to him to whom thou doest it. Therefore let euery one seeke to be clad with al vertues and good offices; but looke to this, that euery one of them appeare before the Lord with loue and charitie, that thy heart and hand may goe together. Put not out thy hand alone, put out heart and hand together: otherwise thy action shall neuer be good to thee; for thou art commaunded aboue all things to put on cha­ritie.

Now to goe forward to the words following, he desines this loue, and by it he lets vs see, that it is no small grace: And first he calles it a Band. Loue is a band that binds things together. All the rest of the graces are likewise bands; mercie, kindnes, humblenes, and the rest binde vp the members of Iesus Christ; but without charitie, all be but superficiall bands, outward bands, binding the bodies of men, and not their hearts toge­ther. But loue is an inward band, and it comes from the heart, and meetes with another heart, and bindes vp heart with Loue is a band. heart, and so the knot of loue is knit: all the rest giue outward things; but loue giues inward things, euen the heart of him which loueth; I say he that loues thee, giues thee his heart. The word in the originall language imports not onely a band, but a mutuall band, as my loue to thee, and thine to me: so that thy loue meetes my loue; for if loue be not met with loue a­gaine, it will not auaile: for friendship cannot stand on one side. Therefore looke that charitie be mutuall, otherwise be not content with thy selfe. This for the first word. The next is the band of perfection. This is the effect of this band. It perfecteth the man in whom it is; for it bindeth thee vp with the bodie, it perfects thee so, that thou shalt want nothing, but al shall be supplied till thou beest perfected. Now there is no member of the bodie that hath all perfection. The Lord hath not disposed so, neither was it meete it should so be; but that euery mem­ber ioyned with another should bee supplied. The eye cannot goe, therefore the foote comes in and carries the eye: the foote cannot see, but in comes the eye and lets the foote see and di­rects it: So in the bodie of man, there is not a member euen the vilest and the foulest, but all the rest be readie to couer that [Page 322] member, and to supplie the want of it. It is euen so with the spirituall bodie of Iesus (howbeit man cannot see it, yet it is as true) for euery member hath not all grace: no not the King, nor the Apostles, nor no man in any estate hath all graces; yet being vnited in that bodie of Christ, O thou lackest nothing! for all is communicated to thee. So that Paul had not a grace but it is mine, All is yours (saith the Apostle) and you are Christs, 1. Cor. 3. 21. 23. You may challenge all the graces that are in the bodie, that is a great benefit; yea the graces that are not in thee, thou maist challenge them being in thy brethren, mem­bers with thee of one bodie. Therefore enuie not any mans grace, but challenge it as thy owne. Euery one would haue al, who is he or she that would not haue all graces and perfectiō? But I shall teach thee how thou shalt be perfect: Wilt thou stand vp thy self alone like an A, per se, A; and say, I wil not be in any mans Common, and so seuer thy self frō the body? I say thou shalt haue no perfection, thou shalt be as a rottē branch cast into ye fire; if thou were a King, the Lord shall cause thee stinke and die in thine owne pollution. Away with a proude headed lowne, who cannot humble himselfe to creepe in to the bodie. Then the way to be perfect, is to seeke to the body; for there euery member shall supplie thy want. Thus for this faire peece of garment Loue, or charitie. Goe to the rest that followes.

The eight peece of this garment is set down in these words: And let the peace of God beare rule in your hearts. So the eight 8 The eight part of the garment of the nevv man. peece of this garment, is vnitie of minde; concord followes vp­pon charitie: for he that loues must be a peaceable man. They will not be restles spirits, full of enmitie and strife. I will not in­sist much to speake of this peace; onely this, I call this peace nothing els but a sweete quietnes in the heart of man and wo­man, together with amitie and concord with thy neighbour; for when thy heart hath peace within thee, then thy heart is in Peace. vnitie with thy neighbour: and therefore it is opposed to that restlesnesse of the affections of mens hearts. Alas, what plea­sure canst thou haue when thy heart cannot rest within thee? The peace of heart comes not of nature: no, no, by nature thy heart is troubled, and out of tune, and all is vnruly, reeling [Page 323] and rumbling within thee. From whence comes it then? Of grace that God giues in Iesus Christ. If thou haue a pacified heart, the Lord hath giuen it thee, and therefore it is called the peace of God: and it is not of one sort: for there is a peace Note of the kinds of peace. that is with God himselfe, and that is the first peace: there is another peace, that is with thy neighbour. The peace that thou hast with God, is a pacified heart with God, so that thy Peace with God. heart is setled with him, that it stirres thee not vp to enmitie a­gainst God. When thou findest that thou art iustified by faith in Christ, O the peace of heart that thou shalt haue with God! thou wilt appeare before his tribunall with boldnes, Rom. 5. 1. For being iustified by faith, wee haue peace with God through our Lord Iesus Christ.

The peace with man is a pacified heart with man, when the affection is ioyned in loue with man. This peace comes of the other; for being at peace with God, thou art at peace with all the world: get once a setled heart towards God, of necessitie Peace with man. thou must be at vnitie and peace with all men. O then begin at God! What is the cause of all these variances & debates, and al these slaughters? It is the want of the peace with God. O mur­therer! thou hast no peace with God, thou hast nothing to do with God, and therefore that wrath of God shall consume thee. O murtherer! when thou fightest with man, thou hast to doe with the great God. O restles spirit, that canst not rest till thou haue bathed thy selfe in thy neighbours bloud! thou art at warres both with thy selfe, and with the great God, who shall at one time, or other, meete with thee, and plucke off all thy harnesse, and then thou shalt neuer get peace nor rest.

Now to come to this peace that is with man, that is spoken of here. This peace, it must beare rule in thee: it must be a com­maunder of thee. She must sit ouer thee, and hold downe thy foule affections, when they are fighting within thee. Where must she sit? In thy heart, and not in thy hand; for oftentimes when thy hand will be hindred to murther, thy heart will be persecuting thy neighbour to death: therefore it must be in thy heart.

Now marke the order. When hee hath required all good vertues, at last hee requires peace. Whereunto? To be com­maunder [Page 324] of thine affections. This teacheth thee, that except they be commaunded and put in order, looke not that thou Affections must be cō ­manded. can doe any good turne in the world. Canst thou, who art dis­ordred in thine affection, doe any good to thy neighbour? No, therefore minde not to doe any good without this peace. Then beseech the Lord that hee will put this peace in thy heart, to put these affections into an order. For when enmitie possesseth the heart, what good canst thou doe? Well is that bodie that can lie downe in peace with God and man. Therefore aske the peace of God, that thou maist rest in peace with thy selfe, and liue in peace with thy neighbour. O villaine thou that liest downe with anger and a restles affection, and risest vp, and goest out and stabst thy neighbour, what disorder is in thee? and what peace hast thou with God? No, thou art in rage with God himselfe, when thine affections be not ruled with loue to thy neighbour; and peace thou canst not haue with thy neigh­bour, if thou haue not the first peace which is with God. And so thou in bearing hatred against thy neighbour, tellest plain­ly, thou hast no peace with God; and wanting this, thou tel­lest plainly that thou art yet in thy sinnes, and therefore vn­der the wrath of God.

Now, when hee hath exhorted them to this peace, hee sub­ioynes the argument, To the which (saith he) ye are called in one bodie. They, who are in one bodie, should liue in peace toge­ther. An argu­ment to moue vs to peace. The first argument then is from our Christian calling. It is a shame to a man not to be answerable to his calling: if thou be called to such a thing, why shouldest thou not doe it? But aboue all, a Christian man is called to this peace, and there­fore woe is to him in that great day, if he bee one who hath wanted it! Now take the lesson: As ye see a man is called to be a member in any citie, not to liue at variance or debate with his neighbours: no, no, he is called to peace, and to be a quiet man: an vnquiet man is an euill neighbour; a restlesse spirit, a seditious and an vnpeaceable spirit, is an euill neigh­bour: euen so a man called to be a member in the citie of God, in the kingdome of Christ (for that is our calling) he is called to be a quiet and peaceable body. For (saith the Apostle) what is the kingdome of God? It is peace and ioy in the holie [Page 325] Ghost, Rom. 14. 17. So if thou be one of that kingdome, thou wilt be a peaceable bodie. Then the man that cannot liue in peace, but is full of variance, euer troubling and renting the members of the Common-weale, who will not say that that man is not to bee suffered in the towne, hee is not worthie to dwell in it? much more a restles spirit in the kingdome of Ie­sus Christ, Disturbers of the peace of Church and Com­mon wealth should bee driuen out of the towne. Looke if our text speakes not this: These restles spirits that trouble not on­ly the Common-weale, this whole kingdom, and haue studied to the subuersion of the whole land, but haue by their meanes gone about to trouble the whole kingdome of Christ, they should haue no place neither in Church nor Common-weale; they are vnworthie of any calling either in Church, or policie: they haue pulled themselues asunder from both.

The second argument is from the body, wherein we are vni­ted. Were it not a monstrous thing to see the hand strike the face? if thou hadst spiritual eyes, it would seeme as monstrous a thing to thee to see a member of that body of Christ, to strike another. Then briefly, as the ioyning of men in a citie requires a peaceable life, and that they should liue in peace: much more this vnion of the members, not in a citie and Common­weale onely, but in a body: so that some of them are the hand, some the eye, some the foot, and so foorth. This vnion requires peace and quietnes, they should not be restles spirits, nor full of variance: and therefore thou that art a restles spirit in the Church of God, and yet saist thou art of the Church, and wilt say thou beleeuest: I say to thee thou shewest plainly thou hast nought to doe with the bodie. And as I said before, these troublesome men full of debate, I will affirme it againe, they neuer wist what that vnion with Christ is; for if they had that vnion with Christ, that grace of Christ would come downe from the head, and bind them with the bodie. So thou shewest Such as loue not peace, haue nothing to doe with Christ nor his Church. plainly, that thou hast not to doe, neither with the bodie, nor with the head. O murtherers! your hearts are full of dissen­sion; ye shall perish in that great day, I giue you this doome, ye shall not escape. Thus much for the eight peece of this gar­ment of regeneration and sanctification.

[Page 326] In the end of this verse, wee haue the ninth grace and peece of this garment, and it is this, Be thankefull, that is the force of The ninth part of the garment of the nevv man. the word; so it is thankfulnes that he requires. All the rest be­fore are offices, and graces that preuent a good deede done: As when a man begins to bee mercifull to any, or mercie bee shewen to him of that person, that is a good deede done, and so the former graces stand in doing. But this grace of thank­fulnes, VVhat thankeful­nes is. it is such as stands in recompencing a good deede done: In rendring good for good. If thou wilt compare this grace with them that went before, it is lesse then any of them: for it is a greater matter to be the beginner of any good deede, then to recompence a good deede done to thee. And thou art a wretched bodie that neither canst doe good, nor when good is done to thee canst not render thankes for it. There be three Three sorts of good mē. sorts of good men. 1 First, he is a good man that can begin to do any good to another, not prouoked by any thing that is done to him, which for Gods cause can bee beneficiall to his neigh­bour. 2 Secondly, he is a good man, that can render good for good; and recompence the good done to him: but there can no true recompencing come without the spirit of grace. 3 Last­ly, he is the best man, that can render good for euill, that can finde in his heart to meete an euill deede with any good. There be as many sorts of euill men: he is an euill man that cannot shew mercie to another, nor begin to doe any good; but hath Three sorts of euill mē. his heart locked vp. Againe, hee is farre worse, that when hee hath gotten good cannot recompence it with good againe, especially to them to whom he hath been most indebted, as to his parents. This countrie is full of such: this man is a wretch, he is worse then an Infidell. An Ethnick can render good for good, thou shamest thy parents. What if this ingratitude were to common men? but it is to them to whom they are most bound to, and it is an argument that thou art vngratefull to the Lord. But the worst of all is he, that for good repaies euill; and this land is full of such also; yea they who haue done them most good, they will meete them with an euill turne. All these are vngratefull men; and when thou hast called a man an vn­gratefull man, thou hast called him all the euill in the world: [Page 327] for such a one is vnworthie to liue. Therefore studie to be thankfull, and thou that gettest any good done to thee by any man, at the least meete him with thankfulnes. It is meruaile how a man can lie downe without this consideration: for if thou suffer thy selfe to be opprest with ingratitude, thou shalt perish.

If the time would serue I would goe forward, I will marke onely this: All these graces are grounded vpon the word of Iesus Christ, vpon this Gospell. Wouldest thou be mercifull? let the word dwell in thee. Wouldest thou be kind? wouldest thou be humblie minded? and so foorth of the rest of the gra­ces; let the word of Iesus Christ raigne in thee. This is the meane that ingenders these graces, and keepes them in thy heart, to wit, the word of Iesus. So thou, who wouldest be gra­cious The Gos­pell is Gods hand to fill vs vvith graces. and full of grace, be full of the Gospell. For it is that word that purifieth the heart: neuer rest til thou get thy heart full of the Gospell. Thou thinkest that nothing can fill thee, but a bodily foode: no, no, the word of Iesus is as effectuall to fill the heart, as sensible as euer thou foundest thy stomacke fed with foode. But consider this: this fulnes of the heart is not gotten so long as we liue here. Therefore let our pleasure bee euer in filling of our hearts with the Gospel, as thou hast plea­sure to fill thy stomacke with meate and drinke: so fill thy Simile. heart, thine emptie heart, that is full of nothing but winde, fill it with the Gospell. Alas, if we could get an hunger of the word; for the soule that hungers for the foode of the word, it shall be filled, and it shall feele the sweetnes of the word. But the heart is so filled with the filthines of nature, that it cannot hunger for the word, nor feele the sweetnes of it: therefore emptie thy heart of this filth which is in it, that being emptied thou maist haue some greedines of spirituall things. Know you not the necessitie of this? If in some measure thou emptie it not, and fill it not with this word of grace, I giue thee this doome, looke not for a life to come. For there is no fulnes of glorie, except the fulnes of the word goe before in thee. So if thou be not filled with the word in this life, looke not to haue a life with Iesus in that day. Seeing then it stands vpon such a [Page 328] paine, take pleasure in this word, albeit he be but a base sillie man that vtters it to thee: for it is the meane that the Lord hath vsed to fill thy soule with; and it hath pleased the Lord to put this iewell in earthen vessels; therefore take heede to them 2. Cor. 5. 18. 19. 20. and fill thy selfe: for els at that day, thou shalt repent the time that thou wouldest not take grace, when grace was offered, being offended at the basenes of men in the Ministerie. O let not the basenes of Christs seruants be a let to thee, but be thou euer greedie to fill thy self with the word. And woe be to them that would put this word away from thee, and stuffe in vani­ties in steede of it! woe to thee with thine Earldome, except the Lord conuert thee in time! The Lord in his mercie giue vs grace to keepe this word of Iesus, and to feede thereupon. To this Lord, with the Sonne and holy Spirit, be all praise for euermore,

Amen.

THE XXXI. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 16. 17.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you plenteously, in all wise­dome, teaching and admonishing your owne selues in Psalmes, and hymnes, and spirituall songs, sing with a grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoeuer ye shall doe inword or deede (doe) all in the name of the Lord Iesus, giuing thankes to God, euen the father by him.

WE haue heard (brethren) heretofore of this spirituall araiment of the new man, or new creature, made by Iesus Christ; and wee haue heard of so many parts and peeces of it, as haue been thus farre reckoned vp. Of mer­cie, kindnes, humilitie, mildnes, lenitie, forgiuing, charitie, peace, and lastly thankfulnes for benefits receiued. Now in the beginning of this text, the Apostle recommends that meane, whereby these graces and all other such like are got­ten and wrought in the heart of man. The meane briefly hee Coherence. calles the word of Christ, the speech of Christ. Let (saith hee) the speech of Christ dwel in you plenteously. For without this word, which is the instrument of the spirit of Iesus, wherby he works in the heart, and without the which, he workes not ordinari­ly; there can be no grace wrought in the heart. For to speake The Gen­tiles had no spiri­tual grace. the truth, neuer Gentile had any of these graces, and for any [Page 330] that they had, they were but dead images of vertues, without life: for where the word is not, there can be no grace, life, nor vertue in man.

But to come to the words in particular: Let (saith he) the word of God dwell in you plenteously. Then the meane of all these graces, is the speech or language (to take it generally) that comes out of the mouth. Well brethren, there is no little mo­ment in speaking, and it hath no small force in the hearer ei­ther to good or euill. The language thou hearest, will either do thee good or euill; for it enters not so soone into the eare, but Speech e­uer doth good or hurt. as soone it goes to the heart, and either will corrupt or sancti­fie the heart. Corrupt language will rot thy heart, Ephes. 4. 29. if thou takest pleasure to heare it, it will cause thy heart to stinke. Againe, so soone as we haue spoken a word of grace, by speaking it, it will cleanse the heart and put out vncleannes, for there is not a graine of it, but it is full of stinke. And ther­fore 1. Cor. 15. 33. When he hath recited the words of the Epi­cures, Eate (say they) drinke, let vs take our pastime: then the A­postle subioynes, be not deceiued: for (saith he) wicked speaking corrupts good manners, foule speeches, euil talke, will make thee an euill man. For first it defiles thy heart, and then thy actions. Againe, Ephes. 4. 29. he giues expresse commandement, Looke (saith he) that no rotten speech proceede out of thy mouth, vpon paine of thy life. Albeit thy heart thinke it (as thy heart is euil inclined to thinke it) yet keepe thy mouth close; and vetter it Pro. 3. 24. Keepe the mouth close, albeit the heart haue vn­cleane thoughts. not. Then he saith, recommending the talke that should bee spoken: Speake that, that is to the edification of the hearer. Speake no speech but that, that is gracious. I will not insist in this: on­ly keepe thy owne tongue first, that thou corrupt not thy selfe or thy neighbour: then take heede to thy neighbours tongue, least in case thou lend thine eare to his talke, that thou get not a filthie heart by it.

But to our purpose. Speech that strikes in the eare it is of great force in the heart. But whose speech must this be that workes these graces which are reckoned vp? Will euery speech worke it? No: whose must it be then? Let (saith he) the speech of Christ be in your hearts, dwelling in all plentie. Then it is Christs speech: O it must be the speech of a great personage that must [Page 331] make this operation! It is his speech that will pearce downe The speech of Christ only, is the instrument of grace. to the spirit, because he is a spirit, a diuine spirit, and is the ma­ker of all spirits, and therefore it is he who pearceth downe to the heart, and all his words are spirit and life. This Peter saith, Whither shall we goe? thou hast the words of eternall life, Ioh. 6. 68. And therefore seeing he hath the spirit, if the Auditor were ne­uer so dead, he will make him heare. The time is come now (saith he) in Ioh. 5. 25. when the dead shall heare the voyce of the sonne of God. O then heare the word of Christ! and it will giue thee life. Then the speech of Christ is nought els but the Gospell, which the Apostle to the Romanes, chap. 1. 16. calles the power of God vnto saluation to euery one who beleeues. Beleeue it, and thou shalt find this power in thee. For as concerning the Gos­pell, it was Iesus Christ who was the first speaker of it; first in The Gospel preached by Christ since the beginning. Paradice; and then to the Fathers in order; and lastly in his owne person, in a full reuelation hee spake this word of life. Looke not then for life; let none from the King to the beg­gar thinke to be safe (account of the Ministerie as thou plea­sest) if thou lay not thine eare to the Gospell and beleeue.

Let (saith he) the word of God dwell in you. (In you) that is in your hearts, not in your mouthes, and eares onely; but let it goe downe to the heart, and to the rootes and depth of the heart; and let it haue it residence there. It is not enough to haue it tinckling in thy eare, albeit some think it enough; but it must goe from the eare to the heart, and there the residence and lodging of it must be. So hee recommends not onely the hearing and reading, but hee recommends the meditation in Meditation. in the hart. the heart, thinking, musing, turning it ouer and ouer againe and againe in the heart: for except the word be in the heart, it can haue no operation. It is not enough to sit and heare a while, and no more, if there bee not a musing in this word; thinke not that it can haue an operation in your heart: but the more thou hearest, the more gracelesse art thou, experience proues it. Then the word must be in the heart, but how long must it abide there? Must it abide the night, and away the morrow, as a pilgrime lodging here this night, and in another place the morrow? must it lodge with thee so? must thou muse of it for this time, and then farewell till thou haue to doe with [Page 332] it againe? and goe to thy drinking and pastime? No, saith he, Let the word dwell, that is, haue a continual residence night and day within thee, and be a domesticke or household seruant of Psal. 1. 2. thine (and not a stranger) to abide with thee for euer; and let there be a continuall meditation on it, so long as thy strength can beare it. Trowest thou, that the thinking of Iesus will hin­der thy occupation? No, it hath no grace but when thou art thinking of Iesus, and it hinders thee nought; except the me­ditation of the word be ardent in thee night and day, as it was in Dauid, who had as weightie occupations as any man (O would to God Kings had a peece of meditation in this word as Dauid had, in all those other affaires!) thinke not that grace will abide with thee. For looke how soone this word leaues thee, as soone grace goes from thee: so that of a mercifull man thou be commest a tyrant. What makes so many of our Noble­men so debased, but the contempt of this word? All our great men are very contemners of Gods word. See ye not the venge­ance of God vpon them, their wiues, and children they would haue this word driuen out not onely out of this countrie, but out of the hearts of men. Well, well, for all that let the word haue residence, and continuall residence within you. O but in what measure and what quantitie? Some will say, if you know this, what behooues me to be ouer carefull to vnderstand this word? let the Ministers who liue by it, haue that care: If I haue the Lords Prayer, the Beleef, and the tenne Commandements, I need no more; I am a Lord, I am a Ladie, I am a Gentleman, what neede I to trouble my selfe with the Byble? I haue ano­ther occupation. But what saith the Apostle, Let the word dwell in you. How? In scarsitie? in a bit of it? leauing the rest to o­thers? No, but let the word dwell in you plenteously: let the word make you rich. The Apostle then requires a treasure and a store to be laid vp in the heart: he would that the riches of the word be in you, and not a pouertie of it. And I say to thee, thou, who wilt content thee with one part, and wilt not seeke the ri­ches of the word; and as the Apostle to the Hebrues chap. 6. 1. that striuest not to be led forward to a perfection, but dwellest in the Elements and Cathechisme: I say thou hast nothing of it. He that will content himselfe with the Pater noster and the [Page 333] Creede: I say he hath nothing. And if he haue any illumination by it, and cares not for a perfection, that light he hath gotten shall die out; if it grow not, it will vanish away. You see that if fire be not fed with new matter, it will goe out: It is as sure We must grow in knowledge, or els vve haue no knowledge. of that knowledge and light that thou hast of God, and that light that is kindled in thee, if it be not intertained so, that it grow on, it shall goe out. And O then, what danger art thou in? If thou spue out that light, it is impossible that thou shouldest be renewed by repentance: for it is called the sinne against the 2. Pet. 3. 18 Heb. 6. 4. 6. holy Ghost. Therefore all ye that would see the light and the riches of heauen, striue to be rich in this word, and be greedie in reading and meditating of this word, as the Lord will giue you grace.

To goe forward, Let the word dwell in you, and in euery one of you; for that that is spoken to one, is spoken to all, and that a­boundantly. It is the treasure that thou shalt take vp with thee, and it shall not leaue thee in the graue, it shall serue thee in heauen. But what more? In all wisdome: now in this text that Effects of the vvord. followes, we haue certaine faire effects of this word of Iesus dwelling richly in vs. They are partly in the man himselfe, in whom the word dwels; and partly in others that heare him speake. He, who is rich in Christ, is not rich himselfe onely, but he shall inrich others also with him: euery word that comes out of his mouth, is a lumpe of riches to thee. Then to come to the first effect, In all wisdome and knowledge. The word of God dwelling richly in any, must not want the effect; it Wisedome is a faire light. must haue an effect: and the first effect is a faire light. O that light, it is as it were a goodly torch light in a darke house, that enlightens the whole house. So thou by nature art a darke dungeon: there is not a sparke of heauenly light in thee by nature. Thou hast some light of nature, but what is that? It is to make thee inexcusable. When this light of heauen comes, it lightens all thy darknes. What is the first effect of the light of the Sunne, or of a candle but illumination? So this word is the illumination of thy mind. It opens the hart, and enlightens it, Illumina­tion. and it illuminates all the affections, and puts them in order. So the first effect is light. It hath this of the owne nature, 2. Tim. 3 15. Paul saith, The Scriptures are able to make thee wise; reade al [Page 334] the bookes that are written, if thou couldest compasse heauen The Scrip­tures bring true wise­dome. and earth, if thou want the Scripture in thy heart, thou shalt neuer be wise. And seeing this is the true effect of the word, I beseech you looke how you haue it. Some will clatter ouer Scripture, and yet they will be the vainest bodies that are. Therefore content not thy selfe with a rote rime of the word, except thou finde an illumination by it in thy minde, & wise­dome, and knowledge in thy heart. What good doth the repe­tition of certaine sentences of the Scripture, if this be not? I say to thee thou abusest them, and thou shalt be challenged for it.

Now to come to the next effect, Teaching and admonishing The second effect of the word. your owne selues with Psalmes, hymnes and spirituall songs, with grace in the heart singing to God the Lord. So the next effect of this riches of the word, is in respect of others: hee that aboun­deth himselfe in the riches of the word, hauing a store of it in his breast, he must redound and runne ouer, as a full vessel that runnes ouer: he must not onely be a vessell that is full, but he must be a full vessell running ouer. So hee must runne ouer in Simile. graces to others, and there is none of these graces, that runne ouer that falles to the ground, but the hearers receiue them. We get not this grace to keepe it to our selues, and to hide it as a hoord in our owne breast, so that none other know of it: what auailes that hoord? Wherefore serues siluer if it be not imployed to the vse of men? euen so what auailes wisedome and knowledge, if it be not imployed to the vse of men, and communicated to others? it will rot within thee, and neuer doe thee good. And thinkest thou that the more narrowly thou keepest it, that it will grow vp the more? No, no, if thou haue siluer and thou giue it not out, it will not grow; but if thou laist it out, thou keepest the stocke and receiuest the pro­fit: Euen so the word of God and the riches thereof, if thou giue it not foorth, it cannot grow; but if thou giue it out and communicate the same to others, it shall grow in thee. Con­cerning this matter, Paul 2. Tim. chap. 1. vers. 14. saith, Keepe that faire thing that is committed in trust to thee, meaning this word. Then in the chapter following in the beginning he saith, These things thou hast heard, what shalt thou doe with them? [Page 335] Cammunicate them to faithfull men. And what shall they doe To speake much of the word to others. with them? that are able (saith he) to teach others. So the onely way to keepe this riches with a continuall increase, is euer to be speaking of it, and communicating of it to others. VVhere thou seest an ignorant soule, giue to that soule one peece of that riches. I speake not this to Ministers onely, but to euery one of you who heare me: for wee and ye are bound to com­municate this word one to another. And thou who art the first giuer of it, it shall grow the more with thee; for it growes through giuing of it. It is not like temporall riches, of which the more is giuen, the more they decrease: but these spirituall riches, the more they be giuen, the more they grow. Therefore be euer giuing of them, that thou maist bring many liuing stones vnto the house of God, and of Iesus Christ; for thou shalt not be glorified till the whole bodie be glorified. There­fore as thou wouldest be glorified, seeke the rest of the mem­bers to be glorified with thee, and be euer bestowing of these riches vpon the members of Christ, as thou hast receiued of him. These are the two effects that this word hath in others. The first is in the minde. The second is in the heart and affec­tions of the hearers. In the minde the effect of the word is, when thou teachest the ignorant that hath no knowledge, by Teaching of minde. opening vp the word thou doest minister knowledge to the ignorant, and so it stands in doctrine. The effect that it works in the heart is by admonishing and comforting, rebuking as Admonish­ing and comforting the heart. occasion serues. So I note the word of Iesus workes in all the parts and powers of the soule of man, in the minde, will, and euery affection: it runnes through al the faculties of the soule. As for the word of a Philosopher, that hath the knowledge of things earthly, it will informe thy knowledge, and it will let thee know the thing thou knewest not before; but it will not Psalm. 19. 7. 8 reforme nor alter thine heart: it is onely Christs word that doth that. Men are inclined to reade good morall bookes, but I warne thee, except thou reade this word of Christ, nothing can reforme thy heart. Therefore seeke to this Gospell. This is one thing I note, and another note is this. It is not enough for thee that hast the word of Christ in thy hart in great plen­tie and aboundance, to informe the vnderstanding of an igno­rant, [Page 336] no not in heauenly things: yea and it were to vnder­stand the whole Scriptures, thou hast not done all thou shoul­dest do, to make a learned hearer, though it were in the whole Note of a true tea­cher. ministerie of God: what shouldest thou do more? Thou must admonish, that is, thou must go to the heart of the hearer, and his affections, to see how he is disposed. So that if thou see the affections to be out of rule, as they will appeare in the man­ners of men, thou must tune thy speech according to the affe­ctions of them, and striue to put them in order. And if they be ouer loftie, thou must bring them low downe; and if they be deiected, thou must cheere them vp againe, comfort and in­courage them. In a word, thou must comfort, admonish, and rebuke, according as thou shalt finde the disposition of the hearer: if he were a King, thou must rebuke him as thou fin­dest Admoni­tion hard. occasion. The world cannot abide this. Speake to my vn­derstanding, say they, teach me Christ, what haue you more to doe? Make me and the people to vnderstand, but speake not to my affections. Let me and them bee together, meddle not with my affections, begin not to rebuke me, and to con­troule my affections, I wil not beare with it. But let men speak as they please, this is the truth. Neither art thou a faithfull teacher, if thou wert but a priuate man, if thou rebuke not a priuate man: much more a Preacher cannot discharge his du­tie in his Ministerie, if he admonish and rebuke not the person whom he sees, and knowes to offend. And therefore away with these Iniunctions, and rather close thy mouth then receiue such an Iniunction; otherwise thou canst not doe thy dutie. What profits me all the light in the world, if mine affections be out of rule? My knowledge shall doe me no good, and hee Affections vnruly. who speakes not to thy affections, hee shall doe thee no good, he must first instruct thy minde, and then speake to thine affe­ctions. I will not insist. But I affirme, there was neuer more neede to speake to the affections of men, to admonish, and re­buke, then in these times.

Now hee insists in the second thing, in raising vp the heart of the hearer, that is ouer farre cast downe and heauie, so that it cannot speake to God. To cheere it vp, I say, the meanes are Psalmes, that is the first. The second, is Hymnes. The third, [Page 337] is Songs, Canticles: All stands in singing, melodie of the voyce. The sad heart, that is ouer farre cast downe, that it cannot rise to glorifie God, requires to be raised vp with the melody of the voyce. I will not insist: Psalmes are songs in generall of what 1. Psalmes. argument or purpose soeuer they bee. Hymnes are songs of 2. Hymnes. praises, a speciall kinde of Psalme. Canticles or Odes are a 3. Canticles certaine kinde of Hymnes composed and made after a more artificiall manner, as the song of Salomon. The Lord recom­mends these as meanes, to raise vp the heart of man to God that is ouer sad. Then the lesson is this: Among all the rest of the meanes, whereby the heart is wakened and raised vp to God, singing is one. This melodie, this sweete harmonie, whe­ther it be naturall, or artificiall Musicke, serues to raise vp the heart to glorifie God. And therefore the melodie of the voyce it should be applied to the edifying of others. Looke how ye vse your voyce ye that haue it; the Lord giues it to thee for the edifying of thy brother. If any haue a Canticle, vse it to the edifying of thy brother: the greatest part vse it to the de­stroying of the hearer, and feeding of their foule affections to vanitie. Well, take heede you who haue voyces to sing, for thou shalt giue an account, if it be not to the edifying of the hearer.

In the words following, hee insists in a large description of these three. First for the matter, as concerning it; it should be spirituall and heauenly. All the matter of Psalmes, Hymnes, and Canticles, should be spirituall. For why? they come from the riches of the word in the heart. If thou haue this substance within thee, all thy songs will be of Scripture, of heauenly things, and all to glorifie thy God, and to edifie thy brother. Well, this that Paul speaks, condemnes all these songs of vaine and filthie purposes. Fie vpon thee, who doest abuse thy voyce in foule bawdrie matters, to corrupt and infect the affection of the hearer: It had bin better thou hadst not gotten a voyce. Then he comes to the forme of singing, which is, it should be gracious, that is, it should haue such gratiousnes, and grauitie, as might conuey grace to the heart of the hearer. This con­demnes all these light and wanton tunes that mistune the af­fection of the hearer. Besides this, it condemnes this chirming [Page 338] and chaunting in the Papistical Church. This word grace con­demnes all, because by their broken notes of Musicke they breake the words of the Scripture, and so they darken the sen­tence, that the words cannot be vnderstood, and feede not the heart with the words and sentences of the Scripture, but feed the eare with a vaine tune, and so it condemnes all their sing­ing; for al is gracelesse: because this singing which the Apostle requires should be such, as should not breake the words of the Scripture, but should make them more plaine and distinct. In the third place he comes on to the chiefe Organ, that is, the in­strument wherewith they should sing. It is not with the Or­gans of the Papists, no not with thy tongue; but it is with the heart, and with the affection of a well ruled heart. Therefore as a fidler, or any that playes on an Instrument tempers his Simile. Instrument, that a sweete harmonie may be heard of it: Euen so before thou sing, temper thou thy heart; and let thy song rise, not from thy throte, but from the depth of thine heart, that is, from thine affections set vpon God.

Lastly, he sets downe to whom we be to make this musicke, and whose eare we be to please in singing. He saith it is to the Lord: then it is the Lord Iesus Christ, to whom thou shouldst direct thy song, and whose eare thou shouldest please. So that he or she that sings either Psalmes, Hymnes, and Canticles, should set themselues to please the eare of Iesus Christ. You see these vaine singers set themselues to please the eares of men; but thou that wouldest sing with grace to edification, set thy selfe to please Christ Iesus, that hath pleased thee. O woe to thee that will not endeuour thy selfe to pleasure. Whom? not flesh, but him who hath pleasured thee. Fie on thee, that shouldest please thy selfe, with the displeasure of thy Lord! For what hast thou won, whē thou hast pleased al the world, with displeasing of God? When thou singest to the pleasure of God, thou giuest grace to the heart of thy neighbour, and edifiest the hearer. Thus much (brethren) of the meane whereby these graces are gotten.

As for the verse that followes, taking occasion of the for­mer, he sets downe a generall rule of all thine actions, to wit, that in al, Iesus Christ should euer be before thy eye: Al should [Page 339] be done to his honour. First he saith, Whatsoeuer you doe, doe all in the name of the Lord Iesus. That is, by calling vpon his ho­ly name, begin with him, and looke that thine eye be first on him: and say, Lord, mine eye is vpon thee, and all is for thy glorie. And in the end of the verse, he will not giue thee leaue to thanke the Father without the Sonne: for he saith, Giuing thankes to God the Father euen by him. The lesson is then; In all actions and speeches, euer respect Iesus Christ his honour and glorie: he is a maiestie of maiesties. When thou art honoring God the Father, misse not Christ by the way (otherwise thou shalt haue no accesse to that tribunall of grace) and say, O my God, I thanke thee through my Mediatour Iesus Christ. Lord haue mercie on me, for my Mediatour the Lord Iesus sake; for there is no mercie without Christ. The ground of this doing is, let be that he is God he hath also a Lordship ouer thee. Read Rom. 14. 8. 9. For this end hath hee died and risen againe, that hee might be Lord both of the dead and of the quicke. So honour him as thy Lord. As Paul 2. Cor. 5. 15. Christ hath died and risen to that end, that he who liues, liue no more to himselfe, but to him who died for him, and rose againe. Looke that that life of thine bee to him. Let all thy life, thy words and thy actions be to his glorie. Whereto should I insist to recommend this matter to you? ex­perience teacheth it. What ioy hath a man in any action, be it neuer so faire? what sweetnes hath any man? except in the meane time his eye be vpon the Mediatour the Lord Iesus, ex­cept his conscience tels him hee speakes to the honour of the Lord Iesus. I presse ye with experience, foundest thou euer any true ioy in thy heart, when thy hart & eye was not on Christ? No, no: there is no actiō if it were neuer so glorious, that will minister ioy to thy heart, except the eye & heart be on Christ. No, if it were a Preacher, if he haue not the eye of him on his Lord, his speeches auailes not; they will not comfort the soule of him. Therefore haue euer thy eye vpon this Lord Iesus, as euer thou wouldest haue pleasure and ioy in thy heart, and benefit to thy selfe in the Lord Iesus. To whom with the Father and blessed Spirit, be all ho­nour and praise for euer,

Amen

THE XXXII. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 18. 19.

18 Wiues, submit your selues vnto your husbands, as is comely in the Lord.

19 Husbands, loue your wiues, and be not bitter vnto them.

IN the text preceding the exhortation hath been ge­nerall, to wit, to mortification, pertaining to euery estate in the world. Now in this text he descends in particular to certaine speciall estates of men and women, di­recting his exhortation particularly to them, and namely to three estates. The first is to husbands and wiues. The second, is to parents and children. The third, is to masters and seruants. To come then to the purpose. It is to be vnderstood, that from the beginning of this world there hath euer been these three principall estates, and ranks of men and women in the world. The first is the estate of husbands and wiues: for ye know A­dam ere euer he had children he had his wife. The next after Inequality in all e­states. this, was the estate of parents and children; and then by pro­cesse of time there became some masters, and some seruants: so that this is the last in order and time. In these three estates all be not equall, but there is an inequalitie: some are supe­riours, and some are inferiours. The superiours he hath made to be Husbands, Parents, and Masters: The inferiours he hath made to bee Wiues, Children, and Seruants. For if all were [Page 341] equall, no policie could stand, nor order on the earth, but a confusion. The Lord, who is onely wise, knew this, and there­fore it pleased him to dispose the world after this manner; so that a policie might be kept in it. These being the three estates, the Scripture hath chiefe respect to them, and giues exhorta­tions to these three. In all he begins first at the inferiours, as in this place he begins at the wiues, and then comes to the hus­bands. The cause of this is, because the estate of the inferiours is hardest, and therefore the spirit of God first informes the in­feriours, that they should take that burthen the Lord hath laid on them, and that they should doe that, which they doe, willingly (for I will not giue a peny for thy seruice and subiec­tion if it be compelled) for the subiection that is voluntarie is blessed, whether it be by wife, child or seruant; otherwise all is nothing worth; thou hast lost thy thankes. But to come to the words.

First he saith, Wiues submit your selues vnto your husbands. Few words, but pithie. Note foure things.In them ye shall marke foure things. 1 First, that dutie that is required of maried wiues, the dutie is subiec­tion and obedience. 2 The second is, to whom they owe this du­tie, not to euery one, but to their owne husbands. 3 The third, is the manner of subiection, how it shall be done, to wit, in the Lord. 4 The fourth, is the argument to moue them, and it is ta­ken from that, that is comely. The dutie then is subiection: let vs weigh it. The first thing in it is obedience in deede and effect. This is the first part of subiection, as appeares in the first Epistle of Peter, chap. 3. where the Apostle making men­tion of the ancient women, brings in the example of Sara, and there he defines that subiection. Yet there is more in this sub­iection then simple obedience. The obedience must haue ioy­ned with it honouring of thy husband in word: As thou o­beyest Subiection of wiues to the hus­bands, and what re­quired in it him indeede and effect; so thou must honour him in word: therefore in that same place it is said, that Sara called her husband Lord. Yet there is more then all this: there is feare and reuerence in the heart required, that is the ground of all. Paul Ephes. 5. 33. speakes expresly of this: Looke that the wife feare and reuerence her husband in heart. So then there is this subiection in the whole parts thereof. In deed, it is obedience: [Page 342] in word, it is honouring of him: in heart, it is feare and reue­rence. Note. So that wife which will be subiect to her husband, must keepe these three points; or else she faileth in subiection.

Come to the second: to whom this subiection ought to be giuen, not to euery one: To your owne husbands. This subiection is commaunded, not to strange men, but to your owne hus­bands. The speciall kind of subiection, wherein stands the du­tie of the wife to the husband, is not to be communicated with any other man. It is true, the male kind hath a preferment a­boue the female: it hath honour aboue the other. Looke Paul 1. Tim. 2. 13. 14. where he giues two reasons of this preferment. The first is from the creation, Adam was first created, and then Eue. The second is, from the transgression, the woman fell first; and it is sure, first in sinne, last in honour. Notwithstanding this, wiues are not commaunded to doe this dutie to euery man, but to their owne husbands. If you will mark the words narrowly, you shal perceiue there lurks an argument in them. The argument is taken from their propertie: they are your proper goods; thou hast nothing so proper as thy husband: and therefore seeing thy husband is thy proper good, shoul­dest thou not doe a dutie to thy husband? But I leaue this, and I come to the manner. The manner of this subiection is boun­ded: In the Lord: the Lord Iesus must be the rule of it. But to consider the words. Wiues be subiect to your husbands in the Lord, The man­ner of the subiection. in these two respects. 1 First, when you are subiect to your hus­bands, be first subiect to Iesus Christ; obey him, honour him; there is the first dutie which is according to the law; discharge thy dutie to God first, otherwise thou art in a backward way. Begin neuer then at a man, though it were at a King, to shew and giue thy subiection; but begin first at God, and subiect thy selfe first to him. 2 Secondly, when thou hast done thy dutie to the Lord Iesus Christ, then for the loue, and pleasure and glorie of this Lord, thou shouldest subiect thy selfe to thy hus­band. I will giue thee my counsell, let neuer wife be subiect to her husband, but for the cause of Christ, and not for thy hus­bands cause. First, if thou doe it so for the Lords cause, thou shalt haue great aduantage. The first aduantage is, thou shalt not obey thy husband, but in things lawfull, honest, agreeable [Page 343] to the will of the Lord, though he should commaund thee ne­uer Note well two aduan­tages by obeying in the Lord: first, they shall obey, but in that the Lord commands: secondly, the seruice Christ ac­cepts as done to himselfe. so much. And if thou obey him in things vnlawfull, thou shalt deerely buy it. And indeede, a faire aduantage to do no­thing but that that is lawfull, honest, and agreeable to the Lords will. The second aduantage is, Obeying in the Lord; all the seruice thou shalt doe to thy husband, thou shalt doe it to Iesus Christ, Ephes. 6. 5. Where there is another doing in the Lord set downe, what euer thou shalt do, do it in singlenes of heart, and not in doublenes. As there be many false wiues, who in obeying their husbands, haue a double heart, obeying them outwardly, not for any good will or liking they haue to them; but for some other cause and respect, while as in the meane time she wil haue in her mind one euill or other against him. Yea while she is shewing her selfe obedient to her hus­band outwardly, her minde will be occupied on her harlotrie with another: this is no single obedience, and the cause is, for as much as thine eye is not vpon the Lord, and it is impossible that thou canst be sincere in thy doing, except thine eye be vpon the Lord. Lastly, doing all for his sake, and in sinceritie: Who shall reward thee? what benefit shalt thou get? shall it be a temporall thing, that he can bestow vpon thee? No, no: the Lord Iesus, whom thou preferrest in the obeying of thy Great re­ward for seruing Christ. husband and seruice doing to him, he shall meete thee and re­ward thee with a crown of glorie. Woe were it for me & thee if in his seruice done in his name and for his sake, wee looked for no more but for these earthly rewards, though it were to be made a King or a Queene: for wee and they both shall va­nish away; for nothing is permanent here vnder the Sunne. Well, doe nothing, but for the Lord Iesus sake, and that that is agreeable to his will, & say: All that I do to my husband, O Lord, all is for thy sake: otherwise all thy seruice stinkes, thou shalt lose thy labour; for thou shalt receiue no reward of him. This for the manner of subiection and obedience vnto your husbands.

Now followes the fourth thing to be considered, the argu­ment to moue them to this dutie: In a word, It is comely: It is reasonable: it is iust. Would you see this? It leanes vpon good grounds (neuer action had better.) First, it is grounded vpon [Page 344] the ordinance of God; first made before the fall, and after the The argu­ment of subiection. fall renewed againe. Secondly, it is grounded vpon the law of nature: the Lord hath written it in thy heart at the first creation: Thou shalt be subiect to thy husband. Besides this, ye that are wiues, you haue this conscience of your owne in­firmitie, you are the weaker vessels: and therefore ye craue a head: ye craue to be vnder a Superiour. Thou who art disobe­dient, who is it that thou hast to doe with? Is it a man? Looke what breach of law is here. First, thou breakest Gods law. Se­condly, thou breakest the law of nature. And thirdly, thou doest against thy owne conscience. Doubt yee that all these bands lies on you? I tell you Eue fell not so soone, but all these bands were laid on her. In the third chapter of Genesis, verse 16. Thy appetite shall be toward him, &c. And therefore marke it. This rebellion and wantonnesse in many wiues, it is not so small a sinne as you thinke. It is a sinne against God and his law. Secondly, it is against nature. Thirdly, it is against thy conscience. This is not well knowne by many; therefore learne to know it in time. Ye haue now heard the wiues part.

Now I come to the men, Husbands loue your wiues; that is the thing he charges them to doe: then he saies, Be not bitter vnto them: that he forbids. The thing then he bids them doe, is Loue. So subiection in the wife should be met with loue and care in things spirituall and temporall; this is generall, subiec­tion in the inferiour should be met with loue and care of the superiour in things earthly and temporall, and in things spiri­tuall. Superiours bound to duties as well as in­feriours. For it is not the Lords will that the inferiour should be bound to a dutie, and the superiour should goe free; but he is as fast fastened to doe a dutie to his inferiour, and more; the greater preferment the greater burthen: all the honours men get, are the greater burthens to them. Vnder the tearme of loue, is vnderstood all kind of dutie belonging to the wife; prouiding it begin at the heart, and not at the mouth, nor hand. And therefore the word loue comprehends the most in­tire affection: wey it well, it is not a slender loue.Loue. 1 For first it imports a great affection in the heart, and not a superficiall af­fection. 2 Secondly, it imports such an affection, as onely rests vpon the wife, not a wandring lust, for many esteeme any wo­man [Page 345] alike to them in filthy lust. 3 Thirdly, this word imports an affection of loue, that is, holy and chast, not a harlots loue. If thou haue a harlots heart, thou defilest thy selfe and thy wife both. These are the three properties of this loue: first, it is a deepe loue in the heart. Secondly, it must rest only on thy wife. And thirdly, it must be chast. Ephes. 5. 25. Paul saith, Hus­bands loue your wiues. How shall ye loue them? He saith, As Christ loued his Church: Albeit he cannot attaine to the great­nesse and quantitie of this loue: yet keepe the qualitie of it. How loues Christ the Church? Vnspeakably. O the chastnes of the loue of Christ, that he keepes to his Church! He loues his owne Church, and he loues not an harlot Idolater. She is set vp before him as a chast virgin. Then take thy example of thy spouse Christ. Looke how he loues thee, after the same man­ner loue thou thy wife. Whom should they loue? Their owne proper wiues, no strange woman; cast not your fansie vpon them. Ye know we are set to loue that, that properly pertaines to vs; but I say to you who are Husbands, ye haue not such a property to any thing as to your wiues; yea your heritage, though you had a kingdome, is not so properly yours, as they are. And therefore seeing it is naturall to euery man to loue his owne, though it were so abiect, why shouldest thou not loue that, that is most proper to thee? I see a kind of meeting here: before he made men proper to their wiues; now he makes the wiues proper to the husbands: so that the man may say, thou art my proper portion: there is not such a property in substance and riches, as this. For the riches cannot say to the man, thou art my propertie. Indeede there are many niggard Couetous­nes. hearted bodies, and to these men their goods may say; thou art mine as well as I am thine. O woe is thee, thou forgettest thy dutie! For what coniunction can there be betwixt thee and thy goods? There is not a coniunction like this betwixt man and woman; so that either is others property: and euery one of them may say to others, thou art my propertie. There is no such coniunction except that coniunction which is betwixt the head and the bodie, and that coniunction that is betweene Christ and his Church, which is greater then both the other coniunctions. This coniunction betweene Christ and his [Page 346] Church, is the greatest coniunction that is; for all other con­iunctions will seuer, but this betwixt Christ and his Church seuers neuer. A man may be separated from his wife by adul­tery or death, a man may haue his head chopt off him, and a man may lose his goods; but once conioyned with Christ, thou shalt neuer be seuered from him, nor he from thee: What shall separate vs, saith Paul, from the loue of Christ, Rom. 8. 35. The second coniunction is of the head with the body: the third Our con­iunction with Christ inseparable coniunction is of the man with the wife: euery one of these may claime other, as their proper goods; so streight is the knot and bond that bindes them vp together.

Now we haue in the end of the verse the thing forbidden, and it is that that is contrarie to loue, to wit, bitternes. Loue and sweetnes is commended: bitternes, rigorousnes and cru­eltie is forbidden. There are many husbands, who are tyrants ouer their wiues; that should not be: they ought not to vse tyrannie though it were ouer a dog or cat. Brethren, we know all this, that there is nothing more naturall to man, then the desire and seeking of preferment: and the poorest body would be a King. And yet notwithstanding this sinfull body cannot beare it, it cannot vse it: the sinfull man cannot beare prefer­ment though it were but ouer his owne wife; the father ouer the child; the master ouer the seruant: if ye set him ouer beasts, dogs and sheepe, make him a sheepe keeper, he shall vtter the bitternes of his heart, for giue him ouer to his owne nature, he shall degenerate into tyrannie. This is the tyrannie of man. Note well. What is the cause of all this? The higher he be lifted vp aboue others, the higher is his foule affection lifted vp aboue him­selfe: so the honour of this world doth no good to men, except the wicked affection be sanctified by the spirit of Christ. Woe be to thee that art a King, if thy affection be not sanctified! Wo be to thee that art a husband, if thy affection be not sanctified in thy preferment! And therfore the spirit of God inioynes that they seeke not preferment, who haue not gotten their affec­tion sanctified. Thou that hast not gotten a sanctified affec­tion, seeke not to be a King, seeke not to be a husband, seeke not to be a Parent, seeke not to raigne ouer a country, to be a Peere in a Land, a Magistrate; for thou shalt abuse it to thy [Page 347] damnation. Why should men, whom the Lord hath cast downe, be raised vp and put in preferment? shame shall be­tide them, who seeke to set them vp againe, if they repent not. Wilt thou set vp a man with a heart like a Viper? O sie on thee, thou shalt feele the dint of this iniquitie. Yet to come againe to the word, Bitternes: looke that your loue turne not into gall. Bitternes. There be many, who haue bin louing in the beginning, but in­continent they haue turned their loue to gall. This bitternes must either be in the hart, or els in the behauiour: if it be in the hart, then fare ye well, he becomes a monster to his wife. Is it lawful for a man to strike his own flesh? wil not euery one that The hus­band not to smite his own wife. heares or sees that, say; the man is mad, and worse then a brute beast? For this doing comes of the bitternes of the heart a­gainst the wife, and thou shewest that thy heart is alienated from her, when that thou sets not by what becomes of her, and so thou art a monster to her without affection either to loue thy wife or care for her. Bitternes in the behauiour, is ei­ther in word or deede. Indeede it is true, this bitternes in the behauiour it wil oftentimes proceed of the infirmities, that are in you women: therefore you should take heed to your infir­mities, and stir not vp that gall. But yet there is an euil ground in thee, who art the man. This bitternes of thine in behauiour proceedes of wanting of wit. It would beseeme many a man better to be a wife, then a man. Who will count of them that cannot beare the infirmities of women, but they are degene­rate men? Wisedome and discretion requires that they bee borne withall. Beares not Christ with thy infirmities? Hath he euer broken the brused reede? Wilt thou not follow him, and beare with the infirmities of them, who are conioyned with thee? Yet this is not so spoken, that we should let you go away altogether, but wee should so beare with them, that wee should goe about to amend them in lenitie, as Iesus Christ beares with his spouse the Church. And this is that honour Pe­ter speakes of in his first Epistle chap. 3. vers. 7. giuing honour vnto your wiues as the weaker vessels. I will not insist in this. In al this dutie of the wife to the husband, and the husband to the wife, I see not a better way to discharge it, then to haue thine eye vpon Christ and his Church: Follow Iesus, as he behaued [Page 348] himselfe to his Church; so behaue thy selfe to thy wife. There­fore as euer thou wouldest bee partaker with Iesus and his Church, conforme thy selfe to Christ and his Church: for if thou wilt not doe this, thou knowest not Christ nor his Church. Thou bitter husband, thou knowest not Christ nor his Church. Thou, who art an euill wife, knowes not Christ: thou keepest not faith to Iesus Christ; and not doing that, how canst thou be safe? So brethren, and sisters be wise: the Lord giue the man wisedome, the Lord giue the woman wisedome: for there is an account that abides euery one of them. There­fore liue in feare, and mutuall dutie euery one to another, that yee may bee glorified with Christ your head and spouse. To whom with the Father and the holy Spirit, be all praise and honour,

Amen.

THE XXXIII. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 20. 21.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for that is well pleasing vnto the Lord.

21 Fathers, prouoke not your children to anger, least they be dis­couraged.

HAuing ended the generall exhortation concerning all estates of men indifferently; the last day, as the Lord gaue grace, wee entred into the speciall, con­cerning Three states in a familie. euery estate of men. There are three estates in a fami­lie. The first is the husband and the wife. The second estate is [Page 349] the parents and the children. The third estate is the master and the seruants. The last day we spake of the first estate con­cerning husbands and wiues; now this day we haue to speake of the second estate, to wit, of parents and children. The words are few, yet as the Lord giues grace we shall weigh euery one, and only shall set downe the doctrine properly, as the words shall affoord.

The exhortation begins at the children the inferiour ranke, as before it began at the wife. I shewed you the last day the cause: The estate of the inferiour is most hard to be borne withall: therefore first hee directs his speech to the inferiour estate, to instruct them that willingly they take vpon them that burthen, which otherwise they must beare, or els displease God. To come to the words. Children obey your parents. The word childe, in it owne language is common both to the manchild, and to the womanchilde; both are comprehended indifferently vnder the name of children; and therefore this precept is directed indifferently to both. The word, if ye would marke the meaning of it, signifieth him or her, who are begot­ten What the word chil­dren mea­neth. and borne of those which are called parents: yet in the se­cond place it is directed to euery one which beares the name of sonnes and daughters, whether they be daughters in law, or sonnes in law. Ruth as ye reade, daughter in law to Naomi, she tooke this precept to her: she would not depart from her good mother; and as you reade, she promised obedience to her in all things. Experience teacheth vs this day, that there bee few like these two. Then briefly this much for them, to whom this precept is directed. The next thing to be marked in the words, is the dutie commaunded, which is this.

Children obey: this is the duty. This duty of obediēce, is a du­tie yt pertaines to the whole man both soule and bodie; it must come inwardly frō the hart, and outwardly from the hand. 1 To let you see it better, in the soule it is reuerence, because thy pa­rents be thy superiours; they be not thine equals; and therfore Obedience to parents. thou art bound to reuerence thy parents, as thy superiours: for reuerence is nothing els, but an acknowledging of thy superi­ours. 2 Next in the hart & soule it is loue, because thou art boūd to thy parents by nature, and the band wherewith God hath [Page 350] bound thee to thy parents, is loue. Thou takest substance and being of thy parents, al that thou hast in this world vnder God thou hast it of thy parents: therefore the bond of nature binds thee to thy parents, to loue them. 3 Thirdly, this obedience in the soule and heart, is thankfulnes for the manifold benefits receiued, first by thy parents: thou art not the beginner of li­beralitie, but thy parents they begin to be beneficiall to thee, and therefore thou art bound to be thankfull vnto them. And this much for the duties in the soule.

To come to the obedience in the bodie, which is nothing els, but an outward testification of all those things that are in Externall obedience to parents. thy soule, it stands 1 first in a reuerent speech. 2 Secondly, in o­beying the commaund of thy parents. 3 And thirdly, in com­pensation of the benefits receiued of thy parents. I reade in the first Epistle to Timothie chap. 5. vers. 4. he makes mention espe­cially of the last, Let children (saith he) learne to shew godlinesse first toward their owne familie, beginning at their father & their mother. If thou be not godly to them, thou canst not be godly to another. And againe, vers. 3. Thou that wilt not prouide for thy familie, art worse then an Infidell. Thou that wilt not prouide for thy father and mother, thou hast no faith. Well, ye who are children, learne of Ioseph, what hee did to his father and brethren. It is said he fed them, he fed his old father, and put meate in his mouth: but thou wilt wring it out of their mouth, if they haue but one mouthfull. Yea if thou haue wealth and they be in pouertie, thou wilt not know them, nor help them, but wilt begin to be ashamed af them. Thou wilt not let them come within thy doores, and if they come at any time to thine house to be eased, thou accounts so lightly of them that thou canst not abide their presence at thy boord, or in thy hall, but away with them to the chimney corner. O villaine! thou art vnworthie to be called a sonne, and as an vnthankfull bodie thou shalt finde thy reward to be worse then the reward of the worst Infidell in the world. Know ye not this to be true? yea some children when they come to yeares, will wring all from their parents, and send them to beg their meate. O Scotland, thou hast many such children within thee! but woe, yea double and treble woe be vpon them for euer! Then the dutie [Page 351] commaunded, is obedience, and this commaundement lets vs see how naturally children are inclined to disobedience. God Children naturally inclined to disobediēce bound thee in the creation to obedience, and now the world is so degenerate, that there is nothing to be found in children for the most part but contempt, and disobedience euery way. O the malicious lowne will not be so despitefull to any, as to his parents! So this commaundement lets thee see the stubborne nature of children against their parents. O but if this commandement enforce thee not to doe thy dutie to thy parents, thou shalt be reserued in bonds to thine eternall damnation.

But to goe forward, to whom should this obedience bee shewed? Obey (saith he) Whom? not euery one, but thy pa­rents, him and her that haue begotten thee and borne thee, of whom thou hast thy being, and all that thou hast vnder God: that is the force of the word. So in the word there lurkes a for­cible argument from nature. Vnnaturall bodie, will not na­ture moue thee? art thou vnnaturall? thou art vngodly to God. For thou who breakest the bond of nature, thou brea­kest the bond of pietie. So the argument is from nature. It is wonderfull to see how Ethnicks children moued by the light of nature, haue obeyed their parents. There was a law made a­mong the Athenians, that the child should feede the old pa­rent, or els be bound in fetters so long as hee liued. If this law were in Scotland, I thinke there should bee many children bound in fetters; yea so many as there could be fetters made for them. Well, wilt thou goe to the beasts? they may shame thee: thou maist reade of their gratitude to their parents, as for thee they may cal thee very wel mother-curse and malison. If nature hath been so forcible in Ethnicks, Pagans, and brute beasts; shall grace doe nothing in thee? Wilt thou say thou standest in grace, and then wilt not doe the thing that nature requires of thee? It is shame to thee to stand vp and say with a brasen brow, that thou stands in grace, when nature hath no force in thee? Thou liest, thou hast nothing to doe with grace, for that thou hast lost euen thy naturall affection.

The next thing lets children s [...] in what thing they should be obedient: apparantly the word hath no exception: Obey [Page 352] (saith he) in all things. The word is either of one action, and in it is required a perfect and whole obediēce. (If thou wilt obey, if it were but in action, giue him whole obedience in doing of the same. Some will goe to worke with grudging and glonsh­ing: the lowne will goe with a backward looke, murmuring, and whispering, with a diuels pater noster. This is but halfe o­bedience, and thou shalt get no thankes for it: therefore as thou wouldest haue thankes of God, let thy obedience be vo­luntarie and cheerefull, or els the Lord loues thee not.) Or this may be vnderstood of sundrie actions, Obey in all things what­soeuer. You will aske; Are the children bound in euery thing to obey? Apparantly the Apostle meanes so. Brethren, there are three sorts of actions, or things in the world: 1 the first that is Three sorts of actions. plaine euill forbidden by God: when it comes to that action obey him not: when the father of heauen countermaunds, o­bey not thine earthly father. 2 There is another sort that is good, commaunded of God: when thy father commands that, thou art bound to doe it; yea when he bids thee not, thou oughtest to obey, because God hath commaunded thee. And if God and thy father commaund, how darest thou disobey? 3 The third sort are indifferent actions, that are neither bidden, nor forbid­den, but may be done and not done according to circumstan­ces, which make them good or euill: when thy parents com­maunds thee to doe them, thou oughtest to obey, considering the circumstances; yea thou art bound to obey thy parents euen in things that are grieuous to thee. The Lord hath bound thee so streightly to thy parents, that if the Lord countermand not, thou art bound to obey him, I say, euen in that that is grieuous vnto thee. And briefly these are the things, in the which obedience is to be done to earthly parents.

Now followes the argument to moue them to this obedi­ence, for (saith he) that is well pleasing to the Lord; he likes well of it: for in obeying them thou pleasest not so much them, as the Lord Iesus who lookes vpon the inward disposition of the heart. Well are they that can please the Lord: set thy heart to please him; for there is no ioy, but when the heart thinkes True ioy. that the thing that it doth, pleaseth God. Wherefore is it plea­sing to him? There is nothing pleasing to him but that that is [Page 353] iust: the iust Lord likes nothing but that that is iust. Therefore Ephes. chap. 6. vers. 1. hee said, Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right, or iust. Wherefore is it iust? because hee hath said it is according to a law, and this is the law, Honour thy father and thy mother. But the word hath further. It is well pleasing, that is, exceeding pleasing and acceptable in an high degree. The Lord hath declared this, that this obedience to the parents is not only pleasing, but in a high sort it likes him wel. Looke in the order of the Commandements, begins he not in the second table at this Commaundement? Honour thy father and mother, to serue them, that is the next commaundement of seruice he commaunds to be done; after him thou art boun­den to thy earthly father; and more he hath declared, that it is pleasing by that promise that is added to that commaunde­ment, That thy daies may be long in the land &c. So this promise lets thee see that there is not a dutie vnder his owne worship more acceptable to him, then this dutie to parents is, and if To please parents is a dutie ve­ry accep­table vnto God. thou omit that dutie and dishonour thy parents, although thou shouldest giue to others all thy goods, thou shalt neuer doe any thing pleasing vnto the Lord. Well, you that are diso­bedient to parēts, the Lord shall lay to your charge the breach of the whole law. This argument hath an higher ground: be­fore it moue children to doe this dutie; first of all they must know the Lord Iesus, they must studie to please him; and then knowing him, and studying to please him, out of question they will be obedient to their parents. Because my heart is set to please the Lord, therefore I will obey my father. And therefore you that are parents, take your lesson; As you would haue your children obey you for the Lords sake, so traine them vp in the Lord. Tell them what the Lord is, and what hee hath done for them, and what they are indebted to the Lord. If you Education. omit this, to instruct them, of the iust iudgement of God it may come to passe, that thine owne childe may be thy greatest enemie. So woe to thee that wilt not let thy sonne know the Lord Iesus. Now you see this argument. What if the child o­bey? he hath here a faire offer, if you obey you doe that is ac­ceptable to God; as by the contrarie, if thou disobey, thou dis­pleasest not so much thy earthly father, as thou displeasest [Page 354] God. And thinkest thou that thou shalt doe that vnpunished? Thy earthly parents cannot get an amends of thee, but thou canst not passe away and eschue Gods iudgements. Reade you not of the punishment threatned, Exod. 21? It is commaunded that the disobedient to parents should bee stoned to death. Deut. 27. Among the rest of the curses, he that curseth his pa­rents hath a speciall curse: and what is this curse? is this curse, in hell euerlasting damnation? Is there no more? Prou. 30. vers. 17. The eye that mockes the father (as there be many lownes that mocke their father) and despiseth the instruction of his mo­ther, let the Rauens of the valley picke it out, and the young Eagles eate it. Would you haue an example? Reade of Cham, the Scripture tels you what an eternall curse he and his posteritie got. Reade you not of the curse of Absolon and of Abimelech, Iudg. 9. he slew all the lawfull sonnes of Gedeon, but the Lord reuenged it. We haue no neede to goe to farre examples; see we not daily examples of the iudgements of God vpon diso­bedient children to their parents? Thus farre for the dutie of Children.

Now followeth the dutie of the parents. Fathers (saith the Apostle) prouoke not your children to anger, the reason; least they be discouraged. This commaundement to parents lets you see, euen as the children may faile in doing of their dutie to their Duties of parents to children. parents; so parents may faile in their dutie to their children: albeit the failing of the one be not so common, as the other: for the loue of the father is more entire to the child, then is the loue of the child to the father: and therefore his failing wil not be so oft, nor yet so great. And the parent that is outragious, he sheweth himselfe very vnnaturall: for his loue should be greater, then the offence of the childe. Yet now adaies many are vnnaturall parents, for nature is greatly broken and al­most Naturall affection much de­cayed. taken quite away: and therefore the end of the world is at hand; and I am sure there is not so great hatred among the Ethnicks, as there is among parents and children this day in Scotland.

But to come to the words: he speaks to the fathers especially, and not to the mothers, there is some cause of this. Fathers (saith he) prouoke not &c. This is because this vice of bitternes, [Page 355] and rigorousnes in dealing with the childe in wrath, is found with the men chiefly; he will handle his childe so bitterly, as if he were a dog: as for the mothers they incline to a more intire loue to their childe; and if they faile, they faile in ouermuch bearing with them. Fathers (saith he) prouoke them not to wrath, as if he would say, they will be wrath, if you put ouer sore to them: for why? thou hast begotten thy childe like to thy selfe of a corrupt affection, and therefore blame them not if they be angrie at thee, if thou vrge them ouer much. And it is true, many euill disposed parents will haue euill disposed children; the canker that is in the child, is drawne out of thee: and ther­fore thou shouldest seeke to amend it. There be many waies to prouoke them to wrath: First, when thou commaundest Many waies to prouoke children. them to doe that that is vngodly (as there are many that doe thus.) Secondly, when thou art outragious and despitefull, and wilt miscall thy childe. Thirdly, when thou beginnest to strike without rime or reason. These are the three waies wher­by chiefly they are prouoked to wrath, as 1. Sam. 20. 30. Saul breakes off with despitefull talke to Ionathan, and calles him a harlots sonne (wilt thou call thy sonne whores sonne? then thou hast a harlot to thy wife) Then he said, goe get me Dauid, for he shall surely die: he commaunded him to doe a thing vn­godly: it greatly grieued him, that he was so miscalled of his father, as also that his father commaunded him a thing vnlaw­full. Therefore ye who are parents be not like Saul; abuse not your children as Saul did Ionathan: for no question, this abu­sing of Ionathan was one part of his enditement: God will not let it slip vnpunished: therefore haue thine eye to the Lord, that thou maist see what is pleasing and displeasing vnto him. O it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Lord! ther­fore blessed art thou that studiest to please the Lord, for thou shalt raigne with him in glorie. Prouoke not to anger (saith he) Whom? who but your owne children, and bowels: thou art very vnnaturall, who wilt rent out thine owne bowels. In this word there lurkes an argument from nature, forcible in the very infidels and beasts. See you not how beasts will loue their owne young and handle them louingly? Well, if nature cra­ueth this that thou shouldest not anger thine owne child, [Page 356] what craueth grace? Thou doest challenge grace, and yet thou vtterest no signe of grace in thee: if there be any in thee, thou shouldest vtter it towards thine owne. The argument is sub­ioyned in the end of the verse, Prouoke not (saith he) your chil­dren to anger, least they be discouraged. Thou dullest them and makest them like dogges, by knocking and dinging still on The argu­ment. them. The argument is not taken from any mutuall miurie. I think if the Apostle had knowne our countrey, he would haue vsed this other argument, least the childe meete thee with a double reuenge, and pluck the bit out of thy cheeke, and thou who art his mother hee strike thee on the face, and shut thee out of doores, and cause thee begge thy bread, as wee see this day some doe to their father and mother. But the Apostle saw not such things in his time; therefore hee takes not his argu­ment from the euill of the sonne to the father, but from the euil of the father to the childe. This discouraging is not so much by reason of the rigorous dealing, as by reason of the person that doth it. It is my father who should doe me most good, yet it is hee who doth me most euill: for this generall is true, the neerer they be ioyned to vs who doe vs any wrong, our dis­pleasure is the greater. So this discouragement is not so much for the euill, as for the person that doth it.

To conclude, of all others especially the father by his doing is most effectuall either to winne or lose his childe. There is none will lose or winne thy child, so soone as thy selfe, and all because of that coniunction that is betwixt thee and thy child. I reade of two waies to lose thy child; but there is one way on­ly Two waies to lose a child. to winne him: 1 the first way to lose him is this rigorous and despitefull dealing; thou dullest him and takes all spirit from him. 2 The other way is ouermuch bearing with him, and if thou passe measure in this, thou shalt lose him also; and it is no loue to the child to doe so: for he who spareth the rod, hateth the child, Prou. 13. 24. Ely thought he loued his sonnes when he correc­ted them not, when they offended: but I say to you he hated them, and was the wracke of his children vnder God: for the Lord had said they should die, yet hee vsed Elyes indulgencie for that purpose. Absolon was lost, because hee was ouermuch borne with. As for the thing that will winne them, it is that [Page 357] golden mediocritie; make not Gods of them, nor yet Diuels of them. And would you haue a warrant of this? Paul Ephes. 6. vers. 4. saith, Parents bring them vp: and how? by filling their bellies? No, no: but with instruction; instruct them in the true forme of religion, in the rudiments of the knowledge of Iesus Christ, tell them of God from the time they can begin to Catechi­sing of children how soone. babble. See if you can get the holy spirit to possesse them, that they may feare God. This is that golden mediocritie, and if thou misse this way, all other waies shall be to lose thine owne child. Goe get great heritages to him, and if thou bring him not vp to know God, thou doest nothing els but heape vp coales of fire to destroy him: and as oft as thou art in hea­ping vp of thy pelfe for him, thou doest but endeuour to burie him in destruction. The Lord open our eyes that wee may see the things that are offered to vs in Christ Iesus: To whom with the Father and the holy Spirit, be all praise now and for euer,

Amen.

THE XXXIIII. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL to the Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 3. vers. 22. 23. 24. 25. and Chap. 4. vers. 1.

22 Seruants, be obndient vnto them that are your masters ac­cording to the flesh in all things, not with eye seruice as men pleasers, but in singlenes of heart, fearing God.

23 And what soeuer ye doe, doe it heartily, as to the Lord, and not vnto men,

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receiue the reward of the inheritance: for ye serue the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doth wrong, shall receiue for the wrong that hee hath done, and there is no respect of persons.

1 Ye masters, doe vnto your seruants that which is iust and e­quall, knowing that ye also haue a master in heauen.

THese last daies (welbeloued brethren) we entred into the particular precepts & exhortations, concerning particular estates of men and women. And first we spake of the dutie of wiues to their husbands; and againe of the dutie of husbands to their wiues. Next we spake of the du­tie of children to their parents; and againe of the dutie of pa­rents to their children. Now the last estate in a familie is, the estate of masters and seruants. Therefore wee haue to speake of the dutie of the seruant to the master; and againe of the master to the seruant, because there is a mutual dutie required: and they are so bound the one to the other, that they cannot be separate.

[Page 359] To come then to the words: There is one precept giuen to seruants; Seruants (saith he) obey your masters. Then after hee insists vpon this obedience, and describes it largely. First, hee sets downe the matter of it, in what things they should obey. Secondly, he comes to the forme of obedience, and describeth it. Thirdly, he goes to the fountaine and ground of all dutie, which is the heart. Then lastly, to moue seruants to this obe­dience, hee brings in two arguments. The first is, for that rich is the reward in heauen. And the second is, for that recom­pence that God shall giue to masters, who doe not their dutie to their seruants. To the words. Seruants, saith hee. In these daies when the Apostle directed this precept, properly here by seruants is vnderstood such as were in a hard estate, slaues, bought and sold like beasts, ouer whom the masters had power Seruants in the A­postles time permitted by lawes to slay and saue them, as ouer beasts: so their estate was hard and heauie. Secondly, you must vnder­stand, they were seruants conuerted to Christ, and their estate in that case was blessed. Thirdly, they were for the most part such as had to their masters Infidels, not yet conuerted to the faith of Iesus Christ; and so were the more rigorous. For oh the crueltie of the Infidell ouer the Christian! Now in respect of their estate, hearing of the libertie of the Gospell, they mi­stooke it, and began to think that Christ and his Gospell came to destroy policie and lawes, that binds vp Common-weales. And therefore many of them began to turne grace into wan­tonnes, and began to leaue their masters, thinking that the Gospel made an equalitie of persons, as the Anabaptists teach at this day. Therefore the Apostle perceiuing this, hee directs this precept to them, recommending obedience notwithstan­ding of the Gospell. Thou art a brother, and a sister, and yet a seruant; therefore obey. Now howbeit properly and in the first roome, this precept bee directed to seruants that were slaues, bought and sold; yet it is extended also to all kinde of seruants. It pertaines to you as well as to them.

Come to the next: what is commaunded them? The dutie is obedience; Obey, saith he. Hee that is a seruant should not rule, but obey. The whole dutie of the inferiour to the supe­riour, is called in one word, Honour: so the Lord termes it. And [Page 360] it hath two speciall parts. First, reuerence in words. The infe­riour is bound to reuerence the superiour in his talke. The se­cond Honour hath two parts. part is obedience in deede: he is bound not onely to re­uerence him in words, but also to obey that hee commaunds. Both these must begin at the heart: otherwise thy reuerence and obedience auailes not. Now the Apostle especially insists vpon obedience. The dutie recommended to children is obe­dience; and the like is recommended here, because of the two duties, obedience is the hardest. It is an easie thing to doe cur­tesie to thy master, to put off thy cap, and becke: but here is al the grauitie and weight of the matter, to obey. This the Apostle considering, he stickes most on it, howbeit vnder it all poynts of dutie be comprehended. This for the dutie. Now followes the persons to whom it appertaines. Obey. Whom? not euery one, but your Lords and masters. Those that God hath set ouer you. It pleases him to make thē superiours, & you inferiours; therefore obey them. Yea, the name it selfe containes an argu­ment to moue thee to do thy dutie: he is thy Lord and master, and thou shouldest thinke with thy selfe, he is my master, therefore I should obey; I am bound to doe it, Let euery soule (saith Paul) be subiect to the superiour powers. There is the com­mandement. The words that follow, be to the consolation of Rom. 13. 1 the seruant, your master, saith he: but how? according to the flesh. That is, according to things bodily, not according to the spirit and soule. This is thy comfort, that art a seruant; there is no master that is set ouer thy soule, no not a King is set ouer thy soule, to sit on thy conscience: for that were an absolute power that commaunds, as well the soule as the bodie. Now (bre­thren) there is not a Lord that may commaund so, but onely the Lord of heauen and earth: that is, none that hath an ab­solute power, but onely the Lord Iesus Christ. It is shame to Christ the only Lord of the con­science. the Monarch to take this name to him. It is a blasphemie and a derogation to the name of Iesus: no, there is none hath po­wer ouer my conscience or thine, but onely he. So if ye marke narrowly, ye may see that as there is one thing commaunded; so there is another thing forbidden them. Obey them in thy bodie, though it were to suffer iniurie: but as for thy soule and conscience, it is forbidden thee to subiect it to their appetite: [Page 361] if thou doe it, thou bereaues Christ of his right. Therefore Ga­lath. 5. it is said, be not made the seruants of men: if thou doe it, thou makes thy selfe a slaue to the foule appetite of flesh and bloud. To be short, there be two vices in seruice, and obediēce that is done to the superiour whatsoeuer, which should be es­chued, Two vices in seruice to be es­chued. and they are both in extremities; and betwixt them there is a gracious vertue. The one is, when the subiect refuseth obedience in the bodie, howbeit he should doe wrong to thy bodie; yea and hee should hang thee, behead thee, thou must not refuse obedience: there is a Lord will requite him. The o­ther is as euill as the first, when thou giuest all to him both in soule and bodie. Fie on thee, thou giuest to him that which God hath forbidden. The Lord hath reserued the soule to him­selfe, and yet thou wilt giue it to thy superiour. Ye know the speeches of the land, of what religion the Prince is, I will be of the same. Some of the Lords will say so, my religion depends vpon the commaundement of the Prince; but if the King did his dutie hee would stone thee for thy blasphemie. These are the two vices in seruice and obedience. Then comes the third point, the vertue, that is in mediocritie: the seruant must obey his master according the bodie, but not according to the soule. Thou art of two parts, of a bodie and of a soule: Giue thy ma­ster the bodie, but as for thy soule, keep it to the Lord. Though all the Angels should claime right to my soule, I will not giue it them: it is reserued to my Lord.

Now to come to the second part. The description of this o­bedience, wherein the Apostle insists, Obey them that are your masters according to the flesh in all things, not in some things ac­cording to your appetite, but in all things according to their will and commaund. Then will ye say, shall wee obey them in all things vngodly, vnhonest, vnlawfull, and forbidden by the absolute power of God? I answere, the word before imme­diatly, bounds your obedience; as their dominion is boun­ded, so is your obedience towards them bounded. So that if Obedience of seruants limited. with their commaund they would hurt thy conscience, they passe their bounds, and thou art not bound to obey, but deny them obedience. For if thou wert a beggar, thou art as free in conscience as the King: but yet seruants take heed, looke that [Page 362] you make not the rule of your obedience your owne will, as there is ouer many this day who follow their froward will; whisperers, that will doe things with a quiet (Pater noster). The rule of thine actions is not thy owne will, but the will of thy master. In such sort that if he commaund thee things grie­uous, laborious, and wearisome, thou art bound to obey. The Lord himselfe Luk. 17. 7. he sets downe the estate of a seruant, Which of you hauing a seruant that hath been occupied all the day in labour and trauell, will say to him, come and sit down? No, hee will not say that to him, but notwithstanding all his painfull labour and wearisomnes, he will say, Goe make my supper readie, then rest your selfe, there is the burden. Thinke not because it is wearisome, therefore thou maist disobey it; but if it stand with the will of the Lord, thou art bound to o­bey. This shortly for the matter, wherein seruants be bound to obey: now followes the manner, forme and fashion of their obedience. First he tels thee in what manner thou shouldest not obey (for it stands thee in no lesse then the reward of death and life euerlasting, if thou wert but a sweeper of a house, or a caster out of ashes, thou hast to doe with the Lord in doing of thy seruice.) The forme of not obeying is, to obey to the eye of thy master. This is a vice in thy seruice, when thou hast not an eye lifted vp to heauen, but art set so on thy master, that with­out respect to the Lord, thou goest about to please him; yet more thou obeyest him with eye seruice, when thou settest not thy heart so much, as thy outward eye to please thy master; so that when he leaues thee, thou wilt goe to thy wantonnes againe, or els doe some euill; as there be many in Edenburgh this day, who in their masters absence sit either idle, or els do euill in stealing of their masters goods. Such seruice as this, is called eye seruice. The Lord compares these seruants to repro­bates: what doe they? As soone as their master is absent, they will begin to strike their fellow labourers: and what more? they will sit downe and drinke and be drunken. What will the Lord doe when he comes? he will cut them off, and giue them their portion with hypocrites, Matth. 24. 48. 49. &c. Then this is the forme forbidden, and he giues a reason, what man­ner of men are these eye pleasers? they that doe such seruice are [Page 363] pleasers of men, that is, they are flatterers, studying to please men, when their heart will be farre from them. Well, he or she, who sets not their heart to please God, but seekes first of all to please the eye of man, shal neuer be a faithfull seruant to man: False to God, neuer true to mā. for false to God, neuer true to man. But that man, who sets his heart to please God, that is a true seruant; he will be as true be­hinde thy backe, as befor thy face: therefore thou, who woul­dest make a choise of seruants, seeke them who are set to please God, and if thou get them with that marke, thou gettest hap­pie seruants. But on the contrarie, want he this marke, he shall be a curse to thee, and the most thou shalt get of him, hee shall be an eye seruant: for if once thou shouldest turne thy backe, he shall be a waster of thy goods, and an euill speaker of thee behinde thy backe.

The forme of seruice he craues is this, Obey with simplicitie and singlenes of heart. He opposeth this to eye seruice: for they are as contrarie, as light and darknes: and therefore where there is eye seruice onely, there is no singlenes of heart: for he that goes about to serue thee with eye seruice, hath a double and false heart. Againe, where the simplicitie of the heart is, O there is a blessed seruice; where there is such seruice, there is fidelitie and faithfulnes; there is a faithfull seruant; there is no eye seruice: for he is not a seruant to thy eye onely, but a seruant behinde thy backe also. He shall be euery way faith­full. He laies downe the ground of this sinceritie, fearing God. So he that feares God more then the eye of him who is his ma­ster, the King or Prince, that man shall be the faithfullest ser­uant. And by the contrarie, he that hath not the feare of God in his heart, that wretch will beguile thee; hee shall neuer bee faithfull to thee. Therefore thou, who wouldest haue a good seruant, I giue thee a token whereby thou maist know him. Looke if he haue the feare of God; and if hee feare God more then thee, for all thy scepter and sword, thou shalt get a faith­full seruant and subiect. But on the contrarie, thou shalt re­ceiue a curse in thy house and familie, when thou shalt get any that wants this feare of God: for he shall neuer feare thee, but shall euer be false to thee. You that haue seruants, labour to put the feare of God in their hearts. Nay, it is no marueile [Page 364] though ye haue theeues, and whores in your houses and fami­lies, when as ye put not in this ground of sincere seruice in their hearts, the feare of God.

Now followes the fountaine of all seruice: What euer you do, doe it heartily. As if hee would say, begin not at the hand, or foote to doe thy seruice, but begin thou at thy heart: let it be The foun­taine of good ser­uice. the ground of all thy seruice. All good actions should begin at the heart. Therefore if thou wert but casting out the ashes, looke thou doe that turne with thy heart; so that thy heart be as well occupied as thy hand; otherwise it is but a counter­feit action: and I will not put a difference betwixt thy action and the action of an oxe drawing in the plough. Indeede thy master may be profited by thine action; yet if thy heart be not with it, thou hast lost thy trauell. The Lord that sits vpon thy conscience, shall turne thy action to thy damnation.

In the next place the Apostle sets downe, how they shall come to this way of seruice. It is no small matter to get thy heart to serue thy master: for thou that gettest a freedome to serue, thou hast gotten thine hire in thy hand. It is a rare grace then, to get thy heart to concurre with thy action. The way is, How to serue hear­tily. Doe it heartily, as to the Lord. As if hee would say, when ye are doing and labouring, think not with your selues, I am seruing man or woman, a creature though he were a King, in my ser­uice: but say, I am seruing my Lord Iesus Christ. Then ye ser­uants, whatsoeuer thing ye doe, though it were but sweeping the house, say, all this that I am doing, how vile soeuer it be, I am doing it to my Lord Iesus Christ. Haue thy eye lifted vp when thy hand is downe. I shall tell thee how thou shalt get it: If thou haue a respect to his will, howbeit immediatly it be not done to him; yet if thou haue the knowledge that it is his will, that thou shouldest doe so, the Lord takes that seruice, ra­ther done to himselfe then to thy master. Therefore the A­postle saies, Seruing Christ and not men. Well is that seruant that can say, I doe this to obey thy blessed will: and then the Lord will say, I giue thee thy reward. Then the lesson is, who is he that doth heartie seruice? None but the seruant of Iesus Christ. If thou be not his seruant, thou shalt neuer be a heartie seruant to man; nor a true subiect to the King. Looke then, if [Page 365] your seruants can serue Christ; and if they cannot, it is an euill token they cannot serue thee: for there is not a faithfull seruant, but he that is the seruant of Christ, and in his seruice hath euer his eye to the will of Christ. And if thou haue such a seruant, then thou shalt haue a blessing of that seruant, though it were but a kitchin lasse. O blessed is that house, that hath a seruant that feares the Lord, and loues the Lord! Yea a grea­ter blessing followes that seruant, then followes the master of­tentimes.

Now followe the arguments, to moue them to this holie Argumēts to moue seruants. seruice. The first is, from the reward that the faithfull ser­uant shall receiue, Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receiue the reward of the inheritance. The argument is taken not from an hire they get presently, but from a promise of an hire. Now certainly thou art a wicked seruant, that wilt not doe a turne till thou get thy hire in thy hand; thou art a wicked seruant that wilt doe nothing till thou get heauen in thy hand: I tell thee, thou shalt neuer get heauen, if thou cannot depend vpon a promise of heauen. There is here then a promise of an hire, and a reward, From whom? The Apostle saies not your earth­ly masters will pay you: no, but he saies your Lord of heauen shall reward you. Why speakes he so? because hee durst not promise of earthly men: for all men are lyars, & they will oft times hold backe the hire of the seruant; but he promiseth in the name of the Lord; for he is faithfull. And therefore ser­uants you should reioyce in this: for howbeit thou want thy earthly hire, yet be faithfull in thy seruice, and thou shalt not want thy hire. What a reward is this? what should hee haue? his hire in his hand, and so fare yee well? Indeede this is the fashion of the world; but this reward the Apostle speakes of, is a reward of an inheritance. O thou that wilt haue an eye to the Lord of heauen, hee will not reward thee like a seruant; thou shalt be a sonne; and therefore an inheritour, Rom. 8. 17. And, Go ye (saies Christ) inherit that kingdom prepared for you, frō the foundation of the world, Matth. 25. 34. Yea, shall the kitchin lasse be made a Queene, and a sillie simple boy a King? Yes, the Lord will doe that, and will giue them a kingdome in hea­uen. So, first reioyce for the certaintie of your reward: next, [Page 366] for the greatnes of it. It is not an hire and a bountie that is smal in value. Alas it may be, thou thinkest little of it, because thou hast it not in thy hand: but blessed art thou if thou caust waite vpon the promise, and beleeue it.

Now to proue that they shall get this reward; first he takes an argument from their owne knowledge, Knowing. Know ye not? I appeale to your owne conscience, if there be not a re­ward laid vp for thee, if thou serue faithfully: tels not thy con­science thee this? I will serue, for I looke for a kingdome. It is not this small hire. No, that Lord whom I haue serued from mor­ning to night, hee will giue me a kingdome. Brethren, it is a thing impossible, that faith can beguile a man: hope then, I promise thee thy hope shall not beguile thee; yea hope for things thou hast not seene, and thou shalt get them. It is im­possible Note well. that thy faith and hope can be disappointed. And lay this ground, thou hast to doe with a faithfull Lord, that can not beguile thee. So close thy eyes vpon all other things, and rest in hope on Christ, and thou shalt see a ioyfull end. Blessed is that soule that resteth in hope, for it shall receiue glorie.

The second argument is from the seruice done to Christ: Ye serue the Lord. Fie on thee that wilt begin to serue another master, and neglect thy dutie to him. So the argument is, be­cause thou seruest the Lord Iesus Christ; therefore thou must haue a reward of him: hee will giue thee an heritage, because his hand, is the hand of an infinit God. What are the herita­ges on the earth? he thinkes it ouer little to giue them to thee: therefore hee will giue thee the kingdome of heauen. Then marke: neuer man serued Christ for nought. It is impossible, that he who serues Christ, can want a reward: thou who caust serue Christ with many crosses, it is the very way to bring thee to a kingdome. So, blessed is that feruant, that serues Christ Iesus: if thou get not this benefit to be a seruant in his house, though it were to be but a porter (for the vilest seruant that serues Christ shall get a hire, euen a kingdome) woe shall be to thee. Therefore seeing now is the time to serue him, shew your selues faithfull seruants to Iesus; for when all vantage failes thee, the Lord Iesus will be thine aduantage: and there­fore serue the Lord, and thou shalt not want a reward. And [Page 367] thou must not thinke that this rewarde comes vnto thee through merit: it comes of grace; for when thou hast done all that is commaunded thee, say I am an vnprofitable seruant, Luk. 17. 10. And so fie on the Papists that thinke their seruice shall merit such an hire, as is the inheritance of heauen. This reward comes of grace onely, and of his faithfulnes that hath promised: otherwise hell would be thy reward. Therfore thou who lookes for a reward of thy seruice, thinke thou art ser­uing Christ: thinke againe, thou shalt get a reward; but be­ware of presumption, to thinke this turne shall merit heauen. No, but the thing I doe shall not be the cause of my saluation; no, I am but an vnprofitable seruant, and in the meane time looke for a reward of mercie and grace, because he is a faithful Lord that hath promised thee a reward; and in the end thou shalt get a kingdome purchased by the bloud of the Lord Iesus.

Now I come to the second argument, to moue seruants to The se­cond argu­ment. doe their dutie, contained in the last verses of this chapter. These seruants in old time were in hard condition: for they were slaues, liuing to the appetites of men, bought, sold, bea­ten, and slame, at their pleasure: for looke what power men had ouer beasts, the like had they ouer their seruants. There­fore these seruants might haue said, there is a faire reward abi­ding vs; but yet our present estate is intolerable; wee are in­treated as beasts, and we sustaine great iniurie: he meetes with this, and in a word promiseth a iust amends, and reuenge of the wrong done to them. Let no man abuse his power ouer poore ones, what euer wrong is done to them, it shall be re­payed. So the lesson pertaining to the inferiour, and opprest by the mightie ones in this world, Masters and Lords especial­ly, is this. Art thou a seruant? doest thou well? seruest thou the Lord Iesus Christ in thy seruice? is thine eye set to please him? thou shalt receiue the reward of thy weldoing, & that of an in­heritance in heauen. In well doing sufferest thou? gettest thou wrong? art thou opprest roughly? handled with crueltie and seueritie? The Apostle answers, thou shalt haue an assisement beside the reward. What wouldest thou haue? The Lord shall oppresse them that oppresse thee. This generally appertaines [Page 368] to all estates. Doest thou well? Thy reward shall be an eternal heritage. In well doing sufferest thou wrong? The Lord pro­miseth thee an assisement and an acquittance of them that doe thee wrong. Brethren, it is marueilous to see the care and re­gard the Lord hath to his owne, if they were neuer so poore wormes, that the great folke will not vouchsafe themselues once to looke to, it would seeme enough that a poore seruant should get such an heritage, howbeit his iniuries hee suffered were neuer reuenged. Who would thinke otherwise? O but the Apostle answers not after this manner! It may suffice, that you shall get a faire reward for the seruice ye doe: as for the rest, what matters it? No, but hee saith in effect; as for the wrong done to you, it shal be auenged. So the Lord is not con­tent to giue them a reward; but for the wrong they suffer, the Lord will be auenged on them that wrongs them, if they were the greatest Monarchs in the world. Howbeit thou wouldest forgiue them, as Steuen did, Act. 7. and say, Lord lay not this to their charge; yet the Lords iustice will not suffer thee vnre­uenged: the Lord shal take them that oppresse thee, and throw them into hell, if they continue impenitent: yea it comes to passe oft times, that oppressors of the poore and Church, be­fore they goe out of the world, that the Lord in the sight of the poore and oppressed, takes them and rents and riues them in such sort, as they are compelled to pitie them. O then, how terrible is the iudgement that abides oppressors and abusers of their seruants whatsoeuer! Well then, there are two things, well doing, and suffering of wrong: well doing shall receiue an inheritance; suffering shall receiue a reuenge, & vengeance shall come vpon the oppressour. So let none be wearie in well doing in this world, nor be impatient in suffering; for it is all but for a moment we doe and suffer, in respect of that eterni­tie. The second thing to bee marked is this: Who is this that shall reuenge the cause of the poore seruants? Hee saies not, your masters haue masters aboue them (as no doubt they had: for all superiours haue Magistrates aboue them to take order with them if they doe wrong) alas if hee had answered so, it had been little comfort to them, as they found by experience: for they accepted of the persons of men, they accounted of [Page 369] the master, & not of the seruant, & they permitted thē by their lawes to abuse their seruants. The Apostle knew how slacke the Iustices are to reuenge the cause of seruants: and therefore he promiseth no amends at their hands, but at the hands of the Lord. So now speaking of reuenge, he promiseth it not to come of the Magistrate, but from the Lord: for hee knew the Lord would not beguile him. Ye may then see he hath trusted much to God, and depending on him, he promiseth much in his name. What wouldest thou haue? a reward, a reuenge? the Apostle promiseth both to thee, but at the Lords hand. The lesson then is: the man that knowes God well, and is well ac­quainted with his mercie, with his iustice, with his power, and his wisedom; it is wonderful what he will promise in his name, flesh and bloud scarsely will beleeue it. Note.Againe, a poore bodie and one opprest, one that knowes not this, when he heares of this, it is wonderfull, how he will swallow vp these promises: nay, thou neuer didst eate meate with such pleasure, as this poore one will swallow them vp. And I say, a Pastor should not promise ought of God, except he knew him: & thou that art an hearer, if thou know him in his power, iustice, and the rest, in despite of all the world thy heart will rest on him. Therefore know him in Iesus Christ: and pray night and day, O Lord, I lie in darknes, let me see thee in Iesus Christ, and the glorie that is in thee, that my soule may rest in thee. Now woe is that soule, that knowes not God in Iesus Christ. Ye shall not abide here euer: therfore seeke to know this God with whom ye must liue foreuer. He giues the reason why God should re­uenge their cause, and wrong done against them, by pointing out the nature of God: He is a Iudge; not like the Iudges of this world. They respect the persons of men; this is the cor­ruption With God there is no respect of persons▪ of nature: but as for this Iudge, he respects no person; he will not looke to thee who art a King, more then to the begger. When thou appearest before him, come on with robe royall, he will not regard thee no more, then if thou appea­redst in a beggers cloake. Therefore looke to him now, as thou wouldest see him, when thou shalt appeare before his iudgement. And there is none of vs, but euen now we are be­fore his tribunall; howbeit wee see it not. There is none of [Page 370] these outward conditions or degrees (wee are all alike by na­ture) but wee get sundrie degrees, hee of a King, and hee of a Lord (and so foorth) yet none of these outward qualities will be accepted before the Lord: no not the outward calling of a Christian, if thou haue no more. A man may thinke this is a hard matter, for all to stand before his tribunall without these outward qualities. A King may say, shall not my king­dome stand me in steed when I come before that tribunall? And the Earle may say, shal not my Earldome helpe me when I come before God? And the rich man may say; shall not my riches helpe me? wherewith shall I cloathe me if I cloathe me not with these? Now I answere, indeed euery man hath this in his mouth, I cannot come naked before God: Indeede thou must not stand naked, thy shame must be hid, thou must haue a garment on thee; thou must be arayed, or els the wrath of the Iudge will deuoure thee. Now what a garment shall I get? It must bee a bloudie garment (no siluer, gold or precious stones) couering thee from the crowne of thy head to the sole of thy foote: yea thou must be died with bloud. The high priest durst not enter into the Sanctuary (for his life) without bloud: so on paine of thy life see that thou enter not into the presence of God without bloud. Reade the Epistle to the Hebrues, ye shall finde this, that the high Priest of old durst neuer enter in­to the Sanctuary, except first he had bin sprinkled with bloud; and this was the bloud of Bullocks, the figure of Iesus Christ. So except thou appeare died ouer with the bloud of Iesus, no standing for thee before God his tribunall. If ye would then haue a garment, seeke this garment; neuer rest till thou get it. And if thou appeare in this garment, thou hast this aduan­tage, howbeit thou be full of spots, the Lord hath no eye to thy sinne; but accepts of thee in that bloudy raiment, and forgets all thy sin, and thy actions are accepted in that bloud of Iesus. But alas, the want of the knowledge of sinne; this dead conscience that lets vs not feele the weight and burthen A dead conscience. of sinne, is the cause why wee account not of this bloud of Iesus.

Now brethren, there is a place in the sixt chapter to the E­phesians I would compare with this place, recommending the [Page 371] dutie of masters in the ninth verse, he vseth the same argument that is here: he vseth it there as a terrible argument to the op­pressors; but heere he brings it in as a comfort to the oppres­sed. Then shal an argument both be comfortable and terrible? Yes. Then marke the lesson: That, that is in God terrible to the proud and oppressors in the world, the same thing to the poore oppressed ones that are Gods, it is so sweete and com­fortable, as no tongue can tell. The firie wrath of God, that will terrifie the Kings of the world, and which they are not able to looke on, will be so comfortable, as no tongue can tell to the poore sillie bodie, that hee will creepe in vnder it, and lurke there: yea hee will seeke to the wrath of God to saue him, from the wrath of the tyrants of the world. So there is nothing in God but is comfortable to his children: as by the contrarie there is nothing in him, but the wicked abhorre it: yea euen his mercie; yea they would runne if it were foorth of the world to be out of his sight, but they shall not escape Iob. 21. 22 his curse. So then acquaint you with God, and cloathe you with that garment, that he may be comfortable euery way to you. This much for the dutie of seruants.

Now we come to the dutie of masters, which is set downe in Here be­gins the fourth chapter vers. 1. the beginning of the fourth chapter, Ye masters (saith he) doe vnto your seruants that which is iust and equall. There is the pre­cept. The thing he requires is doing; the word in the origi­nall is giuing: Giue them that which is iust; as if hee would say, Masters, when ye haue commaunded, and they haue o­beyed, meete them with a dutie: giue them something. This dutie is grounded partly on their poore estate; they labour and wearie themselues for their hire; so they craue giuing: and partly it is grounded vpon the hardnes of masters; for looke how faine the one would haue, as faine would the other keepe. The poore seruant would draw; the master holds. The Apostle comes in and saith, Masters, let your hold goe, you are ouer holding, let your hold goe. Brethren, ye heard before a faire promise of rewarde made to the seruants: now what needes the Apostle (considering that reward) exhort the ma­sters to giue something of this world, which is nothing but dirt, in respect of that that is promised; and some might haue [Page 372] said so. The Apostle answers: They serue and obey thee here, pining themselues in working for thee: therefore thou who art a master, must giue them their hire: for that is a iust thing so to doe; they are men like vnto thy selfe, and must be sustai­ned of these earthly things for their labours sake. And so the lesson is, heauen and heauenly inheritance preiudiceth not a man of his part in this world, and worldly things: and there­fore thou scornest God who saiest; thou hast an inheritance, whereto shouldest thou haue my poore hire; yea thou shoul­dest be rather moued to part thy pelfe to him; if thou knew him to be an inheritour of heauen, giue him the rather of thy goods of the earth: for an inheritour of heauen, is an inheri­tour of the earth: and if thou withhold it from them, woe to thee. Well, I see out of this place, that the Lord hath his ser­uants here, to whom he is offering that heauenly inheritance; yet so, that they should haue their part of this earth also. The Minister hath his part of the earth, and the Lord allowes it him; and thou who pinchest the belly of him, the Lord shall pinch thee in things heauenly: the Lord will haue an eye to him; beware therefore how thou dealest with them in this life. Then he saith, Giue them. What? That that is iust, that is, that, that thou hast conditioned with them. Hast thou conditioned for such a hire? keepe thy condition: yea there is more, giue them, but giue them that that is equall: what is that? Haue they serued thee according to the rule that I prescribed? haue they serued thee in all things? then be not so streight with them, but giue aboue thy condition made to them, be more liberall and stand not with them in their hire. The Apostle 1. Pet. 2. 18. sets downe two properties of a master, Iust, and liberall. Com­pare this with that that went before, when he spake of the re­ward of the Lord. There, there was not such a modification, but a kingdome was promised: but turning to the dutie of masters, he modifies a stipend: hee bids not giue all his inhe­ritance, but giue him that that is iust and equall, that is, a part of it, according to their labour and condition, and that libe­rally, without niggardlines. This imports something. This lets thee see a great difference betwixt God and man, in rewar­ding. The thing that man will giue thee is but a hire, a thing [Page 373] measured: but the thing the Lord giues, is not modefied nor measured to thee: it is an inheritance: and all that is gotten here, is but an earnest peny of thy reward. Of this followeth another difference. 1 The thing thou gettest of thy master, it is a debt to thee; thou merits it at his hand: but when thou commest to God, there is no debt there; and thy doing is no merit, but a thing giuen of beneuolence. It hath pleased God to giue thee a reward, and so to giue it by no debt; goe thy way with thy merits: for if thou sticke to them thou shalt get no merit, but hell: Gods giuing to thee of any thing is of fa­uour.

Now to end briefly: To moue the masters to their dutie, he addes to an argument, Knowing that yee also haue a Lord in the heauens. What followes on this? There is something suppres­sed, to wit, a Lord in the heauens, who if you giue that, that is iust and equall, shall giue you that, that is iust and equall: hee will doe iustice both to you and them; he will make all oddes euen: there is no respect of persons with him. This is the office of the Lord, to make all oddes euen; neuer soule shall receiue wrong at his hands, but when thou gets punishment, thou gets thy due, punishment pertaines to thee, &c. The thing that I marke is this: It is the Lord that makes masters, and that makes this inequalitie; that giues this preferment; that rai­seth vp and casteth downe. When Adam was created, was there any preferment? No: as the Lord doth this, so the eye of that great Lord is neuer off him whom he hath preferred. Hath he made thee a Lord? or hath he raised thee to any preferment? his eye is vpon thee, and as his eye is vpon thee, so he stands a­boue thee with mercie in the one hand, and iudgement and vengeance in the other. And the greater thou be, the greater mercie and iudgement is aboue thee. No, thy hand is not so readie to take vengeance of thy seruant, as his hand is readie to reuenge the wrong. And thy vengeance and his differs in this: thine is wrong; but his is neuer wrong, but al is right he doth. But yet brethren, to weigh the words, Knowing (saith he) there is the first word. The light of knowledge is the ground of du­tie. Light of knowledge ground of dutie. What can a blind bodie doe that sees nothing, if he were a King, a Iudge and a Master? The light then of knowledge is [Page 374] the ground of dutie; as ignorance is the ground of all euill doing. Knowing. What? That ye also haue. Then the masters that did not their dutie, they misunderstood the thing they had, and men know not that they haue if it were but this, wee haue a God, yet they know him not. The next word is, Ye haue a Lord. It is the ignorance of the Lord, that makes men mis­know their dutie: their eye is euer beneath, the eye of the King is vpon the subiect, but it is a rare grace to get an eye to looke to the Lord that is aboue him, and therefore he thinkes hee hath no more adoe, but with the poore subiects; and so hee cannot doe his dutie aright. Where is this Lord? In the heauen. Thou art in the earth though thou wert a King; but thy Lord is aboue thee, thou art farre beneath him: and therefore the iudgement and stroke that must fall from him, must be sad and heauie, because it is farre fetcht. The furthest stroke thou canst bring will be from thy Crowne; but what is that to the stroke of God, fetched from the high heauens, yea from aboue Gods stroke all heauens, that must be a very sore stroke, beware of it; for if it light on thee thou shalt neuer rise againe.

The last word also makes a comparison betwixt the Lord and the seruants: you haue a Lord as they haue; as they are seruants, so are ye likewise seruants, yea to a greater Lord. Yea the more high the Lord is aboue you in comparison, ye are the lower seruants then the sweeper of your house is: Note.if ye were a King, the very dust is greater in comparison then thou art. Thou canst not make a pickle of dust. Would to God Kings and Lords knew this. Abraham knew it, when he said, What am I but dust and ashes? Gen. 18. 27. Now then, to make the ma­sters to doe their dutie, he brings them downe vnder the feete of the Lord of heauen: hee brings thee out of thy chaire; hee hurles the King out of his throne. It teacheth vs that there will be no dutie gotten of superiours, except thou bee first humbled vnder thy God. If thou be not humbled vnder God, thou wilt not, nor canst not doe thy dutie. Lastly, I see a dif­ferent dealing in the Apostle, when he deales with seruants he Note well. doth it comfortably: but comming to Lords and Masters, he drawes vp their head to see that there is a Iudge sitting aboue them: this is another manner of dealing. So marke his discre­tion: [Page 375] hauing to doe with sundrie estates and persons, he vseth sundrie arguments. Our folke may not abide this forme of dealing; who bad him (say they) threaten Lords, and Kings? speake to the Commons and poore people. Well, well, let not the mouth of the Gospell be closed, which speakes sometimes comfortably, and sometimes boysterously, and lets men see an angrie God, and all to their saluation. Further, I perceiue this: all Superiours would be threatned; Masters would be threat­ned, Princes would be threatned; and the higher, the greater matter of threatning. For such is the nature of men, they can­not beare superioritie: make thee a King, thou shalt be a slaue to thy affections. So it is profitable to them to be threatned, that they may keepe them within the bounds of their dutie. And I say, they that would euer giue them faire words, they are but flatterers; and if they would haue them wracked or vndone, let them euer speake faire to them. Therefore let the Gospell haue it owne freedome. Binde men as yee will, but binde not the word: if thou binde the Gospell, O the band thou shalt finde in that day! Let euery man be contained within a dutie to other, that we may be partakers of the eternall kingdome, where there is onely true libertie in Iesus Christ. To whom with the Father and the holy Spirit, be all honor and glorie now and for euer,

Amen.

THE XXXV. LECTVRE VPON THE EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE Colossians.

COLOS. Chap. 4. vers. 2. 3. 4.

2 Continue in prayer, & watch in the same with thanke sgiuing;

3 Praying for vs, that God may open vnto vs the doore of vtte­rance, to speake the mysterie of Christ, wherfore I am also in bands,

4 That I may vtter it as it becommeth me to speake.

WE heard brethren the last day (as God gaue the grace) certaine speciall precepts of manners that were di­rected to particular estates of men, as to Husbands, and Wiues; Parents, and Children; Masters, and Seruants: now in this text, we returne to the generall exhortations, that generally concernes euery estate in this world, whereof the first set downe here, is concerning prayer, which is a common dutie, that euery one that is borne oweth to God in Iesus Christ. To come to the words. Continue in prayer, be instant in Prayer a common dutie. prayer, pray continually, all is one thing. To speake of prayer, because it is a common place, I will not insist; but only so farre as the text will furnish me: for the matter is ample, and there­fore I will bound me within the text. As for the causes and ne­cessitie of praier, I need not to speake much, ye know the Lord giues a commaundement that we should pray, and that in the name of Iesus Christ; and if there were no more but this, it is a Motiues to prayer. cause sufficient to moue thee to pray: The Lord commaunds thee. But there is more, to wit, a promise, the Lord hath pro­mised 1. Charge. 2. Promise. [Page 377] to euery one that prayeth in faith, Aske, and ye shall re­ceiue, Luk. 11. &c. this promise may allure the heart of euery one to pray. There is yet more, who is he that feeles not the necessitie 3. Necessi­tie. and wants that be in euery one of vs, so long as we liue? who is he that hath so much that he needes no more? Yea though he were a Monarch, hath he such sufficiencie that he needs not to seeke more at God? Besides this, there be such riches, plen­tie, and aboundance in God, through Iesus Christ, that it is able to fill vp all the wants that be in vs. Therefore the very 4. Gods ri­ches. riches that be in him, should driue vs to desire a portion of that fulnes which is in him. But (brethren) to leaue this, and to come to the words. If there were no more but this, that wee are commaunded to pray, it is a sufficient argument, to euery one to assure them, that there is no merit in vs. Wee deserue nothing of God; but all that wee get we get it of free mercie and grace, and that in Iesus Christ. If thou come on with a de­seruing, and a merit of thy righteousnes, thou shalt neuer get mercie: I seclude thee from God: for what is praying, but begging? not of worthines, but of the mercie of God in Iesus Christ. And when thou hast done all, say, fie on my workes, and aske mercie for that bloud of Iesus Christs sake.

In the text there be two qualities of prayer set downe. The first is an instātnes without tyring. The second, is watchfulnes. Two things in prayer: first, con­stancie: se­condly, watchful­nes. For he who praieth should not be a sleeper, but watchfull both night and day. To come then to the first, hee saith, Be instant, perseuer, continue, all is one thing. The thing that he requires is perseuerance, ardentnes, continuance. I neede not to insist vpon the causes of this. Needest thou not continually? Findest thou not that there is not an houre, wherein thou wantest not either things heauenly or earthly? (if thou wantest not earth­ly, indeede it may be that thou knowest not the want of hea­uenly things; but woe is that soule that findeth not the want of heauenly food) and so if thou needest continually, why should not thy prayer be continuall? for it is prayer that supplies that want. Moreouer, there is none of you but ye finde this by ex­perience: God will not heare a man at the first; but (crie as thou wilt) he will not seeme to heare, he will seeme to haue a Luk. 18. 1. 2. 3 deafe eare, and all to this end, that thou shouldest perseuere in [Page 378] prayer. For hee hath pleasure to trie thy patience, faith, and prayer, which is the best exercise. And so supposing that thou get not that that thou askest; yet if thou get perseuerance, Perseue­rance. Whatsoe­uer thou gettest without prayer is but stolen, and an ar­gument of wrath. thou gettest a greater gift, then if thou hadst that, that thou askedst at the first: yea, if thou get all the world without prayer (for all is giuen in wrath) if he should aduance thee to a kingdome, it is but a bait to thy damnation, except thou get a heart to pray and to continue in prayer. Of all graces, a spi­rituall grace is best: a little bit of regeneration is better then all the kingdomes in the earth: howbeit thou set light by it now; yet when thou art driuen to the vtmost point, or at the last gaspe, thou wouldest giue all the world to haue a bit of it. There is the first qualitie in prayer, perseuerance.

The second is watchfulnes, watching in it. Watchfulnes is feruencie in prayer, when not the bodie onely, but when the soule and all the affections are waking and bent to heauen: when the Spirit is instant with God in Iesus Christ. It is oppo­sed to this coldnes that ouergoes vs all. Our prayer is in slee­ping, and when we are sleeping we are praying; and so comes out a cold prayer out of a cold heart, and it is opposed to this sluggishnes and deadnes in prayer, with yawning and gaping, halfe sleeping, and halfe waking. Alas, our necessitie requires another earnestnes, it stands vs in the losing of heauen, and shutting of vs in hell and damnation. The diuell stands to catch vs (if wee could see our danger) and when thou thinkest thou art most sure, he is busiest about thee: if thou knew this, thou wouldest watch better, and wouldest seek more feruent­ly to God to keepe thee. But alas all are so blinded, and all are so syeled vp, that the greatest part are lead to damnatiō blind­folded. So hee that can get this watchfulnes, hath gotten a great grace, and the more thy spirit is intended, the neerer is A good note of watchful­nes in prai­er. God to thee: for it is his presence that wakens thee. There is nothing that likes him better, then an earnestnes in seeking these heauenly matters. The Lord graunt we may feele these things; for it is no small matter to haue this sense.

With prayer he ioynes thanksgiuing: whereby he teacheth vs, that the present necessitie should not moue vs so to seeke present helpe, and supplie at God, that in the meane time wee [Page 379] forget the old benefits: in praying with teares for a new be­nefit, remember the old, and thanke him for it. And if thou get any new thing, yea, if it be but a mouthfull of meate, neuer forget to thanke him for it: for it is of mercie thou hast it, and not of thy heritage, and Charters. And if thou haue it in thy possession, yea if thou hadst it in thy hand, and on thy boord, and in thy mouth, aske it of God and desire a blessing to it: otherwise thou hast it with the curse of God. It is the sweetest exercise in the world to be euer praying and thanking God, if it were but for a A course eaten cake. gray bannocke, and drinke of cold water: for that bodie that doth this, hath greater ioy, then any in the world with their most daintie dishes. Againe, howbeit thou get not, quarrell not with him, but thanke him for all that: for if he giue thee feruentnes with this delay, thou gettest a speciall grace, thou shouldest thanke him for it. Paul writing to the Philippians, chap. 4. vers. 6. 7. teacheth thee that when thou castest thy care on God, thou shalt get peace in thy soule: yea supposing thou sought for life and gat it not, yet thanke him: for thou shalt get ioy and peace in thy soule, and in it thou shalt end. So what wantest thou? why shoul­dest thou quarrell with him? Therefore euer pray, and giue thankes to God.

To goe to the next verse (for I will not insist in the gene­rals) Praying for vs also: That is, for me Paul. So in particular he sets downe that person, for whom especially he would haue them powring out their praiers, and he recommends himselfe to their praiers. He doth this not only here, but in the Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. 6. 18. 19. also, and in other places. Paul the chosen vessell of God, a man who had such a presence of God, that was so familiar with God in his prayer, whose cal­ling was to pray for others, as in the first chapter of the same Epistle is manifest: this man indued with such graces, yet not­withstanding all these graces, hee is earnest to desire the Colossians, who were but newly entred into Christianitie, who in knowledge were nothing like to him; in Familia­ritie. homelines with God, were nothing like in comparison of him, to inter­pose their prayers for him to God. Well brethren, marke in Iob. 22. 21. Paul a notable example of modestie (for all the graces hee Modestie in Pastors. [Page 380] had) to Pastors, though they were beautified with neuer so ma­ny and faire graces; yet they should begge the prayers of the meanest in their flocke: and also marke in the Colossians an example to all people of their mutuall dutie they owe to their Pastor, to pray for him: for as he is bound to pray for you; so ye are bound to pray for him, and in generall euery one to pray for another, I for thee, and thou for me. The prayer of the simplest member may helpe the head. The toe may helpe the head: that is, the poorest in the world indued with grace in Iesus, may helpe the greatest, and him who hath most gifts of God: for there be none, but they haue accesse to the throne of grace. It is true, one hath gotten a greater grace then another; yet al are made Priests: through the priesthood of Christ, all haue that kingly priesthood. And therefore there is none, but by vertue of that calling, they haue that accesse to God to come and make intercession for themselues and o­thers, though it were the poorest for the greatest; yea though it were for the King, that wil not know him in the gate, yet he hath accesse to God, and his prayer will be auaileable: for it 1.. Pet. 2. 9 is impossible that that calling of the Priesthood can be vnef­fectuall. So euery one of vs may benefit another, and wee are bound thus to doe by vertue of that common calling to the Priesthood in Christ. Pray for me (saith he) also. This is to be noted, that he saith, pray together, by which he meanes the or­der to be obserued in prayer. Pray first for your selfe, and then Order in prayer. remember me: forget not thy selfe, for I assure thee, hee who forgets himselfe, wil forget his neighbour, and thou that canst not pray for thy selfe, canst not pray for me, nor no other. A prophane man or woman like Esau, that will sell their birth­right, and care not for their saluation, cannot haue care of the saluation of another. Hee who is vnprofitable to himselfe, to whom can he be profitable? Therefore seeke not the prayers of prophane persons. Paul saith in the first Epistle to the Co­rinths, chap. 9. vers. 27. I bring my bodie into subiection, lest by any meanes after that I haue preached to other, I my selfe should be re­proued. If I shall preach to others, and be a reprobate my selfe, what shall it auaile me? It may well doe them good, to whom I preach: but if I be a prophane man and a reprobate, my [Page 381] preaching shall not helpe me: if I haue no care for my owne saluation, the care for others auailes not: and therefore craue not the prayer of that body, that cannot be carefull of himself. What is the subiect of this prayer for him? He prescribes the subiect of their prayer for him: Pray for me, that the doore of vtterance may be opened vnto me: there is the subiect. In a word generally, the effect of the prayer they should make for him is, that his mouth might be opened, to vtter the Gospell with li­bertie. The greatest grace of a Pastor, is libertie to vtter this grace in Iesus Christ: A free heart and mouth, this is the grea­test of all graces. Paul accounted not so much of the gift of wonders, to heale the blind, and the lame, as he did of this faire Vtterance. grace of a free mouth and heart to vtter the Gospell. No such thing writes he to them, as pray for me that I may work won­ders: pray for me, that I may shake off these bands, wherein I lie: he directs no such thing to them, but pray that an open doore of vtterance may be permitted to me for the vttering of the Gospell. Of the which marke this: It was a hard thing to Paul to get libertie in bands to preach the Gospell. It is easie in calmenes to preach with libertie, but when wee are bound with bands it is hard to get libertie. And the word shewes that Doore of vtterance. it is as hard, as to breake through a doore closed vp. And ther­fore it is not for nought that he desires their prayers, that God would open the doore to vtter this glorious mysterie of the Gospell. As if he would say, your prayers should be at al times for them that are set ouer you; but specially when they are ly­ing in bands. Say therefore to the Lord, howbeit Lord, he be bound in prison, yet let his heart and mouth be free to vtter thy glorious Gospell, that word of life. Againe note, howbeit hee was in bands at Rome where hee died; yet the subiect of the prayer he craues, is not that I may be relieued, but that the word of God be not bound; but that my tongue may be loo­sed to vtter the mysterie of the Gospell. This is a lesson to Pastors: if thou wert lying bound, bee more carefull of the Gospell that is committed to thee, then of thy bands, or of thy selfe. First, that it be kept in freedome, giue all that thou hast ere that libertie be impaired: be bound and bound againe ere through thy default the word bee bound: when thou art in [Page 382] bonds, be not so carefull of thy bands, though it were in fire, as of this libertie. The Martyrs remembred this well. So the preciousest thing to thee in the world should be the libertie of the Gospell. This should be most regarded by Kings and Pa­stors, that the word of God be not bound. Binde what ye will, but binde not the Gospell in paine of thy life: thou shalt be bound, that binds it. Pray for me also (saith he) that God might open a doore of vtterance. He saith not, that the Emperor should open my mouth, but that God that hath committed this my­sterie to me, he might giue me this libertie. The lesson is plaine: it is onely God that opens a mans mouth to deliuer the Gos­pell with freedome; and if he doe it, all the Kings of the earth will not close it. When thou hast cut out the tongue of a man, the libertie shall abide in the heart of him: so all the world cannot close it. Againe, if God close the mouth and take away this freedome, all the world cannot open it againe. Learne this. For if our libertie depended on men, our mouthes should be soone closed, but it depends on God: so that when the per­son is bound, hand and foote, the greater shall be the libertie of the man in the vttering of the Gospell, and so it is but va­nitie to striue with God.

To goe forward. That God might open. What? the prison doore? No, no