Book I

OF THE OBJECT OF WORSHIP.

TWO things are to be observed and considered,—That the Lord God is the object of worship,—that he alone is the object of worship, to the exclusion of all others.

1. The object of worship is the Lord God, God essentially and personally considered, i. God essentially considered, or as considered in his nature and essence which is the foundation of worship, The Lord is to be worshipped, whose name alone is Jehovah, Deut. vi. 4. Thus Jacob invoked God, Gen. xlviii. 15. David says, his prayer should be to the God of his life, Psal. xlii. 8. 1'he name of God, the very first name by which he is called in scripture, Elohim, Gen. i. 1. implies worship, and that he is to be worshipped who created the heavens and the earth, for it comes from a word which signifies to worship, In God personally considered, or God considered in the three persons, is the object of worship. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one, are one God, and so equally the object of divine worship. The Father, of whom Christ expressly says, that men shall worship the Father, John iv. 21. 23. Baptism, which is a solemn act of religious worship under the New Testament dispensation, is administered in his name. Prayer is made to the Father, Eph. ii. 18. and thanksgiving; Giving thanks ahvays for all things, unto God and the Father, Eph. v. 2U

2. The Word, or Son of God, is also the object of worship; ' He is thy Lord, and worship thou him, Psal. xlv. 11. Baptism is administered in his name equally as in the Father's. It is said, Prayer shall be made for him continually ; it may as well be rendered, as some think, Prayer shall be made to him con. tinually, Psal. lxxii. 15. His disciples are sometime described by those that called upon his name, Acts ix. 14. Stephtn, the proto-martyr, when expiring, called upon God, saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, Acts vii. 59. He was worshipped by Jacob, Gen. xlviii. 16. by Joshua, Josh. v. 13—15. by the wise men, by his disciples, and by angels; Let all the angels of God worship him, Heb. i. 6. Rev. v. 12, 13. 3. The Holy Spirit is also the object of worship, equally with the Father and the Son. He is with them the one God, possessed of all divine perfections. Baptism is administered in his name, equally as in the name of the Father and of the Son, Matt, xxviii. 19. Prayer is made unto him, 2 Thess. iii. 5.

II. God only is the object of worship, to the exclusion of all others. l. All idols of whatsoever kind are excluded, not only images, but also the idols set up in a man's heart, Ezek. xiv. 4- The idol the worldling is enamoured with is gold and silver, Eph. v. 5. Of the epicure, or voluptuous person, his god is his belly, Rom. xvi. 18. and the self-righteous man makes an idol of his righteousness, Luke xviii. 9. n. Every creature in the heavens, or on the earth, are excluded from divine worship. As the sun, moon, and stars ; and heroes and mighty kings, famous for their exploits. Angels are excluded from divine worship; this sort of idolatry was introduced in* the times of the apostles but condemned, Col. ii. 18. and rejected by angels themselves, Rev. xix. 10. and xxii. 9.

OF INTERNAL WORSHIP.

Godliness is the ground work of internal worship, without which there can be no worshipping God aright, and therefore it deserves our first consideration. Godliness is sometimes used for evangelic doctrine. Sometimes it signj* fies a holy life and conversation, 2 Pet. iii. 11. Sometime* it intends some particular duty of religion, or rather some particular grace, Addto patience godliness, to godliness brotherly love, that is, exercise these. But in the subject I am upon I consider it as an assemblage of graces.

I. Such a gracious disposition God.ward is not to be found, in unregenerate men, only in such who are truly partakers of the grace of God. I. Not in unregenerate men; their character is this, that they are after the flesh, Rom. viii. 5. Ii. But in such who are partakers of the grace of God in truth; for, 1. Their character is, that they are after the Spirit. Hence, 2. They mind the things of the Spirit. 3. The disposition of their souls is God-ward, and to his service. 4. These are truly godly persons, eusebeis, persons well disposed to the worship of God, which is called eusebeia, or godliness, and stands opposed to bodily exercise, or external worship.

II. Godliness as has been explained, is the ground work of true religion ; for, 1. Without the knowledge of God there can be no true worship of him ; the Samaritans worshipped they knew not what, and so their worship was not right. 2. Without faith in God, which is another branch of powerful godliness, there can be no true worship of God ; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. 3. Without the fear of God, there can be no worship of him. The fear of God is absolutely necessary to worship God in an acceptable manner, Heb. xii. 28. 4. Spiritual interna] worship cannot be performed without love to God, Deut. x. 12. affectionate, cordial, and hearty service is only acceptable to him. 5. They are spiritual worshippers that God seeks, and spiritual worship only is acceptable to him. 6. Ncr can a man worship God sincerely, if he ha» only the form and not the power of godliness, Isai. xxix. 13. from all which it appears how necessary godliness is to the worship of God.

1 his gracious disposition of the mind God-ward, is an assemblage of all the graces of the Spirit, and every grace is a gift; knowkdge, hope, fear, love, as they come from God, point to God again.

III. Great ts the profit and many the advantages that accrue from godliness to the possessors of it, i. That itself is said to be gain to the persons that have it; Godliness with contentment is gxeat gain, 1 Tim. vi. 6. The merchandize of it is tetter than the merchandize of silver, and the gain thffeof than fine gold. ii. Godliness is said to be profitable unto all things, 1 Tim. iv. 8. whereas bodily exercise, or a presentation of the body only in an attendance on public worship, pro fiteth little, but godliness, powerful vital godliness, internal religion, is profhable unto all tiiings; profitable to the health of a man's body, but more especially to promote the welfare of the soul. in. Godliness has the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come, 1 Tim. iv. 1. 1. Of the present life, both temporal and spiritual. 2. Of the future life of happiness and giory.

As inward powerful godliness is an assemblage of every grace, in the exercise of which all internal worship and experi in fatal religion lies, I therefore begin with it, and sh ill in the following chapters tonsider the branches of it in which it opens.

OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.

It is a false maxim of the Papists, that" ignorance is the mother of devotion ;" it is so far from being true, that it is the parent of irreligion, will-worship, superstition, and idolatry. Now,

I. Let it be observed, that whilst men are in a natural state, they are destitute of divine knowledge; Adam was created a very knowing creature, being made after the image and in the likeness of God. Yet our first parents not being content with the knowledge they possessed, but listening to the temptation of Satan, lost in a great measure that knowledge they had ; driven from the presence of God, and deprived of communion with him, darkness siezed the understanding and overspread it, and this is the case of all men, Eph. iv. 18. This darkness and ignorance are increased through a course of sin: const;:' /

ence is cauterized, as with a red-hot iron; so that it is become past feeling, and insensible to the distinction of good and evil. There is in many an affected ignorance, which is very criminal ; they are willingly ignorant, simple ones, love simplicity, and. fools hate knowledge. Some because of their sinful lusts, and their contempt of the means of knowledge, are given up to judicial hardness of heart; others have been left under the power of Satan, the same with the power of darkness, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them, 2 Cor. iv. 4.

Whilst men are in an unrenewed state, and in such a state of darkness and blindness, they are ignorant of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of themselves, and of sin and the sad effects of it.

II. In every renewed person there is a knowledge of God, and of divine things, Col. iii. 10. Concerning which may be observed,

I. The object of it,,God, Gal. iv. 8, 9. there is a threefold knowledge of God. i. There is a knowledge of God by the light of nature ; but then such knowledge was always insufficient to teach men the true worship of God. 2. There is a knowledge of God by the law, the law of Moses, and the ceremonial law. 3. There is a knowledge of God which comes by the gospel; this is a spiritual and experimental knowledge of God, and attended with faith; such knowledge always includes in it love to God, for he who loveth not, knoweth not God, 1 John iv. 1.

Now this knowledge of God may be considered as respecing the three divine persons in the godhead distinctly. l. Every renewed soul has knowledge of God the Father. I write unto you little children, says the apostle John, 1 epist. ii. 13. because ye have known tke Father. n. Every renewed soul has knowledge of Christ the Son of God, John xvii. 3. They have knowledge of him in all his offices; -they know him in the various relations he stands in to them, as their everlasting Father, as their head of eminence over them; a,^

their husband ; as their brother ; and as their friend that loves at all times. This knowledge which such souls have of Christ is, 1. Not merely notional; but, 2. An affectionate knowledge, or a knowledge joined with love and affection to Christ. 3. Their knowledge is a knowledge of approbation; they say of him as Job did, Job xiii. 15, 16. 4. Their knowledge of him is fiducial; they know his name, and therefore they put their trust in him. 5. It is experimental, and, 6. Appropriating ; My beloved is mine, and lam his, John xx. 28. m. Every renewed soul has knowledge of the Spirit of God * our Lord speaking of him says, Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, neither his person, nor his office, nor his operations ; But ye know him, meaning his apostles and followers; and gives a very good reason for it for he dwelleth in you, and shall be with you; and therefore they must have a feeling and experimental knowledge of him, John xiv. 17. Thev have knowledge of him as the Comforter ; as the Spirit of Adoption ; as a Spirit of grace and of Supplication, and as the Spirit of truth.

To this head of the object of knowledge all divine things may be reduced that are knowable, that are to be known, or should be known by the Christian. Secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed, belong unto us, and to our children forever, Deut. xxix. 29. n. The causes of this knowledge, and from whence is springs. 1. The efficient cause is God, John vi. 45. 2. The impulsive cause is his sovereign will and pleasure, Matt. xi. 25, 26. 3. The instrumental cause or means is the word of God, Rom. x. 17.

III. The properties of this knowledge deserve notice. 1. It is practical. 2. It is soul-humbling. 3. It is fileasant, savoury, and satisfying. 4. It is excellent, yea, super-excellent; the apostle Paul counted all things but lost for the excellency of it, Phil. iii. 8. 5. This knowledge indeed is but imperfect in this life ; those that know most only know in part, yet it is progressive. 6.. There are various means which should be made use of for the increase of this knowledge, such as reading the scriptures, and attendance on the ministry of the Word.

OF REPENTANCE TOWARDS GOD.

Repentance is another part of internal worship ; the sensible sinner has much to do with God, and therefore it is with great propriety called Repentance toiuards God, Acts xx. 21. Concerning which may be observed,

I. Its name, and the words and phrases by which it is expressed both in the Old, and in the New Testament, and by Jews, Greeks, and Latins. I. The Jews commonly express it by a turning, or returning; and it is frequently signified in the Old Testament, by a man's turning from his evil ways ; ihe term from which he turns is sin, the term .to which he turns is the Lord, Isai. Iv. 7.

There is another word in Hebrew used for repentance, Ho«ea xi. 8. and xiii. 14. which also signifies comfort; because such who sincerely repent of sin, and are truly humbltd for it, should be comforted. The Spirit of God is first a reprover «f sin, and then comforts them with the application of pardon through the blood of Jesus, John xvi. 7, 8. u. The Greek word more frequently used in the New Testament for repentance, signifies an after understanding, or after wit: even an heathen could say, " Kepentance is the beginning of wisdom, and the first preparation to a life not to be repented of." ilt. The Latins generally express repentance by pcenitentiay from peena, punishment: hence our English word penitence,, and the Popish penance ; but true repentance lies not in these things, but is rather an inward punishment of the mind ; so the apostle observes of godly sorrow, What indignation, yea. ivliat revenge it wrought in you, Luke xviii. 13.

There is another word which the Latins use for repenttahee, resiplicentia, which signifies a man's being wise again, a coming to his wits, to his senses again: the man that dwelt among the tombs, Mark v. is a fit emblem of such persons, Luke xv. 17. Iv. The word contritioff, or brokenness of mind, is sometimes used for repentance, and there is some. foundation for it in the word of God ; we often read of a contrite heart and spirit: David says, he was feeble and sore broken, PsaJ. xxxviii. 8. hence hardness, and an impenitent heart, are put together, as designing the same thing, Horn. ii. 5The word of God is Hie a hammer to break the rock in pieces. v. Repentance is expressed by sorrow for sin. My sorrow is continually before me, says David, I will be sorry for my sin_+ Psal. xxxviii. 17, 18. which is signified not by vending garments, but by rending the heart, Joel ii. 13.

II. The nature and kinds of repentance. Men may be outwardly reformed, as the Pharisees were, and yet not repent of their sins ; besides, there may be true repentance for sin, where there is no time and opportunity for reformation: as in the thief upon the cross, and others. i. There is a natural repentance, or what is directed to by the light of nature, and the dictates of a natural conscience, as may be seen in the case of the Ninevites, who being threatened with the destruction of their city for their sin, issued an order that every one should turn from his evil ways. The Gentiles laid great stress upon their repentance to conciliate the favour of God unto them. N. There is a national repentance, such as the Jews in Babylon were called unto,'to which temporal blessings were promised; Repent, and turn yourselves from your transgresF sions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin, Ezek. viii. 30—32i in. There is an external repentance, or an outward humiliation for sin, such as was in Ahab, which, though nothing more, it was taken notice of by the Lord, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me, 1 Kings xxi. 29. iv. There is A hypocritical repentance, such as was in the people of Israel in the wilderness, when the wrath of God broke out against them for their sins, they returned unto him, or repented, but their heart was not right with him, Psal. lxxriii. 34—37. It is said of Judah, she hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, butfeigttcdly, saith the Lord, and of Ephraim, or the ten tribes, they return, but not to the most High, they are like a deceitful bow, Hos. vii. 16. v. There is a legal and there is an evangelical repentance. A legal one, which in time wears off; for, 1. There may be a sense of sin, and an acknowledgement of it, and yet no true repentance for it; Pharaoh and Judas both said, I have sinned. 2. There may be a kind of sorrow for it, not for the evil of fault, but on account of the evil of punishment, as appears in some cases, and in Cain's. 3. There may be a great deal of terror of mind because of sin, abundance of tears shed on the account of it, as were by Esau for the blessing, without success. 4. Such repentance, if no more than a mere legal one, issues in despair, as in Cain, whose words may be rendered, My sin is greater than that it may be forgiven : it is the sorrow of the world which worketh death, 2 Cor. vii. JO.

There is an evangelical repentance which lies, 1. In a true sight of sin. 2. In a hearty and unfeigned sorrow for it; this sorrow for it is the rather because it is against God, of whose goodness the sinner is sensible. 3. It is attended with shame and confusion of face, as in Ezra, chap. ix. 6. 4. Such repentance is accompanied with a loathing, detestation, and abhorrence of sin as the worst of evils; so it was with Job, when favoured with a special sight of the greatness and goodness of God, Job xlii. 6. 5. Where this repentance is, there is an ingenuous acknowledgment of sin, as may be seen in David, Psal. li. 3. in Daniel, chap. ix. 4, 5. and in the apostle Paul, 1 Tim. i. 13—15. 6. It is followed with a resolution, through the grace of God, to forsake sin ; Whoso confesscth (sins) and forsaketh them, shall have mercy, Prov. xxviii. 13. Now such a repentance appears to be evangelical; inasmuch as,' 1. It is from the Spirit of God, Zech. xii. 10. 2. It follows upon real conversion and divine instruction, Surely after that I was turned, I repented, and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh, Jer. xxxi. 19. 3. It is what is encouraged and influenced by gospel promises, such as these in Isai. Iv. 7. Jer. iii. 12, 13. 4. It is that which is attended with faith and hope: repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord

Jesus Christ, go together as doctrines, and as graces ; which is first in exercise is not easy to say; our Lord says of the Pharisees, that they repented not, that they might believe, and elsewhere faith is represented as first looking to Lhrist, and then repentance or mourning for sin, Ztch. xii. 10. 5, It is such a repentance which flows not from dread of punishment, but from love to God, and from an hatred of evil; Hov) can I do this great zvickedness, and sin against God, so holy, just, and good, and who has shewn such love and kindness to me? Gen. xxxix. 9. It was love to Christ that fetched such a flood of tears from the eyes of the penitent woman at Christ's feet, and which caused Peter under a sense of sin to go out and weep bitterly.

III. The object and subjects of repentance. i. The object of repentance is sin, hence called repentance from dead works, Heb. vi. 2. And, 1. Not only grosser sins, but sins of a lesser magnitude, John xix. 11. 2. Not only public but private sins are to be repented of. 3. There are sins both of omission and commission, which are to be repented of, Isai. xliii. 22—J5. 4. There are sins which are committed in the most solemn, serious, religious, and holy performances of God's people, which are to be repented of. 5. The daily sins of life are to be lamented. 6. Not only actual sins and transgressions in thought, word, and deed, are to be repented of, but original and indwelling sin; Beheld, I was shapen in iniquity, Psalm li. 5. Paul lamented the sin that dwelt in him, Rom. vii. 18—24. n. The subjects of repentance are sinners, and only such. Adam, in a state of innocence, was not a subject of repentance, for not having sinned, he had no sin to repent of; therefore Christ says, / am not come to call the rigkteous, hut sinners to repentance, Matt. ix. 13. 1. All men are sinners, all descending from Adam by ordinary generation ; and so all stand in need of repentance. 2. Men of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, are subjects of repentance ; for God has commanded all men every where to repent; Paul testified both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks^ repentance towards God, Acts xx. 21. 3. Men are subjects of repentance only in the present life; when this life is ended, the door of repentance will be shut.

IV. The Author, and cause, and means of repentance. i.The Author and efficient of cause it is not man himself, but God; Then hath God also granted repentance to the Gentiles, Acts xi. 18. 2. Though God may give men space to repent, yet if he does not give the grace of repentance, they never will repent. Thus he gave space to the whole world; so Jezebel, or Antichrist, is said to have space given her to repent oj her

fornication, and she repented not, Rev. ii. 21. 3. Though some men have the means of repentance, yet grace not being given them of God they repent not; the most severe judgments inflicted on men are insufficient, Exod. xi. 10. Amos iv. 6— 11. Rev. xvi. 8—11. And on the other hand, the greatest instances of mercy and goodness to men, which should, and one would think would, lead men to repentance, do not, Rom. ii. 4, 5. Rev. ix. 20, 21. The most powerful and awakening ministry has no influence without the power and grace of God. 4. The sole efficient cause and author of repentance is God, Father, Son, and Spirit. God the Father, ifGodperadven. ture will give them repentance, 2 Tim. ii. 25. Christ, the Son of God, as mediator, is exalted to give repentance unto Israel^ and forgiveness of sins, Acts v. 31. and the Spirit of God reproves for sin, convinces of it, and works repentance for it, John xvi. 8. 5. The moving cause is the grace of God, Acts xi. 18. and v. 31. 6. The usual means and instruments of repentance are the word, and the ministers of it.

V. The effects and consequences of repentanee. i. The effects are su(fh as the apostle mentions, 2 Cor. vii. 11. Ii. The consequences of repentance are, 1. The pardon of sin. Acts v. 31. 2. A grant of grace, repentance is unto life, Acts xi. 18. 3. The work of godly sorrow, is repentance to saltation not to be repented of, 2 Cor. vii. 14. as he that believes with the heart unto righteousness, so he that truly repents of sin shall be saved.

OF THE FEAR OF GOD.

The whole of religion, experimental and practical religion, lies in these two things, to fear God and keep his comInandmemu, Eccl. xii. 13. God is to be served vrith reverence and ifodlufear, Heb. xii. 28. concerning which may be observed,

I. The object of fear, not the creature, but God. There is a fear due to men, fear to whom fear; to parents from their children, Eph. vi- 1. 2. from wives to their husbands, 1 Pet. iii. 5, 6. and a fear and reverence which servants should show to their masters, Eph. vi. 6. there is a fear and reverence which ministers of the word should be had in by those to whom they minister, 1 Sam. xii. 18. and a fear to be rendered to magistrates, Koin. xiii. 7. and if earthly magistrates and masters are to be feared and reverenced, much more the King of kings and Lord of lords.

But then men are not so to be feared as to be deterred by them from the service of God, Matt. x. 28. if God: is on the side of his people, as he most certainly is, they have no reason to fear what man can do unto them. 1. God only is the object of fear, Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God: because he is so much the object of the fear of good men, he is called fear itself; thenar of Isaac is used for the God of Isaac, Gen. xxxi. 42. By the Lacedemonians Fear was worshipped as a deity, and had a temple for it, as Pavor and Pallor, fear fulness and paleness, were by Tullus Hostilius among the .Romans ; but none but the true God is the object of fear. n. He is to be feared because of his name and nature ; that thou mayest fear this fearful and glorious name, The Lord thy God, Psal. cxii. 9. when at every turn men are apt to say, O Lord O God! good God! Sec. it is no other than taking the name of God in vain. in. God not only essentially but personally considered is to be feared, God, Father, Son, and Spirit; it is said of the Jews in the latter day, that they shall seek the Lord tlieir God, and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days, Hos. iii. 5. J.rhovah the Son is also the object of divine reverence, Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread; and J( ho' ah the Spirit also ; the Israelites in the wilderness rebelled against him, ami he turned to be their enemy, Isai. Ixiii. 10. IV.• God, in his perfections, and because of them, is the object of fi.ar; as his majesty and greatness in general ; particularly ' his omnipotence, his omniscience, his omnipresence, to which ma\ be added, his justice and holiness, at whose wrath the nations tremble, and are not able to bear his indignation, v. The works of God make him appear to be a proper object of fear and reverence ; his works of creation, the Psalmist on mention of them says, Psal. xxxiii. 5—8. Let all the earth fear the Lord, let all the inhabitants of the "world stand in aivt of him j Fear ye not mr, saith the Lord? will ye not tremble at my presence ? which hath placed the sand for the bound of the sea ; at the same time the stupidity of the people is observed, Neither say they in their heart, Let us now far the Lord our God that giveth rain, &c. Jer. v. 22, 24. vi. The judgments of God which he threatens, and inflicts, render him an object of fearsavs David, My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments^ Psal. cxix. 120. see Isai. ii. 19,2i.

II. The nature and kind of fear. There is a fear which is not good nor commendable, and it is of different sorts ; there. is an idolatrous and superstitious fear, J perceive that in *U things yc are too superstitious. There is an external fear of God as in the men of Samaria, who pretended to fear the Lord, as the priest instructed them, and yet served their own gods; The re is an hypocritical fear, which Satan insinuated was Job's ' case, Doth Job far God for nought ? Job i. 9. And there is a servile fear, a spirit of bondage to fear, this arises, i. From a sense of sin, and the guilt of it on the conscience, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afrai ', £s?c. 2. From the law enteringthe conscience of a sinner; persons in such a condition would be glad of rocks and mountains to fall on them. .1. From the curse of the law, and the weight of it on the cons.ience. Its language is, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do thttm, Gal. iii. 10. 4. From a view of death as the demerit of sin; The wages of sin is death, the just desert of it. 5. From a dread of hell and everlasting damnation.

But there is a fear of God different from this and opposite to it, and may be called a filial fear, such as that of a son to a father; the scriptures called it godly fear, Heb. xii. 28. Now this arises, 1. From the spirit of adoption ; Ye have not received, says the apostle, the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 2. From the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Spirit, which produces love to God again; there is no fear, no slavish fear, in love. 3. This filial fear is attended with faith and trust in God; it is a fiducial fear, Psal. xxxi. 19. and cxv. 11. Job was a man that feared God, and yet he could say, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. 4. It is a fear that is consistent with great joy in the Lord ; Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling, Psalm ii. 11. 5. Such a fear is opposed to pride and selfconfidence ; Be not high minded, but fear, Rom. xi. 20.

III. Wherein the fear of God appears, and by what it is manifested. 1. In an hatred of sin ; The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, Prov. viii. 13. 2. It shews itself by departing from it; By the feor of the Lord men depart from evil, Prov. xvi. 6. 3. The fear of God appears in men in not allowing themselves to do what others do ; So did not I, because of the fear of God, Neh. v. 15. Not that such who fear God are without sin; Job feared God but was not free from sin; but they can. not give themselves that liberty to sin that others do. 4. The fear of God manifests itself by a carefulness not to offend God nor man ; to put no stumbling block before any, but fear the Lord; for to do otherwise would be contrary to it, Lev. xix. 14. 5. The fear of God in men is seen by a constant attendance on the worship of God; and, 6. By their withholding nothing from God, though ever so dear unto them, whenever he requires it of them ; so Abraham received this testimony, Now know I that thoufearest God, Gen. xxii. 12.

IV. The springs and causes of the fear of God, or from whence it flows. 1. It is not from nature; of the wicked David says, There is no fear of God before his eyes, Psalm xxxv i. 1. 2. It arises from the grace of God, it is a gift and grant of grace ; 0 that there were such an heart in them that they would fear me, or who will give such an hear! ? Deut. v. 29. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may

fear me for ever, Jer. xxxii. 39 40. 3. It is implanted in the heart in regeneration. 4. The word and prayer are the means of attaining it, Psalm xxxiv. 11. and, 5. It is encouraged, promoted, and increased by the fresh discoveries of the grace and goodness of God, They shall fear the Lord and his good, ness; There is forgiveness with thee thou mayest be feared, Psalm exxx. 4.

V. The happines of those that fear the Lord. i. With respect to things temporal. Litis promised they shall have no want, not of temporal good things, 0fear the Lord, ye bis saints, for their is no want to them that fear him, Psal. xxxiv. 9, 10. 2. Though they may have but little of the good things of this world, yet better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasures and trouble therewith. 3. Even wealth and riches are promised to be in the house of that man that fears the Lord, Psal. cxii. 1. 3. Prov. xxii. 4. which can only be understood of some, since the fear of the Lord itself is the good man's treasure, Isai. xxxiii. 6. 4. It is said that the man that fears the Lord shall eat of the labour of his hands; he shall not only be happy in his person, but in his family; his wife shall be as a fruitful vine, and his children as olive plants round about his table. 5. They that fear the Lord are in the utmost safety; the angel of the Lord encamps round about them, Psal. xxxiv. 7. 6. The fear of the Lord prolongeth days. ii. With respect to things spiritual. 1. The Lord is said to rake pleasure in them that fear him, Psal. cxlvii. 11. 2. They are accepted of him, and are acceptable to him, Acts x. 34, 35. 3. The heart of God is towards them ; Like as a father pitteth his children, so the Lord piticth them that fear him, Psal. ciii. 13. 4. The eye of the Lord is upon them for good;

The eye of the.Lord is upon them that fear him, Psal. cxxxiii. 18. 5. His hand is ready and open to communicate to them ; he gives them his grace, and at last gives them glory. 6. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him ; the secrets of of his heart's love : he uses them as his most intimate bosom friends. 7. They are remembered by him with the favour he bears to his own people ; a book of remembrance is said to be written before him for them, Mai. iii. 16. 8. It is promised to them that fear the name of the Lord, that unto them the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings. 9. Salvation, a fresh view of interest in it, is nigh them that fear the Lord, Psal. Ixxxv. 9. 10. Great and good things are laid up for such persons in the heart of God, 0 how great hi thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, Psal. xxxi. 19.

OF FAITH IN GOD AND IN CHRIST.

Concerning which may be observed,

I. The kind of faith to be treated of; for faith is a word of a different use and signification. 1. It sometimes signifies the veracity of God; as when the apostle says, Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect, Rom. iii. 3, 4.. sometimes veracity among men, Matt, xxiii. 28. 2. It is sometimes used for the doctrine of the gospel, the word of faith, Gal. i. 23. 3. There is a divine and an human faith; a divine faith proceeds upon a divine testimony ; an human faith proceeds upon the testimony of man, 1 John v. 9. 4. There is a faith of miracles, which proceeds upon a revelation some way or other made by God to a man, which he believes; either that a miracle should be wrought^ him, or should be wrought for him; of the former sort; see Mark xi. 22, 23. 1 Cor. xiii. 2. of the latter; see Matt. x. 1. Mark xvi. 17—'iO. 5. There is what is called an historical faith; it may be called a theoretic faith, a speculative one, receiving all things in the theory, but reducing nothing to practice. 6. There is also a temporary faith; the stony ground hearers for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away, Luke viii. 13. 7. There is a special faith, which is peculiar to God's elect, and is by some called saving faith, though strictly speaking salvation is not in faith, nor in any other grace, nor in any duty, only in Christ ; He that believes shall be saved.

II. The objects of it, and the acts of it on those objects. The objects of it are not bare axioms or propositions ; for, the act of the believer does not terminate at an axiom, but at the thing.

God is the first primary and ultimate object of faith, and Christ as mediator is the mediate objeet of it, Te elieve in God, believe also in me, 1 John xiv. 1. i. God the Father: our Lord says, He that believcth on me, tliat is, not on him only, but on him that sent me, John xii. 44. Him as the creator, Faith is exercised on; so runs the first article in the creed, commonly called the apostles creed, " I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth ;" and as having loved his people in Christ before the foundation of the world, 2 Thess. ii. 16. as having chosen his people in Christ from the beginning, Eph. i. 3, 4. as the covenant God of his people, Zech. xiii. 9. as he is the Father of Christ, and all that believe in him, John xx. 17. As a God forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin for Christ's sake, Heb. viii. 12. asajustifier, Rom. viii. 33. as the God of all grace; and, lastly, as a promising God, he has made m.tny exceeding great and precious promises, and these are all \ea and Amen in Christ, it. God the Son is the object of faith; it was not only the confession of the faith of Peter. Thou t.rt Christ the Son of the living God, but of all the disciples, Matt. xvi. 16, 18. Acts viii. 37. John xx. 31. 1 John iii. 23. and v. 10. Believing in him is a going forth in acts of faith and confidence, and is called faith tozvards our Lord Jesus Christ, Acts xx. 28. Now faith in Christ as the Redeemer and Saviour includes in it the following things, and is espressetj by a variety of acts, which shew the nature of it.

First, I shall consider the several parts of faith 1h Christ, or what is requisite to constitute it. 1. A knowledge of Christ is necessary, Rom. x. 14. Previous to faith in Christ as a Saviour, there must be knowledge of the want of him; and of his fulness and abilities. Hence knowledge being so requisite to faith, and included in it, faith is sometimes expressed by it, Isai. liii. 11. John xvii. 3. and knowledge and faith are joined together as inseparable companions, and as expressive of the same thing; And we have known and believed the love God hath to Us, 1 John iv. 16. Job xix. 25. 2. An assent unto Christ as a Saviour, enters into the true nature of faith; not a bare naked assent of the mind to the truth of the person and offices of Christ. True faith, in sensible sinners, assents to Christ, as a special, suitable Saviour for them in particular: it proceeds upon Christ's being revealed in them, as well as to them, by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation; heard and learned of the Father, such as have come to Christ, that is, believe in him, John vi. 45. 3. Knowledge of Christ as a Saviour, and an assent unto him as such) is attended with love and affection to him ; faith works by love. Christ is precious to them that believe. 4. True, spiritual, special faith in Christ includes in it a dependence on him: it is a soul's venturing on Christ, resolving if it perishes it will perish at his feet, All which will more fully appear by considering.

Secondly, The various acts of faith on Christ, a3 described in the sacred scriptures. 1. It is expressed by seeing the Son; This is the will of him that sent me, says Christ, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, ramy have everlasting life, John vi. 40. It is a looking to Jesus, who was typified by the brazen serpent set upon a pole by Moses, John iii. 14. sensible sinners are encouraged by Christ himself, who says, Behold me, behold me, Isai. lxv. 1, and xlv. 22. 2. Faith is a motion of the soul unto Christ; He that cometh to me, says Christ, shall never hunger; and he that believeth o% me, which .explaina what is meant by coming, shall never thirst, John vi. 25. which coming to Christ is upon an invitation given ; the Spirit and the bride say come, Rev. xxii. 17. the ministers of the word cry, He, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters ; the sound is attended with efficacious grace, they that are ready to perish, come, Isai. Iv. 1. Christ himself says, Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy Men, and1will give you rest, Matt. xi. 28. 3. This motion of faith towards Christ is expressed by feeing to him; and such souls that believe in him are described as hw'mgfledfor refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them, Heb. vi. 18. Christ is ihe city of refuge ; being come to Christ, various acts of faith are pui forth upon him ; such as the following: Aven. turing act of their souls, and of their whole salvation on him, like tsiher, who ventured into the presence of king Ahasuerus, saying, If I perish, I perish : reasoning in like manner as the four lepers did when ready to perish with famine ; Let us fall into the host of the Syrians; if they save us alive we shall live, and if they kill us, we shall but die. A casting or throwing themselves into the arms of Christ, to be bore and carried b) him, as a nursing father bears and carries in his bosom a sucking child; so Christ carries the Iambs in his arms, Isai. lxvi. 12. A laying hold on Christ; even the robe of righteousness; or, as Adonijah and Joab fled and laid hold of the horns of the altar for safety. Faith is a retaining Christ, and an holding him fast; it is said of Wisdom, or Christ, Nappy is every one that retaineth her, Prov. iii. 18. so the church having lost her beloved, and upon search found him, she held him, and would not let him go, Cant. iii. 4. Faith is sometimes expressed by leaning on the Lord, and staying upon him; so the church is said to be leaning on her beloved, while comir.g up out of the wilderness, Cant. viii. 5. But, the grand and principal act of faith, or that by which it is more frequently expressed is, receiving Christ; As many as received himeven that believe on his name, John i. 12. where receiving Christ is interpreted of believing on him. Christ is received, not into the head, but into the heart; not in part only, but in whole. 1. Christ in all his offices, as the great Prophet in the church whom God promised to raise up; as a Priest, and as King in Zion. 2. Christ and all the bless, ings of grace along with him, are received by faith ; such as adoption; as Christ gives a power to them that believe in him, to become the children of God, thty by faith receive this power, right, and privilege from him; and hence we read of receiving the adoption of children, through the redemption that is by Christ, Gal. iv. 5. Pardon, Acts v. 31. and grace as a meetness for, and as the earnest of glory, Acts xxvi. 18. 3. Christ is received as a free gift; he is the gift of God; If thou knewest the gift of God, John iv, 10. 4. Faith receives Christ in preference to all others: it prefers the worst things belonging to Christ, to the best in creatures ; he esteems reproach for Christ's sake, greater riches than all the treasures in Egypt, and takes pleasure in persecutions and distresses endured on his account. nI. God the holy Spirit, is also the object of faith ; though we read and hear but little of faith in him; yet as we are to trust in God the Father to keep us by his power through faith unto salvation, and to trust in Christ for the salvation of our souls, so we are to trust in the holy Spirit, for carving on and finishing the work of grace in us : he the Spirit of God, who hath begun a good work in us, will perform it until the day offesus Christ, Phil. i. 6.

III. The subjects of the grace of faith, on whom this grace is bestowed, and in whom it is, in some more, in others less, in all like precious faith, i. The subjects of faith are not angels, neither good nor bad. Not the good angels; they live not by faith, but by sight: much less the evil angels; they themselves very justly observed, What have we to do with thee ? they had nothing to do with him as Jesus a Saviour, ii. Men only are the subjects of the grace of faith ; and not all men ; For all men have not faith. There are some who do not belong to Christ, are none of his ; Te believe net be. cause ye are not of my sheep; As many as were ordained unto eternal life believed, Acts xiii. 48. there must be first spiritual

life before there can be faith: hence says Christ, tvhesaever liveth and ielicvelh in me shall never die, John xi. 26. As well may a dead carcase fly, as a dead sinner believe in Christ, or have any will and desire to it. in. Those who are the subjects of this grace of faith, it is different in them as to the degree and exercise of it. 1. In some it is great faith ; Instances of which we have in the centurion, and in the woman of Canaan, Matt. viii. 10. 2. In some it is but small or little faith. 3. In others it is very little, least of all, it is like a grain of mustard seed, which is the least of all seeds, Matt. xvii. 20. the day of small things he does not despise. 4. In these it seems to be next to none, and as if there was none at all; hence these words of Christ to his apostles, How is it that ynu have nofailh ? and again, Where is your faith ? Mark iv. 4". Luke viii. 25. that is, in act and exercise. 5. In some faith is weak ; in others strong: of Abraham it is said, that he was strong in faith. But of some others it is said, Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 6. Faith, as to its exercise, differs in the same individuals at different times; as in Abraham, and in David, and in Peter. 7. In some it arises to aflero/ihery, a full assurance of faith, as it is expressed in Heb. x. 22. which signifies go. ing with.a full sail, in allusion to ships when they sail with a prosperous gale ; so souk, when they are full of faith, as Stephen was, move on towards God and Christ ; and can say with Thomas, My Lord, and my God! and with the church, My beloved is mine and I am hi3 ; but this is not to be found in all believers ; it is not always without any doubt, hesitation, and mixture of unbelief. iv. The seat of this grace, in the subjects of it, is the whole soul of man ; it is with the heart man believes in Christ for righteousness, life, and salvation. IV. The causes of fa'th, from whence it springs. i. The efficient cause is God; hence it is called the work of Cod, John vi. 29. the operation of God, Col. ii. 12. God the Father ; as he is the God of all grace, so of this. Christ is expressly called, the Author and Finisher of Faith, Heb. xii. 2. and this special grace of faith is reckoned among the fruits of the Spirit; who from hence is called the Spirit, of faith. 11. The moving cause of faith is, the free grace of God ; Acts xviii. 27. in. The word and ministers of it are the usual means and instruments of faith; the end of the word. being written is, that men might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, John xx. 31. and the word preached is, the word of faith, Rom. x. 8, 17.

V. The effects of it, on the various things which are ascribed unto it in some sense or another, which shew the usefulness and importance of this grace. i. Several blessings of grace are attributed to it. 1. Justification; hence we read of being, justified by faith, Rom v. 1. not by it, or through it, as a work of righteousness done by men, for then they would be justified and saved by work's contrary to the scriptures. Tit. iii. 5. Nor as a grace of the Spirit of God wrought in men; for that is a part and branch of sanctification, but faith objectively is meant or the object of faith, Christ, who is sometimes called faith, Gal. iii. 23. 2. Adoption, the saints are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, Gal. iii. 26. 3. The remission of sins; God has set forth Christ to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, for the remission of sins, Rom. iii. 25. 4. Sanctification, purifying their hearts by faith, Actxv. 9. 5. Eternal life and salvation are connected with faith; he that believes in him has everlasting life, John xvii. 3. n. By faith souls have communion with God, with Christ, and with his people in his word and ordinances. 1. They have access to God, In whom savs the apostle, we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him, Eph. iii. 12. 2. The inhabitation of Christ in the hearts of his people ; the apostle prayed for the Ephesians that says he, Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, Eph, iii. 17. 3. Believers feed and live upon Christ by faith ; / live by the faith of the Son ofGod,GH. ii. 20. 4. It is by faith that believers go on com. fortably in their christian race ; As yc have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, 2 Cor. v. 7. go on believing in him till ye receive the end of your faith, the sat. vation of your souls. 5. Faith makes Christ precious to souls ; To them that believe he is precious, 1 Pet. ii. 7. 6. Faith works by love, by love to Christ and by love to his people. 7. It is faith which makes the word useful and the ordinances pleasant and delightful, Heb. iv. 2. it is only when Christ is held forth, and seen in the galleries, and shews himself through the lattices to faith, that the ordinances are amiable and lovely. in. There are various other useful things ascribed to fa'uh,as the effects of it. 1. jft makes not ashamed. It is said, He that believeth shall not make haste, Isai xxviii. 16. Rom. ix. 33. and x. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 6. 2. It tills the soul with joy on hearing the word, the good news of salvation by Christ; so the jailor, on hearing the word of salvation preached, rejoiced, believing in God, a sight of Christ by faith will fill a scul with a joy unspeakable and full of glory, 1 Pet. i. 8. hence we iead of the joy of faith. 3. It is by faith that saints get the victoty •ver Satan, and the world, and every enemy, 1 John v. 4, 5. 4. It is by faith that saints are kept unto salvation, and are saved by grace through it.

VI. The properties or adjuncts of faith. 1. It is the firtt and principal grace, it takes the precedence of other graces.

2. It is a grace exceeding precious, it is like precious faith.

3. It is but one; as there is but one Lord to be believed.in, and to ,be subject to, so but one faith. 4. Though faith is called common faith, common to all God's elect, yet every man has his own faith ; the just shall live by his faith, and not another's, Heb. ii. 4. The faith of one man is of no service to another in the business of salvation. 5. It is true, real, andimfeigned. 6. It is a grace that cannot be lost; Christ is the Author

and Finisher. 7. It is indeed but imperfect; yet may be increased ; Lord, increase our faith. 8. According to the Apostle's account of it, it is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seenx Heb. xi. 1. it realizes things, and gives them a subsistance, and makes them appear solid and substantial ; it brings distant things near, and future things pre

sent; it makes difficult things plain and easy, and unseea things visible, and gives a certainty to them all.

OF TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN GOD.

This being so near akin to faith, if not a part, yet at least a fruit of it, deserves next to be considered,

I. What confidence signifies, and the sense in which it is sometimes taken, and to be treated of here. i. It is some

. times used for a profession of religion, taken up in the name and strength of Christ; hence it is advised not to cast it away, Heb. iii. 6, 14. n. It sometimes signifies that alacrity in which men engage in any branch of religious service ; Many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear, Phil. i. 14. in. Sometimes confidence with respect to God in prayer is designed. In whom, that is, in Christ, we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him, Eph. iii. 12. iv. Trustor confidence in God may be considered, as it has a connection with the grace of faith; faith is sometimes expressed by it; Such trust, or confidence have we through Christ to God.ward, 2 Cor. iii. 4. It seems to be faith greatly strengthened ; a strong exercise of it: such as in 2 Tim. i. 12. I know whom I have believed or trusted: it deserves a distinct consideration. Particularly,

II. The objects of it.

First, Negatively; what are not the objects of it. 1. Idols; trust in which, and in things belonging to them, may be called idolatrous confidence. So the Gentiles gloried in their temples ; as in the temple of Diana, at Ephesus, and of Idols in other places. 2• Men; trust in whom may be called human confidence. This was the sin of the Israelites, that they trusted in the shadow of Egypt, Isai. xxx 2, 3. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God: in some cases the most intimate friends are not to be confided in for secrecy; Trust ye not in a frisnd,put ye not confidence in a guide, Mic. vii. 5. 3. Self

is another object not to be trusted in ; trust in which may be called self confidence; as when men trust in their wealth, and make gold their hope; He that trusteth in his riches shall fall, Prov. xi. 18. Nor should a man trust in his .wisdom; lean not to thine own undestanding, Prov. iii. 5. nor in his strength, nor in his own heart, he that trusts in it is a fool, Prov. xxviii. 26. Nor should men trust in their own works of righteousness ; such a man's trust is no other than a spider's web.

Second, Positively, the true and proper objects of trust and confidence are Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit. i. Jehovah the Father: the saints may be confident of his love to them, and of the continuance of it; of his faithfulness in the fulfilment of his promises. Of his grace to supply all their wants ; and of his power to keep and preserve them to eternal glory. it. Jehovah the Son: trust is to be put in the salvation of Christ, or in him for salvation; in his righteousness; in the fulness of grace in him; in his power to help them in the exercise of every grace, and in the performance of every du* ty; to bear the cross of Christ, to fight his battles, and to persevere in faith and holiness to the end. ni. Jehovah the Spirit; For the carrying on and finishing his own work of grace in the hearts of his people,is expressed by confidence of it.

III. The encouragement there is to trust in the Lord, and that for all things and at all times.

First, There is encouragement to trust in God for all things. 1. All things are of him; all good things in nature, Actsxvii. 25. Rom. xi. 36. And in grace, 2 Cor. v. 18. 2. All good things are promised by God to his people; the covenant of grace is ordered in all things, and is full of exceeding great and precious promises. 3. God keeps back no good things he has promised : No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly, Psal. lxxxiv. 11,12. 4. God gives all things freely to his| people, without any regard to any merit or desert of theirs, Rom. viii. 32. 5. He gives all things plenteoushj; so that the saint, with Jacob, can say, / have enough* There is abundant encouragement to trust in the Lord for all things. 1. For things temporal, the outward mercies of life. For food, Psal. xxxvii. 3. for raiment, Gen. xxviii. 20, 21* Matt. vi. 30. for the preservation of life, Psal. cxxii. 5, 8. For these things may believers pray to God with an holy confidence, believing they shall have the petitions they ask of him. They may be encouraged by the experience of them, selves and others. Good old Jacob in his d\ ing moments expressed, in very strong language, his experience of the divine goodness throughout the whole of his life; The God 'which fed me all my life long unto this day, Gen. xlviii. 15,16; 11. There is great encouragement to trust in the Lord for spiritual things { Christ has them all in his hands for his people, and will give them all things pertaining to life and godliness. in. There is encouragement to trust in the Lord for eternal things ; for God has chosen his in Christ to the enjoyment of them : he has made promises of eternal things to his people ; he has prepared and provided everlasting happiness for them ; has called rfiem to his kingdom and glory; and whom he calls he glurifies, 1 Thess. v. 24. 1 John v. 11.

Secondly* There is encouragement to trust in the Lord al. ways ; Trust in him at all times, ye people, Psal lxii. 6. In times of darkness and desertion, Isai. 1.10. in times of temptation, and of adversity, Zeph. iii. 12. and in the hour of death, God will be with them, and his rod and staff shal comfort themi

Thirdly, What that is in the Lord which gives encouragement to trust in him. 1. He is El-Shaddai, God all-sufficient. 2. He is Jehovah, the rock of ages, the everlasting strength of those that put their trust in him ;Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength, Isai. xxvi. 4. 3. The loving kindness, grace, mercy, and pity of God, give great encouragement to trust in him; How exceltent is thy loving iindness, 0 Godi therefore the children of inen put their trust under the shadow of thy wings, Psal. xxxvi. 7. 4. His truth and faithfulness in his covenant and promises, strongly Induce to trust in him; he will not sufet.

I

his faithfulness to fail, nor break Ais covenant, nor alter the thing that is gone out of his lips ; to which he has added his oath for the confirmation thereof, Psal. Ixxxix. 33—35. 5. The experience of the saints in all ages, and a man's own, animate him to put his trust in God; our fathers trusted in thee, they trusted, and thou didst deliver them ; they cried unto thee, and wc e delivered, they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.i Psal. xxii. 4, 5.

IV. The happiness of those that trust in the Lord. i. They ■re in grrat peace,and will be in greater still; Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trW'ttth in thee, Isal. xxvi. 3. 2. They are in great safety ; they that trust in (he Lord shall be as mount Zion. 3. They need lte in no fear of any enemy whatever; Behold God is my salvation, says the church, / will trust and not be afraid, Isai. xii. 2. 4. They want no good thing; Blessed is the man that trusieth in him.

OF THE GRACE OF HOPS.

Concerning this grace, the following things nay be observed :

I. 1 he object, ground, and foundation of it. Not any creature whatever, angel or man; not the virgin Mary, the mother of our I.oi.il, as the papists blasphemously address her, Salve rrgina, spes nostra; Save us, 0 queen our hope! Nor any creature enjoyihent; IfI have made gold my hope, the object of it, says Job, meaning he had nftt. Nor creatute merits; of which there are none. But Jehovah^ die creator and Lord of all, and the covenant God of his people, is the principal object of hope, and the only solid, sufficient ground and foundation for it, as David said, Thou art my hope, 0 Lord God; thou art mt/trustfi om my youth, Psal. lxxv. 5. i. God, essentially considered, is the ' bject of hope; Hope in God, says the Psalmist, for I shall yet praise him, Psal. xlii. 11. The grounds of which hope in God are his grace and goodness. n. God personally considered is also the object of hope; the Father is called, The God of hope; Christ the Son of God is called our hope, the hope of glory ; and the Spirit of God also is equally the object of hope, as of faith and confi (once. in. The less principal objects of hope, connected with the divine persons, are the promises of God ; In his wire} d t I hope, Psal. exxx. 5. the ground and foundation of which hope is the divine faithfulness and power.

Things to be hoped for are represented. 1. As things unseen, of which faith is the evidence ; and gives encourage* ment to the exercise of hope upon them ; Hope that is seen, is not hope; for what a man. seefh, why doth he yet hope fort Rom. viii. 24, 25. 2. They are things future; hfnee saints are exhorted to hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto them, at the revelation of Jesus Christ, and to look for that blessed hope, 1 Pet. i. 1.3. 3. Things hoped for are difficult to come at and possess ; hence there must be a labouring and striving. 4. Hope is of things possible, or otherwise it would turn to, despair, as in Cain, and those who said, there is no hope, Jer. xviii. 12. it is good that a man should both hap* find quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord, Ezra. x. 2.

Things, the objects of hope are more particularly. i. Salvation by Christ; it is possible to be had, and therefore hope is conversant about it: the thoughts of God are employed about it in eternity. His own Son is become the author of eternal salvation, and this salvation is actually wrought out by Christ; it is in him, and to be had by him, and by no other. 5. Great encouragement is given by Christ to sensible sinners, to hope for and expect salvation from him; Look unto me, says he, and be saved. It is wholly of free grace, and not of works, and is for sinners, even the chief of sinners: to a soul enquiring after salvation, the gospel thus directs, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, Acts xvi. 31. Ii. Pardon of sin through the blood of Christ; this is what is immediately sought after and prayed for by a soul convinced of sin: there is ground and reason to hope for this, through the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ; because God is a sin lor. giving God; he has proclaimed his name merciful and gracious. The blood of Christ has bten shed on account of sin ; God set him (' nh to be the propitiation. through faith it: his bcod for t'e remission of sins. And his blood is shed for many, for the remission of sins ; Christ is exalted as a Prince and a 'Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins, Acts v. 31. He gave orders to his apostles, before his ascension to heaven, that repentance and remission of sins should be Preached in his name, among all nations, to all sorts of men in them, beginning at Jerusalem. The instances of pardon recorded in scripture, and of some notorious sinners, serve much to encourage hope of pardon likewise ; as a Manasseh, a Marv Magdelene, the woman, a sinner, who washed Christ's feet with hear tears; Saul the blasphemer, and many of the Corinthians, described as the worst of sinners, were pardon, edand justified in the name of the Lord Jtsus. in. The blessings of grace, and supplies of it in the present life, and through it are the objects of hope, as long as there is a throne of grace standing, and a fulness of grace in Christ; his people may be assured, that their God in Christ will supply all their need, according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ, Phil. iv. 19. iv. There are blessings to be enjoyed after death, which are the objects of hope. 1. The resurrection of the body is an object of hope, and is often so represented; 0f the hope and'resurrection of the dead, that is, of the hope of it, i" am called in question, says the apostle, Acts xxiii. 6. 2. Eternal life to be enjoyed both in soul and body, is a grand object of hope, and for which there is good ground and reason, from its being a free gift ; The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lordi Rom. vi. 23. It is in the hands of Christ toconlVr, who is therefore called our hope, 1 Tim.i. 1. From the promise of it in Christ, called, The promise of life which is in Christ Jtsus, 2 Tim. i. 1. From the preparations and prayers of Christ for it, who is gone to prepare heaven and happi. ness foj his people; and from the Spirit's work in the hearts of men, whose grace is a well of living water, springing up in-' to eternal life.

II. The subjects of the grace of hope ; they are not angels, good or bad; good angels are in the full enjoyment of God and of all felicity; and to evil angels, there is not the least ground and reason for them to hope for a recovery out of ' their apostate state. Only men are subjects, and these not all men, some are described as, those without hope, and who live and/die without it. Regenerate men are subjects of the grace of hope; they are begotten again unto a lively hope: faith and hope always go together ; faith is the ground work of hope, the subttunce of things hoped for, Hcb. xi. 1. the Israel whorn God has chosen for his peculiar treasure, are encouraged to hope in the Lord; hence he is called, The htpe of Israel, Jer. xiv. 8. The separate souls of saints, after death, in heaven, seem to be possessed of the grace of hope, particularly with respect to the resurrection of their bodies ; as the fltsh of Christ, by a figure, is said to rest in hope of its resurrection, Psalm. xvi. 9. so the souls of the saints during the abode of their bodies in the grave, wait and hope ; All the days of my appointed time of lying in the grave, will I wait till my change come, until Christ changes the vile bodies of his people, and makes them like his glorious one, Job xiv. 14.

III. The causes of the grace of hope. 1. The efficient oause of it is God ; hence he is called, The God of hope, Rom. Xv. 13. 2. The moving cause of it is the grace and mercy of God ; hence it is called, good hope through grace, and is sometimes ascribed to the akundant mercy of God, as the spring of it, 1 Pet. 1. 3* 3. The gospel is the means of it, by which it is wrought, encouraged, and confirmed, and therefore called, the hope of the gospel, Col. i. 23. 4. There are many things which serve to promote and increase it; the scripture has a tendency thereunto, which is written that men, through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope, Rom. xv. 4. particularly the promises, contained in it; the things said concerning the person, office, and grace of Christ, and the experience of the saints in all ages.

IV. The effects of hope; which are produced through it, and follow upon it. It is said of it, that it maketh not ashamed, Rom. v. 5. It weans from the world, and the things of it, and makes a man sit loose unto them, when he knows that he has in heaven a better and more enduring substance. It carries cheerfully through all the difficulties of this life, and makes hard things bit easy. It yields support in a dying hour; for the righteous hath hope in his death, Prov. xiv. 32.

V. The properties and epithets of the grace of hope, of hope, will more fully shew the nature, excellency, and usefulness of it. I. It is called a good hope ; And hath given usgood hope through grace, 2 Thess. ii. l(;. 1. In distinction from, and in oppostion to a bad one. A bad one is that which is the hope of the moralist and legalist, and the hope of a carnal and external professor of religion, and the hope of a prophane sinner. 2. A good hope is that which has Christ and his righteousness for its foundation; and is an hope of good things to come. 3, A good hope is that which is of great use both in life and death ; we are saved by hope, Kom viii. 24. n. It is aho a lively or living one, 1 Pet. i. 3. so called, I. Because the subject of it is a living man. 2. Because it has for its object eternal life, Tit. iii. 7- 3. Has for its ground and foundation a living Christ. 4. It is of a cheering and enliven, ing nature, Prov. xiii. i2. and, 5. It is an abiding, ever-living grace; this grace is lively or living, when others seem to be rcady to die ; when he is in the worst case, a saint cannot give up his hope ; nor will he part with it for all the world. iit. It is represented as of a purifying nature; Every man that hath, this hope in him, of appearing with Christ, and being like him, and seeing him as he is, purifying himself even ashtii pure, 1 John iii. 3. iv. Hope is sometimes compared to an. anchor, because of its great usefulness to the christian in this life; Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, doth •sur*

and steadfast, Heb. vi. 19. a good hope is like an anchor cast on a good foundation ; the ground on which an anchor is cast is out of sight; so Christ is unseen, and as an anchor is of no service without a cable ; so not hope without faith. A ship when at anchor is kept steady by it; so is a soul by hope. In some things hope and an anchor disagree ; an anchor is not of so much use in storms and tempests at sea; but hope is of use when the soul is in a storm ; Thou art my hope in the day of evil. A cable may be cut or broke, and so the anchor useless ; but faith, which is that to hope as the cable is to the anchor, will never fail, can never be destroyed; an anchor is cast on what is below, on ground underneath ; but hope has for it objects things above where Jesus is; when a tessel is at anchor, it continues where it is, it moves not forward ; but a soul, when it abounds in the exercise of the grace of hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost, it is moving upwards: what gives it the preference is, that it is the anchor ofthesoul, and its epithets, sur^ and steadfast, v. Hope of salvation by Christ is compared to an helmet; And for an helmet, the hope of .salvation, 1 Thess. v. 8. this is a piece of ainiour that' is a dtfence of the head; it serves to defend the head from false doctrines, and is like an helmet, which covers the head in the day of battle: it makes a man courageous to fight the Lord's battles, and fear no enemy. Like an helmet, it is aa erecter or lifter up of the head; in the midst of difficulties, hope keeps the head above the fear of danger.

OF THE GRACE OF LOVE.

Of this grace, there are these three principal branches, Love to God, Love to Christ, and love to the Saints.

, I. Love to God, Jehovah, our God, the one Lord; and thou shall love the Lord thy God, with all thin* heart, and with ali thy soul, and with all thy might, Deut. vi. 4. 5. and x. 12. and xxx. 16. Matt. xxii. 6 3—38. Concerning which love as a grace, for though it is a command to love, it is of grace to keep it, may be observed, r. On what account God is to be loved, and is loved by his saints. 1. For himself because of his own nature, and the perfection of it, 0 Lord our Lor /, koto excellent is thy name, nature, and perfections, in all the earth! Psalm, viii. 1. 2. God is to be loved by his saints as their summum bcnum, their chief good ; Whc m have I in heaven But thee? Psalm lxxiii. 25. 3. God is to be loved by his peo. pie for the blessings of his goodness communicated to them, 4. The various relations God stands in to his people, do and should engage their affections to him ; the direction to love him is usually, "Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God; Iwilllovc thee 0 Lord, My strength! &c. Psalm xviii. 1—3. 5. What gready influences the love of the Lord's people to him, and lays them under obligation to love him, is his great love to them, 1 John iv. 19. 6. The examples of the saibts in adages, might be urged as motives to love the Lord; as of Enoch, Noah, and others before the flood ; of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph after it ; with Joshua, Samuel, David, and others; but especially our Lord Jesus Christ, ia human nature, who, in the exercise of this grace, as in others, is an example to us, John xiv. 31. ii. The subjects of this grace of love, in whom it is, by whom the Lord is loved, and hew they come by this grace. It is not of men, nor is it in men naturally : such are lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God; and, indeed, the carnal mind, in every man, is enmity against God. The grace of love is of God; he is the efficient cause and author of it, it is wrought in the soul in regeneration every one that lovetb is born of God, 1 John iv. 7. the seat 9/ it is the heart. 111. How, in what way and manner, lore to God manifests itself. 1. In a desire to be like him; one that loves another endeavours to imitate him. 2. In making his .glory the supreme end of all their actions ; they that love the Lord, do all they do, that Gtd in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. x. 31. 3. In desiring of, and delighting in, communion with God ; this is the one thing. uppermost in their minds, and which they seek most imppr-"' tunately, for, Truly, our fellowship is with the Father, and with

his Son Jesus Christ, 1 John i. 3. 4. In a carefulness not to offend him, by sinning against him / Te that love the Lord, hate evil, Psalm xcvii. 10. 5. In grief, when he has withdrawn himself, and in a diligent seeking after him until he is found. 6. In parting with and bearing all for his sake, leaving their own people and father's house, country, and kindred, as Abraham did, to go where he directs. 7. In a regard to his house worship, and ordinances. 8. By a value for his word, . his gospel, and the truths of it. 9. In love and affection to the people of God. 10. By a disesteem of all things in comparison of him. Iv. The nature and properties of the love of God; what it is, or should be. 1. It is,or ought to be,universal; a love of all that is in God, and belongs unto him. 2. It is, or ought to be, superlative; there is none to be loved like him. 3. It is, or ought to be, hearty and sincere; a love without dissimulation. 4. It should be constant; the love of God's people falls short of this; it is variable and inconstant." though its principle remains. 5. It is imperfect in the present state, it sometimes waxes cold. 6. It may be increased, and sometimes is, 1 Thess. v. 12. 2 Thess. i. 3. 7. This grace of love, like others, can never be lost; it will abide when other graces have dropped their exercise, which is one reason why it is said to be the greatest, v. The happiness of such that love the Lord. 1. They are loved by him ; I love them that love me. 2. They are known of God ; If any man love God, the same is known of him, 1 Cor. viii. 3. 3. They are preserved by him ; The Lordpreserveth all them that love him, Psal. cxlv. 20. 4. They have many instances of kindness shewn them ; for the Lord is a God shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love him, Exod. XX. 6. 5. All things that occur unto them in the present life are for their good, and work together for it, Rom. viii. 28. 6. Great things are. laid up and reserved for them, to be enjoyed hereafter.

II. Love to Christ is another eminent branch of the grace of love; the church describes him by this periphrasis, Him whom my soul lovcth. Concerning which the following thip"

may be considered, i. On what accounts Christis to be loved, 1. Because of the excellencies of his person: as the Son of God, because he is the beloved of his Father, because of the fulness of grace in him, because of his precious names and titles | because of the offices he bears, and of the relations he sustains ; because he has all blessings in his hands, particularly, because he is the Saviour and Redeemer, who gave himself for his people who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his blood, and ever lives to make intercession for them and will appear a second time, without sin, to the salvation of them that look for him. 11. The springs and causes of love to Christ. It does not arise from nature ; carnal sinners ask, What is thy belovtd, more than another beloved? But it is owing to the abundant grace of God in regneration ; It is owing to a special revelation of Christ, in effectual vocation; from a sense of his love, which passes knowledge, and is more heightened and increased through knowledge of union to him, and through communion with him. ui. Love to Christ shews itself, 1. In a regard to all that are his, and belong to him; to such he is altogether lovely, his promises are like apples of gold in pictures of silver: the doctrines of his grace are sweeter than the honey or the honeycomb ; the ministers of the gospel, are beautiful and lovely; his saints are the precious sons of Zion, and his ways are pleasantness. 2. In keeping his commandments, John xiv. 15. 21. 3. In a carefulness not to offend him, Cant. ii. 17. 4. In a jealously of his love, Cant. viii. 6. 5. In a desire of and delight in, his company, Cant. ii. 3. 6. In grief and concern, when he has withdrawn his presence, Cant. v. 8. So Mary, at our Lord's sepulchre not finding him there, with an heart full of grief, and ready to break, burst out in a passionate manner, with tears, they have taken away my Lord! John xx. 13. 7. In a strict search and inquiry after him until found, Cant. iii. i—-3. 8. In expressions of joy upon finding him ; as the church in the above case ; It was but little, says she, that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soulloveth; I held him, and would not let him go: This is my beloved, and this is my friend! Cant. iii. 4. and v. 16.

9. In pushing through all difficulties to enjoy him, as the church did ; who, in search of Christ, exposed herself to the insults, blows, wounds, and depredations of the. watchmen.

10. In parting with and bearing all for Christ's sake, I v. The nature of this love. 1. Universal; all of Christ, as before observed ; for he is all lovely. 2. Superlative; He that loves

father or mother more than me, says Christ, is not worthy of me, &fc. Matt. x. 37. 3. Sincere; such who truly love Christ, love him in sincerity, or in incorruption, Eph. vi. 24. with a love that cannot be corrupted. 4. Fervent; such as many waters of sin,vtemptation, and affliction, cannot quench; floods of the same cannot drown. 5. It should be constant., as Christ's is to us, who loves at all times, and to the end: but alas! other lovers are followed after for a time. 6. It is very grateful; How fair is thy love says, he, my sister, my spouse; how much better is thy love than wine! Cant. iv. 10. v. The happiness of those that love Christ. 1. They are loved by htm, I love them that love me, says Wisdom, or Christ, Prov. viii. 17. 2. They are blessed. As a curse, anathema, marantha, is wished to those who love him not; so grace, the best of blessings, is desired for those who love him in sincerity. 3. It is expressed prayer-wise, Let them that love him, be as the sun when it goeth forth in his might, Judg. v. 31. 4. Those that love Christ, he, as he has promised, Will cause to inherit substance, Prov. viii. 21.

III. Another branch of the grace of love is, love to men. i. The objects of it;—Angels are indeed objects of love; they belong to the family in heaven, and are of great use to saints on earth. But, the peculiar objects of this branch of love now to be treated of are good men, called brethren. Hence this love has the name *>f Philadelphia, or brotherly love, Rom. xii. 10. They are disciples and followers of Christ, Matt. x. 42. Believers in him, Gal. vi. 10. and who being children of the same Father, ought to love one another They are described as saints, frequently does the apostle speak

in commendation of the churches for their love unto ali the saints, Eph. i. 15. Col i. 4. n. As to the nature of this grace of love It is wrought in regeneration, and is an evidence of their regeneration, 1 John iii. 14. 2. This grace is very largely described, 1 Cor. xiii. for though our translators have rendered the word charity throughout, for what reason it does not appear, it should be love. It should be universal, fervent, active, and laborious, the exemplar accoi ding to which, it is to be exercised is, as Christ has loved his people: after the apostle had exhorted, to cove' earnestly the best gifts, he adds, yet shew 1 unto you a more excellent "way, 1 Cor. xii. 31. meaning the graceof love. This is an evidence of a man's being born again. Every one that lovcth is born of God, 1 John iv. 7. and this is the grand criterion of a true disciple of Christ. In Teitullian's time the heathens knew the christians by their loving carriage to one another in public, and would point unto them and say, " See how they love one another!" such times are now to be wished for.—It is called the bond of perfectness, Col. iii. 14. Without which a profession of religion is an empty and useless thing. It is the exercise of this grace which makes the communion with one another delightful; Behold how good, and how pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity! Charity, or love edificlh; il maketli increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in love, 1 Cor. viii. 1. It is one part of the saints spiritual armour; The breast plate of faith and love is a good defence. The bundle of sticks in the fable, whilst bound ^together, could not be broken, but when separated, were easily snapt asunder. in. This grace of love to one another manifests itself, by praying with aud for' one another, Eph. vi. 18. by bearing one another's burdens. Gal. vi. 2. by forbearing and forgiving one another, Col. iii. 13. by rebuking and admonishing one another in love, Prov. xxvii. 5, 6. by endeavouring to establkh. one another in the doctrines of the gospel; and by exhorting and stirring up one another to the several duties of religion, both public and private, iv. There are various arguments which may be made use of to excite to the exercise of this grace. 1. It is Christ's new commandment; a new motive is added by Christ himself; As I have loved you, that ye also love one onother, John xiii. 34. and xv. 12. 2. The love of God and Christ should engage unto it, 1 John iv. 11. 3. The relation the saints stand in to one another, is a reason why they should love one another, Acts vii. 26. 4. The comfort and joy of ministers, should be an argument with the saints to mutual love. Ephesus was threatened with a removal of the candlestick, or church-state, unless they repented, because.they had left their first love.

OF SPIRITUAL JOY.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, which follows love; The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, Gal. v. 22. We consider,

I. The objects of it are not a creature, nor creature enjoyment, nor outward privilege, nor duty ; but Jehovah himself, called by David, God, his exceeding joy, Hab. iii. 17, 18. his people rejoice, i. In his attributes, Psal. xcvii. 22. In his everlasting love ; that their names are written in heaven, Luke x. 20. and that the covenant of grace is everlasting, absolute, and sure. n. Christ, and things relating to him, are the objects of the spiritual joy of the saints; true Christians are described as such who rejoice in Christ Jesus, Phil. iii. 3. The things relating to the greatness, the fitness, the fulness, and, the beauty of his person, fill with joy unspeakable and full of glory ; this, says the church after she had described him at , large with air of joy and pleasure, this amiable lovely person, is my beloved and my friend. Cant. v. 10—16.

I take no notice of the offices of Christ, of prophet, and priest, and king; nor of the relations he stands in to his people of father, husband, brother, friend, though they are a fund of joy to true believers. There are other things which relate to the work of Christ, which are matter of joy to gracious souls; We will rejoice in thy salvation, says David, Psal. xx. 7. and great reason there is for the exercise of spiritual joy

on this account, since it is a salvation of the souls of men , it is for sinneni, for the chief of sinners ; it is a salvation of them from sin ; it is entirely free; It is plenteous, complete, and eternal; suitable to the case and circumstances of sinners; if the angels rejoiced at the good will of God to men in it, and sung glory to God on account of it, how much more reason have men to do so, who have hope of interest in it. Christ, who has wrought out righteousness, and so secures from all condemnation, is highly exalted above every name, is appearing in the presence of God for his people, and will come a second time without sin unto salvation ; the fore-views of which, cause them in their present state, To look up, and lift up their heads, since their redemption drawetb nigh, Luke xxi 28. The ministration of the gospel; this is matter of joy to all sensible and awakened sinners; it is a joyful sound of love and mercy; it is food to hungry souls. The administration of ordinances, baptism and the Lord's supper yield delight to believing souls ; these are the galleries in which' he is beheld. The prosperity of the interest of Christ; whether it be through the numerous conversions of men, Acts xv. 3. or through peace and unity, prevailing and subsisting among the saints, give pleasure to all the well wishers to Z ion's prosperity, Psalm exxii. 6—9. The heavenly glory and happiness of a future state to all eternity, is an object of the saints present joy; when they shall actually possess it, they will then enter into the joy of their Lord; even now they can rejoice in hope.

II. The author and cause of this spiritual joy. 1. The efficient cause is God ; it is therefore called, The joy of the Lord, Nehem. viii. 10. 2. The instruments or means of it are the ministers of the gospel. ii. Spiritual peace is a deliverance and freedom from this distress, which in general is wrought out by the Spirit of God, being the comforter of convinced sinners, by leading them to the blood of Christ, Isai. liii. 6. to his righteousness, Rom. v. 1. and into the truth of

the gospel, John xvi. 13. such as covenant grace, the love of God, &c

II. I go on to enquire, who are the subjects of this peace t 1. Not sinful men, or unregenerate sinners ; There is no peace saith my God, to the wicked, Isai. lvii. 21. 2. Nor self righteous persons, who trust in themselves that they are righteous, and fetch their peace from thence ; but their trust is a spider's web, and such webs shall not become garments : nor shall they cover themselves with their works ; and so shall not have peace and comfort: and of them it is said, the way of peace they know not, Isai. lix. 6, 8. 3. Only justified and pardoned sinners have true, solid peace in themselves; such whose hearts are fixed, trusting in the Lord, are not afraid of evil tidings : To be spiritually minded is life and peace, Rom. viii. 6. Great peace have they which love his law, Psalm cxiv. 165. They are the people and children of God ; And the Lord will Hess his people with peace, Psal. xxix. 11. and, Great shall be the peso e of his children, Isai. liv. 13. The seat of this grace in these subjects, is the heart and mind, Col. iii. 15. Phil. iv. 7.

III. The author and causes of this peace : 1. The efficient cause is God; hence called the peace of God. 2. The moving cause of it is his grace, and good-will. 3. The instruments of it are the word, and the ministers of it.

IV. The nature and properties of it. It is a gift of God, 2 Thess. iii. 16. 2. It is a blessing; the Jews, when they wished happiness to any, it was usually in this form, Peace be to you ; when the Lord blesses his people, it is with peace, Psal. xxix. 11. 3. This is called great peace, Psal. cxix. 165. 4. It is said to be perfect, Isai. xxvi. 3. 5. ltpasseth all un. derstanding, Phil. iv. 7. 6. It is what cannot be taken away; When Godgivetb quietness, who then can make trouble? Job xxxir. 27.

OF CONTENTMENT OF MIND.

Contentment is a branch of true godliness, or rather t super.addition to it. It will be proper to enquire,

I. What it is; and it is no other than an entire acquiescence of a man's mind in his lot and portion. 1. As contraries serve to illustrate each other, this may be known by what is . contrary to it. 1. Contentment and envy are contrary to one another: where the sin of envy is predominant, a man can have no true contentment; envy is rottenness of the bones, it slayeth the silly one. 2. Contentment is opposite to avarice, and avarice to that; and therefore the one must be quitted in order to possess the other ; Let your conversation be without ''covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have, Heb. ziii. 5. 3. Contentment is opposite to pride and ambition: the proud man enlarges his desires as hell, or the grave, and like that, cannot be satisfied, which, how full soever, never says, It is enough, Prov. xxx. 16. 4. Anxiety of mind, or a distressing care about worldly things ; as about food, drink, and raiment, is contrary to true contentment of mind, Matt. vi. 25—34. Take no thought for your life, &c. 5. Murmurings and repinings under adverse dispensations of providence, are the reverse of contentment of mind ; for murmurs and complaints there is no reason with the people of God; for their afflictions are fatherly chastisements ; nor with wicked men : for wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins ? since it is less ihan he deserves, Lam. iii. 39. N. What contentment of mind is, may be learned from several phrases by which it is expressed in scripture. As,

First, By being contented with what a man has ; Be content with such things as ye have, Heb. xiii. 5. Whether a man has a larger or a lesser share of the things of this world, whether riches or poverty, a man should be content, Prov. sxx. 8. Men should be content with present losses, which

might have been greater, Job i. 21. With present reproaches, indignities, and ill usage from men, on account of religion. With present afflictions of whatsoever kind, whether from God or men. Particularly, having food and raiment; Let ua says the apostle, therewith be content; this was ail that Jacob desired to have, and which, sometimes good men have been without, and vet contented.

Secondly, This contentment of mind is expressed by the 'apostle from his own experience ; I have learned, in whatso'* ever state I am, therewith to be content, Phil. iv. 11. 1. The apostle means, not his state of unregeneracy ; he says not, in whatsoever state 1 have been, but in whatsoever state I am. But, 2. His state after conversion, his spiritual state, it may be, believing his covenaut interest in God; My God shall supply all my need, fe?c. But, 3. The apostle chiefly means his outward state after conversion ; with which he was content, and which lay,—In his afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions, 2 Cor. xii. 9, 10. In his bonds and imprisonment, Eph. iii. 1. and the phrase, in whatsoever state, includes both prosperity and adversity : an abundance and a scarcity of the necessaries of life ; a fulness, and want of them, as explained in the next verse. One that has learned the lesson of divine Contentment, and is under the influence of that grace, he is content to live whilst God has any thing to do by him, and he is content to die, when he thinks At to dismiss him from set.vice. Such a disposition appears in a man's thankfulness for all he enjoys, in a quiet resignation of the will to the will of God, and in bearing cheerfully all things which are disagreeaLie to flesh and blood. 4. The words used by the apostle in the place under consideration for content, autarkes, properly signifies, self.sufficient, or being sufficient of one's self, which in the highest sense, is only true of God ; but in a lower sense is true of some men; who receive a sufficiency in themselves from God. 5. This lesson of contentment is explained by what the apostle says in the following verse ; I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. To be stripped of

every thing, to have nothing, and yet be content, is wonderful. .]

Thirdly, This contentment of mind is expressed by a man's having enough, Gen. xxxiii. 9,11.

Fourthly, This contentment is expressed by a man's being satisfied with what he has : earthly riches are not satisfying things, Eccles. v. 10. but riches of grace are, Psal. ciii. 5. I proceed to enquire,

II. How any come by true contentment of mind. It is not natural to man ; man is naturally a discontented creature, especially since the fall; nay, it was discontent which was the cause of that. It is not to be found in a natural man; such a man is always restless as the troubled sea. It is a thing that is to be learned, but net in the school of nature. Paul learnt this, not at the feet of Gamaliel, nor among the traditions of the elders : not as a theory, but practically and experimentally : other saints have found true, what the apostle says, Rom. v. 4. Tribulation works patience, &fc.

III. The arguments moving to such a disposition of mind, and exciting under a divine influence, to the exercise of this grace* are, i. The consideration of what we had when we came into the world, and what we shall have when we go out of it; which is just nothing at all, 1 Tim. vi. 7, 8. Job i. 21. Eccles. v. 14—16. it. The unalterable will of God is an argument exciting contentment; for whs can make that straight which he hath made crooked P Eccles. ix, 11. in. Unworthiuess to enjoy the least favour and mercy at the hand of God, should engage us to be content with what we have: we have reason to say, as Jacob did, I am unworthy of the least of all thy mercies. iv. A consideration of the great things which God has done for us: where there is a proper sense of favours, there will be a thankfulness; and where there is thankfulness, there will be content, v. The great promises God has made to his people of good things, here and hereafter, Heb. xiii. 5. he says, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. vi. Eternal glory and happiness ; which is promised, prepared, and laid up for the saints, and which they will most certainly enjoy, may serve to make them content with present things, and even with some things that are not agreeable to the flesh. vn. The saints and people of God have all things in hand, or in promise, or in sure and certain hope. God is theirs, Father, Son, and Spirit; all the perfections of God are on their side, and exercised for their good. The covenant of grace is theirs ; the gospel, and the ordinances of it, and the ministers of it, are theirs; All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22. Temporal things are theirs; 0r the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, 1 Cor. iii. 22. Life is theirs in every sense, corporal, spiritual, and eternal. And death is theirs, a blessing to them whenever it comes; which will deliver them from the troubles of this life, and enter them into the glories of another. And surely all this is

enough to give contentment.

i

OF THANKFULNESS TO GOD.

Am unthankful saint is a very odd sound, if not a contradiction; unthankful and unholy, are characters joined together, and agree, 2 Tim. iii. 2. Concerning this gracious disposition of mind, thankfulness, may be observed,

I. The things for which thanks are to be given; and they are all things, Eph. v. 20. 1 Thess. v. 18. i. For temporal mercies; for God is the Father of all such mercies. For our being, Acts xvii. 28. For our life, Acts xvii. 25. For the preservation of our being, Nehem. ix. 5, 6. For our health, 3 John verse 2. Isai. xxxviii. 9. 19. For every mercy enjoyed, be it what it may, Gen. xxxii. 10. Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits. 11. For spiritual mercies of every kind. First, For the means of grace, the gospel and the ministry of it; and a great mercy it is to be under the sound of it: it is an happiness to be born in a land where the gospel is preached, and not among Pagans, Mahometans, and Papists, where there is a famine of the .ward of the I/>rd, Amos viii. i1. To which may be added, as means of grace, the ordinances of the gos.p. 1, called the goodness and fatness of the house of God.

Secondly, Thanks are to be given particularly for the blessings of grace themselves. For electing grace, Rom. viii. 30. For redeeming grace, Psalm ciii. 1, 2. 4. For pardoning grace, P*alm ciii. 1—3. For adopting grace, John iii. 1. For regenerating grate, 1 Pet. i. 3, 4. For a right to eternal life', Cnl. i. 12. and for victory over all spiritual enemies; Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, in. Thanks are to bo given for Christ; Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift, 2 Cor. ix. 15. this gift is free, suitable, comprehensive, •nd irreversible. For the Spirit of God, and his gifts and graces. The Spirit himself is the gift of God, Luke xi. 13. for which we have reason to be thankful; especially when we consider to what ends he is given.

II. When, in what cases and circumstances, and for whom thanks are to be given. 1. When; the rule is giving thanks always; Eviry day will Iblets thee, Psal. cxlv. 2. 2. In what cases, are we to be thankful? in everyone, in every thmg, thati9, in every state, give thanks, 1 Thess. v. 18. Not in prosperity, but in adversity ; amidst all the reproaches and ptrit cutions of men, 1 Pet. iv. 14. 3. For whom; for all men, for kings and all in authority, 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. For our relations and friends, and for the continuance of them ; childreu art. the gifts of God to parents, and likewise for the churches of Christ, and for the ministers of the gospel, who are the gifts of God to the churches, and are promised as such, Jer. iii. 15.

III. To whom are the thanks to be given on the above accoum ? To the Father; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, E;ih. v. 20. To the Son of God; Jthauk Christ fesus the Lord, says the apostle, 1 Tim. i. 12. and to the blessed Spirit, as he is the object of prayer with the Father and the Son, So the object of praise and thanksgiving.

Now this work is to be performed towards God with a celebration of the divine perfections; by a recollection of his benefits, and with all our hearts.

IV. The reasons or arguments for giving thanks, are, It is the will of God, 1 Thess. v. 11. It is his will in Christ Jesus, which is made known by him ; who, lving in the bosom of the Father, has declared his whole mind and will to the sons of men ; and this amongthe rest: and is enforced by the example of Christ; and the examples of saints in all ages, patri. archs, prophets, and apostles; the book of Psalms in particular is full of instances of this kind.

>

OF HUMILITY.

Humility, or a meek and quiet spirit, is a branch of experimental religion and godliness. In considering which I shall,

I. Shew wherein it lies, and in what manner it appears and manifest itself, l. In a man's thinking meanly and the worst of himself, and well and the best of others ; observing that rule of the apostle's, la lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves, Phil. ii. 3. whereas, on the con. trary, a proud Pharisee thanks God he is not as other mea are, 2. In not envying, but rejoicing at the gifts and graces of others. Humility is like charity, it envieth not; Moses was a very meek man, and said to Joshua, Enviest thou for my sate? When David related his triumph of faith, he observes ; The humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3. In ascribing all he is and has to the grace of God, By the grace of God I amwhatl amt 1 Cor. iv. 7. 4. Indisclaiming his own righteousness, and submitting to the righteousness of Christ; Phil. iii. 9. 5. In a willingness to receive instruction from the meanest saint; so Apollos, though an eloquent man, welcomed instruction from Aqailla, and Priscilla, tent makers. 6. In kindly receiving admonitions given, Psalm cxli. 5. 7. In bearing patiently all injuries done to him, and putting up all affronts offered to him. Humility, like charity, is not easily provoked. 8. In submitting quietly to the afflicting hand of God ; as Aaron, Eli, David, and others have done. 9. In not seeking great things forj a man's self, Jer. xlv. 5. And therefore, 10. Humility appears in subjecting a man's reason to divine revelation ; if any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, the doctrines of Christ contained in the scriptures, he is Proud, knowing nothing, 1 'Tim. ri. 3.

II. This grace of humility, arises, Not from nature: man is naturally a proud creature, but from a true sight and sense of sin, and the evil nature of it. From a view of the insufficiency of a man's own righteousness to justify him before God. From a sight of the loveliness and glory of Christ. From a view of the greatness and majesty of God. From a spiritual knowledge of divine things ; and, From an experimental acquaintance with the gospel scheme ; the Spirit of God, in the gospel, blows a blast upon all the goodliness of men; such who are evangelized by it, are always humble and lowly minded.

III. The excellency and usefulness of this grace. 1. It is well pleasing to God ; A meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price, 1 Pet. iii. 4. 2. It makes a man most like to Christ, who was meek and lowly. 3. It is the saints clothing and ornament; pride is the devils livery, 1 Pet. v. 5. 4 .It is of great use in various duties and exercises of religion ; in prayer, in preaching the word, in hearing and receiving the word, and in giving a reason of our hope, 1 Pet. iii. 15. It is of use in restoring backsliders, Gal. vi. 1. and in instructing such who oppose the gospel, 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25. it may be made use of in a man's conversation to great advantage, and recommend him, and the religion he professes, unto others, James iii. 13.

IV. The arguments, reason, and motives encouraging to isucha disposition of mind. \., The displeasure of God at %

N

contrary behaviour and conduct; God resisteth the proud, 1 Pet. v. 5. 2, He giveth grace unto the lowly, Prov. iii. 34.

3. The Lord dwells with humble persons, lsai. lvii. 15.

4. When such are disconsolate and sorrowiul, the Lord comforts them, The meek shall increase their joy in the Lord, Isai. xxix. 19. 5. When they are hungry and in want of food the Lord feeds them. The meek shall eat and ba satisfied. 6. When they want direction he will guide and teach ihcm. Psalm xxv. 9. 7. Humility is the way lo preferment, Prov. xv i. 18. 8. An nheritance is promised to the meek and humble, Matt. v. 5. 9. Such are and shall be saved; And God shall save the humble person, both temporally and eternally, Job xxii. 29.

OF SELF DENIAL.

Thi s is one of the hardest lessons to be learnt, yet no man can be a disciple of Christ without learning it.

I. It will be proper to inquire what self denial is, or what it

is for a man to deny himself. It is not to deny what a man

is or has; what he truly is, and what he really has; for that

would be a falsehood; God cannot deny himself, not his nature,

and the perfections of it; a man ought not to deny himself as

man, nor the rational powers which he is possessed of; so if a

man has faith in Christ, and good hope through grace, he

ought to be careful that he does not deny these things. There

is in some weaker christians, I do not know well what name

to call it by, it is an over modesty, a thinking and speaking

as if they had no faith, nor love, and scarce any hope ; and

are ready to express themselves in such sort as items to bor.

der, at least, upon a denial of the work of grace upon the

souls, and is like a tearing up by the roots, as much as in them

lies, thevery principles of grace in them; which should never

be encouraged, the least measure of grace should be owned,

and men should be thankful for it, and pray for an increase of

it. Self denial does not require that a man should refuse

temporal honours and riches bestowed on him in a providential way nor are the creatures of God, and the use of them4 to be rejected, 1 Tim. iv. 4. Nor should a man be careless of his life, and health, and family, there is even a self love which is not criminal, nor contrary to the grace of self denial; For no man ever yet hated his own Jlesh, Eph. v. 29. Nor is it self denial, or any part of it, to abuse the body on religious accounts, by cutting it with knives, lashing it with whips or by severe fasting sand abstinence, Col. ii. 23. But Selfdenial lies in a man's renouncing, foregoing, and postponing all his pleasures, profits, relations, interest, and whatever enjoys, which may be in competition with Christ, from love to him. The common distribution of it is not amiss, into natural or civil self, sinful self, and righteous self; all which a self denying christian is made willing to part with.

First, With natural and civil self, with things relative both to soul and body, of which a man's self consists. It is a self denying act in a man, to lean not to his own understanding ; and then does a man deny himself, when his will becomes subject to the will of God. Self denial checks and restrain the affections, and reduces them to proper order, and is practised when the members, of the body are restrained from the service of sin; when external honours from men are not sought for, only the honour which comes from God ; when worldly propheis and emoluments are left for the sake of Christ, and the interest of religion; when the nearest and dearest friends and relations, which are a part of a mans self, are left, when God calls for it; when men risk their health in the service of God and Christ: when life itself is laid down when called for: this is self denial, Matt. xvi. 24, 25.

Secondly, Another branch of self denial lies in denying sinful flesh. This is hard work, until the Spirit of God thoroughly convinces a man of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Persons and things are said to be denied, when there is a disowning them; so Moses was denied by the Israelites, and Christ by the Jews. A branch of this part of self denial lies in parting with sinful companions.

Thirdly, Another branch of self denial is to deny righteous self; to be beholden entirely to the free graceof God, and to the righteousness of Christ. Disclaiming all works done by himself, for his justification and whole salvation, is disagreeable to self: but when the Spirit of God convinces a man of the insufficiency of his own righteousness, and of the excellency of the righteousness of Christ; then he quit* his own, and lays hold on that, Phil. iii. 6—'-9.

II. There are various arguments or motives, which may be made use of to excite truly gracious souls to the exercise of this grace, i. It is required of them, Matt. xvi. 24. It is necessary to a man's being a disciple of Christ, he cannot be one without it, Luke xiv. 26, 27. Phil. ii. 5—3. 3. The examples of saints in all ages may serve to excite and encourage to it. 4. If a man does not deny himself, as required of God, he sets up himself for god, makes a god of himself and is guilty of idolatry. 5. The loss and gain of not denying and of denying self, should be considered. Such who think to save themselves by not denying themselves, lose themselves; those who deny themselves for Christ's sake. find the life of their souls.

OF RESIGNATION TO THE WILL GOD.

Submission, or Resignation of the will of man to the will of God, is a part of self denial. It is no other than an entire acquiescence in the will of God in all things, 1 Sam. iii. 18. This is no other than for a man to have his will swallowed up in the will of God. But,

I. There must be much done to the will of man, to bring it to be subject to the will of God : for the will of man is very stubborn and inflexible, averse to all that is good, and bent upon that which is evil, Eccles. viii. 11. It is opposite to the. will of God in all things ; it is full of rebellion to him. One of the characters of sinful men is, that they are se/f-wUl*/, 5 Pet. ii. 18.

The various steps which God takes, and the various things he does to the will of man, in order to work it up, and bring it to a submission to his will, are these : He breaks the wills of men, he crosses them, by one afflictive providence after another ; he exerts his mighty power, and of unwilling makes them willing ; he takes away the obduracy of the will, and makes it flexible to his will* Made free by the power of divine grace in conversion, God effectually works in his people, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. I proceed to consider, II. The various phrases by which submission to the will of God especially under adverse dispensations of providence, is expressed. i.To be stilt, and quiet, and easy : Be still, and tnozv that I am God, Psal. xlvi. 10. and is to be understood, not of insensibility and stupidity ; nor of a stoical apathy. Nor is the phrase expressive of inactivity; but it is opposed to the fretting of the mind at the prosperity of others, and at ones own adversity, Psalm xxxvii. 1. 7, 8. n. Submission to the will of God, is expressed by a man's holding his peace; thus did Aaron, when he lost his two sons by fire from heaven, Lev. x. 2. not as though there was nothing to be said under an afflictive providence, Job. xxiii. 14. But such silence is opposed to murmuring against God; it denotes such behaviour as Job's under such providences, who sinned not, nor charged God foolishly, Job i. 22. in. Submission to the will of God is expressed by, bearing the rod, and him who has appointed it, Mic. vi. 9. Iv. The same is signified by men humbling themselvrt under the mighty hand of God, accoidingto the exhortation in 1 Pet. v. 6. the language of them is, The will of the Lord be done, Acts xxi. 14. It is a phrase often used by Socrates, as may be seen in the writings of Plato; If God will; and which well becomes the mouth of a christian at all times.

III. The following reasons may be given among many, i. Whatever is done in providence is done by the Lord. He is a sovereign Being, and immutable. He is not accountable to his creatures; he does all his works in wisdom ; is holy and righteous in all his ways and works ; he is a faithful God, and all his ways are mercy and love to his people, ir. What is done by the Lord seems good to him'; and what seems good to him must be good ; Let him do what seemeth him good: when Isaiah, from the Lord, told Hezekiah what evil things should befal his posterity, he replied, Good in the word tfthe Lord, which thou hast spoken, Isai. xxxix. 6^8. It was a flattering speech of a courtier to king Astyages, " AH is pleasing that the king does," but without any flattery,and with a laudable submission of will to the will of God, every saint may say whatever the Lord does is pleasing.

OF PATIENCE.

Conceening which may be enquired,

I. In what it lies, or wherein is the exercise of it. i. In patiently bfaring afflictions; patient in tribulation, Horn. xii. 12. Christianus est crucianus; a Christian is across bearer, as Luther used to say. n. In bearing reproach and persecution for the sake of Christ and his gospel, m. Patience is tried and exercised in and by the temptation of Satan, iv Patience is exercised by divine desertions, and lies in quietly waiting for the Lords gracious manifesiations of himself unto his people again, Psalm x. 1, v. Patience is exercised when answers of prayer are deferred, and it lies in a quiet waiting for them, Psal. xl. 1,2. iv. This grace appears and shews itself in a patient waiting for the heavenly glory.

II. I shall next consider, the causes of this grace, i. The efficient cause is God, hence he is called, The God of patience; Rom. xv. 5, 6. 2. The instrumental causes of it are the scriptures, hence Christ calls them the word of his patience. Rev. iii. 10. 3. Afflictions themselves are a means of increasing it, for afflictions try faith ; and the trying of faith, works patience, James i. 3. Rom. v. 3. I proceed to observe^

II. The usefulness of this grace, and the exercise of u1. It makes a man comfortable and happy in himself, /': your patience possess ye your souls, Luke xxi. 19. 2. It is of great use in running the christian race;. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Heb. xii. 1. 3. There is need of it, and of its exercise, in doing the will of God, in order to receive the promise, Heb. x. 36. 4. Another use of the grace of patience is, that when it has its perfect work, saints hecome perfect also, James i. 4.

IV. The motives to the exercise of this grace, may be considered. 1. It is what God calls his people to ; as to suffer for well doing, so to. take suffering for well doing patiently, 1 Pet. ii. 21. 2. The exercise of this grace is approved of, and commended by God, 1 Pet. ii. 20. I know thy patience. Rev. ij. 2 3. Ii is commendable in the sight of good men ; Solomon extols it, Eccles. vii. 8. and the apostle Paul, 1 Thess. i. 3. _ 4. The patience of God exercised towards his people may be improved into an argument exciting to it, the long •uff. ring of the Lord is salvation to them, 2 Pet. iii. 9. 15. 5. The example of Christ, and of his patience, is very strong and forcible, and engaging to it. 6. The examples of the saints in all ages, may serve to encourage to the exercises of patience; of the prophets of the old Testament; of the apostles of Christ; and of the martyrs of Jesus, James v. 10, 11. 7. The near coming of Christ is made use of to stir up to patience ; Be ye also patient, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, James v. 7, 8. The summer is at hand, halcyon days will come : peace will be like a river, and the glory of the church like a flowing stream !

OF CHRISTIAN FORTITUDE.

Though saints are to be humble, they are not to indulge to pusillanimity, and to a meanness of spirit; but to shew firmness of mind, and undaunted courage ; For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound v\ind, 2 Tim. i. 7. Let us observe,

I. The nature and necessity of it. It is not natural fortitude, which may be in brutes as well as in men, Prov. xxx. 30. A true christian fortitude is to b- distinguished from civil fortitude, or what is exercised in war, in a military way ; it is concerned about things which are apparently the will of God, and is exercised in obedience to it.

Now of such fortitude there is a necessity in the christian life. When we consider the many duties of religion to be performed by us ; our own weakness ; the many difficulties and dangers to be encountered; the numerous"enemies we hare to grapple with ; the need of great fortitude of mind and strength, plainly appears.

II. Wherein this fortitude consists, and whereby it shews itself. i. It appears in the performance of religious exercises, as, 1. In family worship"; As for me, and my house, we willserve the Lord, Josh. xxiv. 15. 2. In a man's giving up himself to a church of Christ, to walk with it in all the commandmsnts and ordinances of the Lord. 3. Especially if such a man comes into a church in a regular manner, by previqusly submiting to the ordinances of baptism, and to that as it was first delivered and practised ; if he declares against the sprinkling of infants, as an innovation, and openly avows the true doctrine of baptism : he must be content to be nicknamed, and to have reproach plentifully poured upon him. But when a man is satisfied that what he is cahVd to do is his duty, he will take courage and be strong; The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear ? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid ? Psalm xxvii. 1 — I. this is active fortitude, it. Christian fortitude shews itself in bearing afflictions with constancy, which may be called passive fortitude. 1. From the hand of God from whom Job was sensible he received his, even his loss of substance,

i children, and health. 2. From the hands of men ; and especially for the sake of the gospel. Death itself, in its most formidable shapes, has been endured by the saints with an invin. cjble courage; gs by the martyrs in the ten pagan persecutions, and by the witnesses of Jesus against the papal hierarchy; and by our reformers in queen Mary's days; such as Latimer, Ridley, Bradford, and others; who, surrounded with faggots, and these in flames about them, expressed their undaunted courage, firmness, and fortitude of mind to the last. These, with multitudes of others, loved not their lives unto death, in. Christian fortitude appears in the spiritual warfare of the saints; Be of good courage, and let us filay the man, f*r our people, and Jar the cities of our Gad, 2 Sam. x. 12. It will shew itself, 1. In the defence of the cause of God and truth, in appearing for, and on the behalf of the church of Cod; the bed which is Solomon's, which seems to design the church of Christ, threescore valiant men are said to be about it ' of the valiant of Israel, Cant. iii. 7. 2. This also appears in fighting against spiritual enemies, as sin, and the lusts of it. 3. The saints have great reason in their militant state, to be of good courage, iv. Christian fortitude manifests itself in the hour of death. Death is terrible to nature, and to natural men; the philosopher calls it " the most terrible of all terribles:" but formidable as it is, there are some things which fortify the christian against the fears of it. As, 1. That Christ has abolished death as a penal evil. 2. Death to believers is a privilege and blessing. 3. Death, though it separates soul and body, and one friend from another, it does not separate from the love of God. 4. It is but once, it is appoint, ed for men once to die, and no more. 5. Be it that death is an enemy, it is the last enemy that shall be destroyed. Besides these things, which may serve to promote a fortitude of mind against the fear of death ; it may be proper frequently to meditate upon it, considering it as going to our God and Father, to our home, to our Fathers house; by going to bed, and resting in it; and by sleeping, and that in the arms of Jesus.

IV. From whence this fortitude flows, and what the causes of it, may be next considered. 1. The efficient cause of christian fortitude of mind is God, Father, Son, and Spirit. 2. The word of God is the means of producing and encreasing it, 1 John ii. 14. Rev. xii. 11. 3. Such a temper and disposition of mind is attainable by faith, prayer, and waiting upon God. 4. The patterns of courage, the examples of fortitude in the saints who have gone before us, may be a means of promoting a like disposition, Heb. xii. 1—3. 5. The love of God, and a persuasion of interest in it, casts out fear, inspires with fortitude against every enemy, Rom. viii. 35. 38, 39. 1 John iv. 18. /

OF ZEAL.

Zeal is an ardour of mind, a fervent affection for some person or thing; it is hot, burning, flaming love, which cannot be quenched by water, nor drowned by floods. It is sometimes used for that strong affection God bears to his people, Isai. ix. 7. And sometimes for a gracious disposition in man, which has God for its object, and is called, Zeal towards God, 2 Cor. xi. 2. In treating of which I shall consider,

I. The various sorts and kinds of zeal; that it may be the better known, what is right and genuine, i. There is a zeal of God, which is not according to knowledge, which the Jews had, as the apostle testifies, Rom.x. 2. which arose from ignorance of the perfection of God's righteousness; from ignorance of the righteousness which God in the law requires; from a want of knowledge of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel; from ignorance of their own righteousness, and from a want of faith in Christ. Such a zealot goes contrary to the will and way of God; and therefore his must be a blind, ignorant zeal. ti. There is a mistaken zeal of the glory of God ; and for it, as when that is opposed which is right, under a false notion of its being contrary to the glory of God; as when Joshua requested of Moses to forbid the young men prophecying in the camp. When that which is not for the glory of God is wrongly thought to be so, and is zealously pursued as such; as was the zeal of the idolatrous Gentiles for their idols: and when wnys and methods improper are taken to defend and promote the glory of God: as when the disciples, in their z al for the honour of Christ, were for having fire come down from heaven upon those who had shown some disrespect to him. ilt. There is a superstitious zeal, such as was in Baal's worbhippers. iv. There is a persecuting zeal, under a pretence of the glory of God ; as in Saul, before his conversion, v. There is an hypocritical zeal for God; as in Jehu, when he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord. vi. There is a c»:Jentious zeal; which often gives great trouble to christian communities. vn. Sometimes it is only a temporary passion : a flash of zeal, and continues not; so Joash, whilst Jthoiada the Priest lived, did what was right ; but after his death, left the house of the Lord God of his fathers, and served groves and idols. vin. True zeal is no other than a fervent, ardent love to God and Christ; and to a neutral spirit in religion, 1 Kings xviii. 21. To a care, lessness and indifference about religious matters ; and to hikewarmness, with respect to divine and spiritual things ; which the Laodicean church is charged with, and resented by CUrist, Rev. iii. 15, 16. I proceed to consider,

II. The objects of zeal. i. The object of it is God ; evea a false zeal is called, a zeal towards God. True zeal it has for its objects, the worship of God, the word of God, and the truths contained in it. n. The cause of Christ, is another object of zeal; and which is a good one, and the apostle s.iys, it is good to be zealously affected uhvays in a good thing, Gal. iv. 18. True zeaffor the cause of Christ is concerned about the gospel of Christ, the ordinances of Christ, and the discipline of his house, in. Every th:ng that is evil is the objecc of' zeal, or against which true zeal should be expressed. As, 1. Against all false worship, 2. Against all errors in doctrine. 3. Against all immorality in practice, iv. True zeal is concerned in all the dudes of religion, and shews itself in them; it is said of Apollos, that be %fervent in spirit he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, Acts xviii. 25. In short, believers in Christ ought to be zealous of gnod works, careful to maintain them, diligent in the performance of them, especially of those which are the greater and weightier duties of religion. To say no more, good men are the objects of true zeal, 2 Cor. vii. 7. 1 Cor. xii. 31.

III. Motives or arguments exciting to the exercise of true zeal. i. The example of Christ, whom David in prophetic language personated, saying, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. 2. True zeal answers a principal end of redemp. iion 1)y Christ, Tit. ii. .4. 3. It is good, the apostle says, to be zealously affected in, and for that which is good. 4. A lukewarm temper, which is the opposite to zeal, seems not consistent with true religion, to be neither cold nor hot is condemned as having no religion at all. 5. The zeal of persons shewn in a false way, should stimulate the professors of the true religion to shew at leas; an equal zeal.

OF WISDOM OR PRUDENCE.

Zeal without wisdom or prudence, and uniess tempered with it, will be either ignorant, and not according to knowledge, or be rash and precipitant. I say wisdom or prudence, because they are much the same thing, and go together; / wisdom dwell with prudence. Concerning which may be enquired,

I. What spiritual wisdom is, And, i. It is in general, grace in the heart; which is called, wisdom in the hidden part Psalm li. 6. ii. It is a right knowledge of a man's self; nosce tcipivm, know thyself, was a maxim much talked of among the philosophers, but attained unto by none of them. A man that rightly knows himself, has knowledge of the sinfulness of his nature, and that without Christ and his grace he can do nothing, until a man has learned this lesson he does not know himself. in. True spiritual wisdom is no other than tha light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ, which God commands to shine in the hearts of men. Iv. True spiritual wisdom is no other than the fear of the

Lord ; both David and Solomon say, that that the fear of ike Lord is the beginning of wisdom, Psalm cxi. 10. Prov.ix. 10. Job. xxviii. 28. V. It is being wise unto salvation, or in things respecting that, 2 Tim. Hi. 15. I proceed to observe,

II. Wherein this wisdom practically shews itself. i. la doing good things in general: such who are spiritually wise, are wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil, Rom. zvi. 19. u. In a profession of religion. The kingdom of heaven, or the outward gospel church state, is compared to ten virgins; Five of them were wise: these not only took the lamp of profession, but they were concerned to have the oil of grace in the vessels of their hearts ; and in this they shewed their wisdom, nl. In a becoming walk and conversation. It is seen when professors walk not as fools, in a vain, careless, and sinful manner, but as wise. iv. In observing the providence of God in the world, and the dispensations of it, Psal. cvii. 43. v. In a man's concern about his last end and future state, how it will be with him at last, and how it will go with him in another world, Deut. xxxii. 29.

III. From whence this spiritual wisdom comes. It is a question put by Job ; Whence cometh wisdtm ? and where is the place of understanding ? Job xxviii. 29, 20. God is the efficient cause of it. The means of promoting and encreasing it, are, the word of God, the ministers of it, and good men conversed with. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.

IV. The nature and properties of this wisdom ; a full account of which is given, James iii. It.

OF GODLY SINCERITY.

Sincerity stands opposed to hypocrisy. The Latin word sincerus, from whence our English word sincere, is compa&ed of sine & ccra, and signifies without wax, as pure h..ney, which is not mixed with any wax. The Greek word "ilihrimia, signifies properly, a judgment made of things by light and spleudour of the sun. Light makes every thing manifest; such who are truly gracious and sincere, their principles and practices will bear the test of light; but those whose doctrines and deeds are evil, do not care to come to it, lest they should be discovered : herein lies a principal difference between sincerity and insincerity.

I. I shall consider this grace of sinserity. i. As it is truth in the heart; for that seems to be meant in Psalm li. G. Thou desirest truth in the inward parts, sincerity, integrity, and uprightness of soul; hence we read of a true heart. Such who are possessed of this grace of sincerity, are described pure in heart, 2 Pet. iii. 1. sound in doctrine and practice, Psalm cxix. 80. single hearted, James i. 8. upright in heart, Psalm exxv. 4. plain men, or plain hearted; such a man as Job was, chap. i. i. Such may be said to have truth or sincerity, whose heart's are after God ; as the church's, Isai. xxvi. 9. who are desirous to be searched and tried by him, if sincere or not. N . Sincerity may be considered as it regards the truth of particular graces in the heart. Sincere is an adjective, and must have something put to it to explain it; so that sincerity is to be judged according to what it is applied ; it seems not to be a distinct grace of itself, but to go through, and be an ingredient in every grace : as, 1. Repentance ; for their is a feigned repentance, Jer. iii. 10. 2. Faith ; for their is a faith that is feigned, as was that of Simon Magus. 3. Hope, by the sincerity of it, is distinguished from the hope of the hypocrite. 4. Love, both to God, if true and genuine, is with all the heart, and in sincerity, Eph. vi. 24. And love to the saints, when right, is not in word and in tongue, but in died and truth, that is, hearty and sincere, .1 John iii. 18. and is called, unfeigned love of the brethren, 1 Pet. i. 22. in. Sincerity may be considered as it regards doctrine professed or preached. The sincere milk of the word, unmixed and un. adulterated, as desired by truly new born babes. i v. Sincerity may be considered with respect to worship; as Joshua said to the people of Israel; Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve h'm in sincerity and in truth, Josh xxiv. 14. Worship in general is sincere, when it is performed in spirit and in truth; when men, like Zacharias and Elizabeth, walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless. v. Sincerity may be considered with respect to the walk and conversation of the saints ; Blessed are the uncle filed, or the perfect aud sincere in the way, who desire not so much to be seen bv.men, as to be approved of God. Who have respect to all 'he commandments of God; who make conscience of committing lesser as well as greater sins ; who do not seek to cover, palliate, and extenuate their sins; who walk according to the rule of the word ; and who have the glory of God, and the good of others in view. I go on to observe,

II. From whence this grace of sincerity springs. It is not from descent, and by birth ; but from the grace of God; it isi of God; and is therefore called, Godly sinceritv, or sincerity of God ; it is to be asked of him, since it is so much approved of bv God, who sees and searches the heart.

III. The happiness of such who are possessed of this grace. 1. The light of spiritual joy and gladness is provided for such persons, Psalm xcvii. 11. 2. All the blessings of grace and goodness are not only wished for, but given unto them, Eph. vi. 24. 3. Such are protected and defended from all evil, and from every enemy, Isai. xxxiii. 15, 16. 4. Such who walk uprightly, walk surely, on good ground, in a good path, and by a good rule, and shall be saved, Prov. x. 9, 29. They enjoy the presence of God now; The upright shall dwell in thy presence. Psalm cxl. 13.'

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS.

The contrast between a carnal man and a spiritual man, will appear by considering,

I. Who are the men who mind spiritual things. 1. They are

such who are regenerated, renewed, and quickened bv the

Spirit of God. 2. They are such who have their spiritual

senses, and that in exercise, to discern both good and evil, to

, choose and mind the one, and to refuse and shun the other. 3. They are capable of spiritual acts and exercises, and do perform them. 4. They have much of the Spirit of God in them, Te arc not in the flesh, that is, ye are not carnal men; hut in the Spirit, spiritual men, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you, Rom. viii. 9.

II. What the spiritual things are, spiritual men mind ; from which they are denominated spiritually minded men. 1. They mind their own souls, and the spiritual and eternal welfare of them. 2. The law of God is spiritual, Rom. vii. 14. and this is minded by a spiritual man. 3. The gospel, and the truths of it, We have thought of thy loving kindness, 0 God, in the midst of thy temple. 4. Spiritual blessings are minded by spiritual men; such as the elect of God are blessed with ia heavenly places in Christ, Eph. i. 3. 5. Being built up a spiritual house, and being a holy spiritual priesthood; they are concerned to offer up spiritual sacrifices. 6. Spiritually minded men employ themselves in spiritual services. 7. They exercise themselves in the several graces of the Spirit of God. To all which may be added, 8. That spiritually minded men have their hearts, affections, and conversations in heaven.

III. It may, next be enquired, how any of the sons of men come to be spiritual men, and to be spiritually minded. They nre not so naturally, or by their first birth ; they are born of the flesh, and are flesh, carnal, sinful, and corrupt, there must be a renewing of the mind, or it must be cast into a different mould: the Spirit of God must work in him to will, must enlighten his mind, and fill it with the knowledge of spiritual things.

IV. The effects and consequences, and so the evidence of feeing spiritually minded, are life and peace.

OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE.

I Shall consider, I. What conscience is, and its office. 1. What it is. It is a power or faculty of the rational soul of man: by which it knows

its own actions, and judges of them according to the light it has ; some take it to be an habit of the mind ; others an act of the practicaljudgment, flowing from the faculty of the understanding by the force of some certain habit. 1. It is a science, or knowledge, as its name shews; a knowledge of the will of God, and of a man's actions, as being agreeable or disagreeable to it. 2. From this knowledge arises a judgment which conscience forms of itself and actions, if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged, 1 Cor. xi. 31. 3.—It is the will of God revealed, which is the rule of conscience, its knowledge and judgment. 4. Hence nothing can bind the conscience but the law and will of God ; *it is God's vicegerent, acts for and under him ; no laws of men are binding on conscience, which are not according to, or are contrary to the law and will of God ; We ought to obey God, rather than men, is the determination of the apostles of Christ, Acts iv. 19, 20. ii. The office of conscience, what it does and ought to perform, when it does its duiy, 1. It is a light to enlighten men in the knowledge of the will of God ; it is that light which lightens every jnan that comes into the world. 2. It takes cognizance of a man's actions; it keeps a good look out, and watches over them ; it has a sort of an omniscience belonging to it. 3. It takes an account of them, and registers them ; it is a book in which all are written. 4. It acts the part of a witness for or against men, Hom. ix. i. 5. Conscience is a judge, acquitting or condemning. 6. In wicked men it has the office of a punisher, or tormentor; and a greater punishment, and a more severe torment cannot well be endured than the stings and lashes of a man's own conscience; this is what the scripture calls the worm that never dies; and the heathens meant by a vulture feeding on mens hearts or livers.

II. The various sorts of conscience ; which may be reduced to these two, an evil conscience, Heb. x. 22. and a good conscience, 1 Tim. i. 19. t. An evil conscience, which is blind and ignorant, dull, heavy, and stupid. A partial one ; a bribed one ; an impure one ; a seared one; a desperate one.

ii. A good conscience. Conscience, when it does its office according to its light, is a natural good conscience ; as in the heathens ; so the apostle Paul, before his conversion, lived in all good conscience, Acts xxiii. 1. and there may be in good men a conscience not commendable, and which in a sense, cannot be called good. As, 1. There may be in them a mistaken and erring conscience ; Some with conscience of the idol, thinking it to be something, when it is nothing, eat it as a thing offered to an idol, and their conscience being' weak is defiled, 1 Cor. viii. 7. 2. A doubting conscience. The apostle Paul had no doubt, but was firmly persuaded, that there is nothing unclean of itself yet observes, that he that doubteth, is condemned, Rom. xvi. 14. 23. 3. A weak conscience; which arises from weakness of faith about things lawful and pure, Rom. xiv. 1, 14. 4. A conscience smitten and wounded, which, though not sinful, may be said to be evil, and not good, because distressed ; a wounded spirit, or conscience, who can bear? Prov. xviit. 14. 5. There is a conscience enlightened and awakened with a sense of sin and danger; which, though for the present distressing, issues well. The epithets of a good conscience are, A tender one, Neh. v. 15. A conscience void of offence, Acts. xxiv. 16. and a pure conscience, 1 Tim. iii 9.

III. The effects of a good and pure conscience; which must make it very desirable and valuable. 1. Freedom from the guilt of sin. 2. Peace of soul and tranquility of mind. 3. Joy, as well as peace. 4. Boldness, confidence, and glorying in the midst of calumnies, reproaches, and persecutions from the world. 5. A deliverance from the fears of death and judgment to come.

OF COMMUNION WITH GOD.

Communion with God is the top of the saints experience in this life, it is the height of experimental religion and powerful godliness. This, of all the enjoyments of God's people on earth, is the nearest to the heavenly bliss; and could en. tire perfection, and endless duration be added to it, it would be that. I shall consider,

I. Communion with God in general, i. Communion is founded in union, and arises from it. There is an union be. tween God and his people ; for the mo;e open manifestation and evidence of which our Lord prays, John xvii. 21. The evidence of which union is th gift of the Spirit to them in regeneration ; and the bond of it is the everlasting love of God. ii. The grand blessing of grace flowing from this union, is covenant interest in God ; than which there cannot be a greater blessing; Happy is that people whose God is the Lord. Hence, in. There is a mutual intercourse between God and his people; which is variously expressed in scripture. 1. By their mutual indwelling in each other, 1 John iv. 16. 2. By a mutual walking together, 2 Cor. vi. 16. 3. By a mutual converse. 4. By a mutual sitting down and feasting together: God has spread a table for his people, particularly in the or. dinaace of the Lord's supper, in which much spiritual communion is enjoyed.

II. The persons who have communion with God, are, such only who are loved and chosen by him; who are redeemed and reconciled by Christ, and who are regenerated and sanetifitd by the Spirit of God.

III. Such persons have fellowship with Father, Son, and Spirit, distinctly ; the apostle John says, it is with the Father, andwith his Son Jesus Christ., 1 John i. 3. to which may be added, Phil. ii. i. Jf any fellowship of the Spirit; and also 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. All which put together, shew that the saints have a communion with each person in the Godhead.

IV. The properties of it; shewing the excellency of this communion and fellowship. 1. It is a wonderful instance of condescension in God ; that he who is the high and lofty One, who dwells in heaven, the high and holy place; he whose throne the heaven is, and the earth his footstool, condescends to dwell with men on earth. 2. It is very honourable to the sons of men to be favoured with such communion. 3. This is a privilege very desirable, nothing more so; this is the one thing saints are desirous of in pub. lie worship, to behold the beauty of the Lord; to sit under his shadow, and taste his pleasant fruits. 4. It is ex* ceeding valuable; it is beyond all the enjoyments of life; it is this which makes wisdom's ways, ways of pleasantness ; and because so valuable, the apostle John, in an exulting manner says, Truly, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.