The Works of John Bunyan - Volume 2

000 Title

THE

WORKS OF JOHN BUNYAN

WITH AN

INTRODUCTION TO EACH TREATISE, NOTES.

AND A

SKETCH OF HIS LIFE, TIMES, AND CONTEMPORARIES.

VOLUME SECOND.

EXPERIMENTAL, DOCTRINAL, AND PRACTICAL.

EDITED BY

GEORGE OFFOR, ESQ.

BLACKIE AND SON:

FREDERICK STREET, GLASGOW; SOUTH COLLEGE STREET, EDINBURG; AND WARWICK SQUARE, LONDON

MDCCCLVII

002 The Saint’s Knowledge of Christ’s Love

THE SAINTS' KNOWLEDGE

OF CHRIST'S LOVE;

OR,

THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST. BY JOHN BUNYAN

PREFATORY REMARKS BY THE EDITOR.

This treatise is one of those ten distinct works, which the author had prepared for the press, when he was so suddenly summoned to the Celestial City. Well did his friends in the ministry, Ebenezer Chandler and John Wilson, call it "an excellent manuscript, calculated to assist the Christian that would grow in grace, and to win others over to Jesus Christ."

It was first published, with a selection of Bunyan's Works in a folio volume, in 1692, about four years after the author's decease; and although it is a treatise exhibiting very deep research and calculated for extensive usefulness, it does not appear ever to have been published as a separate volume. Like all other of his works, it is original; no one before him treated this subject with such profound depth of thought, nor with such clear Christian philosophy.

The revered John Bunyan proves in this, as in all other of his works, that he was a real and not a pretended descendant from the apostles,—he breathes their spirit—he knew his Master's work, and faithfully discharged his solemn requirements. His object was as pure as it was apparent; to preach not himself, but Christ Jesus his Lord. One desire appears to have influenced him in writing all his works—that of shrinking back and hiding himself behind his Master, while exhibiting the unsearchable, Divine, eternal riches of His grace.

This treatise is admirably adapted to warn the thoughtless—break the stony heart—convince the wavering—cherish the young inquirer—strengthen the saint in his pilgrimage, and arm him for the good fight of faith—and comfort the dejected, doubting, despairing Christian. It abounds with ardent sympathy for the broken-hearted, a cordial suited to every wounded conscience; while, at the same time, it thunders in awful judgment upon the impenitent and the hypocritical professor: wonders of grace to God belong, for all these blessings form but a small part of the unsearchable riches.

The reader should keep in his recollection, that this treatise was originally conceived for the pulpit; and afterwards, probably with great additions, written for the press. This will account for the divisions and sub-divisions, intended to assist a hearer's memory; or to enable a ready writer, by taking notes of each part, to digest prayerfully in private, what he had heard in the public ministry of the word,—a practice productive of great good to individuals, and by which families may be much profited while conversing upon the truths publicly taught in the church; instead of what Bunyan would have justly called, frothy conversation about the dress or appearances of their fellow-worshippers.

This discourse has been published in every edition of the works of our great author, but, most strangely, the references to Scripture are omitted in all the editions since that of 1737. Bunyan's anxiety at every step of this momentous inquiry is to shew a "thus saith the Lord," in proof of every assertion. In this treatise only, there are nearly four hundred and forty distinct references to the holy oracles. These are all carefully restored, and have been collated with the standard text, for want of which some imperfections had crept in, even to the old editions; and where the author preferred the Genevan or Puritan version, it is shewn by a note at the foot of the page.

To point out beauties in such a discourse, is to point to the whole treatise—it is all admirable; a solemn earnestness is found in every sentence; even where Bunyan modestly differs with many excellent divines, when treating upon the sufferings of the Saviour, between the period of his crucifixion and of his resurrection: this is worthy of our prayerful consideration; ever keeping in remembrance those deeply impressive—those awfully triumphant words of our Lord, "It is finished."

The catholic spirit, which so pervaded the mind of Bunyan, appears conspicuously in this discourse; and whatever bitter controversy this spirit occasioned him, it ought to be impressed upon the heart of every Christian professor. It is a liberality which shines more brightly, as reflected by one, whose religious education was drawn solely from the pure fountain of truth—the holy oracles; and however unlettered he was, as to polite literature or the learned languages, his Christian liberality can no more be enlightened by the niggard spirit of learned sectarians, than the sun could be illuminated by a rush-light. The inquiry was then, as, alas, it is too frequent now, Are there many that be saved? forgetful of the Saviour's answer and just rebuke, What is that to thee, follow thou me, seek thine own salvation. The inquiry is pursued a step farther, "Can those who differ with me be saved?" Hear the reply of one so honest and so fully imbued with the Scriptures, into the truths of which his spirit had been baptized, "A man, through unbelief, may think that Christ has no love to him; and yet Christ may love him, with a love that passeth knowledge. But when men, in the common course of their profession, will be always terminating here, that they know how, and how far, Christ can love; and will thence be bold to conclude of their own safety, and of the loss and ruin of all that are not in the same notions, opinions, formalities, or judgment, as they. This is the worst [pride] and greatest of all [delusions]. The text, therefore, to rectify those false and erroneous conclusions, says, [the love of Christ] is a love that passeth knowledge."

Throughout the whole, there is a continued effort to comfort the sincere, but doubting, Christian. "Does Satan suggest that God will not hear your stammering and chattering prayers? Does Satan suggest that thy trials, and troubles, and afflictions, are so many that you shall never get beyond them?—relief is at hand, for Christ loves thee with a love that passeth knowledge. This is a weapon that will baffle the devil, when all other weapons fail."

The practical application of these soul-encouraging truths is, "To walk in love—filled with all the fullness of God." Bunyan has, in enforcing this duty, a very remarkable expression, "these are the men that sweeten the churches, and bring glory to God and to religion. Why should anything have my heart but God, but Christ? He loves me, he loves me with love that passeth knowledge, and I will love him. His love stripped him of all for my sake; Lord, let my love strip me of all for thy sake. I am a son of love, an object of love, a monument of love; of free love, of distinguishing love, of peculiar love, and of love that passeth knowledge: and why should not I walk in love—in love to God, in love to man, in holy love, in love unfeigned?"

And will our ministering elders bear with me in respectfully and affectionately commending to them John Bunyan, as an example of devotedness to his Master's service; of humble walking with God, of tender faithfulness to the souls of men, of holy fervour? Under such a course of sermons as this treatise would make, how attentively would our children listen with reverence to the voice of truth, and with a Divine blessing our earthen vessels would be replenished with heavenly treasure. It is delightful to read the testimony of Bunyan's ministerial friends, of various denominations, when recording his extensive usefulness. His works do follow him. And upon reading of them, we cannot wonder when we hear, that on a week-day morning, in the depth of winter, long before daylight, the inclemency of frost and snow was braved by crowded assemblies of hungry and thirsty souls, who eagerly listened to hear him proclaim "The Saints' Knowledge of Christ's Love, or the unsearchable riches of Christ—which passeth knowledge."

May the effectual blessing of the Holy Spirit attend the reading, as it did the preaching, of these soul-saving truths.

HACKNEY, Oct., 1848. GEO. OFFOR.

THE SAINTS' KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST'S LOVE.

"THAT YE - - - MAY BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND WITH ALL SAINTS, WHAT IS THE BREADTH, AND LENGTH, AND DEPTH, AND HEIGHT; AND TO KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST, WHICH PASSETH KNOWLEDGE. "—Eph 3:18-19.

The Apostle having, in the first chapter, treated of the doctrine of election, and in the second, of the reconciling of the Gentiles with the Jews to the Father, by his Son, through the preaching of the gospel; comes in the third chapter to shew that that also was, as that of election, determined before the world began. Now lest the afflictions that attend the gospel should, by its raging among these Ephesians, darken the glory of these things unto them; therefore he makes here a brief repetition and explanation, to the end they might be supported and made live above them. He also joins thereto a fervent prayer for them, that God would let them see in the spirit and faith, how they, by God and by Christ, are secured from the evil of the worst that might come upon them. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named; that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," &c. Knowing, that their deep understanding what good by these were reserved for them, they would never be discouraged, whatever troubles should attend their profession.

BREADTH, and LENGTH, and DEPTH, and HEIGHT, are words that in themselves are both ambiguous, and to wonderment; ambiguous, because unexplained, and to wonderment, because they carry in them an unexpressible something; and that something that which far out-goes all those things that can be found in this world. The Apostle here was under a spiritual surprise, for while meditating and writing, he was caught: The strength and glory of the truths that he was endeavouring to fasten upon the people to whom he wrote, took him away into their glory, beyond what could to the full be uttered. Besides, many times things are thus expressed, on purpose to command attention, a stop and pause in the mind about them; and to divert, by their greatness, the heart from the world, unto which they naturally are so inclined. Also, truths are often delivered to us, like wheat in full ears, to the end we should rub them out before we eat them, and take pains about them, before we have the comfort of them.

BREADTH, LENGTH, DEPTH, and HEIGHT. In my attempting to open these words, I will give you, some that are of the same kind. And then show you, First, The reasons of them; and then also, Secondly, Something of their fullness.

Those of the same kind, are used sometimes to shew us the power, force, and subtilty of the enemies of God's Church, (Da 4:11; Ro 8:38-39). But,

[Sometimes] Most properly to shew us the infinite and unsearchable greatness of God, (Job 11:7-9; Ro 11:33).

They are here to be taken in this second sense, that is, to suggest unto us the unsearchable and infinite greatness of God; who is a breadth, beyond all breadths; a length, beyond all lengths; a depth, beyond all depths; and a height, beyond all heights, and that in all his attributes: He is an eternal being, an everlasting being, and in that respect he is beyond all measures, whether they be of breadth, or length, or depth, or height. In all his attributes he is beyond all measure: whether you measure by words, by thoughts, or by the most enlarged and exquisite apprehension; His greatness is unsearchable; His judgments are unsearchable (Job 5:9): He is infinite in wisdom. "0! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Ro 11:33) "If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong" (Job 9:19); yea, "the thunder of his power who can understand?" (Job 26:14) "There is none holy as the Lord" (1Sa 2:2): "and his mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him" (Ps 103:17). The greatness of God, of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is that, if rightly considered, which will support the spirits of those of his people that are frighted with the greatness of their adversaries. For here is a greatness against a greatness. Pharaoh was great, but God more great, more great in power, more great in wisdom, more great every way for the help of his people; wherein they dealt proudly, he was above them. These words therefore take in for this people, the great God who in his immensity and infinite greatness is beyond all beings. But, to come

FIRST, to the reason of the words. They are made use of to shew to the Ephesians, that God with what he is in himself, and with what he hath in his power, is all for the use and profit of the believers. Else no great matter is held out to them thereby. "But this God is our God!" there is the comfort: For this cause therefore he presenteth them with this description of him. To wit, by breadth, and length, and depth, and height: As who should say, the High God is yours; the God that fills heaven and earth is yours; the God whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, is yours; yea, the God whose works are wonderful, and whose ways are past finding out, is yours. Consider therefore the greatness that is for you, that taketh part with you, and that will always come in for your help against them that contend with you. It is my support, it is my relief; it [is] my comfort in all my tribulations, and I would have it ours, and so it will when we live in the lively faith thereof. Nor should we admit of distrust in this matter from the consideration of our own unworthiness, either taken from the finiteness of our state, or the foulness of our ways (Ps 46). For now, though God's attributes, several of them in their own nature, are set against sin and sinners; yea, were we righteous, are so high that needs they must look over us, for `tis to him a condescension to behold things in heaven: How much more then to open his eyes upon such as we: yet by the passion of Jesus Christ, they harmoniously agree in the salvation of our souls. Hence God is said to be love (1Jo 4), God is love; might some say, and justice too: but his justice is turned with wisdom, power, holiness and truth, to love; yea, to love those that be found in his Son: forasmuch as there is nothing fault-worthy in his righteousness which is put upon us. So then, as there is in God's nature a length, and breadth, and depth, and height, that is beyond all that we can think: So we should conclude that all this is love to us, for Christ's sake; and then dilate with it thus in our minds, and enlarge it thus in our meditations; saying still to our low and trembling spirits: "It is high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? the measure thereof is longer than the earth, and1 broader than the sea" (Job 11:8-9). But we will pass generals, and more particularly speak

1 In the first edition of this treatise, which was published four years after Bunyan's death, this is quoted "deeper than the sea," probably a typographical error. It is afterwards quoted correctly.—Ed.

SECONDLY, something of their fullness, as they are fitted to suit and answer to the whole state and condition of a Christian in this life. The words are boundless; we have here a breadth, a length, a depth, and height made mention of; but what breadth, what length, what depth, what height is not so much as hinted. It is therefore infiniteness suggested to us, and that has engaged for us. For the Apostle conjoins therein, And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. Thus therefore it suits and answers a Christian's condition, while in this world, let that be what it will. If his afflictions be broad, here is a breadth; if they be long, here is a length,; and if they be deep, here is a depth; and if they be high, here is a height. And I will say, there is nothing that is more helpful, succouring, or comfortable to a Christian while in a state of trial and temptation, than to know that there is a breadth to answer a breadth, a length to answer a length, a depth to answer a depth, and a height to answer a height. Wherefore this is it that the Apostle prayeth for, namely, that the Ephesians might have understanding in these things, "That ye may know what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height."

Of the largeness of the Apostle's heart in praying for this people, to wit, "That they might be able to comprehend with all saints, what," &c. of that we shall speak afterwards.

But first, to speak to these four expressions, breadth, length, depth, and height.

First, What is the BREADTH. This word is to shew, that God is all over, everywhere, spreading of his wings, stretching out his goodness to the utmost bounds, for the good of those that are his people (De 32:11-12; Ge 49:26).

In the sin of his people there is a breadth; a breadth that spreadeth over all, wheresoever a man shall look. The sin of the saints is a spreading leprosy (Le 13:12). Sin is a scab that spreadeth; it is a spreading plague; it knows no bounds (Le 13:8, 57): or, as David saith, "I have seen the wicked spreading himself" (Ps 37:35). Hence it is compared to a cloud, to a thick cloud, that covereth or spreadeth over the face of all the sky. Wherefore here is a breadth called for, a breadth that can cover all, or else what is done is to no purpose. Therefore to answer this, here we have a breadth, a spreading breadth; "I spread my skirt over thee": But how far? Even so far as to cover all. "I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness" (Eze 16:8). Here now is a breadth according to the spreading nature of the sin of this wretched one; yea, a super-abounding spreading; a spreading beyond; a spreading to cover. "Blessed is he whose sin is covered" (Ps 32:1), whose spreading sin is covered by the mercy of God through Christ (Ro 4:4-7). This is the spreading cloud, whose spreadings none can understand (Job 36:29). "He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light in the night" (Ps 105:39).

This breadth that is in God, it also overmatcheth that spreading and overspreading rage of men, that is sometimes as if it would swallow up the whole church of God. You read of the rage of the king of Assyria, that there was a breadth in it, an overflowing breadth, to the filling of "the breadth of thy land, 0 Immanuel" (Isa 8:8). But what follows? "Associate yourselves, 0 ye people, [ye Assyrians] and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries; gird yourselves and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand, for God is with us" (Isa 8:8-10); God will over-match and go beyond you.

Wherefore this word, breadth, and what is the breadth: It is here expressed on purpose to succour and relieve, or to shew what advantage, for support, the knowledge of the overspreading grace of God by Christ yieldeth unto those that have it, let their trials be what they will. Alas! the sin of God's children seemeth sometimes to overspread not only their flesh, and the face of their souls, but the whole face of heaven. And what shall he do now, that is a stranger to this breadth, made mention of in the text? Why he must despair, lie down and die, and shut up his heart against all comfort, unless he, with his fellow-christians, can, at least, apprehend what is this breadth, or the breadth of mercy intended in this place. Therefore Paul for the support of the Ephesians, prays, that they may know "what is the breadth."

This largeness of the heart and mercy of God towards his people, is also signified by the spreading out of his hand to us in the invitations of the gospel. "I said," saith he, "Behold me, behold me, - - - I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people. -- - to a people that provoketh me continually" (Isa 65:1-3).

I have spread out my hands, that is, opened my arms as a mother affectionately doth, when she stoopeth to her child in the warm workings of her bowels, and claspeth it up in them, and kisseth, and putteth it into her bosom.

For, by spreading out the hands or arms to embrace, is shewed the breadth or largeness of God's affections; as by our spreading out our hands in prayer, is signified the great sense that we have of the spreading nature of our sins, and of the great desires that are in us, that God would be merciful to us (Ezr 9:5-7).

This word also answereth to, or may fitly be set against the wiles and temptations of the devil, who is that great and dogged Leviathan, that spreadeth his "sharp-pointed things upon the mire" (Job 41:30): For, be the spreading nature of our corruptions never so broad, he will find sharp-pointed things enough to stick in the mire of them, for our affliction. These sharp-pointed things are those that in another place are called "fiery darts" (Eph 6:16), and he has abundance of them, with which he can and will sorely prick and wound our spirits: Yea, so sharp some have found these things to their souls, that they have pierced beyond expression. "When," said Job, "I say, my bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions; so that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life" (Job 7:13-15). But now, answerable to the spreading of these sharp-pointed things, there is a superabounding breadth in the sovereign grace of God, the which whoso seeth and understandeth, as the Apostle doth pray we should, is presently helped: for he seeth that this grace spreadeth itself, and is broader than can be, either our mire, or the sharp-pointed things that he spreadeth thereupon for our vexation and affliction: "It is broader than the sea" (Job 11:9).

This therefore should be that upon which those that see the spreading nature of sin, and the leprosy and contagion thereof, should meditate, to wit, The broadness of the grace and mercy of God in Christ. This will poise and stay the soul; this will relieve and support the soul in and under those many misgiving and desponding thoughts unto which we are subject when afflicted with the apprehensions of sin, and the abounding nature of it.

Shall another man pray for this, one that knew the goodness and benefit of it, and shall not I meditate upon it? and shall not I exercise my mind about it? Yes surely, for it is my duty, it is my privilege and mercy so to do. Let this therefore, when thou seest the spreading nature of thy sin be a memento to thee, to the end thou mayest not sink and die in thy soul.

Secondly, What is the breadth and LENGTH. As there is a breadth in this mercy and grace of God by Christ, so there is a LENGTH therein, and this length is as large as the breadth, and as much suiting the condition of the child of God, as the other is. For, though sin sometimes is most afflicting to the conscience, while the soul beholdeth the overspreading nature of it, yet here it stoppeth not, but oft-times through the power and prevalency of it, the soul is driven with it, as a ship by a mighty tempest, or as a rolling thing before the whirlwind: driven, I say, from God, and from all hopes of his mercy, as far as the east is from the west, or as the ends of the world are asunder. Hence it is supposed by the prophet, that for and by sin they may be driven from God to the utmost part of heaven (De 30:4); and that is a sad thing, a sad thing, I say, to a gracious man. "Why," saith the prophet to God, "Art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?" (Ps 22:1). Sometimes a man, yea, a man of God, is, as he apprehends, so far off from God, that he can neither help him, nor hear him, and this is a dismal state. "And thou hast removed my soul," said the church, "far off from peace: I forgat prosperity" (La 3:17). This is the state sometimes of the godly, and that not only with reference to their being removed by persecutors, from the appointments and gospel-seasons, which are their delight, and the desire of their eyes; but also with reverence to their faith and hope in their God. They think themselves beyond the reach of his mercy. Wherefore in answer to this conceit it is, that the Lord asketh, saying, "Is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?" (Isa 50:2). And again, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear" (Isa 59:1). Wherefore he saith again, "If any of them be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee" (De 30:4). God has a long arm, and he can reach a great way further than we can conceive he can (Ne 1:9): When we think his mercy is clean gone, and that ourselves are free among the dead, and of the number that he remembereth no more, then he can reach us, and cause that again we stand before him. He could reach Jonah, tho" in the belly of hell (Jon 2); and reach thee, even then, when thou thinkest thy way is hid from the Lord, and thy judgment passed over from thy God. There is length to admiration, beyond apprehension or belief, in the arm of the strength of the Lord; and this is that which the Apostle intended by this word, Length; namely, To insinuate what a reach there is in the mercy of God, how far it can extend itself. "If I take the wings of the morning," said David, "and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me" (Ps 139:9-10). I will gather them from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, saith he: That is, from the utmost corners.

This therefore should encourage them that for the present cannot stand, but that do fly before their guilt: Them that feel no help nor stay, but that go, as to their thinking, every day by the power of temptation, driven yet farther off from God, and from the hope of obtaining of his mercy to their salvation; poor creature, I will not now ask thee how thou camest into this condition, or how long this has been thy state; but I will say before thee, and I prithee hear me, 0 the length of the saving arm of God! As yet thou art within the reach thereof; do not thou go about to measure arms with God, as some good men are apt to do: I mean, do not thou conclude, that because thou canst not reach God by thy short stump, therefore he cannot reach thee with his long arm. Look again, "Hast thou an arm like God" (Job 40:9), an arm like his for length and strength? It becomes thee, when thou canst not perceive that God is within the reach of thy arm, then to believe that thou art within the reach of his; for it is long, and none knows how long.

Again, is there such a length? such a length in the arm of the Lord, that he can reach those that are gone away, as far as they could? then this should encourage us to pray, and hope for the salvation of any one of our backslidden relations, that God would reach out his arm after them: Saying, "Awake, - - 0 arm of the Lord, - art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?" (Isa 51:9-10). Awake, 0 arm of the Lord, and be stretched out as far as to where my poor husband is, where my poor child, or to where my poor backslidden wife or dear relation is, and lay hold, fast hold; they are gone from thee, but, 0 thou the hope of Israel, fetch them again, and let them stand before thee. I say, here is in this word LENGTH matter of encouragement for us thus to pray; for if the length of the reach of mercy is so great, and if also this length is for the benefit of those that may be gone off far from God, (for they at present have no need thereof that are near) then improve this advantage at the throne of grace for such, that they may come to God again. Thirdly, As there is a breadth and length here, so there is a DEPTH. What is the breadth, and length, and depth? And this depth is also put in here, on purpose to help us under a trial that is diverse from the two former. I told you, that by the breadth the Apostle insinuates a remedy and succour to us, when we see our corruptions spread like a leprosy; and by length he would shew us, that when sin has driven God's elect to the farthest distance from him, yet his arm is long enough to reach them, and fetch them back again.

But, I say, as we have here a breadth, and a length, so we have also a depth. That ye may know what is the DEPTH. Christians have sometimes their sinking fits, and are as if they were always descending: or as Heman says, "counted with them that go down into the pit" (Ps 88:4). Now guilt is not to such so much a wind and a tempest, as a load and burden. The devil, and sin, and the curse of the law, and death, are gotten upon the shoulders of this poor man, and are treading of him down, that he may sink into, and be swallowed up of his miry place.

"I sink," says David, "in deep mire, where there is no standing. I am come into DEEP waters, where the floods overflow me" (Ps 69:2). Yea, there is nothing more common among the saints of old, than this complaint: "Let neither the water flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, neither let the pit shut her mouth upon me" (Ps 69:14-15). Heman also saith, "Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves" (Ps 88:6-7). Hence it is again that the Psalmist says: "Deep calleth unto deep, at the noise of thy water spouts: all thy waves, and thy billows are gone over me" (Ps 42:7). Deep calleth unto deep: What's that? Why, it is expressed in the verse before(Ps 42:6): "0 God," says he, "My soul is cast down within me." "Down," that is, deep into the jaws of distrust and fear. And, Lord, my soul in this depth of sorrow calls for help to thy depth of mercy. For though I am sinking and going down, yet not so low, but that thy mercy is yet underneath me: Do of thy compassions open those everlasting arms (De 33:27), and catch him that has no help or stay in himself: For so it is with one that is falling into a well or a dungeon.

Now mark, as there is in these texts, the sinking condition of the godly man set forth, of a man whom sin and Satan is treading down into the deep; so in our text which I am speaking to at this time, we have a depth that can more than counterpoise these deeps, set forth with a hearty prayer, that we may know it. And although the deeps, or depths of calamity into which the godly may fall, may be as deep as Hell, and methinks they should be no deeper: yet this is the comfort, and for the comfort of them of the godly that are thus a sinking: The mercy of God for them lies deeper "It is deeper than hell, what canst thou know?" (Job 11:8). And this is that which made Paul that he was not afraid of this depth, "I am persuaded," saith he, "that neither - - height nor depth shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 8:38-39). But of this he could by no means have been persuaded, had he not believed that mercy lieth deeper for the godly to help them, than can all other depths be to destroy them: This is it at which he stands and wonders, saying, "0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" (Ro 11:33), that is to find out a way to save his people, notwithstanding all the deep contrivances that the enemy hath, and may invent to make us come short [of] home.

This is also that, as I take it, which is wrapped up in the blessing, wherewith Jacob blessed his son Joseph. "God shall bless thee," saith he, "with blessings of heaven above," and with the "blessings of the deep that lieth under" (Ge 49:25). A blessing which he had ground to pronounce, as well from his observation of God's good dealing with Joseph, as in a spirit of prophecy: For he saw that he lived and was become a flourishing bough, by a wall, after that the archers had done their worst to him (Ge 49:22-24). Moses also blesseth God for blessing of Joseph thus, and blessed his portion to him, as counting of it sufficient for his help in all afflictions. "Blessed," saith he, "of the Lord, be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath" (De 33:13).

I am not of belief that these blessings are confined to things temporal, or carnal, but to things spiritual and divine; and that they have most chiefly respect to soul, and eternal good. Now mark, he tells us here, that the blessings of the deep, do couch beneath. Couch, that is, lie close, so as hardly to be discerned by him that willingly would see that himself is not below these arms that are beneath him. But that as I said, is hard to be discerned by him that thus is sinking, and that has as he now smartingly feels, all God's waves, and his billows rolling over him. However, whether he sees or not, for this blessing lieth couched; yet there it is, and there will be, though one should sink as deep as hell: And hence they are said to be "everlasting arms" that are "underneath" (De 33:27): That is, arms that are long and strong, and that can reach to the bottom, and also beyond, of all misery and distress, that Christians are subject to in this life. Indeed mercy seems to be asleep, when we are sinking: for then we are as if all things were careless of us, but it is but as a lion couchant, it will awake in time for our help (Ps 44:22,26; Mr 4:36-39). And forasmuch as this term is it, which is applicable to the lion in his den; it may be to shew that as a lion, so will God at the fittest season, arise for the help and deliverance of a sinking people. Hence when he is said to address himself to the delivering of his people, it is that he comes as a roaring lion. "The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies" (Isa 42:13). However here is a depth against the depth that's against us, let that depth be what it will. As let it be the depth of misery, the depth of mercy is sufficient. If it be the depth of hellish policy, the depth both of the wisdom and knowledge of God shall go beyond it, and prevail.

This therefore is worthy of the consideration of all sinking souls; of the souls that feel themselves descending into the pit. There is such a thing as this experienced among the godly. Some come to them (when tempted) when you will, they will tell you, they have no ground to stand on, their feet have slipped, their foundation is removed, and they fell themselves sinking, as into a pit that has no bottom (Ps 11:3). They inwardly sink, not for want of something to relieve the body, but for want of some spiritual cordial to support the mind. "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains," said Jonah, "the earth with her bars was about me for ever; - - - my soul fainted within me" (Jon 2:6-7).

Now for such to consider that underneath them, even at the bottom there lieth a blessing, or that in this deep whereinto they are descending, there lieth a delivering mercy couching to catch them, and to save them from sinking for ever, this would be relief unto them, and help them to hope for good.

Again, As this, were it well considered by the sinking ones, would yield them stay and relief, so this is it by the virtue whereof, they that have been sinking heretofore, have been lifted up, and above their castings down again. There are of those that have been in the pit, now upon mount Sion, with the harps of God in their hands, and with the song of the Lamb in their mouths. But how is it that they are there? why, David, by his own deliverance shews you the reason. "For great is thy mercy towards me," saith he, "and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell" (Ps 86:13). And again, "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit," (a pit of noise, a pit wherein was the noise of devils, and of my heart answering them with distrust and fear) "out of the miry clay," (into which I did not only sink, but was by it held from getting up: but he brought me up) "and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God" (Ps 40:2-3).

But let me here give, if it may be, a timely caution to them that think they stand upon their feet. Give not way to falling because everlasting arms are underneath, take heed of that: God can let thee fall into mischief, he can let thee fall, and not help thee up. Tempt not God, lest he cast thee away indeed. I doubt there are many that have presumed upon this mercy, that thus do couch beneath, and have cast themselves down from their pinnacles into vanity, of a vain conceit that they shall be lifted up again: whom yet God will leave to die there, because their fall was rather of willfulness, than weakness, and of stubbornness, and desperate resolutions, than for want of means and helps to preserve them from it.

Fourthly, As there is a breadth, and length, and depth, in this mercy and grace of God through Christ towards his people: So there is also a HEIGHT, "That ye may comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth and length, and depth, and HEIGHT." There are things that are high, as well as things that are low; things that are above us, as well as things that are under, that are distressing to God's people. It is said when Noah was a preacher of righteousness, there were giants in the earth in those days (Ge 6:4). And these, as I conceive, were some of the heights that were set against Noah; yea, they were the very dads and fathers of all that monstrous brood that followed in the world in that day. Of this sort were they who so frighted, and terrified Israel, when they were to go to inherit the land of promise. The men that were tall as cedars, and strong as the oaks, frighted them: they were in their own sight, when compared with these high ones, but as grasshoppers. This therefore was their discouragement (Nu 13:31-33; De 2:10; 9:2).

Besides, together with these, they had high walls, walls as high as heaven; and these walls were of purpose to keep Israel out of his possession. See how it is expressed: The people is greater and taller than we, the cities are great and walled up to heaven: and moreover, we have seen the sons of the Anakims there (De 1:28). One of these, to wit, Goliath by name, how did he fright the children of Israel in the days of Saul! How did the appearance of him, make them scuttle together on heaps before him (1Sa 17). By these giants, and by these high walls, God's children to this day are sorely distressed, because they stand in the cross ways to cut off Israel from his possession.

But now to support us against all these, and to encourage us to take heart notwithstanding all these things; there is for us, a height in God. He hath made his Son higher than the kings of the earth (Ps 89:26-28): His word also is settled for ever in heaven, and therefore must needs be higher than their walls (Ps 119:89): He also saith in another place, "If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter; for he that is higher than the highest, regardeth, and there be higher than they" (Ec 5:8). `Twas this that made Paul, that he feared not the height: not things present, nor things to come (Ro 8:39).

But again, As there are these things standing, or lying in our way: So there are another sort of heights that are more mischievous than these: And they are the fallen angels. These are called spiritual wickedness, or wicked spirits, in high places (Eph 6:12): For God has suffered them for a time to take to themselves principality and power, and so they are become the rulers of the darkness of this world. By these we are tempted, sifted, threatened, opposed, undermined: also by these there are snares, pits, holes, and what not made and laid for us, if peradventure by something we may be destroyed. Yea, and we should most certainly be so, were it not for the rock that is higher than they. "But he that cometh from heaven is above all!" (Joh 3:31) These are they that our king has taken captive, and hath rid (in his chariots of salvation) in triumph over their necks. These are they, together with all others, whose most devilish designs he can wield, and turn and make work together for his ransomed's advantage (Ro 8:28), There is a height, an infinitely overtopping height in the mercy and goodness of God for us, against them.

There are heights also that build up themselves in us, which are not but to be taken notice of: Yea, there are a many of them, and they place themselves directly so, that if possible they may keep the saving knowledge of God out of our hearts. These high things therefore are said to exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (2Co 10:5): and do ofttimes more plague, afflict, and frighten Christian men and women, than any thing besides. It is from these that our faith and spiritual understanding of God and his Christ is opposed and contradicted, and from these also that we are so inclinable to swerve from right doctrine into destructive opinions. `Tis from these that we are so easily persuaded to call into question our former experience of the goodness of God towards us, and from these that our minds are so often clouded and darkened that we cannot see afar off. These would betray us into the hands of fallen angels, and men, nor should we by any means help or deliver ourselves, were it not for one that is higher. These are the dark mountains at which our feet would certainly stumble, and upon which we should fall, were it not for one who can leap and skip over these mountains of division, and come in to us (Song 2:8,17).

Further, There is a height also that is obvious to our senses, the which when it is dealt withal by our corrupted reason, proves a great shaking to our mind, and that is the height, and exceeding distance that heaven is off of us, and we off it. "Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are?" (Job 22:12) Hence heaven is called the place for height (Pr 25:3), Also when Ahaz is bid to ask with reference to heaven, he is bid to ask it, In the height, the height above (Isa 7:11). Now saith reason, how shall I come thither? especially when a good man is at his furthest distance therefore: which is, when he is in the grave. Now I say, every height is a difficulty to him that is loaden with a burden, especially the heaven of heavens, where God is, and where is the resting-place of his, to them that are oppressed with the guilt of sin. And besides, the dispensation which happeneth to us last, to wit, death, as I said before, makes this heaven, in my thoughts while I live so much the more unaccessible. Christ indeed could mount up (Ac 1:9), but me, poor me, how shall I get thither? Elias indeed had a chariot sent him to ride in thither, and went up by it into that holy place (2Ki 2:11): but I, poor I, how shall I get thither? Enoch is there, because God took him (Ge 5:24), but as for me, how shall I get thither? Thus some have mourningly said. And although distrust of the power of God, as to the accomplishing of this thing, is by no means to be smiled upon, yet methinks the unconcernedness of professors thereabout, doth argue that considering thoughts about that, are wanting.

I know the answer is ready. Get Christ and go to heaven. But methinks the height of the place, and the glory of the state that we are to enjoy therein, should a little concern us, at least so as to make us wonder in our thinking, that the time is coming that we must mount up thither. And since there are so many heights between this place, between us, and that; it should make us admire at the heights of the grace and mercy of God, by which, means is provided to bring us thither. And I believe that this thing, this very thing, is included here by the Apostle when he prays for the Ephesians, that they might know the height.

Methinks, How shall we get thither will still stick in my mind. "I will ascend," says one, "above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High" (Isa 14:14). And I, says another, will set my nest among the stars of heaven (Ob 4). Well, but what of all this? If heaven has gates, and they shall be shut, how wilt thou go in thither? Though such should climb up to heaven, from thence will God bring them down (Am 9:2), Still I say, therefore, how shall we get in thither? Why, for them that are godly, there is the power of God, the merits of Christ, the help of angels, and the testimony of a good conscience to bring them thither; and he that has not the help of all these, let him do what he can, shall never come thither. Not that all these go to the making up of the height that is intended in the text: for the height there, is what is in God through Christ to us alone. But the angels are the servants of God for that end (Lu 16:22; Heb 1:14): and none with ill consciences enter in thither (Ps 15:1; 24:3-4), What, "know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? be not deceived" (1Co 6:9), such have none inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph 5:5).

This then should teach us that in God is a power that is able to subdue all things to himself. In the completing of many things, there seems to be an utter impossibility, as that a virgin should conceive in her womb, as a virgin, and bring a Son into the world; that the body that is turned into dust, should arise and ascend into the highest heaven (Php 3:21). These things with many more seem to be utterly impossible: but there is that which is called the power of God, by the which he is able to make all things bend to his will, and to make all obstructions give place to what he pleases. God is high above all things and can do whatever it pleaseth him. But since he can do so, why doth he suffer this, and that thing to appear, to act, and do so horribly repugnant to his word? I answer, he admits of many things, to the end he may shew his wrath, and make his power known; and that all the world may see how he checks and overrules the most vile and unruly things, and can make them subservient to his holy will. And how would the breadth and the length, and the depth, and the height of the love and mercy of God in Christ to us-ward, be made to appear, so as in all things it doth, were there not admitted that there should be breadths, and lengths, and depths and heights, to oppose. Wherefore these oppositions are therefore suffered, that the greatness of the wisdom, the power, the mercy, and grace of God to us in Christ might appear and be made manifest unto us.

This calls therefore upon Christians, wisely to consider of the doings of their God. How many opposite breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights did Israel meet with in their journey from Egypt to Canaan, and all to convince them of their own weakness, and also of the power of their God. And they that did wisely consider of his doings there, did reap the advantage thereof. Come, behold the works of the Lord towards me, may every Christian say. He hath set a Saviour against sin; a heaven against a hell; light against darkness; good against evil, and the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the grace that is in himself, for my good, against all the power, and strength, and force, and subtilty, of every enemy.

This also, as I hinted but just before, shews both the power of them that hate us, and the inability of us to resist. The power that is set against us none can crush, and break, but God: for it is the power of devils, of sin, of death, and hell. But we for our parts are crushed before the moth: being a shadow, a vapour, and a wind that passes away (Job 4:19). Oh! how should we, and how would we, were but our eyes awake, stand and wonder at the preservations, the deliverances, the salvations and benefits with which we are surrounded daily: while so many mighty evils seek daily to swallow us up, as the grave. See how the golden psalm of David reads it. "Be merciful unto me, 0 God; for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, 0 thou most high" (Ps 56:1-2). This is at the beginning of it. And he concludes it thus, "Thou hast delivered my soul from death: will not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living" (verse 13).

By this also we see the reason why it is so impossible for man or angel to persuade unbelievers to come in to, and close with Christ; why there is a breadth that they cannot get over, a length that they cannot get beyond, a depth that they cannot pass, and heights that so hinder them of the prospect of glory, and the way thereto, that they cannot be allured thither. And that nothing can remove these; but those that are in God, and that are opposite thereto; even the breadth, and length, and depth and height that is in the text expressed, is to all awakened men an undoubted truth. 2

2 How admirably does Bunyan bring home to the Christian's heart these solemn truths. The breadth and length and depth and height of our guilt and misery, requires a remedy beyond all human power. This can only be found in the love of God in Christ: this extends beyond all bounds. It is divine, unsearchable, eternal mercy, swallowing up all our miseries.—Ed.

One item I would here give to him that loveth his own soul, and then we will pass on in pursuance of what is to come. Since there is an height obvious to sense, and that that height must be overcome ere a man can enter into life eternal: let thy heart be careful that thou go the right way to overpass this height, that thou mayest not miss of the delectable plains, and the pleasures that are above. Now, there is nothing so high, as to overtop this height; but Jacob's ladder, and that can do it: that ladder, when the foot thereof doth stand upon the earth, reacheth with its top to the gate of heaven. This is the ladder by which angels ascend thither: and this is the ladder by which thou mayest ascend thither. "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it" (Ge 28:12).

This ladder is Jesus Christ, the son of man, as is clear by the evangelist John (Joh 1:51). And in that it is said to stand upon the earth, that is to shew that he took hold of man who is of the earth, and therein laid a foundation for his salvation: in that it is said the top reached up to heaven, that is to shew that the divine nature was joined to the human, and by that means he was every way made a Saviour complete. Now concerning this ladder, `tis said, Heaven was open where it stood, to shew that by him there is entrance into life: `tis said also concerning this ladder, that the Lord stood there, at the top, above it: saying, "I am the Lord God of Abraham" (Ge 28:13), to shew his hearty and willing reception of those that ascend the height of his sanctuary this way. All which Christ further explains by saying, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the father, but by me" (Joh 14:6). Look to thyself then, that thou do truly and after the right manner embrace this ladder, so will he draw thee up thither after him (Joh 12:32). All the rounds of this ladder are sound and fitly placed, not one of them is set further than that by faith thou mayest ascend step by step unto, even until thou shalt come to the highest step thereof, from whence, or by which thou mayest step in at the celestial gate where thy soul desireth to dwell.

Take my caution then, and be wary, no man can come thither but by him. Thither I say to be accepted: thither, there to dwell, and there to abide with joy for ever.

"That ye - - - may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge."

Having thus spoke of the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, that is in God's mercy by Christ to us-ward; we will now come more directly to

THE PRAYER OF THE APOSTLE FOR THESE EPHESIANS, WITH REFERENCE THEREUNTO; to wit, that they might be able to comprehend with all saints what they are. And

FIRST, As to THE ABILITY that he prays for, to the end that they may be capable to do this thing.

First, That ye may be able. The weakness that is here supposed to hinder their thus comprehending, &c., did doubtless lie in their grace, as well as their nature: for in both, with reference to them that are Christians, there is great disability, unless they be strengthened mightily by the Holy Ghost. Nature's ability depends upon graces, and the ability of graces, depends upon the mighty help of the spirit of God. Hence as nature itself, where grace is not, sees nothing; so nature by grace sees but weakly, if that grace is not strengthened with all might by the spirit of grace. The breadths, lengths, depths and heights here made mention of, are mysteries, and in all their operations, do work wonderfully mysteriously: insomuch that many times, though they are all of them busily engaged for this and the other child of God, yet they themselves see nothing of them. As Christ said to Peter, "What I do thou knowest not now" (Joh 13:7); so may it be said to many where the grace and mercy of God in Christ is working: they do not know, they understand not what it is, nor what will be the end of such dispensations of God towards them. Wherefore they also say as Peter to Christ, "Dost thou wash my feet? - - thou shalt never wash my feet" (Joh 13:6-8); Yea, and when some light to convince of this folly breaks in upon them, yet if it be not very distinct and clear; causing the person to know the true cause, nature, and end of God's doing of this or that, they swerve with Peter, as much on the other side (Joh 13:9-10). They have not known my ways, and my methods with them in this world, were that that caused Israel always to err in their hearts (Heb 3:10), and lie cross to all, and each of these breadths, lengths, depths, and heights, whenever they were under the exercise of any of them in the wilderness.

And the reason is, as I said before, for that they are very mysterious in their workings. For they work by, upon, and against oppositions; for, and in order to the help and salvation of his people. Also (as was hinted a while since) that the power and glory of this breadth, and length, &c. of the mercy and grace of God, may the more shew its excellency and sufficiency as to our deliverance; we by him seem quite to be delivered up to the breadths, lengths, and depths, and heights that oppose, and that utterly seek our ruin: wherefore at such times, nothing of breadths, lengths, depths, or heights can be seen, save by those that are very well skilled in those mysterious methods of God, in his gracious actings towards his people. "Who will bring me into the strong city," and "wilt not thou, 0 God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, 0 God, which didst not go out with our armies?" (Ps 60:9-10) is a lesson too hard for every Christian man to say over believingly. And what was it that made Jonah say, when he was in the belly of hell, "Yet I will look again toward thy holy temple" (Jon 2:4), but the good skill that he had in understanding of the mystery of these breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights of God, and of the way of his working by them. Read the text at large. "Thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas, and the floods compassed me about. All thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple" (Jon 2:3-4).

These, and such like sentences, are easily played with by a preacher, when in the pulpit, specially if he has a little of the notion of things, but of the difficulty and strait, that those are brought into, out of whose mouth such things, or words are extorted, by reason of the force of the labyrinths they are fallen into: of those they experience nothing, wherefore to those they are utterly strangers.

He then that is able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; must be a good expositor of providences, and must see the way, and the workings of God by them. Now there are providences of two sorts, seemingly good, and seemingly bad, and those do usually as Jacob did, when he blessed the sons of Joseph, cross hands; and lay the blessing where we would not. "And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him" (Ge 48:17). I say there are providences unto which we would have the blessings entailed, but they are not. And they are providences that smile upon the flesh; to wit, such as cast into the lap, health, wealth, plenty, ease, friends, and abundance of this world's good: because these, [Manasseh, as his name doth signify,] have in them an aptness to make us forget our toil, our low estate, and from whence we were (Ge 41:51): but the great blessing is not in them. There are providences again, that take away from us whatever is desirable to the flesh; such is the sickness, losses, crosses, persecution and affliction; and usually in these though they make us shuck3 whenever they come upon us, blessing coucheth, and is ready to help us. For God, as the name of Ephraim signifies, makes us "fruitful in the land of our affliction" (Ge 41:52). He therefore, in blessing of his people, lays his hands across, guiding them wittingly, and laying the chiefest blessing on the head of Ephraim, or in that providence, that sanctifies affliction. Abel! what, to the reason of Eve was he, in comparison of Cain. Rachel called Benjamin the son of her sorrow: but Jacob knew how to give him a better name (Ge 35:18). Jabez also, though his mother so called him, because, as it seems, she brought him forth with more than ordinary sorrow, was yet more honourable, more godly, than his brethren (1Ch 4:9-10). He that has skill to judge of providences aright, has a great ability in him to comprehend with other saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: but he that has not skill as to discerning of them, is but a child in his judgment in those high and mysterious things. And hence it is, that some shall suck honey out of that, at the which others tremble for fear it should poison them, I have often been made to say, "Sorrow is better than laughter; and the house of mourning better than the house of mirth" (Ec 7:3-5). And I have more often seen, that the afflicted are always the best sort of Christians. There is a man, never well, never prospering, never but under afflictions, disappointments and sorrows: why this man, if he be a Christian, is one of the best of men. "They that go down to the sea, - that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep."4 (Ps 107:23-24) And it is from hence, for aught I know, that James admonishes the brother of high degree to rejoice in that he is made low. And he renders the reason of it, to wit, for that the fashion of the world perisheth, the rich man fadeth away in his way; but the tempted, and he that endureth temptation is blessed (Jas 1:10-12). Now, I know these things are not excellent in themselves, nor yet to be desired for any profit that they can yield, but God doth use by these, as by a tutor or instructor, to make known to them that are exercised with them, so much of himself as to make them understand that riches of his goodness that is seldom by other means broken up to the sons of men. And hence `tis said, that the afterwards of affliction doth yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Heb 12:11).

3 Shuck, a corruption of shrug, to express horror by motions of the body.

4 This is a very striking application of these words of David, which so fearfully describe the agitation of those who are exposed to a hurricane at sea. We too generally limit this passage to its literal sense. To Bunyan, who had passed through such a deep experience of the "terrors of the Lord," when he came out of tribulation and anguish, he must have richly enjoyed the solemn imagery of these words, depicting the inmost feelings of his soul when in the horrible deeps of doubt and despair. But young Christians must not be distressed because they have never experienced such tempests: thousands of vessels of mercy get to heaven, without meeting with hurricanes in their way.—Ed.

The sum is, these breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights of God, are to be discerned; and some that are good, do more, and some do less discern them, and how they are working, and putting forth themselves in every providence, in every change, in every turn of the wheel that passeth by us in this world. I do not question but that there are some that are alive that have been able to say, the days of affliction have been the best unto them; and that could, if it were lawful, pray that they might always be in affliction, if God would but do to them as he did when his hand was last upon them. For by them he caused his light to shine: Or as Job has it, "Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvelously upon me" (Job 10:16). See also the writing of Hezekiah, and read what profit he found in afflictions (Isa 38).

But again, these breadths, lengths, depths, and heights, have in themselves naturally that glory, that cannot be so well discerned, or kept in view by weak eyes. He had need have an eye like an eagle, that can look upon the sun, that can look upon these great things, and not be stricken blind therewith. You see how Saul was served when he was going to Damascus (Acts 9): But Stephen could stand and look up steadfastly into heaven; and that too when with Jonah he was going into the deep (Ac 7). But I have done with this, and proceed.

Second—That ye may be able to comprehend. Although apprehending is included in comprehending; yet to comprehend is more. To comprehend is to know a thing fully; or, to reach it all. But here we must distinguish, and say, that there is a comprehending that is absolute, and a comprehending that is comparative. Of comprehending absolutely, or perfectly, we are not here to speak; for that the Apostle could not, in this place, as to the thing prayed for, desire: For it is utterly impossible perfectly to know whatsoever is in the breadths, lengths, depths, and heights here spoken of. Whether you call them mercies, judgments, or the ways of God with men. "How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Ro 11:33) Or, if you take them to signify his love, unto which you see I am inclined; why, that you read of in the same place, to be it "which passes knowledge." Wherefore should the Apostle by this term, conclude, or insinuate, that what he calls here breadths, lengths, depths, or heights, might be fully, or perfectly understood and known, he would not only contradict other scriptures, but himself, in one and the self same breath. Wherefore it must be understood comparatively; that is, and that he says, with, or as much as others, as any, even with all saints. That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height. I would ye were as able to understand, to know, and to find out these things, as ever any were; and to know with the very best of saints, The love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. There are, as has before been hinted, degrees of knowledge of these things; some know more, some less; but the Apostle prays that these Ephesians might see, know, and understand as much thereof as the best, or as any under heaven.

1.    And this, in the first place, shews us the love of a minister of Jesus Christ. A minister's love to his flock is seen in his praying for them: wherefore Paul, commonly, by his epistles, either first or last, or both, gives the churches to understand, That he did often heartily pray to God for them (Ro 16:20,24; 1Co 16:23; Ga 6:18; Eph 1:16; Php 1:4; Col 1:3; 1Th 1:2; 1Ti 6:21; 2Ti 4:22): And not only so, but also specifies the mercies, and blessings, and benefits which he earnestly begged for them of God (2Co 13:7; 2Th 1:11).

2.    But, secondly, This implies that there are great benefits accrued to Christians by the comprehending of these things: Yea, it implies that something very special is ministered to us by this knowledge of these; and here to touch upon a few of them.

(1.) He that shall arrive to some competent knowledge of these things, shall understand more thoroughly the greatness, the wisdom, the power, &c. of the God that is above. For by these expressions are the attributes of God set forth unto us: And although I have discoursed of them hitherto under the notion of grace and mercy, yet it was not for that I concluded, they excluded the expressing of his other attributes, but because they all, as it were, turn into loving methods in the wheel of their heavenly motion towards the children of God. Hence it is said, "God is love" (1Jo 4:16), "God is light" (1Jo 1:5), God is what He is for His own glory, and the good of them that fear Him. God! Why God in the breadth, length, depth, height, that is here intended, comprehends the whole world (Col 1:17). The whole world is in him: for he is before, above, beyond, and round about all things. Hence it is said, The heavens for breadth, are but his span: That he gathereth the wind in his fists (Pr 30:4): measureth the waters in the hollow of his hand, weigheth the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance (Isa 40:12). Yea, that "all nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity" (verse 17). Hence we are said to live and move in him (Ac 17:28), and that He is beyond all search.

I will add one word more, notwithstanding there is such a revelation of Him in his word, in the book of creatures, and in the book of providences; yet the scripture says, "Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?" (Job 26:14) So great is God above all that we have read, heard, or seen of Him, either in the bible, in heaven, or earth, the sea, or what else is to be understood. But now, That a poor mortal, a lump of sinful flesh, or, as the scripture-phrase is, poor dust and ashes, should be in the favour, in the heart, and wrapped up in the compassions of SUCH a God! 0 amazing! 0 astonishing consideration! And yet "This God is our God for ever and ever; and He will be our guide even unto death" (Ps 48:14).

It is said of our God, "That he humbleth himself when he beholds things in heaven." How much more then when he openeth his eyes upon man; but most of all when he makes it, as one may say, his business to visit him every morning, and to try him every moment, having set His heart upon him, being determined to set him also among his princes. "The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people" (Ps 113:3-8).

(2.) IF this God be our God; or if our God be such a God, and could we but attain to that knowledge of the breadth, and length, and depth, and height that is in him, as the Apostle here prays, and desires we may, we should never be afraid of anything we shall meet with, or that shall assault us in this world. The great God, the former of all things, taketh part with them that fear Him, and that engage themselves to walk in His ways, of love, and respect, they bear unto him; so that such may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Heb 13:6). Would it not be amazing, should you see a man encompassed with chariots and horses, and weapons for his defence, yet afraid of being sparrow blasted, or over-run by a grasshopper! Why "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and" to whom "the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers" (Isa 40:22): that is the God of the people that are lovers of Jesus Christ; therefore we should not fear them. To fear man, is to forget God; and to be careless in a time of danger, is to forget God's ordinance. What is it then? Why, let us fear God, and diligently keep his way, with what prudence and regard to our preservation, and also the preservation of what we have, we may: And if, we doing this, our God shall deliver us, and what we have, into the hands of them that hate us, let us laugh, be fearless and careless, not minding now to do anything else but to stand up for Him against the workers of iniquity; fully concluding, that both we, and our enemies, are in the hand of him that loveth his people, and that will certainly render a reward to the wicked, after that he has sufficiently tried us by their means. "The great God that formed all things, both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors" (Pr 26:10).5

5 How thankful should we be, for the great spread of gospel light in this country, since Bunyan's days. He for refusing to attend, what he considered, an unscriptural church; suffered above twelve years" incarceration in a miserable den; while all his friends were either imprisoned or plundered. It was a dreadful attempt to root out Christianity from this country; but was overruled to make it take deeper root. How long will Antichrist still hold up his head in this country? He has had some hard knocks of late.—Ed.

(3.) Another thing that the knowledge of what is prayed for of the Apostle, if we attain it, will minister to us, is, An holy fear and reverence of this great God in our souls; both because he is great, and because he is wise and good (Jer 10:7). "Who shall not fear thee, 0 Lord, and glorify thy name?" (Re 15:4)

Greatness should beget fear, greatness should beget reverence: Now who so great as our God; and so, who to be feared like him! He also is wise, and will not be deceived by any. "He will bring evil, and not call back his words, but will rise against the house of evil-doers, and against the help of them that work iniquity" (Isa 31:2). Most men deal with God as if he were not wise; as if he either knew not the wickedness of their hearts and ways, or else knew not how to be even with them for it: When, alas! he is wise in heart, and mighty in power; and although he will not, without cause, afflict, yet he will not let wickedness go unpunished. This therefore should make us fear. He also is good, and this should make us serve him with fear. Oh! that a great God should be a good God; a good God to an unworthy, to an undeserving, and to a people that continually do what they can to provoke the eyes of his glory; this should make us tremble. He is fearful in service, fearful in praises.

The breadth, and length, and depth, and height of his out-going towards the children of men, should also beget in us a very great fear and dread of his majesty. When the prophet saw the height of the wheels, he said they were dreadful (Eze 1:18), and cried out unto them, 0 wheel! (10:13). His judgments also are a great deep (Ps 36:6); nor is there any "searching of his understanding" (Isa 40:28). He can tell how to bring his wheel upon us; and to make our table a snare, a trap, and a stumbling-block unto us (Isa 8:14; Ro 11:8-10). He can tell how to make his Son to us a rock of offence, and his gospel to be a savour of death unto death, unto us (2Co 2:15-16). He can tell how to choose delusions for us (Isa 66:4; 2Th 2:11-12), and to lead us forth with the workers of iniquity (Ps 125:5), He can out-wit, and out-do us, and prevail against us for ever (Job 14:20); and therefore we should be afraid and fear before Him, for our good, and the good of ours for ever: Yea, it is for these purposes, with others, that the Apostle prayeth thus for this people: For the comprehending of these things, do poise and keep the heart in an even course. This yields comfort; this gives encouragement; this begets fear and reverence in our hearts of God.

(4.) This knowledge will make us willing that he should be our God; yea, will also make us abide by that willingness. Jacob said with a vow, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee" (Ge 28:20-22). Thus he considered the greatness of God, and from a supposition that he was what he had heard him, of his father, to be; he concluded to choose him for his God, and that he would worship him, and give him that honour that was due to him as God. How did the king of Babylon set him above all gods, when but some sparkling rays from him did light upon him: he calls him "a God of gods" (Da 2:47), prefers him above all gods, charges all people and nations that they do nothing amiss against him (Da 3:28-29): he calls him "the most high" God, the God "that liveth for ever"; and confesses, that he doth whatsoever he will in heaven and earth; and concludes with praising and extolling of him (Da 4). We naturally love greatness; and when the glorious beauty of the King of glory shall be manifest to us, and we shall behold it, we shall say as Joshua did; Let all men do as seems them good; but I, and my house will serve the Lord (Jos 24:15).

When the Apostle Paul sought to win the Athenians to him, he sets Him forth before them with such terms as bespeaks his greatness; calling of him (and that rightly) "God that made the world, and all things: - - the Lord of heaven and earth; - - One that giveth to all life and breath, and all things"; One that is nigh to every one; "he in whom we live, and move, and have our being": God that hath made of one blood all nations of men, and that hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation, &c. (Ac 17:24-28) These things bespeak the greatness of God, and are taking to considering men. Yea, these very Athenians, while ignorant of him, from those dark hints that they had by natural light concerning him, erected an altar to him, and put this singular inscription upon it, "To the unknown God": to shew, that according to their mode, they had some kind of reverence for him: but how much more when they came to know him? and to believe that God, in all his greatness, had engaged himself to be theirs; and to bring them to himself, that they might in time be partakers of his glory.

(5.) The more a man knows, or understands of the greatness of God towards him, expressed here by the terms of unsearchable breadth, length, depth, and height; the better will he be able in his heart to conceive of the excellent glory and greatness of the things that are laid up in the heavens for them that fear him. They that know nothing of this greatness, know nothing of them; they that think amiss of this greatness, think amiss of them; they that know but little of this greatness, know but little of them: But he that is able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; he is best able to conceive of, and, consequently to make a judgment concerning the due worth, and blessed glory of them.

This is both evident to reason; also experience confirmeth the same. For, as for those dark souls that know nothing of his greatness, they have in derision those who are, through the splendor of the glory, captivated and carried away after God. Also, those whose judgments are corrupted, and themselves thereby made as drunkards, to judge of things foolishly, they, as it were, step in the same steps with the other, and vainly imagine thereabout. Moreover, we shall see those little spirited Christians, though Christians indeed, that are but in a small measure acquainted with this God, with the breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights that are in him, taken but little with the glory and blessedness that they are to go to when they die: wherefore they are neither so mortified to this world, so dead to sin, so self-denying, so delighted in the book of God, nor so earnest in desires to be acquainted with the heights, and depths that are therein. No, this is reserved only for those who are devoted thereto: who have been acquainted with God in a measure beyond that which your narrow-spirited Christians understand. There doth want as to these things, enlargings in the hearts of the most of saints, as there did in those of Corinth, and also in those at Ephesus: Wherefore, as Paul bids the one, and prays that the other may be enlarged, and have great knowledge thereabout: so we should, to answer such love, through desire, separate ourselves from terrene things that we may seek and intermeddle with all wisdom (Pr 18:1). Christ says, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine" (Joh 7:17; Isa 28:9). Oh! that we were indeed enlarged as to these breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights of God, as the Apostle desired the Ephesians might.

(6.) Then those great truths; the coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment, would neither seem so like fables, nor be so much off our hearts as they do, and are (1Co 15:35). For the thorough belief of them depends upon the knowledge of the abilities that are in God to perform what he has said thereabout: And hence it is that your inferiour sort of Christians live so like, as if none of these things were at hand; and hence it is again, that they so soon are shaken in mind about them, when tempted of the devil, or briskly assaulted by deceivers. But this cometh to pass that there may be fulfilled what is written: "And while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept" (Mt 25:1-7). Surely, the meaning is, they were asleep about his coming, the resurrection and the judgment; and, consequently had lost much of that knowledge of God, the which if they had retained; these truths, with power, would have been upon their hearts. The Corinthians were horribly decayed here, though some more than others: Hence Paul, when he treats of this doctrine, bids them "awake to righteousness," and not sin, telling them, that some among them had not the knowledge of God (1Co 15:34). To be sure, they had not such a knowledge of God as would keep them steady in the faith of these things (verse 51).

Now, the knowledge of the things above-mentioned, to wit, "this comprehending knowledge"; will greaten these things, bring them near, and make them to be credited as are the greatest of God's truth: and the virtue of the faith of them is, to make one die daily. Therefore,

(7.) Another advantage that floweth from this knowledge, is, that it makes the next world desirable, not simply as it is with those lean souls, that desire it only as the thief desireth the judge's favour, that he may be saved from the halter; but out of love such have to God and to the beauties of the house he dwells in; and that they may be rid of this world, which is to such as a dark dungeon. The knowledge of God that men pretend they have, may easily be judged of, by the answerable or unanswerableness of their hearts and lives thereto. Where is the man that groans earnestly to be gone to God, that counts this life a strait unto him: that saith as a sick man of my acquaintance did, when his friend at his bed-side prayed to God to spare his life, No, no, said he, pray not so; for it is better to be dissolved and be gone. Christians should shew the world how they believe; not by words on paper, not by gay and flourishing notions (Jas 2:18): but by those desires they have to be gone, and the proof that these desires are true, is a life in heaven while we are on earth (Php 3:20-21). I know words are cheap, but a dram of grace is worth all the world. But where, as I said, shall it be found, not among carnal men, not among weak Christians, but among those, and those only, that enjoy a great measure of Paul's wish here. But to come to the

SECOND PART OF THE TEXT.

AND TO KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST WHICH PASSETH KNOWLEDGE. These words are the second part of the text, and they deal mainly about the love of Christ, who is the Son of God. We have spoken already briefly of God, and therefore now we shall speak also of his Son. These words are a part of the prayer afore-mentioned, and have something of the same strain in them. In the first part, he prays that they might comprehend that which cannot absolutely by any means be comprehended: and here he prays that that might be known, which yet in the same breath he saith, passeth knowledge, to wit, the love of Christ. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. In the words we are to take notice of three things:

FIRST, Of the love of Christ.

SECOND, Of the exceeding greatness of it. THIRD, Of the knowledge of it.

FIRST, We will begin with the first of these, to wit, Of the love of Christ. Now for the explication of this we must inquire into three things, First, Who Christ is. Second, What love is. Third, What the love of Christ is.

First, Christ is a person of no less quality than he is of whom we treated before: to wit, very God. So I say, not titularly, not nominally, not so counterfeitly, but the self-same in nature with the Father (Joh 1:1-2; 1Jo 5:7; Php 2:6). Wherefore what we have under consideration, is so much the more to be taken notice of; namely, that a person so great, so high, so glorious, as this Jesus Christ was, should have love for us, that passes knowledge. It is common for equals to love, and for superiors to be beloved; but for the King of princes, for the Son of God, for Jesus Christ to love man thus: this is amazing, and that so much the more, for that man the object of this love, is so low, so mean, so vile, so undeserving, and so inconsiderable, as by the scriptures, everywhere he is described to be.

But to speak a little more particularly of this person. He is called God (Joh 1:1). The King of glory (Ps 24:10), and Lord of glory (1Co 2:8). The brightness of the glory of his Father (Heb 1:3). The head over all things (Eph 1:22). The Prince of life (Ac 3:15). The Creator of all things (Col 1:16). The upholder of all things (Heb 1:3). The disposer of all things (Mt 28:18). The only beloved of the Father (Mt 11).

But the persons of him beloved, are called transgressors, sinners, enemies, dust and ashes, fleas (1Sa 24:14), worms, shadows, vapours: vile, sinful, filthy, unclean, ungodly fools, madmen. And now is it not to be wondered at, and are we not to be affected herewith, saying, And wilt thou set thine eye upon such an one? But how much more when He will set his heart upon us. And yet this great, this high, this glorious person, verily, verily loveth such.

Second, We now come to the second thing, namely, to shew what is love; not in a way of nice distinction of words, but in a plain and familiar discourse, yet respecting the love of the person under consideration.

Love ought to be considered with reference to the subject as well as to the object of it.

The subject of love in the text, is Christ; but forasmuch as love in him is diverse from the love that is in us; therefore it will not be amiss, if a little [of] the difference be made appear.

Love in us is a passion of the soul, and being such, is subject to ebb and flow, and to be extreme both ways. For whatever is a passion of the soul, whether love or hatred, joy or fear, is more apt to exceed, or come short, than to keep within its due bounds. Hence, oft-times that which is loved today is hated tomorrow (2Sa 13:15); yea, and that which should be loved with bounds of moderation, is loved to the drowning of both soul and body in perdition and destruction (1Ti 6:9-10).

Besides, love in us is apt to choose to itself undue and unlawful objects, and to reject those, that with leave of God, we may embrace and enjoy; so unruly, as to the laws and rules of divine government, oft-times is this passion of love in us.

Love in us, requires, that something pleasing and delightful be in the object loved, at least, so it must appear to the lust and fancy of the person loving, or else love cannot act; for the love that is in us, is not of power to set itself on work, where no allurement is in the thing to be beloved.

Love in us decays, though once never so warm and strongly fixed, if the object falls off, as to its first alluring provocation; or disappointeth our expectation with some unexpected reluctancy to our fancy or our mind.

All this we know to be true from nature, for every one of us are thus; nor can we refuse, or choose as to love, but upon, and after the rate, and the working thus of our passions. Wherefore our love, as we are natural, is weak, unorderly, fails and miscarries, either by being too much or too little; yea, though the thing which is beloved be allowed for an object of love, both by the law of nature and grace. We therefore must put a vast difference betwixt love, as found in us, and love as found in Christ, and that, both as to the nature, principle, or object of love.

Love in Christ is not love of the same nature, as is love in us; love in him is essential to his being (1Jo 4:16); but in us it is not so, as has been already shewed. God is love; Christ is God; therefore Christ is love, love naturally. Love therefore is essential to His being. He may as well cease to be, as cease to love. Hence therefore it follows, that love in Christ floweth not from so low and beggarly a principle, as doth love in man; and consequently is not, nor can be attended with those infirmities or defects, that the love of man is attended with.

It is not attended with those unruly or uncertain motions that ours is attended with: here is no ebbing, no flowing, no going beyond, no coming short; and so nothing of uncertainty. "Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end" (Joh 13:1).

True, there is a way of manifesting of this love, which is suited to our capacities, as men, and by that we see it sometimes more, sometimes less (Song 7:11-12): also it is manifested to us as we do, or do not walk with God in this world (Joh 14:23). I speak now of saints.

Love in Christ pitcheth not itself upon undue or unlawful objects; nor refuseth to embrace what by the eternal covenant is made capable thereof. It always acteth according to God; nor is there at any time the least shadow of swerving as to this.

Love in Christ requireth no taking beauteousness in the object to be beloved, as not being able to put forth itself without such attracting allurements (Eze 16:6-8). It can act of and from itself, without all such kind of dependencies. This is manifest to all who have the least true knowledge of what that object is in itself, on which the Lord Jesus has set his heart to love them.

Love in Christ decays not, nor can be tempted so to do by anything that happens, or that shall happen hereafter, in the object so beloved. But as this love at first acts by, and from itself, so it continueth to do until all things that are imperfections, are completely and everlastingly subdued. The reason is, because Christ loves to make us comely, not because we are so (Eze 16:9-14).

Object. But all along Christ compareth his love to ours; now, why doth he so, if they be so much alike?

Answer. Because we know not love but by the passions of love that work in our hearts; wherefore he condescends to our capacities, and speaketh of His love to us, according as we find love to work in ourselves to others. Hence he sets forth his love to us, by borrowing from us instances of our love to wife and children (Eph 5:25). Yea, he sometimes sets forth his love to us, by calling to our mind how sometimes a man loves a woman that is a whore, "Go," (saith God to the prophet) "love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the word of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine." (Ho 3:1) But then, these things must not be understood with respect to the nature, but the dispensations and manifestations of love; no, nor with reference to these neither, any further than by making use of such suitable similitudes, thereby to commend his love to us, and thereby to beget in us affections to him for the love bestowed upon us. Wherefore Christ's love must be considered both with respect to the essence, and also as to the divers workings of it. For the essence thereof, it is as I said, natural with himself, and as such, it is the root and ground of all those actions of his, whereby he hath shewed that himself is loving to sinful man. But now, though the love that is in him is essential to his nature, and can vary no more than God himself: yet we see not this love but by the fruits of it, nor can it otherwise be discerned. "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us" (1Jo 3:16). We must then betake ourselves to the discoveries of this love, of which there are two sorts; [namely,] such as are the foundations, and such as are the consequences of those fundamental acts. Those which I call the foundations, are they upon which all other discoveries of his goodness depend, and they are two. 1. His dying for us. 2. His improving of his death for us at the right hand of God.

Third, And this leads me to the third particular, to wit, to shew you what the love of Christ is; namely, in the discovery of it. And to know the love of Christ.

The love of Christ is made known unto us, as I said, First, By his dying for us. Second, By his improving of his dying for us.

1. His dying for us appears, (1.) To be wonderful in itself. (2.) In his preparations for that work.

(1.) It appears to be wonderful in itself, and that both with respect to the nature of that death, as also, with respect to the persons for whom he so died.

The love of Christ appears to be wonderful by the death he died: In that he died, in that he died such a death. `Twas strange love in Christ that moved him to die for us: strange, because not according to the custom of the world. Men do not use, in cool blood, deliberately to come upon the stage or ladder, to lay down their lives for others; but this did Jesus Christ, and that too for such, whose qualification, if it be duly considered, will make this act of his, far more amazing, He laid down his life for his enemies (Ro 5), and for those that could not abide him; yea, for those, even for those that brought him to the cross: not accidentally, or because it happened so, but knowingly, designedly, (Zec 12:10), he knew it was for those he died, and yet his love led him to lay down his life for them. I will add, That those very people for whom he laid down his life, though they by all sorts of carriages did what they could to provoke him to pray to God his Father, that he would send and cut them off by the flaming sword of angels (Mt 26:53), would not be provoked, but would lay down his life for them. Nor must I leave off here: We never read that Jesus Christ was more cheerful in all his life on earth, than when he was going to lay down his life for them, now he thanked God (Lu 22:19), now he sang (Mt 26:30).

But this is not all. He did not only die, but died such a death, as indeed cannot be expressed. He was content to be counted the sinner: yea, to be counted the sin of the sinner, nor could this but be odious to so holy a Lamb as he was, yet willing to be this and thus for that love that he bare to men.

This being thus, it follows, that his sufferings must be inconceivable; for that, what in justice was the proper wages of sin and sinners, he must undergo; and what that was can no man so well know as he himself and damned spirits; for the proper wages of sin, and of sinners for their sin, is that death which layeth pains, such pains which it deserveth upon the man that dieth so: But Christ died so, and consequently was seized by those pains not only in body but in soul. His tears, his cries, his bloody sweat (Lu 22:44), the hiding of his Father's face; yea, God's forsaking of him in his extremity (Mt 27:46), plainly enough declares the nature of the death he died (Mr 15:39). For my part, I stand amazed at those that would not have the world believe, that the death of Jesus Christ was, in itself, so terrible as it was.

I will not stand here to discourse of the place called Hell, where the spirits of the damned are, we are discoursing of the nature of Christ's sufferings: and I say, if Christ was put into the very capacity of one that must suffer what in justice ought to be inflicted for sin; then, how we can so diminish the greatness of his sufferings, as some do, without undervaluing of the greatness of his love, I know not; and how they will answer it, I know not. And on the contrary, what if I should say, that the soul of Christ suffered as long as his body lay in the grave, and that God's loosing of the pains of death at Christ's resurrection, must not so much be made mention of with reference to his body, as to his soul, if to his body at all. For what pain of death was his body capable of, when his soul was separate from it? (Ac 2:24) And yet God's loosing the pains of death, seems to be but an immediate antecedent to his rising from the dead. And this sense Peter doth indeed seem to pursue, saying, "For David speaketh concerning him; I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope, because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption" (Ac 2:25-27). This, saith Peter, was not spoken of David, but he being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne (verse 29,30): He seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption (verse 31). "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell"; his soul was not left in hell. Of what use are these expressions, if the soul of Christ suffered not, if it suffered not when separated from the body? for of that time the Apostle Peter seems to treat. Besides, if it be not improper to say, that soul was not left there, that never was there, I am at a loss. Thou wilt not leave, his soul was not left there; ergo, It was there, seems to be the natural conclusion. If it be objected, that by hell is meant the grave, `tis foolish to think that the soul of Christ lay there while his body lay dead therein. But again, the Apostle seems clearly to distinguish between the places where the soul and body of Christ was; counting his body to be in the grave, and his soul, for the time, in hell. If there be objected what was said by him to the thief upon the cross (Lu 23:43), I can answer, Christ might speak that with reference to his God-head, and if so, that lies as no objection to what hath been insinuated. And why may not that be so understood, as well as where he said, when on earth, "The Son of man which is in heaven" (Joh 3:13), meaning himself. For the personality of the Son of God, call him Son of man, or what other term is fitting, resideth not in the human, but divine nature of Jesus Christ. However, since hell is sometimes taken for the place (Ac 1:25), sometimes for the grave, sometimes for the state (Ps 116:3), and sometimes but for a figure of the place where the damned are tormented (Jon 2:2); I will not strictly assign to Christ the place, the prison where the damned spirits are (1Pe 3:19), but will say, as I said before, that he was put into the place of sinners, into the sins of sinners, and received what by justice was the proper wages of sin both in body and soul: As is evident from that 53rd of Isaiah (verse 10,11). This soul of his I take to be that which the inwards and the fat of the burnt sacrifices was a figure, or shadow of. "And the fat and the inwards were burnt upon the altar, whilst the body was burned for sin without the camp" (Ex 29:13-14; Le 8:14-17).

And now having said this much, wherein have I derogated from the glory and holiness of Christ? Yea, I have endeavoured to set forth something of the greatness of his sorrows, the odiousness of sin, the nature of justice, and the love of Christ. And be sure, by how much the sufferings of the Son of God abounded for us, by so much was this unsearchable love of Christ made manifest. Nor can they that would, before the people, pare away, and make but little these infinite sufferings of our Lord, make his love to be so great as they ought, let them use what rhetoric they can. For their objecting the odious names and place of hell, accounting it not to be fit to say, That so holy a person as the Son of God was there. I answer, though I have not asserted it, yet let me ask, which is more odious, hell or sin? Or whether such think that Christ Jesus was subject to be tainted by the badness of the place, had he been there? Or whether, when the scripture says, God is in hell, it is any disparagement to him? (Ps 139:8) Or if a man should be so bold as to say so, Whether by so saying, he confineth Christ to that place for ever? And whether by so thinking he has contradicted that called the Apostles' creed?6

6 The descent of Christ into hell has been the subject of much controversy, and the question is as far from solution now as it was in the dark ages, when it was first propounded, and then arbitrarily decreed to be an article of faith. Those who explain hell as hades, the place of departed souls, or of the dead generally, fortify themselves with Ps 139:8, and also Ps 16:10; and yet the first passage may only imply the omnipresence of God, and the second, the resurrection of the incorruptible body of Christ from the grave. The descent of Christ into the place of torment is a figment, a monkish fable, in which Bible incidents and heathen myths are woven together to delude a credulous and ignorant laity. The formulary designated the Apostles' creed, has, beyond question, a high claim to antiquity, but none whatever to be the work of the Apostles themselves. The "descent into hell" was an after interpolation, and its rejection has been suggested.—Ed.

(2.) Having thus spoken of the death and sufferings of Christ, I shall in the next place speak of his preparations for his so suffering for us; and by so doing, yet shew you something more of the greatness of his love.

Christ, as I have told you, was even before his sufferings, a person of no mean generation, being the Son of the eternal God: Neither had his Father any more such sons but he; consequently he of right was heir of all things, and so to have dominion over all worlds. For, "for him were all things created" (Col 1:16). And hence all creatures are subject to him; yea the angels of God worship him (Heb 1). Wherefore as so considered, he augmented not his state by becoming lower than the angels for us, for what can be added to him, that is naturally God. Indeed he did take, for our sakes, the human nature into union with himself, and so began to manifest his glory; and the kindness that he had for us before all worlds, began now eminently to shew itself. Had this Christ of God, our friend, given all he had to save us, had not his love been wonderful? But when he shall give for us himself, this is more wonderful. But this is not all, the case was so betwixt God and man, that this Son of God could not, as he was before the world was, give himself a ransom for us, he being altogether incapable so to do, being such an one as could not be subject to death, the condition that we by sin had put ourselves into.

Wherefore that which would have been a death to some, to wit, the laying aside of glory and becoming, of the King of princes, a servant of the meanest form; this he of his own goodwill, was heartily content to do. Wherefore, he that once was the object of the fear of angels, is now become a little creature, a worm, an inferior one (Ps 22:6), born of a woman, brought forth in a stable, laid in a manger (Lu 2:7), scorned of men, tempted of devils (Lu 4:2), was beholden to his creatures for food, for raiment, for harbour, and a place wherein to lay his head when dead. In a word, he "made himself of no reputation, took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Php 2:7), that he might become capable to do this kindness for us. And it is worth your noting, that all the while that he was in the world, putting himself upon those other preparations which were to be antecedent to his being made a sacrifice for us, no man, though he told what he came about to many, had, as we read of, an heart once to thank him for what he came about (Isa 53:3). No, they railed on him, they degraded him, they called him devil, they said he was mad, and a deceiver, a blasphemer of God, and a rebel against the state: They accused him to the governor; yea, one of his disciples sold him, another denied him, and they all forsook him, and left him to shift for himself in the hands of his horrible enemies; who beat him with their fists, spat on him, mocked him, crowned him with thorns, scourged him, made a gazing stock of him, and finally, hanged him up by the hands and the feet alive, and gave him vinegar to increase his affliction, when he complained that his anguish had made him thirsty. And yet all this could not take his heart off the work of our redemption. To die he came, die he would, and die he did before he made his return to the Father, for our sins, that we might live through him.7 Nor may

7 This is one of those strikingly solemn passages, which abound in Bunyan's works. It almost irresistibly brings to our imagination his expressive countenance, piercing eyes and harmonious voice; pressed on by his rapid conceptions and overpowering natural eloquence. How must it have riveted the attention of a great congregation. It is a rush of words, rolling on like the waves of the sea; increasing in grandeur and in force as they multiply in number.—Ed.  

what we read of in the word concerning those temporal sufferings that he underwent be overlooked, and passed by without serious consideration; they being a part of the curse that our sin had deserved! For all temporal plagues are due to our sin while we live, as well as the curse of God to everlasting perdition, when we die. Wherefore this is the reason why the whole life of the Lord Jesus was such a life of affliction and sorrow, he therein bare our sicknesses, and took upon him our deserts: So that now the curse in temporals, as well as the curse in spirituals, and of everlasting malediction, is removed by him away from God's people; and since he overcame them, and got to the cross, it was by reason of the worthiness of the humble obedience that he yielded to his Father's law in our flesh. For his whole life (as well as his death) was a life of merit and purchase, and desert. Hence it is said, "he increased in favour with God" (Lu 2:52). For his works made him still more acceptable to him: For he standing in the room of man, and becoming our reconciler to God; by the heavenly majesty he was counted as such, and so got for us what he earned by his mediatory works; and also partook thereof as he was our head himself. And was there not in all these things love, and love that was infinite? Love which was not essential to his divine nature, could never have carried him through so great a work as this: Passions here would a failed, would a retreated, and have given the recoil; yea, his very humanity would here have flagged and fainted, had it not been managed, governed, and strengthened by his eternal Spirit. Wherefore it is said, that "through the eternal Spirit he offered himself without spot to God" (Heb 9:14). And that he was declared to be the Son of God, with so doing, and by the resurrection from the dead (Ro 1:4).

2. We come now to the second thing propounded, and by which his love is discovered, and that is his improving of his dying for us. But I must crave pardon of my reader, if he thinks that I can discover the ten hundred thousandth part thereof, for it is impossible; but my meaning is, to give a few hints what beginnings of improvement he made thereof, in order to his further progress therein.

(1.) Therefore, This his death for us, was so virtuous, that in the space of three days and three nights, it reconciled to God in the body of his flesh as a common person, all, and every one of God's elect. Christ, when he addressed himself to die, presented himself to the justice of the law, as a common person; standing in the sted, place, and room of all that he undertook for; He gave "his life a ransom for many" (Mt 20:28). "He came into the world to save sinners" (1Ti 1:15). And as he thus presented himself, so God, his Father, admitted him to this work; and therefore it is said, "The Lord laid upon him the iniquity of us all": And again, "surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isa 53:4,6,12). Hence it unavoidably follows, that whatever he felt, and underwent in the manner, or nature, or horribleness of the death he died, he felt and underwent all as a common person; that is, as he stood in the sted of others: Therefore it is said, "He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities"; and that "the chastisement of our peace was upon him" (Isa 53:5). And again "the just died for the unjust" (1Pe 3:18).

Now then, if he presented himself as a common person to justice, if God so admitted and accounted him, if also he laid the sins of the people, whose persons he represented, upon him, and under that consideration punishes him with those punishments and death, that he died. Then Christ in life and death is concluded by the Father to live and die as a common or public person, representing all in this life and death, for whom he undertook thus to live, and thus to die. So then, it must needs be, that what next befalls this common person, it befalls him with respect to them in whose room and place he stood and suffered. Now, the next that follows, is, "that he is justified of God": That is, acquitted and discharged from this punishment, for the sake of the worthiness of his death and merits; for that must be before he could be raised from the dead (Ac 2:24): God raised him not up as guilty, to justify him afterwards: His resurrection was the declaration of his precedent justification. He was raised from the dead, because it was neither in equity or justice possible that he should be holden longer there, his merits procured the contrary.

Now he was condemned of God's law, and died by the hand of justice, he was acquitted by God's law, and justified of justice; and all as a common person; so then, in his acquitting, we are acquitted, in his justification we are justified; and therefore the Apostle applieth God's justifying of Christ to himself; and that rightly (Isa 50:8; Ro 8:33-34). For if Christ be my undertaker, will stand in my place, and do for me, `tis but reasonable that I should be a partaker: Wherefore we are also said to be "quickened together with him" (Eph 2:5): That is, when he was quickened in the grave; raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Therefore another scripture saith, "Hath He quickened you - - together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col 2:13). This quickening, must not be understood of the renovation of our hearts, but of the restoring of Jesus Christ to life after he was crucified; and we are said to be quickened together with him, because we were quickened in him at his death, and were to fall or stand by him quite through the three days and three nights work; and were to take therefore our lot with him: Wherefore it is said again, That his resurrection is our justification (Ro 4:25). That by one offering he has purged our sins for ever (Heb 10:12); and that by his death he hath "delivered us from the wrath to come" (1Th 1:10). But I say, I would be understood aright: This life resideth yet in the Son, and is communicated from him to us, as we are called to believe his word; mean while we are secured from wrath and hell, being justified in his justification, quickened in his quickening, raised up in his resurrection; and made to sit already together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus!8 And is not this a glorious improvement of his death, that after two days the whole body of the elect, in him, should be revived, and that in the third day we should live in the sight of God, in and by him (Heb 6:200).

8 The reader must not misunderstand the word common as here applied to the Saviour. It has the same meaning that is applied to a piece of land, to which many persons have an equal or common right; but which none but those, who have a right or title, can use. It strikingly illustrates the union of Christ and his church.—Ed.

(2.)    Another improvement of his death for us, was this, By that he slew for us, our infernal foes; by it he abolished death (2Ti 1:1); by death he destroyed him that had the power of death (Heb 2:14): By death he took away the sting of death (1Co 15:55-56); by death he made death a pleasant sleep to saints, and the grave for a while, an easy house and home for the body. By death he made death such an advantage to us, that it is become a means of translating of the souls of them that believe in him, to life. And all this is manifest, for that death is ours, a blessing to us, as well as Paul and Apollos, the world and life itself (1Co 3:22). And that all this is done for us by his death, is apparent, for that his person is where it is, and that by himself as a common person he has got the victory for us. For though as yet all things are not put under our feet, yet we see Jesus crowned with honour and glory, who by the grace of God tasteth death for every man. "For it became God, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (Heb 2:7-10). It became him; that is, it was but just and right, he should do so, if there was enough in the virtuousness of his death and blood to require such a thing. But there was so. Wherefore God has exalted him, and us in him, above these infernal foes. Let us therefore see ourselves delivered from death first, by the exaltation of our Jesus, let us behold him I say as crowned with glory and honour, as, or because, he tasted death for us. And then we shall see ourselves already in heaven by our head, our undertaker, our Jesus, our Saviour.

(3.)    Another improvement that has already been made of his death for us, is thus, he hath at his entrance into the presence of God, for his worthiness sake, obtained that the Holy Ghost should be given unto him for us, that we by that might in all things, yet to be done, be made meet to be partakers personally, in ourselves, as well as virtually by our head and forerunner, of the inheritance of the saints in light. Wherefore the abundant pourings out of that was forborn until the resurrection, and glorification of our Lord Jesus. "For the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified" (Joh 7:39). Nor was it given so soon as received: for he received it upon his entering into the holy place, when he had sprinkled the mercy seat with the blood of sprinkling, but it was not given out to us till sometimes after (Ac 4): however it was obtained before (Ac 2:32-33). And it was meet that it should in that infinite immeasurableness in which he received it, first abide upon him, that his human nature, which was the first fruits of the election of God, might receive by its abidings upon him, that glory for which it was ordained; and that we might receive, as we receive all other things, first by our head and undertaker, sanctification in the fullness of it. Hence it is written, that as he is made unto us of God, wisdom, and righteousness, and redemption, so sanctification too (1Co 1:30): For first we are sanctified in his flesh, as we are justified by his righteousness. Wherefore he is that holy one that setteth us, in himself, a holy lump before God, not only with reference to justification and life, but with reference to sanctification and holiness: For we that are elect, are all considered in him as he has received that, as well as in that he has taken possession of the heaven for us. I count not this all the benefit that accrueth to us by Jesus his receiving the Holy Ghost, at his entrance into the presence of God for us: For we also are to receive it ourselves from him, according as by God we are placed in the body at the times appointed of the Father. That we, as was said, may receive personal quickening, personal renovation, personal sanctification; and in conclusion, glory. But I say, for that he hath received this holy Spirit to himself, he received it as the effect of his ascension, which was the effect of his resurrection, and of the merit of his death and passion. And he received it as a common person, as a head and undertaker for the people.

(4.) Another improvement that has been made of his death, and of the merits thereof for us, is that he has obtained to be made of God, the chief and high Lord of heaven and earth, for us, (All this while we speak of the exaltation of the human nature, in, by, and with which, the Son of God became capable to be our reconciler unto God). "All things," saith he, "are delivered unto me of my Father. And all power in heaven and earth is given unto me"; and all this because he died. "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, of things in earth, or things under the earth: and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Php 2). And all this is, as was said afore, for our sakes. He has given him to be head over all things to the church (Eph 1:22).

Wherefore, whoever is set up on earth, they are set up by our Lord. "By me," saith he, "kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth" (Pr 8:15-16). Nor are they when set up, left to do, though they should desire it, their own will and pleasure. The Metheg-Ammah,9 the bridle, is in his own hand, and he giveth reins, or check, even as it pleaseth him (2Sa 8:1), He has this power, for the well-being of his people. Nor are the fallen angels exempted from being put under his rebuke: He is the "only potentate" (1Ti 6:15), and in his times will shew it, Peter tells us, he "is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels, and authorities, and powers being made subject unto him" (1Pe 3:22).

9 There is no affectation of learning in Bunyan's giving the meaning of the Hebrew word, Metheg; it is translated in the margin of our Bibles, "the bridle" of Ammah.—Ed.

This power, as I said, he has received for the sake of his church on earth, and for her conduct and well-being among the sons of men. Hence, as he is called the king of nations, in general (Jer 10:7); so the King of saints, in special (Re 15:3): and as he is said to be head over all things in general; so to his church in special.

(5.) Another improvement that he hath made of his death for us, is, he hath obtained, and received into his own hand sufficiency of gifts to make ministers for his church withal. I say, to make and maintain, in opposition to all that would hinder, a sufficient ministry (1Co 12:28-30). Wherefore he saith, "When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he gave some Apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for edifying of the body of Christ. Until we all come in the unity of the faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:8-14). Many ways has Satan devised to bring into contempt this blessed advantage that Christ has received of God for the benefit of his church; partly while he stirs up persons to revile the sufficiency of the Holy Ghost, as to this thing: partly, while he stirs up his own limbs and members, to broach his delusions in the world, in the name of Christ, and as they blasphemously call it by the assistance of the Holy Ghost;10 partly while he tempteth novices in their faith, to study and labour in nice distinctions, and the affecting of uncouth expressions, that vary from the form of sound words, thereby to get applause, and a name, a forerunner of their own destruction (Joh 3:6).

10 Bunyan seems here evidently to refer to the case of unregenerate and worldly men entering into the ministry, and making a public and solemn declaration that they "are inwardly moved thereto by the Holy Ghost," and "truly called according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ." See form and manner of ordaining deacons and priests in the Church of England.—Ed.

But, notwithstanding all this, "Wisdom is justified of her children" (Mt 11:19): and at the last day, when the outside, and inside of all things shall be seen and compared, it will appear that the Son of God has so managed his own servants in the ministry of his word, and so managed his word, while they have been labouring in it, as to put in his blessing by that, upon the souls of sinners, and has blown away all other things as chaff (Jas 1:18).

(6.) Another improvement that the Lord Christ has made of his death, for his, is the obtaining, and taking possession of heaven for them. "By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb 9:12). This heaven! who knows what it is? (Mt 22:23) This glory! who knows what it is? It is called God's throne, God's house (Joh 14:2), God's habitation; paradise (2Co 12:4), the kingdom of God, the high and holy place (Isa 57:15). Abraham's bosom (Lu 16:22), and the place of heavenly pleasures (Ps 16:11); in this heaven is to be found, the face of God for ever (Ps 41:12): Immortality, the person of Christ, the prophets, the angels, the revelation of all mysteries, the knowledge of all the elect, ETERNITY.

Of this heaven, as was said afore, we are possessed already, we are in it, we are set down in it, and partake already of the benefits thereof, but all by our head and undertaker; and `tis fit that we should believe this, rejoice in this, talk of this, tell one another of this, and live in the expectation of our own personal enjoyment of it. And as we should do all this, so we should bless and praise the name of God who has put over this house, this kingdom, and inheritance into the hand of so faithful a friend. Yea, a brother, a Saviour and blessed undertaker for us. And lastly, since all these things already mentioned, are the fruit of the sufferings of our Jesus, and his sufferings the fruit of that love of his that passeth knowledge: how should we bow the knee before him, and call him tender Father; yea, how should we love and obey him, and devote ourselves unto his service, and be willing to be also sufferers for his sake, to whom be honour and glory for ever. And thus much of the love of Christ in general.

I might here add many other things, but as I told you before, we would under the head but now touched upon, treat about the fundamentals or great and chief parts thereof, [Christ's love] and then.

SECOND, Of the exceeding greatness of it more particularly: Wherefore of that we must say something now.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. In that it is said to pass knowledge, `tis manifest it is exceeding great, or greatly going beyond what can be known; for to exceed, is to go beyond, be above, or to be out of the reach of what would comprehend that which is so. And since the expression is absolutely indefinite, and respecteth not the knowledge of this or the other creature only: it is manifest, that Paul by his thus saying, challengeth all creatures in heaven and earth to find out the bottom of this love if they can. The love of Christ which passeth knowledge. I will add, that forasmuch as he is indefinite also about the knowledge, as well as about the persons knowing, it is out of doubt that he here engageth all knowledge, in what enlargements, attainments, improvements, and heights soever it hath, or may for ever attain unto. It passeth knowledge (Eph 3:19).

Of the same import also is that other passage of the Apostle a little above in the self-same chapter. I preach, saith he, among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: or those riches of Christ that cannot by searching, be found out in the all of them: The riches, the riches of his love and grace. The riches of his love and grace towards us. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be made11 rich" (2Co 8:9). Ye know the grace, that is so far, and so far every believer knows it: for that his leaving heaven and taking upon him flesh, that he might bring us thither, is manifest to all. But yet, all the grace that was wrapped up in that amazing condescension, knoweth none, nor can know: for if that might be, that possibility would be a flat contradiction to the text: "The love of Christ which passeth knowledge." Wherefore the riches of this love in the utmost of it, is not, cannot be known by any: let their understanding and knowledge, be heightened and improved what it may. Yea, and being heightened and improved, let what search there can by it be made into this love and grace. "That which is afar off, and exceeding deep, who can find out?" (Ec 7:24) And that this love of Christ is so, shall anon be made more apparent. But at present we will proceed to particular challenges for the making out of this, and then we will urge those reasons that will be for the further confirmation of the whole.  

11 Bunyan quotes this passage from the puritan version; vulgarly called "The Breeches Bible." The present authorized translation is "might be rich."

First, This love passes the knowledge of the wisest saint, we now single out the greatest proficient in this knowledge; and to confirm this, I need go no further than to the man that spake these words; to wit, Paul, for in his conclusion he includes himself. The love of Christ which passeth knowledge, even my knowledge. As who should say; though I have waded a great way in the grace of Christ, and have as much experience of his love as any he in all the world, yet I confess myself short, as to the fullness that is therein, nor will I stick to conclude of any other, That "he knows nothing yet as he ought to know" (1Co 8:2; 13:12).

Second, This love passeth the knowledge of all the saints, were it all put together, we, we all, and every one, did we each of us contribute for the manifesting of this love, what it is, the whole of what we know, it would amount but to a broken knowledge; we know but in part, we see darkly (1Co 13:9-12), we walk not by sight, but faith (2 Cor 5:7). True, now we speak of saints on earth.

Third, But we will speak of saints in heaven; they cannot to the utmost, know this love of Christ. For though they know more thereof than saints on earth, because they are more in the open visions of it, and also are more enlarged, being spirits perfect, than we on earth. Yet, to say no more now, they do not see the rich and unsearchable runnings out thereof unto sinners here on earth. Nor may they there measure that, to others, by what they themselves knew of it here. For sins, and times and persons and other circumstances, may much alter the case, but were all the saints on earth, and all the saints in heaven to contribute all that they know of this love of Christ, and to put it into one sum of knowledge, they would greatly come short of knowing the utmost of this love, for that there is an infinite deal of this love, yet unknown by them. `Tis said plainly, that they on earth do not yet know what they shall be (1Jo 3:2). And as for them in heaven, they are not yet made perfect as they shall be (Heb 11:39-40). Besides, we find the souls under the altar, how perfect now soever, when compared with that state they were in when with the body (Isa 63:16); yet are not able in all points, though in glory, to know, and so to govern themselves there without directions (Re 6:9-11). I say, they are not able, without directions and instructions, to know the kinds and manner of workings of the love of Christ towards us that dwell on earth.

Fourth, We will join with these, the angels, and when all of them, with men, have put all and every whit of what they know of this love of Christ together, they must come far short of reaching to, or of understanding the utmost bound thereof. I grant, that angels do know, in some certain parts of knowledge of the love of Christ, more than saints on earth can know while here; but then again, I know that even they do also learn many things of saints on earth, which shews that themselves know also but in part (Eph 3:10); so then, all, as yet, as to this love of Christ, and the utmost knowledge of it, are but as so many imperfects (1Pe 1:12), nor can they all, put all their imperfects together, make up a perfect knowledge of this love of Christ; for the texts do yet stand where they did, and say, his riches are unsearchable, and his love that which passeth knowledge. We will come now to shew you, besides what has been already touched on.

THE REASON why this riches is unsearchable, and that love such as passeth knowledge; and the

Reason First is, Because It is eternal. All that is eternal, has attending of it, as to the utmost knowledge of it, a fourfold impossibility. 1. It is without beginning. 2. It is without end. 3. It is infinite. 4. It is incomprehensible.

1. It is without beginning: That which was before the world was, is without a beginning, but the love of Christ was before the world.

This is evident from Pr 8, "his delights," before God had made the world, are there said to be, "with the sons of men." Not that we then had being, for we were as yet uncreated; but though we had not beings created, we had being in the love and affections of Jesus Christ. Now this love of Christ must needs, as to the fullness of it, as to the utmost of it, be absolutely unknown to man. Who can tell how many heart-pleasing thoughts Christ had of us before the world began? Who can tell how much he then was delighted in that being we had in his affections; as also, in the consideration of our beings, believings, and being with him afterwards.

In general we may conclude, it was great; for there seems to be a parallel betwixt his Father's delights in him, and his delights in us. "I was daily his delight, - - any my delights were with the sons of men" (Pr 8:22,30-31). But I say, who can tell, who can tell altogether, what and how much the Father delighted in his Son before the world began? Who can tell what kind of delight the Father had in the Son before the world began? Why there seems to be a parallel betwixt the Father's love to Christ, and Christ's love to us; the Father's delight in Christ, and his delight in us. Yea, Christ confirms it, saying, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you, continue ye in my love" (Joh 15:9). I know that I am not yet upon the nature of the word eternal; yet since, by eternal, we understand, before the world began, as well as forward, to an endless forever: We may a little enquire of folks as they may read, if they can tell the kind or measure of the love wherewith Christ then loved us. I remember the question that God asked Job, "Where," saith he, "wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth? declare if thou hast understanding" (Job 38:4): Thereby insinuating that because it was done before he had his being, therefore he could not tell how it was done. Now, if a work so visible, as the creation is, is yet as to the manner of the workmanship thereof wholly unknown to them that commenced in their beings afterwards: How shall that which has, in all the circumstances of it, been more hidden and inward, be found out by them that have intelligence thereof by the ear, and but in part, and that in a mystery, and long afterwards. But to conclude this, That which is eternal is without all beginning. This was presented to consideration before, and therefore it cannot to perfection be known.

2. That which is eternal is without end, and how can an endless thing be known, that which has no end has no middle, wherefore it is impossible that the one half of the love that Christ has for his church should ever by them be known. I know that those visions that the saved shall have in heaven of this love, will far transcend our utmost knowledge here, even as far as the light of the sun at noon, goes beyond the light of a blinking candle at midnight; and hence it is, that when the days of those visions are come, the knowledge that we now have, shall be swallowed up. "When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away" (1Co 13:10). And although he speaks here of perfections, "when that which is perfect is come," &c., yet even that perfection must not be thought to be such as is the perfection of God; for then should all that are saved be so many externals and so many in finites, as he is infinite. But the meaning is, we shall then be with the eternal, shall immediately enjoy him with all the perfection of knowledge, as far as is possible for a creature, when he is wrought up to the utmost height that his created substance will bear to be capable of. But for all that, this perfection will yet come short of the perfection of him that made him, and consequently, short of knowing the utmost of his love; since that in the root is his very essence and nature. I know it says also, that we shall know even as we are known. But yet this must not be understood, as if we should know God as fully as he knows us. It would be folly and madness so to conclude; but the meaning is, we are known for happiness; we are known of God, for heaven and felicity; and when that which is perfect is come, then shall we perfectly know, and enjoy that for which we are now known of God. And this is that which the Apostle longed for, namely, If by any means, he might apprehend that for which he was also apprehended of Christ Jesus (Php 3:12). That is, know, and see that, unto the which he was appointed of God and apprehended of Christ Jesus. `Tis said again, "We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1Jo 3:2). This text has respect to the Son, as to his humanity, and not as to his divinity. And not as to his divinity, simply, or distinctly considered; for as to that it is as possible for a spirit to drink up the sea, as for the most enlarged saint that is, or ever shall be in glory, so to see God as to know him altogether, to the utmost, or throughout. But the humanity of the Son of God, we shall see throughout, in all the beauty and glory that is upon him; and that was prepared for him before the foundation of the world. And Christ will that we see this glory, when he takes us up in glory to himself (Joh 17:24); but the utmost boundlessness of the divine majesty, the eternal deity of the Son of God, cannot be known to the utmost or altogether. I do not doubt, but that there will then in him, I mean in Christ, and in us, break forth these glorious rays and beams of the eternal majesty, as will make him in each of us admirable one to another (2Th 1:10); and that then, that of God shall be known of us, that now never entered into our hearts to think of. But the whole, is not, cannot, shall never be fully known of any. And therefore the love of Christ, it being essential to himself, cannot be known because of the endlessness that is in it. I said before, that which has no end, has no middle, how then shall those that shall be in heaven eternally, ever pass over half the breadth of eternity. True, I know that all enjoyments there will be enjoyments eternal. Yea, that whatever we shall there embrace, or what embraces we shall be embraced with, shall be eternal; but I put a difference betwixt that which is eternal, as to the nature, and that which is so as to the durableness thereof. The nature of eternal things we shall enjoy, so soon as ever we come to heaven, but the duration of eternal things, them we shall never be able to pass through, for they are endless. So then, the eternal love of Christ, as to the nature of it, will be perfectly known of saints, when they shall dwell in heaven; but the endlessness thereof they shall never attain unto. And this will be their happiness. For could it be, that we should in heaven ever reach the end of our blessedness: (as we should, could we reach to the end of this love of Christ) why then, as the saying is, We should be at the land's end, and feel the bottom of all our enjoyments. Besides, whatsoever has an end, has a time to decay, and to cease to be, as well as to have a time to shew forth its highest excellencies. Wherefore, from all these considerations it is most manifest, that the love of Christ is unsearchable, and that it passes knowledge.

3. and 4. Now the other two things follow of course, to wit, That this love is infinite and incomprehensible. Wherefore here is that that still is above and beyond even those that are arrived to the utmost of their perfections. And this, if I may so say, will keep them in an employ, even when they are in heaven; though not an employ that is laboursome, tiresome, burdensome, yet an employ that is dutiful, delightful and profitable; for although the work and worship of saints in heaven is not particularly revealed as yet, and so "it doth not yet appear what we shall be," yet in the general we may say, there will be that for them to do, that has not yet by them been done, and by that work which they shall do there, their delight will be delight unto them. The law was the shadow and not the very image of heavenly things (Heb 10:1). The image is an image, and not the heavenly things themselves (the heavenly things they are saints) there shall be worship in the heavens (Heb 9:23). Nor will this at all derogate from their glory. The angels now wait upon God and serve him (Ps 103:20); the Son of God, is now a minister, and waiteth upon his service in heaven (Heb 8:1-2); some saints have been employed about service for God after they have been in heaven (Lu 9:29-32); and why we should be idle spectators, when we come thither, I see not reason to believe. It may be said, "They there rest from their labours." True, but not from their delights. All things then that once were burdensome, whether in suffering or service, shall be done away, and that which is delightful and pleasurable shall remain. But then will be a time to receive, and not to work. True, if by work you mean such as we now count work; but what if our work be there, to receive and bless. The fishes in the sea do drink, swim and drink. But for a further discourse of this, let that alone till we come thither. But to come down again into the world, for now we are talking of things aloft:

Reason Second, This love of Christ must needs be beyond our knowledge, because we cannot possibly know the utmost of our sin. Sin is that which sets out, and off, the knowledge of the love of Christ. There are four things that must be spoken to for the clearing of this. 1. The nature of sin. 2. The aggravations of sin. 3. The utmost tendencies of sin. 4. And the perfect knowledge of all this.

1. Before we can know this love of Christ, as afore, we must necessarily know the nature of sin, that is, what sin is, what sin is in itself. But no man knows the nature of sin to the full; not what sin in itself is to the full. The Apostle saith, "That sin, [that is in itself] is exceeding sinful" (Ro 7:13). That is, exceeding it as to its filthiness, goes beyond our knowledge: But this is seen by the commandment. Now the reason why none can, to the full, know the horrible nature of sin, is because none, to the full, can know the blessed nature of the blessed God. For sin is the opposite to God. There is nothing that seeketh absolutely, and in its own nature to overcome, and to annihilate God, but sin, and sin doth so. Sin is worse than the devil; he therefore that is more afraid of the devil than of sin, knows not the badness of sin as he ought; nor but little of the love of Jesus Christ. He that knows not what sin would have done to the world, had not Christ stepped betwixt those harms and it. How can he know so much as the extent of the love of Christ in common? And he that knows not what sin would have done to him in particular, had not Christ the Lord, stepped in and saved, cannot know the utmost of the love of Christ to him in particular. Sin therefore in the utmost evil of it, cannot be known of us: so consequently the love of Christ in the utmost goodness of it, cannot be known of us.

Besides, there are many sins committed by us, dropping from us, and that pollute us, that we are not at all aware of; how then should we know that love of Christ by which we are delivered from them? Lord, "who can understand his errors?" said David (Ps 19:12). Consequently, who can understand the love that saves him from them? moreover, he that knows the love of Christ to the full, must also know to the full that wrath and anger of God, that like hell itself, burneth against sinners for the sake of sin: but this knows none. Lord, "who knoweth the power of thine anger?" said Moses (Ps 90:11). Therefore none knows this love of Christ to the full. The nature of sin is to get into our good, to mix itself with our good, to lie lurking many times under the formality and shew of good; and that so close, so cunningly, and invisibly, that the party concerned, embraces it for virtue, and knows not otherwise to do; and yet from this he is saved by the love of Christ; and therefore, as was hinted but now, if a man doth not know the nature of his wound, how should he know the nature and excellency of the balsam that hath cured him of his wound.

2. There are the due aggravations that belong to sin, which men are unacquainted with; it was one of the great things that the prophets were concerned with from God towards the people, (as to shew them their sins, so) to shew them what aggravations did belong thereto (Jer 2; 3; Eze 16).

There are sins against light, sins against knowledge, sins against love, sins against learning, sins against threatenings, sins against promises, vows and resolutions, sins against experience, sins against examples of anger, and sins that have great, and high, and strange aggravations attending of them; the which we are ignorant of, though not altogether, yet in too great a measure. Now if these things be so, how can the love that saveth us from them be known or understood to the full?

Alas! our ignorance of these things is manifest by our unwillingness to abide affliction, by our secret murmuring under the hand of God; by our wondering why we are so chastised as we are, by our thinking long that the affliction is no sooner removed.

Or, if our ignorance of the vileness of our actions is not manifest this way, yet it is in our lightness under our guilt, our slight thoughts of our doings, our slovenly doing of duties, and asking of forgiveness after some evil or unbecoming actions. `Tis to no boot to be particular, the whole course of our lives doth too fully make it manifest, that we are wonderful short in knowing both the nature, and also the aggravations of our sins: and how then should we know that love of Christ in its full dimensions, by which we are saved and delivered therefrom?

3.  Who knows the utmost tendencies of sin? I mean, what the least sin driveth at, and what it would unavoidably run the sinner into. There is not a plague, a judgment, an affliction, an evil under heaven, that the least of our transgressions has not called for at the hands of the great God! nay, the least sin calleth for all the distresses that are under heaven, to fall upon the soul and body of the sinner at once. This is plain, for that the least sin deserveth hell; which is worse than all the plagues that are on earth. But I say, who understandeth this? And I say again, if one sin, the least sin deserveth all these things, what thinkest thou do all thy sins deserve? how many judgments! how many plagues! how many lashes with God's iron whip dost thou deserve? besides there is hell itself, the place itself, the fire itself, the nature of the torments, and the durableness of them, who can understand?

But this is not all, the tendencies of thy sins are to kill others. Men, good men little think how many of their neighbours one of their sins may kill. As, how many good men and good women do unawares, through their uncircumspectness, drive their own children down into the deep? (Ps 106:6-7) We will easily count them very hardhearted sinners, that used to offer their children in sacrifice to devils; when `tis easy to do worse ourselves: they did but kill the body, but we body and soul in hell, if we have not a care.

Do we know how our sins provoke God? how they grieve the Holy Ghost? how they weaken our graces? how they spoil our prayers? how they weaken faith? how they tempt Christ to be ashamed of us? and how they hold back good from us? And if we know not every one of all these things to the full, how shall we know to the full the love of Christ which saveth us from them all?

4.  Again, But who has the perfect knowledge of all these things? I will grant that some good souls may have waded a great way in some one, or more of them; but I know that there is not any that thoroughly know them all. And yet the love of Christ doth save us from all, notwithstanding all the vileness and soul-damning virtue12 that is in them. Alas! how short are we of the knowledge of ourselves, and of what is in us. How many are there that do not know that man consisteth of a body made of dust, and of an immortal soul? Yea, and how many be there of those that confess it, that know not the constitution of either. I will add, how many are there that profess themselves to be students of those two parts of man, that have oftentimes proved themselves to be but fools as to both? and I will conclude that there is not a man under heaven that knoweth it all together: For man is "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Ps 139:14): nor can the manner of the union of these two parts be perfectly found out. How much more then must we needs be at loss as to the fullness of the knowledge of the love of Christ? But,

12 "Virtue," secret agency: efficacy without visible or material action. "Walker's Dictionary."—Ed.

Reason Third, He that altogether knoweth the love of Christ, must, precedent to that, know not only all the wiles of the devil; but also all the plottings, contrivings and designs and attempts of that wicked one; yea, he must know, all the times that he hath been with God, together with all the motions that he has made that he might have leave to fall upon us, as upon Job and Peter, to try if he might swallow us up (Job 1; 2; Lu 22:31). But who knows all this? no man, no angel. For, if the heart of man be so deep, that none, by all his actions, save God, can tell the utmost secrets that are therein; how should the heart of angels, which in all likelihood are deeper, be found out by any mortal man. And yet this must be found out before we can find out the utmost of the love of Christ to us. I conclude therefore from all these things, that the love of Christ passeth knowledge: or that by no means, the bottom, the utmost bounds thereof can be understood.

Reason Fourth, He that will presume to say, this love of Christ can be to the utmost known by us, must presume to say that he knoweth the utmost of the merits of his blood, the utmost exercise of his patience, the utmost of his intercession, the utmost of the glory that he has prepared and taken possession of for us. But I presume that there is none that can know all this, therefore I may without any fear assert, there is none that knows, that is, that knows to the full, the other.

We come now more particularly to speak of the knowledge of the love of Christ; we have spoken of the love of Christ; and of the exceeding greatness of it: and now we come,

THIRD, To speak of the knowledge of it; that is to say, we will shew

WHAT KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST’S LOVE IS ATTAINABLE IN THIS WORLD,

under these three heads. As to this, First, It may be known as to the nature of it. Second, It may be known in many of the degrees of it. Third, But the greatest knowledge that we can have of it here, is to know that it passes knowledge.

First, We may know it in the nature of it. That is, that it is love free, divine, heavenly, everlasting, incorruptible. And this no love is but the love of Christ; all other love is either love corruptible, transient, mixed, or earthly. It is divine, for `tis the love of the holy nature of God. It is heavenly, for that it is from above: it is everlasting, for that it has no end: it is immortal, for that there is not the appearance of corruptibleness in it, or likelihood of decay.

This is general knowledge, and this is common among the saints, at leastwise in the notion of it. Though I confess, it is hard in time of temptation, practically to hold fast the soul to all these things. But, as I have said already, this love of Christ must be such, because love in the root of it, is essential to his nature, as also I have proved now, as is the root, such are the branches; and as is the spring, such are the streams, unless the channels in which those streams do run, should be corrupted, and so defile it; but I know no channels through which this love of Christ is conveyed unto us, but those made in his side, his hands, and his feet, &c. Or those gracious promises that dropped like honey from his holy lips, in the day of his love, in which he spake them: and seeing his love is conveyed to us, as through those channels, and so by the conduit of the holy and blessed spirit of God, to our hearts, it cannot be that it should hitherto be corrupted. I know the cisterns, to wit, our hearts, into which it is conveyed, are unclean, and may take away much, through the damp that they may put upon it, of the native savour and sweetness thereof. I know also, that there are those that tread down, and muddy those streams with their feet (Eze 34:18-19); but yet neither the love nor the channels in which it runs, should bear the blame of this. And I hope those that are saints indeed, will not only be preserved to eternal life, but nourished with this that is incorruptible unto the day of Christ. I told you before, that in the hour of temptation, it will be hard for the soul to hold fast to these things; that is, to the true definition of this love; for then, or at such seasons, it will not be admitted that the love of Christ is either transient, or mixed; but we count that we cannot be loved long, unless something better than yet we see in us, be found there, as an inducement to Christ to love, and to continue to love our poor souls (Isa 64:6). But these the Christian at length gets over; for he sees, by experience, he hath no such inducement (De 9:5); also, that Christ loves freely, and not for, or because of such poor, silly, imaginary enticements (Eze 16:60-62). Thus therefore the love of Christ may be known, that is, in the nature of it: it may, I say, but not easily (Eze 36:25-33). For this knowledge is neither easily got, though got, nor easily retained, though retained. There is nothing that Satan setteth himself more against, than the breaking forth of the love of Christ in its own proper native lustre. For he knows it destroys his kingdom, which standeth in profaneness, in errors and delusions, the only destruction of which is the knowledge of this love of Christ (2Co 5:14). What mean those swarms of opinions that are in the world? what is the reason that some are carried about as clouds, with a tempest? what mean men's waverings, men's changing, and interchanging truth for error, and one error for another? why, this is the thing, the devil is in it. This work is his, and he makes this ado, to make a dust; and a dust to darken the light of the gospel withal. And if he once attaineth to that, then farewell the true knowledge of the love of Christ.

Also he will assault the spirits of Christians with divers and sundry cogitations, such as shall have in them a tendency to darken the judgment, delude the fancy, to abuse the conscience. He has an art to metamorphose all things. He can make God seem to be to us, a most fierce and terrible destroyer; and Christ a terrible exactor of obedience, and most amazingly pinching of his love. He can make supposed sins unpardonable; and unpardonable ones, appear as virtues. He can make the law to be received for gospel, and cause that the gospel shall be thrown away as a fable. He can persuade, that faith is fancy, and that fancy is the best faith in the world. Besides, he can tickle the heart with false hope of a better life hereafter, even as if the love of Christ were there. But, as I said before, from all these things the true love of Christ in the right knowledge of it, delivereth those that have it shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost that he hath given (Ro 5). Wherefore it is for this purpose that Christ biddeth us to continue in his love (Joh 15:9); because the right knowledge, and faith of that to the soul, disperseth and driveth away all such fogs, and mists of darkness; and makes the soul to sit fast in the promise of eternal life by him; yea, and to grow up into him who is the head, "in all things."

Before I leave this head, I will present my reader with these things, as helps to the knowledge of the love of Christ. I mean the knowledge of the nature of it, and as HELPS to retain it.

Help First, Know thy self, what a vile, horrible, abominable sinner thou art: For thou canst not know the love of Christ, before thou knowest the badness of thy nature. "0 wretched man that I am" (Ro 7:24), must be, before a man can perceive the nature of the love of Christ. He that sees himself but little, will hardly know much of the love of Christ: he that sees of himself nothing at all, will hardly ever see anything of the love of Christ. But he that sees most of what an abominable wretch he is, he is like to see most of what is the love of Christ. All errors in doctrine take their rise from the want of this (I mean errors in doctrine as to justification). All the idolizing of men's virtues, and human inventions, riseth also from the want of this. So then if a man would be kept sure and stedfast, let him labour before all things to know his own wretchedness. People naturally think that the knowledge of their sins is the way to destroy them; when in very deed, it is the first step to salvation. Now if thou wouldest know the badness of thy self, begin in the first place to study the law, then thy heart, and so thy life. The law thou must look into, for that's the glass; thy heart thou must look upon, for that's the face; thy life thou must look upon, for that's the body of a man, as to religion (Jas 1:25). And without the wary consideration of these three, `tis not to be thought that a man can come at the knowledge of himself, and consequently to the knowledge of the love of Christ (Jas 1:26-27).

Help Second, Labour to see the emptiness, shortness, and the pollution that cleaveth to a man's own righteousness. This also must in some measure be known, before a man can know the nature of the love of Christ. They that see nothing of the loathsomeness of man's best things, will think, that the love of Christ is of that nature as to be procured, or won, obtained or purchased by man's good deeds. And although so much gospel light is broke forth as to stop men's mouths from saying this, yet `tis nothing else but sound conviction of the vileness of man's righteousness, that will enable men to see that the love of Christ is of that nature, as to save a man without it; as to see that it is of that nature as to justify him without it: I say, without it, or not at all. There is shortness, there is hypocrisy, there is a desire of vain glory, there is pride, there is presumption in man's own righteousness: nor can it be without these wickednesses, when men know not the nature of the love of Christ. Now these defile it, and make it abominable. Yea, if there were no imperfection in it, but that which I first did mention, to wit, shortness; how could it cover the nakedness of him that hath it, or obtain for the man, in whole or in part, that Christ should love, and have respect unto him.

Occasions many thou hast given thee to see the emptiness of man's own righteousness, but all will not do unless thou hast help from heaven: wherefore thy wisdom will be, if thou canst tell where to find it, to lie in the way of God, that when he comes to visit the men that wait upon him in the means of his own appointing, thou mayest be there; if perhaps he may cast an eye of pity upon thy desolate soul, and make thee see the things above mentioned. That thou mayest know the nature of the love of Christ.

Help Third, If thou wouldest know the nature of this love, be much in acquainting of thy soul with the nature of the law, and the nature of the gospel (Ga 3:21). The which though they are not diametrically opposite one to another, yet do propound things so differently to man, that if he knows not where, when, and how to take them, `tis impossible but that he should confound them, and in confounding of them, lose his own soul (Ro 9:31-32). The law is a servant, both first and last, to the gospel (Ro 10:3-4): when therefore it is made a Lord, it destroyeth: and then to be sure it is made a Lord and Saviour of, when its dictates and commands are depended upon for life.

Thy wisdom therefore will be to study these things distinctly, and thoroughly; for so far as thou art ignorant of the true knowledge of the nature of these, so far thou art ignorant of the true knowledge of the nature of the love of Christ. Read Paul to the Galatians, that epistle was indicted by the Holy Ghost, on purpose to direct the soul, in, and about this very thing.

Help Fourth, The right knowledge of the nature of the love of Christ, is obtained, and retained, by keeping of these two doctrines at an everlasting distance as to the conscience; to wit, not suffering the law to rule but over my outward man, not suffering the gospel to be removed one hair's breadth from my conscience. When Christ dwells in my heart by faith (Eph 3:17), and the moral law dwells in my members (Col 3:5), the one to keep up peace with God, the other to keep my conversation in a good decorum: then am I right, and not till then.

But this will not be done without much experience, diligence, and delight in Christ. For there is nothing that Satan more desireth, than that the law may abide in the conscience of an awakened Christian, and there take up the place of Christ, and faith; for he knows if this may be obtained, the vail is presently drawn over the face of the soul, and the heart darkened as to the knowledge of Christ; and being darkened, the man is driven into despair of mercy, or is put upon it to work for life (2Co 3:13-15). There is therefore, as I say, much diligence required of him that will keep these two in their places assigned them of God. I say much diligent study of the word, diligent prayer; with diligence to walk with God in the world. But we will pass this, and come to the second head.

Secondly, As the love of Christ may be known in the nature of it, so it may be known in many degrees of it. That which is knowable, admits of degrees of knowledge: the love of Christ is knowable. Again, that which is not possible to be known to the utmost, is to be known, we know not how much; and therefore they that seek to know it, should never be contented or satisfied to what degree of the knowledge of it soever they attain; but still should be reaching forward, because there is more to be known of it before them. "Brethren," said Paul, "I count not myself to have apprehended, (that is to the utmost) but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Php 3:13-14). I might here discourse of many things, since I am upon this head of reaching after the knowledge of the love of Christ in many of the degrees of it. But I shall content myself with few.

1. He that would know the love of Christ in several degrees of it, must begin at his person, for in him dwells all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Nay, more; In him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3). In him, that is, in his person: For, for the godhead of Christ, and our nature to be united in one person, is the highest mystery, and the first appearance of the love of Christ by himself, to the world (1Ti 3:16). Here I say, lie hid the treasures of wisdom, and here, to the world, springs forth the riches of his love (Joh 1:14). That the eternal word, for the salvation of sinners, should come down from heaven and be made flesh, is an act of such condescension, a discovery of such love, that can never to the full be found out. Only here we may see, love in him was deep, was broad, was long, and high: let us therefore first begin here to learn to know the love of Christ, in the high degrees thereof.

(1.)    Here, in the first place, we perceive love, in that the human nature, the nature of man, not of angels, is taken into union with God. Who so could consider this, as it is possible for it to be considered, would stand amazed till he died with wonder. By this very act of the heavenly wisdom, we have an inconceivable pledge of the love of Christ to man: for in that he hath taken into union with himself our nature, what doth it signify, but that he intendeth to take into union with himself our person. For, for this very purpose did he assume our nature. Wherefore we read that in the flesh he took upon him, in that flesh, he died for us, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God (1Pe 3:18).

(2.)    As he was made flesh, so as was said afore, he became a public or common person for us: and hereby is perceived another degree of his love; undertaking to do for his, what was not possible they should do for themselves, perfecting of righteousness to the very end of the law, and doing for us, to the reconciling of us unto his Father, and himself (Ro 10:3-4; 3:24).

(3.)    Herein also we may attain to another degree of knowledge of his love, by understanding that he has conquered, and so disabled our foes, that they cannot now accomplish their designed enmity upon us (Ro 5; Eph 5:26-27): but that when Satan, death, the grave and sin have done to his people, whatever can by them be done, we shall be still more than conquerors, (though on our side be many disadvantages), through him that has loved us, over them (Ro 8:37).

(4.)    By this also we may yet see more of his love, in that as a forerunner, he is gone into heaven to take possession thereof for us (Heb 6:20): there to make ready, and to prepare for us our summer-houses, our mansion, dwelling-places. As if we were the lords, and he the servant! (Joh 14:2-3) Oh this love!

(5.)    Also we may see another degree of his love, in this, that now in his absence, he has sent the third person in the Trinity to supply his place as another comforter of us (Joh 16:7; 15:26), that we may not think he has forgot us, not be left destitute of a revealer of truth unto us (Joh 14:16). Yea, he has sent him to fortify our spirits, and to strengthen us under all adversity; and against our enemies of what account, or degree soever (Lu 21:15).

(6.)    In this also we may see yet more of the love of Christ, in that though he is in heaven and we on earth: Nothing can happen to his people to hurt them, but he feels it, is touched with it, and counteth it as done unto himself: Yea, sympathizes with them, and is afflicted, and grieved in their griefs, and their afflictions.

(7.)    Another thing by which also yet more of the love of Christ is made manifest, and so may by us be known, is this: He is now, and has been ever since his ascension into glory, laying out himself as high-priest for us (Heb 7:24-26), that by the improving13 of his merits before the throne of grace, in way of intercession, he might preserve us from the ruins that our daily infirmities would bring upon us (Heb 8:12): yea, and make our persons and performances acceptable in his Father's sight (Ro 5:10; 1Pe 2:5).

13 "Improving," not in quality but by extending the benefits, employing to good purpose; turning to profitable account.—Ed.  

(8.)    We also see yet more of his love by this, that he will have us where himself is, that we may behold and be partakers of his glory (Joh 17:24). And in this degree of his love, there are many loves.

Then he will come for us, as a bridegroom for his bride (Mt 25:6-10). Then shall a public marriage be solemnized, and eternized betwixt him and his church (Re 19:6-7). Then she shall be wrapped up in his mantles and robes of glory (Col 3:4). Then they shall be separated, and separated from other sinners, and all things that offend shall be taken away from among them (Mt 25:31; 13:41). Then shall they be exalted to thrones, and power of judgment; and shall also sit in judgment on sinful men and fallen angels, acquiescing, by virtue of authority, with their king and head, upon them (1Co 6:2-3). Then or from thenceforth for ever, there shall be no more death, sorrow, hidings of his face, or eclipsing of their glory for ever (Lu 20:36). And thus  you may see what rounds this our Jacob's ladder hath, and how by them we may climb, and climb, even until we are climbed up to heaven: but now we are set again; for all the glories, all the benefits, all the blessings, and all the good things that are laid up in heaven for these; Who can understand?

2. A second thing whereby the love of Christ is some degrees of it may be known, is this: That he should pass by angels and take hold of us. Who so considereth the nature of spirits, as they are God's workmanship, must needs confess, that as such, they have a pre-eminency above that which is made of dust: This then was the disparity `twixt us and them; they being, by birth, far more noble than we. But now, when both are fallen, and by our fall, both in a state of condemnation, that Jesus Christ should choose to take up us, the most inconsiderable, and pass by them, to their eternal perdition and destruction: 0 love! love in a high degree to man: For verily he took not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he took hold (Heb 2:16). Yet this is not all: In all probability this Lord Jesus has ten times as much to do now he has undertaken to be our Saviour, as he would have had, had he stepped over us and taken hold on them.

(1.)    He needed not to have stooped so low as to take flesh upon him; theirs being a more noble nature.

(2.)    Nor would he in all likelihood, have met with those contempts, those scorns, those reproaches and undervaluings from them, as he has all-along received in this his undertaking, and met with from sinful flesh. For they were more noble than we, and would sooner have perceived the design of grace, and so one would think more readily have fallen in therewith, than [creatures in] such darkness as we were, and still by sin are.

(3.)         They would not have had those disadvantages as we, for that they would not have had a tempter, a destroyer, so strong and mighty as ours is. Alas! had God left us, and taken them, though we should have been ever so full of envy against their salvation; yet being but flesh, what could we have done to them to have laid obstacles in the way of their faith and hope, as they can and do in ours?

(4.)      They, it may fairly be presumed, had they been taken, and we left, and made partakers in our sted, while we had been shut out, as they are, would not have put Christ so to it, now in heaven (pray bear with the expression, because I want a better) as we by our imperfections have done and do. Sin, methinks, would not have so hanged in their natures as it doth in ours: their reason, and sense, and apprehensions being more quick, and so more apt to have been taken with this love of Christ, and by it more easily have been sanctified.

(5.)      The law which they have broken, being not so intricate, as that against which we have offended, theirs being a commandment with faithfulness to abide in the place in which their Creator had set them; methinks, considering also the aptness of their natures as angels, would not have made their complete obedience so difficult.

(6.)      Nor can I imagine, but had they been taken, they, as creatures excelling in strength, would have been more capable of rendering these praises and blessings to God for eternal mercies, than such poor sorry creatures as we are, could. But! "behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God" (1Jo 3:1). That we, not they, that we notwithstanding all that they have, or could have done to hinder it, should be called the children of God.

This therefore is an high degree of the love of Jesus Christ to us, that when we and they were fallen, he should stoop and take up us, the more ignoble, and leave so mighty a creature in his sins to perish.

3. A third thing whereby the love of Christ in some of the degrees of it may be known, will be to consider more particularly the way, and unwearied work that he hath with man to bring him to that kingdom, that by his blood he hath obtained for him.

(1.) Man, when the Lord Jesus takes him in hand to make him partaker of the benefit, is found an enemy to his redeemer; nor doth all the intelligence that he has had of the grace and love of Christ to such, mollify him at all, to wit, before the day of God's power comes (Ro 4:5; 5:7-10). And this is a strange thing. Had man, though he could not have come to Christ, been willing that Christ should have come to him, it had been something; it would have shewn that he had taken his grace to heart, and considered of it: yea, and that he was willing to be a sharer in it. But verily here is no such thing; man, though he has free will, yet is willing by no means to be saved God's way, to wit, by Jesus Christ, before (as was said before) the day of God's power comes upon him. When the good shepherd went to look for his sheep that was lost in the wilderness, and had found it: did it go one step homewards upon its own legs? did not the shepherd take her and lay her upon his shoulder, and bring her home rejoicing (Lu 15). This then is not love only, but love to a degree.

(2.)    When man is taken, and laid under the day of God's power: When Christ is opening his ear to discipline, and speaking to him that his heart may receive instruction; many times that poor man is, as if the devil had found him, and not God. How frenzily he imagines? how crossly he thinks? How ungainly he carries it under convictions, counsels, and his present apprehension of things? I know some are more powerfully dealt withal, and more strongly bound at first by the world; but others more in an ordinary manner, that the flesh, and reason may be seen, to the glory of Christ. Yea, and where the will is made more quickly to comply with its salvation, `tis no thanks to the sinner at all (Job 4:18). `Tis the day of the power of the Lord that has made the work so soon to appear. Therefore count this an act of love, in the height of love; Love in a great degree (Joh 15:16).

(3.)    When Christ Jesus has made this mad man to come to himself, and persuaded him to be willing to accept of his salvation: yet he may not be trusted, nor left alone, for then the corruptions that still lie scattering up and down in his flesh will tempt him to it, and he will be gone; yea, so desperately wicked is the flesh of saints, that should they be left to themselves but a little while, none knows what horrible transgressions would break out. Proof of this we have to amazement, plentifully scattered here and there in the word. Hence we have the patience of God, and his gentleness so admired (2Ch 32:21): for through that it is that they are preserved. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps (Ps 121:4), but watches for them, and over them every moment, for he knows else they will be hurt (Isa 27:3).

(4.)    Yea, notwithstanding this, how often are saints found playing truant, and lurking like thieves in one hole or other. Now, in the guilt of backsliding by the power of this, and then in filth by the power of that corruption (Jer 2:26). Yea, and when found in such decayings, and under such revoltings from God, how commonly do they hide their sin with Adam, and David, even until their Saviour fireth out of their mouths a confession of the truth of their naughtiness. "When I keep silence," said David, (and yet he chose to keep silence after he had committed his wickedness) "my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me, my moisture is turned into the drought of summer" (Ps 32:3-4). but why didst thou not confess what thou hadst done then? So I did, saith he, at last, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin (verse 5).

(5.)    When the sins of saints are so visible and apparent to others, that God for the vindication of his name and honour must punish them in the sight of others; yea, must do it, as he is just: Yet then for Christ's sake, he waveth such judgments, and refuseth to inflict such punishments as naturally tend to their destruction, and chooseth to chastise them with such rods and scourges, as may do them good in the end; and that they may not be condemned with the world (1Co 11:31-32). Wherefore the Lord loves them, and they are blessed, whom he chasteneth and teacheth out of his law (Heb 12:5-8; Ps 94:12). And these things are love to a degree.

(6.)    That Christ should supply out of his fullness the beginnings of grace in our souls, and carry on that work of so great concern, and that which at times we have so little esteem of, is none of the least of the aggravations of the love of Christ to his people. And this work is as common as any of the works of Christ, and as necessary to our salvation, as is his righteousness, and the imputation thereof to our justification: For else how could we hold out to the end (Mt 24:13); and yet none else can be saved.

(7.)    And that the love of Christ should be such to us that he will thus act, thus do to, and for us, with gladness; (as afore is manifest by the parable of the lost sheep) is another degree of his love towards us: And such an one too, as is none of the lowest rate. I have seen hot love, soon cold; and love that has continued to act, yet act towards the end, as the man that by running, and has run himself off his legs, pants, and can hardly run any longer: but I never saw love like the love of Christ, who as a giant, and bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and as a strong man, rejoiceth to run his race (Ps 19:5). Loving higher and higher, stronger and stronger, I mean as to the lettings out of love, for he reserveth the best wine even till the last (Joh 2:10).

(8.)    I will conclude with this, that his love may be known in many degrees of it, by that sort of sinners whose salvation he most rejoiceth in, and that is, in the salvation of the sinners that are of the biggest size: Great sinners, Jerusalem sinners, Samaritan sinners, publican sinners. I might urge moreover, how he hath proportioned invitations, promises and examples of his love, for the encouragement and support of those whose souls would trust in him: By which also great degrees of his love may be understood. But we will come now to the third thing that was propounded.

Thirdly, But the greatest attainment that as to the understanding of the love of Christ, we can arrive to here, is to know that it passes knowledge: And to know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge. This truth discovereth itself,

1. By the text itself, for the Apostle here, in this prayer of his for the Ephesians, doth not only desire that they may know, but describeth that thing which he prays they may know, by this term, It passeth knowledge. And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. As our reason and carnal imagination will be rudely, and unduly tampering with any thing of Christ, so more especially with the love and kindness of Christ: Judging and concluding that just such it is, and none other, as may be apprehended by them: Yea, and will have a belief that just so, and no otherwise are the dimensions of this love; nor can it save beyond our carnal conceptions of it. Saying to the soul as Pharaoh once did to Israel in another case: "Let the Lord be with you as I shall" (judge it meet he should) "let you go." We think Christ loves us no more than we do think he can, and so conclude that his love is such as may by us be comprehended, or known to the utmost bounds thereof. But these are false conceptions, and this love of Christ that we think is such, is indeed none of the love of Christ, but a false image thereof, set before our eyes. I speak not now of weak knowledge, but of foolish and bold conclusions. A man through unbelief may think that Christ has no love for him, and yet Christ may love him with a love that passeth knowledge. But when men in the common course of their profession, will be always terminating here, that they know how, and how far Christ can love, and will thence be bold to conclude of their own safety, and of the loss and ruin of all that are not in the same notions, opinions, formalities, or judgments as they: this is the worst and greatest of all. The text therefore, to rectify those false and erroneous conclusions, says, It is a love that passeth knowledge.

And it will be worth our observation to take notice that men, erroneous men, do not put these limits so commonly to the Father and his love, as [to] the Son and his. Hence you have some that boast that God can save some who have not the knowledge of the person of the mediator Jesus Christ the righteous; as the heathens that have, and still do make a great improvement of the law and light of nature: crying out with disdain against the narrowness, rigidness, censoriousness, and pride of those that think the contrary. Being not ashamed all the while to eclipse, to degrade, to lessen and undervalue the love of Jesus Christ; making of him and his undertakings, to offer himself a sacrifice to appease the justice of God for our sins, but a thing indifferent, and in its own nature but as other smaller matters.

But all this while the devil knows full well at what game he plays, for he knows that without Christ, without faith in his blood, there is no remission of sins. Wherefore, saith he, let these men talk what they will of the greatness of the love of God as creator, so they sleight and undervalue the love of Christ as mediator. And yet it is worth our consideration, that the greatness of the love of God is most expressed in his giving of Christ to be a Saviour, and in bestowing his benefits upon us that we may be happy through him.

But to return, The love of Christ that is so indeed, is love that passeth knowledge: and the best and highest of our knowledge of it is, that we know it to be such.

2. Because I find that at this point, the great men of God, of old, were wont to stop, be set, and beyond which they could not pass. `Twas this that made Moses wonder (De 4:31-34). `Twas this that made David cry out, How great and wonderful are the works of God? "thy thoughts to usward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered" (Ps 40:5). And again, "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, 0 God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand" (Ps 139:17-18). And a little before, "such knowledge is too wonderful for me" (verse 6). Isaiah saith, there hath not entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for them that wait for him (Isa 64:4). Ezekiel says, this is the river that cannot be passed over (47:5): And Micah to the sea, (7:19) and Zechariah to a fountain, hath compared this unsearchable love (13:1). Wherefore the Apostle's position, That the love of Christ is that which passeth knowledge, is a truth not to be doubted of: Consequently, to know this, and that it is such, is the farthest that we can go. This is to justify God, who has said it, and to magnify the Son, who has loved us with such a love: And the contrary is to dishonour him, to lessen him, and to make him a deficient Saviour. For suppose this should be true, that thou couldest to the utmost comprehend this love; yet unless, by thy knowledge thou canst comprehend beyond all evil of sin, or beyond what any man sins, who shall be saved, can spread themselves or infect: Thou must leave some pardonable man in an unpardonable condition. For that thou canst comprehend this love, and yet canst not comprehend that sin. This makes Christ a deficient Saviour. Besides, if thou compre-hendest truly; the word that says, it passeth knowledge, hast lost its sanctity, its truth.

It must therefore be, that this love passeth knowledge; and that the highest pitch that a man by knowledge can attain unto, as to this, is to know that it passeth knowledge. My reason is, for that all degrees of love, be they never so high, or many, and high, yet, if we can comprehend them, rest in the bowels of our knowledge, for that only which is beyond us, is that which passeth knowledge. That which we can reach, cannot be the highest: And if a man thinks there is nothing beyond what he can reach, he has no more knowledge as to that: but if he knows that together with what he hath already reached, there is that which he cannot reach, before [him]; then he has a knowledge for that also, even a knowledge, that it passeth knowledge. `Tis true a man that thus knoweth may have divers conjectures about that thing that is beyond his knowledge. Yea, in reason it will be so, because he knows that there is something yet before him: But since the thing itself is truly beyond his knowledge, none of his conjectures about that thing may be counted knowledge. Or suppose a man that thus conjectureth, should hit right as to what he now conjectures; his right hitting about that thing may not be called knowledge: It is as yet to him but as an uncertain guess, and is still beyond this knowledge.

Quest. But, may some say, what good will it do a man to know that the love of Christ passeth knowledge? one would think that it should do one more good to believe that the knowledge of the whole love of Christ might be attainable.

Answer. That there is an advantage in knowing that the love of Christ passeth knowledge; must not be questioned, for that the Apostle saith it doth (2Ti 3:16). For to know what the holy word affirms, is profitable: nor would he pray that we might know that which passeth knowledge, were there not by our knowing of it, some help to be administered. But to shew you some of the advantages that will come to us by knowing that the love of Christ passeth knowledge.

(1.) By knowing of this a child of God has in reserve for himself, at a day, when all that he otherwise knows, may be taken from him through the power of temptation. Sometimes a good man may be so put to it, that all that he knows comprehensively may be taken from him: to wit, the knowledge of the truth of his faith, or that he has the grace of God in him, or the like, that I say may be taken from him. Now if at this time, he knows the love of Christ that passeth knowledge, he knows a way in all probability to be recovered again. For if Christ Jesus loves with a love that passeth knowledge: then, saith the soul, that is thus in the dark, he may love me yet, for ought I know, for I know that he loves with a love that passeth knowledge; and therefore I will not utterly despond. Yea, if Satan should attempt to question whether ever Christ Jesus will look upon me or no: the answer is, if I know the love that passes knowledge: But he may look upon me, (0, Satan) yea, and love, and save me too, for ought I poor sinner know; for he loves with a love that passeth knowledge. If I be fallen into sin that lies hard upon me, and my conscience fears, that for this there is no forgiveness. The help for a stay from utter despair is at hand: but there may, say I, for Christ loves, with a love that passeth knowledge. If Satan would dissuade me from praying to God, by suggesting as if Christ would not regard the stammering, and chattering prayer of mine. The answer is ready, but he may regard for ought I know; for he loves with a love that passeth knowledge. If the tempter doth suggest that thy trials, and troubles, and afflictions, are so many, that it is to be thought thou shall never get beyond them. The answer is near, but for ought we know, Christ may carry me through them all, for he loves with a love that passeth knowledge. Thus I say, is relief at hand, and a help in reserve for the tempted, let their temptations be what they will. This therefore is the weapon that will baffle the devil when all other weapons fail; for ought I know, Christ may save me, for he loves with a love that passeth knowledge. Yea, suppose he should drive me to the worst of fears, and that is to doubt that I neither have nor shall have for ever the grace of God in my soul. The answer is at hand, but I have or may have it, for Christ loves with a love that passeth knowledge. Thus therefore you may see that in this prayer of Paul, there is a great deal of good. He prays, when he prays that we might know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge: that we may have a help at hand, and relief against all the horrible temptations of the devil. For this is a help at hand, a help that is ready to fall in with us, if there be yet remaining with us, but the least grain of right reasoning according to the nature of things. For if it be objected against a man that he is poor, because he has but a groat in his pocket; yet if he has an unknown deal of money in his trunks, how easy is it for him to recover himself from that slander, by returning the knowledge of what he has, upon the objector. This is the case, and thus it is, and will be with them that know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge. Wherefore,

(2.) By this knowledge, room is made for a Christian, and liberty is ministered unto him, to turn himself every way in all spiritual things. This is the Christian's rehoboth, that well for which the Philistines have no heart to strive, and that which will cause that we be fruitful in the land (Ge 26:22).

If Christians know not with this knowledge, they walk in the world as if they were pinioned; or as if fetters were hanged on their heels. But this enlarged their steps under them (2Sa 22:37): by the knowledge of this love they may walk at liberty, and their steps shall not be straitened. This is that which Solomon intends when he saith, "Get wisdom, and get understanding" (Pr 4:5). Then "when thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened, and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble" (Pr 4:12). A man that has only from hand to mouth, is oft put to it to know how to use his penny, and comes off also, many times, but with an hungry belly; but he that has, not only that, but always over and to spare, he is more at liberty, and can live in fullness, and far more like a gentleman. There is a man has a cistern, and that is full of water: there is another also, that has his cistern full, and withal, his spring in his yard; but a great drought is upon the land in which they dwell: I would now know, which of these two have the most advantage to live in their own minds at liberty, without fear of wanting water? Why this is the case in hand. There is a Christian that knows Christ in all those degrees of his love that are knowable, but he knoweth Christ nothing in his love that passeth knowledge. There is another Christian, and he knows Christ, as the first, but withal, he also knows him as to his love that passeth knowledge. Pray now tell me, which of these two are likeliest to live most like a Christian, that is, like a spiritual prince, and like him that possesseth all things? which has most advantage to live in godly largeness of heart, and is most at liberty in his mind? which of these two have the greatest advantage to believe, and the greatest engagements laid upon him to love the Lord Jesus? which of these have also most in readiness to resist the wiles of the devil, and to subdue the power and prevalency of corruptions? `Tis this, that makes men fathers in Christianity. "I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known; - - I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known" (1Jo 2:13-14), why, have not others known, not so as the fathers? The fathers have known and known. They have known the love of Christ in those degrees of love which are knowable, and have also known the love of Christ to be such which passeth knowledge. In my father's house is bread enough and to spare, was that that fetched the prodigal home (Lu 15:17). And when Moses would speak an endless all to Israel, for the comfort and stay of their souls, he calls their God, "The fountain of Jacob upon a land of corn and wine" (De 33:28).

(3.) By this knowledge, or knowing of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, there is begot in Christians a greater desire to press forwards to that which is before them (Php 3:12-21). What is the reason of all that sloth, carnal contentedness, and listlessness of spirit in Christians, more than the ignorance of this. For he that thinks he knows what can be known, is beyond all reason that should induce him to seek yet after more. Now the love of Christ may be said, not to be knowable, upon a threefold account: [namely]. For that my knowledge is weak. For that my knowledge is imperfect. Or for that, though my knowledge be never so perfect, because the love of Christ is eternal.

There is love that is not to be apprehended by weak knowledge. Convince a man of this, and then, if the knowledge of what he already has, be truly sweet to his soul (Pr 2:10), it will stir him up with great heartiness to desire to know what more of this is possible.

There is love beyond what he knows already, who is indued with the most perfect knowledge, that man here may have. Now if what this man knows already of this love is indeed sweet unto him; then it puts him upon hearty desires that his soul may yet know more. And because there is no bound set to man, how much he may know in this life thereof; therefore his desires, notwithstanding what he has attained, are yet kept alive, and in the pursuit after the knowledge of more of the love of Christ. And God in old time has taken it so well at the hands of some of his, that their desires have been so great, that when, as I may say, they have known as much on earth as is possible for them to know; (that is by ordinary means) he has come down to them in visions and revelations; or else taken them up to him for an hour or two into paradise, that they might know, and then let them down again.

But this is not all, There is a knowledge of the love of Christ, that we are by no means capable of until we be possessed of the heavens. And I would know, if a man indeed loveth Christ, whether the belief of this be not one of the highest arguments that can be urged, to make such an one weary of this world, that he may be with him. To such an one, "to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Php 1:21-23). And to such an one, it is difficult to bring his mind to be content to stay here a longer time; except he be satisfied that Christ has still work for him here to do.

I will yet add, There is a love of Christ, I will not say, that cannot be known, but I will say, that cannot be enjoyed; no, not by them now in heaven (in soul) until the day of judgment. And the knowledge of this, when it has possessed even men on earth, has made them choose a day of judgment, before a day of death, that they might know what is beyond that state and knowledge which even the spirits of just men made perfect, now do enjoy in heaven (2Co 5:4). Wherefore, as I said at first, To know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge, is advantageous upon this account; it begetteth in Christians a great desire to reach, and press forward to that which is before.

One thing more, and then, as to this reason, I have done. Even that love of Christ that is absolutely unknowable, as to the utmost bound thereof because it is eternal, will be yet in the nature of it sweet and desirable, because we shall enjoy or be possessed of it so. This therefore, if there were no more, is enough, when known, to draw away the heart from things that are below, to itself.

(4.) The love that passeth knowledge. The knowledge of that is a very fruitful knowledge. It cannot be, but it must be fruitful. Some knowledge is empty, and alone, not attended with that good, and with those blessings wherewith this knowledge is attended. Did I say, it is fruitful? I will add, it is attended with the best fruit; it yieldeth the best wine: It fills the soul with all the fullness of God. "And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God." God is in Christ, and makes himself known to us by the love of Christ. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God," for God is not to be found nor enjoyed, but in him, consequently, he that hath, and abideth in the doctrine of Christ, "hath both the Father and the Son" (2Jo 9). Now, since there are degrees of knowledge of this doctrine, and since the highest degree of the knowledge of him, is to know that he has a Love that passeth knowledge, it follows, that if he that has the least saving knowledge of this doctrine, hath God; he that hath the largest knowledge of it, has God much more, or, according to the text, is filled with all the fullness of God. What this fullness of God should be, is best gathered from such sayings of the Holy Ghost, as come nearest to this, in language, filled,

Full of goodness (Ro 15:14).

Full of faith (Ac 6:5).

Full of the Holy Ghost (Ac 7:55).

Full of assurance of faith (Heb 10:22).

Full of assurance of hope (Heb 6:11).

Full of joy unspeakable, and full of glory (1Pe 1:8).

Full of joy (1Jo 1:4).

Full of good works (Ac 11:30).

Being filled with the knowledge of his will (Col 1:9).

Being filled with the spirit (Eph 5:18).

Filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God (Php 4:11). These things to be sure are included either for the cause or effect of this fullness. The cause they cannot be, for that is God's, by his Holy Spirit. The effects therefore they are, for wherever God dwells in the degree intended in the text, there is shewn in an eminent manner, by these things, "what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints" (Eph 1:18). But these things dwell not in that measure specified by the text, in any, but those who know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.

But what a man is he that is filled with all these things! or that is, as we have it in the text, "filled with all the fullness of God!" Such men are, at this day, wanting in the churches. These are the men that sweeten churches, and that bring glory to God and to religion. And knowledge will make us such, such knowledge as the Apostle here speaketh of.14 I have now done, when I have spoken something by way of USE unto you, from what hath been said. And,

14 How delightfully has Bunyan brought forth the marrow of this important text. He felt that those who were filled with all the fullness of God, sweetened the churches in his day; they were wanted then; are they not equally wanted now?—Ed.+

Use First, Is there such breadth, and length, and depth, and height in God, for us? And is there toward us love in Christ that passeth knowledge? Then this shews us, not only the greatness of the majesty of the Father and the Son, but the great good will that is in their heart to them that receive their word.

God has engaged the breadth, and length and depth, and height of the love, the wisdom, the power, and truth that is in himself, for us; and Christ has loved us with a love that passeth knowledge. We may well say, "Who is like thee, 0 Lord, among the gods?" (Ex 15:11). Or, as another prophet has it, "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever: because he delighteth in mercy" (Mic 7:18). Yea, no words can sufficiently set forth the greatness of this love of God and his Son to us poor miserable sinners.

Use Second, Is there so great a heart for love, towards us, both in the Father and in the Son? Then let us be much in the study and search after the greatness of this love. This is the sweetest study that a man can devote himself unto; because it is the study of the love of God and of Christ to man. Studies that yield far less profit than this, how close are they pursued, by some who have adapted themselves thereunto? Men do not use to count telling over of their money burdensome to them, nor yet the recounting of their grounds, their herds, and their flocks, when they increase. Why? the study of the unsearchable love of God in Christ to man, is better in itself, and yields more sweetness to the soul of man, than can ten thousand such things as but now are mentioned. I know the wise men of this world, of whom there are many, will say as to what I now press you unto; Who can shew us any good in it? But Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increaseth (Ps 4:6-7). David also said that his meditation on the Lord should be sweet. Oh, there is in God and in his Son, that kindness for the sons of men, that, did they know it, they would like to retain the knowledge of it in their hearts. They would cry out as she did of old; "Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm: For love is strong as death" (Song 8:6-7). Every part, crumb, grain, or scrap of this knowledge, is to a Christian, as drops of honey are to sweet-palated children, worth the gathering up, worth the putting to the taste to be relished. Yea, David says of the word which is the ground of knowledge: "It is sweeter than honey or the honey-comb. More," saith he, "to be desired are they than gold; yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey or the honey-comb" (Ps 19:10). Why then do not Christians devote themselves to the meditation of this so heavenly, so goodly, so sweet, and so comfortable a thing, that yieldeth such advantage to the soul? The reason is, these things are talked of, but not believed: did men believe what they say, when they speak so largely of the love of God, and the love of Jesus Christ, they would, they could not but meditate upon it. There are so many wonders in it, and men love to think of wonders. There is so much profit in it, and men love to think of that which yields them profit. But, as I said, the belief of things is wanting. Belief of a thing will have strong effects, whether the ground for it be true, or false. As suppose one of you should, when you are at a neighbour's house, believe that your own house is on fire, whilst your children are fast asleep in bed, though indeed there were no such thing; I will appeal to any of you if this belief would not make notable work with and upon your hearts. Let a man believe he shall be damned, though afterwards it is evident he believed a lie, yet what work did that belief make in that man's heart; even so, and much more, the belief of heavenly things will work, because true and great, and most good; also, where they are indeed believed, their evidence is managed upon their spirit, by the power and glory of the Holy Ghost itself: Wherefore let us study these things.

Use Third, Let us cast ourselves upon this love. No greater encouragement can be given us, than what is in the text and about it. It is great, it is love that passeth knowledge. Men that are sensible of danger, are glad when they hear of such helps upon which they may boldly venture for escape. Why such an help and relief, the text helpeth trembling and fearful consciences to. Fear and trembling as to misery hereafter, can flow but from what we know, feel, or imagine: but the text speaks of a love that is beyond that we can know, feel, or imagine, even of a love that passeth knowledge; consequently of a love that goes beyond all these. Besides, the Apostle's conclusion upon this subject, plainly makes it manifest that this meaning which I have put upon the text, is the mind of the Holy Ghost. "Now unto him," saith he, "that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Eph 3:20-21). What can be more plain? what can be more full? What can be more suitable to the most desponding spirit in any man? He can do more than thou knowest he will. He can do more than thou thinkest he can. What dost thou think? why, I think, saith the sinner, that I am cast away. Well, but there are worse thoughts than these, therefore think again. Why, saith the sinner, I think that my sins are as many as the sins of all the world. Indeed this is a very black thought, but there are worse thoughts than this, therefore prithee think again. Why, I think, saith the sinner, that God is not able to pardon all my sins. Ay, now thou hast thought indeed. For this thought makes thee look more like a devil than a man, and yet because thou art a man and not a devil, see the condescension and the boundlessness of the love of thy God. He is able to do above all that we think! Couldest thou (sinner) if thou hadst been allowed, thyself express what thou wouldest have expressed, the greatness of the love thou wantest, with words that could have suited thee better? for `tis not said he can do above what we think, meaning our thinking at present, but above all we can think, meaning above the worst and most soul-dejecting thoughts that we have at any time. Sometimes the dejected have worse thoughts than at other times they have. Well, take them at their worst times, at times when they think, and think, till they think themselves down into the very pangs of hell; yet this word of the grace of God, is above them, and shews that he can yet recover and save these miserable people. And now I am upon this subject, I will a little further walk and travel with the desponding ones, and will put a few words in their mouths for their help against temptations that may come upon them hereafter. For as Satan follows such now, with charges and applications of guilt, so he may follow them with interrogatories and appeals: for he can tell how by appeals, as well as by charging of sin, to sink and drown the sinner whose soul he has leave to engage. Suppose therefore that some distressed man or woman, should after this way be engaged, and Satan should with his interrogatories, and appeals be busy with them to drive them to desperation; the text last mentioned, to say nothing of the subject of our discourse, yields plenty of help for the relief of such an one. Says Satan, dost thou not know that thou hast horribly sinned? yes, says the soul, I do. Says Satan, dost thou not know, that thou art one of the vilest in all the pack of professors? yes, says the soul, I do. Says Satan, doth not thy conscience tell thee that thou art and hast been more base than any of thy fellows can imagine thee to be? Yes, says the soul; my conscience tells me so. Well, saith Satan, now will I come upon thee with my appeals. Art thou not a graceless wretch? Yes. Hast thou an heart to be sorry for this wickedness? No, not as I should. And albeit, saith Satan, thou prayest sometimes, yet is not thy heart possessed with a belief that God will not regard thee? yes, says the sinner. Why then despair, and go hang thyself, saith the devil. And now we are at the end of the thing designed and driven at by Satan. But what shall I now do, saith the sinner; I answer, take up the words of the text against him, Christ loves with a love that passeth knowledge, and answereth him farther, saying Satan, though I cannot think that God loves me; though I cannot think that God will save me; yet I will not yield to thee: for God can do more than I think he can. And whereas thou appealest unto me, if whether when I pray, my heart is not possessed with unbelief that God will not regard me; that shall not sink me neither: for God can do abundantly above what I ask or think. Thus this text helpeth, where obstructions are put in against our believing, and thereby casting ourselves upon the love of God in Christ for salvation.

And yet this is not all, for the text is yet more full: "He is able to do abundantly more," yea, "exceeding abundantly more," or "above all that we ask or think." It is a text made up of words picked and packed together by the wisdom of God, picked and packed together on purpose for the succour and relief of the tempted, that they may when in the midst of their distresses, cast themselves upon the Lord their God. He can do abundantly more than we ask. Oh! says the soul, that he would but do so much for me as I could ask him to do! How happy a man should I then be. Why, what wouldest thou ask for, sinner? you may be sure, says the soul, I would ask to be saved from my sins; I would ask for faith in, and love to, Christ; I would ask to be preserved in this evil world, and ask to be glorified with Christ in heaven. He that asketh of all this, doth indeed ask for much, and for more than Satan would have him believe that God is able or willing to bestow upon him; but mark, the text doth not say, that God is able to do all that we can ask or think, but that he is able to do above all, yea, abundantly above all, yea, exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. What a text is this! What a God have we! God foresaw the sins of his people, and what work the devil would make with their hearts about them, and therefore to prevent their ruin by his temptation, he has thus largely, as you see, expressed his love by his word. Let us therefore, as has been bidden us, make this good use of this doctrine of grace, as to cast ourselves upon this love of God in the times of distress and temptation.

Use Fourth, Take heed of abusing this love. This exhortation seems needless; for love is such a thing, that one would think none could find in their heart to abuse. But for all that, I am of opinion, that there is nothing that is more abused among professors this day, than is this love of God. There has of late more light about the love of Christ broke out, than formerly: every boy now can talk of the love of Christ; but this love of Christ has not been rightly applied by preachers, or else not rightly received by professors. For never was this grace of Christ so turned into lasciviousness, as now. Now it is a practice among professors to learn to be vile, of the profane. Yea, and to plead for that vileness: Nay, we will turn it the other way, now it is so that the profane do learn to be vile of those that profess (They teach the wicked ones their ways): a thing that no good man should think on but with blushing cheeks (Jer 2:33).15 Jude speaketh of these people, and tells us that they, notwithstanding their profession, deny the only Lord God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ (verse 4). "They profess," saith Paul, "that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate" (Tit 1:16).

15 Bunyan lived in singularly eventful times. Under the Commonwealth the strictest outward morality was enforced. But when a licentious monarch was placed upon the throne, a flood of the grossest debauchery was let loose; and those hypocrites, who had put on a cloak of religion to serve a temporary purpose, threw it off and became ringleaders in the vilest iniquities. See Mt 12:43-45.—Ed.

But I say, let not this love of God and of Christ, be abused. `Tis unnatural to abuse love, to abuse love is a villany condemned of all, yea, to abuse love, is the most inexcusable sin of all. It is next the sin of devils to abuse love, the love of God and of Christ.

And what says the Apostle? "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, therefore God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2Th 2:10-12). And what can such an one say for himself in the judgment, that shall be charged with the abuse of love? Christians, deny yourselves, deny your lusts, deny the vanities of this present life, devote yourselves to God; become lovers of God, lovers of his ways, and "a people zealous of good works"; then shall you show one to another, and to all men, that you have not received the grace of God in vain (2Co 6:1). Renounce therefore the hidden things of dishonesty, walk not in craftiness, nor handle God's word deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth, commend yourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. Do this, I say, yea, and so endeavour such a closure with this love of God in Christ, as may graciously constrain you to do it, because, when all proofs of the right receiving of this love of Christ shall be produced, none will be found of worth enough to justify the simplicity of our profession, but that which makes us "zealous of good works" (Tit 2:14). And what a thing will it be to be turned off at last, as one that abused the love of Christ! as one that presumed upon his lusts, this world, and all manner of naughtiness, because the love of Christ to pardon sins was so great! What an unthinking, what a disingenuous one wilt thou be counted at that day! yea, thou wilt be found to be the man that made a prey of love, that made a stalking-horse of love, that made of love a slave to sin, the devil and the world, and will not that be bad? (Read Eze 16)

Use Fifth, Is the love of God and of Christ so great? let us then labour to improve it to the utmost for our advantage, against all the hindrances of faith.

To what purpose else is it revealed, made mention of, and commended to us? We are environed with many enemies, and faith in the love of God and of Christ, is our only succour and shelter. Wherefore our duty and wisdom and privilege is, to improve this love for our own advantage. Improve it against daily infirmities, improve it against the wiles of the devil; improve it against the threats, rage, death, and destruction, that the men of this world continually with their terror set before you. But how must that be done? why, set this love and the safety that is in it, before thine eyes; and behold it while these things make their assaults upon thee. These words, the faith of this, God loves me, will support thee in the midst of what dangers may assault thee. And this is that which is meant, when we are exhorted to rejoice in the Lord (Php 3:1), to make our boast in the Lord (Ps 44:8); to triumph in Christ (2Co 2:14); and to set the Lord always before our face (Ps 16:8). For he that can do this thing stedfastly, cannot be overcome. For in God there is more than can be in the world, either to help or hinder; wherefore if God be my helper, if God loves me, if Christ be my redeemer, and has bestowed his love that passeth knowledge upon me, who can be against me? (Heb 13:6; Ro 8:31) and if they be against me, what disadvantage reap I thereby; since even all this also, worketh for my good? This is improving the love of God and of Christ for my advantage. The same course should Christians also take with the degrees of this love, even set it against all the degrees of danger; for here deep calleth unto deep. There cannot be wickedness and rage wrought up to such or such a degree, as of which it may be said, there are not degrees in the love of God and of Christ to match it. Wherein Pharaoh dealt proudly against God's people, the Lord was above him (Ex 18:11), did match and overmatch him; he came up to him, and went beyond him; he collared with him, overcame him, and cast him down. "The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea - - they sank into the bottom as a stone" (Ex 15:5). There is no striving against the Lord that hath loved us; there is none that strive against him can prosper. If the shields of the earth be the Lord's (Ps 47:9), then he can wield them for the safeguard of his body the church; or if they are become incapable of being made use of any longer in that way, and for such a thing, can he not lay them aside, and make himself new ones? Men can do after this manner, much more God. But again, if the miseries, or afflictions which thou meetest with, seem to thee to overflow, and to go beyond measure, above measure, and so to be above strength, and begin to drive thee to despair of life (2Co 1:8); then thou hast also, in the love of God, and of Christ, that which is above, and that goes beyond all measure also, to wit, love unsearchable, unknown, and "that can do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." Now God hath set them one against the other, and 'twill be thy wisdom to do so too, for this is the way to improve this love. But, though it be easy, thus to admonish you to do, yet you shall find the practical part more difficult; wherefore, here it may not be amiss, if I add to these, another head of COUNSEL.

Counsel First, Then, Wouldest thou improve this love of God and of Christ to thy advantage, Why then thou must labour after the knowledge of it. This was it that the Apostle prayed for, for these Ephesians, as was said before, and this is that that thou must labour after, or else thy reading and my writing, will, as to thee, be fruitless. Let me then say to thee, as David to his son Solomon, "And thou Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father" (1Ch 28:9). Empty notions of this love will do nothing but harm, wherefore, they are not empty notions that I press thee to rest in, but that thou labour after the knowledge of the favour of this good ointment (Song 1:3), which the Apostle calleth the favour of the knowledge of this Lord Jesus (2Co 2:14). Know it, until it becometh sweet or pleasant to thy soul, and then it will preserve and keep thee (Pr 2:10-11). Make this love of God and of Christ thine own, and not another's. Many there are that can talk largely of the love of God to Abraham, to David, to Peter and Paul. But that is not the thing, give not over until this love be made thine own; until thou find and feel it to run warm in thy heart by the shedding of it abroad there, by the spirit that God hath given thee (Rom 5:5). Then thou wilt know it with an obliging and engaging knowledge; yea, then thou wilt know it with a soul-strengthening, and soul-encouraging knowledge.

Counsel Second, Wouldest thou improve this love? then set it against the love of all other things whatsoever, even until this love shall conquer thy soul from the love of them to itself.

This is Christian. Do it therefore, and say, why should any thing have my heart but God, but Christ? He loves me, he loves me with love that passeth knowledge. He loves me, and he shall have me: he loves me, and I will love him: his love stripped him of all for my sake; Lord let my love strip me of all for thy sake. I am a son of love, an object of love, a monument of love, of free love, of distinguishing love, of peculiar love, and of love that passeth knowledge: and why should not I walk in love? In love to God, in love to men, in holy love, in love unfeigned? This is the way to improve the love of God for thy advantage, for the subduing of thy passions, and for sanctifying of thy nature. `Tis an odious thing to hear men of base lives talking of the love of God, of the death of Christ, and of the glorious grace that is presented unto sinners by the word of the truth of the gospel. Praise is comely for the upright, not for the profane. Therefore let him speak of love that is taken with love, that is captivated with love, that is carried away with love. If this man speaks of it, his speaking signifies something; the powers, and bands of love are upon him, and he shews to all that he knows what he is speaking of. But the very mentioning of love, is in the mouth of the profane, like a parable in the mouth of fools, or as salt unsavory. Wherefore, Christian, improve this love of God as thou shouldest, and that will improve thee as thou wouldest. Wherefore,

Counsel Third, If thou wouldest improve this love, keep thyself in it. "Keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 21). This text looks as if it favoured the Socinians, but there is nothing of that in it. And so doth that, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love: even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love" (Joh 15:10). The meaning then is this, that living a holy life is the way, after a man has believed unto justification, to keep himself in the savour and comfort of the love of God. And Oh, that thou wouldest indeed so do. And that because, if thou shall want the savour of it, thou will soon want tenderness to the commandment, which is the rule by which thou must walk, if thou wilt do good to thyself, or honour God in the world. "To him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God" (Ps 50:23). He that would live a sweet, comfortable, joyful life, must live a very holy life. This is the way to improve this love to thyself indeed.

Counsel Fourth, To this end, you must take root and be grounded in love; that is, you must be well settled, and stablished in this love, if indeed you would improve it. You must not be shaken as to the doctrine and grounds of it (Eph 3:17). These you must be well acquainted with: for he that is but a child in this doctrine, is not capable as yet, of falling in with these exhortations: For such waver, and fear when tempted; and "he that feareth is not made perfect in love" (1Jo 4:18), nor can he so improve it for himself and soul's good as he should.

Counsel Fifth, and lastly, Keep, to this end, those grounds, and evidences that God hath given you of your call to be partakers of this love, with all clearness upon your hearts, and in your minds. For he that wants a sight of them, or a proof that they are true and good, can take but little comfort in this love. There is a great mystery in the way of God with his people. He will justify them without their works, he will pardon them for his Son's sake: but they shall have but little comfort of what he hath done, doth, and will do for them that are careless, carnal, and not holy in their lives. Nor shall they have their evidences for heaven at hand, nor out of doubt with them, yea, they shall walk without the sun, and have their comforts by bits and knocks;16 while others sit at their father's table, have liberty to go into the wine-cellar, rejoice at the sweet and pleasant face of their heavenly Father towards them; and know it shall go well with them at the end.

16 "Bits and knocks"; this phrase is now obsolete: it alludes to a dog at table, who while picking up the crumbs, often gets a bite and a buffet or knock with it, but still perseveres.—Ed.

Something now for a conclusion should be spoken to the carnal world, who have heard me tell of all this love. But what shall I say unto them? If I should speak to them, and they should not hear; or if I should testify unto them, and they should not believe; or intreat them, and they should scorn me; all will but aggravate, and greaten their sin, and tend to their further condemnation. And therefore I shall leave the obstinate where I found him, and shall say to him that is willing to be saved, Sinner, thou hast the advantage of thy neighbour, not only because thou art willing to live, but because there are [those] that are willing thou shouldest; to wit, those unto whom the issues from death do belong, and they are the Father and the Son, to whom be glory with the blessed Spirit of grace, world without end. Amen.

003 Of Antichrist, And His Ruin

OF ANTICHRIST, AND HIS RUIN:

AND OF

THE SLAYING THE WITNESSES. BY JOHN BUNYAN

PREFATORY REMARKS BY THE EDITOR

THIS important treatise was prepared for the press, and left by the author, at his decease, to the care of his surviving friend for publication. It first appeared in a collection of his works in folio, 1692; and although a subject of universal interest; most admirably elucidated; no edition has been published in a separate form.

Antichrist has agitated the Christian world from the earliest ages; and his craft has been to mislead the thoughtless, by fixing upon the humble followers of the Lamb his own opprobrious proper name. The mass of professed Christians, whose creed and mode of worship have been provided by human laws, has ever been opposed to the sincere disciples of Christ. To imbibe every principle from investigation and conviction of the holy oracles—to refuse submission to any authority in the spiritual kingdom of God, except it is to Christ, the supreme head and only lawgiver in his church—to refuse obedience to human laws in the great concern of salvation and of worship; whether those laws or decrees emanate from a Darius, a Nebuchadnezzar, a Bourbon, a Tudor, or a Stuart—to be influenced by the spirit which animated Daniel, the three Hebrew youths, and the martyrs, brought down denunciations upon them, and they were called antichristian: but alas! the sincere disciples of Jesus have ever known and FELT who and what is Antichrist. They have been robbed—incarcerated in dungeons— racked and tormented—transported— drowned—hung or burned. The most frightful atrocities have been committed upon the most peaceful and valuable members of society; because they valued their soul's peace in preference to temporal advantages. These cruelties are THY cursed deeds, 0 Antichrist! The hand writing against thee is exhibited in blood-stained and indelible characters. The Great God has decreed thy downfall and ruin—"That wicked—whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth," (2Th 2:8). All who are found partakers in his community, must be consumed with an everlasting destruction. No "paper-winkers"1 can hide this truth from the enlightened regenerated mind. "0 my soul, come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel!"

1 Bunyan's expression, see the last page.

In Bunyan's time great cruelties were practised to compel uniformity. To that absurd shrine many thousand invaluable lives were sacrificed. Blessed be God, that happier days have dawned upon us. Antichrist can no longer put the Christian to a cruel death. It very rarely sends one to prison for refusing obedience to human laws that interfere with religious worship. "My kingdom is not of this world," said the Redeemer: and his followers dare not render unto Caesar, or temporal governments, that which belongs exclusively to God. Human coercion, in anything connected with religion, whether it imposes creeds, liturgies, or modes of worship, is Antichrist: whom to obey, is spiritual desolation, and if knowingly persevered in, leads to death.

On the contrary, the kingdom of Christ is love, meekness, forbearance, persuasion, conviction, and holy faith. The Christian who dares not obey Antichrist may still, in some countries, suffer personal violence; but the olden cruelties have given way to the spread of the gospel. Should the wicked spirit of persecution still light its unhallowed fire in any sect; may heaven forgive and convert such misguided men, before the divine wrath shall consume all that pertains to Antichrist. "Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord."

Bunyan conceives that previous to the universal triumphs of the Saviour, Antichrist will spread his influence over the whole earth; and the church be hidden from outward observation, in the hearts of believers. This idea, which was also cherished by Dr. Gill, and others, deserves careful consideration; while we keep in mind, that leaven which must spread, however invisible in its operation, until the whole earth shall be leavened.

The dread enemy may yet appear in a different shape to any that he has hitherto assumed. When mankind, by the spread of knowledge, shall throw off the absurdities and disgraceful trammels of hypocrisy, fanaticism, and tyranny, which has so long oppressed them; there may be experienced a vast overflowing of infidelity, and perverted reason assume the place of Antichrist. Through this and all other opposing systems, Christianity must make its irresistible progress: all that opposes is doomed to ruin by the Great God. Every heart will be subdued by that blessed knowledge, which has the promise of the life that now is as well as of that which is to come. Bloodless victory! The ark being exhibited, every Dagon must fall before it, then shall be realized the heavenly anthem, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men."

GEORGE OFFOR

A PREMONITION TO THE READER.

After that God had delivered Babylon and her king into the hands of the kings of the Medes and Persians, then began the liberty of the Jews, from their long and tedious captivity: For though Nebuchadnezzar and his sons did tyrannically enslave, and hold them under; yet so wrought God with the hearts of those kings that succeeded them, that they made proclamation to them to go home, and build their city, temple, &c., and worship their own God according to his own law (2Ch 30:6; Ezr 1). But because I would not be tedious in enumerating instances for the clearing of this, therefore I will content myself with one, and with a brief note upon it. It is that in the seventh of Ezra 26: 'And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.' This is the conclusion of a letter that king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest and scribe, when he granted his petition, and gave him leave to go to Jerusalem to build the temple, and to offer sacrifice there to the God whose house is in Jerusalem. And a conclusion it was, both comfortable and sharp; comfortable to Ezra and his companions, but sharp unto his enemies. I shall here present you with a copy of the letter at large.

`Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own free-will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand; And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem. And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the free-will-offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem: That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat-offerings and their drink-offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God. The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem. And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure-house. And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily. Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and levites, singers, porters, nethinims, or ministers of this House of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them. And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment' (Ezr 7:11-26).

This is the letter; and now for the scope thereof. First, Generally. Secondly, Particularly.

GENERALLY. The general scope of the letter is this: A grant given by the king to Ezra the scribe, to go to Jerusalem, and build there the temple of God, and offer sacrifice in it according to the law: With commissions annexed thereunto, to the king's lieutenants, treasurers and governors on that side the river, to further the work with such things as by the king was commanded they should.

PARTICULARLY. But we will consider the matter particularly. 1. As to the manner of the grant which the king gave to Ezra and his brethren to go thither. 2. As to the king's grant, with reference to their building, and way of worship. 3. With reference to the king's liberality and gifts towards the building of the temple, and by what rules it was to be bestowed. 4. As to the way that the king concluded they should be governed in their own land. 5. With reference to the king's charge to his officers that were thereabout, not to hinder Ezra in his work. 6. And lastly, with reference to the king's threat and commandment to do judgment if they should hinder it.

First, As to the manner of the grant that the king gave to Ezra and his brethren to go to build, it was such an one as forced none, but left every Jew to his own choice, whether he would go, or forbear. The words are these: `Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own free-will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee' (Ezr 7:12-13).

Thus gracious then was the king: He made a decree, That all they of the captive Jews, their priests and levites, that would return to their own land, to build their temple, and to sacrifice there, might: He would hinder none, force none, but left them free, to do as they would.

Secondly, As to the king's grant, with reference to their building, and way of worship there, nothing was to be done therein, but according to the law of the God of Ezra, which was in his hands (Ezr 7:14). Hence, when he was come to Jerusalem, he was to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem; to wit, what was wanting in order to the temple and worship of God there, according to the law of his God, which was in his hand. Also when they went about to build, and to sacrifice, all was to be done according as was commanded by the God of heaven (Ezr 7:23): Yea, this was granted by the king, and his seven counsellors.

Thirdly, As to the king's liberality towards the building of this house, &c. it was large: He gave silver, gold, bullocks, rams, lambs; with wheat, wine, oil, and salt (Ezr 7:17,22); but would by his royal power, give no orders how in particular things should be bestowed, but left all that to Ezra the priest, to do with it according to the will, word, or law of his God (Ezr 7:18).

Fourthly, As to the way that the king concluded they should be governed in their own land, it was by their own laws; yea, he did bid Ezra the priest, after the wisdom of his God that was in his hand, set magistrates and judges, which might judge all the people, &c. only he bid him make them such, which did know the law of his God: Also the king added, That they should teach it to them that knew it not.

Fifthly, As to the king's officers, he gave them a charge not to hinder, but further this work. To further this work, not by putting their hand thereto, (that was to be left to the Jews alone, especially to Ezra, according to the law of his God,) but that they should speedily give him such things which the king had commanded, to wit, silver, and wheat, and wine, and oil, and salt, for their encouragement; and to do therewith, as by the law of their God they should. Further, That they should not impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon the priests, levites, singers, porters, nethinims, or ministers (Ezr 7:20-22).

Sixthly, And now we come to the conclusion, to wit, the king's threat and command to do judgment on them that obeyed not the law of Ezra's God, and the king.

Considering what hath been said before, I conclude,

1.    That this king imposed no law, no priest, no people upon these Jews; but left them wholly to their own law, their own ministers, and their own people: All which were the laws of God, the priests of God, the people of God, as to their building of their temple, and the worship of their God.

2.    He forced not THIS people, no, not to their land, their temple, nor their worship, by his or their law; but left them free to their own mind, to do thereabout as they would.

3.    He added not any law therefore of his own, either to prescribe worship, or to enforce it upon the Jews.

But you will say, upon what then was the threatening and the command to punish grounded? I answer, upon a supposed breach of two laws. He of the Jews, that in Jerusalem, rebelled against the law of the Lord, was in his own land left by the king to be punished by the same law, according to the penalties thereof: And he of the king's officers, that refused to do the king's laws, that refused to give the Jews such things as the king commanded, and that would yet exact such customs and tributes as the king forbade, should be punished by the king's laws, whether unto death or unto banishment, or unto confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.

And if all kings would but give such liberty, to wit, that God's people should be directed in their temple-building, and temple worship, as they find it in the law of their God, without the additions of man's inventions: and if all kings did but lay the same penalty upon them of their pretended servants, that should hinder this work, which this brave king Artaxerxes laid upon his; how many of the enemies of the Jews, before this time, would have been hanged, banished, had their goods confiscated to the king, or their bodies shut up in prison! The which we desire not; we desire only that this letter of the king might be considered of, and we left to do as is there licensed and directed: And when we do the contrary, let us be punished by the law of God, as we are his servants, and by the law of the king, as we are his subjects; and we shall never complain.

Only I cannot but observe how prettily it is done of some, who urge this text to colour their malice, ignorance and revenge withal, while they cry, The law of God, and The law of the king, when they will neither let, according to this scripture, the law of God, nor the law of the king take place: Not the law of God; for that they will not leave us to that, to square and govern ourselves in temple-work, and sacrificing by. Nor will they do the law of the king, which has made void, ipso facto, whatever law is against the word of God; but because themselves can do, they will force us to do so too.2

2 The absurd act to compel uniformity in modes of worship, (14) Charles II, had then recently passed; and when this treatise was written, it desolated the country. This paved the way for the glorious Revolution. The wicked fell into the pit which they had dug for the righteous; the hopes of the Papists were crushed; toleration to worship God was established. Let us follow Bunyan's example, and attribute these mercies to a gracious God.—Ed.

Before I leave this, I would touch once again upon the candour of this king Artaxerxes, who thus did: Because he gave this leave and license to the Jews, contrary (if he had any) to his own national worship; yea, and also to the impairing of his own incomes. Methinks he should have a religion of his own; and that, not that of the Jews, because he was a Gentile; and not, as we read of, proselyted to the Jews religion. Indeed, he spake reverently of the God of Israel, and of his temple-worship, and sacrifices, as did also several other kings; but that will not prove that he was adapted to that religion.

That his incomes were impaired, `tis evident; because he took off toll, tribute, and custom from them, of whom mention is made before; nor is it, I think, to be believed, that he did exact it of their brethren. But we may see what the Lord can do; for thus to do, was put into the heart of the king by the God of heaven (Ezr 7:27). This therefore ariseth not of nature: no more did the kindness of Cyrus or Darius, of whom we read in the beginning of this history. As God therefore did put it into the hearts of the wicked kings of Babylon, to distress his church and people for their sins; so he put it into the hearts of the kings of the Medes and Persians, who were to be, in a sense, their saviours; to ease them of those distresses, to take off the yoke, and let them go free. Indeed, there was an Artaxerxes that put a stop to this work of God (chap 4), and he also was of the kings that had destroyed the Babylonians; for it doth not follow, because God hath begun to deliver his people, that therefore their deliverance must be completed without stop or let. The protestants in France had more favour formerly, than from their prince they at this time have; yet I doubt not but that God will make that horn also one of them (in his time) that (indeed) shall hate the whore. As the sins of God's people brought them into captivity; so their sins can hold them there; yea, and when the time comes that grace must fetch them out, yet the oxen that draw this cart may stumble; and the way through roughness, may shake it sorely. However, heaven rules and over-rules; and by one means and another, as the captivity of Israel did seem to linger, so it came out at the time appointed; in the way that best pleased God, most profited them, and that most confounded those that were their implacable enemies. This therefore should instruct those that yet dwell where the woman sitteth, to quietness and patience.

To quietness: For God rules, and has the dispose of things. Besides, it is a kind of arraigning of his wisdom, to be discontent at that which at present is upon the wheel. Above all, it displeases him that any should seek, or go about to revenge their own injuries, or to work their own deliverances; for that is the work of God, and he will do it by the kings: Nor is he weak, nor has he missed the opportunity; nor doth he sleep but waketh, and waiteth to be gracious.

This also should teach them to be patient, and put them upon bearing what at present they may undergo, patiently. Let them wait upon God; patiently let them wait upon men, and patiently let them bear the fruits of their own transgressions; which though they should be none other but a deferring of the mercy wished for, is enough to try, and crack, and break their patience, if a continual supply, and a daily increase thereof be not given by the God of heaven.

And before I do conclude this, let me also add one word more; to wit, to exhort them to look that they may see that which God at present may be doing among the Babylonians.

When God had his people into Babylon of old, he presented them with such rarities there, as he never shewed them in their own country. And is there nothing now to be seen by them that are not yet delivered from that oppression, that may give them occasion to stay themselves and wonder! What, is preservation nothing? What, is baffling and befooling the enemies of God's church nothing? In the Maryan days here at home, there was such sweet songs sung in the fire, such sweet notes answering them from prison, and such providences, that coals of burning fire still dropped here and there upon the heads of those that hated God; that it might, and doubtless did make those that did wisely consider of God's doings, to think God was yet near, with, and for, a despised and afflicted people.3

3 When seven members of the first protesting church in London were burned, a proclamation was made that no one should pray for them, speak to them, nor once say, 'God help them.' But the church pressed through the officers,—embraced and prayed for and with the martyrs; and all the people with one consent said, Amen; to the astonishment of the officers. And so these godly martyrs, praying and praising God, sweetly ended their lives in the flames at Smithfield.—Clarke's Martyrology, p. 500 and 516.—Ed.

I conclude then, first with a word of counsel, and then with a word of caution.

First, Let us mend our pace in the way of reformation, that is the way to hasten the downfall of Antichrist, ministers need reforming, particular congregations need reforming, there are but few church- members but need reforming. This twenty years we have been degenerating, both as to principles, and as to practice; and have grown at last into an amazing likeness to the world, both as to religion and civil demeanour: Yea, I may say, so remiss have churches been in instructing those that they have received into fellowship with them; and so careless have the received been, of considering the grounds of their coming into churches, that most members, in some places, seem now to be at a loss; yea, and those churches stand with their fingers in their mouths, and are as if they would not, durst not, or could not help it.

My Second is, A word of caution.

1. Take heed of over-looking, or of shutting your eyes upon your own guilt: 'He that covereth his sins, shall not prosper.' It is incident to some men, when they find repentance is far from them, to shut their eyes upon their own guilt, and to please themselves with such notions of deliverance from present troubles, as will stand with that course of sin which is got into their families, persons, and professions, and with a state of impenitence: But I advise you to take heed of this.

2. Take heed in laying the cause of your troubles in the badness of the temper of governors. I speak not now with reflection upon any, excepting those concerned in this caution: God is the chief, and has the hearts of all, even of the worst of men, in his hand. Good tempered men have sometimes brought trouble; and bad tempered men have sometimes brought enlargement to the churches of God: Saul brought enlargement (1Sa 14:28). David brought trouble (2Sa 12:10). Ahab brought enlargement (1Ki 21:29). Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah did both sometimes bring trouble (2Ch 19:2; 20:35; 32:25). Therefore, the good or bad tempers of men sway nothing with God in this matter; they are the sins or repentances of his people, that make the church either happy or miserable upon earth.

Take heed, I say therefore, of laying of the trouble of the church of God at the doors of governors; especially at the doors of kings, who seldom trouble churches of their own inclinations: (I say, seldom; for some have done so, as Pharaoh:) But I say, lay not the cause of your trouble there; for oftentimes they see with other men's eyes, hear with other men's ears, and act and do by the judgments of others: (Thus did Saul, when he killed the priests of the Lord (1Sa 22:18); and thus did Darius, when he cast Daniel into the lions' den (Da 6:7). But rather labour to see the true cause of trouble, which is sin; and to attain to a fitness to be delivered out thence, and that is by repentance, and amendment of life. If any object, That God oft- times delivers his of mere grace: I answer, That's no thanks to them; besides, we must mind our duty. Further, When God comes to save his people, he can cut off such objectors, if they be impenitent, as the sinners of his people; and can save his church, without letting of them be sharers in that salvation: So he served many in the wilderness; and `tis to be feared, so he will serve many at the downfall of Antichrist.

I shall say no more, but to testify my loyalty to my king, my love to my brethren, and service for my country, has been the cause of this my present scribble. Farewell.

Thine in the Lord,
J. BUNYAN.

OF ANTICHRIST.

Antichrist is the adversary of Christ; an adversary really, a friend pretendedly: So then, Antichrist is one that is against Christ; one that is for Christ, and one that is contrary to him: (And this is that mystery of iniquity (2Th 2:7). Against him in deed; for him in word, and contrary to him in practice. Antichrist is so proud as to go before Christ; so humble as to pretend to come after him, and so audacious as to say that himself is he. Antichrist will cry up Christ; Antichrist will cry down Christ: Antichrist will proclaim that himself is one above Christ. Antichrist is the man of sin, the son of perdition; a beast, [that] hath two horns like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon (Re 13:11).

Christ is the Son of God; Antichrist is the son of Hell.

Christ is holy, meek, and forbearing: Antichrist is wicked, outrageous, and exacting.

Christ seeketh the good of the soul: Antichrist seeks his own avarice and revenge.

Christ is content to rule by his word: Antichrist saith, The word is not sufficient.

Christ preferreth his Father's will above heaven and earth: Antichrist preferreth himself and his traditions above all that is written, or that is called God, or worshiped.

Christ has given us such laws and rules as are helpful and healthful to the soul: Antichrist seeketh to abuse those rules to our hurt and destruction.

Antichrist may be considered either more particularly, or more generally. 1. More particularly: And so there are many Antichrists (1Jo 2:18). 2. More generally: And so the many maketh but one great Antichrist, one man of sin, one enemy, one great whore, one son of perdition (2Th 2:3; Re 19:2).

Again, Antichrist must be distinguished, with respect to his more internal and external parts; and so there is the spirit, soul, or life (1Jo 4:3); and also the body and flesh of Antichrist (2Th 2:7). The spirit, or soul, or life of Antichrist, is that spirit of error, that wicked, that mystery of iniquity, that under colour and pretence of verity, draweth men from truth to falsehood. The body or flesh of Antichrist, is that heap of men, that assembly of the wicked, that synagogue of Satan that is acted and governed by that spirit. But God will destroy both soul and body; He 'shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: [or from the soul, even to the flesh] and they shall be [both soul and body] as when a standard-bearer fainteth' (Isa 10:18).

A PARTICULAR DESCRIPTION OF ANTICHRIST.

Antichrist therefore is a mystical man, so made, or begotten of the devil, and sent into the world, himself being the chief and highest of him. Three things therefore go to the making up of Antichrist, the head, body, and soul. The devil he is the head; the synagogue of Satan, that is the body; that wicked spirit of iniquity, that is the soul of Antichrist. Christ then is the head of his church; the devil is the head of Antichrist; the elect are the body of Christ; the reprobate professors are the body of Antichrist; the Holy Ghost is the spirit of life that actuateth Christ's body; that wicked spirit of iniquity, is that which actuateth the body of Antichrist. Thus therefore are the two great mighties set forth before us, who are the heads of those two bodies; and thus are these two bodies set before us, who are to be actuated by these two spirits.

The reason why Christ came into the world, was, That he might destroy all the works of the head of Antichrist, and they which he endeavoureth to complete by his wicked spirit working in his body (1Jo 3:8). And the reason why Antichrist came into the world, was, That the church, which is the body of Christ, might be tried, and made white by suffering under his tyranny, and by bearing witness against his falsehoods. For, for the trial of the faithful, and for the punishment of the world, Antichrist was admitted to come: But when he came, he first appeared there where one would have thought there had been no place nor corner for his reception.

WHERE ANTICHRIST FIRST APPEARED.

The devil then, made use of the church of God to midwife this monster into the world, as the Apostle plainly shews, there he first sat, shewing himself (2Th 2:4). Here therefore was his first appearance, even in the church of God: Not that the church of God did willingly admit him there to sit as such; he had covered his cloven foot; he had plumbs in his dragon's mouth, and so came in by flatteries; promising to do for Christ and his church, that which he never meant to perform. For he shewed himself that he was God, and in appearance, set his heart to do as the heart of God (Eze 28:2-6). And who could have found in their hearts to shut the door upon such an one? True, he came, when he came thither, out of the bottomless-pit; but there came such a smoke out thence with him, and that smoke so darkened the light of the sun, of the moon, of the stars, and of the day, that had they [the church] been upon their watch, as they were not, they could not have perceived him from another man. Besides, there came with him so many locusts to usher him into the house of God (Re 9:2-3), and they so suited the flesh and reason of the godly of that day, that with good words and fair speeches, by their crafty and cunning sleights, whereby they lay in wait to deceive, they quite got him in, and set him up, and made him a great one, even the chief, before they were aware. Further, He quickly got him a beast to ride on, far, for sumptuous glory, beyond (though as to nature, as assish a creature as) that on which Baalam was wont to ride: And by this exaltation he became not only more stately, but the horns of the beast would push for him (Re 17:3-6).

Again, This man of sin, when he came into the world, had the art of metamorphosing, and could change himself, both in form and shape, into the likeness of a beast, a man, or woman; and the kings of the earth, with the inhabitants of the world, began then to love such women dearly; wherefore they went to her into the bed of love, and defiled themselves with the filthiness of her fornications, gave her their troth, and became her husbands, and beloved sons; took up helmet and shield, and stood to defend her; yea, though Christ himself, and some of the chief of his followers, cried out of her shame, and of the evil of their doings; yet would she be audacious.

Also this woman had now arrayed herself in flesh-taking ornaments, of the colour of purple and scarlet, and was decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls, after the manner or attire of harlots. Thus came she to them, and lay in their bosoms, and gave them out of her golden cup of the wine of her fornication; of the which they bibbed till they were drunken; and then, in requital, they also gave her of such liquors as they could, to wit, to drink of the blood of saints, and of martyrs of Jesus, till she, like these beasts, was drunken also.

Now when they were drunken, they did as drunkards do, revel, roar, and belch out their own shame, in the sight of them that were sober: Wherefore they cried out upon such doings, and chose rather to die, than to live with such company. And so `tis still with them where she yet sitteth, and so will be till she shall fall into the hands of the strong Lord, who will judge her according to her ways. And that she must do, as is implied by this, That her fornications are in a cup; she has therefore but her cup to be drank out; wherefore when it is empty, then, whether she will or no, the Lord God will call her to such a reckoning, that all the clothes on her back, with what pearls and jewels she has, shall not be able to pay the shot.

OF THE RUIN OF ANTICHRIST.

Antichrist, as was said, had a time to come into the world, and so must have a time to go out again: For although he saith that he is a God, yet must he be subject to the will of God, and must go as well as come according to that will. Nor can all the fallen angels, with all the members and limbs of Antichrist, cause that this their brat should abide so much as one day longer than our God's prefixed time. And this the head of Antichrist understandeth very well: Wherefore the Holy Ghost saith, 'Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time' (Re 12:12).

Besides, the text says plainly, The Lord shall destroy him (2Th 2:8), and that he goeth into perdition (Re 17:11; 19:21). Also the church of God believes it, and the limbs of Antichrist fear it.

Now when, or as his time shall come to be destroyed, so he shall be made a hand of; and that with such instruments and weapons of God's indignation, as best shall be suited to his several parts.

Such weapons as are best for the destroying of his soul, shall be used for the destroying of it; and such weapons as are best for the destroying of his body, shall be made use of for the destroying of it.

THE SOUL OF IT DESTROYED, AND HOW.

And therefore, as to his soul, or that spirit of error that governs him in all his works of mischief; this must be consumed by the spirit of Christ's mouth, and be destroyed by the brightness of his coming.

This we have in the words of Paul: 'For [saith he] the mystery of iniquity [the spirit of Antichrist] doth already work: only he who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming' (2Th 2:7-8). The Apostle here treateth of Antichrist, with reference to his more subtil and spiritual part, since that indeed is the chiefest of Antichrist: Wherefore he calls it that wicked; not, that wicked one, as referring to the whole; but that wicked, as referring to the mystery or spirit of iniquity, the heart and soul of Antichrist; and tells us, that the Lord shall 'consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming.'

Now, by the spirit of his mouth, I understand his holy word, which is called 'The word and breath of his lips' (Isa 11:4). And also, 'The sword of his mouth' (Re 2:16). By `the brightness of his coming,' I also understand, not only his presence, but an increase of light by his presence; not only to help Christians to begin to bear witness against some parts and pieces of the errors of Antichrist, but until the whole is rooted out of the world. By this, I say, must the soul, spirit, or life of Antichrist be taken away. But how shall Christ by this rod, sword, or spirit of his mouth, consume this wicked, this mystery of iniquity? Not by himself immediately, but by his spirit and word in his church; the which he will use, and so manage in this work, that they shall not rest till he by them has brought this beast to his grave. This beast is compared to the wild boar, and the beast that comes out of the wood to devour the church of God, (as we read in the book of Psalms: 80:13) But Christ, with the dogs that eat the crumbs of his table, will so hunt and scour him about, that albeit he may let out some of their bowels with the tushes of his chaps, yet they will not let him alone till they have his life: For the church shall single him out from all beasts, and so follow him with cries, and pinch him with their voices, that he alone shall perish by their means.4 Thus shall Christ consume and wear him out by the spirit of his mouth, and destroy him with the brightness of his coming

4 Christian, read in these words your duty. Bunyan felt the tusks of the wild boar, even to the peril of his life. He bore with resignation all his sufferings, and was blest. Pity those whose souls are under the yoke. Antichrist, if cruel to the body, is more dangerous to the souls of men. Your prayers and exertions should be redoubled until it is delivered up to the just judgment of the Almighty. Come out, 0 Christian, and be separate from every system which is stained with the blood and defiled with the soul-harrowing groans of the saints of God.—Ed.

Hence you find again, That this wicked, is to melt and consume away as grease: For the Lord Jesus shall consume him, and cause him to melt away; not all at once, but now this part, and then that; now his soul, and after that his body, even until soul and body are both destroyed.

And that you may be convinced of the truth of this thing, do but look back and compare Antichrist four or five hundred years ago, with Antichrist as he is now, and you shall see what work the Lord Jesus has begun to make with him, even with the spirit and soul, and life of Antichrist; both in confounding and blasting of it by this spirit of his mouth, as also by forcing of it to dishonourable retreats, and by making of it give up to him, as the conqueror, not only some of his superstitious and diabolical rites and ceremonies, to be destroyed, but many a goodly truth, which this vile one had taken from his church, to be renewed to them: Nay, further, he hath also already began to take from him both kingdoms and countries, though as to some not so absolutely as he shall do by and by. And in the meantime, this is the plague wherewith the Lord shall plague or smite the people that have fought against Jerusalem: `Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth' (Zec 14:12). And how has this long ago been fulfilled here in England! as also in Scotland, Holland, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, and other places! (Isa 17:4-6). Nor hath this spirit of Antichrist, with all his art and artificers, been able to reduce to Antichrist again, those people, nations, or parts of nations, that by the spirit of Christ's mouth, and 'the brightness of his coming,' have been made to forsake him, and to turn from him to Christ: The reason is, for that the Lord has not retreated, but is still going on in the spirit of his mouth, and his brightness, to make that conquest over him that is determined, in the way that is determined: Of which more shall be spoken afterward; for the path-way that he goeth, is as the shining light, which shines more and more unto noon. True, the fogs of Antichrist, and the smoke that came with him out of the bottomless-pit, has darkened and eclipsed the glorious light of the gospel: But you know, in eclipses, when they are on the recovering hand, all the creatures upon the face of the earth cannot put a stop to that course, until the sun or the moon have recovered their glory. And thus it shall be now, the Lord is returned to visit the earth, and his people with his primitive lustre; he will not go back, nor slack his hand, until he has recovered what Antichrist has darkened of his. 'The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly' (Jer 23:20). Therefore he saith again, 'The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun [was in her eclipse;] and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound,' &c. as the verse before (Isa 30:25) has it: 'In the day when the towers fall.' For (as was said before) as to the recovery of the light of the gospel from under antichristian mists, and fogs of darkness; Christ will do that, not by might nor power, but by the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: Wherefore the soul of Antichrist, or that spirit of wickedness by which this gospel-light hath been diminished, must be consumed and destroyed by that spirit also. Nor can any other way of conquest over that be thorough, and lasting; because that spirit can by no other means be slain. The body of Antichrist may be destroyed by other instruments, but spirits cannot be killed but by spirits. The temporal sword then may kill the body, but after that it hath no more that it can do, wherefore, the other must be dealt with by another kind of weapon: And here is one sufficient, the spirit against the spirit; the spirit and face of Christ, against the spirit, that wicked, of Antichrist. And by this spirit of Christ's mouth, all the spirit that is in all the trinkets and wash of Antichrist shall also be destroyed; so that those trinkets, those rites, ceremonies, and ordinances of this man of sin, shall be left as carrion upon the face of the earth, and shall stink in the noses of men, as doth the corrupted blood of a dead man.

THE ORDINANCES OF ANTICHRIST.

Now therefore will the beauty of Antichrist fade like a flower, and fall as doth a leaf when the sap of the tree has left it; or as the beauty departeth from the body, when the soul, or life, or spirit is gone forth. And as the body cannot be but unpleasant and unsavoury when under such a state; so the body of Antichrist will be to beholders, when the Lord has slain the spirit thereof. It is the spirit of Antichrist that puts life into the body; and that puts lustre into the ordinances of Antichrist, as the light of the sun, and of the moon, and of the stars, do put lustre upon the things of this visible world: Wherefore, when this spirit, and soul, and life of Antichrist is slain, then it will be with him as `twould be with the world, had it no light of the sun, of the moon, or of the stars.

And hence, as the loss of our natural life is compared to the loss of these lights (Ec 12:2); so the loss of the life, soul and spirit of Antichrist is compared to these things also. For, the soul of Antichrist is compared to a heaven; and her ordinances and rites, to the ordinances of heaven: wherefore, when the Lord comes to fight against her with the spirit of his mouth, he saith, 'The stars of heaven [shall be darkened], and the constellations thereof shall not give their light' (Isa 13:10); because he will slay that spirit of Antichrist that is in them (Isa 34; Re 6:13-14).

Take things therefore more distinctly, thus: The antichristians' spirit, is the heaven of antichristians; their sun, moon and stars, are their superstitious ordinances; their earth is the body or flesh of Antichrist, otherwise called the church and synagogue of Satan. Now as the earth cannot live, and be desirable, without the influences of the spirit of the heavens; so neither can Antichrist live, when the Lord shall darken the light of his heaven, and shall slay the spirit thereof. Hence you read, as I touched before, that when his heaven shall be rolled together as a scroll, 'all the host thereof,' unto which I compare the ordinances of Antichrist, 'shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig-tree' (Isa 34:4). But how, or why doth the leaf, or the fig fall from the tree? Why, because the spirit, or sap of the tree, is gone from them.

Therefore, the first and chief proceeding of the Lord with the man of sin, is to slay his soul, that his body may also be consumed: And when the spirit of Antichrist shall be made to leave both the body and ordinances of Antichrist, `twill be easy to deal both with the one and the other. And first, for the ordinances of Antichrist; because the spirit of error is in them, as well as in the body itself. When that spirit, as I said, has left them, they will of themselves even moulder away, and not be: As we have seen by experience here in England, as others also have seen in other countries. For as concerning his masses, prayers for the dead, images, pilgrimages, monkish vows, sinful fasts, and the beastly single life of their priests, though when the spirit of Antichrist was in them, they did bear some sway in the world; yet now, of what esteem are they? or who has reverence for them? They are now blown together under hedges, as the dry leaves, for the mice and frogs to harbour in: yea, the locusts too, camp in the hedges among the dry leaves, in the cold day, and 'when the sun ariseth they flee away' (Na 3:15-17). When `tis a cold day for them in a nation, then they lurk in the hedges, though their ordinances lie there, as leaves that are dry, and fallen down from the tree; but when the sun ariseth, and waxeth warm, they abide not, but betake them to their wings, and fly away. But one would think that fallen leaves should have no great nourishment in them: True, if you have respect to men, but with vermin any thing will do: We speak then of them with reference to men, not with respect to the very members of Antichrist: And I say, as to them, when the spirit of Antichrist is gone out of these ordinances, they will be with them as dry leaves that no body seeketh after. The ordinances therefore of Antichrist are not able to bear up themselves in the world, as the ordinances of the Lord Jesus are, for even the ordinances of Christ, where the spirit of Christ is not, are yet in some esteem with men: But THESE, when the spirit of delusion has left them, are abhorred, both skin and bones: For in themselves they are without any sense, or rationality (Eze 20:25-26); yea, they look as parts of things which are used to conjure up devils with: These were prefigured by the ordinances that were NOT good, and by the judgments whereby one should not live. For what is there, or can there be of the least dram of truth or profit in the things that are without the word, that being the only stamp by which one is distinguished from the other? I say, What is there in any of them, to the man whose eyes are open, but delusion and deceit! Wherefore, as has been expressed already, when the Lord Christ, by the spirit of his mouth, &c. shall drive this mystery of iniquity from them, and strip them of that spirit of delusion that now by its craft puts bewitching excellency upon them, they will of themselves become such stinking rivers, ponds and pools, that flesh and blood will loathe to drink of them; yea, as it was with the ponds and pools of Egypt, they will be fit for nought but to breed and hatch up frogs in.

Wherefore these ordinances shall be rejected, not one of them shall find favour with men on earth; when the Lord, 'by the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming,' shall have separated their spirit from them.

Now, by ordinances of Antichrist, I do not intend things that only respect matters of worship in Antichrist's kingdom, but those civil laws that impose and enforce them also; yea, that enforce THAT worship with pains and penalties, as in the Spanish inquisition: For these must, as the other, be overthrown by Christ, by the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: For these laws, as the other, took their being, and have their soul and life by the spirit of Antichrist; yea, as long as there is life in them, `tis because the spirit of that man of sin yet remaineth in them. Wherefore, these are also great ordinances, though of another nature than those mentioned before: Great, I say, are they; forasmuch as neither the church of Antichrist, nor his instruments of worship, can either live or stand without them. Wherefore, it was admitted to the image of the beast, not only to speak, but to cause. To speak out his laws of worship, 'and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast, should be killed' (Re 13:15). And mark, This is because that the life that was communicated to the image of the beast, was by him also communicated to his word and authority. Wherefore, these laws must not be separated from those in which the spirit of Antichrist is; yea, they are the very pillars and sinews by which antichristianism remains: And were these dis-spirited, the whole building would quickly become a ruinous heap.

What could the king of Babylon's golden image have done, had it not been for the burning fiery furnace that stood within view of the worshippers? (Da 3). Yea, what could that horrible command, to pray, for thirty days, to neither God nor man, but to the king, have done, had it not been for the dark den, and the roaring lions there in readiness to devour those that disobeyed it? (Da 6). As therefore the burning fiery furnace, and the den of lions, were the support of the horrible religion of the Babylonians of old; so popish edicts are the support of the religion of Antichrist now; and as long as there is spirit, that is, authority, in them, they are like to those now mentioned; the spirit of such laws is that that makes them dreadful: For as the furnace would have been next to nothing, if void of fire; and the den as little frightful, if destitute of lions; so these laws will be as insignificant, when Christ has slain that spirit that is in them; that spirit that causes that as many as will not worship the image of the beast, should be killed.

Nor can any sword reach that life of Antichrist that is in these, but the sword of Christ's mouth: Therefore, as all the religious rites and ceremonies of Antichrist are overthrown by his spirit working in his, as Christians; so those antichristian laws will have their soul and their life taken from them also by this spirit of his mouth working in some of his, as magistrates, and no otherwise; for before kings and princes, &c. come to be enlightened about the evils that are in such edicts, by the spirit of the living God, they will let this image of the beast both speak and cause, &c. But when they shall see, they will say, let it be decreed that this prop of Antichrist be taken down. It was decreed by Darius, that they that prayed, for thirty days, to any God but him, should be cast into the den of lions (Da 6:9); but this was before he saw; but when he came to see, then he decreed again; a decree that quite took away the power of that which he had decreed before (Da 6:26).

Nor are we without instances of this kind nearer home: who is now afraid of the act for burning of those that papists call heretics, since by the king and parliament, as by the finger of God, the life and soul is taken out of it. I bring this to shew you, that as there is life in wicked antichristian penal laws, as well as in those that are superstitiously religious; so the life of these, of all these, must be destroyed by the same spirit working in those that are Christ's, though in a diverse way.

Nor will the life of these sinews, as I have called them, be taken away; but as God shall enlighten men to see the abominable filthiness of that which is antichristian worship: as would easily be made appear, if some that dwell in those countries where the beast and his image have been worshiped, would but take the pains to inquire into antiquity about it. As the noble king, king Henry VIII did cast down the antichristian worship; so he cast down the laws that held it up: so also did the good king Edward his son. The brave queen, queen Elizabeth also, the sister to king Edward, hath left of things of this nature, to her lasting fame behind her. And if one such law of Antichrist hath escaped the hand of one, another hath taken it, and done that execution on it that their zeal and piety prompted them to.

There is yet another thing that the spirit of Antichrist is immediately concerned in; and that is, the antichristian names of the men that worship the beast: the names, I mean, that the Antichrist hath baptized them into: for those names are breathed upon them by the very spirit of Antichrist; and are such as are absolutely names of blasphemy, or such as do closely border thereupon; some such as Elihu durst not for his life give unto men, only he calls them 'flattering titles' (Job 32:21-22). Now therefore, of the danger (though not of the names themselves) you read sufficiently in the scripture; and perhaps the Holy Ghost has contented himself with giving of items that are general, that men might, as to them, be the more cautious of what names they give one to another (Re 17:5); but this is clear, they are worn by men of spiritual employ: but since they are but mentioned, and are not distinctly nominated, how should we know which are they, and which not? Verily, by searching the word of God, and by seeing by that what names we are allowed to give unto men, with reference to their offices, dignities, and places: for God has a quarrel with the names, as well as with the persons that wear them; and when his Son shall down with Antichrist, he will slay seven thousand names of men, as well as the persons of the worshippers of the beast (Re 11:13).

But there are things, as well as men (Job 22:28); and these also have been baptized into those names by the very spirit of Antichrist, and must be destroyed by Christ, the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: 'The idols he shall utterly abolish' (Isa 2:18); and there are men that are idols as well as things (Zec 11:17): wherefore, let men have a care, as to shun the worship of idols, so that they bare not the name, or stand in the place of one: and the reason of this caution is, because name and thing are both abominable unto God.

To give you the number of these names that the spirit of Antichrist has baptized men into, (besides the things that do also wear such blasphemies upon them,) would be a task too great for me, and too wearisome for you. It shall satisfy then, that I give you notice that there are such things and men and names; and that I put you upon search to find out what they be. But whatsoever of the spirit, or soul, or life of Antichrist is in these names, men, or things, must be consumed by Christ, by the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming.5

5 No man of the most refined education could have manifested greater delicacy than Bunyan has in treating this subject, leaving his reader to imagine whether the high-sounding titles, such as 'His Holiness,' God's Vicegerent upon earth,' which are given to men, are consistent with the simplicity of the gospel or not. If they are not, they belong to Antichrist, and will be consumed with the stubble at the brightness of Christ's coming, when he shall judge the earth.—Ed.

Another thing that I would touch upon is this; to wit, The lying legends, and false miracles that Antichrist cries up: These, by the means of which such as dwell upon the earth are deceived, and made to adore and worship the beast: these have their life and soul (as had those mentioned before) from the spirit of wickedness; and must be destroyed as they, namely, by Christ, the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: for these are not of the body of Antichrist, but rather such implements, or whatever you will call them, by which the spirit and soul of Antichrist is conveyed into, and kept also alive in the body of Antichrist, which is the church and synagogue of Satan; you may call them organs and means by which that wicked worketh in the mysteries of iniquity, for the begetting of, and maintaining a lying and false belief of the religion of the beast: nor can it be thought, but that, as the antichristian statists6 of Antichrist, mentioned before, do put a dread and fear upon men that are worshippers of the beast, and his image, to the holding of them still to his service; so these legends and miracles do, on the other hand, abridge and bind their consciences to that worship; but all because of that spirit of Antichrist that is in them.7

6 Antichristian statists of Antichrist. Those who weigh things to place them in their relative order in the kingdom of Antichrist, as the decree followed by the lions' den, &c.

7 The homilies read in the Church of England prior to the Reformation, called 'The Festival,' contains the pith of these lying legends and pretended miracles. Omitting the obscene parts, it ought to be republished, to exhibit the absurdities of popery as it was then seen in England.—Ed.

So then, here is the spirit of Antichrist diffusing itself into all the things pertaining to the kingdom of the beast; for it dwells in the body of Antichrist; it dwells in the matters and things of worship of Antichrist; it dwells in the titles and names that are antichristian; and it dwells in the laws, legends and miracles of Antichrist. And as it is the spirit of Antichrist, so it must be destroyed; not by sword, nor by bow, but by Christ, as fighting against it with the spirit of his mouth, and as conquering of it by the brightness of his coming.

THE BODY OF ANTICHRIST DESTROYED, AND HOW.

We come now to discourse of the body or flesh of Antichrist, and of the destruction of that; for that must be destroyed also. Now the body of Antichrist, is that church or synagogue in which the spirit of Antichrist dwells, or unto which the spirit of Antichrist is become a soul and life.

And this is to be destroyed, either as it is a body mystical, or under the more gross consideration.

First, As it is a body mystical, and so it is to be destroyed absolutely.

Secondly, As it is to be considered more grossly, and so it is to be destroyed conditionally. That is, if repentance doth not save the men that have gone to the making up of this body, and to the rejoicing in it.

As she is a body mystical, so she is to be destroyed the same way that the things of Antichrist, of which we discoursed before, were to be destroyed; to wit, by Christ, the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming.

This then is the sum, as to this: That the church of Antichrist, as a church, shall be destroyed by the word and spirit of Christ. Nor can anything in heaven prevent it, because the strong God has decreed it: 'and a mighty angel took up a stone, like a great mill-stone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all' (Re 18:21). This city, Babylon, is here sometimes considered in the whole, and sometimes as to the parts of it; but always, whether in whole, or in part, as some, or else as the whole of the antichristian church; and as such, it must not be destroyed, but by the means aforesaid. By which means her witchcrafts, spiritual whoredoms, spiritual murders, thefts, and blasphemies, shall be so detected and made manifest, so laid open, and so discovered, that the nations shall abhor her, flee from her, and buy her merchandise no more (Re 18:11). Hence her tempting things rot, and moulder away; for these will not keep, they are things not lasting, but that perish in the using: what then will they do when they are laid by? Therefore it follows, 'All things which were [thy] dainty and goodly [ones] are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all' (Re 18:14). Now, if when she had things to trade with, her dealers left her; how shall she think of a trade, when she has nothing to traffic with? Her things are slain, and stink already, by the weapons that are made mention of before; what then will her carcase do? It follows then, that as to her church- state, she must of necessity tumble: wherefore, from Re 18:22 to 24, you have the manner of her total ruin as a church, and something of the cause thereof.

But as she must, with reference to her body, be considered mystically as a church; so also she must be considered as a body of men, (this is that which I called more grossly,) and as such, against whom the wrath of God will burn, and against whom, if repentance prevent not, he will have indignation for ever. These, I saw are them; to wit, as they are the body of the people, that have been seduced by this spirit of Antichrist, that have been made use of to do all the mischiefs that have been done both to true religion, and to the professors of it, for this many hundred years, wherefore these must not escape. Wherefore you find, that after Antichrist, as to the spirit and mystery of Antichrist, is slain, that the body of Antichrist, or the heap of people that became her vassals, come next to be dealt withal.

Therefore, the angel that standeth in the sun, makes a proclamation to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, to gather themselves, and to come unto the supper of the great God; that they may eat the flesh of the several sorts of the men that have been the lovers, the countenancers, the upholders and defenders of her antichristian state, worship, and falsehoods (Re 19:17-18): for abundance of their hearts shall be hardened, and made yet more obdurate, that they may be destroyed for the wickedness that they have done.

Wherefore, you find (as did the enemies of the church of old,) that they might revenge themselves for the loss of their idol, or antichristian state, begin a new war with the king, whose name is the Lord of hosts: 'And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army' (Re 19:19).

Their implacable malice remained when their church-state was gone; wherefore they will now at last make another attempt upon the men that had been the instruments in Christ's hand to torment them that dwelt on the earth; of which more hereafter.

Now therefore is the last stroke of the batter,8 with reference to the destroying of the body of Antichrist; only the head of this monster remains, and that is SATAN himself: wherefore, the next news that we hear, is, that he is taken also: 'And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. and he laid hold on the Dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled,' &c. (Re 20:1-3).

8 'The last stroke of the batter,' probably alludes to an engine of war used by the ancients, called a battering-ram.—Ed.

BRAVE DAYS WHEN ANTICHRIST IS DEAD.

Now therefore there will be nothing of Antichrist to be seen throughout the nations, but ruinous heaps, and desolate places. It is said of the army of the man of sin, when he came into the land of God's people, though it was before him 'as the garden of Eden,' yet behind him `twould be as 'a desolate wilderness' (Joe 2:3); such ruins would he make of the flock of God, and of all their ordinances, and heavenly dainties. But when the days that I have spoken of, shall come, it will be to him a time of retaliation: for it shall then be done unto Antichrist, as he hath done to the church of God: As he hath made women childless, so shall he be made childless; as he has made Zion sit upon the ground, so now must this wicked one come down and sit in the dust; yea, as he has made many churches desolations, so now shall he be also made a desolation. Wherefore, whoso will find his body, they must look for it in the side of the pit's mouth; and whoso will find his friends and companions, they must look for them there likewise. 'They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit, he is put in the midst of them that be slain. There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude:—There is Edom, her kind, and all her princes, &c.—There be the princes of the north, all of them,—which—with their—might' are laid with them that are 'slain by the sword, and bare their shame with them that go down to the pit' (Eze 32:25-30). For 'as Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth' (Jer 51:49). The margin reads it thus: Both Babylon is to fall, 0 ye slain of Israel! And with Babylon the slain of all the earth. Now then she is gone down, when all these things shall be fulfilled; and what remains now, but to talk of her, as folk used to do of them that are dead: for the day will come that the church of God shall have no more of Antichrist, Babylon, or the mother of harlots, than only the remembrance of her; to wit, that there was such an enemy of God in the world; that there was such a superstitious, idolatrous, bloody people in the world. Wherefore the people that shall be born, that shall live to serve God in these happy days, they shall see Antichrist only in its ruins; they shall, like the sparrows, the little robins, and the wren, sit and sing, and chirrup one to another, while their eyes behold this dead hawk. 'Here [shall they say] did once the lion dwell; and there was once a dragon inhabited: here did they live that were the murderers of the saints; and there another, that did used to set his throat against the heavens; but now in the places where these ravenous creatures lay, grows grass, with reeds and rushes (Isa 35:7), [or else, now their habitation is cursed, nettles grow, and so do thorns and brambles, where their palaces were wont to be]. And as no good was with them while they lived, so their name stinketh now they are dead: yea, as they wrought mischiefs, and lived like the wild beasts when they enjoyed their abundance; so now the wild beasts of the desert, yea, they of the desert, shall meet with the wild beasts of the island: and the satyr shall cry to his fellows. Their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, even as devils and wicked spirits do haunt the desolate houses of the wicked, when they are dead' (Isa 34). 'And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there: neither shall the shepherds make their folds there' (Isa 13:19-20). A while after this, as was hinted before, the Christians will begin with detestation to ask what Antichrist was? Where Antichrist dwelt? Who were his members? And, What he did in the world? and it shall be answered by them that shall have skill to consider his features by the word, by way of taunt and scorn, 'Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch; and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, as a carcase trodden under feet' (Isa 14:16-19).

There will be a strange alteration when Antichrist is dead, and that both in the church, and in the world. The church and the members of it then, shall wear the name of their God in their foreheads; that is, they shall be bold in the profession of their king, and their God; yea, it shall be their glory to be godly; and carnal men shall praise them for it: the praise of the whole earth shall the church of God be in those days.

Then there shall no more be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord: no lion shall be there; the unclean shall no more tread in the paths of God's people, but the ransomed of the Lord shall walk there.

Glory that has not been seen nor heard of by the people that used to walk in sackcloth, shall now be set in the land of the living. For as it was said of Christ, with reference to his day; so it shall be said of saints, with reference to this day: many kings and righteous men have desired to see the things that will be seen then, and shall not see them: but without all doubt, the men that shall be born at this time, will consider that these glories, and liberties, and privileges of theirs, cost the people that walked in the king of Babylon's fiery furnace, or that suffered the trials, troubles and tyranny of the antichristian generation, more groans and hearty wishes, than they did them that shall enjoy them. Thus then it will go; the afflicted prayed for them, and the possessors bless God for the enjoyment of them.

Oh! now shall the church walk in the light of the Lord, and sit every man under his vine, and under his fig-tree, and none shall make him afraid!

'For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: And they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors. And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city, (or the exactress of gold) ceased! The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no seller is come up against us' (Isa 14:1-8).

Also the world will now be (as it were) another thing than it was in the days of Antichrist: now will kings, and princes, and nobles, and the whole commonality be rid of that servitude and bondage which in former times (when they used to carry Bell and the dragon upon their shoulders) they were subjected to. They were then a burden to them, but now they are at ease. `Tis with the world, that are the slaves of Antichrist now, as it is with them that are slaves and captives to a whore: they must come when she calls, run when she bids, fight with and beat them that she saith miscall her, and spend what they can get by labour or fraud upon her, or she will be no more their whore, and they shall be no more her bosom ones. But now! Now it will be otherwise! Now they will have no whore to please! Now they will have none to put them upon persecuting of the saints! Now they shall not be made, as before, guilty of the blood of those against whom this gentleman shall take a pet! Now the world shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked; yea, they shall cleave to, and countenance the people of God, being persuaded, as Laban was of Jacob, that the Lord will bless them for his people's sakes: for at this day, 'the remnant of Jacob shall be [among the Gentiles] in the midst of many people, as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men' (Mic 5:7).

Also in these days men shall come flocking into the house of God, both kings and princes, and nobles, and the common people, as the doves do to their windows: and for that cause it is spoken to the church, with reference to the latter days, saying, 'Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand, and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited' (Isa 54:2-3).

Now will be broken up those prophecies and promises that to this day lie as under lock and key, and that cannot be opened until they be fulfilled. Now will the Spirit of God be poured forth abundantly; and our rivers shall be in high places, that is, shall break forth from the hearts of great ones; yea, then shall our waters be made deep: 'And I will cause their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord God' (Eze 32:14). Then shall the differences, the divisions and debates that are among the godly, cease: for men 'shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion' (Isa 52:8): yea, the watchmen of God's people shall do so; for it is for want of light in them, that the lambs have so butted one another.

Now the church of God shall read with great plainness the depths of providence, and the turnings and windings of all God's dark and intricate dispensations, through which she hath waded in the cloudy and dark day: now, I say, they shall see there was an harmony in them; and that if one of them had been wanting, the work and way of her deliverance could not have been so full of the wisdom, and justice, and goodness of God; Wherefore now will that song be sung with clearer notes than ever: `Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou king of Saints. Who shall not fear thee, 0 Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest' (Re 15:3-4). And again, 'For true and righteous are his judgments: For he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand' (Re 19:2).

OF THE MANNER OF THE RUIN OF ANTICHRIST.

What Antichrist is, I have told you; and that as to his soul and body. I have also told you where, or in what things the spirit and life of Antichrist lieth, and how he shall reign for a time. I have moreover shewed you that he shall be destroyed, and by what, and that with reference both to his soul and body. Wherefore, waving other things, I shall here only present you with a few short hints concerning the manner of his downfall.

There is the downfall, the time of the downfall, and the manner of the downfall of Antichrist.

The manner of the downfall of Antichrist, may be considered, either with respect to the suddenness, unexpectedness, terribleness, or strangeness thereof. It may also be considered with respect to the way of God's procedure with her, as to the gradualness thereof. As to the suddenness thereof, `tis said to be in an hour. It is also to be, when by her unexpected; for then she saith, 'I sit a queen' (Re 18:7-8). For the terribleness of it, The nations shall shake at the sound of her fall (Eze 31:16-17). And for the strangeness thereof, it shall be to the wonder of the world (Isa 14:12), it will be as when God overthrew Sodom.

But I shall not enlarge upon this method in my discourse, but shall shew you the manner of the ruin of Antichrist, with respect to the gradualness thereof (Eze 16:36-43; Re 18:8; Isa 47:9).

Antichrist then shall be brought to ruin gradually; that is, by degrees: A part after a part; here a fenced city, and there a high tower, even until she is made to lie even with the ground. And yet all shall be within the compass of God's days, hours, or moments; for within the compass of these limited times Antichrist shall be destroyed.9

9 Upon the Sunday sports being authorized, and pious ministers persecuted for refusing to wear popish vestments in the reign of James I, that godly Puritan, Mr. Carter, exclaimed, 'I have had a longing desire to see or hear of the fall of Antichrist: but I check myself. I shall go to heaven, and there news will come, thick, thick, thick.'—Life by his Son, p. 13.

Now, (as I said) He, she, Sodom, Egypt, Babylon, Antichrist, shall be destroyed, not all at once, after the way of our counting of time; but by step after step, piece after piece. And perhaps there may be in the words now following, something that signifies this: They shall `shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end' (Jer 51:31). This is also shewed by the vessels in which is contained the wrath of God for her, together with the manner of pouring of it out. The vessels in which it is contained are called VIALS; Now a vial is that which letteth out what is contained in it by degrees, and not all at once.

There are also two things to be considered, as to the manner of its being poured out of them. The first respecteth the nature of the vial. The other, the order of the angels that poured forth this wrath.

For the First: The vial, as it letteth out what is in it by degrees; so it doth it with certain gusts, that are mixed with strength and violence, bolting it out with noise, &c.

As for the order of the angels, or that order that they observe, they plainly shew that this enemy must come down by degrees; for that these vials are by them poured out one after another, each one working something of their own effects, before another is poured forth. The first is poured forth upon the antichristian earth: The second, upon her sea: The third is poured forth upon her rivers: And the fourth, upon her sun: The fifth is poured forth upon the seat of the beast: The sixth, upon her Euphrates: And the seventh, into her air (Re 16:2-17). And, I say, they are poured forth not all at one time, but now one, and then another. Now, since by these vials Antichrist must fall; and since also they are poured forth successively: `Tis evident that this man of sin, this son of perdition, is to fall and die by degrees. He would not die at all, as is manifest by his wrestling with it; but he is a strong God that judges, and therefore he must come down: His friends also, with what cordials they can, will labour to lengthen out his tranquility; but God hath set his bounds, and he cannot go beyond the time appointed.

We must also put a difference betwixt her being fought withal and wounded, and that of her dying the death. Michael and his angels have been holding of her in play a long season; but yet she is not dead (Re 12): But, as I said, she shall descend in battle and perish, and shall be found no more for ever.

A TENTH PART FALLS FIRST.

To speak then to the manner of the ruin of this Antichrist, with respect to the gradualness thereof: It must piece after piece be overthrown, until at last every whit thereof is rolled down from the rocks as a burnt mountain.

And hence we read that this city falls first in a tenth part thereof, even while nine parts remain yet standing: Nor doth this tenth part, notwithstanding the faith and faithful testimony of the two witnesses, quite fall, until they are slain, and also raised again: For `tis said, The same hour that the witnesses were raised, the tenth part of the city fell (Re 11:13): The tenth part of that city that reigneth over the kings of the earth, which city is Sodom, Egypt, Babylon, or the great whore (Re 17:18).

By the city then, I understand the church of Antichrist in its utmost bounds; and so it reacheth as far as the beast with seven heads and ten horns hath dominion. Hence this city is also called cities, as one universe is called by the name of several countries, &c. And them cities also are called 'the cities of the nations' (Re 16:19): For as when they are put together, they all make but one; so when they are considered apart, they are found in number ten, and answer to the ten horns upon the heads of the (seven headed) beast that carries her, and do give her protection.

This then I take to be the meaning: That the antichristian church is divided into ten parts, and each part is put under one of the horns of the beast for protection: But that aid and protection shall not help, when God shall come to execute judgment upon her: For it saith, 'A tenth part of the city fell'; that is, first, and as a forerunner of the fall of all the rest: Now where this tenth part is, or which of the ten parts must fall first, or whether indeed a tenth part is already fallen, that I will leave to those that are wiser than myself to determine.

But since I am speaking of the fall of a tenth part of Antichrist; a word or two about the means of the fall thereof.

The means of the fall of this tenth part, is an earthquake; yet not such as is universal, over the face of all, but an earthquake in that tenth part where that city stood that should fall. Now by earthquakes here, cannot be meant any thing but such a shaking as unsettleth the foundations of this tenth part: But whether it shall be in this tenth part as a city, or in it as a state, that I shall not determine; only my thoughts are, That it shall be an earthquake in that kingdom where this tenth part shall happen to be: An earthquake not to overthrow further than is appointed; and that is the city which is called the tenth part of the great Antichrist. So far as that state is a state, so far then it is shaken for reformation, not for destruction; for in the earthquake were slain seven thousand (names of) men; and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. But thus much for the first: Great Babylon falleth first, in a tenth part of it.

THE NINE PARTS FALL.

Again, The next step that the strong God taketh towards the utter overthrow of Antichrist, will be more sore upon the whole, though not at first universal neither, yet in conclusion, it shall throw down the nine parts that are left: For thus it is recorded: 'And the cities of the nations fell': The cities of the nations, the antichristian churches, otherwise called the daughters of the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth.

Now to shew you the hand of God in this second stroke, wherewith the Lord will smite this enemy. 1. Here we have a great earthquake.

2. And then, The fall of the cities of the nations.

For the earthquake, it is said to be such as never was, 'so mighty an earthquake, and so great' (Re 16:18); for it extended itself as far as the other nine cities had any ground to stand on; for it shook the foundations of them all.

The fall of the cities, was not immediately upon the shake that was made, but the earthquake produced an eruption, an eruption in the nine remaining parts of this city: And such an eruption as is of the worser sort, for it divided them into a three-headed division: 'And the great city was divided into three parts': the great city, to wit, the powers by which they were upheld. The meaning then is this; when God shall strike this man of sin the second time, he will not be so sparing as he was at first, when he struck but a tenth part to the ground; but now he will so shake, so confound, so divide, so raise up Antichrist against himself, to wit, in the body and members of him, that they shall set to fighting, and to tearing one another in pieces, until they have consumed the whole of these nine parts. It was, saith the text, divided into three parts, which divisions are the worst of all: It will be therefore such a division as will bring them all to ruin. Hence it follows, `And the cities of the nations fell.'

Wherefore, this three-cornered eruption will be the most dreadful to Antichrist that ever was: It will be like that that was in Jerusalem when she came to be laid even with the ground; and like that that came upon the armies of the Gentiles, when they came up to fight against Jehoshaphat.

`For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another' (2Ch 20:23). This, I say, is the division that this mighty earthquake shall make betwixt the horns that are left to these nine parts that remained, when the tenth part of the city fell. And this will come to pass through the increase of the heat of God's anger: For he is angry with the waters where the woman sitteth, because they have delivered up his beloved to the bloody whore; wherefore, he now will give them blood to drink in fury.

Hence his beginning to deal with Antichrist, is called, the beginning of revenges: 'I will make [saith God] mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy' (De 32:42). And therefore it is said again, that when God comes to do this work upon this Antichrist, it is because 'it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion' (Isa 34:8). 'For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come' (Isa 63:4).

A peace therefore cannot be made among these cities when God has forbidden it: Wherefore the effect of all, is, The cities of the nations fall. There is therefore like to be no more good days for Antichrist after this earthquake has begun to shake her: No, nothing now is to be expected of her, but rumours, tumults, stirs, and uproars: 'One post shall run to meet another,—to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end': And again, 'A rumour shall both come one year; and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler,' &c. (Jer 51:31,46). So that this earthquake has driven away peace, shaken the foundations, and will cast the nine cities down to the ground.

GREAT BABEL FALLS.

And this is a second stroke that God will give this man of sin, and a third cometh quickly. Wherefore it follows upon the downfall of these cities of the nations, that `great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.' Now then, have at great Babylon. Great Babylon! What is that? Why, I take it to be the mother, the metropolitan, the great whore herself: For though sometimes, by the great whore, or great Babylon, we may understand, the church of Antichrist in general; yet by it is meant more properly, the mother of the daughters, of whose overthrow we have spoken before. We are now then come to the threshold of the door of the house of the OLD one; to the door of the mother of harlots, and abomination of the earth. This then that but now is said to come into remembrance with God, is that which gave being to the cities destroyed before; to wit, the mistress, the queen, the mother- church, as she calleth herself.

And this is the wisdom of God concerning her, that she should not be the first that should die; but that she should live to see the destruction of her daughters, and pine away under the sight and sense of that, even until judgment also shall overtake herself.

Thus Pharaoh and his chief ones did live to see the greatest part of Egypt destroyed before judgment overtook them, but at last it came to their doors also.

Zedekiah lived to see his children slain before his face, before judgment overtook him to his own personal destruction (Jer 52:8-11).

Babylon also, when God sent the cup of his fury unto her, yet was to live to see the nations drink before her: 'Take the wine cup of my fury [said God to the prophet,] and cause all the nations to whom I send thee, to drink it' (Jer 25:15). To wit, All the kingdoms of the world which are upon the face of the earth. 'And Sheshach shall drink after them' (Jer 25:26). But what was Sheshach? may some say. I answer, It was Babylon, the princess of the world, and at that time the head of all those nations (Da 4:22), (as this queen is now the mother of harlots). Wherefore, the same prophet, speaking of the destruction of the same Sheshach, saith, `How is Sheshach taken? and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! How is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!' (Jer 51:41).

Now, if this was the method of God's proceeding with his enemies in the way of his judgments of old, why may we not suppose that he will go the same way with his great enemy now: especially since those judgments mentioned before, were executed upon those, which, in some things, were figures of the great whore. Besides, we read here plainly, that when the cities of the nations were fallen, great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give her to drink of the cup.

From all which I conclude, as I did before, that the mother, the metropolitan, the lady of kingdoms, shall live to see her daughters executed before her face: After which she shall come into consideration herself; for she must assuredly drink of the cup.10

10 How remarkably has this come to pass since Bunyan's time; a slow but sure progression. That darling ugly daughter, Intolerance, was executed by the Act of Toleration. The impious Test by the repeal of the Sacramental Test Act, &c., &c.—Ed.

This destruction therefore must be last, for the reasons urged before, and also because she most deserves the bottom of the cup. The bottom is the dregs, the most bitter part, and that where the most heat, and fiercest wrath of God doth lie (Ps 75:8): Wherefore, although you find that by the first earthquake a great slaughter was made, and that a tenth part of the city fell; yet from that judgment some did escape: 'And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven' (Re 11:13). But now, this earthquake, by virtue of which the cities of the nations fall, and as an effect of which great Babylon is come into 'remembrance before God,' neither spares one of the daughters of this whore, nor any man that is a lover of them; but it so is seconded by a 'hail-storm,' and that hail-storm worketh so in wrath, that not one escapes by repentance. Every hail-stone was the weight of a talent, which some say is six pounds above half an hundred weight:11 By this therefore God shews, that now his anger was wrought up to the height. I know not wherewith so to compare these hail-stones, as with the talent of lead that was laid over the mouth of the ephah, which was prepared to hold the woman, whose name was wickedness, this very whore of Babylon: For that talent of lead was to keep down this mistress, that she might get no more out of the ephah, and these hail- stone are to banish her out of the world (Zec 5:5-11): Therefore it follows, that she must have the most heavy judgment, even the bottom of the cup.

11 There is great difficulty in estimating the weight of a talent. Dr. Gill considers it about sixty pounds; this was the lesser Roman talent. Michaelis estimates the Jewish talent at thirty-two pounds and a half. The attic talent of gold used in Greece in the time of Homer is estimated at less than an ounce. The safest conclusion as to the weight of the hail-stones is, that they were enormous, and fell with a velocity to crush all animals to instant death.—Ed.

`And great Babylon came into remembrance before God.' To remember with God, is to visit either with grace or wrath, God is said to remember Rachel, when he visited her with the blessing of a fruitful womb (Ge 30:22). It is said also that God remembered Noah, when the time came on that he was to be delivered from the flood (Ge 8:1). Here also he is said to remember Babylon, that is, to visit her with his anger for the wickedness that she had committed: 'To give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.'

Now then is the time of iniquity, when it will be come to the full; and now also is the time of God's anger, when it will be come to the full: Now therefore must the murders (Re 18:24), and thefts, and blasphemies, and fornications, &c., belonging to this mother of harlots, be recompensed to the full, to wit, with the dregs of this cup: Yet since the hail-stones come by weight, and the wrath comes by measure, (for so a talent and a cup imports) it follows, that the Almighty God, even in the midst of the heat of all this anger, will keep to the rules of justice and judgment while he is dealing with this enemy: He has not passions, to carry him beyond rules of judgment; nor weakness, to cause him to fall short of doing justice: Therefore he has (as was said) his judgments for her by weight, and his indignation by measure: But yet this weight and measure is not suited to her constitution, not with an intent to purge or refine her; but it is disposed according to the measure and nature of her iniquity, and comes to sweep her, as with the besom of destruction, until she is swept off from the face of all the earth.

And thus I have shewed you the manner of the ruin of Antichrist; that is, That it will be gradual, part after part, until the whole be overthrown. And this truth may be applied both to the soul, as well as to the body of Antichrist: For the soul, spirit, or life of Antichrist must also after this manner be destroyed. And hence it is said to be consumed, that is, by degrees: For to consume, is to destroy by degrees: Only this caution I would have the reader remember, That much of the soul of Antichrist may be destroyed, when none of her daughters are; and that the destruction of her spirit is a certain forerunner of the destruction of her body in the manner that we have related.

Now since she is dying, let us ring her passing-bell; for when she is dead, we that live to see it, intend to ring out.

`For thus saith the Lord God; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; when I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living; I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord God' (Eze 26:19-21).

OF THE SIGNS OF THE APPROACH OF THE DOWNFALL OF ANTICHRIST.

Having in the foregoing discourse spoken of Antichrist his ruin, and the manner thereof, I now come to speak of the signs of the approach of her destruction. And whether I shall hit right, as to these, that I must leave to time to make manifest; and in the mean while to the wise in heart to judge.

That she shall fall, there is nothing more certain; and when she is fallen, that she never shall rise again, is also as firmly decreed; yea, and shewed too by him that cast the millstone into the sea, and said, 'Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all' (Re 18:21). This is therefore her fate and destiny, from the mouth of the holy one; and is sealed up in the scriptures of truth, for the comfort of the people that have been afflicted by her.

True, the time of her fall is not certainly known by the saints, nor at all believed by her; wherefore, her plagues must come unlooked for by her. And as to the saints, their guesses, as to the time of her ruin, must needs be conjectural and uncertain. For her part, she shall say, and that when she stands where she must suddenly fall, 'I shall be a lady for ever' (Isa 47:7-9). And as to the saints that would very willingly see her downfall, how often have they been mistaken as to the set time thereof.

Nor have I been without thought, but that this mistake of the godly may become a snare to Antichrist, and a trap to her upholders. For what can be a greater judgment, or more effectually harden the hearts of the wicked, than for them to behold that the predictions, prophecies, expectation and hopes of their enemies (as to their ruin) should quite (as to the time) be frustrate, and made void.

Moses prophesied, and the people hoped that God would give Israel 'the land of Canaan'; and yet the Canaanites beat them (Nu 14:40; Jos 7:5-9).

Jeremiah prophesied that the enemy should come and take the city [of] Jerusalem; but because he came once, and went back without doing it, how stout and hardened were the hearts of that people against all the rest of his prophetic sayings, as to such a thing (Jer 37). Now the error lay not in these prophets, but in the people's mistaking the times: and if mistakes do so much harden the heart of the wicked, what will they do to such of them who make it their business to blind and harden their hearts against God, by abusing all truths? Surely, when men seek to harden their hearts by abusing of truth, they will do it to purpose, when they have also the advantage of the weakness of their professed enemies to do it by: especially when their enemies shall say they speak by the word of the Lord, and time shall manifest it to be both a mistake and a falsehood.

It is to be bewailed, namely, the forwardness of some in this matter, who have predicted concerning the time of the downfall of Antichrist, to the shame of them and their brethren: nor will the wrong that such by their boldness have done to the church of God, be ever repaired by them nor their works. But the judgments of God are a great deep; and therefore who can tell, since the enemy of God would not be convinced by the power of truth, and the virtuous lives of some, but that God might leave them to be snared, hardened and emboldened to run upon their unavoidable destruction, by the lies and lightness of others. They begin to vaunt it already, and to say, Where is the word of the Lord, as to this, let it come now. But when Agag said, 'surely the bitterness of death is past,' then was the time for him to be hewn in pieces (1Sa 15:32-33). I shall not therefore meddle with the times and seasons which the Father hath put in his own power; no, though they as to Antichrist's ruin are revealed; because by the Holy Ghost there is a challenge made, notwithstanding the time is set, and by the word related to the man of wisdom, to find it out if he can (Re 13:18).

If Samson's riddle was so puzzling, what shall we think of this? and though the angel hath intimated, that this sealed matter shall be opened towards the time of the end (Da 12:9); yet `tis evident, some have either been so hasty, or presumed too much upon their own abilities: for I am sure they have missed the mark, hardened the heart of the enemy, stumbled the weak, and shamed them that loved them.

But since the most high hath irreversibly determined her downfall also, let us see if we can have better success in discoursing upon the signs, than others have had who have meddled with the timing thereof.

FIRST SIGN.

First then. The downfall and ruin of Antichrist draws near, when the church and people of God are driven from all those hiding-places that God has prepared for them in the wilderness. The church of God, when the dragon did his worst, had an hiding-place prepared her of God, that she might not utterly be devoured by him; and so shall have till the time of his end shall come.

Of this you read in Re 12, a place worthy to be noted for this. But now, when the time of the ruin of Antichrist draws on, then is the church deprived of her shelter, and laid open, as one would think, to be utterly swallowed up for ever, having no more place in the wilderness, that is, among the nations, to hide herself from the face of the serpent. But how comes this to be a SIGN of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist? why thus. The time of this beast's war with the church of God, and the time that the church shall have an hiding-place in the wilderness, are both of a length, the one continuing forty-two months, the other a thousand two hundred and threescore days. Now since the war that this beast makes with the woman and her seed, and the woman's hiding-place in the wilderness from his face, are, for length of time, the same; what hindereth but that when the woman and her seed can find no more shelter in the nations, the time that the beast hath allotted him to make war against her, should be finished also? when we therefore shall see that plots and conspiracies, that designs for utter ruin, are laid against God's church all the world over; and that none of the kings, princes, or mighty states of the world, will open their doors, or give them a city for refuge; then is the ruin of Antichrist at hand: for Haman's plot, though the most universal that ever yet was hatching, (being laid in an hundred twenty-seven provinces,) did but presage the deliverance and exaltation of the Jews, and the hanging of Haman and his sons: yea, and I take it, that the very day that this great enemy had set for the utter overthrow of the church, God made the day in which their deliverance began, and that from whence it was completed; and I take that to be a type of this.

There is but one thing that I can think of that can give matter of a shew of doubt about this thing; and that is, though the time of this war against the saints, and that of the woman's shelter in the wilderness as to length, be one and the same; yet whether they did commence together, and begin to take their rise, as men do that begin to run a race? a word therefore to this. I suppose they did commence much together; for else with whom should this beast make war, and how should the church escape? Or, if the beast began his war before the woman began to have a hiding-place, why was she not swallowed up, since in the wilderness was her only place of shelter? Again, what needed the woman to have a place of shelter in the wilderness, when there was no war made against her? And yet this must be, if her thousand two hundred and threescore days, began before the beast's forty-two months: but they ended both together; for the beast could not kill the witnesses before they had finished their testimony; which testimony of theirs lasted this full time that the beast had granted him to make war with them, to wit, one thousand two hundred and threescore days (Re 11:3): therefore their times went out together, as will be made appear, if you consider also that the witnesses were slain, by virtue, not of the old, but of a new war levied against them; and that, as it should seem, at the very time when her hiding- place was taken from her; for then indeed, for a little season, will the church of God be overcome, as I shall shew by and by.

Wherefore, let God's people consider and remember that when God's church is absolutely forlorn, and has no hiding-place any longer in the world, the kingdom of Antichrist will quickly begin to tumble. Nor is this the alone place from whence we may gather these conclusions.

The time of Pharaoh's tyranny, of his life, and of the deliverance of the children of Israel, came out much together; as any will discern that shall consider the history of them (Ge 15:13).

David, when Saul did sorely prosecute him, fled last into the wilderness to Achish the king of Gath, a Philistine, for shelter; and he gave him Ziklag for his refuge (1Sa 27:5-6). And that place so continued to David, 'till just about the time in which Saul must die; and then behold, David's Ziklag is burnt with fire, and himself stript naked of harbour! (1Sa 30:1). But what matter! The time of Saul's life, as well as of David's Ziklag, was now upon expiring; for within three or four days after, David became the king of Israel (1Sa 31:1-6).

And thus also it was with the Babel-beast: His time expired, when the captivity of Israel was upon the finishing: then was the time of his land come, and 'in that' very 'night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain' (Da 5:25-30).

Thus therefore it will happen to the church in the latter days: her place of shelter in the wilderness; her Ziklag will be taken from her, about the time that the war that the beast has to make upon the woman and her seed shall be finished. But now the church is not therefore immediately delivered, when her Ziklag is taken from her; for after that, the beast levieth a new war, to the overcoming and killing of the church: I say therefore, that this is a sign, not of the downfall of Antichrist, but of the approach thereof: for the church's bondage shall continue but three days, and a little after this [shall be her deliverance]. Much like to this was that of David; for after he had lost his Ziklag, for two or three days he had sore distress: but lo, then came the kingdom to him.

Indeed, sense and reason saith, it is a fearful thing for the church of God to be exposed to the rage of her enemy all over the world at once; and that all nations should shut up their gates, let down their portcullises, bolt up their doors, and set open their flood-gates to destroy them: but so will be the dispensation of God, to the end deliverance may be the sweeter, and the enemies fall the more headlong, and the arm of God the more manifest, both for the one, and against the other. And in this will that scripture be fulfilled: 'And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation—and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book' (Da 12:1).

Let us gather up what has been said again; namely, that it is a sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist, when God's church can find no more shelter in the wilderness; because when her Ziklag is burned, the time of the war that the beast is to make against her, is finished. Wherefore, when she hath given one desperate struggle more, and laid the church of God, or his witnesses, for dead, in the street of his great city, for three days and an half, then comes the kingdom, and the long, long-looked-for rest and glory. Wherefore it remains, that an angel should stand in the sun, and make proclamation to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, to gather themselves together to the supper of the great God: 'That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them; and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great' (Re 19:18). This is to be after the forty-two months of the beast; and consequently, after the thousand two hundred and threescore days that the church was to be in sackcloth; yea, after the resurrection of the witnesses, as is evident by that which follows: `And the beast was taken, [that is, after the second year] and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone' (Re 19:20).

SECOND SIGN.

Secondly, Another sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist, is this: towards the end of her reign, the nations will be made to see her baseness, and to abhor her and her ways. They will, I say, be made to see these things, in order to her ruin: also, when they shall be made to see, her ruin will not be far off. For so long as the nations and their rulers shall continue in that dead sleep that she hath bewitched them into, by their drinking of the wine of her fornication; so long we have no ground to think that her ruin is at the door: but when God shall lay her before kings, and shall discover her nakedness to the nations, then be sure her destruction is at hand. Hence you read, that precedent to her downfall: An angel comes down from heaven, and enlightens the earth with his glory (Re 10:1). [The earth;] that is, the kingdoms, countries, and nations where the woman sitteth, or they that border thereupon. [Enlightened;] to let them see the filthiness of the whore. [With his glory;] with the doctrine that he had commission to preach against her, for the discovering of her lewdness to the earth. This also was the way that God took with backsliding Israel of old, (and she was a type of our religious Babel) when he intended to bring her to judgment for her sins (Eze 16:37); and this is the way that God will take to destroy our religious Antichrist, when he comes to deliver his people out of her hand.

For though the people that suffer at her hand, can do nothing against her, but lay, in prayers and tears against her before the God of heaven, and bear their witness against her before the gods of the earth; yet when kings shall come to be concerned, and they will count themselves concerned when they shall see how they have been deceived by her; then let her look to it. 'Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of Hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazing-stock.' And what follows? 'And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee, shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?' (Na 3:5-7).

Wherefore, there wants nothing but that she be discovered to the nations and their kings; for did they but see her, though they lay yet in her bosom, they would rise up against her, that she must die: wherefore it is written again, I will `bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee' (Eze 28:18).

The chief of the wisdom of Antichrist this day is laid out, if perhaps by it she may cover her nakedness, and keep it from the eyes of kings and their people. But God has said it shall not avail: 'Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man' (Isa 47:3). But how will he make her naked? Verily, by kings. But how shall kings do it? Why, by virtue of the glory of the angel: yea, they 'shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire' (Re 17:16).

Let this, I pray, be considered, That Antichrist shall not down, but by the hand of kings. The preacher then kills her soul, and the king kills her body. And why should not the kings have it granted unto them, that she should fall by their hand? the kings are those that she has abused, that she has in the grossest manner abused, and has served herself of them: but the time of the end of Antichrist, mystery Babylon is coming, 'and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him' (Jer 27:7).12

12 The reader must not misunderstand the words, 'The king kills her body.' Bunyan does not in the slightest degree concede to kings or nations a right to interfere with 'the soul' or religious principles or practices—these are to be slain, if false, by persecution of the preacher. Kings and nations will restore to the people the immense property and revenue of which they have been plundered, under the hollow knavish pretence of curing souls and forgiving sins. THUS will human laws kill the body of Antichrist. Every motive for professing to believe absurdities and contradictions will be at an end, when neither rule nor honour, nor pelf is to be gained by hypocrisy.—Ed.

Nor shall all the tricks, lies, and deceit under which formerly she used to shroud herself, be able to prove a balm to her any longer: No, 'in vain shalt thou use many medicines'; for no cure shall be unto thee; 'the nations have heard of thy shame' (Jer 46:11-12).

Babylon has for a long time been 'a lady of kingdoms,' and 'a golden cup in the Lord's hand': the nations also have largely drank of her cup, and the kings have committed fornication with her (Re 18:3). But now the angel is come down, and hath enlightened the earth with his glory. Wherefore now it follows immediately, 'Babylon is fallen! is fallen!' That is, in the eyes and esteem of the nations, as well as otherwise.

True, some of the kings will bewail her fall, and will cry, Alas! Alas! when they see that they cannot help her; for that they shall see, as is evident, because they stand afar off to lament her, 'afar off for the fear of her torment.' The kings therefore into whose hands God shall deliver her, and who shall execute his judgments upon her, shall be more mighty and powerful to bring her down, than shall be the whole world besides to uphold her.

The Protestant Kings.

And this observe further, That as the kings that shall hate her, shall hate her because in the light of the glory of the angel they are made able to see her filthiness; so the kings that shall bewail her, are such as in judgment are left in the dark, and that shall be bewitched by her to the end. This therefore will let us see something of the meaning of God, in that he has drawn off from her some of the kings already; to wit, that he might train them up by the light of the gospel, that they may be expert, like men of war, to scale her walls, when the king of kings shall give out the commandment to them so to do.

There has been a great deal of talk in the countries about the ruin and destruction of Babylon; but could we see more of the kings engaged against her, we should hope groundedly that her fall was at the door. Well, blessed be God for what kings there are, and the Lord turn the hearts of many more to hate her.

Some, as I said before, have adventured to foretell the time of her downfall; but give me the signs thereof. This therefore is a sign, a sign that her downfall approaches, when God shall lay her nakedness before the nations, and put it into the hearts of kings to abhor her. The signs of the times the Lord Jesus would have us mind; and because the Jews neglected them, though as to the time they hit pretty right, yet they missed of the thing that the time brought forth.

THIRD SIGN.

Thirdly, A third sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist, is this: 'When Babylon is become the habitation of devils, &c.,' then the downfall thereof is upon us. True, Babylon was always an habitation for devils; but not an habitation only for them; Israel once dwelt there, and our Antichrist was sometimes a place of residence for good men. The meaning then, is, When you shall see the church and people of God so forsake her that she is left in a manner to herself, and to her disciples, then she is to fall quickly. When you hear it proclaimed by them that are yet in her, of God's people, 'We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country' (Jer 51:9): Then she will soon be hissed out of the world: for this is the way of the wisdom of God; namely, to bring his people out of a city or place, when he intends the ruin of that place. When God was about to destroy the old world, he put his Noah into an ark: when God was about to destroy Sodom, he sent his Lot away thence to Zoar: when Christ was about to destroy Jerusalem, he bid his disciples flee from the midst of that: and when there shall be by God a hissing for his people; and when they shall hear him, and obey, and gather to him, then you shall see what will become of this enemy of Christ: 'I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them' (Zec 10:8-12).

I say therefore, when Babylon shall become the habitation of devils, a hold for all foul spirits, and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird, then Babylon is fallen.

And thus the angel that lightened the earth with his glory, proclaimed, 'Babylon the great is fallen! is fallen! and is become the habitation of devils, and a hold for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird.' Wherefore it must be, that by that her time is come that she should fall, God will have gleaned his people from the midst of her. And when God shall have gleaned his people from the midst of her, those that are left behind will appear more than ever to be what they are, to wit, devils, foul spirits, and hateful birds; wherefore, now will Antichrist appear in his own most proper colours.

But to comment a little upon the words.

Babylon 'Mystery Babylon' (Re 17:5). The antichristian church.

`Is fallen! Is fallen!' In the eyes and faith of the godly, by her dropping into the dregs of degeneracy, and so is become the habitation of devils, &c., in order to her falling into utter and unavoidable destruction for ever.

`Is become.' That is, through the labour of the fanners and winnowers that God hath sent to fan Babylon, and to fetch out his people, that she might be left to her chaff: 'I will send [saith God to Babylon] fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land [of good men;] for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about' (Jer 51:2).

`An habitation of devils.' Devils: not such by nature, but by practice. Incarnate devils. For when the time is come that Babylon must be destroyed, she shall be found to be an habitation for the most vile of the sons of men. For as devils have acted towards the world, so shall the sons of this sorceress, and this whore, act towards Christ and his members in the latter days. And, perhaps, the departing of Zion from the midst of her, will blow her up into this spirit of devilism. Let God's people therefore, when Antichrist is towards her end, look for nothing from her, but what the devil, in times past, used to do; to wit, all sinful subtilty, malice, wrath, fraud, deceit, lying, murder, false accusings, and implacable madness of spirit to do them mischief. (But Lord God! think I, what will become of good men! and where will they be safe in such days? Only I comfort myself, by saying to myself again, this a sign that the ruin of Antichrist is at the door.) But this I say, he must needs be a tuneable man, that shall be able in those days to sing this song to himself at all seasons: for this is to drive reason backward, and to set the cart before the horse. For what will the good man's reason say, when it seeth all Babylonians are become devils, but that the church of God will certainly be torn in pieces? But behold! the text and the Holy Ghost runs counter. 'Babylon is fallen! is fallen! and [or, for it] is become the habitation of devils.' These words for certain are the words of an holy angel; for it could not have entered into the heart of mere man to have conceived them.

`An habitation.' To be an habitation (for devils) is to be their house, their dwelling-place, their place of privilege, their place of rest and abode, or thither whither they have right to go. And thus will Babylon be; that is, an house, an habitation, a dwelling-place, and a place of rest, only for devilish-minded men; thither may such men come; for such her doors stand open, and there may such inhabit. When therefore you see good men come out thence, and all sorts of wicked men flock in thither, then know that Babylon is near her end.

`And a hold for every foul spirit.' Understand by spirit, either those that are devils by nature, or such as are such otherwise. But I think that the angel chiefly intends all manner of unclean and filthy spirits; and so the church and members of Babylon, their only place of safety: Or if you understand it of the uncleanness of the spirits and minds of men, then the meaning is, that they are called foul spirits, in allusion to those of devils which go by the same name (Mr 9:25). But however, or which way soever taken, it seems Babylon is their hold; that is, their place of defence: For by an hold, we often understand a place of strength, a castle, a fort, a tower; so that these devils, these foul-spirited men, these Babylonians, will not only find house-room and harbour in Babel, but shelter, defence and protection, when she is near her ruin: yea, they will find her an upholder to them, and a countenancer of them, in all their foul and devilish pranks; yea, such an hold shall she be to such foul spirits in such foul acts, that it shall not be possible that they should be driven from her, or from them: For an hold is often taken in the scriptures for a place that is impregnable, and must be so taken here. This intimates then, that some faint opposition by the kings and nations will be made against these inhabiters, foul spirits, but to little purpose, until the time of her land shall come (Jer 27:7); for in their hold they still will be secured and defended from what reason, law and scripture can or would do unto them. Thus then we see how Babel, towards her end, will be filled, and with what, to wit, with devils and foul spirits; yea, and that she will not only be an habitation, but a place of defence for such.

`And a cage for every unclean and hateful bird.' Those that before are called devils, and foul spirits, are also here called 'birds, unclean and hateful beasts.' By the term [Birds,] he may allude to that of the prophet Isaiah, where these unclean birds are mentioned (34:11-17) And by cage, he may allude to the prophet Jeremiah, from whom, as I think, the Holy Ghost takes those words; but then we must put men in the place of birds, and the Babylonian kingdom for the cage (Jer 5:27).

`Every unclean bird.' As was said before, a hold for every foul spirit. These unclean birds therefore are not all of one feather, or kind, but of all and every kind; and it intimates, that the worst act of all professions, shall be, as in a cage, in Babylon, a little before her downfall. But I say, if they will not be all of one feather, yet in their temper they will somewhat agree, being either in shape, monstrous; of appetite, ravenous; or, of inclination, lovers of the night. For of all these sorts were the forbidden, or unclean birds among the Jews. Now since these unclean birds are not all of one feather, or kind, it intimates that the basest of all sorts, sects, professions and degrees, shall take shelter in Babylon towards her end; and that they shall there, in their temper, unanimously agree to show themselves monstrous, to devour and eat up the poor and needy, and to blow out the light of the gospel.

`A cage.' Not to imprison them in, but for them to sit and sing in, to confer their notes in, to make melodious music in; I mean, melodious to their own thinking; for the ass thinks that he sings full favouredly, and the owl endeavours to lift up her voice above all the birds of the wood: But it will be a prediction of her fall, and that her ruin is at the door.

Of these birds Zephaniah speaks, when he prophecies of the downfall of Nineveh, saying, `The cormorant and the bittern [shall] lodge in the uppermost lintels of it, their voice shall sing in the windows; [when] desolation shall be in the thresholds' (Zep 2:14). An unseasonable time to sing in; for when death is coming in at the door, mourning should be in the chambers. But this is the judgment of God, That she should be a cage for every unclean bird to sing in, even then when her destruction and desolation cometh upon her.

To sing, as in a cage, doth also denote security, and that the heart is far from fear; for she saith, 'I shall see no sorrow, in that hour in which her judgment comes.'

But is this a sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist? And must those that shall live to see those days, rejoice when these things begin to come to pass? Are not these things rather a sign that the utter overthrow of the church of God is at the door? Indeed, to sense it is, and reason will be apt to say so: But hark what the Holy Ghost saith! 'She is fallen! is fallen now!'

When therefore we shall see men like devils; yea, every foul spirit, and hateful bird, flock to, and take shelter in Babylon; let us not be frighted or dejected, but pluck up our hearts, and say, This is one of the signs that the downfall of Babylon is near. Wherefore it follows, after that the prophet had told us that these birds should dwell in the land of the people of God's curse (Isa 34). That 'the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; [for that they are there] and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose: It shall blossom, [saith he] abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.' And to support the weak from those fears that in those days will be pulling of them down, he adds, `Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: In the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called, The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away' (Isa 35).

What say ye now, ye sons of God! Will you learn to make a judgment of things according to the mystery of the wisdom of God, or will ye longer conclude according to sense and reason: `He turneth the shadow of death into the morning' (Am 5:8). And commands oft-times, that the fairest day should succeed the foulest night. Wherefore, when we see these devils, foul spirits, and unclean birds in Babylon; yea, when we see good men leave her, and the vilest run in to her, then let us sing the angels' song, and say, `Babylon the great is fallen! is fallen! and is become the habitation of devils, and a hold for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird.'

FOURTH SIGN.

Fourthly, another sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist, is, 'The Slaying of the Witnesses': For the witnesses are to be slain before the fall of Antichrist; and that by the hand of the beast, who shall manage the members of Antichrist, having qualified them before that work, with those qualifications of which you read in the sign foregoing. For what can better fit a generation for such a work, than to be themselves all turned devils, and also succourers of all foul spirits. Wherefore, they must be the wickedest of men that shall do this: the very scum of the nations, and the very vilest of people. Nor is this a new notion: God threatened to give his sanctuary 'into the hands of strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil' (Eze 7:21); To robbers, burglars, and they should defile it (Eze 7:22). Again, saith God of his people, 'I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses' (Eze 7:24). For the truth is, this work is too bad for men either of reason or conscience to be found in the practice of. The hangman is usually none of the best: The witnesses are also to be slain; but not a man, but a beast must slay them; 'a den of thieves, a hold of foul spirits,' must do it.

That the witnesses must be slain before the fall of Babylon, has been hinted already. Also, that their death is a forerunner of the ruin of Antichrist, has before been touched upon; but in this place I shall a little enlarge.

And therefore I proceed: 'And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people, and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put into graves.' And after three days and an half, the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither: And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them' (Re 11:7-12).

Thus you see their death is before their deliverance. Also their death is to be by the hand of the beast; to wit by the men that have and hold his mark, and that of his image, and that are of the number of his name. You see also that their death is not only a forerunner of their deliverance, but a sign that their deliverance is at the door; since the one is but three days and an half before the other.

And if a short comment upon this text will give a little light to the reader, I shall not count my labour lost.

And when they shall have finished their testimony, when, or about the time they have done their work of witness-bearing for God in the world: When they have made or are making an end of giving their testimony for Christ, and against the witchcrafts, idolatries, sorceries, fornications, thefts, murders, and wickedness of Antichrist: Then and not till then.

`The beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit.' The beast: The power that carrieth and beareth up Antichrist, the mother of harlots: The beast upon which the woman sitteth, and by the heads and horns of which she is protected and defended; he is said to ascend out of the bottomless pit; for that he manifesteth by his doings, that he was born there, and came to [do] the work of the king thereof.

`Shall make war against them.' We read that he made war against them all the time of their prophesying in sackcloth, while they were bearing their testimony against his doing; and that his commission was, That he should have leave to make war so long (Re 12:6). But here we read again, that when they had finished their testimony, and so consequently he had run out the time of his first commission for war, he makes war again. So that this war which now he raiseth against them, seems to be another, a new war, and such as is grounded upon other, to wit, new arguments, besides those upon which his first war stood. By his first war, he sought to beat down and overthrow their testimony (Re 13:4). By this war he seeketh to overthrow themselves. The first war he made, was grounded upon a vain confidence of his ability to destroy their faith; but this last was grounded upon madness against them, because their testimony had prevailed against him: Wherefore, Torment, wherewith these witnesses by their testimony tormented him and his followers, was the cause of this last war. And this is insinuated when he saith, 'They make merry for their victory over them, because these two prophets,' (to wit, by their testimony,) `tormented them that dwelt on the earth' (Re 11:10).

The beast therefore will make a war against the witnesses all the time of their prophesying in sackcloth, which will be a thousand two hundred and threescore days (Re 12:6). In all which time they shall give him the foil, and overcome him by their faith and testimony; and be proclaimed more than conquerors over him, through the Christ that loved them. But now in this second war he overcomes them, 'he overcomes them, and kills them.'

Jezebel for a long time made war against Elias the prophet, seeking to overthrow the worship of God which he maintained, and to establish the religion of Baal: But when she saw that by all she could do she got nothing, but that the prophet got the day of her worship, priests and worshippers (1Ki 18:30-40), she breaks out into a rage, as one tormented almost to death, and raises a new war; not now against his religion, but his person, and desperately swears by all the gods that she had, That by tomorrow that time the life of the prophet should be as the life of one of her priests whom he had slain for an idolater (1Ki 19:2). When the devil sees that he cannot do by argument, he will try if he can by blows.

When Zedekiah, the son of Chenanah, saw that with argument he could not overcome Micaiah, he steps to him, and takes him a box of the ear (1Ki 22:24). This new war, is a box of the ear which the beast will give the witnesses, because they overcame him by their faith and testimony, all the time that the first war lasted.

Now how long this second war will last, and what strugglings the witnesses will make before he shall overcome them, I know not: This I know, that the text saith, 'by this war he shall overcome them.'

`And shall overcome them.' Saints are not said to be overcome, when they are imprisoned, banished, and killed for their faithful testimony: No, by these things they overcome. To overcome then, is to get the mastery, to subdue, to turn out of possession, to take and hold captive, to strip the subdued of power and privilege, as is sufficiently manifest both by scripture and reason: Tor of whom a man is overcome, of the same he is brought in bondage' (2Pe 2:19).

So then, when he is said to overcome them, it is meant, he shall get the mastery of them, they shall grow faint before him, have no heart or spirit to bear up in their profession against him: Against him, I say, as she did the thousand two hundred and threescore days' war with him; for then they were overcomers, and did bear away the garland.

Nor do I, for my part, wonder at this, when I consider that these witnesses are a succession of good men; and that when Israel came out of Egypt of old, the feeble and weak-handed did come behind (De 25:17-19). It will be the lot therefore of the church, in the latter end of the reign of the beast, to be feeble and weak in their profession, the valiant ones having gone before: These will come, when those that were able have bravely borne their testimony, or when they are upon finishing of that: In comparison of whom, they that come after will be but like eggs to the cocks of the game: wherefore they must needs be crushed, cowed, and overcome. And then will the beast boast himself, as did his type of old, and say, 'My hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped' (Isa 10:14).

A sad time, and it is to happen to the people that are left, to the latter end of the witness-bearers; and that too when they shall have finished their testimony.

Of this tyranny the cruelty of Amalek was a type; who, as was hinted before, smote the hindermost, the weak: But his judgment is, That `he shall perish for ever.'

`And shall overcome them.' There are two ways of overcoming; to wit, by power and policy: And perhaps by both these ways they may be overcome. However, overcome they shall be; for so saith the holy word of God; yea, the beast shall overcome them. Wherefore the church of God, at that day, will be under such a cloud as she never was since Christ's day. Now how long they shall thus be held captive before they are brought to execution; whether the beast will ride in triumph while they are in his bonds; or whether he will suddenly kill them; that time, and observation, and experience, must make manifest: But kill them he shall, that's most certain, for so says the Holy Ghost.

`And shall overcome them, and kill them.' In this method therefore God will suffer the beast to proceed with the church of God, after she has sufficiently borne her testimony for him in the world. He shall 'war against them,' but that is not all: He shall overcome them, but that is not all; he 'shall overcome them, and kill them.'

`And kill them.' Of their slaughter also I shall speak a word or two. But first I would note, as all know, that there is a difference to be put betwixt killing and overcoming: For though every one that is killed, is overcome: yet every one that is overcome, is not killed (Ac 21:32): men may be overcome, and yet live (Jer 12:11); but when they are killed, it is otherwise: There may be a cry heard from the mouth of them that are overcome, but not from the mouth of them that are killed (Ex 32:18; Ac 7:34): They that are overcome, may consult their own enlargement, and deliverance; but they that are killed, cannot do so. I do therefore distinguish between killed and overcome, because the text doth so: 'He shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.'

`And kill them.' From these words therefore I will take occasion to inquire,

1.    How they are to be considered as to this slaughter.

2.    What death they must die to accomplish this prophecy.

FIRST, How they are to be considered?

I answer: Not in a carnal or natural, but in a mystical sense. For, first, they are called witnesses. Secondly, They are put under the number of two: 'My two witnesses' (Re 11:3). Both which are to be mystically taken.

First, Because their testimony standeth not in their words only, but in their conversation; yea, in their suffering also: and that is a mystical witness-bearing.

Secondly, They go under the number of two: Not because there were indeed two such men in the world, but because two are a sufficient number to bear witness (Nu 35:30; De 17:6; 19:15); and God's church, in the most furious heat and rage of Antichrist, has been at least of such a number of professing saints, to proclaim against the beast and his worship in the name of God. To think that there have been two such men in the world, is ridiculous; for these witnesses must continue to give their testimony for God against Antichrist, a thousand two hundred and threescore years. Nor can they scripturally bear this title, My two witnesses, but with respect to their prophesying so long. The witnesses therefore are nothing else but a successive church, or the congregation of God abiding for him against Antichrist, by reason of a continual succession of men that is joined by the special blessing of God unto it.

SECONDLY, What death they must die? I answer, Not a corporeal one, but that which is mystically such. And I choose to understand it thus, because this suiteth best with their state and condition, which is mystical. Besides, thus did they (when they did overcome,) slay their enemies, even with the fire or sword of their mouth: 'If any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed' (Re 11:5). As therefore they went about to kill their enemies, so their enemies will kill them: But they sought to kill their enemies by their testimony, as to their antichristian spirit, and church-state; and their enemies will kill them, as to their Christian heat and fervency of mind; and also as to their Christian church-state. So that, (at least so I think,) there will be such ruins brought both upon the spirit of Christianity, and the true Christian church-state, before this Antichrist is destroyed, that there will for a time scarce be found a Christian spirit, or a true visible living church of Christ in the world: Nothing but the dead bodies of these will be to be seen of the nations; nor them neither, otherwise than as so many ruinous heaps. For the love that I bear to the church of Christ, I wish, as to this, I may prove a false prophet: But this looks so like the text, and also so like the dispensations of God with his church of old, that I cannot but think it will be so. For the text, I have spoken to that already; wherefore I will now present you with some things that look like parallel cases.

First, When the church was coming out of Egypt, just before they were delivered from Pharaoh, they were in their own eyes, and in the eyes of their enemies, none other than dead: `It had been better [said they to Moses] for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness' (Ex 14:12). The people said so, Moses feared, and Pharaoh concluded they were all dead men (Ex 12:33). Also Paul tells us, 'that they were baptized [that is, buried] unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea.' They were, for the time, to use the expression, a dead church both in the eyes of Pharaoh, in the eyes of Moses, and also in their own.

And `tis to be taken notice of: As the witnesses in the text were slain but a little before the ruin of Antichrist began; so this church was baptized in the sea but a little before great Pharaoh was drowned there.

Secondly, In the time of Elias, which time also was typical of this, what church was there to be seen in Israel? None but what was under ground, buried in dens, and in caves of the earth: Yea, the prophet could see none, and therefore he cried to God, and said, Lord, they have `digged down thine altars,' and slain thy prophets, 'and I am left alone, and they seek my life' (1Ki 19:14; Ro 11:3). What visible living church was now in the land, I mean, either with reference to a godly spirit for it, or the form and constitution of it? What was, was known to God, but dead to every man alive.

Thirdly, What was the dry bones that we read of in the 37th of Ezekiel, but the church of God, and also a figure of what we are treating of? And why called dry bones, since the people were alive, with their substance, wives, and children; but to shew, that that church of God was now, as to their spirit and church-state, accounted as dead, not only by themselves, but by the king of Babylon, and the nations round about? Babylon then was the valley, and the grave; and the church of God were the bones: Bones without flesh, sinews, or skin; bones exceeding dry; yea so dry and dead were they, that the prophet himself could not tell whether ever they should live again (Eze 37:1-3).

Now this, as I said, was a state that was not to end with the church of Israel, but to be acted over once again by the beast with the church of the new testament: Yea, it is an easy matter to make their witnesses in this their death, and the church of Israel in this their grave, in many things to symbolize.

Fourthly, Take another instance, or rather comparison, into which the church of God compared herself, when under the king of Babylon's tyranny: And that is, she counted herself as the dung that the beast lets fall to the ground from behind him. And doth this look like a visible church-state? Or has it the smell or savour of such a thing? Nebuchadnezzar (said she) `hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out' (Jer 51:34). Pray, what would you think of a man, of whom one should tell you, That he was eaten up of a dragon; made to fill the belly of a dragon; and cast out as the dung of a dragon? Would you think that such an one did all this while retain the shape, form, or similitude of a man? Why, thus the church said she was, and thus the church shall be again: For she is once more to be overcome, to be overcome and killed; and that by the beast, the dragon's whelp, of which the king of Babylon was a type. And therefore I conclude the premises; that is, That the beast will kill the church that shall be in the latter days, as to her Christian spiritedness, and her church-state. And I could further add, That if we hold they die corporeally, we must conclude, that their natural body being slain, shall lie three years and an half in the street; yea, that their resurrection shall be corporeal, &c. But why we should think thus, as yet I can see no reason, since the persons are such mystically; the beast mystically so; the street in which they be, mystically such; and the days of their unburied state, to be taken mystically likewise. But we will pass this, and descend to other things.

Fifthly, I will yet add another thing. When Israel was coming out of Babylon; yea, while they were building of the temple of God, which was a figure of our church-state now under the Gospel; they were not only troubled, hindered and molested in their work, but were made for a time to cease, and let the work lie still.

`Now [says the text] when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter [which he sent to forbid the Jews in their work] was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia' (Ezr 4:23-24).

And I pray, since their temple-worship was a type of a new testament church-state and worship, what doth their causing of that work to cease signify to us, but that we must have a time also to cease as they? And since their temple-work was caused to cease before the house was finished, what face could there be at present thereupon, but that, to look to, it was like some deformed, battered, broken building, or as such an one that was begun by foolish builders? Yea, and since the Jews left off to build God's house at the command of the heathens, what did that bespeak, but that they had lost their spirit, were quashed, and so as to their temple-work, killed, as it were, to all intents and purposes? And thus it will be, a little before the church of God shall be set free from the beast, and all his angels: For these things were writ for our admonition, to show us what shall be done hereafter; yea, and whether we believe or disbelieve hereabout, time will bring it to pass.

I do not question but many good men have writ more largely of this matter: but as I have not seen their books, so I walk not by their rules. If I mistake, the mistakes are only mine; and if I shall merit shame, I alone must bear it.

Some may think they have said enough, when they assert, that for the witnesses to be killed, is, To be dead in law. But I answer, That is not to be overcome. They are here said to be overcome; and that is more than to be dead in law: For a man may be dead in law, and yet not be overcome; and if so, then far enough off from being killed. So then, for as much as they are said to be overcome and killed, it must be more than to be dead in law. Besides, the text supposeth that they had yielded up, as dying men do, their souls, their spirit of life into the hands of God: For it saith concerning them, That at their resurrection, the spirit of life from God entered again into them: Into them, antecedent thereunto. 'and after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet' (Re 11:11). thus it was concerning the dry bones, of which mention was made before: 'Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, 0 breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live' (Eze 37:9). And thus much concerning their killing.

Now, as I said, since in death, the body doth not only lie dead, but the spirit of life departs therefrom; it is to shew, that not only their bodies, their church-state, shall die, [for churches are called bodies, (1Co 12:27; Eph 3:6; 4:12; 5:23; Col 1:18)] but that spirit of life that acted those bodies, shall be taken up to God. There shall, for a time, be no living visible church of Christ in the world: A church, but no living church, as to church-state: A church in ruins, but not a church in order: Even as there was once a Christ, but no living Christ in the grave; yet the gates of hell shall not prevail to an utter overthrow thereof, no more than they prevailed to an utter overthrow of Christ; but as one did, so shall the other, revive, and rise again, to the utter confusion and destruction of their enemies: Yea, and as Christ, after his resurrection, was, as to this body, more glorious than he was before; so the witnesses, after their resurrection, shall be more spiritual, heavenly, and exact in all their ways, than they were before they were killed. Resurrections are always attended with new additions of glory; and so shall the church of God, as to her church-state, be in the latter days.

But yet the beast shall not altogether have his will, (if that at all was his will) that these witnesses, in this second war, should be conquered to a compliance with Antichrist in his foolish and vain religion: For it is not with dead men to comply; but as they are dead to their own church-state, so they are to his. When the Jews had killed Christ, it was beyond all the art of hell to cause that his body should see corruption; so when the beast has killed the witnesses, he shall not be able to corrupt them with any of his vices.

Hence you find, that not the witnesses, but the dwellers upon the earth were them that danced after the devil's pipe, when he had fulfilled their murder.

Nor doth this murder, as to the fulfilling of it in those nations where the woman sitteth, seem to be a great way off, if all be true that from foreign parts some have said: For what a withdrawing of God and of his Spirit is there already in some of the churches of God! The word worketh not that sound repentance which it was wont to do: Preachers preach for little, but to spend themselves, as men that are wounded do when with groans they let out their life. Where (say some) is the spirit and life of communion? And where that practical holiness that formerly used to be seen in the houses, lives and conversations of professors? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint already; and how long will it be before churches die of the wound that the beast has given them, time must make appear: But die I perceive they must; for if the wound already given will not kill, repeated blows shall.

By all that I have said, I do not deny but that many of the people of God may die corporeally, by the hand of the beast, in this second war that shall be made by him against the witnesses. But should as many more die, that will not prove that that death will be that that by the killing of the witnesses is intended.

Some thing I would bestow upon the reader, for him to carry with him as a memorandum, while he reads this account of things: As,

First, This victory of the beast, is not to be until the witnesses have finished their testimony; and so by all that he shall do, he shall not hinder the revelation of any of the truths that they either were to bring to light, or to confirm by their witness-bearing.

Witnesses are not always bound to speak: There is a time 'to keep silence' (Ec 3:7), and `thou shalt be dumb' (Eze 3:26). But how shall we know when this time is come?

1.    When a sufficient testimony has been given for Christ, and against Antichrist, before the God of heaven; for he must be the judge.

2.    When her enemies forbear to plead against her by argument, and rather betake themselves to blows (Mt 10:19).

3.    When the spirit of testimony-bearing is taken from the church; for that is not essential to Christianity, but is given and taken away as there is occasion.

4.    When testimony-bearing becomes a vain or needless repetition, when they have heard sufficiently of things before (Joh 9:27).

Secondly, This victory of the beast shall not invalidate or weaken their testimony; no, not in the eyes of the world; for they will still remember, and have a reverence for it: This is intimated by this, That 'they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations—(that are neither the witnesses, nor they that in the next verse are called the inhabiters, or they that dwell upon the earth,)—shall not suffer their dead bodies to be (buried, or be) put in graves' (Re 11:9).

Thirdly, This shall not lengthen the reign and tranquility of the antichristian kingdom; nor frustrate, drive back (or cause to tarry) the glorious freedom and liberty of the saints. But some may say, This will be a SAD day.

So it will, and gloomy; but it will be but short, and 'the righteous shall have dominion over them next morning.' Twill last but three days and an half; nor shall it come, but for the sins of churches and saints, and to hasten the downfall of the kingdom of the beast, and for the sweetening to the church her future mercies. Christ Jesus, our Lord, in answer to the question of his disciples, about the destruction of Jerusalem, presented them with a relation of many sad things; but when he was come even to the hearts of men, and had told them 'that they should fail for fear': He said, 'when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh' (Lu 21:25-28).

`Tis as ordinary as for the light to shine, for God to make black and dismal dispensations, to usher in bright and pleasing [ones]; yea, and the more frightful that is which goes before, the more comforting is that which follows after. Instances in abundance might be given as to this, but at present let this suffice that is here upon the paper before us; namely, the state of the witnesses, with their glorious resurrection.

FIFTH SIGN.

Fifthly, Another sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist, will be this: The great joy that will be in her, and among her disciples, when they shall see that the witnesses are slain, and lie dead upon the spot: 'And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth' (Re 11:10). Babylon has been always a merry city, and her disciples merry men; but the poor church of Christ has been solitary, and as a wife forsaken; her tears upon her cheeks bear her witness, and so doth her sackcloth-weed.

Hence our Babylon, under the name of Nineveh, is called, 'the rejoicing city' (Zep 2:15). Only her joy is distinguished from that which is the joy of God's people, by these two things.

First, Either she rejoiceth in outward and carnal glory, or else in the ruin of the church of God. This last, to wit, the supposed ruin of the church of God, is that which will be now the cause of her glorying. And this is the joy that God complaineth of, and for the which he said that he would punish Babylon: `Chaldea shall be a spoil: All that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord. Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, 0 ye destroyers of mine heritage,' &c. (Jer 50:10-11). The joy therefore of Babylon, Antichrist; the joy that she shall conceive in her heart upon the slaughter of the witnesses, is a sure sign of her unavoidable ruin and destruction. These two prophets tormented her; they were to Babylon as Mordecai was to Haman, a continual plague and eye-sore: As also was David to the wretched Saul: But now they are overcome, now they are killed; now she rejoiceth, and maketh merry. And this her joy was of old prefigured by them that in her spirit have gone before her: As, First, When the Philistines had, as they thought, for ever overcome Samson, that Nazarite of God, how joyful were they of the victory! 'Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. And when the people saw him, [saw him in chains] They praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us' (Jg 16:23-24). Poor Samson! While thou hadst thy locks, thy liberty, and thine eyes, thou didst shake the pillar that did bear up their kingdom! But now they have conquered thee, how great is their joy! How great is their joy, and how near their downfall! This therefore is a joy that is like that we have under consideration, to wit, the joy of them that dwell upon the earth; for that the witnesses that did bear up the name of God in the world, were overcome and killed.

Secondly, Like to this, is that which you read of in the first book of Samuel, concerning the men that had burnt David's Ziklag. Ziklag was poor David's place of safety; nor had he any else but that under the whole heaven: But the children of the east came upon it, and took it; set it on fire, and carried thence all David's substance, with his wives and his children. (Very ill done to a man in affliction; to a man that went always in fear of his life, because of the rage of his master Saul.) But how were they that had got the victory? Oh! joyful, and glad, and merry at heart at the thoughts of the richness of the booty? 'Behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines (from Ziklag) and out of the land of Judah' (1Sa 30:16). Here again you find a joy and merriment like these that we have under consideration, and that upon such like accounts. Nothing pleases the wicked more, than to see the godly go down the wind; for their words, and lives, and actions are a plague and a torment to them: As `tis said of these two prophets, 'They tormented them that dwelt on the earth.'

Thirdly, While the church of God lay dead in Babylon, and as bones exceeding dry; what a trampling upon them was there by Belshazzar a little before his death! He called for his golden and silver vessels that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple of God that was at Jerusalem, (those holy vessels once dedicated to the worship and service of God) that his princes, his wives and his concubines might drink therein. An high affront to heaven: 'They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone' (Da 5:4). And all to shew what a conquest, as he thought, he had got over the God of heaven, and over his people that dwelt in Jerusalem, and over his ordinances and vessels used in his worship and service: Yea, this he did with such joy that was not usual, as is intimated by his doing of it before 'a thousand of his lords,' and that till he had drank himself drunken. But all this while, as was hinted before, the church of God, as it were, lay dead at his feet; or as the phrase is, 'as bones exceeding dry.' This too will be the joy of the beast and his followers in the latter days; they will make war with the witnesses; they shall overcome them, and kill them; and when that is done, they shall rejoice over them, and make merry. But as Belshazzar soon after this, saw the handwriting that made his knees knock together; and as he lived not to see the light of another day; so 'twill be with the beast and his followers; the next news that we hear upon this mirth and jollity, is, the tenth part of his kingdom falls, and so on till the whole is ruined.

Thirdly, Moab also, in the day that Israel was taken captive by their enemies, could not forbear but skip for joy, so glad was he in his heart thereat. But what saith the jealous Lord? `Make ye him drunken: for he magnified himself against the Lord: Moab also shall—be in derision: For was not Israel (saith God) a derision unto thee? was he found among thieves? for since thou spakest of him, thou skippedst for joy' (Jer 48:26-27). Of all things, God cannot away with this: For when the wicked would rejoice that they have been suffered to make havoc of the church of God, they deny the wisdom and power by which they were permitted to do this, and offer sacrifice to their own net and drag (Hab 1:16); which provoketh the holiness of Israel: 'Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.' But what follows? Why, burning and consuming of soul and body of them that do such a thing (Isa 10:15-18). And this text I the rather bring, because `tis to be the portion of Antichrist.

And therefore let this be a caution to the men that wonder after the beast, to caution them to repentance, for he will assuredly go into perdition. What! shall the witnesses of God be killed! Shall the beast stand glorying over them while they are dead, with his feet in their neck? and shall none be angry at it? Let them that love themselves look to themselves: God will be concerned, and will assuredly for this quickly put a period to the kingdom and reign of Antichrist (Jer 50:13).

And although this glorying mistress of iniquity, this Antichrist and Babylon, may say that her power is the hammer of the whole earth; yet God will cut him in sunder, and break him in pieces with his bout- hammers,13 with the kings14 of the earth, that he will use to do this work withal; that is, when this last sign is fulfilled: I call it the last sign; I find none that doth intervene betwixt the slaying of the witnesses, and the beginnings of the ruin of Antichrist but this.

13 This is a very expressive term, but better understood by Bunyan the brazier than by many of his readers. It is well known to those who live near a coppersmith's, when three or four athletic men are keeping up, bout and bout, incessant blows upon a rivet, until their object is accomplished.—Ed.

14 Protestant kings.

But a little to comment upon their joy, as the Holy Ghost doth set it forth. The cause of their joy we have touched already; which was, for that they had slain their tormentors. For, as was shewed you, the witnesses had been their tormentors: But when they shall overcome them, and kill them, they rejoice, make merry, and send gifts one to another.

This repeating, and repeating with aggravation, doth manifest, and at that day their joy will be exceeding great: 'They shall rejoice, and make merry,' &c. They shall rejoice over them, over their slain, their enemies, their tormenting enemies. This joy therefore, is a joy that flows from victory, from victory after a war that has lasted a thousand two hundred and threescore years. They shall rejoice, as they do that have a most potent, vexatious, and tormenting enemy lying dead at their foot, and as those that ride in triumph over them. They shall therefore rejoice as conquerors used to do, who make the slaughters of their spoiled enemies the trophy of their joy.

For the devil, that great deceiver of mankind, will so flush up and bewitch the men that wonder after the beast, with the victory that they shall get over the faithful witnesses for God and his Son, that they will think (`twill never be day) that the victory is so complete, so universal, so thorough, that the conquest must be lasting. And from sense and reason they will have ground to think so; for who now is left in the world any more to make head against them? but here comes in that which will utterly spoil this joy; these conquered, killed, dead men must come to life again, and then what's become of their joy? 'And great fear fell upon them which saw them' (Re 11:11). Wherefore, this joy must fade and vanish: But, I say, the followers of the beast will be far from thinking so; for they will 'rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts one to another,' concluding that these tormentors shall never torment them more. But Jacob's blessing upon his son Gad, shall be fulfilled upon these witnesses: 'Gad [saith he] a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last' (Ge 49:19). So then these conquerors must not always rejoice, though they will suppose they shall, and also make merry too.

`And make merry.' To make merry, is more than to rejoice. To rejoice, doth shew the present act of the soul; but to make merry, is to use the means as will keep this joy alive, and on foot. Joy is one thing, and the continuance of it is another (1Sa 25:36). Joy may be begotten by a conceit, a thought; but it cannot be maintained so; because deliberation will come in and spoil it (Es 5:4), if sufficient means is not used to continue it: wherefore he adds, They rejoiced over them, 'And made merry.'

And there are five things that are usually made use of to keep up wicked joy. 1. There is the merriment of music (Lu 15:25,32). 2. The merriment of feasting (Jg 19:6,9). 3. The merriment of laughter (Ec 10:19). 4. The merriment of fleshly solace (Jer 31:4). 5. Revenge upon a supposed enemy (2Sa 13:28). So then, by these five things we see what is the way that sinful joy is maintained in the hearts of wicked men; and also by what means the limbs and brats of Antichrist will keep up that joy that at first will be conceived in their hearts at the thought that now they have killed their tormentors. They shall have music. They shall have feasting. They shall have laughter. They shall have fleshly solace. And they shall have their fill, for the time, of revenge. Thus therefore shall they rejoice over them, and make merry, all the time of that little, short everlasting that they are to live in the world.

`And make merry.' To make merry, to make wicked mirth, there must be a continual fraternity, or brotherhood in iniquity, maintained among them, and that where none may come to interrupt; and that they will be capable of doing any where then, for that their tormentors will be dead. Wickedness shall walk with open face in those days; for then there will be none alive for God and his ways; wherefore, the beast and his train may do what they will: now will be the time for men to live carelessly and wantonly, and to make their wantonness their joy, (after the manner of the Zidonians) for there will be none to put them to shame.

`And shall send gifts one to another.' This is another token of their gladness, and also a means to buoy them up still. And it will be a sign that they have joined hand in hand to do this wickedness, not dreaming of the punishment that must follow. This sending of gifts to each other, and that after they have slain these two prophets, doth also declare that they will be far from repentance, for the commission of so great an offence. Nay, it signifies further, that they were resolved, and determined to quench all manner of convictions one in another, that might arise in their hearts for the sin which they had committed: for a gift blinds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the judgment of the righteous; how much more then will it stifle and choke appearances of such upon the spirits of wicked men! I question not at all but many have been, by the favours and gifts of wicked men, drawn down into the belly of hell.

Now what these gifts will be, either as to kind or quantity, that I can say nothing to: but probably, whatever they will be, there will be but little of their own cost in them. Victors and conquerors do used to visit their friends with their spoils won in battle, with the spoil of the enemies of their God (Ezr 10:7).

And this was David's way, after he had recovered the loss that he had sustained at the burning of his Ziklag; he sent to his friends of what he had taken from his enemies, as token of victory: 'David sent of the spoil (says the text) unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoils of the enemies of the Lord' (1Sa 30:26); And why may not those we have now under consideration, do so to their god, and their friends also? Spoiling is like to be one of the last of the mischiefs that Antichrist shall do to the church of God in this world: And methinks, since the beast will have power to overcome, and to kill, he should also have power to take away (Da 11:33): `Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?' said the prophet to wicked Ahab.

However, whatever their gifts may be, and at whose cost soever bought, `tis a sign their hearts will be open, they shall send gifts one to another: their merry days will then be come, and their enemies will then be dead at their feet; wherefore, now they will have nothing to do but to rejoice over them, and to make merry, and to send gifts one to another.

Thus as to sense and reason, all shall be hush, all shall be quiet and still: the followers of the Lamb shall be down; the followers of the Beast be up, cry peace and safety, and shall be as secure as an hard heart, false peace, and a deceitful devil can make them. But behold! While they thus 'sing in the windows,' death is straddling over the threshold! (Zep 2:14). While they are crying peace and safety, sudden destruction cometh: By that they have well settled themselves at their table with Adonijah (1Ki 1), they shall hear it proclaimed with sound of trumpet, the witnesses are risen again.

Now the Christians' pipes will go again, and surely the earth will be rent with the sound of their shouts and acclamations, while they cry with joyful sound, 'The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever' (Re 11:15).

But woe to the wicked, it shall be ill with them; for the Lord Jesus will now begin to shew his jealousy, and to make known his indignation towards those that have thus cruelly slain his prophets, digged down his altars, and made such havoc of the afflicted church of God (Isa 66:14). Now will he whet his glittering sword, and his hand shall take hold on vengeance, that he may render a recompence to his enemies, and repay them that hate him (De 32:41).

But this he will not do immediately by himself, but by such instruments as have been spoken of before: of which more particularly to treat, shall be that I shall next take in hand.

OF THE INSTRUMENTS THAT GOD WILL USE TO BRING ANTICHRIST TO HIS RUIN.

Although I have hinted at this before, yet it may be convenient briefly to touch it again. Antichrist, as I have told you, consisteth of soul and body, and must be destroyed by such instruments as may most properly be applied to each. Further, As to the soul, spirit or life of Antichrist, and its destruction, of that we have also spoken already: It remains then that now we discourse of the ruin of his body and flesh.

I then take it, That the destruction of her flesh shall come by the sword, as managed in the hands of kings, who are God's ministers for the punishment of evil deeds, and the praise of them that do well (Ro 13). Not that the church, even as a church, shall be quite exempt and have therein no hand at all; for she, even as such, shall with her faith and prayers help forward that destruction.

The church therefore, as a church, must use such weapons as are proper to her as such; and the magistrate, as a magistrate, must use such weapons as are proper to him as such. When the church of Israel were prisoners in Babylon, they did not fight their way through their foes, and the countries to Jerusalem; but waited in their captivated state with patience, until the kings of the Medes and Persians came to deliver them. Nor is it to be sleighted, but to be thought on seriously, that before there was an Israelite captive in Babylon, their deliverer Cyrus was prophesied of: which Cyrus did afterwards come and take Babylon, and deliver the captives, as it was foretold he should. He saith unto Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid' (Isa 44:28). And again, 'Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden to subdue nations before him, &c. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of Hosts' (Isa 45:1,13). And this accordingly he did, to wit, when the time was come; as may be seen in those holy records where these things are made mention of. Indeed, as I said, the church is not excluded (2Ch 36:2); she may, and ought, with her faith and prayer, and holy life, to second this work of kings (Ezr 1:2-3). Wherefore, when God speaks of bringing down the lofty city and of laying it low in the dust by the church, he saith, they shall do it by their feet, and with their steps: 'The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy' (Isa 26:6).

By feet and steps, I understand the good lives of the children of God: but now, when kings come to deal with her, as kings, they serve her as Samuel served Agag, as a judge, 'cut her in pieces with their swords': or as you have it elsewhere, 'They make her desolate and naked; they eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.' The sword will be put into their hands for this very purpose. Thus therefore must their deliverance be begun.

It is also to be considered, That after these first kings of the Medes and Persians had broken the yoke of the king of Babylon from off the neck of the captive church, and had given her license to go to her place to build her temple and city, and to sacrifice there according to the law of their God, (as both in Ezra and Nehemiah we read;) and when their work was hindered by under-officers, or they endeavoured so to do, they pleaded the license that they received to build and sacrifice by the decree of the first kings, and so finished their deliverance: They went not on in headstrong manner, as if they regarded neither king nor Caesar: 'But Zerubbabel, and Joshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them,' that sought to hinder their work, 'Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us' (Ezr 4:3). And as they said, so also they did: 'The elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia' (Ezr 6:14). Yea, they did not only accept of the kindness of kings, but did acknowledge that kindness with thanksgiving, as a gift of the God of heaven: for the kings had commanded and given leave to the Jews to go to Jerusalem, to build their temple, and to do sacrifice there, according to the counsel of the priests that were at Jerusalem, and according to the law of God that they had in their hand (Ezr 7:13-14). For Artaxerxes sent Ezra the priest to inquire after the condition that Jerusalem and Judah was in, according to, or by the law of God that was in his hand (Ezr 7:14). And he had license also further to do with the king's silver and gold, which he gave of the service of the house of the Lord, 'according to the will, word or law of HIS God.' And thou, Ezra, [says the king] after the wisdom of thy God, [that is, after his word] that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, [that is, worship, and walk by the rule of his testament,] and the law of the king, [that is, shall refuse to give Ezra such things as by the king was appointed for Ezra's help in the furthering of the worship of God, according to the law of his God,] let judgment be executed speedily upon him whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment' (Ezr 7:25-26). This was therefore a wonderful gracious license that the king now gave to Ezra: he imposed nothing upon him or the Jews in matters of religion and worship, but left him and them wholly to the law, will, and word of God, only he laid check upon wicked and ungodly people: that if they did things contrary to the laws of Ezra's God, or did sleight the king's law, as aforesaid, that then such penalties and pains should be inflicted upon them.

To the same purpose was the decree of Cyrus, and that of Darius, to put it in execution. Also the penalty enacted against such offenders, was full as sharp and severe: `Also I have made a decree [said the king,] that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.—And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed' (Ezr 6:11-12).

Indeed, sometimes a stop was put to this work by the kings, and the Jews were made to cease by force and power, (Ezr 4:23-24) the which the good people did bear with patience (Ezr 4:11-21): also they waited to see their God go before them among the kings, who at length took away Artaxerxes, who for a time had put a stop to the work, and brought in another, who gave leave that with speed it should be set on foot again (Ezr 5).

The Jews did also in these vacancies, or times in the which hindrances were put, carry it very tenderly and lovingly to those kings that at present they were under, submitting of their bodies and their goods to their will, and meekly endured the trial and affliction, serving them with all faithfulness, watching to save their lives from the hands of bloody men. Also when the king's laws, and the law of their God, did at any time come in competition, they would indeed adhere to, and do the law of their God; yet with that tenderness to the king, his crown and dignity, that they could at all times appeal to the righteous God about it (Da 6:22). Nor did they lose by so doing; yea, they prospered; for by this means Mordecai was made a great man, and a saviour of his people (Es 2:21-23) By this means also was Daniel made a great man, and helpful to his brethren (Da 5:29).

Kings, I say, must be the men that must down with Antichrist, and they shall down with her in God's time.

God hath begun to draw the hearts of some of them from her already, and he will set them, in time, against her round about. If therefore they do not that work so fast as we would have them, let us exercise patience and hope in God: `tis a wonder that they go so fast as they do, since the concerns of whole kingdoms lie upon their shoulders, and that there are so many Sanballats and Tobias's to flatter with them and misinform them concerning the people that are delivered but in part. See what an ugly account was given of Jerusalem by the enemies of the Jews, even then when they were in the hands of their deliverers: 'Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us, are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.—Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings' (Ezr 4:12-13). Oh! what a be it known, be it known, is here! But were not these gentlemen more afraid of losing their own places and preferments, than of the king's losing of his toll and custom? But the whole was a lie, though it hindered the work for a time, and the patience of the people, and their loyalty to the king, did conquer and overcome all.

I speak the more to this, because, (as I have said) I believe that by magistrates and powers we shall be delivered and kept from Antichrist; and because God has already begun to do it by such, by which also she shall be destroyed: and I have a few things to present to good men, to be conversant in, in such a day as this.

Let the king have verily a place in your hearts, and with heart and mouth give God thanks for him; he is a better saviour of us than we may be aware of, and may have delivered us from more deaths than we can tell how to think. We are bidden to 'give thanks to God for all men, and in the first place, for kings, and all that are in authority' (1Ti 2:1-2).

Be not angry with them, no, not in thy thought; but consider, if they go not on in the work of reformation so fast as thou wouldest they should, the fault may be thine; know that thou also hast thy cold and chill frames of heart, and sittest still when thou shouldest be up and doing.

Pray for kings to the God of heaven, who has the hearts of kings in his hand: and do it `without wrath, and doubting'; without wrath, because thy self is not perfect; and without doubting, because God governeth them, and has promised to bring down Antichrist by them.

Pray for the long life of the king.

Pray that God would always give wisdom and judgment to the king.

Pray that God would discover all plots and conspiracies against his person and government.

Pray also that God would make him able to drive away all evil and evil men from his presence; and that he may be a greater countenancer than ever, of them that are holy and good, and wait and believe, that God that has begun his quarrel with Babylon, Antichrist, the mother of Antichrist, the whore; would in his own time, and in his own way, bring her down by the means which he has appointed.

I do confess myself one of the old-fashion professors, that covet 'to fear God, and honour the king.' I also am for blessing of them that curse me, for doing good to them that hate me, and for praying for them that despitefully use me, and persecute me. And have had more peace in the practice of these things, than all the world are aware of. I only drop this, because I would shew my brethren that I also am one of them; and to set them right that have wrong thoughts of me, as to so weighty matters as these.15

15 This Christian temper of Bunyan certainly saved him from much suffering while under persecution. It probably saved his invaluable life. But how deeply it increases the guilt of his persecutors, to send such a man to a damp wretched prison, for more than twelve years, because he dared not join in the worship established by law; and after all this, to hear his prayers and good wishes to his persecutors, ought to have cut them to the quick.—Ed.

Now these kings whose hearts God shall set to destroy Antichrist, shall do it without those inward reluctancies that will accompany inferior men: they shall be stript of all pity and compassion. Hence they are compared to the mighty waves of the sea (Jer 51:42), which saith, when the wrecked and dying mariners cry out for mercy for themselves, and for their children, I am a sea; 'I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins' (Isa 23:4-5): I have therefore no pity for these, or any of them. Therefore they must be swallowed up of this sea, and sink like a stone in the midst of these mighty waters.

And thus much for the means by which God will destroy the body and flesh of Antichrist.

OF THE CAUSES OF THE RUIN OF ANTICHRIST.

Although the causes of the ruin of Antichrist be to some conspicuous enough, yet to some they may be otherwise; yea, and will to all kings and people whose eyes shall be held, that they may not see the judgment, in the reasonableness and equitableness thereof; and these shall wail when they see 'the smoke of her—torment'; and these shall cry, Alas! Alas! (Re 18:10). Wherefore, for further edification, as I have treated of the man of sin already; so will I now, of the causes of his downfall. And,

FIRST CAUSE.

First, He must down, for that he hath usurped, and taken the name and attributes of God upon himself: He hath said, 'I am God': He hath set in the temple of God, `shewing himself that he is God'; yea, and that in contempt and scorn of any other, 'exalting himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped' (2Th 2); yea, hath cried down all gods but himself. Wherefore it must needs be, that he be brought to judgment, that the truth of his saying may be proved. And for this cause he is threatened, under the name of the prince of Tyrus: 'Because thine heart is lifted up (saith the Lord) and thou hast said, I am a god,—therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am god? but thou shalt be a man, and no god, in the hand of him that slayeth thee' (Eze 28:2,7-9).

If God will not give his name or glory to another, be sure he will not be under another; but this to have, and thus to do, Antichrist has attempted. But how? In that he has been so bold as to prescribe and impose a worship besides, and without reverence of that which God has prescribed and imposed: For to do this, is, to make one's self a God. 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them': For he that thus doth, is an idolater; and he that these things doth impose, is one that shews himself a God. But this doth Antichrist do: And `tis worth the noting, That God forbids not only images, but the likeness of any thing; books, altars, fancies, imaginations, or any thing in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, to bow down to, or to make them a means to worship or come to God by, if he has not commanded nor tolerated them in his holy word.

Thus saith the Lord: And, I am the Lord, is the stamp, the seal, and sign of all true rules of worship; and therefore it is so often repeated both in Moses, and in the prophets, where God commandeth worship to be performed, and imposeth the means and methods of it. Now this, Thus saith the Lord, Antichrist has rejected; and I am the Lord, he hath assumed to himself: and therefore without the law, the word and commandment, hath framed and imposed a worship, exalting himself in the temple of God, although he is but the man of sin, above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.

Nor is he in this his so foul a fact, without them that adore, worship his image, and wonder after him; yea, he hath got by this means almost the whole world to himself, who say, 'Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?' (Re 13:4). And that they might shew their resolvedness to stand by him, they receive his mark in their forehead, or in their hand; His mark; that is, they either openly or seriously become his disciples, and worship him according to the rules, methods, and ways that he hath prescribed. Wherefore, these with him, are also to drink of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God: 'If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb' (Re 14:9-10).

But, I say, for that Antichrist hath thus taken the place of God, prescribed and imposed a worship as a God, got the world to worship and wonder after him as after a God. Therefore shall he die the death of the uncircumcised, both in the soul, spirit, body, or flesh of Antichrist; therefore will God enlighten, and gather, and set the kings and nations against him, that both he and his may be buried, and have their dolesome withdrawing-rooms from the world in the sides of the pit's mouth.

SECOND CAUSE.

Secondly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because he hath set himself against the Son of God; against the Father, and against the Son. He had a spite against the Son betimes, even then when he came forth but in little bits, when he attempted to deny that he was come in the flesh (1Jo 4:1-4). But seeing he could make no earnings of that, he hath changed his methods, and seeks to run him out and down by other means and ways: because therefore he hath set himself against the Son of God, the king, therefore he must die. That he hath set himself against the Son of God, is also evident; for he hath his name from thence: He is therefore called Antichrist. That he hath set himself against him, is yet further evident; for that he hath endeavoured to take from him his headship over, and his offices for and in the church, which is his body. He hath plainly endeavoured to be head, for that he hath striven to take his wife from him, and to cause that she should be called HIS: Yea, he hath endeavoured by all inventions to prostrate her to his lusts, to deflower her, and to maker her an adulteress. He has been worse than Pharaoh, who took Abraham's wife (Ge 12); and worse than Abimelech, who lusted after Isaac's (Ge 26): Yea, worse than Phalti, who run away with David's (1Sa 25:44); forasmuch as she is higher, beloved better, and cost more than did any of these. Would it not be counted an high affront, for a base inferior fellow, to call himself the head of the queen? Yet thus has Antichrist done, and worse; he has called himself the head of the universal church of God.

And as he has attempted to be head in his stead, so to be king, priest, and prophet.

[1.]    He has attempted to wrest his sceptre and kingdom from him, in that he hath endeavoured to thrust himself into his throne, which is the heart and conscience of his people. The heart and conscience is that which Christ claimeth for his own proper and peculiar seat: `My son, give me thy heart.' That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith' (Eph 3:17). In this therefore the church is not to be for another man, so will he be for her; but this throne Antichrist has lusted for, attempted to take, and made war with Christ and his church, because they would not yield up to him this glorious throne of his, and therefore he must die.

[2.]    He hath intruded upon the priestly office of Christ, hath called himself high-priest; though the Lord hath said, 'Because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children' (Ho 4:6). But he will make himself a priest; he hath invented sacrifices for the quick and the dead: he hath put, as he presumes, merit and worth into these sacrifices; he hath commanded that those that worship, should have faith in, and expect benefit by these sacrifices, although he offereth to his God nought else but the flesh of the hog, and of the mouse, with the broth of his abominable things (Isa 66:17). Many and sundry ways he hath set himself up to be high-priest, though God knows no high-priest but one, though the church ought to know no high-priest but one; yea, though no high-priest but one can approach God's mercy-seat, to do for us the necessary and desired work.

[3.]    He hath intruded upon the prophetical office of Jesus Christ. What else means his pretences to infallibility?16 And that too when he imposes unwritten verities, abominable traditions, blasphemous rites and ceremonies; and forbids or dispenseth with the holy commands of God: Yea, when he enforceth these his Omrian statutes, and doth impose the works of the house of Ahab (Mic 6:16), he doth all in the name of the Lord Christ, when himself hath set himself in his place, and in his room. This is mystery Babylon, the mystery of iniquity: This is Antichrist's soul and body, and as such, must be destroyed. But,

16 Lord, what is man, to pretend to infallibility! His heart, be he pope or pagan, is 'deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.' Pope Sixtus V in 1589 issued his infallible Bible; but the edition of Clement VIII, in 1592, differs much from that of 1589. Infallibles ought never to differ with each other; but how often it has happened.—Ed.

THIRD CAUSE.

Thirdly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because he hath blasphemed against the Holy Ghost, and so set himself above the Father, the Son, the Spirit; against ALL that is called God. The Holy Ghost is that Spirit of truth that Christ has promised to give unto his church, to help her in the understanding of his holy word, and to enable her to believe, and walk humbly and holily before God and man. The spirit of Antichrist is that spirit of error that hath puffed up the false church into a conceit of herself, and unscriptural worship; and that hath made this false church, which is his body, to ascribe all the horrible things and acts thereof, to the wisdom, guidance, directions or operations of the Holy Ghost: As,

1.    In all her unscriptural councils, assemblies and convocations, they blasphemously father what they do upon the Holy Ghost, and make him the inventor and approver thereof.

2.    She also blasphemeth the Holy Ghost, in accusing and condemning the holy scriptures of insufficiency, for that she saith, though it is a rule, yet but an imperfect one; one deficient, one that is not able to make the man of God perfect in all things, without the traditions, inventions, and blasphemous helps of antichristian wisdom.

3.    She hath also blasphemed the Holy Ghost, in that she hath set up her own church-government, offices, officers and discipline: None of all which is the church of Christ directed to by the wisdom of the Spirit of God in his testament.

4.    She hath also sinned against the Holy Ghost, in that she hath, as it were, turned the Holy Ghost out of doors, in concluding that he, without the works of the flesh, is not sufficient to govern the hearts of worshippers, in the service and worship of God.

5.    She hath also thus sinned, in that she hath wrought many lying miracles in the face of the world, and imposed them upon her disciples for the confirming of her errors and blasphemous opinions, to the confronting of the true miracles wrought by the Holy Ghost; and also to the concluding, that there was an insufficiency in those that were true, to confirm the truth, without the addition of hers; which she has wrought by the power of Satan, and the spirit of delusion, only to confirm her lies.

6.    She hath sinned against the Holy Ghost, in that she hath, with Jeroboam the son of Nebat, striven against the judgments wherewith God hath punished her; to call her back from her wicked way; and persisted therein, to the effectual proving of herself to be the lewd woman (2Ki 13:4-7,23-24).

7.    She hath sinned, by labouring to hide all her wickedness, by lies, dissimulations, and filthy equivocations of her priests, friars, Jesuits, &c. I say, her labouring to hide the wickedness that she hath committed against kings, countries, nations, kingdoms and people. She hath hid these things by the means or persons made mention of before; as by the tail; for they indeed are the tail of the beast, that cover his most filthy parts: The prophet that speaketh lies, he is the tail (Isa 9:15). But,

FOURTH CAUSE.

Fourthly, Antichrist must be destroyed, for the horrid outrage, and villainous murders that she hath committed upon the bodies of the saints. For there is none, as to these things, for cruelty, to be compared with the church of Antichrist, and her followers: For upon whom hath not her cruelty been shewed; have they never so little stood in her way, though never so innocently and honestly by so doing, stood to the truth and verity of God? Yea, the promoting of her own superstition, idolatry, and blasphemous rites and ceremonies, have been so pursued by her, that she has waded through a sea of innocent blood for the accomplishment thereof.

The poor church of God is a sensible bleeding witness of this, and so has been for hundreds of years together; witness the chronicles of all nations where she hath had to do; yea, and the sackcloth and ashes, and tears, and widows, and fatherless children, and their cries, of all which the holy word of God is a sufficient confirmation; 'And in her,' when God shall come to make inquisition for blood, 'will be found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth' (Re 18:24). And yet has she such a whore's forehead, such a blindness in her judgment, and such an hard and obdurate heart, that it is not possible she should ever repent. Murders have been so natural to her, and in them her hand has been so exercised, that it is now become a custom, a trade, a pastime to her, to be either in the act, or laying some foundation for murders: Witness those plots, designs conspiracies, and frequent attempts that are, one or other of them, continually on foot in the world for the commission of murders.

Nay, the text last mentioned seems to import, that blood is so natural to her, that she sticketh not at any condition, sex, age, or degree, so she may imbrue her hands in blood. In her was found the blood of saints and prophets, and of all other carnal, natural, ignorant, graceless men that have been slain upon the earth. It is she that sets kings and kingdoms at variance: It is she that sets parents and children at variance, by her abuse of the word of our Lord and Christ. And besides, is it not easy, if we do but consider those bloody massacres that have been committed by her hand, both in France, Ireland, Piedmont, and in several places besides, without wronging of her, to conclude, that the blood of thousands, that have not known their right hand from their left in religion, hath been shed, to quench, if it might have been, her insatiate thirst after blood. Therefore, for these things shall she be judged, as women that shed blood are judged; because she is an adulteress, and blood is in her hands (Eze 23:45). She hath been as a beast of prey: Nay, worse; for they do but kill and tear for the hunger of themselves, and of their whelps: but she, to satisfy her wanton and beastly lusts. `They have cast lots for my people; [saith God] and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink' (Joe 3:3): and therefore must Antichrist be destroyed. Forbearance is no payment, God's patience is not a sign that he forgetteth to take vengeance; but rather, that he waiteth till his own are come out of her, and until her iniquity is filled up: For then he will execute the judgment written, and will remember, as has been said, the Babylonians, and all their ways. 17

17 These bloody massacres, to which Bunyan here alludes, were attended with atrocities at which nature shudders. In France, under a Bourbon and a Guise, the murder of hundreds of thousands of pious men and women, with helpless infants, threw down every barrier to the spread of infidelity, and a frightful reaction took place at the Revolution. In Ireland, under a Stuart and a Bourbon, still more frightful atrocities were perpetrated, and which were severely punished by Cromwell and his Roundheads. Under a second Stuart, awful wholesale murders were again committed, and punished by William III; and the voice of the blood that was shed by Antichrist, and the voices of people enslaved by prejudice, and vindictive, ferocious enmity—these voices cry for vengeance, and desolate that unhappy country.—Ed.

FIFTH CAUSE.

Fifthly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because she hath put out of order, and confounded the rule and government that God has set up in the world. I say, she has put it out of order, and confounded it in all places where she rules; so that it cannot accomplish the design of him that ordained it, To wit, To be a terror to evil works, and a praise to them that do well. Wherefore we read, That those horns or kings where Mystery Babylon sitteth, are upon the heads of that beast that carrieth her, which beast is her protector. Magistracy is God's ordinance, appointed for the good of society, and for the peace and safety of those that are good. But this Antichrist has, where she rules, put all out of order; and no wonder, for she has bepuddled the word of God; no wonder, then, I say, if the foundations of the world be out of course. `Tis she that hath turned the sword of the magistrate against those that keep God's law: `Tis she that has made it the ruin of the good and virtuous, and a protection to the vile and base. Wherefore, when the Holy Ghost tells us, that the time is coming in which God will count with the bloody-minded, for the murders that they have committed; he in a manner doth quite excuse the magistrate, saying, 'Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not: The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots. The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword, and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is no end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses' (Na 3:1-3). But what is the cause of all this slaying, and the reason of this abundance of corpses? Why, it is because of the unsatiable thirst of the bloody city after blood: and, 'Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts' (verse 4). But doth this bloody city spill this blood by herself simply, as she is the adulterated whore? No, this church has found out a trick; that is to say, to quarrel with Christ in his members; and to persuade the powers where she rules to set ensnaring laws to catch them, and to execute the same upon them.

Thus when the synagogue of Satan, of old, had taken Christ, and accused him, they made Pontius Pilate to condemn and hang him. But God has begun to shew to some of the kings this wickedness, and has prevailed with them to PROTEST against her. And in the mean time, for those that are yet in the bed of love with her, the Holy Ghost doth, in the text last mentioned, and in Re 18:24 much excuse them for the blood that they have shed, and for the injuries that they have done to his people; because they have not done it of their mere inclinations, nor in the prosecution of their office, but through the whoredoms and witchcrafts of this well-favoured harlot, who hath with false doctrines, false promises, and causeless curses, prevailed on them to do it. And they have done it, rather of fear than favour. Some indeed have more doted upon her beauty, and have more thoroughly been devoted to her service: But they also had not that aptness to do so of themselves, but have been forced to it by the power of her enchantments: Therefore, I say, the main guilt shall be laid at her door, for that she in chief has deserved it. 'Son of man [says God] take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel.' Why? Because their mother, the church, was at that time adulterated, and become a lioness, had lain down with the heathen, and so brought forth young lions, that is, rulers: 'And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men' (Eze 19:1-3). It learnt, It learnt: But of who but of its dam, or of the lioness to whom she had put it to learn to do such things? Therefore they are to be lamented and pitied, rather than condemned, and their mother made to bear the blame. Wherefore it follows, 'She was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. And now she is planted in the wilderness, (in the provinces of Babylon,) in a dry and thirsty ground. And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that he hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation' (Eze 19:12-14).

SIXTH CAUSE.

Sixthly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because of her exceeding covetousness. Religion, such as it is, is the thing pretended to: But the great things of this world, are the things really intended by her in all her seeming self-denials and devotions. And for this covetousness also it is that this destruction is to fall upon her: 'Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, (to his church) that he may set his nest on high' (Hab 2:9); (for he could not do the one, before he had obtained the other:) for then indeed they began to be high, when they had so inveigled Constantine, that he bestowed upon them much riches and honour; and then it was cried by an angel, and the cry was heard in the city, Constantinople! `Woe! woe! woe! this day is venom poured into the church of God!' (as both my Lord Cobham and Mr. Fox witness in the book of Acts and Monuments).18

18 In the first examination of Lord Cobham (Fox, vi p. 732, edit. 1632) the gallant knight was asked by his bitter persecutor, what he meant by 'the venom shed over the church'; his reply was, 'Your possession and lordships.' For then cried an angel in the air—'Wo! Wo! Wo! this day is venom shed into the church of God.—Rome is the very nest of Antichrist—prelates, priests and monks are the body; and these pild [bald, but query, pillaging] friars are the tail, which covereth his most filthy part.' How peaceful and blessed will be the church when ALL her ministers can glory with Paul, in Ac 20:33-34.—Ed.

Nor has any generation since the world began, been so insatiably greedy of gain, as these poor people have been: They have got kingdoms, they have got crowns, they have got,—What have they not got? They have got everything but grace and pardon. Did I say before, that religion is their pretence? Doth not the whole course of their way declare it to their face? Every one of them, from the least even to the greatest, is given to covetousness, from the prophet even to the priest, every one dealeth falsely (Jer 6:13; 8:10): Money, money, as the peddlar cries,19 broken or whole, is the sinews of their religion: And it is for that they set kingdoms, crowns, principalities, places, preferments, sacraments, pardons, prayers, indulgences, liberty; yea, and souls and bodies of men, women and children, to sale. Yea, it is for this that they have invented so many places, offices, names, titles, orders, vows, &c. It is to get money, to rob countries, that they may make their nests on high. And indeed they have done it, to the amazement of all the world. They are clambered up above kings and princes, and emperors:20 They wear the triple-crown: They have made kings bow at their feet, and emperors, stand barefoot at their gates: They have kicked the crowns of princes from their heads, and set them on again with their toes.21 Thus their covetousness has set them high, even above the suns, moons and stars of this world: but to what end? That they may be cast down to hell.

19 The principal cry of the traveling peddlars was for broken or light money, to exchange for their wares: now obsolete.—Ed.

20 Such has been the tendency of the antichristian church in all ages; witness the cases of the Emperor Henry IV, Henry II of England, and many others. The spirit and precept of Christianity, on the contrary, is, while fearing God, to honour the king; and that we be subject to principalities and powers, Tit 3:1; see also Mt 22:21; Ro 13:1-7.—Ed.

21 See Fox's Martyr, folio, vol. i., last leaf.—Ed.

SEVENTH CAUSE.

Seventhly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because he standeth in the way of the setting up of the kingdom of Christ in the world. Many princes were in Edom before there was a king in Israel; and Christ has suffered Antichrist to set up before him. And he standeth in his way, and has so overspread the world in all places, with that which is directly contrary to him, that he cannot set up his kingdom, until that which is Antichrist's is tumbled down to the ground; even as a man whose ground is full of thorns, and briars, and weeds, cannot sow in expectation of a crop, until he hath removed them. And these seeds has Antichrist sown where the kingdom of Christ should stand: `Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briars; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks, [this is to happen to the church of God,] Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest' (Isa 32:13-15). And the antichristian synagogue be turned into a wilderness.

When God came from Egypt with his people, to set up his kingdom in Canaan, he cast out the heathen before them in order thereunto; `Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it' (Ps 80:8). Wherefore, Antichrist must be removed and destroyed for this: For Antichrist is in flat opposition to Christ, as Tibni was to Omri (1Ki 16:21-22): Wherefore Antichrist must die. The reason is, because Christ's kingdom shall be peaceable, without molestation; and glorious, without the fumes and fogs of antichristian darkness: Because also, as the world hath seen the manner of the reign of Antichrist, and how tyrannical and outrageous a kingdom his is: so they shall see the reign of Christ, by his word and spirit in his people, how peaceable, how fruitful in blessedness and prosperity his kingdom is. And hence it is that God purposeth to bury Antichrist, before he sets 'glory in the land of the living' (Eze 26:20-21). As also you read in the book of Revelations; for there you find the kingdom of Antichrist was destroyed before the new Jerusalem was set up. When men intend to build a new house, if in the place where the old one stood, they first pull down the old one, raze the foundation, and then they begin their new. Now God, as I said, will have his primitive church-state set up in this world, (even where Antichrist has set up his;) wherefore, in order to this, Antichrist must be pulled down, down stick and stone; and then they that live to see it, will behold the new Jerusalem come down from heaven, as a bride adorned for her husband.

New wine is not put into old bottles, nor a new piece into an old garment; nor shall any of the old anti-scriptural ordinances, ceremonies, rites, or vessels of the man of sin, be made use of, or accounted anything worth, in this day of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. And thus I have shewed you something of Antichrist, of his ruin, and of the manner and signs of the approach thereof; together with the means and causes of his ruin. All which I leave to the judgment of the godly, and beg their instruction where they see me to be out; and shall conclude, after a short word of application.

First, Must Antichrist be destroyed? Then this informs us, that a time is coming wherein there shall be no Antichrist to afflict God's church any more. `Tis Antichrist, antichristians, and antichristianism, that is the cause of the troubles of Christians, for being Christians. And therefore `tis from the consideration of this that it is said, men 'shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning- hooks,' and that they 'shall learn war no more' (Isa 2:4): Yea it is from the consideration of this, that it is said the child shall play with venomous and destroying beasts, and that a little child shall lead the wolf, the leopard, and the young lion, and that the weaned child shall put his hand into the cockatrice's den, and catch no hurt thereby (Isa 11:6-9). For as was said before, `tis through the instigation of this spirit of error, that the governors of the world have heretofore done hurt to Zion, and I say now again, all things shall turn to their right course, and occupy their places, as do the bodies in the higher orbs.

Secondly, Is Antichrist to be destroyed, and must she have an end? Then this gives us to understand, that a day is coming when Antichrist shall be unknown, not seen, nor felt by the church of God. There are men to be born who shall not know Antichrist, but as they read in the word that such a thing has been. These shall talk of her, as Israel's childrens' children were to talk of Pharaoh, of his cruelty; of his tasks, of his pride, of the Red Sea, and how he was drowned there: They shall talk of them, as of those that have been long dead; as of those who for their horrible wickedness, are laid in the pit's mouth. This will be some of that sweet chat that the saints shall, at their spare hours, have in time to come. When God has pulled this dragon out of the sea, this leviathan out of his river, and cast his dead carcase upon the open field, then shall those whose ancestors have been put into terrors by him, come flocking to see the monster; and shall rejoice for all the mercy. In that day, the church of God shall say, `0 Lord I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me.—In that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people,' &c. (Isa 12:1,4). 0 how sweetly did David, and the church in his day, sing of the ruins of the Egyptians, and the deliverances of their fathers, which had been in times of old! (Ps 68). to wit, what God did in Egypt, what he did at the Red Sea; what he did to Sihon, to Og, and to the remnant of the giants: How he divided the waters of Jordan, and gave the land of Canaan in its fruitfulness among his people (Ps 105): How that though Pharaoh and his horsemen and chariots were terrible then, yet now there is nothing left but their souls, their feet, and the palms of their hands; nothing but that which can do no hurt; nothing but what may minister an occasion of joyful remembrance of them (Ps 106; 132).

Thirdly, Is Antichrist to be destroyed? Then this calls aloud to God's people to make haste to come out of her. 'Ho, ho,' says the prophet: He cries out as if the people were asleep: 'Come forth, and flee from the land of the north' (Zec 2:6). The people of God in the latter days will want a heart to come out of her, with that fear of her plagues as they should: Wherefore another says, 'Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues' (Re 18:4). When Israel was carried into Babylon, `twas not that they should dwell there for ever: Though they were bid to build them houses, and beget them children there. But when they had built, planted vineyards, and got wives and children there, `twas hard getting them from thence again: For now they were as it were naturalized to the country, and to the manners of it (Jer 29:4-7). But God will have them out, (but they must not think to carry thence their houses and vineyards on their backs,) or he will destroy them with those destructions wherewith he hath threatened to destroy Babylon itself. Flesh will hang behind, because it favoureth the things of the flesh, plenty of which there is in that country: But they that will live after the flesh must die. 'Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,—and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty' (2Co 6:17-18). But why ( some may say) must we come out? I answer, because God has temple-work to do, temple-worship to do, temple-sacrifices to offer, and none of these things can by any means be done, but at Jerusalem. But if you still object and say, 'The Lord has raised us up prophets in Babylon,' and we will not come out; you must not murmur if you feel what is to follow. And that such may know upon what bottom they stand, let them read Jer 29:15-19.

Fourthly, Must Antichrist be destroyed? Then what mean they, who were to appearance once come out, but now are going thither again? If it cost Lot's wife dear for but looking back, shall not it cost them much dearer, that are going back, that are gone back again? and that, AFTER the angel had fled through the midst of heaven, preaching the gospel to those that dwell on the earth? (Re 14:6-10). They that received the mark of the beast at first, before this angel came forth, are when compared with these, excusable (Re 13:16-17): Wherefore, they are not threatened with that smoking wrath, as are these which are here under consideration.

You dread, that which is like to become of them that will be so mad to run into an house, when fire is putting to the gunpowder barrel, in order to its blowing up: Why thus do they, let their pretended cause be what it will, that are returning again to Babel. Are her plagues pleasant or easy to be borne? Or dost thou think that God is at play with thee, and that he threateneth but in jest? Her plagues are death, and mourning, and famine, and fire (Re 18:8); are these things to be overlooked? And they that, as before is hinted, shall receive the mark of the beast in their forehead, or in their hand, and shall worship him, they, 'the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God' (Re 14:10): And will this be a delightsome draught? Remember how ill God took it, that his people of old, in their hearts, though but in their hearts, went back again into Egypt. You may say, but I have friends, relations, and concerns in Babylon. And, I answer, so had Lot in Sodom (Ge 19:14-16); but for all that, he must either quickly come out, or run the hazard of being burned there with them. But methinks, a people that belong to God, should be willing to leave all to follow him: Besides, his presence is promised at Jerusalem, there also will he accept thy offerings.

Fifthly, Is Antichrist to be destroyed? Then let them that love God, his Son, and his Zion, cry to God, that it may be hastened in its time. One of the songs of Zion is, that Babylon shall be destroyed. The cries of the souls of them that were slain for the witness of Jesus is, that Babylon may be counted with, and that their blood may be revenged upon her. The promise is, that Babylon shall be destroyed: And do we hold our tongues? The church of God will not flourish as it should, until Babylon is destroyed: The world will never be in its right wits, until Babylon is destroyed: The kingdom of Christ will never be set up, in and by his church, as it ought, and shall, until Antichrist is destroyed: There will never be peace upon earth till Antichrist is destroyed: And God has promised that there shall be peace and truth, and glory, when Babylon is destroyed: And do we hold our peace? Besides, your innocency in suffering; your honesty towards God, in your testimony for his truth; the substantial ground which you have for the bottom of your faith, as to things controverted betwixt Antichrist and you, will never be manifested as it will then; and so consequently, you never so brought out to the light, and your enemies never so put to shame as then. 'Then shame shall cover her that said unto thee, Where is the Lord thy God?' Wherefore, as I said, cry unto the Lord, keep not silence, give him no rest, let him not alone, until he has delivered his miserable people out of the mouth of this lion, and from the paw of this bear.

Sixthly, Is Antichrist to be destroyed? Then let us live in the expectation of it; and let this be one of our songs in the house of our pilgrimage. God bids his people, while in Babylon, to let Jerusalem come into their mind (Jer 51:50), and writes to them that then were in her, to acquaint them that he remembered them still, and would assuredly deliver them from that place and state. And wherefore doth he thus, but to beget an expectation in them of their salvation and deliverance? (Jer 29:13-14). The Lord is so pleased with the faith and expectation of his people, as to this, that they seldom are herein concerned as they should, but he steps in with them, and warms their hearts. The reason is, because the faith of God's people, as to the downfall of Babylon, stands upon as sure a foundation as doth the salvation of their souls; and that next to that, God is as much delighted in what he has purposed to do against Babylon, as in anything else in the earth: And therefore, if you consider it well, the great and glorious promises that are to be fulfilled on earth, are to be fulfilled when Antichrist is dead and buried: These bits are too good even for his children to have, so long as this dog is by, lest he should snatch at the crumbs thereof; wherefore they are reserved until he is gone: For thus saith the Lord, 'That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word towards you, in causing you to return to this place: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.' This is in Jeremiah the 29th chapter, verses 10, 11(Jer 29:10-11) and in the 31st chapter he adds, (Jer 31:12-14)'Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and of the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord' (Jer 31:12-14). Again, in the 32nd chapter, still speaking of the same thing, he saith, 'Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul' (verse 41).

I conclude this with that which I find in the 33rd chapter: (Jer 33:8-9)'And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble, for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it' (Jer 33:8-9).

Seventhly, Must Antichrist be destroyed? Then this should make us glad, when we see the signs of his fall presenting themselves to our view. Indeed, the signs of his fall, or those that forerun it, are terrible, and amazing to behold. But what of that, since the wrinkles that are in their faces threaten not us but them? A man is angry, and will punish; yea, and whets his sword, makes his rod, and he speaks not a word, but blood, blood, is in it. Indeed, this should make them that are concerned in this anger, be afraid; (but the judgment is, they are fast asleep,) but what is in all this of terror to them, for the pleading whose cause he is so angry with the other? Nothing whereat the innocent should be afraid. Cold blasts in November are not received with that gentleness as are colder in March and April; for that these last cold ones are but the farewell notes of a piercing winter; they also bring with them the signs and tokens of a comfortable summer. Why, the church is now at the rising of the year; let then the blasts at present, or to come, be what they will, Antichrist is assuredly drawing towards his downfall: And though the devil, knowing what is to be done to him, and to his kingdom, shall so blind his disciples, and fright the godly, do something like it upon the church of Christ; yet we should look through these paper-winkers,22 and espy in all this, that fear, yea, certain terrible judgments are following of him at the heels, by which not only the soul, spirit, and life of Antichrist, but the body thereof; yea, body, and soul, and head, are quickly to go down thither; from whence they, as such, shall not arise again. Amen.

22 Paper-winkers,' in every edition, except the first, which was from the author's manuscript, has been altered to 'paper-windows.' Bunyan's allusion is to the winkers, called by many 'blinkers,' put by the side of a horse's eyes, to keep him under the complete control of his driver—and by 'paper-winker? the flimsy attempt of Antichrist to hoodwink mankind by printed legends, miracles, and absurd assumptions—it is one of the almost innumerable sparks of wit, which render all the writings of Bunyan so entertaining and strikingly instructive.—Ed.

006 The Resurrection of the Dead

THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, AND
ETERNAL JUDGMENT:

OR, THE TRUTH OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODIES, BOTH OF GOOD AND BAD AT THE LAST DAY: ASSERTED, AND PROVED BY GOD'S WORD.

ALSO, THE MANNER AND ORDER OF THEIR COMING FORTH OF THEIR GRAVES; AS ALSO, WITH WHAT BODIES THEY DO ARISE. TOGETHER, WITH A DISCOURSE OF THE LAST JUDGMENT, AND THE FINAL CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE WORLD.

BY JOHN BUNYAN, A SERVANT OF THE LORD'S CHRIST.

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed"—(1 Cor 15:51,52).

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation"—(John 5:28,29).

ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR.

This very important treatise, judging from the style in which it is written, was, probably, one of the first books composed by Bunyan. The form in which it is prepared, with minute divisions to assist the memory, and its colloquial language, indicate that it was first intended for the pulpit and then enlarged to form a more complete treatise; while the frequent recurrence of the words "I say," shew the unpolished style in which he was in the habit of committing his thoughts to paper, when he became an author.

A good copy of what appears to be the first edition, is in the British Museum, a small 8vo, without date—and from this, collated with the reprint by C. Doe in Bunyan's works, 1691, the present edition is published. Doe, in his catalogue of all Mr. Bunyan's books, appended to the Heavenly Footman, 1690, states that "The resurrection of the Dead, and eternal Judgment by John Bunyan, a servant of the Lord's Christ, was first published in 1665." I have not been able to discover any subsequent edition in a separate volume.

The resurrection of the body is a subject of universal and deep importance. It defies our reasoning powers, while it exalts our ideas of the divine omnipotence. With God, all things revealed in his word are not only possible, but certain of accomplishment. The bodies of the saints, which are a part of the Redeemer's purchase will be raised in heavenly and wondrous perfection; like to the Saviour's glorious body. That body, which being transfigured "did shine as the sun, and his raiment became as the light." That body which, after his resurrection, might be touched, but which could appear and disappear to mortal eyes; in the room at Emmaus, or in a closed room filled with his disciples; could be touched, yet vanish away; could eat with them on the sea shore, and could ascend to heaven from the mount. Thus it was foretold by the prophet and reiterated by the apostle—"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (Isa 64:4; 1Co 2:9). Not one atom of our dust can be lost; a bright, a glorious anticipation to the saints; but how solemn and awful a thought to those who die without hope. Among Christians it is common to think and talk of the happiness of the spirits of the just made perfect; but alas, how seldom do we think or speak of the perfect bliss of our whole nature, body, soul, and spirit—incorruptible, undefiled, glorified—every part equally the object of the Saviour's purchase and of his care.

This treatise, which will be ever new, and ever important, was peculiarly required in Bunyan's early days. Under the protectorate, the minds of men, which had been kept in slavery, became suddenly emancipated from human creeds and formularies of public worship. The personal attention of every one was then directed to the Bible—the Lord's day was observed, men were chosen as ministers not from high connections, but from deep and humble piety. Tens of thousands became happy in a personal knowledge of divine truth. At such a period, it must have happened that some evil spirits would exalt themselves, and that even some serious inquirers would draw strange conclusions from a misconception of divine truth; and dimly see "men as trees walking." Among these there appeared teachers, who, unable to comprehend how that body, which had gone to dust, or in some cases had been reduced by fire to its primary elements, and dispersed to the winds or waves, could be again produced. They revived an ancient error, That the new birth was the only resurrection from death; and consequently, that to those who were born again, the resurrection was passed. The individuals who promulgated these opinions, do not appear to have been associated together as a sect, or a church. The greater number were called in derision "ranters," and some "quakers." It is very probable, that this treatise was intended as an antidote to these delusions. We must not infer from the opinions of a few unworthy individuals, who justly deserved censure, that Bunyan meant to reflect upon the Society of Friends. This treatise was printed in 1665: but it was not until 1675 that the Quakers' rules of discipline were first published, and they from that time as a sect have been, in a high degree, conformable to the morality and heavenly influences of the gospel. But even before this, Fox, Crisp, Penn, Barclay, and others, who afterwards formed the Society of Friends, had declared their full belief in this doctrine. "The resurrection of the just and unjust—the last judgment—heaven and hell as future rewards—we believe and confess." "We believe the holy manhood of Christ to be in heavenly glory." "We acknowledge a resurrection in order to eternal recompence, and rest contented with that body which it shall please God to give us." "We do firmly believe that besides the resurrection of the soul from the death of sin, to a life of righteousness while here, there will be a resurrection of the dead hereafter, and that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." Barclay, in his catechism, 1673, clearly asserts Bunyan's own ideas of the resurrection. But in the face of these, and a thousand similar declarations, the grossest calumnies were asserted by a fanatic clergyman, Alexr. Ross, in his View of all Religions:—"The Ranters are a sect of beasts that neither divide the hoof, nor chew the cud; that is to say, very unclean ones. They, like the Quakers, oppose forms and order (the form and order of Common Prayer). To anatomize this monster: 1st, They hold that God, Devils, Angels, Heaven, and Hell, are fictions. 2d, That Moses, the Baptist, and Christ were impostors. 3d, That preaching and praying is lying." 8vo., 1696, p. 273. And such wild slanders were uttered occasionally against all dissenters, until a much later period. Happily they are now better known, and the truths of Christianity are more appreciated. I have been careful to guard the reader upon this subject, lest it should be thought that Bunyan had in any degree manifested the spirit of those, who even to the present day misrepresent the opinions of the Quakers. This may be occasioned by their distinguishing tenet—That the work of the ministry is purely a labour of love, and ought not to be performed for hire—derived from the command of Christ to his disciples, "Freely ye have received, freely give." This, however, is no reason that they should be, as to their general views of divine truth, misrepresented and traduced.

Bunyan, at all times solemn and impressive, is peculiarly earnest and searching in this treatise. The dead will arise involuntarily and irresistibly—conscience uncontrolled, must testify the truth, yea, all the truth to the condemnation of the soul and body, unless cleansed from sin by faith in the Redeemer and the sacred influences of the Holy Spirit. The books will be opened, and every thought and word and action be seen inscribed in characters legible to all. Every soul will be able to read and clearly to understand those mysterious books—God's omniscient, his penetrating, his universal sight of all things from the creation of the world to the final consummation; and his perfect remembrance of all that he saw—are one and the same. There is then no refuge, no escape—the word depart impels obedience, and the sinner plunges into eternal woe!! 0 that the living may lay these awful realities to heart, and fly for refuge to the bosom of the Redeemer—he only is able—he is willing to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. And they who find in him a refuge from the storms of life, shall hear his voice irresistibly impelling them to heaven, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

0 glorious hour! 0 blest abode! I shall be like and near my God! And flesh and sin no more control The sacred pleasures of the soul.

May the divine blessing abundantly attend the reading of these awful or joyful realities.

GEO. OFFOR.

PREFACE.

COURTEOUS READER,

Though this be a small treatise, yet it doth present thee with things of the greatest and most weighty concernment, even with a discourse of life and death to eternity: opening, and clearing, by the scriptures of God, that the time is at hand, when, there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust; even of the bodies of both, from the graves where they are, or shall be, at the approach of that day.

Thou hast also in these few lines, the order and manner of the rising of these two sorts of people, wherein is shewed thee with what body they shall then rise, as also their states and condition at this day, with great clearness.

For here thou shalt see the truth, and manner of the terrible judgment, the opening of the books, the examining of witnesses, with a final conclusion upon good and bad. Which, I hope will be profitable to thy soul that shall read it. For if thou art godly, then here is that which will, through God's blessing, encourage thee to go on in the faith of the truth of the gospel; but if thou art ungodly, then here thou mayst meet with conviction: yea, and that of what will be, without fail, thy end, at the end of the world: whether thou continue in thy sins, or repent. If thou continue in them, blackness, and darkness, and everlasting destruction; but if thou repent, and believe the gospel, then light, and life, and joy, and comfort, and glory, and happiness, and that to eternity.

Wherefore let me here beg these things at thy hand,

First, That thou take heed of that spirit of mockery that saith, "Where is the promise of his coming?" (2Pe 3:4-5).

Secondly, Take heed that thy heart be not overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon thee unawares (Lu 21:34-35).

Thirdly, But be diligent in making thy calling and election sure; that thou in the day, of which thou shalt read more in this book, be not found without that glorious righteousness that will then stand thee in stead, and present thee before his glorious presence, with exceeding joy. To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, world without end. Amen.
JOHN BUNYAN.      

OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.

"BUT THIS I CONFESS UNTO THEE, THAT AFTER THE WAY WHICH THEY CALL HERESY, SO WORSHIP I THE GOD OF MY FATHERS, BELIEVING ALL THINGS WHICH ARE NX/RI" 1TEN IN THE LAW AND IN THE PROPHETS: AND HAVE HOPE TOWARD GOD, WHICH THEY THEMSELVES ALSO ALLOW, THAT THERE SHALL BE A RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, BOTH OF THE JUST AND UNJUST"—(Ac 24:14-15).

My discourse upon this text, will chiefly concern the resurrection of the dead: wherefore to that I shall immediately apply myself, not meddling with what else is couched in the words.

You see here, that Paul, being upon his arraignment, accused of many things, by some that were violent for his blood; and being licensed to speak for himself by the then heathen magistrate; he doth in few words tell them, that as touching the crimes wherewith they charged him, he was utterly faultless, only this he confessed, that after that way which they call heresy, so he worshipped the God of his fathers; believing all things that are written in the law and the prophets, and that he had the same hope towards God, which they themselves did allow, that there should be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Whence note by the way, that a hypocritical people, will persecute the power of those truths in others, which themselves in words profess. I have hopes towards God, and that, such a hope which themselves do allow, and yet I am this day, and that for this very thing, persecuted by them.

But to come to my purpose, "There shall be a resurrection of the dead," & . By these words, the apostle sheweth us what was the substance of his doctrine, to wit, that there should be "a resurrection of the dead;" and by these words also, what was the great argument with his soul, to carry him through these temptations, afflictions, reproaches, and necessities he met with in this world, even the doctrine of a resurrection. I have hope towards God, saith he, and there is my mind fixed; for there shall be "a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." The reason why I cannot do what these Jews would have me; also why I cannot live as do the Gentiles, it is, because I have in my soul, the faith of the resurrection. This is the doctrine I say, which makes me fear to offend, and that is as an undergirder to my soul, whereby I am kept from destruction and confusion, under all the storms and tempests I here go through. In a word, this is it that hath more awe upon my conscience than all the laws of men, with all the penalties they inflict. "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men" (Ac 24:16).

Now here, seeing this doctrine of the resurrection of the dead hath that power, both to bear up and to awe; both to encourage and to keep within compass, the spirit and body of the people of God; it will be requisite, and profitable for us, to inquire into the true meaning and nature of this word, "the resurrection of the dead."

And for the better compassing of this matter, I shall briefly enquire,

First, What in this place is meant by the dead.

Secondly, What is meant by the resurrection.

Thirdly, Why the apostle doth here speak of the resurrection of the dead as of a thing yet to come—"There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."

First. The dead in scripture go under a fivefold consideration; as,

1.    Such as die a natural death, or as when a man ceaseth to be any more in this world, as David, whom Peter tells us "is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us to this day" (Ac 2:29).

2.    There is a people that are reckoned dead in trespasses and sins, as those are, who never yet were translated from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Such, I say, who yet never felt the power of the Word and Spirit of God, to raise them from that state, to walk with him in the regeneration; making a life out of Christ, and his present benefits (Eph 2:1-2; Joh 5:25).

3.    There is a death seizeth men often after some measure of light received from God, and some profession of the gospel of Christ. These, for the certainty of their damnation, are said to be dead—dead, twice dead, and plucked up by the roots (Jude 12).

4.    There is in scripture mention made of a death to sin, and the lusts of the flesh; this death is the beginning of true life and happiness, and is a certain forerunner of a share in Christ, and with him in another world (Ro 6:6-8; 2Ti 2:11).

5.    Lastly, There is also in the word, a relation of eternal death. This is the death that those are in, and swallowed up of, that go out of this world Godless, Christless, and graceless; dying in sin, and so under the curse of the dreadful God; who, I say, because they have missed of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour in this day of grace: are fallen into the gulf and jaws of eternal death and misery, in the fire that never shall be quenched (Mr 9:43-44; Lu 16:23-26).

Now then, seeing there is death, or to be dead, taken under so many considerations in the scripture; it is evident, that to be dead in Christ, the text is not meant of them all: I then must distinguish, and inquire which of these deaths it is, that here the apostle did look for a resurrection from. (1.) then, It cannot be meant a resurrection from eternal death, for from that there is no redemption (Ps 49:8). (2.) Neither is it a resurrection from that double death; for they that are in that, are past recovery also. (3.) And as for those that are dead to sin, it is nonsense to say there shall, or can be a resurrection from that: for that itself is a resurrection; which resurrection also, the apostle had then passed through: and also all the brethren, as he saith, You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins (Col 2:12-13,20). And again, "If ye then be risen with Christ" (Col 3:1), and again, "Wherein also ye are risen with him, through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Col 2:12). (4.) The dead therefore in this scripture, must be understood of those that have departed this life, that have body and soul separated each from the other; and so the resurrection, a resurrection of the body out of the grave; as Daniel saith, "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (Da 12:2). And again, "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth," & . (Joh 5:28-29).

Second. [What is meant by the resurrection.] The resurrection of the just, then, is the rising of the bodies of the just, and the resurrection of the unjust, the rising of their bodies, at the last judgment. This also is the meaning of that saying of Paul to Agrippa, "I stand," saith he, "and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers" (Ac 26:6), which promise at first began to be fulfilled in the resurrection of the body of Christ (Ac 13:32-33), and hath its accomplishment, when the dead, small and great, are raised out of their graves. Wherefore, though Paul saith in the 13th of the Acts, it is already fulfilled; yet here he saith, he hopes it shall come. "Which promise," saith he, "our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come" (Ac 26:7). As God told Daniel, saying, "go thy way, till the end be: for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days" (Da 12:13).

Christ is already risen, and therefore so far the promise is fulfilled; but his saints are yet in their graves, and therefore that part of the fulfilling of it is yet to come, as he saith, "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" (Ac 26:8).

Again, That it is the resurrection of the dead bodies of both saints and sinners that is here inserted, it is further evident; because the apostle saith, it is the resurrection, that the very Pharisees themselves allowed. I have hope towards God, saith he, which themselves also allow; then what that hope is, he in the next words sheweth, namely, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, & . Now we know, that the Pharisees did not allow of a resurrection from a state of nature, to a state of grace, which is the same with the new birth; but did confidently allow and teach, that they were the children of Abraham, according to the flesh. Yea, when any of them began to adhere, or incline to Christ's doctrine in some things, yet the doctrine of the new birth, or of being raised from a state of nature, to a state of grace, they would very much stick at; though in the meantime, they utterly were against the doctrine of the Sadducees, which denied the resurrection of the body (Joh 3:1-9; 8:51-56; Ac 23:6-8).

Further, the resurrection here spoken of, must needs be the resurrection of the body, because it is called, "a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust"—that is, of both saints and sinners, according to the saying of Christ, "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (Joh 5:28-29).

Third. [The resurrection spoken of is a thing yet to come;] the resurrection here mentioned, is a resurrection to come, not already enjoyed, either by saints or sinners—"There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." Now, I say, the resurrection here being yet deferred by the just, and counted also the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust: it must needs be the same resurrection that is spoken of by Job, who saith, "So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep" (Job 14:12).

Having thus, in few words, opened this scripture unto you, I shall in the next place, for the further satisfaction of those that are yet wavering, and for the refreshment of those that are strong and steadfast, lay down before you, several undeniable scripture demonstrations of the resurrection of the dead, both of the just, and unjust.

FIRST, I shall first begin with,

THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST.

First, The just must arise, because Christ is risen from the dead. Christ is the head of the just, and they are the members of his body; and because of this union, therefore the just must arise. This is the apostle's own argument—"If Christ," saith he, "be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen" (1Co 15:12-13). Now, I say, the reason why the apostle thus argueth the resurrection from the dead, by the resurrection of Christ, it is, because the saints, of whose resurrection he here chiefly discourseth, are in their bodies, as well as in their souls, the members of Christ; "Know ye not," saith he, "that your bodies are the members of Christ" (1Co 6:15). A very weighty argument; for if a good man be a member of Christ, then he must either be raised out of his grave, or else sin and death must have power over a member of Christ. I say again, if this body be not raised, then also Christ is not a complete conqueror over his enemies; forasmuch as death and the grave have still power over his members. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1Co 15:26). Now, though Christ in his own person hath a complete conquest over death, &c., yet death hath still power over the bodies of all that are in their graves: now, I say, Christ being considered with relation to his members, then he hath not yet a complete conquest over death, neither will he, until they every one be brought forth of their graves; for then, and not till then, shall that saying be every way fulfilled, "Death is swallowed up in victory" (1Co 15:53-54).

Second, As there must be a resurrection of the just, because Christ is their head, and they his members: so also, because the body of the saints, as well as their soul, is the purchase of Christ's blood. "Ye are bought with a price:" saith Paul; "therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1Co 6:20). Christ will not lose the purchase of his blood. 0 death, saith Christ, I will have them; 0 grave, I will make thee let them go; I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death. I have bought them, and they shall be mine. "0 death, I will be thy plagues; 0 grave, I will be thy destruction" (Ho 13:14): I say, though the power of the grave be invincible, and death be "the king of terrors" (Job 18:14), yet he who hath the keys of hell and of death at his girdle (Re 1:18), to him belongeth the issues from death. "He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death" (Ps 68:20), and we, the price of his blood, shall be delivered.

Third, As the body is the member of Christ, and the price of his blood: so it is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in us. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, - - and ye are not your own?" (1Co 6:19). The body is no such ridiculous thing in the account of Christ as it was in the account of the Sadducees. "The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body" (1Co 6:13), and that not only in this world, but that which is to come; wherefore he saith, "God hath both raised up the Lord [Jesus,] and will also raise us up by his own power" that is, as he hath raised up the body of Christ, so will he raise up ours also by Christ.

Fourth, The bodies of the just must arise again, because of that similitude, that must be betwixt the body of the Lord Jesus Christ and the bodies of the saints. "When he shall appear, we shall be like him" (1Jo 3:2). Now we have it abundantly manifest in scripture, that the body of the Lord Jesus, was raised out of the grave, caught up into heaven, and that it ever remaineth in the holiest of all, a glorified body (Luke 24:3-7; 36-43; Joh 20:24-28; Ac 1:2-11; 2:31; 17:30-32; Mr 16:6-7,19; Heb 7:24-26; 8:1-3; 10:12).

Now, I say, it would be very strange to me if Christ should be raised, ascended, and glorified in that body; and yet that his people should be with him, no otherwise than in their spirits; especially, seeing that he in his resurrection, is said to be but "the first-born from the dead, and the first-fruits of them that sleep" (Col 1:18; 1Co 15:23). For we know, that a first-begotten doth imply more sons, and that first-fruits do foreshew an after-crop; wherefore we conclude, that "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (1Co 15:22-23).

And hence it is that the scripture saith, He "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Php 3:21). And hence it is again, that the day of Christ is said to be the day of the manifestation of the sons of God, and of the redemption of our body (Rome 8:21-24), for then shall the saints of God not only be, but appear as their Saviour, being delivered from their graves, as he is from his, and glorified in their bodies, as he is in his.

Fifth, There must be a resurrection of the body of the saints, because the body, as well as the mind, hath been a deep sharer in the afflictions that we meet with for the gospel's sake. Yea, the body is ofttimes the greater sufferer, in all the calamities, that for Christ's sake we here undergo; it is the body that feels the stocks, the whip, hunger and cold, the fire and rack, and a thousand calamities; it is the body in which we have the dying marks of the Lord Jesus, "that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal1 flesh" (Ga 6:17; 2Co 4:11). God is so just a God, and so merciful to his people, that though the bodies of his saints should, through the malice of the enemy, be never so dishonourably tortured, killed, and sown in the grave: yet he will, as further will be shewn anon, raise it again in incorruption, glory, and honour: as he saith also in another place, that we who have continued with Christ in his temptations, that have for his sake underwent the reproach and malice of the world, to you, saith Christ. "I appoint a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me" (Lu 22:28-29). If we suffer, we shall also reign with him (2Ti 2:12): "and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal" (Joh 12:25). All this is to be enjoyed, especially at the resurrection of the just. But,  

1 Bunyan quotes this from the Genevan or Puritan version; our present translation has "in our body."—Ed.

Sixth, There must be a resurrection of the just, otherwise, there will be the greatest disappointment on all sides that ever was, since man had a being on the earth. A disappointment, I say,

1.    Of the will of God—"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me," saith Christ, "that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, [not a dust,] but should raise it up again at the last day" (Joh 6:39).

2.    A disappointment of the power of God; for he that hath raised up the Lord Jesus, doth also intend to raise us up by his power, even our bodies; as Paul saith, "The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his power" (1Co 6:13-14).

3.    If there should be no resurrection of the just, Christ also would be wonderfully disappointed of the fruits of all his sufferings. As I told you before, his people are the price of his blood, and the members of his body, and he is now at the right hand of God, "far above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named," expecting till his enemies be made his footstool (Heb 1:13), and brought under the foot of the weakest saint; which will not be, until the last enemy death is destroyed. We know that he said, when he went away, that he would come again, and fetch all his people to himself, even up into heaven, that where he is, there we may be also (Joh 12:26; 14:1-3; 17:24). But, I say, how will he be disappointed, if when he comes, the grave and death should prevent and hinder him, and with its bars, keep down those, whom he hath ransomed with his blood, from the power thereof.

4.    If the bodies of the just arise [not] from the dead, then they also will be disappointed. `Tis true, the saints departed, have far more fellowship and communion with God and the Lord Jesus, than we have, or are not yet capable of having, they being in paradise, and we in this world (Lu 23:43); but yet, I say for all that, they are, though there, very much longing for the day of the Lord's vengeance, which will be the day in which they will, and must arise from the dead. This, I say, is the time that they long for, when they cry under the altar, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" (Re 6:10-11). When they died, they died in hope to "obtain a better resurrection" (Heb 11:35), and now they are gone, they long till that day be come; till the day come, I say, when the dead, even all the enemies of Christ, shall be judged; for then will he give rewards to his servants the prophets, and to his saints, and to all that fear his name, small and great (Re 11:18).

5.    If the just arise not, great disappointment also will be to the saints yet alive in this world; for, notwithstanding they have already received the first-fruits of the Spirit, yet they wait, not only for more of that, but also for the resurrection, redemption, and changing of this vile body. "For our conversation is in heaven," saith Paul, "from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body" (Ro 8:20-23; Php 3:20-21). But now, I say, if the body riseth not, then how can it be made like to the glorious body of Christ Jesus: yea, what a sad disappointment, infatuation, and delusion, are those poor creatures under, that look, and that by scripture warrant, for such a thing? They look for good, but behold evil; they expect to be delivered in their whole man from every enemy; but lo, both death and the grave, their great enemies, do swallow them up for ever. But, beloved, be not deceived. "The needy shall not always be forgotten, the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever" (Ps 9:18). Saith Christ, He that seeth the Son, and believeth on him that sent him, hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day (Joh 6:40).

6.    If the just arise not out of their graves, then also is every grace of God in our souls defeated; for though the spirit of devotion can put forth a feigned show of holiness with the denial of the resurrection, yet every grace of God in the elect doth prompt them forward to live as becomes the gospel, by pointing at this day; as, (1.) `Tis this that faith looks at, according as it is written, "I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you" (2Co 4:13-14). (2.) Hope looks at this. "We," saith Paul, "which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" that is, we expect this by hope; "but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth," or hath in present possession, "why doth he yet hope for?" (Ro 8:23-24). (3.) The grace of self-denial also worketh by this doctrine—"If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?" (1Co 15:32). As who should say, Wherefore do I deny myself of those mercies and privileges that the men of this world enjoy? Why do not I also, as well as they, shun persecution for the cross of Christ? If the dead rise not, what shall I be the better for all my trouble that here I meet with for the gospel of Christ? (4.) Both zeal and patience, with all other the graces of the Spirit of God in our hearts, are much, yea, chiefly encouraged, animated, and supported by this doctrine; as James saith, "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord," for then shall the dead be raised (1Th 4:16-17). "Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (Jas 5:7-8).

Seventh, The doctrine of the resurrection of the just, must needs be a certain truth of God, if we consider the devilish, and satanical errors and absurdities that must unavoidably follow the denial thereof; as, he that holdeth no resurrection of our body, he denieth the resurrection of the body of Christ. This is the Spirit's own doctrine—"For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised" (1Co 15:16). He that denieth the resurrection of the members, denieth the resurrection of the head; for seeing the resurrection of the saints is proved by the resurrection of Christ, he that doth deny the resurrection of the saints, must needs deny the resurrection of Christ, that proves it. Now this error, as it is in itself destructive to all Christian religion: so it, like an adder, carrieth within its bowels, many other alike devilish and filthy; as,

1.    He that denieth the resurrection of the saints, he concludeth, that to preach deliverance from sin and death, it is vain preaching; for how can he be freed of sin, that is swallowed up for ever of death and the grave? as he most certainly is, that is always contained therein, as Paul saith, "If Christ be not risen," whose resurrection is the ground of ours, "then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (1Co 15:14), then we preach fables, and you receive them for truth.

2.    This error, casteth the lie in the face of God, of Christ, and the Scriptures—"Yea, and we," saith Paul, "are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: - - - if so be that the dead rise not" (1Co 15:15). Mark, before he said, Christ in his resurrection, doth prove our resurrection; but now he saith, that our resurrection will prove the truth of his; and indeed both are true; for as by Christ's rising, ours is affirmed; so by ours, his is demonstrated.

3.    The denial of the resurrection, it also damneth all those that have departed this world in the faith of this doctrine. "If Christ be not raised," (as if he is not, we rise not, then is not only) your faith vain, ye are yet in your sins (that are alive,) but "then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (1Co 15:17-18).

4.    He that denieth the resurrection of the just, he concludeth, that the Christian is of all men the most miserable. Mark the words: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (1Co 15:19). First of all, men the most miserable, because we let go present enjoyments for those that will never come, "if the dead rise not." Of all men most miserable, because our faith, our hope, our joy, and peace, are all but a lie, "if the dead rise not." But you will say, he that giveth up himself to God shall have comfort in this life. Ah! but "if the dead rise not," all our comfort that now we think we have from God, will then be found presumption and madness, because we believe, that God hath so loved us, as to have us in his day, in body and soul, to heaven: which will be nothing so, if the dead rise not. If in this life only, we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. Poor Christian! thou that lookest for the blessed hope of the resurrection of the body, at the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, how wilt thou be deceived, if the dead rise not! "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead" (1Co 15:20-21).

5.  But again; he that denieth the resurrection of the dead, he setteth open a flood-gate to all manner of impiety; he cutteth the throat of a truly holy life, and layeth the reins upon the neck of the most outrageous lusts; for if the dead rise not, let us eat and drink; that is, do anything, though never so diabolical and hellish; "let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die" (1Co 15:32), and there is an end of us; we shall not arise again, to receive either evil or good.

6.  To deny this resurrection, nay, if a man do but say, it is past either with him or any Christian: his so saying tendeth directly to the destruction and overthrow of the faith of them that hear him; and is so far from being according to the doctrine of God, that it eateth out good and wholesome doctrine even as cankers eat the face and flesh of a man. How ill-favouredly do they look, that have their nose and lips eaten off with the canker? Even so badly doth the doctrine of no resurrection of the dead, look in the eyes of God, Christ, saints, and scripture (2Ti 2:18).

7.         I conclude then, that to deny the resurrection of the bodies of the just, it argueth,

(1.) Great ignorance of God, ignorant of his power to raise, ignorant of his promise to raise, ignorant of his faithfulness to raise; and that both to himself, Son, and saints, as I shewed before. Therefore saith Paul to those that were thus deluded, "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame" (1Co 15:34). As if he had said, Do you profess Christianity? and do you question the resurrection of the body? Do you now know, that the resurrection of the body, and glory to follow, is the very quintessence of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Are you ignorant of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and do you question the power and faithfulness of God, both to his Son and his saints; because you say, there shall be no resurrection of the dead? You are ignorant of God; of what he can do, of what he will do, and of what he will by doing glorify himself.

(2.) As it argueth very great ignorance of God's power, faithfulness, & ., so it argueth gross ignorance of the tenor and current of the scriptures; for "as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses [saith Christ] how in the bush, God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err" (Mr 12:26-27).

To be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is to be understood of his being their God under a new covenant consideration; as he saith, "I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Now, thus he is not the God of the dead—that is, of those that perish, whether they be angels or men (Heb 8:10-11; Joh 8:42; 1Jo 3:8-10; Ho 6:2; Col 3:4; Eph 1:4).

Now, I say, they that are the children of God, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they are counted the living under a threefold consideration—(a.) In their Lord and head, and thus all the elect may be said to live; for they are from eternity chosen in him, who also is their life, though possibly many of them yet unconverted. I say, yet Christ is their life, by the eternal purpose of God. (b.) The children of the new covenant, do live both in their spirits in glory, by open vision, and here by faith and the continual communication of grace from Christ into their souls (Ga 2:20). (c.) They live also with respect to their rising again; for God "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Ro 4:17). To be born, dead, buried, risen, and ascended, are all present with God, he liveth not by time, as we do—a thousand years to him are but as the day that is past. And again, "One day is as a thousand years" (2Pe 3:8). Eternity, which is God himself, admitteth of no first, second, and third; all things are naked and bare before him, and present with him (Heb 4:13; Isa 46:9-10); all his live unto him. There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (Ro 8:29-34).

A resurrection—of what? Of that which is sown, or of that which was never sown? If of that which is sown, then it must be either of that nature that was sown, or else of the corruption that cleaveth to it; but it is the nature, and not the corruption that cleaveth unto it, that riseth again. And verily, the very term "resurrection" is a forcible argument to prove the dead shall come forth of their graves; for the Holy Ghost hath always spoken more properly than to say, "There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;" when yet neither the good nor the bad shall come forth of their graves, but rather something else to delude the world withal.

Having thus in few words, shewed you the truth of the resurrection of the dead, I now come,

SECOND—To the manner of their rising.

THE MANNER OF
THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST.

And FIRST of the just.

The apostle, when he had in the fifteenth of the 1st of the Corinthians proved the truth and certainty of the resurrection, he descends to the discovery of the manner of it; and to the end, he might remove those foolish scruples that attend the hearts of the ignorant, he begins with one of their questions—"But some man will say," saith he, "How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" (1Co 15:35). To which he answereth,

First, By a similitude of seed, that is sown in the earth. In which similitude, he inserteth three things ----

1.    That our reviving or rising, must be after death—"That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die" (1Co 15:36).

2.    That at our rising, we shall not only revive and live, but be changed into a far more glorious state than when we were sown. "That which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be," & . "But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him" (1Co 15:38)— that is, he giveth the body more splendour, lustre, and beauty at its resurrection. But,

3.         Neither its quickening, not yet its transcendent splendour, shall hinder it from being the same body—as to the nature of it—that was sown in the earth; for as God giveth it a body, for honour and splendour as it pleaseth him, so "to every seed his own body" (1Co 15:38).

And, indeed, this similitude by which he here reasoneth the manner of the resurrection of the just, is very natural, and fitly suiteth each particular; for, as to its burial—(1.) The corn of wheat is first dead, and after sown and buried in the earth; and so is the body of man. (2.) After the corn is thus dead and buried, then it quickeneth and reviveth to life: so also shall it be with our body; for after it is laid in the grave and buried, it shall then quicken, rise, and revive.

Again, as to the manner of its change in its rising, this similitude also doth fitly suit; as,

It is sown a dead corn; it is raised a living one. It is sown dry, and without comeliness; it riseth green and beautiful. It is sown a single corn; it riseth a full ear. It is sown in its husk; but in its rising it leaveth that husk behind it.

Further, though the kernel thus die, be buried, and meet with all this change and alteration in these things, yet none of them can cause the nature of the kernel to cease—it is wheat still. Wheat was sown and wheat ariseth; only it was sown dead, dry, and barren wheat; and riseth living, beautiful, and fruitful wheat. It hath this alteration, then, that it doth greatly change its resemblance, though yet it hath this power, as still to retain its own nature. God giveth it a body as it pleaseth him, "but to every seed his own body."

The apostle having thus presented the manner of the resurrection of the saints by the nature of seed sown and rising again; he proceedeth,

Second, for further illustration, to three more similitudes—The first is, to shew us the variety and glory of flesh. The second is, to shew us the difference of glory that is between heavenly bodies, and those that are earthy. The third is, to shew us the difference that is between the glory of the light of the sun, from that of the moon; and also how one star differeth from another in glory: and then concludeth, "so is the resurrection of the dead" (1Co 15:39-43). As who should say, at the resurrection of the bodies, they will be abundantly more altered and changed, than if the flesh of beasts and fowls were made as noble as the flesh of men; or the bodies of earth, were made as excellent as the heavenly bodies, or as if the glory of the moon should be made as bright, and as clear as the glory of the sun; or as if the glory of the least star was as glorious, and as shining, as the biggest in the firmament of heaven.

It is a resurrection indeed, a resurrection every way. The body ariseth, as to the nature of it, the self-same nature; but as to the manner of it; how far transcendent is it! There is a poor, dry, wrinkled kernel cast into the ground, and there it lieth, and swelleth, breaketh, and, one would think, perisheth; but behold, it receiveth life, it chitteth,2 it putteth forth a blade, and groweth into a stalk, there also appeareth an ear; it also sweetly blossoms, with a full kernel in the ear: it is the same wheat, yet behold how the form and fashion of that which now ariseth, doth differ from that which then was sown; its glory also when `twas sown, is no glory, when compared with that in which it riseth. And yet it is the same that riseth that was sown, and no other; though the same after a far more glorious manner; not the same with its husk, but without it. Our bran shall be left behind us when we rise again. The comparison also between the bodies heavenly and bodies earthly holds forth the same—"The glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another." Now mark it; he doth not speak here of the natures of each of these bodies; but of the transcendent glory of one above another. "The glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another." Wherefore I say, at our rising, we shall not change our nature, but our glory; we shall be equal to the angels (Lu 20:36), not with respect to their nature, but glory. The nature also of the moon is one thing, and the glory of the moon is another; and so one star also differeth from another in glory.

2 From the verb "to chit," to sprout—to shoot at the end of the grain; provincial and almost obsolete.—Ed.

A beggar hath the same nature as a king, and gold in the ore, the same nature with that which is best refined; but the beggar hath not the same glory with the king, nor yet the gold in ore, the same glory with that which is refined. But our state will be far more altered than any of these in the days when we, like so many suns in the firmament of heaven, arise out of the heart and bowels of the earth.

These things thus considered do shew you how vainly they argue, that say, our human nature consisting of body and soul, shall not inherit the kingdom of God, and also how far from their purpose, that saying of the apostle is, which saith, that "flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God." And now also, because I am fallen upon the objection itself, I shall not pass it, but with a short dash at it. Wherefore reader, whoever thou art, consider that frequently in scripture the words "flesh" and "blood," as also in the place alleged, are not to be understood of that matter which God made; which flesh cleaveth to our bones, and blood runs in our veins: but is taken for that corruption, weakness, mortality, and evil that cleaveth to it; which weakness and corruption, because it possesseth all men, and also wholly ruleth where the soul is unconverted; therefore it beareth the name of that which is ruled and acted by it—to wit, our whole man, consisting of body and soul; yet, I say, is a thing distinct from that flesh and blood which is essential to our being, and without which we are no men. As, for instance, he that is Christ's, saith Paul, "hath crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts" (Ga 5:24), Who is so vain as to think that the apostle by these words, should mean our material flesh that hangeth on our bones, and that is mixed with our natural blood, sinews, and veins; and not rather of that inward fountain of sin, corruption, and wickedness, which in another place he calleth "the old man," with his "deceitful lusts" (Eph 4:22). Again, "The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh." Is it our flesh that hangeth on our bones, which lusteth against the spirit? and that also against which the spirit lusteth? Certainly, if the spirit lusteth against our material flesh, then it is our duty not to nourish it at all, because, by nourishing of it we nourish that against which the Spirit of God fighteth, and warreth. Nay, if the spirit lust against the flesh on our bones simply considered as flesh; and if it be our duty to follow the Spirit, as it is, then we must needs kill ourselves, or cut our flesh from our bones. For whatever the Spirit of God lusteth against, it must be destroyed; yea, it is our duty with all speed to destroy it. But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that by flesh here is to be understood, not the nature that God hath made, but the corrupt apprehension, and wisdom, with those inclinations to evil, that lodge within us, which in another place are called the "wisdom of the flesh," yea, in plain terms, "flesh and blood," where Christ saith, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed [this] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Mt 16:17).

Nay, observe it, all these places, with many others, do rather point at a corrupt soul, than a corrupt body; for, indeed, sin and all spiritual wickedness, they have their seat in the heart and soul of a man, and by their using this or that member of the body, so defile the man; the weaknesses of the body, or that attend our material flesh and blood, they are weaknesses of another kind, as sickness, aches, pains, sores, wounds, defection of members, &c. Wherefore, where you read of flesh and blood, as rejected of God; especially, when it speaks of the flesh and blood of saints, you are not to understand it as meant of the flesh, which is their proper human nature, but of that weakness which cleaveth to it.

Paul in another place, reckoneth up the works of the flesh, in many things, as in witchcraft, hatred, variance, strife, emulation, fornication, and many others. But can any imagine, that he there should strike at that flesh which hangeth on our bones, or rather at that malignity and rebellion that is in the mind of man against the Lord, by reason of which the members of the body are used this way, and also sometimes that, to accomplish its most filthy and abusive deeds (Ga 5:17-21). "They were - - enemies in [their] mind by wicked works" (Col 1:21).

Thus you see that "flesh and blood" is not to be taken always for the flesh that is upon our hands, and feet, and other parts of our body; but for that sin, weakness, and infirmity, that cleaveth to our whole man.

Further then, touching our real substantial flesh, it may be either considered as God's creature purely, or as corrupted with sin and infirmity. Now if you consider it as corrupted, so it shall not inherit the kingdom of God: but yet consider it as God's creature, and so all that God hath converted to himself, through Jesus Christ, shall, even with that body when changed, inherit the kingdom of God. The woman whose clothes are foul, can yet distinguish between the dirt and the cloth on which it hangeth; and so deals God with us. `Tis true, there is not one saint, but while he liveth here, his body is arrayed and infected with many corrupt and filthy things, as touching bodily weaknesses; yea, and also with many sinful infirmities, by reason of that body of sin and death that yet remains in us: but yet God, I say, distinguisheth between our weaknesses, and his workmanship, and can tell how to save the whole man of his people, while he is destroying the corruption and weakness that cleaveth to them.

And now to return to the place objected—"Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God." It cannot be truly understood, that that flesh which is man's nature shall not enter the kingdom; for then, as I said before, Christ must lose his members, the purchase of his blood, the vessels and temples of his Spirit; for all this is our body. Again, then Christ also, in that his body, which is also our flesh and blood, is not in glory, contrary to the whole current of the New Testament (Heb 2:14-15; 7:24-25; 8; 3; 4; 10:10-12; Re 1:18; 2:8).

Yea, it would be nonsense to say, there should be a resurrection, and that our vile body shall be changed, "and made like to the glorious body of the Son of God;" if this body do not at all rise again, but some other thing, which is not in us, and our nature. But to be short; the apostle here, when he saith, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit," & ., speaks properly of that mortality and weakness, that now attends our whole man, and not of our real substantial body itself. For after he had said, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," he adds, "neither doth corruption inherit incorruption," which two sayings are answerable to what he presently adds, saying, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead"—mark, "the dead shall be raised incorruptible"—that is, the dead shall be so raised as that in their rising, incorruption shall possess them instead of corruption, and immortality instead of that mortality that descended to the grave with them,—"for this corruptible"—mark, this corruptible—"must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." Mark, I say, it is this corruptible, and this mortal, that must be raised, though not corruptible and mortal, as it was buried; but immortal and incorruptible; it shall leave its grave- clothes of corruption and mortality behind it (1Co 15:50-53).

THIRD. The manner of which their rising, the apostle doth more distinctly branch out a little above in four particulars, which particulars are these that follow-1. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. 2. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. 3. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 4. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (1Co 15).

1. It is raised in incorruption. We are brought into this world by sin and corruption; corruption is our father, and in sin did our mother conceive us (Job 17:14; Ps 51:5). And hence it is that we have our life, not only like a span, shadow, or post, for shortness, but also, that it is attended with so much vanity and vexation of spirit. But now being raised from the dead incorruptible, which is also called a begetting and birth, these things that now in our life annoy us, and at last take away our life, are effectually destroyed; and therefore we live for ever, as saith the Spirit—"And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things," that is, all our corruptibleness, "are passed away" (Re 21:4).

There shall be in our resurrection no corruption, either of body or of soul; no weakness, nor sickness, nor anything tending that way; as he saith, He will present us "to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing" (Eph 5:27). Therefore, when he saith it is raised in incorruption, it is as if he had said, It is impossible that they should ever sin more, be sick more, sorrow more, or die more. "They which shall be counted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage;" though `twas thus with them in this world; "neither can they die any more, for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (Lu 20:35-36).

2. It is raised in glory. The dishonour that doth attend the saint at his departing this world, it is very great—"he is sown in dishonour;" he is so loathsome at his death, that his dearest friends are weary of him, stop their noses at him, see no beauty in him, nor set any price upon him, (I speak nothing here how some of them are hanged, starved, banished, and so die, torn to pieces, and not suffered to be put into graves,) but it is raised in glory. Glory is the sweetness, comeliness, purity, and perfection of a thing. The light is the glory of the sun, strength is the glory of youth, and grey hairs are the glory of old age—that is, it is the excellency of these things, and that which makes them shine (1Co 15:40-41; Pr 20:29).

Therefore, to arise in glory, it is first to arise in all the beauty, and utmost completeness that is possible to possess a human creature; I say, in all its features and members, inconceivably beautiful. Sin and corruption have made mad work in our bodies as well as in our souls. `Tis sin commonly that is the cause of all the deformity and ill-favouredness that now cleaveth to us, and that also rendereth us so dishonourable at our death; but now at our rising, we being raised incorruptible, we shall appear in such perfections, and that of all sorts, belonging to the body, that all the beauty and comeliness, sweetness and amiableness, that hath at any time been in this world, it shall be swallowed up a thousand times told with this glory. The Psalmist saith of Christ that "he was fairer than the children of men" (Ps 45:2), and that, as I believe, in his outward man, as well as in his inward part. He was the exactest, purest, completest, and beautifulest creature that ever God made, till his visage was so marred by his persecutions; for in all things he had and shall have the pre-eminence (Isa 52:14; Col 1:18). Why, our bodies at our resurrection will not only be as free from sin, as his was before he died, but also as free from all other infirmities as he was after he was raised again. In a word, if incorruptibleness can put a beauty upon our bodies when they arise, we shall have it. There shall be no lame legs, nor crump shoulders, no bleared eyes, nor yet wrinkled faces—He "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Php 3:21).

Again, all the glory that a glorified soul can help this body to, it at this day shall enjoy. That soul that hath been these hundreds or thousands of years in the heavens, soaking in the bosom of Christ, it shall in a moment come spangling into the body again, and inhabit every member and vein of the body, as it did before its departure. That Spirit of God also that took its leave of the body when it went to the grave, shall now in all perfection dwell in this body again; I tell you, the body at this day will shine brighter than the face of Moses or Stephen, even as bright as the sun, the stars, and angels. "When Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" (Ex 34:29,35; Ac 6:15; Da 12:3; Mt 13:43; Lu 20:36; Col 3:3-4).

3. It is raised in power. While we are here, we are attended with so many weaknesses and infirmities, that in time the least sin or sickness is too hard for us, and taketh away both our strength, our beauty, our days, our breath, and life, and all (Job 38:17). But behold, we are raised in power, in that power that all these things are as far below us as a grasshopper is below a giant; at the first appearance of us the world will tremble.

Behold, the gates of death and the bars of the grave are now carried away on our shoulders, as Samson carried away the gates of the city (Jg 16:3). Death quaketh, and destruction falleth down dead at our feet: What, then, can stand before us? We shall then carry that grace, majesty, terror, and commanding power in our souls that our countenances shall be like lightning3 (Compare Lu 20:16 with Mt 28:2-3). "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1Co 15:53-54).

3 These ideas are as new as they are striking and splendid. Our vile bodies, when raised from the dust, shall be spiritual—like that of Christ—with him in glory; "bright as the sun and stars and angels." How amazingly superior is our preaching mechanic, to all the fathers (so called) and dignitaries of state churches that ever wrote upon this subject. Bunyan proves his apostolic descent in the right line; he breathes the spirit—the holy fire of the inspired writers.—Ed.

4. It is raised a spiritual body. This is the last particular, and is indeed the reason of the other three; it is an incorruptible body, because it is a spiritual one; it is a glorious body, because it is a spiritual one; it doth rise in power, because it is a spiritual body. When the body is buried, or sown in the earth, it is a body corruptible, dishonourable, weak, and natural; but when it ariseth, it doth rise incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and spiritual; so that so far as incorruption is above corruption, glory above dishonour, power above weakness, and spiritual above natural; so great an alteration will there be in our body, when raised again. And yet it is this body and not another; this in nature, though changed into a far more glorious state, a thousand times further than if a hoggard4 was changed to be an emperor. Mark, "it is sown a natural body;" a very fit word; for though there dwell never so much of the Spirit and grace of God in it while it liveth, yet so soon as the soul is separate from it, so soon also doth the Spirit of God separate from it, and so will continue while the day of its rising be come. Therefore, it is laid into the earth a mere lump of man's nature—"It is sown a natural body;" but now at the day when "the heavens be no more," as Job saith (14:12), then the trump shall sound, even the trump of God, and, in a moment, the dead shall be raised incorruptible, glorious, and spiritual (1Co 15:52; 1Th 4:16-17). So that I say, the body when it ariseth, will be so swallowed up of life and immortality, that it will be, as if it had lost its own human nature; though, in truth, the same substantial real nature is every whit there still. `Tis the same it that riseth, that was sown; "It is sown," "it is raised;" "it is sown," "it is raised," saith the apostle. You know, that things which are candied, by the art of the apothecary, they are so swallowed up with the sweetness and virtue of that in which they are candied, that they are now, as though they had no other nature, than that in which they are boiled: when yet, in truth, the thing candied doth still retain its own proper nature and essence; though by virtue of its being candied, it loseth its former sourness, bitterness, stinking, smell, or the like. Just thus, at the last day, it will be with our bodies: we shall be so candied, by being swallowed up of life, as before is shewed, that we shall be, as if we were all spirit, when in truth, it is but this body that is swallowed up of life. And it must needs be, that our nature still remain, otherwise it cannot be us that shall be in heaven, but something besides us. Let us lose our proper human nature, and we lose absolutely our being, and so are annihilated into nothing. Wherefore it, the same it, that is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body.

4 I have continued this word as Bunyan spelt it, but he probably meant hog-herd, a keeper or driver of swine, one of the dirtiest and lowest employments.

"No boorish hog-herd fed his rooting swine" Browne's Pastorals.—Ed.

But again, as I said, concerning things that are candied; our body, when thus risen, it shall lose all that sourness and stink, that now, by reason of sin and infirmity, cleaveth to it: neither shall its lumpishness, or unwieldiness, be any impediment to its acting after the manner of angels. Christ hath shewed us, what our body at our resurrection shall be, by shewing of us, in his word, what his body was, at and after, his resurrection. We read, that his body, after he was risen from the dead, though it yet retained the very same flesh and bones that did hang upon the cross, yet how angelical was it at all times, upon all occasions! He could come in to his disciples with that very body, when the doors were shut upon them: He could, at pleasure, to their amazement, appear in the twinkling of an eye, in the midst of them: he could be visible and invisible as he pleased, when he sat at meat with them: in a word, he could pass and repass, ascend and descend in that body, with far more pleasure and ease, than the bird by the art of her wing (Lu 24:31-32,36-42,50-51; Joh 20:19,24-26; Ac 1:1-12; Mr 16:19; Eph 4:7-10).

Now, I say, as we have in this world borne the image of our first father; so, at that day, we shall have the image of Jesus Christ, and be as he is—"As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also, (at our resurrection,) bear the image of the heavenly" (1Co 15:48-49). It is so in part now, but shall so be in perfection then.

To mount up to heaven, and to descend again at pleasure, shall, with us, in that day, be ordinary. If there were ten thousand bars of iron, or walls of brass, to separate between us, and our pleasure and desire, at that day, they should as easily be pierced by us, as is the cobweb, or air by the beams of the sun: And the reason is, because to the Spirit, wherewith we shall be inconceivably filled at that day, nothing is impossible (Mt 17:20); and the working of it at that day, shall be in that nature and measure as to swallow up all impossibilities. He "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,"—now mark, "according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Php 3:21). As who should say, I know that there are many things, that in this world hinder us from having our bodies like the body of Christ; but when God shall raise us from the dead, because he will then have our body like the body of his Son; He will stretch forth such a power to work upon, and in our body, that he will remove all impossibilities and hindrances.

Nay, further, we do not only see what operation the Spirit will have in our body, by the carriage of Christ, after his resurrection; but even by many a saint before their death. The Spirit used to catch Elijah away, no man could tell whither. It carried Ezekiel hither and thither: It carried Christ from the top of the pinnacle of the temple into Galilee; through it he walked on the sea; the Spirit caught away Philip from the eunuch, and carried him as far as Azotus (1Ki 18:11-12; 2Ki 2:11; Eze 3:14; Lu 4:14; Mt 14:25; Ac 8:39-40).

Thus the great God hath given us a taste of the power and glory that is in himself, and how easily it will help us, by its possessing5 of us at the resurrection, to act and do like angels; as Christ saith, They that shall be counted worthy of that world, and of the resurrection from the dead, they shall not die, but be equal to the angels (Lu 21:36).

5 "Its possessing of us," or to give us possession. "This possesses us of the most valuable blessing of human life, friendship. Gov. of Tongue.—Ed.

Further, as the body by being thus spiritualized, shall be as I have said; so again it must needs be, that hereby all the service of the body, and faculties of the soul, must be infinitely enlarged also. Now "we shall see him as he is," and now we shall know even as we are known (1Jo 3:2; 1Co 13:12).

First, Now we shall see him; to wit, Christ in his glory; not by revelation only, as we do now, but then face to face; and he will have us with him to this very end (Joh 17:24). Though John was in the Spirit when he had the vision of Christ, yet it made him fall at his feet as dead (Re 1:17); and also turned Daniels' beauty into corruption (Da 10:8). It was so glorious, and so overweighing a glory, that he appeared in; but we shall, at the day of our resurrection, be so furnished, that we shall with the eagle, be able to look upon the sun in his strength: we shall then, I say, "see Him as he is," who now is in the light, that no eye hath seen, nor any man can see till that day (1Ti 6:16).

Now we shall see into all things; there shall not be anything hid from us; there shall not be a saint, a prophet, or saved soul, small or great, but we shall then perfectly know them. Also, all the works of creation, election, and redemption, and shall see and know as thoroughly, all the things of heaven, and earth, and hell, even as perfectly, as now we know our A, B, C. For the Spirit, with which we shall in every cranny of soul and body be filled, I say, "searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1Co 2:10). We see what strange things have been known by the prophets and saints of God, and that when they knew but "in part."

Abraham could, by it, tell to a day, how long his seed should be under persecution in Egypt (Ge 15:13); Elisha, by it, could tell what was done in the king of Assyria's bed-chamber (2Ki 6:12); Ahijah could know by this, Jeroboam's wife, so soon, yea before her feet entered within his door, though he saw her not (1Ki 14:1-6).

The prophet of Judah could tell by this, what God would do to Bethel, for the idolatry there committed; and could also point out the man by name that should do the execution, long before he was born (1Ki 13:2). What shall I say, Enoch by it could tell what should be done at the end of the world (Jude 14-15). How did the prophets, to a circumstance, prophesy of Christ's birth, his death, his burial, of their giving him gall and vinegar, of their parting his raiment, and piercing his hands and feet! (Isa 53). Of his riding on an ass also; all this they saw, when they spake of him (Joh 12:41). Peter also, though half asleep, could at the very first word, call Moses and Elias by their names, when they appeared to Christ in the holy mount (Lu 9:33). He is very ignorant of the operation of the Spirit of God, that scrupleth these things. But now, I say, if these things have been done, seen, and known, by spiritual men, while their knowledge hath been but in part, how shall we know, see, and discern, when that which is perfect is come? Which will be at the resurrection; "It is raised a spiritual body."

Thus, in few words, have I shewed you the truth of the resurrection of the just, and also the manner of their rising. Had I judged it convenient, I might have much enlarged on each particular, and have added many more; for the doctrine of the resurrection, however questioned by heretics, and erroneous persons; yet is such a truth, that almost all the holy scriptures of God point at, and centre in it.

God hath, from the beginning of the world, shewed to us, that our body must be with him, as well as our soul, in the kingdom of heaven. I say, he hath shewed us, how he will deal with those that are alive at Christ's coming, by his translating of Enoch (Ge 5:24), and by taking him body and soul to himself (Heb 11:5); As also, by his catching of Elias up body and soul into heaven, in a fiery chariot (2Ki 2:11), and,

Secondly He hath often put us in remembrance of the rising of those that are dead, at that day, as, (1.) By the faith he gave Abraham, concerning the offering of his son: for when he offered him, he accounted "that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure" (Heb 11:19). In a figure of the resurrection of Christ, for Abraham's justification; and of Abraham's resurrection by Christ at the last day, for his glorification. (2.) By the faith he gave Joseph concerning his bones; which charge, the godly in Egypt, did diligently observe, and to that end, did keep them four hundred years; and at length, carried them, I say, from Egypt to Canaan, which was a type of our being carried in our body, from this world to heaven (Heb 11:22).

Besides, how oft did God give power to his prophets, servants, and Christ Jesus, to raise some that were now dead, and some that had been long so; and all, no doubt, to put the present generations, as also the generations yet unborn, in mind of the resurrection of the dead. To this end, I say, how was the Shunammite's son raised from the dead? (2Ki 4). The man also at the touching of the bones of Elisha? (2Ki 13:20-21). Together with the body of Lazarus, with Jairus's daughter, and Tabitha, and many others, who, after their souls were departed from them, Lazarus lying in his grave four days, were all raised to life again, and lived with that very body out of which the soul, at their death, had departed (Lu 8:53-56; Joh 11:43-44; Ac 9:40-41). But above all, that notable place in Matthew, at the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, gives us a notable fore-word of the resurrection of the just. Saith the text, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Mt 27:52-53).

When the author to the Hebrews had given us a catalogue of the worthies of the Old Testament, he saith at last, "These all died in faith." In the faith of what? That they should lie and rot in their grave eternally? No, verily; this is the faith of Ranters, not of Christians. They all died in faith, that they should rise again; and therefore counted this world not worth the living in, upon unworthy terms, that after death "they might obtain a better resurrection" (Heb 11:13,35).

It is also worth the considering, that of Paul to the Philippians, where he saith that he was confident that that God that had begun a good work in them would "perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Php 1:6). Which day of Christ, was not the day of their conversion, for that was passed with them already, they were now the children of God; but this day of Christ, it is the same which in other places is called the day when he shall come with the sound of the last trump to raise the dead. For you must know, that the work of salvation is not at an end with them that are now in heaven; no, nor ever will, until (as I shewed you before) their bodies be raised again. God, as I have told you, hath made our bodies the members of Christ, and God doth not count us thoroughly saved, until our bodies be as well redeemed and ransomed out of the grave and death, as our souls from the curse of the law, and dominion of sin.

Though God's saints have felt the power of much of his grace, and have had many a sweet word fulfilled on them; yet one word will be unfulfilled on their particular person, so long as the grave can shut her mouth upon them: but, as I said before, when the gates of death do open before them, and the bars of the grave do fall asunder; then shall be brought to pass that saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up of victory;" and then will they hear that most pleasant voice, "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead" (Isa 26:19). Thus much touching the truth of the resurrection of the just, with the manner of their rising.

Now you must know, that the time of the rising of these just, will be at the coming of the Lord: for when they arise, nay, just before they are raised, the Lord Jesus Christ will appear in the clouds in flaming fire, with all his mighty angels; the effect of which appearing will be the rising of the dead, & . "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout," saith Paul, "and with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead shall rise" (2Th 1:8; 1Th 4:16; 1Co 15:52).

Now at the time of the Lord's coming, there will be found in the world alive both saints and sinners. As for the saints that then shall be found alive, they shall, so soon as all the saints are raised out of their graves, not die, but be changed, and swallowed up of incorruption, immortality, and glory; and have the soul-spiritual translation, as the raised saints shall have; as he saith, "We shall not all [die, or] sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, - - for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1Co 15:51-52). And again, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1Th 4:16-17). As he saith also in another place, he "shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (2Ti 4:1).

Now when the saints that sleep shall be raised thus incorruptible, powerful, glorious, and spiritual; and also those that then shall be found alive, made like them: then forthwith, before the unjust are raised, the saints shall appear before the judgment-seat of the Lord Jesus Christ, there to give an account to their Lord the Judge, of all things they have done; and to receive a reward for their good according to their labour.

They shall rise, I say, before the wicked, they being themselves the proper children of the resurrection; that is, Those that must have all the glory of it, both as to pre-eminency and sweetness; and therefore they are said, when they rise, to rise from the dead; that is, in their rising, they leave the reprobate world behind them (Lu 20:35-36; Ac 3:15; 4:10; 13:30; Joh 12:1,9,17). And it must be so, because also the saints will have done their account, and be set upon the throne with Christ, as kings and princes with him, to judge the world, when the wicked world are raised. The saints shall judge the world; they shall judge angels; yea, they shall sit upon the thrones of judgment to do it (1Co 6:2-3; Ps 122:5). But to pass that, [we come THIRD, to the examination the just must undergo, and the account they must give to the Lord the Judge; or,]

THE JUDGMENT OF THE JUST.

Now when the saints are raised, as ye have heard, they must give an account of all things, in general, that they have done while they were in the world; of all things, I say, whether they be good or bad.

FIRST, Of all their bad; but mark, not under the consideration of vagabonds, slaves and sinners, but as sons, stewards, and servants of the Lord Jesus. That this shall be, it is evident from divers places of the holy Scriptures:

First, Paul saith, "We shall all stand before the judgment- seat of Christ,"—we saints—"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Ro 14:232). Again, "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one [of us] may receive the things done in his body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2Co 5:9-10).

It is true, God loveth his people, but yet he loveth not their sins, nor anything they do, though with the greatest zeal for him, if he be contrary to his word; wherefore as truly as God will given a reward to his saints and children for all that they have indeed well done; so truly will he at this day distinguish their good and bad: and when both are manifest by the righteous judgment of Christ; he will burn up their bad, with all their labour, travel, and pains in it for ever. He can tell how to save his people, and yet take vengeance on their inventions (Ps 99:8).

That is an observable place, in the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, and the third chapter, "If any man build," saith he, "upon this foundation [Christ] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (1Co 3:12-15). Now observe,

1.    As I said before, the foundation is Christ (1Co 3:11).

2.    The gold, silver, and precious stones that here are said to be built upon him, are all the actings in faith and love, according to the word, that the saints are found doing for his sake in the world (1Pe 1:7; Re 3:18).

3.    To build on him wood, hay, and stubble, it is to build, together with what is right in itself, human inventions and carnal ordinances, fathering them still on God and his allowance.

4.    The fire that here you read of, it is the pure word and law of God (Jer 23:29; Joh 12:48).

5.    The day that here you read of, it is the day of Christ's coming to judgment, to reveal the hidden things of darkness, and to make manifest the counsels of the heart (1Co 4:5).

6.    At this day, the gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble, and that of every man, shall be tried by this fire, that it may be manifest of what sort it is; the wind, the rain, and floods, beat now as vehemently against the house upon the rock, as against that on the sand (Lu 6:48-49).

Observe again,

(1.)    That the apostle speaks here of the saved, not of the reprobate—"He himself shall be saved."

(2.)    That this saved man may have wood, hay, and stubble; that is, things that will not abide the trial.

(3.)    That neither this man's goodness, nor yet God's love to him, shall hinder all his wood, hay, or stubble from coming on the stage, "Every man's work shall be manifest: the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is."

(4.)    Thus, a good man shall see all his wood, hay, and stubble burnt up in the trial before his face.

(5.)    That good man then shall suffer loss, or, the loss of all things that are not then according to the word of God—"If any man's works shall be burnt," or any of them, "he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" that is, yet so as that all that ever he hath done, shall be tried, and squared by the word of God.

From all which, it must be unavoidably concluded, that the whole body of the elect must count with their Lord for all things they have done, whether good or bad, and that he will destroy all their bad, with the purity of his word, yea, and all their pains, travel, and labour that they have spent about it. I am persuaded that there are now many things done by the best of saints, that then they will gladly disown and be ashamed of; yea, which they have and do still do with great devotion. Alas, what gross things do some of the saints in their devotion father upon God, and do reckon him the author thereof, and that he also prompts them forward to the doing thereof, and doth give them his presence in the performance of them! Yea, and as they father many superstitions and scriptureless things upon him; so they die in the same opinion, and never come in this world, to the sight of their evil and ignorance herein.6 But now the judgment-day is the principal time wherein everything shall be set in its proper place; that which is of God in its place, and that which is not, shall now be discovered, and made manifest. In many things now we offend all; and then we shall see the many offences we have committed, and shall ourselves judge them as they are. The Christian, is in this world, so candid a creature, that take him when he is not under some great temptation, and he will ingeniously confess to his God, before all men, how he hath sinned and transgressed against his Father; and will fall down at the feet of God, and cry, Thou art righteous, for I have sinned; and thou art gracious, that, notwithstanding my sin, thou shouldest save me. Now, I say, if the Christian is so simple and plain-hearted with God, in the days of his imperfection, when he is accompanied with many infirmities and temptations; how freely will he confess and acknowledge his miscarriages, when he comes before his Lord and Saviour; absolutely stript of all temptation and imperfection. "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" (Ro 14:11; Php 2:10-11). Every knee shall bow, and reverence God the Creator, and Christ the Redeemer of the world; and every tongue shall confess, that his will alone ought by them to have been obeyed in all things; and shall confess also, and that most naturally and freely—I mean, the saints shall—in how many things they were deceived, mistaken, deluded, and drawn aside in their intended devotion and honour to God.

6 This is an awful state of delusion; to imagine that God is the author of gross things, such as worshipping a wafer, or applying to a priest to forgive sins; and that a holy God prompts them to the doing thereof, and sanctions them by his presence!! "Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed," Jas 1:14. Christian, take care that you receive not any doctrine, nor conform to any practice in religion, without prayerful investigation, and a "thus saith the Lord" for its sanction.—Ed.

[Second.] But yet take notice, that in this day, when the saints are thus counting for their evil before their Saviour and Judge; they shall not then, as now, at the remembrance and confession of sin, be filled with the guilt, confusion, and shame that now through the weakness of faith attendeth their souls; neither shall they in the least be grieved or offended, that God hath before the angels and the rest of their holy brethren, laid open to a tittle their infirmities, from the least and first, to the biggest and last. For,

1. The God to whom they confess all, they will now more perfectly than ever see he doth love them, and free them from all, even when and before they confess and acknowledge them to him; and they shall, I say, have their soul so full of the ravishing raptures of the life and glory that now they are in, that they shall be of it swallowed up in that measure and manner, that neither fear, nor guilt, nor confusion can come near them, or touch them. Their Judge is their Saviour, their Husband, and Head; who, though he will bring every one of them for all things to judgment, yet he will keep them for ever out of condemnation, and anything that tendeth that way. "Perfect love casteth out fear," even while we are here; much more then, when we are with our Saviour, our Jesus, being passed from death to life (Joh 5:24; 1Jo 4:18).

2.    The saints at this day, shall have their hearts and souls so wrapped up in the pleasure of God their Saviour, that it shall be their delight, to see all things, though once never so near and dear unto them; yet now to perish, if not according to his word and will. "Thy will be done," is to be always our language here (Mt 6:10); but to delight to see it done in all things, though it tend never so much to the destruction of what we love; to delight, I say, to see it done in the height and perfection of delight; it will be when we come to heaven, or when the Lord shall come to judge the world. But,

3.    The sole end of the counting of the saints at the day of God, it will be, not only for the vindication of the righteousness, holiness, and purity of the word, neither will it centre only in the manifestation of the knowledge and heart-discerning nature of Christ [though both these will be in it, (Re 2:22-23)]. But their very remembrances and sight of the sin and vanity that they have done while here; it shall both set off, and heighten the tender affections of their God unto them; and also increase their joy and sweetness of soul, and clinging of heart to their God. Saints while here, are sweetly sensible that the sense of sin, and the assurance of pardon, will make famous work in their poor hearts. Ah, what meltings without guilt! what humility without casting down! and what a sight of the creature's nothingness, yet without fear, will this sense of sin work in the soul! The sweetest frame, the most heart-endearing frame, that possibly a Christian can get into while in this world, is to have a warm sight of sin, and of a Saviour upon the heart at one time. Now it weeps not for fear and through torment, but by virtue of constraining grace and mercy, and is at this very time, so far off of disquietness of heart, by reason of the sight of its wickedness, that it is driven into an ecstasy, by reason of the love and mercy that is mingled with the sense of sin in the soul.

The heart never sees so much of the power of mercy as now, nor of the virtue, value, and excellency of Christ in all his offices as now, and the tongue so sweetly enlarged to proclaim and cry up grace as now; now will Christ "come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe" (2Th 1:10).

Wherefore, though the saints receive by faith the forgiveness of sins in this life, and so are passed from death to life; yet again, Christ Jesus, and God his Father, will have every one of these sins reckoned up again, and brought fresh upon the stage in the day of judgment, that they may see and be sensible for ever, what grace and mercy hath laid hold upon them. And this I take to be the reason of that remarkable saying of the apostle Peter, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Ac 3:19-21).

If a sense of some sin, [for who sees all? (Ps 19:12)], and a sight of the love of God, will here so work upon the spirit of the godly: what will a sight of all sin do, when together with it they are personally present with their Lord and Saviour?

Yea, if a sight of some sins, with a possibility of pardon, will make the heart love, reverence, and fear with guiltless and heart-affecting fears; what will a general sight of all sin, and together with them an eternal acquittance from them, work on the heart of the saint for ever?

Yea, I say again, if a sight of sin, and the love of God, will make such work in that soul where yet there is unbelief, blindness, mistrust, and forgetfulness: what will a sight of sin do in that soul, who is swallowed up of love, who is sinless, and temptationless; who hath all the faculties of soul and body strained by love and grace, to the highest pin of perfection, that is possible to be in glory enjoyed and possessed? Oh the wisdom and goodness of God, that he at this day, should so cast about the worst of our things, even those that naturally tend to sink us, and damn us, for our great advantage! "All things shall work together for good," indeed, "to them that love God" (Ro 8:28). Those sins that brought a curse upon the whole world, that spilt the heart-blood of our dearest Saviour, and that laid his tender soul under the flaming wrath of God, shall by his wisdom and love, tend to the exaltation of his grace, and the inflaming of our affections to him for ever and ever (Re 5:9-14).

It will not be thus with devils; it will not be thus with reprobates; the saved only have this privilege peculiar to themselves. Wherefore, to vary a little from the matter in hand: will God make that use of sin, even in our counting for it, that shall in this manner work for our advantage? Why then, let saints also make that advantage of their sin, as to glorify God thereby, which is to be done, not by saying, "Let us do evil, that good may come;" or, "Let us sin, that grace may abound;" but by taking occasion by the sin that is past to set the crown upon the head of Christ for our justification; continually looking upon it, so as to press us, to cleave close to the Lord Jesus, to grace and mercy through him, and to the keeping of us humble for ever, under all his dispensations and carriages to us.

Now, having counted for all their evil, and confessed to God's glory, how they fell short, and did not the truth in this, or that, or other particulars, and having received their eternal acquittance from the Lord and Judge, in the sight of both angels and saints; forthwith the Lord Jesus will make inquiry,

SECOND, into all the good and holy actions and deeds they did do in the world. Now here shall all things be reckoned up, from the very first good thing that was done by Adam or Abel, to the last that will fall out to be done in the world. The good of all the holy prophets, of all apostles, pastors, teachers, and helps in the church; here also will be brought forth and to light, all the good carriages of masters of families, of parents, of children, of servants, of neighbours, or whatever good thing any man doth. But to be general and short,

First, here will be a recompense for all that have sincerely laboured in the word and doctrine—I say, a recompense for all the souls they have saved by their word, and watered by the same. Now shall Paul the planter, and Apollos the waterer, with every one of the their companions, receive the reward that is according to their works (1Co 3:6-8).

Now, all the preaching, praying, watching, and labour thou hast been at, in thy endeavouring to catch men from Satan to God, shall be rewarded with spangling glory. Not a soul thou hast converted to the Lord Jesus, nor a soul thou hast comforted, strengthened, or helped by thy wholesome counsel, admonition, and comfortable speech, but it shall stick as a pearl in that crown "which the Lord the righteous Judge, shall give thee at that day" (2Ti 4:7-8). That is, if thou dost it willingly, delighting to lift up the name of God among men; if thou doest it with love, and longing after the salvation of sinners, otherwise thou wilt have only thy labour for thy pains, and no more. "If I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed to my charge" (1Co 9:17; Php 1:15). But, I say, if thou do it graciously, then a reward followeth; "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye," saith Paul, "in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy" (1Th 2:19-20). Let him therefore that Christ hath put into his harvest, take comfort in the midst of all his sorrow, and know that God acknowledgeth, that he that converteth a sinner from the error of his way, doth even save that soul from death, "and covereth a multitude of sins" (Jas 5:20). Wherefore labour to convert, labour to water, labour to build up, and to "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;—and when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" (1Pe 5:2,4).

Secondly, And as the ministers of Christ's gospel shall at this day be recompensed; so shall also those more private saints be with tender affections, and love looked on, and rewarded for all their work and labour of love, which they have shewed to the name of Christ, in ministering to his saints, and suffering for his sake (Heb 6:10). "Whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free" (Eph 6:8). Ah! little do the people of God think, how largely and thoroughly, God will at that day, own and recompense all the good and holy acts of his people. Every bit, every drop, every rag, and every night's harbour, though but in a wisp of straw, shall be rewarded in that day before men and angels—"Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you," saith Christ, "he shall in no wise lose his [a disciple's] reward" (Mt 10:42). Therefore "When thou makest a feast," saith he, "call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (Lu 14:13-14). If there be any repentance among the godly at this day, it will be, because the Lord Jesus, in his person, members, and word, was no more owned, honoured, entertained, and provided for by them, when they were in this world: For it will be ravishing to all, to see what notice the Lord Jesus will then take of every widow's mite. He, I say, will call to mind, even all those acts of mercy and kindness, which thou hast shewed to him, when thou wast among men. I say, he will remember, cry up, and proclaim before angels and saints, those very acts of thine, which thou hast either forgotten, or, through bashfulness wilt not at that day count worth the owing. He will reckon them up so fast, and so fully, that thou wilt cry, Lord, when did I do this? and when did I do the other? "When saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Mt 25:37-40). "The good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid" (1Ti 5:25). Whatever thou hast done to one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me. I felt the nourishment of thy food, and the warmth of thy fleece. I remember thy loving and holy visits when my poor members were sick, and in prison, and the like. When they were strangers, and wanderers in the world, thou tookest them in. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant; - - - enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt 25:21-23; 34-47).

Thirdly, Here also will be a reward for all that hardness, and Christian enduring of affliction that thou hast met with for thy Lord, while thou wast in the world. Here now will Christ begin from the greatest suffering, even to the least, and bestow a reward on them all: from the blood of the suffering saint, to the loss of a hair: nothing shall go unrewarded (Heb 11:36-40; 2Co 8:8-14). "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2Co 4:17). Behold by the scriptures how God hath recorded the sufferings of his people, and also how he hath promised to reward them—"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you," and speak "all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice," leap for joy, "and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven" (Mt 5:11-12; Lu 6:22-23). "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life" (Mt 19:29).

Fourthly, There is also a reward at this day, for all the more secret, and more retired works of Christianity. 1. There is not now one act of faith in thy soul, either upon Christ, or against the Devil, and Antichrist; but it shall in this day be found out, and praised, honoured and glorified, in the face of heaven (1Pe 1:7). 2. There is not one groan to God in secret, against thy own lusts, and for more grace, light, spirit, sanctification, and strength to go through this world like a Christian: but it shall even at the coming of Christ be rewarded openly (Mt 6:6). 3. There hath not one tear dropped from thy tender eye against thy lusts, the love of this world, or for more communion with Jesus Christ, but as it is now in the bottle of God; so then it shall bring forth such plenty of reward, that it shall return upon thee with abundance of increase. "Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh" (Lu 6:21). "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy book?" (Ps 56:8). "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Ps 126:5-6).

Having thus in brief shewed you something concerning the resurrection of the saints, and that they shall count with their Lord at his coming, both for the burning up what was not according to the truth, and rewarding them for all their good. It remains, that I now in few words,

FOURTH, Shew you something also of that with which they shall be rewarded.

THE REWARD OF THE JUST.

First then, those that shall be found in the day of their resurrection, when they shall have all their good things brought upon the stage; they I say, that then shall be found the people most laborious for God while here; they shall at that day enjoy the greatest portion of God, or shall be possessed with most of the glory of the Godhead then. For that is the portion of saints in general (Ro 8:17; La 3:24). And why shall he that doth most for God in this world, enjoy most of him in that which is to come? But because by doing and acting, the heart, and every faculty of the soul is enlarged, and more capacitated, whereby more room is made for glory. Every vessel of glory shall at that day be full of it; but every one will not be capable to contain a like measure; and so if they should have it communicated to them, would not be able to stand under it; for there is "an eternal weight in the glory that saints shall then enjoy" (2Co 4:17), and every vessel must be at that day filled—that is, have its heavenly load of it.

All Christians have not the same enjoyment of God in this life, neither indeed were they able to bear it if they had it (1Co 3:2). But those Christians that are most laborious for God in this world, they have already most of him in their souls, and that not only because diligence in God's ways, is the means whereby God communicates himself; but also because thereby the senses are made more strong, and able, by reason of use, to understand God, and to discern both good and evil (Heb 5:13-14). To him that hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance (Mt 13:11-12). He that laid out his pound for his master, and gained ten therewith, he was made ruler over ten cities; but he that by his pound gained but five, he was made ruler over but five (Lu 19:16-19). Often, he that is best bred in his youth, he is best able to manage most, when he is a man, touching things of this life (Da 1:3-4); but always he that is best bred, and that is most in the bosom of God, and that so acts for him here; he is the man that will be best able to enjoy most of God in the kingdom of heaven. It is observable that Paul saith, "Our affliction - - worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2Co 4:17). Our afflictions do it, not only because there is laid up a reward for the afflicted, according to the measure of affliction; but because afflictions, and so every service of God, doth make the heart more deep, more experimental, more knowing and profound; and so more able to hold, contain, and bear more (Ps 119:71). "Every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour" (1Co 3:8). And this is the reason of such sayings as these—Lay up for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that you may lay hold on eternal life (1Ti 6:19), which eternal life, is not the matter of our justification from sin in the sight of God; for that is done freely by grace, through faith in Christ's blood; (but here the apostle speaks of giving of alms) but it is the same that in the other place he calls "the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." And hence it is that he in his stirring them up to be diligent in good works, doth tell them, that he doth not exhort them to it because he wanted, but because he would have "fruit that might abound to their account" (Php 4:17); as he saith also in another place, "Beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1Co 15:58). Therefore I say, the reward that the saints shall have at this day for all the good they have done, it is the enjoyment of God, according to their works: though they shall be freely justified and glorified without works.

Second, As the enjoyment of God at that day, will be to the saints, according to their works and doings—I speak not now of justification from sin—so will their praise and commendations at that day, be according to the same, and both of them their degrees of glory; for I say, as God by communicating of himself unto us at that day, will thereby glorify us, so also he will for the adding all things that may furnish with glory every way, cause to be proclaimed in the face of heaven, and in the presence of all the holy angels; everything that hath for God, his ways, and people, been done by us while here we have been. "Whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops" (Lu 12:2-3). Again, He that "shall confess me," saith Christ, "before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven" (Mt 10:32).

Now as he of whom Christ is ashamed when he comes in his glory, and in the glory of the holy angels, will then lie under inconceivable disgrace, shame, dishonour, and contempt: so he whom Christ shall confess, own, commend, and praise at that day, must needs have very great dignity, honour, and renown, "for then shall every man have praise of God" to wit, according to his works (1Co 4:5). Now will Christ proclaim before thee and all others what thou hast done, and what thou hast suffered, what thou hast owned, and what thou hast withstood for his name (Mr 8:38). This is he that forsook his goods, his relations, his country, and life for me: this is the man that overcame the flatteries and threats, allurements and enticings, of a whole world for me; behold him, he is an Israelite indeed (Joh 1:47), the top man in his generation, "none like him in all the earth" (Job 1:8). It is said, that when king Ahasuerus had understanding of how good service Mordecai the Jew had done to and for him, he commanded that the royal apparel and the crown, with the horse that the king did ride on, should be given to him, and that he should with that crown, apparel, and horse, be had through the city, in the presence of all his nobles, and that proclamation should be made before him, "Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour" (Es 6:9-11).

Ahasuerus in this was a type to hold forth to the children of God, how kindly he will take all their labour and service of love, and how he will honour and dignify the same; as Christ saith, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them (Lu 12:35-57). The meaning is, that those souls that shall make it their business to honour the Lord Jesus Christ, in the day of their temptation; he will make it his business to honour and glorify them in the day of his glorification (Joh 12:26). "Verily, I say unto you, that he will make them sit down to meat, and shall come forth and serve them. If any man will serve me," saith he, "him will my Father honour." It hath been God's way in this world to proclaim the acts and doings of his saints in his word before all in this world, and he will do it in that which is to come (Mr 14:9; Re 3:4; 14:1-6).

Third, Another thing that shall be yet added to the glory of the saints, in the kingdom of their Saviour, at his coming is, they shall every one of them then have his throne and place of degree on Christ's right hand, and on his left, in his glorious kingdom, according to the relation they stand in to Christ, as the members of his body; for as Christ will have a special eye on us, and a tender and affectionate heart, to recompense to the full every good thing that any man doth for his name in this world: so also he will have as great regard, that there be to every member of his body, the place, and state that is comely for every such member. When the mother of Zebedee's children petitioned our Saviour that he would grant to her, that her two sons might sit, the one on his right hand, and the other on his left, in his kingdom: though he did not grant to her the request for her children, yet he affirmed that there would be places of degrees and honour in heaven, saying, "To sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father" (Mt 20:20-23). In the temple, there were chambers bigger and lesser, higher and lower, more inward and more outward: which chambers were types of the mansions that our Lord when he went away, told us he went to prepare for us. "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" (Joh 14:2-3). The foot here, shall not have the place prepared for the eye, nor yet the hand, that which is prepared for the ear, but every one shall have his own place in the body of Christ, and the glory also prepared for such a relation. Order, as it is comely in earth, so much more in the kingdom of the God of order, in heaven; where all things shall be done in their utmost perfections. Here shall Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, with the prophets, have every one his place, according to the degree of Old Testament saints. As God said to Daniel, "Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days" (Da 12:13). And here also shall Peter, Paul, Timothy, and all other the church officers have their place, and heavenly state, according as God hath set them in the church in the New Testament. As Paul saith of the deacons, "They that have used the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus" (1Ti 3:13). And so of all other saints, be they here of what rank, quality, or place in the church soever, they shall have every one his state, his heavenly state, according as he standeth in the body. As he saith, seeing those members that are most feeble are necessary, to them shall be given "more abundant honour" (1Co 12:22-23). Of this heavenly order in the kingdom of Christ, when his saints are risen from the dead, was Solomon a notable type in his family, and among his servants and officers, who kept such exactness in the famous order in which he had placed all about him, that it did amaze and confound beholders. For "when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cup-bearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her" (2Ch 9:3-4). "Glorious things are spoken of thee, 0 city of God" (Ps 87:3). Having gone thus far, I shall now come to

THE SECOND PART OF THE TEXT,

To wit, that there shall be a resurrection of the wicked. "There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;" for as the just go before the unjust, in name and dignity, and honour, so they shall in the last day, go before them in the resurrection.

Now, then, when the saints have thus risen out of their graves, given up their accounts, received their glory, and are set upon the thrones, "for there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David" (Ps 122:5). When, I say, they are all of them in their royal apparel, with crowns of glory, every one presenting the person of a king, then come the unjust out of their graves, to receive their judgment for what they have done in the body. As Paul saith, "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one," both saints and sinners, "may receive the things done in the body, whether it be good, or whether it be bad."

But now, because I would prove by the word, whatever I would have others receive for a truth, therefore I shall in few particulars,

FIRST, prove the resurrection of the wicked.

THE RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED.

First, then, it is evident, that the wicked shall rise, from the very terms and names that the raised shall then go under, which are the very same names that they did go under when they lived in this world. They are called the heathen, the nations, the world, the wicked, and those that do iniquity; they are called men, women, [of] Sodom, Sidon, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and Tyre. The men of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment (Lu 10:12-14); the queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment (Mt 12:41-42); and it shall be more tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment than for other sinners that have resisted more light (Mt 11:21-24). "The heavens and the earth, which are now, - - are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2Pe 3:7; Joe 3:12-14). Now these terms, or names, are not given to the spirits of the wicked only, but to them as consisting of body and soul. Further, Christ tells his adversaries, when they had apprehended him, and shamefully entreated him, that yet they should see him sit on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (Mt 25:31-32; 26:64; Jude 14-15), as John also doth testify, saying, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him" (Re 1:7). Now none of these sayings are yet fulfilled, neither shall they, until his second coming; for though the Jews did many of them see him, when he did hang upon the cross, yet then he was not coming in the clouds of heaven, neither did then all kindreds of the earth wail because of him. No, this is reserved till he comes to judge the world; for then shall the ungodly be so put to it, that gladly they would creep into the most invincible rock or mountain under heaven, to hide themselves from his face, and the majesty of his heavenly presence (Re 6:14-17). There shall therefore, that this may be brought to pass, be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. For though an opinion of no resurrection may now lull men asleep, in security and impiety, yet the Lord when he comes will rouse them, and cause them to awake; not only out of their security, but out of their graves, to their doom, that they may receive for their error, the recompense that is meet.

Second, The body of the ungodly must, at the last, arise out of the grave, because that body and their soul, while they lived in the world, were co-partners in their lusts and wickedness. "The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed" (1Sa 2:3). He will therefore bring every work into judgment, "with every secret thing" (Ec 12:14). And as he will bring into judgment every work, so will he also the worker thereof, "even the dead, small and great" (Re 20:154). It is not in God to lay the punishment where the fault is not, neither to punish a part of the damned for the whole. "With righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity" (Ps 98:9). "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Ge 18:25). As therefore the body was co-partner with the soul in sinning, so shall every man receive the things done in his body, according to what he hath done. Wherefore he saith in another place, "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Re 22:12). There shall therefore be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Third, The body of the wicked must rise again, because as the whole man of the just also that is the vessel of mercy and glory; so the whole man of the unjust is the vessel of wrath and destruction. There are, saith Paul, in a great house not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honour and some to dishonour. Now, as he sheweth us, these vessels to honour, they are good men, and the vessels to dishonour are the bad (2Ti 2:20-21). Now as these vessels to dishonour, are called the vessels of wrath: so it is said, that God with much long-suffering, doth suffer them to be fitted to destruction (Ro 9:22). How they are thus fitted he also further sheweth, where he saith, They do "after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasure up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" (Ro 2:5), which treasures of wickedness, James saith, it is treasure up against the last days (which is the time of judgment), and observe it, he saith, that then it shall eat their flesh as it were fire (Jas 5:2-3). Now then, their bodies being the vessels of the wrath of God, and again, seeing with this wrath they must be possessed at the last day, that their flesh must with it be eaten, it is evident, that their body must rise again out of their graves, and before the judgment-seat appear; for it is from thence, that each of them must go with his full load to their long and eternal home, "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mr 9:47-48).

Fourth, The severity of the hand of God towards his children, with his forbearance of his enemies, doth clearly bespeak a resurrection of the ungodly, that they may receive the reward for their wickedness which they have committed in this world. We know, that while the eyes of the wicked start out with fatness, the godly are plagued all the day long, and chastened every morning (Ps 73:3-15), wherefore it is evident, that the place and time of the punishment of the ungodly, it is another world. If "judgment must begin at the house of God, - - what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1Pe 4:17-18). Alas, poor creatures! they now plot against the righteous, and gnash upon them with their teeth; but "the Lord shall laugh at him, for he seeth that his day is coming" (Ps 37:13); for as he saith, the wicked is reserved, or let alone in his wickedness, to the day of destruction, and shall then be brought forth to the day of wrath, though in the meantime, he may go to his grave in his banner, and rest within is tomb7 (Job 21:29-32). As Peter saith again, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" (2Pe 2:9): And Jude saith, For them "is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever" (Jude 13). The punishment of the ungodly, it is reserved till the day of judgment, which will be the time of their resurrection. Observe,  

7 "Go to his grave in his banner," alluding to splendid funerals, the hearse being ornamented with banners captured in war, or armorial bearings.—Ed.

1.    The wicked must be punished.

2.    The time of their punishment is not now, but at the day of judgment.

3.    This day of judgment, must be the same with the resurrection of the dead, at the end of this world. "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Mt 13:40-41). There shall then be resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

4.    The sovereignty of the Lord Jesus over all creatures, doth plainly foreshew a resurrection of the bad, as well as of the good. Indeed, the unjust shall not arise, by virtue of any relation they stand in to the Lord Jesus, as the saints shall; but yet, because all are delivered into his hand, and he made sovereign Lord over them; therefore by an act of his sovereign power, they that are ungodly, shall arise; this is Christ's own argument, "The Father judgeth no man," saith he, "but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" that is, count him, and fall before him as their sovereign Lord, even as they honour the Father, and he hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. And then he adds, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (Joh 5:22-29). From hence also Paul argueth, saying, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living," and then adds, "We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ" (Ro 14:9-10).

Pray mind these words, Jesus Christ by his death and resurrection, did not only purchase grace, and remission of sins, for his elect, with their eternal glory; but did thereby also obtain of the Father to be Lord, and head over all things, whether they be things in heaven, or things on earth, or things under the earth. "All power," saith he, "is given unto me, in heaven and in earth, and I have the keys of hell and of death" (Mt 28:18; Re 1:18), So that all things, I say, whether they be visible, or invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by him, and for him (Col 1:16). This being thus, "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, - - - and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Php 2:10-11). Now, that this may be done, He hath his resolutions upon a judgment-day, in which he, to shew himself his people, his way, and word in their glory, will have all his enemies raised out of their graves, and brought before him, where he will sit upon them in the throne of his glory, and will shew them then, "who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (Mt 25:31-32; 1Ti 6:14-15).

Behold, He comes, "with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14-15).

Fifth, The great preparation that God hath made for the judgment of the wicked, doth clearly demonstrate their rising forth out of their graves. 1. He hath appointed the day of their rising. 2. He hath appointed their judge, to judge them. 3. He hath recorded all their acts and doings against that day. 4. He hath also already appointed the witnesses to come in against them. 5. The instruments of death and misery, are already prepared for them.

1. He hath appointed the day of their rising, which day John calleth the time of the dead, that they should be judged (Re 11:18), which time, Paul saith, is a time fixed; "He hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world," & . (Ac 17:31). This time and day Christ brings down to an hour, saying, "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth;" & . (Joh 5:28-29).

2.    As he hath appointed the day, so he bath appointed the judge, "He bath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he bath ordained, whereof he bath given assurance to all men, in that he bath raised him from the dead" (Ac 17:31). This man is Jesus Christ; for it is he that is "ordained of God to be the judge of quick an dead" (Ac 10:42).

3.    All their deeds and works, to a word and thought, are every one already recorded and enrolled in the books of the laws of heaven against that day. "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: - - - upon the table of their heart" (Jer 17:1). And again saith God, "Write it - - in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come, even for ever and ever, that this is a rebellious people," & . (Isa 30:8-9).

4.    God hath prepared his witnesses against this day (Jas 5:1-3; Job 20:27; Mt 24:14; Ro 2:14-15; Mal 3:5).

5.    The instruments of death, and eternal misery, are already prepared. "He bath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors" (Ps 7:13; 21:12). Hell is of old prepared, he bath made it deep and large, the fire, the everlasting fire, is also now of a long time prepared (Isa 30:33; Mt 25:41); the heavy weights of God's curse are also ready (De 29:20) and their "damnation now of a long time slumbereth not" (2Pe 2:3). But now I say, how ridiculous a business would all this be, if these things should be all prepared of the only wise God, and there should be none to be judged; or if he that is ordained judge, should not, either through want of power or will, command these rebels, and force them before his judgment-seat. Glad indeed, would the sinners be, if these things might be true; glad I say, at very heart, if they might be in their secret places of darkness, and the grave for ever; but it must not be; the day of their rising is set; the judge is appointed; their deeds are written; the deep dungeon is with open mouth ever waiting for them; wherefore at the day appointed, neither earth, nor death, nor hell can hinder: There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Sixth and Lastly, Besides what bath been said, I cannot but believe, there shall be a resurrection of the wicked at the last day, because of the ungodly consequences, and errors that do most naturally follow the denial thereof. For,

1.    He that taketh away the doctrine of the resurrection of the wicked; he taketh away one of the main arguments that God bath provided for to convince a sinner of the evil of his ways; for how shall a sinner be convinced of the evil of sin, if he be not convinced of the certainty of eternal judgment? and how shall he be convinced of eternal judgment, if you persuade him, that when he is dead, he shall not at all rise? especially seeing the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment must unavoidably be one the forerunner of the other (Heb 6:2). It was Paul's reasoning of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come that made Felix tremble (Ac 24:25). It is this also he calleth the argument of terror, wherewith he persuaded men (2 Cor 5:10,11). This was Solomon's argument (Ec 11:9); and Christ's also, where he saith, "that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Mt 12:36).

2.    They that deny the resurrection of the wicked, they do both allow and maintain the chief doctrine of the ranters, with most of the debauched persons in the world. For the ranters deny it both in principle and practice, and the other in practice at least. Now to me it is very strange, that these men above all other, should both know and live8 in the doctrines of the kingdom of God: especially seeing the denial hereof is an evident token of one appointed to wrath and destruction (2Ti 2:18). But to be plain; there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust: wherefore, whatever others may say or profess, being beguiled by Satan, and their own hearts, yet do thou fear him that can "destroy both soul and body in hell" (Mt 10:28).

8 Unsanctified knowledge, accompanied by a degree of conformity in conduct, may be the portion of some who indulge soul- destroying heresies.—Ed.

There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them" (Re 20:13).

Having in the first place shewed you, that the wicked must arise; I shall in the next place,

SECOND, Shew you the manner of their rising. And observe it, as the very title of the just and unjust, are opposites, so they are in all other matters, and in their resurrections.

MANNER OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED.

First then, as the just in their resurrection do come forth in incorruption: the unjust in their resurrection, shall come forth in their corruptions; for though the ungodly at their resurrection, shall for ever after, be incapable of having body and soul separate; or of their being annihilated into nothing, yet it shall be far from them to rise in incorruption; for if they arise in incorruption, they must arise to life, and also must have the conquest over sin and death (1Co 15:45), but that they shall not; for it is the righteous only, that put on incorruption, that are swallowed up of life. The wicked's resurrection, it is called the resurrection of damnation (Joh 5:28). These in their very resurrection, shall be hurt of the second death. They shall arise in death, and shall be under it, under the gnawings, and terrors of it, all the time of their arraignment. As it were, a living death shall feed upon them; they shall never be spiritually alive, nor yet absolutely dead; but much after that manner, that natural death, and hell, by reason of guilt, doth feed on him, that is going before the judge, to receive his condemnation to the gallows. You know, though a felon go forth of the jail, when he is going to the bar for his arraignment, yet he is not out of prison, or out of his irons for that; his fetters are still making a noise on his heels9 and the thoughts of what he is to hear by and by from the judge, is still frighting and afflicting his heart; death, like some evil spirit or ghost, doth continually haunt him, and playeth the butcher continually in his soul and conscience, with frights and fears about the thoughts of the sudden, and insupportable after-clap, by and by he is to meet withal.

9 A graphic writer, addressing us at the distance of two centuries, frequently makes interesting mention of manners and customs prevailing at the time wherein he lived. From the illustration here employed by Bunyan, we learn that the culprit before trial, and therefore before convicted of crime, was in a manner prejudged, and loaded with fetters. These extreme judicial severities belong to the past.

Thus I say, will the wicked come out of their graves, having yet the chains of eternal death hanging on them, and the talons of that dreadful ghost fastened in their souls; so that life will be far from them, even as far as heaven is from hell. This morning to them, is even as the shadow of death. They will then be in the very terrors of the shadow of death (Job 24:17). As Christ saith, "Their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched" (Mr 9:44). From death to eternity, it never shall be quenched, their bed is now among the flames; and when they rise, they will rise in flames; while they stand before the judge, it will be in flames, even in the flames of a guilty conscience; they will in their coming before the judge, be within the very jaws of death and destruction. Thus I say, the ungodly shall be far off from rising as the saints; for they will be even in the region and shadow of death. The first moment of their rising, death will be ever over them, ever feeding on their souls; and ever presenting to their hearts, the heights and depths, of the misery that now must seize them, and, like a bottomless gulf, must swallow them up. "They shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: They shall be afraid of the Lord our God" (Mic 7:17).

Second, As the resurrection of the godly shall be a resurrection in glory: so the resurrection of the wicked, it will be a resurrection in dishonour. Yea, as the glory of saints, at the day of their rising, will be glory unspeakable; so the dishonour of the ungodly at that day, it will be dishonour beyond expression. As Daniel saith, the good shall rise to everlasting life, but the wicked to shame and everlasting contempt (Da 12:2). And again, "0 Lord, when thou awakest," that is, to judge them, "thou shalt despise their image" (Ps 73:20). Never was toad or serpent more loathsome to any, than these will be in the eyes of God, in their rising forth of their graves. When they go to their graves, saith Job, "His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust" (Job 20:11). And arise they shall, in the same noisome and stinking condition; for as death leaves, so judgment finds them. At the resurrection then of these ungodly, they will be in a very loathsome condition.

The ungodly at their death are like the thistle seed, but at their rising, they will be like the thistle grown; more noisome, offensive, and provoking to rejection abundance!10

10 "Abundance," exuberance, more than enough.—Ed.

Then such dishonour, shame, and contempt will appear in them, that neither God nor Christ, saints nor angels, will so much as once regard them, or vouchsafe once to come near them. "He beholdeth the wicked afar off;" because in the day of grace, they would not come to hand, and be saved, therefore now they shall, all as thorns, be thrust away, as with fences of iron (2Sa 23:6-7), Their rising, is called the resurrection of the unjust, and so they at that day will appear, and will more stink in the nostrils of God, and all the heavenly hosts, than if they had the most irksome plague-sores in the world running on them. If a man at his birth, be counted as one cast forth to the loathing of his person; how loathsome, and irksome, dishonourable, and contemptible, will those be that shall arise Godless, Christless, Spiritless, and graceless, when the trumpet sounds to their judgment, they coming out of their graves, far more loathsome, and filthy, than if they should ascend out of the most filthy hole on earth.

Third, As the just shall arise in power, so the wicked and unjust, in weakness and astonishment. Sin and guilt bringeth weakness, and faintness in this life; how much more, when both with all their power and force, like a giant, fasten on them; as God saith, "Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee?" (Eze 22:14). Now will the ghastly jaws of despair gape upon thee, and now will condemnings of conscience, like thunder-claps, continually batter against thy weary spirit. It is the godly that have boldness in the day of judgment (1Jo 4:17); but the wicked will be like the chaff which the wind driveth away (Ps 1:4). Oh the fear, and the heart-aching that will seize them in their rising! the frightful thoughts that then will fill their throbbing hearts! Now must that soul that hath been in hell-fire among the devils possess the body again. Possess it, I say, with the hot scalding stink of hell upon it. They shall not be able to lift up the head for ever; pangs shall take hold on them, all their hands shall faint, and every man's heart shall melt; "They shall be amazed one at another, their faces shall be as flames" (Isa 13:6-8). Everything they see, hear, or think of, shall tend to their discomfort. They must needs be weak, whom God hath left, whom guilt hath seized, and whom death is swallowing up for ever.

Fourth, As the just shall arise spiritual bodies, so the unjust shall arise only as mere and naked lumps of sinful nature; not having the least help from God, to bear them up under this condition. Wherefore, so soon as ever they are risen out of their graves; they will feel a continual sinking under every remembrance of every sin, and thoughts of judgment; in their rising they fall—fall, I say, from thenceforth, and for ever. And for this reason the dungeon into which they fall is called "bottomless" (Re 20:1). Because, as there will be no end of their misery, so there will be no stay or prop to bear them up in it. Only, as I said before, they shall not now, as afore, be separate body from soul; but both together, be bound in the cords of sin and iniquity, in which they shall now tremble as thieves and murderers, & ., as they go before the Judge, to hear what he will say unto them.

[THIRD—The examination and judgment of the wicked.] Now, when the wicked are thus raised out of their graves, they shall, together with all the angels of darkness, their fellow-prisoners, be brought up, being shackled in their sins, to the place of judgment; where there shall sit upon them Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Lord Chief Judge of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. On whose right hand, and left, shall sit all the princes, and heavenly nobles; the saints and prophets, the apostles and witnesses of Jesus; every one in his kingly attire, upon the throne of his glory (Joe 3:11-14). Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them" (Lu 19:27).

[THE JUDGMENT OF THE WICKED.]

When every one is thus set in his proper place, the Judge on his throne, with his attendants, and the prisoners coming up to judgment, forthwith there shall issue forth a mighty fire and tempest from before the throne, which shall compass it round about; which fire, shall be as bars and bounds to the wicked, to keep them at a certain distance from the heavenly Majesty. As David saith, "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him" (Ps 50:3). And again, "His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him;" &c. (Da 7:9-10).

This preparation being made, to wit, the Judge with his attendants, on the throne; the bar for the prisoners, and the rebels all standing with ghastly jaws, to look of what comes after: presently the books are brought forth, to wit, the books both of death and life; and every one of them opened before the sinners, now to be judged and condemned. For after that he had said before, "A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him": he adds, "Thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the book was opened" (Da 7:10). And again, "I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Re 20:11-12).

He doth not say, the book was opened, as of one, but the books, as of many. And indeed, they are more than one, two, or three, out of which the dead shall in the judgment be proceeded against.

First then, there is the book of the creatures to be opened. Second, The book of God's remembrance. Third, The book of the law. And fourth, the book of life. For by every one of these, that is, out of what is written in them, shall the world of the ungodly be judged.

"And the books were opened."

The first Book opened in its first Part.

First, The book of the creatures shall be opened, and that first, it concerns man's nature; and next, as it relates to all other creatures.

I. He will shew in what the principles of nature were, as they were God's creation; and how contrary to these principles, the world have walked, acted, and done. The principles of nature are concluded under three general heads.

1. That man by his own natural reason and judgment may gather, that there is a God, a Deity, a chief, or first, or principal Being, who is over all, and supreme above all. This instinct, I say, man merely as he is a rational creature findeth in himself; and hence it is, that all heathens that mind their own natural reason, do conclude, that we are his offspring; that is, His creation and workmanship. That He made heaven and earth, and hath made of one blood, all nations of men; that "in him we live, and move, and have our being;" &c (Ac 17:24-29).

It appears further, that man by his own nature, doth know that there is such a God.

(1.)    By his being able to judge by nature, that there is such a thing as sin; as Christ saith, "Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" (Lu 12:57). As if he had said, You are degenerated even from the principles of nature, and right reason; as Paul saith in another place, "Doth not even nature itself teach you?" (1Co 11:14). Now he that can judge, that there is such a thing as sin, it must of necessity be, that he understandeth that there is a God, to whom sin is opposite; for if there be no God, there is no sin against him; and he that knows not the one, knows not the other.

Man's nature is a Book, or law to itself.

(2.)    It is evident further, that man by nature knows that there is a God, by those fits of fear, and dread that are often begotten in themselves, even in every man that breatheth in this world; for they are by their own consciences, and thoughts, convicted and reproved, judged and condemned, though they know neither Moses nor Christ—For the Gentiles which have not the law, these are a law to themselves, and shew the work of the law written in their hearts (Ro 2:14-15)—that is, by this very thing, they hold forth to all men, that God created them in that state and quality, that they might in and by their own nature, judge and know that there is a God. And it further sheweth itself, saith he, by those workings of heart, convictions of conscience, and accusations, that every thought maketh within them, together with the fear that is begotten in them, when they transgress, or do those things that are irrational, or contrary to what they see they shall do. I might add further, that the natural proneness that is in all men to devotion and religion, that is, of one kind or another, doth clearly tell us, that they by the book of nature, which book is themselves, do read that there is one great and eternal God.

2.    The second principle of nature is, that this God should by man be sought after, that they might enjoy communion with him for ever. As I said before, the light of nature sheweth man, that there is a great God, even God that made the world; and the end of its shewing him this is, that "they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us" (Ac 17:27).

3.    This light of nature teacheth, that men between themselves, should do that which is just and equal. As Moses said, and that long before the law was given, "Sirs, ye are brethren, why do ye wrong one another?" (Ac 7:26; Ex 2:13). as who should say, You are of equal creation, you are the same flesh; you both judge, that it is not equally done of any, to do you wrong, and therefore ought to judge by the same reason, that ye ought not to wrong one another.

Now against every one of these three principles, hath every man in the whole world transgressed; as Paul saith, "For both Jews and Gentiles - - are all under sin" (Ro 3:9). For as touching the first, (1.) who is he that hath honoured, reverenced, worshipped, and adored the living God, to the height, both of what they saw in him, and also according to the goodness and mercy they have as men received from him? All have served and worshipped the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever (Ro 1:25), and so have walked contrary to, and have sinned against, this bond of nature, in this first principle of it.

(2.)    Men, instead of minding their own future happiness, as nature teacheth, they have, through their giving way to sin and Satan, minded nothing less; for though reason teacheth all men to love that which is good and profitable, yet they, contrary to this, have loved that which is hurtful and destructive. Yea, though sense teacheth to avoid the danger that is manifest; yet man, contrary to reason and sense both, even all men, have both against light and feeling, rejected their own happiness; as Paul saith, "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" (Ro 1:31).

(3.)    Man, instead of doing equity, and as he would be done by, which nature itself teacheth: he hath given up himself to vile affections, being filled, by refusing the dictates of nature, "with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant- breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful" (Ro 1:29-31).

And observe it, he doth not say, that all these things are by every man put into practice; but every man hath all these in his heart, which there defile the soul, and make it abominable in the sight of God. They are filled with all unrighteousness, which also appears, as occasion serveth, sometimes one of them, sometimes more. Now, man having sinned against that natural light, judgment, reason, and conscience, that God hath given him; therefore, though as I said before, he neither knew Moses nor Christ, yet he shall perish. "As many," saith Paul, "as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law" (Ro 2:12).

Yea, here will man be found not only a sinner against God, but an opposer of himself, a contradictor of his own nature, and one that will not do that which he judgeth even of himself to be right (2Ti 2:25). Their sin is written upon the tables of their own heart (Jer 17:1), and their own wickedness and backsliding shall both correct and reprove them (Jer 2:19).

It is marvellous, if we consider, how curious a creature man was made of God; to behold how much below, besides, and against that state and place, man acts and does in this state of sin and degeneracy. Man in his creation was made in the image of God (Ge 1:26), but man, by reason of his yielding to the tempter, hath made himself the very figure and image of the devil. Man by creation was made upright and sinless; but man by sin, hath made himself crooked and sinful (Ec 7:29). Man by creation had all the faculties of his soul at liberty to study God his creator, and his glorious attributes and being; but man by sin, hath so bound up his own senses and reason; and hath given way for blindness and ignorance of God, so to reign in his soul; that now he is captivated and held bound in alienation and estrangedness both from God, and all things truly spiritually good; "Because," saith he, "that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Ro 1:21). And again, "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts" (Eph 4:18).

Now, for this abuse of the workmanship of God, shall man be brought forth to the judgment, shall be convicted, cast, and condemned as a rebel, against both God and his own soul, as Paul affirmeth, and that when he reasoned but as a man (Ro 3:5-6).

When this part of the book touching man's nature is opened, and man convicted and cast by it, by reason of his sinning against the three general principles thereof:

II. Then forthwith is the second part of the book opened, which is the mystery of the creatures; for the whole creation, that is before thee, are not only made to shew the power of God in themselves; but also to teach thee, and to preach unto thee, both much of God and thyself; as also the righteousness, and justice of God against sin; "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Ro 1:18-20).

1.  The creation then of the world, namely, of the heavens, earth, sun, moon, stars, with all other the creatures of God: they preach aloud to all men, the eternal power and Godhead of their Creator (Ps 8:3). In wisdom he hath made them all (Ps 104:24): to be teachable, and carrying instruction in them; and he that is wise, and will understand these things, even he shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord; for "the works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein" (Ps 107; 111:2).

2.  As the creation in general preacheth to every man something of God; so they do hold forth, how man should behave himself both to God, and one to another; and will assuredly come in, in the judgment, against all those that shall be found crossers, and thwarters of what God by the creatures doth hold forth to us.

(1.) As First, The obedience of the creatures, both to God and thee. (a.) To God, they are all in subjection (set devils and men aside) even the very dragons, and all deeps, fire, hail, snow, and vapours (Ps 148:7-8), fulfilling his word. Yea, the winds and seas obey him (Mr 4:41). Thus, I say, by their obedience to God they teach thee obedience, and by their obedience shall thy disobedience be condemned in the judgment (Ps 147:15-18). (b.) Their obedience to thee, also teacheth thee obedience to all superiors; for every kind of beasts, and of birds, and serpents, and things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed, and brought into obedience by mankind. Man only remains untamed and unruly, and therefore by these is condemned (Jas 3:7-8).

(2.)    The fruitfulness of all the creatures in their kind, doth teach and admonish thee to a fruitful life to Godward, and in the things of his holy word. God did but say in the beginning, Let the earth bring forth fruit, grass, herbs, trees, beasts, creeping things, and cattle after their kind; and it was so (Ge 1:24). But to man, he hath sent his prophets, rising early, and sending them, saying, "0 do not this abominable thing that I hate" (Jer 44:4). but they will not obey. For if the Gentiles, which have not the law, do, by some acts of obedience, condemn the wickedness of those who do by the letter and circumcision, break the law: how much more shall the fruitfulness of all the creatures come in, in the judgment, against the whole world! As Job saith, By the obedience and fruitfulness of the creatures he judgeth, and so will judge, the people (Job 36:27-32).

(3.)    The knowledge and wisdom of the creatures, do with a check, command thee to be wise, and do teach thee wisdom. The stork in the heaven, the swallow and the crane, by observing the time and season of their coming, do admonish thee to learn the time of grace, and of the mercy of God (Jer 8:7). The ox and the ass, by the knowledge they have of their master's crib, do admonish thee to know the bread and table of God, and both do and shall condemn thy ignorance of the food of heaven (Isa 1:3).

(4.)    The labour and toil of the creatures doth convict thee of sloth and idleness. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise;" for she provideth her food in the summer, and layeth up against the day of trial (Pr 6:6-7). But thou spendest the whole summer of thy life in wasting both time and soul. All things are full of labour, saith Solomon (Ec 1:8), only man spendeth all the day idle (Mt 20:6), and his years like a tale that is told (Ps 90:9; Ro 10:21). The coney is but a feeble folk, yet laboureth for a house in the rock, to be safe from the rage of the hunter (Pr 30:26).

The spider also, taketh hold with her hands, and is in king's palaces (Pr 30:28). It is man only that turneth himself upon the bed of sloth, as the door doth itself upon the hinges. `Tis man, I say, that will neither lay hold on the rock Christ, as the coney doth teach, nor lay hold on the kingdom of heaven, as the spider doth bid him (Joh 5:40).

(5.)    The fear that is in all creatures, when they perceive that danger is near, it teacheth men to fly from the wrath to come, "In vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird" (Pr 1:17), but man, man only is the fool-hardy creature, that lieth wait for his own blood, and that lurketh privily for his own life. How I say, will every creature fly, run, strive, and struggle to escape the danger it is sensible of! `Tis man only that delighteth to dance about the mouth of hell, and to be knowingly smitten with Satan's snare (Ro 1:32).

(6.)    The dependence that all the creatures have upon God; they teach thee to depend on him that made thee; yea, and will in the judgment condemn thee for thy unlawful practices, and dealings for thy preservation. The young ravens seek their food from God (Ps 147:9; Job 38:41), and will condemn thy lying, cheating, overreaching, defrauding, and the like. They provide neither storehouse, nor barn (Lu 12:24); but thou art so greedy of these things, that thou for them shuttest thyself out of the kingdom of heaven (Pr 17:16).

(7.)    The love and pity that is in their hearts to their young, and one another: will judge and condemn the hard-heartedness that is in thee to thy own soul. What shall I say? "The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him" (Job 20:27). That is, all the creatures of God, they will, by their fruitfulness and subjection to the will of their Creator, judge and condemn thee for thy disobedience, and rebellion against him.

3. Now, as these creatures do every day call unto thee, and lay before thee these things: so he hath for thy awakening, in case thou be asleep, and senseless, creatures of another nature; as,

(1.)    Thy bed, when thou liest down in it, preacheth to thee thy grave; thy sleep, thy death; and thy rising in the morning, thy resurrection to judgment (Job 14:12; 17:13; Isa 26:19).

(2.)    The jail that thou seest with thine eyes, and the felons that look out at the grate, they put thee in mind of the prison of hell, and of the dreadful state of those that are there (Lu 12:58-59).

(3.)    The fire that burns in thy chimney, it holds forth the fire of hell unto thee (Isa 10:16; Re 20:14).

(4.)    The ugly smell, stench, and steam, of the burning brimstone, it shews thee the loathsome, odious, and dreadful torments of hell (Re 19:20).

(5.)    The darkness of the night in solitary places, and the fears that do commonly haunt those that walk therein: it preacheth to thee the fears and frights, the scares and amazements, that will for ever attend all damned souls (Mt 8:12; De 28:65-67).

(6.)    By thy delighting, when thou art cold, to lay sticks on the fire to warm thyself, not caring how fiercely they flame therein, so thou canst be warm and be refreshed thereby, by this, I say, God preacheth to thee, with what delight he will burn sinners in the flames of hell, for the easing of his mind, and the satisfaction of his justice. "Ah," saith he, "I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies" (Isa 1:24).

(4.) Yea, by thy blowing the fire, that it may fasten upon the wood the better; thou preachest to thyself how God will blow the fire of hell by the rigour of his law, to the end, it may by its flames, to purpose, kindle upon damned sinners (Isa 30:33).

All these things, as inconsiderable and unlikely as they may appear to you now, yet in the judgment will be found the items, and warning words of God to your souls. And know, that he who could overthrow the land of Egypt with frogs, lice, flies, locusts, & ., will overthrow the world, at the last day, by the book of the creatures; and that by the least and most inconsiderable of them, as well as by the rest. This book of the creatures, it is so excellent, and so full, so easy, and so suiting the capacity of all, that there is not one man in the world but is catched, convicted, and cast by it. This is the book, that he who knows no letters may read in; yea, and that he who neither saw New Testament, nor Old, may know both much of God, and himself by. `Tis this book, out of which generally, both Job and his friends did so profoundly discourse of the judgments of God; and that out of which God himself did so convincingly answer Job. Job was as perfect in this book, as we are, many of us in the scriptures; yea, and could see further by it, than many now adays do see by the New Testament and Old. This is the book out of which, both Christ, the prophets, and apostles, do so frequently discourse by their similitudes, proverbs, and parables, as being the most easy way to convince the world, though by reason of their ignorance, nothing will work with them, but what is set on their heart by the Holy Ghost.

One word further, and I have done with this, and that is, God hath sealed the judgment of the world by the book of the creatures; even by man's own carriage unto such of them, which, through any impediment, have disappointed his expectations. As thus: if thou hast but a tree in thy orchard, that neither beareth fruit, nor aught else that is good; why, thou art for hewing it down, and for appointing it, as fuel for the fire. Now thou little thinkest that by thy thus judging thou shouldst pass sentence upon thy own fruitless soul; but it is so; "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees, therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." For as truly as thou sayest of thy fruitless tree, Cut it down, why doth it cumber the ground? so truly doth thy voice cause heaven to echo again upon thy head, Cut him down; why doth he cumber the ground? (Mt 3:10; Lu 13:6-8; Eze 15:1-6).11

11 Bunyan's sanctified mind, well stored with the sacred scriptures, richly enjoyed the contemplation of nature. No writer, however blessed with extensive learning, sanctified by deep and glowing piety, has opened the book of creation with such a master mind, as a witness against man at the day of judgment. In this, as in many other things, Bunyan stands pre-eminent; a striking illustration of the ways of God, who poured such abundance of heavenly treasure into an earthen vessel, despised and persecuted of men.—Ed.

Further, the inclination of thy heart towards fruitless and unprofitable creatures, doth fore-preach to thee, the inclination of the heart of God towards thee in the judgment. If thou hast either cow, or any other beast, that is now unprofitable to thee, though thou mayst suffer them for some time to be with thee, as God suffereth sinners in the world, yet all this while thy heart is not with them, but thou wilt take thy time to clear thy hands of them. Why, just so shall thy judgment be, as God saith, "Though Moses and Samuel stood before me," that is, to pray me to spare this people, "yet my mind could not be towards this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth" (Jer 15:1; Eze 14:13-14).

Thus I say, will God judge the world at the last day; he will open before them, how they have degenerated and gone back from the principles of nature in which he created them. Also how they have slighted all the instructions that he hath given them, even by the obedience, fruitfulness, wisdom, labour, fear, and love of the creatures; and he will tell them, that as to their judgment, they themselves have decided it, both by their cutting down that which was fruitless, and by the withdrawing of their hearts from those things, which to them were unprofitable, "As therefore the tares are gathered, and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world." As men deal with weeds, and rotten wood: so will God deal with sinners in the day of judgment: and will bring in, I say, all the counsels and warnings he hath given men by these things, both to clear up and to aggravate their judgment to them.

The Book of God's remembrance opened.

Second. The second book that will be opened at this day, it will be the book of God's remembrance (Mal 3:16). For as God hath in his remembrance, recorded all and every particular good thing that his own people hath done to, and for his name while they were in this world: so he hath in his remembrance, recorded all the evil and sin of his adversaries, even everything (Ec 12:14). Now God's remembrance is so perfect every way, that it is impossible that anything should be lost, that is committed to it to be kept, and brought forth to the judgment at the time appointed; for as a thousand years are but as yesterday, with his eternity: so the sins that have been committed thousands of years since, they are all so firmly fixed in the remembrance of the eternal God, that they are always as fresh and clear in his sight, as if they were but just now in committing. He calleth again the things that are past (Ec 3:15), and hath set "our [most] secret sins in the light of his countenance" (Ps 90:8). As he also saith in another place, "Hell [itself] is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering" (Job 26:6), that is, the most secret, cunning, and hidden contrivances of the most subtle of the infernal spirits, which yet are far more slethy,12 than men, to hide their wickedness; yet, I say, all their ways, hearts, and most secret doings, are clear, to the very bottom of them, in the eyes of the great God. All things are open and bare before the eyes of him with whom we have to do; who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart (Heb 4:13; 1Co 4:5).

12 Slethy," now obsolete, sly, cunning, stealthy. "Darkened with men's sleightie jugling, and counterfeit crafts." Bishop Gardiner.—Ed."

"Ye that say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. Understand, [0] ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? he that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?" (Ps 94:8-10; Ho 7:2; 8:13). "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?"—that is, when he is committing wickedness—"saith the Lord: Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord" (Jer 23:24).

Now to know and see things, it is the cause among men of their remembrance. Wherefore, God to shew us, that he will remember all our sins if we die out of Christ, he tells us, that he knoweth, and seeth them all, and therefore must needs remember them; for as is his sight and knowledge, so is his remembrance of all things.

When this book of his remembrance therefore is opened, as it shall be, in the judgment, then shall be brought forth of their hidden holes, all things, whatsoever hath been done since the world began, whether by kingdoms in general, or persons in particular. Now also shall be brought forth to open view, all the transactions of God and his Son, among the sons of men, and everything shall be applied to every particular person, in equity and justice, to whom they belong: the sins that thou hast committed shall be thy own, and thou thyself shalt bear them. "The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed" (1Sa 2:3).

It will be marvellous to behold how by thousands, and ten thousands, God will call from their secret places, those sins, that one would have thought, had been dead, and buried, and forgotten; yea, how he will shew before the sun, such things, so base and so horrid, that one would think, it was not in the hearts of any to commit; for all is recorded in the book of God's remembrance. While men are here, they have a thousand tricks to present themselves one to another, far more fair, and honest than they are, or ever were. As Christ said to the Pharisees, "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men: but God knoweth your hearts" (Lu 16:15): Ay, God knoweth, indeed, what a nest, what a heap, what swarms; yea, what legions of hellish wickednesses, there are with power lurking, like cockatrices, in those men, that one would swear a thousand times, are good and honest men. The way of men in their sins, it is like "an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid," saith Solomon (Pr 30:19), that is, hiddenly, closely, covertly, burying all under fair pretences, wipeth their mouths in the close of their evil, saying, "I have done [no] wickedness" (Pr 30:20).

But this, though it may serve for the time present, and no longer, God will not be deluded, nor blinded, nor mocked, nor put off (Ga 6:7). "They consider not - - that I remember all their wickedness" (Ho 7:2); saith he, "but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes" (Ps 50:21). Here will be laid open the very heart of Cain the murderer, of Judas the traitor, of Saul the adversary of David, and of those that under pretences of holiness have persecuted Christ, his word, and people. Now shall every drunkard, whoremaster, thief, and other wicked person, be turned their inside outward; their hearts right open, and every sin, with every circumstance of place, time, person with whom, with the causes also that drew them to the commission of every evil, be discovered to all. Here will be no hiding yourselves behind curtains, nor no covering yourselves with the black and dark night. "If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me: Yea," 0 God, "darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee" (Ps 139:11-12).

The piercing eye of God, beholds all places, persons, and things; the holy hand of his justice writeth them down in the book of his remembrance; and by his power and wisdom, will he open and read to all men exactly, distinctly, and convincingly, whatever hath passed from them, or been done by them, in their whole life; for, "For all these things God will bring thee into judgment" (Ec 11:9). Again, as God will bring out of the book of his remembrance, whatever hath passed from thee against him; so also will he then bring forth by the same book, all things and carriages of his towards thee.

Here will he bring to thy mind, every sermon thou hast heard, every chapter thou hast read; every conviction thou hast had on thy conscience; and every admonition that hath been given thee in all thy life, when thou wast in the land of the living.

Now will God lay open before thee, what patience he extended to thee, how he let thee live one year, two years, ten, yea, twenty and twenty years,13 and all to try thee. Yea, now also will he bring to thy view, how many times he warned, rebuked, threatened, and chastised thee for thy wickedness; how many awakening providences and judgments he continually laid before thy face; yea, how many a time thou didst, like Balaam, run upon the point of the sword of justice, and how he gave back, as being loath to kill thee (Nu 22:23-34).

13 "Twenty and twenty years," a singular mode of expression, probably alluding to the forty years' trial of the Israelites in the wilderness.—Ed.

Now also again, shall be brought before thee and all men, how many strugglings God had with thy heart, on thy sick-bed, to do thee good; yea, and at such times, how many vows, promises, engagements, and resolutions thou madest before God, to turn, if he would release thee from thy affliction, and take off his rod from thy back; and yet, how thou didst, like the man possessed (Mr 5:1-5), break and snap in twain all these chains of iron, with which thou hadst bound thy soul, and that for a very lust and sin. Here also, will be opened before thee, how often thou hath sinned against thy light and knowledge; how often thou hast laid violent hands on thy own conscience; how often thou hast laboured to put out that light that hath stood in thy way to hinder thee from sinning against thy soul. Ah, Lord, what a condition will the Christless soul be in at this day! how will every one of these things afflict the damned soul! They will pierce like arrows, and bite like serpents, and sting like an adder. With what shame, will that man stand before the judgment-seat of Christ who must have all things he hath done against God, to provoke the eyes of his glory to jealousy, laid open before the whole host of the heavenly train! It would make a man blush to have his pockets searched, for things that are stolen in the midst of a market, especially, if he stand upon his reputation and honour. But thou must have thy heart searched, the bottom of thy heart searched; and that, I say, before thy neighbour whom thou hast wronged, and before the devils whom thou hast served; yea, before God, whom thou hast despised, and before the angels, those holy and delicate creatures, whose holy and chaste faces will scarce forbear blushing, while God is making thee vomit up, all thou hast swallowed; for God shall bring it out of thy belly (Job 20:12-15).

For as for God to forget iniquity, is one of the chief heads of the covenant of grace, and is an argument of the highest nature, to beget and to continue consolation in the godly: so the remembrance of iniquity, by the Lord, it is one of the heaviest loads and judgments, that can befall any poor creature. "Lord," saith the prophet, "remember not against us former iniquities." And again, "If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, 0 Lord, who shall stand?" (Ps 130:3). And the reason is, because, that which the Lord forgetteth, is forgiven for ever (Heb 8:12; Ro 4:6-8); but that which he remembereth, it is charged for ever, and nothing can take it away—"Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God" (Jer 2:22).

The book of the law opened.

Third. The third book that will at this day be opened, and out of which God will judge the world: it is the book of the law, or ten words given forth on the Mount Sinai. But this book will more specially concern those that have received it, or that have had knowledge thereof. Every one shall not be judged by this book, as there delivered, though they shall be judged by the works of it, which are written in their hearts. "As many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law" (Ro 2:12). That is, the heathens that never knew the law, as delivered on Sinai, they shall be judged by the law, as it was written in man's heart in his creation, which is comprised within the book of the creatures, but those that have knowledge of the law, as delivered on Sinai: they shall be judged by the law as there given.

Now then, this book when it is opened at the day of judgment, it will to those to whom it especially relates, be a most terrible law, far surpassing the two afore-mentioned. This law, as I may so say, it is the chief and most pure resemblance of the justice and holiness of the heavenly majesty, and doth hold forth to all men the sharpness and keenness of his wrath above the other two that I have before mentioned. I say, both because it hath been delivered more plain and open, both as to the duty enjoined, and the sin prohibited; and therefore must of necessity, fall with the more violence upon the head of all that shall be found within the compass of it. This law, it hath in it to be opened at this day, these two general heads:

1. A discovery of the evil of sin, that is so, against plain light and truth; and, secondly, a discovery of the vanity of all things, that will at this day be brought by sinners for their help and plea at the judgment. Alas, who can but imagine, that the poor world, at the day of their arraignment, should muster up all that ever they can think of, as arguments to shelter them from the execution of that fierce wrath, that then, with sinking souls, they will see prepared for them.

As to the first of these, the apostle tells us that "the law entered, that the offence might abound" (Ro 5:20), or be discovered what it is. As he saith again, "I had not known sin, but by the law" (Ro 7:7,13). Thus it is in this life, and thus it will be in the day of judgment, that is, those that see sin, and that in its abounding nature, and in its exceeding sinfulness, they must see it by the law, for that is indeed the glass by which God discovereth sin, and the filthy spots of leprosy, that are in the soul (Jas 1:22-25). Now those that have not the happiness to see their sin by the law in this life, while there is a fountain of grace to wash in, and be clean; they must have the misery to see it at the judgment, when nothing is left but misery and pain, as the punishment for the same. At which day, those little tittles of this holy law, that now men so easily look over, and sin against with ease, they will every one of them appear with such dread, and with such flaming justice against every offence committed; that if heaven and earth itself, should step in to shelter the sinner from the justice and wrath due to sin, it would turn them up by the roots. "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail" (Lu 16:17). If there appeared such flames, such thunderings, and tempests, as there were at the giving of the law; what flames and blackness will there appear at the execution thereof! And if at the giving of the law there appeared so much holiness and justice, that it made all Israel fly; yea, holy Moses "exceedingly fear and quake," what will become of these that God shall judge by the rigour of this law in the day of judgment? (Ex 19:16; Heb 12:21).

0 what thunderings and lightnings, what earthquakes and tempests, will there be in every damned soul, at the opening of this book? Then, indeed, will God visit them "with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire" (Isa 29:6). "For behold," saith the prophet, "the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire" (Isa 66:15).

The Lord will come with fire, that is, in the flaming heat of his justice and holiness against sin, and sinners, to execute the rigour of his threatenings upon their perishing souls.

2. The second general head, that is contained in this law, to be opened at this day is, its exactness, and purity, and strictness as to all acts of good that any poor creature hath done in this life, whereby he in the judgment will think to shelter, or secure himself from the wrath of God. This is the rule, and line, and plummet, whereby every act of every man shall be measured (Ro 3:21-22); and he whose righteousness is not found every way answerable to this law, which all will fall short of, but they that have the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ: he must perish, as he saith, "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place" (Isa 28:17). That is, though men may not shelter themselves under legal repentance, cold profession, good meaning, thinkings, and doings: yet all these things must be measured, and weighed in the balance of God's most righteous law: and, as I said, whatever in that day is not found the righteousness of God, it will be found a refuge of lies, and will be drowned by the overflowing of the wrath of God, as the waters of Noah overflowed the world. And hence it is that all the ungodly will at this day, be found as stubble, and the law as fire (Mal 4:1). As it saith, "From his right hand went a fiery law" (De 33:2). And again, "His lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire" (Isa 30:27). For as fire, where it seizeth, doth burn, eat, destroy, devour and consume: so will the law, all those that at this day, shall be found under the transgression of the least tittle of it. It will be with these souls at the day of judgment, as it is with those countries that are overrun with most merciless conquerors, who leave not anything behind them, but swallow up all with fire and sword. "For by fire, and by his sword, will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many" (Isa 66:16). There are two things at the day of judgment, will meet in their height and utmost strength, and they are sin and the law; for the judgment will not be, till the iniquity of the world be full ripe (Joe 3:13; Re 14:15-20).

Now then, when sin is come to its full, having played all its pranks, and done all the mischief it can against the Lord of glory: then God brings forth the law, his holy and righteous law, one of which will now reign for ever, that is, either the law or sin: wherefore sin and sinners, they must tremble, with all that help, and hold them up; for God "will magnify the law, and make it honourable" (Isa 42:21). That is, will give it the victory over the world for ever; for that is holy, just, and good; they are unholy, unjust, and bad. Therefore by this law "the Lord shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup" (Ps 11:6). Let no man say then, that because God is so famous in his mercy and patience, in this day of his grace, that therefore he will not be fierce, and dreadful in his justice, in the day of judgment; for judgment and justice, are the last things that God intends to bring upon the stage, which will then be to the full, as terrible, as now his goodness and patience, and long-sufferance are admirable. Lord, "who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath" (Ps 90:11).

You may see, if you will, a few of the sparks of the justice of God against sin and sinners. By his casting off angels for sin, from heaven to hell; by his drowning the old world; by his burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, to ashes; condemning them with an overthrow, making them an example to those that after should live ungodly (2Pe 2:4-6; Jude 6-7).

For "what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Ro 3:19).

Moses seems to wonder, that the children of Israel could continue to live, when they did but hear the law delivered on the mountain—"Did ever people," saith he, "hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?" (De 4:33). 0 that ye did but know the law, and the wondrous things that are written therein, before the Lord cause that fearful voice to be heard—"Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them" (Ga 3:10); which curse must fall on all that walk not in all the commandments of God without iniquity (Eze 33:15); which none do, I say, but they that walk in Christ, who hath alone fulfilled them all (Col 2:10).

The law is that which standeth at the entrance of the paradise of God, as a flaming sword, turning every way to keep out those that are not righteous with the righteousness of God (Ge 3:24); that have not skill to come to the throne of grace by that new and living way which he hath consecrated for us through the veil; that is to say, his flesh (Heb 10:20), for though this law, I say, be taken away by Christ Jesus, for all that truly and savingly believe (Col 2:14); yet it remains in full force and power, in every tittle of it, against every soul of man, that now shall be found in his tabernacle, that is, in himself, and out of the Lord Jesus (Ro 3:19); it lieth, I say, like a lion rampant at the gates of heaven, and will roar upon every unconverted soul, fiercely accusing every one that now would gladly enter in through the gates into this city (Job 18:14; Joh 5:45). So, then, he that can answer all its most perfect and legal commands, and that can live in the midst of devouring fire, and there enjoy God and solace himself, he shall dwell on high, and shall not be hurt by this law—"His place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off" (Isa 33:16-17). Blessed then is he whose righteousness doth answer every point of the law of God, according to 1Co 1:30 he shall be able to escape all those things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man; for in himself, our God is a consuming fire, and man out of Christ, is but as stubble, chaff, thorns, briars, and fuel for the wrath of this holy and sinner-consuming God to seize upon for ever (Heb 12:29; Mal 4:1; Mt 3:12; Heb 6:8; Isa 27:4; 2Sa 23:6-7). "Who can stand before his indignation? And who can abide the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him" (Na 1:6).

Now when these three books are thus opened, there will without doubt, be sad throbbing and pricking, in every heart that now stands for his life, before the judgment-seat of Christ, the righteous Judge; and without all question, they will be studying a thousand ways to evade and shift the stroke, that by the sin that these three books do charge them with, will immediately fall upon them.

But now to cut off all these at a blow, forthwith appear the witnesses, who are ready to evince, and make full and soul-killing proof of every particular charged against them.

The Witnesses give in their evidence.

[First Witness.]—and the first is God  himself. "I," saith he, "will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts" (Mal 3:5).

This must needs be of great sway with every soul, that God should now come in. I will witness, saith God, that these things of which you are accused before the Judge are true. I have seen all, know all, and write down all. There hath not been a thought in your heart, nor a word in your tongue, but I have known it altogether; all things have always been open and naked to mine eye (Heb 4:13). Yea, my eyelids try the children of men (Ps 11:4). I have known your down- sitting, and your uprising; and have understood your thoughts afar off. I have compassed your path, and am well acquainted with all your ways (Ps 139:1-3).

1. You have not continued in that state of nature in which I did at first create you (Ec 7:29); you have not liked to retain that knowledge and understanding of God, that you had, and might have had, by the very book of the creatures (Ro 1). You gave way to the suggestions of fallen angels, and so your foolish hearts were darkened and alienated, and estranged from God.

2.    All the creatures that were in the world, have even condemned you; they have been fruitful, but you fruitless; they have been fearful of danger, but you foolhardy; they have taken the fittest opportunity for their own preservation, but thou hast both blindly, and confidently gone on to thy punishment (Pr 22:3).

3.    Touching the book of my remembrance, who can contradict it? Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. Was not I in all places to behold, to see, and to observe thee in all thy ways? My eye saw the thief, and the adulterer, and I heard every lie and oath of the wicked. I saw the hypocrisy of the dissembler. "They have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord" (Jer 29:23).

4.    God will also come in against them for their transgressing his law, even the law which he delivered on Mount Sinai; he will, I say, open every tittle thereof in such order and truth: and apply the breach of each particular person with such convincing argument, that they will fall down silenced for ever—"Every mouth shall be stopped, and all the world shall become guilty before God" (Ro 3:19).

[Second Witness.]—There is yet another witness, for the condemning the transgressors of these laws, and that is, conscience—"Their conscience also bearing witness," saith the apostle (Ro 2:15). Conscience is a thousand witnesses. Conscience, it will cry amen to every word that the great God doth speak against thee. Conscience is a terrible accuser, it will hold pace with the witness of God as to the truth of evidence, to a hair's breadth. The witnesses of conscience, it is of great authority, it commands guilt,14 and fasteneth it on every soul which it accuseth; and hence it is said, "If our heart [or conscience] condemn us" (1Jo 3:20). Conscience will thunder and lighten at this day; even the consciences of the most pagan sinners in the world, will have sufficiently wherewith to accuse, to condemn, and to make paleness appear in their faces, and breaking in their loins, by reason of the force of its conviction. Oh, the mire and dirt, that a guilty conscience, when it is forced to speak, will cast up, and throw out before the judgment- seat! It must out, none can speak peace, nor health, to that man upon whom God hath let loose his own conscience. Cain will now cry, "My punishment is greater than I can bear;" Judas will hang himself; and both Belshazzar and Felix will feel the joints of their loins to be loosened, and their knees to smite one against another, when conscience stirreth (Ge 4:13; Mt 27:3; Da 5:6; Ac 24:23). When conscience is once thoroughly awakened, as it shall be before the judgment-seat: God need say no more to the sinner than Solomon said to filthy Shimei, "thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to" (1Ki 2:44). As who should say, Thy conscience knoweth, and can well inform thee of all the evil, and sin that thou art guilty of. To all which it answereth, even as face answereth to face in a glass; or as an echo answereth the man that speaketh; as fast, I say, as God chargeth conscience will cry out, Guilty, guilty; Lord, guilty of all, of every whit; I remember clearly all the crimes thou layest before me. Thus, I say, will conscience be a witness against the soul, in the day of God.

14 Conscience, at the day of judgment, will imperatively "command guilt," which had been committed, to appear, and will fasten it upon the soul, which it accuseth. This is a most impressive and solemn appeal;—there can then be no concealment, no subterfuge.—Ed.

[Third Witness.]—As God and conscience will at this day be most dreadful witnesses against the sinful man; so also will those several thoughts that have passed through man's heart, be a witness also against him. As he said before, "Their conscience also baring witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one another; In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel" (Ro 2:15-16).

The thoughts come in as a witness for God against the sinner upon the account of that unsteadiness and variety that were in them, both touching God, and their own selves. Sometimes the man thinks there is no God, but that everything hath its rise of itself, or by chance, or fortune—"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Ps 14:1).

Sometimes, again, they think there is a God, but yet they think and imagine of him falsely. "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself," saith God; "but I will reprove thee" (Ps 50:21).

Men think, that because they can sin with delight: that therefore God can let them escape without punishment. Nay, oftentimes they think, that God doth either quite forget their wickedness, or else that he will be pleased with such satisfaction as they are pleased to give him, even a few howling prayers (Ho 7:14), feigned and hypocritical tears, and weepings, which pass from them more for fear of the punishment of hell-fire, than because they have offended so holy, so just, and so glorious a God, and so loving and so condescending a Jesus (Mal 2:13).

Sometimes again, they have had right thoughts of something of God, but not of him together; either thinking so of his justice, as to drive them from him, and also cause them to put him out of their mind (Job 21:14). Or else so thinking of his mercy as that they quite forget his holiness and justice. Now both these are but base thoughts of God, and so erroneous, and sinful thoughts.

Sometimes also, they have pretty right thoughts of God, both as to justice and mercy, but then, through the wretchedness of their unsatisfied nature, they, against this light and knowledge, do, with shut eyes, and hardened hearts, rush fiercely, knowingly, and willingly again into their sins and wickedness (Heb 6:4-6; 10:26; 2Pe 2:20).

As men have these various thoughts of God, so also their thoughts are not steady about themselves.

Sometimes they think they are sinners, and therefore they have need of mercy.

Sometimes again, they think they are righteous, and so have not so much need; mark, and yet both alike rotten and base; because, as the last is altogether senseless, so the first is not at all savingly sensible (Mr 10:17-22; Lu 18:11-12).

Sometimes again, they think they are gods (Eze 28:1-6); that they shall never die; or that if they do die, yet they shall never rise again (1Co 15:12); or if they do rise again, yet they shall be saved, though they have lived vilely and in their sins all the days of their life (De 29:290). Now, I say, every one of these thoughts, with ten thousand more of the like nature, will God bring in against the rebels in the judgment-day. Which thoughts shall every one of them be brought forth in their distinct order. He sheweth to man what is his thought (Am 4:13). And, again, "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be with-holden from thee" (Job 42:2). We read, that when the strangers at Jerusalem did but hear the apostles speak to every one of them in their own language, how it amazed and confounded them (Ac 2:6-8). But, I say, how will they look and be amazed when God shall evidently, clearly, and fully speak out all their hearts, and every thought they have had before them!

Now the reason and strength of this witness will lie here, that God will by the variety and crossness that their thoughts had one to another, and by the contradiction that was in them, prove them sinners and ungodly; because that, I say, sometimes they thought there was a God, sometimes again, they thought there was none. Sometimes they thought, that he was such a God, and sometimes again, they thought of him quite contrary; sometimes they thought he was worth regarding, and sometimes they thought he was not; as also, sometimes they thought he would be faithful, both to mercy, and justice, and sinners; and sometimes again, they thought he would not.

What greater argument now can there be, to prove men, vanity, froth, a lie, sinners, deluded by the devil, and such as had false apprehensions of God, his ways, his word, his justice, his holiness, of themselves, their sins, and every action?

Now they will indeed appear a very lump of confusion, a mass of sin, a bundle of ignorance, of atheism, of unbelief, and of all things that should lay them obnoxious to the judgments of God. This will God, I say, by mustering up the thoughts of man, and by shewing of them, that every imagination and thought of their heart was only evil, and that continually, (by shewing of them what staggering, drunken, wild, and uncomely thoughts they have had, both of him, and of themselves,) convince them, cast them, and condemn them for sinners, and transgressors against the book of creatures, the book of his remembrance, and the book of the law. By the variety of their thoughts, they shall be proved unstable, ignorant, wandering stars, clouds carried with a tempest, without order or guidance, and taken captive of the devil at his will.

Now, while the wicked are thus standing upon their trial and lives before the judgment-seat, and that in the view of heaven and hell, they, I say, hearing and seeing such dreadful things, both written and witnessed against every one of them, and that by such books and such witnesses as do not only talk, but testify, and that with the whole strength of truth against them: they will then begin, though poorly, and without any advantage, to plead for themselves, which plea will be to this effect.

The sinner's plea for himself at the judgment seat.

Lord, we did find in the scriptures, that thou didst send a Saviour into the world, to deliver us from these sins and miseries. We heard this Saviour also published, and openly proffered to such poor sinners as we are. Lord, Lord, we also made profession of this Saviour, and were many of us frequenters of his holy ordinances. We have eaten and drank in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. Lord, we have also some of us, been preachers ourselves, we have prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have we cast out devils, and done many wondrous works. Nay, Lord, we did herd among thy people; we forsook the profane and wicked world, and carried our shining lamps before us in the face of all men; Lord, Lord, open to us (Mt 7:21-23; 25:1-2,10-11; Lu 13:24-28).

And all the while they are thus pleading, and speaking for themselves: behold, how earnestly they groan, how ghastly they look, and how now the brinish tears flow down like rivers from their eyes, ever redoubling their petition, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord: first thinking of this thing, and then of that, ever contending, seeking, and striving to enter in at this strait gate. As Christ saith, "When once the master of the house is risen up," that is, when Christ hath laid aside his mediation for sinners, and hath taken upon him only to judge and condemn; then will the wicked begin to stand without, and to knock and contend for a portion among them that are the blessed. Ah, how will their hearts twitter while they look upon the kingdom of glory! and how will they ache and throb at every view of hell, their proper place! still crying, 0 that we might inherit life, and 0 that we might escape eternal death!

The book of Life opened.

Fourth, But now, to take away all cavils and objections, that of this nature will arise in the hearts of these men: forthwith the book of life is brought out for a conclusion, and a final end of eternal judgment. As John saith, "The books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Re 20:12).

But this book of life, it is not at this time opened, because there are not any godly to be tried; for as I have shewed before, their judgment is past and over, before the wicked rise. The book of life, then, is now opened for further conviction of damned reprobates, that their mouths may be stopped for ever, as touching all their cavils, contendings, and arguments against God's proceeding in judgment with them. For believe it, while God is judging them, they will fall to judging him again; but he will be justified in his sayings, and will overcome when he is judged at this day (Ro 3:4-6). Yet not by a hasty and angry casting them away, but by a legal and convincing proceeding against them, and overthrowing all their cavils by his manifest and invincible truth. Wherefore, to cut off all that they can say, he will now open the book of life before them, and will shew them what is written therein, both as to election, conversion, and a truly gospel conversation. And will convince them that they neither are of the number of his elect, neither were they ever regenerate, neither had they ever a truly gospel conversation in the world.

By these three things, then, out of this book, thou, who art not saved, must at last be judged and overcome.

1. Here will be tried, whether thou art within that part of this book wherein all the elect are recorded; for all the elect are written here, as Christ saith, "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven" (Lu 10:20); and again, "In thy book," saith he to his Father, "all my members were written" (Ps 139:16; Heb 12:22-23).

Now, then, if thy name be not found, either among the prophets, apostles, or the rest of saints, thou must be put by, as one that is cast away, as one polluted, and as an abominable branch (Isa 14:19); thy name is wanting in the genealogies and rolls of heaven (Ezr 2:62), thou art not pricked15 for everlasting life, therefore thou must not be delivered from that soul-amazing misery; for there are no souls can, though they would give a thousand worlds, be delivered at the day of God but such that are found written in this book. Every one of those that are written, though never an one of those that are not written, shall in that day be delivered from the wrath to come (Da 12:1).

15 "Pricked," nominated by a puncture or mark, as our sheriffs are pricked.—Ed.

But, 0 methinks, with what careful hearts will the damned now begin to look for their names in this book. Those that, when once the long- suffering of God waited on them, made light of all admonition, and slighted the counsel of making their calling and election sure: would now give thousands of treasures, that they could but spy their names, though last and least among the sons of God. But, I say, how will they fail? how will they faint? how will they die and languish in their souls? when they shall still as they look, see their names wanting. What a pinch will it be to Cain to see his brother there recorded, and he himself left out. Absalom will now swoon, and be as one that giveth up the ghost, when he shall see David his father, and Solomon his brother written here, while he withal is written in the earth, among the damned. Thus, I say, will sadness be added to sadness, in the soul of the perishing world when they fail of finding their names in this part of "the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Re 13:8).

2. The second part of this book, is that in which is recorded, the nature of conversion, of faith, love, & . And those that have not had the effectual word of God upon them, and the true and saving operation of grace in their hearts, which is indeed the true life which is begun in every Christian, they will be found still not written in this book; for the living, the holy living souls, are they only that are written therein; as the prophet saith, "and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem" (Isa 4:3): Eternal life is already in this life, begun in every soul that shall be saved; as Christ saith, "He that believeth in me hath everlasting life." And again, "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (Joh 6:54). And hence they are called the living, that are written in this book. Here then, the Lord will open before thee, what conversion is, in the true and simple nature of it, which when thou beholdest, thou wilt then be convinced, that this thou hast missed of; for it must needs be, that when thou beholdest by the records of heaven, what a change what a turn; what an alteration the work of regeneration maketh on every soul, and in every heart, where the effectual call, or the call according to his purpose, is; that thou who hast lived a stranger to this, or that hast contented thyself with the notion only, or a formal, and feigned profession thereof: I say, it cannot be but that thou must forthwith fall down, and with grief conclude, that thou hast no share in this part of the book of life neither, the living only are written herein. There is not one dead, carnal, wicked man recorded here. No; but when the Lord shall at this day make mention of Rahab, of Babylon, of Philistia, and Ethiopia: that is, of all the cursed rabble and crew of the damned: then he will say, that this man was born there—that is, amongst them, and so hath his name where they have theirs; namely, under the black rod, in the king's black book, where he hath recorded all his enemies and traitors. It shall be said of this man, of this ungodly man, that he was born there (Ps 87:4), that he lived and died in the state of nature, and so under the curse of God, even as others: for as he said of wicked Coniah, "Write ye this man childless" (Jer 22:30), so he saith of every ungodly man that so departeth out of this world, Write this man graceless.

Wherefore, I say, among the Babylonians and Philistines; among the unbelieving Moors and pagans, his name will be found in the day when it will be inquired where every man was born; for God at this day, will divide the whole world into these two ranks—the children of the world, and the children of Zion. Wherefore here is the honour, the privilege, and advantage that the godly above the wicked will have at the day of their counting, when the Lord maketh mention of Zion, it shall be then acknowledged that this and that (good) man was born in her. "The Lord shall count," saith the prophet, "when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there" (Ps 87:6). This man had the work of conversion, of faith, and grace in his soul. This man is a child of Zion, of the heavenly Jerusalem, which is also written in heaven (Ga 4:26; Heb 12:23). Blessed is the people that is in such a case (Ps 144:15).

But, poor soul, counters16 will not go for gold now; for though so long as thou didst judge thyself by the crooked rule of thy own reason, fancy, and affection, thou wast pure in thine own eyes: yet now thou must be judged alone by the words and rule of the Lord Jesus: which word shall not now, as in times past, be wrested and wrung, both this way and that, to smooth thee up in thy hypocrite's hope and carnal confidence; but be thou king or keser,17 be thou who thou wilt, the word of Christ, and that with this interpretation only, it shall judge thee in the last day (Joh 12:48).

16 "Counters," false coin—"Will you with counters sum The vast proportion of his infinite." Shakespeare.—Ed.

17 "Keser," Caesar or emperor.—Ed.

Now will sinners begin to cry with loud and bitter cries, Oh! ten thousand worlds for a saving work of grace. Crowns and kingdoms for the least measure of saving faith, and for the love, that Christ will say, is the love of his own Spirit.

Now they will begin also to see the work of a broken and a contrite spirit, and of walking with God, as living stones, in this world. But alas! these things appear in their hearts to the damned too late; as also do all things else. This will be but like the repentance of the thief, about whose neck is the halter, and he turning off the ladder; for the unfortunate hap of the damned will be, that the glory of heavenly things will not appear to them till out of season. Christ must now indeed be shewed to them, as also the true nature of faith and all grace; but it will be, when the door is shut, and mercy gone. They will pray, and repent most earnestly; but it will be in the time of great waters of the floods of eternal wrath, when they cannot come nigh him (1Ti 6:15; Mt 25:10-11; Ps 32:6).

Well, then, tell me, sinner, if Christ should now come to judge the world, canst thou abide the trial of the book of life? art thou confident that thy profession, that thy conversion, thy faith, and all other graces thou thinkest thou hast, will prove gold, silver, and precious stones in this day? Behold, he comes as a refiner's fire, and as fuller's soap. Shalt thou indeed abide the melting and washing of this day? Examine, I say, beforehand, and try thyself unfeignedly; for every one "that doth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God" (Joh 3:21).

Thou sayest thou art a Christian, that also thou hast repented, dost believe, and love the Lord Jesus; but the question is, whether these things will be found of equal length, height, and breadth with the book of life, or whether, when thou art weighed in the balance, thou wilt yet be found wanting (Da 5:27). How if, when thou comest to speak for thyself before God, thou shouldst say Sibboleth instead of Shibboleth: that is, though almost, yet not rightly and naturally the language of the Christians (Jg 12:6).

If thou miss but one letter in thy evidence, thou art gone; for though thou mayest deceive thy own heart with brass, instead of gold, and with tin instead of silver, yet God will not be so put off (Ga 6:7). You know how confident the foolish virgins were, and yet how they were deceived. They herded with the saints, they went forth from the gross pollutions of the world, they every one had shining lamps, and all went forth to meet the bridegroom, and yet they missed the kingdom; they were not written among the living at Jerusalem; they had not the true, powerful, saving work of conversion, of faith, and grace in their souls: they that are foolish take their lamps, but take no oil, no saving grace, with them (Mt 25:1-4). Thus you see how sinners will be put to it before the judgment-seat from these two parts of this book of life. But,

3. There is yet another part of this book to be opened, and that is, that part of it in which are recorded those noble and Christian acts, that they have done since the time of their conversion and turning to Christ. Here, I say, are recorded the testimony of the saints against sin and antichrist; their suffering for the sake of God, their love to the members of Christ, their patience under the cross, and their faithful frequenting the assemblies of the saints, and their encouraging one another to bear up in his ways in the worst of times; even when the proud were called happy, and when they that wrought wickedness were even set up. As he there saith, "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name" (Mal 3:16).

For indeed, as truly as any person hath his name found in the first part of this book of life, and his conversion in the second; so there is a third part, in which there are his noble, spiritual, and holy actions recorded and set down. As it is said by the Spirit to John, concerning those that suffered martyrdom for the truth of Jesus, "Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: - - Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" (Re 14:13).

And hence it is that the labours of the saints and the book of life, are mentioned together, signifying that the travels, and labours, and acts of the godly, are recorded therein (Php 4:3).

And hence it is again, that the Lord doth tell Sardis, that those among them that stood it out to the last gasp, in the faith and love of the gospel, should not be blotted out of the book of life; but they, with the work of God on their soul, and their labour for God in this world; should be confessed before his Father, and before his angels (Re 3:5).

This part of this book, is in another place called, "The book of the wars of the Lord," (Nu 21:14), because in it, I say, are recorded these famous acts of the saints against the world, flesh, and the devil.

You find also, how exact the Holy Ghost is, in recording the travels, pains, labour, and goodness of any of the children of Israel, in their journey from Egypt to Canaan, which was a representation of the travels of the saints, from nature to grace, and from grace to glory. King Ahasuerus, kept in his library a book of records, wherein was written, the good service that his subjects did for him at any time, which was a type also of the manner and order of heaven. And as sure as ever Mordecai, when search was made in the rolls, was found there to have done such and such service for the king and his kingdom (Es 6:1-2): so surely will it be found, what every saint hath done for God, at the day of inquiry. You find in the Old Testament also, still as any of the kings of Judah died, there was surely a record in the book of Chronicles, of their memorable acts and doings for their God, the church, and the commonwealth of Israel, which still doth further hold forth unto the children of men, this very thing, that all the kings of the New Testament, which are the saints of God, have all their acts, and what they have done for their God, & ., recorded in the book of Chronicles in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Now, I say, when this part of the book of life shall be opened, what can be found in it, of the good deeds and heaven-born actions of wicked men? Just nothing; for as it is not to be expected that thorns should bring forth grapes, or that thistles should bear figs: so it cannot be imagined, that ungodly men should have anything to their commendations, recorded in this part of the book of life. What hast thou done, man, for God in this world? Art thou one of them that hast set thyself against those strong strugglings of pride, lust, covetousness, and secret wickedness, that remain in thy heart, like Job and Paul? (Job 1:8; 2Co 10:4-5). And do these strugglings against these things, arise from pure love to the Lord Jesus, or from some legal terrors and conviction for sin (Ga 5:6). Dost thou, I say, struggle against thy lusts, because thou dost in truth, love the sweet, holy, and blessed leadings of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus; its leadings of thee, I say, into his blood and death, for thy justification and deliverance from wrath to come (Php 3:6-8; 2Co 5:14).

What acts of self-denial, hast thou done for the name of the Lord Jesus, among the sons of men? I say, what house, what friend, what wife, what children, and the like, hast thou lost, or left for the word of God, and the testimony of his truth in the world? (Mt 19:27-28; Re 12:11). Wast thou one of them, that didst sigh, and afflict thyself for the abominations of the times? and that Christ hath marked and recorded for such an one? (Eze 9:4; Zep 3:18).

In a word, art thou one of them, that wouldst not be won, neither by fear, frowns, nor flatteries, to forsake the ways of God, or wrong thy conscience? or art thou one of them that slightest those opportunities that Satan and this world did often give thee to return to sin in secret (Heb 11:15). These be the men whose praise is in the gospel, and whose commendable and worthy acts are recorded before the Judge of all the world. Alas, alas, these things are strange things to a carnal and wicked man. Nothing of this hath been done by him in this life, and therefore how can any such be recorded for him in the book of life? wherefore he must needs be shut out of this part also. As David saith, "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous" (Ps 69:28).

Thus I say, the wicked will find nothing for their comfort, either in the first part of this book, where all the names of the elect are, neither will they find anything in the second part thereof, where are recorded the true nature and operation of effectual conversion, of faith, or love, or the like; and I say, neither can anything be found in this third part, wherein are recorded the worthy acts, and memorable deeds of the saints of the Lord Jesus. Thus, when Christ therefore hath opened before them this book of life, and convinced the ungodly at this day out of it, he will then shut it up again, saying, I find nothing herein that will do you good; you are none of my elect, you are the sons of perdition. For as these things will be found clear and full in the book of life, so they will be found effectually wrought in the hearts of the elect, all whose conversion and perseverance shall now be opened before thine eyes, as a witness, I say, of the truth of what thou here seest opened before thee, and also of thy unregenerate estate. Now, thou wilt see what a turn, what a change, and what a clinging to God, to Christ, and his word and ways; there was found in the souls of the saved ones! Here shall be seen also how resolvedly, unfeignedly, and heartily the true child of God did oppose, resist, and war against his most dear and darling lusts and corruptions. Now the saints are hidden ones, but then they shall be manifest; this is the morrow in which the Lord will shew who are his, and who they are that fear the Lord, and who that fear him not (Ps 83:3; 1Sa 8:19; Nu 16:5; Mal 3:18). Now you shall see how Abraham left his country (Heb 11:8); how close good Lot did stick to God in profane and wicked Sodom (2Pe 2:7-8); how the apostles left all to follow Jesus Christ (Mt 19:29); and how patiently they took all crosses, afflictions, persecutions, and necessities for the kingdom of heaven's sake; how they endured burning, striving, stoning, hanging, and a thousand calamities; how they manifested their love to their Lord, his cause, and people in the worst of times, and in the days when they were most rejected, slighted, abused, and abased; "then shall the King say to them on his right hand, (and that when all the devils and damned sinners stand by,) Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (you are indeed the truly converted souls, as appears by the grace that was in your hearts) for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me" (Mt 25:34-36). You owned me, stood by me, and denied yourselves to nourish me and my poor members, in our low, and weak, and most despised condition. This, I say, the world shall see, hear, and be witnesses of, against themselves and their souls for ever; for how can it be, but these poor damned sinners should be forced to confess, that they were both Christless and graceless, when they shall find, both in the book of life, and in the hearts of the holy and beloved souls, that which themselves are quite barren of, and greatest strangers to. The saints, by the fruits of regeneration, even in this world, do testify to the world, not only the truth of conversion in themselves, but also that they are yet Christless, and so heavenless, and salvationless, that are not converted (1Ti 6:12; 1Th 2:10; 2Ti 2:2). But alas! while we are here, they will evade this testimony, both of our happiness, by calling our faith, phantasy; our communion with God, delusion; and the sincere profession of his word before the world, hypocrisy, pride, and arrogancy: yet, I say, when they see us on the right hand of Christ, commingled among the angels of light, and themselves on his left hand, and commingled with the angels of darkness; and, I say, when they shall see our hearts and ways opened before their eyes, and owned by the Judge for honest hearts and good ways, and yet the same ways that they hated, slighted, disowned and contemned, what will they, or what can they say, but thus—We fools counted their lives madness, and their end to be without honour; but how are they numbered with the saints, and owned by God and Christ!

And truly, was it not that the world might, by seeing the turn that is wrought on the godly at their conversion, be convinced of the evil of their ways, or be left without excuse the more in the day of God, (with some other reasons) they should not, I am persuaded, stay so long from heaven as they do, nor undergo so much abuse and hardship as frequently befalls them. God, by the lengthening out the life of his people that are scattered here and there among men in this world, is making work for the day of judgment, and the overthrow of the implacable, for ever and ever; and, as I have said, will by the conversion, life, patience, self-denial, and heavenly-mindedness of his dear children, give them a heavy and most dreadful blow. Now, when God hath thus laid open the work of grace, both by the book of life and the Christian's heart: then, of itself will fall to the ground, their pleading what gifts and abilities they had in this world; they will now see that gifts, and grace, are two things: and also, that whosoever is graceless, let their gifts be never so excellent, they must perish and be lost for ever; wherefore, for all their gifts, they shall be found the workers of iniquity, and shall so be judged and condemned (Mt 7:22-23). That is a notable place in the prophecy of Ezekiel, "Thus saith he Lord GOD," saith he, "If the prince," the Prince of Life, "give a gift to any of his sons,"—that is, to any that are truly gracious—"the inheritance," or the profit that he gets thereby, "shall be his son's"—that is, for the exercise of his gift he shall receive a reward; "but if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants," that is not a son, "then it shall be his" but "to the year of liberty; after, it shall return to the prince," &c. (Eze 46:16-17). This day of liberty it is now, when the Judge is set upon the throne to judgment, even the glorious liberty of the children of God (Ro 8:21), wherefore then will Christ say to them that stand by, "Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. This servant must not abide in the house for ever, though with the son it shall be so" (Joh 8:35; Lu 19:24). A man may be used as a servant in the church of God, and may receive many gifts, and much knowledge of the things of heaven, and yet at last himself be no more than a very bubble and nothing (1Co 13:1-3).

But now, I say, at this day, they shall clearly see the difference between gifts and grace, even as clearly, as now they that have eyes can see the difference between gifts and ignorance, and very foolishness. This our day doth indeed abound with gifts; many sparkling wits are seen in every corner; men have the word and truths of Christ at their fingers' ends; but alas, with many, yea, a great many, there is nought but wits and gifts; they are but words, all their religion lieth in their tongues and heads, the power of what they say and know, it is seen in others, not in themselves. These are like the lord on whom the king of Israel leaned, they shall see the plenty, the blessed plenty that God doth provide, and will bestow upon his church, but they shall not taste thereof (2Ki 7:200).

Obs. First. Before I conclude this matter, observe, [first,] that among all the objections and cavils that are made, and will be made, by the ungodly, in the day of the Lord Jesus, they have not one hump18 about election and reprobation; they murmur not at all that they were not predestinated to eternal life; and the reason is, because then they shall see, though now they are blind, that God could in his prerogative royal, without prejudice to them that are damned, choose and refuse at pleasure; and besides, they at that day shall be convinced, that there was so much reality and downright willingness in God, in every tender of grace and mercy to the worst of men; and also so much goodness, justness, and reasonableness in every command of the gospel of grace, which they were so often entreated and beseeched to embrace, that they will be drowned in the conviction of this, that did refuse love, grace, reason, & .: love, I say, for hatred, grace for sin, and things reasonable, for things unreasonable and vain. Now they shall see they left glory for shame, God for the devil, heaven for hell, light for darkness. Now they shall see that though they made themselves beasts, yet God made them reasonable creatures, and that he did with reason expect that they should have adhered to, and have delighted in, things that are good, and according to God; yea, now they shall see, that though God did not determine to bring them to heaven against their hearts and wills, and the love that they had to their sins: yet then they shall be convinced, that God was far from infusing anything into their souls, that should in the least hinder, weaken, obstruct, or let them in seeking the welfare of their souls. Now men will tattle and prattle at a mad rate, about election and reprobation, and conclude, that because all are not elected, therefore God is to blame that any are damned: but then they will see, that they are not damned because they were not elected, but because they sinned; and also that they sinned, not because God put any weakness into their souls, but because they gave way, and that willfully, knowingly, and desperately, to Satan and his suggestions; and so turned away from the holy commandment delivered unto them; yea, then they will see, that though God at some times did fasten his cords about their heads, and heels, and hands, both by godly education, and smarting convictions, yet they rushed away with violence from all, saying, "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" (Ps 2:3). God will be justified in his sayings, and clear when he judgeth (Ps 51:4), though thy proud ignorance thinks to have, and to multiply, cavils against him.

18 "Hump;" or "hump-back" is a deformity in nature, so Bunyan uses the word "hump" as a deformity in judgment —Ed.

Obs. Second. But secondly, as the whole body of the elect, by the nature of conversion in their hearts, shall witness a non- conversion in the hearts of the wicked; and as the ungodly shall fall under the conviction of this cloud of witnesses: so, to increase their conviction, there will also be opened before them all the labours of the godly, both ministers and others, and the pains that they have taken, to save, if it had been possible, these damned wretches; and now will it come burning hot upon their souls, how often they were forewarned of this day; now they shall see, that there was never any quarter-sessions, nor general jail-delivery more publicly foretold of, than this day. You know that the judges before they begin their assizes, do give to the country in charge, that they take heed to the laws and statutes of the king. Why rebel, thou shalt be at this day convicted, that every sermon thou hast heard, and that every serious debate thou hast been at about the things of God, and laws of eternity, they were to thee as the judge's charge before the assizes and judgment began. Every exhortation of every minister of God, it is as that which Paul gave to Timothy, and commanded him to give in charge to others—"I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels," saith he, "that thou observe these things;" and again, "I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Ti 5:21; 6:13-14). These things give in charge, saith he, that they may be blameless. This, I say, hast thou heard and seen, and yet thou hast not held fast, but hast cast away the things that thou hast heard, and hast been warned of: alas! God will multiply his witnesses against thee.

1.    Thy own vows and promises shall be a witness against thee, that thou hast, contrary to thy light and knowledge, destroyed thy soul, as Joshua said to the children of Israel, when they said the Lord should be their God. Well, saith he, "Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him." That is, if now you turn back again, even this covenant and resolution of yours will in the great day be a witness against you—"And they said, We are witnesses" (Jos 24:22).

2.    Every time you have with your mouth said well of godliness, and yet gone on in wickedness; or every time you have condemned sin in others, and yet have not refrained it yourselves; I say, every such word and conclusion that hath passed out of thy mouth, sinner, it shall be as a witness against thee in the day of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ; as Christ saith, "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Mt 12:37). I observe, that talk with who you will, they will with their mouth say, serving of God, and loving of Christ, and walking in ways of holiness, are best, and best will come of them. I observe again, that men that are grossly wicked themselves, will yet, with heavy censures and judgments, condemn drunkenness, lying, covetousness, pride, and whoring, with all manner of abominations in others; and yet, in the meantime, continue to be neglecters of God, and embracers of sin and the allurements of the flesh themselves. Why, such souls, every time they speak well of godliness, and continue in their sins; they do pass judgment upon themselves, and provide a witness, even their own mouth, against their own soul, at the judgment-seat—"Out of thy own mouth," saith Christ, "will I judge thee, thou wicked servant;" thou knewest what I was, and that I loved to see all my servants zealous, and active for me, that at my coming, I might have received again what I gave thee, with increase; thou oughtest therefore to have been busying thyself in my work, for my glory, and thy own good; but seeing thou hast, against thy own light and mouth gone contrary: Angels, take this unprofitable servant, and cast ye him into utter darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth; he sinned against his light, he shall go to hell against his will (Mt 25:26-31).

The very same I say, will befall all those that have used their mouth to condemn the sins of others, while they themselves live in their sins. Saith God, 0 thou wicked wretch, thou didst know that sin was bad, thou didst condemn it in others, thou dist also condemn, and pass judgment upon them for their sin, "Therefore thou art inexcusable, 0 man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for" thou that judgest dost the same thing; wherefore, "wherein thou hast judged another, thou condemnest thyself." I must therefore, saith Christ, look upon thee to be no other but a sinner against thy own mouth, and cannot but judge thee as a despiser of my goodness, and the riches of my forbearance; by which means, thou hast treasured up wrath against this day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Ro 2:1-5). He that knoweth to do good, and doth it not, to him it is sin. Thus will God, I say, judge and condemn poor sinners, even from and by themselves, to the fire, that lake of brimstone and fire.

3. God hath said in his word, that rather than there shall want witness at the day of judgment, against the workers of iniquity: the very dust of their city, that shall cleave to his messengers that publish the gospel shall itself be a witness against them; and so Christ bid his servants say—"Into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you": & . "But I say unto you," saith he to his ministers, "it shall be more tolerable for Sodom" at the judgment "than for that city" (Lu 10:10-12).

It may be, that when thou hearest that the dust of the street, (that cleaveth to a minister of the gospel, while thou rejectest his word of salvation,) shall be a witness against thee at the day of judgment: thou wilt be apt to laugh, and say, The dust a witness! Witnesses will be scarce where dust is forced to come in to plead against a man. Well sinner, mock not; God doth use to confound the great and mighty by things that are not, and that are despised. And how sayest thou? If God had said by a prophet to Pharaoh, but two years before the plague, that he would shortly come against him with one army of lice, and a second army of frogs, and with a third army of locusts, & ., and would destroy his land, dost thou think it had been wisdom in Pharaoh, now to have laughed such tidings to scorn? "Is anything too hard for the Lord? Hath he said it, and shall he not bring it to pass?" You shall see in the day of judgment, of what force all these things will be, as witnesses against the ungodly.

Many more witnesses might I here reckon up, but these at this time shall suffice to be nominated; for out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established (2Co 13:1). "And at the mouth of two or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death, be put to death" (De 17:6; Joh 8:17).

[Fourth—the sentence of the ungodly.] Thus then, the books being opened, the laws read, the witnesses heard, and the ungodly convicted; forthwith the Lord and Judge proceeds to execution.

[THE SENTENCE AND PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED.]

And to that end doth pass the sentence of eternal death upon them, saying, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Mt 25:41). You are now by the book of the creatures, by the book of God's remembrance, by the book of the law, and by the book of life, adjudged guilty of high treason against God and me; and as murderers of your own souls, as these faithful and true witnesses here have testified, every one of them appearing in their most upright testimony against you. Also, you never had a saving work of conversion, and faith, passed upon you, you died in your sins; neither can I find anything in the last part of this book that will serve your turn, no worthy act is here recorded of you—When "I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat": when "I was thirsty, ye gave me no drink: when I was a stranger, ye took me not in: I was naked, but ye clothed me not: I was sick and in prison, but ye visited me not": I have made a thorough search among the records of the living, and find nothing of you, or of your deeds, therein—"Depart from me, ye cursed," k . (Mt 25:42-43).

Thus will these poor ungodly creatures be stripped of all hope and comfort, and therefore must need fall into great sadness and wailing, before the Judge; yea, crying out, as being loath to let go all for lost; and even as the man that is fallen into the river, will catch hold of anything when he is struggling for life, though it tend to hold him faster under the water to drown him: so, I say, while these poor creatures, as they lie struggling and twining under the ireful countenance of the Judge; they will bring out yet one more faint and weak groan, and there goes life and all; their last sigh is this—Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and gave thee no meat: or when saw we thee thirsty, and gave thee no drink? when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee not in? or naked, and clothed thee not? or when wast thou sick, or in prison, and we did not minister unto thee? (Mt 25:44).

Thus you see, how loath the sinner is now to take a "nay" of life everlasting. He that once would not be persuaded to close with the Lord Jesus, though one should have persuaded him with tears of blood: behold how fast he now hangs about the Lord, what arguments he frames with mournful groans; how with shifts and words he seeks to gain the time, and to defer the execution: Lord, open unto us! Lord, Lord, open unto us! (Mt 25:11). Lord, thou hast taught in our streets, and we have both taught in thy name and in thy name have we cast out devils (Mt 7:22). We have eaten and drank in thy presence (Lu 13:26). And when did we see thee an hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? (Mt 25:10-11). 0 poor hearts! how loath, how unwillingly do they turn away from Christ! How loath are they to partake of the fruit of their ungodly doings! Christ must say, Depart once, and depart twice, before they will depart. When he hath shut the door upon them, yet they knock, and cry, "Lord, open unto us;" when he hath given them their answer, "that he knows them not," yet they plead and mourn. Wherefore he is fain to answer again, "I tell you, I know you not whence you are; depart" (Lu 13:25-27).

"DEPART." 0 this word, Depart! How dreadful is it! with what weight will it fall on the head of every condemned sinner! For you must note, that while the ungodly stand thus before the Judge; they cannot choose but have a most famous view both of the kingdom of heaven, and of the damned wights in hell. Now they see the God of glory, the King of glory, the saints of glory, and the angels of glory; and the kingdom in which they have their eternal abode. Now, they also begin to see the worth of Christ, and what it is to be smiled upon by him; from all which they must depart; and as I say, they shall have the view of this; so they will most famously19 behold the pit, the bottomless pit, the fire, the brimstone, and the flaming beds that justice hath prepared for them of old (Jude 4). Their associates also, will be very conspicuous, and clear before their watery eyes. They will see now, what and which are devils, and who are damned souls; now their great-grandfather Cain, and all his brood, with Judas and his companions, must be their fellow-sighers in the flames and pangs for ever. 0 heavy day! 0 heavy word!

19 "Famously," plainly, openly; in this sense obsolete. Tillotson used the words "famous malefactors." Sermon on 1Jo 4:9.—Ed.

This word "depart," therefore, it looketh two ways, and commands the damned to do so too. Depart from heaven, depart to hell; depart from life, depart to death: "depart from me"—now the ladder doth turn from under them indeed.20

20 Bunyan here alludes to men convicted of crime; but how many innocent, nay, pious servants of Christ, have been compelled to go up the ladder to the gibbet, and when the rope has been adjusted and the ladder turned, have been ignominiously murdered by the sanction of wicked laws.—Ed.

The Saviour turns them off, the Saviour throws them down. He hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man (Joh 5:27). Depart from me: I would come to have done you good; but then you would not. Now then, though you would have it never so willingly, yet you shall not.

"Depart from me, ye cursed." You lie open to the stroke of justice for your sins; ye forsaken, and left of God, ye vessels of wrath, ye despisers of God and goodness, you must now have vengeance feed on you; for you did, when you were in the world, feed on sin, and treasure up wrath against this day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Ro 2:3-6).

"Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Fire is that which of all things is the most insufferable and insupportable. Wherefore, by fire, is shewed the grievous state of the ungodly, after judgment. Who can eat fire, drink fire, and lie down in the midst of flames of fire? Yet this must the wicked do. Again; not only fire, but everlasting fire. "Behold how great a fire a little matter kindleth." A little sin, a little pleasure, a little unjust dealing and doing; what preparation is made for the punishment thereof. And hence it is, that the fire into which the damned fall, is called the lake, or sea of fire—"And whosoever," saith John, "was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone" (Re 20:15). Little did the sinner seriously think, that when he was sinning against God, he was making such provision for his poor soul; but now `tis too late to repent, his worm must never die, and his fire never shall be quenched (Mr 9:48). Though the time in which men commit sin is short, yet the time of God's punishing of them for their sin, is long.

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." In that he saith, "prepared for the devil and his angels": he insinuates a further conviction upon the consciences of the damned. As if he had said, As for this fire and lake that you must go to, though you thought but little of it, because you were careless, yet I did betimes put you in mind of what would be the fruits of sin; even by preparing of this judgment for the devil and his angels. The devil in his creation is far more noble than you; yet when he sinned, I spared him not. He sinned also before man; and I, upon his sinning, did cast him down from heaven to hell, and did hang the chains of everlasting darkness upon him (Jude 6), which might, yea, ought to have been a fair item to you to take heed, but you would not (Ge 3:24). Wherefore, seeing you have sinned as he hath done, and that too, after he had both sinned, and was bound over to eternal punishment; the same justice that layeth hold on these more noble creatures, must surely seize on you (Re 20:1). The world should be convinced of judgment then, "because the prince of this world is judged" (Joh 16:8). And that before they came to this condition of hearing the eternal sentence rattle in their ears; but seeing they did not regard it then, they must and shall feel the smart of it now. "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

God would have men learn both what mercy and justice is to them, by his shewing it to others; but if they be sottish and careless in the day of forbearance, they must learn by smarting in the day of rebukes and vengeance. Thus it was with the old world; God gave them one hundred and twenty years' warning, by the preparation of Noah, for the flood that should come; but forasmuch as they then were careless, and would not consider the works of the Lord, nor his threatening them by this preparation: therefore he brought in the flood upon the world of the ungodly, as he doth here the last judgment upon the workers of iniquity, and sweeps them all away in their willful ignorance (Mt 24:37-39).

Wherefore, I say, the Lord Chief Judge by these words, "Prepared for the devil and his angels," doth as good as say, This fire into which now I send you, it did of itself, even in the preparation of it, had you considered it, forewarn you of this that now is come upon you. Hell-fire is no new, or unheard-of thing; you cannot now plead, that you heard not of it in the world, neither could you with any reason judge, that seeing I prepared it for angels, for noble, powerful, and mighty angels; that you, poor dust and ashes, should escape the vengeance.

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels": The sentence being thus passed, it remains now, the work being done, that every one goeth to his eternal station. Wherefore, forthwith this mighty company, do now with heavy heart, return again from before the judgment-seat: and that full hastily, God knoweth, for their proper centre, is the hell of hell; into which they descend like a stone into a well, or like Pharaoh into the bottom of the Red Sea (Ex 15:10). For all hope being now taken from them, they must needs fall with violence, into the jaws of eternal desperation, which will deal far worse with the souls of men, and make a greater slaughter in their tortured consciences, than the lions in the den with Daniel, could possibly do with the men that were cast in among them (Da 6:24).

This is that which Paul calleth eternal judgment (Heb 6:2), because it is that which is last and final. Many are the judgments that God doth execute among the sons of men, some after this manner, and some after that; divers of which, continue but for awhile, and none of them are eternal; no, the very devils and damned spirits in hell, though there, is the longest and most terrible of all the judgments of God, yet on foot: yet I say, they must pass under another judgment, even this last, great, and final judgment—"The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day" (Jude 6). And so also it is with damned souls; for both Sodom and Gomorrah, with all other, though already in hell in their souls; yet they must, as I have before shewed, all arise to this judgment, which will be their final judgment. Other of the judgments of God, as they have an end, so the end of many of them prove the profit of those on whom they are inflicted, being I say, God's instrument of conversion to sinners; and so may fitly be compared to those petty judgments among men, as putting in the stocks, whipping, or burning in the hand: which punishments, and judgments, do often prove profitable to those that are punished with them; but eternal judgment, it is like those more severe judgments among men, as beheading, shooting to death, hanging, drawing and quartering, which swoop21 all, even health, time, and the like, and cut off all opportunity of good, leaving no place for mercy or amendment—"These shall go away into everlasting punishment," & . (Mt 25:46). This word, "depart," & ., is the last word the damned for ever are like to hear—I say, it is the last voice, and therefore will stick longest, and with most power, on their slaughtered souls; there is no calling of it back again; it is the very wind-up of eternal judgment.

21 The physician looks with another eye on the medicinal herb than the grazing ox, which swoops it in with the common grass. Glanville.—Ed.

Thus then, the judgment being over, the kingdom ceaseth to be any longer in the hand of the man Christ Jesus; for as the judges here among men, when they have gone their circuit, do deliver up their commission to the king; so Christ the judge, doth now deliver up his kingdom to his Father (Mt 21:8), and now, all is swallowed up of eternity. The damned are swallowed up of eternal justice and wrath; the saved, of eternal life and felicity; and the Son also delivereth up, I say, the kingdom to the Father, and subjects himself under him that did put all things under him, that God may be all in all (1Co 15:24-28).

For now is the end come, and not before, even the end of the reign of death itself; for death, and hell, and sinners, and devils, must now [fall] together into the lake, that burns with fire and brimstone (Re 20:14-15). And now is the end of Christ's reign, as the Son of man; and the end of the reign of the saints with him, in this his kingdom, which he hath received of his Father for his work sake, which he did for him, and for his elect. "Then cometh the end," saith Paul, "when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;" But when shall that be? Why, he answers saying, "When he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign," saith he, "till he hath put all enemies under his feet," which will not be until the final sentences and judgment be over; for "the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he (God) hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all" (1Co 15:24-28).

All things being now at this pass—to wit, every one being in its proper place, God in his, Christ in his, the saint in his, and the sinner in his; I shall conclude with this brief touch upon both the state of the good and bad after this eternal judgment—

The righteous now shall never fear death, the devil, and hell more; and the wicked shall never hope of life.

The just shall ever have the victory over these things: but the wicked shall everlastingly be swallowed up of them.

The holy shall be in everlasting light: but the sinner in everlasting darkness. Without light, I say, yet in fire ever burning, yet not consumed; always afraid of death and hell, vehemently desiring to be annihilated to nothing. Continually fearing to stay long in hell, and yet certainly sure they shall never come out of it. Ever desiring the saints' happiness, and yet always envying their felicity. They would have it, because it is easy and comfortable; yet cannot abide to think of it, because they have lost it for ever. Ever laden with the delight of sin; and yet that is the greatest torture; always desiring to put it out of their mind, and yet assuredly know they must for ever abide the guilt and torment thereof.

The saints are always inflamed with the consideration of the grace that once they embraced; but the wicked, most flamingly tormented with the thoughts of rejecting and refusing it.

The just, when they think of their sins, they are comforted with the thoughts of their being delivered from them; but the ungodly, when they think of their righteousness, will gnaw themselves, to think that this would not deliver them from hell.

When the godly think of hell, it will increase their comfort; but when the wicked think of heaven, it will twinge them like a serpent. Oh, this eternal judgment! What would a damned soul give that there might be, though after thousands and hundreds of thousands of millions of years, an end put to this eternal judgment. But their misery is, they have sinned against a God that is eternal; they have offended that justice that will never be satisfied; and therefore they must abide the fire that never shall be quenched. Here is judgment, just and sad.

Again; as it will be thus with good and bad in general, so again, more particularly, when the wicked are thus adjudged and condemned, and also received of the fiery gulf, then they shall find, That as he that busieth himself to do good, shall have more glory than others; so they that have been more busy and active in sin than others, they shall have more wrath and torment than others. For as doing good abundantly, doth enlarge the heart to receive and hold more glory: so doing evil abundantly, doth enlarge the heart and soul to receive punishment so much the more. And hence it is that you have such sayings as these—It shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Sodom than for others (Lu 10:12)—that is, than for those that had sinned against much greater light and mercy. "For these," as he saith in another place, "shall receive greater damnation" (Lu 20:47). Yea,it standeth to reason, that he who had most light, most conviction, most means of conversion, and that was highest towards heaven, he must needs have the greatest fall, and so sink deepest into the jaws of eternal misery. As one star—that is, as one saint—differeth from another in heaven; so one damned soul shall differ from another in hell. It is so among the devils themselves; they are some worse than others; Beelzebub is the prince, or chief of the devils (Mt 9:34; Mr 3:22). That is, one that was most glorious in heaven; chief among the reprobate angels before his fall (Isa 14:12), and therefore sinned against the greater light, mercy, and goodness; and so became the chief for wickedness, and will also have as the wages thereof, the chief of torments. For that will be true of the damned in hell, which is prayed for against Babylon.—"How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her" (Re 18:7). Can it be imagined that Judas should have no more torment, who betrayed the Prince of life and Saviour of the world, than others who never came near his wickedness by ten thousand degrees? He that knew his master's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; with many more stripes, than others that through ignorance did commit sin worthy of many stripes. But what should I thus discourse of the degrees of the torments of the damned souls in hell? For he that suffers least, will the waters of a full cup be wrung out to him; the least measure of wrath, it will be the wrath of God, eternal and fiery wrath, insupportable wrath; it will lay the soul in the gulf of that second death, which will for ever have the mastery over the poor damned perishing sinner. "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Re 20:14-15).

007 Some Gospel Truths Opened

SOME GOSPEL TRUTHS OPENED,

ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES;

OR,

THE DIVINE AND HUMAN NATURE OF CHRIST JESUS;

HIS COMING INTO THE WORLD; HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, DEATH, RESURRECTION, ASCENSION, INTERCESSION, AND SECOND COMING TO JUDGMENT, PLAINLY DEMONSTRATED AND PROVED.

AND ALSO,

Answers to several Questions, with profitable Directions to stand fast in the Doctrine of Jesus the Son of MARY, against those blustering Storms of the Devil's Temptations, which do at this Day, like so many Scorpions, break loose from the bottomless Pit, to bite and torment those that have not tasted the Vertue of Jesus, by the Revelation of the Spirit of God.

Published for the good of God's chosen ones, by that unworthy servant of CHRIST,

JOHN BUNYAN, of BEDFORD,

By the grace of GOD, preacher of the GOSPEL of his dear SON.

`Jesus saith, - - I am the way, and the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.'--Joh 14:6 'Neither is there salvation in any other.'--Ac 4:12

EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT.

This was the first work published by the indefatigable servant of Christ, John Bunyan; and he modestly sought the patronage of his brethren in the ministry, and Messrs. Burton, Spencly and Child wrote prefatory recommendations. The latter of these, Mr. John Child, for some temporal advantages afterwards conformed; and became notorious for having, in a fit of despair, destroyed himself.

Well might Bunyan in this treatise, call the early period of his ministry 'distracted and dangerous times,' in which many a poor sincere inquirer stood 'tottering and shaking,' bewildered with the new din of sectaries, each boldly declaring his divine authority. In the midst of this storm of contending opinions, Bunyan stood forth conspicuously to declare `Gospel Truths'; and to open and vindicate them these discourses were written. To enable the reader to understand and appreciate them, it will be needful to take a rapid glance at the state of society which then prevailed. The frivolities of dress and laxity of morals introduced by James the First, increased by the mixture of French fashions under the popish wife of Charles the First, had spread their debauching influence throughout the kingdom. George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, in an address 'To such as follow the world's fashions,' gives an almost incredible description of the tomfooleries of dress which prevailed. 'How doth the devil garnish himself, and the people are carried away with vanity-women plaiting their hair--men and women powdering it, making their backs like bags of meal. The men having store of ribbands of divers colours about their waists, and at their knees, and in their hats. The women with their spots on their noses, cheeks, and foreheads-rings on their fingers--cuffs double, like a butcher in his white sleeves--ribbands about their arms, hands, back, waists, knees--and hats like unto fidlers' bags--is not this the devil's adorning?' 1

1 George Fox's Journal, folio, p. 144.

At this period the iron hand of tyranny and oppression over the worship of God had been suddenly paralyzed. The ruinous penalties, and even capital punishments, which had enforced attendance on a form of common prayer, and a pretence to believe articles, creeds, and catechisms, ordained by Acts of Parliament, were removed. Man, by nature averse to religious inquiries, was now stimulated, under a threat of eternal ruin, personally and individually, to seek for truth and salvation. At this time a little persecuted band of puritans had directed every inquirer after salvation to the sacred Scriptures, which alone were able to make wise unto salvation, by the aid of the Holy Spirit enlightening their minds to understand, and subduing their wills to receive those eternal truths. But a new light was now discovered--that which lighteneth every man that cometh into the world; and which, it was alleged, would alone, if cherished and followed, lead the honest inquirer into all truth. National religion, so called, had been propagated at an incredible expense of treasure, and by the sacrifice of the best blood in the country, to the shrine of infallibility--called uniformity. A hireling priesthood had limited to themselves the right to teach men how to be Christians. The result of all this was clearly seen, when the people were driven to think and choose for themselves. Their minds were in darkness and confusion, which quickly produced the most whimsical, mischievous, and even ludicrous opinions, mixed with truth.

National establishments, whether Pagan, Mohamedan, or Christian--be this latter either Greek, Roman, or Protestant--have a direct and natural tendency to repress and prevent personal inquiries, lest they should interfere with uniformity in faith and worship; which is a presumed incapability of error on the part of those who impose them. Systems, which IN FACT, although not in words, claim infallibility, by requiring implicit and absolute submission, must have had a direct tendency to hoodwink and blind the people; nor can we be surprised, that when their eyes were first opened, they saw indistinctly; or, to use a scripture phrase, 'men as trees walking.' They utterly failed in preparing the mind to receive divine truth, or in furnishing an antidote to extravagant speculations in religion.

The state of the millions can hardly be conceived; they had paid a priest to think on religion for them--to read the Bible for them-and to pray for them. They had paid the church to make them Christians--to confirm them--to forgive their sins--and to bury their bodies in sure and certain hope of heaven. From this fatal sleep of ignorance and error, they were aroused by itinerant preachers; many of whom were men of education, of irreproachable morals, and most benevolent habits. They went forth upon their mission at a fearful sacrifice of comfort, property, health, and even of life; calling all to repentance, and to obey the light within--to follow on to perfection in this life-and, at the same time, denouncing all hireling ministers. They were called in derision, Familists, Ranters, Quakers, New Lights, &c. The old leaven, which had led the people without inquiry to follow the priests, now operated on multitudes to follow those ardent and self-denying leaders. The Familists, or family of love, were consistent in their lives;-considered every day a sabbath, and baptized none under thirty years of age. The Ranters mingled a little truth with much error--abused their Christian liberty--and lived licentiously, and were a scandal to religion. The Quakers--so called from their trembling agitation when under a powerful sense of eternal realities, and because, in preaching, they admonished their hearers to tremble and quake at the word of God--considered the sacraments as mere ceremonies, inconsistent with spiritual worship-lived and dressed with the utmost simplicity, and took the lead in attacking error at all risks.

These itinerants went through the whole length and breadth of the land, and in every place of public resort they made proclamation. In fairs, markets, meetings, assizes, and steeple-houses, their voice was heard denouncing evil and exhorting to righteousness. Short weights and deceit were declared an abomination to the Lord, in fairs and markets. Every religious delusion was exposed in meetings and parish churches. The journals of George Fox, and others, are exceedingly interesting in recounting their hazardous adventures, zeal, and no ordinary degree of ready wit and talent. Some of these itinerants came to Bedford, and in the parish church, called 'the steeple-house,' in Bedford town, on the 23d of May, 1656, they met John Bunyan, probably after he had been ministering there. With him they held a public disputation or controversy, to which allusions are made by both parties,2 and in Bunyan they met a master spirit who confounded them. The subjects in dispute were of the deepest importance--the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion--the authority of the Bible--the perfection of holiness in this life--and whether it was lawful to perform the work of the ministry for hire.

2 See Burrough's Works, p. 304.

After a very careful perusal of E. Burrough's answers to Bunyan, it is gratifying to find that the whole truth is set forth in the following pages;--some of the facts are worthy of a careful notice. The Baptists and Independents had long existed in this country, and had published confessions of faith. The Ranters and Familists existed not as sects but in name, and soon disappeared. The Quakers, who were confounded with the Ranters and Familists, were not at this time formed into a society; nor had they published any book of discipline. The Society of Friends were some years after united, and have been one of the most useful as well as the brightest ornaments to this kingdom. The works of Fox, Penn, Barclay, and others, with their books of discipline, and yearly epistles, shew that they, to a very great extent, agree with Bunyan in his sentiments; and it is well worthy of notice that, in the latter part of his life, when he wrote his admirable treatise on the resurrection of the dead, he does not accuse the Society of Friends with holding any false opinions. Bunyan is clear and scriptural upon the 'Light within,' or that conscience of right and wrong which all possess to their condemnation--as distinguished from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the gift of God to his people, revealing in them the pardon of sin and hope of glory, by opening their understandings to receive the truths of the Bible. When Ann Blakeley bid Bunyan 'throw away the Scriptures,' he replied, 'No, for then the devil would be too hard for me.'3 And when accused of being a hireling priest, how triumphant was the reply--it ought to be printed in letters of gold. He was charged with making merchandize of souls, and he answered-'Friend, dost thou speak this from thy own knowledge, or did any other tell thee so? However, that spirit that led thee out this way is a lying spirit. For though I be poor, and of no repute in the world, as to outward things; yet through grace I have learned by the example of the apostle, to preach the truth; and also to work with my hands, both for my own living, and for those that are with me, when I have opportunity. And I trust that the Lord Jesus, who hath helped me to reject the wages of unrighteousness hitherto, will also help me still, so that I shall distribute that which God hath given me FREELY, and not for filthy lucre's sake.'4 How does this contrast with the description of the state clergy, before the triers were appointed.5

3 Page 201.

4 Page 201. 

5 Page 178.

Favoured by the kind assistance of Charles Bowden, the secretary to the Society of Friends, access was afforded me to the extensive library in Devonshire House, and upon collation of Bunyan's quotations with the original editions of Burrough's exceedingly rare tracts, my gratification was great to find that every extract made by John Bunyan was perfectly faithful.

Edward Burrough, called a son of thunder and of consolation, answered both these treatises of Bunyan's,--denying, on the part of the Quakers, many of the charges made against them, as connected with the Ranters. He was a man of great talent--fearless, devoted, and pious. He became extensively useful; and like thousands of most excellent men, was sacrificed at the shrine of that fanatical church over which the profligate and debauched Charles the Second was the supreme head. He died in the prime of life, receiving the crown of martyrdom, when his happy spirit ascended from Newgate in 1662: aged 28 years.

No sect was so severely tormented as the Quakers. A fanatical clergyman, Edward Lane, in a book called 'Look unto Jesus,' 1663, thus pours forth his soul, breathing out cruelty--'I hope and pray the Lord to incline the heart of his majesty our religious King, to suppress the Quakers, that none of them may be suffered to abide in the land.' A prayer as full of cruelty against a most peaceful and valuable part of the community, as it was hypocritical in calling a debauched and profligate man [Charles the Second] 'our religious king.'

Controversy was carried on in those days with extreme virulence; learned and unlettered men alike used violent language, which, in this enlightened and comparatively happy age, is read with wonder. Burrough called his answer `The Gospel of Peace contended for in the spirit of meekness and of love.' He meekly commences with--'How long, ye crafty fowlers, will ye prey upon the innocent; how long shall the righteous be a prey to your teeth, ye subtle foxes; your dens are in darkness, and your mischief is hatched upon your beds of secret whoredoms.' He says, 'I own the words but I deny thy voice.' Such was the unhallowed spirit of controversy in that age. A harsh epithet was called faithful dealing: thus, a learned clergyman, writing upon Baptism, entitled his work--'The Anabaptists ducked and plunged over head and ears--washed and shrunk in the washing'; to which an equally learned Baptist replied, in his 'Baby Baptism mere Babyism.' All this unseemly violence has passed away, and with it much of the virulence of persecution; soon may it pass away altogether, only to be pointed at as the evidence of a barbarous age. We now look back to cruelties perpetrated in the times of Bunyan by the national religion, as a stigma upon human nature. 'What a church is this of yours, to be defended by gaols, and prisons, and whips, and stocks, and violent dealing.' Let us fairly try our spiritual weapons, and not carnal cruel tortures.' Let us not hurt or imprison each other, nor put in the stocks, nor cruelly whip and lacerate each others' bodies; but let us thrash deceit, whip and beat that and all false doctrines': these were the breathings of our pilgrim forefathers,--it is the language of common sense and of real religion. May such sentiments spread, and soon cover the earth!--GEO. OFFOR.

THE AUTHOR TO THE READER.

Seeing the Lord hath been pleased to put it into my heart, to write a few things to thee (Reader) touching those things which are most surely believed by all those that are, or shall be saved (Lu 1:1; Ac 13:38). I think it meet also, to stir up thy heart by way of remembrance, touching those things that are the hindrances of thy believing the things that are necessary to the welfare of thine immortal soul. And indeed, this is the only thing necessary; it is better to lose all that ever thou hast, than to have thy soul and body for ever cast into hell; And therefore, I beseech thee to consider with me a few things touching the stratagems, or subtle temptations of the devil, whereby he lieth in wait, if by any means he may, to make thee fall short of eternal life (1Pe 5:8).

And first of all, he doth endeavour by all means to keep thee in love with thy sins and pleasures, knowing that he is sure of thee, if he can but bewitch thee to live and die in them (1Co 6:9-10; 2Th 2:12). Yea, he knows that he is as sure of thee, as if he had thee in hell already (Joh 3:19). And that he might accomplish his design on thee in this particular, he laboureth by all means possible to keep thy conscience asleep in security and self-conceitedness, keeping thee from all things that might be a means to awaken and rouse up thine heart. As first, he will endeavour to keep thee from hearing of the word, by suggesting unto [thee] this and the other worldly business which must be performed; so that thou wilt not want excuse to keep thee from the ordinances of Christ, in hearing, reading, meditation, &c., or else, he seeks to disturb, and distract thy mind when thou art conversant in these things, that thou canst not attend to them diligently, and so they become unprofitable; or else if thou art a little more stirred, he labours to rock thee asleep again, by casting thee upon, and keeping thee in evil company, as among rioters, drunkards, jesters, and other of his instruments, which he employeth on purpose to keep thee secure, and so ruin thy soul and body for ever and ever.

If not thus, then peradventure he will seek to persuade thee it is but a melancholy fit, and will put thee upon the works of thy calling, or thy pleasures, or phys; or some other trick he will invent, such as best agreeth with thy nature. And thus thy heart is again deaded, and thou art kept in carnal security, that thou mightest perish for ever. But if notwithstanding these, and many cunning slights more which might be named, he cannot so blind, and benumb thy conscience, but that it doth see and feel sin to be a burden, intolerable and exceeding sinful; Then in the second place, his design is to drive thee to despair, by persuading thee that thy sins are too big to be pardoned; he will seek by all means possible to aggravate them by all the circumstances of time, place, person, manner, nature, and continuance of thy sins, he will object in thy soul, thou hast out-sinned grace, by rejecting so many exhortations, and admonitions, so many reproofs, so many tenders of grace; hadst thou closed in with them it had been well with thee, but now thou hast stood it out so long, that there is no hope for thee: thou mightest have come sooner, if thou didst look to be saved, but now it is too late. And withal, that he might carry on his design upon thee to purpose, he will be sure to present to thy conscience, the most sad sentences of the scripture; yea, and set them home with such cunning arguments, that, if it be possible, he will make thee despair, and make away thyself, as did Judas.

But if he be prevented in this his intended purpose; the next thing he doth beset thee with, is to make thee rest upon thine own righteousness, telling thee, that if thou wilt needs be saved, thou must earn heaven with thy fingers' ends; and it may be, he represents to thy soul such a scripture; 'If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?' And thou having (but in the strength of nature) kept thyself from thy former grosser pollutions, and it may be from some more secret sins, are ready to conclude, now thou dost well; now God accepts thee; now he will pardon, yea, hath pardoned thee; now thy condition is good, and so goest on till thou meetest with a searching word, and ministry, which tells thee, and discovers plainly unto thee, that thou doest all this while deceive thyself, by a vain hope and confidence; for tho' thou seek after the law of righteousness, thou hast not yet attained to the law of righteousness, nor yet canst, because thou seekest it 'not by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law' (Ro 9:31-32). Here again, thou art left in the mire, and now peradventure thou seest, that thou art not profited by the works of the law, nor thy own righteousness: And this makes thee stir a little, but in process of time, (through the subtle sleights of the devil, and the wickedness of thine own heart;) thou forgettest thy trouble of conscience, and slippest into a notion of the gospel, and the grace thereof, and now thou thinkest thyself cocksure: Now thou art able to say, 'He that lives and dies in his sins, shall be damned for them: He that trusts in his own righteousness, shall not be saved': Now thou canst cry, 'grace, grace, it's freely by grace, it's through the death of the man Christ Jesus, that sinners do attain unto eternal life' (Heb 9:14). This, I say, thou hast in the notion, and hast not the power of the same in thine heart, and so it may be thine head is full of the knowledge of the scriptures, though thine heart be empty of sanctifying grace. And thus thou dost rejoice for a time. Yet because thou hast not the root of the matter within thee, in time of temptation thou fallest away (Lu 8:13).

Now being in this condition, and thinking thyself to be wondrous well, because of that notion of the truth, and that notion thou hast in the things of God: I say, being in this state, thou art liable to these dangers.

First, Thou art like to perish if thou die with this notion in thine head, except God out of his rich grace do work a saving work of grace and knowledge in thy heart; for know this, thou mayest understand glorious mysteries, and yet be a cast-away (1Co 13:1-3). Or else,

Secondly, Thou art liable to the next damnable heresy that the devil sendeth into the world. See and consider Lu 8:13; 2Ti 2:18. I say, thou dost lie liable to be carried away with it, and to be captivated by it; so that at last, through the delusions of the devil, thou mayest have thy conscience seared as with an hot iron, so hard, that neither law, nor gospel, can make any entrance thereinto, to the doing of thee the least good. And indeed, who are the men that at this day are so deluded by the quakers, and other pernicious doctrines; but those who thought it enough to be talkers of the gospel, and grace of God, without seeking and giving all diligence to make it sure unto themselves? 'And for this cause God' [shall send] hath sent 'them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness,' as it is written (2Th 2:11-12). And indeed if you mark it, you shall see, that they be such kind of people, who at this day are so carried away with the quakers' delusions; namely, a company of loose ranters, and light notionists, with here and there a legalist, which were shaking in their principles from time to time, sometimes on this religion, sometimes on that.6 And thus these unstable souls are deluded and beguiled at last (2Pe 2:14). So that these who before (as one would have thought) had something of God in them, are now turned such enemies to the glorious truths of the gospel, that there are none so obstinately erroneous as they. And indeed it is just with God, to give them over to `believe a lie' (2Th 2:11), who before were so idle that they would not receive the truth of God into their hearts, in the love of it. And to be bewitched by the devil to obey his temptations, and be damned, who would not obey the truth, that they might be saved (Ga 3:1).  

6 The word `quakers' must not be misunderstood as referring to the society of friends, but to some deluded individuals calling themselves quakers; the friends were not formed into a society for some years after this was written--Ed.

But you will say, what lies are those, that the devil beguileth poor souls withal? I shall briefly tell you some of them, but having before said, that they especially are liable to the danger of them, who slip into high notions, and rest there; taking that for true faith which is not. I shall desire thee seriously to consider this one character of a NOTIONIST. Such an one, whether he perceives it or not, is puffed up in his fleshly mind, and advanceth himself above others, thinking but few may compare with him for religion and knowledge in the scriptures, but are ignorant and foolish in comparison of him: (Thus knowledge puffeth up, (1Co 8:1)) whereas when men receive truth in the love of the truth, the more the head and heart is filled with the knowledge of the mystery of godliness, the more it is emptied of its own things, and is more sensible of its own vileness, and so truly humbled in its own eyes.

And further, a notionist, though he fall from his former strictness and seeming holiness, and appear more loose, and vain in his practices, yet speaks as confidently of himself, as to assurance of salvation, the love of God, and union with God, as ever. But now to return, and declare some of those lies which the devil persuades some of these men to believe.

I.     That salvation was not fully, and completely wrought out for poor sinners by the man Christ Jesus, though he did it gloriously (Ac 13:38-39), by his death upon the cross, without the gates of Jerusalem (Heb 13:12 compared with Joh 19:19-20).

II.  This is another of his lies wherewith he doth deceive poor sinners, bidding them follow the light that they brought into the world with them, telling them, that light will lead them to the kingdom; for (say they) it will convince of sin, as swearing, lying, stealing, covetousness, and the rest of the sins against the law (Ro 3:20). But 'the law is not of faith' (Ga 3:13). And then I am sure, that it, with all its motions and convictions, is never able to justify the soul of any poor sinner. "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them' (Ga 3:10), but that no man is justified by the law is evident, 'for, The just shall live by faith' (v 11). Now because I am not altogether ignorant of the delusion of the devil touching this grace of faith also, I shall therefore in short give thee (reader) a brief, yet true description from the scripture. 1. What true justifying faith is, and what it lays hold upon. 2. I shall shew who it doth come from. 3. That every one hath it not. 4. What are the fruits of it.

1.    First therefore, true faith is a fruit, work, or gift of the Spirit of God (Ga 5:22; 2Th 1:11; 1Co 12:9) whereby a poor soul is enabled through the mighty operation of God (Col 2:12) in a sense of its sins and wretched estate to lay hold on the righteousness, blood, death, resurrection, ascension, intercession, and coming again of the Son of God which was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem, for eternal life (Joh 3:16-18 compared with Mt 3:17; Ga 2:20; Ro 5:8-10; 3:25; Ac 16:31; Heb 13:12) according to that saying in Heb 11:1 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,' and 'the evidence of things not seen,' that is, the things that are hoped for faith sees, lays hold upon, and embraces them (Heb 11:13) as if they were present; yea, it seals up the certainty of them to the soul. Therefore saith the Apostle, it is the evidence, or testimony, or witness, of those things that are not seen as yet with a bodily eye; which are obtained by the blood of the man Christ Jesus (Heb 9:14 compared with Heb 10:12,19-20) by which the soul sees as in a glass the things that God hath laid up for them that fear him (1Co 13:12; 2Co 3:18).

2.    If you would know who this faith comes from, read Eph 2:8 'For by grace ye are saved [saith the scripture] through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.' Again, in Php 1:29 it is thus written: `For unto you [that are believers] it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake'; And thus much do the Apostles hold forth to us in their prayer, or request to the Lord Jesus, when they say, `Lord increase our faith' (Lu 17:5), and he is therefore called 'the author and finisher of our faith' (Heb 12:2). Also we find in Jas 1:17 that 'Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,' &c., and therefore faith comes from God, for true justifying faith is a good gift, and perfect in respect of the author God, in respect of its object, Christ; and in respect of the nature, though not in respect of the degree, and measure of it in us: even as a grain of gold, is as perfect gold, as a pound of gold, though not so much.

3.    All men have not faith, this the Apostle witnesseth in so many words as we find (2Th 3:2; De 32:20). Also in Timothy 1:15 `Unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure,' &c. It appeareth also in this, that all do not attain salvation, which they must needs do if they had true justifying faith (compare Lu 13:24 and 1Jo 5:19 with Mr 16:16. And Heb 4:3 with vv 6 and 11 `they that believe shall be saved').

4.    The fruits of it are, (1.) to purify the heart (Ac 15:9; 1Jo 3:3), and that, as I said before, by laying hold on what Jesus Christ had done and suffered for sinners (Ac 13:38-39). (2.) It fills the soul with peace and joy, in that it lays hold on the things that are obtained for it (Ro 5:1; 2Ti 1:9-10; 1Pe 1:8). (3.) It makes the soul to wait patiently, for the glory that is to be revealed at the second appearing of the man Christ Jesus, whom God hath raised from the dead, which hath also delivered it from the wrath to come, as in Timothy 2:13, 14; 1Pe 4:13; 5:1,4; 1Th 1:10.

Quest.--But how (may some say) doth the devil make his delusions take place in the hearts of poor creatures?

Ans. 1.--Why, first, He labours to render the doctrine of the Lord Jesus, and salvation by him alone, very odious and low: and also his ordinances, as hearing, reading, meditation, use of the scriptures, &c. telling poor sinners that these things are but poor, low, carnal, beggarly, empty notions; preached up by the clergymen, who are the scribes and pharisees of this generation; who have the letter, but not the Spirit of God in them; which lead men into the form, but not into the power of the Lord Jesus: And with this persuasion, he also represents the ungodly and base carriage, or behaviour, of some, who have taken in hand to preach the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thereby he doth render the gospel of our Lord Jesus the more contemptible and base. But woe, woe, woe, be to them by whom such offences come (Mt 18:7; Lu 17:1-2).

Ans. 2. He pretends to lead them up into some higher light, mysteries, and revelations of the Spirit, into which a very few have attained or can attain, also bewitching their affections, and taking them with an earnest pursuit after these his pretended truths; persuading them, that they shall be as God himself, able to discern between good and evil (Ge 3:5). And in this he is exceeding subtle and expert, as having practised it ever since the days of Adam. These things being thus considered, and in some measure hungered after, and the rather because they are good (as they think) to make one wise (Ge 3:6). The poor soul is all on the sudden possessed with a desperate spirit of delusion, which carries it away headlong with some high, light, frothy notions, and spiritual wickedness (which drown it in perdition and destruction) that doth feed and tickle the heart a while, to the end it may make way for a farther manifestation of itself in the poor deluded soul; which when it hath attained to, it doth then begin to bring the soul into a clearer sight of those things, which it was loth it should know at the first; but having fitted the soul by degrees for a further possession of itself, at last it begins to hold forth its new gospel; shewing the soul a new Christ, and new scriptures. The new and false Christ, is a Christ crucified within, dead within, risen again within, and ascended within, in opposition to the Son of Mary, who was crucified without, dead without, risen again without, and ascended in a cloud away from his disciples into heaven without them (Ac 1:9-11 ) .

Now this new and false Christ, hath a new and false faith belonging to his gospel, which faith is this, to apprehend this Christ crucified within, dead within, risen again within, and ascended within: But ask them for a scripture that doth positively prove their doctrine, they also have a scripture, but it is within, it doth bear witness within, and if they had not that, (though that be of the devil's making) I am sure they would have none out of God's holy scriptures, for they will allow of no crucified Christ, but he that was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem (Heb 13:12; Joh 19:17-18). Dead and buried in the sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathea (Joh 19:38-41). Was raised again out of that sepulchre into which Joseph had laid him (Joh 20:1-12). Who went before his disciples into Galilee (Mr 16:7). And to Emmaus (Lu 24:15). Shewed them his hands and his feet, where the nails had gone through (Lu 24:39-40). Did eat and drink with them after his resurrection: Was seen of them on earth forty days after his resurrection (Ac 1:3). And after that ascended away in a cloud, out of the sight of his disciples into heaven (Ac 1:9-11). Which Christ ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25). Who will come again also at the end of the world to judgment (Ac 10:42; 17:31; 2Pe 3:10-11). Who also is the same that hath obtained eternal redemption for us (Ac 13:37-39; Ro 3:25; Eph 1:7; Re 1:5; Heb 1:2; 9:14). This I say, or rather the scriptures say, is God's Christ (Mt 16:16). In whom he is well pleased (Mt 3:17). Neither doth God own any other, or allow of any other: For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, than the name of Jesus of Nazareth (Ac 4:10 compared with vv 11,12). But as I told you beore, the way to be thus deluded, is first to render God's Christ odious and low, with a pretence of some further light and revelations; and thus professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (Ro 1:22).

Quest.--But you will say, doth not the scripture make mention of a Christ within? (Col 1:27; 2Co 13:5; Ro 8:10).

Though I shall go seemingly about in answer to the question, yet it will be very profitable to them who shall weigh and consider the several sentences thereof.

Ans.—I answer, God's Christ was, and is, true God and true man; he was born of the Virgin Mary, true God, and true man (Mt 1:23). 'And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us,' or God in our nature, according to 1Ti 3:16 'God was manifested in the flesh': And Joh 1:14 'the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.' And in Heb 2:14 `Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he,' that is, God (Heb 1:8), `also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.' Now as he was thus true God, and true man, so he became our redeemer and Savior. Compare the first and second chapters to the Hebrews together, and you may clearly see that this is a glorious truth, that he who is the first and the last (Re 1:17-18; 2:8) humbled himself, and made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And was this all? No. He humbled himself unto death, even the death of the cross (Php 2:7-8 compared with Re 1:17-18 and Re 2:8 with Ga 1:4). Now after this Christ of God, true God and true man, had wrought out eternal redemption for us poor miserable sinners (Heb 9:14 compared with 1Ti 1:15). I say, after he had done this, he ascended up into heaven, and there ever lives to make intercession for us. Now this Christ, having thus completely wrought out our salvation, sends his disciples abroad to preach the same to poor sinners (Ac 2; 2Co 5:19-20) and so many as were ordained to eternal life, when they heard the word, or the gospel preached by the Apostles, which gospel was this Christ (1Co 1:17 compared with v 23). I say, so many as were ordained to eternal life, when they heard the word, the Holy Ghost or Spirit of Christ, fell upon them (Ac 10:44 compared with Ac 13:48) which did lead them into the redemption and glorious things that the Lord Jesus had laid up and prepared for them (Joh 16:13-15; 1Co 2:9). Which Spirit was the earnest of their inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory (Eph 1:13-14). The earnest of their inheritance was a glorious encouragement to them that had it, to hope for the glory that was to be revealed at the appearing of Jesus Christ, which is the meaning of that place in Col 1:27. And that will be seen clearly, if we compare it with Eph 1:13-14 before recited. Now this Spirit,** which sometimes is called the Spirit of Christ (2Co 13:5). This Spirit, I say, being given to all those that were ordained to eternal life, it must needs follow, that those that had not this Spirit, but did live and die without it, were not ordained to eternal life, and so were none of Christ's; but were reprobates (Ro 8:9) for the Spirit of Christ is the distinguishing character betwixt a believer and an unbeliever, he that hath it, and is led by it, is a child of God (Ro 7:4), but he that hath it not is none of Christ's.

**The Spirit of Christ is the earnest of that inheritance, that Christ, as he was God and man, did obtain.

The objection answered.

So then, the answer that I give to the question, is this. TheSpirit of Christ that is given to believers, is the earnest or hope of that inheritance that Christ hath already purchased, and is now preparing for so many as he hath given, or shall give this holy spirit unto. And for the proof hereof, read Eph 1:13-14. In whom (saith the scripture) ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance; (which inheritance is the eternal redemption that was purchased by Christ for poor sinners (Heb 9:15)) until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Again (Ga 5:5), 'For ye through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.' And (Col 1:27) the Apostle speaking of this great mystery, saith, 'To whom God would make know what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of glory'; which glory was then revealed to the saints no otherwise than by faith, as the Apostle saith, 'We rejoice in hope of the glory of God' (Ro 5:2). Which hope is begotten by the Spirit's shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts (v 5), which hope is not yet seen, that is, not yet actually enjoyed; `For we are saved by hope: But hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it' (Ro 8:24-25). And as I say, the cause of believers' hope is this, Christ, or the Spirit of Christ, in them, the hope of glory. And indeed he may well hope for glory to come, who hath already an earnest thereof given him of God, and that earnest no less than the Spirit of the Lord Jesus (Ro 8:16-17).

But now, this Spirit, which is the cause of a believer's hope, all men have not (Jude 19; Eph 2:12; Rom 89; Joh 14:16-17). Therefore what a sad doctrine is that which saith, follow the light that Christ hath enlightened every man withal, which cometh into the world; which light is the conscience, that convinceth of sins against the law; and that you may see clearly if you mind that scripture (Joh 8:9) which saith, That the Pharisees, [which had neither the love of God, nor his word, abiding in them (Joh 5:38,43)] when they had heard Christ speaking thus to them, He that is without sin among you, &c. being convicted by their own consciences, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even to the least. But the devil, that he might be** sure not to miss of his design, labours by all means to render the scriptures also odious and low, telling them of the scriptures within; which Christ never taught, nor yet his disciples: But they being given up of God to a reprobate mind, have given themselves over, rather to follow the suggestions of the devil, than the holy scriptures which God hath commanded us to betake ourselves to (Isa 8:20 compared with Joh 5:39) which scripture is called the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17), which weapon our Lord Jesus himself held up, to overcome the devil withal (Mt 4:4,7,10; Lu 4:4,8,12). But this design (as I told you) the devil carries on, by pretending to shew them a more excellent way which they may attain to, if they be but wise, and follow what is made known unto them from the light within them.

**It is the spirit of the devil that doth render the Scriptures contemptible

But, reader, that thou mayest be able to escape the snare of this cunning hunter, I shall lay thee down some few directions, which if the Lord give thee grace to follow, thou shalt escape these WICKED DELUSIONS.

Direct. 1. And first of all, I do admonish thee to be very serious touching thine estate and condition; and examine thine own heart by the rule of the word of God, whether or no, thou hast as yet any beginnings of desiring after religion: and if thou findest that thou hast lived until now in ignorance, and hast not set thyself to remember thy Creator as thou art commanded (Ec 12:1), then I beseech thee consider that thou art under the wrath of Almighty God, and hast been so ever since thou camest into the world (Eph 2:1-2), being then in thy first parents, those didst transgress against thy maker (Ro 5:18), 'Therefore as by the offence of one,' that is, of Adam (v 14), `judgment came upon all men to condemnation.' Besides the many SINS thou hast committed ever since thou wast born: sins against the law of God, and sins against the gospel of the grace of God; sins against the long-suffering and forbearance of God, and sins against his judgments; sins of omission, and sins of commission, in thoughts, words, and actions: consider, I say, thy condition; yea, get a very great sense of thy sins that thou hast committed; and that thou mayest so do, beg of God to convince thee by his Holy Spirit, not only of sins against law, but also of that damning sin, the sin of unbelief.

Direct. 2. If thou by grace, art but brought into such an estate as to see thyself in a lost condition because of sin, without the Lord Jesus; then in the next place, have a care of resting on any DUTY done, though it be never so specious; I say, have a care of making any stay anywhere on this side the Lord Jesus Christ: but above all strive to believe, that that very Man that was born of the Virgin Mary, did come into the world on purpose to save thee, as well as other poor sinners: I say, thou must not be content till thou art enabled to say, `He loved me, and gave himself for me' (Ga 2:20). And that thou mayest be sure to attain to this most precious faith, (for so it is) be much in applying the freest promises to thy own soul; yea, those that have no conditions annexed to them, as these, or other like (Re 22:17; Jer 31:3; Joh 6:37 also 14:19; Ho 14:3). I say, labour to apply to thy own soul in particular, the most glorious and freest promises in the book of God. And if at any time the devil besets thee by his temptations, (for so is his wonted manner to do, and so much the more, as he sees thee labour to get out of his reach) I say, when he assails thee with his fiery darts, be sure to act faith on the most free promises, and have a care that thou dost not enter into any dispute with him, but rather resist him by those blessed promises that are laid down in the word of God: And withal, be sure to meditate upon the blood of the man Christ Jesus, who also is the true God, and read those scriptures that do most fully and clearly speak of it (as 1Jo 1:7; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:14; Ro 3:25).

Direct. 3. But if thou say (as it is often the speech of poor souls lying under a sense of sin, and the apprehensions of wrath due to it) I cannot apply the promises to mine own soul; and the reason is, because my SINS are so great, and so many. Consider, and know it for a truth, that the more and greater thou seest thy sins to be, the more cause hast thou to believe; yea, thou must therefore believe because thy sins are great: David made it an encouragement to himself, or rather the Spirit of the Lord made it his encouragement, to crave, yea to hope for pardon, because he had greatly transgressed (Ps 25:11). Tor thy name's sake, 0 Lord, [saith he] pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.' As if he had said, 0 Lord, thy name will be more glorified, the riches of thy grace will be more advanced, thy mercy and goodness will more shine, and be magnified in pardoning me who am guilty of great iniquity, than if thou pardonest many others who have not committed such heinous offences. And I dare say, the reason why thou believest not, is not because thy sins are great, but because thou dost reason too much with that wicked enemy of man's salvation, and givest way too much to the fleshly reasoning of thine own heart. For Christ hath said, 'He that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out' (Joh 6:37). And again, `Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow' (Isa 1:18). And Christ calleth those that labour, and are heavy laden, to come to him, with promise to give them rest (Mt 11:28). Wherefore thou must not say, my sins are too big; but thou must say, because I am a great sinner; yea, because I have sinned above many of my companions, and am nearer to hell, and eternal damnation than they, because of my sins, therefore will I cry unto the Lord, and say, O Lord, pardon my sins, for they are great.

Now that thou mayest not be deceived in a matter of so great concernment, have a special care of these three things.

Caution 1. First, Have a care of putting off thy trouble of spirit the wrong way, which thou mayest do three ways; (1.) When thy conscience flieth in thy face, and tells thee of thy sins, thou dost put off convictions the wrong way, if thou dost stop thy conscience by promising to reform thyself, and lead a new life, and gettest off thy guilt by so doing: for though thou mayest by this means still and quiet thy conscience for a time, yet thou canst not hereby satisfy and appease the wrath of God: yea, saith God to such, 'Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me' (Jer 2:22).

(2.)    If when thou art under the guilt of thy sins, thou puttest off convictions by thy performance of DUTIES, and so satisfiest thy conscience, then also thou dost put off thy convictions the wrong way: for God will not be satisfied with anything less than the blood, righteousness, resurrection, and intercession of his own Son (Ac 4:12). And thou shouldest not satisfy thyself with any less than God would have thee to satisfy thyself withal, and that is the water of life (Isa 55:1-2) which water of life thy duties, and all thy righteousness, is not; for they are as filthy rags (Isa 64:6).

(3.)    Have a care that when thou art under conviction, thou dost not satisfy thyself with a notion of the free grace of the gospel; my meaning is, do not content thyself with any measure of knowledge that thou canst attain unto, or bottom thy peace upon it, thinking thou art now well enough, because thou canst speak much of the grace of God, and his love in Christ to poor sinners. For this thou mayest have, and do; and yet be but a companion for Demas, yea, for Judas and the rest of the damned multitude: As the Apostle saith, For all this thou mayest be but as sounding brass, and as a tinkling cymbal; that is, nothing but a sound (1Co 13:1-3).

Caution 2. But Secondly, If thou wouldest not be deceived, then have a care to avoid false doctrines, which are according to the spirit of the devil, and not after Christ. As,

(1.)    If any doctrine doth come unto thee, that tells thee, except thou art circumcised after the manner of Moses, thou canst not be saved: that is, if any man come unto thee, and tell thee, thou must do such and such works of the law, to the end thou mayest present thyself the better before God, do not receive him: For 'to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness' (Ro 4:5).

(2.)    If any come unto thee, and bring such a doctrine as this; That thou mayest be saved by** grace, though thou walk in the imaginations of thy own wicked heart: His doctrine also is devilish, do not receive him (De 29:19-23).

**Nothing can make us accepted with God but the merits of Jesus Christ. The Ranter's doctrine is false.

(3.)    But if any come unto thee, and doth in truth advance the blood, righteousness, resurrection, intercession, and second coming of that very Man in the clouds of heaven, that was born of the virgin Mary; and doth press thee to believe on what he hath done (shewing thee thy lost condition without him) and to own it as done for thee in particular, and withal doth admonish thee, not to trust in a bare notion of it, but to receive it into thy heart, so really, that thy very heart and soul may burn in love to the Lord Jesus Christ again: and doth also teach thee, that the love of Christ should and must constrain thee, not to live to thyself: But to him that loved thee, and gave himself for thee (2Co 5:14-15; Eph 4:21-24; 1Co 7:23). 'Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.' If his conversation be also agreeable to his doctrine, a believing, honest, loving** self-denying, courteous conversation, (he also is a true Christian). Receive that doctrine and receive it really; for it is the doctrine of God, and of Christ (Ga 4:4; 1:4; Eph 1:7; Re 1:5; Ac 13:38; Joh 1:29; Ac 4:12; 10:40-42; 1Th 1:10; Mr 13; 2Pe 1:5-10). Considering the end of their conversation Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today, and the same for ever (Heb 13:7-8).

**The doctrine is true, and of God, whatever the man may be. 

Caution 3. Again, If thou wouldest not be deceived, then beware of slighting any known truth that thou findest revealed, or made known to thee in the gospel; but honour and obey it in its place, be it (as thou thinkest) never so low (Joh 14:15).

(1.)         Have a care that thou do not undervalue, or entertain low thoughts of God, Christ the Son of Mary, and the holy scriptures, but search them (Joh 5:39). And give attendance to the reading of them (1Ti 4:13). For, I will tell thee, he that slights the scriptures, doth also slight him of whom they testify. And I will tell thee also, that for this cause God hath given up many to strong delusions, that they might believe a lie: 'that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness' (2Th 2:11-12).

(2.)    Therefore I say unto thee, In the name of the Lord Jesus, the Son of Mary, the Son of God, the very creator of heaven and earth, and all things that are therein; have a care of thyself; for the devil doth watch for thee day and night (1Pe 5:8). Thine own heart also doth labour to deceive thee, if by any means it may (Jer 17:9). Therefore do not thou trust it; for if thou do, thou wilt not do wisely (Pr 28:26). I say therefore, have a care that thou labour in the strength of the Lord Jesus, to escape all these things; for if thou fall into any one of them, it will make way for a farther income of sin and the devil, through whose deceitfulness thy heart will be hardened, and thou wilt be more incapable of receiving instruction, or reaping advantage, by and from the ordinances of Jesus Christ: the rather therefore, give all diligence to believe in the Christ of God, which is the Son of Mary, and be sure to apply all that he hath done, and is doing, unto thyself, as for thee in particular; which thing if thou dost, thou shalt never fall.

And now, reader, I shall also give thee some few considerations, and so I shall commit thee to the Lord.

Consider, 1. That God doth hold out his grace, and mercy freely, and that to every one (Re 22:17; Isa 55:1-7).

Consider, 2. That there is no way to attain to this free mercy and grace, but by him that was born of the Virgin Mary; for he himself saith, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me' (Joh 14:6 compared with Mt 1:20-21).

Consider, 3. If thou strivest to go over any other way, thou wilt be but a thief and a robber (Joh 10:1 compared with 9). And know that none of these (so continuing) shall enter into the kingdom of heaven (1Co 6:9-10).

Consider, 4. That if the devil should be too hard for thee, and deceive thee, by persuading thee to embrace, or entertain a new gospel, which neither Christ nor his disciples did allow of, it would make thee gnash teeth when it is too late.

Consider, 5. That though thou hast been deluded by Satan to this day, yet if now thine eyes be opened to see and acknowledge it, though as yet thou hast been either exceedingly wicked (1Ti 1:13), or an idle (Mt 20:6-7) lukewarm, hypocritical professor (Re 3:229); and hast stood it out to the last (Eze 18:322); for all this there is hope; and if now thou receive the truth in the love of the truth, being as willing to be rid of the filth of sin, as the guilt of it, thou shalt be saved.

Consider, 6. That the Lord will call thee to judgment for all thy sins past, present, and what else thou shalt practise hereafter, especially for thy rejecting and trampling on the blood of his Son, the Man Christ Jesus: And if thou dost not agree with thine adversary, now, while thou art in the way, 'Lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite' (Lu 12:58-59).

And therefore I beseech thee to consider; Here is at this time life and death, heaven and hell, everlasting joy, and everlasting torment set before thee. Here is also the way to have the one, and the way to escape the other. Now if the Lord shall do thee any good by what I have spoken, I hope it will be a means to stir me up to thank the Lord that ever he did use such a sinner as I am, in the work of his gospel. And here I shall close up what I have said, desiring thee (if thou be a christian) to pray for him who desires to continue.

Thy servant in the Lord Jesus Christ, though less than the least of all saints,

JOHN BUNYAN

THE EPISTLE WRIT BY MR. BURTON, MINISTER AT BEDFORD

TO THE READER,

Reader, thou hast in this small treatise, set before thee, the several pieces of that great and glorious mystery, Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh: And if thou art enlightened by the Spirit of Christ, here thou mayest see by that Spirit how Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Son of Mary, is both true God and true Man, both natures making but one Christ, one Jesus, as Php 2:5-9 where speaking first of his being God, and then of his taking upon him the nature of man; afterwards in the 8th(Php 2:8) and 9th(Php 2:9) verses, he saith, he (meaning this Jesus) humbled himself, &c., and God (meaning the Father) hath highly exalted him, &c. speaking of both natures God and man as together making but one Christ; who is the Savior, and is to be believed and trusted in for salvation not only as God, but as man also; and those who do not thus make him the object of their faith, will surely fall short of pardon of sin, and of salvation; 'through this man [speaking of Christ as crucified at Jerusalem] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins' (Ac 13:38). And saith he, there is 'one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus' (1Ti 2:5); and this discovers the damnable errors of those commonly called Socinians, who on the one hand deny him that was born of the Virgin Mary to be true God as well as true Man: And this is also quite contrary to those commonly called Familists, Ranters, Quakers, or others, who on the other hand either deny Christ to be a real Man without them, blasphemously fancying him to be only God manifest in their flesh; or else make his human nature with the fulness of the godhead in it, to be but a type of God, to be manifest in the saints, and so according to their wicked imagination, his human nature was to be laid aside after he had offered it up on the cross without the gate at Jerusalem, contrary to Ac 1:1-3,9-11 compared with the last chapter of Luke, vv 39, 40, 50, 51 where it is clearly held forth, that the man Christ rose again out of the grave, with the same body which was crucified and laid in the grave, and was taken up above the clouds into heaven with the same real body, and that he shall again descend form heaven in that same glorious body of flesh, as Ac 1:9-11. And this sure truth of Christ being the Savior and Mediator, as Man, and not only as God, will also shew serious believers what to think of some, who though they will not (it may be) deny that Christ is a real man without them in the heavens as well as God, yet do own him to be the Savior only as God, first dwelling in that flesh that was born of the Virgin, and then dwelling in saints, and thus both beginning and perfecting their salvation within them, and so indeed do hold Christ as Man, to be only (I say to be only) the saved or glorified one of God, together with the saints his members, only something in another and more glorious manner and measure than the saints; and these high flown people are in this very like to Familists and Quakers, undervaluing the Lord Jesus Christ, God-man, and though they may speak much of Christ, yet they do not rightly and savingly lay him for their foundation.

Now as a help against all these dangerous things, thou hast here the main things of Christ laid down before thee briefly, and fully proved by the scriptures:

First, Of his being true God out of flesh from eternity, and then of his taking flesh, or the nature of man upon him in the womb of the Virgin, and so his fulfilling the law, his dying for sins at Jerusalem, his rising again without, his ascending into heaven without, and not into a fancied heaven only within, as some say; his interceding in heaven for all his, and his coming again in his body of flesh to judge the world. And if thou art yet in a state of nature, though covered over with an outside profession, here thou mayest find something (if the Spirit of Christ meet thee in reading) to convince thee of the sad condition thou art in, and to shew thee the righteousness thou art to fly to by faith, and to trust in for salvation, when convinced of sin; which is a righteousness wrought by that God-man Jesus Christ without thee, dying without thee at Jerusalem for sinners: here also thou mayest see the difference between true and false faith. If thou art a true believer, as these things are the foundation of thy faith, so they may be of great use for thee to mediate upon, and to exercise thy faith in, particularly in mediation, and in this way to seek daily for a higher faith in these truths, to be given into thy heart from heaven; and there is a great need of this, for though these truths be commonly known amongst professors to the notion of them, yet very few know or believe them aright: nay, it may well be said in this age, that, if the faith of the true saints was well sifted, and tradition, notion, and the apprehensions of their own reason and fancy was sifted out, most of them would be found to have very little knowledge of, and faith in, these common truths.

Secondly, These truths being put thus together, and plainly proved by the scriptures, may be a great help (through the Spirit concurring) to strengthen thee against all those damnable heresies which are spread abroad, which deny the Lord Jesus Christ either plainly, or more cunningly and mysteriously. And

Thirdly, The more thou art rooted and set down from heaven in the faith of these truths of Christ, to believe fully the glorious reality of them, and their interest in them, the more heavenly peace and joy thou wilt have (1Pe 1:7-8) and also thou wilt hereby attain the more true holiness and purity of heart and life, `purifying their hearts by faith' (Ac 15:9). And then the more thou hast of the right faith of Christ, and of his things in thy heart, the more strong and valiant wilt thou be in spirit, to do any work private or public for Jesus Christ, like Stephen, who being full of faith, and of the Holy Spirit, was also full of power (Ac 6:8).

In this book thou hast also laid down from the scriptures, how Jesus Christ is without the saints as Man, and yet dwelleth within them, that is, something of his divine nature or his blessed Spirit dwells within them, which Spirit is sometime called, The Spirit of Christ (Ro 8:9). He that hath not the Spirit of Christ, &c. and sometime called Christ, 'If Christ be in you' &c. (Ro 8:10). And also how we may know whether it be Christ and the Spirit of Christ within, or a false spirit calling itself Christ, and that is thus; If it be indeed Christ within, that is, the Spirit of Christ God-man; why then it teaches that man or woman in whom it is, to apply, and trust in Christ without for salvation; Christ as born of the Virgin Mary, as fulfilling the law without them, as dying without the gate of Jerusalem as a sacrifice for sin; it teaches them to trust in the Man Christ as rising again out of the grave without them, as ascending into, and interceding in heaven without for them; and as to come from that heaven again in his flesh to judge the world. Thus the man Christ himself saith, 'When he [the Spirit of truth] is come, &c. he shall glorify me' (Joh 16:13-14). He shall make you more to prize, admire and glorify me, who am both God and man, and who shall be absent from you touching my body. Then follows, for he shall take of mine (of my glorious things) and shew them to you; he shall take my divine and human nature, my birth, my person and offices, my obedience, death, satisfaction, my resurrection, ascension and intercession, and of my second coming in the clouds with my mighty angels to judgment, and shall shew them, or clear them up to you: He shall take of my salvation, which I have wrought for you in my own person without you: And he shall take of my glory and exaltation in the heavens, and shew to you. Now to mind this one thing, and to be set down in a right understanding of it, by the Spirit, from the scriptures, will be of great concernment to thee and me; for, for want of this, many professors have split themselves, some looking only on what Christ hath done and suffered without them, resting in an historical, traditional, and indeed a fancied faith of it, without looking for the Spirit of Jesus Christ to come with power into their hearts, without which they cannot rightly know, nor rightly believe in Christ the Son of God without them, so as to have any share or interest in him, 'If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his' (Ro 8:9). Others have been depending too much upon something they call Christ, and the righteousness of Christ within them, in opposition to Christ and his righteousness without them, from which all true saints have their justification and comfort, it being received through the operation of the Spirit which dwells in them; and however these may talk much of Christ within them, yet it is manifest, that it is not the Spirit of Christ, but the spirit of the devil; in that it doth not glorify, but slight and reject the man Christ and his righteousness which was wrong without them: Reader, in this book thou wilt not meet with high flown airy notions, which some delight in, counting them high mysteries, but the sound, plain, common, (and yet spiritual and mysterious) truths of the gospel, and if thou art a believer, thou must needs reckon them so, and the more, if thou hast not only the faith of them in thy heart, but art daily living in the spiritual sense and feeling of them, and of thy interest in them. Neither doth this treatise offer to thee doubtful controversial things, or matters of opinions, as some books chiefly do, which when insisted upon, the weightier things of the gospel have always done more hurt than good: But here thou hast things certain, and necessary to be believed, which thou canst not too much study. Therefore pray, that thou mayest receive this word which is according to the scriptures in faith and love, not as the word of man, but as the word of God, without respect of persons, and be not offended because Christ holds forth the glorious treasure of the gospel to thee in a poor earthen vessel, by one who hath neither the greatness nor the wisdom of this world to commend him to thee; for as the scripture, saith Christ, (who was low and contemptible in the world himself) ordinarily chooseth such for himself, and for the doing of his work (1Co 1:26-28). Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, &c. This man is not chosen out of an earthly, but out of the heavenly university, the church of Christ, which church, as furnished with the Spirit, gifts, and graces of Christ, was in the beginning, and still is, and will be to the end of the world, that out of which the word of the Lord, and so all true gospel ministers must proceed, whether learned or unlearned, as to human learning (1Co 12:27-28). And though this man hath not the learning or wisdom of man, yet, through grace he hath received the teaching of God, and the learning of the Spirit of Christ, which is the thing that makes a man both a Christian and a minister of the gospel. `The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,' &c. (Is 50:4 compared with Lu 4:18) where Christ, as man, saith, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor,' &c. He hath, through grace taken these three heavenly degrees, to wit, union with Christ, the anointing of the Spirit, and experience of the temptations of Satan, which do more fit a man for that mighty work of preaching the gospel, than all university learning and degrees that can be had.

My end in writing these few lines is not to set up man, but having had experience with many other saints of this man's soundness in the faith, of his godly conversation, and his ability to preach the gospel, not by human art, but by the Spirit of Christ, and that with much success in the conversion of sinners when there are so many carnal empty preachers, both learned and unlearned; I say having had experience of this, and judging this book may be profitable to many others, as well as to myself: I thought it my duty upon this account (though I be very unfit for it) to bear witness with my brother to the plain and simple (and yet glorious) truths of our Lord Jesus Christ. And now reader, the Lord give thee and me a right understanding in these things, that we may live and die not with a traditional notional dead faith, but with a right spiritual lively faith of Christ in our heart, wrought by the mighty power of God; such a faith as may make Jesus Christ more real and precious to us than any thing in the world, as may purify our hearts, and make us new creatures, that so we may be sure to escape the wrath to come, and after this life enjoy eternal life and glory through the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Farewell, thine to serve thee in the Lord Jesus,

JOHN BURTON.

008 Some Gospel Truths Opened, &c.

SOME GOSPEL TRUTHS OPENED, &c.

Forasmuch as many have taken in Hand to set forth their several Judgments concerning the Son of the Virgin Mary, the Lord JESUS CHRIST; and some of those many having most grossly erred from the simplicity of the Gospel, it seemed good to me, having had some Knowledge of these things, to write a few words, to the end, if the Lord will, Souls might not be so horribly deluded by those several corrupt Principles that are gone into the World concerning him.

Now, that there is such a thing as a Christ, I shall not spend much time in proving of; only I shall shew you, that he was first promised to the fathers, and afterwards expected by their children: But before I do that, I shall speak a few words concerning God's FOREORDAINING AND PURPOSING, THAT A CHRIST, A SAVIOR, SHOULD BE, AND THAT BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN. Now God in his own wisdom and counsel, knowing what would come to pass, as if it were already done (Ro 4:17). He knowing that man would break his commandments, and so throw himself under eternal destruction, did in his own purpose fore-ordain such a thing as the rise of him that should fall, and that by a Savior, `According as he hath chosen us in him, [meaning the Savior] before the foundation of the world' (Eph 1:4). That is, God seeing that we would transgress, and break his commandment, did before choose some of those that would fall, and give them to him that should afterward purchase them actually, though in the account of God, his blood was shed before the world was (Re 13:8). I say, in the account of God, his Son was slain! that is, according to God's purpose and conclusion, which he purposed in himself before the word was; as it is written (2Ti 1:9), 'Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.' As also, in 1Pe 1:20, Where the Apostle speaking of Christ, and the redemption purchased by him for sinners, saith of him, `Who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last days for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead.' God having thus purposed in himself, that he would save some of them that by transgression had destroyed themselves, did with the everlasting Son of his love, make an agreement, or bargain, that upon such and such terms, he would give him a company of such poor souls as had by transgression fallen from their own innocency and uprightness, into those wicked inventions that they themselves had sought out (Ec 7:29). The agreement also how this should be, was made before the foundation of the world was laid (Tit 1:2). The Apostle, speaking of the promise, or covenant made between God and the Savior (for that is his meaning,) saith on this wise; 'In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began.' Now this promise, or covenant was made with none but with the Son of God, the Savior. And it must needs be so; for there was none with God before the world began, but he by whom he made the world, as in Pr 8 from Pr 8:22-31 which was and is, the Son of his love.

This covenant, or bargain, had these conditions in it.

First, That the Savior should take upon him flesh and blood, the same nature that the sons of men were partakers of (sin only excepted) (Heb 2:14; 4:15). And this was the will or agreement that God had made with him: And therefore when he speaks of doing the will of God (Heb 10:5) he saith, 'a body hast thou prepared me,' (as according to thy promise (Ge 3:15) which I was to take of a woman,) and in it I am come to do thy will, 0 God, as it is written of me in the volume of thy book (v 7).

Second, The Savior was to bring everlasting righteousness to justify sinners withal (Da 9:24-25). The Messias, or Savior, shall bring in everlasting righteousness, and put an end to iniquity, as it is there written, 'To make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.' This, I say, was to be brought into the world by the Savior, according to the covenant, or agreement, that was between God and Christ before the world began, which God, that cannot lie, promised at that time (Tit 1:2).

Third, He was to accomplish this everlasting righteousness by spilling his most precious blood, according to the terms of the covenant, or bargain; and therefore when God would shew his people what the agreement was that he and the Savior had made, even before the covenant was accomplished and sealed actually. See for this Zec 9 (where he is speaking of him that should be the Savior,) Zec 9:11, 'As** for thee also [meaning the Savior] by the blood of thy covenant,' or as some render it, whose covenant is by blood (which is all to one purpose) 'I [meaning God] have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.' The meaning is this: As for thee also, seeing the covenant, or bargain that was made between me and thee before the world was, is accomplished in my account, as if it were actually and really done, with all the conditions that were agreed upon by me and thee; I have therefore, according to that agreement that was on my part, sent forth the prisoners, and those that were under the curse of my law, out of the pit wherein there is no water; seeing thou also hast completely fulfilled in my account whatsoever was on thy part to be done, according to our agreement. And thus is that place to be understood in Joh 17:9, 'I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me' (which I covenanted with thee for) 'thine they were and thou gayest them me,' (but on such and such conditions as are before-mentioned (Zec 9)). And again, 'According as he hath chosen us in him, [that is, in Christ,] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love' (Eph 1:4). Now, seeing this was thus concluded upon by those that did wish well to the souls and bodies of poor sinners, after the world was made by them, and after they had said, 'let us make man in our image, after our likeness' (Ge 1:26). And after man, whom God had made upright, had by transgression fallen from that state into which God at first placed him, and thrown himself into a miserable condition by his transgression, then God brings out of his love that which he and his Son had concluded upon, and begins now to make forth that to the world, which he had purposed in himself before the world began (Eph 1:4,9; 2Ti 1:9).

**When these words were spoken the covenant was not actually sealed, for that was done when the blood of Christ was let out upon the cross.

***To be holy and without blame is that which God intended for us in that glorious covenant; and by it alone we are holy and without blame before him in love; for we are complete in him alone, with whom the covenant was made. Ii. 10; Tit 1:2.

1.    Now the first discovery that was made to a lost creature of the lov of God, was made to fallen Adam (Ge 3:15). Where it is said, 'I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed'; which is the Savior (Ga 4:4), 'It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.' This was the first discovery of the love of God to lost man: This was the gospel which was preached to Adam in his generation; in these words was held forth to them in that generation, that which should be farther accomplished in after generations.

2.    Another discovery of the love of God in the gospel, was held forth to Noah, in that he would have him to prepare an ark to save himself withal; which ark did type out the Lord that was to come, and be the Savior of those whom he before had covenanted for with God the Father. 'And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; - - make thee an ark of gopher wood' (Ge 6:13-14; 7:1). 'The Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.'

3.    God breaks out with a farther discovery of himself in love to that generation in which Abraham lived, Where he saith, 'And in thee, [that is, from thee shall Christ come through, in whom] shall all families of the earth be blessed' (Ge 12:3). This was also a farther manifestation of the good will of God to poor lost sinners; and through this discovery of the gospel, did Abraham see that which made him rejoice (Joh 8:56).

4.    When the time was come that Moses was to be a prophet to the people of his generation, then God did more gloriously yet break forth with one type after another, as the blood of bulls, and lambs, and goats: Also sacrifices of divers manners, and of several things, which held forth that Savior more clearly which God had in his own purpose and decree determined to be sent; for these things (the types) were a shadow of that which was to come, which was the substance (Heb 9:9-10; 10:1,5-7). Now when these things were thus done, when God had thus signified to the world, what he intended to do in after times, presently all that had faith to believe that God would be as good as his word, began to look for, and to expect that the Lord should accomplish and bring to pass what he had promised, what his hand and counsel had before determined to be done.

(1.)    Now Abraham begins to look for what God had promised and signified; namely, that he would send a Savior into the world in his appointed time, which thing being promised, Abraham embraces, being persuaded of the certainty of it; as in Heb 11:13. And this did fill his heart with joy and gladness, as I said before; for 'he saw it, and was glad' (Joh 8:56).

(2.)    Jacob also, while he was blessing his sons, concerning things to come, breaks forth with these words, 'I have waited for thy salvation' (Ge 49:18). He was also put in expectation of salvation to come by this Savior.

(3.)    David was in earnest expectation of this, which was held forth by types and shadows in the law; for as yet the Savior was not come, which made him cry out with a longing after it, `0 that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion' (Ps 53:6). And again, '0 that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion!' (Ps 14:7). The thing that David waited for, was not in his time come, though before his time it was promised; which makes him cry out, 0 that it were come, that it were come out of Sion! Where, by the way, take notice, that the true salvation and Savior of Israel was to come out of Sion, that is, out of the church of God, touching the flesh, as it is written; A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me (De 18:15,18). And again, 'I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people' (Ps 89:19; Ro 9:5). `Whoso are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.' Christ, as concerning the flesh, did come of the fathers.

(4.)    Isaiah did prophesy of this, that God would thus save his people; yea, he breaks forth with these words, Tut Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation' (Isa 45:17). He also tells them how it shall be accomplished in that 53d chapter. Yea, he had such a glorious taste of the reality of it, that he speaks as though it had been actually done.

(5.)    In the days of Jeremiah, this that God had promised to the fathers, was not yet accomplished; in chapter 23:5 he saith, 'Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will [mark, it was not yet done] but I will [saith God] raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper. - - In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name wherewith he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.'

(6.)    He was also to come in Zechariah's time (Zec 3:8). Where he saith 'for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.'

(7.)    He was not come in the time of Malachi neither, though he was indeed at that time near his coming. For he saith himself, 'Behold, I will send my messenger, [meaning John the baptist,] and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts' (Mal 3:1; Isa 40:3; Luke 1:76).

(8.)    Old Simeon did also wait for the consolation of Israel a long time (Lu 2:25). Where it is said, 'And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel.' That is, waiting for him that was to be the Savior, as is clear, if you read with understanding a little farther: 'And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death,** before he had seen the Lord's Christ' (v 26).

**God has a Christ, one distinct from all other things whatsoever that is called Christ, whether they be spirit or body, or both spirit and body, and this is signified, where he saith, the Lord's Christ.

And thus have I in brief shewed you, 1. That there is such a thing as Christ. 2. That this Christ was promised and signified out by many things before he did come. 3. How he was waited for, and expected before the time that God had appointed in the which he should come.

The SECOND THING that I will (through the strength of Christ) prove, is this, THAT HE THAT WAS OF THE VIRGIN, IS HE THAT IS THE SAVIOR.

FIRST, And first, I shall lay down this for a truth; That it is not any Spirit only by, and of itself, without it do take the nature of man, that can be a Savior of man from eternal vengeance.

Or thus: That that [which] will be a Savior of man, must in the nature of man satisfy and appease the justice and wrath of God. And the arguments that I do bring to prove it by, are these.

First, Because it was man that had offended; and justice required that man must give the satisfaction: And therefore, when he that should be the Savior, was come, he 'took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men' (Php 2:7; Heb 2:14). Because 'the children are partakers of flesh and blood; he also himself likewise took part of the same'; To what end? 'that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.' And is that all? No; but also that he might 'deliver them who through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage' (v 15).

Second, The second argument is this; because, if a spirit only could have made satisfaction for the sin of mankind, and have subdued Satan for man, without the nature of man, either there had been weakness in Body when he made that promise to fallen Adam, That the seed of the woman should break the serpent's head; (for there hath been no need of and so no room for that promise) or else God having made it, would have appeared unfaithful, in not fulfilling his promise, by redeeming the world without it.

Third, If a spirit only could have made satisfaction, and so have saved man; then Christ needed not to have come into the world, and to have been born of a woman (Ga 4:4). But in that he must come into the world, and must be born of a woman, it is clear, that without this, he could not have been a Savior: For he was made of a woman, made under the law, to this end, that he might redeem them that were under the law; implying, No subjection to this, (viz. the taking of the nature of man) no redemption from the curse of the law. But Christ hath delivered from the curse of the law (all that believe in his name) being in their nature made a curse for them.

And this is the reason, why the fallen angels are not recovered from their damnable estate, because, he did not take hold of their nature, `For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham' (Heb 2:16).

They that are redeemed, must have redemption wrought out for them through their natures; for except that nature that sinned do bring in recovery from the curse that is due to it for its sin, that nature that sinned must suffer for its own sin. Ga. Iii. 15.

SECOND, Now then, seeing this is the very truth of God, I shall next prove, that Jesus that was born of the virgin, to be the Savior. And,

First, I shall prove it by comparing some places of the Old and New testament together, and by some arguments drawn from the scriptures.

1.    And first, see Ge 3:15, where he is called the seed of the woman, saying, 'I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed'; and so was Jesus (Ga 4:4) where it is said, 'God sent forth his Son, made of a woman,' or born of a woman.

2.    This woman must be a virgin (Isa 7:14) where it is said, 'A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Imanuel.' And Jesus is he that was the fulfilling of this scripture (Mt 1:22-23), 'Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his name Imanuel.'

3.    The Savior must be of the tribe of Judah. And this Jacob prophesied of on his death-bed, saying, 'Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise,' or honour, 'thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee' (Ge 49:8).

And again (Mic 5:2), 'But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.' Jesus also came of the tribe of Judah, and that will clearly appear, if you read (Mt 1). Matthew, he begins first with Abraham (v 2) and thence to Judah (v 3) from Judah to David (v 6) from David to Zorobabel (v 13) then to Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus (v 16).

Now Mary was one of the same house also, and for this consider, Jesus came from the loins of David (Matti); but that he could not do, if Mary had not been of the seed of David: For Christ came from her, not from him, for Joseph `knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born' (Mt 1:25). Again, the angel told her, that he was the son of David, saying, 'And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David' (Lu 1:32).

And again, The Jews knew this very well, or else they would have been sure to have laid it open before all the world; for they sought by all means to disown him. And though they did through the devilishness of their unbelief disown him, yet could they find no such thing as to question the right of his birth from Mary. If it had been to be done, they would no doubt have done it; they did not want malice to whet them on; neither did they want means so far as might help forward their malice; without manifest and apparent injury; for they had exact registers, or records of their genealogies, so that, if they had had any colour for it, they would sure have denied him to have been the son of David. There was reasoning concerning him when he was with them (Joh 7:27,43) and I do believe, part of it was about the generation of which he came. And this was so commonly known, that the blind man that sat by the wayside could cry out, 'Jesus thou Son of David, have mercy on me.--Thou Son of David, have mercy on me' (Lu 18:38-39). It was so common, that he came from the loins of his father David according to the flesh, that it was not so much as once questioned. 'And when' Herod 'demanded of the chief priests and scribes of the people where Christ should be born. They said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judea: For thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda, for out of thee shall come a governor, that shall rule my people Israel' (Mt 1:4-6). (For out of thee) mark that; if Mary had not been of Judah, Christ had not come out of Judah, but Christ came out of Judah; therefore Mary is also a daughter of Judah. And this is evident, as saith the scripture, 'for - - our Lord sprang out of Judah' (Heb 7:14).

Again, when Christ the Savior was to come into the world, at that time the sceptre was to depart from Judah, according to the prophecy of Jacob. 'The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come' (Ge 49:10).

Now the sceptre was then departed from those that were Jews by nature, and also the law-giver, and Herod who was a stranger, and not of Judea, was king over them, as Caesar's deputy; and Caesar Augustus imposed laws on them.

The stubborn Jews also confessed the sceptre to be departed, when before Pontius Pilate a Roman governor of Judea, they cried out against Christ: 'We have no king but Cesar' (Joh 19:15).

Nay farther, the Jews from that day to this, have been without a king of their own nation to govern them: they never had the sceptre swayed since by any of themselves, but have been a scattered despised people, and have been as it were liable to all dangers, and for a long time driven out from their country, and scattered over all the nations of the earth, as was prophesied concerning them (Jer 14:10; Zec 6:14-15). And yet these poor souls are so horribly deluded by the devil, that though they see these things come to pass, yet they will not believe. And one reason among many, of their being thus deluded, is this, they say that the word sceptre in Ge 49 is not meant of a kingly government; but the meaning is, (say they) a rod, or persecutions shall not depart from Judah till Shiloh come. Now they do most grossly mistake that place; for though I am not skilled in the Hebrew tongue, yet through grace, I am enlightened into the scriptures; whereby I find that the meaning is not persecutions, nor the rod of afflictions, but a governor or sceptre of the kingdom shall not depart from Judah till Shiloh come. And that this is the meaning of the place, weigh but the very next words of the same verse, and you will find it to be the sceptre of a king that is meant; for he addeth, 'nor a law-giver from between his feet.' Mark it, The sceptre, nor a law-giver; the legislative power depending on the sceptre of the kingdom, shall not depart from Judah till Shiloh come. According to that scripture, written in Isa 7:16, 'For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.' Which scripture hath been fulfilled from that same time.

But a word to the Jews' exposition of the sceptre to be a rod, or persecutions; saying, that persecutions shall not depart from Judah till Shiloh come. This cannot be the meaning of the place; for the Jews have had rest oftentimes, and that before Shiloh did come; at one time they 'had rest four-score years' (Jg 3:30). Again, 'And the land had rest from war' (Jos 14:15). And again, 'And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers, and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them' (Jos 21:44). `And the land had rest forty years' (Jg 3:11). There was rest many a time from persecution and from the rod, though it were but for a season; but the sceptre, or kingdom, did not depart from Judah, and a law-giver from between his feet till Shiloh came.

Second, Again, To prove that Jesus is the Christ, it is clear from the hand of God against the Jews, for putting him to death. What was the reason why they did put him to death, but this, He did say that he was the Christ the Son of God? (Lu 22:70) 'Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.' That is, I am he as you say, I am the Son of God; yea, the only begotten Son of the Father, and I was with him before the world was (Joh 9:37; 17:5).

Now the Jews did put him to death for his thus owning his own; that is, for not denying of his Sonship, but making himself equal with God, therefore did they put him to death (Joh 19:7).

Now God did, and doth most miserably plague them to this very day, for their crucifying of him: But I say, had he not been the Christ of God, God's Son, he would not have laid sin to their charge, for crucifying him; but rather have praised them for their zeal, and for taking him out of the way, who did rob God of his honour, in that he made himself equal with God, and was not. He would have praised them for doing the thing that was right, as he did Phineas the son of Eleazar, for executing judgment in his time, on the adulterer and adulteress (Nu 25:8).

But in that he said he was the Son of God, and accounted it no robbery so to call himself (Php 2:6). And seeing that they did put him to death, because he said he was the Son of God; and in that God doth so severely charge them with, and punish them for their sin in putting him to death, for saying that he was the Son of God, it is evident that he was and is the Son of God, and that Savior that should come into the world. For his blood hath been upon them to this very day for their hurt, according to their desire (Mt 27:25).

Again, Jesus himself doth in this day hold forth that he is the Christ, where he saith, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand' (Mr 1:15). What time is this that Jesus speaks of? Surely, `tis that of Daniel's seventy weeks, spoken of in chapter 9:24 where he saith, 'Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people - - - to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation' or satisfaction 'for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, - - and to anoint the most Holy.' This time, that here Daniel speaks of, is it that Christ saith hath an end; and the argument that he brings to persuade them to believe the gospel, is this, `The kingdom of God is at hand,' (according as was prophesied of it by Daniel) 'repent, and believe the gospel.' Repent, and believe that this is the gospel; and that this is the truth of God; consider, that Daniel had a revelation of these days from the angel of God, and also the time in which it should be accomplished: namely, Seventy weeks was the determined time of the Messias his coming, from the time when the angel spake these words to Daniel: Seventy weeks, that is, about 490 years, if you reckon every day in the said seventy weeks for a year: A day for a year, a day for a year; for so is the Holy Spirit's way sometimes to reckon days (Eze 4:6). And this the Jews were convinced of, when Christ saith to them, 'Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?' (Mt 16:3). Do you not see that those things that are spoken of as forerunners of my coming, are accomplished? Do you not see that the sceptre is departed from Judah? Do you not see the time that Daniel spake of is accomplished also? There shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 0 ye hypocritical generation! (v 4).

Third, Another argument to prove that Jesus is the Christ, is this, By his power the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dumb speak, the dead are raised up, the devils are dispossessed. In Isa 35:4 it is thus prophesied of him, 'Behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you'; But how shall we know when he is come? Why, 'Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert' (vv 5,6). Now when John would know whether he were the Christ or no, Jesus sends him this very answer, 'Go, and shew John [saith he] again those things which you do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them' (Mt 11:3-5).

Fourth, Another argument that doth prove this Jesus to be the Christ, is this, namely, he to whom it was revealed, that he should see him, though he waited long for him. So soon as ever he did but see that sweet babe that twas born of the virgin Mary, he cried out, 'Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people'; as it is in Lu 2:26-31. The prophetess Anna also, so soon as she had seen him, 'gave thanks to the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem' (vv 36-38).

Fifth, Another argument is, the sign of the prophet Jonah. He, even Jonah, was three days and three nights in the whale's belly (Jon 1:17) and Jesus makes this very thing an argument to the Jews, that he was the true Messias, where he saith, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign'; that is, they would have me to show them a sign, to prove that I am the Savior, 'And there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth' (Mt 12:39-40). And this, the Apostle makes mention of to be accomplished, where he says, The Jews slew Jesus, and hanged him on a tree (Ac 10:39) and laid him in a sepulchre (Mt 27). But God raised him up the third day, and shewed him openly (Ac 10:40).

Sixth, Another scripture argument to prove that Jesus is the Christ, is this, that there was not one of his bones broken; which thing was foretold and typed out by the Paschal Lamb, where he saith, 'They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it' (Ex 12:46; Nu 9:12), which thing was fulfilled in the Son of the virgin, (though contrary to the customs of that nation,) as it is written, 'Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they break not his legs' (Joh 19:32-33): 'that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken' (v 36).

Seventh, Another scripture demonstration is, in that they did fulfil the saying that was written, 'They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture' (Ps 22:18). But this was also fulfilled in Jesus, as it is written; `Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, - - They said therefore among themselves, let us not rend it, but cast lots for it whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots' (Joh 19:23-24).

Eighth, Again, The scripture saith, 'they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced' (Zec 12:10). But the soldier thrust a spear into his side, That it might be fulfilled which was written, 'they shall look on him whom they pierced' (Joh 19:34-37).

Error 1. Now then, seeing this is the truth of God, that Jesus that was born of the virgin, is the Christ o God; how horribly are those deceived who look on Jesus the Son of Mary, to be but a shadow or type, of something that was afterward to be revealed; whereas the scriptures most lively hold him forth to be the Christ of God, and not a shadow of a spirit, or of a body afterwards to be revealed, but himself was the very substance of all things that did any way type out Christ to come; and when he was indeed come, then was an end put to the law for righteousness, or justification to every one that believeth; 'Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,' as it is written (Ro 10:4). That is, he was the end of the ceremonial law, and of that commonly called the moral law, the substance of which is laid down (Ex 20:1-17) though that law, as handed out by Christ, still remains of great use to all believers, which they are bound to keep** for sanctification, as Christ saith (Mt 5:19 to the end of the chapter). But Christ Jesus hath obtained everlasting righteousness, having fulfilled all the law of God in the body of his flesh, wherein he also suffered on the cross without the gates, and doth impute this righteousness to poor man, having accomplished it for him in the body of his flesh, which he took of the virgin (Ga 4:4). 'God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, [that is, born of the virgin] made under the law,' that is, to obey it, and to bear the curse of it, 'being made a curse for us' (Ga 3:13); to redeem them that were under the law, that is, to redeem such as were ordained to life eternal, from the curse of the law. And this he did by his birth, being made or born of a woman; by his obedience, yea, by his perfect obedience 'he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him' (Heb 5:8-9); and by his doing and suffering, did completely satisfy the law and the justice of God, and bring in that glorious and*** everlasting salvation, without which we had all eternally been undone, and that without remedy; for without shedding of his blood there was no remission.

**A believer hath no law to fulfill for justification; only to believe on what the man Christ Jesus hath done and be saved.

***See Heb 9:22, and compare it with Heb 8:3, where he saith, `it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.' Which man was Jesus. ch. vii. 22.

Error 2. Seeing Jesus Christ, the Son of the virgin Mary, was and is the Christ of God: and that salvation came in alone by him, for there is salvation in no other (Ac 4:12), then how are they deceived, that think to obtain salvation by following the convictions of the law, which they call Christ (though falsely) when alas, let them follow those convictions that do come from the law, and conscience set on work by it; I say, let them follow all the convictions that may be hinted in upon their spirits from that law, they shall never be able to obtain salvation by their obedience to it, 'for by the law is the knowledge of sin' (Ro 3:20; Ga 3:10; Joh 10:15; Heb 9:12). And 'It is not of works lest any man should boast,' as those fond hypocrites called Quakers would do. And again, 'If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain' (Ga 2:21). Tut that no man is justified by the works of the law, in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith' (Ga 3:11). Which living by faith, is to apply the Lord Jesus Christ his benefits, as birth, righteousness, death, blood, resurrection, ascension, and intercession, with the glorious benefits of his second coming to me, as mine, being given to me, and for me, and thus much doth the Apostle signify, saying; 'The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me' (Ga 2:20).

Error 3. Again, Seeing God's Christ, which was with him before the world was (Joh 17:5) took upon him flesh and blood from the virgin Mary, (who was espoused to Joseph the carpenter) and in that human nature yielded himself an offering for sin, (for it was the body of his flesh by which sin was purged [Col 1:22]). I say, seeing the Son of God, as he was in a body of flesh, did bring in salvation for sinners, and by this means, as I said before, we are saved, even by faith in his blood, righteousness, resurrections, &c. How are they then deceived who own Christ no otherwise than as he was before the world began, who was then without flesh and blood (for he took that in time of the virgin [Ga 4:4; Heb 2:14]). I say, they are wickedly deluded, who own him no otherwise but as he was before the world was: For in their owning of him thus and no otherwise, they do directly deny him to be come in the flesh, and are of that antichristian party which John speaks of (1Jo 4:3) 'Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.' Now because the enemy doth most notably wrest this scripture, as they do others, to their own damnation, I shall speak something to it; and therefore, when he saith, every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God, his meaning is, Every spirit that doth not confess that that Christ that was with the Father before the world was, did in the appointed time of the Father come into the world, took on him a body from the virgin, and was very man as well as very God, and in that body of flesh did do and suffer whatsoever belonged to the sons of men for the breach of the holy law of God, and impute his glorious righteousness which he fulfilled in that body of his flesh, to the souls that shall believe on what he hath done, and is adoing in the same body.

Consider 1. And that this is the mind of the Spirit of God, consider, first, he himself saith, handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have, when his disciples had thought he had been but a spirit (Lu 24:39-40).

Consider 2. Now that in this flesh he died for sins: consider, secondly, that scripture which saith, 'Who his own self, [that is, the Christ that was born of the Virgin] bare our sins in his own body on the tree' (1Pe 2:24). See Col 1:22 'in the body of his flesh,' saith he, 'to present you holy and unblameable, and unreprovable in his sight.' Now that he arose again from the dead, with the body of flesh wherewith he was crucified, consider, that forenamed scripture (Lu 24:39-40) spoken after his resurrection.

Now that he went away with the same body from them into heaven, consider that it is said, `And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven' (Lu 24:50-51). This is the meaning of those words therefore; Jesus Christ is come into the flesh, that is, Jesus Christ hath come in the flesh that he took of the Virgin, hath brought us who were enthralled to the law, the devil, and sin, to liberty; and that by his obedience and death. `Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, [saith the scripture] he, [Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same'; wherefore? 'That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage' (Heb 2:14-15). For he 'was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification' (Ro 4:25). For he, even that man, through the power of the eternal Spirit, did offer up himself without spot to God, and thereby, or by that offering, 'obtained eternal redemption for us' (Heb 9:12,14). And therefore I say again and again, look to yourselves, that you receive no Christ except God's Christ: For he is like to be deceived that will believe every thing that calls itself a Christ. `For many, [saith he] shall come in my name, - and shall deceive many' (Mt 24:5).

Now having spoken thus much touching the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, I shall, according to the assistance of the Lord Jesus, proceed, and shall speak something of his godhead, birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and intercession; together with his most glorious and personal appearing the second time, which will be to raise the dead, and bring every work to judgment (Ec 12:14).

And FIRST I shall shew you that he (Christ) is very God, co-eternal, and also co-equal with his Father. SECOND, That by this Son of Mary (which is equal with his Father) the world was made. THIRD, That he in the fulness of time, was made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were (or are) under the law; that is, was born of a woman: and in our nature (for he made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men) and in our stead he did fulfil the law in point of justification (Ro 10:4) and was crucified for our transgressions (1Co 1:23-25). FOURTH, That very body of the Son of Mary which was crucified, did rise again from the dead, after he had been buried in Joseph's sepulchre; that he in that very body ascended up into heaven; and in that very body shall come again to these ends, 1. To judge the quick and the dead. 2. To receive his saints to himself. 3. To pass eternal condemnation on his enemies. These things in brief I shall touch upon, according to the wisdom given me.

FIRST, And therefore that Christ is very God, I shall first prove by plain texts of scripture. Second, From the testimony of God, angels, and men, witnessed by the scriptures. Third, By several arguments drawn from scripture, which will prove the same clearly.

First, Then to prove it by the scriptures; tho' indeed the whole book of God's holy scripture, testify these things plainly to be most true, yet there be some places more pregnant and pertinent to the thing than others; and therefore I shall mention some of them: as that in Pr 8:22, &c. and there you shall find him spoken of under the name of wisdom, the same name that is given him in 1Co 1:24. I say in that place of the Proverbs above mentioned, you shall find these expressions from his own mouth. 'The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.' Also in Joh 1:1-2 you have these words spoken of Christ, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.' As also in Heb 1:2 the Apostle being about to prove the Son of Mary to be very God, saith; He `hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son'; which Son is the Son of Mary, as in Mt 3, 'But [saith the Apostle (Heb 1:8)] unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.' Again, in Joh 17:5 you have the words of the Son of Mary for it, saying, 'And now, 0 Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.' Again, he himself saith, before Abraham was, I am: And again, I and my Father are one. And in Php 2:5 the Apostle saith, 'Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.' Also Re 2:8 Christ himself saith, I am 'the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive.' And thus have I quoted some few scriptures to prove that the Son of Mary is the true God.

Second, I shall give you the testimony of God himself touching the truth of this, viz. That Christ, the Son of the Virgin, is the true God:

1. And first see Zec 12:7 and there you shall find these words, 'Awake, 0 sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.' In this place the Lord doth call that Man his fellow, which he doth not do to any mere creature. Again, in Mt 3:17 he calls him his beloved Son, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' And in the aforesaid place of the Hebrews (ch 1) the Apostle advancing the Lord Jesus, brings in this question. 'To which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son?' (v 5). 'But unto the Son he saith' (v 8) 'Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever': And thus far of the testimony that God himself hath given of the Son of Mary, Jesus Christ.

2. The angels do shew that he is God: (1.) In that they do obey him. (2.) In that they worship him.

(1.)      That they obey him, is clear, if we compare Re 21:9 with Re 22:6. In the first of these places we find, that there came one of the angels of the seven vials, which had the seven last plagues, and talked with John. He came not of himself; for in that 22nd chapter, verse 6 he saith, 'The Lord - - sent his angel to shew unto his servants, the things which must shortly be done.' Now in the 16th verse you may see who this Lord God is: He saith there, 'I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify - - these things in the churches [compare Re 1:1]. I am the root and [as well as] the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.' I say this obedience of the angels doth testify that Jesus, which is the Son of Mary, is the true and very God; for they do obey God only.

(2.)      The angels do shew that the Son of Mary, is the true God, in that they do not only obey him, but worship him also; yea, they are commanded so to do (Heb 1:6) where it is written, 'When he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he [i.e. God,] saith, And let all the angels of God worship him,' viz. the Son of Mary. Now the angels themselves command that we worship none but God (Re 22:8-9). When John fell down to worship the angel, the angel said, 'See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, - - worship God.' Now if the angels should command to worship God, and they themselves should worship him that by nature is no god, they should overthrow themselves, in commanding one thing, and doing another, and so lose their own habitations, and be shut up in chains of darkness, to be punished with everlasting destruction from God himself at the great day. And thus much concerning the testimony of angels touching Jesus the son of Mary, the Son of God, yea, very and true God (Isa 9:6).

3. [The testimony of men witnessed by the scriptures do shew that Christ is very God.] Now followeth David his testimony among other of the saints, who witness Jesus the Son of Mary to be true God; and that you may find in Ps 110:1 where he saith, 'The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.' Also Isaiah in the 9th chapter, verse 6 saith, 'For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, [which is not, nor ever was the heart of any believer] and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.' Again, see Peter's testimony of this Son of Mary; When Jesus asked his disciples, whom say ye that I am? Peter, as the mouth of the rest, said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God' (Mt 16:16). Also when Thomas, one of Christ's disciples, would not be persuaded by the others that they had seen the Lord, except he did also see in his hands the print of the nails, and put his fingers into the print of the nails, and thrust his hand into his side, he would not believe. Saith the Son of Mary, 'Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless but believing.' And then Thomas breaks out with a mighty faith, and a glorious testimony for his master, and saith, 'My Lord, and my God' (Joh 20:27-28). Again, See Paul's testimony of him (Ro 9:5) where speaking of the Son of Mary, he saith, That Christ came of the Father, 'who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen.' And the apostle John doth also witness as much (1Jo 5:20) where speaking of Jesus Christ, he saith on this wise, 'And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [Who is that? why, saith John] even in his Son Jesus Christ.' Who is he? Why, 'This is the true God, and eternal life.'

I could here also bring in the testimony of the very devils themselves as Lu 4:41; 8:28 where he is by them acknowledged to be the Son of the living God: But it is needless so to do; for we have plainly proved it already.

Third, Now followeth the several scripture arguments, which will prove that Jesus the Son of Mary is very God.

1.    There is none but he that is the true God, can satisfy the justice of the true God, for the breach of his holy law; but if you compare Isa 53:6 with Mt 3:17 you shall find, that Jesus the Son of Mary did give God a full and complete satisfaction for the breach of his holy law; therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be the great and true God.

2.    He that hath power of his own to lay down his life, and hath power of his own to take it up again, must needs be the true God: but this did Jesus the Son of Mary the virgin; therefore he must needs be the true God (Joh 10:17; Ro 1:4).

3.    There was never any able to bear the sins of all the believers in the world, that ever were, now are, or hereafter shall be, but the true God: But Jesus, the Son of the Virgin Mary, did bear them all, 'in his own body on the tree' (1Pe 2:24; Isa 53:6). Therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be the true God as well as man.

4.    There was never any mere man able, by his** own power, to overcome the devil in all his temptations, but he that is also the true God (for Adam in his state of innocency was overcome by them, and fell under them:) But Jesus the Son of the Virgin did overcome them all by his own power; therefore he is very God, as well as very Man. See Ge 3:15; Isa 51:9; 63:5; Mt 4:24; Lu 4:12.

**If all the Quakers and Ranters in the world, were but under the guilt of one sinful thought, it would make them to cry out with Cain, My punishment is greater than I can bear, Gen. iv. 13.

5.    There was never any that did call himself the true God (and was not) which did please God in so doing. But Jesus the Son of Mary did call himself the true God, or account himself equal with God (which is all one) yet God was well pleased with him (Mt 3:17; Php 2:6-7; Joh 8:29). And therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be true God as well as man.

6.      There was never any that had all power in heaven and in earth, but the true God. Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary, who was espoused to Joseph, hath all power in heaven and in earth in his own hand. Therefore he is the true and great God (Mt 28:18).

7.      There was never any able to keep poor souls from falling from God, saving he that is the true God. Jesus the Son of Mary did, and doth this (Joh 10:27-30; 17:12). Therefore he is the true and great God.

8.      Never could any justly call himself the first and the last, except the true God, nor truly (as the Lord did say) I AM. But these did Jesus the Son of Mary (Re 1:1 compared with vv 17,18; Re 2:8 and Joh 8:58). Therefore Jesus must needs be true God as well as man.

9.      Never was there any that could absolutely forgive sins but God (Mr 2:7; Lu 5:21). But Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary, can forgive sins (Lu 5:20; Mr 2:5). Therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be true God, as well as man.

10.  The scriptures never call any the true and living God; but he that is the true God. The scriptures call Jesus, the Son of the Virgin, the true God (Isa 9:6; 1Jo 5:20). Therefore he is the true and great God.

11.  He that made all things, whether they be visible, or invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers, must needs be the true God. But Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary did make all these (Col 1:14-18; Joh 1:1-16; Heb 1:2-3). And therefore he is the true God as well as man.

12.  The blood of a mere finite creature could never obtain eternal redemption for sinners. But the blood of Jesus, the Son of the Virgin Mary, hath obtained eternal redemption for sinners (Ro 3:23; 5:9; Heb 9:12,14; 10:19-20). Therefore the blood of the Son of the Virgin, must needs be the blood of God. And so the Apostle calleth it, saying to the pastors of the churches, 'Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood' (Ac 20:28; 1Jo 3:16).

13.          Never was there any that could overcome death in his own power, but the true God (Ho 13:14; 2Ti 1:10; Heb 1:2). Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary did overcome death by himself (Heb 3:14). Therefore he is the true God as well as man.

14.     He that searcheth the hearts, and knoweth the thoughts of men, must needs be the true God (Jer 17:10). But Jesus the Son of the Virgin doth (Lu 5:22; 9:47; Joh 2:24-25). Therefore he is the true God.

15.     He that by his own power commandeth the raging sea, must needs be the true God (Job 38:10-11; Pr 8:29). But this did Jesus the Son of Mary (Mr 4:39-41; Lu 8:24). Therefore, he is the true God.

16.     He that is the WISDOM, power, and glory of God, must needs be the true God. But Jesus the Son of the Virgin is all these as 1Co 1:24; Heb 1:3. Therefore Jesus the Son of the Virgin must needs be true God as well as man.

SECOND.--The next thing that I am to prove, is this; namely, That by this Jesus Christ, the Son of the Virgin, the world was made: And here I shall be brief, having touched on it already. Only I shall lay down some of the scriptures, that hold forth this to be a truth, and so pass to the next things that I intend to speak of.

And therefore in the first place, see Heb 1:2 where the Apostle is speaking of the Son of God, which Son was born of the Virgin Mary, according to these scriptures mentioned before (Mt 1:18-23; Lu 2; Mt 3:17) where God himself saith, This is my beloved Son, &c. This Son of God, saith the Apostle, by whom God hath spoken to us, by him also he made the worlds. And Colossians 1 the Apostle speaking of the deliverance of the saints, saith, 'who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins': And is that all? No, but he is (also) 'the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature' (Col 1:15). And in Col 1:16-17, 'By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.' Also Heb 1:10 it is thus written of this Son of God, Christ Jesus the Son of Mary, 'And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works of thine hands.' And again, Joh 1 and the first 9 verses(Joh 1:1-9), the Evangelist, or Apostle, speaking of the Son, saith, 'In the beginning was the Word,' which Word was the Son (Re 19:13). This Word, or Son, was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 'In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.' But in the ninth verse of this first chapter of John, it is written, 'That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' Now seeing the Lord hath brought me thus far; and because the Quakers by wresting this scripture, do not only split themselves upon it, but endeavour also to split others, I shall therefore, before I proceed any further, speak a few words to it; and they are these that follow.

The Apostle in these nine first verses, or most of them, is speaking of the divinity or godhead of the Son of Mary, and shewing that he made the world: Now in this ninth verse he speaketh of man as he is in his coming into the world, and not as he is a regenerate person. Now every man as he comes into the world, receives a light from Christ, as he is God, which light is the conscience, that some call Christ though falsely. This light, or conscience, will shew a man that there is a God, and that this God is eternal (Ro 1:20). This light doth discover this eternal God by his works in the world; for saith the scripture before named, `The invisible things of him [meaning God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead'; This light also will reprove of sin, or convince of, and make manifest sins against the law of this eternal God: so that man, before he is regenerate, is able by that light to know that sins against the law, are sins against God, as is manifested in the unconverted Pharisees, who, (as Christ told them) had neither the love of God, nor the word of God abiding in them (Joh 5:38,42) yet knew sins against the law, to be sins; for they were offended at a woman for committing adultery, which act was forbidden, by the law (Mt 5:27-28); and it is said also, they were convicted of sin by their own consciences (Joh 8:7-10).

Again, The Apostle writing to the Corinthians, and admonishing them to walk orderly (1Co 11:14) turns them to nature itself, saying, `Doth not even nature itself teach you?' &c. This light surely is that, wherewith Christ, as he is God, hath enlightened every man that cometh into the world, which doth convince of sins against the law of God. Therefore, as the Apostle saith (Ro 1:20). They are left without excuse. That is, they have their own conscience, that doth shew them there is a God, and that this God is to be served and obeyed; and the neglect of this will be sure to damn them, though the obedience to the law will not save them, because they are not able to make a full recompense to God for the sins that are past; neither are they able for the time to come, to yield a full,** continual, and complete obedience to the law of this almighty, infinite, and eternal God. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the [works of the] law, - - it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith' (Ga 3:10-11).

**If works could do it, what need is there of faith? But it is evident that works will not save, because there must be faith in the blood of Jesus the Son of Mary.

But now, though Christ, as he is God, doth give a light to every one that cometh into the world, which light is the conscience, (as they themselves confess;) yet it doth not therefore follow that this conscience is the Spirit of Christ, or the work of grace, wrought in the heart of any man whatsoever; for every one hath conscience, yet every one hath not the Spirit of Christ: For Jude speaks of a company of men in his days, who had not the Spirit of Christ (Jude 19). 'These be they who separate themselves, [saith he] sensual, having not the spirit.' Yea, Heathens, Turks, Jews, Pagans, Atheists, have that also that doth convince of sin, and yet are so far from having the Spirit of Christ in them, that it is their great delight to serve their lusts, this world, their sins; whereas the Apostle saith plainly, 'If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life for righteousness sake' (Ro 8:10)7 So that those who are alive to their sins, have not the Spirit of Christ. Nay, let me tell you, the very devils themselves, who were thrown from their first state by sin (Jude 6) have such a taste of their horrible sins (2Pe 2:4) that when they did but suppose that Jesus was come to put an end to their tyrannical dealing with the world, and to bring them to judgment for their sins, (to which they know they shall be brought,) it made them cry out, 'Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?' (Mt 8:29). James doth also signify this much unto us, where he saith, 'The devils also believe and tremble' (Jas 2:19). Which belief of theirs is not a believing in Christ to save them; for they know he did not take hold on their nature (Heb 2:16). But they do believe that Christ will come to their everlasting torment; and the belief of this doth make these proud spirits to tremble.

7 Bunyan quotes this passage from the Genevan or Puritan version.--Ed.

Again, Man at his coming into the world, hath his conscience given him, which doth convince of sin (Joh 2:9; 8:9), yet man, as he cometh into the world, hath not the Spirit of Christ in him; for that must be received afterward, by the preaching of the word, which is preached by the ministers and servants of Jesus Christ. This is God's usual way to communicate of his Spirit into the hearts of his elect; and this is clear in so many words, where Peter preaching to a certain number, the scripture saith, 'While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost, [or Holy Spirit,] fell on all them which heard the word' (Ac 10:44). And again (Ga 3:2,5 compared together), `Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, [saith the Apostle] or by the hearing of faith?' or the Gospel, which is the word of faith preached by us? Which Spirit, as Christ saith, the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, though his children shall have fellowship with him to the great comfort of their own souls (Joh 14:16-17).

But now, this merciless butcherer of men, the devil, that he might be sure to make the soul fall short of glory, if possible, endeavours to persuade the soul that its state is good; that it hath the Spirit of Christ in it; and for a proof of the same, saith he, turn thy mind inward, and listen within, and see if there be not that within thee that doth convince of sin: Now the poor soul; finding this to be so, all on haste (if it be willing to profess) through ignorance of the Gospel, claps in with these motions of its own conscience, which doth command to abstain from this evil, and to practise that good; which, if neglected, will accuse and torment for the same neglect of others, both now and hereafter (Ro 2:15).

Now the soul seeing that there is something within that convinceth of sin, doth all on a sudden close with that, supposing it is the Spirit of Christ, and so through this mistake, is carried away with the teachings and convictions of its own conscience, (being misinformed by the devil) unto the works of the law; under which, though it work all its days, and labour with its might and main,yet it never will be able to appease the wrath of God, nor get from under the curse of the law, nor get from under the guilt of one sinful thought the right way, which is to be done by believing what another man hath done by himself, without us, on the cross, without the gates of Jerusalem (Heb 1:2-3; Ro 5:15). See also for this 1Pe 2:24; Heb 13:12. The one saith, He bare our sins in his own body on the tree; the other saith, It was done without the gate.

And thus the poor soul is most horribly carried away headlong, and thrown down violently under the curse of the law, under which it is held all its days, if God of his mere mercy prevent not; and at the end of its life doth fall into the very belly of hell.

Again, That the devil might be sure to carry on his design, he now begins to counterfeit the work of grace: here he is very subtle, and doth transform himself into an angel of light (2Co 11:14). Now he makes the soul believe that he is its friend, and that he is a gospel minister; and if the soul will be led by what shall be made known unto it by the light (or conscience) within, it shall not need to fear but it shall do well.

Now he counterfeits the new birth, persuading them, that it is wrought by following the light that they brought into the world with them. Now he begins also to make them run through difficulties: and now, like Baal's priests, they must lance themselves with knives, &c. Now, 1656, quakers are changed to the laws of the world. Now they must wear no hatbands; now they must live with bread and water; now they must give heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, which bids them abstain from marriage, and commands them to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving, of them which love and know the truth, as in 1Ti 4:1-3. Now they must not speak, except their spirit moves them, (I do not say the Spirit of Christ) though when it moves, they will speak such sad blasphemies, and vent such horrible doctrines, that it makes me wonder to see the patience of God, in that he doth not command, either the ground to open her mouth, and swallow them up, or else suffer the devil to fetch them away alive, to the astonishment of the whole world.

Object. But you will say, doth not the scripture say, that it is the Spirit of Christ that doth make manifest or convince of sin? (Joh 16:8).

Ans. Yes, it doth so. But for the better understanding of this place, I shall lay down this; namely, That there are two things spoken of in the scriptures, which do manifest sin, or convince of sin. First, The law, as saith the Apostle (Ro 3:20). 'Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: [viz., God's sight:] for by the law is the knowledge of sin.' Secondly, The Spirit of Christ doth make manifest, or reprove of sin, as it is written (Joh 16:8-9). 'And when he [the Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me'; saith the Son of Mary, which is Christ.

Now the law doth sometimes by its own power manifest sin without the Spirit of Christ; as in the case of Judas, who** was convinced of the sin of murder, which made him cry out, 'I have sinned'; yet at that time he was so far from having the Spirit of Christ in him, that he was most violently possessed of the devil (Lu 22:3-4).

**He hanged himself immediately after, Mt 27:3-5.

Again, Sometimes the Spirit of Christ takes the law, and doth effectually convince of sin, of righteousness, and judgment to come.

Query. But you will say, How should I know whether I am convinced by the law alone, or that the law is set home effectually by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus upon my conscience?

Ans. 1. Unto this I answer. First, When the law doth convince by its own power, without the help of the Spirit of Christ, it doth only convince of sins against the law, as of swearing, lying, stealing, murdering, adultery, covetousness, and the like. I say, it doth only make manifest sins against the law, pronouncing a horrible curse, against thee, if thou fulfil it not, and so leaves thee; but it gives thee no strength to fulfil it completely, and continually, (which thou must do, if thou wilt be saved thereby). Now thy own strength being insufficient for these things, having lost it in Adam, thou art a breaker of the law. Here the law finds thee in thy sins, and condemns thee for thy sins: But gives thee no power to come wholly out of them; neither doth it shew thee thy right Savior, to save thee from them (which is the Son of the Virgin Mary, the man Christ Jesus) but commands thee upon pain of eternal damnation, to continue in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them (Ga 3:10). And therefore if thou hast been convinced of no other sins, ** but what are against the law, for all thy convictions and horror of conscience, thou mayest be but a  natural man, at the best, and so under the curse.

**For a (farther) proof hereof take the carriage of the Pharisees towards our Savior, who while they trusted in Moses, crucified Jesus. 1Co 2:8.

(Obj.) But, perhaps thou wilt say, I am not only convinced of my sins against the law, but I have also some power against my sins, so that I do in some considerable measure abstain from those things that are forbidden in the law.

(Ans.) This thou mayest have, and do, as thou thinkest, perfectly, as those blind Pharisees called quakers, do think that they also do, and yet be but a natural man: And therefore I pray consider that place, in Ro 2:14-15, the Apostle there speaks on this wise, concerning the Gentiles' obedience to the law, 'For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts.' Which work of the law, Christ as he is God, hath enlightened every one withal, that cometh into the world (Joh 1:9), which, as the quakers say, doth convince of sin, yet of no other than sins against the law: and therefore must needs be all one light or law; for `the law is light' (Pr 6:23) and gives 'the knowledge of sin' (Ro 3:20). And therefore, as I said before, so say I now again, if thy convictions are no other than for the sins against the law, though thy obedience be the strictest that ever was wrought by any man, (except the Lord Jesus the Son of Mary) thou art at the best but under the law, and so consequently under the curse, and under the wrath of God, whether thou believest it or not (Ga 3:10; Joh 3:36).

Ans. 2. But now the second thing, how thou shouldest know, whether the Spirit of Christ doth effectually set home the law upon thy conscience, or not; and therefore to speak directly to it, if the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, doth set home the law effectually; then the same Spirit of Christ shews thee more sin than the sins against the law. For,

(1.) It shews thee, that 'all our right-eousnesses are as filthy rags' (Isa 64:6). Thou seest all thy praying, meditation, hearing, reading, alms-deeds, fasting, reformation, and whatsoever else thou hast done, doest, or canst do, being an unbeliever, deserves at the hands of God his curse and condemnation, and that for ever: And therefore thou art so far from trusting to it, that in some measure thou even loathest it, and art ashamed of it, as being a thing abominable, both in God's sight and thine own (Php 3:8). Thou countest thy own performances, when at best, and thine own righteousness, A bed too short to stretch thyself upon, and a covering too narrow to wrap thyself in (Isa 28:20). And these things thou seest not8 overly, or slightly, and as at a great distance, but really and seriously, and the sense of them sticks close unto thee.

8 'Overly,' carelessly, negligently, inattentively.--Ed.

(2.)    It shews thee that thou hast no faith in the man Christ Jesus by nature, and that though thou hadst no other sins, yet thou art in a perishing state because of unbelief, according to that of Joh 16:9, 'Of sin, because they believe not on me.' If therefore thou hast been convinced aright by the Spirit, thou hast seen that thou hadst no faith in Christ the Son of Mary, the Son of God, before conversion. It shews thee also, that thou canst not believe in thine own strength, though thou wouldest never so willingly; yea, though thou wouldest give all the world (if thou hadst it) to believe, thou couldest not.

(3.)    In the next place it will shew thee, that if thou doest not believe in the man Christ Jesus, and that with 'the faith of the operation of God' (Col 2:12), thou wilt surely** perish, and that without remedy; Also it shews thee, that if thou hast not that righteousness, which the man Christ Jesus accomplished in his own person for sinners; I say, if thou be not clothed with that instead of thine own, thou art gone for ever; and therefore saith Christ, (speaking of the Spirit) 'When he is come he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness' too (Joh 16:8). That is, the Spirit shall convince men and women of the sufficiency of that righteousness that Christ, in his human nature, hath fulfilled: So that they need not run to the law for righteousness: 'For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth' (Ro 10:4). Again, if the Spirit of Jesus setteth home the law upon thy conscience, thou wilt freely confess, that although the law curseth, and condemneth thee for thy sins, and gives thee no power either to fulfil it, or to come out of thy sins: Yet God is just in giving that law, and 'the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good' (Ro 7:12).

**Because faith is the gift of God. Ep. ii. 8 Phil. i. 29

 (4.) Lastly, It also convinceth of judgment to come: He (viz. the Spirit) shall reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, yea, and of judgment too (Ac 24:25). Then doth the soul see, that that very man that was born of the Virgin Mary, crucified upon the cross without the gates of Jerusalem, shall so come again; even that same Jesus, in like manner as he was seen to go up from his disciples (Ac 1:11). Yea, they that are thus convinced by the Spirit of Christ, know that God `hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained' (Ac 17:31): which is the man Christ Jesus: For 'it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead' (Ac 10:42).

And now, 0 man, or woman, whoever thou art, that art savingly convinced by the Spirit of Christ, thou hast such an endless desire after the Lord Jesus Christ, that thou canst not be satisfied or content with anything below the blood of the Son of God to purge thy conscience withal; even that blood that was shed without the gate (Heb 13:12; 9:14). Also thou canst not be at quiet, till thou dost see by true faith, that the righteousness of the Son of Mary is imputed unto thee, and put upon thee (Ro 3:21-23). Then also thou canst not be at quiet, till thou hast power over thy lusts, and corruptions, till thou hast brought them into subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then thou wilt never think that thou hast enough faith. No, thou wilt be often crying out, Lord, give me more precious faith: Lord, more faith in thy righteousness; more faith in thy blood and death; more faith in thy resurrection: And Lord, more faith in this, that thou art now at the right hand of thy father in thy human nature, making intercession for me a miserable sinner (Joh 16:5-7; 1Ti 2:5; Heb 7:24-25). And then, 0 poor soul, if thou comest but hither, thou wilt never have an itching ear after another gospel. Nay, thou wilt say, if a presbyter, or anabaptist, or independent, or ranter, or quaker, or papist, or pope, or an angel from heaven, preach any other doctrine, let him be accursed, again and again (Ga 1:8). And thus have I briefly shewed you.

First, How Christ, as he is God, doth enlighten every man that comes into the world.

Secondly, What this light will do, viz. shew them that there is a God, by the things that are made; and that this God must be worshiped (Ro 1:20).

Thirdly, I have shewed you the difference between that light and the Spirit of Christ the Savior.

Fourthly, I have also shewed you, how you should know the one from the other, by their several effects.

The first light convinces of sins, but of none other than sins against the law; neither doth it shew the soul a Savior, or deliver (for that is the work of the Spirit) from the curse wherewith it doth curse it. But I shewed you, that when the Spirit of Christ comes and works effectually, it doth not only shew men their sins against the law, but also shews them their lost condition, if they believe not in the righteousness, blood, death, resurrection, and intercession of Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, the Son of God (Joh 6:44; 16:24; Mt 3:17; Heb 1:9). And thus much I thought necessary to be spoken at this time, touching the nature of conviction.

THIRD. Now in the third Place. Though I have spoken something to this thing already, namely, concerning our Lord the Savior, yet again, in few words, through grace, I shall shew, that he was made, that is, born of a woman, and made under the law, to redeem them that are under the law. My meaning is, That God is our Savior.

First, And for this, see Isa 45:15 where you have these words, 'Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself, 0 God of Israel, the Savior': And verse 21, 22 you have these words, 'Who hath declared this from ancient time? -- Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth': Why, who art thou? 'For I am God, and there is none else.' Also in Isa 54:5 'For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.' Read also verses 6-8 of that chapter. I could abundantly multiply scriptures to prove this to be truth, but I shall only mind you of two or three, and so pass on; the first is in Jude, verse 25, 'To the only wise God our Savior be glory.' And Ac 20:23; Joh 3:16; 1Jo 5:20.

Object. But you will say, How is God a Savior of sinners, seeing his eyes are so pure that he cannot behold iniquity (Hab 1:13).

Answ. For answer hereunto. 'When the fulness of the time was come' wherein the salvation of sinners should be actually wrought out, 'God sent forth his Son, [which Son is equal with the Father (Joh 1:1; 17:5; 10:30)] made of a woman, made under the law,' (that is, he was subject to the power and curse of the law) to this end, 'to redeem them that [are, or] were under the law' (Ga 4:4-5), that is, to deliver us 'from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us' (Ga 3:13). From whence take notice, that when the salvation of sinners was to be actually wrought out, then God sent forth the everlasting Son of his love into the world, clothed with the human nature, according to that in Joh 1:14; Heb 2:14 and 1Ti 3:16 which saith, 'God was manifest in the flesh,' that is, took flesh upon him.

Second, This Son of God, which is equal with the Father, did in that flesh, which he took upon him, completely fulfil the whole law: So that the Apostle saith, 'Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth' (Ro 10:4). This righteousness which this Christ did accomplish, is called, 'The righteousness of God' (Ro 3:22). This righteousness of God, is by the faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe: My meaning is, it is imputed to so many as shall by faith lay hold on it. This is also part of the meaning of that speech of the Apostle: 'As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ' (Ga 3:27). That is, by faith have put on the righteousness of Christ, with the rest of that which Christ hath bestowed upon you, having accomplished it for you. This is also the meaning of the Apostle (Col 2:9-10) where he saith, 'for in him [that is the Son of Mary, (1:13,14)] dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.' That is, in his obedience and righteousness; which also the Apostle himself doth so hard press after (Php 3:8-9), saying, 'doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord'; which Lord was crucified by the Jews, as it is in 1Co 2:8 'for whom, [that is for Christ,] I have suffered the loss of all things [as well the righteousness of the law, in which I was blameless (Php 3:6) as all other things] and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith': which is 'unto all, and upon all them that believe' (Ro 3:22). That place also in the ninth of Daniel (vv 24,25), holdeth forth as much where prophesying of the Messias, he saith, that it is he that came 'to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.' Now that the righteousness of the Son of Mary is it, mind the 26th verse, where he saith thus, 'And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off,' that is, Christ shall be crucified, 'but not cut off,' that is, Christ shall be crucified, 'but not for himself,' that is, not for any sin that he hath committed; for he committed none. Then surely, it must be for the sins of the people (Joh 11:50), as the high priest said, 'It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people,' which man was the true Messias (Da 9:24), which also is the Son of Mary (Mt 1:18-23). And the Son of God (Mt 3:17). And also the true God (1Jo 5:20). And this Messias, this Son of the Virgin, this Son of God, this true God, did not die for himself, for he had not offended; neither did he fulfil the law or finish transgression, and bring in everlasting righteousness for himself, for he had not sinned (1Pe 2:22), therefore it must of necessity follow, that this righteousness of God, this everlasting righteousness, is imputed to all, and upon all them that believe (Ro 3:22; 2Co 5:19-21). But,

Thirdly, this Messias, this Son of Mary, this Son of God, this true God, he was put to death for the sins that his children had committed, according to that saying, 'Herein perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us' (1Jo 3:16). Also in Ac 20:28 the apostle speaking to the pastors of the churches, saith, 'feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.' See also Zec 12:10.

Now, I would not be mistaken. I do not think, or say, that he died in his divine nature, but as it is written, he in his own body on the tree did bear our sins (1Pe 2:24); which tree was the cross (Col 2:14). And as the apostle saith again, who 'when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high' (Heb 1:3). And again, the apostle speaking of this glorious God, saith on this wise, (being before speaking of his godhead) in Col 1:19-22, 'For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and having made peace through the blood of his cross by him to reconcile all things to himself: by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, who were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.' But how? why in verse 22 he tells you, that it is `in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight.' That is, Christ, who is the true God, after that he had finished all actual obedience on earth, did in the power and strength of his godhead (Joh 19:30; 10:18) yield up himself to the wrath of his Father, which was due to poor sinners (and that willingly) (Isa 63:3) [see Heb 9:14 and read that verse with understanding] according to that saying in 1Pe 3:18, Tor Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust': That is, the Son of God for poor sinners: 'that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.' Again (1Pe 4:1), 'Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us [not for himself (Da 9:26)] in the flesh, [in his own body which he took of the Virgin (1Pe 2:24)] arm yourselves likewise with the same mind': That is, let us die to sin as he did, that we might live to God as he did, and doth (Ro 6:10). And thus have I briefly showed you.

I.   That the Son of Mary is very God.

II. That he made the world.

III. That he is our Savior, and how.

IV.         That he died for sinners, and how,namely, not in his divine nature, but in his human, in his own body, and in his own flesh (Col 1:22) redeeming his church with his own blood (Ac 20:28) and with his own life (1Jo 3:16; Joh 10:18).

We shall now pass on to some other things (the Lord willing) touching his burial, resurrection, ascension, intercession, second coming, resurrection of the body, and eternal judgment.

HIS BURIAL PROVED.--I shall prove by several scriptures that he was buried, and so pass on. Therefore see that place, Mt 27:57 and so forward. After that Jesus the Son of God had been crucified a while, he gave up the ghost; that is, he died; and after he had been awhile dead, Joseph of Arimathea went into Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave consent thereto. And Joseph took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in clean linen, and laid it (viz. the body of Jesus) in his own tomb, and rolled a stone upon the mouth of the sepulchre, and departed. Also in Lu 23:563. The apostle Paul also teacheth so much (1Co 15:3-4) where he saith, 'For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scripture; And that he was buried.' Again, in Ac 13:29 the apostle speaking there of Jesus Christ, saith, 'And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.' And so much touching the burial of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

RESURRECTION. In the next place, I am to prove, That that very man, whom the Jews did crucify between two thieves, called Jesus Christ, did rise again. That very man, with that very body wherewith he was crucified upon the cross, did rise again out of the grave in which he was laid. And this I shall Pr 1. by scripture, 2. by the testimony of angels, 3. by Christ's own words after he was risen, and 4. by the testimony of the apostles in the scripture.

First therefore consider, Ps 16:10 where the prophet speaks on this wise of Christ's resurrection; 'For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.' Which words the Apostle Peter cites in Ac 2 from verse 22 to 32, also Isa 26:19 in the person of Christ saith, 'Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they rise.' See also Joh 20:15-16 where mention is made of his appearing unto Mary Magdalene, and he called her Mary, and she called him master; which signifies that he was risen, and that she knew him after his resurrection; for he was come out of the grave, see verses 6, 7, 8. Again, another scripture is that in Lu 24:1-3. The disciples of Jesus coming to the sepulchre, thinking to anoint the body of Jesus, found the stone that was on the mouth of the sepulchre rolled away; and when they went in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus; and at this they were troubled and perplexed (v 4). But as two of them went up to Emmaus, and were talking of what had befallen to Jesus, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them (v 15). Another scripture is that in Mr 16:9 which saith on this wise, 'Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils.' Where take notice how the Holy Ghost lays it down in these words, out of whom he had cast seven devils. To intimate to us the certainty, that it was the same Jesus that was born of the virgin Mary, who did many miracles, and cured many diseases, who did also cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalen, that did rise again. Yea, saith the Holy Ghost, it was the same Jesus that did work such a wonderful miracle on Mary, he appeared to her first, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And let these scriptures suffice to prove the resurrection of the Son of God.

Second, you shall have the testimony of the holy angels also by the scriptures. And first look into Mr 16:3-7 the words are these, `And they [viz. the disciples] said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone?' They had a good mind to see their Lord, but they could not, as they thought, get away the stone which covered the mouth of the sepulchre. 'And when they looked [that is, towards the sepulchre] they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man [that is, an angel] sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and They [the disciples] were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted [you have no cause for it] Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen, he is not here; behold the place where they laid him.' What scripture can be plainer spoken than this? Here is an angel of the Lord ready to satisfy the disciples of Jesus, that he was risen from the dead. And lest they should think it was not the right Jesus he spoke of, Yes, saith he, it is the same Jesus that you mean; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, do you not? Why he is risen, he is not here. But do you speak seriously, and in good earnest? Yea surely, if you will not believe me, behold the place where they laid him. This scripture, or testimony is very clear to our purpose. But again, the next place is in Mt 28:3-7. In the third verse there is an angel (as before) bearing witness of the resurrection of Jesus. `His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto them, [viz. to the women who came to seek Jesus] Fear not ye': but let them that** seek to keep the Lord in his grave fear if they will; for you have no ground of fear, who seek Jesus who was crucified; He is not here, for he is risen; he cannot be in body here and risen too: If you will not believe me, come, see where the Lord lay, and go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee, there shall you see him. But shall we be sure of it? Yea, saith the angel, Lo, it is I that have told you. See how plainly this scripture also doth testify of Christ his resurrection. Here, saith the angel, you seek a Savior and none will content you but he, even the same that was crucified: Well you shall have him, but he is not here. Why, where is he then? He is risen from the dead. But are you sure it is the same that we look for? Yea, it is the same that was crucified (v 5). But where should we find him? why, he goeth before you into Galilee, where he used to be in his life-time, before he was crucified: And that you might be sure of it, there to find him, know that he is an angel of God that hath told you (v 7). And thus have you in brief the testimony of the angels of God, to witness that Jesus the son of the virgin, the Son of God, is risen from the dead.

**They are they that have need to fear and tremble, for they deny the faith of the Son of God.

Object. But you will say, might they not be deceived? Might not their eyes dazzle, and they might think they did see such a thing, when indeed there was no such matter?

Ans. Well, because it is so difficult a matter, to be persuaded of the truth of this thing, that Christ is raised again out of the grave, that very man, with that very body; though these things that have been already spoken, might be enough (through grace) to satisfy, yet because of the unbelief of some, we shall turn to some more of those infallible proofs that are spoken of in Ac 1:3 to prove the point yet more clear.

Third, Do but see how the Lord doth deal with an unbelieving disciple (Joh 20:23-29). You shall see in the 23d verse, Christ after his resurrection is talking with his disciples, but Thomas was not with them. But when the disciples saw him again, they said unto him, We have seen the Lord (v 25) but Thomas would not believe them. Another time Jesus comes to his disciples again, and then Thomas was with them; then so soon as the Lord had said, 'Peace be unto you,' he turned himself to Thomas, and said to him; 'Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing' (v 27). As much as if the Lord should have said, Come Thomas, thou hast doubted of the truth of my resurrection very much; thou sayest that thou wilt not believe, except thou do feel with thy fingers the print of the nails, and do thrust thy hand into my side. Come Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and see if there were not the nails driven through them; and reach hither thy hands and thrust them into my side, and feel if I have not the very hold in it still, that** was made with the spear that the soldier did thrust into it, and be not so full of unbelief, but believe that my resurrection is a glorious truth.

**0 how doth the Lord condescend, to the end he might strengthen the faith of one that is weak.

Another infallible proof, is that in Lu 24 from the 36th, to the end of the 44th verse. In verse 30 it is said that the Lord, (even while they were talking) 'stood in the midst of them and saith unto them, Peace be unto you': But they were so far from being at peace, that they were terrified, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And Jesus said to them, 'Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?' What, do you think that I am a spirit? Do you think your eyes dazzle? 'Behold my hands and my feet.' Look well upon me, and see my hands, and the holes in them, and likewise my feet, and the holes in them, and know that it is I myself, and not a spirit, as you suppose. Know, that it is I myself, and not another. Doth your hearts fail you? Then take hold of me with your hands, yea, 'handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken he shewed them his hands and his feet.' As if he had said, Come my disciples, take special notice of me, do not be daunted, nor affrighted, but consider that it is I myself. Well, they could not believe as yet, but wondered that such a thing as this should be: And while they were thus wondering he will give them another infallible proof: And 'he said unto them, have you here any meat?' (v 41). As if the Lord had said, Come my disciples, I see that you are very full of unbelief, if you have here any meat, you shall see me eat before you all. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, `And he took it, and did eat before them.' Again (v 42), the Lord strives with another infallible proof against their doubting, saying, My disciples, do you not remember what discourse you and I had before I was crucified, how that I told you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets concerning me (Mr 8:31; 14:21). Another infallible proof was, that appearance of his at the sea of Tiberias, where he came to them on the shore, and called them, and provided for them a dinner, and wrought a notable miracle while he was there with them at that time, namely, the catching of 153 great fishes, and yet their net break not. (Joh 21, read that whole chapter, and Ac 10:41.) Which as it was a great miracle, so it did also show his power and authority over his creatures. Besides his eating and drinking with his disciples after his resurrection; and also his preaching to them (Ac 1:3). This is not the least, viz. that he was with his disciples on earth forty days, which was almost six weeks, speaking to them the things concerning his kingdom: which was a mighty confirmation of their faith in his resurrection.

Fourth, I shall now briefly touch two or three scriptures, the which hold forth his disciples' testimony of his resurrection. And the first is in Ac 10:40-41. In which place the Apostle speaking of the Lord Jesus, saith, 'Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly,' yet 'Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us [saith the Apostle] who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.' Again, Ac 4:10; 13:29-31. The words run thus (the Apostle speaking of Jesus, saith) 'And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.' See 1Co 15:1-8. And thus far touching his resurrection from the dead.

ASCENSION. In the next place I am to prove that this very man, Christ Jesus, the Son of the virgin, in his very body, the same body that was crucified, is above the clouds and the heavens. And though this is made light of by those men called quakers, and other infidels of this generation: Yet I am sure that it will prove true to their cost, who reject it as erroneous and vain. But to prove it, First, I shall prove that he is ascended. Secondly, that he is ascended above the clouds, and the heaven.

First, that he is ascended, see Eph 4:32. 'Wherefore [saith the Apostle] When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth, he that descended is the same also that ascended [again] up far above all heavens.'

Again, read Joh 20:17 where Christ after his resurrection from the dead, saith to Mary Magdalen, 'Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father': That is, I have not yet ascended with this my body wherewith I was crucified on the cross. 'But go to my brethren, and say unto them [meaning his disciples] I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.'

Object. But in that place, (may some say) (Eph 4:10) He that descended, is said to be the same that ascended. Now there was no human nature with God in heaven before the world was; Therefore if he be but the same that was with the Father from all eternity, then the humanity of the Son of Mary is not ascended into heaven.

Ans. For answer, It is clear from Joh 1:1 that the Word or Son of God, as he was a Spirit, was with the Father before the world was (Tit 1:2). But now, in the fulness of time, that is, when that time that the Father and he had concluded on, was come, 'God sent forth his son [which was with him before the world was (Joh 17:5)] made of a woman' (Ga 4:4); that is, born of a woman. 'And took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men' (Php 2:6-7). Now as he was born of a woman, as he was in the likeness of men, so he ascended to the right hand of his Father, in our nature. And for this, I pray turn to Ac 1:9-11 and there you shall find, that he is the same that was born of the virgin, that very man that was crucified; if you compare verse 3 with verses 9, 10, 11 you will find it so to be. Now in verse 9 after he had spoken many things while they beheld, that is, while his disciples looked on him, he was taken up, that is, he was taken up from them into heaven, as in verse 11 and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked up stedfastly towards heaven, as he went up (which heaven, was not within them; if it had, they needed not to have looked toward the clouds and the heaven without them) behold two men stood by them, not in them, in white apparel, which also said (that is, the two men, or angels which stood by them said) Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? Here again, they did not look within them, but stood gazing or looking after the Lord Jesus, the Son of Mary, who was carried away from them in a cloud (v 9). But why (say the angels) do you stand gazing so much into heaven: your master will come again after a certain time (Mt 25:19; Mr 13:34). For, This same Jesus, namely, which was crucified, which rose again, and hath been with you these forty days, which also you see go into heaven, shall so come, (namely in a cloud) as ye have seen him go into heaven (Ac 1:3). But shall he not lose his body before he come again? No say the angels, he shall so come, that is, as ye have seen him go; in like manner, that is, with the same body. Or else I am sure he cannot come in the same manner, if he lose his body before he comes again; for he went thither with that body. But that same Jesus that was crucified, is he that went, or ascended up into heaven. If you compare Lu 24:39-44 with the 50th and 51st verses of the same chapter, you may clearly find it so to be. And therefore if he come again in like manner, he must come again with the same body wherewith he was crucified.

Object. But you will say, The scripture saith, he that descended is the same that ascended, which to me (say you) implies, none but the Spirit's ascending?

Ans. For answer, we do not say, (as I said before) that it is another that ascended, but the very same: That is, the very same Christ, that was with the Father from everlasting did come down from heaven: That same Christ also that came down from heaven did ascend up thither again; only, he descended without a body from heaven, and took flesh and blood upon him from the virgin. And though he descended without a body, yet he, the very same Christ that descended without a body, the same did ascend again with a body, even that very body that he took of the virgin Mary. See Lu 24 from 39th to 51st verses; Ac 2:30-31; Joh 15:1; 1Co 9:24-25. Now let me give you a similitude, for it is warrantable; for both Christ and his apostles did sometimes use them, to the end, souls might be better informed. The similitude is this, Suppose there come into thine house a man that is naked, and without clothing, though he go out of thy house again well clothed, yet the same man that came in without clothing, is the same man also that goes out of thy house, though very well clothed. Even so it is in this case, The Lord Jesus came into the womb of the virgin, Spirit (Mt 1:18), but he came out of the womb clothed with a body, and went up into heaven again clothed with a body. Compare Lu 24:39 with Ac 1:11 and Acts 2 :30, 31.

Now also I shall lay down some few things to be considered, for the better clearing of it.

Consider 1. That he did say to his disciples that he would go away from them (Joh 14:3; 16:7; Mt 25:19). Yea, saith he, I go and prepare a place for you, and then I will, after a long time, come again, and take you to myself, that where I am, that is, whither I am going, there ye may be also. Now, I say, if Christ had not gone from his disciples (for that was his meaning) touching his bodily presence; I say, if he had not gone away from them, in respect of his bodily presence, he had said more than he had performed; which is horrible blasphemy once to assert; which going of his, is his going into heaven. See 1Pe 3:22.

Consider 2. That there it was that he was to receive the promise of the Father (Lu 24:49), which promise was the shedding forth in an abundant manner the blessed Holy Ghost. And for this see Ac 2:33-36, 'Therefore being by the right hand of God [which is in heaven] exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly [for `tis very true] that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.'

Consider 3. That if he were on earth, he could not be a priest (Heb 8:4). Now the man Christ Jesus is a glorious priest (Heb 7:24) in the heavens (Heb 9:24). And therefore he is able to save to the uttermost, all that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (This man (7:25)).

Consider 4. If he be not gone into heaven, both his own, and his Apostles' doctrine is false; yea, the witness of the angels also, which to think were damnable infidelity in any man (1Pe 3:22; Ac 1:9-11).

Consider 5. Know that he is gone into heaven, because the scriptures say he is; which is the very truth of God, spoken by his holy Apostles and prophets: Yea, holy men of God, spake them as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (Eph 6:9; 1Pe 3:22; Heb 9:24).

Consider 6. If thou sayest that that man is not gone into heaven, then thou must also conclude that he is still in the grave; and if so, then thou sayest that the prophets, apostles, angels, Christ, God, and all are liars, who have testified these things in the scriptures for glorious truths (Isa 26:19; Ac 10:40-43; 13:30-39; 1:9-11; Re 1:17-18; 2:8). And as the Apostle saith of himself, and the rest of the Apostles and ministers of Jesus Christ, 'And we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. - - - But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For as by man came death, by MAN came also the resurrection of the dead' (1Co 15:15,20-22).

Second, Now I am to prove, that he is above the clouds and the heavens. My meaning is, he is above the lowest heavens. For there are three,** as appears in 2Co 12:1-4. I knew a man in Christ, (saith Paul there) caught up into the third heaven. Now,

**The scripture speaking of the highest implies a lower.

Heaven in scripture, is taken sometimes metaphorically, and sometimes properly. First, Metaphorically it is taken for the church and people of God, as in Re 12:12. Second, Properly, it is taken for the material heaven, where the sun, moon, and stars are placed, as in Ge 1:8,14-16 compared together: above which heaven, Jesus the Son of Mary is ascended. Therefore I pray you consider with me a little.

Consider 1. That when he went into this heaven into which he is gone, he went AWAY from his disciples, as it is written, If I go not away, the comforter will not come (Joh 14:2-3; 16:7; Ac 1:9-11). So that he did not go into a heaven within them in his person and human nature. If so, he must needs go into that heaven without, above the clouds and the stars (Ge 1:8,5,16).

Consider 2. He was caught away in a cloud; yea, and was caught upwards from them, as it is Ac 1:9-11 and carried away into heaven; yea, and his disciples stood gazing or looking up after him into heaven, which heaven must needs be that above the clouds. (1.) If you consider the posture of the disciples, they looked upwards after the cloud that did take him away. (2.) Consider the manner of his going, it was in a cloud. (3.) He was received out of their sight. (4.) And so received up into heaven; which heaven must needs be above the clouds, where God is in his special presence (Job 22:12-14). But further,

Consider 3. That those believers that are alive at this day in the body, 'are absent from the Lord' (2Co 5:6), but now, if the man Christ were ascended into that heaven within them, he would neither be 'absent from them,' nor they from him; but in that he is absent from them touching his bodily presence, and they from him touching the same, it is evident that that heaven into which he is ascended, must needs be without, above the clouds.

Consider 4. That that heaven into which the man Christ is ascended, must contain him till the time of the restitution of all things, as in Ac 3:21 into which heaven he hath been ascended above sixteen hundred years by computation. And I am sure there is not a saint that doth live in the world half so long, before he fall asleep, and be gathered to his fathers; so that that heaven into which he is ascended, is not within, but must needs be that above the clouds. But

Consider 5. That he that ascended from his disciples, was a man, with flesh and bones, not a sprit only; for handle me, and see, (saith he) for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have (Lu 24:39,50-51). Now let the adversaries show by the scriptures, that there is any place in them called heaven, that is able to contain a man of some four or five feet long, the space of fifteen or sixteen hundred years; besides that: therefore, it must needs be that heaven without, which is above the clouds and stars.

Consider 6. That heaven into which the Lord Jesus that man is ascended must not contain him always; for, saith the Apostle (1Th 4:16) 'The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel.' So that there is another descending from that heaven into which he is ascended; and his descending from that heaven is to this end, namely, to take his people to himself, as it is verse 17 so that it is clear that it is not any heaven within thee, into which the man Christ that was born of the Virgin Mary is ascended, but it must needs be that heaven without, which is above the clouds (Heb 12:22). If thou consider, that the place into which he ascended, even the heaven into which he is entered, is the same place where all the deceased saints are in their spirits: 'Therefore,' saith Paul, 'I desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.' Now Paul did not in this place (Php 1:23) mean the enjoying of Christ only in the Spirit; for that he enjoyed in great measure when he spake these words; but he spake of a dying, and being with Christ after this life is ended; as is clear if you compare the 20th to the 26th verses together, being absent from him while he was here in the body (2Co 5:6). For `whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.'

Consider 7. That that heaven into which the man Christ is ascended, is not into his church on earth; but into heaven without, above the clouds and the stars (Joh 16:7; 14:1-3; 1Ti 2:5). And this David doth prophesy of (Ps 47:5), where he saith, 'God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.' Now Christ, as God merely, could not go up, being no less in one place than another; but as God-man, or in his human nature, he went up; as will clearly appear (Eph 4:8-10) where he speaketh of his triumph over all the enemies of his people at his resurrection and ascension into heaven above the clouds.

Consider 8. When Christ doth descend from that heaven into which he is now ascended, his saints and he will meet one another, just in the air, according to the scripture (1Th 4:16-17), 'For,' (saith he) 'the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [that is, they shall come out of their graves]. Then we which [shall be saved] are alive [at that day] and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.'

Pray mark here a little, and see what heaven the man Christ is ascended into, and see if it be not the heaven without, above the sun, moon, and stars.

When Christ and his saints do meet a second time together, the one ascends and the other descends; the one is caught up in the clouds towards the heaven, the other descends from heaven towards the earth, and they must needs meet one another just in the air, that is, between the heaven and the earth. So then, the one coming from heaven and the other from the earth, and their meeting being in the air, which is between heaven and earth, is an undeniable demonstration, that that heaven into which the man Christ is ascended, must needs be that heaven without, above the sun, moon, and stars (Php 3:20; 1Th 1:10). And thus much touching the Son of Mary, his ascending up into the heaven without above the clouds (Ac 1:26; 3:21; 1Pe 3:22).

INTERCESSION. In the next place, now I shall prove the intercession of the man Christ Jesus to be in the heaven that I have been speaking of; though some have mocked at it, and others have called it juggling; which names here I shall not mention, only I shall admonish them, that they do not blaspheme the truth and Son of God in his intercession.

I shall quote some of the scriptures that hold out this truth, and so pass on.

First, And first of all, see Ps 16:4 where David prophesying of the intercession of Christ, saith, 'Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another God, [speaking of the wicked] their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.' Now, compare this with Heb 8:4 where he saith, 'if he were on earth, he should not be a priest.' And Heb 9:24, 'For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [meaning the temple which Solomon built] which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us': 'wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them' (Heb 7:25).

Second, But you will say, is there a man made mention of here? Yes, for the scripture saith, 'There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus' (1Ti 2:5). And in that 8th to the Hebrews made mention of before; where the Apostle is speaking of Christ's priestly office, as he is in the heavens, compared with other priests that are on earth; he saith (v 3), 'For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore [speaking of Christ] it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law,' which law was the law of Moses (9:19-23), where also he is speaking of the priesthood of the priests under the law, and their offering of the blood of bulls and goats (v 12 compared with vv 19-21). And of the Lord Jesus the high priests of saints, and of his blood (v 14 compared with v 24). Now as men under the law did offer up the blood of bulls and goats, so the man Christ Jesus did offer up his own blood to his Father; and this you may clearly see, if you compare Heb 9:14 where he saith, 'How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God?' [with] Heb 10:12 where he saith, `But this man [meaning the Son of the Virgin (2:14 compared with Mt 1:21)] after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God'; again (Heb 7) the chapter I mentioned before, you shall find his intercession plainly held forth, if you read verse 22 and so on, where the scripture saith, 'By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests [meaning the priests under the law] because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death': (that is, the high-priest under the law, could not live ever in this world, because it was appointed to all men once to die) (Re 2:8). But when he speaks of Christ Jesus, he saith on this wise, 'But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood' (Re 1:18). Wherefore he (this man) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he (this man) ever liveth to make intercession for them. And thus in brief have I proved through the assistance of the Lord, the intercession of the Son of Mary, which is also the Son of God. And this concerning Christ's priestly office, might serve also for a proof of his being in the heaven without, above the stars. But all men may see (unless they be blind) that these are the truths of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of God his Father; and that those men that oppose them (as the quakers do) are very violently possessed of the devil, and besides themselves; and have neither the truth of God, nor his Spirit in them (2 John 9:10; Joh 5:38,42).

[CHRIST JUDGE OF QUICK AND DEAD.] And now through the assistance of the Lord, I shall come to the last that I promised, and that is to prove, that this very man Christ, will come to judge the quick and the dead. And first, I shall prove the truth itself, viz., That that man shall come again to judge the world, quick and dead. Second, I shall shew you that his coming will be very shortly. Third, What shall be done at his coming. fourth, Who shall stand when he shall come, and who not.

First, That that man that was born of the Virgin Mary shall come again to judge the quick and the dead, read 2Ti 4:1. 'I, [saith Paul] charge thee therefore before God, [speaking to him, even to Timothy, and so to all believers] and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.' Now if you would know who this Lord Jesus is, look into Ac 10:28 and you shall see it was Jesus of Nazareth; would you know who that was? read Mt 2 towards the end, and you shall see it was the Son of Mary the Virgin, who was espoused to Joseph the carpenter. But read Ac 10:38-42, you shall find these words, 'God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with the power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him: And we are witness of things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree, [even Jesus of Nazareth] Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, [that is, God commanded us] and to testify [that is, to be bold in our preaching] that it is he [namely, Jesus of Nazareth, whom the Jews did thus crucify] which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead.' This is he also that is spoken of in Ac 17:30-31. 'The times of this ignorance God winked at; [meaning men's being without the gospel] but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day [which day is the day of judgment (Mt 12:36)] in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man [namely, Jesus of Nazareth] whom he hath ordained, [compare this with that in Ac 10:38-42] whereof he hath given assurance unto all men [that is, hath given a sure sign unto all men] in that he hath raised him, [that is, in that he hath raised Jesus of Nazareth] from the dead.' This also is Christ's own meaning (Mt 24) where speaking of his second coming, he styleth himself the Son of man, saying: 'And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man' (v 30), and 'so shall also the coming of the Son of man be' (v 27). So shall also the coming of the Son of man be (v 37). So shall also the coming of the Son of man be (v 39). Where, by the way, it is observable to see how the Lord of life and glory doth in this chapter, where he speaketh of his second coming, for the most part style himself the Son of man. Sure he doth it to this end, because he will not have his humanity and the doctrine thereof, to be razed out from under heaven: For he knew, that in the last days, there would come mockers 'walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming' (2Pe 3:3). I could multiply scriptures to prove this doctrine of his second coming, as Heb 9:28; 2Pe 3; 2Th 1:6-8; Lu 21; Mt 24; 25; Eve 22:7, 12 and 20; 2Co 5:10; Ro 14:10; Ac 24:25. But,

Secondly, I will shew you that his coming will be shortly. It is true, no man can tell neither the day nor the hour, yet so far as the scriptures will give us light into the nearness of his coming, so far we may go. And if you read Mt 24 you shall see many sings of his coming spoken of.

1.    There is falling away from the faith spoken of. And that hath been fulfilled and is fulfilling every day.

2.    Wars and rumours of wars is another sign that his coming doth draw night, even at the doors.

3.    The love of many waxing cold, is another sign that it is nigh, even the coming of Christ. And how cold is the love of many at this day? They that were hot two or three years ago, are now grown lukewarm and cold. They are cold in the Lord's appearing. They are cold in the profession of the gospel. They are cold in love to the saints, they are cold in the worship of God; Yea, very cold, which is a notable demonstration that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

4.    The stars falling from heaven; (That is professors falling from the faith which once they professed) is another sign that the coming of the Lord is at hand. And how many professors do you see now a-days, fall from the doctrine of God, and his Son Jesus Christ, as though there were no such thing as a world to come, and no such thing as a Lord Jesus Christ, and his second coming.

5.    Many poor souls will go on in their profession with lamps without oil, just before his second coming (Mt 25:1-7). And the Lord knows that most of the professors of this generation, are such kind of professors, yea, very foolish professors, which** is another sure sign, that the coming of the Lord draws nigh.

**These things I do but hint at, though I enlarge upon them. Lu 18:8.

6.    When the time of Christ's second coming is at hand, there will be but a very little faith in the world. And the Lord knows, that there be many, who are now as high** as lucifer, that at that day for want of faith will be thrown down to the sides of the pit: even in the very belly of hell.

**Say 1 John iii. 3 to thy heart, and compare thy condition with it, and thou wilt find this a glorious truth.

7.  Another sign of Christ's second coming, is the carnal mindedness of the most of the world; and the very carriages of almost all men now living do discover this truth to be at this day fulfilled, and know that when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes, and they shall not escape (1Th 5:1-4).

8.    Before Christ's second coming, there shall come many false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs, and wonders, to seduce if it were possible the elect (Mt 24:24; Mr 13:22). And is not this more clearly fulfilled in our days than ever it was, especially among those men called quakers, who being as persons, whose consciences are seared with an hot iron, and they being sealed up unto destruction, do some of them call themselves Christ, and shew great signs, (as their quaking) and such a legal holiness, as makes the simple admire them, and wonder after them, which shews the coming of Christ to be very nigh.

9.    Before Christ's second coming, there shall come scoffers in the world, walking after their own lusts (2Pe 3:3) and if ever this scripture was fulfilled, it is fulfilled on these men called quakers: For they are the men, that at this day make a mock at Christ's second coming, which shall be from heaven without (1Th 1:10; Php 3:20); and therefore saith the Holy Ghost, these mockers shall be such as shall say, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were, see 2Pe 3:3-7. And there you shall see their mocking and the reason of it. Read and the Lord give thee understanding. But I would not have thee think that I speak at random, in this thing, Know for certain, that I myself have heard them blaspheme; yea, with a grinning countenance, at the doctrine of that man's second coming from heaven above the stars, who was born of the Virgin Mary. Yea, they have told me to my face, that I have used conjuration, and witchcraft, because what I preached was according to the scriptures. I was also told to my face, that I preached up an idol, because I said, that the Son of Mary was in heaven, with the same body that was crucified on the cross; And many other things have they blasphemously vented against the Lord of life and glory, and his precious gospel. The Lord reward them according as their work shall be.

I could have hinted in many other things which Christ and his Apostles have shewed to be signs of his coming. But I shall commend the holy scriptures unto thee, which are able to make the man of God perfect in all things, through faith in the Lord Jesus (2Ti 3:17).

Now you have also the manner of his coming how it shall be, most notably laid down in the scriptures. I shall hint in a few things touching it.

1.    He will come when there is but very few looking for his coming. 'When they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh' (1Th 5:1-3). Which sudden destruction will be at his second coming, for that is it which the Apostle spake of in those three verses. Then will all the world be caught at such an unexpected time, that it will come upon them, even as a snare cometh upon those creatures that are caught in it. As it is written (Lu 21:35) 'For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.' Which is all on a sudden, before they are aware.

2.    He cometh with all his saints and angels. Then will the Lord descend from that heaven, into which he is now ascended, as it is written in 1Th 4:16. Then will he come, and all his saints with him, as Jude saith in his Epistle, 15. then shall Abel and Enoch, Noah and Abraham, David and Job, Peter and Paul: Together with all the saints which have been, now are, or hereafter shall be, and they shall sit on the throne with the Lord Jesus Christ, as in Mt 19:28. Before whom shall all the nations of the world be gathered, as it is written (Joe 3:12). 'Let the heathen be wakened [or raised out of their graves (Da 12:2)] and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge the heathen round about.' Which never was yet accomplished, though it shall certainly be, in God's time: To the astonishment, and everlasting damnation of all those that shall continue mocking, or sinning against God and his Christ.

3.    He shall come in a flaming fire, (when he doth come again: he will come in such a manner, as will make all that shall be found in their sins rather seek to creep under a mountain, than to meet the Lord of glory (Re 6:15)). As Isaiah saith, 'For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire' (Isa 66:15). 'To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him' (Jude 15), as I shall shew farther by and by.

Third, And therefore in the next place, I shall shew you, what shall be done when he is come.

1.  When Christ is come the second time, they that are in their graves shall arise, and come forth of their graves (as I said before) in which they have lain according to that in Joh 5:28-29. Where Christ saith, 'Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.' You will say, Are these graves spoken of here, the graves that are made in the earth? Yea, that they are, and for a further proof of the same, look into Da 12:2. Daniel there speaking of the same thing saith, 'And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, [or arise] some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt' (or damnation).

I shall not stand here to dispute any distinctions of the resurrections, only prove that the dead shall arise; and that is a clear truth from the scriptures (Ac 10:42; Re 20:11-14; 1Th 4:16; 1Co 15:52). 'The dead shall be raised.'

2.  He shall call all men and women to an account for all their9 close sinful thoughts, words and actions; then will the secrets of all hearts be made manifest. Then shall all thy adulterous, and thievish, and covetous, idolatrous, and blasphemous thoughts be laid open, according to that saying, 'Their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean [time, or] while accusing or else excusing one another' (Ro 2:15). But when? Why, 'In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ' (v 16). See also 1Co 4:5, 'Therefore judge nothing before the time.' What time is that? Why, when the Lord comes; what will he do? He 'will bring to light the hidden things of darkness,' that is, all those cunning, close, hidden wickednesses that thou in thy life-time hast committed; yea, he will 'make manifest the counsels of the hearts'; that is, the most hidden and secret things that are contrived and plotted by the sons of men. Then shall all the midnight whore-mongers be laid open with all their sins; Then thou (it may be) who has committed such sins as thou wouldest not have thy neighbour, thy father, thy wife, thy husband, or any one else know of for thousands, then thou shalt have them all laid open, even upon the house tops (Lu 12:3). Then thou that hatest God's children; his ways, his word, his Spirit; then thou that makest a mock at Jesus of Nazareth's second coming, then thou that livest in open prophaneness, or secret hypocrisy, then I say, will be such a time of reckoning for you, as never was since the world began, then you that shall die in your sins, will cry to the mountains, Fall on us, and cover us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (which Lamb is the Man Christ Jesus (Joh 1:29)). And ah, my friends! If the very looks of God be so terrible, what will his blows be, think you? Then if all thy idle words shall be accounted for, as it is written, 'But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment' (Mt 12:36) and also all thy filthy actions shall be then regarded in such sort, as thou shalt receive a just recompense for them. And know, saith the** scripture, 'that for all these things, God will bring thee into judgment' (Ec 11:9). Then

9 'Close,' secret, not disclosed.--Ed.

**Though sinners will be unwilling to come to judgment, yet this will be their misery, God will bring them. Mal. iv. 1.

Thou that art an unbeliever, shalt be sure to fall under the judgment for all thy sins. (1.) Thou must give an account. (2.) Thou must fall in the judgment. Oh my friends, there are hot days a-coming for all those that are found out of the Lord Jesus: Behold, saith Malachi, 'The day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch' (4:1). The day of judgment will burn like an oven, and all that have not the righteousness of Christ upon them shall be as stubble. Ah friends, put a red hot oven and stubble together, and what work will there be! Even the one will burn and destroy the other.

3. When Christ doth come the second time, another end of his coming will be to pure out all things that offended in this kingdom (Mt 13:41-42). 'The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.' There are many things that do offend in his kingdom now: namely

(1.)    The lukewarm professor, he doth offend, (a.) the Lord, (b.) his people. But then thou lukewarm offending professor shalt offend the church of God no more.

(2.)    The loose professors do also offend God, Christ and his church. (a.) He scandals the gospel by his loose walking, and naughty carriages. (b.) He doth make the world blaspheme the name of God by the same. (c.) He grieves the hearts of God's people (Php 3:18). But know that thou also shalt be taken away from offending any more, God, Christ, and his saints, and thou shalt have weeping and gnashing of teeth, for thy thus offending (Mt 18:6-7).

4. Another end of Christ's second coming, is to cut off all the ignorant persons that are in the world. There is a generation of poor souls that do think to be excused for their ignorance: Alas! saith one, I am a poor ignorant man, or woman; and therefore I hope that the Lord will have mercy upon me: we cannot, say others, do as such and such, and will the Lord condemn us? And thus poor souls, as they are in the** broad way to destruction, lest they should miss of the way to hell; do swallow down by clusters, that which will poison them, body and soul for ever and ever.

**Men seeking to get encouragement from their ignorance, do more harden themselves in sin, and so are in greater danger of eternal damnation.

Quest. But you will say, What, will not the Lord have mercy on ignorant souls?

Ans. Not on those who live and die in their ignorance. He himself hath said (Isa 27:11), `For it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.' Again, Paul also in that 2Th 1:8 saith, that when Jesus Christ shall come to judge the world, he doth come to take vengeance on all 'them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

But ye will say, Who are those ignorant persons, that shall find no favour at that day? or how doth the ignorance discover itself? I shall only mention three** or four sorts of men; and leave thee to the scriptures, which if thou read them diligently, will further lay them open before thee. And,

**The xxvii. Is. 11th verse (Isa 27:11) is a notable confutation of the ignorant's hypocritical hope, where he saith, 'He that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them, will show them no favor.'

(1.)    The profane scoffer, who makes a mock at the truths of God, and so goes on in his sins, for this see in 2Pe 3:3 which the apostle attributes to their ignorance (v 5). And therefore he likens them to brute beasts (2:10,12) who 'walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness,' and 'speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption'; who because they understand not the scripture, nor the power of God in them, speak evil of the truths therein contained, and think the Lord like unto themselves (Ps 50).

(2.)    The formal professor, who hath only a notion of the gospel, and some seeming holiness, but wants gospel faith: such are called foolish virgins (Mt 25:2-3) to whom Christ will say in that day, Verily, 'I know you not.' Add hereto, those that think it enough to confess Christ with their mouths, and profess that they know God, but deny him in their works; such notwithstanding all their profession, shall, if they so continue, perish eternally, being abominable, disobedient, and to every good work reprobate, or void of judgment, that is, ignorant (Tit 1:16).

(3.)    The legal righteous man or woman, though they walk blameless, as touching the righteousness that is in the law: For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, go about to establish their own righteousness, as reading, hearing sermons, prayers, public or private, peaceableness with their neighbours, fasting, alms, good works as they count them, just dealings, abstinence from the grosser pollutions of the world, stricter obedience to the commandments of the first and second table; all which with many other things may be comprehended in their own righteousness, and it is grounded on their ignorance, and goes on in rebellion; and such ignorant persons shall in that day perish, not submitting through ignorance to the righteousness of God, Ro 10:3 compared with Lu 19:27 where Christ saith, that when he shall come the second time, he will command those his enemies, who submitted not themselves to him, (who is called the righteousness of God (Isa 46:13)) or would not have him to reign over them, to be slain before his face.

(4.) Those whose hearts are set upon the world, and follow the alluring persuasions of it; the Lord calls such fools (Lu 12:20; Pr 7:7), who go after it (viz. the world, held forth by a similitude of a woman with the attire of an harlot) as an ox to the slaughter, or a fool to the correction of the stocks, till a dart strike through his liver, as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life: and knows not, mark, it is through ignorance (v 23).

5. A fit end of Christ's coming, is, that his righteous ones might shine as the sun in the glory, or kingdom of their father (Mt 13:43). There are many things that do hinder the people of God from shining forth as the sun now.

As, They have a body of death, which makes them fetch many a groan in their journey to Canaan (Ro 7:24; 2Co 5:2). They meet with many a sad temptation, which also makes them in heaviness many a time (1Pe 1:6). They have also many other things that do hinder their shining now; but then the body of death shall be left off. My meaning is, that sin shall be no more in the natures of God's people then: Their bodies that are now so vile, shall then be made like unto the glorious body of the Son of God, 'Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself' (Php 3:21).

6.  Another end of Christ's coming shall be to take an account of his children, how they have laid out their talents, that he hath committed to their trust (Mt 25:19; Ro 14:12; 2Co 5:10).

7.  Another end of his coming is, to set up his kingdom, which will be glorious indeed at his appearing (2Ti 4:1; Ro 8:19-21). I do but touch these things, because I would hasten towards a conclusion; many other things might have been spoken to, but at this time I shall forbear.

But you will say, Who shall stand when he appears? Why, I told you before, that 'the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous' (Ps 1:5). Let him be close or profane, as I told you even now, all shall be laid open, all shall be made manifest, all shall come into judgment.

Ah poor soul! It is not then thy brave words will save thee; it is not thine eloquent tongue that will then do thee any good: if thou be without the wedding garment, thou wilt be speechless, as in Mt 22:12. But thou that art a converted person, shalt stand in the judgment; thou that art born again shalt enter into the kingdom, and none else (Joh 3:5; Re 21:27).

But how shall I know that I am born again?

(1.)    Why, if thou art born again, then thou knowest that thou wast not born a Christian at first (Eph 2:1-3). 'You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.'

(2.)    Thou knowest that once thou hadst no faith in the Lord Jesus; and wert convinced of sin because thou didst not believe in the Son of Mary (Joh 16:9).

(3.)    Thou seest all true joy through the blood and righteousness of the Son of Mary (1Co 15:57; Ro 7:25).

(4.)    Art thou born again? Then thou canst not be quiet till thou seest God smile, and lift up the light of his countenance upon thee (2Co 4:6; Ps 4:6) and that through the face of the Son of Mary, the Son of God.

48 (5.)    Thou knowest that God hath given thee thy faith (Php 1:29; Eph 2:8).

(6.)    Art thou born again? Then thou knowest that the doctrine of the Son of Mary the Virgin, is a right doctrine (2Jo 9).

(7.)    Then also thou lookest for the personal appearing of the Son of Mary from heaven in the clouds, the second time (Heb 9:28; Re 1:7).

These things, though plain, yet if the Lord set them home upon thy conscience, may be profitable both to thee and me. Therefore let us examine the matter a little. And

Examine 1. Thou thinkest that thou art a Christian; thou shouldest be sorry else: Well, But when did God shew thee that thou wert no Christian? When didst thou see that: And in the light of the Spirit of Christ, see that thou wert under the wrath of God because of original sin? (Ro 5:12). Nay, dost thou know what original sin means? Is it not the least in thy thoughts? And dost thou not rejoice in secret, that thou art the same that thou ever wert? If so, then know for certain that the wrath of God to this very day abideth on thee (Joh 3:36). And if so, then thou art one of those that will fall in the judgment, except thou art born again, and made a new creature (2Co 5:17).

Exam. 2. Thou thinkest that thou hast been born again, (`tis well if thou hast) but least thou shouldest deceive thy poor soul, I pray thee consider, when did the Spirit of the Lord Jesus shew thee, that thou hadst no faith in thee by nature? And when did the Spirit of Christ convince thee of sin, because thou didst not believe in him? It may be thou hast been convinced of sins against the law, by the law, and thine own conscience, as the Pharisees were (Joh 8:9; Ro 3:20). Ay, but when didst thou see thyself a lost creature for want of faith in the son of Mary? If not, thou hast not yet been savingly convinced by the Spirit of Christ; for that, when it convinceth effectually of sin, it convinceth of unbelief; though thou hast been never so much convinced of sins against the law, if thou hast not seen thyself under the power and dominion, guilt and punishment of sin, because thou didst not believe in Christ, thou hast not yet been savingly convinced; for that's one work of the Spirit to convince of sin, `Because they believe not on me,' saith Jesus the Son of Mary, who was espoused to Joseph the carpenter: But on the contrary, dost thou not say in thy heart, thou never hadst thy faith to seek, but hast always believed with as good a faith as any one alive? If so, then know for certain that thou hast no faith of the operation of God in thee, according to God's ordinary working; and if so, then know, that if the Son of Man should come to judge the world at this moment of time, that thou with all thy faith (thou thinkest thou hast) wouldst fall in the judgment (2Th 2:12).

Exam. 3. Art thou born again? Then thou seest that thy great sin was want of faith in the Son of Mary. Then thou seest that it is he that was sent of God to die for the sins of the world (Joh 1:29; 3:16-19; Ac 13:38-39) and that thou art complete in him, without any works of the law (Ro 4:5), then thou rejoicest in Christ Jesus, and puttest no confidence in the flesh (Php 3:3) yet thou rejoicest in the flesh and blood of the Son of Mary, knowing that his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed (Joh 6:55) out of which thou wouldest very willingly make thy life all thy days; out of his birth, obedience, death, resurrection, ascension, and glorious intercession, now at the right hand of his Father (Heb 7:24-25), but if thou art wavering in these things, know that thou art but a babe at the best, and for ought thou knowest, God may cut thee off in thy unbelief, and cast thee into utter darkness, where there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Exam. 4. Art thou born again? Then thou seest all true peace and joy comes through the blood of the Son of Mary, and his righteousness, as in Ro 7:25 and 1Co 15:57, there are many poor souls that are taken with raptures of joy, and false conceited consolation (Joh 16:20) which doth come from the devil, and their own deceitful hearts; but their joy shall be turned into mourning and sorrow of heart (Lu 6:24-25), but thou that art a Christian in deed, and not in word only, rejoicest in Christ Jesus the Son of Mary; yea though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Pe 1:8). And these two things are the fruits of thy faith, and of thy joy.

(1.)    The Lord Jesus Christ is very precious unto thee (1Pe 2:7).

(2.)    Thou dost purify thine heart by this faith, and the power of the Spirit of Christ, which thou hast received into thy soul (Ro 8:13; Ac 15:9; Joh 3:3). But if thy guilt of sin goes off, and convictions go off any other way than by the blood and righteousness of the Man Christ Jesus, thy guilt goes off not right, but wrong, and thy latter end will be a very bitter end without faith and repentance; for it is his blood through which all true peace comes (Col 1:20), and there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we should be saved, but by the Lord Jesus of Nazareth (Ac 4:372 compared together).

Exam. 5. Art thou born again? Then thou canst not be quiet till thou doest see God lift up the light of his countenance upon thee; yea, thou hast such a desire after the light of God's countenance, that, all the glory, riches, honour, pleasure, profits, &c. of this world will not satisfy, till thou doest see God to be a reconciled Father to thee in the Lord Jesus Christ, as it is Ps 4:6; Joh 14:8; Ps 35:3. Then thou wilt not be quiet till thou dost hear from the Son of Mary, which is the Lord of glory, such a voice as this, Son be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee: And 'my grace is sufficient for thee' (2Co 12:9; 1Co 2:8). But if thou canst content thyself with anything below this, thou wilt, when all comes to all, be found but a rotten-hearted professor, who will have thy portion among the slothful ones, who will fall in the judgment of the Son of Man, when he comes in flaming fire with his mighty angels (2Th 1:8).

Exam. 6. Art thou born again? Then thou knowest that God hath given thee thy faith that thou hast in his Son: Then thou art to say through grace, there was a time in which I had no faith; there was a time in which I could not believe in the Son of God for eternal life. 'But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins [and unbelief; which is the greatest;] hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved' (Eph 2:4-5), `through faith' (v 8).

Exam. 7. Art thou born again? Then thou knowest that the doctrine of the Son of God, the Son of Mary, is a right doctrine, which is this:

That the Son of God which was with his Father before the world was (Joh 1:1; 17:5) came into the world in the fulness of time, and was made in the likeness of man (Php 2:7) being made of a woman or virgin, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law (Ga 4:4). And that was done in this wise. What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh; that is, through our flesh; God sending his own Son in likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that is, condemned him in the flesh for the sins of poor sinners: For this, compare Ro 8:3; 2Co 5:21 with Ga 3:13 and it will appear clearly to be the truth of God: Also, that this Son of God, which is the true God, as well as the Son of