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Soveraign Omnipotency The SAINT's SECURITY IN Evil Days. Diſcourſed and Concluded From Rom. IV. xvii, xviii.


Exod. 14.13.

Stand ſtill, and ſee the ſalvation of God.

2 Chron. 20.12.

O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might againſt this great Company that cometh againſt us, neither know we what to do, but our Eyes are upon thee.

London: Printed for Benj. Alſop, at the Angel and Bible in the Poultrey; and are to be ſold by James Cowſey, Bookſeller in Exeter. 1682.

Digniſsimo, Amiciſsimoque Affini noſtro, GEORGIO YONG, Creditonenſium, In Agro Devonienſi Armigero: Nec-non GEORGIO LAPTHORN, Plymidenſium, Mercatori Celeberrimo: Nomine Virtutis non mihi ſolum noto: Ʋtriſque Sacrarum Literarum Patronis Candidiſſimis. Conciones ſequentes, tum Potentiae Divinae ſumme efficacis, aeque ac Juſtitiae illius omnimodo incontaminabilis, Doctrinans Dilucidantes: D. D. D. Fauſtaque iiſdem omnia, non mi­nus calido voto, quam ipſimet, in hoc ſcripto〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉comprecatur;

Guliel. Crompton.

Soveraign Omnipotency THE SAINTS SECURITY In Evil Days.

ROM. iv. 17, 18.

Even God who quickneth the dead, and calleth thoſe things that are not, as though they were.

THis part of the Chapter con­tains an Illuſtrious Commen­dation of Renowned Abra­ham, and that Faith whereby he receiv­ed the Promiſe to be the Father of ma­ny Nations; and is deſcribed three ways, viz.


1. By the nature of it, which he diſcovers to be ſincere; not only out­wardly profeſt, (though that was ne­ceſſary) but inwardly rooted. It was Faith before God, and found Acceſs into the Divine Preſence.

2. By the extent of the Relation between Abraham and the Faithful; and ſo, it is defined to be Ʋniverſal, as God is Father of all, Jews and Gen­tiles, without diſtinction of Nation, Sex and Condition. Spiritual, before him whom he believed; not Carnal, nor apprehended by men without a Revelation, 1 Cor. 2.14. The Natu­ral Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are fooliſhneſs to him, neither can he know them, for they are Spiritually diſcern'd.

3. From the ground of both, which is the Soveraignty and Almighty pow­er of God; ſet forth by two things, viz. Quickning the Dead, and callng things that are not as though they were.

This ſupported Ahrahams Faith a­gainſt all ſeeming Impoſſibilities; and ithe inended ſubject of this Diſ­courſe. In the Proſecution of which, I ſhll labour firſt to break the Shell, by explining the words, as they ſh ll3 fall under conſideration, and then of­fer you the Kernel contained in it; Firſt I ſhall endeavour to unlock the Cabinet and then ſhew you the rich Jewels laid up in it; which you will find to be of great worth and uſe in theſe Cloudy days, wherein the Di­vine Providence hath caſt us.

For the former Branch; 1. Gods quickning the Dead.

A Short Sentence and diverſly un­derſtood by divers Divines. I con­ceive, the Reſurrection is hereby meant, preſent in Soul, future of Body; with ſome ſpecial Limitation to Abraham. As,

1. A raiſing of ſuch a Seed out of his dead Body. Rom. 4.19. And being not weak in Faith, he conſidered not his own Body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the dead­neſs of Sarahs Womb. i. e. Deſtitute of all natural power to conceive and quicken. Yet Abraham could ſet his Seal to it, by Faith, as being within the Limits of Gods power.

2. A recovering of that Seed alive from the dead, Heb. 11.19. Account­ing that God was able to raiſe him up, even from the Dead, from whence alſo4 he received him in a Figure; which to nature and humane apprehenſion was impoſſible. Yet this Abraham be­lieved, becauſe of the Lords All-ſuffi­ciency.

3. A reviving of the Body out of the Duſt, at the laſt Day: which A­braham believed the Lord was able, and would certainly do it.

The whole commends two things to our Learning.

Firſt, To quicken the Dead, is the Lords priviledge, an effect of his Al­mighty Power.

Secondly, That this Divine Privi­ledge ſhould be to us a Ground of Fai h.

For the former. See it promiſed, Iſa. chap. 26. ver. 19. Thy Dead Men ſhall Live, together with my Dead Body ſhall they Ariſe. To be underſtood either in a Phyſical or Moral Senſe; with the Concurrent Conſent of the Ancient and Learned Modern Expoſi­tors; who obſerve, that there is nothing more uſual for the Church, and Holy Men therein, to Support their Hearts above all Incumbent Af­flictions, and to Secure themſelves of the Comfort of promiſed Deliverance, notwithſtanding all the ſeeming Im­probability5 thereof, by the General Doctrine of the Reſurrection. And ſo, John 5,21,28. The Father raiſeth up the Dead and Quickneth them, even ſo the Son quickneth whom he will. On which Acount Chriſt is declared to be the Son of God, by the Reſurrection from the Dead; R m. 1.4. First, Raiſing others; as he did the Rulers Daughter, to the Aſtoniſhment of all Beholders preſent at her Funeral; and the Widow's Son of Naim, who was carried without the City to his Grave; Chriſt ſtops the ſad Train, and Reſto­reth Life to the Young Man, and ſome­what more Dear than Life to his Mo­ther. And the more Signally to Tri­umph over Death, he Purſued it to its Fort, the Obſcurity of the Grave. Lazarus was buried for four Daies, his Carkaſs was Corrupt, but Chriſt called him from the Bottom of his Tomb with that Powerful Voice that Created the World; The Dead An­ſwers and comes forth to the Amaze­ment of all that ſaw the Glory of God, ſo Clearly Manifeſted. In all, he Teſtified his Godhead, and the Truth of his Calling and Doctrine. Thus he raiſed Moſes and Elias, and made6 them known to his Diſciples by ex­traordinary Revelation, to Evince his Doctrine not to be new, but the ſame in Subſtance with that Record­ed in the Law and the Prophets; both being repreſented by Moſes and Elias; who though they were raiſed before him, yet it was not without him, but by the Fellowſhip of his Reſurrection: As, though Light Riſeth before the Sun, yet it Riſeth not but by the Sun; and the Mace goeth before the Magiſtrate, but it doth ſo only to at­tend upon him.

Secondly, Raiſing himſelf. John 10,18. I have laid down my Life, that I might take it again, no Man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my ſelf; I have Power to lay it down, and I have Power to Raiſe it up again. Here is a glorious Manifeſtation of his Pow­er, that the Tomb could not Confine him, nor the Grave-Stone ſtay him; But throwing off thoſe Clogs, as Sampſon did his Withs, he ſhewed him­ſelf a while to his Beloved Ones, and ſo took his Joyous Aſcent to the Right hand of the Father. As Loveid Chriſt in the Grave, ſo Power Raiſed him from the Grave. Love7 Rockt him a Sleep, and Power Awak­ed him again. He broke through all Bars, Beat down all Oppoſition, and Sprang forth of his yeilding Duſt, as a Triumphant Conqueror over Death and Devils.

If it be objected, That Chriſt roſe from the Dead by the Glory of the Fa­ther, and that the Father raiſed him?

It is eaſily anſwered; This was not by way of ſupplement, to make up a­ny defect of power in Chriſt, but on­ly by way of conſent, to Chriſts own Power and Action; that ſo men might Honour the Son and the Father. John. 5.19,26. Or elſe, by the Glory of the Father, we may underſtand that Glorious Power which the Father gave unto the Son in the Fleſh, to have life from himſelf; becauſe that holy Spirit which immediatly quickned him, was both his and the Fathers, and ſo the Action was common to both. Thus like the P•…enix, he goeth out of the Spulcher in the day of his Tri­umphs, al lighted and environ'd with Flames of Triumphant Glory.

3. Aſſuring others, by his lights and ſ•…en or, that they ſhall riſe again. 1. Cor. 6.14. He is called the firſt8 Fruits of them that Sleep. The Trium­phant Reſurrection of our Lord, is the Root and Hope of ours; with this he ſweetens the acerbities of our preſent life, and repleniſheth Hearts with the Antipaſt of their Immor­tality; for, he aroſe not barely in a Perſonal, but Publick Capacity; and though it were a Damnable Hereſy of Hymeneus, to ſay, That the Reſurrecti­on was paſt already; Yet it is a truth to ſay, that it is begun. He firſt, and we at his coming, 1 Cor. 15.25. By what is paſt in the head, we are aſſured of what is expected in his Members; for, his Reſurrection is a Pledge and Earneſt of theirs. He having paid our Debt, Death cannot detain us in Priſon for it. Yea, it is a beginning of ours, as before is noted; he being raiſed who is the Head, the Body muſt alſo follow. If the Elder Bro­ther be ſprung out of the Duſt, the Younger Brethren ſhall not ſtay there. The Vine-Plant being in Heaven, there the Branches muſt receive their Eter­nal Flouriſh.

Object. 1.Is it not ſaid, 1. Cor. 15.2. By man came the Reſurrection of the Dead?


A.It is〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſuch a man as is God alſo; from whoſe Will this large Soul of Nature had its motion, and who therein commandeth ſo univerſally, as he ſeems to hold the Heaven and Elements under here, to be inſtru­ments of his Wonders; it is he that lighted Stars at his Birth, and Eclip­ſed the Ancient Sun at his Death, and walked on the waters as on a Pavement of Marble. It is he, that cauſeth the Earth to caſt out her Dead.

Object. 2.Have not men done it?

Anſwer.1. Stories of Men Raiſed by Men, are either Lies and Illuſions, as the Pythoniſt of Endor raiſed the Devil in Samuels Shape; and the Church of Rome maintain many Idle Stories of Dead men Raiſed, to Walk and Live after Death. Otherwayes, Dead Men neither walk nor appear in Body or Soul, after Death. Or, if there are any ſuch, They are extraor­dinary Permiſſions, for Secret Ends, only known to him that Permits them.

2. The Prophets and Apoſtles have done it, but in the Quality of Mini­ſters. So Eliſha raiſed the Shunamites Son, 2. Kings 4.34. And Peter raiſ­ed10 Dorcas, Acts 9.40. But not by their own Power. It only belongs to Chriſt to do this work, with an Original Power, which hath its Foun­tain in his Boſom; with an Abſolute Command, which receives no Modifi­cation in all Nature; with a Simple Will, which needs no other Inſtrument. It was by Divine Influence and Aſſiſt­ance in thoſe Prophets and Apoſtles, to confirm their Doctrine, and to draw the Church ſooner to believe.

3. It is the Divine Nature that is the Fountain of Life; he gives, takes, reſtores, to whom, when, and how he pleaſeth. As it is with the Sea for water and the Sun for light, in the former, all the waters are gathered together into an Ocean, where they grow into ſwelling heaps, and are the ſource of all the Streams that refreſh the Earth; and in the latter, that great Luminarie is the Veſſel, wherein the Lord hath gathered all light, which before was ſattered in the Heavens, but is now united in that bright Lamp, which, running like a fiery Chariot, might rule the day, and illuſtrate the earth, making it fruitful. Thus it is with the Deity for life, John 6.63. 11The Spirit quickneth, the Fleſh profiteth nothing; The words that I ſpeak unto you are Spirit and Life. And by this power he quickneth the Dead. So that it's clear, the work is his, who is Lord of nature, and holds the Keys of life and death in his own hands. His light only can diſpel the darkneſs, and his voice only can break the ſilence of the Grave.

The ſecond Doctrine comes now to hand, viz.

Doct. 2.That this Divine Privi­ledge ſhould be to us a ground of Faith.

Gen. 17.1. I am God all-ſufficient, walk before me, &c. Walk before me who am all-ſufficient, ſelf-ſufficient, O­riginal, Univerſal Good; the Pillar of Abrahams Faith. And the Apoſtle ſpeaks by way of wonder that any ſhould not believe it, Acts. 26.8. Why ſhould it be thought a thing incredi­ble with you, That God ſhould raiſe the Dead? Therefore it is that the Sacred Scripture doth frequently mind us of his power, to help our incredulitie; Numb. 23.19. God is not as man, that he ſhould lie, nor the Son of man, that he ſhould repent; hath he ſaid it, and ſhall he not do it? or hath he ſpoken, and12 ſhall he not make it good? And again, Is there any thing too hard for God? So, Math. 19.27. With God all things are poſſible. A main prop to an humble Suppliant, That ſeeing his own vile­neſs, and the Divine Excellencies, which are warming and enlightning, cryeth out, Lord if thou wilt, thou canſt make me clean, as it is recorded, Math. 8.

2. This is the Rock, on which the weak Anchor of a Chriſtians Faith may firmly fix. You know Sampſons Riddle; Out of the Eater cometh forth Sweet. The reaſon why Chriſtians ſhould conſider the power of God; out of this ſtrong comes forth ſweet­neſs,

In the application hereof may be found,

Ʋſe 1.Matter of Correction, and that of two ſorts:

Firſt, of ſuch that make it too hard; denying the Reſurrection in opinion. As Pearls are diſſolved in Vinegar, ſo is Truth in hearts made bitter with Corruption. Thus we find many wick­ed and irregular Spirits, who having renounced the bleſſings of the other life, againſt the voice of nature in the order of the World, wherein we have13 the New Birth of Stars, days, Sea­ſons, Plants and Birds, who make a perpetual Image of the Reſurrection in the World; nay, againſt the touch of God, and impreſſions of verity on the very Gentiles, who have profeſſed the happineſs of the Soul in the other life and the Reſurrection, even on their Tombs, to deny the Reſurrection. So the Saduces of old, Acts 23.8. Hyme­neus and Philetus, 2 Tim. 18. which you may eaſily perceive, is not only to crack the eye of a reaſonable judgment, but alſo to pull out the eye of Faith, all pure and caeleſtial as it is.

Or, in practice; Let us eat and drink for to morrow we ſhall die, 1 Cor. 15.32. Of thoſe, I mean, who drown their Souls in their Bodies and would have no time to live longer, than they have to ſin, and when there is an end of ſin­ning, wiſh there would be an end of living. And well it would be for them, if living like Beaſts, they might be annihilated like Beaſts. Thus men do err, not knowing the power of God. That God, who out of no­thing Created all things, can certainly reduce many things into one. When the Body is gone into a thouſand ſub­ſtances,14 he can eaſily make an abſtra­ction, and bring that Body together a­gain; as a Chymiſt, out of ſeveral Metals mingled together can abſtract one from the other, the Silver from the Gold, and the Alchimy from the Silver, and reduce every Metal to its own kind. Thus ſhould we much more believe of God, that he is able to extract and reinveſt every Soul with its own Body, though they are ming­led and confounded with many other Subſtances.

The Perſecutors of the Primitive Chriſtians burnt their Bodies into Aſhes and caſt them into the River, and all, ad tollendam ſpem Reſurrectio­nis; but all in vain, for even they alſo ſhall ariſe to a better Reſurrection; for, at the Shrill Voice of the laſt Trumpet, the greateſt Jaylors ſhall ſurrrender up all their Priſoners; all the ſcatter'd Duſt of Adams Seed ſhall ride upon Windy Wings, till it meet together in a collected Body. All the Creatures in the world, that have made their Meat of mans fleſh, ſhall finde that they have eaten Mor­ſels too hard for the digeſtion of their weak Stomach, Iſa. 26.19. The earth15 ſhall caſt forth her Dead, as a woman doth an untimely Birth; the Grave ſhall be in travel with the Dead, and ſhall be delivered of them.

Secondly, Such as make this work too eaſie, ſaying they can quicken them­ſelves; againſt all ſenſe and common reaſon. It is to maintain a propo­ſition ridiculous to all humane under­ſtanding. Can any thing make it ſelf? neither can any reaſonable Creature raiſe it ſelf to an higher rank of being than it is. A Stone cannot make it ſelf a Tree, to have growth and life; nor can a Tree make it ſelf a Beaſt, to have ſenſe, nor a Beaſt make it ſelf a man to have Reaſon, nor a Rational man make himſelf a Saint. Or elſe, aſcribe it to the Ordi­nary courſe of Nature, depriving the Lord of his Royal Prerogative.

Ʋſe 2.Here is matter offered of ſtrong conſolation and encouragement to the holy ſeed of Abraham; you believe in him who can quicken the dead. For your ſakes, let me take leave, a little to open this Cabinet, that you may view the excellency of this powerful God in whom you believe; and be ſure the proſpect will be very pleaſing.


Death, and ſo the Dead, may be conſidered three ways:

1. Politice; There is a Death of Kingdomes and States; as there is a riſing and flouriſhing, ſo there is a de­caying and dying, they ſpring, flouriſh and dye; the goodlieſt, and ſtatelieſt Politick Bodies that ever the earth bore, though animated with the ſearch­ing Spirit of the moſt profound Poli­cie, ſtrengthned with the reſolution and valour of the moſt Unconquer'd, ſight­ed with Eagles eyes, of largeſt depths, and comprehenſions of States and Crowns, adorned with never ſo many proſperities, and Triumphs; yet like the natural Body of a man, they have their revolutions and decays. Moſt apparent, in the ruines of the Roman Empire, once a glorious Body; and the once ſplendor of the Turkiſh Monarchie, and the Venetian Ariſto­cracy, which ſprang from the moſt contemptible beginning; with the Spaniſh State, which once appear'd like a Comet, threatning deſtruction angiving Laws to all the Nations round about her. The Beams and Raſors of a State may be ſo linktogether, ſo tenton'd and ſet into one17 another, as might embolden a bare Po­litician to determine it an indiſſolu­ble Conſtitution: But God under­mines all with the Breath of his Mouth. And Politicians have obſerved, that the longeſt liv'd State on Earth, ſuf­fers great alterations and Periods within the compaſs of four or five hundred years.

This decay is, 1. In matters Eccleſi­aſtical, concerning Religion. As the Church prays, Pſalm. 80.18. Quicken us, we call upon thee. And the power of Chriſt Shines marvellouſly in the great Empire of his Church, which the Father hath put into his hands, to build, raiſe and cement with his Blood, illuminate with his Light, and nouriſh with his Body. To confirm which, the Hiſtorian hath obſerv'd, how the Doctrine of the Albigenſs was pre­ſerved, notwithſtanding all enemies; and he hids all the Privy Counſellours of Nature, who can tell where the Swallows lie all the Winter, and how at the Spring they have a Reſurrecti­on from their ſeeming deadneſs; Let them, ſih he, alſo inform u, in what inviſible Sanctuary, this Doctrine did lurk, in ſpice ofll oppoſition and Per­ſecution;18 and how it reviv'd out of its Aſhes, at the coming of Luther. And withal he obſerves, that in thoſe parts of France, where the Albigen­ſes were moſt cruelly handled, now the Proteſtants (the Heirs of moſt of their Tenents) moſt Flouriſh.

2. In matters Civil, touching the Law and matter of Government; as the Lord promiſed, Iſa. 26.19. Thy Dead Body ſhall live, &c. Before, they complained of very hard labour, and that they brought forth nothing but Wind; now, thy Dead Body ſhall Live. Which ſome refer to the Ba­bylonſh Captivity, wherein they were as Dead Bones in the Grave, without any Strength, Wiſdom, or viſible hope of being delivered; yet though they ſeemed ſo very much decayed, as if they were quite withered and Conſumed with Calamity and Death, he promiſed to raiſe them again, and Cloh them with Beauty and Glory Thus the Lord quickens the Dead. If he burn his Phenix, out of the very Aſhes he will raiſe another.

2. Phyſice; And that is the Death of the Body, of which we have ſpoken already. The Erth ſhll caſt forth her19 Dead. This is eaſie to God, to whom Miracles are as eaſie as natural ope­rations. A Miracle being nothing elſe but a new Creation.

3. Ethice; Which is the Death of the Soul; Two fold, Firſt, Tempo­rary; either by the abſence of Grace or Divine Diſcretion; when Man is indeed Dead, or as a dead thing, in his own apprehenſion, the Lord quick­neth. You who were Dead he quickneth. Man is Impotent and weak, like a dead Member in the Body, he is in himſelf without Strength: And as the Organs can make no ſound, unleſs Breath be cauſed to enter into them, ſo neither can a dead Soul make any Harmony, till God breathe into it, by his Bleſſed Spirit. Secondly, Eternal, when the perſon is actually cut off from all hope, and irrecoverably ſhut up in the eternal Abyſs. So, the Lord doth not, he will not quicken, Luke 16.26. There is a great Gulf, a Dia­mond Wall between Hell and Para­dice, ſo that they who paſs from earth to Hell cannot return, &c. Tali pri­vatione non Datur Progreſſus; That Gulf being fixed by the immutable and immoveable Decree of God.


Q.How doth the Lord quicken the Dead?

Anſw.1. By ordering all that falls out in the World, for the good of his People, Ezek. 37.12,13. Thus ſaith the Lord God, Behold, O my Peo­ple, I will open your Graves, and cauſe you to come ouof your Graves, and bring you into the Land of Iſrael; and ye ſhall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your Graves, O my Peo­pl, and brught you up out of your Graves. When things were brought to a dead Lf,hen he puts to his hand, his Strength is mde known; and when the danger is moſt felt, then his hel­ping Arm is moſt welcome. When the Daughter of the Ruler of the Sy­nagogue was dead, then Ch iſt appea­red moſt advantagiouſl, Mark 5. That was the word he waitd for, and longed to hear. As Alxander the Great ſolaced himſelf with the great­neſs of his Peril in Indi, Tand m par Animo meo periculum video; So fa­reth it with our abſolute Monarch of the World, it is Joy to his heart to protract his time, till he ſee the height and maturity of danger, that ſo he may get the more honour. While things are but dying, there is21 hope in nature, and in reſpect of us; but when they are quite dead, there is hope, if we look up to God, and believe him who quickneth the Dead. We need not meddle with the great Current of his Counſels; his Power in the object of our Faith. He can make light in the midſt of duskie Nights, and Havens in the moſt for­lorn Shipwrack; and if we were with him in the Shadow of Death, what ſhould we fear in the Arms of Life?

2. By infuſing Grace and working Life. The Method or order he ob­ſerves is, Firſt, to kill by the Law, and then to quicken by the Goſpel. Firſt, he Wounds, and then Heals; He uſeth Rod, but ſuch as are dipt in Balm. And ſo the Lord quickens daily, and often woks a Miracle; and this in be­ſtowing Powr upon his Sono quick­en; and thoſre by degrees drawn by Chriſt to him•…lf, and united to him bLife Commu•…d to them. As thS•…reſ•…in the heart, re­t•…ns〈…〉•…lf, and ſends foth〈◊〉into•…y united part,e won•…ih and the whole there iontin i y, John 5.25. Verily I ſay unto you, The Hour is coming and22 now is, when the Dead ſhall hear the Voice of the Son of God, they ſhall hear and Live. John 14. and 19. Becauſe I live, ye ſhall live alſo.

3. By returning every Body his own Spirit. Ezek. 37.5. I will cauſe Breath to enter into you, and ye ſhall live. The ſame Body that dies ſhall riſe again. According to the hope of bleſſed Souls, who after the Viſion of God, do yet hope for the Reſurrecti­on of their Bodies, to which they moſt ardently wiſh to be reunited. As they, who are repreſented under the Altar, Revel. 6. and at the Tribunal of Juſtice, ask vengeance of their Blood, are inſtantly Cloathed with White Garments, in Token of that bright Fleſh, which is to be joyned to their Immortal Spirits. However ſome have conceived, that the Soul ſhall be cloathed with a new Body; which if it ſhould be granted, what would the Reſurrection be, but a new Cre­aton?

This Doctrine of the Reſurrection, is ſuch, that it is too deep for Reaſon to wade, you muſt let Faith ſwim. It is infinitely above Reaſon to ima­gine, and we have ſcarce Faith enough23 to believe it. Have an Eye to Chriſt, reſt on the Almighty Power. And ſo let me add in the next place.

3. An Uſe of Inſtruction, and that in two things.

First, Never to diſpair,

1. Not of the State, ſhould that be as low as Iſrael, Ezek. 37.11,12. Son of Man, thoſe Bones are the Houſe of Iſrael, behold, they ſay our ſtrength is dryed, and our hope is loſt; we are cut off for our parts; Therefore Pro­phecy and ſay unto them, Thus ſaith the Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your Graves, and cauſe you to come up out of your Graves, and bring you into the Land of Iſrael. Though things ſeem to Humane Apprehenſi­on, helpleſs and hopeleſs, look up to the Supream Power, who can, beyond all our thoughts, make thoſe who dwell in the Duſt, to awake and Sing. This Doctrine ſpeaks good news in that reſpect. There is Balm in Gile­ad, and a Phyſician to heal, and this Phyſician yet dwelleth in our Hemiſ­phere, with Healing under his Wings. Deſpair not, though it be brought ſo low as the Diſciples, John 21.5. who had no Meat: This Lord can turn24 Stones into Bread. Let us all pray, Lord increaſe our Faith!

2. Deſpair not of others, who are dead, and have a long time lain in the Grave of Sin. Only ſpeak to and for them; as Ezek. 37.9. Come from the four Winds, O Breath, and breathe upon theſe Slain, that they may Live. You that have Sick, Dying, yea, Dead Relations, Children, Servants, Neigh­bours, Let your Bowels yearn over them; Lift up a Prayer for them; the Prayer of Faith may Heal the Sick, and Save a Dead Soul. No better Phyſick to be given at a Dead Lift, in the moſt deſperate Caſe, than Prayer. All you that have felt the Diſeaſe of Sin, and the Powerful Mercy of Chriſt, learn to pity others, and hope for their Healing and Quickning. He can turn noiſom Dunghils into Mines of Gold, Brands of Hell into Light­ſom Stars in his Firmament.

3. Deſpair not of your ſelves; though you have no Spiritual Life, but are all over like a Dead Carkaſs; yet wait at the gate of this great Phy­ſician; there may be a Time of Love come, Ezek. 16.6,8. He works at all hours. You may Reap if you25 Faint not. Deus veſter eſt Deus Vi­vificus.

Secondly, be Inſtructed, to prepare dayly for the generall Reſurrection, for the coming of the great day of God, wherein he may give you new Bodies, Immortal, Agile, Incorupti­ble, Priviledged with Favours, and Gilded with the Bright Splendours of the Body of Chriſt Jeſus. You are haſting towards that Eternal Eſtate every day. Forſake, Forſake the Love of theſe ſleight Cottages, thoſe poor Ant-hills, which Enthral ſo many Spirits, deveſted of thoſe Divine Seeds which bud under Generous and Hea­venly Breaſts.

1. Uſe the means, and look through them to Chriſt; ſtill ſaying, I have a Dead Heart, O Lord, ſome quick­ning Grace! Chriſt is not of more Power then Sympathy. You hath he quickned, who were Dead.

2. Be thankful for Spiritual Life, in Poſſeſſion or Expectation. In this God hath done more for you, than if he had made you Princes of the Earth. In this, he hath done more for you, than if he had made you Angels. O be thankful! God in Quickning you,26 hath done more for you, than if he had given you the World. Let your Hearts and Mouths be filled with Praiſes. It is a Mercy calls for your higheſt Praiſes in the Days of Eternity.

THe Second Branch of the Text which Illuſtrates the Omnipotent Soveraignty of Chriſt, comes next to be Conſidered, viz.

Calling things that are not, as though they were.

An Effect or peculiar Property of the Deity, whereby God (with ſpecial Reference to Chriſt the Son, who ap­peared to Abraham, and in whm he believing was juſtified) is deſcribed.

The words are few, the Sentence ſhort, and hard to be underſtood: not how it is a ground of Faith; that eaſily follows; but how〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſhould be in the Divine Underſtand­ing〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, how the God of Truth ſhould Congruouſly and truely call things that are not, as though they were; this is difficult to conceive.

For the Clearing and Opening of it, to the weak Capacity of man, ſome have and may, provided it be done with Reverence, Sobriety, and27 Reference to the Scripture chiefly (for we cannot ſpeak of God, but as he hath ſpoken of himſelf) take Oc­caſion to diſcourſe,

1. Of the Infinite Eſſence, Compre­hending and Repreſenting all that ever ſhould have being, to the Divine Underſtanding.

2. Of the Infinite Preſence, and drawing together the whole Succeſſi­on of time, as if preſent, not Imagi­narily but really, and Coexiſting with all time. I am that I am; i. e. The Abſolute Being, the Independent and firſt Original of all Eſſences; Jehovah, the Alpha and Omega.

But while they have gone about in their own words to bring this Infinite Myſtery under mans finite Capacity, they have left it more Obſcure. I conceive it ſafer to be Contented with Scripture Phraſes, not as Moulded this or that way by humane Reaſon, but as they lye in the Text, viz. in Ʋniverſalibus, Large and General Ex­preſſions, and not deſcend to curious Particulars; rather falling under an awful Adoration and Beleif, than an exact Extrance on any ſuch Subject, beyond what we may be aſſured is Re­vealed. 28This is to be wiſe to Sobriety:

Eſpecially, Conſidering,

Firſt, Our great Apoſtles Admi­ration, Rom. 11.33. O the Depth of the Riches of the Wiſdom of God! where obſerve a Difference between Wiſdom and Knowledg. Knowledg is of things to come, though Inconvenient and Diſallowed; Wiſdom of things convenient and approved. As the excellent Dr. Twiſs, (Contr. Jackson) hath noted. And alſo his Impoſed Silence, 2 Cor. 12.4. His unſpeak­able words, not Lawful for any to ut­ter. It is not for you to know Acts 1.

Secondly, The raſh and preſumptuous Adventure of ſome School-Divines, who, affecting Novelty and Obſcurity, deliver things hard to be underſtood (if not Impoſſible to be ſo) about the Divine Attributes, thoſe ſcorching and Peircing Beams, that others may fear to hear or read. Such curious Pries there have been into this Ark and Cabinet of Gods Secrets, not meaſu­rable by the line of Humane Reaſon, or faſhionable by the Plummet of any Created Underſtanding. And there­fore we ſhould ſtill cry out, with that great Doctor of the Gentiles,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉!


Thirdly, Conſidering how difficult a Paſſage it is; Nature helps little, and God hath ſpoken little of himſelf. How dangerous is it to Err? Homo ſum non Intelligo ſecreta Dei; Inveſti­gare non Audeo; hoc ipſum Temerita­tis genus eſt: ſaith Salvian, Lib. 3. de Guber. Dei. And it was a grave and ſerious Speech of Seneca, worthy the Conſideration of the greateſt Divines, Nunquam nos Verecundiores eſſe debe­mus, quam de Deo Agitur. It ſhould not ſeem ſtrange, if ſtrucken with thoſe Rayes which dazle the Eyes of Seraphins, we yeild to his Greatneſs, and diſcourſe in the Secret Myſteries of the Scripture, with great Modera­tion, and take heed that neither our Thoughts nor Tongues proceed any further, than the Bounds of Gods word do extend. We ſhould be wil­ling to be Ignorant, where our great Maſter would not let us know. And, Neſcire velle quae Magiſter maximus nos ſcire non vult, Erudita Inſcitia eſt: as Scaliger hath expreſſed it. To all which I ſhall add that weighty Con­ſideration of Renowned Calvin, who, Lib. 1. Inſtit: cap. 13. Sect. 21. Speaks to this Effect, How may the30 Mind define the Immeaſurable Eſſence of God unſeen? and therefore with Moulin, Haec Perobſcura ſunt, et iimide et Religioſe Tranctanda.

I ſhall therefore in handling this Text before us, do, as Men uſe to do in great Rivers or deep Waters, keep cloſe to the ſhoar, and Labour to have firm ground to walk by, both in Ex­plaining and after in concluding thoſe plain Truths thence ariſing, moſt uſe­ful for us.

For Explication, we may take No­tice of three things.

1. The Subject, implyed, He; the Meſſiah, the Mediator. Chriſt was he that appeared to Abraham; Chriſt it was in whom he believed. He gave being to things that had no beings in the Creation. He blew the Univerſe into an Exiſtency by the Breath of his Mouth, and by his Fiat reared the Heaven and Earth with all therein; and he preſerveth them in being, and Reſtoreth them in and by the Reſurrection. An Invincible Ar­gument of Chriſts Divinity againſt the Arrians and Servetians, with o­ther Enemies, who will not that Chriſt ſhould Reign over them, and will not31 Honour him with any perſonal Exi­ſtence, till he was born into the world of the Virgin-Mary; they not being able to bear ſo Reſplendent a Light, have endeavour'd to obſcure it by the Fumes of their Brains.

2. The Work, Call. Taken e­ſpecially three wayes in the Holy Scriptures: And ſo

1. For the Knowledge of God, Iſa. 42.6. I the Lord have called them in Righteouſneſs. Chap. 43.1. Fear not O Jacob, I have Redeemed thee, I have called thee by my Name,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Vo­cavit, is uſed in both Texts. And ſo in the 147 Pſal. 4. He telleth the Number of the Stars, he calleth them all by Name.

And this, either of things in Act, that have been or ſhall be; called Scientiam Purae Viſionis; or of things Poſſible; Called Scientiam pro Sim­licis Intelligentiae, ſo far as they are knowable.

2. It is taken for the Power of Godalling: i. e. Cauſing not only thingshat have no actual Exiſtence, to ap­ear as being; but giving them be­ng in time. So, in the Creation healled for Light, Fiat, and there was32 Light; and ſo of other things; he calleth them into being, by his No­ble and Divine manner of working, which the Scripture calleth Creation, bringing them from not being to a be­ing, producing the matter of which they conſiſt, preparing and ſitting it, as now it is, Inveſting it with all thoſe Forms and Admirable Qualities, or which all the Motions of their Nature do depend. And elſe-where, it iſaid, he called for Famine and the Sword i. e. he Commanded and EffectuallCauſed them, Pſal. 105.16. Jer 25.29.

3. It is taken for the Manifeſtatioof both, in diſpenſing Means and dipoſing his Creature, according to thRight and Dominion he hath ovethem as Creatures. Rom. 8.30. & 9. •…I will call them my People which were•…my People &c.

3. Here is the Effect of this Wor〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Things that areas though they were. Not beings afta manner, are cauſed to be.

While ſome underſtand it of tfirſt, others of the Second, I cannotſee Reaſon, why we may not undeſtand it of all. And ſo they offer to oConſideration,


1. The Omniſciency of Chriſt Jeſus, our Mediatour.

2. The Omnipotency of our God, in whom we believe.

Firſt, The Omniſciency of Christ Jeſus our Mediatour. He calleth, i. e. by his Knowledge foreſeeing all things preſented, as if actually exiſting be­fore him; not as exiſting or being in the Divine Nature (as Aquinas held their real exiſtence in Eternity, confuted by Scotus,) except by way of Eminency: but as to exiſt in time, according to the Will and Wiſdom of the Creator, Pſal. 139.2. Thou knoweſt my down-ſitting and my up-ri­ſing, thou underſtandeſt my Thoughts a far off: and Verſe 6. Such Knowledge is too wonderful for me, it is high, I cannot attaint: i. e. his Omniſciency. Unto which add, (leſt any ſhould conceive this to be verified of God the Father only) John 21.17. Lord, thou knoweſt all things, thou knoweſt that I lovhee, Spoken of Chriſt.

Objectedhere may be that of the Evangliſt, Mrk 13.32. Of that Day and Hour knoweth no man, no not the Angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.


Anſw.To which I Anſwer; This Text hath puzled many, Ancient and Modern; For reſolution know, 1. That Chriſt did not know that day as he was a Creature; neither was it fit for a Creature to know. Though to Chriſt is granted a Tranſcendent Knowledge: He had a Created Know­ledge, anſwering his ſinleſs Capacity, in his Humane Nature: Concreated, by a Participation of the Divine Vi­ſion; Infuſed, neceſſarily following the Hypoſtatical Union. Yea, the Schoolman hath obſerved, that Chriſt had an acquired and experimental Knowledge, daily gotten by the ope­ration of the active intellect, making ſpecies actually intelligible, abſtract­ing them from the Phantaſms; Yet as man, he knew not that day. There are two things to be conſidered in Chriſt; viz. His Perſon; and ſo he is Omniſciet: his Humane Nature, and ſo he was ſubject to a Negative ignorance of ſuch things, whereof the Humane Nature was not capable. Totus Chriſtus, was Omniſcient; but not Totum Chriſti; he knew as he was God; he did not know as he was man. Neither is it any diſhonour to35 Chriſt, to have ſuch an ignorance imputed to him, ſince it doth peculi­arly belong to his Humane Nature. But,

2. We may reſolve the Text thus; that it did not appertain to his Office to teach them of that time; So Noſce is put for Docere; 1 Cor. 2.2. I De­termined to know nothing among you but Chriſt Jeſus and him Crucified. i. e. to Preach any other thing, but Chriſt; his Name and Grace, his Spirit and Love ſhall Triumph in my Diſcourſes to you. For without doubt, then Chriſt knew that day.

Now to add more force to our Pen, we will here propound ſome Enqui­ries, the reſolution of which, will yeild great illuſtration to this Do­ctrine.

Q.How did Chriſt know?

Anſw.Not by diſcourſe, as men and Angels do. We know one thing after another, and one thing by ano­ther. But the Infinite Underſtanding of Chriſt, graſps all things, Simel et Semel, at an Inſtant, without any Di­latory Viw or long Debate; by ſee­ing the Determination of his own Will; all being preſent before him,36 who is preſent every where. And that for divers Reaſons:

1. Becauſe he had the Idea of all, and the Reaſon and Ground of all preſent before him. Though the Knowledge here ſpoken of, is not ſo much direct, Intending on the things themſelves; as Reflex, by an Act of Intuition on himſelf, the moſt clear glaſs he ſeeth all things in.

2. Becauſe his Eye was carried from all Eternity, upon and over all; and that by Vertue of the Eter­nity and Immenſity of his being. God is in all things, and therefore knows all things. He is a Sphere of Infinite Greatneſs and Efficacy, and whatever is beſides this Sphere, muſt neceſſarily be within it, Encircled and Folded up in it. And hence David proves Gods Omniſciency by his Omnipreſence, Pſal. 134.2.

3. The Effect doth ever vertually pre-exiſt in the Efficient cauſe; either Formally, as in Univocal Cauſes, or by way of Eminence, as here. All things known by God, are God, in a more Noble Manner than in themſelves.

Q. 2.How can God know things that are not; for non entis, null eſt Scientia?


Anſw.Of no being ſimply, neither in Act nor Power, the Rule is true; but thoſe〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not Beings, were then in eſſe Cognito, and ſhould certainly be in eſſe Formali; He firſt ſeeth them in his own Eſſence, and then blows them into being, by the Breath of his Mouth, by his comman­ding word.

Queſt. 3.Whether this do not make ſomething for Equivocation?

Anſw.Not at all. For, 1. To call things that are not, as though they were, is a Divine Priviledge, men may not do ſo. 2. It is an Eſſential Repreſentation, not a Mental Reſer­vation. One thing is not conceived and another called; but things that are not, are called, as if they were, which ſhall be in time, as they were known and called before time.

Objectedthan it may be, That the Lord foreſaw Sin, as if it had been in Act.

Anſw.Undoubtedly he did; pur­poſing to produce and ſuſtain the Act, and permit the obliquity. Which can­not reflect on God, as if he were the Author of Sin, in not preventing it; For though Sin be the worſt thing in38 the World, yet the exiſtence of Sin is not Evil, for then God would not Per­mit it to be. Proſper and Hilary both, with Renowned Auſtin, ſay, The Cauſe hereof may be unknown to to us, but unjuſt it cannot it be as God.

Which Doctrine offers to us,

1. Matter of Information, in the fol­lowing particulars.

Firſt, of the Independency of the Creator, in producing and diſpoſing of the Creature. Nothing out of God did move him to do any thing to them. True it is, that he knew them in him­ſelf, in their Cauſes, and in themſelves; not by Species reſulting from them, but by Reflection on his own Nature. Extra ſe non quaerit Lumen ut videat, ipſe enim eſt qui videt & unde videt. He needs not Light from without him­ſelf to ſee by, for he it is that ſeeth, and from himſelf it is that he ſeeth; as Bernard expreſſeth it. Jer. 5. Before I Formed thee in the Womb, I know thee. 2 Tim. 2.19. The Lord knoweth who are his;〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, No Love, no Election, no foreſeen Faith or Work: for then they ſhould have been fore­ſeen in God and not in Man.

Secondly, of the Neceſſity of the39 Creature, both in reſpect of Exiſtence and Operation. He calleth thoſe things which are not, as though they were, becauſe of the Neceſſity and Certainty of their being. Under­ſtand this with Reference to the firſt cauſe. For if we look to ſecond cauſes, there are three ſorts, viz. Neceſſary, which cannot but do this and that; as the Fire neceſſarily burneth, and the Sun ſhineth. Free, to this or that Act; as the reaſonable Creature is. Con­tingent; beyond Expectation pro­ducing Effects accordingly: but all known to the firſt Cauſe, before they were, as if they were. So that there is no Room nor need for any Scientia Media.

Thirdly, we are Informed how this Divine Omniſcience is a ground of Faith: viz. On a Three-fold account.

1. As it is known to be infallible; his Priviledge that cannot deceive, nor be deceived.

2. As it is known to be Immutable, ſubject to no Alteration or Variati­on, Jam. 1.17. he is deſcribed to be withut variableneſs or Shadow of Change: As the Sun, he Shines always with the ſame Rayes of Brightneſs40 (Eclipſes only excepted;) an At­tribute that runs through all the reſt; his Mercy, Council, Love, are all im­mutable, his Heart is the ſame to day and for ever. We may be Changed in our opinions and Eſtate, but the Di­vine Nature never Changeth.

3. As it is Incommunicable. Eve­ry Creature is Finite, and this is In­finite. The Gods of the Gentiles were often herein challenged and found wanting: The firſt Angels would have had it; but ſunk under the weight of that deſire; and Adams Candle aſpiring to be a Sun, hath burnt the dimmer ever ſince.

All theſe laid together, will prove a ſtrong Motive to believe.

In the Second Ʋſe of this point, is diſcovered the folly of men, in two things, viz.

Firſt, In endeavouring to prevent Gods Omniſciency, by ſinning ſecure­ly becauſe ſecretly, and digging deep to hide their Plots. Hear the Lan­guage of the Prophet, Iſa. 24.15,16. We to them that digg deep, to hide their Counſels from the Lord. They think no eye ſeeth them, not his, who can do nothing but ſee: How vain! 41The Eyes of God are like two Fla­ming Torches, more reſplendent than the Sun it ſelf; none can ſteal from his Lightning Flaſhes. Screetch-Owls may find Holes and Nights to keep them from the day, which they can­not abide, but he that flies from the Face of God, where can he find dark­neſs enough to hide himſelf? O blind and inſenſible Fugative from the So­vereign Eſſence, in the Region of Nothing, whither wilt thou go, not to find the reproaches of thy Crimes! Be Confident, he that can ſave from the deadlieſt extremities, can alſo ſee in the darkeſt obſcurities.

Secondly, In endeavouring to uſurp it; and that,

1. By manifeſt falſhood not only of the Pope and his adherents, defining and concluding things that are not as though they were; but others al­ſo, who daringly call their Sins, Gods Temptations; The Woman thou ga­veſt me, &c. And many have laid the Baſtards of Hereſie to the door of the Sanctuary, and called Diabolical Seductions, Evangelical Revelations; as if the Father of Lights could bring forth the Iſſues of Death. This42 is to uſurp the Royal Prerogative of Heaven, and to invade the Lords In­communicable Property.

2. By Flattery; and that either of our ſelves or others. Of our ſelves; calling Carnal Contents, Pleaſure, Diſſolute Paſſions, true Mirth; Cove­touſneſs, Providence; Vain-Glory, Curioſity; Preſumption, Hope; Fa­ding Creatures, true Riches; againſt our Knowledge. Solomon calls them〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, things that are not, in compari­ſon of true Riches, Contentment and Duration; for they make to them­ſelves Wings and flie away as the Ea­gle towards Heaven. Of others; eſ­pecially the Great and the Rich; for ſooner will an hot May want flies, than ſuch want Flatterers, calling them to be what they are not. Such was that Paraſite who endeavoured to puff up King Canutus, by telling him that all his Dominions, nay the Seas themſelves, were at his Command. And Onuphirus the Popes Biographer, praiſed Hildebrand, or Gregory the Seventh, for notable Acts and great Vertues, whom Cardinal Pembo true­ly deſcribed to have been a Murthe­rer, an Adulterer, a Conjurer, every43 way as bad as might be. Mark Antho­ny was a Prince extreamly diſſolute, yet was by his Flatterers called, God Bacchus, and he ſoon came to that ſhameful impudence, as to have that title engraved on his Statute. Such ſervile Souls there are, who bind themſelves like Fiſhers Angling Lines, ſeeing their advantages to depend on impertinent Diſcourſe, and that the falſe Altars of Worldly Greatneſs will be ſerved with ſuch Smoke, ſpare it no more than a man would water in a River. No Age, but has been peſtered with ſuch Cattle. Nero's Courtiers would ſooth him up for his ſinging, though it were exceeding ill, with a Quam pulcher Caeſar Apollo Auguſtus! Like the Flatterer in the Fa­ble, who accomodating himſelf to the time, gave the Ape many ſpeci­ous praiſes, ſaying, He was a Vermi­lian Roſe, and that thoſe that environ'd him, his Young Ones, were the Leaves; that he was the Sun, and thoſe about him were the Raies; that he was as Valiant as a Lyon, all his off-ſpring were a Race of Young Lyons. With a multitude among our ſelves, who call the niggard, Bountiful; the Vo­luptuous,44 Chaſte; the Proud, Hum­ble; the Civil Man, Religious; above their Knowledge; they are not ſo we ſee it, neither can we make them ſo, and therefore ſhould not call them ſo,

Ʋſe 3.In the third place, this Do­ctrine yeilds ſingular comfort to all the Faithful. Your Saviour,

1. Knows all your enemies to pre­vent them. He that ſits in Heaven, Laughs them to ſcorn, the Lord will have them in Deriſion; be they never ſo cunning and politick; the Di­vine Providence ſhut up in a Cloud, Roareth over their heads, and in a moment will overthrow the Moun­tains of Wind, which the Tyrants of the World raiſe one upon the o­ther, and make their ſilly wiſdom appear like an Owl, unfeathered and aſham'd at the Raies of Noon-day; though their alitudes may be ſo ma­ny Raviſhments to dark the Earth. As it was once ſaid of Anthony con­cerning Auguſtus, ſo it may be of Chriſt and the Enemies of his people, His Geinus goes beyond theirs.

2. He knows all our wants to ſup­ply them; inward, outward, of Soul, Body, for Preſent, for Future45 Cheer up your drooping Spirits, in the Conſideration of your Saviour. In him dwelleth all fulneſs, as he is Mediatour, eſtabliſhed and deſtinated for your Salvation; ſo that all Perfection, Riches, Grace and Excel­lencies meet there together, Divinity and Humanity fill'd with all the Qua­lities and Properties that pertain to them, there concur; which Chriſt hath not for himſelf, but for his Peo­ple; as the Sea hath Water, to Con­vey unto the Earth, and the great Luminary hath Brightneſs to Enligh­ten the Heavens and the Earth, that from it, as from a Common ſource, might Stream forth into all things all the Flame and Warmth they want.

3. Chriſt knows all your Sins, to Pardon and Subdue them. He cal­leth you now, what you are not; Cant. 4.7. Thou art all fair my Love, and there is no Spot in thee. You ſhall be, becauſe he will make you ſo. Your Light ſhall be without any Shadow, your Beauty without the leaſt Spot to diſgrace it. Thoſe Roſes that are now in their Bloſſom, ſhall be fully blown, and thoſe Stars which are46 now Impriſoned in a Cloud, ſhall be ſet in a Clear Skie. The Bright Dia­mond of your Souls, now ſoiled with Corruption, ſhall be cleanſed; all the Black Spots now fixt there, ſhall be changed into radiant Lights of Heaven. Comfort one another with theſe words!

Ʋſe 4.Laſtly, We are hence in­ſtructed in ſome few Duties, viz. 1. To ſhun inward Sins; Hypocriſie, Pride, Vain-Glory, Infidelity, as carefully as outward and more viſi­ble Sins. God is Omniſcient, and views the ſins of the heart, as well as the ſins of the Life; the under Roots as well as the upper Boughs. He ſees Faults where men ſee none. Nay, that which ſhines to mans eye like a Dia­mond, is in Gods Ballance a Con­temptible Worm. It was a wiſe pra­ctice, therefore, of that Arabian we read of, who to prevent ſin, repre­ſented to himſelf over his head, an Eye which perpetually enlightned him, an Ear which heard him, and an Hand which meaſured out all his Deportments and Demeanours. Veri­ly, the due conſideration of Gods Eye, will blunt a thouſand and a47 thouſand Arrows ſhot againſt the heart of a reſolute Chriſtian. If the exerciſe thereof, were as familiar to us, as it is effectual; how power­ful a motive would it be, to cleanſe all the impurities of our Intentions and affections, and give us leave to arrive to the top of Perfection!

2. To ſeek to him for Knowledg. Ignorance is no Branch of his Image who is Omniſcient. Let it be the Mother of Popiſh Devotion, ſuf­fer it not ſo much to be with the Profeſſion of Chriſts Religion. He giveth wiſdom liberally. He deſcend­ed into the Country of Darkneſs, to ſcatter Knowledg by his brightneſs, and ceaſeth not to give light, and kindle in our hearts many Inſpirati­ons, which are like ſo many Stars, to conduct us to the Fountain of our Happineſs. Hear him promiſing, All thy Children ſhall be taught of God. It is his Prerogative to teach Hearts. The Sun enlightens the World, and Chriſt enlightens Souls. Make it your Prayer, Lord, breathe upon us; breathe thy Spirit into thy Word! You may read the Bible and hear Ser­mons over and over, but to no pur­poſe,48 till the Spirit of Chriſt Shine in your Hearts; and the more Com­merce you have with the Divine Eſ­ſence, the more ſplendour you ſhall enjoy. And having obtained, uſe all to his Glory from whom you receive all. Be faithful Stewards. Like as ſmall Rivers, which pay their Tribute and acknowledgments to the great Ocean whence they came.

3. Prize the Lord Jeſus Chriſt; ſet an high eſteem upon him: why do we Reverence Learned men among our ſelves, as thoſe eminent Doctors, Reynolds, both former and latter; Perkins, Bolton, Luther, Melancthon, Muſculus, Beza, Calvin, Zanchis, Chamier, Camero and others? Among our Adverſaries, Lumbard, Aquinas, Durand, Hales, &c. Among the Gen­tiles, Ariſtotle, Plutarch, Homer, &c. With other brave Fellows, ſeparated from us, by many Lands and Seas, yea, by Death; and all for their Knowledg; becauſe we have ſeen a Ray of their wits upon Paper, Beams of their Knowledg, which was but a drop of his Ocean, and a Spark of his Light, who Enlightneth every one that cometh into the World; this49 made them admired. If Alexander could ſay, That he was more Bound to Ariſtotle his Schoolmaſter, than to his Natural Parent; how much more are we Bound unto and ſhould we Prize and Praiſe our Omniſcient Jeſus?

Secondly, we have here offer'd to our Conſideration, The Omnipo­tency of our God, in whom we Be­lieve.

He calleth; i. e. he Cauſeth things not only to appear, but alſo to be in time, as they were willed and ſeen be­fore time;

This Power is either Abſolute; whereof ſacred writings ſay but little, and about which, we are not to en­quire; or Actual, as Limited by his Will, and Ordered by his Wiſdom, to give being, and diſpoſe his Crea­tures by means, to their ſeveral ends. Of which we are now to diſcourſe; giving us two Obſervations; viz.

1. That our God, in whom Abraham believed, and we ſhould belilve, is Omni­potent.

2. That the Omnipotency of our God, in whom we ſhould believe, is a firm ground of Faith.


For the former; Our God is Omni­potent. He can do all things that im­ply not Imperfection; as to Sin, and deny himſelf: to Sin, is againſt his Supremacy; he hath no Superiour a­gainſt whom he might offend; It is againſt his Natural Sanctity and Om­nipotency. Or, that imply not a Contradiction; as to be and not to be at the ſame time, in the ſame Re­ſpect, becauſe that is Repugnant to Entity

Thiis true of all the Perſons; 1. Of the Father; none ever Acknow­ledging a God, denying it. So we have it in the Apoſtles Creed, I believe in God, the Father Almighty. Where, Almighty, is applyed to the Father, Incluſively; as, Lord, or Dominion is appropriated to the Son, not exclu­ding the Father or the Holy Spirit. Hence it is, that Hereticks have ap­propriated all the Attributes of Eter­nity, Omniſciency, Omnipotency, to the Father alone.

2. It is true of the Son. John 1.3. All things were made by him, and with­out him was nothing made. Which latter Clauſe, is added for•…e more Certainty; it being uſual with the51 Hebrews, thus by Negation to Confirm, what before they have af­firmed, where they would aſſure that the thing is ſo indeed. He is there­fore ſtiled, The firſt and the laſt, Revel. 1.17. It is a verity that is written with the Rays of a vaſt number of Divine Witneſſes.

3. It is true of the Holy Spirit. Gen. 1.2. The Spirit moved on the Face of the Waters; i. e. he ſuſtained them by the Power of his Sublimity. How­ever Interpreters have varied here­about, yet all conclude it to be the Spirit of God, nothing diſtinct from the Deity, or Infinite Active Power of God. So the Pſalmiſt, 95 Pſalm, which our Apoſtle takes notice of, as ſpoken not by, but of the Holy Spirit; Hebr. 3.7.

The Grounds whereof are two­fold,

1. The Unity of Nature doth im­ply, equality of Power; we ſay, we be­lieve there are three Subſiſtences in the Divine Eſſence, and that each of thoſe Perſons, is truely and properly God: and we find ſuch Attributes and works aſcribed to the whole Nature of the Deity, to the ſeve­ral52 Perſons Subſiſting in that Divine Nature, as do evince their Power to be the ſame.

2. This Manifeſtation of power, is opus ad extra, and therefore com­mon: According to that conſtant Rule of Credit among all Divines, Opera Trinitatis ad extrſunt indiviſa: But eſpecially Attributed to the Second Perſon here and in moſt pla­ces; becauſe that is moſt benefici­al to the Church, and is moſt op­Poſed by Enemies. Gen. 17.1. I am God Almighty, [Elſhaddai,] ſignifying, either Sufficiency, becauſe he is ſufficient of himſelf, as Pſalm 16.2. My Goodneſs extendeth not to thee, &c. He is Infinitely above Crea­tures; Infinite in Eſſence and Good­neſs, comprehending within himſelf all good, and anticipating it to all Eter­nity with an incomparable Eminen­cy. Or elſe, it ſignifieth, Omnipoten­cy (for the word will bear both) all things yielding to him, both for their being, order and continuance. Gen. 18.14. Is there any thing too hard for thLrd? Numb. 23.19. God is not as mn that he ſhould lie, neither the Son of Man, that he ſhould Repent;53 hath he ſaid, and ſhall he not do it? Mat. 19.26. With God all things are poſ­ſible.

But what need of proof? It is a truth written as with Rayes of the Sun; confirm'd at leaſt 70 times in the Scriptures of God, as ſome have taken pains to reckon them. Add we may,

1. The Confeſſion and practice of the Saints of God in all Ages; 2 Chron. 20.12. O our God wilt thou not judge them? 2 Chron. 25.9. God hath power to help and to caſt down. Flying from their Enemies both inward and out­ward, to reſt upon his Rock of Pow­er. Rom. 7.25. I thank God through Jeſus Chriſt. 1 Cor. 15.57. O Death where is thy Sting! Thanks be to God through Chriſt.

2. The works of Chriſt; Curing the Diſeaſed; Mark 5.26,27. Clean­ſing the Temple, Math. 21.12,13. Which Jerom Attributes to his Om­nipotency; that he ſo mean, ſhould at­tempt a matter ſo conſiderable, a­gainſt ſo many proud, inſolent per­ſons, arm'd with Authority, and at ſuch a time; and extolls it above rai­ſing of Lazarus from the Dead, Re­ſtoring54 the Blind to ſight, and the Lame to their Limbs. This was his Divine Work. Not to omit the mentioning of his Changing Water into Wine; John 27.

Thus as the greatneſs of the Sun is meaſured by a ſmall Shadow on the Earth, ſo many times there needs but few words to illuſtrate a great Vertue.

The Reaſons are many, I ſhall chuſe out and inſiſt upon two only:

1. The Unitie of Nature common to all the Perſons, John 17.22. As we are one. Ʋnum per Ʋnitatem; i. e. by the abſolute ſimplicitie of Nature. Phil. 2.6. Who Reckoned himſelf e­qual with God, in that incomprehen­ſible abundance of Perfection, where­of the ſupream Adorable Nature is full; as Life, Goodneſs, Immenſity, Eternity, Holineſs, and all other Properties, which it hath in an infal­lible manner. Now from the purity and Perfection of that Infinite Being, we may thus argue for Omnipotency, viz.

That which hath Being and is moſt diſtant from Paſſive Power, being Ens Simpliſſimum, & Actus puriſſimus, a55 most Simple Being, and a moſt pure Act, muſt partake Infinitely of Active Pow­er; which is Omnipotency,

Again; In whom is found the Per­fection of all things, in him is alſo found the Perfection of Power: But in Chriſt is found the Perfection of all things, Emi­nently, as is already proved, therefore in him, is the Perfection of Power; which is Omnipotency, to which no­thing can be added.

2. The Equality of Attributes; as is his Knowledge, ſo is his Will and Power, Pſal. 135.6. Whatſoever the Lord pleaſed, that did he in Heaven and Earth. Now Knowledg and Power, are according to the Condi­tion of Nature; Men know and can do ſomething; Angels know and can do more; but God moſt of all, his Knowledg is Infinite, and ſo muſt his Power needs be.

The Second Doctrine from hence, now comes to hand, viz. That this is a Principal Ground of Faith.

See Heb. 11.6. Without Faith it is Impoſſible to pleaſe God; for he that cometh to God, muſt believe that he is, and that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently ſeek him.


Gen. 17. When God would encou­rage Abraham, he maketh himſelf known by the glorious Attribute of his Almighty Power; I am God Al­ſufficient. Math. 8.2. Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me Clean. There is no ſuch proper Pillar to uphold a falling Spirit, as this of the power of God; No Shade like to this, toward off the ſtrokes of Evil. One Shine of this Attribute in its full Luſtre of Glory, is able to diſpell in a moment, all the nights of Fear, Doubts, Temptations, which may at any time overſpread the Heaven of the Soul, it cauſeth them utter­ly to vaniſh. Here's the Adaman­tine Bulwark againſt all Adverſary Power. The Devil is Mighty, but not Almighty, as my God and Savi­our is; was that comforted Luther, that Incarnate Seraphin, and Cham­pion of Chriſt.

How it is ſo, will further appear, if we conſider,

1. The Difficulty of things offer'd, both for matter and manner. As that all things ſhould be ours again, after they were loſt; that the Di­vine and Humane Nature ſhould be57 united; that a Virgin ſhould Con­ceive and Bear a Son; what great and admirable things are theſe? Here are matters which the cleereſt Underſtandings of Men and Angels entertain with Amazement, things in a Sphere above Nature, beyond all Humane Diſquiſition; The deep things of God; the Divine Om­nipotency can only maintain Faith in the ſenſe of their poſſibility.

2. His Propriety in and over all. He made all, gave them a Being according to the Idea and Platform preſented to the Divine Underſtan­ding; and he hath abſolute Right to diſpoſe of all, Rom. 9.18. To do with his own as he will. His Power is independent, and Prerogative il­limited, Pſal. 8.6. to be underſtood of Chriſt; Thou madeſt him to have Dominion over the works of thine Hands. Which Abſolute Power flow­eth not from the nature of Commu­nicative Bounty, in beſtowing Gifts, to ſome more, to others leſs, and ſo hath more or leſs Right over them; for then his Power ſhould be finite and limited, as (Arminians hold, only to cut off the Abſolute58 Decree, which the Lord paſt by ver­tue of his Right) no Creature be­ing capable of an Infinite meaſure of goodneſs: But from the Excellency of his Nature, being Omniſcient, Omnipotent, Infinite, Eternal, &c.

3. From the Irreſiſtability of his pow­er: All things do obey him. There is nothing from Heaven to Hell which boweth not under his Laws. Rom. 9.19. Who hath reſiſted his Will? Luke 7.7,8. Say the words, and thy Servant ſhall he Healed. And this is true of Chriſt, as appears Math 8.27. Even the Winds and the Seas obey him. Xerxes the Perſian Monarch, threw Fetters into the Sea, as if he would have Chained the unruly Waves; but to little purpoſe; but when Chriſt ſpeaks, The Winds and the Seas ſhall obey him. By a word he unpins the Wheels and breaks the Axle-Tree of the whole Creation. In ſhort, what­ever the Divine Unerſtanding can Comprehend, ſo much the Divine Power can Execute.

4. From the Incommunicableneſs of this Attribute. No Creature is Ca­pable of being Omnipotent: & quic­quid recipitur, ad modum Recipientis,59 Recipitur. Beſides every Creature is Reſiſtable in the Exerciſe of Natural Qualities. In him we Live and move and have our Being: he Supports, Re­ſtrains, and orders all.

But here we meet with Objections from ſome, who, Imitating the Sor­cerers, caſt miſts upon the Brighteſt Morning.

1 Object.May not this Omnipotency be Imputed to the Humane Nature of Chriſt?

Anſw.By Reaſon of the Union Hy­poſtatical, the Properties of both Na­tures may be Communicated to the Perſon, and yet not mutually between the Natures. The Natures were not Changed, nor their Properties Con­founded, each Retaining after, what was peculiar before Chriſt ſuffered and Dyed, but according to his Humani­ty; Chriſt was Omniſcient and Om­nipotent, but according to his Deity.

2 Object.Is raiſed from that Paſ­ſage of Chriſt himſelf, Math. 28.18. All Power is given me in Heaven and in Earth; which ſay ſome, cannot be underſtood of his Deity, for ſo he was not Capable of any Addition.

Anſw.It is ſpoken of Chriſt as60 Mediator. Omnipotency was given to him for Interceſſion, and Aplication of his Merits, for the Governing and gathering of his Saints; That all things ſhall work together for good: ſo, John 5.22. The Father judgeth no man, but hath Committed all Judgment to the Son; and for other Places of that Nature, they are to be underſtood, not Simply of Power, but of Authority; accord­ing to that, 1 Cor. 15.24,25. Then the End ſhall come, when he ſhall have delivered up the Kingdom to God even the Father, when he ſhall have put down all Rule and all Authority and Power; for he muſt Reign till he hath Subdued all his Enemies under his Feet. Which eſtabliſheth the former anſwer.

3. Object.Is it not Communicated to Believers?

Anſw.Chriſt hath given very great Power to Believers, in ſo much as 1. Believers can do all things; but then ſee whence their bow hath ſuch a back of Steel, viz, in and from Chriſt, by a derived Power. Chriſt leaves on ſuch as have received him, ſome foot­ſteps and Impreſſions of his Omnipo­tency: for, whereas Divine Power Conſiſts eſpecially in two things viz.61 In Gods being able to do all things that are Regularly poſſible, and his not being able to do any thing Sin­ful; ſo, we find ſome Prints of both upon Chriſtians; I can do all things, ſaith Saint Paul; And whoſoever is born of God cannot Sin, ſaith Saint John: this I ſay, is by a derived Power, Communicated to them according to their Capacity.

2. All things are poſſible to them; i. e. all things as Chriſt was to do for them, or they receive from him as Mediator; all things are poſſible to them, not Simply, but Reſpectively to that Power, unto which all things are Referr'd and Subjected.

Well then; to apply the whole.

Ʋſe 1.Firſt, Diverſe Corolaries may be deduced from the whole, by way of Information, viz.

1. That he in whom we believe, Jeſus Chriſt, God bleſſed for ever, was before all things that now have being, and gave being to all. John 8.58. Before Abraham was, I am. John 1.2. The ſame was in the Beginning; in the Inſtant of Creation, therefore alſo, before the Creation, and there­fore from Eternity. Indeed Arrius62 Corrupts the Greek Text, reading it thus, The Lord Created me in the Be­ginning; and thence Blaſphemouſly Inferr'd, that Chriſt was no more than a Creature. But the Scripture ſaith, He was ſet up from Everlaſting; Prov. 8.23. and he is called, The An­tient of Days, Dan. 7.9. And as he was before all things, ſo he gave being to all things; 1 John 3. He was not Idle with the Father (as ſome Blaſ­phemouſly ſpeak) but by him as a Principal Efficient, co-Agent, the Father and Holy Ghoſt, all things were made.

2. That all things (Creatures) which we ſee and know, once were not, and are in the Power of God to be Reduced into nothing; or to be Diſpoſed by him, as he ſhall pleaſe, according to his Abſolute Soveraign­ty. God hath Power over every Created being, and over every part of being; He being Jehovah, that gave being to all and received being from none. He Confirms Scepters and Crowns; he Raiſeth Cities, Pro­vinces and Monarchies; he erects States, preſerves Laws, and Travels through-out all Nature without take­ing63 pains; and can as eaſily Reduce them all to nothing.

3. That there is an exact Confor­mity between the Decree and the Ex­ecution. Things that had no being, were called as ithey had been, and in time they were, as they were before called. There is no depending Freedom in any Creature: God ſuſtains the Agent, and determins the Action; his Power reacheth over all.

4. That God cannot Sin, for he is Omniſcient and cannot err; he is Omnipotent and hath no paſſive Pow­er to receive from without, that might change his will. Ever is to be abhor­red the Blaſphemous Doctrine of the Marcionites, Manichees, and Libertines, who would make this Dreadful and Sacred Majeſty the Cauſe of moſt deteſtable Errours; yet with as much abſurdity as they, who make the Sun Guilty of Darkneſs, by whom the Heaven is enlightned; and the Sea of Drineſs, by whom the whole Earth is Moiſtned. And therefore Conclude againſt Bellarmin, who Wickedly Imputed to Proteſtant Di­vines, that which they Deteſt with greateſt Loathing.


5. That we have the ſame ground for our Faith as Abraham had, viz. the Omnipotency of Chriſt, ſeen in the Creation of the World, and Suſten­tation of all, in bearing with all; in the great Empire and Defence of the Church and Goſpel, in the midſt of Enemies; in Converting, Pardoning Sin, and Preſerving all his Houſe from Apoſtacy; In all which you have a Marvellous Diſcovery of his Divine Power, who maketh Light to break out of Darkneſs, and Traces the Rays of his Glory upon an heap of Dirt, uſing baſe and Inferiour Perſons and things, for the good of his People.

6. Therefore we ſhould not Finally doubt nor deſpair of our ſelves or others, Math. 19.26. With God all things are poſſible. Rom. 11.32. God is able to Graft them in again. Saint Auguſtine in his third Epiſtle to Vo­luſian, and elſe-where, give Rules a­gainſt diſtruſtful Reaſonings; Tota ratio facti, Potentia Facientis; Conſe­cra Authorem, tolle Dubitationem. We muſt grant God to be able to do ſome things, the Reaſon of which we are not able to Comprehend; the whole Reaſon of doing, being the65 Power of the Doer: it is God that doth them; Conſider the Author, and all doubts will ceaſe. Let us Remem­ber Paul Mary Magdalen, Ma•…ſſes, and other Monuments of Gods Pow­er, which hath Crowned Plants with Flowers and Fruits, that were Barren and Accurſed; fill'd Deſarts and the moſt Deſolate Heaths, with Exquiſite and Delicate Trees; which Examples had never come to our Hearing, had it not been for our Encourage­ment. With theſe ſhould every Sound Penitent be Revived and Com­forted. God can turn Noiſom Dung­hills into a Mine of Gold, Brands of Hell into Lightſome Stars, in the higheſt Firmament; Slaves of Daemons into Angels.

Doubt not, Deſpair not of the Church and State. Ezek. 37.11,12. O my People, I will open your Graves, and cauſe you to come out of your Graves. What cannot God do, who can Cre­ate? Nothing can ſtand before a Cre­ating Power. He needeth no exiſt­ing Matter to work upon, nor Inſtru­ments to Work with. O, what a great thing is nothing in the Hand of God!


Ʋſe 2.Seondly, this Doctrine ſounds ſharp reproof againſt thoſe, 1. Who abuſe this Atribute either in opinion or practiſe. In,

Opinion,as they who argue a Poſſe ad eſſe, becauſe of the power of God; and Attribute that to it, which im­plies a Contradiction; as to be a Fi­nite Body in Subſtance, and yet Infi­nite in Preſence, to be every where. It is Chriſts Divine Property to be amany places at once, neither inclu­ſively nor excluſively. If it be ſaid, That the Omnipotency of God may extend the Dimenſions of Chriſts Bo­dy, that it may at the ſame time fill Heaven and Earth; it may be eaſily replied, This is to make Chriſt a Monſter, and to contradict the very Nature of a Created Body. Yet Pa­piſts moſt confidently obtrude this Principle upon the Word, and by this their Catholick Power, make a Body to be at two places at once; as the Body of Chriſt in Heaven, and upon a popiſh Altar at once: Which is a contradiction, and therefore a lye. Let God be true and every man a Lyar. Heaven is ſaid to to receive Chriſts Body, Acts 3.21. In


Practice;As they, Firſt, who live as if they were Omnipotent. Such there be in the World, who endea­vour to make their Will a Law, and cauſe all to fall down before them. Like Jezebel and Sennacharib; confoun­ding Elements, and raiſing Stars with the Duſt of the Earth, whereby to come to the end of their exhorbitant pretenſions; Threatning to hew down Mountains, and Thunder-ſtrike Mor­tals; ſuppoſing all the ample houſe of Nature to be Created for them. Swal­lowing the World by Avarice, and waſting it by Riot. And not only ſo, but according to the improve­ment of their Cruel Pride, cry not, with the Old Tyrant, for another World to plunder, but attempt the Invaſion of the Intelligible World, and commit Rapine upon Souls, ma­king havock of the Church of God, to which Angels refer but as Mini­ſtring Spirits; and Lording it over Gods Heritage, which the Apoſtles beſought to be Reconciled to God, and never Commanded them any thing, in their own name, and only ſuch things, for which, they could ſhew unqueſtionable Commiſſion. Such as68 theſe ſet themſelves down in the Throne of God, as Maximilian that good Emperour uſed to ſay; this being one of thoſe three things, the Divine Power hath reſerved to him­ſelf as his Prerogative, viz. To Create, to Foretel things to come, and to Rule over Conſciences. Se­condly, Living as if they cared not for him that is Omnipotent, indeed deſpiſing his Threatnings, ſlighting his Promiſes, as if he were able to perform neither. Whence they dare to lift an Arm againſt the Omnipo­tent! When as all power in Heaven and in Earth, yea, all Judgment is committed to Chriſt. He hath Au­thority to relieve his Saints, to Sen­tence all his Enemies unto Eternal Flames and Torments; and will make ſome as bright as Stars, and others like Burning Coals in Hell. O Hear, Conſider, Tremble!

2. This Doctrine caſteth a ſharp Dart of reproof againſt all ſuch that deny or doubt of it: as thoſe Iſra­elites who ſaid, Can the Lord provide Fleſh alſo? And that Court-Favou­rite, 2 Kings 7.2. Who, when the Prophet Eliſha, by the Command of69 God, foretold the great Plenty of Samaria, dared to ſay, If the Lord open the Windows of Heaven, can theſe things be? Such unbelieving hearts are among us to this day. Can the Lord do this or that? Is he able to accom­pliſh what he hath promiſed, can he Heal my Backſlidings, pardon my Sins, and ſave my Soul? As if the Lord Jehovah, lived after the rate of Creatures. This is to reproach the Holy One of Iſrael.

3. Againſt ſuch as rely altogether on the Power of God, without the uſe of Means. As the former ſort Reproach God, ſo theſe Tempt God. The Lord could indeed Enlighten us without the Sun, and afford us Fruit without the Earth; but he will have the Creature Operate. The very Heathen could ſay, Admota manu, In­vocanda eſt Minerva; and the Sage Greek, Rebuked the fooliſh Carter, who, when his Waggon ſtuck in the Mud, Cryed to God, but never put his hand to help himſelf: Meanes muſt be uſed. Though men live not by Bread alone, but by the word of Gods Bleſſing proceeding out of his Mouth, yet that word is Annexed to Bread,70 and not to Stones: and that man ſhould not Truſt but Tempt God, who would have Stones turned into Bread, becauſe God hath Power ſo to do. And if God have provided ſtairs it is not Faith but Fury, not Confidence but Madneſs to go down a Precipice. Second Means muſt be uſed in Obedi­ence to Gods order, though not in Confidence of their help; the Creature muſt be the Object of our Dilligence, but God only the Object of our Truſt.

Ʋſe 3.Thirdly, This Doctrine, as it is ſufficient to terrify the Wicked, ſo it is to give occaſion of Confidence to the Faithful; ſince it hath an Eter­nal alliance with him that governs the World. Read your matchleſs Con­ſolation, in the following particulars.

1. Againſt Sin, Satan and all E­nemies of the Church, that Chriſt is Omnipotent, 2 Chron. 20.15. In the Words of King Jehoſophat to the Peo­ple of Judah, Thus ſaith the Lord to you, Be not afraid or diſmayed becauſe of this great Multitude, for the Battel is not yours but Gods. 2 Chron. 32.7,8. Hezekiah ſaid to the People, Be ſtrong and Couragious, be not Afraid or Diſ­mayed, for the Kings of Aſſyria, nor for71 the Multitude that is with them, for they are more with us than with them. What­ever Power or Counſel ſhall be ſet up againſt Heaven, ſhall not ſucceed a­gainſt the deſign of Heaven. The vaſt Numbers of men, trouble him no more, than thoſe Millions of Waves in the Sea, are a trouble to that great Ocean. All Nations before him, are but as one drop of the Dew. He Cauſeth whole Countries to tremble under the Force of his Word, as under Lightning Arrows; and is attired with the Conqueſt and Trophies of Souls. O the Wonders of God! He Cauſeth the Arrows of thoſe that In­vade his Kingdom, to Return againſt them that ſhot them; as in Julian's Caſe was apparent; which we only mention. Though he thought by the help of his falſe Gods, to Command the Waves of the Sea, and to walk upon the Stars, yet was he buried in Execration and Horrours.

And as it is in Temporals, ſo it is in Spirituals. He can ſubdue the ſtrongeſt Corruptions, Break the hardeſt Heart, relieve the moſt Faint­ing Graces. Let all Chriſts People learn to look up, and then you will,


1. Patiently ſuffer and wait. He is Omniſcient and Omnipotent; He knows all and can relieve all.

2. You will learn to reſt upon him, Pſalm 37.3. Truſt in the Lord and do good, ſo ſhalt thou dwell in the Land. You will not truſt in men and frame to your ſelves an arm of Straw; but confide in him, who with the Fingers of his Power ſuſtains the whole Globe of the Earth. You will not Adore the Favours of men, which are like the Rainbow in Heaven, which ha­ving made ſhew of many Splendours and varied Paintings, leaves nothing but Water and Morter. You will then no more build Fortunes on Foun­dations of Silver, upon a Frail man, who beareth all the Fingers of Vani­ty. God is a Wall of Braſs about his people. Lo I am with you to the end of the World! In all Conditions. If Daniel be in the Lyons Den, he ſhall be viſited by God, and the Lyons change their Nature, for re­gard to him. If the three worthieſt be caſt into the Fiery Furnace, Ne­buchadnezzars Hell, they ſhall walk entire, aſſiſted by the Angel of God, as in a Meadow Enameld over with73 Flowers: And now, when, one would have thought, that whole Religion had been dead, the Divine Power Writes her Praiſes in Characters of Fire. Whoever forſakes the Lords People, he will not forſake them. He is the ſame yeſterday, to day, and for ever.

2. This Doctrine ſpeaks ſingular Comfort againſt loſſes, of Country, Friends, Eſtate, Liberty, and all out­ward Comforts; if you be in Cove­nant with him that is Omnipotent. This was Abrahams Caſe, Gen. 17 1. Fear not Abraham, I am thy Shield; I am God Almighty, or All-ſufficient; before whom nothing can ſtand when he will accompliſh his Word. This was a bottom of great Confidence to Abraham, as we are in­formed, Rom. 4.29. Being fully perſwa­ded, &c. Where ever God is engaged by his Word, his Power is eſpecially to be eyed. Perſons are apt to ask, How can theſe things be? It is im­poſſible it ſhould be ſo and ſo to us; but he is able, Omnipotent. It is he that made Joſephs Abaſements to be his Advancements; and that turn'd Ba­laams Curſe into a Bleſſing. He can74 bring Meat out of the Eater, and Sweet out of the Strong, and cauſe Grapes to be gathered of Thorns, and Figs from Thiſtles, make Friends of Enemies, your Wound your Cure, your Affli­ction, your Conſolation. Nay, your Weakneſs, your Strength. So that as the ſame Water is ſowre in the juice of a Figtree, is ſweet in the fruit; ſo the Troubles which in their bark are but ſowre and unpleaſing, ſhall not­withſtanding in the fruit of them be exceeding ſweet.

Ʋſe 4.Laſtly, Be ye Inſtructed to be followers of Abraham, in this Win­terly Age of the World: to build on this Foundation, in your Obedience both Active and Paſſive.

1. Be perſwaded of this Truth, Meaſure not God by the Ell of man, Cloath him not in your Faſhion. Hold not that Impoſſible to the Di­vinity, what your weak Underſtand­ing cannot Apprehend. Be perſwaded,

Firſt, That he is able to caſt down the Strongeſt and Proudeſt Enemies of his Kingdom: Iſa. 37.29. Becauſe thy Rage againſt me and thy Tumult is come up into mine Ears, therefore will I put mine Hook into thy Noſe, and my75 Bridle in thy Lips, &c. When the Rage and Tumult of Chriſts Adverſaries is higheſt, then will he get himſelf moſt Glory, by putting a Hook in their Noſtrils, and turning them as he pleaſeth. Can any thing be too hard for God? this God of Power, who Darkneth the Air with Tempeſts, makes Clouds to pour down in Deluges, and Swallows up the Fleets of petty Pharo's? He who flyeth upon wings of the Wind, over the Curling Waters of the Sea, Inflaming Light­nings, and makes Blood and Scorpi­ons to Rain on the Rebels of the Earth?

Secondly, That he is able to Raiſe out of the loweſt Condition. Wit­neſs Job on the Dunghill, Iſrael in Egypt, the Chriſtians of the Primi­tive Church, and all along, whence they were ready to cry out, There is no Hope. His Power and Eſſence walk Hand in Hand; in ſo much, as Pow­er in God is nothing elſe but the Ef­fective Eſſence of God.

Object.We all believe Gods Power, but doubt of his Will.

Anſw.All do not believe his Pow­er. The unregenerate man believes76 not at all. All unbelief doth ſe­cretly queſtion the Power of God. And Renewed men believe not Fully. Things paſt and preſent, all can be­lieve, becauſe they are ſeen, but things promiſed, becauſe they Tranſcend the Courſe of natural Cauſes, and the Contrivances and Projects which they forecaſt, they often Flag and Falter a­bout them. For,

1. They limit him in their thoughts, they will have ſuch and ſuch Graces, ſo much in the uſe of Means, and ſuch Means, thoſe of their own Choice, rather than others; whereas God is an Independing Agent, and works where, when, and as he will. As God is Omnipotent to Command Supplies for any help, ſo he is Abſolute to Chuſe what Means he pleaſe­eth, and his Wiſdom ſhall pitch upon.

2. They Determine and often Con­clude againſt themſelves, and raſhly too, and againſt their preſent Con­dition; being brought to ſome extre­mity, they drew up deſperate Con­cluſions againſt Mercy it ſelf, ſaying, The Lord will be gracious no more; I ſhall ſurely fall by the ſtrength of this77 Corruption and that Temptation. Mrs. Honywoods Caſe is famous; who confidently affirm'd, ſhe ſhould be Damn'd, as ſure as that Glaſs would break, that ſhe threw againſt the wall. And David in his haſte ſaid, I am cut off from before thine Eyes. If they are advanced, then they ſhall never be caſt down; David alſo in ſuch a Caſe could ſay, My Mountain ſhall never be moved: good News lifts them up, and ill News caſts them down. It argueth a great Defect, in the un­certainty of the heart with God, who is both powerful and willing.

2. Make uſe of this Doctrine and Truth delivered about Chriſts Omni­potency, theſe three ways, viz.

Firſt, in your Faith to believe his Word. Prophecies ſhall be accom­pliſhed, Promiſes be fulfilled. Anti-Chriſt ſhall fall. Pſalm 2.7. Thou ſhalt break, them with a Rod of Iron, &c. Ezek. 24.14. I the Lord have ſpoken it, it ſhall come to paſs. Accordingly when the Seven Angels appeared with the ſeven laſt Plagues, they that ſtood on the Sea of Glaſs, ſaid in their Song, Great and Marvellous are thy Works, Lord God Almighty, &c. And when78 the third of them poured out his Vi­ol upon the Rivers of Water, an Angel of the Altar ſaid, Even ſo Lord God Almighty, &c. So that all who wiſh well to Sion, make full account, that in due time the Mountain of the Lord ſhall be ſet upon the top of all Mountains, becauſe it hath been pro­miſed of old, and be confident, as it is expreſſed in 2 Theſſ. 2.8. That the wicked one ſhall be conſumed by the Breath of his Mouth, &c. Becauſe this Commination ſtandeth upon the file in Holy Scripture, and is not yet verified. Though God do not allways fulfill his Threatnings, but on Re­pentance revoke them; yet he al­wayes fulfills his Promiſes to them that fear him and hope in his Mer­cy.

Secondly, in your Prayers, to Crave his Aid and Aſſiſtance. Whatever ye ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Let men be never ſo prone, the Carnal Appetite uniting with a probable Object, being able of it ſelf no more to Reſiſt, than a Stone can from Deſcending, or the Adamant from Drawing, yet the Lord can Re­ſtrain, Renew, do away all old things,79 and make all to become New. To whome ſhall we go? Thou haſt the words of Eternal Life. From his eyes alone, are darted Rayes of moſt Powerful Compaſſions.

Thirdly, In your Patience under any of his Rods, and Diſeaſes Natu­ral, Spiritual, Political. Epheſ. 3.20. He is able to do abundantly above all, what we are able to ask or think. It is a tried Caſe, Pſal. 3.6. I will not be afraid of ten Thouſands of People that have ſet themſelves againſt me round about. O ſay, Fie upon Deſpair and minds Affliction! Learn in all things that appertain to you, ſpeedily and Effectually to fix your ſelves on the Will of the Omnipotent. Continu­ally ſay, God ſeeth this Affair, ſince nothing eſcapeth the Quickneſs of his Eye. Expect but a while, the Trouble is but a Flying Cloud, and God will do all for the beſt. Thus did Abraham in the Text; Above Hope he believed in Hope, becauſe God quick­neth the Dead, and calleth things that are not, as though they were.

Verſ. 18.

Who againſt Hope, Believed in Hope.

THeſe words Contain a lively De­ſcription of Abrahams Faith, drawn from the Internal Form, it was〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, A Phraſe Dif­ficult to be underſtood, but moſt aptly ſerves to ſhew the Difficulty of believing. Some turn the word〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉by Praeter, beſides hope; others, by Supra, above Hope; a third ſort, by Abſque, without. All may be true, but not reach ſo fully Home, neither to the Word nor Scope of the A­poſtle. Our laſt Tranſlation there­fore, following many, both Antient and Modern Divines, Reads it, Againſt; and ſo I find ſome Refer­ing it,

1. To the time of Abrahams Faith; in the beginning of his Age he had hope, but this was againſt that. In the middle of his Age he complain'd, as if there were no hope; Gen. 15.2. Lord what wilt thou give me, ſince I go childleſs? But this was after that.

2. Others refer it to the kinds of81 hope, or degrees of one and the ſame hope; whom I rather chooſe to follow.

Firſt, underſtand it was ſpoken of two Kinds of Hope; one na­tural, when Reaſon apprehends Grounds why ſuch a thing may be; and this is proportionably common to men with Beaſts. Another Di­vine; when a man waits for that he can ſee no ground in himſelf, nor reaſon for. Abraham was againſt the firſt, and in the ſecond.

Secondly, Others take it for one and the ſme hope, but in different degrees, It was weak and doubtful in the beginning but ſtrong and firm in the end. Faith and Hope (two individual companions; Hope ſpringing from Faith, as the Stream from the Fountain, or the Daughter from the Mother) meet with many oppoſitions, but prove victorious in the end. Yeilding us three things Right Worthy of Obſervation, viz.

1. The Connexion of theſe two Theo­logical Graces, Believing in Hope. Rom. 5.2. By whom alſo we have Ac­ceſs by Faith into thisrace wherein we ſtand, and rejoice in Hope of the Glory of82 God. 1 Pet. 1.21. By whom we do believe in God that raiſed him from the Dead and gave him Glory, that your [Faith and Hope] might be in God. The Sun and the Beams go together, and ſo do Faith and Hpe.

The Reaſons are, 1. They are in­fuſed at once, when the Spirit is given to the Elect, as they are capa­ble of it, before, in, or after Bap­tiſm. What they ſay of the Cardi­nal Vertues, Sut inter ſe connxae, they are chain'd together, may be alſo ſid of the Graces of Gods Spi­rit, who plnts an habit of all the Graces in the Heart. The New Crea­ture hathll the Parts and Lineaments, a mixture of all the Humours.

2. From the order and maner of Working; obegette h ſtirreth up and manifeſt〈◊〉it ſelf by anoher. Rom. 5 3,4. And not only ſo, but we Glory in Tribulations alſo, knowing that Tribul•…ion workth Patience; and Patience, Experience; and Exeperi­ence, Hp; &c. Faith there is a Mother•…cended with her Daughters. Rom. 15 13. The God of Hope fill you w thll Joy and Peace in believ­ing, that you may abound in Hope. 1 Cor. 8313.7. Charity believeth all things, Hopeth all things, &c. Heb. 12.1. Faith is the Subſtance of things not ſeen. Faith lights the Lamp to hope, as the Fire of the Altar lighted the Lamps of the Sanctuary.

2. We are hence to obſerve, the Difficulty of believing; it is againſt Hope. Math. 19.13. a Rich man can hardly Enter into the Kingdom of God.

This appears divers wayes; viz.

1. From the Efficient neceſſarily required to work Faith in the Heart. Epheſ. 1.19. It is called the exceed­ing greatneſs of his Power to us-ward who believe. A Difficult Work re­quires a great Power to accompliſh it. Man, as Clem. Alexandrinus ob­ſerves, is Gods Harp; the Harp cannot ſound unleſs it be touch­ed with the finger, neither can the Heart of man ſound forth any Graci­ous Harmony, till it be touched by the Finger of Gods Spirit; Sin having diſorder'd the Strings of that Harmo­nious Inſtrument, put it out of Tune, and mar'd its Muſick, and there is nothing but Jarring; and ſo it con­tinues, till that great Muſician, who84 tunes the whole World and makes all things keep time and meaſure, ſet this Inſtrument in Tune again.

2. From the Paucity of Believers. Iſa 58.1. Who hath believed our Re­port? &c. Luke 18.8. When the Son of man cometh, ſhall he find Faith on the Earth? Among the Millions at Rome, there were but few Senators; and among the ſwarms of People in the World, there are but few Beleiv­ers. In themſelves, indeed Conſide­red, they are many, as the Stars which adorn the Azure Firmament, as the Sands on the Sea ſhore for Multitude; but Comparatively, they are very few. As in the Field there are more Weeds than ſweet Flowers, and in the Earth more Droſs than Gold; Thus it is here. The Trees of Righteouſneſs are thinly Planted in the Worlds Orchard. There are but few Birds of Paradiſe, to the Birds of Prey: Notwithſtanding all the Means of Grace, Preaching, Exhorting, Reading, &c. few Believers.

3. From the many Enemies of Faith, and other Impediments; There is Satan, Luke 22.31. Satan hath de­ſired to winow you as Wheat, but I have85 prayed, that thy Faith fail not. This is the main thing he aims at, This he Aſſaults, endeavouring to blind-fold the Eye of Judgment; to allure the Will and Affections after Toys, Plea­ſure, Profits and worldly Honours: perſwading ſometime to preſume, other-while driving to Deſpair. Thus he ſifts and Winnows poor Souls, to keep them in Unbelief, or Misbeleif. There is the World of Ʋnregenerate men, as the Scribes and Phariſees, watching to catch our Sa­viour that they might accuſe him; Concluding, if any man did Confeſs Chriſt, he ſhould be put out of the Synagogue, John 9.22. Yea, for a time, Paul, a Choſen Veſſel, was u­ſed as an Inſtrument that way; Acts 28.23. Concerning this Sect, it is ſpo­ken againſt every where. A great Diſ­couragement. Yea, our own Natural Abilities, which are Antipodes to Grace; Rom. 1.22. Profeſſing them­ſelves wiſe, they became Fools. 1 Cor. 1.22. The Jews Require a Sign, the Greeks ſeek after Wiſdom; not that which cometh from above; by Wiſdom they could not come to the Knowledg of God, but proved moſt Vain and86 Corrupt, when they endeavoured to be moſt Exact.

So that we may Conclude with the Apoſtle, Epheſ. 6.10,11. &c. Finally my Brethren, be ſtrong in the Lord, and in the Power of his Might; put on the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to ſtand againſt all the Wiles of the Devil; For we wreſtle not with Fleſh and Blood, &c.

2. We obſerve hence, The growth, increaſe, and Final Victory of True Grace.

Againſt Hope he believed in Hope. Math. 13.32. The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a Grain, and to Leaven that leaveneth the whole Lump. Grace is of a ſpreading nature, it ſwells it ſelf into the whole man, and makes the Soul riſe as high as Heaven. Grace lies not in the Heart, as a Stone in the Earth, but puts it ſelf forth in vigorous Actings. To this refers that exhortation, 2 Pet. 3.17. Fall not from your Stedfaſtneſs, but grow in Grace, &c. The firſt appearance of it on the Soul, may be but as the Wings of the Morning, ſpreading themſelves upon the Mountains, yet it is ſtill ri­ſing higher and higher upon it, Cha­ſing87 away all filthy Miſts and Vapours of Sin, till it arrive to its Meridian height; ſuch is the ſtrength and force of Divinity in it. Though at firſt, when it enters on the Soul, it may ſeem to be ſowen in weakneſs, yet it ſtill raiſeh it ſelf in Power: As Chriſt was in his Bodily appearance, ſtill increaſing in Widom and Knowledg, and Favour with God and Man, till he was perfected with Glory; ſo is he alſo in his Gracious Appearance in his Saints, who ſhall go from ſtrength to ſtrength, till they appear before God in Sion.

The Reaſons hereof are taken,

1. From the Principle or Fountain whence Grace Floweth; And that is, Chriſt and his Spirit; of Infinite Va­lue and irreſiſtable Efficacy; ſo that unleſs Chriſt be overcome, Grace cannot be overcome. Grace being a Creature, is in its own nature pe­riſhing (for ours is no better Coin than Adams) but in Chriſts Keep­ing it can never periſh. The Saints Graces of themſelves, like Glaſs, may break, but being held in the Hand of Chriſt, they can never be broken; 1 Pet. 1.5. We are kept by88 the Power of God through Faish unto Salvation. The ſmall Muſtard-Seed ſhall not be killed, the little Spark of Fire ſhall not be quenched; there is an overflowing Power to draw them forth and perfect them. Where-ever the frame of Grace is begun, it ſhall be brought forth to a compleatneſs, and Chriſts Kingdom in that Soul ſhall be victorious over all oppoſi­tion of Corruption.

2. From the Nature of the Oppo­ſers of Grace: They are finite, and mortally Wounded. Our Lord led Captivity Captive, Heb. 2.14. And through Death hath Deſtroyed him who hath the Power of Death. So that up­on ſerious Conſideration, I may ſay to all the Faithful, as Eliſha ſometime ſpake, 2 Kings 6.16. Fear not, for they that are with you are more than they with them. Though inward Cor­ruption and outward Enemies be Nu­merous and ſtrong, yet they ſhall not Finally proſper. Where Chriſt pro­motes his Kingdom, it is ſo eſtabliſh­ed, that the Gates of Hell ſhall not prevail againſt it. Aſſaulted it may be, but Conquered it can never be. As it is ſaid of the old Romans, they89 loſt ſome Battels, but never loſt a war. Chriſtians may have ſome Foils, but they ſhall be finally Victorious.

Ʋſe 1.In the Application here­of, I ſhall endeavour a little further to Diſcover the Nature of this Grace of Hope, &c.

1. By way of Information; the En­quiry will be,

Firſt, What it is?

Anſw.It is a Divine Vertue, In­fuſed by the Spirit into the Underſtan­dings and Wills of Actual Members of the Militant Church, whereby they certainly and patiently wait for thoſe good things God hath promiſed, Rom. 8.24,25. We are ſaved by Hope; but Hope that is ſeen is no Hope; for what a man ſees, why doth he yet hope for? but if we hope for that we ſee not, then we do with Patience wait for it.

In which Deſcription we have ex­preſt or Implyed, four things:

1. The Principal Author, The Spi­rit of God; 1 Pet. 1.3. Bleſſed be the God and Father of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, which according to his Abundant mercy hath Begotten us again unto a lively Hope, by the Reſurrection of Jeſus Chriſt from the Dead.


2. The Subject incluſive; partly the Underſtanding, partly the Will; the one Informed, the other perſwa­ded to expect.

3. The Object about which it is Imployed; either Formal; which is God alone; his Power, Truth and Help to obtain the promiſed Good: or Material; and that is Glory, con­ſidered three wayes, viz. First, of the Soul, which is Grace, and is the Object of Hope, either in the Pre­paratives, whilſt the Lord is Diſ­poſing the Subject for Grace; Or, in Regard of a Fuller Meaſure of De­grees thereof; it not being with the Trees of Righteouſneſs, as it was with the Trees of Paradiſe, made perfect at once. Secondly of the Bo­dy; and ſo all the good things that a member of the Church Militant is capable of, are a Secondary Object of Hope. Thirdly, the Glory of both, which is perfect Beatitude in the Heavenly Kingdom; as the end whereunto all other means lead the Elect.

4. The Conditions of this Materi­al Object, which Aquinas deſcribes to be,


Good; Hope looks at ſome good; ſo it differs from Fear, whichlooks at Evil.

Future Good; ſo that the Saints in Heaven, have no need nor uſe of it: their Expectation is drowned in Fruition.

Difficult, Hope looks on, and con­ſiders upon one ſide Pearls, which yet are in the ſhell; and on the other ſide Roſes; which yet it may enjoy with ſome Labour.

Such was Abrahams Hope, that he ſhould be the Father of ſuch a Poſte­rity, being as it were Dead; that he ſhould enjoy a Land flowing with Milk and Honey; yet he was to ſuffer Fa­mine, and wait for it forty years. And Laſtly,

Poſſible; So there is no Hope in the Damned. It is in thoſe on this ſide the Grave, quickned by the Living Spirit of God. Though the things they hope for are hard to come by, yet they are poſſible, and this is like Cork to the Net, keeps the heart from ſinking into Diſpair; it being the Balm of all Grief, the Coffin of Fear, and Cradle of Patience.

Secondly, What are oppoſites of this Grace?


Anſw.Two, 1. Preſumption; the Unbeliever hopes without ground, and will be invincibly followed by an ill ſucceſs of his pretenſions. The Rayes of Abrahams Hope were groun­ded on a good Title; but men of a­nother Stamp act otherwiſe; their Hope is an Impoſture, a Golden Dream. Like a dying mans Will, that hath neither Seal nor Witneſs to it: Therein he bequeaths ſuch and ſuch Lands and Legacies to one and to a­nother: but the Will being thus left naked, it ſignifies little: Such is the hope of a wicked man; it promi­ſeth him great matters, that all in the Covenant of Grace is his, Chriſt and Heaven; but alas, all is a meer Deluſion, a Preſumption of his own Heart.

2. Deſpair; not Legal, which was in Abraham, and others; But Evan­gelical, notwithſtanding all ground of Hope. So Abraham did not: Diſ­pair looks on things through black Spectacles, and gives all for loſt; Hope doth the contrary.

QHow is it poſſible to hope againſt Hope?

Anſw.1. Becauſe of the Power of93 Chriſt, upon which the Soul doth in great Straits, rowl it ſelf. Whatever Lets and Impediments do ariſe, be­tween the Promiſe and the fulfilling of it; though they be as high as Mountains, and as the Gates of Hell, yet the Believer can by Faith look upon them all but as Difficulties which cannot check the Power of Chriſt, but only Magnifie it. For, as jealous Thoughts of the Divine Arm, or