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HOSANNAH to the Son of DAVID: OR A TESTIMONY to the LORD'S CHRIST. Offering it ſelf, indifferently, to all perſons; though more eſpecially intended for the People, who paſs under the Name of QUAKERS.

Wherein not ſo much the detecting of their perſons, as the reclaiming the tender-hearted among them from the Error of their way, is modeſtly endevoured, by a ſober and moderate Diſcourſe, Touching the Light and Law in every man; referring to what is held forth by them in their ſeveral Books and Papers, herein Examined and Diſcuſſed.


Am I become your enemy becauſe I tell you the truth.
The Leaders of this people cauſe them to erre, and they that are led of them are ſwallowed up.
And they went in their ſimplicity of ſome have compaſſion, making a difference
If God peradventure may give them repentance to the acknowledg­ing the truth, and that they may recover themſelves out of the ſnare
What knoweſt thou, ô man, whether
Out of the mouths of Babes thou haſt ordained ſtrength.

LONDON, Printed by William Godbid, 1657.

To the Impartial and Ʋnprejudic'd Reader.

IT is recorded in the Holy Scri­ptures, That many waters cannot Quench Love, nei­ther can the Floods drown it, for love is ſtrong as death: which truth is expe­rimented in him that bears this witneſs, by whom it hath been ſaid (as in another Caſe) I will keep my mouth with a (muzzle, or) bridle, I was dumb with ſilence, I held my peace; I have ſaid, Let days ſpeak and let multitude of years ſhew wiſdome, as for me I am of few dayes, and therefore feared to appear in this matter, ſaying within my ſelf, I cannot ſpeak, for I am a Child: Nevertheleſs while I was muſing the fire burned, and my heart was hot within me boyling or bubling up, and at length brake forth into this enſuing Tract, touching Zions King, wherein my ſtammering tongue was un­muzzled, and I was made to ſay, Thou art fairer than the Children of men, Grace is poured into thy lips; Thy Throne (O God) is for ever and ever, the Scepter of thy kingdome is a right Scep­ter, and to ſhare with the Children who cry'd Hoſan­nah to the Son of David. Though there may be (as there hath been, Mat. 21.15. ) ſome that may be diſpleaſed thereat: yet a love to Sions King and to the Children of that kingdome (however diſtinguiſh'd in form or appearance) hath drawn it forth.

The ſubject diſcovers its nature by its name or Ti­tle; if diſcouragements of any ſort could have ſtifled it, thou hadſt not been troubled with the reading there­of, it hath been as fire raked up in the Embers of a private breaſt two years and upwards; while it at length is come forth as an untimely birth, or as that, which is born out of due time, labouring under the burthen of being both

  • Ʋnneceſſary
  • and Ʋnſeaſonable.

Th' one becauſe it hath been done already, by other and better hands, th' other becauſe the perſons, with whom it chiefly treats, are now come to a ſettlement in their perſwaſions, and it is now unſeaſonable to treat them who are already reſolved.

Touching the firſt of theſe I have to ſay; though ſome others have been in this work, as the Harveſt­man reaping the ears with his arm, coming forth in the ſtrength of their might with the arm of a man, to help the Lord againſt the mighty.

Yet gleaning grapes may be left, as the ſhaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermoſt bough, four or five in the outmoſt fruitful branches, the gleanings of Ephraim may well be ad­mitted to follow the vintage of Abiezer: the Babes and Sucklings bear a part in the Chorus; and out of their mouths hath God ordained ſtrength, were it not evident and clear, that the fooliſh things of this world, the weak things, the baſe and deſpiſed things, were the things choſen of God, to make forth his appearance in and by, and wherein he oft times glorifies himſelf, it might, and doubtleſs would have cauſed theſe papers to have diſappeared, which now are proſtrate at his foot, to ſpeak life or death unto at his pleaſure.

As touching the ſeaſonableneſs of the diſcourſe, this alſo is ſubmitted to him: it's moſt certain that in ſome reſpects, it doth ſeem to be brought forth un­ſeaſonably.

Yet in ſeaſon and out of ſeaſon have their reſpective bleſſing from him in whoſe hands are all iſſues, and that, which in mans accompt may ſeem moſt unſeaſo­nable, may not ſo be accompted of by him, who judg­eth of things as they are indeed, not as in appearance only, and this may be (yea I verily beleeve it is) the fitteſt ſeaſon in ſundry reſpects.

However or whatever the iſſue be, 'tis enough that it's witneſſed to be the effect of an heart affected with the honour and glory of God, and a ſincere deſire of the good and welfare of my Countrymen, however named or diſtinguiſhed, for many of whom in ten­der bowels I am diſtreſſed, though unknown to them by name: if God peradventure may give them to ſee, that which he would have them ſee.

I have great reaſon to beleeve, that there are ma­ny perſons dear and precious to the Lord, whoſe ſpi­rits are fallen aſleep on the Dalilah's lap of this worlds entiſing pleaſures and preferments, whom the moſt high and bleſſed father of ſpirits will awaken in his holy ſeaſon, and will ſhew them that they are fallen from their firſt love, and that it is not with them as ye­ſterday and heretofore: but that while their tables are full even to exceſs, that yet leaneſs is entered into their ſoul, and this will be demonſtrable enough unto them, when they compare the preſent with the by-paſt times, which when they ſhall ſee, Oh! what a ſmiting will it procure, as when a dart ſtrikes thorough the liver, and the ſoul is made to mourn in ſecret, and to bleed inwardly, for its backsliding and departure from the living Lord: who knows what a whiſper from the Lord may do, whileſt this poor deſpicable peece is in thy hand, and is anointed by the Lord to be thy remem­brancer. Nor have I this perſwaſion (only) touching ſome of thoſe now laſt named: but for thoſe alſo (or ſome among them) who have quit their former profeſ­ſion, which they have made before many witneſſes, and are moved away from the hope of the Goſpel, to the embracing of ſome other thing in ſtead thereof, my purpoſe is not to argue the thing here, but do earneſtly intreat of you to peruſe the diſcourſe thoroughout; let not the adverſary, the Accuſer, diſſwade you therefrom under any pretence whatſoever, but patiently and ſo­berly read, and conſider, as you would, that either I or any other ſhould do touching any thing of like nature, that hath or may proceed from any of you, neither ſay 'tis too tedious, nor that 'tis Babel, nor give it any o­ther term of reproach, till you have weighed with due conſideration the things propoſed, and then I am very well aſſured 'twill ſtand in the judgement: how hot or fiery ſoever it may prove.

If any perſon enquire touching the Author, and take offence becauſe he is not named: let ſuch know, that for that very reaſon, viz. to avoid offence, is the name withheld, conſidering how common an error it is for perſons to judge of bookes by the Author, rather than of the Author by the book: and to like, or diſlike the booke (without due conſideration of the matter there­of) as they approve, or diſapprove of the perſon, who publiſheth it: partly to avoid this (too Common) error in many, and partly to give content to my own genius, who am a lover of retirement and privacy: theſe are two principal reaſons, why it's as it is, as to this enquiry: what entertainment it ſhall find at the hands of any perſon, as I know not, ſo neither am I careful, my heart ſuggeſts unto me, that both to the wiſe and unwiſe I am expoſable, my ſtammering may offend the one, and my ſpeech may diſpleaſe the other, never­theleſs I am made free to be found a ſacrifice to the Cenſure, both of th'one and th'other, if I may there­in but find acceptance with him, whom I ſerve in my ſpirit in this undertaking; making this requeſt un­to thee for thine own Soul's good, that thou wouldeſt give time to the exerciſe of thy mind, and under­ſtanding before thou paſſeſt ſentence: be not too ſud­dain either in receiving or rejecting the matter laid be­fore thee, not too raſh in Cenſuring, or too fierce in op­poſing but be cloathed in thy right mind.

Put on (as the Elect of God) bowels of mercy, kindneſs, gentleneſs, remembring that the wiſdome, that is from above, as it's pure, ſo it's peaceable, full of mercy, and good fruits: if thou art made free to appear thus accompliſh'd, to help the ſtammering and liſping, to ſpeak more plainly: thy work will be re­warded by him, whoſe it is; and be very acceptable to me, whoſe ſoul is made willing to be one with and in the truth, as it is in Jeſus.


HOSANNAH to the Son of DAVID: OR A Teſtimony to the LORD'S CHRIST.

AS God at ſundry times, and in divers manners, ſpake in time paſt unto the Fathers, by the Prophets; and in theſe laſt days hath ſpoken to us by his Son, making forth the diſcove­ries of himſelf, in order to our Salvation: So hath Sathan, that old Serpent the Devil, at ſundry times, and in divers manner of wayes, been exerciſed towards the Sons and Daugh­ters of the living God; and in theſe laſt days he hath eminently put forth himſelf, not onely nibling at the heel, but ſtriking at the head of the heirs of Salvation.

Sometimes he acted under the form of a Serpent, as to Eve, Gen. 3.1, 4. Sometimes as a lying, ſlanderous, and falſe Accuſer, Job 1.9, 11. Sometimes as a ſubtil Diſputer, Luk. 4.3, 9, 10. If thou be the Son of God, &c. enforcing the Argument with a miſquoted and miſapplyed ſentence of Scripture, It is written, &c. Sometimes as a cunning and ſubtil Inquiſitor, Matth. 22.17. Maſter, Is it law­ful? &c.


Sometimes he will be a falſe Apoſtle, 1 Cor. 11.13, 14, 15. Some­times a falſe Chriſt, Matth. 24.24. Sometimes a falſe Prophet, 1 Joh. 4.1. 1 King. 22.21, 22. Sometimes a falſe Brother, Gal. 2.4. Sometimes a falſe Teacher, 2 Pet. 2.1. And all this not in a ſingle, but in a multiplyed capacity: many falſe Chriſts, falſe Prophets, falſe Apoſtles, falſe Teachers; all centring in him, and he in them, either as a Serpent, with ſecreſie and ſubtilty, or as a roaring Lion and Dragon, with open violence and hoſtility; either by his wiſes, Epheſ. 6.11. and devices, 2 Cor. 2.11. beguiling, as he beguiled Eve, Gen. 3.13. & 2 Cor. 11.3. or elſe by his force and violence ſeeking to devour, 1 Pet. 5.8. or as a great red Dragon, caſting ſome into priſon to try them, Rev. 2.10. being wroth with the Woman, and making war with the remnant of her ſeed, which keep the commandements of God, and have the Teſtimony of Jeſus.

And this bloody enterpriſe he carries on, not onely by ſuch Inſtruments as are his owne, who are led captive by him at his will, and in whom he rules, as the Prince of the power of the Air, and in the hearts of the children of diſobedience; but by exciting and ſtirring up the ſpirits of the children of peace to diviſions, emula­tions, and eminent perſecutions one againſt another; Ephraim to envy Judah, and Judah to vex Ephraim, neither of them remem­bring that they both are the off-ſpring of him to whom the pro­miſe was made, and of them who were heirs together with him of the ſame promiſe.

All the envy and enmity centring in him who hath been the Lyer and Murtherer from the beginning, whatever and whoever have been the Inſtruments made uſe of by him, winged with fraud, or armed with violence; He, I ſay, being the All in All of whatever is acted in any Inſtrument againſt the Son of God, and againſt the Sons of God, influencing all his Angels in all their variety of Appea­rances.

Againſt him in a way of Eminency ſhould every arrow be dire­cted, not ſo much eyeing Inſtruments, as he by whom they are influ­enced, and by whom they are acted: that like as He (1 King. 22.31. ) ſaid in another caſe, Fight neither with ſmall nor great, ſave only with the King of Iſrael. Or as they in the Prophecy (Ier. 51.3. ) were directed touching Babylon, Againſt him that bendeth let the Archer bend his bow, againſt him that lifteth up himſelf in his Brigan­dine; which is alſo the main ſcope of this enſuing Tract.


This lying Murderer, as he hath been buſied from the Begin­ning to beguile and to deſtroy, if it were poſſible, the very Elect; ſo even at this preſent time alſo hath he laid his bait, his ſnare, his Engine, exerciſing the part of a crafty Fowler, on purpoſe to de­ceive, as much as in him lies, the remnant of the ſeed, by ſending abroad certain Inſtruments under great diſguiſe of purity and piety, clothing them with the titles of Apoſtles and Meſſengers ſent abroad to preach the everlaſting Goſpel, whoſe diſtinction among men is, that they go under the name of Quakers.

The conſideratien of whom, together with their Principles, (though in all faithfulneſs and tenderneſs I teſtifie my ſoul is drawn forth, not ſo much againſt the perſons of any, as againſt him that acts them) is the ſubject matter of that which follows, as was hin­ted before.

I find it commended in the Church of Epheſus, that her Angel had tryed them which ſaid they were Apoſtles, and were not. And the Apoſtle John adviſed, I Joh. 4.1. Beloved, believe not every ſpirit, but try the ſpirits, whether they be of God: for many falſe Prophets are gone out into the world. Which advice he gives unto his beloved: Little children, let no man deceive you.

Such conſiderations as theſe have (in the power of God) wrought up unto great ſearchings of heart, and ſtrong inquiries after the pleaſure of God, and the knowledge of his truth; which according to the ſmall meaſure thereof received, hath had its im­provement in the comparing of ſuch things as came to my hands from time to time, endeavouring if by any means I might attain to the knowledge of the principle.

But as the Perſons were divers, and their Books and Papers very many; ſo I found it very hard and difficult to gather up what was ſcattered here and there, to make out any entire Peece, though ſome competent progreſs was made in that endeavour, with a mind very much freed from prejudice; and among other things, I met with theſe paſſages:

Chriſt hath enlightned every one that comes into the world, thou that loveſt that light which Chriſt hath enlightned thee withall, thou brings thy works to the light, that thy deeds may be pro­ved, &c.
The Light will not let thee take Gods name in vaine, it will draw thee out of the worſhips of the World, and keep thee in the fear of God.
The firſt ſtep of peace, is to ſtand ſtill in the Light, which diſcovers things contrary to it, for power and ſtrength to ſtand againſt that nature which the light diſcovers, here grace growes, here's God alone glorified.
The light, which hath enlightened every one, that comes into the world; ther's every one of your Condemnation, that hates it, and every one of your teachers that loves it: waiting in it, will guide you to God, it will ſhew you the way (which is Chriſt) to the Father. (Fox, way to the Kingdome, p. 1. &c.)
Thou that art guided by the Lamb, the light in thy Conſcience, Deſpiſe not the day of ſmall things, but mind the counſel of the Lord Jeſus: the little light which ſhines in thy darke heart is the powerfull word of Faith, which was in the Beginning, by which all things were created; this light is the word of Faith the Apoſtles exhorted to take heed unto, Rom. 10.6, 7, 8. the unction of the holy one given of the Father, whereby we need not to teach one another, but as the anointing teacheth us, which is truth and no lie, which is the ſure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well to take heed, 2 Pet. 1.19. (Deusb. Mans Return. p. 12. 27, 28.)
It opens all the Scriptures, and leads man out of the fall up to God; this is the true light, and leads to life eternal. (Farnw. Rant. Diſcov. p. 13.)
The light is but one in him that loves it, and in him that hates it. The light which Chriſt Jeſus hath enlightened every one with­all, is made manifeſt, and convinceth of all ungodlineſs and world­ly luſts.
That which may be known of God, is revealed in man. (Fr. Houg. Common Salv. p. 5. 7, 8.
Oh thou blind Phariſee! a Childe of God needs no repentance. (p. 11.)
The Scripture is not the Saints rule. (Fiery Darts, p. 19.)
Come down all ye high-minded Phariſees, and lay away all your Profeſſion; throw downe all your old building, and lay a new foundation.
Hearken to that in your Conſciences, which checks you when you do amiſſe, and troubles you in Conſcience, when you have been drunk, or have done ſome evil act.

Be willing to be guided by that, and that will lead you to re­pentance? It will be a Teacher to thee, teaching and directing5 thee in righteouſneſs, purity, holineſs, &c. Parnell, tryall of faith, p. 5. 6. 7.

Loving the light, it will guide you to God from all men, that you need never look at man more.(Farnw. Diſcov. p. 12.)

Being obedient to the light within, it will lead you to purity, to holineſs, to uprightneſs; that light obeying it is your ſalva­tion, diſobeying that light is your Condemnation. (Briefe Diſcov. p. 4.)

To the al-ſeeing Eye, that light in your Conſciences, I direct you. The wiſe mans eye is in his head, which eye is the light in your Conſciences, being guided by it, it will lead you to Chriſt, who is your Head.(Letters, p. 3. 5.)

Hearken to the light in your Conſciences, that is your Teacher, if you do not obey, it will be your eternal Condemnation: Hear­ken to it, and your ſoul ſhall live.A true Diſcovery, I.C. p. 17. 18.

By all which, as alſo by much more, which is to be found in many of their Books, under variety of Expreſſions, it's to be obſerved:

That a great part; nay, the main Foundation of this their great building, is the Light, wherewith every one that cometh into the world is enlightened; and this is held forth under theſe two bran­ches; viz.

  • 1. What it is in every one?
  • 2. What it does in every one?
It is, That in the Conſcience, which checks you, when you have been drunk, or have done ſome evil act.
It is, The powerful Word of Faith, by which all things were created, and which Paul exhorts to take heed unto, Rom. 10.6, 7.8.
It is, the ſure Word of prophecy, vvhereunto you do vvell to take heed, 2 Pet. 1.19.
It doth convince a perſon of all ungodlineſs.
It directs in righteouſneſs, purity, and holineſs.
It vvill guide you to God from all men, that you need never look at man more.
If you do not obey it, it will be your eternal Condemnation, hearken to it, and your ſoul ſhall live.
That light obeying it is your Salvation, diſobeying it is your Condemnation: It opens all Scriptures, and leads man out of the fall up to God.

Theſe things among many other, are naturally included in the Sentences before repeated, which being examined and compared with what the Scriptures teſtifie touching them, it will evidently appear, that although the Enemy hath made to himſelfe a ſtrong hold, yet the Father of lights hath diſcovered him, and his Cove­ring is found too ſhort and too narrow to hide him; and Wiſdom's children will acknowledge it, when the veil is pluckt off, and the diſguiſe diſcovered and detected.

It may not be unmeet for the more clear and faire diſcuſſion, as alſo for the better ſatisfaction of ſome, to lay downe ſomething poſitively touching this matter, according to the two branches afore­mentioned, rather than to treat them oppoſitely by way of Contro­verſie, at leaſt in this place; reſerving the examination of them, and their proofs (if any there be) till afterwards: if God perad­venture may pleaſe to give unto any Repentance to the acknow­ledging of the Truth, 2 Tim. 2.25, 26. and that they may be reco­vered, &c.

THE Spirit of the Lord doth teſtifie by the Apoſtle, 1 John 1.5. that God is light. Who being altogether in himſelfe the fountain-light, covering himſelf therewith, as with a garment; and dwel­ling in the light which no man can approach unto. So none may be ſaid to be light, but God, that is to ſay, Originally ſo.

But in ſubordination to him, there are many derivative lights, lighted up by him, being his Off-ſpring; and ſo is he the Father of lights.

1. The Lord Jeſus Chriſt, conſidered as he is the anointed Sa­viour, the Son in ſubordination to the Father, as he ſuſtains the office of a Mediator, the Man Chriſt Jeſus, as ſuch, he is a derivative light. But ſo as that he is the Sun-light, far above all other lights, which it ever pleaſed the Father of lights to light up: he in whoſe face the glory of the Lord ſhines forth. As the Sun (but in much more eminency and tranſparency) is the Compendium of all light; ſo is the Lord Jeſus Chriſt the great and glorious Sun of righte­ouſneſſe, in whom dwels the treaſures of wiſdome and knowledg, of light and life.

2. There are the Angels, thoſe miniſtring ſpirits, thoſe flames of fire, thoſe ſtar-like ſparkles of light: Theſe are lighted up by the Father of lights, who alſo is called the Father of Spirits, Heb. 12.9.

3. There is alſo another ſort of light, which is likewiſe lighted7 up by the ſame Father of Lights and Spirits, and that is the Can­dle-light of Mans ſpirit, ſo called by the Lord himſelf, Prov. 20.27. The ſpirit of a Man is the Candle of the Lord. It is a light in­deed, yet but a Candle; and though the Candle of the Lord [yet inferiour to other lights, lower than the Angels.] It hath its ſub­ordination, its limitation, its bounds are ſet how far it ſhall be ex­erciſed; and that will appear in the ſecond Branch, when we come to ſhew, what it doth, or can do.

Q. 1. But firſt let us conſider? What the light in every man is?

Anſw. The Light in every man is the Spirit of every man, which is in him, and without which he could not be a man; which Spirit of a man is by the Scripture teſtified to be the Candle of the Lord: Every mans ſpirit is derived unto him from the Father of Spirits, and is a Candle of the Lords lighting up, as he is the Father of Lights.

This Spirit of a Man is underſtood to be the Reaſon of a man, or the Underſtanding of a man, that whereby he is adapted to know his Creator, and the end of his Creation; viz. who made him, and why he was made; alſo how he ſhould anſwer the end of him that made him, according to that of David, Pſal. 95.6. O come, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker, for he is our God. And Pſal. 100.3. Know ye the Lord, he is God, it is he that made us, and not we our ſelves. And the end of Gods making us is expreſt in the 2 verſ. Serve the Lord, &c.

We ſhould therefore ſerve God, who hath made us, becauſe he therefore made us, that we might ſerve him: And this lies not onely in Reaſon, but in Nature alſo, ſo that the very nature of the thing requires this of all mankind, as appears, Jer. 2.10, 11. by an argument drawn from the Nations, and their falſe gods. Gods ma­king man, and mans ſerving God, are terms reciprocal, they look each other in the face, as the winged Cherubims did, which Moſes was commanded to make, Exod. 25.20. and anſwereth each to other, as face doth to face in a glaſs, Jam. 1.23.

Hence it follows, that as God did make man, that he might ſerve him, and ſet up a light in him to ſee by, both whom he is to ſerve, and how he is to ſerve him; together with the Reaſon there­of, becauſe God had made him: there muſt needs be together with the light ſet up a Law implanted in him, which Law is called Light, Prov. 6.23. whereby the will and mind of his Creator was impreſt upon him, and made known unto him, and he by his candle-light8 ſufficiently qualified, to ſee it, and to underſtand it, together with the Reaſon and Reaſonableneſs thereof; which became an aggravation of his Tranſgreſſion, Rom. 1.19, 20, 21, 25, 26. God made Man upright, but they ſought out many inventions.

Q. 2. Let us conſider, What doth this Light or Candle of the Lord in every Man?

Anſw. Solomon by guidance and inſpiration of the Spirit of the Lord, ſaith, It ſearcheth all the inward parts of the belly, Prov. 20.27. though when it was firſt lighted up, and ſet a burning, it was aſcen­dant, and moved upward with its torching aſpiring flame; while man remained upright (as God at firſt made him) his light aſcen­ded: He could look his God in the face, he could come before his preſence with gladneſs, and ſinging, and ſerve him that had made him.

But when the thief had got into his Candle, though it put it not quite out, for then he muſt have been extinct alſo himſelf as Man, for no Candle of the Lord, (i. e. ) no Spirit of a Man, no ſuch thing as a Man at all: they ſtand and fall together, as dry bones without skin and fleſh, and theſe without ſpirit makes no Man; I ſay then, when the thief had got the candle, and dim'd the light, and lowred the aſpiring aſcendant quality, and now it burns down­ward, and diſcovers the things beneath, ſearching all the inward parts of the belly, now the fire burns inward; this Candle of the Lord is exerciſed in diſcovering the iniquity and tranſgreſſion; driving man through fear from the preſence of God; the Candle ſhewed Adam his Tranſgreſſion, which made him through fear hide himſelf, Gen. 3.10. As it was then; ſo is it now.

And this is the proper effect of the Candle of the Lord, (the Spirit of every man) that it ſearcheth all the inward parts of the belly; or as the Apoſtle ſaith, It intermedleth with the things of a man, 1 Cor. 2.11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, ſave the Spirit of a man, that is in him? But the deep things of God none knoweth (or ſearcheth out) but the Spirit of God.

This effect or operation of the Spirit of a man, whereby it looks upon and ſearches out the things of a man, diving into the inward parts of the belly, is ſuch an act of underſtanding, as is both direct and reflex. It looks at the thing done, or to be done; and knows when it is done, and that it is done; and this is ſcience or know­ledge performed by a direct act of the underſtanding. But when the underſtanding conſiders what it hath done, or is about to do, and9 reflects upon ſome certain rule or law, according to which, his acti­on is done, or not done; this reflex act of the ſoul is called con­ſcience, (i. e. ) knowledge together with ſomething elſe; and it is much more than bare ſcience, and to the making up of this, there muſt of neceſſity be the preſence of a law, with which a perſon muſt know-together-with-it; and this knowledge-together with ano­ther is conſcience.

For the light ſimply conſidered makes not any thing that's done, to be good or evill; but by a reflexion upon the law, & comparing its regularity or irregularity therewith, its conformity or non-con­formity thereunto, thence ſprings the ſentence of the goodneſſe or evilneſſe of the action; the light manifeſts the deed done, the Law diſcovers the quality of the action, according to that of the Apoſtle, Rom. 3.20. By the Law is the knowledge of ſinne; Now according to the conformity or non-conformity, that a mans actions bear to the Law, ſuitable thereto will be the ſentence it will give, and an­ſwerable to the ſentence the Law pronounceth, will be the Excuſa­tion, or Accuſation of the perſon, according to Rom. 2.15. Which ſhew the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conſciences alſo bearing witneſs, and their thoughts meane while excuſing or accuſing one another.

As the Lamp, Torch, or Candle, which the Lord lighted up in Man, though it is become exceeding dim in compariſon of what it was before the theef took it, yet is not annihilated nor ceaſeth to be, for then man could not exiſt, he ſhould alſo ceaſe to be: So like­wiſe the Law of God, which at firſt was plainly to be read, being written in man's heart, is now not ſo obliterated, or obſcured, but that there is yet left ſufficient to render God righteous in his pro­ceedings againſt the ſons of men, who hold that meaſure of the knowledge of God (which is left in them) in unrighteouſneſs, or who like not to retain God in their knowledge, ſo farre as he is manifeſt in them, or ſhewn unto them, viz. in his eternall power and God-head, which they not abiding in the acknowledgement of will render God righteous in his proceeding againſt them, and leave them inexcuſable before him.

Should there not be ſo much of the Law, as to diſcover the acti­ons which are done in the fleſh to be good or evill, and ſet the con­ſcience upon the work of accuſing or excuſing, where elſe ſhould the Lord have a witneſs for himſelf in Men, and how elſe ſhould God be juſt in judging the world; ſtopping every mouth, and declaring10 his proceedings righteous, in rendring to every man according to his deeds, which time is called the day of the Revelation of the righteous judgement of God, Rom. 2.5, 6.

Seeing then 'tis the property of light to make manifeſt, or diſco­ver, and this at moſt is but ſcience, the exerciſe whereof is either direct or reflex, reſpecting the time paſt, preſent, or to come, where­in it hath a moſt ample latitude to expatiate it ſelf according to the variety of objects, whether within it or without it, even to wonder and admiration, yea, and ſo farre as to me appears, beyond my ex­preſſion.

Nevertheleſſe it looks upon its Objects as it finds them, though it makes manifeſt every thing within its ſphear as to matter of fact, yet it gives being to nothing; its all eye (as I may ſo ſay) it ſees all that's done, but does nothing; it neither likes nor diſlikes, approves nor diſapproves, but as its in conjunction with a law, and hath reflection upon it; and thence proceeds the names of good and evill, of lawfull and unlawfull, thence alſo the arguing, and redarguing, the accuſing and excuſing, and now ſcience is become conſcience.

By all which it doth appear, that the candle of the Lord, or the ſpirit of a man, is a great light, though but a candle, yet its of the Lords lighting up, and though it fall (beyond all utterance or con­ceiving) ſhort off the virtue, which once it had, having this blot upon its glory, that whereas when it firſt came forth of the hands of him that formed it, who is the Father of ſpirits, Heb. 12.9. it was then converſant with him primarily, and immediately, yet ſince it hath been dimmed, and well nigh extinguiſhed (as it was in the tranſ­greſſion) its now exerciſed moſtly, and principally about the things of the belly the things of a man, the things of it ſelf: it hath therein a great ability in point of manifeſting and diſcovery not only as they are obvious and apparent, but as they are occult & hidden, ſearching out the ſecret things of the belly: Nor is its ability only (though moſt here) but it is able to feel and ſeek after God his Creatour, Acts 17.27, 28. and in a great capacity of knowing much of him (as ſuch) at leaſt his eternall power and God-head, Rom. 1.19, 20.

Yet its excellency is heightned, and much advantaged by its con­comitant the Law of its Creatour, which as a glaſſe reflects and re­turns face for face, and diſcovers not onely the face, but the ſpots alſo that is in it: Hence there is a neceſſity of conſidering ſomewhat further touching the Nature of the Law in con­junction11 with the light in every man, by which will appeare, what the light in every man can do, and conſequently what it can­not doe.

Foraſmuch as together with this Light or Candle of the Lord, there is a law impreſs'd on mansheart, upon which this light reflects; which doth as truly diſcover the quality of his actions, as the light diſcovers the actions themſelves. And as Adam gave names to the creatures, and as he named them, ſo were they called; even ſo doth the law in man's heart give names to all his actions, according to the proper nature of their agreement, or diſagreement with the mind and will of God; and this reſpects as well the ſecret thoughts, and intents of the heart, Heb. 4.12. as the outward actions, and in this reſpect the Law is called light, in like forme of ſpeaking as this is uſed, Matth. 24.27, 28. the Cup for the wine in the Cup.

This law conſidered as it is in God is but one, as in the fountain of wiſdom and juſtice: as the light in him is but one, though diverſly communicated and diſtributed, yet he onely is the father of lights: So in him the law is but one, though differently exhibited and made known according to the variety of the ſubjects, who are to be governed by it (among whom man is chief.)

As man is conſidered the ſubject of it, ſo it is diſtinguiſhed accord­ing to Scripture phraſe into the

  • Law of works,
  • Law of faith,

Rom. 3.27. both theſe are diſtinguiſhed again into the Law written & unwritten: the ſubjects of the law under the firſt conſideration (i. e. ) of works, though they have the law written on their hearts, and do by nature things contained in the Law, yet many of them not having the poſi­tive or written law, as others had; theſe are ſaid to be without law: as they indeed were in compariſon of thoſe to whom the out­ward poſitive written Law was added, Gal. 3.19.

Nevertheleſſe they were not poſitively without Law, (for then they could not have been guilty in any reſpect, for its evident, that where there is no law, there is no tranſgreſſion, Rom. 4.15. ) but comparatively they were without a poſitive declared written Law, according to that divine teſtimony, Pſal. 147.19, 20. He ſheweth his word unto Jacob: his ſtatutes and his judgements unto Iſrael. He hath not dealt ſo with any nation: and as for his judgements, they have not known them.

Theſe having the law written upon their hearts, and by the Candle of the Lord ſo farre legible as to evince God his eternall12 power and God-head, leaving them therein without excuſe, Rom. 1.19, 20. Manifeſting that this God, whoſe eternal power, and God-head revealed in them, or ſhewed unto them, was to be loved with all the heart, and all the minde, and withall the ſoul (implyed in that word (as before hath been declared) Pſal. 95.6. Pſal. 100.2, 3. Making and ſerving being correlatives; his making and our ſer­ving being neceſſary dependents, as the Apoſtle argues the ſame caſe in the point of redemption, ſaying, Ye are bought with a price, &c. therefore glorifie God with your bodies, and ſpirits, for they are his, 1 Cor. 6.20. (but of this anon in its place;) this I take to be the ſumme of the firſt Table of the Law, and is written on the heart of the na­turall man.

The other Branch or Table of the Law comprehended in theſe words, Thou ſhalt love thy neighbour as thy ſelf, or whatſoever ye would that men ſhould do unto you, do ye likewiſe unto them; This alſo is writ­ten on the table of the heart of every man, notwithſtanding it be not written in Characters, i. e. letters and ſyllables, and become a poſi­tive law to them, yet its there, and men doing (as the Apoſtle phraſeth it) by nature the things contained in the law (though they be in compariſon of others without law) are a law to themſelves, and hereby they ſhew the work of the law written in their hearts, Rom. 2.14, 15. which is a cleere demonſtration of the truth hereof.

It is witneſſed by our bleſſed Lord Jeſus, Mat. 22.37, 38, 39, 40. that to love the Lord with all the heart, with all the ſoul, and with all the mind, and to love ones neighbour as ones ſelf, on thoſe two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets; & it is evident that this in its mea­ſure is effected by them, who are ſaid, by nature to do the things con­tained in the law; whence elſe ſprings all thoſe ſtumblings upon a Deity, and groping and feeling after a worſhip, and religion ſuit­able to what is apprehended of God; and herein, though the candle burn ſo dimme, that the poor ſoul feels after this, as they for the door of Lots houſe; yet in the other part or table of the law they have much more cleerneſs of diſcovery of the things of a man, (ac­counted the morall virtues) they declare with a broad day-light (as it were) that theſe are written there.

The whole amounting to this, that thoſe who live without the law, i. e. the law as it was committed to writing, and delivered by the hand of Moſes, according to the appointment of God: yet in theſe God hath not left himſelf without witneſs, but hath written13 on their hearts the ſame law for ſubſtance, which he afterwards en­larged by the hand and adminiſtration of Moſes, and added this to the former, becauſe of tranſgreſſion (either to reduce the tranſgreſſor, or to aggravate the tranſgreſſion) that ſinne might be made exceeding ſinfull.

And therefore God may juſtly proceed in judgement againſt the tranſgreſſions which are committed againſt him, and his law, as the Apoſtle argues, he having left all men without excuſe, by giving them a light or candle in their heart, by which they might ſee to read the things contained therein.

But if thoſe, who have onely the law of nature, and do not by nature the things contained in the law, be puniſhable, and Gods proceedings therein juſtifiable (as indeed it is) as hath been often minded before: of how much ſorer puniſhment think we ſhall they be thought worthy, who tranſgreſs under this additional de­claration of the Will and Law of God committed to writing, with thoſe large annotations, and marginal notes (as it were;) this muſt needs be a great aggravation, this new edition of the law muſt needs bring a further addition of guilt to the tranſgreſſours thereof.

Man or the children of men thus differenced and thus enlightned by the candle of the Lord in them, are the ſubjects of the law, in the firſt ſenſe, as it is called the law of works, Rom. 3.27. or the old co­venant: In which conſideration God hath concluded all under ſin, Rom. 3.9. and ſtopped every mouth, and rendred all the world guilty before him by the ſentence of the law, conſidered as afore, Rom. 3.19. foraſmuch as the tenour of the law being this, viz. Do and live, and Curſed be every one, that continueth not in all things which are written in the law to do them, finds no man able to perform it in all things, for that all have ſinned and come ſhort of the glory of God, Rom. 3.23. the Spirit of God teſtifying, that the law, though in it ſelf, holy, righteous and good, yet was weak through the fleſh, Rom. 7.12. Rom. 8.23. So that what could not by it be effected was accompliſhed by the law of the ſpirit of life in Chriſt Jeſus, Rom. 8.2. oppoſed to the law of ſinne and death, as the law of faith is to the law of works, Rom. 3.27.

Touching which Law (as being the next branch in the diſtincti­on) and the light accompanying it, it will be neceſſary to ſpeak.


The law of faith (which is the ſecond branch in the diſtinction) is a law founded in God, as in the fountain: and as the former, that is, the law of works, or of the firſt covenant, proceeded from the Wiſdom and Juſtice of God, as being a juſt and equall thing, that he ſhould be ſerved by thoſe whom he made to ſerve him; ſo this law of faith ownes it ſelf to the mercifulneſs, and goodneſs of the ſame God towards ſuch as had forfeited all into the hand of juſtice, for it had been a righteous thing with God, to have taken vengeance upon the forfeiture.

The foundation of which law of Faith, or ſecond Covenant was laid in that word of Grace, or rather on Chriſt in the promiſe, that is, the ſeed of the woman ſhall break the head of the Serpent, Gen. 3.15. and is of as large extent, as the former of works; if we conſider

  • 1. The Object thereof.
  • 2. The Subject of it.

The Object is the Lord Jeſus, who is propounded in the promiſe, as the repairer of the breach, and the reſtorer of the paths to dwell in, ac­cording to that teſtimony, Pſal. 75.3. The earth and all the inhabi­tants of the earth are diſſolved: I beare up the pillars of it. And thus by him all things conſiſt. Col. 1.17. holding forth a ground of return to God, from whom man by the tranſgreſſion was turned aſide, and through fear had hid himſelf, Gen. 3.10.

The Subject was the firſt man, and in him all man-kind who were not onely privileged by this promiſe by being put into a poſſibility and capacity of being renewed again by repentance (which condi­tion the firſt covenant had in it, for that left no roome for repen­tance) but they were alſo hereby obliged to believe in him, who was promiſed to break the Serpents head to deſtroy the deſtroyer, and to lead captivity captive.

How farre the Law of faith may be ſaid to be written on every mans heart (as the former law of works) is not given unto me to underſtand; only this glimpſe I have of it, that it appears to have had an influence on the heart of man (from the propoſing of the promiſe aforeſaid) by thoſe ſacrifices, which were offered up to God before the publication of the poſitive law: wherein as well Cain as Abel offered ſacrifice Gen. 4.4. I therefore call their offerings ſacrifice, becauſe they are ſo called Heb. 11.4. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉1 Cor. 10.18.

Abels ſacrifice was mingled with faith, offered up upon the true Altar, witneſſed unto by Gods acceptation, and by faith he obtained a good report among the Elders, Heb. 11.4. with whom he had received the ſame ſpirit of faith. But with Cain and his ſa­crifice15 it was not ſo, nor accepted as ſuch: nevertheleſs it appears to me from hence, that there was the power of a Law of faith, as of works upon them both and they equally obliged thereby; only the one offered a ſacrifice as an obedience of faith, the other in form without faith, and as it were by the works of the Law, Rom. 9.32. Nevertheleſs in obedience to the ſame law of faith, for as much as he offered ſacrifice alſo (though not in faith) the one had faith in his heart, and Chriſt in his eye as a redeemer and reſtorer, the other was wanting at leaſt in faith, which ſhould have ſeaſoned his ſa­crifice.

They both had equal obligation from one and the ſame law of faith, which looked at Chriſt as its object, as the law of ſacrifice did imply, whether propitiatory, Heb. 9.22. or gratulatory, Levit. 7.12, 15. Pſal. 107.22. Both yeelded obedience to the law of faith, in what was outward in the Act: only Abel had an eye open to him that was inviſible, as the object of his faith carrying him above the Act.

So that the law of faith doubtleſs reſpected all the race and generation of mankinde by way of obligation from the giving of the promiſe; but the children of the promiſe are counted for the ſeed: like as it is ſaid, All are not Iſrael, who are of Iſrael, Rom. 9.6. though all the family of Abraham were greatly privileged, Rom. 3.2. and 9.4. and obliged: So likewiſe all the race of man­kinde are greatly privileged by virtue of the promiſe or promiſed ſeed in whom all the nations are bleſſed, yet not all Nations but the children of the promiſe are counted for the ſeed, according to the tenour of that word, 1 Tim. 4.10. Who is Saviour of all men, eſpecially of them which beleeve.

A common Salvation is extended to all Men by Jeſus Chriſt, Jude 3. and all men are bound to beleeve and repent, that they may be ſa­ved, Act. 17.30. John 3.16. But the ſpecial Salvation is to them on­ly, who have obtained like precious faith, 2 Pet. 1.1. (i.e.) the faith of Gods elect, Tit. 1.1. the faith of the operation of God, Col. 2.12. theſe are they which are reckoned or counted for the ſeed, Gal. 3.7, 9, 29. theſe are they to whom the righteouſneſs of God, which is by faith of Jeſus Chriſt is manifeſted unto all, and upon all them that be­leeve, Rom, 3.21, 22.

As the law in the firſt conſideration, i. e. of works was Gods firſt-born, and man was fitted for the work thereof, while his bow abode in ſtrength: God having made him upright, Eccleſ. 7.29. So the16 Law in the ſecond conſideration, i. e. of faith (whoſe foundation was laid in that bleſſed word of promiſe, Gen. 3.15. ) lay in the ſame womb and boſome of eternity, for they were twins; And though that ſtept out firſt, declaring the Majeſty of him whoſe Image it bore, yet this caught its Brother by the heel, declaring the infinite­neſs of the Mercy and compaſsion of him, whoſe Law it was, pro­claiming the Lord, the Lord, gracious, long-ſuffering, &c. No ſooner is the Tranſgreſsion detected, but the Redeemer is promi­ſed; Oh the heighth, and depth of the riches of mercy, who kiſſed Ju­ſtice, and overcame it, Pſal. 85. Mercy and Truth met together, Righte­ouſneſs and Peace kiſſed each other; nor doth this latter deſtroy the former, nay it eſtabliſheth it, Rom. 3.30, 31.

Like as when the Law of the firſt Covenant was engraven on ta­bles of ſtone, it did not at all diminiſh or leſſon the glory of that which was written upon the heart, nay it did augment the luſter thereof, and made it more legible: ſo neither doth the Law of faith deſtroy the Law of works, nor make it void; nay it doth eſtabliſh it, for as much as it no way diſpenſeth with its ſubjects ſervice, nor ac­quits them of their duty, ſave only of the manner and end of the ſervice: As it was performed in the oldneſs of the letter, now it muſt be performed in the newneſs of the Spirit, Rom. 7.6. but it muſt be obedience ſtill; Loving the Lord our God, with all the heart, with all the minde, with all the ſoul, with all the ſtrength, and our neighbour as our ſelves: this is not diminiſhed or made void by the Law of faith, it only requires Newneſs of Spirit in lieu of Old­neſs of letter.

Theſe two conſiderations of the Law went hand in hand together all along thorough the old adminiſtration.

From righteous Abel to the end of the Catalogue of all the cloud of witneſſes, who were ſubjected to the firſt diſpenſation, dying in faith, ſaluting though not poſſeſsing the promiſes, they ſeeing him, who was inviſible, their faith did not at all leſſon their obedience: nay it winged their obedience; It was the ſalt, that ſalted every ſacrifice, Mark 9.49. For without faith its impoſſible to pleaſe God, Heb. 11.4, 6.

This Law of faith however it ran along as the bloud in the veins, and was that, which led to God through every ſervice, and in every ſacrifice, was nevertheleſs veiled under great obſcurity, and under much darkneſs; The Spirit thereof did teſtifie of the ſuffering of Chriſt, and of the glory, which was to be revealed; but it teſtified of17 them, as of things a great way off, the promiſes whereof they ſalu­ted, but poſſeſſed not; the way into the moſt holy not being open, or made manifeſt, while the firſt Tabernacle was yet ſtanding, Heb. 9.8.

This double kinde of ſacrificing ran all along thorough out the whole diſpenſation in as many as retained the Law of ſacrifice, and caſt not off utterly the Knowledge of God, which the moſt part did as the Apoſtles argument, Rom. 1.21, 26, 28. makes it evident. For as much as all along there was a Remnant having an eye upon the promiſe, obtained a good report, and the Savour of them in Divine Teſtimony remains to this day as a Cloud of witneſſes.

This Law of faith as it ſprung not with mankind in Nature; but was added by occaſion of the Tranſgreſſion (for it ſucceeded that as a plaſter doth the wound,) it was not written in the heart of the na­tural man as a thing juſt and equal: For God to remake, and to re­deem faln man, into whoſe heart it could not rationally have en­tred, that there ſhould ever have been a way found out in juſtice, or equity, or with a due ſaving of the truth of him, that made the Co­venant, that man ſhould be put into a capacity, or come under a poſ­ſibility of being preſerved (having tranſgreſſed) and yet God be righteous, ſeeing there was no term or condition in the Covenant, which God made with him looking that way (for tranſgreſſing and dying were the termes reciprocal) but it was of meere grace, that the promiſe was made, and was indeed the opening of a dore of hope in a poſſibility of returning for man, which was run away from God.

This laying the foundation of a better hope by which man might be recovered and encouraged to draw near to God, was as far above the reach of the natural man to know or expect as the heavens are a­bove the earth, yea as the thoughts of God are above the thoughts of man: this Law then is not natural but ſupernatural; not ſpringing up together with man, as that of workes; but is added through grace, Pſal. 75.3. (Ex abundanti) and ſuch as this Law is, ſuch is the light, which accompanies it, and the enlargement of the one 2is the enlargement of the other alſo, as will evidently appear by what follows.

I ſay, this Law of faith or word of promiſe being extended to all mankinde, holding forth a poſſibility of mans return to God upon terms of faith and repentance, implyed in the firſt promiſe, and te­ſtified in the ſacrifice of Abel, the long ſuffering and patience of God contributing much this way, his goodneſs and forbearance laying18 great obligation upon perſons, theſe viſible things of God holding forth the inviſible or ſecret purpoſes and Counſels of his heart to­wards returning ſinners, and calling and crying out to man upon that account to return to him by repentance, from whom by tranſ­greſſion, he was departed: by which footſteps of God man might trace a poſſibility of Redemption through beleeving in the promi­ſed ſeed, as by the former, viz. The viſible things of the Creation, he might diſcern, the Eternal power and God-head of him by whom he was made and created: So that in this alſo, as in the former, God hath not left himſelf without witneſs even to the natural man; but hath given him occaſion, and opportunity to feel after God, as thus conſidered.

The print and impreſſions of mercy being ſtamp'd upon every out-coming of the Lord, which upon the terms of the firſt Cove­nant was not diſcernable, ſpeaking nothing but wrath and terrour and trembling, according to that of the Apoſtle, Rom. 4.15. The Law worketh wrath, &c. And that juſtly upon every tranſgreſſour, yea for every tranſgreſſion; for it is written, Curſed be every one, that continueth not in all things written in the Law do them, Gal. 3.10. & Deut. 27.26. So that God hath left man in great meaſure with­out excuſe even in this reſpect alſo, holding forth ſuch diſcove­ries, as whereby he might diſcern a poſſibility of the recovery of his forfeited eſtate, evidenced and manifeſted in the patience, bounty, long-ſuffering, goodneſs, and mercifulneſs of God to­ward him a ſinner, to whom it was at firſt ſaid, In the day thou eat­eſt thereof, thou ſhalt ſurely dye, or dying, thou ſhalt dye, in­ſtead of which ſeverity, Behold goodneſs, and forbearance in­terpoſing and leading to repentance, Rom. 2.4. And this in re­lation to man as a man: while he is endued with no other light, than that which is common to him as ſuch, that is, the ſpirit of a man, which is the Candle of the Lord, by which he may not only ſee the things of God as his Creatour, that is, his eternal power and God-head, and what hath dependence thereupon in relation to the firſt Covenant, or Law of works.

But a crevice is opened into the diſcovery of the Redemption promiſed as the ſubject of the ſecond Covenant upon the termes thereof in relation thereunto as to a law of faith evidenced by the promiſe to as many as the ſound thereof ever came. Yea all man­kinde in the forbearance, goodneſs, and long-ſuffering of God, though unto them, but as unto natural men: and this diſcovery ſhi­ning19 forth through natural appearances, Act. 14.17. Rom. 2.4. Yet ſufficient to leave himſelf a witneſs in man from theſe diſcoveries, evidencing a reprieve from immediate deſtruction, which the tranſ­greſſour hath merited: and opening a dore of hope for pardon, and remiſſion through the riches of the goodneſs and forbearance of God; ſufficient to engage the heart of a natural man to ſeek the Lord, and to feel after him, if poſſible he might finde him in this ca­pacity as a Redeemer, even as in the former capacity, he might diſ­cover God as his Creator and Maker.

And though Mans greater impotency will be found in this, than in the former, yet is it his duty no leſs here than there: and he no leſs excuſable for not being found exerciſed in the endea­vour after it. God having left himſelf a witneſſe in one caſe, as well as in the other, though not ſo the one as the o­ther.

For in the former not only from without by things ſeen were the inviſible things of God diſcovered, but alſo by his Law written in the heart of the natural Man was this diſcovery made of God as his Creator, and his ſubjection to him as ſuch under the terms of that Covenant, viz. Do and live.

But touching this latter Covenant or Law of faith, the diſcovery thereof ariſeth from what is without. It had never been known nor ever thought of; nor ever would it or could it rationally have come into the heart of Man, to have conceived ſuch a thing, but from the declaration of God in his promiſe (which faith made application of in the firſt beleevers) and from the ſeries of his patience and forbear­ance continued to the race of man-kinde darkely ſpeaking forth the ſame thing with a ſilent, yet conſtant voyce, Pſal. 19.1. Rom. 10.18. ſufficient to leave man without excuſe, and convincing of a poſſibi­lity of being renewed again through the riches of that goodneſs, which hereby call'd and led unto repentance, Rom. 2.4.

Nevertheleſs there was to be another Edition of this Law alſo, as there was of the former (of which there hath been mention made before) That although God left not himſelf without witneſs in thoſe firſt Beleevers, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Iſaak, Jacob, Moſes, David, Daniel, and the reſt, of whom to tell time would fail, who were all enlightned with a light ſuitable and proportionable to their object: there was communicated to them a Spirit of faith, whereby they were inabled to behold him, who was the object of their faith: So Abraham ſaw the day of Chriſt with joy; John 8.56.20 and Moſes ſaw him, which was inviſible, Heb. 11.27. Faith ſaw Chriſt through ſacrifices, ſaw remiſſion of ſins in ſhedding of blood, without which there is no remiſſion, Heb. 9.22. Yet notwithſtanding God having provided ſome better thing for thoſe which were to come af­ter, that they without us ſhould not be made perfect, hath in theſe laſt dayes ſpoken to us by his Son revealing the purpoſe and Coun­ſel of his heart by him; bringing Immortality and life to light by the Goſpel, which before was hid from ages and generations, Eph. 3.5. and not ſo made manifeſt.

But in the fulneſs of time, the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windowes of heaven were open; and the trea­ſure of wiſdome and Counſel, which had (comparatively) been hidden from ages and generations (not poſitively ſo) for every Age had its proper meaſure in proportion to the diſpenſation under which it was, yet in compariſon of what was further made out by the appearing of the grace of God giving teſtimony of his great love to the world in ſending his own Son, Rom. 8.3. To dye for ſinners, Rom. 5.8. Yea while they were yet ſinners, and at enmity with him, then to reconcile them to God, Rom. 5.10.

Then I ſay and at this time for the Word to be made fleſh, and Ta­bernacle among the ſons of men, and cauſe his glory to be beheld as the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth, without con­troverſie this was the great Myſtery of Godlineſs, God manifeſted in the fleſh, &c. He had been hid in God long before, but now was made manifeſt, bringing immortality and life to light by the Goſpel, pre­paring a way into the Holyeſt of all, which way was not yet open, but ſhut up under veiles and ſhadowy darkneſs whilſt the firſt Taber­nacle was yet ſtanding; and this God hath done upon terms not of the firſt covenant, that is to ſay, of works, called the old Covenant: but upon the terms of the ſecond Covenant, or Law of faith, bring­ing in everlaſting Righteouſneſs upon the account of that better hope by which we draw nigh to God, Heb. 7.19.

Thus as that firſt Covenant or law of works, which was witneſſed ſufficiently in mans heart, ſo far as to juſtifie God, and render man inexcuſable for tranſgreſſing it, yet through the bountiful good­neſs of God was afterward engraven on Tables of ſtone, and ſo be­came a written and legible Law, the keeping of the Oracles whereof was committed eminently to Abrahams poſterity; yet ſo as that the ſound thereof went forth among the Gentiles far and near, who21 alſo might be admitted upon the terms thereof into the family of the then Iſrael of God, and many taking hold of that Cove­nant of God were admitted, to whom there was but one Law, as well to the ſtranger, as to him, who was born in the houſe, Exod. 12.48.49.

In like manner this new Covenant which God made with miſer­able, fallen, affrighted run-away, hidden, Adam touching the ſeed of the woman, which ſhould break the head of the ſerpent as in the promiſe, Gen. 3.15. this in proceſs of time comes to be drawn from under the veil, and ſo immortality and life comes to light through the goſpel. Which notwithſtanding it were ſo ſufficiently mani­feſted from the time it was firſt promiſed, as that the heirs of Salva­tion did ſee through theſe veils, and beheld him that was inviſible: and all others might have ſeen, and many did ſee, that which left them without excuſe; for with whom was he angry but with thoſe, who had not faith, Heb. 3.11, 18, 19. as with thoſe to whom the Gospel was preached, but did not profit them, not being mixt with faith, Heb. 4.2.

Yet out of the ſuper-abundant goodneſs and riches of grace, Eph. 2.7. commending his love to poor ſinners, God makes this new im­preſſion thereof in ſuch large and capital letters, as that it may be read and ſeen of all men, to whom the tidings thereof comes, making publication of this joyful meſſage by the Acclamation of that hea­venly Hoſt, who praiſing God ſaid,

Glory to God in the Highest, on earth peace, good will toward men, Luke 2.13.14. bringing good tidings of great joy, which ſhall be to all people, the ſum of which was, There is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Chriſt the Lord, Luke 2.10.11. or, the Lords Chriſt, v. 26. a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Iſ­rael, v. 32.

Which voyce of this heavenly Hoſt was not like that on mount Sinai, wherein the mount was altogether on a ſmoke like the ſmoke of a furnace, where the whole Mount quaked greatly, and the people, which were in the Camp trembled, Exo. 19.16, 18. but contrarywiſe it was here: Peace on Earth, good will towards Men, and glad-tidings of great joy to all people.

Theſe were the bleſſed openings of the Fathers boſome, bringing life unto light; Revealing the Counſels of his heart, which had been kept ſecret from the beginning of the world, but was now made ma­nifeſt for the obedience of faith among all nations, according to22 the tennor of that Scripture, John 3.16, 17. God ſo loved the world, that he gave his onely begotten Son, that whoſoever beleeveth on him, ſhould not periſh, but have everlaſting life.

Now is the firſt promiſe unbowel'd, and declaration is now made, who is the ſeed of the woman, and what is the Law of faith, and alſo who are the proper ſubjects thereof. Every one to whom the ſound thereof comes is under the obligation thereof: but they only, which do beleeve in Chriſt, ſhall not periſh, but have everlaſting life, and theſe alſo are reckoned for the ſeed.

This then is the tennor and tendency of the Law of faith; That whoſoever beleeveth on Jeſus Chriſt, ſhall not periſh, but have ever­laſting life: and this, not occultly but openly declared.

Together with this new Edition of the Law of faith, the Subjects thereof are likewiſe declared to be ſuch, as are to be renewed, to be new made, to be born again, and to have a light implanted in them ſuitable to this Law, as they had a light implanted in them ſuitable to that of works.

That like as the former light ſprang up with them in the natural birth: Man had his candle from the beginning of his Creation to ſee his Creator, and a Law ſprang up with him to ſerve his Maker, that is, to love him with all his heart, with all his ſoul, &c. So now in this new Creation is he in like manner to be endued with a light ſuitable to his birth, he muſt be born of the Spirit, or from above, and therewith to be enlightned to have this Law written in and on his heart; this is a branch of the new Covenant, I will write my lawes in their hearts, &c.

This is that which was pointed at all along thoroughout the old diſpenſation in all the types and ſacrifices, they looked unto Jeſus the Mediatour of this new Covenant, whom God hath ſet forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood to declare his Righte­ouſneſs for the remiſſion of ſins that are paſt, through the forbear­ance of God, That he might be juſt and the juſtifier of him, that be­leeveth in Jeſus, Rom. 3.25, 26. and by this law of faith to exclude boaſting.

The Law of works ſpeaking on this wiſe, do and live (or the man that doeth theſe things ſhall live in them) ſets man upon doing for life, or that he may live: and while man is doing he is apt to be boaſting (as he) Luk. 18.11. I am not as other men are, &c.

The Law of faith ſpeaks on this manner, Awake thou that ſleepeſt,23 stand up from the dead, and Chriſt ſhall give thee light, Eph. 5.14. You hath he quickned, who were dead in trespaſſes and ſins, Eph. 2.1, 6. He is made to live, that he may do, and he is made to know, that he is not ſufficient as of himſelf to do any thing, John 15.5. but all his ſuffi­ciency is of God, 2 Cor. 3.5. who worketh in him both to will and to do of his own good pleaſure, Phi. 2.13. here is no room for boaſting nor any colour for any ſuch thing, it is utterly taken away by the law of faith, Rom. 3.27. which empties the Creature of all ſelf-ſufficiency, and leaves it at the foot of him, that quickned it, that gave it life, to en­able it to perform every action of life: not as if the Law of faith were deſtitute of works, or the ſubjects thereof totally exempted therefrom. Nay! but notwithſtanding the ſaved ones are to aſcribe the honour of their Salvation to the free and rich grace of God as being meer gift in oppoſition to works, to cut off all occaſion of boaſting; Nevertheleſs its testified, that ſuch are his workmanſhip created in Chriſt Jeſus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that they ſhould walk in them, Eph. 2.7, 8, 9, 10.

So then the bringing of Immortality and life to light through the Goſpel opens the Myſtery thereof, and diſcovers in plain Chara­cters, that which had lyen hid in former ages, the ſum of all which is this, viz. That it is not in him that wills, nor in him which runs, but in God that ſheweth mercy Rom. 9.15, 16. according to that in Heb. 8.12. for I will be merciful, &c.

This is the well-head, ſpring, or fountain of the Law of faith, from whence flowes all thoſe bleſſed ſtreames of good will toward man: this laid the foundation of mans recovery and reſtauration, and this layes the top ſtone thereof, whereunto all the ſaved of the Lord muſt cry, grace, grace: for his mercy endureth for ever.

This is the Beginning or firſt letter of his Name as it was de­ſcribed to Moſes, Exod. 34.6, 7. Merciful and gratious, long-ſuffering, and keeping mercy for thouſands, forgiving iniquity, tranſgreſſions and ſins.

The Elect-tryed-pretious-corner-ſtone of this Building is the Lord Jeſus, laid for a Foundation, a living ſtone, and ſuch as he is, ſuch are they, which are built upon him, lively or living ſtones built up a Spiritual houſe, an holy Prieſthood, to offer up Spiritual Sacri­fice, acceptable to God by Jeſus Chriſt, 1 Pet. 2.4, 5, 6, 7. and other foundation can no man lay, than that is layd, which is Jeſus Christ. 1 Cor. 3.11.

It is this, which gives boldneſs in the day of Judgment, becauſe24 as he is, ſo are they, that are his, in this world, 1 John 4.17. and this is the honour of all his Saints or Sanctified ones, it is the lot of all the General Aſſembly of the firſt Borne, whoſe names are written in Heaven, Heb. 12. not only of the Saints, which were in Corinth, no nor thoroughout all Achaia, Epheſus, and all Aſia, but all that in every place call upon the name of Jeſus Chriſt our Lord both theirs and ours.

Of this living Stone the Lord Jeſus, and of theſe lively ſtones, viz. they which beleeve on him, doth the new building, or ſpiritual houſe conſiſt; he is not aſhamed to call them Brethren: foraſmuch as he which ſanctifieth and they which are ſanctified are all of one, Heb. 2.11. Nay not onely Brethren, but they are ſo of him, as Children of the Father, He the everlasting Father, Iſa. 9.6. and they the Children of that father, Heb. 2.13. Behold I and the Children that thou haſt given me; He the Root, and they the Off-ſpring, he the head, they the Members: they are ſo of him, that they have no ſubſiſtance without him, which, as it is true of all mankinde in ge­neral, yea and of all things, that have being, that he bears up the pillars thereof, even he, who is the Brightneſs of his Fathers glory, and the expreſs Character of his Hypoſtaſis or ſubſtance; he bears up or upholdeth all things with the word of his power, Heb. 1.4. who is before all things, and by him all things conſiſt, Col. 1.17. I ſay, though all things own themſelves to him for that Exiſtence, which they have, as upheld by him, and conſiſting in him, he being the Sa­viour of all men, and of all things, according to that in Pſalm 36.6. Thou ſaveſt Man, and Beaſt.] I rather uſe the word Saveſt or wilt Save than Preſerveſt (though the latter be uſed by the Tranſlators) be­cauſe I finde themſelves have ſo rendred the ſame word elſewhere, viz. Eſa. 45.17. Iſrael ſhall be ſaved with an everlaſting Salvation, as al­ſo in the 118. Pſa. 25. verſe, Save now, where the words〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉are rendred by the Septuagint,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which Prophecy hath an eſpecial reference and relation to Chriſt, as may appear by the par­ticular application thereof to him by the Children crying in the Temple, and ſaying〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Hoſanna, Matth. 21.15, 16. and Chriſts defence thereof againſt thoſe that were diſpleaſed thereat, avouch­ing in their defence that Prophecie of David, Pſal. 8.2. Out of the mouth of Babes, &c. And to this agreeth that of the Apoſtle men­tioned formerly, viz. The Saviour of all men, &c. Yet it is moſt e­minently, and in a moſt eſpecial manner true of thoſe, who beleeve,25 1 Tim. 4.10. Even thoſe of his own houſe, (ſtock and kindred) thoſe which are of the houſhold of faith.

That of the Author to the Hebrews is very emphatical, where ſpeaking of Chriſt it's ſaid, He tooke on him the ſeed of Abraham: It is not ſaid, the ſeed of Adam. For though that be true that Chriſt is the ſecond Adam, and took on him the nature of Man, as ſuch; yet it is not terminated there, but his alliance, ſtock, and kindred by way of eminency were Abram's ſeed, rather than Adam's ſeed: theſe were his Brethren, and his Children. Heb. 2.11, 13, 16, 17. Therefore to the end the promiſe might be ſure to all the ſeed, even to all who are of the faith of Abraham. Rom. 4.16. He took on Abraham's ſeed, which was more than if he had taken on Adam's ſeed.

Not as though the Word of God had taken none effect: For, as all were not Iſrael which were of Iſrael, neither becauſe they were the ſeed of Abraham according to the fleſh, were they all chil­dren, but the children of the promiſe were counted for the ſeed. Though the whole race and linage of Abraham's family arrived at great dignity, and were wonderfully differenced from the reſt of the Nations, by externall Covenant, Oracles, and Ordinances: Yet the ſeed was hid among them; the children of promiſe were ſcarce diſcernable, yet they were thoſe which were reckoned upon, to whom the promiſe of the everlaſting reſt was made, for they which beleeved entred into reſt.

It follows then, that although God hath made of one blood all Nations to dwell on the face of the Earth, &c. and bounded their habitations, Act. 17.26. Yet he hath diſtinguiſhed the Race and Generations of mankind into two ſeeds, firſt expreſſed in Gen. 3.15. in theſe words, Thy ſeed, and her ſeed. Afterwards more amplified, and that diſtinction evidenced not to be different quali­ties or qualifications in one and the ſame perſon, (as ſome under­ſtand) but in diſtinct perſons differently qualified; as appears in the perſons of Cain and Abel, Iſhmael and Iſaac, Eſau and Jacob, and ſo all along: Wherein, though all mankind are of the Race of Adam, yet there are but ſome which are of Abraham, and of thoſe, all are not the ſeed which the Lord hath bleſſed; for though all which proceeded from his loins were his children according to the fleſh, yet the children of the promiſe are counted for the ſeed:〈1 page duplicate〉24〈1 page duplicate〉2526and theſe alſo are ſo the children of Abraham, (children of Pro­miſe, children of Faith, children that cannot lie) as that they were firſt the children of Adam, as Abraham himſelfe alſo was, accor­ding to that divine teſtimony, 1 Cor. 15.46, 47, 48, 49. That was not firſt which is ſpiritual, but that naturall, and afterward that ſpirituall. The firſt man is of the earth, earthy: the ſecond man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, ſuch are they that are earthy; and, as is the heavenly, ſuch are they alſo that are heavenly. The former are the children of the firſt Adam by naturall generation, the latter are the children of the ſecond Adam by ſpirituall regeneration, of whom it is thus witneſſed, Joh. 1.12, 13. That to as many as receive him, (i. e. the Lord Jeſus) to them he gave the privilege (or preroga­tive) to be made the Sons of God, even to as many as beleeve in his name: who are born not of bloods, nor of the will of the fleſh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

So that it appears, As the firſt ſtone of the building, viz. that living, elect, precious corner-ſtone, the Lord Jeſus himſelfe, was not borne of the will of the fleſh, nor of the will of man, but of God, Luk. 1.34, 35. So likewiſe the living ſtones of the ſame ſpirituall building are borne after the ſame manner (for nature and kind) not of the will of man, nor of the will of the fleſh, but from above, according to what is teſtified in John 3.3. by the true and faithfull witneſſe himſelfe; Veri­ly, verily, I ſay unto thee, except a man be borne again (or from above, verſ. 5. or of the ſpirit, verſ. 6.) he cannot ſee the Kingdome of God.

Which being regenerate, or born from above, reverts into the for­mer, Joh. 1.12, 13, viz. a receiving of, and beleeving on Jeſus Chriſt; both which put together, produce that new birth which is from above, viz. when it ſhall pleaſe God the Father by his holy Spirit to make diſcovery of his love in Chriſt, through or by means of a pro­miſe to ſinners, & ſhall take off the fears and doubts of a Soul, cauſing it to lie down at the foot of that grace, thus brooding over it, and wil­lingly accepting thereof upon the terms on which it is tendred. Surely, this amounts unto a begetting again unto a lively hope, 1 Pet. 1.3. & is a teſtimony of the great good will of God, by which he be­getteth by the word of truth a kinde of firſt fruits to himſelf, Jam. 1.18. eſpecially when this diſcovery of Gods love ſhining into27 the Soul through the face of Chriſt, 2 Cor. 4.6. ſhall be mixt with faith in them that hear and receive the glad tidings of it, Heb. 4.2. & Gal. 3.14.

The Spirit of God, thus revealing Chriſt to the heart of a Sin­ner (and Gods great love in him) & preparing the heart to receive him mingling faith with the promiſe, and giving ſtrength to receive the ſeed of the Word of promiſe, in fulneſs of time, or according to the time of life (ſpiritually ſo conſidered) brings forth that birth which is after God, according to that which is ſpoken, 1 Pet. 1.23. Being born again, not of corruptible ſeed, but of incor­ruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

This new birth preſuppoſeth a new Life, which holds ſimili­tude and proportion with the firſt Creation; when God firſt made man, he breathed into him the breath of lives, and he became a living ſoul, ſetting up in him a light, viz. the ſpirit of a man, viz. the Candle of the Lord, ſuitable and proportionable to his capacity as he then ſtood, directing him in all things neceſſary to be known, or done, in reſpect of God or himſelf, according to the law written in his heart: So likewiſe in this new birth, or new creation, the perſon receives a new life. Epheſ. 2.5. Even when we were dead in ſinnes he hath quickned us, &c. Evidencing, that as he which hath the Son hath life, 1 John 5.12. So this life puts forth it ſelf in ſuch diſcoveries, as wherein the new-born Babe in Chriſt, having received through beleeving a witneſſe in himſelf, 1 John 5.10. and hath ſet to his ſeal, that God is true, John 3.33. crying to God, Abba Father, by the Spirit of Adop­tion received, Rom. 8.15. even the ſpirit of the Son ſent forth into his heart, Gal. 4.6. and deſiring (as new-born Babes) the ſincere milk of the Word, the unmix'd milk of that ſame Word by the incorruptible ſeed, whereof the new Birth was begotten and born. 1 Pet. 1.23. That it may grow up in him in all things, and this upon the accompt of having taſted, that the Lord is gracious. 1 Pet. 2.2. By which ſpiritual growth it appeareth to others as to himſelf alſo, that he is alive in Chriſt, as in his head and root by faith. And that Chriſt lives in him alſo by faith, Epheſ. 3.17. and Gal. 2.20. Not onely as an Object to be be­leeved on without him, as having done all for him, Rom. 4.25. and 8.3. 1 Cor. 1.30. 2 Cor. 5.21. but as inhabiting in him, ac­cording to that Teſtimony, Gal. 1.16. It pleaſed God to reveal28 his Son in me; which is more amplified and explained, Gal. 2.20. I live, yet not I, but Chriſt liveth in me; and the life I live in the fleſh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himſelf for me.

This inhabiting or in-dwelling of Chriſt in the heart is proper only to beleevers, to new-born Babes in Chriſt, unto whom he hath become a quickning Spirit, Epheſ. 2.1, 5. and 1 Cor. 15.45. in ſuch he dwels, as in his Tabernacle, while they are Tabernacling in their houſe of clay. And as its proper to them only which be­leeve, ſo it is effected and performed in them by the ſame Inſtru­ments, by which its life and being was at firſt conveyed, viz. by the Spirit on Chriſts part, John 14.17. Rom. 8.11. and by that fruit of the Spirit, viz. faith, on mans part, Epheſ. 3.17. That Chriſt may dwell in your hearts by faith; ſo may thoſe Scriptures be under­ſtood, Col. 1.27. Chriſt in you the hope of glory; and that 2 Cor. 13.5. Know you not that Chriſt is in you, &c. He is in the hearts of beleevers by his Spirit, and dwells there by faith, guiding and leading them, di­recting and aſſiſting them, teaching and enabling them to perfect holineſs in the fear of God; not only becoming a Principle of life or quickning, giving exiſtence or being to the new-born, but cauſing them to grow up in him, and to perform the actions of ſpi­ritual life, or of a living new-man.

Secondly, as in the firſt Man there was not only life, but light ſet up in him, ſo the new-born babe in Chriſt (the new Man) is alſo endowed with light ſuitable to his life; That quickning Spirit, which gave him life, gave him alſo light, Epheſ. 5.14. Awake thou that ſleepeſt; and ariſe from the dead, and Chriſt ſhall give thee light; as is the Man, ſo is his life, and his light: His birth is from above, ſo is his life & his light, Eph. 1.17, 18. That the God of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the ſpirit of wiſdom and revelation, in the knowledg of him: The eyes of your underſtanding being enlightned: that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the ſaints: that he may anſwer the ends of God in his new Creation. As formerly the ſpirit of a man, the Candle of the Lord in man, Prov. 20.27. acted its part under the firſt Covenant: ſo the quickning Spirit of Chriſt, or rather the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, that quickning Spirit, 1 Cor. 15.45 and 2 Cor. 3.17. is the Sun of righteouſneſs ariſing with healing in his wings, Mal. 4.2. upon them which ſate in darkneſs, Iſa. 60.1, 2. and in the region of the ſhadow of death, Luk. 1.78, 79. and Mat. 4.16. (notwithſtanding29 all their Torch or Candle-light) Chriſt is their ſpiritual Light.

This living light, or Light of life is it, which beams into the ſouls of the new-born babes, thoſe little ones, which beleeve in Chriſt, giving them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jeſus Chriſt, 2 Cor. 4.6. according to that teſti­mony of the holy Spirit, Pſalm 36.9. With thee is the fountain of life, in thy light, ſhall we ſee light, as far ſurpaſſing the Candle-light of mans ſpirit, as the adminiſtration of the law of faith doth that of works: This ſpiritual light as far excelling the former, as the adminiſtration of the Covenant to which it relates, doth excell that which was in-glorious in compariſon thereof, 2 Cor. 3.10.

As man was not at firſt made for himſelf, but to ſerve his Ma­ker, and had for that purpoſe the law of his Creatour written on his heart, by which to this day he is accuſed or excuſed: So neither is the new man, or renewed man indued with the prin­ciple of life and light, according to the image of him that crea­ted him, for no other purpoſe, but to exiſt barely, and to be no o­ther way ſerviceable to him, that hath quickned and illuminated him.

But there is a law, proper to this ſtate of new life, called by the Apoſtle, Rom. 8.2. The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jeſus, to which law ſubjection is to be yeelded by all that are born of the Spirit, or from above. Which law (as the former, viz. of works) is written in the hearts of theſe, Heb. 8.10. as that former on the hearts of thoſe, with this difference, viz. that was written on the heart in Creation, this in regeneration; that in the firſt birth, this in the new birth. On which law of the Spirit of life, the renewed principle of light, which is in the renewed man acts, (as the candle in the man did or doth in the former capacity) re­flecting on it, and receiving conviction, and direction from that; and as far as the new Covenant is above the old, ſo far is this law of faith above that law of works, Prov. 6.22, 23. And this law of faith, Rom. 3.27. or law of the Spirit of life in Chriſt Jeſus, Rom. 8.2. or this better Covenant, Heb. 8.6. doth excel, and far ſurpaſs the firſt Covenant, as being founded upon better promiſes, than that was, which are expreſſed moſt fully in Jeremy 31.33, 34. and 32.40. Ezek. 36.25, 26, 27. and applyed, Heb. 8.10, 11, 12. Wherein God undertakes by Covenant, and promiſeth, to pardon iniquity, tranſgreſſion, and ſins, and to remember them no more; alſo to cleanſe from all pollution, and all filthineſs, that is, to take away30 both the guilt and filth of ſin; to take away the old, and give a new heart; to take away the heart of ſtone, and give an heart of fleſh, to put his laws in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, to put his ſpirit within them, and cauſe them to walk in his ſtatutes, and to keep his judgements, and do them, God will not turn from them, and they ſhall not depart from him; theſe are better promiſes than thoſe upon which the firſt Covenant was eſta­bliſhed, Heb. 8.6.

For there was equitie and juſtice in that Covenant, whoſe tenour was, Do, and live: And curſed be every one, which doth not continue in every thing, that is written in the Law to do it. Who can ſay, God is unrighteous, in taking vengeance upon thoſe, who abide not in all things, fulfilling that Covenant, conſidering the capacity where­in man ſtood, when this Covenant was made with him at firſt, when God made him upright.

But now a Perſon being left to wreſtle it out, and to toil in the remaining ſtrength of his own ſpirit, to fulfill it, how impoſ­ſible is it for him to attain to the fulfilling thereof? not ſo much in reſpect of the faultineſs, or weakneſs of the law, or firſt Cove­nant, though it pleaſed the Lord to impute a faultineſs thereunto, Heb. 8.7. And the Apoſtle ſaith, that it was weak, Rom. 8.3. And if there had been a law given, which could have given life, verily righteouſneſs had been or come by the law, Gal. 3.21. Neither doth this lay an imputation upon the law, which the ſame Apoſtle teſtifieth, is holy, juſt, and good, Rom. 7.12. For ſurely if there be any ſuch perſon, which abideth in all things, that are written in the law to do them, ſuch an one ſhall finde the Lord juſt in his Co­venant, fulfilling to a title, what on his part is promiſed therein. The weakneſs therefore imputed to the law, is not ſo much in re­ſpect of the law, as in reſpect of the ſubjects thereof, who through the weakneſs of the fleſh cannot fulfill it; according to Rom. 8.3. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the fleſh, &c.

The law is holy, juſt, and good, but it can do no more then point out the duty, and diſcover the tranſgreſſion, and pronounce ſentence againſt the tranſgreſſor, and this it doth not in weakneſs, but in pow­er, and is therein quick and powerful, and mighty, &c. There's no fleſhly weakneſs in the pure and holy law of God, it would and could convey life, if man could fulfill it to a title, if not, then it muſt kill: this is it whereunto it hath received its anointing, and beyond which it muſt not paſs, and therefore the weakneſs is mans, and lies proper­ly at his door.


Yet foraſmuch as it conveys not ſtrength, where it requires duty; nor is founded upon any ſuch promiſes, as may be ground of hope, in caſe of failing, or non-performance of every title, therefore it is found fault with, and counted weak in that reſpect: and through the appearance of a greater grace, way is made for the bringing in a better hope, a better Covenant, ſtabliſhed upon better promiſes, as before.

This new and better Covenant is Jeſus Chriſt, (in whom all the promiſes center, as being the Yea; and the Amen thereof, 2 Cor. 1.20. ) and ſo he is called, Iſa. 42.6. and 49.8. I will give thee for a Covenant of the people to establiſh the Earth, agreeing with that in Pſalm 75.3. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are diſſolved, I bear up the Pillars thereof.

This Covenant conſiſting of theſe better promiſes, is not yea and nay, but in him they are yea, 2 Cor. 1.19. ratified and confirmed by bloud, yea by his own bloud, in oppoſition to the bloud of Bulls and Goats, by which the firſt was confirmed, Heb. 9.18, 19. but this by the eternal Spirit, Heb. 9.14. in order to eternal ſalvation, was confirmed by the bloud of the everlaſting Covenant, Heb. 13.20. By all which, (as by very much more which might be inſtanced in) in­finitely tranſcends the former.

Eſpecially if it be conſidered, that he, who confirms the Cove­nant by his own bloud (rendring it thereby eternal and everlaſting) becomes alſo the Mediatour of this Covenant, even of this better Covenant, Heb. 8.6. Not only confirming, ratifying, making, and well-ordering it in all things, and ſure, (as touching the promiſes themſelves, which are in him Yea and Amen, as he was the Sacri­fice and Propitiation) but by becoming the Mediatour thereof, to ap­ply it to all the ſeed, Rom. 4.16. working in them the conditions, and qualifications, which are requiſite for the enjoying the good things, which are contained therein, 2 Sam. 23.5.

If Repentance be a condition of this Covenant, and required of the ſubjects thereof, (as indeed it is) it ſhall be given them by the hand of this Mediatour, Acts 5.31. Him hath God exalted to be a Prince, and a Saviour, to give Repentance to Iſrael, and remiſſion of ſins.

If Faith be required, (as certainly it is) the ſame hand con­veyes it, who is the Authour and the Finiſher thereof, Heb. 12.2. Phil. 1.29.

If any other branch of obedience be requiſite, it is alſo under­taken32 for in this Covenant, where it is ſaid, I will write my Laws in their hearts: and leſt when they are written there, they ſhould not be heeded nor followed, it is further undertaken, for that the ſpirit ſhall cauſe the ſubjects of this Covenant, not only to remember the things, which are required, but ſhall cauſe them to walk therein, Ezek. 36.27. & Jer. 32.40. By leading them, by exciting them, by quickning, ſtrengthening, confirming, eſtabliſhing, guiding, direct­ing, and aſſiſting them, keeping the feet of his Saints, 1 Sam. 2.9. from ſtumbling, ſliding, and falling, in order to all which, they are taught to pray daily againſt being led into temptation, and then are promiſed alſo to be delivered out of it, by him, who himſelfe alſo was tempted, that he might ſuccour them, which are tempted.

And to the intent, that they may not be miſguided by their own ſpirit, or any falſe ſpirit (the Lord Jeſus foreſeeing there would be many falſe Chriſts, falſe Apoſtles, falſe Prophets, falſe Spirits,) he committed his mind to writing, to the intent alſo, that in other ages, Eſay. 8.19, 20. thence forth they might try the ſpirits, the Chriſts, the Prophets, the Apoſtles, (which pretend to come in his Name) 1 Joh. 4.1. Rev. 2.2. Joh. 20.31. 2 Joh. 10. As alſo therein much amplifying and enlarging their direction in point of obedience, expreſſing and declaring more particularly that law of the new Covenant, which is written in their heart more generally, explaining and expounding his mind and will not only touching the matter, but manner of their Obedience: hereby ordering and guiding the ſteps of his Servants, that their footſteps ſlide not, Pſal. 119.9, 105. Pſal. 17.4, 5.

This beſpeaks the Condition of the new-Covenant, and conſe­quently the law of faith, to be infinitely tranſcending the old-Co­venant or law of works; & by how much this is more excellent than the former, by ſo much alſo muſt of neceſſity the light be by which it is diſcerned, as that intiles it ſelf to Jeſus, who is the Covenant, and Mediator of the Covenant: ſo muſt the light alſo be referred to him, who is therefore (ſo frequently in the Scripture) called the Light, Eſa. 42.6. A Light of the Gentiles, as well as, the Cove­nant, of the People. Act. 13.47. I have ſet thee, to be a Light to the Gentiles, that thou ſhouldeſt be for Salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Chriſt is this Light, in whoſe face the glory of God is to be ſeen according to that in the 2 Cor. 4.6. God ſhining into the heart the Light of the Knowledge of his glory in the face of Jeſus Chriſt, who as Mediator (or one ſtanding between, 1 Tim. 2.5. For there33 is one God and one Mediator between God and Man, the Man Chriſt Jeſus, and Gal. 3.19, 20.) declares and makes forth that boſome-love of the Father, which was from everlaſting, which no man could ever ſee by the light of his Candle, 1 Cor. 2.9, 10, 11, 14.

The light of the Father is not to be diſcerned by any other Me­dium, but as revealed by Chriſt. In thy light ſhall we ſee light, Pſalm 36.9. 2 Cor. 4.6. John 1.18. John 14.6, 7, 9. Nor can any perſon behold the light of the Father in Chriſt, but by the Spirit of Chriſt, John 14.26. and 16.13, 14, 15. and 1 Cor. 2.10. Nor can any per­ſon behold the light of the Father through Chriſt in the Spirit, o­therwiſe than by faith, Heb. 11.1, 6. John 17.7, 8. John 8.56. Eph. 3.12. Rom. 5.2. (ſo Abraham ſaw, as Moſes alſo did, him who is inviſible, Heb. 11.27.) The Spirit emptying the creature of all other mediums, and producing this fruit of its own, that is, faith, Gal. 5.22. by which it can look on Jeſus, and by him on the Father, as they of old from the foot of the mercy-ſeat might behold him, who was above the mercy-ſeat, ſitting between the wings of the cherubims, Exod. 25. from the 17. to the 22. ſo that the light by which the regenerate or renewed man, or the man in Chriſt, comes to ſee the wonderful things of this law of faith, or new Covenant, and the mind of God therein, is Chriſt Jeſus himſelf, who is both the Covenant, and the light thereof, who by the Spirit of Wiſdome, and Revelation in the knowledge of him, opens the eyes of the underſtanding, Epheſ. 1.17. and through the waſhing of Regenera­tion, and renewing of the holy Spirit, Tit. 3.5. abundantly and richly ſaves them, making them to become one Spirit with himſelf, 1 Cor. 6.17. In whom they in their degree and meaſure behold with o­pen face as in a glaſs the Glory of the Lord, and are changed into the ſame image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord, or by the Lord the Spirit, 2 Cor. 3.17, 18. I ſay in meaſure, according to the proportion he bears in the ſtature of Chriſt, Eph. 4.13.

Thus the Regenerate man doth come to ſee by the light of the Spirit of the Lord, (by which he is illuminated) that glory of the Lord ſhining forth of darkneſs through the face of Chriſt Jeſus, which all the candles, nor torches of mans ſpirit in the world could never have diſcovered, nor given him the true and diſtinct knowledge of, whatever hints he otherwiſe might have had, touch­ing a poſſibility of Remiſſion and Salvation, probably, and conje­cturally, from the ſeries of Gods Goodneſs, Patience, and for­bearance, or from the general ſound of the Goſpel, and the glad34 tidings held forth therein, (which infinitely tranſcends the for­mer) yet this alſo, whileſt it is taken in by the light of a mans ſpi­rit, (though that be the candle of the Lord, as hath often been min­ded) it cannot amount to a diſcovery or right and true diſcerning of the things of the Spirit of God as contained in and under the new Covenant, or law of faith, but the Teſtimony of that Scri­pture ſtands as a wall of braſs between his candle and it, which ſaith, The Natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are fooliſhneſs unto him: neither can he know them, becauſe they are ſpiritually diſcerned, or judged of, 1 Cor. 2.14.

The reaſon is; becauſe although the candle-light of mans ſpirit was ſuited and fitly qualified by the Lord to lead him thorough the firſt Diſpenſation, that is, of works: as that which had received its anointing thereunto, and adapted to the adminiſtration that then was, (for he was made upright) yet when that adminiſtration was to ceaſe, and to be done away, 2 Cor. 3.7, 11. and another to be brought in the place and ſtead thereof, wherein all things were to become new, a new creation, and new creatures, 2 Cor. 5.17. go­verned by a new Covenant or law, Heb. 8.6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13. and Heb. 10.24. It was neceſſary that the ſubjects hereof ſhould be endued with new principles, and particularly with a new heart, and a new ſpirit, alſo with another eye and light, than which did accompany the former adminiſtration: for in that former there was light e­nough in mans own ſpirit to ſee to work by, as a man may do in the night by a candle; but in this there muſt be to walk by, broad day-light, Sun-light, that they which are made light in the Lord, may walk in the light of the Lord, Epheſ. 5.8. Iſa. 2.5. and that thoſe which are born of the ſpirit, and made alive thereby, may alſo walk in the ſpirit, by which they were quickned and made to live, Gal. 5.16, 18, 25.

For which purpoſe the Covenant now ſpoken of undertakes not only to new-creature the man in Chriſt, 2 Cor. 5.17. giving him a new heart, and a new ſpirit, that is, renewing him in the ſpirit of his mind, Eph. 4.23. but alſo God ſuperadds of his abundant grace in the ſame Covenant, his own Spirit, which ſhall cauſe the renew­ed ſpirit to be improved aright, which may appear, as to the praiſe and glory of God that gives it, ſo to the infinite and unutterable conſolation of the ſons and daughters of God, to whom it is given, (as appears in thoſe precious promiſes and breaſts of conſolations) whereby the new Covenant is unboſomed particularly, Ezekiel 36.35 26, 27. where beſides that the new heart and the new ſpirit are promiſed in the twenty ſix verſe, its added, And I will put my ſpirit within you.

Q. But what to do?

A. It ſhall cauſe you to walk in my waies; it ſhall be both light to ſhew you how to walk, and life to enable you, it ſhall cauſe you to walk, &c.

Neither of which could be effected by the candle-light, ſo often mentioned before; therefore was it of abſolute neceſſity in this caſe, that as there was to be another Law, or Covenant, divers from the former, called a new Covenant in compariſon of the old: So there muſt of neceſſity be another light to accompany it, diverſe from the former, that is, as then mans ſpirit, ſo now the Spirit of the Lord, not onely to enlighten, but to enliven, as to direct and guide, ſo likewiſe to enable to perform, that is, to work in us to will and to do of his own good pleaſure, Phil. 2.23.

Object. Although it may not be denyed, but that the Covenant, and tearms thereof are much different from what they were under the Legal adminiſtration, and that the Mediatour of the new Cove­nant doth far excel him, that executed that Miniſtery under the old, and that the light and glory of the latter doth far ſurpaſs that of the former: Yet this doth not put out the Candle of the Lord in any man, nor render it unneceſſary, or uſeleſs, but rather improves it by clearing up its object from the obſcurity that it lay under, by reaſon of the veils and ſhadows, which are now done away in Chriſt, where­by the Candle of the Lord burns much brighter, and is enabled to all intents and purpoſes to make diſcovery of whatſoever is revealed in the Goſpel, whatſoever is pretended unto as a means of diſcovery o­ther than this, viz. the ſpirit of a man, that is, the reaſon and un­derſtanding of a man, is unneceſſary, uncertain, and dangerous.

Anſw. Though this Objection hath a great appearance of ſeeming ſtrength, and bids defiance to all that hath been ſpoken hitherto, touching the light of the Spirit of God in the new creature, calling it unneceſſary, uncertain, and dangerous: Yet a few ſmooth ſtones taken out of the Brook of the holy Scripture directed by the Lord of the Battle, though ſlung out by a weak, deſpiſed, and contemptible, Inſtrument, may ſtagger and diſarm this Objection, how diſdainful­ly and Goliah-like ſoever it utters its ſelf; threatning to give the fleſh of all that hath been ſaid touching this matter, to the fowls of the air, and beaſts of the field.


It hath been often ſaid touching the Candle of the Lord in man, that it's a great and a goodly Light: and to what hath been ſpoken, this may further be added, that it may be ſaid of it, as was ſaid of that Champion, 1 Sam. 17.4, &c. It hath an helmet of braſs on its head, and is armed with a coat of male, weighing five thouſand ſhekels of braſs, beſides its ſtaffe, its ſpear, and ſhield. Incomparable in all theſe, and can ſpeak words like it ſelf, ſo ſaying, it can comprehend all myſte­ries, eſpecially now having the addition of Goſpel-diſcovery, yet not­withſtanding all this may be ſaid of it, and poſſible much more.

Yet the teſtimony of God ſpeaks on this wiſe, That touching him there is no ſearching of his understanding, Iſa. 40.28. That his underſtan­ding is infinite, Pſalm 147.

Object. Though a man cannot by ſearching find out God unto per­fection; yet he may attain to a competent proportion of the know­ledge of him, eſpecially in Goſpel-diſcoveries.

Anſw. 1. Vain or empty man would be wiſe, though man be born a wild aſſes colt, Job 11.7. What is more incongruous and inconſi­ſtent, than for a natural Organ to comprehend a ſupernatural Ob­ject. The ſpirit of man may know the things of a man, but the things of God knows no man but the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2.11. The reaſon is, becauſe the things of a man are connatural to the ſpirit of a man, and are objects adequated to his Organ, but the things of God are not ſo, Ergo.

Object. This Scripture ſpeaks only of the deep things of God, that the Spirit ſearcheth them, verſe 9, 10. Such as eye never ſaw, nor ear heard, nor ever entred into the heart of man, &c.

Anſw. Nay; for though the Apoſtle doth cite a paſſage out of the Prophet Eſay, where thoſe words are uſed, Eſay 64.4. Yet he doth not limit the ſearch of the Spirit unto thoſe things only, foraſmuch as it is added, The Spirit ſearcheth all things, yea the deep things of God, not only other things, but thoſe alſo, that is, the deep things of God, which may relate to the ſeventh verſe, the wiſdom of God in a myſtery, even the hidden wiſdome, which God ordained be­fore the world unto our glory, which none of the Princes of this world knew, &c. the hidden myſterie, the wiſdom of God, which none but the Spirit of God could ſearch out, according to this Scripture. It was beyond the reach of the ſpirit of man, yet this hidden wiſdome of God, doth the Spirit of God ſearch out.

Anſw. 2, The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God,37 for they are fooliſhneſs unto him: neither can he know them, becauſe they are ſpiritually diſcerned, 1 Cor. 2.14. Hence its evident, that there is an impotency, and defect in the reaſon and underſtanding of the natural man: he cannot receive them, becauſe he cannot diſ­cern them, (neither can he know them, becauſe they are ſpiritually diſcerned) both his eye and his hand are (as it were) Planet-ſtruck, his underſtanding and his will are both defective.

Object. This is ſtill ſpoken of the deep things of God, (as before) which eye hath not ſeen, &c. and conſequently are not diſcerna­ble.

Anſw. Not ſo, for it is evident, they are diſcernable by others, though not by the natural man, as appears, verſe 10, 12, 15. they are ſpiritually to be diſcerned, or judged of.

2. They are ſo far diſcernable by the natural man, as that they are rejected by him, therefore they are things to be ſeen, yea even by him, while he is ſuch, only his eye is not adapted to the object; he looks upon the things of the Spirit of God, without the eye of faith enlightned by the Spirit, as its medium, by which theſe things are only dſcernable; and hence his wrong judgement doth proceed, that is, he counts them fooliſhneſs, ver. 14. for they are fooliſhneſs to him, that is, to the natural man. They are not ſo ſecret and un­ſeen, but that he can ſee ſo much of them, as to paſs ſentence upon them, and count them fooliſhneſs.

Object. This is true of the natural man, that is, the carnal or ſinful man, whoſe eyes are cloſed up by infidelity, according to that of Mat. 13.15. This Peoples heart is waxed groſs, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have cloſed, &c. But to ſuch as improve the light of their underſtanding and reaſon, it is not ſo; as Solomon witneſſeth, Prov. 14.6. A ſcorner ſeeketh wiſdome, and findeth it not: but knowledge is eaſe to him that understandeth.

Anſw. It is not to be denyed, but that God in juſtice may, and often doth give ſuch up to blindneſs of mind, and hardneſs of heart, who cloſe their own eyes, and refuſe to entertain the light, and make ſcorn of it